President Trump has beautifully, elegantly, brilliantly finessed his enemies.
By taking the New York Times at its word that his communications were intercepted last year, Trump has forced the NYT either to take responsibility for exposing Obama’s scandalous activity, or to say that it was lying.
According to Andrew McCarthy (see our post immediately below, Now, President Trump, hit back), the Obama administration sought and eventually obtained FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) authorization to conduct the wire-tapping.
For what purposes can such FISA authorization be obtained? And by whom?
The President may authorize, through the Attorney General, electronic surveillance without a court order for the period of one year, provided that it is only to acquire foreign intelligence information, that it is solely directed at communications or property controlled exclusively by foreign powers, that there is no substantial likelihood that it will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party, and that it be conducted only in accordance with defined minimization procedures.
The code defines “foreign intelligence information” to mean information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential grave attack, sabotage or international terrorism.
“Foreign powers” means a foreign government, any faction of a foreign nation not substantially composed of U.S. persons, and any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government. The definition also includes groups engaged in international terrorism and foreign political organizations. The sections of FISA authorizing electronic surveillance and physical searches without a court order specifically exclude their application to groups engaged in international terrorism.
A “U.S. person” includes citizens, lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens, and corporations incorporated in the United States.
“Minimization procedures” is defined to mean procedures that minimize the acquisition of information concerning United States persons, allow the retention of information that is evidence of a crime, and require a court order be obtained in order to retain communication involving a United States person for longer than 72 hours.
The Attorney General is required to make a certification of these conditions under seal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and report on their compliance to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Under the FISA act, anyone who engages in electronic surveillance except as authorized by statute is subject to both criminal penalties and civil liabilities.
So if the New York Times was correct, President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, authorized electronic surveillance of communication devices in Donald Trump’s offices, on the grounds that her Department of Justice had provable grounds for suspicion that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the presidency, was one side of a conspiracy to mount “grave attack, sabotage, or international terrorism” against the United States – even though there was “substantial likelihood” that by doing so she would “acquire the contents of … communication(s) to which a United States person” – Donald Trump personally or an associate of his – was a party”.
If that’s what she did, she broke the law.
If she gathered any information from FISA-authorized wire-tapping, and retained it for more than an allowed 72 hours, or disseminated it to persons who illegally leaked it to the media, she broke the law.
If any of this happened, then there was a deep-laid plot by the Obama administration to destroy Donald Trump’s reputation and wreck his presidency should he be elected.
But then again, maybe the wire-tapping never happened, in which case the New York Times was lying – not at all an implausible probability.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
President Donald Trump caused a media firestorm by claiming over the weekend that then-President Obama wire-tapped telephones at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the final leg of last year’s election campaign.
Seeing the writing on the wall, tainted FBI Director James Comey promptly and publicly urged the Department of Justice to reject Trump’s claims. Although it is an attempt at a cover-up, it is an admirably transparent one.
Now the outlines of a Watergate-like conspiracy are emerging in which a sitting Democrat president apparently used the apparatus of the state to spy on a Republican presidential candidate. Watergate differed in that President Nixon didn’t get involved in the plot against the Democratic National Committee until later as an accomplice after the fact. Here Obama likely masterminded, or oversaw someone like the diabolical Benghazi cover-up artist Ben Rhodes, masterminding the whole thing.
Throughout his agonizingly long presidency, Obama serially abused his powers as the nation’s Chief Executive to undermine his political opponents. It might be said that every day of his presidency he committed at least one impeachable offense.
Obama used the IRS to target conservative and Tea Party nonprofits, along with Catholic, Jewish, and pro-Israel organizations. He brazenly lied about it, too. His Justice Department surreptitiously obtained telephone records for more than 100 reporters. … Books have been written about his corruption and many more such volumes will follow. …
A spokesman for Obama, who now lives in former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart’s walled mansion with Valerie Jarrett on Washington’s Embassy Row so he can pursue his unprecedented, taxpayer-subsidized post-presidential war against Trump, denied Obama ordered that Trump Tower be wiretapped.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” according to a carefully-worded statement. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Of course, as others quickly pointed out, the denial is misdirection.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote yesterday that the denial “seems disingenuous on several levels”. When a warrant is obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), “it is technically the FISA court that ‘orders’ surveillance”. Moreover, under the law, “it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court”.
McCarthy wrote presciently on Jan. 11: “The idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.”
Besides, Obama and his gang have generally been smart enough to hide their tracks when carrying out political dirty tricks. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and NSA, aren’t headquartered in the White House. Obama could wage war against Trump by creating multiple layers of plausible deniability. That’s what a community organizer from Chicago does.
Predictably, former Obama speechwriter [Ben] Rhodes went on Twitter to lie. Replying to a Trump tweet, the Iranian mullahs’ best friend wrote, cheekily, that, “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.” …
Most mainstream journalists were loath over the past eight years to call the exhaustively documented and at times bald-faced lies and misdeeds of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and HHS Secretary Sebelius. It would seem uncovering government corruption is only a journalist’s duty when a Republican resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. …
Let’s recount what former British Member of Parliament Louise Mensch reported at Heat Street on Nov. 7, the day before the U.S. election.
Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.
Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server. The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.
The FBI agents who talked to the New York Times, and rubbished the ground-breaking stories of Slate (Franklin Foer) and Mother Jones (David Corn) may not have known about the FISA warrant, sources say, because the counter-intelligence and criminal sides of the FBI often work independently of each other employing the principle of ‘compartmentalization’.
… We already knew that days before Trump’s inauguration, it was reported that Obama green-lighted a disturbing relaxation of the rules regulating the National Security Agency’s ability to circulate globally intercepted personal communications among the other 16 intelligence agencies, some of which are more politicized than the NSA, before applying important longstanding privacy-protection protocols. Before the policy was altered, the NSA [had] screened out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information before passing intercepted communications along to other agencies like the CIA or the FBI’s intelligence units.
Put another way, 17 days before President Trump was sworn in, NSA was unleashed against his embryonic administration, newly empowered to share raw intelligence gathered from telephone calls and emails that go through network switches outside the country, as well as messages between people outside the U.S. that go through domestic network switches.
WikiLeaks offered a refresher course in Obama’s treachery on Twitter Sunday, noting that “Obama has a history of tapping & hacking his friends and rivals”, and providing plenty of examples. …
And despite the growing mass media hysteria, there is still no publicly available evidence the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government last year. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified.
There is not a scintilla of proof of improper conduct.
All we have is the alleged say-so of faceless CIA spooks whose motives are questionable, to put it charitably.
Tom Shattuck writes at the Boston Herald:
In what has already been a historically bad year for Democrats, it just may be that they’re about to lose again to Donald Trump, this time in a high-stakes game of Russian roulette.
The Dems’ Putin smear was supposed to paint President Trump as a friend of the tyrant and beneficiary of Russian meddling in the election. Instead, it is the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, former President Barack Obama, who may take the fall.
Snooping on a presidential candidate is serious business.
The Democrats want you to think this is a crazy conspiracy theory for an unhinged tweeting president.
But Obama has a rich legacy of using the federal government as a political weapon and it would be foolish to think he suddenly started restraining himself, when he was never held to account by either the media or Democrats in power.
Remember, Obama’s Justice Department secretly subpoenaed the private phone records of Associated Press editors and reporters. It was pure spying.
Fox News reporter James Rosen and his family were wiretapped.
Former CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by the government.
Add to these incidents the harassment of conservative organizations by Obama’s IRS, and the mercenary nature of the Obama administration reveals itself.
We’re told Obama administration officials went to the FISA Court twice last year for warrants to conduct electronic surveillance on candidate Trump. Why?
The DNC leaks show that DNC staffers were formulating “Russia” attacks on Trump as far back as last April, with one email between two committee members reading “the pro-Russia stuff ties in pretty well to idea that Trump is too friendly with Putin/weak on Russia”.
Then there is the infamous “dossier” — anonymous reports that Trump campaign members were speaking to Russian officials with some frequency last year and the existence of wiretapped audio. …
The left wants to play the Russia game and President Trump should oblige.
There should be an immediate investigation, and we’ll see where the espionage trail leads.
President Trump has requested the congressional intelligence committees “to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016”.
Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch would be foolish not to be afraid.
When the government agency in charge of seeing that the rule of law is enforced gives up that responsibility, and takes upon itself instead to protect law-breakers and assist corruption, the rule of law is at an end.
Under the Obama administration, that is what has happened. The Department of Justice, first headed by Eric Holder who made it his solemn duty to protect black law-breakers, and subsequently by Loretta Lynch who is manifestly the obedient servant of the corrupt Clintons, is now nothing but a tool of the Democratic Party dictatorship.
Mike Adams, who sadly expects Crooked Hillary Clinton to be the next president of the United States but hopes that she might be impeached, writes at Townhall:
[Hillary] Clinton is guilty of more serious crimes than those of her husband prior to his impeachment. Next year she will have been placed in office by accepting a series of bribes – some of which have been funneled through her private “charitable” foundation and illegally used to fund her campaign for the presidency. If that is not an impeachable offense then no offense is impeachable.
None of this should come as a surprise. The Clintons began accepting bribes from corporations long before Bill even got out of office. In May of 1999, bankruptcy attorney William Brandt gave $1 million to the Clinton Presidential Library. Three months later, the Clinton Justice Department dropped charges against him for lying under oath about illegal lobbying of federal officials. The same year Anheuser-Busch kicked in $1 million after the Clinton administration dropped a bid to regulate beer advertisements aimed at minors.
It only got worse the following year when Denise Rich paid three bribes to the Clintons in exchange for the pardon of her husband Marc Rich. One bribe was $100,000 to Hillary’s 2000 Senate campaign. Another was $450,000 to the Clinton presidential library. A final bribe was for $1 million to the Democratic Party. Rich was pardoned on Clinton’s last day in office.
Things have only gotten worse since Hillary became the Secretary of State. The Clinton Foundation has been collecting money from foreign-owned businesses … The foundation has also failed to disclose millions of dollars of gifts (bribes) from foreign entities seeking Hillary’s help to approve of transactions with serious national security implications. Speaking of serious national security implications, it is interesting to observe the change in policy toward India since Bill left office in 2001. India had never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and was hit with sanctions for refusing to do so. India attempted to have those sanctions lifted by having Indian entities with a direct financial interest in lifting the sanctions pay Bill Clinton large speaking fees. Indians who could legally do so also made donations to Hillary’s senate and presidential campaigns. Additionally, millions were poured directly into the Clinton Foundation. After the bribes were deposited, Bill and Hillary went to work lifting the sanctions that Bill had imposed as president.
The activities of the Clinton Foundation deserve heightened scrutiny because foreign governments cannot contribute to American political campaigns. But they can donate to a “charity” like the foundation. They are also allowed to pay exorbitant fees for speeches. Americans of all political persuasions should be troubled by the fact that corporations benefiting from State Department actions while Hillary was Secretary of State have funded Clinton speeches. Notably, affiliates of companies funding Clinton speeches have been the direct recipients of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Predictably, the Clintons never disclosed any of the obvious conflicts of interests.
After the initial years following Bill Clinton’s presidency, his income from speeches started to dwindle. Then, when Hillary became Secretary of State in 2009 his high-paying overseas speeches suddenly started to increase in frequency. Of the thirteen speeches Bill Clinton has given for over half a million dollars, eleven occurred when his wife was Secretary of State.
Nigeria, which is one of the most corrupt nations on the planet, has been one of the biggest moneymakers for Bill Clinton. In his first eight years out of office, Bill never spoke in Nigeria. After Hillary became Secretary of State, Bill pulled in two of his top three speeches ever ($700,000 each) speaking in Nigeria.
Despite its record of corruption, Hillary granted Nigeria a waiver so it could continue to receive US assistance. This is despite the fact that in 2006 $1 million from a poverty alleviation fund was funneled into an organization run by Nduka Obaigbena in order to bring Beyonce to Nigeria. Obaigbena is also the alleged underwriter of Bill Clinton’s $700,000 speeches.
Clinton benefactor Gilbert Chagoury has been implicated in numerous bribery and corruption schemes in Nigeria. He has built a financial empire with the help of Sani Abacha, a Nigerian dictator whose time in office was known for brutality, bribery, and corruption. Abacha is also tied to Mark Rich who helped obtain oil assets in Nigeria and sell them for the benefit of General Abacha. During the same time frame, Abacha funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign assistance into European bank accounts.
Chagoury also funneled money into the 1996 Clinton reelection campaign and to the Democratic National Committee. He donated nearly half a million dollars to a voter registration group tied to the DNC. Even the Washington Post had the good sense to recognize that it was done to curry favor with the Clinton administration on behalf of the Abacha dictatorship.
In 2000, Chagoury was convicted in Switzerland of money laundering and of “aiding a criminal organization in connection with billions of dollars stolen from Nigeria”. Since his conviction he has donated millions to the Clinton Foundation. In 2009, after Hillary became Secretary of State, he pledged a whopping billion dollars to the Clintons
Every story of the Clintons’ corruption – of which there are many, though none can ever be complete – requires a mention of their hypocrisy.
Mike Adam duly recalls:
In December of 2009, Hillary Clinton gave a speech as a part of “International Anti-Corruption Day”, in which she praised the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in combatting bribery. In fact, she would go on to chair the group two years later. This is the same woman who began her political career with a controversy over turning a $1000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000. Throughout her career, the biggest payments into her coffers have not come from countries like England and Germany. They have flowed from nations rife with corruption and bribery. Nonetheless, in 2012 Hillary stated that fighting corruption is an “integral part of national security” adding that “our credibility depends on practicing what we preach”. She even said that bribery is “morally wrong – and far too common”.
Indeed. Screwing your country with bribes is far more serious than screwing your intern with cigars. Let the [impeachment] proceedings begin.
But they won’t begin, of course. Even if the Republicans retain their majorities in the House and the Senate, it is very unlikely that they will dare to impeach Hillary Clinton.
Why? Because everyone accepts now that the Clintons are above the law.
And the Department of Justice is owned by them.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
The highly politicized Department of Justice swatted down pesky FBI requests to investigate the Clinton Foundation earlier this year, CNN reported yesterday.
CNN buried the lede, as it frequently does on news stories that make Democrats look bad. The online version bears the innocuous-sounding headline, “Newly released Clinton emails shed light on relationship between State Dept. and Clinton Foundation.”
It is not until the 25th paragraph that the article states that an unidentified law enforcement official gave CNN a heads-up earlier this year. As the probe of Clinton’s private email servers was ramping up “several FBI field offices approached the Justice Department asking to open a case regarding the relationship between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation”.
At that time, the article continues, the Justice Department “declined because it had looked into allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation around a year earlier and found there wasn’t sufficient evidence to open a case”.
Not even enough evidence to look into the foundation’s affairs?
Not more than a year after the publication of Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, opened the floodgates for investigative reporters to dig into the matter. …
Lawyers have told me there is already a strong legal case against Mrs. Clinton. The fact that she destroyed email evidence – evidence subject to a congressional subpoena, no less — is already evidence in itself that she obstructed justice through spoliation of evidence. Spoliation means you can take as evidence the fact that evidence has been destroyed. Courts are entitled to draw spoliation inferences and convict an accused person on that basis alone.
The only reason FBI Director James Comey didn’t recommend she be prosecuted is because, well, he lacks a spine and he’s corrupt. He said there was no evidence of Clinton’s “efforts to obstruct justice”, a requirement that does not actually appear in the Espionage Act.
Evidence of corruption at the Clinton Foundation is everywhere, yet CNN and much of the mainstream media are still doing everything they can to ignore, misrepresent, or downplay the questionable things Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton did through the foundation.
The congenitally corrupt Clintons created their private email system to frustrate Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requesters, shield Hillary’s correspondence from congressional oversight, and steer money to their corrupt foundation, which, amazingly enough, still enjoys tax-exempt status.
These illegal, insecure private email servers Clinton used while at the State Department are at the heart of the scandal over her mishandling of an Islamic terrorist attack in militant-infested Benghazi, Libya on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 that left four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, dead. Even now, four years after the assault, the Obama administration has failed to provide an autopsy report about Stevens who was initially reported to have been ritualistically sodomized before being murdered by Muslim terrorists.
Every few days Judicial Watch has been releasing emails obtained under FoIA that may ultimately lead to evidence of political interference at the highest levels that provided cover for the anticipatory presidential bribe processing vehicle known as the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. …
May lead to … ? No. As long as there is a Democrat in the White House there will be no prosecution of the Clintons.
But Hillary Clinton is intent on finding cause to prosecute Trump “for corruption”!
A high-profile watchdog group controlled by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock is demanding the IRS investigate Donald Trump’s personal foundation for allegedly aiding his presidential campaign.
The call by CREW, or Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has to be the most obvious political hit job of this election cycle.
CREW is a member of what some in the conservative think tank community call the “Brocktopus”, that is, the network of groups the disgraced former journalist runs, which spends oodles of money defending all things Clinton. An admitted serial liar, Brock’s empire of sleaze also includes “conservative misinformation” watchdog Media Matters for America, pro-Hillary disaster-control spin site Correct the Record, and American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that promotes Hillary and attacks her critics.
CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder asked the IRS to investigate the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a tiny nonprofit founded by Trump decades ago to give away profits from his book, The Art of the Deal.
How the foundation, which ranked 4,347th in the FoundationSearch “Top Foundations by Assets for the state of New York” list would help the Trump campaign isn’t clear. “The Trump Foundation has no full-time staff, and gave away just $591,000 in 2014 — the last year for which records are available,” the Washington Post reports. …
Even if the IRS takes up this piddling little case not much is likely to come of it. It’s a political stunt by CREW, a nakedly partisan group under the boot of one of Hillary’s biggest backers.
It’s the wheeling and dealing Clinton Foundation with its involvement in billion-dollar transactions, its ties to shady figures, and the debt it owes to the unsavory governments of countries around the world that needs to be properly and thoroughly examined.
But as it won’t be examined, because (we repeat) the misnamed Department of Justice is owned by the Clintons –
Should those of us give up hope, who –
- Want to live under the rule of law, with nobody being above it?
- Value, above all else, individual freedom protected by the law?
- Want government to be the servant, not the master, of the people?
If Hillary Clinton is elected to the presidency, then the answer to that question is YES.
This is about the criminalization of doubt.
The US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that not only has she discussed internally the possibility of pursuing civil actions against “climate change deniers”, but she has also “referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action”.
Some Environmentalists are so absolutely convinced that human activity is really changing the climate of the planet, is really making it dangerously hotter, that they think big rich companies who deal in fossil fuels – the burning of which, they say, causes the alleged hotting up – simply must know this; must have done their own research and discovered it for themselves; and are hiding the documentation, which must exist, and which proves they know it; are deliberately concealing their knowledge and its proofs so that they can go on selling their “evil” product for the “evil” motive of profit, uncaring that it is “doing harm to the planet”, and continuing to deny that there is such a thing as man-made global warming; so they are criminals who need to be prosecuted and punished.
Just think what a heap of suppositions is being compiled here:
- That the earth is heating up.
- That human activity is heating up the earth.
- That the earth’s heating up is dangerous to human health.
- That the burning of fossil fuels is one of the chief human activities to blame for the earth’s heating up.
- That the fossil fuel companies have done their own research into these “facts”.
- That their research proves – must prove – that their products are much to blame for the earth’s heating up and damaging human health.
- That despite having found out all that for themselves they choose to lie about it and say that they do not know these “facts”.
- That they are lying when they say they do not have the documentation of their research which “proves” that they do know; and furthermore
- That they are doing all this lying and concealing and deceiving in order to be able to continue to sell their products while knowing that they are damaging human health.
- That therefore they are committing a variety of crimes including a crime against humanity in general.
We quote from an article at Watts Up With That?:
This is in the news today via “Climate NEXUS”, which is a Madison Ave. PR firm:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he is launching a legal probe into Exxon’s climate denial. The inquiry will look into both consumer and investor protection laws, covering the oil giant’s activity dating back to the 1970s. Schneiderman’s investigation could open “a sweeping new legal front in the battle over climate change”, says the New York Times, which broke the story. Two separate reports by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times uncovered that Exxon has known about the dangers of climate change since the 1970s but sowed doubt by funding climate change skeptics to preserve its business. Exxon has been compared extensively to the tobacco industry, which was convicted of racketeering in 2000 for deliberately deceiving the public about the dangers of its products.
Behind all that is an orchestrated plan; a nasty, spiteful. wholly unjustifiable conspiracy.
So where do these strange ideas come from?
Step forward “Climate Accountability Institute”.
The Climate Accountability Institute (CAI) is … attempting to marry “climate concerns” to environmentalism and tobacco prohibitionist tactics. …
In 2012 the CAI held a “workshop” in La Jolla California. It was “conceived” by Naomi Oreskes and others, and called Establishing Accountability for Climate Change Damages: Lessons from Tobacco Control.
So from the beginning, these persecutors, these witch-hunters, these self-righteous busybodies had it fixed in their heads that, as with smoking, human health is at issue.
Stanton Glantz, a prominent tobacco control activist scientist was present as were a clutch of lawyers, climate scientists, communication professionals, PR agency heads, bloggers and journalists.
They released a report:
The workshop was an “exploratory, open-ended dialogue” on the use of “lessons from tobacco-related education, laws, and litigation to address climate change“.
A key breakthrough in the public and legal case for tobacco control came when internal documents came to light showing the tobacco industry had knowingly misled the public. Similar documents may well exist in the vaults of the fossil fuel industry and their trade associations and front groups…
Why do these mythical documents need to be unearthed?
While we currently lack a compelling public narrative about climate change in the United States, we may be close to coalescing around one. Furthermore, climate change may loom larger today in the public mind than tobacco did when public health advocates began winning policy victories.
The reader should take a moment to grasp the momentous logic: We know legally “incriminating documents” (their choice of words) “may” exist, because tobacco activists had a breakthrough with such documents. They need to be found in order to make climate change a “looming threat” in the public mind.
Try thinking of a more reverse-engineered form of activism.
The first chapter in the report is Lessons from Tobacco Control. It is mainly one section called The Importance of Documents in Tobacco Litigation.
We learn next to nothing about these supposed “documents” from the report. After all, they haven’t been released or even found.
… many participants suggested that incriminating documents may exist that demonstrate collusion among the major fossil fuel companies …
But “the documents” were very valuable. … Since they were so sure they exist, careful plotting was needed on companies whose vaults to raid. …
Stanton Glantz was a vocal workshop participant. … [He] was so excited he proposed using the tobacco archives platform at the University of California San Francisco for climate documents (which were yet to be found). …
In what mode were the documents to be used?
Most importantly, the release of these documents meant that charges of conspiracy or racketeering could become a crucial component of tobacco litigation
Having firmly established that documents convenient to their strategy existed, the delegates moved on to discussing how to obtain them.
The answer was once again clear: “lawsuits”. It was not just lawsuits, it was “Congressional hearings”, “sympathetic state attorney generals” and “false advertising claims”.
State attorneys general can also subpoena documents, raising the possibility that a single sympathetic state attorney general might have substantial success in bringing key internal documents to light
The would-be litigators were inspired to think of other grounds for lawsuits: “False advertising”. “Libel suits”.
Now you know where the line on how “fossil fuel companies ‘knew’ they were doing wrong but yet did it” comes from.
The cries of “it’s a conspiracy!’”are planned and pre-meditated, on lawyers’ advice.
There certainly is a conspiracy underway – of these climate-change fanatics to do as much damage as possible to the fossil fuel industry.
This is where RICO [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act] came in:
Richard Ayres, an experienced environmental attorney, suggested that the RICO Act, which had been used effectively against the tobacco industry, could similarly be used to bring a lawsuit against carbon producers. ...
[He] knew starting lawsuits against productive companies wouldn’t look good. They needed to be spun … By dressing [the lawsuits] up as injury “compensation”.
Even if your ultimate goal might be to shut down a company, you still might be wise to start out by asking for compensation for injured parties.
The conspiracy plot thickened:
The suggestions appeared to grow outlandish at every turn. Richard Heede, one of CAI’s members, had come up with a system for blaming individual companies … [His] bizarre formulas, we learn, were received “positively” by “most of the workshop’s participants”. One UCS participant felt that “it could potentially be useful as part of a coordinated campaign to identify key climate ‘wrongdoers'”. Another felt it was useful in blaming faceless corporate entities instead of countries thereby bypassing provoking patriotic impulses in international negotiations.
Heede’s work was funded by Greenpeace. Of note, Greenpeace counsel Jasper Teulings was present at the meeting.
Greenpeace is a profoundly evil organization, as we have explained here.
… Naomi Oreskes suggested that some portion of sea level rise could be attributed to the emissions caused by a single carbon-producing company.
The oil company Exxon made its appearance in her example:
She suggested, “You might be able to say, ‘Here’s Exxon’s contribution to what’s happening to Key West or Venice’.”
So now we see how they suck statements of “scientific fact” out of their thumbs.
This was a strategy Glantz liked:
…Stanton Glantz expressed some enthusiasm about such a strategy, based on his experience with tobacco litigation. As he put it, “I would be surprised if the industry chose to attack the calculation that one foot of flooding in Key West could be attributed to ExxonMobil.”
We cannot resist repeating that: They expect that “the industry” will not “attack the calculation that one foot of flooding in Key West could be attributed to ExxonMobil”. !
The conspiratorial tide did not recede. Former computer scientist John Mashey claimed collusion between “climate change deniers” and fossil fuel companies:
[Mashey] presented a brief overview of some of his research, which traces funding, personnel, and messaging connections between roughly 600 individuals …
The penultimate section in the report is on how delegates planned to win “public opinion”. … (“RICO is not easy. It is certainly not a sure win” – Ayres) and others were wary of drawing the attention of “hostile legislators who might seek to undermine them”.
With public opinion, the delegates were clearly divided. PR mavens, lawyers and activists wanted to cry fraud, paint up villains and create outrage:
To mobilize, people often need to be outraged.
Daniel Yankelovich a “public opinion researcher” involved in “citizen education” appears to have balked at the “sue, sue, sue” chanting. Court cases are useful only after the public had been won over, he said. …
The workshop ended and there was “agreement”. “Documents” needed to be obtained. Legal action was needed both for “wresting potentially useful internal documents” and ‘maintaining pressure on the industry’.
A consensus had emerged.
… an emerging consensus on a strategy that incorporates legal action with a narrative that creates public outrage.
The participants, we learn
…made commitments to try to coordinate future efforts, continue discussing strategies for gaining access to internal documents from the fossil fuel industry and its affiliated climate denial network …
Why is the report important? Because climate activists have done everything the delegates said they wanted done, in the report.
[This includes] the latest letter from US Senators to Exxon, the conspiratorial ‘Exxon Knew’ campaign with the portrayal of old Exxon reports by InsideClimateNews as “internal documents”, the RICO letter from scientists and much more. … It is almost as if climate activists have willed [incriminating] “documents” into existence – just as they were advised.
Almost as if? That’s exactly what they have done.
And the campaign to criminalize the businessmen who run the fossil fuel industry is gathering pace.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
Led by agenda-setting New York State and radical left-winger Al Gore the progressive persecution of climate change skeptics by the states is underway.
Top law enforcement officers in several states are joining with the Chicken Littles of green activism to weaponize the scientifically dubious argument that human activity is not only changing the earth’s climate but that unprecedented world catastrophe awaits unless draconian, economy-killing carbon emission controls are imposed more or less immediately.
The litigation offensive has nothing to do with justice. It is aimed at forcing those few remaining holdouts in the business community who stubbornly cling to science to confess their thought crimes and submit to the know-nothing Left’s climate superstitions. It is part of modern-day environmentalism’s ongoing assault on knowledge, human progress, markets, and the rule of law.
Repent and embrace the true green faith or else you’ll be investigated and denounced as a climate criminal, is the message of “Inspector Gotcha,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
“It’s too early to say what we’re going to find,” he said of the five-month-old witch hunt aimed at his current target, the gigantic ExxonMobil, at a press conference this week in Lower Manhattan. “We intend to work as aggressively as possible, but also as carefully as possible.”
The New York Times previously reported that Schneiderman is looking into “whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. … For several years, advocacy groups with expertise in financial analysis have been warning that fossil fuel companies might be overvalued in the stock market, since the need to limit climate change might require that much of their coal, oil and natural gas be left in the ground.”
“The First Amendment, ladies and gentlemen, does not give you the right to commit fraud,” Schneiderman said this week.
Of course that assertion is true on its face but that doesn’t necessarily mean whatever he’s calling fraud is actually fraud. How can rejecting a theory – a wild, unproven, apocalyptic theory based on creative computer modeling and little else – about future climate conditions constitute fraud?
The New York Times now reports that the attorneys general of Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands said this week they would join Schneiderman’s politically motivated so-called investigation into whether ExxonMobil lied to investors and the public for years about the alleged threat posed by climate change. California opened its own investigation into the company last year. …
At Schneiderman’s press conference, former Vice President Gore, whose understanding of science roughly mirrors that of the Unabomber, was in attendance along with the attorneys general of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, and the Virgin Islands.
Gore implied ExxonMobil was just as bad as the tobacco industry which allegedly denied risks posed by its products for years. State attorneys general were an important part of the effort to nail Big Tobacco, he said.
“I do think the analogy may hold up rather precisely,” said Gore whose longtime meal ticket has been global warming. … Gore reportedly had a net worth of about $1.7 million at the turn of the century. But global warming hysteria cultivated by Gore grew over the years and by 2013 his fortune had grown to more than $200 million.
Schneiderman, a left-wing fanatic, is gearing up for what amounts to political show trials to enforce the Left’s party line on anthropogenic global warming. …
This radical inquisitor whom Politico reported had “spent his career building an ideological infrastructure for the left,” is building a gallows for those with the temerity to reject the lies of the misanthropic global-warmist agenda.
And what is his deep, emotional, fanatical motive?
Schneiderman is a leftist’s leftist, a zealous true believer intent on, in his own words, “slow[ing] down the bone-crushing machinery of the contemporary conservative movement.” …
The business community is wary of Schneiderman — and for good reason. …
It needs to be said that Schneiderman’s pursuit of ExxonMobil sure smells like political payback.
As Dr. Steven J. Allen, my learned Capital Research Center colleague, has reported, ExxonMobil used to be a major contributor to the scandal-plagued Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, as well as a sponsor of the annual meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). But as the foundation became inundated by adverse publicity related to the fact that it functions as a clearinghouse for future presidential favors from Hillary Clinton, ExxonMobil reportedly stopped giving it money.
It’s no coincidence that Secretary Clinton turned on the company last fall, demanding it be investigated for giving grants to warming-skeptic organizations. “There’s a lot of evidence that they misled the public,” she declared.
“In November, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — a top supporter of Clinton — launched an investigation into the company that, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, ‘marks a dangerous new escalation of the Left’s attempt to stamp out all disagreement on global-warming science and policy … demanding Exxon’s documents on climate research from 1977 to 2015’.”
Was Schneiderman’s newfound interest in ExxonMobil piqued by green idealism?
The question answers itself.
We would say, “Let that be a lesson to all companies that bribed, or were subjected to extortion by the Clintons!” – but we know it won’t be. Only if Hillary Clinton fails to win the presidency will companies (and foreign governments) even consider turning their backs on the Clintons and closing their purses.
Is it not passing strange that such monuments of capitalism as Exxonmobil, so likely to be targets of the Left, habitually give huge donations to leftist politicians like the Clintons? Does it never strike them that in the long run – though the short-term benefits they buy may be sweet – they are paying for their own destruction?
“Less than a year to go to the election of a new president.”
“Only 14 months more of this disastrous presidency.”
And then …?
Obama’s malign effect on the nation will be ended and undone?
Not if Obama can do anything to prevent it – and he can, and he will, and he’s doing it.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
After making America poorer, weaker, less free, more race-obsessed and balkanized throughout his tumultuous presidency, Barack Obama is gearing up to use his two tax-exempt nonprofits to continue attacking what remains of the republic’s civil society after he leaves office in 14 months.
Obama’s presidency “has been pockmarked by rioting, looting and protests”, as he “encouraged the nonstop civil unrest exhausting the nation”, writes the Hoover Institution’s Paul Sperry. Obama and his “army of social justice bullies” are going to make things worse before he leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017.
Our indefatigable Community Organizer-in-Chief is planning to use Organizing for Action (OfA) and the Barack Obama Foundation to continue punishing America for its imaginary sins and to promote manufactured controversies long after he leaves the White House.
Chicago-based OfA has trained “more than 10,000 leftist organizers, who, in turn, are training more than 2 million youths in [Saul] Alinsky street tactics,” according to Sperry. This “army of social justice bullies” will carry on Obama’s campaign to fundamentally transform America.
OfA is a less violent version of Mussolini’s black shirts and Hitler’s brown shirts, or of the government-supported goon squads that Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Cuba’s Castro brothers use to harass and intimidate their domestic opponents. OfA units brought muscle to the 2011-12 fight in Wisconsin over that state’s out-of-control government labor unions. OfA has bludgeoned Democrats that Obama deemed insufficiently left-wing, especially red-state congressional Democrats who had been wavering on the issue of Obamacare. …
Will the OfA be less violent than its forerunners? It would be a mistake to assume or expect that to be the case.
OfA, however, is only part of the picture.
Obama’s presidential foundation … may end up eclipsing OfA as a locus of destructive, nihilistic, antisocial activism in the post-Obama era. Obama intends to use his foundation, based at the planned Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, to continue wreaking havoc in America and around the globe.
A “scaled down” version of OfA will reportedly reside at the Barack Obama Foundation whose website states ominously, “As President Obama has said, the change we seek will take longer than one presidency. Obama’s historic candidacy was never simply about winning an office; it was about building a movement to tackle challenges that would define a generation. This work will live on in the Obama Foundation, which will inspire citizens across the globe to better their communities, their countries, and their world.”
But at least until the foundation is fully operational, Organizing for Action will remain Obama’s primary nonprofit vehicle for subjecting the American people to the community organizer-style terrorism that got him where he is today.
Sperry notes that OfA holds “organizing summits” on college campuses and uses social media to “mobilize flash mobs against ‘biased cops’, ‘climate-change deniers’, ‘Wall Street predators’ and ‘gun extremists’.” It organizes rallies against conservative opponents of same-sex marriage, expanded LGBT rights, abortion, and amnesty for illegal aliens.
During the nationwide battle over Obamacare, OfA sent out a mass email attacking the good faith of opponents. Those who questioned the wisdom of Obamacare weren’t Americans who sincerely disagreed with the president, but “Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders”. …
OfA was created because the White House could not lawfully use the 13 million e-mail addresses that the campaign compiled in 2008. The Democratic National Committee set up the allegedly grassroots movement as an in-house project to continue to proselytize on Obama’s behalf between elections. It was previously called Organizing for America but that name was jettisoned, probably because it sounded too pro-American.
Organizing for Action is a 501c4 nonprofit “social welfare” organization formed in January 2013. … At the end of 2013 it reported $26 million in total revenue, 197 employees, and 27,282 volunteers.
OfA … runs something it calls the Community Organizing Institute which conducts “documentary film screenings, panel discussions and receptions with distinguished guests”.
Obama has also used taxpayer money to train “hundreds of thousands of junior agitators through AmeriCorps, a Clinton youth program he’s dramatically expanded”, Sperry writes, “and through My Brother’s Keeper, the ‘racial justice’ initiative he launched in the wake of the 2012 death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin”.
Obama openly supports the violent Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, which are “coordinating activities with nonprofit ACORN clones, who are being secretly bankrolled through Justice Department subprime settlement funds extracted from banks”. …
Obama is leaving behind a generation of militant jerks — collectively known as his “family” — to continue to proliferate protests and militate against everything and nothing. These irritating, self-absorbed, belligerent brats will “hands-up, don’t shoot” themselves into every cobwebbed corner of society, and the liberal media will give them the national bullhorn to amplify their hatred every time.
This is from Canada Free Press, by Matthew Vadum:
President Obama is appointing an openly terrorist-sympathizing Muslim to head a government office dedicated to countering Islamic State propaganda.
In April, Rashad Hussain will take over as director of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, a small office within the U.S. Department of State that Obama plans to make bigger. A new component called the Information Coordination Cell will be added to the expanded center and will reportedly be staffed by intelligence analysts. It will have a staff of around 80 people and will coordinate with other government agencies. The head-chopping barbarians of the Islamic State will no doubt cower in fear because the U.S. government has, as the newspaper notes, “more than 350 State Department Twitter accounts, combining embassies, consulates, media hubs, bureaus and individuals, as well as similar accounts operated by the Pentagon, the Homeland Security Department and foreign allies”.
Hussain is reportedly a devout Muslim who maintains close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood’s network in the U.S. He has been spewing radical Islamic propaganda for years. As a law student at Yale University in 2004, Hussain whined that the prosecution of University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian was a “politically motivated persecution” calculated “to squash dissent”.
How slickly these would-be squashers of dissent have learn to use the language of freedom and tolerance to advance their intolerant totalitarian ideology!
The academic was recently deported and he entered guilty pleas regarding his activities as a leader of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Hussain’s pro-terrorist activities have continued since he left college. In a 2008 paper for the Brookings Institution he argued that language that links Muslim terrorism to Islam itself should be avoided. “Policymakers should reject the use of language that provides a religious legitimization of terrorism such as ‘Islamic terrorism’ and ‘Islamic extremist’,” he wrote. “They should replace such terminology with more specific and descriptive terms such as ‘Al-Qaeda terrorism’.” This is, of course, exactly what the Obama administration did upon coming into power the next year. Even today Obama argues strenuously that the U.S. is in conflict only with specific terrorist groups and not with the Muslim world as a whole.
In the same paper Hussain urged the U.S. to “welcome and encourage the further development of mainstream Muslim organizations and moderate institutions”. He specifically referenced the work of the Fiqh Council of North America, which is linked to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
Hussain has also written that, “The primary cause of broad-based anger and anti-Americanism is not a clash of civilizations but the perceived effect of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world.” This is, of course, the standard left-wing rationalization for Islamic aggression against the United States. It ignores the pattern of violent expansionism that has characterized Islam since the days of its founding prophet. It also ignores the fact that Islam, which is the Arabic word for submission, does not believe in the marketplace of ideas. Islam does not recognize separation of church and state. Its purpose from its creation has always been to conquer and eliminate all other religions. It must dominate.
President Obama, who nowadays makes no secret of his sympathy for Islamic terrorists, picked the right man to carry out his policies. Hussain has already been working for the Obama administration for five years. In February 2010 Obama appointed Hussain as his ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (previously known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference). [The expert on Islam] [Robert] Spencer describes the OIC as “the thuggish international organization that is engaged in a full-scale campaign to intimidate Western governments into adopting hate speech codes that will effectively quash criticism of Islam — including jihad violence perpetrated in its name.” OIC has long been pushing the myth that there is such a thing as “Islamophobia”.
Obama gushed over Hussain when he first appointed him to an administration post. “I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC — Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo [in 2009],” Obama said at the time. “And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.” (Hafiz is Arabic for “guardian” and refers to a man who has memorized all of the Koran.)
Of course, Hussain was a natural fit for the OIC, which itself is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. It consists of 56 member states plus the Palestinian Authority and aspires to impose shariah law on the entire world. It seeks to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate.
Now that Obama is safely reelected and the final off-year congressional election of his presidency is completed, he doesn’t care about appearances anymore. Obama doesn’t feel the need for the careful, studied, Alinskyite deception that marked his first six years in the highest office in the land. Now he is free at long last to be Obama and to let his Chicagoland, red-diaper baby, freak flag fly.
His despotic power is essentially unchallenged.
To reinforce the verdict given by Bill Whittle on the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola scare (see the video below Fear of Ebola, posted October 18, 2014), here are excerpts from an article by Matthew Vadum at Front Page:
President Obama’s lies about the communicability of the truly terrifying Ebola virus are recklessly putting American lives at risk. …
At a photo-opportunity disguised as an emergency cabinet meeting the president did what he always does: he lied and lied and lied.
“Here’s what we know about Ebola: That it is not like the flu,” Obama told his groupies in government and the media in reassuring tones. “It is not airborne.* The only way that a person can contract Ebola is by coming into direct contact with the bodily fluids of somebody who is showing symptoms. In other words, if they don’t have symptoms, they’re not contagious.” …
The White House website repeats Obama’s lies: “You can only get the Ebola virus by direct contact with: Body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola; Objects contaminated with the virus; Infected animals.” …
Dr. Steven J. Allen [is] an expert on the Ebola virus and he says Obama is not telling the truth. … Although Ebola is indeed spread by means of body fluids there’s a catch.
We don’t how long it can last on surfaces or as droplets in the air so when President Obama said earlier this month you can’t get it from sitting beside someone on a bus that was a total lie … You can get the disease from such a small number of viral particles that logic says you can get it from someone coughing in your vicinity.
In other words, Ebola can spread through the air, contrary to Obama’s remarks. This helps to explain why health care professionals who value their lives wear hazmat suits that look like astronaut gear when dealing with Ebola-infected patients. …
Dr. Allen says:
It is Obama’s ideology that makes him incompetent. … Public health is supposed to be about fighting infectious disease and protecting people from environmental dangers. We have the Environmental Protection Agency to cover the environment and the Centers for Disease Control is supposed to be for infectious disease.
The Obama people, continuing a long-developing trend, have reinvented public health to mean control over personal behavior such as what you eat, whether you have guns in the house, whether you drive drunk … but the CDC is supposed to be dealing with infectious disease, not personal behavior. Anything else is mission creep and getting away from protecting us as was intended when the CDC was created.
In the Obama era the CDC has pushed a dizzying array of social-engineering proposals that have nothing to do with disease. These nanny state initiatives include a federal universal motorcycle helmet law, a study of video games and television violence, a “national action plan” to prevent accidents in children’s playgrounds, and studies and campaigns “promoting positive community norms” and “safe, stable, nurturing relationships (SSNRs)” in homes and schools. …
Obama praised several officials including Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and his perpetually bungling CDC Director Tom Frieden, who has been busy more or less full-time in recent weeks issuing clarifications of his infelicitous, inaccurate statements from the previous day.
Obama said the officials have done an “outstanding job” so far, but that with flu season upon us and Department of Homeland Security officials also working on combatting ISIS, “they also are responsible for a whole bunch of other stuff”.
Despite all the fabulous work [done by] Frieden, who used to labor for then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on vital projects like limiting the size of soda pop servings, Obama is warming to the idea of appointing an “Ebola czar” to coordinate the government’s response to the crisis that his boneheaded policies have created.
Since that was written, Obama has appointed an “Ebola czar”: Ron Klain, a spin-doctor who did his thing for Al Gore and Joe Biden, and whose prime accomplishment was facilitating Obama’s shocking scheme to promote solar energy: flushing $535m of taxpayers’ money down the toilet known as Solyndra. He has no qualifications in medicine and no experience dealing with public health issues.
Frieden has been coming under increasingly heavy political fire in recent days. It doesn’t help that he has no idea what he’s doing, Allen said. “The problem with Frieden is he is a prohibitionist zealot who is clueless about the threat we are currently facing…”
Although quarantining infectious patients has been practiced with impressive results ever since the invention of medical science, Obama refuses to halt travel to the U.S. from Ebola-afflicted parts of the world, even from Ebola-devastated Liberia, home of the patient who recently succumbed to the disease at a Texas hospital.
Defying common sense, Obama says a “flat-out travel ban is not the way to go”.
Critics point to Obama’s stubborn refusal to stop residents of Liberia and other affected countries from visiting the U.S. as incompetence or a lack of leadership.
This criticism may be unfair. Obama is more likely acting out of principle.
Obama’s neo-Marxist, identity politics-infused worldview holds that America is an imperial power that has victimized other nations merely by being wealthy and powerful. Meanwhile, Obama romanticizes backward countries like those former colonies in Ebola-rich West Africa and views imposing a travel ban on their citizens as adding insult to the grievous injuries that the perpetually guilty United States has inflicted on them.
The president has no compunction putting American lives at risk and subordinating their interests to those of West Africans.
Obama seems to forget that his chief duty under the Constitution is to protect the American people.
Did he ever remember it?
* Go here to read a scientist’s opinion that the Ebola virus can mutate to become airborne if it has not already done so.
The death of Venezuela’s despot Hugo Chavez was announced yesterday, but rumor has it that he died a week ago on the morning of Wednesday February 27, 2013.
This is from Front Page, by Matthew Vadum. He makes a comparison between Chavez and Obama, to the advantage of neither:
Barack Obama’s less media-savvy comrade Hugo Chavez is finally dead.
Venezuela’s Vice President, Nicolas Maduro, announced that the communist tyrant died yesterday after seeking medical treatment from the quacks and bunglers laughingly referred to as the Cuban health care system. Hidden away from the public for months, Chavez, whose election in 1999 sparked a leftist revival throughout Latin America, may have actually died some time ago.
Chavez will be remembered not only for his fanaticism and brutality but also for his effective use of the same Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing techniques now relied on by President Barack Obama.
Both men hate capitalism. Chavez called capitalism “savagery,” while the smoother Obama tries to be more upbeat, speaking of the need to spread wealth.
Both men are champions of gun control, social engineering, and unlimited governmental power.
Both hate America (to varying degrees) and both utilize mobs to harass and intimidate their enemies.
Obama has used union goons, ACORN members, and his personal tax-exempt Alinskyite army, Organizing for Action (formerly Organizing for America), against his adversaries.
Chavez, who habitually used the rhetoric of class warfare, funded a network of violent, government-armed “Bolivarian Circles,” similar to Cuba’s Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. In order to identify citizens worthy of governmental persecution, the neighborhood-based militias reported on Venezuelans deemed to lack the requisite enthusiasm for Marxism. Like Hitler’s Sturmabteilung (SA), these groups broke up opposition meetings by force.
Chavez intimidated the private media by openly threatening and harassing independent media outlets. He also introduced a requirement that journalists be licensed. Obama doesn’t need to keep the media in line because they already worship him.
While Obama has been busy installing senior government officials such as Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who lack the ability to understand the Islamofascist threat, Chavez allowed America’s terrorist enemies to set up shop in his country.
A big supporter of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez permitted Iran-funded Hezbollah and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas to open offices in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
Vadum might have added the shared antisemitism of the two men. Obama works against the survival of the Jewish state. Chavez openly encouraged persecution of Venezuelan Jews.
This is from the National Review, by John Fund:
One of the “hero” myths being created around Chávez is that he was elected democratically four times. …
But Chávez was a democrat the way that Mafia enforcers were policemen in neighborhoods they controlled. If you didn’t cooperate and pay tribute to them, you would regret it. He ruled through fear, intimidation, and subversion of the country’s institutions.
Merely allowing people to line up at polling stations every six years did not make Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela democratic. Nor will the snap election that must be called within 30 days to choose Chávez’s successor necessarily be free or fair. If Nicholas Maduro, the man Chávez hand-picked to take over after his death, wants to demonstrate Venezuela is running a legitimate election, let him first invite back the international election observers of whom Hugo Chávez was so frightened.
And this is from the Miami Herald:
Hugo Chávez’s folksy charm and forceful personality made him an extraordinary politician. His enviable ability to win a mass following allowed him to build a powerful political machine that kept him in office from February of 1999 until his death on Tuesday. But as a national leader, he was an abject failure who plunged Venezuela into a political and economic abyss.
Dead at 58, Hugo Chávez leaves behind a country in far worse condition than it was when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party’s making and an economy in chaos. …
Mr. Chávez had a radical vision for “21st Century Socialism” … His skillful rhetoric, which filled supporters with utopian dreams, was used to justify the methodical destruction of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and the free market. …
[He] aggressively set out to rig elections and stifle adversaries in the legislative branch and the courts. Unable to brook criticism, he turned his fire on the independent news media, eventually silencing most voices of opposition by bully tactics and economic intimidation.
His Bolivarian regime rewarded supporters and punished opponents, giving rise to enormous corruption and the creation of a new class of greedy oligarchs with political connections. …
Whatever happens now in Venezuela, his demise will have some good effects in the wider world:
On the international front, Mr. Chávez eagerly accepted Fidel Castro as his mentor, providing Cuba with cut-rate oil and making common cause with Iran and other rogue regimes. His departure leaves the anti-American front leaderless on a hemispheric level and could eventually threaten the subsidy that Cuba relies on to keep its economy barely functioning.
Ed Driscoll at PJ Media has collected opinions on the dead dictator. He includes a Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Death of Hugo Chavez, from which we quote:
“Rosalynn and I … came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.”
He may have been “committed” to improving the lives of those who felt neglected and “marginalized” (a Leftist buzzword that, by the way), but he did not improve the lives of most Venezuelans. Quite the contrary. His economic policy so devalued the currency that the poor were made poorer. But that seems not to be recognized by his numerous and passionate fans, including the poor of Venezuela.
Driscoll goes on to quote other opinions on the Left –
Such as the Nation, which really beclowns itself:
“Chávez was a strongman. He packed the courts, hounded the corporate media, legislated by decree and pretty much did away with any effective system of institutional checks or balances. But I’ll be perverse and argue that the biggest problem Venezuela faced during his rule was not that Chávez was authoritarian but that he wasn’t authoritarian enough. It wasn’t too much control that was the problem but too little.”
“I’m what they call a useful idiot when it comes to Hugo Chávez,” the writer actually adds. And how.
But hey, that’s the far left Nation. The neutral, objective, totally without bias Washington Post wouldn’t fall for such radical chic nonsense, would they?
Yes, of course they would: “Wash Post’s Eugene Robinson Appears on MSNBC to Praise ‘Quick,’ ‘Popular,’ Funny Hugo Chavez.”
And to think I was being ironic a couple of years ago when I titled a post “Studying the Washington Post Kremlinologist-Style.” …
Sean Penn has a sad:
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion,” says Penn in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter…
Meanwhile, “NBCNews.com Mourns Chavez: Who Will Become Region’s ‘Voice of Socialism and Anti-Americanism?’”
Which prompts Driscoll to ask –
Isn’t that NBC’s job, or don’t they get that network on the cable feed down there?
In order to delay having to say anything of substance about the Benghazi disaster (see our many posts about it over the last month), Obama insists that we must await the findings of an official investigation he has launched: a sober enquiry that will discover all the facts, patiently sift them, astutely analyse them, and thus be able at last to reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Which will totally exonerate Obama. Not because the truth is in his favor, which we already know it is not, but because he can rely on the investigator he and the Secretary of State have appointed to find a “truth” that Obama and Hillary Clinton want him to find: that all their decisions in the matter were wise, all their actions right, and their motives pure as the driven snow.
Why do we presume this outcome with such arrogant confidence? Because of what is known of the man he has appointed chief investigator.
Behold Thomas R. Pickering, who heartily approves and endorses Obama’s policy towards the Arab and Islamic worlds and probably helped to formulate it.
Of him, his remit and his views, Diana West writes at Townhall:
As we arrive at Election Day, some of the most crucial questions left unanswered about Benghazi are, in fact, the simplest. They are not “fog of war” questions. They are not questions rendered unanswerable by “conflicting intelligence.” They are questions that probe clear actions taking place not on the roof of a safe house under mortar fire, but inside the fortress-like, orderly and well-lit White House.
Who turned down requests for military relief for Americans under rocket and mortar fire? Who decided to suppress the fact that no protest preceded this attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that claimed four American lives? Who ordered senior Obama administration officials to lie to the American people for two weeks by blaming a YouTube video for a “spontaneous” outbreak of violence that was, in fact, a coordinated terrorist assault?
President Obama declared he made his priorities about Benghazi clear “the minute I found out what was happening.” He said: “Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” If he issued an unexecuted order to this effect, there was a grievous breakdown in the chain of command that must be exposed. If, on the other hand, Barack Obama is lying, that must be exposed, too. It’s not a hard fact to find out.
But is Thomas Pickering, Obama’s choice to lead the Benghazi investigation, the proper person to search for it? On first glance, Pickering, a retired top diplomat and State Department official, sets off conflict-of-interest alarms for heading an investigation that must focus closely on the State Department. On closer inspection, however, so many red flags pop up around Pickering that his selection becomes another Benghazi. …
The man is a foreign policy establishment leftist. It’s not just that Pickering serves as chairman of the board of trustees of the International Crisis Group, a George Soros group that, for example, advocated engagement with the Shariah-supremacist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Pickering has personally explored opening relations with Hamas; pushed peace talks with the Taliban; argued for getting rid of, or removing to the U.S., all tactical nuclear weapons in Europe … and promoted bilateral talks with Iran without preconditions. And speaking of Iran, Pickering sits on the boards of two pro-Tehran groups, the American Iranian Council and the National Iranian American Council. The Iranian connections are additionally disturbing since one Benghazi scenario to be explored is whether Iran was involved, possibly in retribution for U.S. support of anti-Assad forces (including jihadists) in Syria.
Pickering’s politics place him squarely inside the Obama foreign policy mainstream, but that’s not the proper point from which to investigate an Obama foreign policy fiasco. Indeed, Pickering has expressed support for Obama’s Libya policy, “where,” as he put it in March, “we play a major role behind the scenes and … incorporate many other people in the activities we did in Libya.”
Explaining the Libyan “experimentation” in “consultative leadership” that minimizes the U.S. military role, Pickering sounds as if he also endorsed the disastrous policy of relying on local jihadist militias for U.S. security.
And here is more about him from an article by Matthew Vadum at Front Page:
America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the benign Muslim religion, according tothe Obama administration’s lead investigator into the Benghazi atrocities.
So said former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering in more polished, diplomatic language during an Oct. 23 panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The talk was on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia,” a make-believe mental illness that Islamists would love to have listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Radical Islam’s stateside defenders frequently accuse anti-terrorism hawks of “McCarthyism,” hurling the epithet “Islamophobe” the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.
Pickering’s pontifications came two and a half weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named him to head a State Department “Accountability Review Board” tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the deaths on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.…
Pickering urged what might amount to a zero-tolerance policy against so-called Islamophobes in American society. “There are strong efforts as well that we must make to deal with opinion leaders who harbor these prejudices, who espouse them and spread them,” he said.
Such as tearing the First Amendment out of the Constitution?
Critics say Pickering is unfit to head any probe of what happened in Benghazi because he harbors sympathy for Islamism and is suspiciously cozy with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
And so, since Obama and Hillary Clinton have picked to investigate the atrocity of Benghazi a man who firmly believes the policy that led to it is ideal, we can predict with certainty the outcome of his investigation.
It will be a whitewash.
Last night, on Tuesday October 16, 2012, a woman named Candy Crowley “moderated” the debate between the two candidates for the presidency in the forthcoming elections, Mitt Romney (Republican) and Barack Obama (Democrat).
According to her Wiki entry, Candy Crowley practices Transcendental Meditation.
What is Transcendental Meditation? It’s inventor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, explains:
That’s not someone satirizing the guru, it really is the man himself. Yes, it sounds silly to us too. We prefer to think – but let those meditate who will. What we gather is that if it works as it is intended to, “TM” makes its practitioners happy.
Like all Far Eastern religions, its object is to affect the state of feeling of the devotee, and is not intended to be a guide to moral behavior. Its teachers do not claim that it can make you perceptive or just. No false descriptions. “Makes you happy” is all that’s promised, all that’s written on the bottle so to speak.
But a capacity to be just is surely more necessary in a moderator of a debate than his or her personal happiness. We don’t say it was for her happiness that the Commission on Presidential Debates chose Candy Crowley to moderate the presidential debate, but if they thought she was capable of being just, of presiding over a debate without taking sides, without giving more time to one side than the other, without endorsing the points either side made, they were mistaken.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
In an outrage destined for the history books, the moderator of last night’s hotly contested presidential debate uttered an untruth …
A lie. So call it a lie.
… about President Obama’s deadly bungling in Libya after Obama overtly asked her on live television to support his dishonest version of it.
It was truly unprecedented and could only have happened in the Age of Obama.
During the town hall-format debate with an audience of undecided voters, Crowley provided an assist to Obama to help him perpetuate his administration’s ongoing cover-up about the murder of four Americans –including the U.S. ambassador — at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11. Reports indicate that Ambassador Chris Stevens and other officials were provided inadequate security in a particularly hostile part of Libya. …
GOP candidate Mitt Romney stated –correctly— that “it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” Romney’s supporters have been saying for weeks that Obama didn’t want to label the assault on the U.S. mission a terrorist attack because to do so would be an admission that the administration’s foreign policy was in flames.
After Romney’s statement, Obama interjected, “Get the transcript,” like an eager contestant asking for a lifeline on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
At that cue, Crowley cut off Romney, claiming that Obama had in fact called the attack an “act of terror” around the time it took place. Buoyed by Crowley’s compliance, Obama boasted, “Can you say that a little louder, Candy?”
“He did call it an act of terror,” she said of the president. “It did as well take — it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea [of] there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You [Romney] are correct about that.” …
She had the transcript. She interpreted it in Obama’s favor. It was obviously arranged beforehand that she would do this. It is a scandal in itself.
Crowley … happens to be wrong.
In the White House’s Rose Garden on Sept. 12, Obama … [made] a general statement that “no acts of terror would shake the resolve of this great nation.” Obama said what happened in Benghazi was “a terrible act” and promised that “justice will be done.” At no time [on that day] did he say the events in Benghazi were instigated by terrorists.
Over the following two weeks, the Obama administration continued to resist calling the events in Benghazi a terrorist attack. On five different Sunday morning TV talk shows, Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said the attack in that Libyan city stemmed from violent protests related to a “heinous and offensive” video.
On Sept. 25, Obama again refused to label the attack an act of terrorism during a softball appearance on TV’s “The View,” saying that an investigation was still ongoing. He said the same thing later the same day during an address at the United Nations, blaming the violence in Libya on the video and making the much-ridiculed assertion that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
After the debate, an unapologetic Crowley jovially admitted on CNN that Romney was correct but blamed her victim, the former Massachusetts governor, for the sin of linguistic imprecision.
Well, you know, again, I’d heard the president’s speech at the time. I sort of re-read a lot of stuff about Libya because I knew we’d probably get a Libya question, so I kind of wanted to be up on it. So we knew that the president had, had said, you know, these acts of terrors [sic] won’t stand or whatever the whole quote was and I think actually, you know, because, right after that I did turn around and say but you are totally correct, that they spent two weeks telling us that this was about a tape and that there was a, you know, this riot right outside the Benghazi consulate, which there wasn’t. So he was right in the main but I just think he picked the wrong word.
No, Candy, Romney didn’t pick the wrong word. The Commission on Presidential Debates picked the wrong moderator.
But the damage, which may or may not be long-lasting, is now done and the debate is finished. Just another day in the mainstream media.
Former New Hampshire governor and Romney surrogate John Sununu excoriated Crowley on the Fox News Channel. “Candy Crowley had no business doing a real-time, if you will, fact check, because she was wrong,” he said. Crowley aided President Obama who “was absolutely deliberate in his dishonesty on this issue of whether it was terrorism.”
The Obama administration’s failure to provide security in Benghazi, an act that led to the death of four Americans, is “unconscionable,” Sununu said.
Commentator Charles Krauthammer skewered Obama for being “completely at sea,” and not even trying to answer the question about consulate security. Obama acted offended at suggestions he would mislead the American people, Krauthammer said, even though he put his U.N. ambassador on television to lie to the public about what transpired in Benghazi.
Romney missed “a huge opening” to pound Obama over consulate security, Krauthammer opined. Of course if there was a genuine opportunity Romney missed, it’s because he was too busy defending himself after Crowley effectively called him a liar.
There is to be one more presidential debate. We hope and anticipate that Romney will use the opportunity to expose the huge scandal of Obama’s pro-Islam policy and stress that what it led to – the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three of his staff – is an extreme affront to the United States and a national tragedy.
It is so a great a scandal that it alone should unseat Obama, even if all his other policies had not already proved him (as they have) to be the worst president in American history.
Let him go and be happy. He can use some of his China-invested pension to buy lessons in Transcendental Meditation.
Have you heard of the “Secretary of State Project“? It was an evil conspiracy of the Left (we ask seriously – what plan of the Left is not an evil conspiracy?) to get lefties into the position of Secretary of State in as many states as possible, because where that official runs elections he or she could swing it leftwards – in other words, could cheat.
The good news is that it has to be abandoned.
This is from Front Page, by Matthew Vadum:
A George Soros-backed scheme that paved the way for Al Franken’s 2008 theft of a U.S. Senate seat has collapsed months ahead of the critical November elections.
Rumors of the death of the Secretary of State Project had been circulating for months. Michael Kieschnick, co-founder of the Secretary of State Project, confirmed that his group has shut down in an interview at the recent “Take Back the American Dream” conference in Washington, D.C. …
The idea behind the Secretary of State Project was that in most states the secretary of state runs elections and that a relative pittance can help swing these little-watched state contests, allowing even small donors to play a big role in installing a powerful state official who can tilt the playing field in favor of Democrats. …
The Secretary of State Project’s signature achievement was helping to elect the unethical Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizer Mark Ritchie. Ritchie is the radical, ACORN-loving Minnesota secretary of state who orchestrated Al Franken’s theft of incumbent Republican Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election cycle. …
The SoS Project endorsed secretary of state candidates who took the position that voter fraud is a myth; that voter suppression is widely and solely used by Republicans; that it’s a waste of time to remove obviously fraudulent names from voter rolls; and that legal requirements that voters show photo identification somehow discriminate against racial minorities.
So the Left accepts that there are fraudulent names on the voter rolls which, it argues, would be “a waste of time to remove” – and yet it maintains that “voter fraud is a myth“.
Until two years ago the SoS Project was doing well. Before the 2010 cycle it took credit for electing 11 of the 18 left-wingers it endorsed since it began funding candidates in 2006.
But then the cheats found that their scam didn’t work well or often enough.
Then in 2010 disaster struck for Democrats at both the national and state levels. Five out of the SoS Project’s seven official candidates went down to defeat. Only Ritchie and another progressive incumbent, California’s Debra Bowen, stayed afloat in the Republican electoral tsunami. The Secretary of State Project lost its luster and its funding dried up.
Cash for the plot hadn’t been a problem. The great promoter and benefactor of hell on earth, George Soros, had organizations in place which were willing and eager to cough up the lolly.
SoS Project co-founder Kieschnick is a member of the Soros-led Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative established to help Democrats and build left-wing political infrastructure such as pressure groups, media outlets, leadership academies, and think tanks. Democracy Alliance members frequently opened their wallets to help secretary of state candidates endorsed by the Secretary of State Project. …
Another SoS Project co-founder is James Rucker. The former MoveOn organizer also co-founded (with self-described communist Van Jones) Color of Change, a radical Afro-centrist group that organizes boycotts of conservative groups … and smears conservatives and anyone who opposes President Obama’s socialist juggernaut as racist.
Meanwhile, the SoS Project’s friends in leftist groups such as the ACORN-affiliated Project Vote are engaged in a massive assault on electoral integrity through the courts. Project Vote, which used to employ Barack Obama, and other radical organizations are pressuring state officials across America to drop voter fraud investigations.
The SoS Project can be abandoned without a tear dropping from a leftie’s eye, because the mighty and unscrupulous power of the Obama administration is now promoting electoral fraud in the interest of the Democratic Party. And we are all paying for it.
Attorney General Eric Holder is doing everything in his power to ignore wrongdoing on the Left. Holder’s failure to pursue truncheon-wielding New Black Panther Party members who tried to intimidate Philadelphia voters in 2008 is just one example. Holder’s underlings are also opening elections to massive voter fraud. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law the Department of Justice has blocked voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina.
Perhaps the Left no longer needs the Secretary of State Project. After all, you and I as taxpayers are already subsidizing the Left’s crusade against honest elections.