Friday, September 06, 2013

Obama's Justice Department Runs Amuck Bullying AP & Two Ace Reporters

The AP Scandal Shows That the Obama Administration Is Going Rogue By Jacob Heilbrunn


May 13, 2013

The Obama administration is mired in a fresh scandal of its own making. The revelation that the Justice Department has been snooping into the phone records of Associated Press reporters and editors indicates that the administration's ruthlessness when it comes to trying to protect its reputation and sources knows no bounds. Attorney General Eric Holder, always a poor choice for a cabinet post, should resign. Coupled with the revelation that the IRS has been selectively targeting Tea Party groups and the botched handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack, the administration confronts a second term that appears to be ending even before it has even really begun.

Obama has always prided himself on being squeaky clean when it comes to governing. He campaigned for transparency in government. He said he was against soft money. He said that members of his administration would have to demonstrate the highest ethical standards ever. Well, that was then. He has nominated the tax-dodging billionaire Penny Pritzker, who bankrolled his political ascendancy, to serve as his Commerce secretary. He has hoovered up any and all funds he can attract, infuriating proponents of campaign finance reform. And now his administration, in its mad and obsessive and destructive pursuit to quash any leaks, has besmirched itself by targeting journalists for investigation.

Leaks have always plagued presidents. They are a function of a national security state that has always aspired to total control in the post-World War II era—in 1986, Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff Don Regan proposed creating a standing cadre of FBI agents to ferret out leaks. But the ability of the state to exercise surveillance over its citizens was always limited. No longer. Technology has marched on. The president who can order an assassination by using drones—and initially claimed that he could target a U.S. citizen in America until Sen. Rand Paul denounced him—is also busily snooping on the media. The Associated Press says that Holder and his minions ran amok: They monitored

incoming and outgoing calls, and the duration of each call, for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and the main number for AP reporters in the House of Representatives press gallery.

Was Obama aware of this program? Did he order it? Or was it done solely on Holder's initiative? White House press spokesman Jay Carney says it had "no knowledge" of the secret program. If it didn't, maybe the White House should pay more attention to what is going on in the ranks of its administration.

It seems that the investigation of the AP journalists was prompted by the revelation that a U.S. spy inside the ranks of a Yemeni Al Qaeda group had helped to foil an airliner bomb plot. An aggrieved administration went on the offensive to try and discover who leaked the information. Instead, it has only embarrassed itself.

The fixation with leakers is counterproductive. The problem with targeting leakers, of course, is that they often play a valuable role in helping to inform the public about what, exactly, is taking place in the government when it comes to foreign affairs. Sometimes leaks redound to the benefit of an administration or allow it to spin the news. Obama, however, has displayed a kind of compulsive desire to stifle leakers from the outset of his presidency.

The result is what AP chief Gary Pruitt is calling a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into civil liberties and press freedoms. Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists told the Washington Post, "“This investigation is broader and less focused on an individual source or reporter than any of the others we’ve seen. They have swept up an entire collection of press communications. It’s an astonishing assault on core values of our society.” It is no small irony that Obama, who declared that he would halt the George W. Bush administration's violations of personal freedoms, has exceeded the mendacity of his predecessors in creating a new star chamber to hunt down his detractors and enemies. Obama isn't protecting American freedoms. He's going rogue. If this keeps up, Obama may accomplish the impossible and create a wave of nostalgia for Mitt Romney.

How Prosecutors Fought to Keep Rosen’s Warrant Secret By Ryan Lizza


May 24, 2013

The Obama Administration fought to keep a search warrant for James Rosen’s private e-mail account secret, arguing to a federal judge that the government might need to monitor the account for a lengthy period of time.

The new details are revealed in a court filing detailing a back and forth between the Justice Department and the federal judges who oversaw the request to search a Gmail account belonging to Rosen, a reporter for Fox News. A 2009 article Rosen had written about North Korea sparked an investigation; Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department adviser who allegedly leaked classified information to Rosen, insisted that the reporter should not be notified of the search and seizure of his e-mails, even after a lengthy delay.


E-mails, Machen wrote, “are commonly used by subjects or targets of the criminal investigation at issue, and the e-mail evidence derived from those compelled disclosures frequently forms the core of the Government’s evidence supporting criminal charges.”

He argued that disclosure of the search warrant would preclude the government from monitoring the account, should such a step become necessary in the investigation. Machen added that “some investigations are continued for many years because, while the evidence is not yet sufficient to bring charges, it is sufficient to have identified criminal subjects and/or criminal activity serious enough to justify continuation of the investigation.”

Machen insisted the investigation would be compromised if Rosen was informed of the warrant, and also asked the court to order Google not to notify Rosen that the company had handed over Rosen’s e-mails to the government. Rosen, according to recent reports, did not learn that the government seized his e-mail records until it was reported in the Washington Post last week.

The new details indicate that the government wanted the option to search Rosen’s e-mails repeatedly if the F.B.I. found further evidence implicating the reporter in what prosecutors argued was a conspiracy to commit espionage.

According to recently unsealed documents in the case, the Obama Justice Department sought an extensive amount of information from Rosen’s e-mail account. In addition to Rosen’s correspondence with Kim, the government wanted to know about Rosen’s contacts with other government officials, including “records or information relating to the Author’s communication with any other source or potential source of the information disclosed in the Article.”

The government, which accused Rosen of being an “aider, abettor, and/or co-conspirator” in the Kim case, cast a wide net in its search of Rosen’s e-mail. Among other things, the search warrant requested access to:

—“Records or information related to Stephen Kim’s or the Author’s knowledge of laws, regulations, rules and/or procedures prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of national defense or classified information.”

—“Any classified document, image, record, or information, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information.”

—“Any document, image, record, or information concerning the national defense, including but not limited to documents, maps, plans, diagrams, guides, manuals, and other Department of Defense, U.S. military, and/or weapons material, as well as sources and methods of intelligence gathering, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information.”

—“Records or information related to the state of mind of any individuals seeking the disclosure or receipt of classified, intelligence and/or national defense information.”

In addition, the Justice Department searched the account for any Internet services Rosen may have accessed and records of “data transfer volume,” suggesting the government was looking for evidence that Rosen downloaded large quantities of potentially classified information.

The new documents show that two judges separately declared that the Justice Department was required to notify Rosen of the search warrant, even if the notification came after a delay. Otherwise: “The subscriber therefore will never know, by being provided a copy of the warrant, for example, that the government secured a warrant and searched the contents of her e-mail account,” Judge John M. Facciola wrote in an opinion rejecting the Obama Administration’s argument.

Machen appealed that decision, and in September, 2010, Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, granted Machen’s request to overturn the order of the two judges.

Rosen was not indicted in the case. Kim was indicted for making unauthorized disclosures of national defense information and for making false statements to F.B.I. agents about his contacts with Rosen.

Yesterday, hours after President Obama said, in a speech at National Defense University, that he had asked Attorney General Eric Holder to review the Justice Department’s policies concerning investigations of the media, NBC News reported that the warrant to search Rosen’s e-mail account was personally approved by Holder.

Photograph by Maria Lokke.

CBS News: Someone was pulling data from Sharyl Attkisson’s computer; Update: CBS report added By Ed Morrissey


June 14, 2013

Remember this from last month?  On the heels of the revelation that the Department of Justice had been snooping on James Rosen’s e-mails because of his attempt to gain classified information on the administration’s efforts on North Korea from a leaker, Sharyl Attkisson told Chris Stigall on his radio show that her computer had been mysteriously hacked.  Attkisson, who has reported on Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi and sparked ire from the White House while doing do, demurred on the source of the hacking but said CBS News was investigating it.

Erik Wemple reported earlier that CBS has corroborated Attkisson’s claim, and that whoever conducted it went after her material:

“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.

This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.

CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

Attkisson took to Twitter to report the official statement herself:

What was going on in “late 2012″?  Well, that would have been the controversy over the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi.  And, checking the record, we see that Attkisson had a very interesting scoop on October 20th, relying on anonymous military sources that called into question the Obama administration’s claim that they couldn’t have responded in time to assist in the attack:

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.

A White House official told CBS News that a “small group of reinforcements” was sent from Tripoli to Benghazi, but declined to say how many or what time they arrived.

Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.

“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”

Until CBS News releases more from its investigation, we won’t know who hacked into Attkisson’s computer.  It could have been a competitor, or someone else with a grudge against her, although one would expect that kind of hack to go after personal details rather than work product. Before the Rosen revelation, the DoJ would have been unthinkable as a suspect.  If I were CBS now, though, I’d be executing a FOIA demand to know whether Eric Holder and the Department of Justice acquired a Rosen-like warrant on Attkisson in the days after that scoop went live.

Update: Thanks to Drudge for the link.  Also, it took a while, but CBS News has reported on this development … carefully:

Several months ago, Attkisson had reported suspected intrusions of her computers, including her CBS News work computer, prompting CBS News to hire a firm to look into the hacking.

Friday’s announcement comes on the heels of last month’s revelation that the Justice Department had seized the emails and phone records of Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

To be clear, the federal government has not been accused in the intrusion of Attkisson’s computer; CBS News is continuing to work to identify the responsible party.

To be sure, it doesn’t pay to jump to conclusions, but it also doesn’t pay to dismiss possibilities, either.

HEADS UP! Obama's Prejudiced Black Supremacist Propaganda Federal Government At Work

Defense Department Documents: “Extremists” Speak About “individual Liberties, States’ Rights & How to Make the World a Better Place” by Tim Brown


August 25, 2013

Conservative Watchdog group Judicial Watch has obtained United States Defense Department education materials that expose the indoctrination that is being attempted within their ranks. The documents warn of "extremists" who "talk of individual liberties, states' rights, and how to make the world a better place." 

The documents were obtained by Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) that was filed on April 8, 2013. The FOIA requested "Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force."

Judicial Watch claims that the Defense Department is teaching that conservative and liberty-minded individuals' views are "extremist."

Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, a Defense Department-funded diversity training center, reportedly authored the materials. On top of that they cite the racist, hate group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as their source for defining "hate groups." Isn't that telling?

SPLC, a hate group unto themselves, identified the Family research Council (FRC) as a hate group on its website, along with other well-known conservative organizations such as the American Family Association, concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries. SPLC cannot stand for people to tell the truth about abortion being murder and homosexuality being a perversion. As a result of their identifying FRC in this manner, 28 year old year old Floyd Lee Corkins II, used his computer to access SPLC's website to target FRC and other organizations. He then went into the FRC building wanting to kill as many people as possible, then smear their faces with Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and kill the guard. He was able to wound the guard, Leo Johnson, but Johnson was still able to subdue him until police arrived.

There are 133 pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides provided by the Air Force. Included in those plans is a January 2013 Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute "student guide" titled "Extremism," which begins on page 32 of the downloadable PDF. Though the documentation reads "do not use on the job" and "for training purposes only," it does cause one to wonder why the Defense Department would invest so much money and time into "education materials" that are not to be used.

Following Corkins conviction, FRC President Tony Perkins said the SPLC "can no longer say that it is not a source for those bent on committing acts of violence."

"The day after Floyd Corkins came into the FRC headquarters and opened fire wounding one of our team members, I stated that while Corkins was responsible for the shooting, he had been given a license to perpetrate this act of violence by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has systematically and recklessly labeled every organization with which they disagree as a 'hate group,'" Perkins said.

Judicial Watch highlights some of the sections:

  • The document defines extremists as "a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights."
  • A statement that "Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states' rights, and how to make the world a better place."
  • "[W]hile not all extremist groups are hate groups, all hate groups are extremist groups."
  • Under a section labeled "Extremist Ideologies" the document states, "In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements.  The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples."
  • In this same section, the document lists the 9/11 attack under a category of "Historical events."
  • "[A]ctive participationwith regard to extremist organizations is incompatible with military service and, is therefore prohibited." [Emphasis in original]
  • The document details the "seven stages of hate" and sixteen "extremists' traits."
  • The SPLC is listed as a resource for information on hate groups and referenced several times throughout the guide.
  • Of the five organizations besides the SPLC listed as resources, one is an SPLC project (Teaching Tolerance) and one considers any politically or socially conservative movement to be a potential hate group (Political Research Associates).
  • Other than a mention of 9/11 and the Sudan, there is no discussion of Islamic extremism.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the "Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism."

"And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today's military," he added. "And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can't help but worry for the future and morale of our nation's armed forces."

AFP Photo / Win Mcnamee

AFP Photo / Win Mcnamee

Homeland Security employee running racist site placed on paid leave


August 27, 2013

A Homeland Security employee who runs a racist website that predicts an “unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race” has been placed on paid administrative leave by the agency.

Ayo Kimathi, an acquisitions officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, calls himself the “Irritated Genie” and runs an anti-white, anti-gay website called the War on the Horizon (WOH).

At the agency, the Homeland Security employee is in charge of the procurement of guns, handcuffs and ammunition for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Kimathi has worked at the Homeland Security Department since 2009. But the black supremacist spends nights and weekends preparing for a violent race war that he believes will soon sweep over the country.

“Warfare is eminent, and in order for black people to survive the 21stcentury, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites – more than our Christian hearts can possibly count,” Kimathi wrote on his website, advocating the mass murder of white people, gays, those of mixed races and blacks who integrate with whites. He calls African-Americans who mix with other races “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors.”

A screenshot from

The WOH lists enemies of the group, which include Rev. Al Sharpton, Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, Lil Wayne, Condoleezza Rice, “Colon” Powell and Whoopi Goldberg for being “treasonous mulatto scum dwellers… who will fight against reparations for Black people in amerikkka, but in favor of fag rights for freaking in amerikkka and Africa.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, last week reported Kimathi’s role in running the website. One of the man’s former supervisors told the SPLC that “everybody in the office is afraid of” Kimathi and that co-workers fear “he will come in with a gun and someday go postal.”

“This guy is filled with hate,” the supervisor said. “…I am astounded he’s employed by the federal government, let alone Homeland Security.”

Employees who work at the ICE are required to obtain the government’s permission before engaging in organized activities outside of the agency, such as taking outside jobs at McDonalds, running a bingo game at a church, volunteering or running a website.

Kimathi received permission to run his website, but lied about the nature of his work. The employee allegedly told the agency that it was an entertainment website, and refused to disclose the title of the page, the SPLC reports.

“He told management that it was an entertainment website selling videos of concerts and lectures,” the report said. “He called it simply WOH, never saying that WOH stood for War on the Horizon.”

The DHS supervisor said if Kimathi had honestly described the organization, he would have probably been denied permission to run the website.

After the SPLC exposed the website, the Department of Homeland Security placed Kimathi on paid administrative leave. Since news broke about the DHS employee’s involvement in a racist website, the agency has been scrutinized both for employing him and for placing him on paid rather than unpaid leave.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was particularly outraged by the incident, describing it “unflippingbelievable” on her Facebook page.

“His fellow employees say they’re astounded he is employed by the taxpayers,” she wrote. “His side ‘job’ running the ‘War On the Horizon’ website was reportedly approved by supervisors. Really, Fed? Really?”

Kimathi has so far refused to comment to the media.