Pay Attention Folks — It Was the GOP that Demanded AP be Investigated!

— by Vickie Rock, NV Rural Democratic Caucus, 2013-05-14

Have you been paying attention?  The GOP doesn’t think so and they’re trying to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes with this “AP phone records” announcement, as though their fingerprints weren’t anywhere near this “fiasco.”  Let me refresh your memory by referring back to a few items of note, that happened just about one year ago, when GOP legislators were up in arms about security information published in the media — by the AP — that was way too accurate for their comfort.  In fact, were claiming treasonous breaches in security had been committed and that the security leaks led all the way to the White House.  Thus, they were demanding that a special prosecutor be appointed and that maybe, just maybe, impeachment of Obama was in order for this egregious act :

“This administration cannot be trusted to investigate itself,” Sen John Cornyn (R-TX), said during a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday. “You cannot investigate yourself and not have a conflict of interest.” Sen John McCain (R-AZ) declared:  “I continue to call on the president to immediately appoint a special counsel to fully investigate, and where necessary, prosecute these gravely serious breaches of our national security.”

Here’s a couple of articles to refresh your memories:

Thirty-one GOP senators call for special counsel to investigate security leaks
— by Alexander Bolton, The Hill  – 06/26/12 11:09 AM ET

“The numerous national-security leaks reportedly originating out of the executive branch in recent months have been stunning,” they wrote to Holder.

“If true, they reveal details of some of our nation’s most highly classified and sensitive military and intelligence matters, thereby risking our national security, as well as the lives of American citizens and our allies. If there were ever a case requiring an outside special counsel with bipartisan acceptance and widespread public trust, this is it,” they wrote.

GOP lawmakers even went so far as to name just ‘who’ might be responsible — National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon.  Among those signing the letter circulated by Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) were Senators:  John McCain (AZ), Mitch McConnell (KY), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelley Ayotte (NH), Roy Blunt (MO), John Barrasso (WY), Saxby Chambliss (GA), Susan Collins (Maine), Jim DeMint (SC), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and John Thune (SD).

GOP senators press Holder for special prosecutor into potential national security leaks
Published June 26, 2012, FoxNews.com

Fox’s take on just exactly ‘who’ might be at fault was a bit higher on the food chain, claiming that GOP senators were urging “AG Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate whether the White House is responsible for national security leaks.”

Oh, and let’s not forget — the GOP’s letter to AG Eric Holder was sent right around the same time that the GOP-led House was “expected to vote on whether to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoena requests to provide more documents regarding the Justice Department’s failed Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation.”

Holder launches probe into possible national security leaks
— b
y David Jackson, USA TODAY, 2012-06-09 6:15 AM

AG Eric Holder Friday appointed two U.S. attorneys [Ronald Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, and Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland] to lead a pair of criminal investigations into possible national security leaks of classified information.  For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), that wasn’t quite good enough, he wanted a special counsel who could pursue impeachment, if they could snag enough evidence.

So now, advance forward to today, when some of the fruits of their demand for an investigation have reached fruition — and once again — they’re playing yet another game of “pin the blame on the donkey.”

Under sweeping subpoenas, Justice Department obtained AP phone records in leak investigation
— by
Sari Horwitz, Published: May 13. 2013

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months’ worth of telephone records of journalists working for the Associated Press as part of a year-long investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a failed al-Qaeda plot last year.  The aggressive investigation into the possible disclosure of classified information to the AP is part of a pattern in which the Obama administration has pursued current and former government officials suspected of releasing secret material. Six officials have been prosecuted, more than under all previous administrations combined.

You’d think the GOP would be jumping for joy.  NOPE!  They’re pissed that the Administration, particularly, that other black guy, you know, Eric Holder, actually managed to get the job done.

“We take seriously our obligations to follow all applicable laws, federal regulations, and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for phone records of media organizations,” said a statement from Bill Miller, spokesman for the office. “Those regulations require us to make every reasonable effort to obtain information through alternative means before even considering a subpoena for the phone records of a member of the media.”

The story at issue included details of a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al-Qaeda plot in the spring of 2012 to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States. The April and May 2012 phone records of the reporters and editor of the story were among the material seized by the Justice Department.

But, those phone records aren’t all that were pursued in the leak investigation.  Numerous senior government officials have been interviewed in connection with the investigation into the AP story. Among those questioned was John O. Brennan, who served as Obama’s counterterrorism adviser before becoming CIA director this year.

The GOP is hoping you won’t remember their fingerprints are all over this one.  So now they’re going to jump up and down, screaming that journalists 1st Amendment rights have been rudely violated as a smokescreen to cover up what they themselves demanded.  And then, they’ll look to see what other impediments they can enact and throw out there to prevent him and any other attorney general from being able to get their jobs done so they can appease their base.

Darrell Issa (R-CA),chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was particularly displeased, saying:  “Coming within a week of revelations that the White House lied to the American people about the Benghazi attacks and the IRS targeted conservative Americans for their political beliefs, Americans should take notice that top Obama administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don’t have to answer to anyone,”

Pardon me, but, the Administration (meaning President Obama) didn’t lie about Benghazi and in particular, in the Rose Garden, on nationwide TV actually characterized the events occurring in Benghazi as “acts of terror.”  But apparently the the GOP Dictionary, “acts of terror” and “TERRORISM” are two totally unrelated terms describing events.  In addition, the IRS was merely doing it’s job.  501c3 and 501c4 social service agencies are tax-exempt agencies that do NOT have to disclose their donors.  Given the proliferation of the number of applications the IRS was receiving with either “TEA PARTY” or “PATRIOTS” in their official organizational NAME, and given that the TEA PARTY is a official sub-division of the REPUBLICAN PARTY, the IRS had and has and obligation to assess whether those organizations should be exempted from our nation’s tax laws because of the nature of the social services they provide to our society.  Frankly, in my personal opinion, I believe they erred in a large number of cases, as I’ve seen NO social services being offered, but one helluva lot of partisan-biased political advertising pass across my television screen.

The AP story is related to  just one of the investigations demanded by the GOP  The second “leak investigation” ordered by AG Eric Holder, at their request, involves a New York Times report about the Stuxnet computer worm, which was developed jointly by the United States and Israel to damage nuclear centrifuges at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment plant.

So standby … it ain’t over yet. I can hardly wait to hear what the GOP has to say should one of their precious donors or propagandists are found to have “leaked” sensitive security information and are prosecuted for, of all things, treason!

Advertisements

It’s Official — Fox News Just Hit Rock Bottom. Hard And Repeatedly

by Rollie Williams, on Upworthy

I’m not sure which show makes more sense to be on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart is a pretty funny dude, but smart money says the real comedic geniuses are working at Fox News (buried deep inside the subconsciouses of the Fox anchors).

Stewart

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-24-2013/weak-constitution

For reference, the first 10 amendments are:
  1. Protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government.
  2. Protects a militia’s and an individual’s right to bear arms.
  3. Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers during peacetime.
  4. Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause.
  5. Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
  6. Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
  7. Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
  8. Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
  9. Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution.
  10. Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution.

Who Appointed Sheriff Kilgore “King” of Humboldt County?

KilgoreHumboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore sent a letter, on official letterhead of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, last Friday, to the Vice President of the United States deriding his audacity to propose fire arms regulations following “an emotional tragedy.”  From the tone and tenor of the letter, it appears he believes he’s been elected “President” of Humboldt County … or that he’s the equivalent of “Judge Roy Bean” and that he alone can decide which if any laws of our great nation he may or may not support or enforce.

Kilgore

“You are on notice …???” ” … my constituents and I” ?   Wait just one minute!  Mr. Kilgore needs to understand that he was elected to the office of Sheriff and not “King.”  He may have a personal opinion about any given subject, but that opinon needs to stop at the door of your office and once on the other side of the door, like it or not, YOU swore an oath to enforce the laws of our County, our State AND our Nation.  I am a resident of Humboldt County Nevada and while I may be served the Sheriff’s office, I certainly do NOT agree that YOU are King of Humboldt County nor that YOU have the sole discretion as to which laws he chooses to support or not support, enforce or not enforce.

Oath in State Constitution
Article 15, Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 2.  Oath of office.

Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive, judicial and ministerial, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe to the following oath:

I, ……………., do solemly [solemnly] swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States, and the constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ……………., on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.  (Nevada Constitutional Debates and Proceedings, pp. 104-107, 609, 610, 662, 744, 809, 847.) [Amended in 1914:   proposed and passed by the 1911 Legislature, agreed to and passed by the 1913 Legislature, and approved and ratified by the people at the 1914 General Election. See: Statutes of Nevada 1911, p. 458; Journal of the Assembly, 26th Session, p. 20 and Journal of the Senate, 26th Session, p. 37.]

I own guns and I’m a veteran.  And despite what you believe Mr. Kilgore, I believe that assault weapons should be banned along with 50- and 100-round clips, that guns should be licensed and that no one should be able to purchase or own a gun without first undergoing a thorough background check. And I’m not alone in that thinking:

  • “I do not believe i the general promiscuous toting of guns.  I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” — NRA President, Karl Frederic, 1934
  • “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense.  But, I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon, or needed for defense of a home.”  — Ronald Reagan  in a speech at his 78th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on February 6, 1989.
  • “Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.”  — Ronald Reagan, August 28, 1986 in his signing statement on a bill that banned the production and importation of armor-piercing bullets.
  • “With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.” — Ronald Reagan, speech at George Washington University in a on March 29, 1991.
  • “I support background checks at gun shows …. I would sign a bill that mandated trigger locks with the sale of guns …. The federal government ought to be involved is it’s the federal government that issues licenses to gun dealers and therefore has the access to the computer to determine whether or not a citizen is eligible or not eligible to purchase a weapon.”  — George W. Bush in an interview with Jim Lehrer on April 27, 2000

We’ve all heard the common phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”  Well, they certainly do with the help of a gun.  They don’t just stand there and go “bang!” and watch the other person drop dead.  Well, cars kill people too, and we have to jump through a considerable number of hoops to be able to license and drive a car.  After all, the Second Amendment does speak to “a WELL-REGULATED militia.”

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. — U. S. Constitution, “Amendment II”

So, as part of that “well-regulated,” maybe we should have to jump through at least as many hoops to demonstrate our ability and responsibility to own and operate a gun as we do to be able to own and operate a car.  For example, let’s start with having to undergo universal background check and by having to take a written test on gun safety covering the proper means of carrying, loading and unloading that weapon, how to turn the safety on and off, BEFORE we’re allowed to get a gun owner’s permit. In addition, just like we have to physically “drive” the car before we get our license, potential gun owners should be required to  actually shoot and properly clean it before a licensed evaluator.  Then, after an appropriate waiting period, potential gun owners should take an actual test involving everything from loading and unloading, proper locked storage, even shooting proficiency. Plus, each gun should be registered in each state in which it is to be carried or used. And lastly, each gun owner should submit to an annual inspection for their weapon, and each gun purchase should come with mandatory liability insurance.

You would do well to remember that it’s covered by the 2nd amendment, not the 1st.  Thus, while you might argue that those items I’ve proposed as a means of “well-regulation” infringe upon your right to own and shoot your gun … nevertheless, your second amendment rights should NEVER infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment rights:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”