Sunday’s event was different, however. As police milled ever-closer to the roughly 60 to 75 demonstrators present at the national park, a man with access to the public announcement system began counting down to 4:20, urging the crowd to “light that shit” in direct disobedience to signs police placed around the area insisting that nobody would be allowed to smoke marijuana. “Fuck the law, smoke it anyway!” Kokesh shouted into the microphone. “Bring it in! Hey, everybody show some love. Make it difficult for the police here.”
A total of five people were arrested during the event. Two of them — Kokesh and “Panic Hour” comedy writer N.A. Poe — remain in the Philadelphia jail pending a hearing set for later this week, according to supporters. It’s not clear what the official charges are, but the incident happened on federal land, meaning Kokesh and Poe could face charges of assaulting a federal officer, a crime that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
In a poor-quality video shot from the scene, Kokesh appears to resist by refusing to drop his microphone, keeping his arms locked in place as police attempt to subdue the former Marine. He then turns his palms outward for the crowd to see he was being nonviolent, even as he continued to pull against police. “I am being assaulted by an officer of the law!” he says. “This is a criminal act!” Then Kokesh finally relents and officers take him away. “No victim, no crime!” activists chant as he vanishes beyond a police barricade.
The White House and the Justice Department are running out of closets to hide their skeletons!
New details about the Justice Department’s bully tactics against reporters and whistleblowers are emerging. Not only did the Obama administration snoop through the private emails of reporters covering the story, the Inspector General for the DOJ said in his latest report that department officials leaked private information of Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers in order to smear them.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General published a new report Monday that confirms former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke leaked a document intended to smear Operation Fast and Furious scandal whistleblower John Dodson.
The DOJ IG said it found “Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.”
“We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member,” the IG wrote.
Burke resigned from his post as U.S. Attorney over the incident in August 2011, the first major Department of Justice official to leave his or her post in the Fast and Furious scandal. He said after the fact, in interviews with congressional investigators, that he now views leaking the document as a “mistake.”
In addition to Burke’s involvement in leaking the document, emails the IG uncovered show senior officials at the Department of Justice discussed smearing Dodson.
It just keeps getting worse for Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama (yes, liberals, the Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch). Pretty soon, they’re going to have to rename the White House the House of 1,000 Scandals.
As we recently reported, the DOJ didn’t just target the AP, it targeted Fox News reported James Rosen. But wait! There’s more! According to a recent Fox News Alert, two more Fox News employees were also targeted…after reporting on the details of the DOJ’s gun-running operation known as “Fast and Furious.”
Here’s the video:
According to the latest report, the private emails of Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse and producer Mike Levine showed up in an IG report regarding the leaks surrounding Fast and Furious. There are only two plausible explanations for how private emails showed up in the IG report:
The emails were shared with the Inspector General by the DOJ. This would mean that the DOJ’s highly controversial method of gathering information via (probably unconstitutional) subpoena would not have stopped with the AP or even James Rosen.
The emails were obtained directly by the Inspector General. I’m still unclear as to the legality here. Presumably, even an federal inspector must get a warrant to subpoena records from a private source although there have been plenty of examples of this being abused.
Either one of these scenarios looks terrible for the administration as it paints them as aggressors looking to punish those who may have exposed its failures.
Furthermore, any objective person already knew that there was more (perhaps devastating) information surrounding Fast and Furious that the administration would have had you believe. If this hadn’t been the case, Obama would never have claimed executive privilege to prevent classified Fast and Furious documents from being subpoenaed by Congress. But to hear the DOJ talk, Fast and Furious was nothing more than a witch hunt by Republicans to expose a program that was started under the Bush administration. According to them, they had been fully compliant by turning over all relevant documents to the oversight committee. If this is the case, however, why target Fox News for reporting on Fast and Furious? Why try to find out its sources? The only rational explanation, of course, is that the administration has simply been lying about Fast and Furious (among other things).
As the story rapidly unfolds it is looking more likely that the DOJ is responsible for subpoenaing and leaking the emails.
The Obama administration reportedly apologized this weekend for leaking crucial Israeli defense secrets to the press earlier this month.
from the Blaze:
Now, the Obama administration has reportedly apologized to Israel for another leak of classified information to the media, one that occurred earlier this month and which Israeli officials are concerned could place Israeli lives at risk.
Israel Radio’s diplomatic correspondent Chico Menashe reported Sunday morning (via the Jerusalem Post):
American officials apologized to their Israeli counterparts for confirming that Israel was behind the airstrikes on the Damascus airport earlier this month, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.
The confirmation reportedly came from the lower ranks at the Pentagon, and the reasons for the leak are being investigated.
Menashe tweeted: “The U.S. has apologized to Israel for leaking details of the attack in Syria. Senior administration officials said to their [Israeli] counterparts that they are examining the issue and that low-level [officials] were responsible for the leak.”
Menashe also wrote, “US officials told that they [will] review the matter. The leak forced Assad to react harshly.”
Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, on Wednesday testified to a House committee about the night of the attacks at the Benghazi facility and how the U.S. reacted. Here is a partial transcript.
And they fucking REWARDED this asshole by giving him his choice in deployment.
In a move that makes clear the direction that our country is increasingly heading towards, the Department of Defense has published an update to a US code that outlines military power during civil unrest.
SUMMARY: This rule implements DoD regulations and legislation concerning restriction on direct participation by DoD personnel. It provides specific policy direction and assigns responsibilities with respect to DoD support provided to Federal, State, and local civilian law enforcement agencies, including responses to civil disturbances.
The legal authority for this rule is 10 U.S.C. 375 (wherein the Secretary of Defense “shall not” permit the military from engaging in domestic affairs unless “otherwise authorized” by law. Effective May 13th, 2013, the State Department of the United States of America announces its policy to prepare for “civil disturbances” in fear of the consequences of these events. What is a civil disturbance?
“Prejudicial to public law and order”
Wow that’s not that vague. So for further clarification the DoD offers this:
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy; a section of the economy; productivity; competition; jobs; the environment; public health or safety; or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in these Executive Orders.
This is law now - this was published on the federal register. I’m still sifting around myself but the changes herein to Title 32 (National Defense) are pretty substantial; the U.S. military has officially been sanction for domestic police work.
[“We] announced that we had concluded that there was probable cause that forgery and fraud had been committed in respect of two documents: 1) the long-form or original birth certificate computer image presented by Mr. Obama, which contained multiple errors and anomalies, many of them serious and: 2) the selective-service document for Mr. Obama, which contained a two-digit year-stamp. This was contrary to specifications issued by federal regulations to the effect that the year of issue should be expressed as four digits on the stamp, and also contrary to any other selective-service registration document that we had been able to examine,” Zullo wrote in his affidavit to the Alabama court.
The result of the evidence, he said, is one conclusion.
“Accordingly, Sheriff Arpaio continues to recommend that the Congress of the United States open an immediate investigation, including the appointment of a select committee, as regards to the authenticity of Mr. Obama’s documentation, whether any crimes have been committed, and to determine Mr. Obama’s eligibility for the office of president of the United States,” he said.
“North Korea is firing guided-missiles, not ballistic missiles that could be used to carry nuclear warheads to target,” said Yang Moo Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. “The North is likely testing these missiles as an armed protest against the recent military drills jointly conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.”
Earlier this month, the North threatened a retatliation against annual military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. The firing of the short-range missiles follows recent rhetoric from the Kim regime threatening nuclear strikes against the U.S. and moving a Musudan medium-range missile to North Korea’s eastern coast. The warnings led the U.S., South Korea and Japan to boost defenses and raised concern in China, the North’s biggest ally.
The so-called “Gang of Eight,” a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, released their much-awaited comprehensive immigration reform bill late Tuesday. It’s thrilling to finally see a reform bill which looks like it has some momentum come out of Congress—until you see the first section devoted to border security, which is like a kick in the gut for border communities.
Get ready for more fences, more invasive surveillance and more “boots on the ground.”
The bill appropriates $1.5 billion for the “Southern Border Fencing Strategy” to identify where fencing, including double-layer fencing, infrastructure, and technology would be deployed along the Southern border.
Here we go again. For anyone who has closely followed the building of the border fence in Texas, this is an immediate red flag. Landowners like Brownsville resident Eloisa Tamez have been fighting the condemnation of their land since 2008. Much of the unfenced land left along the southern border is in Texas and it is owned by private landowners.
The proposed fencing means another round of land condemnations and costly court battles for landowners and business owners. Since 2007—when the Department of Homeland Security first started land condemnations under the 2006 Secure Fence Act in Texas—the agency has never adequately explained the decision-making process that determines where the fencing is built. And border residents say DHS seldom confers with communities before they start building.
Even worse, the immigration status of millions will hinge on the building of these border fences by the National Guard, as well as adding more drone surveillance to the border. And then finally a determination by a hyper-partisan Congress on whether the border is secure.
The bill creates a new class of immigrant called the “Registered Provisional Immigrant.” The bill says “RPIs” can travel outside of the country for up to 180 days a year and they can work. But it is a provisional status, presumably with even less rights than a Legal Permanent Resident status. According to the bill, immigrants cannot begin the process of becoming Legal Permanent Residents, (aka securing a green card) until the Homeland Security secretary submits a notice to Congress and the president that the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy is “substantially deployed and substantially operational,” and that the Secure Fence Strategy is implemented and “substantially completed.”
This could take years. Government officials have been trying to form a coherent border security strategy ever since 9/11 with little success. The past decade is littered with ideas and technologies that were once touted as the latest and greatest only to be later scrapped because they didn’t work and cost taxpayers too much. For instance, the virtual fence project was canceled in 2011 because of cost overruns and technical glitches. The radar sometimes mistook desert brush for border crossers when it was windy. And when it rained, the radar often didn’t work at all. The whole experiment cost taxpayers $1 billion.
Kathleen Campbell Walker, an El Paso immigration attorney with the law firm Cox Smith, says she was disappointed to see the fence provision in the bill. “A lot of communities—like El Paso where I live—have found the border fence to be a very offensive symbol,” says “I’m sorry to see the building of a fence used as a prerequisite for immigration reform.”
Rio Grande Valley resident Scott Nicol, chair of the Sierra Club Borderlands Team, has been a steadfast opponent of building more fence, which he sees as environmentally destructive and an ultimately ineffective security tool. “If they’re talking about basing immigrant adjustment on the completion of the wall it’s going to take years because of the condemnations that will have to take place,” says Nicol. “The walls have already been built where it’s easy to condemn properties. They can destroy nature refuges without blinking because they’re on federal lands. But what’s left now is private property and most of it is in Texas.”
Even worse, he says, is that the walls are often ineffective. They clog with debris and flood communities or they fall over in flash floods. People can scale them with relative ease. “When the Gang of Eight was visiting Nogales they watched a woman climb the fence,” says Nicol.
For those already weary from fighting the U.S. government for their land for the past five years, the specter of another round of land condemnations is frightening. “My sense is that the government is plowing ahead on a security plan and the indigenous people in this community are still in the dark,” says Dr. Margo Tamez, daughter of Eloisa Tamez, who are of members of the Lipan Apache tribe.
As we spoke Tuesday, Margo said her mother was in federal court in Brownsville, still fighting to hold onto their property in El Calaboz, a tiny border community outside of Brownsville. The U.S. government is trying to take the land underneath the 18-foot border fence it already built in the middle of her property. They are offering the family $100. “We are subjected to decisions made from far away and not consulted about the things being done to our land,” says Margo, who now works as an assistant professor in Indigenous Studies at the University of British Columbia.
The comprehensive immigration reform bill is a hefty 844 pages. Many border residents are anxious to examine it in greater depth and weigh its impacts on their communities. “I’m still digesting this,” says Campbell Walker of the bill. “It’s going to be controversial and it still has a long way to go before it’s signed by the president.”
I love this kid. He has the smarts to become a great investigative journalist.
Zachary Maxwell is his name, and he’s a whiz. He decided to document the dishonesty of New York City’s Department of Education about their school lunch program. His findings are both disgusting and hilarious.
Here’s a clip from his film:
from Zachary’s website:
Zachary is a fourth grader at a large New York City public elementary school. Each day he reads the Department of Education lunch menu online to see what is being served. The menu describes delicious and nutritious cuisine that reads as if it came from the finest restaurants. However, when Zachary gets to school, he finds a very different reality. Armed with a concealed video camera and a healthy dose of rebellious courage, Zachary embarks on a six month covert mission to collect video footage of his lunch and expose the truth about the City’s school food service program.
This short documentary provides a fun and spirited insider’s perspective on the elementary school lunch room.
Zachary, I hope that you read this. What you’ve documented here is big government corruption, and it won’t be the last time you see it in your lifetime. See, government always promises to make things better, and sometimes they even use famous celebrities to sell their ideas to the public. It always sounds nice… Yummy gourmet school lunches! Free healthcare for everybody! Shovel ready jobs!
In the end, the results are always the same: greater cost to the taxpayer and results that are just as bad as (if not worse than) what things were before.
Please take this lesson about government to heart, Zachary. Think about it: if your parents didn’t have to pay higher taxes for you to get these “delicious, nutritious school lunches,” they could afford to pack an incredible lunch for you to take to school every day. Sadly, as things are right now, if you bring your own lunch, you’re actually paying twice! And that’s how big government always works. Always.
The lawmaker leading the charge to investigate the Benghazi, Libya, terror attack on Friday subpoenaed the co-author of a report that slammed the State Department but didn’t interview Hillary Clinton.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) formally demanded that retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering submit to being deposed by the committee next Thursday.
The subpoena comes in the wake of a series of acrimonious public exchanges this week between the two men. Issa didn’t issue a subpoena to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, who co-authored the Benghazi report with Pickering.
Pickering has said he would testify before Issa’s panel about last year’s Accountability Review Board (ARB) report on the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Pickering and Mullen have refused, however, to submit to a transcribed interview with Issa and his staff, calling the closed-door proceeding an “inappropriate precondition” to their testimony.