Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Lawyers for targeted journalist slam AG Garland's 'outrageous and illegal abuses' of Biden critics - Aaron Kliegman

 

by Aaron Kliegman

Civil libertarians and press freedom advocates have condemned DOJ overreach in Project Veritas case.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is acting like a hypocrite as his Justice Department weaponizes the law to target a media organization critical of the Biden administration, according to the lawyers for a journalist who's been the subject of a sweeping government probe.

"Your Justice Department's outrageous and illegal abuses to journalists critical of the current administration, who lawfully gathered information to report to the public on a matter of public interest, have all occurred on your watch," wrote attorneys Chas Short and Paul Calli, who represent investigative journalist and Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe, in a letter to Garland. "Your DOJ acted in contravention of your sanctimonious pronouncements and in violation of the Privacy Protection Act, DOJ's regulations for obtaining information from the news media, and DOJ directives."

"As a result of your refusal to apply your own 'standards,'" they continued, "prominent journalists, scholars, and media watchdogs have assailed the actions of your DOJ."

The newly penned letter comes as the Justice Department, especially the FBI, continues to be scrutinized for what legal experts have described as the use of unnecessary, strong-arm tactics against political opponents and the weaponization of the federal government against critics of the Biden administration — especially former President Donald Trump and his allies.

However, this criticism has extended beyond the targeting of the 45th president's inner circle to the targeting of the press.

In their letter, Short and Calli noted Garland announced in a July 2021 memo that a "free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy" and therefore his Justice Department "will no longer use compulsory legal process" to obtain records and information from journalists "acting within the scope of newsgathering activities."

Garland also said in his memo that the Justice Department will "examine procedures used to safeguard" journalists' records and information obtained by "compulsory legal process" and develop ways to appropriately return or destroy them.

Despite Garland's memo, however, the Justice Department conducted an investigation that involved raiding O'Keefe's home and seizing nearly 200,000 Project Veritas documents through secret surveillance.

The impetus for the government's probe dates back to September 2020, when sources contacted Project Veritas saying they found a diary belonging to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's 40-year-old daughter, Ashley Biden, that had been left behind along with other belongings when she moved out of a Delray Beach, Fla. house subsequently occupied by one of the sources.

Over the next month, Project Veritas worked to authenticate the diary, reaching out to Ashley Biden and the Biden campaign, but ultimately decided against publishing its contents. Project Veritas arranged for the diary to be delivered to the Delray Beach police department.

"You and I both know that if the New York Times gained possession of the diary of former President Trump's adult daughter, it would have published it page-by-page for weeks on end, selectively editing the content to publish the most salacious entries in the diary, without regard to the harm it would have done to the person in question," wrote Short and Calli.

Journalists are legally protected by the First Amendment for receiving materials from sources — regardless of how the sources obtained the materials themselves before handing them over to the media.

Still, the FBI seized the electronics of Project Veritas' sources and tried to interview them this past October.

The following month, federal prosecutors obtained and executed warrants for the FBI to raid the homes of O'Keefe and two of his Project Veritas colleagues. Agents seized their electronic devices. They also handcuffed O'Keefe and required him to stand in the public hallway of his apartment building in his underwear, according to court documents.

Then in late March, Calli filed a motion petitioning for his client's property to be returned. The motion revealed that earlier in March, Project Veritas was notified by Microsoft, its electronic communications service provider, that for over a year the government had been secretly seizing and reviewing the media organization's emails and other electronic information through sweeping search warrants under nondisclosure orders.

Microsoft was able to notify Project Veritas of this surveillance only because the Big Tech firm's attorneys resisted government efforts to renew nondisclosure orders and told federal prosecutors that Microsoft would pursue litigation to disclose these matters.

The government tried to keep the electronic surveillance orders hidden even after its investigation became public knowledge and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which is presiding over the case, appointed a special master to supervise federal prosecutors' access to Project Veritas' materials.

Through the Microsoft search warrants, which were unsealed in March, the government seized nearly 200,000 Project Veritas emails and other files, many of which were unrelated to the Justice Department's purported reason for initiating the warrants.

O'Keefe's lawyers have accused the FBI and Justice Department of a witch hunt targeting a media organization openly critical of the Biden administration, arguing the government is violating the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and the Privacy Protection Act.

In their letter, Short and Calli requested that Garland terminate the investigation into Ashely Biden's diary as it concerns O'Keefe and Project Veritas; order the government to return all seized information and destroy all information in its possession, retaining no copies; and "personally issue a statement denouncing your Justice Department's actions against our clients and accepting responsibility for the violations by the Department of Justice."

The Justice Department didn't respond to a request for comment for this story. However, the department has said in court filings previously reported by Just the News that the government should retain the records it seized because they were obtained through valid legal processes and the government's grand jury investigation remains ongoing.

The department has contended there's probable cause to believe Project Veritas was involved in stealing the diary and transporting it — a claim denied by O'Keefe's legal team and Project Veritas' sources, who have consistently said it was abandoned at the Florida house.

Short and Calli aren't alone in condemning Garland's Justice Department for its treatment of the press.

"I don't personally like Project Veritas at all, but imagine this was a liberal [organization] under Trump," said Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. "Not a good precedent."

"This is just beyond belief," said University of Minnesota law professor Jane Kirtley, a former executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP). "I'm not a big fan of Project Veritas, but this is just over the top. I hope they get a serious reprimand from the court because I think this is just wrong."

The RCFP filed a motion calling on the court overseeing the case to unseal the search warrant materials for the O'Keefe raid. The government has been fighting to keep those materials sealed.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote a letter to the court supporting the RCFP's motion.

"We're troubled by the government's sweeping searches and seizures in this case," ACLU staff attorney Brian Hauss previously told Just the News. "To prevent law enforcement overreach from chilling fundamental First Amendment freedoms, government investigations into press activities must be precisely tailored to specific allegations of criminal conduct. Without knowing more, it appears that the government's searches in this case may not have been appropriately limited."

Hauss also told Just the News that freedom of the press "protects anyone engaged in the dissemination of information to the general public" and that "whatever anyone might think about Project Veritas, they are engaged in press activities."

They added that as journalists are in danger and imprisoned in countries worldwide, the world is watching the U.S. and Garland's lead on protecting a free media at home.

"How on earth can you allow the attack on Project Veritas and its journalists to continue, and avoid being fairly tagged as a partisan, political hypocrite who wields your power in defense of an adult child of the president?" Short and Calli wrote to Garland. "It is for you to decide whether to allow your prosecutors to continue to set dangerous precedent, gut First Amendment protections, and facilitate the decline of a free and independent press, or to put your money where your mouth is, demonstrate that your [July 2021] memorandum was not a petty political ploy aimed at the prior administration, and terminate this abhorrent action that threatens a free and independent press."

 

Aaron Kliegman

Source: https://justthenews.com/government/federal-agencies/project-veritas-lawyers-garland-hypocrite-doj-targeting-media-outlets

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AG Garland Admits FBI Raid Wasn't About "Retrieving Documents" for the Archives - Daniel Greenfield

 

by Daniel Greenfield

The investigation isn't about returning documents. It's about maintaining their informants and keeping a political investigation going.

 


The original story told through the media was that the FBI raid was about retrieving documents that the National Archives wanted in its custody. As I wrote at the time, that wasn't the reason, that was the pretext.

And AG Garland is admitting as much by trying to keep the affidavit classified after agreeing to declassify the search warrant.

The Justice Department said in court documents Monday that it opposes the release of the FBI affidavit used to justify the search warrant on former President Donald Trump's primary residence at Mar-a-Lago.

Because the documents are classified? Nope.

In Monday's filing, prosecutors indicated that the affidavit contained sensitive information regarding the testimony of witnesses in the investigation, adding later they feared that releasing the requested documents would "chill" the future testimony of other potential witnesses.

While the Justice Department did not oppose the release of the search warrant last week, the department argued Monday in a court filing to the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida that the affidavit should remain sealed "to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security."

The investigation isn't about returning documents. It's about maintaining their informants and keeping a political investigation going.

But while the Justice Department has "carefully considered whether the affidavit can be released subject to redactions," it said in Monday's court filing that "the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest."

That is some statement. Everything has to be kept secret, not because it's classified information being kept hidden from the enemy, but because it's being kept secret from the target of its investigation, Trump and his associates.

If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the department wrote in its filing. 

It's all about the next steps. The raid was a means, not an end, to gather material for a political witch hunt by the Biden administration. 

Justice Department officials have defended the Mar-a-Lago search as a necessary step approved by Mr. Garland himself. People familiar with the Justice Department’s approach have said a primary goal of the search was to ensure the security of highly sensitive national-security documents after the Trump team didn’t relinquish them and amid concerns that the security of the material at Mar-a-Lago had been put at risk.

Justice Department officials have just admitted that's a bunch of lies.

 

Daniel Greenfield

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/point/2022/08/ag-garland-admits-fbi-raid-wasnt-about-retrieving-daniel-greenfield/

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Boomerang? DOJ admission it over-collected evidence in Trump raid creates new legal drama - Johm Solomon

by Johm Solomon

Former top FBI official says search appears to have been overly broad and gives Trump lawyers an avenue for appeal.

Three passports, Privileged documents. A file on a presidential pardon. As evidence surfaces about what FBI agents seized during the raid of former President Donald Trump's estate in Mar-a-Lago, new questions about the real focus of the investigation and new avenues for legal challenges are bubbling to the surface.

The Justice Department informed Trump's team Monday that agents gathered the former president's passports and are obligated to return them, and that officials are also reviewing seized materials that may be covered by various privileges, multiple sources told Just the News.

DOJ has designated a process for separating materials that could be covered by executive privilege or attorney client privilege and hopes to return such memos to Trump within a couple of weeks, the sources said.

"Occasionally a warrant collection can grab things outside the scope authorized by the court and the department is now following a procedure we would for any person affected this way," one official said Monday night.

Kevin Brock, who served as FBI assistant director for intelligence under former Director Robert Mueller, said the new revelations raise legitimate questions about over-collection of evidence that could lead to significant legal challenges. Trump lawyers are weighing whether to ask a federal court to name a special master to review sensitive documents and protect the president's 4th amendment, executive and attorney-client privileges.

"Trump's attorneys could have a runway to argue the scope of the search is overly broad," Brock told Just the News. "Search warrants normally require a level of specificity that seems to be missing in this warrant. Specificity is important in order to protect 4th Amendment rights from exuberant government overreach designed to find whatever they can."

Brock said he was particularly troubled FBI agents felt comfortable seizing a record of Trump's pardon of longtime friend Roger Stone, which the bureau disclosed in court documents. He said it suggested the raid may have something more to do with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot probe, where Stone has been a figure of interest, than an investigation into classified records.

"The president’s authority to grant pardon and clemency is clear but what isn’t clear is why the retention of a clemency order would be considered illegal," Brock said  "The fact that it is highlighted on the receipt list, and that it has to do with Stone, will likely provide ammunition to Republicans who are asserting that the search was less about a document dispute and more about a hunt for derogatory Jan. 6 information."

The revelations came on a day when DOJ also opposed requests to unseal the FBI affidavit explaining the motive for the search, arguing such a move could imperil this and other investigations.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, whose conservative watchdog regularly sues the government to release documents and is seeking to compel release of documents in the Trump search, said the government's first court filings appear to describe an overly broad search that went far beyond classified records. 

"They were engaged in a fishing expedition, and the warrant itself wasn’t about classified information, though it mentioned it," Fitton told Just the News. "It talked about all sort of other documents. It basically gave the FBI carte blanche to anything they wanted from the Trump home. 

"And the fact that a judge signed off on it is very troubling," he added.

Brock agreed that the search warrant included a "stunningly broad scope" of targeted evidence and warned it could have a chilling effect on past and future presidents.

"This apparently makes a novel legal assertion that any presidential record kept by a former president is against the law," he explained. "You have to wonder what the other living former presidents think about that.  They have the right and, apparently, clear desire to remain silent.”

 

Johm Solomon

Source: https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/doj-admits-it-took-trumps-passports-offers-return-them

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Double Standard by Civil Libertarians against Trump Endangers the Rule of Law - Alan M. Dershowitz

 

by Alan M. Dershowitz

"Due process for me but not for thee" seems to have replaced the equal protection of the law as the guiding principle.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union, which has repeatedly challenged the constitutionality and applicability of the Espionage Act to anti-government activities by left-wing radicals, is strangely silent when the same overbroad law is deployed against a political figure whose politics they deplore.

  • Then there is the manner by which Trump loyalists have been treated when they were indicted. Several have been arrested, handcuffed and shackled, despite not having been charged with crimes of violence and despite the absence of evidence that they were planning to flee... [M]ost other comparable defendants are simply notified of the charges and ordered to appear in court. Yet despite this apparent double standard, the left has been silent.

  • U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland commendably stated that the Justice Department is dedicated to the "evenhanded application of the law." But recent applications of the law suggest otherwise. "Due process for me but not for thee" seems to have replaced the equal protection of the law as the guiding principle.

  • Perhaps the most glaring manifestation of the double standard currently at work is the different approach taken to the alleged mishandling of classified material by Trump, on the one hand, and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, on the other hand. No wide-ranging search warrants were sought for Clinton's home, where private servers were apparently kept and subpoenaed material even possibly destroyed.

  • Equal justice for Democrats and Republicans must not only be done; it must be seen to be done. There must be one law, and one application of law, for all comparable acts and persons. There must also be one standard of civil liberties — and complaints about their violation — by principled civil libertarians.

  • This unacceptable double standard is so widespread that it endangers the rule of law and the historic role of neutral, non-partisan civil liberties that protect it from partisan weaponization.

Civil liberties require a single standard without regard to party, ideology or person. This great tradition has not been evident when it comes to the treatment of Donald Trump. A double standard has been manifested in a number of ways. (Image source: iStock)

Civil liberties require a single standard without regard to party, ideology or person. The right of Nazis to their despicable free speech must be protected with the same vigor as the right of Salman Rushdie. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in particular, and good civil libertarians in general, used to live by that creed. That is what makes them different from special pleaders who limit their advocacy to those who agree or identify with them. This great tradition — that led John Adams to defend the hated British soldiers who were accused of the Boston massacre and led the old ACLU to defend the right of Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois — has not been evident when it comes to the treatment of Donald Trump. A double standard has been manifested in a number of ways.

The most serious alleged crime cited in the Trump search warrant is under the Espionage Act of 1917. In the past, many leftist civil libertarians have railed against the breadth and scope of this law, calling it repressive and unconstitutionally vague. Among the people who were prosecuted, indicted or investigated under the Espionage Act are progressive icons such as socialists Eugene V. Debs and Charles Schenk, antiwar activists Daniel Ellsberg and Dr. Benjamin Spock, whistleblowers Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning, anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, as well as many others who made unpopular speeches, engaged in protests or took other actions deemed unpatriotic by the government.

But now that the shoe is on the other foot — now that the same law is being deployed against a possible presidential candidate they deplore — many of these same leftists are demanding that this accordion-like law be expanded to fit Trump's alleged mishandling of classified material. The ACLU, which has repeatedly challenged the constitutionality and applicability of the Espionage Act to anti-government activities by left-wing radicals, is strangely silent when the same overbroad law is deployed against a political figure whose politics they deplore.

The same double standard seems to be at work regarding the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago. Many civil libertarians have complained about the overuse of search warrants in situations where a "less intrusive" and narrower subpoena would suffice. Even U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledged that the policy of the Justice Department is to use measures less intrusive than a full-blown search whenever possible. Yet he did not explain why a day-long search of Trump's home was necessary, especially since a subpoena had been issued and could have been judicially enforced if the government was dissatisfied with the progress of negotiations. Again, silence from the ACLU and other left-wing civil libertarians.

Then there is the manner by which Trump loyalists have been treated when they were indicted. Several have been arrested, handcuffed and shackled, despite not having been charged with crimes of violence and despite the absence of evidence that they were planning to flee. In my long experience, most other comparable defendants are simply notified of the charges and ordered to appear in court. Yet despite this apparent double standard, the left has been silent.

Garland commendably stated that the Justice Department is dedicated to the "evenhanded application of the law." But recent applications of the law suggest otherwise. "Due process for me but not for thee" seems to have replaced the equal protection of the law as the guiding principle.

Perhaps the most glaring manifestation of the double standard currently at work is the different approach taken to the alleged mishandling of classified material by Trump, on the one hand, and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, on the other hand. No wide-ranging search warrants were sought for Clinton's home, where private servers were apparently kept and subpoenaed material even possibly destroyed.

Then FBI director James Comey announced that no criminal prosecution has ever been taken for comparable mishandling of classified material. The same was true of former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger's deliberate hiding of such material in his socks. Berger was administratively fined but not criminally prosecuted for willfully violating the law concerning secret documents. Yet the Espionage Act was not invoked against him.

Equal justice for Democrats and Republicans must not only be done; it must be seen to be done. There must be one law, and one application of law, for all comparable acts and persons. There must also be one standard of civil liberties — and complaints about their violation — by principled civil libertarians. The salutary goal seems to be missing from recent attempts to "get" Trump and his loyalists regardless of the principle of equal justice for friend and foe alike.

To the contrary, those of us who — despite our opposition to Trump politically — insist that the same standards of civil liberties must be applied to him as to those we support politically, have lost friends, been defamed by the media and been cancelled. This unacceptable double standard is so widespread that it endangers the rule of law and the historic role of neutral, non-partisan civil liberties that protect it from partisan weaponization.

 

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School, and the author most recently of The Price of Principles: Why Integrity Is Worth Its Consequences. He is the Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute, and is also the host of "The Dershow," podcast.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18809/trump-double-standard

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IRS Hiring Spree - David Harsanyi

 

by David Harsanyi

Biggest expansion of the Police State in American history.

 


[Read the free download of the Freedom Center's IRS Ebook: HERE.]

The Democrats' new reconciliation bill isn't just going to be the largest-ever expansion of a government agency. It's going to be the largest expansion of the domestic police state in American history. Only a statist could believe that a federal government, which already collects $4.1 trillion every year -- or $12,300 for every citizen -- supposedly needs 80 battalions of new IRS cops.

The average American has less reason to be concerned about cops with guns -- though the IRS is looking for special agents who can "carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force, if necessary" -- than they do bureaucrats armed with pens who are authorized to sift through their lives. If you pay your taxes you have nothing to worry about, Democrats claim. But most law-abiding citizens know they have something to fear from a state agency that doesn't concern itself with your due process, has no regard for your privacy and is empowered to target anyone it wants without any genuine oversight.

And, please, spare us this nonsense about the IRS expansion focusing exclusively on "high earners." White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre promised that the IRS wouldn't engage in new audits of anyone making under $400,000 -- a claim she has no authority to make and could not possibly predict even if she did. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy also said that the bill was passed to stop an "epidemic of tax cheating amongst the millionaires and billionaires" and promised that "audit rates won't increase for anyone making under $400K."

This is a lie. Nothing in the bill that Democrats passed through the Senate limits audits. Murphy, along with every other Democrat in the Senate, voted against a Republican amendment that would have prevented new agents from auditing individuals and small businesses with less than $400,000 of taxable income. Not long ago, Democrats passed the American Rescue Plan Act -- which had as much to do with rescuing as the Inflation Reduction Act has to do with reducing inflation -- and changed tax code so that mobile payment apps like Venmo and Cash App were now required to report transactions totaling $600 or more per year to the IRS. Does that sound like a party aiming fire exclusively at high-earning Americans?

Indeed, poor and middle-class Americans are far more likely to do their own taxes, and thus more prone to making mistakes. In 2021, those making $25,000 or less (often the young and elderly) were audited at a rate five times higher than everyone else. The wealthier you are the more likely it is that you can hire lawyers and accountants to work within the system. There aren't enough millionaires and billionaires in the world to keep a potential new 87,000 IRS employees busy.

There are other overlooked aspects of the Democrats' IRS expansion. The bill, for instance, strengthens the federal public-sector union monopoly that funds Democrats' political aspirations. IRS and Treasury Department employees spent 353,820 hours engaged in union activism -- their PAC gives every cent to the Democrats -- in 2019. One can imagine what another 87,000 employees would do for that effort. In the real world, laundering taxpayer funds through unions and using them on political campaigns is called racketeering.

None of this is to say that everyone who works for IRS is corrupt or power-hungry or an ideologue. The unassailable rules of giant bureaucracies, however, are that they always experience mission creep, they always do enough to justify their funding, and sooner or later, their leaders become political operatives.

With that said, it's worth remembering that the IRS doesn't simply collect taxes. It enforces speech codes. This is what empowered former IRS official Lois Lerner to target conservative groups -- "crazies and "a--holes" -- who used words like "Tea Party" or "patriots" in their names. But, even at the time, leftists at The New York Times editorial board praised the IRS for going after conservative groups because they did not "primarily" engage in "social welfare," and so did not deserve an exemption under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. Has anything in the evolution of the Democratic Party given you confidence that such power would not be abused or that an engorged IRS would be immune from political pressure?

Wrestling with an insanely complex tax code -- nearly 8 million words -- costs Americans billions every year. Rather than flattening and simplifying this astonishingly convoluted code, which not only would have saved citizens but the government money, Democrats decided we needed up to another 87,000 people to enforce it.

 

David Harsanyi

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/08/irs-hiring-spree-biggest-expansion-police-state-david-harsanyi/

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Video: Simple Question BREAKS Leftist Protester's Brain Instantly - Frontpagemag.com

 

by Frontpagemag.com

Now he’s “done talking."

 


 

In this short video, a single question to verify a Leftist man's unsubstantiated opinion causes him to panic - and instantly retreat into invisibility. Don't miss it!

 

Frontpagemag.com

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/08/watch-simple-question-breaks-liberal-protesters-frontpagemagcom/

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Dan Rather Whoops for Joy Over FBI Raid - Humberto Fontova

 

by Humberto Fontova

How the fake news pioneer once served the totalitarian whims of a Stalinist dictator.

 


“Now is a time for steadiness, but HOO-BOY!…it is also a moment of hope, that a wave of redemptive energy will finally engulf the outrages of the previous administration and the grave threat it posed to the continuity of the United States as a nation of law,” wrote Dan Rather this week.

Dan Rather’s perverse view of what a “nation of law” looks like was laid bare when this (at the time) CBS  and 60 Minutes anchor essentially partnered as security and propaganda adjunct with  Fidel Castro’s KGB-created and mentored secret police.Rather seemed delighted to serve the totalitarian whims of a Stalinist dictator whose “courts” channeled Stalin’s during the Great Terror, and whose modus operandi Che Guevara laid bare when he boasted that “judicial procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail., we execute from revolutionary conviction!” Thanks in large part to Dan Rather the whims of this mass-murdering international terrorist and criminal easily prevailed over the U.S. Constitution.  

To wit: 

On the April 6th 2000 edition of "60 Minutes", America saw a bewildered and heartsick father (Juan Miguel Gonzalez) pleading to be allowed to have his motherless son (Elian Gonzalez) accompany him back to Cuba, his cherished homeland. Dan Rather (who hailed Fidel Castro as “Cuba’s Elvis!”) was interviewing Elian’s “bereaved” father. How could anyone possibly oppose his heartfelt plea? How could simple decency and common sense possibly allow for anything else? 

"Did you cry?" the pained and frowning Dan Rather asked the "bereaved" father during the "60 Minutes" drama."A father never runs out of tears," Juan (actually, as we’ll see, the voice of Juan's drama school-trained translator) sniffled back to Dan. And the "60 Minutes" prime-time audience could hardly contain their own sniffles. 

Here's what America didn't see: "Juan Miguel Gonzalez was surrounded by Castro security agents the entire time he was in the studio with Rather." This is an eye-witness account from Pedro Porro, who served as Dan Rather's translator during the famous "60 Minutes" interview. Dan Rather would ask the question in English into Porro's earpiece whereupon Porro would translate it into Spanish for Elian's heavily-guarded father.

"Juan Miguel was never completely alone," says Pedro Porro. "He never smiled. His eyes kept shifting back and forth. It was obvious to me that he was under heavy coercion. He was always surrounded by security agents from the Cuba Interest Section (i.e. Cuban embassy) in Washington D.C. When these agents left him alone for a few seconds, attorney Gregory Craig would hover over Juan Miguel. 

"The questions Dan Rather was asking Elian's father during that "60 Minutes" interview were being handed to him by attorney Gregory Craig," continues Pedro Porro. "It was obvious that Craig and Rather where on very friendly terms. They were joshing and bantering back and forth, as Juan Miguel sat there petrified. Craig was stage managing the whole thing - almost like a movie director. The taping would stop and he'd walk over to Dan, hand him a little slip of paper, say something into his ear. Then Rather would read the next question into my earpiece straight from the paper." 

A reminder: officially (Bill Clinton and Dan Rather crony) Gregory Craig then served as attorney for Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, who worked as a hotel doorman in a nation where the average monthly salary is $16. The high-rolling Gregory Craig worked for Washington D.C.'s elite firm, Williams & Connolly, one of America's highest-priced law firms.

In fact, upon accepting the case at the Clinton administrations’ behest, Gregory Craig had flown to Cuba for a meeting with Fidel Castro himself. 

Gregory Craig had led the Juan Miguel/Cuban-Security entourage into the studio, then presided over the interview. "At one point Craig stopped the taping almost like a movie director yelling, 'Cut!' I was confused for a moment, says Porro, "until Greg Craig complained that Juan Miguel's answers were not coming across from his translator with "sufficient emotion." "So Dan Rather shut everything down for a while and some of the crew drove to a drama school in New York. They hired a dramatic actor to act as a translator, and brought him back!"

Okay roll 'em! 

"I probably should have walked out," says Porro. "But I'd been hired by CBS in good faith and I didn't know exactly how the interview would be edited -- how it would come across on the screen. I mighta known, but you never know how these things play out until you actually see it."

"Midway through watching that '60 Minutes' broadcast, I felt like throwing up," said Porro. "My stomach was in a knot." His worst fears were confirmed. 

In brief, Dan Rather and crew volunteered to help a Stalinist con-man (Fidel Castro) stage a massive farce--a veritable show-trial complete with bogus confessions and coerced testimony. They knowingly snookered the American public. 

Worse, as mentioned, most Americans fell for the farce. In their innocence (of communist tactics) most Americans saw the Elian tragedy as a simple custody dispute, as happens hourly in places like Omaha, Atlanta and Peoria. That’s exactly what Clinton, Castro and Rather wanted, expected and got.

Here’s what people experienced with the Castro regime were frantically trying to tell America while Castro and his swarms of U.S-based agents-of-influence (Dan Rather prominent among them)  just as frantically (and much more successfully) hid from America: 

Elian’s father was initially delighted that his motherless son was in the U.S. and in the loving arms of his uncles and cousins. Mauricio Vicent, a reporter for Madrid newspaper El Pais, wrote that during that first week after Elian’s rescue he’d visited Elian’s home town of Cardenas and talked with Elian’s father, Juan Miguel, along with other family members and friends. All confirmed that Juan Miguel had always longed for his son Elian to flee to the United States. Shortly after Elian’s rescue, his father had even applied for a U.S. visa!

Elian’s Miami uncle, Lazaro, explained it repeatedly and best: “I always said I would turn over Elian to his father, when Juan Miguel would come here and claim him. But I (along with practically everyone with experience under communism from Cambodians to Hungarians and from Lithuanians to Cubans) knew such a thing was impossible. He couldn’t do that. I knew it wasn’t Juan Miguel requesting Elian–it was Fidel.”

 The "60 Minutes" "interview” of Elian’s father Juan Miguel by Fake News pioneer Dan Rather played a key role in this expert and exasperating (to those who knew what was going on behind the scenes) snookering of America.      

Interestingly, a young Florida attorney with excellent moral and legal instincts named Brett Kavanaugh--though lacking in any personal experience with the Castro regime—saw right through the Castro-Clinton-Rather farce and represented Elian Gonzalez pro-bono, seeking injunctions to stop the INS from deporting him.

 

Humberto Fontova

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/08/dan-rather-whoops-joy-over-fbi-raid-humberto-fontova/

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Biden and Harris Rush to Condemn ‘Hate Crime,’ But ‘Islamophobic’ Killer is…A Muslim - Robert Spencer

 

by Robert Spencer

The Left sticks to its narrative, no matter how often it blows up in its face.

 


The Left’s view of the world is a series of fictions, fantasies, and delusions. Like all propaganda, this house of cards would collapse in a second if it weren’t constantly shored up with what Leftists claim is “evidence” or “proof” that their insanity — men can be women, Jan. 6 was an insurrection, and the rest — is actually real. And so when four Muslims were shot dead in New Mexico, Old Joe Biden and Kamala Harris rushed to condemn the killings and declare piously that “hate” has no place in America. The “Islamophobia” narrative that Muslims are particular victims of large-scale discrimination and harassment in the U.S. needed shoring up. But when the killer was identified, the whole thing blew up on the putative president and vice president. Not that they’ll ever admit that.

Biden’s Twitter wonk tweeted Sunday: “I am angered and saddened by the horrific killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. While we await a full investigation, my prayers are with the victims’ families, and my Administration stands strongly with the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America.” Not to be outdone, on the same day, Harris tweeted: “I am deeply disturbed by the killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. As law enforcement continues to investigate these heinous attacks, we remain clear that we stand with the Muslim community in New Mexico and around our country. Hate has no place in America.”

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich (a Democrat, of course) started the ball rolling on Friday when he tweeted: “Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was a pillar in the UNM community and an incredible force for good. I’m very concerned by law enforcement reports that his murder may be linked to two other murders of Muslim men in Albuquerque. Racist, hate-fueled violence has no place in New Mexico.” Another Twitter user responded to Heinrich: “You misspelled christian white supremacist terrorism.”

There was actually no indication at that point or ever that these killings were racially motivated. Even the Washington Post reported on Monday that “the police have not determined a motive for the killings,” but that didn’t stop the Left’s propaganda machine from rolling onward. CJ Werleman, an “activist against Islamophobia” with 316,000 followers on Twitter, tweeted late Monday night: “Muslims, particularly Pakistani Muslims, are being targeted for assassination in New Mexico. The perpetrator is most likely a white supremacist but would not be surprised if we learn he/she is a Hindu nationalist.”

Of course, the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had to get in the act. On Friday, it offered a $5,000 reward for “information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the possibly bias-motivated shooting deaths of three Muslim men in New Mexico.” CAIR raised the reward to $10,000 the next day. (Police suspected that the same killer had also murdered a fourth Muslim last November.) CAIR also “called on the Biden administration to take a direct role in responding to the shooting spree” and got the tweets from Biden and Harris in response. CAIR reps appeared on CNN three times and MSNBC once (only once? What’s wrong with you, MSNBC?) to discuss the killings.

But then a suspect was caught. CBS News reported Tuesday that “Muhammed Syed, 51, was identified as the ‘primary suspect in the recent murders of Muslim men,’ police said Tuesday, and charged with murdering Aftab Hussein on July 26 and Muhammad Afzaal Hussian on Aug. 1. Detectives connected the two cases using bullet casings found at the two scenes. They are still investigating Syed’s possible involvement in the murders of Naeem Hussain on Aug. 5 and Mohammed Zaher Ahmadi on Nov. 7.”

Syed “appears to have known his victims,” and CAIR revealed that there are “early indications that the alleged killer may have been targeting particular members of the Shia community.” So the killings weren’t “Islamophobia,” but may have been another instance of the Sunni-Shi’ite jihad coming to America.

Biden and Harris were so anxious for some confirmation of the Left’s bogus “Islamophobia” narrative that they condemned these murders as hate crimes before any suspect had been located. They wanted people to think an “Islamophobe” was the murderer, no matter what the facts turned out to be. Will Biden and Harris now apologize for reinforcing a spurious victimhood narrative? Will CAIR run an information feature on the Sunni-Shi’ite jihad, which has claimed far more lives than “Islamophobia” ever has? Not on your life. The Left sticks to its narrative, no matter how often it blows up in their faces, as it did this time.

 

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 25 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/08/biden-and-harris-rush-condemn-hate-crime-robert-spencer/

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Erdogan Blasts Israel For Defending Itself - Hugh Fitzgerald

 

by Hugh Fitzgerald

The Turkish tyrant draws a dangerous red line.

 

 

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose relations with Israel are an unsteady whirligig, up, down, and around and where it will stop nobody knows – has now let loose with a barrage of criticism against Israel for its just-completed Operation Breaking Dawn. This comes after many months when Erdogan had been reaching out to Jerusalem, in the hope both of establishing an agreement with the Jewish state on gas fields and maritime economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean, and on promoting Turkey as a way-station for Israeli natural gas being sent to Europe. During that honeymoon, Erdogan hosted Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and spoke of cooperation on energy with Israel.

A report on Ankara’s condemnation is here: “Turkey Blasts Israeli Military Action Against Islamists in Gaza,” Algemeiner, August 8, 2022:

Speaking on Sunday ahead of the announcement of a ceasefire in the fighting, Erdogan told a group of foreign ambassadors at his residence that he had taken “a clear stance against the attacks by Israeli security forces targeting Gaza and Gazan civilians.”

Describing the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem as “our red line,” the Turkish leader declared: “There is no excuse for killing children, babies in swaddling clothes. Turkey stands by the Palestinian people and their Gazan brothers.”

Israel’s campaign to prevent Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists from attacking Israeli civilians had nothing to do with Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa is always brought up by assorted Muslim leaders to whip up their followers into a hysterical frenzy, as Erdogan was attempting here. Nothing has changed on the Temple Mount; the status quo remains, which prohibits Jewish visitors from bringing prayer books or tefillin to the Mount, where they are still prohibited from saying prayers either aloud or silently mouthing them. Erdogan chooses to ignore Israel’s determination not to offend Muslim sensibilities on the Temple Mount, even at the cost of preventing Jewish prayer at the holiest site in Judaism.

The IDF estimated Monday that about 51 people were killed in Gaza during the three-day round of hostilities, including 24 affiliated with the Islamic Jihad.

Of the 27 civilians killed, an IDF spokesperson said that 15 were killed by errant rockets fired by Palestinian militants that fell short within the enclave. The military has released footage of one particularly deadly explosion in the Jabaliya refugee camp that killed several civilians, including four children, which was caused by a failed PIJ rocket.

The release by the IDF of the footage showing clearly that a PIJ rocket had misfired and landed in the Jabaliya camp, killing civilians, including at least four children, should have been enough to convince the media that some of the civilian casualties were caused by the PIJ’s own rockets, falling short and landing in Gaza. About 200 of the 1,100 rockets fired by the PIJ are known to have landed in Gaza, though the exact number of civilians they hit is not known and certainly will never be released by the PIJ. But some Palestinians in Gaza have now dared openly to complain about the civilians killed by the PIJ’s rocket misfirings, and have said they are sick and tired of the war the PIJ has brought upon them. The IDF, which has a habit of telling the truth, insists that more civilians were killed by PIJ’s misfired rockets than by the IDF.

During previous upsurges of fighting between the IDF and Islamist groups in Gaza, Erdogan has frequently accused Israeli forces of deliberately killing Palestinian children. In 2019, during clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Erodgan slammed then Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as a “tyrant who massacred seven-year-old Palestinian children.” In May 2021, Erdogan earned a rebuke from the US State Department for his “reprehensible antisemitic comments” when he denounced Israeli as “murderers [who] kill six-year-old babies, murderers [who] make women crawl on the ground.”

In the 2021 Gaza war, Israel made endless efforts to minimize civilian casualties, while Hamas did everything to maximize them, by placing its weapons and rocket launchers inside, or next to, civilian structures, including kindergartens, schools, hospitals, even mosques, where it hoped Israel would strike and cause civilian casualties that could then be used in a propaganda campaign against the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Israel did everything it could to minimize harm to civilians by warning them away in time from sites about to be targeted, using telephoning, leafletting, emailing, and the “knock-on-the-roof” technique. Erdogan knows of this Israeli practice of warning civilians, but chooses to ignore it. And he knows that the same extensive effort by Israel to warn civilians to leave areas about to be targeted were made during Operation Breaking Dawn.

In recent weeks, Israeli-Turkish relations have thawed against the background of a visit to Ankara by Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Following their discussions, Erdogan affirmed his desire to retain ties with Israel, arguing that “strong relations with Israel are key to defending Palestinian rights.”…

“Israel has martyred innocent Palestinian children, women, civilians and many people, as they have done before, in front of the whole world. In fact, what they are doing under the name of a [anti] terrorist operation is the practice of a terrorist state,” Numan Kurtulmus stated over the weekend.

The world should at least stop the consequences of these policies that aim to drive the Palestinians out of their homes and their ancestral lands, which is a state policy of Israel and does not recognize the Palestinians’ right to life,” Kurtulmus said.

Israel is not trying to drive the Palestinians out of either Gaza – where not a single Israeli has lived since 2005— or out of the West Bank, where the Palestinians govern themselves in Areas A and B. Alas, they do not enjoy the rights that Israeli Arabs possess. Instead, they are ruled by the corrupt and thieving PA rulers, led by. Mahmoud Abbas, whose despotism they have endured for 17 years, without any prospect of elections to remove him. The Palestinian population in both Gaza and the West Bank has steadily increased since 1967, undermining the claim of an Israeli “state policy” to “drive the Palestinians out of their homes.” There is not, of course, any such policy. Erdogan’s mind cannot bear too much reality.

A few months from now, as Turkish temper tantrums die down over Operation Breaking Dawn, Erdogan is likely to again return to his previous charm offensive toward Israel. He wants to establish a Turkish-Israeli understanding on maritime economic zones in the Mediterranean. He also would like Israeli gas, which according to present plans is to be sent to Egypt, where it will be turned into LNG, and then sent northward, via Greece, to Europe, to instead be sent from Egypt to Turkey, where the liquefied natural gas will be changed back into a gas before being sent by pipeline to Europe. Finally, Erdogan sees improved ties with Israel as helping Ankara in Washington, where the Turks believe Israel’s political power is great; he would like it to be employed on Turkey’s behalf as well. On this, he has a point. Let’s hope he doesn’t forget it.

 

Hugh Fitzgerald

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2022/08/erdogan-blasts-israel-defending-itself-hugh-fitzgerald/

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'Those Who Pursue Self-interest through Politics' - Lawrence Kadish

 

by Lawrence Kadish

[A]re union moguls, lobbyists and advisors, power players and profiteers trying to do end runs around US election laws and the Constitution?

 


"Government is itself an art," wrote the late US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, "one of the subtlest of the arts. It is neither business, nor technology, nor applied science. It is the art of making men live together in peace and with reasonable happiness."[1]

Of course a leader should be able to do both – "making men live together in peace and with reasonable happiness" – but what if there are leaders or the people around them who are, as Frankfurter noted, "those who pursue self-interest through politics"[2]?

As previously asked on these pages, are union moguls, lobbyists and advisors, power players and profiteers trying to do end runs around US election laws (here and here) and the Constitution (here and here)?

Anonymous "dark money" groups are still trying to "shape" our elections without disclosing where the money is coming from.

According to Bloomberg News, "'Dark money' helped pave the way for the Biden campaign" – to the tune of $145 million.

Big Tech has just been found to have been acting as a "state agent" of the federal government in curtailing free speech with which the government did not agree. Twitter just settled a lawsuit by the journalist Alex Berenson after he showed the court that orders to Twitter to ban him had come from the White House. Big Tech cooperates with the government partly because it might agree with positions, partly by donations to elected representatives, and partly out of concern that privileges could be removed. These include working as a message-delivery-system for the government, protection from lawsuits, and being able to continue banning information that its preferred candidates for elected office might not want you to see, such as the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop or "politically incorrect" views about the coronavirus.

Looking at the president's track record, the nation's highest office seems to have been open to policies of repaying donors by furthering businesses policies that favor donors to Biden's 2020 campaign and to his family, for instance the manufacturers of electric cars and solar panels, most of which are made in China.

President Joe Biden has done nothing to stop Chinese 'cartels' from smuggling deadly drugs, including fentanyl, into the US from Mexico and has "failed to mention top fentanyl exporter China in comments on 100K US drug overdoses" in 2021.

He has also been depleting America's Strategic Petroleum Reserves by a million barrels a day, including by selling US oil "from emergency reserves to [a] Chinese gas giant tied to his scandal plagued-son"? "Biden's Energy Department in April," according to The Federalist, "announced the sale of 950,000 Strategic Petroleum Reserve barrels to Unipec, the trading arm of the China Petrochemical Corporation. That company, commonly known as Sinopec, is wholly owned by the Chinese government."

The president also promised to "end fossil fuels" but if he does, how do we power non-electric cars, trucks and airplanes?

The US should instead be increasing our emergency reserves. They are intended for natural emergencies, not political ones.

In addition, Biden is – or was -- apparently planning to sell one million barrels a day for six months "to help cut gas prices" from their roughly $5 a gallon high. So far, they have indeed cut gas prices -- by 40 cents.

Biden, again in a seeming accommodation to China, has been saying that he is "not worried about Chinese aggression toward Taiwan" even though China has been conducting major military exercises near Taiwan that concern British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and that some China experts have called "the real thing." While China has been claiming that the international Taiwan Strait belongs to China, the Biden administration appears to be to be refusing to take China's threats seriously. The administration has been "flip-flopping," delivering confusing messaging , and especially failing to provide Taiwan with sufficient deterrence. This passivity feels as if it isa repeat of Biden's refusal to take Putin's threats seriously before he invaded Ukraine, and that this absence of deterrence will be seen by China the same way it was seen by Russia: as an invitation to attack.

The White House has also been "refusing to say" if Biden, on his recent two-hour telephone call with China , had "pressed China's Xi on COVID origins." The coronavirus has reportedly killed more than a million people in the US and more than six million worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has done nothing about America's failures to prosecute former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger about removing classified documents in his pants and socks; or Attorney General Eric Holder for Fast and Furious; or Hillary Clinton's 33,000 subpoenaed emails that were deleted; or questions about whether the First Family is compromised [here, here, here here], based on decisions that clearly hurt Americans. These include dismantling the domestic production of energy while buying petroleum -- that is just as harmful to the environment as America's -- at inflated prices from Russia, and calling for "everyone" to have electric vehicles, most of which are made in -- China.


[1] "The Practical Cogitator: The Thinker's Anthology" selected by Charles P. Curtis Jr. and Ferris Greenslet, Hughton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Release Date January 1963, p. 401

[2] Ibid. p. 401

 

Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/18810/self-interest-politics

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