Anarchy in the USA | Charlottesville | August 13, 2017

Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville

|| ProPublica

“CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — There was nothing haphazard about the violence that erupted today in this bucolic town in Virginia’s heartland. At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.

Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.

It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades. We walked the streets beginning in the early morning hours and repeatedly witnessed instances in which authorities took a largely laissez faire approach, allowing white supremacists and counter-protesters to physically battle.

Officials in Charlottesville had publicly promised to maintain control of the “Unite the Right” rally, which is the latest in a series of chaotic and bloody racist rallies that have roiled this college town, a place deeply proud of its links to Thomas Jefferson and the origins of American Democracy.

But the white supremacists who flooded into the city’s Emancipation Park — a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee sits in the center of the park — had spent months openly planning for war. The Daily Stormer, a popular neo-Nazi website, encouraged rally attendees to bring shields, pepper spray, and fascist flags and flagpoles. A prominent racist podcast told its listeners to come carrying guns. “Bring whatever you need, that you feel you need for your self defense. Do what you need to do for security of your own person,” said Mike “Enoch” Peinovich on The Right Stuff podcast.

And the white supremacists who showed up in Charlottesville did indeed come prepared for violence. Many wore helmets and carried clubs, medieval-looking round wooden shields, and rectangular plexiglass shields, similar to those used by riot police.

Clad in a black, Nazi-style helmet, Matthew Heimbach told ProPublica, “We’re defending our heritage.” Heimbach, who heads the Traditionalist Workers Party, a self-declared fascist group, said he was willing to die for his cause and would do whatever it took to defend himself. He was surrounded by a brigade of white supremacists, including members of the League of the South and the National Socialist Movement.

By the time Heimbach and his contingent arrived in downtown Charlottesville shortly before 11 a.m., what had started hours earlier with some shoving and a few punches had evolved into a series of wild melees as people attacked one another with fists, feet, and the improvised weapons they’d brought with them to the park. White supremacists and anti-racists began blasting each other with thick orange streams of pepper spray.

The police did little to stop the bloodshed. Several times, a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.

Shortly before noon, authorities shut down the rally and the related demonstrations and marched the white supremacists out of the park and into the streets.

Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy defended the police tactics. “I’m not in the business of throwing our police department under the bus, because they’re doing the best job they can, “ said Bellamy. “I don’t think the police officers were just twiddling their thumbs.”

The skirmishes culminated in what appears to have been an act of domestic terrorism, with a driver ramming his car into a crowd of anti-racist activists on a busy downtown street, killing one and injuring 19 according to the latest information from city officials. Charlottesville authorities tonight reported that a 20-year-old Ohio man had been arrested and had been charged with murder.

Two state police officers also died in a helicopter crash.

At a brief press conference this evening, Virginia officials declined to answer questions about the police response, but said they were not taken surprise by the violence or the number of protesters. “This could have been a much worse day,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, “We planned for a long time for today’s incidents.”

Charlottesville police Chief Al Thomas said at least 35 people had been injured — many of them from violent encounters between white supremacists and the counter-protesters. He said nobody had been wounded due to confrontations between police and the public.

In the weeks leading up to the protest, city and state officials put together a detailed plan for the rally, mobilizing 1,000 first responders, including 300 state police troopers and members of the National Guard. Judging from how events unfolded today, it appears that the strategy was to avoid direct confrontations with the protesters.

Miriam Krinsky, a former federal prosecutor who has worked on police reform efforts in Los Angeles, said it was too early to assess the law enforcement response in Charlottesville.

But she said a strategy of disengagement generally works to embolden unruly crowds.

“If things start to escalate and there’s no response, it can very quickly get out of control,” she said. “Individuals can and will get hurt.”

But an overly forceful response, she said, can also make the situation worse. Krinsky said attempts to seize weapons might have led to more clashes between police and protesters. “Trying to take things away from people is unlikely to be a calming influence,” she told ProPublica.

A good strategy, she said, is to make clashes less likely by separating the two sides physically, with officers forming a barrier between them. “Create a human barrier so the flash points are reduced as quickly as possible,” she said.”

….Continue reading more @ ProPublica

 

…More @ Youtube

 

Horror and hate in Charlottesville

|| the Hill

“Clashes between “alt-right” white nationalists and counter-protesters turned this Virginia college town into a battlefield on Saturday, leaving one person dead and more than a dozen injured after a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters.

The fatal crash came a day after white supremacists already in town for the “Unite the Right” rally scheduled for Saturday marched through Charlottesville with torches, clashing with outnumbered left-wing activists.

The images of torch-lit white nationalists occupying the center of an American city went viral on social media, increasing the pressure on liberal activists to prevent Saturday’s event.

aturday saw many storefronts in Charlottesville shuttered ahead of expected fighting, which began hours before the noon start time for the planned right-wing rally.

The event brought various white nationalist groups together and was meant to protest Charlottesville’s planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The event never began, with a state of emergency declared and the white nationalists pushed out of the park before alt-right leaders like Richard Spencer could even take the stage. Violent clashes between both sides ahead of the event left several bloodied.

After their rally was quashed, roughly 100 dejected white nationalists tried to regroup at a more distant park.

At that point, they were more interested in getting out of Charlottesville and performing makeshift medical care on their political allies than returning to the scene of the clashes.  One man proposed retreating to nearby woods to avoid police or anti-fascist protesters.

“Our plan is to get out of here,” said one man who refused to give his name. “Everyone is scattered.”

Still, they fumed over their ejection.

One man in a white military helmet with a walkie-talkie, who also declined to give his name, spoke about a need for “shooters” who could return to the center of Charlottesville and catalogued with his political allies the number of guns available to them.

Another man with a walkie-talkie put out a call asking for help from “all goys” in the area, a reference to non-Jews. Others heckled a reporter with anti-Semitic slurs, asking how many “shekels” the man would get.

Spencer, who rallied with a number of other white nationalist leaders, including ex-KKK Imperial Wizard and former Senate candidate David Duke, urged the crowd to disperse but complained that the police hadn’t defended their event against the left-wing activists.

“They did not protect us,” Spencer said.

While the alt-right retreated, anarchists and left-wing counter-protesters were beginning to hype each other up.

“Antifa” counter-protesters enjoyed their victory, with some burning flags affiliated with white nationalist causes.

Rumors circulated that the white nationalists had intended to go into a primarily African-American neighborhood of Charlottesville to intimidate people.

One group of counter-protesters circled a group of 10-15 men and women who identified themselves as local militiamen and all wore camouflage clothing in a downtown parking lot.

As a few of the militiamen, some carrying rifles and two wearing President Trump’s signature “Make American Great Again” hats, got into a grey Lexus SUV, counter-protesters circled and shouted at them to renounce the KKK and get out of town.

As their SUV pulled out, counter-protesters chased it down, throwing rocks bottles, and a shoe, attempting to smash its windows.

Hundreds of counter-protesters marched down Water Street chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!”

As the crowd approached the corner of Water and Fourth Street, they were told that neighborhood residents did not want them to turn right to go further into the neighborhood.

“You guys, we spoke to community organizers,” one counter-protester shouted. “We need to turn back. Walk up that street,” he shouted, gesturing to the wide alley to the crowd’s left.

Those marching listened, and turned left to go in the opposite direction.

The mood also seemed to shift, as some at the front of the line danced and others spoke of having driven “the racists out of town.”

Suddenly, screams and a repeated thumping sound could be heard.

A grey Dodge Challenger was driving through the crowd at an accelerated speed, and bodies were banging against its windshield.

People began screaming loudly for medical attention as at least four people were on the ground.

The car paused for a moment, before reversing in full speed and running into more people.

Bodies were strewn up and down the block, with groups clustered around each one seeking to help. Pools of blood formed under some of the most grievously wounded.

Many people who said they had medical training tried to help the injured. People tied swatches of fabric and bandanas around wounds to try to stem the bleeding.

The white nationalist leaders were giving speeches to their disappointed supporters when video of the car driving into protesters across town began to go viral on social media.

Citing a supposed attack from left-wing protesters or a possible police arrival, the remaining white power supporters hurried to their cars.

But Spencer promised that the white nationalists aren’t done with Charlottesville, singling out several local officials for criticism.

“We are never backing down, we are going to be back here,” Spencer said.

Hours later, people lingered at the site where the protesters were run over, trying to figure out what had happened and why.

“Them people getting run over is ridiculous. It should have never gotten that far,” said a man who identified himself as a Charlottesville resident. “That car should have been nowhere around there. Police is supposed to keep order. They should have blocked off the street and kept people 100 yards apart.”

“I can’t understand how any of this happened,” one woman said ahead of a vigil planned for later Saturday night on the University of Virginia lawn.”

…Continue reading more @ The Hill

 

 

Well there  goes the 1st Amendment

|| Breitbart

 

“A female reporter for the Hill was allegedly punched by an “Antifa” protester in the wake of a deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia Saturday as she tried to film the ensuing chaos.

Taylor Lorenz was filming the site of the incident that left at least one person dead — after a car was driven into a crowd of “anti-fascist” protesters responding to a parallel white nationalist protest in the city. The suspect was identified by police late Saturday as 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr.

According to video given to DailyMail.com by Lorenz (who is a former reporter for the outlet), a nearby shirtless protester objects to her filming the resulting pandemonium and is heard asking her to stop filming. When she refuses to put her camera away, he appears to punch her and yells “stop fucking recording.” Lorenz can be heard yelling as her phone hits the ground, and others intervene.

She said on Twitter that she was fine apart from being “really fucking pissed,” and said she was attempting to file charges against the man who punched her.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart

How did the Corporate Mass Media Miss What Turley Found about Manafort Meeting with the Russians | August 13, 2017

Bloomberg: Manafort Alerted Authorities About Russian Meeting

|| JonathanTurley.org

“Buried in a new article out of Bloomberg is an understated but potentially significant statement: “In fact, Manafort had alerted authorities to a controversial meeting on June 9, 2016, involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., other campaign representatives and a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to people familiar with the matter.”  That would be a huge development in this controversy if true, particularly if the notice occurred before the Russian meeting occurred.

Much of the criticism directed at Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort has been that only chumps would have gone to this meeting or, at a minimum, alerted authorities.  Now Bloomberg is saying that it has sources saying that Manafort did indeed alert authorities.  That would go a long way to defusing the conspiracy theories surrounding the meeting and shatter the narrative put forward by critics.

What is also concerning is that, if true, this fact is one of the only facts not leaked out of Congress.  It seems that closed sessions have been mere precludes to media leaks.  Yet, members have been saying as a mantra that the FBI or some other agency should have been notified.  Ironically, this is the most significant part of the Bloomberg story but is buried without further comment.  Why?  There is no indication of who was informed or when. This would seem one of the most important developments in the controversy but we are left in the dark on the details.  Hopefully we will see in the coming days whether this account is confirmed and, if so, what details can be shared.”

…Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Violence in Virginia Turns Deadly in Charlottesville | Aug 12, 2017

STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED

1 killed, 19 injured as car plows into crowd near Unite the Right rally site

|| Charlottesville Daily Progress

“A University of Virginia Medical Center spokesperson says one person is dead and 19 were injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters in downtown Charlottesville.

The person suspected of driving the car is in police custody, according to the Associated Press.

City officials say 15 other people were injured in other incidents related to the Unite the Right rally.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency “to aid state response to violence at Alt-Right rally in Charlottesville.”

The University of Virginia also has canceled all scheduled events and programming.

The cancellation, according to UVa, “includes all academic programming, the scheduled community discussions taking place in the University Libraries, and all UVa athletic events and programming. The university is monitoring the developments in Charlottesville and continues to coordinate with state and local law enforcement.”

…Continue reading more @ the Daily Progress

 

Car plows into crowd at white nationalist rally

|| Daily Mail UK

“At least one person is dead after a driver intentionally plowed into a group of anti-fascist protesters hitting up to 20 people in Charlottesville, Virginia, after violent clashes erupted between white nationalists and activists on Saturday.

Video shows the Dodge Charger accelerating into the crowd throwing bodies into the air as people scream before reversing at high speed – it is not known how many people have been injured but one is reported dead.

It came after violent clashes erupted as hundreds of white supremacists including armed militias marched into Charlottesville sparking violent confrontations with the counter protesters. Police cleared the scene with tear gas but the violence continued.

Horrifying video from the scene of the car attack shows blood spattered on the vehicle’s windshield as victims desperately screamed out for medical help in the aftermath of the smash.

A counter protester had allegedly thrown a rock at the car, causing the driver to swivel around and ram into people and cars in its way, before driving off with someone’s shoe attached to its bumper.

Local police reported there were at least 20 people hit and three vehicles were involved in the crash.

There has been one person arrested in connection to the earlier violence but it remains unclear if the driver of the car has been apprehended.

In addition to the dozen of people hurt in the accident, at least eight people were being treated already for their injures during other destructive clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Emancipation Park before the controversial Unite the Right rally.

President Trump admonished the day’s tragic events, saying in a press conference: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, violence, on many sides. The hate and division must stop, and must stop right now.’

There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them and police said the crash happened near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets.

Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, said counter-protesters were marching when ‘suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound.’ A silver sedan smashed into another car, then backed up, plowing through ‘a sea of people.’

People scattered, running for safety in different directions, he said.

Another witness claimed the act was intentional. He said: ‘Yeah, it was intentional.About 40 miles an hour, hit about 15-20 people, crashed into the two cars in front of it, and then backed up and sped away while cops were standing on the side of the road and didn’t do anything.’

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Singer announced the death on Twitter. He wrote: ‘I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will – go home.’

….Continue reading more @ Daily Mail UK

 

North Korea Develops Nukes While the People Starve ‘Where did it get the money?’ | Aug 11, 2017

Starving North Koreans question missile tests: ‘Where did the money come from?’

|| The Telegraph UK

“North Korean state media continues to celebrate the launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and the nation’s status as a “global rocket power”, although there are growing suggestions that ordinary people are less enthusiastic about the regime’s achievements.

Quoting its network of covert contributors within North Korea, who communicate via mobile phone, the Seoul-based DailyNK news site has reported that ordinary citizens are asking – albeit quietly – how Kim Jong-un can afford missiles but continue to ration their food.

“Following the news that the regime launched missiles twice in July, locals are criticising the regime, asking, ‘Where did it get the money?’ “, a source  in North Pyongan Province told DailyNK.

“They are feeling increasingly disillusioned by the Kim Jong-un regime, which spends more money on developing missiles than improving their livelihoods.

“Everyone is aware that whenever the regime launches a missile, economic sanctions will follow”, the source added. “There’s nothing to celebrate for the ordinary citizens.”

“In the beginning, the residents were proud of the regime openly opposing the US with nuclear development and missiles, but these days, anti-US sentiment has weakened while respect for the regime has plummeted.”

“People are still starving and there are homeless orphans on the streets, so naturally the residents are resentful about having to celebrate a missile launch”, another source told DailyNK, adding that there is also deepening resentment at the “inminban”, or local politically motivated neighbourhood watch units, increasing mandatory payments from residents.

Officials claim the payments are for local construction projects, but it is widely understood that they are spent on the nuclear and missile programmes.”

….Continue reading more @ Telegraph UK

 

Chinese Global Times sounds a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near Guam

|| CNBC

“China should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday, sounding a warning for Pyongyang over its plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

The comments from the influential Global Times came after U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

Asian equity markets sank again on Friday and European stocks looked set for their worst week this year because of the tensions.

“This situation is beginning to develop into this generation’s Cuban Missile crisis moment,” ING’s chief Asia economist Robert Carnell said in a research note. “While the U.S. president insists on ramping up the war of words, there is a decreasing chance of any diplomatic solution.”

China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as escalating tensions.

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.

“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.”

….Continue reading more @ CNBC

 

 

Threats to National Security in an Age of United States National Discord | August 11, 2017

History

U.S. PAPERS TELL OF IKE’S ’53 POLICY TO USE A-BOMB IN KOREA

|| New York Times

WASHINGTON, June 7— Documents released today give details on a decision by President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Administration in 1953 to use atomic bombs in North Korea and Communist China, if necessary, to end the Korean War.

Once the armistice was achieved, on July 27, 1953, the Eisenhower Administration continued to define plans to use nuclear weapons if the Communists renewed the war, which the North Koreans started in 1950.

President Eisenhower took office in January 1953 after talks for a cease-fire had dragged on for two years and the war had settled into a standoff, with casualties being incurred but with no change in the front line, which today still separates North and South Korea.

The fact that the Eisenhower Administration was ready to use nuclear weapons is not new. President Eisenhower, in his memoirs, said he came into office prepared to use them, if necessary, to break the deadlock. What is new in the 2,000 pages of documents now made public is the high level of planning and the detail of discussion on possible use of these weapons, and Mr. Eisenhower’s interest in overcoming reluctance to use them.”

….Continue reading more @ New York Times

 

North Korean Nuclear Conflict Has Deep Roots

|| Washington Post | Nov 2006

 

“Democrats and Republicans have been quick to use North Korea’s apparent nuclear test to benefit their own party in these final weeks of the congressional campaign, but a review of history shows that both sides have contributed to the current situation.

There is more than 50 years of history to Pyongyang’s attempt to gain a nuclear weapon, triggered in part by threats from Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower to end the Korean War.

In 1950, when a reporter asked Truman whether he would use atomic bombs at a time when the war was going badly, the president said, “That includes every weapon we have.”

Three years later, Eisenhower made a veiled threat, saying he would “remove all restraints in our use of weapons” if the North Korean government did not negotiate in good faith an ending to that bloody war.

In 1957, the United States placed nuclear-tipped Matador missiles in South Korea, to be followed in later years, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, by nuclear artillery, most of which was placed within miles of the demilitarized zone.

It was not until President Jimmy Carter’s administration, in the late 1970s, that the first steps were taken to remove some of the hundreds of nuclear weapons that the United States maintained in South Korea, a process that was not completed until 1991, under the first Bush administration.

It is against that background that the North Korean nuclear program developed.

North Korea has its own uranium mines and in 1965 obtained a small research reactor from the Soviet Union, which it located at Yongbyon. By the mid-1970s, North Korean technicians had increased the capability of that reactor and constructed a second one. Pyongyang agreed in 1977 to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the first reactor.

It was in the 1980s that the North Korean weapons program began its clandestine growth with the building of a facility for reprocessing fuel into weapons-grade material and the testing of chemical high explosives. In 1985, around the time U.S. intelligence discovered a third, once-secret reactor, North Korea agreed to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Five years later, U.S. intelligence discovered through satellite photos that a structure had been built that appeared to be capable of separating plutonium from nuclear fuel rods. Under pressure, North Korea signed a safeguards agreement with the IAEA in 1992, and inspections of facilities began. But in January 1993, IAEA inspectors were prevented from going to two previously unreported facilities. In the resulting crisis, North Korea attempted to withdraw from the NPT.

The Clinton administration responded in 1994 that if North Korea reprocessed plutonium from fuel rods, it would be crossing a “red line” that could trigger military action. The North Koreans “suspended” their withdrawal from the NPT, and bilateral talks with the Clinton administration got underway. When negotiations deadlocked, North Korea removed fuel rods from one of its reactors, a step that brought Carter back into the picture as a negotiator.

The resulting talks led to the 1994 Agreed Framework, under which North Korea would freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear weapons program. In return, it would be supplied with conventional fuel and ultimately with two light-water reactors that could not produce potential weapons-grade fuel.

However, a subsequent IAEA inspection determined that North Korea had clandestinely extracted about 24 kilograms of plutonium from its fuel rods, and U.S. intelligence reported that was enough material for two or three 20-kiloton plutonium bombs.”

….Continue reading more @ The Washington Post | Nov 2006

 

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a threat to national security

|| New York Post

Clinton because they thought she couldn’t be trusted with national secrets after her reckless handling of sensitive State Department emails. Florida voters ought to dispatch Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for the same reason.

When it comes to security matters, the incumbent Democrat and former DNC chair makes Hillary look like a diligent TSA agent. And the news about her staffer trying to flee to Pakistan to avoid data-fraud charges is only the latest proof.

Computer security at the DNC was so lax on Wasserman Schultz’s watch that hackers burrowed deep into the network, leading to a massive data breach. They were thwarted, in contrast, when they tried to infiltrate Schultz’s Republican counterparts.

When the FBI tried to investigate the cyber-crime, Wasserman Schultz refused to fully cooperate. She wouldn’t let forensic experts at the FBI’s lab in Quantico examine the targeted server and collect the digital fingerprints needed to nail the intruders.

Now we discover that Wasserman Schultz couldn’t really give a rip about cyber-security in Congress, either.

After the Capitol Police this year began investigating her trusted staffer, Imran Awan, for theft of congressional data and procurement fraud, Politico reported, every Democrat who had contracted with him eventually fired him. Everyone, that is, except Wasserman Schultz.

It wasn’t until last month, when the FBI arrested Awan for bank fraud, that the Democratic leader finally sacked him. The FBI says Awan bilked the Congressional Federal Credit Union out of $165,000, which he immediately wrapped into a $283,000 wire transfer to Pakistan. Agents collared him as he was boarding a flight for Pakistan.

In an interview with her local paper, Wasserman Schultz revealed she kept Awan around to do other IT work even after authorities suspended his access to the Capitol computer network. Worse, she said she continued to employ him to work on printers, websites and software despite learning he transferred sensitive congressional data outside the secure network to an unauthorized offsite storage location.

Police told her Awan was “transferring data outside the secure network, which I think amounted to use of apps that the House didn’t find compliant with our security requirements,” Wasserman Schultz shrugged, insisting she “did the right thing” keeping him on payroll. “I would do it again.”

She claims he didn’t have access to classified information, though investigators still probing Awan haven’t confirmed that. And even if true, he had access to emails to and from members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as the calendars, travel schedules and notes of other members — sensitive information that, as one Republican legislator pointed out, “our enemies that would like to bring down the US would love to have.”

Awan is reported to have smashed hard drives before agents raided his home. If he copied valuable data to off-site servers, it would set off bigger alarms. Such information could be used to blackmail members of Congress — namely Wasserman Schultz, who has gone to unusual lengths to protect her rogue IT guy.

She admitted she knew Awan was planning to travel to Pakistan, but that he had discussed return dates with her chief of staff. And when investigators seized a laptop from her office, one she says belonged to Awan, she went into high dudgeon, chewing out the Capitol Police chief in May when he refused to return it and even threatening him with “consequences.”

As it turns out, Awan had access to Wasserman Schultz’s emails at both Congress and the DNC. He had been given the password to her iPad, which might also explain why she refused to turn over the server to the FBI.

Wasserman Schultz claims she defended Awan to the bitter end, because he’s Muslim and she didn’t want to see him demonized in an Islamophobic witch hunt. But that excuse doesn’t cut ice. Awan exhibited a pattern of shady behavior over the course of his employment. Yet instead of questioning him, she covered for him — and endangered the security of Congress’ computer networks in the process.

Such negligence should not be rewarded with another term in office.”

….Continue reading more @ NY Post

 

True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht keeps the cameras rolling for an impromptu DIY interview

|| True the Vote

More @ Youtube

Susan Rice Urges ‘Peace in Our Time’ on NoKorea Nukes | Aug 10, 2017

Susan Rice Urges Donald Trump to ‘Tolerate Nuclear Weapons in North Korea’

|| theGatewayPundit

“Despite playing a key role in an administration responsible for one of the weakest foreign policies since the Carter White House, ex-Obama official Susan Rice believes her opinions still hold weight – particularly on the issue of North Korea. Rice is urging President Trump to ‘tolerate’ North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Breitbart News reports on Rice’s New York Times op-ed:

“History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea — the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War,” she wrote in a New York Times op-ed, criticizing the president’s “fire and fury” rhetoric in response to the escalating tensions between the two countries.

Rice urged Gen. John Kelly, White House chief of staff, to stop Trump, and she pointedly attacked Dr. Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president.

“John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, must assert control over the White House, including his boss, and curb the Trump surrogates whipping up Cuban missile crisis fears,” she wrote.

Rice complained that Trump’s rhetoric was “unprecedented and especially dangerous” and that America would have to be cautious about its response to Pyongyang.

She defended Obama’s actions in response to North Korea, insisting that his administration put them “on edge” by conducting joint military exercises with South Korea and introducing more economic sanctions.

President Trump is faced with one of the most challenging foreign policy questions in a generation: Should the U.S. go to war with North Korea? Such a decision may not have been necessary had the previous administration taken the Hermit Kingdom more seriously. A FOX News report reveals the Obama White House downplayed North Korea’s nuclear missile program back in 2013. Was this done to avoid taking on North Korean issue?”

….Continue reading more @ TGP

 

Federal Judge Orders State Dept To Search Hillary Aides’ Accounts For Benghazi Records

|| Daily Caller

“The search for State Department emails regarding the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks received a boost this week when a federal judge ordered the agency to search the government email accounts of several Hillary Clinton aides.

Washington D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, ordered State to search the accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top aides at the State Department, in response to a lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Mehta said that the State Department did not do enough to search for all emails it has on its computer systems regarding the Benghazi attacks, which left four Americans dead.

The State Department reviewed the 30,000-plus emails that Clinton returned to the agency in Dec. 2014. It has also searched emails that Abedin, Mills and Sullivan sent and received on personal accounts.

“Secretary Clinton used a private email server, located in her home, to transmit and receive work-related communications during her tenure as Secretary of State,” Mehta said.

“[State] has not, however, searched the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov email server.”

Mehta said that the State Department “has offered no assurance” that the records it has received so far from Clinton and the trio of aides “constitute the entirely of Secretary Clinton’s emails during the time period relevant to Plaintiff’s FOIA request.”

Judicial Watch, which has pursued several lawsuits related to Clinton emails despite her election loss, celebrated Mehta’s order.

“This major court ruling may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal — and Hillary Clinton’s involvement in it — as we approach the attack’s fifth anniversary,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.

“It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

How Close are the Drug Cartels and Mexican Govt? | Aug 10, 2017

Mexican President Deletes Instagram Pic with Alleged Cartel Frontman

|| Breitbart

“Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and his staff appear to be trying to erase all traces of connections with a famous musician recently accused of being a drug cartel frontman.

This week, Peña Nieto visited the Mexican state of Chiapas and posted on Instagram with singer Julion Alvarez, where the men are seen on a boat. The photograph was deleted soon after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Treasury Department announced that Alvarez and Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez were singled out as alleged cartel frontmen.

Julio Cesar Alvarez Montelongo, better known as “Julion Alvarez”, and soccer star Rafael “Rafa” Marquez are among 22 Mexican nationals and 43 business entities whose assets in the U.S are now frozen by the Treasury Department, Breitbart Texas reported. Julion Alvarez is considered one of Mexico’s most famous singers in the banda music genre and is known for praising the drug trafficking lifestyle in his music. Despite the type of music that Alvarez performs, in 2015 Peña Nieto called him “a great example for Mexico’s youth”, Mexico’s Proceso reported.

The connection to Alvarez is the latest scandal to plague Peña Nieto at a time when his popularity continues to plummet after his failure in being able to reign in Mexico’s raging cartel violence. Peña Nieto has also been accused of having Mexican cartel operators funnel illicit funds into his 2012 presidential election campaign in a scandal that became known as Monexgate, Breitbart Texas reported.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Retirees flock to Latin America to live an upper-class lifestyle on $1,500 a month

|| Charlotte-Observer

“To casual visitors, this colonial town in southern Ecuador looks like it was torn from the pages of history. With its cobbled streets, soaring cathedrals and bustling markets, it exudes a lazy, old world charm.

But Cuenca is also on the cutting edge of a very modern trend: providing a safe haven for U.S. retirees who have found themselves unwilling — or unable — to live out their golden years at home.

The growing wave of ex-pat seniors is not only upending notions about retirement in the hemisphere but reshaping the face of communities throughout the Americas. And the trend is expected to grow as waves of baby boomers exit the workforce ill-prepared for retirement.

There’s no accurate way to measure the phenomenon, but the Social Security Administration was sending payments to 380,000 retired U.S. workers living abroad in 2014 — up 50 percent from a decade ago.

In the Americas, records show that seniors are flocking to Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

Best known for the Galapagos and providing asylum in its London embassy to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuador is home to 2,850 retirees receiving benefits, according to the U.S. government. But that number doesn’t tell the full picture. The city of Cuenca recently conducted a census that found its municipality alone was home to almost 10,000 foreign retirees, most of them Americans from Texas and Florida.

On a recent weekday, Susan and Michael Herron were having a long, lazy breakfast by the side of the Tomebamba River that cuts through the city. Both in their 70s, they have the lean look of people whose principal mode of transportation is walking — and a sense of adventure usually found in people half their age.

They had previously “retired” in Central Florida, Georgia, Alaska, South Carolina and Panama before finally settling on Ecuador — because it was beautiful and cheap.

“We could have survived [financially] in the United States if we had moved to a more rural area,” said Susan, 71, a semi-retired property manager. “But we wanted to take this chance while we were still healthy enough to be able to do it.”

In Cuenca, a city of about 350,000 people, they’ve found robust public transportation, an extensive museum network, solid healthcare and markets bursting with fresh fruits and produce. It’s a place where their two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment costs less than $400 a month. They’ve found that for about $1,500 a month, they can live a solidly upper-class lifestyle, dining out frequently and traveling.

“In the United States, we couldn’t afford to go anywhere,” Susan explained. “We were having to stay home.”

Cuenca’s survey of retirees found that most were either paying for healthcare out-of-pocket or had private healthcare. But some are reliant on Ecuador’s public healthcare system. Foreigners only need to pay into the system for three months before they have access to full benefits.

Because Medicare doesn’t cover most costs abroad, the Herrons, for example, were paying $84 a month to belong to the public healthcare system. When Michael, a 76-year-old retired IT worker-turned-novelist, recently ended up in the emergency room for a cardiac issue, the total bill was $133. In the past, the same procedure in the United States had been billed to his insurance company at $186,000.

Crespo, the city official, said the retirees are pumping money into the economy, but there are growing concerns over how they might be affecting the healthcare system.

“We’ve heard about cases where someone night need brain or heart surgery that might cost $300,000 in the United States and they have the operation here for $300 because they had paid into the system for three months,” she said. “The price differences are abysmal.”

Congresswoman Soliz said the legislature is planning on doing a comprehensive study of how foreign retirees might be straining public resources.”

….Continue reading more @ Charlotte-Observer