Even if we didn’t have proof that Lois Lerner and the IRS had deliberately targeted conservative non-profit groups whose names included words like “Tea Party” and “patriots,” this could just been seen as another example of big government inefficiency and incompetence. Thing is, we know that conservative groups’ applications were held up through several election cycles to keep them from influencing the vote.
American Center for Law and Justice attorney Miles Terry writes today that two more conservative groups have had their tax-exempt applications approved — after a more than four-year delay.
Laurens County Tea Party and Allen Area Patriots both applied for tax-exemption in July of 2010. It took the IRS more than four years to review their applications and approve these groups.
Of our 41 clients, 28 have now been approved, and seven groups are still awaiting approval. One of these seven groups, Albuquerque Tea Party is less than two months away from “celebrating” five years since they originally applied for tax-exemption. To date, they have still not been approved.
C’mon, IRS. Get it together…(read more)
The fact that it took the Administration FOUR YEARS to approve this group’s tax status is shameful. http://t.co/RKlQEG5Yeq
Ahmed Abu Khatallah to face 17 new charges over alleged involvement on September 2012 attacks on US diplomatic compound in Benghazi that saw four US citizens killed
A US federal grand jury issued a new indictment on Tuesday that includes a possible death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a Libyan militant accused of involvement in the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
“Obama administration officials, including Susan Rice, currently White House National Security Adviser, stoked political controversy by initially saying the attack was a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video.”
The indictment supersedes earlier accusations brought against Khatallah in July, and adds 17 new charges, including allegations he led an extremist militia group and conspired with others to attack the facilities and kill U.S. citizens.
Khatallah was captured in Libya in June by a US military and FBI team and transported to the United States aboard a U.S. Navy ship to face charges in Washington federal court.
A lawyer for Khatallah did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Four Americans were killed in the attack, including the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. The attack ignited a political firestorm in Washington that could still resonate if Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State at the time of the attack, runs for president as expected in 2016.
Premeditated: A new election law leaves the door wide open for abuse in hotly contested races
John Fund writes: Perhaps the most hard-fought Senate race this year will be Colorado’s showdown between Democratic senator Mark Udall and Republican congressman Cory Gardner. The RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race shows Gardner holding a lead of 1.3 percentage points. The outcome may determine control of the U.S. Senate, and the margin of victory could be less than the 11,000-vote margin by which Democratic senator Michael Bennet was reelected in Colorado in 2010.
[Also see: John Fund's Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy]
But there is a significant difference in this year’s Senate race. In 2013, a new Democratic state legislature rammed through a sweeping and highly controversial election law and convinced Democratic governor John Hickenlooper to sign it. The law, known as House Bill 1303, makes Colorado the only state in the country to combine two radical changes in election law: 1) abolishing the traditional polling place and having every voter mailed a ballot and 2) establishing same-day registration, which allows someone to appear at a government office and register and vote on the same day without showing photo ID or any other verifiable evidence that establishes identity. If they register online a few days before, no human being ever has to show up to register or vote. A few keystrokes can create a voter and a “valid” ballot. Once a ballot cast under same-day registration is mixed in with others, there is no way to separate it out if the person who voted is later found ineligible. Other jurisdictions that have same-day registration, such as Washington, D.C., treat the vote as a provisional ballot pending verification. Colorado immediately counts the vote.
“We have uniquely combined two bad ideas, both of which open the door to fraud and error along with creating huge administrative headaches,” warns Republican Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state. Along with the liberal Denver Post (the state’s leading newspaper) and a few Republican clerks from the state’s largest counties, Gessler fought passage of the law.
[Order John Fund's book "Who's Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk" from Amazon.com]
Wayne Williams is the clerk of El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city. He says HB 1303 was sold as a way to “modernize” elections and increase turnout, but it’s fixing a system that wasn’t broken. In 2012, Colorado was among the top three states in the turnout of eligible citizens. Its number of registered voters that year climbed 13.7 percent, well above normal population growth. At the same time, the state’s online voter-registration system processed 250,000 changes submitted by voters, ensuring a more accurate and less duplicative record of the electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
(Reuters) – Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week, police said on Sunday.
“We’ve been having sightings all over the city. They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses.”
– Watch commander Lieutenant Jason Matson
In the latest incident, a person telephoned the Bakersfield Police Department on Saturday night, reporting a clown armed with a firearm, said watch commander Lieutenant Jason Matson.
“We’ve been having sightings all over the city,” Matson said. “They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses.”
The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported earlier in the week that at least some of the reports were hoaxes. Matson said he did not know whether the incidents were pranks. Read the rest of this entry »
“What I did was almost 50 years ago and it’s about 4,000 times easier today to con people than when I did it.”
Frank Abagnale’s early life story has been told many times. A former conman who specialised in impersonation and forgery, he was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 film Catch Me If You Can. His story has also been told as a book, a musical and is drawn upon in TV series White Collar.
“When I did the things I did, I did them all between 16 and 21. I’m 64 years old now. When I did it I made $2.5m over a period of five years. If I was stealing identities today, I’d be looking at more like $20 million, or $50 million”
At the age of 16, Abagnale posed as a pilot for Pan Am Airlines in order to wangle free flights. He later pretended to be a doctor, before masquerading as an attorney — just some of the eight different identities Abagnale claims to have assumed. Throughout this time he became a master forger of cheques, defrauding banks of millions of pounds.
He was arrested at the age of 21 in France and spent six months in prison there, six months in a Swedish jail and was then deported to the US (not before he’d escaped from the aeroplane intended to transport him). After serving five years of his 12-year sentence, he was paroled on the condition that he helped the FBI uncover cheque forgers. He has since made a career as a security consultant, working closely with the FBI for almost 40 years, and launching his own company Abagnale & Associates.
[Check out Frank's book "Stealing Your Life: The Ultimate Identity Theft Prevention Plan" at Amazon.com]
Abagnale talked to Wired UK about his past life as a conman, identity theft, the criminal opportunities made possible by the web and the efforts made by governments to fight cybercrime.
How would the technology available today have affected your ability to con people in your early years?
What I did was almost 50 years ago and it’s about 4,000 times easier today to con people than when I did it. To forge a cheque 50 years ago, you needed a Heidelberg printed press, you had to be a skilled printer, know how to do colour separations, negatives, type-setting… those presses were 90 feet long and 18 feet high. There was a lot of work involved in creating a cheque. Today, you open a laptop. If you are going to forge a British Airways cheque, you go to their website, capture the corporate logo and put it in the top right corner. You then put a jet taking off in the background and make a really fancy four-colour cheque in 15 minutes on your computer. You then go down to an office supply store, buy security cheque paper and put it in your colour printer.
Fifty years ago, information was hard to come by. When you created a cheque you had no way of knowing where in reality British Airways’ bank was, who was authorised to sign their cheques and you didn’t know their account number. Today you can call any corporation in the world and tell them you are getting ready to wire them money and they will tell you the bank, the wiring number, the account number. You can then ask for a copy of the annual report and on page three are the signatures of the chairman of the board, the CEO and the treasurer. It’s all on white glossy paper with black ink — scanner ready art. You then just print it onto the cheque.
Technology breeds crime and we are constantly trying to develop technology to stay one step ahead of the person trying to use it negatively.
Can you give me some examples of how technology breeds crime?
If I’m in the airport in London and I take out my iPhone and take a picture of you walking through the airport, I can use PittPatt — an application that used to be used by the FBI but has been bought by Google — for facial recognition. If you are on Facebook [or you are identified by your image online somewhere else, for example a company website] I can find out who you are within seconds. If you happen to tell me where you were born, your date of birth and that kind of information then I’m 98 percent of the way to stealing your identity.
So I tell a lot of the young people that you never want to put a frontal photo of yourself on your Facebook page. Use a photo with a group of friends or doing sport, but never a straight-on funnel photo of yourself.
Another example is a scam involving apps that allow you to scan and deposit cheques using an iPhone. A few weeks ago we had a man out in Kansas City who sold his home and was paid with a cheque for $583,000 (£386,000). He asked for a glass of water and then scanned the cheque with his phone to deposit it into his bank account. When the lady came back, he told her that he’d changed his mind and would prefer for her to wire him the money. He then handed the cheque back and so the buyers then wired him another $583,000. Sometimes I wonder where these people were forty years ago when I needed them!
I think people often develop these tools and then they don’t think about the negative side of them. I wish they would spend a bit of time thinking about how their technology could be used for bad purposes and then try and eliminate that possibility.
Would you say that the art of conning people in the pre-digital age, where you have to charm people and look them in the eye, has died?
Yes. In the old days, a conman would be good looking, suave, well dressed, well spoken and presented themselves real well. Those days are gone because it’s not necessary. The people committing these crimes are doing them from hundreds of miles away. The victim never meets them so it doesn’t matter what he or she looks like. It doesn’t involve charm any more, it’s simply a matter of knowing how to use a computer and get into systems and so on.
Do you have any respect for some of the capabilities?
No. They are breaking the law. But I do understand that some of them are extremely creative. A lot of what happens is our fault. For example, I’ve been involved with the FBI for 37 years. Every case involving cybercrime that I’ve been involved in, I’ve never found a master criminal sitting somewhere in Russia or Hong Kong or Beijing. It always ends up that somebody at the company did something they weren’t supposed to do. They read an email, went to a website they weren’t supposed to. So they opened the door that allowed the person to get in. It’s not that these people are that talented but they wait knowing that with a company of 10,000 employees someone is bound to open the door. They just wait for that door to be open.
How do you make companies understand this?
When I go into companies, I throw [USB] sticks on grounds saying ‘confidential’. And then I can see all of the people who pick those sticks up and plug it into their computer. When they do that, they are greeted with a message that says “this is a test and you failed”. Then I explain that I could have easily got into their system. Most of the time when there’s a security breach at a company it’s because someone was doing something they were not supposed to do. You always have a human link that’s the failure. Read the rest of this entry »
After 17 Years in Prison, Susan Mellen Speaks to Reporters About Being Exonerated in Murder of Homeless ManPosted: October 11, 2014
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) October 11, 2014
SNAP: Protestors in St. Louis Pose American Flag in Front of iPhone to Capture Flag-Burning as they Protest Fatal ShootingPosted: October 9, 2014
— ABC News (@ABC) October 10, 2014
Originally posted on FOX6Now.com:
OCONTO (AP) — A man and a woman have been sentenced to jail terms for having sex in a squad car after they were pulled over for drunken driving in northeastern Wisconsin.
The Oconto County Reporter reports (http://gbpg.net/1uyycCB ) that 33-year-old Travis Husnik, of Luxemburg, and 29-year-old Heather Basten, of New Franken, were being taken to the Oconto County Jail on August 3rd when they started having sex. The deputy stopped them. They were charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and disorderly conduct.
Judge Jay Conley cited Husnik’s lengthy criminal record and history of disrespect to law enforcement when he sentenced Husnik recently to 90 days in jail, with credit for time served since his arrest.
Another judge sentenced Basten separately to time served of 48 days for drunken driving and disorderly conduct.
At least 9,347 civilians have been killed and 17,386 wounded since the beginning of the year, according to the report
ZURICH—More than 9,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the year amid growing human rights abuses by the extremist Islamic State group that has overrun the country’s northern region, according to a United Nations report released Thursday.
“The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering.”
The report said Islamic State and associated armed groups are violating international humanitarian law and committing human rights abuses “with an apparent systematic and widespread character.” The abuses include targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure, abductions, rape and desecration of religious and culturally significant sites. Read the rest of this entry »
Body of missing real estate agent found in shallow grave
(CNN) — The body of missing Arkansas realtor Beverly Carter has been located north of the Little Rock area, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office said early Tuesday.
Her body was found in a shallow grave near Cabot, about 20 miles northeast of central Little Rock.
Arron Lewis, of Jacksonville, will be charged with capital murder, the sheriff’s office said.
The 33-year-old was arrested by authorities Monday.
“Lewis admitted … to kidnapping Beverly Carter, but would not divulge her whereabouts,” the sheriff’s office said. After he was booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility, investigators said they obtained information that led them to the property where the grave was located. Read the rest of this entry »
Originally posted on TIME:
The disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham two weeks ago is the latest in a long series of girls-gone-missing cases that often end tragically. A 32-year-old, 270-pound former football player who fled to Texas has been returned to Virginia and charged with “abduction with intent to defile.” At this date, Hannah’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown.
Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.
Colleges should stick to academics and stop their infantilizing supervision of students’ dating lives, an…
View original 582 more words
Originally posted on TIME:
The main suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham may be connected to the abduction and murder of another young woman in the area five years ago, police revealed on Monday.
Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, 20, was last seen alive on October 17, 2009 after leaving a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, where the university is located. Three months later, her dead body was found in a field. Her murder has not been solved.
On Monday, Virginia State Police said “the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville, Va., provided a significant break in this case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue.”
A Ferguson police officer was shot in the arm Saturday night after encountering two men at a community center who ran from him and then opened fire during a foot chase, authorities said.
“The officer was shot in the arm and is expected to survive, he said. Belmar did not identify the officer or give further details about his condition. He said the officer returned fire but said police have “no indication” that either suspect was shot.”
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a media briefing early Sunday that the officer approached the men around 9:10 p.m. because the community center was closed. As the officer approached, the men ran away. When the officer gave chase, “one of the men turned and shot,” Belmar said.
The officer was shot in the arm and is expected to survive, he said. Belmar did not identify the officer or give further details about his condition. He said the officer returned fire but said police have “no indication” that either suspect was shot.
A search was underway for the suspects early Sunday in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb that’s been the scene of racial unrest in the wake of the August shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. Read the rest of this entry »
A Ferguson police officer was shot Saturday night, according to St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman. The officer,
a woman, is still alive, Schellman said…
UPDATE [VIDEO] NEWS 4 KMOV.COM
Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shot, official says
A Ferguson, Missouri, police officer was shot Saturday evening, according to St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman.
The officer was shot in the arm. His injuries are non-life-threatening and he is in the hospital, said Ferguson police spokesman Tim Zoll.
Police said that the officer was shot near the Ferguson community center, an area which has not been the focus of protests over the Michael Brown shooting.
The suspect remains at large, he said.
Police from multiple forces in the area responded to the scene on West Florissant Road, set up a staging area, KMOV reported…(more)
“…Such rhetoric only ensures that more young black men resist legitimate arrests and escalate police encounters into more fateful territory.”
– Heather Mac Donald
UPDATE: ABC News- Associated Press
(still not much information available..developing)
Authorities said a police officer was shot Saturday night in Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of racial unrest in the wake of the August shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
Tim Zoll of the Ferguson Police Department told KSDK-TV that the officer was shot in the arm. Read the rest of this entry »
The idea that the Ferguson riots were the result of a predatory police force tantamount to sectarian murderers in the Middle East is a poisonous calumny. The threat to America’s blacks comes almost exclusively from other blacks, not from the police.
President Obama has announced to the world that America’s police officers are as disruptive to civil society as Middle Eastern beheaders and Russian-backed rebels.
“Obama is right about one thing: the world did take notice of the Ferguson riots, which were covered obsessively by CNN International, desperate to play up every wisp of alleged racism it could find.”
…Even a local newspaper in Salzburg, Austria, carried a fawning profile of America’s first black attorney general, Eric Holder, and his fight against police racism.
“This last Saturday, a 14-year-old girl was killed on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey, in a drive-by gang shooting. She is the sixth homicide death in the area since a 12-year-old girl was shot in the head while riding a scooter in July…Obama and Eric Holder will have nothing to say about these homicides…”
All the more important, then, for Obama to set the record straight. The idea that the Ferguson riots were the result of a predatory police force tantamount to sectarian murderers in the Middle East is a poisonous calumny. The threat to America’s blacks comes almost exclusively from other blacks, not from the police.
“…In fact, the only government representatives who work day in and day out to stop the black bloodbath are police officers.”
Every year, thousands of African Americans are gunned down by other African Americans, with no attention from the media and local government officials. The homicide death rate for blacks in Los Angeles, for example, like in most other American cities, is ten times that for whites.
“Few are the departments that don’t try to forge bonds with their communities but their officers are still met with resistance, abuse, and hatred from criminals and their associates, and from ordinary people who have been fed a steady diet of anti-police propaganda.”
It’s not whites or police officers who are gunning down black Angelenos, it’s other blacks, killing in cold blood, also at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic homicide commission combined. Read the rest of this entry »
NY Daily News reports: A sharp-shooting Oklahoma food company executive who enjoys quail hunting and leading Boy Scouts is being hailed a hero.
“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it. It could have gotten a lot worse.”
– Sgt. Jeremy Lewis
Mark Vaughan — who also happens to be a reserve officer with the sheriff’s office — leapt to action when his business was under siege by an apparent ISIS copycat.
The chief operating officer of Vaughan Foods Inc. opened fire on Alton Nolen at the food distribution plant in Moore after the lunatic attacked two employees, beheading one and leaving the other in critical condition.
Vaughan is being heralded as a hero by authorities.
“This was not going to stop if he didn’t stop it,” Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told the Associated Press. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”
Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel released a statement Friday afternoon saying Vaughan joined the reserve in June 2010 and is currently assigned to the Patrol Division, is a member of the Fast Action Support Team and is a “highly trained member” of the Tactical Team.
“I am extremely proud of the actions of Deputy Vaughan and I am convinced those actions saved the lives of several other employees.”
– Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel
“Mark put an end to the threat by shooting the suspect and saving the life of a second victim who was being actively attacked by the suspect. There is every reason to believe that the lives of untold others were saved who would have been targeted by the suspect if it hadn’t been for Deputy Vaughan’s actions.” Read the rest of this entry »
A sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect, identified by officials as 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolan. The deceased victim has been identified as 54-year-old Colleen Hufford.
(CNN) — A man has beheaded a woman after a workplace dispute in Oklahoma, U.S. law enforcement officials told CNN on Friday. He also tried to kill another woman, officials said.
The incident happened late Thursday afternoon at a Vaughan Foods processing plant in Moore, about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.
There were no immediate indications of a link to terrorism, officials said.
A sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect, identified by officials as 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolan.
He was taken a hospital and is expected to survive.
UPDATE: FBI looking into Moore beheading after suspect tried to convert others to Islam
UPDATE: No evidence of link to terror groups
New details from NBC:
The circumstances of Nolen’s firing weren’t made public. Some co-workers told police that he had recently converted to Islam and had been trying to convert them. Law enforcement officials told NBC News that his conversion took place during his recent stint in prison, which ended in March 2013, records show. A search of his home and car didn’t immediately yield any connection to radical fundamentalism and there’s no indication he had been in contact with terrorists groups such as ISIS, sources said.
Local authorities are working with the FBI to do an extensive background investigation on Nolen, Lewis said. Law enforcement officials say they are looking into his online activities and whether a Facebook page that contains materials with terrorist and fundamentalist themes was maintained by Nolen under an alias. Nolen does have an extensive rap sheet, including assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention, according to NBC affiliate KFOR.
The Moore Police Department released the 911 tapes associated with the attack.
MOORE, Okla. – KFOR-TV reports: Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.
“No link to terrorism.” What does this mean? Is there like a terrorist guild that approves acts of terrorism?
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) September 26, 2014
Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.
He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.
“Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.”
Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.
Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”
At that point, Lewis claims Nolen met 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.
Officials say at that point, Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.
“He’s a hero in this situation,” Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”
Authorities say it appears Nolen was attacking employees at random.
Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital, recovering from her injuries.
The FBI is now looking into Nolen’s background after his former co-workers said he tried to convert them to Islam after recently converting himself. [See the text of the 911 tapes] Read the rest of this entry »
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) September 25, 2014
Earlier this week it was revealed that US spy planes are flying above Britain monitoring telephone and computer signals in a bid to track down Jihadi John
But Mr Comey told reporters at the agency’s headquarters he would not reveal the man’s name or his nationality.
Comey did not address whether the U.S. believes the man actually carried out the killings himself.
“Electronic footprints might help us pinpoint the location of the British IS executioner because we believe there are associates of his in the UK who are directly communicating with him.”
– FBI source
The beheadings are not shown in the videos.
In the three videos, the man speaks British-accented English.
He holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting the three men, American journalists James Foley, 40, and Steven Sotloff, 31, as well as British aid worker, David Haines, 44.
The executioner, who has a British accent, is one of four British jihadis known as the ‘Beatles’ holding hostages in Syria.
Today British officials would not say if the identity had been shared with the authorities on London, and would not be drawn on whether any arrests are imminent.
A Home Office spokeswoman said: ‘We won’t be commenting on matters of security at this stage.’