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[REWIND] Remember That Time, When Lynch and Clinton Struck a Deal on That Plane

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REWIND: July 2016, Katie Pavlich reported: Just one week before FBI Director James Comey announced the Bureau would not recommend charges be filed against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for storing and transferring top secret, classified information on multiple private, unsecured email servers, Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on her private jet in Phoenix.

After being caught by a local reporter, Lynch claimed the email investigation wasn’t discussed and that social topics like grandchildren and golf were the topics of the day. She said the same yesterday during congressional testimony.

But according to a report from the New York Post, FBI agents believe an inside deal was struck on that plane to keep Hillary Clinton free of indictment. Considering the severe retaliation inside the Obama administration against those who speak out, FBI agents are cited anonymously. FBI agents investigating the Clinton email servers were also forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

In an unusual move, FBI agents working the Hillary Clinton e-mail case had to sign a special form reminding them not to blab about the probe to anyone unless called to testify. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andrew McCarthy: What Was Cheryl Mills Doing There?

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Andrew C. McCarthy writes:

…Among the most eye-popping claims Clinton made to the FBI was that she was unfamiliar with the markings on classified documents. Yes, you read that correctly: one of the highest ranking national security officials in the United States government – an official whose day-to-day responsibilities extensively involved classified information; who had secure facilities installed in her two homes (in addition to her office) so she could review classified information in them; and who acknowledged to the FBI that, as secretary of state, she was designated by the president as “an Original Classification Authority,” meaning she had the power to determine what information should be classified and at what level – had the audacity to tell the interviewing agents that she did not know what the different classification symbols in classified documents signified…

“I nearly fell out of my chair upon reading the very first paragraph of the notes of Clinton’s interview, which identifies the lawyers for Clinton who were permitted to be present for the interview. Among them is Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s longtime confidant and chief-of-staff at the State Department.”

…Clinton also claimed that she “did not pay attention to the ‘level’ of classified information.” The interview notes do not explain how the FBI squared this with, for example, (a) Clinton’s acknowledgement that top-secret “special access program” (SAP) information was delivered to her by paper in her office and she knew it was supposed to be handled with extraordinary care; and (b) Clinton’s admission that she made use of her Original Classification Authority at times (though she couldn’t say how often). That means she had to have assigned to some information the very classification levels with which she portrays herself as scarcely familiar.

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

We also learn in the FBI documents not only that Mrs. Clinton frequently lost her Blackberry devices, but that the FBI failed to account for some thirteen of them, most if not all of which she used while transmitting the over 2,000 classified emails the FBI identified.

Clintons land in Haiti to showcase industrial park

“As Clinton’s chief-of-staff, Mills was intimately involved in issues related to Clinton’s private email set up, the discussions about getting her a secure BlackBerry similar to President Obama’s, and questions that were raised (including in FOIA requests) about Clinton’s communications.That is to say, Mills was an actor in the facts that were under criminal investigation by the FBI.”

Clinton aides told the FBI that her devices – loaded with stored emails – would at times disappear and their whereabouts would become unknown. Interestingly, in the notes of Mrs. Clinton’s interview, the FBI says she told them that her BlackBerry devices would occasionally “malfunction”; when this happened, “[h]er aides would assist in obtaining a new BlackBerry.” I have not yet found indications that the FBI asked her about lost rather than malfunctioning devices.

[Full text here, at National Review]

We do learn, though, that on February 9, 2016, the Justice Department asked Clinton’s lawyers to turn over all 13 mobile devices that the FBI identified as having potentially transmitted emails. Almost two weeks later, on February 22, the lawyers told the FBI “they were unable to locate any of these devices.” As a result, the notes recount, “the FBI was unable to acquire or forensically examine any of these 13 mobile devices.” Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: FBI Releases Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Documents

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The materials include what appears to be a summary of Clinton’s interview with agents.

Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman report: The FBI on Friday released a detailed report on its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, as well as what appears to be a summary of her interview with agents, providing the most thorough look yet at the probe that has dogged the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee.

“The FBI’s investigation and forensic analysis did not find evidence confirming that Clinton’s e-mail accounts or mobile devices were compromised by cyber means. However, investigative limitations, including the FBI’s inability to obtain all mobile devices and various computer components associated with Clinton’s personal e-mail systems, prevented the FBI from conclusively determining whether the classified information transmitted and stored on Clinton’s personal server systems was compromised via cyber intrusion or other means.”

The documents, which total 58 pages, do not seem to provide any major revelations about Clinton’s actions — though they paint her and her staff as either unaware of or unconcerned with State Department policies on email use. The materials also show that the FBI was unable to track down all of Clinton’s devices, including phones, it sought, and that made it impossible for agents to definitively answer every question they had, including whether Clinton’s emails were hacked.

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“The FBI’s investigation and forensic analysis did not find evidence confirming that Clinton’s e-mail accounts or mobile devices were compromised by cyber means,” the author of the report wrote. “However, investigative limitations, including the FBI’s 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368inability to obtain all mobile devices and various computer components associated with Clinton’s personal e-mail systems, prevented the FBI from conclusively determining whether the classified information transmitted and stored on Clinton’s personal server systems was compromised via cyber intrusion or other means.”

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

FBI Director James B. Comey announced in July that his agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server. Comey said that Clinton and her staffers were “extremely careless” in how they treated classified information, but investigators did not find they intended to mishandle such material. Nor did investigators uncover exacerbating factors — such as efforts to obstruct justice — that often lead to charges in similar cases, Comey said.

The FBI turned over to several congressional committees documents related to the probe and required that they be viewed only by those with appropriate security clearances, even though not all of the material was classified, legislators and their staffers have said.

Those documents included an investigative report and summaries of interviews with more than a dozen senior Clinton staffers, other State Department officials, former secretary of state Colin Powell and at least one other person. The documents released Friday represent but a fraction of those.

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A summary prepared by FBI agents of their hours-long interview with Clinton in July shows that Clinton’s account to law enforcement was generally consistent with what she has said about her email situation publicly, though she repeatedly told agents she could not recall important details or specific emails she was questioned about.

She told the agents that she began using the private server as a matter of convenience and denied the set-up was intended to help evade public records laws. She indicated she never sought nor received permission to use a private server and said she largely turned over the set-up of the system to aides. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Michael Mukasey on Hillary, Homeland Security, and the Courts 

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey uses his legal expertise to tackle the FBI’s verdict on the Hillary Clinton email scandal, the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies, the objectivity of judges, and more in this Viewpoint interview.

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Two Benghazi Parents Sue Hillary Clinton for Wrongful Death, Defamation 

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The parents of two Americans killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday against Hillary Clinton.PANTSUIT-REPORT

“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information.”

In the suit, Patricia Smith and Charles Woods, the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods, claim that Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server contributed to the attacks. They also accuse her of defaming them in public statements.

Smith was an information management officer and Woods was a security officer, both stationed in Benghazi.

“The Benghazi attack was directly and proximately caused, at a minimum by defendant Clinton’s ‘extreme carelessness’ in handling confidential and classified information,” such as the location of State Department employees in Libya, the lawsuit said.

While no such connection has ever been established, their lawsuit called it “highly probable” that Clinton sent and received information about the activities of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Such information, the lawsuit claimed, “easily found its way to foreign powers” and was then obtained by Islamic terrorists. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Half-Brother Says What?

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President Obama’s Kenyan half-brother wants to make America great again — so he’s voting for Donald Trump.

“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart,” Malik Obama told The Post from his home in the rural village of Kogelo. “Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.”

“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart. Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.”

 – Malik Obama

Obama, 58, a longtime Democrat, said his “deep disappointment” in his brother Barack’s administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to “the party of Lincoln.”front7

The last straw, he said, came earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail servers while secretary of state

“She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” said Obama.

He’s also annoyed that Clinton and President Obama killed Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy, whom he called one of his best friends.

Malik Obama dedicated his 2012 biography of his late father to Khadafy and others who were “making this world a better place.” Read the rest of this entry »


Obama: ‘I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case’

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President Obama repeatedly vowed there would be no political influence over the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state — in a wide-ranging interview with Fox News Sunday in which he also ardently defended his efforts to defeat the Islamic State and other terror groups amid criticism about his perceived indifference.

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“Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”

— President Barack Obama

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case,” Obama told “Fox News Sunday.” “Nobody is above the law. How many times do I have to say it?”

His remarks came less than three months after White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest publicly downplayed a possible indictment for Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »


Justice Department to Apple: ‘Never Mind’

Tim Cook

The Justice Department is expected to withdraw from its legal action against Apple, as soon as today, as an outside method to bypass the locking function of a San Bernardino terrorist’s phone has proved successful, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

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[Read the full story here, at USAToday]

The official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the method brought to the FBI earlier this month by an unidentified entity allows investigators to crack the security function without erasing contents of the iPhone used by Syed Farook, who with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, carried out the December mass shooting that left 14 dead.

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Monday’s withdrawal would culminate six weeks of building tensions.

The foes were poised to exchange legal body blows in a court room in Riverside, Calif., last week before the Justice Department belatedly asked for — and was granted — a postponement.

“It’s not about one phone. It’s very much about the future. You have a guy in Manhattan saying I’ve got a hundred and seventy-five phones that I want to take through this process. You’ve got other cases springing up all over the place where they want phones taken through the process. So it’s not about one phone, and they know it’s not about one phone.”

— Apple CEO Tim Cook, in an interview with Time last week.

Since a federal magistrate in California in mid-February ordered the company to assist the FBI in gaining access to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook’s seized iPhone, the legal filings and rhetoric between the world’s most valuable technology company and one of the largest crime-fighting organizations in the world had sharpened into verbal vitriol.

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This month, Apple said the “Founding Fathers would be appalled” because the government’s order to unlock the iPhone was based on non-existent authority asserted by the DOJ. Read the rest of this entry »


250,000 Refugees Have Disappeared After Entering Germany 

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Perhaps they should put their faces on milk cartons.

Rick Moran writes: German authorities are searching for 12 refugees from Syria who entered the country using fake passports from the same source used by the Paris attackers. The passports were reportedly stolen from a passport office in Raqqa, the unofficial capital of Islamic State, in 2013 following the city’s capture.

The news comes a week after two men were arrested at a refugee center on suspicion of having links to the Paris STAMP-panic-red-250attacks. The men entered the country at the same time as the Paris attackers and were also using false Syrian passports.

[Read the full story here, at PJ Media]

But Germany’s problems go far beyond a few potential terrorists with false passports. The German newspaper Bild is reporting that more than 250,000 of the refugees who have entered the country this year cannot be located because the system of registering refugees was so bad.

The Telegraph:

Asylum-seekers are expected to register after their arrival in the country, but overburdened refugee offices mean many are left waiting for weeks or have to be taken hundreds of miles by bus to be registered in different cities.Thousands are disappearing after entering the country and never registering. Border officials do not even take fingerprints of arriving asylum-seekers, it has emerged.

Those who do not register have no entitlement to benefits, but there are concerns they may be disappearing into the black economy or other criminal activities…(read more)

That’s a lot of people to be “lost” in Europe.  I suppose it doesn’t do any good to state the obvious; you have to wonder how many of those “refugees” have been infiltrated by any number of terror groups…(read more)

Source: PJ Media


Betsy McCaughey: Hillary’s Blindness to Muslim Extremists is Dangerous

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers a question during a town hall event at Old Brick Church and Community Center in Iowa City, Iowa, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Betsy McCaughey writes: Hillary Clinton chose Minneapolis — with its growing enclave of fundamentalist Muslim refugees — to announce her plan to combat terrorism on Tuesday. That’s like choosing Baskin-Robbins to announce your weight-loss plans.

Clinton offered little more than platitudes like: “We have to do more to address the challenge of radicalization.” Meanwhile, that challenge was right under her nose.

“Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for ’empowering Muslim-American communities.’ But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.”

The city’s huge Somali refugee population makes it a symbol of the problem, not the solution. Some 30,000 have been placed there by the federal government. Many of them say they would rather live under Islamic religious law — Sharia — than American law, and resist adapting to American ways. Their ideology makes them ripe for jihadization.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley take the stage during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley take the stage during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

“Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction.”

Indeed, dozens of young men from this Muslim enclave have left to fight with radical Islamists in Somalia and Syria. “We have a terror recruiting problem in Minnesota,” reports Andy Luger, a federal prosecutor there.

The key to Hillary’s anti-terrorism plan is the empty hope that Muslims in America will self-police. “They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.” Don’t count on it. As the ongoing San Bernardino shooting investigation shows, even Muslims who aren’t stockpiling AK-47s can’t be counted on to report what their family members or acquaintances are doing.

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

Clinton saved her scorn for Americans, saying they should be ashamed for demonizing Muslims here. She called for “empowering Muslim-American communities.” But which Muslim-Americans is she talking about? Some Muslims are our friends, but others want to kill us. That’s true here — and worldwide.

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“A Pew Research report tells us where the danger spots are. A shocking 99 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims, 91 percent of Iraqi Muslims and 84 percent of Pakistani Muslims identify themselves as fundamentalists who favor Sharia law.”

Clinton took aim at Donald Trump’s proposal to suspend all Muslims from coming to the United States. But Trump’s idea is not as dangerous as Hillary’s insistence that anti-Muslim rhetoric is what incites Muslims to terrorism. That’s delusional.

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“Equally jaw-dropping, 39 percent of Afghanistan’s Muslims say they consider violent acts such as suicide bombings always or sometimes justified ‘in defense of Islam.'”

Moderate Muslims here are not a problem. But fundamentalist Muslims pose a high risk. Hillary cheerfully overlooked this distinction. Read the rest of this entry »


FBI Says San Bernardino Suspects Did Not Post Islamic Jihad Pledge on Social Media

FBI Director James Comey appeared to refute a report that said that Tashfeen Malik had pledged her support for Islamic jihad on Facebook messages and saying she hoped to join the fight one day.

At a press conference in New York on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey said that no evidence had been found to indicate that the couple who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino, California, on December 2 were members of a terrorist cell or had any contact with overseas militant groups. Most notably, he said that Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his 29-year-old wife, Tashfeen Malik, had expressed support for “jihad and martyrdom” in private communications but never did so on social media.

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“We have found no evidence of a posting on social media by either of them at that period of time or thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom. I’ve seen some reporting on that. That’s a garble. Alright?”

The statement appeared to contradict a report that appeared in the Los Angeles Times citing two unnamed federal law enforcement officials who said that Malik “sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day.” The messages were reportedly written in Urudu, a common language in Pakistan. One of the officials was quoted as saying the messages were “her private communications.”

“The investigation continues, but we have not found that kind of thing. These communications are private, direct messages, not social media messages.”

— FBI Director James Comey

“We have found no evidence of a posting on social media by either of them at that period of time or thereafter reflecting their commitment to jihad or to martyrdom,” Comey said. “I’ve seen some reporting on that. That’s a garble. Alright? The investigation continues, but we have not found that kind of thing. These communications are private, direct messages, not social media messages.”

[Read the full story here, at VICE News]

It remains unclear whether Malik had declared loyalty to the Islamic State on Facebook on the morning that she and Farook killed 14 people who were attending an employee holiday party at a state-run facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.

A report first appeared on CNN and later circulated elsewhere citing unnamed US officials who said that Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State using a Facebook account that was registered under a different name. The sources did not say how they knew for certain that Malik made the post. Read the rest of this entry »


Reality Check: CAIR = Hamas

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Jordan Schachtel writes: An FBI chart has surfaced depicting connections between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the chart shows CAIR falling under the umbrella of the jihadi outfit.

This FBI chart details the Hamas-related groups, which included CAIR, that were created to ultimately support the Palestinian terrorist organization. It also established Nabil Sadoun’s (former CAIR national board of directors member and vice chairman) connections to Hamas.

The IPT also obtained groundbreaking new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents that trail CAIR back to its roots as a subversive Hamas-related group.

In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, a Hamas financing case that would result in the FBI ceasingits working relationship with CAIR. The HLF trial was the largest terror-financing case in American history. In 2008, during a retrial of the HLF case, an FBI Special Agent labeled CAIR as “a front group for Hamas” during her trial testimony. In 2010, a federal judge reiterated that his court had “ample evidence” that CAIR wasinvolved in “a conspiracy to support Hamas.” CAIR, which relies upon millions of dollars in Saudi cash, was recently listed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a terrorist organization.

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IPT FOIA

The group, which fashions itself as a civil rights voice for American Muslims, was founded by members of the Palestine Committee (PALCOM), an organization “established to support Hamas,” according to the chart. Nihad Awad, currently CAIR’s executive director, was previously an official at PALCOM.

The FBI declaration submitted in connection with removal proceedings for Nabil Sadoun (a former top CAIR official) said PALCOM members used coded language to discuss the “true nature” of their clandestine operations in support of Hamas. Read the rest of this entry »


AP Sues Feds Over Fake News Story 

Federal documents revealed that an FBI agent had pretended to be an AP reporter in order to target a teenager suspected of making bomb threats to a local high school in 2007. The agent fabricated a draft of an AP story and placed it on a website made to look like The Seattle Times in order to plant malicious software on the suspect’s computer.

Julian Hattem reports: The Associated Press is bringing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking information about the government’s use of a fake news story to catch a teenager suspected of calling in bomb threats.

“We cannot overstate how damaging it is for federal agents to pose as journalists. This practice undermines the credibility of the independent news media, and should not be tolerated.”

Along with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the AP asked a district court on Thursday to force the department to turn over records regarding the FBI’s impersonation of a journalist and creation of a fake story in 2007.

“Yet while the public clearly has a strong, compelling interest in knowing more about the FBI’s use of this tactic, the FBI seems determined to withhold that information. We have been left with no choice but to look to the court for relief.”

— Katie Townsend, the litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Reporters from the two organizations submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests soon after news of the sting came to light in October but have not received any records in response, they said.

[Read the full story here, at TheHill]

“We cannot overstate how damaging it is for federal agents to pose as journalists,” Katie Townsend, the litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said in a statement. “This practice undermines the credibility of the independent news media, and should not be tolerated. Read the rest of this entry »


FBI Director James Comey’s Stunning Insight

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…Comey on Friday attributed the problem to incomplete and inaccurate paperwork related to an arrest of Dylann Roof weeks before the shooting.

He says an FBI examiner who looked into Roof’s background when he tried to purchase a gun never saw an arrest report in which police say he admitted to possessing drugs. The arresting agency was listed erroneously on the rap sheet that the examiner reviewed. Read the rest of this entry »


Surveillance-Proof

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First Apple and then Google announced that they would use encryption on new phones that wouldn’t permit them to help police execute warrants to examine data on a cell phone or other device.

For City Journal, Judith Miller writes: Law enforcement officials in New York and Washington criticized technology superpowers Google and Apple this week for selling cell phones and other devices that cannot be accessed by the government, warning that such technology jeopardizes public safety.

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Judith Miller is a contributing editor of City Journal, and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute

In his first major policy address, FBI director James B. Comey called on Congress and the Obama administration to counter the expanding use of such devices, which he and other law enforcement officials assert endanger efforts to prevent terrorism and fight crime. Without lawful government access to cell phones and Internet devices, Comey warned, “homicide cases could be stalled, suspects could walk free, and child exploitation victims might not be identified or recovered.”

“Law enforcement officials many legitimate ways to obtain the data stored on our devices. Weakening the security of smartphones and trusted communications infrastructure should not be one of them.”

— Nuala O’Connor, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology

Comey, who became FBI director last year, said that he understood Americans’ “justifiable surprise” at former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S. government surveillance practices. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dinesh D’Souza: ‘Vindictive’ Obama Sees Critics ‘Not Merely as People Who Disagree, but as Enemies’

dsouzaEvan McMurry  writes:  Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza speculated to Megyn Kelly Friday night that FBI’s indictment of him for campaign finance fraud may be Alinsky-style political retribution for his anti-Obama film 2016. Earlier this week, four Senators sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey demanding an explanation for what they termed the “selective prosecution” of D’Souza.

“I am a public critic of the president and I do recognize this has made me vulnerable to a form of counterattack…”

He added that Obama, whom he characterized as “vindictive,” had released a video response to 2016 on his website, proving the film had gotten under the president’s skin.

“…there is a sense here that Obama treats his critics not merely as people who disagree, but as enemies.”

 

[Order Dinesh D’Souza’s insightful, controversial film  2016 Obama’s America from Amazon]

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Mediaite

More on Dinesh D’Souza at punditfromanotherplanet.com

Read the rest of this entry »


CNN bombshell: Dozens of CIA operatives were on the ground during the Benghazi attack

 Agency in panic over revelations

POSTED AT 6:31 PM ON AUGUST 1, 2013 BY ALLAHPUNDIT

What kind of panic are we talking about here? Actual quote from agency “insider” communications obtained by CNN: “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

The word of the day is “unprecedented.” Phony scandal no more:

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings…

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career…

Another [insider] says, “You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.”…

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

Thirty-five Americans on the ground, 21 at the CIA annex. Maybe the skeletal security crew at the consulate wasn’t as skeletal as thought. Is that what happened here — not so much a security vacuum as a security presence so secret that it couldn’t be revealed publicly, despite the White House being pounded over its failures for months afterwards? None of which is to say that they shouldn’t have had more security; the consulate and annex were overrun regardless, no matter how many people were there. But maybe that helps explain why the formal security presence wasn’t bigger: There was a lot of CIA in the area and maybe the White House didn’t want to attract attention to what they were doing there by inserting a squad of Marines to patrol the grounds. We already had an inkling of that, in fact, per thisinteresting but vague WSJ story from last November, which argued that the CIA’s role in the city appeared to be more important than thought. (“The consulate provided diplomatic cover for the classified CIA operations.”) CNN itself followed up in May by reporting that“the larger mission in Benghazi was covert” and alleging that there were more Americans there tied to the CIA — 20 of 30 in all — than to State’s diplomatic presence.

Read the rest of this entry »