Archive for the ‘Investigations’ Category
It’s bad enough when Hillary’s campaign spokesman tries spinning his way out of the predicament Hillary created. That’s what he’s paid to do. It’s quite another when the media, in this case CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, start playing the roll of Hillary apologist.
Toobin went straight to the ‘the government classifies too many documents’ card, saying “She is now suffering from that because people are saying there’s all this classified information she’s dealing with, but there is not a bright line between classified and unclassified, and you can see, at least to a certain extent, why she was not clear on what was what.” Hillary’s biggest problem thus far is that the Intelligence Community IG identified multiple emails that had the highest security clearance, that of SAP or special access programs. The only people with a security clearance high enough to read this information other than the President and Vice President are the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the director of the CIA and the director of National Intelligence and their deputies. That’s right. Only 10 people have a clearance to read SAPs in the entire government.
That’s because this information identifies drone deployments, submarine deployments and spies who have infiltrated terrorist networks and cells. If this information gets into the wrong hands, people will die. That’s why it’s tightly held information.
There’s no doubt that the federal government classifies too many documents. That isn’t what’s at issue here. What’s at issue is this nation’s most sensitive information. It isn’t unreasonable to expect the Secretary of State to guard that information with her life.
Normally, Kirsten Powers is one of the somewhat sane liberals in the national media. Ms. Powers’ latest USA Today article proves that there’s an exception to every rule.
The subject of Ms. Powers’ latest column is last week’s Benghazi hearing. According to Ms. Powers, who seems to have digested the Democrats’ chanting points then regurgitated them for this column, Republicans “bungling and bullying at Thursday’s hearing should count as an in-kind donation to the Clinton campaign.” Of course, Ms. Powers then said that what “happened in Benghazi matters” before saying that “investigating security failures, especially those that resulted in the deaths of Americans, is a laudable endeavor.”
Unfortunately, she then asked “does anyone really believe that’s what the Republicans were up to last week?”
The reason I suspect that this is a world-class spin job is this question:
But is it really a mystery as to why a friend of at least two decades would have her email address?
That’s spin. It isn’t surprising that Sid Blumenthal would have Hillary’s email address. It’s that Christopher Stevens didn’t have it. This emphasizes the point:
“During the hearing Michael McFaul tweeted, “As ambassador in Russia, I enjoyed multiple ways to communicate with Secretary Clinton. Email was never one of them.”
Actually, McFaul might’ve highlighted something important in that tweet. Clearly, he was able to “communicate with Secretary Clinton.” Why wasn’t Ambassador Stevens able to communicate directly with Mrs. Clinton? It’s clear that Stevens tried getting Mrs. Clinton’s attention often. According to documentation introduced at the hearing, Christopher Stevens literally made hundreds of requests for additional security.
According to Mrs. Clinton’s testimony, she never received a single request. She said that she “neither rejected or approved” any of Christopher Stevens’ security requests.
Ms. Powers says that “hate-blinded Republicans” bungled the hearing. That’s a cheap shot and then some. Republicans weren’t blinded with hate. They were determined to find out why Mrs. Clinton failed to protect Christopher Stevens, the man Mrs. Clinton called her “dear friend.” Is it typical for Mrs. Clinton to treat dear friends like that? If it is, then I’m thankful I’m not one of Hillary’s dear friends.
Does Ms. Powers think that it isn’t a big deal that Mrs. Clinton repeatedly told the American people for well over a week that a video caused the terrorist attack after telling her daughter that it was a terrorist attack? Does Ms. Powers think it isn’t a big deal that Mrs. Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister and the Libyan president that Christopher Stevens died in a terrorist attack?
If asking tough questions of Mrs. Clinton is bullying, then this nation’s best days are in its past. If trying to hold Mrs. Clinton accountable for her decisions is proof that Republicans hat Mrs. Clinton, then Ms. Powers has a dramatically different definition of hatred than I do. Does Ms. Powers think Mike Pompeo bullied Mrs. Clinton when he asked her why nobody at the State Department got fired for not approving Christopher Stevens’ requests for additional security? Does Ms. Powers think Susan Brooks bullied Mrs. Clinton when she asked Mrs. Clinton if she ever talked with Christopher Stevens after he was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Libya?
Personally, I’d call those important, thoughtful questions proof that Republicans on that committee took their jobs seriously.
Finally, I’d love hearing Ms. Powers response to whether these questions are either a) inappropriate or b) proof that I’m trying to bully Mrs. Clinton.
During her testimony Thursday at the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Hillary Clinton made some exotic statements that require follow-up questioning. During Rep. Adam Schiff’s, (D-CA), first round of questioning, Hillary testified that “I’ve thought more about what happened than all the rest of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all the rest of you put together. I have been racking my brain about what more could’ve been done or should’ve been done.”
Stephen Hayes’ article includes a quote from Charles Woods, the father of murdered American patriot Ty Woods, about what he was looking for at the hearing. In the quote, Mr. Woods said “The truth, hopefully.” One of the unasked questions from Thursday’s hearing relates to Mrs. Clinton’s statement that she’s racked her brain about what more could’ve been done. The proper follow-up questions should’ve been ‘Mrs. Clinton, while you were thinking about what more could’ve been done, did you think that you should’ve contacted Christopher Stevens directly? After all, you knew from your daily CIA briefings that the security situation in Benghazi was rapidly deteriorating. At minimum, shouldn’t you have directed your staff in charge of embassy security to contact Ambassador Stevens directly to see if his security was adequate?’
Another important question that didn’t get asked was with regards to the steep decline in email traffic between Mrs. Clinton and her staff about Libya. In 2011, there were sometimes hourly updates on Libya. The stack of printed out emails for 2011 was almost a foot high. The pile of emails for 2012 was 67 pages. Mrs. Clinton explained that little of her communications were via email. The proper follow-up question should’ve been ‘How do you explain the significant use of emails in 2011 to the virtual elimination of using emails to communicate in 2012? Mrs. Clinton, what caused you to virtually stop using emails in 2012 after using prolific amounts of emails in 2011?
During one of his outbursts, Elijah Cummings wondered aloud why people focused on Sid Blumenthal. The easy explanation is that Mrs. Clinton promptly replied to more than 180 of Mr. Blumenthal’s emails compared with Mrs. Clinton’s testimony that she never approved or rejected Christopher Stevens’ requests for additional security because they never got to her desk.
The logical question at that point should’ve been ‘Mrs. Clinton, how can you justify prompt responses, many of which happened while you were in the State Department Building, to an employee at the Clinton Foundation, especially considering the fact that you never responded to security requests from your ambassador serving in one of the biggest hot spots for terror in the world? Shouldn’t you have put a higher priority on making sure U.S. ambassadors are safe than you put on responding to Clinton Foundation employees?’
During questioning by Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-OH), the American people found out that Mrs. Clinton told daughter Chelsea that “two” people had been killed by al-Qa’ida-inspired terrorists less than an hour after she’d issued an official statement that suggested a video sparked an attack in Benghazi. Here’s part of Mrs. Clinton’s testimony:
And if you look at what I said, I referred to the video that night in a very specific way. I said, some have sought to justify the attack because of the video.
The logical question should be which people “have sought to justify the attack because of the video”?
Isn’t it reasonable to say that Mrs. Clinton’s priorities were badly wrong? Isn’t it reasonable to ask why she put a higher priority on taking time during a terrorist attack to tell her daughter about a terrorist attack while the terrorist attack was still being fought? In 2008, Mrs. Clinton ran a campaign ad about a phone call coming in at 3:00 am that suggested she, not Barack Obama, was the only one prepared to take that call.
The call from Libya came in at 5:00 pm ET. Mrs. Clinton and President Obama both failed to protect Christopher Stevens and 3 other American Patriots. Then they failed to tell the American people the truth about the terrorists’ coordinated attacks. Doesn’t that mean that the biggest unanswered question should be whether either of them was qualified to be commander-in-chief?
Here’s Hillary’s racking my brain video:
Nobody will ever be able to accuse Lanny Davis of not being loyal to Hillary Clinton. In fact, the accusation that people could make is that he’s so loyal to Hillary Clinton that he’s willing to shill for Hillary rather than doing the right thing for the nation.
This morning, Davis’ op-ed instructs Republicans to ask Hillary some questions, starting with “Secretary Clinton, can you tell us why you appointed the Accountability Review Board, chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Michael Mullen, to investigate the Benghazi tragedy and what was the result of their work?”
Davis then replies that if Republicans did that they’d find “she gave the board, led by a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under Republican President George H.W. Bush and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, complete independence and access. She committed ahead of time, unlike any prior secretaries before her, to full transparency. And when she published the full report (except for some classified material), she immediately accepted all the board’s recommendations to correct “systemic failures” of the department prior to and during the tragedy, and took responsibility.”
It’s a great question if your interest is to distract attention away from the ARB’s failure to actually investigate the murder of 4 American patriots. Mssrs. Pickering and Mullen didn’t interview any of the high ranking officials in the State Department who were responsible for security in Benghazi. They didn’t question Secretary Clinton about what information got to her desk. They didn’t ask her if she was aware of the increasing terrorist activity in the area. They didn’t ask her why Christopher Stevens’ urgent requests for additional security were rejected. They didn’t ask Secretary Clinton why her senior staff reduced Christopher Stevens’ security staff in Benghazi.
That’s before asking them why they didn’t bother getting Secretary Clinton’s emails or getting Christopher Stevens’ emails. Without communications documentation between Hillary’s senior staff and Christopher Stevens, it’s impossible to know who failed to protect Christopher Stevens.
Anyone that thinks that the ARB did a thorough investigation isn’t worth listening to. I’m being charitable when I say that the ARB’s investigation and report are incomplete.
Secretary Clinton, as you know, seven other congressional committees have investigated the Benghazi attack. Is there anything they missed that we should be looking into?
Of course, if Gowdy and the Republican members ask this question, they will have to try to explain why their committee exists at all (other than the anti-Clinton reason that everyone knows) unless they are willing to criticize other Republican Benghazi committees for not doing an adequate job, such as the Republican-controlled House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, which published extensive reports and findings about Benghazi.
I’m perfectly willing to accuse these other committees of not conducting a thorough investigation. They didn’t know that Hillary had a private, unsecured, email server. That’s a glaring, unforgiveable, mistake that these 7 committees made.
It’s proof that they didn’t conduct thorough investigations.
Secretary Clinton, did your choice to use a single BlackBerry to send out emails during your tenure as secretary of State rather than two, or your decision to store emails on a private server at your home, have any impact whatsoever on the tragic events of what happened at Benghazi and its aftermath?
Of course, the truthful, and indisputable, answer to this question is: No. Gowdy and his fellow Republicans know this.
Every single member who asks any question about emails, Gowdy, Brooks, Jordan, Pompeo, Roby, Roskam and Westmoreland, should be asked by the media and all constituents back home who care about wasteful government spending: How can you justify spending almost $5 million of taxpayer money when you have uncovered nothing new, duplicated spending by fellow Republicans, and have spent so much time on a subject having nothing to do with the tragedy at Benghazi?
Mr. Davis, how do you know that this committee hasn’t uncovered new information? While it’s certain that committee Democrats have funneled information to the Clinton campaign, I’m equally certain that Mr. Davis would be willing to ignore new information, especially if it’s damaging to Hillary, in writing a dishonest op-ed while defending Secretary Clinton’s indefensible actions.
First, Kevin McCarthy insisted that the House Select Committee on Benghazi was designed to cut into Hillary Clinton’s favorable/unfavorable ratings. It didn’t matter that Rep. McCarthy was an outsider. His words were treated like they were etched in stone tablets atop Mount Sinai. Now, another outsider, Rep. Richard Hanna, (R-NY), has stepped forward to opine that the Benghazi Committee is all about politics. When Rep. Hanna said “This may not be politically correct, but I think that there was a big part of this investigation that was designed to go after people and an individual, Hillary Clinton”, he said it without confirming what the Committee has spent its time doing.
Simply put, it’s an uninformed opinion. If Rep. Hanna would’ve said that he talked with committee staff who showed him documentation showing that they’d been pulled off of one investigation to start investigating Hillary, and if Rep. Hanna named the committee staffer, then I’d have something concrete to buy into.
Rep. Hanna later said “After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not. I think that’s the way Washington works. But you’d like to expect more from a committee that’s spent millions of dollars and tons of time.”
Listen to those weasel words:
it’s difficult to accept at least a part of it was not.
If Rep. Hanna had documented proof, he wouldn’t have to accept anything. He’d be able to say that he can provide documentation that proves that part of the Committee’s assignment was to cripple Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.
Forgive me for being skeptical but I can’t classify this as anything but ironclad innuendo.
Nancy Pelosi’s statement about the House Republicans’ plan to vote to defund Planned Parenthood is typical Democratic spin. Ms. Pelosi’s statement that “House Republicans are planning yet another taxpayer-funded Select Committee to burn more of the millions of taxpayer dollars they’ve already spent playing politics – this time with the goal of taking lifesaving preventative care away from millions of American women” is particularly offensive.
It’s offensive because the alternative to investigating Planned Parenthood’s activities is to turn a blind eye towards Planned Parenthood’s activities. That’s the Democrats’ pattern. If anyone wants to scrutinize one of their ‘sacred cow’ institutions, the Democrats’ reflexive reaction is to accuse the people who want to examine that institution’s activities as being haters.
Kirsten Powers’ USA Today article on the Gosnell murder trial provides a powerful picture of what happens when people stop paying attention. In April, 2013, Ms. Powers wrote that “Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page.”
After whining about Republicans establishing “another taxpayer-funded Select Committee” to investigate Planned Parenthood’s activities, Ms. Pelosi wrote that “there must be a thorough investigation of the blatant wrongdoing of the group that clandestinely filmed and selectively edited these videos, likely in violation of numerous state and federal laws.”
Ms. Pelosi lives in an alternative universe where it’s unfair to investigate organizations that get taxpayer funding but it’s imperative to investigate people who uncovered that taxpayer-funded organization’s questionable activities.
Once the IRS finishes harassing TEA Party organizations and other American patriots, wouldn’t it be fantastic if they launched a real investigation into something important? If they’re interested, I’d suggest that they start an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. If they start that investigation, they should start with Kim Strassel’s article. She’s already done much of the legwork to give investigators a starting point. Check this out:
The media’s focus is on Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and whether she took official actions to benefit her family’s global charity. But the mistake is starting from the premise that the Clinton Foundation is a “charity.” What’s clear by now is that this family enterprise was set up as a global shakedown operation, designed to finance and nurture the Clintons’ continued political ambitions. It’s a Hillary super PAC that throws in the occasional good deed.
Here’s the proof that Ms. Strassel has found to support her accusation:
Some operatives don’t even bother feigning separation. Longtime aide Cheryl Mills served as general counsel to Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 campaign, then worked at State. She then joined the board of directors of the foundation and remains on it still, even as she works on Clinton 2016. Nick Merrill, an aide to Mrs. Clinton at State, has continued on as her press liaison. Last year his name popped up on a news release as a contact person for the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Merrill will be a campaign spokesman for Clinton 2016.
Maura Pally was until recently the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation. Her training for this important job was working as a lawyer in the Clinton White House, as a counsel to Hillary 2008, and in cultural affairs at the State Department. Valerie Alexander is the foundation’s chief marketing officer, and the woman responsible for turning the outfit into a Clinton PR machine. She worked as a senior communications adviser for Hillary 2008.
Amitabh Desai is the foundation’s foreign policy director. He was a legislative aide to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Craig Minassian is the foundation’s chief communications officer. He worked on Hillary 2008. Ira Magaziner is CEO of the Clinton Health Care Access Initiative. He is one of the Clintons’ oldest advisers. Bari Lurie, chief of staff to Chelsea Clinton, worked on Hillary’s Senate campaign and her 2008 run, and for her PAC. Erika Gudmundson is the foundation’s deputy director of communications initiatives. She was a press aide for Hillary 2008.
By itself, Cheryl Mills serving on the Clinton Foundation’s board of directors is acceptable if that’s the only hat she wears. It isn’t. Ms. Mills is working on Hillary’s campaign while working for the Foundation.
Then there’s this:
The other question is how many more operatives are cashing foundation checks that we don’t know about—as “consultants” for the group. We now know longtime Clinton pal Sid Blumenthal drew $10,000 a month. For what? Then there’s Mrs. Clinton’s longtime aide, Huma Abedin, who worked as traveling chief of staff during the 2008 campaign, then went to State. There she was granted a special arrangement to continue earning money as a private-sector consultant. Among those she consulted for? The Clinton Foundation. Ms. Abedin has transitioned back as vice chairman of Mrs. Clinton 2016 campaign.
I’m not a lawyer but this information looks like it pertains to the Clinton Foundation:
18.104.22.168.1 (02-23-1999) Statute
1.IRC 501(c)(3) exempts from Federal income tax: corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (i)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
There’s certainly grounds for an investigation. We don’t know when Cheryl Mills or Huma Abedin left the Foundation and started working for Hillary’s campaign. For that matter, I haven’t seen proof that they’ve left the Foundation. Working for the Foundation and for the campaign certainly would warrant an investigation.
Fortunately for the Clinton Foundation, the Obama administration won’t investigate this situation.
When Marilyn Mosby made her first public appearance on the Freddie Gray case, she made a huge mistake, saying that she’d “seek justice for Freddie Gray.” That’s a major mistake because ‘Lady Justice’ wears a blindfold. There’s a reason for that. That’s because justice is determined by wherever the facts take investigators.
Ms. Mosby started with the belief that 6 Baltimore police officers were guilty of causing Freddie Gray’s death. Now that the autopsy’s been finished, Ms. Mosby wants to keep the autopsy’s results private:
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby plans to seek a protective order that would block the release of Freddie Gray’s autopsy report and other “sensitive” documents as she prosecutes the six police officers involved in his arrest.
Mosby told The Baltimore Sun that prosecutors “have a duty to ensure a fair and impartial process for all parties involved” and “will not be baited into litigating this case through the media.”
But an attorney for one of the officers said the effort shows that “there is something in that autopsy report that they are trying to hide.” “Mrs. Mosby is the one who did an announcement discussing what she said the evidence was in a nationally televised speech,” said Ivan Bates, who represents Sgt. Alicia White. “Now that it is time to turn over the evidence, to ask for a protective order is beyond disingenuous.
“It’s as if she wants to do everything to make sure our clients do not get a fair trial.”
There’s no questioning whether Ms. Mosby is fighting dirty. She’s made public statements in front of the cameras virtually on a daily basis. It’s astonishing that Ms. Mosby is insisting that the information produced by a public employee shouldn’t be made available to people who are defending the accused. That’s almost Orwellian thinking.
While she’s shot her mouth off, she’s insisting that the defense shut up. That isn’t the pathway to a fair trial. Though I’m not a trial attorney, I can’t imagine what justification a judge might cite in upholding Ms. Mosby’s gag order. In the end, it’s hard to believe that the judge will reject the gag order and order Ms. Mosby to make the autopsy report available to the defense. It wouldn’t surprise me if the judge ruled that the defense had the right to conduct its own independent autopsy.
Finally, it wouldn’t surprise me if Ms. Mosby lost this high profile case. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.
If you watch this video and can’t understand why Lanny Davis is now on Hillary’s frenemies list, you might be a liberal:
Here’s part of Mr. Davis said on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Monday morning:
LANNY DAVIS: When I was raised in the 1950s — I’m sure I’m showing my age — there was a gentleman named Sen. Joseph McCarthy who held up a piece of paper and said “I have here in my hand 400 people working at the State Department who may be Communists. Headlines across the United States. The words may be are no different than Mr. Schweizer, who I give credit for never saying I have a single fact suggesting a speaking fee or a donation is connected to Secretary Clinton’s policy decisions.
Here’s Schweizer’s response:
PETER SCHWEIZER: You know, I think it’s crazy. On the one hand, they’re saying the book is a dud, there’s nothing in the book but their actions say otherwise. … It shows me that they’re very scared and concerned about the contents of this book.
Schweizer’s onto something. It’s difficult to fit the thought that the book is total nonsense but that Schweizer is as disgustingly as Joseph McCarthy even while admitting that Schweizer is essentially an honest guy.
I wrote this post to highlight the old geezers and intellectual lightweights who are defending Hillary. Old-timers like James Carville, Lanny Davis and John Podesta aren’t going to connect with young people. They’re machine operatives who’ve glided past their sell-by dates.
While Davis was dragging up McCarthy’s ghost, Schweizer was highlighting Hillary’s skeletons with a deftness not seen from the ‘Under-the-Hill-Gang’.
Hillary’s campaign feels more like the last hurrah of Bill’s campaign than it feels like it’s Hillary’s fresh launch to the White House. If elections are about the future, then Hillary’s ‘Under-the-Hill-Gang’ operation will bury Hillary in 17 months.
As owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft is responsible for setting the direction of the team. He hired the GM and the head coach. He established what was acceptable conduct within the organization and what wasn’t acceptable. Apparently, the list of things that aren’t acceptable is a short list whereas the list of things that Mr. Kraft will turn a blind eye towards is lengthy and growing.
After the Patriots got caught cheating during this year’s AFC Championship Game, Kraft didn’t offer an apology. Rather, he threw this hissy fit:
Early in the video, Kraft said this odd thing:
KRAFT: I want to make it clear that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of NFL rules.
That’s odd because belief that you’re innocent isn’t a legal standard. It certainly isn’t proof of anything. The proof contained in the Wells Report points to just one conclusion: that Tom Brady, with the help of Jim McNally, cheated by deflating the Patriots’ game day footballs.
Further, Robert Kraft didn’t cooperate when required to. When the NFL’s investigators wanted to do a second interview with Jim McNally, Kraft’s Patriots said no. Unilaterally, they shut down that part of the investigation. Despite shutting that part of the investigation down, Kraft insists that they fully cooperated.
That’s led to this absurd premise: that the organization that’s getting investigated gets to a) determine when the investigation is complete and b) tell investigators how far they can go. Imagine if those principles were transferred to our criminal justice system. If the person getting investigated got to determine the length of the investigation, our prisons would be empty.
After the release of the Wells Report, Kraft criticized the report in this statement. This part especially stands out:
Based on the explanations I have heard and the studies that have been done, I don’t know how the science of atmospheric conditions can be refuted or how conclusions to the contrary can be drawn without some definitive evidence.
The person who helped the NFL’s investigators is more than qualified:
As part of the investigation, scientific consultants were engaged to assist the investigative team. These consultants included Exponent, one of the leading scientific and engineering consulting firms in the country, and Dr. Daniel R. Marlow, the Evans Crawford 1911 Professor of Physics at Princeton University and former Chairman of the Princeton University Physics Department, who served as a special scientific consultant, coordinated with Exponent on its testing and analytical work, and advised the investigative team.
If Kraft wants to criticize that part of the investigation, he’s got a tough fight ahead because the chairman of the University of Princeton’s Physics Department will likely be a compelling witness.
Kraft’s organization dug itself a hole by cheating. Tragically, Kraft added to his organization’s troubles by not cooperating with the investigation. Additionally, Kraft criticized the Report without proof that would exonerate his star quarterback.
That’s why the Patriots should forfeit next year’s first round draft pick and pay a $1,000,000 fine. They compromised the integrity of the game. That’s inexcusable.