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The FBI has started an investigation into a voting scam in Florida:

TAMPA, Fla. – The FBI is joining an investigation into bogus letters sent to many Florida residents, including the Republican Party of Florida chairman, that raise questions about their eligibility to vote.

FBI officials said Wednesday the FBI will focus on letters received by voters in 18 counties in central and southwest Florida.

According to the Republican Party of Florida, Chairman Lenny Curry received one of the fake letters on Tuesday.

“This type of activity is not only disgusting, it is criminal, and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Curry said in a release. “I call on Florida Democrats to join me in condemning this false letter writing campaign that appears to target likely voters in Florida, and help RPOF get the word out about this false campaign.”

Local 6 first reported the bogus letter scam on Monday, which claim to be from county supervisors of elections but are postmarked from Seattle. They raise questions about the voter’s citizenship and appear intended to intimidate people.

The FBI says voters who get a letter should contact their supervisor of elections and then keep the letter for the FBI.

Patrick Moran, the son of Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, needs a lawyer:

At the time this video was taken, Patrick Moran served as the field director for his dad’s campaign. He’s since resigned. In the video, Patrick Moran explained to a Project Veritas investigator how to commit voter fraud in Virginia.

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When Susan Rice appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, she talked about the ongoing FBI investigation:

Videotape; September 16, 2012

SUSAN RICE (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations): Let me tell you the best information we have at present. First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing. And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired. But putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what have just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted of course by the video.

Like this administration’s other lies about the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, the ongoing FBI investigation has been exposed a myth:

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland confirms to the Post that “Everybody who was in Benghazi and posted there has been withdrawn,” adding that she knew of no other American officials in the region who’d be able to investigate the assault.

This administration’s decision not to send a team of FBI investigators looks weak to the terrorists:

“I don’t know why the Americans don’t come here,” Wissam Bin Hamid, commander of the Libyan Shield Brigade, tells the Times. Bin Hamid says his militia came under sustained attack while helping defend a second American compound on Sept. 11, but now with no aid, Benghazi is being transformed into a ghost town, he tells the paper.

“Maybe they are afraid,” bin Hamid adds, offering a possible explanation for why the United States has ceased any on-the-ground investigation.

This administration’s paper tiger streak is showing. Their administration’s decision not to investigate doesn’t mean we don’t know that this was a terrorist attack. It doesn’t mean we don’t know that this administration didn’t adequately fortify the Benghazi consulate. It simply means that we have proof that this administration knows that their reaction to the terrorist attack isn’t playing well with the American people.

On Monday, the Post reported that the main compound used by American diplomats in Benghazi was unguarded and heavily looted, and The Atlantic Wire reports that “the FBI has still not been able to visit the compound, set up any operations in the city or even interview any witnesses who were present during the terrorist attack.”

It’s shameful that CNN conducted a more thorough investigation than the FBI was allowed to conduct. It’s important to remember that they were the ones that found Ambassador Stevens’ diary in the compound.

What’s worse is that this administration is repeating the last 2 weeks worth of lies over again:

Carney said that “embassy security is a matter that is in the purview of the State Department,” and noted that “Secretary Clinton instituted an accountability review that is underway as we speak” while the investigation of the attack itself is being conducted by the FBI.

I repeat: there isn’t an FBI investigation. I hate invoking President Reagan at a time like this but “there they go again.” First Amb. Rice talks about an ongoing FBI investigation. Then Jay Carney talks about the ongoing FBI investigation. The last time we noticed that pattern was after Ms. Rice said that the terrorist attack was really a reaction to a movie trailer nobody had seen.

It’s time the American people spoke out and demanded that the Obama administration start telling the truth. Whether you’re a liberal’s liberal like Pat Caddell or a conservative’s conservative like Jason Chaffetz or somewhere in between, it isn’t acceptable for any administration to lie to We The People.

What’s most troubling is that this administration isn’t telling little white lies about a nothing matter. They’re intentionally misleading We The People about a deadly terrorist attack that should’ve been prevented.

Another troubling pattern about this story is this administration’s unwillingness to call terrorists terrorists:

About the list of security issues, Carney said it was a “known fact that Libya is in transition” and that in the eastern part of Libya in particular there are militant groups and “a great number of armed individuals and militias.”

At times, I wonder if this administration thinks saying the word terrorist will lead to a deadly pox on the US. They’ve certainly avoided using that word like it was toxic.

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Leave it to Rush to expose Bill Clinton for doing what Bill Clinton does best. Earlier this week, Bill Clinton criticized the TEA Parties, saying that some of the rhetoric might incite violence, just like talk radio incited Tim McVeigh’s bombing of the Murrah Building:

“What we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or that we should reduce our passion for the positions we hold, but that the words we use really do matter, because there’s this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike,” he said.

Here’s Rush’s rebuttal to Bill Clinton’s misrepresentations:

RUSH: Yesterday we had the tea parties, and the Drive-By Media (I’m sure to its great chagrin) is filled with stories about how festive and how peaceful and how unthreatening all of the tea parties were. The effort to infiltrate these tea parties fizzled. They have stories on that that they probably do not like having to report. And, ladies and gentlemen, it’s very clear that these citizen uprisings, genuine grassroots citizen’s uprisings, are far more powerful than an attempt to drum up fake opposition to them from the White House. Yet, Bill Clinton is back in the game, expanding that threat via this sound bite.

CLINTON 2010: There was this rising movement in the early nineties that was basically not just a carefully orchestrated plot by people of extreme right-wing views but one that fell into fertile soil because there were so many people for whom the world no longer made sense. They wanted a simple, clear explanation of what was an inherently complex, mixed picture full of challenges that required not only changes in public policy, but personnel conduct and imagination about the world we were living in. So demonizing the government and the people that work for it sort of fit that, and there were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our economic problems was the federal government itself.

RUSH: So there you have it: Bill Clinton once again trying to rebirth his empty threat from 1995. He starts out tracing the plot that started in the eighties to “demonize government.” I have a question. We have two more sound bites of the president here specifying right-wing talk radio, but I have a question: How come we’re supposed to draw (on the basis of no evidence), a connection between conservatism and terrorism, conservative ideology and terrorism? Where is that connection? Yet we are told we must reject, despite tons of evidence, the connection between Islamist ideology and terrorism. So we can’t call Islamist fundamentalists “terrorists.” We can’t even use the word. But we can have ex-presidents and current presidents running around trying to associate conservatives with nonexistent terrorism at peaceful tea parties. Somebody needs to explain this to me.

The truth is that Timothy McVeigh’s attack was triggered solely by his disgust with Janet Reno’s Justice Department’s invading the Branch Davidian compound with tanks. It didn’t have anything to do with talk radio. It didn’t have anything to do with what happened in the 1980s.

Whether you agree or disagree with Ms. Reno’s decision, and most don’t, the reality is that Tim McVeigh said that her invading the Branch Davidian compound with tanks was what triggered his terrorist attack.

If President Clinton wants to peddle these misrepresentations, he’s best off peddling them to people who won’t remember history. This is nothing more than Bill Clinton sounding the same Democratic theme, suggesting that the TEA Party participants are knuckle-dragging, backwoods crazies. Unfortunately for Mr. Clinton, that myth has been exposed.

Every time that the Democrats trot that storyline out, they ruin what’s left of their credibility. People don’t run to liberal pundits for their information anymore. Thanks to Al Gore’s internet, people do their own due dilligence on whatever subject interests them. Right now, the TEA Parties interest them. ALOT.

One in five people support the TEA Party movement. Many more than that know people that participate in TEA Party rallies. TEA Party activists are everyone’s neighbors, co-workers and friends. Mainstreet America isn’t frightened by the TEA Parties. Whether they agree with the TEA Parties’ principles or not, they aren’t frightened by TEA Parties.

Having Bill Clinton suggest that the TEA Party faithful might incite violence just gives the American people another reason to not trust Bill Clinton. Some things never change.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Obama administration, in the person of John Brennan, has fought to defend itself for mirandizing Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, with Robert Gibbs and Attorney General Eric Holder playing supporting roles in that fight. Unfortunately for them, the adults have entered the room and the Obama administration looks in over its head…AGAIN.

Two serious adults, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and longtime National Journal columnist Stuart Taylor have weighed in. First, let’s look at what Gen. Mukasey said about mirandizing terrorists:

What to do and who should do it? It was entirely reasonable for the FBI to be contacted and for that agency to take him into custody. But contrary to what some in government have suggested, that Abdulmutallab was taken into custody by the FBI did not mean, legally or as a matter of policy, that he had to be treated as a criminal defendant at any point. Consider: In 1942, German saboteurs landed on Long Island and in Florida. That they were eventually captured by the FBI did not stop President Franklin Roosevelt from directing that they be treated as unlawful enemy combatants. They were ultimately tried before a military commission in Washington and executed. Their status had nothing to do with who held them, and their treatment was upheld in all respects by the Supreme Court.

If possible, FBI custody is even less relevant today in determining someone’s status. In 1942 the FBI was exclusively a crime-fighting organization. After Sept. 11, 2001, the agency’s mission was expanded beyond detection of crime and apprehension of criminals to include gathering intelligence, helping to prevent and combat threats to national security, and furthering U.S. foreign policy goals. Guidelines put in place in 2003 and revised in September 2008 “do not require that the FBI’s information gathering activities be differentially labeled as ‘criminal investigations,’ ‘national security investigations,’ or ‘foreign intelligence collections,’ or that the categories of FBI personnel who carry out investigations be segregated from each other based on the subject areas in which they operate. Rather, all of the FBI’s legal authorities are available for deployment in all cases to which they apply to protect the public from crimes and threats to the national security and to further the United States’ foreign intelligence objectives.”

Here’s what John Brennan said in defending the decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights:

Brennan also defended the decision to read Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights, something that Republicans have harshly criticized. Brennan said the decision to do so was “a long-standing FBI policy that was reaffirmed under Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s attorney general.”

The danger of quoting someone on policy is that an expert in the FBI’s interrogation policies has the ability to write an op-ed explaining what policy has historically been and what current policy is. Predictably, Gen. Mukasey did exactly that this morning. As the former Attorney General, he’s totally qualified to refute Mr. Brennan’s arguments. Mr. Brennan will have difficulty explaining away this statement:

Rather, all of the FBI’s legal authorities are available for deployment in all cases to which they apply to protect the public from crimes and threats to the national security and to further the United States’ foreign intelligence objectives.”

In other words, Sen. Kit Bond is right in saying that capturing a terrorist in U.S. territory doesn’t mean that the FBI, as a matter of routine, will read terrorists their Miranda rights. That’s certainly an option but it’s done on a case-by-case basis. It certainly isn’t automatic. At least it wasn’t during the Bush administration.

While John Brennan was the target of Gen. Mukasey’s op-ed, current Attorney Gen. Eric Holder is the target of Stuart Taylor’s scorn. Taylor’s column heaps scorn on Gen. Holder:

Reasonable people disagree about how much coercion interrogators should use to extract potentially lifesaving information from terrorists. (None at all, President Obama unwisely ordered soon after taking office.)

But no reasonable person could doubt that starting out with “you have the right to remain silent” is not the way to save lives.

Yet this is essentially the policy into which the Obama administration has locked itself by insisting that it did the right thing when it read Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas Day bomber, his Miranda rights after only 50 minutes of questioning and a hospital visit.

I return to this subject because the rationalizations by Attorney General Eric Holder and other administration apologists have been so breathtakingly bereft of seriousness about the need for aggressive interrogation to protect our country.

Abdulmutallab might have been the first of a dozen Christmas Day bombers seeking to perfect the Bojinka plot, for all Holder and his colleagues knew at the time. It was sheer luck that this was not the case.

And the decision to read Abdulmutallab his rights, bring him a lawyer, and stop asking questions may yet get Americans murdered by his co-conspirators in Yemen, who might have been located and captured or killed but for his five weeks of post-Miranda silence.

Anytime that a terrorist is captured, the first responsibility of any administration’s national security team is to thoroughly interrogate the terrorist and learn as much about the terrorist’s support system, the type of training he received, where he was trained, etc. This isn’t rocket science.

In the aftermath of the failed terrorist plot, Janet Napolitano admitted that she was surprised by how well organized al-Qaeda in Yemen was. Had the Obama administration actually interrogated Abdulmutallab, they might’ve learned more about AQY.

That Holder put a higher priority on preserving Abdulmutallab’s testimony than on gathering intelligence is stunning. Here’s why reading Abdulmutallab his rights wasn’t a priority:

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told me in an interview that the CIA and national intelligence directors “and ultimately the president would have been in on the decision in addition to me”; and that “I like to think the default setting would have been toward gathering intelligence rather than worrying about whether a man who did his crime in front of 285 witnesses could be convicted without using his confession.”

With 285 eyewitnesses, along with his burns, the chances of conviction would’ve been close to 100 percent. The only way Abdulmutallab wouldn’t have gotten convicted was if the jury was made up of CAIR’s board of directors.

The need to mirandize Abdulmutallab wasn’t just insignificant. It wasn’t necessary. In fact, it was stupid to not collect important information in a timely fashion.

I don’t know whether Mssrs. Taylor and Mukasey worked in coordination in writing their articles. What I’m certain of is that they’ve highlighted the incompetence of Eric Holder and John Brennan for all the political world to see. Their expertise in constitutional and counterterrorism issues make it difficult for Robert Gibbs to question them, though I expect he’ll try criticizing them during today’s briefing.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Conservatives have their long knives out hoping to score political points against a suddenly vulnerable Obama administration. Check out this column written by Obama critic Bill Kristol:

“I hope the terrorists don’t think this is a good time to attack,” I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.

I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.

OUCH!!! That’s a shot at the Obama administration’s less-than-stellar performance in preventing terrorist attacks if ever I’ve heard one.

If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

I’ll give Mr. Kristol credit for this much: when he unloads both barrels, there’s alot of damaged landscape.

The bad news for the Obama administration is that Bill Kristol didn’t write this stunning rebuke of the Obama administration’s homeland security apparatus. It wasn’t Charles Krauthammer, either.

This scathing review was written by Maureen Dowd.

Yes, that Maureen Dowd. The crazed liberal NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd. Ms. Dowd’s attack should unsettle an already wobbly administration. Last night, Charles Krauthammer ridiculed President Obama during the Roundtable. Even A.B. Stoddard was disgusted when she learned from Chris Wallace that the CIA had been tracking Abdulmutallab.

This is one of those moments when a president’s fiercest defenders understand that they can’t defend or spin something, that it’s a time when he’ll just have to take his lumps.

Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.

President Obama hasn’t stepped into the role of commander-in-chief. Instead, he’s stepped into shoes that more closely resemble those of the pontificator-in-chief or professor-in-chief. That isn’t what America needs right now. What we need is someone who is competent on national security issues. What we need is someone who will persistently engage our terrorist enemies in mortal battle.

President Obama hasn’t shown the grittiness and persistence that’s needed to destroy al-Qa’ida. His personna is almost detached. For all his faults on domestic policy, one thing that Americans knew about President Bush, it’s that they understood that he was taking the fight to the terrorists day-after-day-after-day. President Bush’s relentlessness was reassuring. Looking back, objective people understand that he protected us from another terrorist attack.

By contrast, we’ve seen three terrorist attacks this year under President Obama’s watch. Thoughtful people esentially agree that each was preventable.

It’s time for President Obama to review his administration’s policies and his administration’s personnel. Starting today would be a good start. Personnel-wise, a good start would be firing Janet Napolitano. Policywise, it’d be wise if he stopped his ‘open arms to tyrants’ policy. Tyrants should be punished, not coddled. Incompetents should be terminated, not kept on.

Thanks to Maureen Dowd’s criticism, that possibility seems a bit more likely.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This morning, on GMA, Janet Napolitano said that the government needs to re-examine how their terrorist watch lists are monitored:

Today, on “Good Morning America,” she said, “Clearly, there’s some work that needs to be done to link up what we call the tie, the generic base in which his name had been entered, to those who already have visas.”

“We want to go backwards now and review our list processes,” Napolitano added. “They clearly need to be adjusted. We need to look at this individual specially, and the screening technology that was deployed.”

That’s possibly true but there’s a more fundamental step that should be taken, namely, having the appropriate authorities look into a person whose father walked into a U.S. embassy and told the embassy people that his son might be an Islamic extremist. You’d think that people in security positions would attempt to connect the dots, especially after a high profile commission published a report saying that the most important thing going forward was connecting the terrorist warning dots.

You’d think that a tip like that would at least warrant a quick check of things like visas, whether he’d traveled to or lived in any terrorist-sympathizing countries like, say, Nigeria. Here’s another troubling piece of information:

In May 2009, a report by the Justice Department Inspector General found problems with how the FBI was managing the terrorism watch list, noting, “We found that the FBI failed to nominate many subjects in the terrorism investigations that we sampled, did not nominate many others in a timely fashion, and did not update or remove watchlist records as required. Specifically, in 32 of the 216 (15 percent) terrorism investigations we reviewed, 35 subjects of these investigations were not nominated to the consolidated terrorist watchlist, contrary to FBI policy.”

Was this IG report shared with Secretary Napolitano? If not, why wasn’t it? If it was, what action did Secretary Napolitano take? What types of recommendations did she get from her senior policy staff? If it’s revealed that this IG’s report had made it to Secretary Napolitano’s desk and she hadn’t acted on it, then she needs to be fired ASAP.

Frankly, I don’t have a bit of confidence in Secretary Napolitano. This is, after all, the same woman who thought that military veterans, conservatives and constitutionalists presented a terrorist threat:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year launched a nationwide operation targeting white supremacists and “militia/sovereign-citizen extremist groups,” including a focus on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to memos sent from bureau headquarters to field offices.

The initiative, dubbed Operation Vigilant Eagle, was outlined in February, two months before a memo giving a similar warning was issued on April 7 by the Department of Homeland Security.

Disclosure of the DHS memo this week has sparked controversy among some conservatives and veterans groups. Appearing on television talk shows Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the assessment, but apologized to veterans who saw it as an accusation.

Why should we suddenly think that she’ll experience a sudden burst of competence now?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The first segment of tonight’s Hannity show was about Van Jones, the admitted Communist who is now President Obama’s Green Jobs Czar. Hannity and guest Kimberly Guilfoyle kept tiptoeing around whether the FBI had properly vetted Jones. Fortunately, conservative columnist S.E. Cupp didn’t hesitate with her opinion.

Ms. Cupp said that there’s no doubt but that President Obama knew exactly who he was. Proof of that was provided by Valerie Jarrett:

JARRETT: Oooh. Van Jones, alright! So, Van Jones. We were so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House. We were watching him, uh, really, he’s not that old, for as long as he’s been active out in Oakland. And all the creative ideas he has. And so now, we have captured that. And we have all that energy in the White House.

During his “time in Oakland”, he was an admitted Communist, an admitted revolutionary and a person who said that white people were committing chemical genocide against people of color. He spoke out that wealth should be given to native Americans and that we needed to change our entire economic system.

Simply put, the Obama administration knew exactly who Van Jones was.

If we want to put this into context, let’s remember the FBI files scandal during the Clinton years. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Filegate:

Craig Livingstone, director of the White House’s Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background reports without asking permission of the subject individuals. Estimates range from 400 to 700 to 900 unauthorized file disclosures.

The reason this caused such a stir is because these files include everything from allegations to unanswered questions to verified facts. This data is found during a full investigation by the FBI. They talk to friends and associates of the person of interest. This data might even contain cheapshots by political adversaries who want to ruin your career. That’s why the FBI’s files are kept confidential.

That’s why it’s impossible to believe that the Obama administration didn’t know what type of things Van Jones was into. Add to this the fact that everyone who works in the administration gets checked and it’s impossible to believe that President Obama didn’t know that Van Jones wasn’t a radical. In fact, considering how many radicals inhabit this administration, it’s more likely that radicals are prefered over trditionalists.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been arrested. Here’s what they’re reporting:

A three-year federal corruption investigation of pay-to-play politics in Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration has expanded to include his impending selection of a new U.S. senator to succeed President-elect Barack Obama, the Tribune has learned.

Federal authorities got approval from a judge before the November general election to secretly record the governor, sources told the Tribune, and among their concerns was whether the selection process might be tainted. That possibility has become a focus in an intensifying investigation that has included recordings of the governor and the cooperation of one of his closest friends.

Rod Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty but the FBI doesn’t get involved without a reason. Here’s an update:

Updated at 8:48 a.m.: Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges. Blagojevich and Harris were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.

Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning. A Blagojevich spokesman said he was unaware of the development. “Haven’t heard anything; you are first to call,” Lucio Guerrero said in an e-mail.

The stunning, early morning visit by authorities to the governor’s North Side home came amid revelations that federal investigators had recorded the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant and had begun to focus on the possibility that the process of choosing a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama could be tainted by pay-to-play politics.

Play-for-pay politics isn’t something new in politics. It’s status quo Chicago politics. It’s what’s expected. It’s as surprising as finding out that presidential candidates give Philadelphia residents walking around money. Let’s remember that this is where Dan Rostenkowski practiced politics.

Updated at 8:57 a.m.: “The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. “They allege that Blagojevich put a ‘for sale’ sign on the naming of a United States senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

If Fitzgerald is as enthusiastic in his prosecution of Blagojevich as he was with Scooter Libby, then Blagojevich has alot to be worried about.

It’s time for this corruption machine to be put in prison. He’s the epitome of corruption.

UPDATE: Here’s the pdf outlining the charges filed against Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

That isn’t a startling headline since it’s parroted by practically every presidential candidate. This quote will haunt her during next fall’s campaign, though:

“It cannot be American policy, period,” Clinton (D-N.Y.) told debate moderator Tim Russert, who asked if there should be a presidential exemption to allow the torture of a terror chieftain if authorities knew a bomb was about to go off, but didn’t know where it was.

That definitive statement will cause Hillary lots of problems next fall because she all but admitted that she won’t do everything in her power to protect Americans from future terrorist attacks. While the anti-torture position is popular inside the Beltway, it isn’t popular in the Heartland. People that I talk with want the feds to do everything in their power to protect us.

When Russert revealed ex-President Bill Clinton advocated such a policy on a recent NBC “Meet the Press” appearance, Hillary Clinton won huge applause from the Dartmouth College audience with a deadpan comeback:

“Well, I’ll talk to him later.”

She may have to give herself that talk, too.

Last October, Clinton told the Daily News: “If we’re going to bepreparing for the kind of improbable but possible eventuality, then it has to be done within the rule of law.”

She said then the “ticking time bomb” scenario represents a narrow exception to her opposition to torture as morally wrong, ineffective and dangerous to American soldiers.

“In the event we were ever confronted with having to interrogate a detainee with knowledge of an imminent threat to millions of Americans, then the decision to depart from standard international practices must be made by the President, and the President must be held accountable,” she said.

If this were any other issue, people might say that this is just another example of a politician talking out both sides of her mouth. But this isn’t just any issue. That answer isn’t the way to convince people that you’re serious about a president’s first affirmative duty: to protect the people from all enemies. In fact, it isn’t a stretch to think that she doesn’t know what she’d do if that situation presented itself. That’s hardly the type of position Hillary wants to put herself in.

Hillary’s mistake wasn’t the only dumb answer given last night:

The ex-New York mayor came under fire for voicing his readiness to attack Iran to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. Clinton was accused by some of her rivals of playing into President Bush’s hands by voting for an anti-Iran Senate resolution.

“I think what Mayor Giuliani said was irresponsible, because we have not yet come to that point,” said Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), arguing there is a lot of diplomacy to be done first.

“Rudy Giuliani doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about,” zinged Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.). “He’s the most uninformed person on American foreign policy now running forPresident.”

Having Joe Biden say that Rudy doesn’t know what he’s talking about highlights Sen. Biden’s stupidity. Most people don’t take him seriously as a presidential candidate. In fact, some think he’s really running for Vice President. If Hillary or Obama get the nomination, the biggest mistake they could make is naming an ill-infomred loose cannon like Sen. Biden to be their running mate.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Watching Special Report’s roundtable tonight gave me mental whiplash (as in listening to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin talk about Iraq). Here’s what Sen. Durbin said today:

Durbin: By carefully manipulating the statistics, the Bush-Petraeus report will try to persuade us that violence is decreasing and that the surge is working. Even if the figures are right, the conclusions are wrong.

That quote is enough to cause mental whiplash. Durbin essentially said that Bush and Petraeus manipulated the data to justify the continuation of the Surge. As soon as he implied that President Bush and Gen. Petraeus lied about the information, he then reversed himself by admitting that the statistics are right but that President Bush and Gen. Petraeus reached the wrong conclusions.

The first question that I’d ask is what, if anything, was the basis for Sen. Durbin’s accusation that President Bush and Gen. Petraeus had lied. This article seems to answer that question:

Durbin, a war critic, said that for a long period of time he has exchanged e-mail with civilian employees who were gathering data for the report and writing draft portions of the findings.

“Some of them I correspond with almost on a daily basis. And when they sent a discouraging report about things that were happening in Baghdad, they were reminded by their superiors that’s unacceptable; we need a positive report. They were sent back for editing changes. Now that’s a fact,” Durbin said.

Sen. Durbin is saying that civilian employees working in the Pentagon, tried writing negative reports but that the military hierarchy edited out the negative reports because they were under orders to produce an optimistic report regardless of the facts. Before I’ll consider his allegations as facts, I need proof that his accusations aren’t manufactured. This causes me to ask this new set of questions:

  • Is Sen. Durbin prepared to let investigators examine these emails to verify their credibility?
  • Did Sen. Durbin receive these negative reports directly?
  • Who’s responsible for editing out the negative information?
  • Will these potential whistleblowers testify as to these allegations?
  • If they testify, what proof will they bring forward that verifies the accuracy of their allegations?

Based on Sen. Durbin’s history of telling fanciful stories, I’m not willing to automatically accept as fact that these emails even exist. In fact, I’ll believe that he manufactured these accusations to damage President Bush and Gen. Petraeus. I’m basing that opinion on this golden oldie:

At the time of those outrageous accusations, Durbin refused to tell which FBI agent had given him information that American military personnel were torturing Gitmo prisoners. When a firestorm erupted over that speech, Durbin repeatedly apologized for his statements. Will Sen. Durbin need to apologize for making these horrific allegations?

Sen. Durbin should be given the choice of either bringing these emails forward or apologizing for manufacturing these disgusting accusations. In fact, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to file an ethics complaint against him.

The American people should ask themselves some questions after this. The first question they should ask is if Democrats should keep their majority in the Senate, considering their penchant for making unsubstantiated allegations against our military? Another important question to ask is whether we should tolerate leaders of either political party who make accusations without offering proof that the accusations aren’t just allegations?

Before anyone asks, this isn’t just someone who got some facts wrong. This is someone who made accusations based on nothing.

If it’s found out that Sen. Durbin can’t substantiate these allegations, he should be driven from the Senate. We shouldn’t tolerate politicians who make baseless allegations against our president and our military.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative