Updates from November, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Jack 2:41 pm on November 24, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: baltimore police, david mcfadden, dirty cops, sean suiter, , ,   

    Terrible News 

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore detective killed by a gunman last week was slain a day before he was set to testify in a corruption probe into activities of indicted officers, the city’s police commissioner confirmed Wednesday.

    Commissioner Kevin Davis announced the news to reporters a week after the detective was shot in the head in a West Baltimore vacant lot. Rumors have been running rampant about the unsolved slaying of Detective Sean Suiter.

    The police commissioner’s latest revelation will do little to quell speculation. Davis emphasized that Suiter was not the target of any criminal investigation, but he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury “the day after he was murdered.”

    The Baltimore police and the FBI do not have any evidence to suggest that Suiter’s slaying is “part of any conspiracy,” according to Davis. But he added “there’s nothing we won’t consider” and said he understands why there is speculation.

    “It certainly makes for great theater,” Davis said.

    The federal grand jury is investigating a group of Baltimore officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force and have been charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over two years. An indictment has described the members of the Gun Trace Task Force, a small unit dedicated to getting illegal guns off Baltimore’s streets, as using their position to allegedly threaten the innocent, detain people on false pretenses and steal their money. They are also accused of faking police reports, lying to investigators and defrauding their department.

    Davis emphasized that the evidence collected in Suiter’s unsolved killing points to a “spontaneous encounter” the homicide detective had with a suspicious man he observed while working in a high-crime neighborhood with his partner. Evidence indicates a violent struggle, Davis said, including a roughly three-second-long radio transmission in which what seem to be gunshots are heard and Suiter appears to be in distress.

    Investigators have recovered the detective’s gun from the gritty lot where he was shot and have determined that the 18-year veteran of the department was shot with his own weapon. Ballistic tests show that recovered shell casings were matched to the recovered firearm.

    An autopsy conducted four days after the attack showed that the gunshot was fired in “close contact” to Suiter’s head, Davis said.

    Davis knocked down speculation that Suiter’s partner might have somehow been involved.

    “The fact that we have not yet made an arrest creates an environment for rumors to flourish,” he said, adding that “many people” have been interviewed and interrogated.

    A reward of $215,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Suiter.


    David McFadden on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dmcfadd


  • Jack 2:36 pm on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , criminal conspiracy, , , , , , , , , , jed babbin, , , , , , , , ,   


    Presidential elections come and go. Some cause great wounds that take years, sometimes decades, to heal. Last year’s election caused some deep injuries and revealed still more that we hadn’t been aware of until the furious fighting was even under way.

    Don’t get me wrong: 2016 wasn’t 1860. But we have to realize that we went into 2016 more divided, more balkanized than we had been in generations. In eight years, Barack Obama had not only divided the nation, he had seeded every part of the government with loyalists. From the judiciary to the Pentagon and the intelligence community, people dedicated to Obama’s radical left agenda were put in place.

    What’s more, the entrenched bureaucracy — it’s called the “deep state” in current lingo — had its natural cravings for power unleashed, its denizens herded — faster and faster — to achieve his agenda.

    Three wounds, created or revealed in 2016, have become infected, and the infections are not yet cured. First is the so-called “Russia dossier,” which became the basis for the Robert Mueller investigation that is running away in the manner that Lawrence Walsh’s “Iran Contra” investigation did. The second is the “Uranium One” scandal, which the media still try to bury. And the third is the fact that Hillary Clinton and her closest staff, such as Huma Abedin, committed felonies in handling classified information. The then-FBI Director James Comey saw the proofs of their actions and nevertheless decided to protect them from punishment.

    There is every reason not to write about these scandals, especially considering the enormous amount that has already been written. So why try now?

    Simply because the three all flow together in a symphony of corruption, misgovernment, and media misbehavior that cannot be ignored.

    Let’s start with the “Russia dossier,” created for a company called Fusion GPS by one Christopher Steele, reputedly a former British spy.

    Let’s set aside the fact that Mr. Steele, or whatever his real name is, is probably as much a “former British spy” as Valerie Plame was a CIA spy. The more important facts are that a Republican opponent of Donald Trump’s candidacy hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump some time in 2015.

    We still don’t know who that Trump opponent was. At some time in 2016, he/they stopped the funding of Fusion GPS’s efforts. Hillary Clinton’s campaign stepped in and reportedly paid — through the Perkins Coie law firm — several million dollars to continue Fusion GPS’s work.

    The final product implied collusion between the Russian government and both Trump and Trump’s campaign. It also made allegations of dirt on Trump such as him cavorting with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel. Trump and his campaign team have always vigorously denied any such cavorting, collaboration, or collusion with Russia.

    The dossier also claimed that the Russian government tried to interfere in our election, which is no surprise to anyone. The only surprise was the innovative ways the Russians undertook to do it through social media.

    During the campaign, Hillary Clinton made much of the fact that someone, perhaps the Russians, intercepted emails or invaded email servers to expose embarrassing (to her) information. Clinton and her campaign insisted that Putin had a vendetta against her for her criticism of him, which was the reason the Russians interfered in the election to benefit Trump.

    The dossier was leaked and became a huge issue in the campaign, beginning in about September 2016.

    Though Putin may have disliked Clinton, because — as we shall see in a moment — she was bought and paid for, he would have vastly preferred her to Trump who, at best, was an unknown quantity. Putin — personally and through his placeholder Dmitri Medvedev — had taken her measure and knew enough about her and her politics to understand that he could rely on her to continue Obama’s failures to contain or end Russian aggression in places such as Ukraine and Syria. To believe Putin preferred Trump to her was, and is, preposterous.

    In January 2017, Sen. John McCain admitted that it was he who passed the dossier on to FBI Director Comey in 2016. Not to the FBI: to Comey directly.

    On January 6, 2017, according to Comey’s congressional testimony last June, he and other leaders of the intelligence community briefed Trump on the dossier and informed him of its imminent release (even though, as Kim Strassel reported in the Wall Street Journal, Steele had briefed U.S. reporters on it in September 2016). Comey also testified that, after that meeting, Trump asked him to stop the ongoing investigation of then-national security advisor Gen. Michael Flynn.

    When Comey declined to do so, Trump fired him. Months prior to the firing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any investigation of the campaign, in which he had played a significant role. Comey published a memo about the conversation with Trump which he said was intended to cause Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign. Rosenstein appointed Comey’s close friend Robert Mueller as special counsel.

    Mueller has, so far, obtained indictments of Paul Manafort, once Trump’s campaign manager, and Rick Gates (a Manafort associate) for crimes unrelated to any collusion with Russia. He has also obtained a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign advisor, for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.

    Leaks, probably from the Mueller investigation, say that he is soon to indict Flynn and possibly Flynn’s son on a variety of charges.

    Trump, after meeting briefly with Putin in Vietnam, last week insisted that he believed Putin’s denials of any interference in our election. He also called Obama’s leadership of the intelligence community “political hacks.” Last year, they — former CIA director John Brennan and former director of national intelligence James Clapper — had declared that Russia had interfered in the election and condemned the leak of the Russia dossier.

    In February, the Washington Post reported that the FBI had planned — weeks before the election — to pay Fusion GPS to continue its research into Trump, but that deal had fallen through.

    Another aspect of the Russian dossier is the allegation that Fusion GPS had bribed reporters to write and broadcast news about the dossier. There is no evidence to suggest that the FBI is investigating that allegation, which has been raised by congressional investigators. Fusion GPS has, so far, concealed from Congress the bank records that might show payments to reporters.

    Another festering wound is the FBI’s — Comey’s — handling of the Uranium One deal.

    In 2010, the Obama administration approved the sale of about 20 percent of U.S. uranium assets to a Russian entity, Uranium One. According to an October report in the Hill, before the deal was approved the FBI had uncovered a substantial amount of evidence that Russians “were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States.”

    The approval was made by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, “CFIUS,” of which both the Justice Department and the State Department were members. Hillary Clinton denied any role in the approval.

    But the Clinton Foundation had received at least $2 million in donations from Russian interests around the time that the Uranium One deal was being made. Bill Clinton reportedly was paid $500,000 for a speech in Russia during that period.

    The FBI — Comey again — had to be involved in the CFIUS approval of the Uranium One deal. The FBI or the Justice Department could have, and obviously should have, stopped the deal before it was approved. Just as they — Comey — should have decided to prosecute Clinton for her crime of mishandling classified information dozens if not hundreds of times.

    During her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton used a private email system — “Clintonmail.com” — instead of the State Department’s government system, evidently to conceal what was written from government eyes. That system wasn’t protected against email interceptions, I am informed, by even the rudimentary protections that Gmail provides.

    On that email system she and her staff routinely exchanged top-secret information. That information included information on special access programs — the top-secret covert operations based on special “presidential determinations” that involve espionage operations. It also included “SI/TK” materials — special intelligence/Talent Keyhole information — which is gathered by satellites the mere existence of which is classified.

    Sometime in 2016, then-attorney general Loretta Lynch instructed Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” rather than an investigation. Lynch then met privately with Bill Clinton in the infamous runway encounter in which we are told was an innocent meeting having nothing to do with the investigation.

    A few days later, in early July 2016, Comey held a press conference to declare that while Clinton and her staff had handled classified information with “extreme carelessness” there was no prosecutable case against any of them because, he said, there was no intent to damage the United States. But the relevant statute has nothing in it about intent.

    We now know that Comey had drafted a memorandum making that determination long before Clinton and her closest staff had even been interviewed.

    Comey had originally drafted the memo to say that Clinton and her staff had exchanged classified information in a “grossly negligent” manner. Title 18 US Code Section 793(f) uses the term to describe the crime, a felony that can be punished by a prison term of ten years for each violation, of mishandling classified information. It doesn’t require intent to damage the United States in the elements of the crime. Comey obviously changed the term he used to avoid the precise term used in the criminal statute.

    To those of us who have had security clearances enabling access to top-secret information, Clinton’s — and her staff’s — crimes are obvious and unforgivable. But none of these perpetrators have been investigated seriously for them. It’s beyond galling.

    Comey’s repeated actions have destroyed the credibility of the FBI. If we can’t trust the FBI, what can we trust?

    I knew Attorney General Sessions when he was a senator. We spoke occasionally, even after I left my post at Human Events. I haven’t spoken to him since he became involved in the Trump campaign. He has said that he has no reason to investigate Clinton and company further.

    But why? Why isn’t Comey being investigated for his role in the Uranium One deal? Why isn’t Clinton being investigated and prosecuted for her email trafficking in top-secret information and how the Clinton Foundation received what appear to be bribes in the Uranium One deal?

    We don’t, like a banana republic, prosecute people for political actions. But this is vastly different. There would be no prosecution of Clinton for any political act in any of these possible prosecutions.

    Comey probably isn’t guilty of obstruction of justice. The obstruction statute requires someone to, either by corruption or threat, preventing the administration of justice. He’s not dumb enough to have taken bribes, and didn’t use threats to obtain the results he wanted. But he is guilty of using his position for political ends.

    Attorney General Sessions must act. Crimes have been committed, serious crimes, that undermine our laws and our system of government. It all comes back to James Comey. He could, at least, be a witness for the prosecution.


  • Jack 4:03 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Organized Crime? 

    Hours before leaving the U.S. for his trip to Asia, President Donald Trump gave a wide-ranging interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Thursday night, revealing his thoughts on this week’s terror attack in New York City and the campaign actions of the Democratic National Committee.

    Trump responded to claims from former DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile alleging that the committee rigged last year’s Democratic presidential primary between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    “It’s illegal, number one, and it’s really unfair to Bernie Sanders,” Trump said of the Vermont senator. “I’m not a Bernie Sanders fan, although I must say I got a lot of his votes when he was thrown out. Many of those people voted for me because of trade because I agreed with him on trade. … But that was, I thought that was terrible.”

    Trump slams Dems for the lottery-based diversity visa program

    Trump also responded to recent revelations that the Democratic National Committee — along with the Clinton campaign — funded the now-infamous “opposition research” dossier released last January. The president called the findings “absolutely inconceivable.”

    “That dossier, which is totally fake and made up it’s like a novel … is a disgrace and it should not have been allowed to be used and then I hear the kind of money they spent,” Trump said, referring to reports Democrats paid as much as $9 million on it. “I think it’s a disgrace that a thing like that can take place.”


    After Tuesday’s terror attack in Lower Manhattan, allegedly carried out by a man from Uzbekistan — whom Trump called a “horrible animal” — who was granted a green card through the Diversity Visa Program, Trump called for Congress to end the lottery-based immigration program.

    Democrats and the dossier

    “The justice system has to go quicker and it has to be really stronger and fairer,” the president said, one day after he referred to the U.S. justice system as a “laughingstock” and a “joke.”

    “It’s very sad when you look at a lottery system and you have people coming into the country through the form of a lottery,” Trump said. “The countries aren’t putting their finest in there, they’re not putting their best and their greatest and their finest in there.”

    Trump added he’s “already instructed Congress” to bring the Diversity Visa Program to an end.


    Jumping to Trump’s tax reform plan, the president says his proposed tax cuts are “the biggest cuts in the history of our country.”

    “We have reform and we have simplification and honestly I’m surprised a little bit to hear what you’re saying because we’ve really gotten great reviews people are loving it,” Trump said when he was told he was getting criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

    He alluded to a Washington Post report that recently gave Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., “four Pinocchios” for “not telling the truth” about the tax plan, which Trump said is “really not for the rich, it’s for the middle class and it’s for jobs.”


    See Also:

    (1) Former Sanders surrogates pounce on the DNC after Donna Brazile’s bombshell reveal of a Clinton takeover

    (2) Clintons Now Involved in 3 ‘Watergate-Level’ Scandals

    (3) Trump: Why isn’t DOJ investigating Clinton rigging of 2016 primary?

    (4) Donna Brazile Comes Clean After Doing Bernie Sanders Dirty

    (5) Sayfullo Saipov, Winner of Chuck Schumer’s Diversity Lottery

    (6) Rep. DeSantis: ‘We Know Now Without a Shadow of a Doubt’ Hillary and Democrats Colluded with Russia


  • Jack 3:07 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , elliot friedland, , , , , , nyc attack, , , ,   

    NYC Aftermath 

    Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York was carried out by a 29-year-old man who rented a Home Depot truck and drove it onto a bike path. Such forms of attack are extremely simple to carry out. They need no planning, no coordination with a central organization and are not difficult to obtain equipment.

    They are therefore impossible to completely stop with security measures alone.

    Counter-extremism organization the Quilliam Foundation said of the attack:

    “This unfortunate incident once again highlights the importance of focusing resources on deradicalization work and implementing a better strategy to prevent extremism, as incidents of this nature are extremely difficult, if not impossible, for security services to predict and stop.”

    New York is not unguarded. Entering the United States requires extensive security checks. Immigration from countries like Uzbekistan (the nationality of the terrorist) is complex and requires background checks.

    Not only that, but once an attack is underway there are armed police everywhere. In this case, the terrorist was shot very promptly at the scene by a nearby uniformed officer.

    The FBI and CIA carry out extensive surveillance operations around the world. They monitor correspondence, tap phone conversations and pay informants. They have spies inside foreign governments and inside terrorist organizations. They have reconnaissance satellites in space.

    America’s security services work tirelessly to protect the country from every conceivable foe, and most of the time they succeed. The United States government spends over $16 billion annually to counter terrorism. They can even use drones to kill any designated target pretty much anywhere in the world.

    But with all this technology and money, they cannot read people’s minds and cannot prevent someone from just deciding to run people over with a truck.

    People decide to carry out attacks like that in the name of an ideology. An ideology they find powerful enough to die for it. All the security in the world cannot prevent individuals who believe in something from acting in the name of that belief: That killing random civilians will trigger the war between Muslims and the West that they crave and enable them to usher in a totalitarian caliphate.

    They will always find new ways to attack and new ways to hide because it simply isn’t possible to eliminate every potential avenue of terror.

    The only way to end radical Islamic terrorism once and for all is to discredit the ideology which fuels it.


    See Also:

    (1) NYC Terrorist: Lone Wolf … or Not?

  • Jack 3:18 pm on October 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , info wars, , jerome corsi, , paul manafort, , , ,   

    Botched Already?* 

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s case is in danger of being thrown out of court when the FBI is forced to admit FISA court authority to conduct electronic surveillance on former Trump campaign Paul Manafort was based on the fraudulent Fusion GPS “Russia dossier” that the FBI, the Clinton campaign, and the Democratic National Committee paid to be produced.

    On Sept. 19, 2017, CNN reported that U.S. investigators conducted electronic surveillance on Manafort both before and after the election under a FISA court warrant.

    The CNN article cites only unnamed sources, strongly suggesting the leak was based on an illegal leak to the press that could end up being traced back to the FBI, to Mueller’s Special Counselor office, or to both.

    Under the “fruit of the poison tree doctrine” established by the Supreme Court in Fourth Amendment illegal search and seizure cases, the FBI and/or Mueller may have compromised their entire investigation of Paul Manafort by either using the fraudulent “Russia dossier” paid for in part by the FBI, or by illegally leaking information derived from the FISA-authorized electronic surveillance to CNN and other mainstream media publications known to be partisan “Never Trump” mouthpieces.

    CNN reported the secret FISA warrant was obtained after Manafort became the subject of the FBI investigation that began as early as 2014 under then FBI Director James Comey, and centered upon work Manafort conducted consulting with Ukraine.

    “Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive,” CNN reported.

    “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is leading the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications,” the CNN report stressed.



    (*) Did Mueller’s Team Violate Manafort’s Constitutional Rights? They May Have.

    See Also:

    (1) Exclusive: Manafort Indicted As Cover For Democrat Russia Crimes

    (2) After First Indictments, Still No Evidence of Trump Collusion with Russia

    (3) Robert Mueller’s Questionable Timing in First ‘Russia’ Indictments

    (4) Trump, GOP leaders: Manafort charges no relation to campaign, alleged ‘collusion’

    (5) Manafort, Gates plead not guilty in grand jury indictment

    (6) What Did Dems Know About Dossier? Their Handling Of Imran Awan Affair Is Instructive

    (7) Honeypot: Was the Trump Camp’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer All a Clinton Set-Up?

    (8) Who is Rick Gates, the Campaign Aide Indicted Along with Manafort?

    (9) George Papadopoulos, former policy adviser for Trump campaign, pleads guilty to lying to the FBI

    (10) Paul Manafort judges: Who are Deborah A. Robinson and Amy Berman Jackson?

    • Jack 4:57 pm on October 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Off Topic: I just deactivated the comment system I was using because it has a serious security problem. This one should be alright.

    • Northern Phoenix 3:39 pm on October 30, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      “To be clear”…I am not a big fan of Alex Jones. Most days I find he goes way over the top with rabid conspiracy theories but today I think he hit pay dirt. I will add that if the Jones information is accurate (and I believe it to be so) Manafort is already off the hook because of the tainted evidence which was used to obtain the indictment and if THAT turns out to be true Robert Mueller, in his panic to appease a slobbering media that smells blood (his blood), may have just indicted himself. What a turn of events that would be.

      Time will tell.

  • Jack 2:34 pm on October 26, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: andrew mcabe, , , , , , , , , frank gaffney, , , john hayward, lorreta lynch, , , , , , , ,   

    Dirty Cop? 

    Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Wednesday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the latest revelations regarding the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the politicized Obama Justice Department, and actual collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Gaffney said the current news environment provided a “target-rich environment” for punditry, but was regrettably “hard on the country.”

    “I particularly am thinking of this dossier business and the attacks on Donald Trump that have been relentlessly pursued,” he said. “Interestingly enough, with the help – in some cases more than just help, the active participation – of some people who have prominently featured in an actual case of Russian collusion at the highest levels of the United States government.”

    “You can’t make this stuff up,” he exclaimed. “It’s an extraordinary tale. It’s worth exploring.”

    “There now seems to be, at long last, a willingness on the part of congressional Republicans – amazingly! – to conduct the kinds of investigations into this actual saga of collusion by Hillary Clinton, by Bill Clinton, apparently by the Democratic National Committee – and, by the way, by people like Robert Mueller, and James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, and Rod Rosenstein, and Eric Holder.”

    “These are people who have been prominently featured, either in condemning Donald Trump for the putative collusion of members of his campaign with the Russians, or are actively involved in the investigation thereof,” Gaffney explained. “The trouble is, I don’t see how a one of these people, if they’re not actually going to be subject to criminal prosecution – and I say that advisedly – at the very least are now completely incapable of performing an independent and honest investigation into these so-called allegations against Donald Trump.”

    Gaffney added that the latest developments in the story put another organization in the crosshairs: the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States or CFIUS.

    “It is an inter-agency group that has a critically important responsibility. That responsibility is to try to make sure that we are not selling off assets of this country that will have grievous national security implications. It’s got a whole cast of Cabinet officers as its members, including the Secretary of State, including the Secretary of the Treasury,” he said.

    “It turns out that as this so-called Uranium One transaction was being considered by CFIUS for approval – this was, of course, the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium stocks to the Russians – and the voting on that idea was going to be conducted by, among others, Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder – then the Attorney General of the United States, she was the Secretary of State of course – Hillary Clinton was taking in, either personally or through her husband or through her foundation, $145 million dollars from Russian interests associated with this transaction,” he continued.

    “And Eric Holder knew that! The Mueller team knew it at the FBI, Comey, McCabe, others, and Rod Rosenstein. This is scandalous in the first order. They did nothing to prevent this transaction. It went through. The Clintons were enriched. We sold, I believe, national security assets in the form of this uranium to Russians,” Gaffney charged.

    “And CFIUS – get this – at the same time this was going down, a guy who was the staff director in effect of this organization, a fellow by the name of Amin Mir, is a Pakistani expat with sharia supremacist ties both personal and familial, including to the Muslim Brotherhood,” he added.

    “Now, you’ve just got to ask yourself, as the Pakistanis are all over this saga with the Capitol Hill Democrats IT scandal, who is in charge of actually monitoring what’s in the national security interests of the United States? Certainly not CFIUS. Certainly not the Attorney General, or the Secretary of State, or for that matter President Obama himself during this critical period of time,” he said.

    Gaffney called for “public hearings, as well as investigations,” which he deemed likely to result in “criminal prosecution of at least some of these individuals.”

    “At the bare minimum, they cannot in good faith proceed with their own investigations now underway – again, without evidence of actual collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians,” he said. “It is high time that the Washington Post get around to covering this. I’m delighted that they are. But let’s be honest, Raheem: this saga would not have gotten the attention that it has, finally, were it not for the work that you guys at Breitbart and the Daily Caller and others have been doing on it. It has to now go to the next step for sure on Capitol Hill.”

    On the crucial question of whether special counsel Robert Mueller has been compromised by the latest revelations, Gaffney replied, “Absolutely. Indisputably.”

    “Here’s the charge: he knew that Hillary Clinton and her circle were involved in what can only be described as a pay-to-play scheme, and he did not bring that information forward at the time that the scheme was being essentially blessed by this organization, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. That’s malfeasance, I believe. That is certainly incompatible with the kind of assignment and responsibilities he now has,” Gaffney contended.

    “There are lots of good people in the FBI, thank God,” he reflected. “But the leadership has been, I believe, corrupt for some time. Jim Comey, for example, has been called by many a ‘dirty cop.’ Bob Mueller has been shown now, I think, to be compromised. Andrew McCabe, for crying out loud, took money from Hillary Clinton’s best friend – through his wife, of course – $750,000 while he’s investigating Hillary Clinton. You just can’t make this stuff up.”

    “The people in the bowels of that bureau are poorly served, as is the country, by this kind of leadership,” he said. “It’s high time that Donald Trump cleans the place out, I think.”

    As another example of corruption, Gaffney cited the case of “this Pakistani national at the heart of the CFIUS process,” linking it to how “Imran Awan and his family were deeply tied to a number of these members of Congress through IT services.”

    “At the very time that the FBI is telling us that they’re satisfied – this is Jim Comey – that the Democratic National Committee’s computer services were penetrated by the Russians, it turns out that Imran Awan, who may have ties to Pakistani intelligence, by the way, had the passwords for Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s access to that system,” he said.

    Gaffney cited Republican representatives in an informal meeting saying there is “much more evidence of Pakistan’s intelligence service being involved in the compromise of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC and so on than there is of the Russians.”

    “And the FBI, under this corrupt leadership, claimed without actually investigating this computer system itself, the servers of the DNC itself – they took the word of, get this, a Russian-tied company that indeed it was Russian involvement, not somebody else’s,” he continued. “We’ve got so many strings to pull. We need rigorous congressional oversight. I pray the logjam is finally broken, that Paul Ryan will let that kind of work be done on the Hill, as it should have been long before now.”

    Kassam concluded by asking if it was time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “un-recuse” himself from matters related to the 2016 election.

    “I think there’s plenty of things that he can do, including getting into the issues that we’ve just talked about now on Uranium One, for example, without un-recusing himself,” Gaffney replied. “Whether he can do that with respect to the rest of it, I just am not in a position to say.”

    “We need his leadership on certainly the evidence of Hillary Clinton’s collusion, and Bill Clinton’s and the Clinton team’s, with the Russians on Uranium One and so much more,” he added. “Skolkovo is another story which we’ll have to come back to some other day, I know. This is ripe for criminal investigation. We need it on the Hill, and probably in the Justice Department as well.”

    Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.



    See Also:

    (1) Team Obama’s stunning cover-up of Russian crimes

    (2) Hillary Campaign, DNC Accused of Violating Election Law with Dossier Payments

  • Jack 2:36 pm on October 25, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: adam lanza, ashley collman, , , document release, , sandy hook massacre, , ,   


    Four years before the Sandy Hook shooting, a man says he overheard Adam Lanza threaten to murder his mother and students at the school, newly released FBI documents reveal.

    However, when the man told police they said there was nothing they could do.

    The FBI on Tuesday released more than 1,500 pages of documents related to its investigation of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

    The documents include reports by FBI agents who interviewed people about shooter Adam Lanza, who killed himself as police arrived at the school. Large portions of many of the documents were redacted, including the names of the people who spoke to the agents.

    The documents offer a window into the early days of the investigation, as agents chased false leads and gathered evidence of Lanza’s isolation. A year after the massacre, state police released a final investigative document that concluded Lanza was obsessed with firearms, death and mass shootings, but that the motive may never be known.

    One man who spoke to police said he heard Lanza threaten his mother sometime in December 2008.

    Lanza’s mother Nancy reportedly told the unidentified source that her son ‘had an assault weapon and that she was scared of him’.

    The source claimed Lanza said ‘he planned to kill his mother and children at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.’

    The man says he went to the Newtown Police to report the threats, but they told them there was nothing they could do since Lanza’s mother was the official owner of his weapons cache.

    The source also claimed that Lanza hated his mother and Sandy Hook because she had worked there.

    ‘Lanza apparently felt that his mother loved the students more than him,’ the source said, according to an interview summary.

    The reports also hint that Lanza may have been pedophile.

    FBI agents found a file on Lanza’s computer ‘advocating pedophiles’ rights and the liberation of children’ as well as a screenplay about a relationship between a 10-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man.

    The FBI’s behavioral analysis unit also assessed Lanza’s mental state and found that he ‘had an interest in children that could be categorized as pedophilia’.

    Another person who spoke to the FBI said Nancy Lanza had become concerned about her son before the shooting because he had become a ‘shut in’ who hadn’t gone anywhere in three months. Adam Lanza shot his mother dead in their home before going to the school on December 14, 2012. During that time he also dropped to just 85 pounds.

    The person also told the FBI agent that Lanza never completely accepted that he had Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum, and never took any medication he was prescribed.

    ‘Nancy would take care of all of Adam’s needs,’ the person said. ‘However, she never cleaned his room, nor was allowed in his room. Adam’s room was his personal space that no one else was allowed into.’

    Lanza’s mother was apparently so dedicated to helping him that they had planned to move cross country to Seattle the following year. She apparently thought that a change of scenery would help her son.

    One person said that Lanza owned at least four guns and all were kept in a gunsafe in his closet. Another person said that Lanza had two rifles, but didn’t know about him having a pistol.

    A report by the Connecticut child advocate in 2014 concluded that Lanza’s autism spectrum disorder and other psychiatric problems did not cause or lead directly to the massacre.

    The report said Nancy Lanza rejected recommendations from Yale psychologists that her son be medicated and undergo rigorous treatment as a child for anxiety and other conditions. It also said Adam Lanza, his parents and educators contributed to his social isolation by not confronting his problems.

    Another person told the FBI that Lanza essentially had become a ‘recluse’ who shut himself in his bedroom and played video games all day. The person said Lanza had no friends, was computer savvy and became very interested in firearms.

    Another person called the FBI to say that her son had been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops online with someone the night before the shooting, who told him to ‘watch the news tomorrow’. The documents do not reveal whether the FBI confirmed Lanza was the person who made the comment.

    A woman who he met on a website devoted to the Columbine school shooting said Lanza used screen names to honor infamous school shooters like German gunman Tim Kretschmer and Canadian killer Kimveer Gill.

    Lanza was ‘the weirdest person online,’ the woman said.

    ‘He was singularly focused and obsessed with mass murders … Lanza devoted almost all his internet activity to researching and discussing mass murders and spree killings,’ read an FBI summary of the December 2012 interview.

    ‘Lanza spoke about school killings and those who committed them with respect and understanding.’

    She described him as depressed and cynical with a very negative view on life.

    Before the shooting, Lanza had withdrawn from social media, something he told the woman was his ‘virtual suicide’.

    When she learned he was responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting, the woman said she realized he was ‘more f***** up than I thought’

    Lanza shot the children and educators with an AR-15-style rifle that was legally purchased by his mother, who took her son to shooting ranges, authorities have said.

    The documents also reveal that Lanza didn’t put up a fight when officers responded at the school. When they stormed the school, Lanza turned and ran into a classroom where he committed suicide.

    A Newtown resident – who called Lanza ‘a troubled kid’ – told the FBI that Nancy Lanza said Adam had once hacked into a government computer system and federal authorities — either FBI or CIA agents — showed up at their door.

    Nancy Lanza told the person that she had to convince the agents that her son was just very intelligent and was challenging himself to see if he could hack into a government system. She said agents told her that if Adam was that smart, he could get a job with their agency someday.

    Several Newtown residents told authorities they received death threats after the shooting during phone calls from someone identifying himself as Adam Lanza.


    • Northern Phoenix 3:25 pm on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This story has me very upset because it should never have happened. Gross police incompetence literally screams from the column but no doubt there will be more added in the days ahead. I’ll wait to see what others have to say.

  • Jack 4:00 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , clarice feldman, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Thickening Plot 

    The major developing stories this week have been so scantily and poorly covered in the mainstream press that you may want an easy primer. To fully understand it you have to look at alternative media, because just as Harvey Weinstein counted on complicit enablers — his colleagues, victims and the press — Hillary Clinton, Robert Mueller and a cast of characters, including a press determined to cover for them have hidden what occurred. It’s taken some time, to be sure, but the evidence of their wrongdoing is becoming harder and harder to hide. Stalling and misdirection are their last redoubt.


    Here are some of the principal figures:

    Robert Mueller. Former head of the FBI and now special counsel purportedly investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election.

    Andrew McCabe, appointed by former president Obama, was Assistant FBI Director in charge of investigating charges by the FBI’s own underground informant to the effect that the Russians, engaged in bribery to obtain uranium supplies in the U.S. His wife received nearly half a million dollars from Hillary Clinton buddy Terry McAuliffe for her 2015 Virginia state senate campaign which he had not disclosed to the Department nor sought clearance for from its ethics office. Presently he is the deputy attorney director of the FBI and is himself under investigation by the Justice department inspector general respecting this contribution.

    The unnamed FBI undercover informant, represented by criminal attorney Victoria Toensing, was witness to the scheming, kickbacks and corruption in the Russian effort to obtain 20% of U.S. uranium supplies held by Canadian-based Uranium One. He reported to his bosses at the FBI — which is to say McCabe and Mueller — prior to the October 2010 approval of the sale to Uranium One. He says Lynch has threatened him with criminal prosecution if he reveals what he knows to Congress. Senator Grassley has asked present Attorney General Jeff Sessions to waive the nondisclosure agreement — which appears in any event to be untoward and unconstitutional — so he can tell the Senate Judiciary Committee what he knows.

    CFIUS (The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US) is the interagency organization which is supposed to review such transactions to be sure they did not jeopardize national security. If it determines such sales will harm national security, they are supposed to block them.

    The U.S. Intelligence Community – through the Director of National Intelligence – serves as ex officio member and is required to provide an intelligence assessment to CFIUS for review.

    The Secretary of Labor was also added as an ex officio member.

    In total, CFIUS is comprised of nine agencies, two ex officio representatives and other members as appointed by the U.S. President representing major departments and agencies within the U.S. federal executive branch. In addition to Treasury, the U.S. Departments of Energy, Commerce, State, Homeland Security, Justice, Trade, Science and Technology Policy and Defense are represented.

    Author Jim Rickards claims that James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, disbanded the CFIUS advisory for the intel community just before the Uranium One deal was approved.

    The Chairman of Uranium One is on the Clinton Foundation Board and a close friend of the Clintons, and as the deal was being considered by approval by CFIUS, nine members of Uranium One contributed more than $145 million to the Clinton Foundation, long exposed as a Clinton family piggy bank. Yellow cake from these uranium mines “has gone to some unknown destination” since the sale was approved.

    Loretta Lynch, Obama’s Attorney General, reportedly threatened the informant that he’d be subject to criminal prosecution if he revealed to Congress what he’d find out.

    Hillary Clinton, former first lady and most recently failed candidate for President, was Secretary of State when the Uranium Sale was approved by the CFIUS.

    Mystery witness claims millions of dollars in Russian nuclear funds went to “an entity” assisting the Clinton Foundation.

    Bill Clinton, former president and husband of Hillary Clinton and recipient of a $500,000 dollar speaking fee for a speech in Russia from Renaissance Capital (a Russian finance corporation) prior to the approval of the sale to Uranium One.

    Rod Rosenstein, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, presently Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice overseeing the Mueller investigation into claims that the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign (2005-2017).

    Andrew Weisman, presently a member of Mueller’s team, and former prosecutor of the Russian briber Vadim Mikerin and the American Trucking executive whom Vadim worked with and through. (the latter pleaded guilty June 2015, but the court record shows he has not yet been sentenced.)

    He pursued those convictions under Rosenstein’s supervision.

    Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul, with whom the Clintons had a long relationship, sought and obtained uranium in Kazakhstan (UrAsia Energy). Uranium One bought his company, and the Russians were sniffing around about how Giustra had obtained the Kazakhstan deal.

    Rosatom, a Russian government corporation, which bought into Uranium One, but needed U.S. approval to obtain Uranium One, because the latter held 20% of U.S. uranium supplies.

    Ian Teifer, Chair of Uranium One (since 2007 when it merged with Ur Asia) and other individuals contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation from 2009-2013, which were not disclosed publicly as she had pledged to do.

    There are actually three Russian Collusion Stories – two, involving Hillary and present and past FBI and DOJ officials, have merit. The third, the subject of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, is nonsensical.

    1. Hillary and the Uranium One deal

    What is Being Charged About the Clinton’s Role in the Uranium One Sale?

    Daniel Greenfield explains:

    The same year that Hillary brought over her ‘Reset Button’, the FBI was investigating a top Rosatom figure in America for racketeering, extortion, bribery and money laundering. The investigation was supervised by the controversial current Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe who has his own financial ties to the Clintons. The investigation dragged out for five years. Just enough time for the Rosatom deal to be approved. When the charges were brought in ’14, the Russians had gotten it all…

    Holder’s DOJ, like Hillary’s State, signed off on the Rosatom-Uranium One deal despite the ongoing investigation. Holder and his associates at the DOJ kept the investigation under their hats. The trails leading to the Clintons were closed off…

    “Victim 1”, the FBI’s confidential witness in the case, was an American businessman who was making payments to a Rosatom figure. He knew firsthand about the Russian efforts to influence Bill and Hillary, and through them, the Obama administration, but wasn’t allowed to talk about it. Instead Obama’s DOJ threatened him with criminal charges if he revealed what he knew. And what he knew included comments by FBI agents about political pressure from the DOJ during the Uranium One-Rosatom approval process.

    Meanwhile, during the approval process, Bill Clinton was getting paid $500,000 by a Russian bank with Russian government ties, even as his wife had the power to block a deal by Rosatom. While Clinton and Obama cronies are scurrying around to tie Trump to Russia, their own bosses were giving a Russian state corporation whose branches included the nuclear weapons complex access to our nuclear materials.


    Not only did Obama and his people at the DOJ and FBI turn a blind eye to Russian nuclear malfeasance in America, but they covered up evidence tying that malfeasance to the Clintons, and then threatened an informant to protect that cover-up. Democracy really does die in darkness. Just ask the media.

    The Hill takes up the narrative:

    At the same time the Russians were paying Clinton half a million dollars to speak and topping up the Clinton Foundation coffers to the hilt, Bill Clinton sought permission in May 2010 to meet with Arkady Dvorovich, one of the highest-ranking members of the Russian government to sit on Rosatom’s Board, and then when approval dragged on, he met directly with Vladimir Putin. [snip] Inside the Clintons’ inner circle, there also was a debate in 2010.

    A close associate of Bill Clinton who was directly involved in the Moscow trip and spoke on condition of anonymity, described to The Hill the circumstances surrounding how Bill Clinton landed a $500,000 speaking gig in Russia and then came up with the list of Russians he wanted to meet.

    The friend said Hillary Clinton had just returned in late March 2010 from an official trip to Moscow where she met with both Putin and Medvedev. The president’s speaker’s bureau had just received an offer from Renaissance Capital to pay the former president $500,000 for a single speech in Russia.

    Documents show Bill Clinton’s personal lawyer on April 5, 2010, sent a conflict of interest review to the State Department asking for permission to give the speech in late June, and it was approved two days later.

    The Clinton friend said the former president’s office then began assembling a list of requests to meet with Russian business and government executives whom he could meet on the trip. One of the goals of the trip was to try to help a Clinton family relative “grow investments in their business with Russian oligarchs and other businesses,” the friend told The Hill.

    “It was one of the untold stories of the Russia trip. People have focused on Uranium One and the speaking fees, but opening up a business spigot for the family business was one only us insiders knew about,” the friend said.

    But that is not the end of the story. Without revealing anything about the Rosatom-Uranium One background of bribery and corruption, Rosenstein-McCabe supervised the investigation and two people, including Russian Vadim Mikerin, were prosecuted.

    Although the FBI and DOJ knew of the corruption involved in getting the Uranium One deal approved before the CFIUS approved the deal, no charges were brought until 2014, and neither the public, the intelligence community, nor the Congress were informed of the cases until after a plea was entered with little fanfare by the defendants.

    Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

    But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

    The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

    By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

    The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

    The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

    The Second Hillary-Russian scandal (The Ghost Story)

    So here are the key facts: the FBI found that Russian intelligence had targeted Hillary Clinton before and during her time as secretary of state. Clinton’s spokespersons denied that this was so. Clinton opposed the Magnitsky sanctions on officials tied to Putin. After her husband received his half-million dollars… Clinton moved with unusual speed to whisk the ring of 10 Russian spies out of the country and back to Moscow. She had the lopsided swap take place over a long summer weekend, before the FBI was finished with the spies, and before the spies could stand trial. While the FBI was separately investigating Russians involved with buying Uranium One, she approved the sale of American uranium to Russia’s nuclear weapons agency. Principals in the sale then plowed $145 million into her family foundation and projects.

    Several questions come to mind. Precisely what did the FBI know about Russia’s spy service targeting Hillary Clinton and her inner circle? Why did Clinton deny through spokespersons that she had been a Russian target? Why did she work so feverishly to get the spies out of the United States and back to Russia? Why has the FBI leadership not been more vocal in touting one of its greatest counterintelligence successes ever? And why did nobody in the FBI leadership raise this issue during the 2016 Russian election meddling controversy?

    Once again, the person who should have been and certainly was most knowledgeable about the details of this scandal is Robert Mueller, then head of the FBI and now special counsel pursuing the dead end assertion that Russia colluded with Trump.

    Russia and Trump

    The overwhelming evidence suggests that Hillary and Bill, consumed with greed, colluded with the Russians, handed them the right to one-fifth of U.S. uranium reserves in exchange for cash for themselves and their slush fund foundation. When she lost, she projected her conduct onto everyone else, including Trump. It is beyond doubt — because it has been admitted by James Comey, the head of the FBI — that he began his investigation into her charges based on the GPS-Fusion “Dossier” which even its author Christopher Steele asserts was “raw intelligence,” not verified and not verifiable.

    This week Steele refused a Congressional demand that he testify as to who paid him and who were his sources.

    Fusion is known as a ruthless firm that excels in smear jobs, but few have noticed the operation it’s conducting against the lawmakers investigating it. The false accusations against Mr. Nunes — that he’s acting unethically and extralegally, that he’s sabotaging the Russia probe — are classic.

    This is a firm that in 2012 was paid to dig through the divorce records of a Mitt Romney donor. It’s a firm that human-rights activist Thor Halvorssen testified was hired to spread malicious rumors about him. It’s a firm that financier Bill Browder testified worked to delegitimize his efforts to get justice for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer beaten to death in a Russian prison.

    It’s the firm behind the infamous “dossier” accusing Donald Trump of not just unbecoming behavior but also colluding with Russia. Republicans are investigating whether the Fusion dossier was influenced by Russians, and whether American law enforcement relied on that disinformation for its own probe.

    But Fusion’s secret weapon in its latest operation is the Democratic Party, whose most powerful members have made protecting Fusion’s secrets their highest priority.

    As Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) notes: “The obvious inference is that Fusion’s secrets are their secrets, and they’re devastating.” Underscoring Reynolds’ point,GPS is  even trying an unlikely gambit — seeking judicial blocking of Congressional access to its bank records.

    Molly Hemingway eviscerates the journalists who claimed to be shocked about GPS-Fusion, itself a collection of former journalists. She quotes them and shreds them for their purported ignorance, and remarks, not without warrant,

    I mentioned earlier the Washington Post and New York Times had anonymously sourced stories alleging that the FBI tried to pay one of the dossier’s authors but ultimately did not. Well, CNN has anonymous sources that say the FBI did give him money for his work. “FBI reimbursed some expenses of dossier author,” CNN reported in March. To quote Jake Sherman: The FBI is in the U.S. government.

    So let’s go back to that tweet. We have reports at CNN of the FBI paying expenses for the dossier, and trying to pay him even more, according to the Post and Times. We have Fusion GPS already claiming that Democratic supporters of Clinton paid for it. And we have New York Times and various other reports that Russians paid Fusion GPS for allegedly unrelated work, though no evidence that those funds were not used on the dossier. So who paid for it? Russia? The FBI? The Democrats? Or all? Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice to know? If only we had some means of finding out the answers to these questions!

    While the fever swamps of the left are still playing on the credulity of their readers, there’s still no evidentiary basis for claiming any of the Russian propaganda efforts on Facebook, or Google, or You Tube influenced the election in Trump’s favor. More likely a “woke” citizenry fed up with Hillary’s greed, corruption, lies, and incompetence and able to communicate directly with each other through the internet did it all by themselves.

    Correction: Andrew McCabe’s current title is deputy director of the FBI, not deputy attorney general.


  • Jack 4:46 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    This Stinks! 

    Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

    The Facebook-ad buy, which started in June 2015 — before Donald Trump entered the race — was more left-wing agitprop (ads pushing hysteria on racism, immigration, guns, etc.) than electioneering. The Clintons’ own long-time political strategist Mark Penn estimates that just $6,500 went to actual electioneering. (You read that right: 65 hundred dollars.) By contrast, the staggering $500,000 payday from a Kremlin-tied Russian bank for a single speech was part of a multi-million-dollar influence-peddling scheme to enrich the former president and his wife, then–secretary of state Hillary Clinton. At the time, Russia was plotting — successfully — to secure U.S. government approval for its acquisition of Uranium One, and with it, tens of billions of dollars in U.S. uranium reserves.

    Here’s the kicker: The Uranium One scandal is not only, or even principally, a Clinton scandal. It is an Obama-administration scandal.

    The Clintons were just doing what the Clintons do: cashing in on their “public service.” The Obama administration, with Secretary Clinton at the forefront but hardly alone, was knowingly compromising American national-security interests. The administration green-lighted the transfer of control over one-fifth of American uranium-mining capacity to Russia, a hostile regime — and specifically to Russia’s state-controlled nuclear-energy conglomerate, Rosatom. Worse, at the time the administration approved the transfer, it knew that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was engaged in a lucrative racketeering enterprise that had already committed felony extortion, fraud, and money-laundering offenses.

    The Obama administration also knew that congressional Republicans were trying to stop the transfer. Consequently, the Justice Department concealed what it knew. DOJ allowed the racketeering enterprise to continue compromising the American uranium industry rather than commencing a prosecution that would have scotched the transfer. Prosecutors waited four years before quietly pleading the case out for a song, in violation of Justice Department charging guidelines. Meanwhile, the administration stonewalled Congress, reportedly threatening an informant who wanted to go public.

    Obama’s ‘Reset’

    To understand what happened here, we need to go back to the beginning.

    The first-tier military arsenal of Putin’s Russia belies its status as a third-rate economic power. For well over a decade, the regime has thus sought to develop and exploit its capacity as a nuclear-energy producer. Naïvely viewing Russia as a “strategic partner” rather than a malevolent competitor, the Bush administration made a nuclear-cooperation agreement with the Kremlin in May 2008. That blunder, however, was tabled before Congress could consider it. That is because Russia, being Russia, invaded Georgia.

    In 2009, notwithstanding this aggression (which continues to this day with Russia’s occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia), President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton signaled the new administration’s determination to “reset” relations with Moscow. In this reset, renewed cooperation and commerce in nuclear energy would be central.

    There had been such cooperation and commerce since the Soviet Union imploded. In 1992, the administration of President George H. W. Bush agreed with the nascent Russian federation that U.S. nuclear providers would be permitted to purchase uranium from Russia’s disassembled nuclear warheads (after it had been down-blended from its highly enriched weapons-grade level). The Russian commercial agent responsible for the sale and transportation of this uranium to the U.S. is the Kremlin-controlled company “Tenex” (formally, JSC Techsnabexport). Tenex is a subsidiary of Rosatom.

    Tenex (and by extension, Rosatom) have an American arm called “Tenam USA.” Tenam is based in Bethesda, Md. Around the time President Obama came to power, the Russian official in charge of Tenam was Vadim Mikerin.

    The Obama administration reportedly issued a visa for Mikerin in 2010, but a racketeering investigation led by the FBI determined that he was already operating here in 2009.

    The Racketeering Scheme

    As Tenam’s general director, Mikerin was responsible for arranging and managing Rosatom/Tenex’s contracts with American uranium purchasers. This gave him tremendous leverage over the U.S. companies. With the assistance of several confederates, Mikerin used this leverage to extort and defraud the U.S. contractors into paying inflated prices for uranium. They then laundered the proceeds through shell companies and secret bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Switzerland, and the Seychelle Islands — though sometimes transactions were handled in cash, with the skim divided into envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash.

    The inflated payments served two purposes: They enriched Kremlin-connected energy officials in the U.S. and in Russia to the tune of millions of dollars; and they compromised the American companies that paid the bribes, rendering players in U.S. nuclear energy — a sector critical to national security — vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.

    But Mikerin had a problem. To further the Kremlin’s push for nuclear-energy expansion, he had been seeking to retain a lobbyist — from whom he planned to extort kickbacks, just as he did with the U.S. energy companies. With the help of an associate connected to Russian organized-crime groups, Mikerin found his lobbyist. The man’s name has not been disclosed, but we know he is now represented by Victoria Toensing, a well-respected Washington lawyer, formerly a federal prosecutor and counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

    When Mikerin solicited him in 2009, the lobbyist was uncomfortable, worried that the proposal would land him on the wrong side of the law. So he contacted the FBI and revealed what he knew. From then on, the Bureau and Justice Department permitted him to participate in the Russian racketeering scheme as a “confidential source” — and he is thus known as “CS-1” in affidavits the government, years later, presented to federal court in order to obtain search and arrest warrants.

    At the time this unidentified man became an informant, the FBI was led by director Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel investigating whether Trump colluded with Russia. The investigation was centered in Maryland (Tenam’s home base). There, the U.S. attorney was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — now President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and the man who appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate Trump.

    Because of CS-1, the FBI was able to understand and monitor the racketeering enterprise almost from the start. By mid-May 2010, it could already prove the scheme and three separate extortionate payments Mikerin had squeezed out of the informant. Equally important: According to reporting by John Solomon and Alison Spann in the Hill, the informant learned through conversations with Mikerin and others that Russian nuclear officials were trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons.

    Uranium One, Russia, and the Clintons

    There is no doubt that this extraordinarily gainful ingratiation took place. I outlined some of it a year ago in suggesting that the Justice Department should be investigating the Clinton Foundation, and its exploitation of Hillary Clinton’s influence as secretary of state, as a potential racketeering case.

    In 2005, former President Clinton helped his Canadian billionaire friend and benefactor, Frank Giustra, obtain coveted uranium-mining rights from Kazakhstan’s dictator. The Kazakh deal enabled Giustra’s company (Ur-Asia Energy) to merge into Uranium One (a South African company), a $3.5 billion windfall. Giustra and his partners thereafter contributed tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation. Besides the valuable Kazakh reserves, Uranium One also controlled about a fifth of the uranium stock in the United States.

    Alas, Putin, the neighborhood bully, also wanted the Kazakh uranium. He leaned on Kazakhstan’s dictator, who promptly arrested the official responsible for selling the uranium-mining rights to Giustra’s company. This put Uranium One’s stake in jeopardy of being seized by the Kazakh government.

    As Uranium One’s stock plunged, its panicked executives turned to the State Department, where their friend Hillary Clinton was now in charge. State sprung into action, convening emergency meetings with the Kazakh regime. A few days later, it was announced that the crisis was resolved (translation: the shakedown was complete). Russia’s energy giant, Rosatom, would purchase 17 percent of Uranium One, and the Kazakh threat would disappear — and with it, the threat to the value of the Clinton donors’ holdings.

    For Putin, though, that was just a start. He didn’t want a minority stake in Uranium One, he wanted control of the uranium. For that, Rosatom would need a controlling interest in Uranium One. That would be a tall order — not because of the Kazakh mining rights but because acquisition of Uranium One’s American reserves required U.S. government approval.

    Uranium is foundational to nuclear power and thus to American national security. As the New York Times explained in a report on the disturbing interplay between the Clinton Foundation and the transfer of American uranium assets to Russia, the United States gets a fifth of its electrical power from nuclear energy, but only produces a fifth of the uranium it needs. Consequently, a foreign entity would not be able to acquire rights to American uranium without the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

    CFIUS is composed of the leaders of 14 U.S. government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included not only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had cultivated a reputation as a hawk opposed to such foreign purchases, but Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department (and its lead agency, the FBI) were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme.

    In March 2010, to push the Obama “reset” agenda, Secretary Clinton traveled to Russia, where she met with Putin and Dimitri Medvedev, who was then keeping the president’s chair warm for Putin. Soon after, it emerged that Renaissance Capital, a regime-tied Russian bank, had offered Bill Clinton $500,000 to make a single speech — far more than the former president’s usual haul in what would become one of his biggest paydays ever. Renaissance was an aggressive promoter of Rosatom. The Clinton speech took place in Moscow in June. The exorbitant speech fee, it is worth noting, is a pittance compared with the $145 million Newsweek reports was donated to the Clinton Foundation by sources linked to the Uranium One deal.

    The month before the speech, the Hill reports, Bill Clinton told his wife’s State Department that he wanted to meet while in Russia with Arkady Dvorkovich, who, in addition to being a top Medvedev aide, was also a key Rosatom board member. It is not known whether the State Department gave clearance for the meeting; the question appears to have become moot since the former U.S. president met directly with Putin and Medvedev. You’ll be comforted, I’m sure, to learn that aides to the Clintons, those pillars of integrity, assure us that the topics of Rosatom and Uranium One never came up.

    Keeping Congress in the Dark

    Meanwhile, congressional opposition to Russia’s potential acquisition of American uranium resources began to stir. As Peter Schweizer noted in his essential book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, four senior House members steeped in national-security issues — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran, America’s sworn enemy, build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.” The House began moving a bill “expressing disfavor of the Congress” regarding Obama’s revival of the nuclear-cooperation agreement Bush had abandoned.

    Clearly, in this atmosphere, disclosure of the racketeering enterprise that Rosatom’s American subsidiary was, at that very moment, carrying out would have been the death knell of the asset transfer to Russia. It would also likely have ended the “reset” initiative in which Obama and Clinton were deeply invested — an agenda that contemplated Kremlin-friendly deals on nuclear-arms control and accommodation of the nuclear program of Russia’s ally, Iran. That was not going to be allowed to happen. It appears that no disclosure of Russia’s racketeering and strong-arming was made to CFIUS or to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, not by Attorney General Holder, and certainly not by President Obama. In October 2010, CFIUS gave its blessing to Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One.

    A Sweetheart Plea Helps the Case Disappear

    Even though the FBI had an informant collecting damning information, and had a prosecutable case against Mikerin by early 2010, the extortion racket against American energy companies was permitted to continue into the summer of 2014. It was only then that, finally, Mikerin and his confederates were arrested.

    Why then? This is not rocket science. In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. Putin also began massing forces on the Ukrainian border, coordinating and conducting attacks, ultimately taking control of territory. Clearly, the pie-in-the-sky Obama reset was dead. Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes.

    Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case. It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets.

    The Obama administration needed to make this case go away — without a public trial if at all possible.

    Think about this: The investigation of Russian racketeering in the American energy sector was the kind of spectacular success over which the FBI and Justice Department typically do a bells-n-whistles victory lap — the big self-congratulatory press conference followed by the media-intensive prosecutions . . . and, of course, more press conferences.

    Here . . . crickets.

    As the Hill reports, the Justice Department and FBI had little to say when Mikerin and his co-conspirators were arrested. They quietly negotiated guilty pleas that were announced with no fanfare just before Labor Day. It was arranged that Mikerin would be sentenced just before Christmas. All under the radar.

    How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out? Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do.

    Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Yet he was permitted to plead guilty to a single count of money-laundering conspiracy.

    Except it was not really money-laundering conspiracy.

    Under federal law, that crime (at section 1956 of the penal code) carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering. But Mikerin was not made to plead guilty to this charge. He was permitted to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment.

    The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major.

    Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in the Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement is careful not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before CFIUS approved Rosatom’s acquisition of U.S. uranium stock. Mikerin just had to plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge. This insulated him from a real money-laundering sentence. Thus, he got a term of just four years’ incarceration for a major national-security crime — which, of course, is why he took the plea deal and waived his right to appeal, sparing the Obama administration a full public airing of the facts.

    Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia.

    There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk.

    Specifically, as his attorney, Ms. Toensing, explains, the informant wanted to tell Congress what he knows — about what the FBI and the Justice Department could already have proved in 2010 when CFIUS signed off on Russia’s acquisition of American nuclear material, and about what he’d learned of Russian efforts to curry favor with Bill and Hillary Clinton. But he was not allowed to talk.

    It turns out, the lawyer explains, that the FBI had induced him to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The Justice Department warned him that it was enforceable — even against disclosures to Congress. (Because, you know, the FBI is opposed to all leaks and disclosures of confidential investigative information . . . except those initiated by the FBI, of course.) In addition, when the informant was primed to file a federal civil lawsuit to recover his own losses from the scheme, he claims that the Justice Department threatened him with prosecution, warning that a lawsuit would violate the non-disclosure agreement. The Hill reports that it has obtained emails from a civil lawyer retained by the witness, which describe pressure exerted by the Justice Department to silence the informant.

    What a coincidence: That was in 2016, the stretch run of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

    This stinks.


    See Also:

    (1) Obama AG Lynch refuses to discuss notorious Clinton tarmac meeting with Russia probe: Report


  • Jack 12:12 pm on October 19, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Damning new evidence appears to show that Hillary Clinton used her office as Secretary of State to confer benefits to Russia in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband.

    But there’s more.  It seems it was all covered up for years by the same three people who are now involved in the investigation of President Donald Trump over so-called Russian “collusion.”

    The incriminating evidence was uncovered by The Hill (John Solomon and Alison Spann) and Circa News (Sara Carter).  Their dogged reporting reveals that the FBI gathered a multitude of documents, secret recordings, intercepted emails, financial records, and eyewitnesses accounts showing that Russian nuclear officials directed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Clinton during the very time that Hillary Clinton presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia.

    The corrupt scheme is said to have been financed by the Russians through bribes, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.  The FBI and the Department of Justice reportedly had the evidence in their possession before the uranium sale, but kept the matter secret and never notified Congress which would surely have stopped the transfer of uranium to Russia.

    Indeed, the entire sordid affair remained hidden for seven long years.  Until now.

    Clinton Corruption and Racketeering?

    It is a crime to use a public office to confer a benefit to a foreign government in exchange for money.  It is often referred to as “pay-to-play,” but it can be prosecuted under a variety of anti-corruption laws passed by Congress, including the federal bribery statute (18 USC 201-b), the federal gratuity statute (18 USC 201-c), the mail fraud statute (18 USC 1341), the wire fraud statute (18 USC 1343), the program bribery statute (18 USC 666), and the Travel Act (18 USC 1952).

    If the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption.

    The FBI evidence, if true, would seem to show that one or more of these illegal “pay-to-play” laws were broken.  The government would have to prove that Hillary and Bill got paid, while the Russians got to play.  And prosecutors are required to show a “quid pro quo” or “nexus” between the payments and the benefit provided.  But it appears that the FBI already possesses all the evidence it needs to make a compelling case.

    If Hillary leveraged her public office as Secretary of State for personal enrichment, but also used her charity as a receptacle or conduit for money obtained illegally, that would also constitute racketeering, as I first argued in a column almost a year ago.

    Racketeering is the use of a business for a corrupt and illegal enterprise.  The “Mafia” and other organized crime syndicates are often prosecuted under the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” or “RICO” (18 USC 1961-1968).  Frequently, they devise a dual purpose company –one which operates lawfully from the front door, but unlawfully out the back door.

    There is little doubt the Clinton Foundation operated as a charity.  But if the FBI documents demonstrate that there was a secondary, hidden purpose devoted to self-dealing and personal enrichment, then prosecution could be pursued against Clinton for racketeering.

    According to the Associated Press, more than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state donated money to her foundation.  If Clinton was peddling access, was she also peddling influence?  Again, the reported FBI documents seem to answer that question.

    But why has there been no prosecution of Clinton?  Why did the FBI and the Department of Justice during the Obama administration keep the evidence secret?  Was it concealed to prevent a scandal that would poison Barack Obama’s presidency?  Was Hillary Clinton being protected in her quest to succeed him?

    The answer may lie with the people who were in charge of the investigation and who knew of its explosive impact.   Who are they?

    Holder, Mueller, Comey & Rosenstein

    Eric Holder was the Attorney General when the FBI began uncovering the Russian corruption scheme in 2009.  Since the FBI reports to him, he surely knew what the bureau had uncovered.

    What’s more, Holder was a member of the “Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States” which approved the uranium sale to the Russians in 2010.  Since the vote was unanimous, it appears Holder knowingly and deliberately countenanced a deal that was based on illegal activities and which gave Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium assets.

    It gets worse.  Robert Mueller was the FBI Director during the time of the Russian uranium probe, and so was his successor James Comey who took over in 2013 as the FBI was still developing the case.  Rod Rosenstein, then-U.S. Attorney, was supervising the case.  There is no indication that any of these men ever told Congress of all the incriminating evidence they had discovered and the connection to Clinton.  The entire matter was kept secret from the American public.

    It may be no coincidence that Mueller (now special counsel) and Rosenstein (now Deputy Attorney General) are the two top people currently investigating whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.  Mueller reports to Rosenstein, while Comey is a key witness in the case.

    It is not unreasonable to conclude that Mueller, Rosenstein and Comey may have covered up potential crimes involving Clinton and Russia, but are now determined to find some evidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia.

    If this is true, Mueller and Rosenstein should immediately recuse themselves from the case.  How can Americans have confidence in the outcome of the Trump-Russia matter if the integrity and impartiality of the lead investigators has been compromised by their suspected cover-up of the Clinton-Russia case?

    And, if the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption.


    See Also:

    (1) Trump blasts ‘Fake Media’ for ignoring Russia uranium deal sealed ‘with Clinton help’

    (2) Lawyer files to have ex-FBI chief Comey disbarred after Clinton scandal

    (3) Putin’s rage triggered by Obama’s moves

    (4) Team Obama’s stunning cover-up of Russian crimes

    (5) Attorney: FBI Informant Was Blocked by Obama Administration from Testifying on Uranium One Deal


  • Jack 4:19 am on October 19, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: joseph k. loughlin, police one, police shootings, ,   

    Shots Fired 

    Chapter One: The Things that People Believe

    Here are some of the things people commonly believe about the police. As police officers, we have all heard people make these statements. On the news, in the paper, on the street, but also from family and friends, at the gym, at dinner parties, and even in conversation with people we believe ought to have some understanding of our reality:

    New book “Shots Fired” details deadly force incidents through the eyes of the police officers involved. Photo by: Image/Joseph K. Loughlin

    • Why did the police have to fire so many bullets?
    • Why didn’t the police just shoot the gun (or knife, bat, other weapon, etc.) out of the suspect’s hand?
    • Why couldn’t they use their baton against the suspect’s knife?
    • Why did the police not yell at the suspect to drop their weapon before shooting?
    • Why didn’t the police talk the person down instead of shooting?
    • Why did the police have to shoot him? Just let him go and arrest him later.
    • Why did the police have to kill her instead of just trying to wound her?
    • Why did the cops shoot so many times?
    • Why did they shoot him in the back?
    • Why didn’t they wing him or shoot the guy in the leg like they used to?
    • Why didn’t the police use Tasers or other nonlethal methods?

    Often, those questions are followed by statements about the police such as:

    • Cops kill people. That’s what they do.
    • They get to be judge and jury.
    • They shot him for no reason.
    • They just wanted an excuse to kill the man. That’s what they sign up for.
    • They just wanted to be heroes.
    • Cops are just one part of the criminal class policing the other.
    • The guy didn’t even have a weapon. He was unarmed, for God’s sake, and they killed him.
    • It was just a little knife. A small screwdriver.
    • The cops shot him while he was handcuffed.
    • All a cop has to do say he’s threatened and he can shoot someone.

    In the pages and stories that follow, you will experience deadly force incidents through the eyes of the officers involved, see why so many of these assumptions are unfounded, and hopefully gain some understanding of these events, which will give you information to help evaluate—and question—the versions you will hear on the news and in social media.

    I used to have my own share of mistaken beliefs. As a child, I remember watching John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, Vic Morrow, and all the heroes of war or westerns on TV. One shot would knock a man off his feet and he would be dead. A shotgun blast would blow someone ten feet back and he would be killed with one round. Guys were blown through windows or off roofs. Multiple shots would bounce someone around like a marionette. Guns and knives would be shot out of the bad guy’s hands. Heroic cowboys could shoot a man on the fly as they were running, riding a horse, or jumping off a roof.

    The movies made this even larger and grander. Cop movies showed the police shooting someone on the run or a gun out of someone’s hand or a well-placed shot in the leg dropping the bad guy in a flash. Clint Eastwood with his .44 Magnum would blow the bad guys right off their feet with one shot. The good guy would shoot multiple bad guys and they would each drop with a single bullet and never shoot back. As children, we would play cops and robbers, war, and all the other games, shouting, “I got you! Fall down!” And you were supposed to fall down. When video games came along, everyone blew apart or just dropped in place.

    I believed what I saw and heard on TV—until I became a cop. Even today, TV, video games, and movies perpetuate many myths about what happens in armed encounters. Here are some of them:

    • Bullets will knock someone down easily. One shot is all you need.
    • A shotgun will knock someone down for sure. Blow ’em right off their feet.
    • If you knock someone down, the fight is over.
    • All police are well trained and able to shoot with precision and accuracy.
    • Cops have better decision-making and memory due to training.
    • Police have plenty of time to decide when and where to shoot.
    • People armed with a knife or hammer are not as dangerous as people with guns.
    • An unarmed person is not dangerous.
    • After a cop has shot someone, she will just holster the gun and go on as though nothing had happened.
    • The police get together and lie to protect themselves.
    • Videos will tell the whole story.

    None of these are true.

    The real world is tremendously different from the world of fiction. There is almost no public understanding of what the officer goes through when involved in a deadly force incident:

    • Not of the training officers go through to prepare for these events.
    • Not of the mental, physical, and emotional reality of the events.
    • Not of their stunningly short time sequence.
    • Not of the aftermath.

    In responding to a threat, time is a critical factor. Time to think, time to act, time to react, and do it all within imperatives of the law, department policy, and training strictures. These decisions often occur in the space of seconds, as statistics show many deadly force confrontations begin and end within three seconds.[1] The reality of action versus reaction as it pertains to a deadly force incident is as much ignored or fantasized as is the reality of wound ballistics.[1] But these factors cannot be ignored, dismissed, or minimized to fit the needs of the public in support of the offender.

    There are many things we wish the public knew about officer-involved shootings before jumping to the conclusion that the cops got it wrong.

    Even in controlled police training environments, you often cannot shoot straight or react quickly under duress. The adrenaline and fear are sometimes overpowering. Under extreme duress, you can be only feet from an individual and miss. In real cop life, it never happens when you are ready or comfortable. It happens in the rain, in the snow, in the middle of the night. Or when the subject seems compliant.

    In reality, a person charging from twenty feet away can plunge a knife into you or put a hammer in your head before you can draw your weapon, sometimes even before you recognize you are in danger. In the real world, deadly encounters happen in milliseconds with little time to react. In the real world, people do not get knocked down by a bullet or blown off their feet and lie still. In the real world, someone who has been shot can still shoot back. Still charge at you. Still attack you with hands or fists, a knife, or other weapon. Rage, mental illness, and heavy-duty drugs often fuel these encounters and make people impervious to pain. People can actually run around with many bullets in them for quite a long time.

    As a young, liberal-minded man training to be a police officer, I discovered quickly that the common myths are far from true. The first thing I learned is how quickly you can be overpowered and find yourself on the ground fighting for your life and gasping for breath. It’s frightening, even in training where the attacks are simulated. This can happen even when you are prepared for it. Verbal orders are ignored. Batons get ripped from your hands. Equipment fails. Guns get jammed. Tasers won’t deploy. Pepper spray fails. The department’s officer trained with a nonlethal weapon is on another call.

    In the real world, events evolve suddenly, with a significant threat occurring well before an officer can draw a weapon. During our training, to give us a good example of how quickly a physical or knife attack could occur, the instructor would take a rubber knife and cover it with chalk. The assailant would charge us in a planned or surprise attack from twenty feet away after we started a dialogue and then we would observe the multiple chalk marks or handprints all over our clothing. The results were shocking. Sometimes, even when you are prepared for an attack, you fail. Then you learn, through muscle memory and repetitive practice, how to move forward through an attack like that, or back up if there is a place to go. Practice, repetitive training, and creating a confident mindset are paramount for survival. All of this takes time.

    At the academy, we learned that for many, perhaps most, officers involved in shootings, the timing of the attack or gunfire is a total surprise. It often defied logic or physical laws. It was shocking to learn that people do not always go down even when they are shot multiple times. Ammunition and the power of the weapon itself are factors, but bullets are not magic. Even with someone who has sustained fatal injuries, the body still works, the mind still thinks, and the heart still pumps, giving the offender plenty of time to do damage and kill.

    Many officers who were in shootings reported that the person was hit multiple times and just wouldn’t stop. Or the bullets would not penetrate and be stuck in the clothing, walls, doors, and floors after the smoke cleared. As one officer said, “You are watching it happen in front of you in total disbelief because it just does not make sense. It’s frightening. You think you missed or something is wrong that you are unable to explain.” Most times, after a deadly force event, the officer involved had no idea how many rounds were fired.

    A fact that surprises many people is that all police are not trained to the levels the public and media believe. Officers need constant and consistent training to physically survive attacks and unfortunately, often cops do not get that. Unless you are on a specialized unit such as Specialized Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) or Special Reaction Team (SRT), the average officer does not get much ongoing training. With all the other demands an officer faces at work, it can be difficult to keep up with these skills once you’re on the job. Most departments cannot afford the time, money, and training for officers beyond the basics necessary for qualification, or the minimum standards for carrying a firearm. Often officers must take it upon themselves to maintain their skills. And the stress of the moment changes everything. Your ability to react, fire a weapon, or employ self-defense tactics can go out the window fast.

    After a police shooting, we will often hear Joe or Jane Average say something like: if I had a gun, I would just shoot the guy in the leg or wing him. You know, cops are trigger-happy. That is why they shot that man twenty-six times. These people have absolutely no idea. There are many valid and practical reasons for shooting multiple times; the most important is that you are trying to stop someone who is trying to kill you or someone else. That’s the objective: to stop, not to kill.

    It’s easy to criticize or Monday morning quarterback after an event; here we ask you to visualize the reality of the event. When we bring a citizen in and put them in a scenario where they have to make a split-second decision about whether to shoot or walk them through a shooting scenario training like FATS,[2] they all emerge in disbelief and with a new respect for what officers actually go through and for what happens in real life.

    In the real world, anything that a person can grab can be a weapon: bottles, rocks, lamps, even a spoon. Anything. In the real world, people can kill, cripple, and maim with their hands and fists easily. There are various skill levels and physical abilities. Human beings are capable of tremendous physical feats and incredible strength. Some individuals are highly trained in martial arts or have military experience. It is all very unpredictable.

    Whether the suspect is armed or unarmed, or appears not to present a threat, the evolution of deadly force events is almost always unexpected. Consider this example:

    • * *

    Hartford Police Department, Hartford, Connecticut

    Officer Richard “Kevin” Salkeld: It was a beautiful day, high 70s, and low 80s. Sunny. I was partnered with Andrew Jacobsen. We were partners for a while and very close. We went to our first call, a domestic on Sisson Avenue and then cleared that. I was driving to Evergreen Mobil, Eddie’s Evergreen, it was called, and it’s two-for-one Gatorade. As we’re going up Evergreen Avenue, a car stopped, I think it was blue, and a guy rolls down the window, a black guy with all gold teeth, and he’s like, “Dude, somebody just hit my car, somebody just hit my car and took off. The bumper is back on Evergreen. The car’s a little red car with Spider-Man seat covers. You can get the license plate off the bumper.”

    We backed up and sure enough the bumper was sitting there on the road. I think it was Drew who got out and put it on the hood of the car and it slipped off. Like twice he did it. So I’m laughing and I look up on the hill and there’s a little kid laughing. We finally get it on the hood and as we’re driving back up to the guy, there’s a red car parked and the guy whose car was hit has the red car boxed in a driveway and was swearing at the guy who hit him. You know, “Fuck you! Fuck you!”

    The guy with the red car, he’s a little Spanish guy with curly hair. It’s just a routine hit and run, maybe an arrest or ticket. We walk up on the guy, trying to be calm. Drew and I, together we probably weigh 500 pounds, and the guy’s a little scrawny guy, couldn’t weigh more than 170. He would not let us pat him down. We’re trying to calm him down. We’re holding him back. All of a sudden it turns into a full-out wrestling match. I can’t get ahold of him and Drew’s trying to get ahold of him, and he’s just sliming through us. We end up on the ground. Then we’re back up on the back of his car, on the hood of his car, and then we’re rolling around. We’re trying to get him.

    I don’t know how long it actually was. It seemed like five or six minutes, but it was probably less than that. And I’m like, “Drew, spray him, spray him.” Sure enough, Drew sprays him and, like, every time any officer’s ever sprayed, they miss. He totally misses him and hits me in the face.

    So now I have pepper spray in my face, he has pepper spray on him, the guy’s got pepper spray. We’re doing everything we can, you know, and we still can’t hold him. We’re trying to hit him, hold him down, I mean, everything we can. There’s quite a crowd gathering while this happens. We fight all the way around the car, and Drew’s finally, like, “Call for backup, Kevin, call for backup.”

    So I’m, “Unit 27, we’re at 31 Evergreen.” I remember yelling to Drew. He said 31, but it was actually 61, I think. I say, “It’s 27, we need backup, can you send backup to 31 Evergreen,” and all of a sudden I hear, Bam!

    I knew it was a gunshot, but I thought Drew shot the guy. I thought for sure that he just shot him. That’s the only other gun I knew about. I drop my radio. I look up, and Drew’s got his arms around the guy’s waist and he’s screaming, “The guy shot me.” Drew doesn’t really swear and he’s like, “The motherfucker shot me! Kevin, shoot the motherfucker! Shoot him. He shot me!”

    Once I heard Drew screaming, “He fucking shot me,” everything just slowed down as I look up and the guy’s pointing the gun at me. So I pull my gun. At that point, I got tunnel vision. I remember thinking I was, like, forty yards away from the guy when I started shooting at him, when he was shooting at me. I found out later it was probably only twenty or thirty feet at the most. My first shot hits him, unbeknownst to me, in the forearm, through the biceps, like eight inches from Drew’s head. Drew falls away and the guy kind of stands there and looks like he’s shooting at me again. So I shoot him again. He goes down to his knees and he’s still pointing. I think he’s still shooting at me.

    Through the whole shooting, I remember just draining every ounce of energy into the shooting. And I felt things whizzing by me. I think he only shot at me twice in total, but I remember thinking, God, he’s firing like mad. And I remember it feeling like a half hour that all this happened and I think it was over in five seconds. It seemed like half hour for me by the time I got to Drew.

    I’m walking towards Drew and I just keep shooting. I think I shoot him another two times. Then he kind of goes to the ground, but he looks like he’s shooting and I remember walking up to Drew and standing over Drew’s head. At the last, I remember the guy on the ground and I’m like, “This has to end. I’m exhausted,” and I remember aiming at his neck and shoot him in the neck and see it go through the neck. At that point, I figured he was dead. Everybody started screaming.

    And I remember running over, calling, you know, “Officer down! Officer down!” So people came after that. Officers were commandeering vehicles to get there. There’s a picture of one of our soon-to-be chiefs running in flip-flops with a shotgun down the road.

    By that time, I’m sitting with Drew, and Drew’s like, “Tell my wife I love her.” I’m friendly with his wife and everything, and by the time everybody got there, I’m mad. I’m yelling and screaming at the guy, “Fuck that, son of a bitch!” like it was a bar fight. I was still furious with the guy. Realizing that he was dead but not realizing it, you know?

    People were trying to calm me down. Things get a little blurry right after, you know, except for Drew talking about his family and, you know, them tearing my clothes. I mean, I remember that at one point they’re holding me back, because I was so mad at the guy. I thought Drew was going to die. Once I got to Drew, and once that first officer got there, reality came back to me a little bit. But until that first officer got there, when it was just Drew, the guy, and me, it was just total tunnel vision and like the world just started rotating a little slower, you know?

    We go to bring Drew to the cruiser and Drew’s like, “Just don’t drop my radio or me,” and the first thing we do is drop him before we ever get him to the cruiser, and then they run over his radio on the way. I just remember thinking, Oh, God. He thought he was going to bleed out. He didn’t, thank God, but I’m thinking, Oh, God, he’s going to die, his wife is going to kill me. We had been really good friends, you know, we had gone out with his wife, she’s always like, “Take care of my husband, take care of my husband,” you know? I didn’t know if I was hit or not. I thought I was, but it turns out I was not. So they’re stripping stuff off me. They end up stripping me down to my vest, can’t find anything, but cart me off to the hospital as well. Then we end up in the hospital, which is a whole other story in itself.

    One of the guys on the civilian review board actually found the shooting unjust. I was like, How the hell? He shot my partner. He almost died. He was shooting at me. When is it just? At what point does it become just in your mind?

    • * *

    Officer Jacobsen recovered from his wounds and both officers remain with the Hartford, Connecticut, police department. Richard Salkeld is a detective in major crimes. Andrew Jacobson is a detective in the cold case homicide unit.

    If police-community relations are going to improve, people need to understand the men and women who walk that thin blue line. As in the example above, the pages ahead will offer some reality. They will take you inside the scenes of many more police-related shootings. The objective is to share with you, though the eyes, and in the voices, of those involved what it’s really like for the individual officers. You will go inside their minds at the time of the shooting and see the aftermath of the event.

    It is important to understand this reality—how suddenly these events can happen and the processes that the involved officers go through in what is often seconds to respond—and see for yourself how actual situations differ from movie and TV images. In the world of fiction, they go right back to work on some other case or head off into the sunset. The actuality of officer-involved shootings is nothing like that. Cops don’t just shoot someone, holster their gun, and walk away. At the scene of an officer-involved shooting, there are multiple elements that have to be managed and people who have to be cared for. A person who has been aiming a gun or shooting at officers one minute—a threat that must be stopped—immediately becomes someone whose injuries must be attended to the next. Other competing needs include crime scene investigation, evidence preservation, crowd control, and dealing with the involved officers. And it all happens really fast.

    It is not the incident alone that is little understood. Another aspect that is usually not considered is the aftermath. These events are imbedded in the officers’ minds in ways that don’t go away. Ever. Shooting someone, even when it is absolutely necessary, is life altering, and nearly always emotionally and psychologically crushing.

    Frequently, for the officers involved, the subsequent investigation (or, often, investigations) can be just as bad as the event; sometimes even worse. An officer involved in a shooting, even while she is experiencing the personal trauma of the events, still has to function on many fronts. There’s the external world to deal with—the world of the public and media speculation. There’s the official world of internal affairs, force review teams, and outside investigations. There are the questions, comments, and assumptions of coworkers. And there is the impact on families, both through the effects on the officer him or herself, the questions, assumptions, and treatment the family may experience in the community, and career and economic factors.

    The incident itself may last only seconds or minutes; the aftermath may take months or years. The media spin and public reaction is often inaccurate and accusatory, making the involved officers look incompetent or even deliberately evil in the eyes of the public, an image that is rarely corrected by subsequent articles. Often there are conspiracy theories—for instance, the speculation that the cops all got together and lied to portray the incident in a certain way. They planted the weapon. They are friends and working with the district attorney. They investigate their own so there won’t be a fair and impartial investigation.

    Added to that is the time it takes for internal affairs, the medical examiner, forensics experts, the department’s own criminal investigations division, and outside agencies such as the attorney general’s office to complete their investigations. Hours, days, or even months of questioning, reconstruction, and revisiting the events can make even the most righteous shooter second-guess himself and feel like a criminal. Officers must live with the pressure of months or even years of waiting for a resolution while the threat of prosecution and/or job loss may hang over their heads. During this time, they may be suspended, on leave, or performing a different job from the one they love or are trained for.

    The pressure doesn’t only come from outside the job, either. There is the police culture to deal with—our own foolish rumors, conjectures, and critiques of each other. There are plenty of stupid comments cops make after an event of this magnitude, and even well-meaning colleagues often say the wrong things. Many officers have told me how upset they were by ignorant comments from their coworkers who have never been involved in a shooting. Comments like, “Hey, you missed him! What happened?” or “Fuck him, he deserved it!” or “Ya did the right thing,” or “You should have shot earlier. You are lucky you are alive.” Even “It’s just a movie, dude.”

    It is never just a movie.

    There are friends, relatives, families, and children to deal with in the aftermath. Spouses and parents whose friends have read the critical headlines. Other students in a child’s school who may have heard their parents discuss the incident or heard about it on the news.

    Then there is living with the fact that you killed a human being, a huge trauma in an officer’s life that never goes away.

    All of this transpires under a very complex legal umbrella with everyone concerned about covering his ass. The investigations are intense. Throughout the investigative process, there is the strong possibility of being sued, fired, and even prosecuted because of a decision made in microseconds under tremendous stress. Officers know that anything is possible. Life as you knew it is already over. “From hero to zero in a flash,” is a phrase common among police officers.

    Often the most difficult and painful aspect for the involved officers is the rush to judgment. As I, and others in command positions, repeatedly say during times of community unrest, “God forbid they get the facts first.” We want to get the story out as soon as possible as well, but we know that any incident involving deadly force, and many involving any officer’s discharge of a firearm, will result in multiple investigations. Those investigations take time. Lots of time.

    To reach any final conclusions about what happened, there needs to be results from crime scene techs, medical examiners, and forensic analysis. Only a nucleus of investigators will learn the full story as time goes on, conducting internal investigations along with multiple, parallel investigations by outside sources. While these careful, official investigations are taking place, significant damage can be done by initial, uninformed, reports. Frequently, when the final reports are issued and conclusions about the shooting reached, they will be reported in a few buried paragraphs. Pilloried in the headlines, exonerated in a paragraph.

    Since we know that folks learn from the movies, TV shows, and what is presented by the media, police departments need to play a more proactive part in shaping that news to reflect public safety’s reality. That is why the first pieces of information and timing of the media release are crucial. But that is something we’re only slowly learning and putting into place, and because careful investigation takes time, it is a process that can rarely be as open or transparent as critics demand.

    Policing is a dangerous profession—and the emotional spin, rhetoric, and inaccurate reporting of force cases can have the effect of pinning targets on all police officers. Look at what is occurring in some of our cities.

    Take a look inside several real police shootings from inside the minds of the officers who have had to kill someone. Read these stories with an open mind and imagine yourself or someone you love is wearing that uniform.

    The US Supreme Court has said: “The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be viewed from the perspective of a reasonable officer at the scene, rather than with 20/20 vision of hindsight.” And that “allowance must be made for the fact that officers are often forced to make split second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular incident.”[3]

    This is a lot easier said than done.


    1. Urey PW, Hall JC. In Defense of Self and Others—Issues, Facts & Fallacies—The Realities of Law Enforcement’s Use of Deadly Force (Carolina Academic Press, 2010), 133.

    2. FATS is Firearms Training Simulator used in police and military training, which presents trainees with practice scenarios on a video screen in which they need to decide whether, and when, to shoot.

    3. Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

    About the author
    Joseph K. Loughlin retired in 2010 as the assistant chief of police from the Portland ( Maine) Police Department after 28 years of service. He served as the interim chief of police during 2008 and 2009. During his career he held many special command positions including the commander of the Special Reaction Team and the detective lieutenant in charge of Criminal Investigations. He is a founder and ongoing seminar presenter for the police department’s Peer Support Team and Employee Assistance Program.

    The nonfiction account that he co-wrote of a tragic murder and intense police investigation, “Finding Amy” has received national recognition and was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Award. It is now in paperback version and published by Berkley Penguin books. There have been five national television documentaries on this case with Loughlin assisting in the productions. He is a dynamic public speaker and often presents on the Amy St. Laurent homicide case. Loughlin is a regionally and nationally known author of numerous police editorials and articles published about the work and officers experiences, perspectives on life, trauma and service. Presently he consults for an International Security firm.


  • Jack 11:31 am on October 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Keystone Cops 

    As readers know, I have a low regard for conspiracy theories, mainly because the reasons the world is going to hell are pretty much staring us in the face. But I can’t honestly blame anyone following the Las Vegas massacre story from taking refuge in any conspiracy theory, no matter how wild and zany. Almost a fortnight from the moment when 58 people were gunned down at a country-music festival, officialdom has so bungled the case that almost every single one of the most basic facts about the act are up for grabs.

    As I had cause to remark over a week ago, I dislike the contamination of police press conferences by various politicians and bureaucrats all indulging in an orgy of mutual self-congratulation. But, in this case, the self-congratulation is entirely unwarranted. From the beginning this seemed an unusual crime that didn’t seem to line up with any other mass shooting by a nutter who flips. It has only gotten weirder in the days since.

    Earlier this week whichever branch of the Keystone Kops is running this show (apparently the Feds) completely reversed their timeline of the case. Previously we were told that Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos had gone up to the 32nd floor to investigate an “open-door” alert and was a hero because his intervention had distracted the perp from killing even more people – and fortunately, even as Mr Campos was taking a bullet in his leg, the cops were already pounding up the stairs.

    We’re now told that that timeline was, in fact, back to front. Instead, Jesus Campos was investigating the door alert before the massacre even began. At 9.59pm, Paddock responded to Mr Campos’ arrival by emptying 200 rounds into the 32nd floor corridor. Which seems a tad excessive. Paddock then apparently took a leisurely six-minute break before going over to the window and beginning his massacre. Which seems a tad excessively relaxed. What was he doing? Having a nice cup of tea? Calling down to room service? Your guess is as good as the coppers’.

    But, at any rate, it seems someone else was on the scene – maintenance man Stephen Schuck, who was also forced to take cover from those 200 rounds:

    As Mr Schuck says above, when the shooting began, he used his radio to call in what was happening – including the precise location of the room from which the shots were coming. That was six minutes before Paddock began firing on the crowd. So in theory the police could have gotten there in time to prevent, if not all, then many or most of the deaths at the concert.

    But they didn’t. Instead, Paddock fired on the crowd for ten minutes and then, despite having apparently prepared for a siege, decided to call a halt and shoot himself.

    The Mandalay Bay resort is now disputing the police’s revised timeline. They say that officers were already in the building when Campos radioed in that he was shot and, within 40 seconds, both police and hotel security were on the 32nd floor.

    So that’s three timelines. We’re now told:

    Police say the current timeline will be revised again by Friday.

    I’ll bet. While we’re waiting, I’ll confess that I dislike the current preferred jargonizing whereby the Sheriff announces that they’re “working” various crime scenes. I don’t know quite what’s involved in “working” a crime scene but one would assume it includes at minimum securing the crime scene. Yet apparently not. Last weekend, Paddock’s home in Reno was burgled. Just consider that for a moment: On Sunday night someone pulls off the worst single-shooter massacre in American history – and yet it’s insufficient of a priority to the multiple federal, state and local agencies investigating it to prevent the supposed perpetrator’s property being broken into under their noses.

    It is unclear to the Keystone Kops what was taken. Of course. Since Day One, this entire case has been about what’s missing, and what’s missing seems to be getting larger. There appear to be four photographs of Stephen Paddock – three from many years ago, and a fourth that shows him with closed eyes. That’s quite unusual in the age of Facebook and selfies. But it seems even more absurd for a guy who spent much of his time in a town where humanity is under closer scrutiny than almost anywhere on the planet. Long before computers and the Internet, Vegas casinos had cameras everywhere filming their patrons for the benefit of unseen eyes in the back office concerned to know what their customers are up to at every moment and from every angle. Yet there’s only one solitary image that approximates to how Stephen Paddock looked on the night of October 1st?

    Where’s the footage of him bringing those bags into the hotel? When, come to that, did he check in to the Mandalay Bay? By now, this ever shifting, reversible “timeline” should at least have a verifiable starting date, shouldn’t it? As “empty” as Paddock was a week and a half ago, he’s getting emptier, and blanker: We’re asked to believe that he made “millions” playing video poker – which is as likely, as Ann Coulter put it in an excellent column, as making millions by smoking crack. If, in the all but statistically impossible event he did manage to relieve the casinos’ machines of millions of dollars, he would certainly not be additionally enriched by free hotel suites and complimentary $500-a-glass vintage port, as his brother claims. On the other hand, Steve Wynn, whose hotels Paddock stayed in over many years, says that the only unusual thing about the guy and his “girlfriend” was that neither was ever seen to take a drink.

    Sheriff Lombardo referred last Wednesday to what he called cryptically Paddock’s “secret life”. But Las Vegas has a “secret life”, too. The new Disneyfied “family-friendly” Vegas is a veneer, underneath which prostitution, money laundering, organized crime, etc, chug along much as before. Paddock supposedly availed himself of prostitutes; did he also use Vegas for laundering cash? That’s a better reason for the time he spent there than that he was “winning” millions at video poker.

    But it doesn’t get us any closer to what happened on Sunday October 1st. I said over a week ago that Paddock seemed more like a professional assassin than the usual mass-murdering nutjob. On the other hand, a think-tanker in London wrote to me to argue that the sheer superfluousness of all that firepower suggested that the weaponry itself was the message. As one of the officers said a few days ago, the hotel room “looked like almost a gun store“.

    Maybe it was – and maybe something went wrong on a deal. And maybe this and maybe that. And maybe it will all become clear at tomorrow’s revised timeline. Offered the now wearily familiar line that the police remain completely baffled as to motive, Tucker Carlson responded: forget motive; right now he’d settle for the basic facts. What are the odds we’ll get them at the Friday presser? Better than video poker?

    ~Tomorrow, Friday, Mark will be launching a brand new nightly audio adventure for Mark Steyn Club members in Tales for Our Time. We hope you’ll tune in! If you’re not a member of the Steyn Club, you can sign up for a full year, or, lest you suspect a dubious scam by a fly-by-night Canuck scamster, merely a quarter. Aside from our monthly radio serials, we have a quarterly newsletter, The Clubbable Steyn; some rip-roaring video poetry; and our Clubland Q&As. Among the other benefits of membership are our Comment Club privileges, so if you have any theories on what these competing timelines mean do please log-in and let us know.


    See Also:

    (1) New Bipartisan Bump Stock Bill Would Actually Ban All Semi-Automatic Guns

  • Jack 3:44 pm on October 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bump stocks, , , , , ,   

    Bump Stocks 

    The National Rifle Association joined calls for additional regulation of “bump fire stocks,” the device used in the Las Vegas massacre to produce rapid fire similar to a machine gun.

    The jarring pivot by the NRA, coupled with the White House opening the door to restrictions on bump stocks, all but guaranteed momentum for the legislation in Congress.

    “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the NRA and its lobbying arm said in a joint statement.

    SEE ALSO: With talk of ban, gun shops brace for run on ‘bump stocks’

    “Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” it said.

    The NRA’s surprising move to back a specific gun-control measure followed lawmakers from both parties voicing support for legislation targeting bump stocks.

    President Trump also is open to a ban on bump stocks, said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

    The NRA remains committed to expanding other gun rights.

    “In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans’ Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities. To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence,” said the statement.

    The statement was issued by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and NRA chief lobbyist Chris Cox.

    They also did not back off the NRA’s steadfast opposition to restrictions on gun ownership.

    “In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control,” they said. “Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world.”


    What Is A “Bump Stock”?

    • Jack 3:59 pm on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      One of the things mentioned but skipped over is that average firearm barrels are not built to handle sustained automatic fire. They get far to hot and can explode in your face.

      However, noting the link in the column the government would be wise to order all dealers to take them off their shelves ASAP and not sell them until a final decision has been made. That’s simple common sense.

  • Jack 1:14 pm on October 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Credibility Shot 

    Hillary couldn’t be proven guilty without proving the president guilty as well.

    “How is this not classified?”

    So exclaimed Hillary Clinton’s close aide and confidante, Huma Abedin. The FBI had just shown her an old e-mail exchange, over Clinton’s private account, between the then-secretary of state and a second person, whose name Abedin did not recognize. The FBI then did what the FBI is never supposed to do: The agents informed their interviewee (Abedin) of the identity of the second person. It was the president of the United States, Barack Obama, using a pseudonym to conduct communications over a non-secure e-mail system — something anyone with a high-level security clearance, such as Huma Abedin, would instantly realize was a major breach.

    Abedin was sufficiently stunned that, for just a moment, the bottomless capacity of Clinton insiders to keep cool in a scandal was overcome. “How is this not classified?”

    She recovered quickly enough, though. The FBI records that the next thing Abedin did, after “express[ing] her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym,” was to “ask if she could have a copy of the email.”

    Abedin knew an insurance policy when she saw one. If Obama himself had been e-mailing over a non-government, non-secure system, then everyone else who had been doing it had a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    Thanks to Friday’s FBI document dump — 189 more pages of reports from the Bureau’s year-long foray (“investigation” would not be the right word) into the Clinton e-mail scandal — we now know for certain what I predicted some eight months ago here at NRO: Any possibility of prosecuting Hillary Clinton was tanked by President Obama’s conflict of interest.

    As I explained in February, when it emerged that the White House was refusing to disclose at least 22 communications Obama had exchanged with then-secretary Clinton over the latter’s private e-mail account, we knew that Obama had knowingly engaged in the same misconduct that was the focus of the Clinton probe: the reckless mishandling of classified information.

    To be sure, he did so on a smaller scale. Clinton’s recklessness was systematic: She intentionally set up a non-secure, non-government communications framework, making it inevitable that classified information would be mishandled, and that federal record-keeping laws would be flouted. Obama’s recklessness, at least as far as we know, was confined to communications with Clinton — although the revelation that the man presiding over the “most transparent administration in history” set up a pseudonym to conceal his communications obviously suggests that his recklessness may have been more widespread.

    Still, the difference in scale is not a difference in kind. In terms of the federal laws that criminalize mishandling of classified information, Obama not only engaged in the same type of misconduct Clinton did; he engaged in it with Clinton. It would not have been possible for the Justice Department to prosecute Clinton for her offense without its becoming painfully apparent that 1) Obama, too, had done everything necessary to commit a violation of federal law, and 2) the communications between Obama and Clinton were highly relevant evidence.

    Indeed, imagine what would have happened had Clinton been indicted. The White House would have attempted to maintain the secrecy of the Obama-Clinton e-mails (under Obama’s invocation of a bogus “presidential communications” privilege), but Clinton’s defense lawyers would have demanded the disclosure of the e-mails in order to show that Obama had engaged in the same misconduct, yet only she, not he, was being prosecuted. And as most experienced criminal-law lawyers understand (especially if they’ve read a little Supreme Court case known as United States v. Nixon), it is an argument that Clinton’s lawyers would have won.

    In fact, in any other case — i.e., in a case that involved any other unindicted co-conspirator — it would be the Justice Department itself introducing the Obama-Clinton e-mails into evidence.

    As noted above, the FBI told Huma Abedin that the name she did not recognize in the e-mail with Clinton was an Obama alias. For the agents to do this ran afoul of investigative protocols. The point of an FBI interview is for the interviewee to provide information to the investigators, not the other way around. If agents give information to potential witnesses, the government gets accused of trumping up the case.

    But of course, that’s only a problem if there is actually going to be a case.

    In this instance, it was never going to happen. The president’s involvement guaranteed that . . . so why worry about letting Abedin in on the president’s involvement?

    Abedin was startled by this revelation. No wonder: People in her lofty position know that direct presidential communications with high-ranking officials who have national-security and foreign-policy responsibilities are presumptively classified.

    To convey this, and thus convey the legal significance of Obama’s involvement, I can’t much improve on what I told you back in February. When the Obama Justice Department prosecuted retired general David Petraeus, the former CIA director, for mishandling classified information, government attorneys emphasized that this top-secret intelligence included notes of Petraeus’s “discussions with the president of the United States of America.”

    Petraeus pled guilty because he knew the case against him was a slam-dunk. He grasped that trying to defend himself by sputtering, Clinton-style, that “the notes were not marked classified” would not pass the laugh test. As I elaborated in the February column, when you’re a national-security official engaging in and making a written record of policy and strategy conversations with the president, the lack of classified markings on the documents you’ve created

    [does] not alter the obvious fact that the information they contain [is] classified — a fact well known to any high government official who routinely handles national-defense secrets, let alone one who directly advises the president.

    Moreover, as is the case with Clinton’s e-mails, much of the information in Petraeus’s journals was “born classified” under the terms of President Obama’s own executive order — EO 13526. As I’ve previously noted, in section 1.1(d) of that order, Obama issued this directive: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.” In addition, the order goes on (in section 1.4) to describe other categories of information that officials should deem classified based on the damage to national security that disclosure could cause. Included among these categories: foreign relations, foreign activities of the United States, military plans, and intelligence activities.

    Abedin knew, as the FBI agents who were interviewing her surely knew, that at least some of Obama’s pseudonymous exchanges with Clinton had to have crossed into these categories. They were born classified. As I said in February, this fact would profoundly embarrass Obama if the e-mails were publicly disclosed.

    Hundreds of times, despite Clinton’s indignant insistence that she never sent or received classified information, the State Department has had to concede that her e-mails must be redacted or withheld from public disclosure because they contain information that is patently classified. But this is not a concession the administration is willing to make regarding Obama’s e-mails.

    That is why, as I argued in February, Obama is trying to get away with the vaporous claim that presidential communications must be kept confidential. He does not want to say “executive privilege” because that sounds too much like Nixon. More important, the only other alternative is to designate the e-mails as classified. That would be tantamount to an admission that Obama engaged in the same violation of law as Clinton.

    Again, this is why the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton never had a chance of happening. It also explains why, in his public statements about the matter, Obama insisted that Clinton’s e-mailing of classified information did not harm national security. It is why Obama, in stark contrast to his aforementioned executive order, made public statements pooh-poohing the fact that federal law forbids the mishandling of any intelligence secret. (“There’s classified, and then there’s classified,” he said, so cavalierly.) He had to take this position because he had himself effectively endorsed the practice of high-level communications through non-secure channels.

    This is also why the Justice Department and the FBI effectively rewrote the relevant criminal statute in order to avoid applying it to Clinton. In his public statements about Clinton, Obama has stressed that she is an exemplary public servant who would never intentionally harm the United States. In rationalizing their decision not to indict Clinton, Justice Department officials (in leaks to the Washington Post) and the FBI director (in his press conference and congressional testimony) similarly stressed the lack of proof that she intended to harm the United States.

    As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, however, the operative criminal statute does not call for proof of intent to harm the United States. It merely requires proof of gross negligence. This is entirely lawful and appropriate, since we’re talking about a law that can apply only to government officials who have a special duty to preserve secrecy and who have been schooled in the proper handling of classified information. Yet the Justice Department frivolously suggested that applying the law exactly the way it is written — something the Justice Department routinely tells judges they must do — would, in Clinton’s case, potentially raise constitutional problems.

    Alas, the Justice Department and the FBI have to take that indefensible position here. Otherwise, Clinton would not be the only one in legal jeopardy.

    I will end with what I said eight months ago:

    To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information.

    That is why the Clinton e-mail scandal never had a chance of leading to criminal charges.

    — Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.


    See Also:

    (1) Obama DOJ drops charges against alleged broker of Libyan weapons (old story)

  • Jack 6:15 am on October 4, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Bloody Sunday 

    The massacre in Las Vegas was horrifying, the reaction to it dispiriting.

    The dead and wounded had not even been transported away from the killing field when the by-now-familiar disinformation campaign began on social media, with baseless reporting about the killer’s identity and motivation ranging from claims that he was an Islamic extremist to tales that he was an angry left-winger who targeted the country-music concert because he thought it sure to be full of Donald Trump fans. As of this writing, there is no indication of what motivated the killer beyond the desire to kill. There was no political or religious manifesto, and his mystified brother reported that he had no such interests. He had no known mental-health record and no criminal record.

    The instant public-policy takeaways were, as usual, a mix of willful ignorance, hysteria, and progressive wish-fulfillment. Vox sprinted to report that “since Trump took office, more Americans have been killed by white American men with no connection to Islam than by Muslim terrorists or foreigners.” Well. Trump has been in office since last January, during which time there have been no major Islamic terrorist attacks. Progressives insisted that the incident be labeled “terrorism,” though it is not clear that the killer had in mind any particular political or religious agenda, which is how federal law distinguishes terrorism from simple mass murder (Nevada law does not require a political motive for an act to be defined as terrorism).

    And then there was the inevitable firearms panic. Lydia Polgreen, editor of the Huffington Post, demanded to know why automatic rifles had not already been restricted. When she was informed that automatic rifles had been severely restricted for decades, she explained that she meant “semiautomatic” rifles, but did not seem to know the difference. That is about par for the course in the gun-control debate.

    As of this writing, it is not publicly known what sort of instruments the killer used in Las Vegas. Audio recordings captured what sounded like fully automatic gunfire, and that was attested to by experts with considerable experience in the field. If indeed it is the case that fully automatic weapons were used, that will bring up some interesting questions. Contrary to the usual progressive mythology, you cannot simply walk into a Walmart and buy an automatic rifle. Fully automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the 1930s, and the manufacture or importation of new ones for the civilian market was abolished in 1986. Automatic firearms manufactured before 1986 can be purchased — at a price of tens of thousands of dollars — by buyers who pass an extensive background check conducted by the FBI and pay a special tax on them. So stringent is the regulation of these weapons that there have been by most counts only three episodes of a legal, civilian-owned fully automatic weapon having been used in a violent crime since Al Capone was tearing up Chicago. But things that happen rarely are not things that happen never: No one was thinking very much about fertilizer bombs before the destruction of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

    It may be the case that the killer in Las Vegas acquired his weapons legally. It may be the case that he acquired them on the black market, and it may be the case that he was able to modify legal semiautomatic weapons. But there are no obvious public-policy prescriptions to be had from any of those scenarios.

    There were, so far as current reports can show, no obvious red flags in this case. That is unusual. One of the maddening things about violence in the United States is that so much of it is, if not exactly preventable, then at least predictable: The majority of murders in New York City, and most major American cities, are committed by men with prior criminal histories, often for violent crimes and not infrequently for weapons violations. We have straw-buyer laws on the books, but these go routinely unenforced, with federal prosecutors unwilling to invest resources in putting away low-level criminals — or their mothers or girlfriends — on relatively minor weapons charges. In several high-profile mass shootings, the killers were known to law-enforcement and mental-health authorities long before they committed their crimes.

    The usual ghouls who deliver gun-control speeches from atop the corpses in these cases put themselves in a funny position: They insist that they do not want widespread firearms seizures or to revoke Americans’ basic constitutional rights, and then they offer what they insist are “commonsensical” gun-control measures that would do nothing to prevent the crimes that command our attention.

    The sobering fact is that mass murders have become an ordinary part of our cultural landscape. There are people who, in the depths of some ineffable despair or rage, desire to exit the world in a hail of bullets and a flood of blood. Some of them are clearly mentally ill, some of them have half-formed political notions — and some of them just want to kill a great many people before taking their own lives. If there were some public-policy innovation consistent with the principles of our constitutional order that would prevent this, we’d support it. But there isn’t one. We are not going to convert our country into a police state — and free, open, liberal societies are vulnerable to acts of mass violence, not only in the United States but in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries, including those with stricter gun-control laws. Those Kalashnikov rifles that were used in the Charlie Hebdo massacre are not legal in France.

    So, do nothing?

    No. There are many things that could and should be done. The vast majority of murders in the United States are not spectacular crimes on the Las Vegas model, but ordinary street crimes in places such as Chicago and Cleveland. We can and should do more to prevent those, both through enforcing existing weapons laws — including cracking down on straw buyers and handing down stiffer sentences for violent gun crimes short of homicide — and through improving our national practices when it comes to parole and probation, mental health and addiction, and local policing. Would that prevent a Las Vegas–style massacre? No, but it might have an effect on the 99 percent of murders that happen every day in a less dramatic fashion. And there are broader cultural issues — for instance, the absence of fathers from so many homes — that are mighty contributors to our national crime scene.

    As for Las Vegas: As it stands, the facts do not argue for any particular policy reforms, and while we will withhold judgment until more is known, we should all be open to the possibility that not every crime demands a new law, and that not every ill in a large and complex society such as ours can be solved through public policy. Our friends on the left like to mock those who offer prayers for the victims and survivors of these horrific events, as though there were no Power above politics. We offer our prayers for souls of the lost and for the comfort of the living — and for the prudence and efficacy of those charged with the human response to these inhuman acts.


  • Jack 2:44 pm on October 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bernard kerik, , , , , , ,   

    Wait for It 

    Sunday night, a deranged lone gunman fired hundreds of rounds from automatic long guns from his hotel window into an enormous crowd attending a country music concert on the Las Vegas strip.

    Before the Las Vegas first responders even arrived, off duty police officers and emergency medical services personnel attending the concert went into action, assisting the injured and creating a triage area in a safe zone.

    Then running toward the gunfire, the Las Vegas Metro Police entered the hotel, located the room that the shooter occupied and made entry, just as the gunman took his own life.

    In the end, this was the worst mass shooting massacre in our country’s history with more than 50 dead and hundreds injured. It was an event that has rightfully horrified and in many ways unified America. And, in the days to come, as the injured and the families of those lost try to deal with this tragedy and answer the questions as to why, they will need as much help and assistance that they can get.

    The one thing that they do not need are political leaders who will use this shooting to further their own political agenda, or to do nothing other than stir the political pot, to create chaos in their opposing political parties. This is not the time!

    The investigation has barely begun, the numbers of dead and injured haven’t yet been finalized, and many of the families of those lost haven’t even been notified – but former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, first thing this morning, began ranting about gun control, as did a few others.

    For once… can we not turn an American tragedy such as this, into a political issue, while there is still blood on the ground? Can our political leadership have more concern for the grieving families of the dead than they do their own political careers? And can they hold their tongue just for once, so as not to create chaos and divisiveness among Americans who would otherwise be united behind the families of those lost, who deserve it most.

    Just for once… have some class.


  • Jack 2:21 pm on October 1, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , phil kerpin, , robert menendez, ,   

    Blatant Corruption 

    The bribery trial of senior New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has it all.

    Menendez is facing charges that he sold his US Senate office to a Palm Beach, Fla., eye doctor, his co-defendant Salomon Melgen, for bribes in the form of private jets stocked with Menendez’s favorite beverages, a private villa at one of the lushest resorts in the Caribbean, and a Paris hotel suite for which Melgen spent 650,000 American Express points.

    The two men met in 1993 when Melgen contributed $500 to Menendez’s first House re-election campaign at a South Florida fundraiser — his first political contribution. In the decades since, Melgen became a major high-dollar Democratic donor, and when Menendez was appointed to the Senate in 2006, they already had an extraordinarily close relationship.

    That relationship allowed Menendez to enjoy a lifestyle far beyond his legitimate income of $174,000. It was a life of luxury funded by one of the largest Medicare frauds in history, a $105 million scheme for which Melgen has already been convicted on 67 counts of fraud in a separate federal trial in Florida.

    In return, Menendez allegedly got Melgen visas for his girlfriends, pressured the State Department to deliver a Dominican port-security contract and pressed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve the massive Medicare overbilling scheme that kept the good times rolling.

    Rosiell Polanco

    Rosiell Polanco

    One of the girlfriends, Rosiell Polanco, was a 22-year-old model when she dated Melgen, who is married and 35 years her senior. She testified that she and her younger sister had been denied visas before Menendez’s intervention. Menendez e-mailed his staff: “Call ambassador ASAP.” They were re-interviewed and approved.

    Multiple State Department and Customs and Border Protection officials testified that Menendez demanded they pressure the Dominican government to reinstate a defunct port-security contract that Melgen had purchased — which would have made the doctor hundreds of millions of dollars.

    A former Medicare official, Dr. Louis Jacques, testified that a Menendez staff member pressured him to allow Melgen to overbill. Melgen was dividing single-dose vials of an injectable drug called Lucentis to use on multiple patients, then billing Medicare for a full $2,000 dose for each patient.

    “The issue is very important to the senator,” Dr. Jacques recalled the staffer telling him. “Bad medicine is not illegal. Medicare should pay these claims.” Dr. Jacques was so shaken that he remembers having to stand up to clear his head.

    Former Sen. Tom Harkin, then chairman of the committee that oversees Medicare, testified that he took a meeting with Melgen and Menendez. Harkin staffer Jenelle Krishnamoorthy testified that this was the only time she met with a non-constituent on a Medicare billing dispute in 10 years as a Senate worker. Harkin’s office concluded they should take no action.

    Afterwards, Menendez took his pro-Melgen campaign to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

    This coming week, the jury is expected to hear that Reid “reached out to the White House deputy chief of staff, informing her that Menendez was upset,” according to the government’s brief. Reid later hosted Menendez and then-HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in his US Capitol office, where Menendez pressured her to approve the overbilling.

    The defense does not dispute the core facts of the case. They admit that Menendez had ready access to the private jets and resorts paid for by Melgen. They admit Menendez got visas for the girlfriends, intervened on the port-security contract and demanded HHS allow Melgen to keep overbilling Medicare. But they are innocent, the defense says, because the government is trying to criminalize friendship.

    Call it the Biz Markie defense: like the rapper says, he’s just a friend.

    Sometimes a friend gives a senator access to the private jet. And a friend lets a senator use a luxury resort villa and gives the senator hundreds of thousands of American Express points. And what senator wouldn’t try to get his friend’s many supermodel girlfriends into the country? Or steer his friend — an eye doctor with no security background — a massive port-security contract? Or try to get him off the hook for the Medicare fraud that keeps both of them in the style to which they’ve grown accustomed?

    Melgen’s defense counsel Kirk Ogrosky even racialized the Biz Markie defense, arguing Melgen and Menendez were “part of a fellowship of Hispanic-Americans” and accusing the Department of Justice — under President Barack Obama — of an “attack on that whole group.”

    Should friendship be a defense to bribery? Does the corruption of a public official somehow become acceptable if the official befriends the person to whom he sells his office?

    “The case against Menendez as a legal matter doesn’t look close, it looks overwhelming,” MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent Ari Melber accurately observed. “If a politician can take the kind of gifts that Menendez has already taken and be acquitted, then you have to wonder if there’s something wrong with all of these corruption laws in the first place.”

    Perhaps our corruption laws really have become so weak that Menendez could walk when the trial finally comes to an end around Thanksgiving. But his breach of the public trust is so severe that if the Senate ethics committee is worthy of its name, he will be expelled from the Senate regardless of the verdict.

    Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment


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