THE ENTERPRISE—WHICH AM I? OLD LABELS ARE NO LONGER ADEQUATE—CONSERVATIVE, MODERATE, LIBERAL, PROGRESSIVE, SOCIALIST, INDEPENDENT, LIBERTARIAN, CONSTRUCTIONIST, ETC.
(Warning and apologies—this edition will not help you feel better—but remember, “it’s always darkest, just before the dawn.”
NO GOOD CHOICE FOR THE DEMS—A CONFUSING CHOICE FOR THE GOP
The choice of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders cries out for another candidate, but I think it is too late for that. (Michael Bloomberg may not agree—and he has plenty of money to self-fund whatever he decides to do. Bloomberg’s wealth at $40B if about 8 times that of Donald Trump at $5B)
The question is whether “voters” will vote the way the polls have been coming out. That didn’t happen in 2012. (Most) People think twice before voting, but not before answering a telephone poll. In a matter of weeks we will know more. Remember, the Iowa caucuses are not anything like normal legitimate elections. New Hampshire is more like a real election—because it is one.
The various campaign scenarios are scary…with a lot of ifs and worries. I think the old traditional left-right, liberal-conservative description oversimplifies what has now become a much more complex multi-faceted set of choice: fiscal policy, social policy, foreign affairs and domestic affairs, strict Constitutional constructionist, budgetary purist, war-like hawk or all talk-no action pacifist, and everything in between—all mixed in a single person or group of people.
For example, I am a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. I am for stronger stands on foreign policy (but not quite a hawk—almost) and getting the Federal government out of more things domestically, and pushing decisions back to states or even further. So which am I? What label applies to us “mixed” Republicans?
I guess I defy being put in a “box” with a single label. I am a Republican, not a Democrat. However, I am not as conservative as (the untrustworthy) Ted Cruz, nor as moderate as (the ebullient, scattershot) Donald Trump—(altho I share Trump’s businessman’s pragmatism).
There is no doubt America needs fresh, inspiring new leadership. A leader who can communicate (which Barack Obama did—ad infinitum) but this time a leader with integrity and charisma they can once again embrace, believe in (to say what he plans to do and then do what he said he would).
That is why I gravitated to the combination of Marco Rubio and John Kasich a long time ago. Rubio is long on charm, he is articulate, young, visionary, and bold. Kasich is older, and thus “crustier," but with a wealth of relevant experience as both an important member of Congress (18 yrs. in House) and as the Governor who rescued a state that was nearly destroyed by the liberal/talker Ted Strickland (now challenging Rob Portman for his Senate seat).
HERE IS AN INDEPENDENT OPINION THAT REINFORCES MY OWN
DesMoines Register endorsement of Marco Rubio [My emphasis added in bold]
Republicans have the opportunity to define their party’s future in this election. They could choose anger, pessimism and fear. Or they could take a different path. The party could channel that frustration and pursue true reform. It could renounce its fealty to the economic elite and its fixation with tax cuts for the wealthy. It could instead emphasize the interests of the middle class and promote policies, not just rhetoric, that champion workers, families and small businesses. It could be the party of opportunity and optimism. It could be the party in which the son of an immigrant bartender and maid could become president.
Sen. Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party, and perhaps the nation, with his message of restoring the American dream. We endorse him because he represents his party’s best hope. That hope rests partly in the electoral calculus of the country. Republicans should have learned from 2012 that they cannot win with Republicans alone. Recent polling shows Rubio has higher favorability ratings among independents than all candidates but Ben Carson, as well as positive ratings among Latinos. Rubio promises specific answers for the issues in these voters’ lives. “It’s been a long time since the Republican Party has talked to a single mother raising two children who is struggling at $15 or $14 or $13 an hour. It’s been a long time since the Republican Party has had an agenda that talks to students,” he told the Register’s editorial board.
Our hope, however, does not rest solely on his ability to welcome new people to the party. We believe Rubio can inspire the base with his ideas on improving the economy, education system and social programs. In two meetings with the editorial board, the whip-smart senator displayed an impressive grasp of public policy detail, reeling off four-point plans on foreign policy and other issues. He proposes overhauling higher education and promoting vocational training, helping workers threatened by automation acquire skills rewarded by a new economy. Rubio would prime that new economy by embracing innovation. He would auction off portions of the wireless spectrum controlled by government, allowing freer flow of online traffic. He’d remove barriers to enable the next Uber to take off. He’d require a cost-benefit analysis of federal regulations.
The editorial board also values the executive experience, pragmatism and thoughtful policies of John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush. Yet most Republicans aren’t interested in rewarding a long resume this year. They want new and different.
Yes, we wish the first-term senator had greater experience. Yes, we wish he followed the lead of colleague Chuck Grassley and rarely missed a vote in the Senate. Rubio has plenty to prove and many questions to answer if he is to unite the party’s factions.
Would he finally be the president to make the hard choices to save Social Security and Medicare and reduce debt? Or would his tax plan and proposed increases in military spending balloon budget deficits? Does he have a better alternative than Obamacare, by creating an insurance marketplace where employer mandates are eliminated and people receive tax credits to buy policies? Will he clarify his views on climate change and embrace the economic opportunity of a cleaner energy grid? Can he learn from his failure in reforming immigration and persuade his party to agree to a system that balances enforcement with economic interests and humanitarian values? Will his ideas truly help that struggling single mom or debt-laden student? Or will his loyalty to wealthy donors win out? Will his ambition overwhelm his optimism?
At his best, Rubio offers an uplifting message of a “new American century.” He shares his compelling story and calls for a referendum on the nation’s identity.
“The fundamental question we’re being asked is: Do we want America to remain special, or do we want it to become like anybody else? For America to remain special, people have to do for their families what my parents were able to do for mine,” he told the editorial board in April. Yet more recently, he has pandered to rising pessimism in his party. He talks gloomily about “a nation in decline,” saying President Barack Obama “has deliberately weakened America.” He wants to fight the battles of the past, such as the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling.
We hope Marco Rubio and his party take a different path, one that can lead to the opportunity and optimism he so eloquently articulates.
This endorsement is the opinion of The Des Moines Register’s editorial board: David Chivers, president and publisher, Amalie Nash, executive editor and vice president for news and engagement , Lynn Hicks, opinion editor , Clark Kauffman, editorial writer , Andie Dominick, editorial writer , Brian Smith, engagement editor
NOW CONSIDER WHAT THIS AUTHORITATIVE ARTICLE SAYS—WILL BARACK OBAMA ALLOW THE FBI TO DO ITS DUTY…AND THEN WILL THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DO ITS DUTY? (AND IF HE DOESN’T, IS ISN’T HE AN ACCESSORY TO CRIMINAL ACTS?)
This article by a credible person, explains how the desperately fragile Democratic candidacy of Hillary Clinton, even worsens the plight of the USA, when the principal alternative is a self-avowed Socialist, Bernie Sanders. Michael Bloomberg has
Hillary’s Last Hurrah
Here’s what the FBI has on her.
By Jed Babbin – 1.25.16
At sixty-eight years old, Hillary Clinton is very old and very tired. This week, she’s slogging along the campaign road, her media minions in tow, trying to convince the gullible among Iowa’s likely caucus-goers that she’s not part of the Democratic establishment.
Everyone knows, especially Clinton, that this is her last shot at the presidency. The greatest obstacle to her nomination is not Bernie Sanders. It’s the FBI’s long-term investigation of her conduct as secretary of state.
The FBI is investigating two aspects of Clinton’s conduct while she was secretary of state: first, the handling of classified information — up to and including top secret/special access program information — on her private email system; second, the possibility that Clinton, as secretary of state, sold American foreign policy to the highest bidder who wanted to contribute to the Clinton Family Foundation or pay Bill another $500,000 for a twenty-minute speech.
To begin we have to recognize the obvious: that her private email system was set up for a corrupt purpose, namely to ensure that she had control over all the communications she sent or received as secretary of state. We know that she tried to erase tens of thousands of emails to the State Department for their review, an act in furtherance of the corrupt purpose. The FBI has probably recovered most or all of them. Keep that in mind as you read what follows.
By establishing her non-government system, Clinton intended to thwart the government’s ownership of her in-the-line-of-duty communications and to keep the emails under her control at all times. From that fact, and the actions she took, arises the problem she has under the federal criminal law.
Clinton has said repeatedly that she never sent or received any emails which contained information that was marked classified at the time of the messages. Those weasel words are irrelevant for several reasons, not the least of which is that she — as secretary of state — knew that classified information is not always marked as such and she had a personal duty — not something she could delegate to subordinates — to recognize and protect that information.
Clinton’s defenders have jumped to absurd conclusions and gone off on wild tangents. Some have suggested that Hillary’s email system is being investigated but that she is not. Others — most of whom I suspect have never held a security clearance — have mouthed nonsense such as suggesting that Clinton is suffering needless pain because the government classifies too much stuff. Garbage, all of it.
We know from press reports that about 1,300 of the emails Clinton sent and/or received on her private email system were classified. Many were at the “secret” level and some were at the “top secret/sensitive compartmented information” level. Some were “SI/TK” — special intelligence/Talent Keyhole — satellite intelligence information that is as highly classified as anything can be.
Some were from “humint” — human intelligence (i.e., gathered by spies on the ground whose lives are at immediate risk if the information is disclosed to anyone not having a U.S. government clearance entitling them to read it and having a need to know it).
The seriousness of these facts are illustrated by a 14 January letter to the chairmen of the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees, I. Charles McCullough III, the inspector general of the intelligence community. McCullough gave specific information that shows the depth of Clinton’s failures to protect our most closely held secrets.
To date, I have received two sworn declarations from one IC [intelligence community] element. These declarations cover several dozen emails containing classified information determined by the IC element to be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET, TOP SECRET/SAP levels. According to the declarant, these documents contain information derived from classified IC element sources. Due to the presence of TOP SECRET/SAP information, I have provided these declarations under separate cover to the Intelligence oversight communities and Senate and House Leadership.
What McCullough said is enormously important. First, that the classification of some Clinton emails that were passed through and resided on her private email system contained information that was derived from intelligence assets that themselves are so highly classified that their mere existence cannot be divulged. His statement that some of the information is at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level means that even the members of the House and Senate Intelligence committees aren’t cleared to be told of it. Only the “Big Eight” — the intelligence committees’ leaders and the House and Senate leaders — can have access to it.
Keep in mind how Clinton was outraged when a Bernie Sanders campaign staffer accessed some election materials on Clinton’s supposedly secure campaign website at the Democratic National Committee. Compare that to her denials of the importance of what was transmitted and left unsecured on her private email system.
“SI/TK” intelligence, for example, is “special intelligence/Talent Keyhole” information gathered by spy satellites. SI/TK material, like “TS/SCI” — Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information — is so sensitive that only a handful of people are allowed know parts of it and fewer still can know of the whole picture.
Some, like a couple of Clinton’s emails, referred to information from “SAPs” — special access programs — like the products of spies. In the Pentagon, we had “SAPs,” which were code-word programs whose very existence was kept secret. In the intelligence world and in the Pentagon, there is nothing more highly classified, and nothing more strenuously protected.
Clinton has almost certainly violated two criminal statutes in respect to handling classified information.
The first is rather simple. Under Title 18 US Code Section 1924, anyone who has lawful access to classified information and “…knowingly removes such documents or materials to an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year…”
Clinton’s private email system is an unauthorized location. It was never cleared for classified information. Moreover, the company she hired to maintain the system — Platte River Networks — also was never cleared, but they maintained access to it and eventually were given the server hard drives in a last-ditch effort to hide them.
Last September, Bryan Pagliano, a State Department IT staffer who was paid separately by Clinton to help maintain her private email system, asserted the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when called to testify on her email system by the Benghazi congressional investigating committee. An offer of immunity to Pagliano should get him to reveal how he worked with Clinton and to what ends.
Using an unprotected, unauthorized email system left all Clinton’s emails vulnerable to the certainty of hacking and interception by Russia, China, Iran, and a host of terrorist networks. They knew what she knew as soon as she did. Remember, please, that criminal intent can be inferred from a person’s actions. The FBI knows this. The creation and use of the private system were, as we already analyzed, for a corrupt purpose.
Clinton clearly violated Section 1924 every time she sent or received a classified email. At a year for each separate violation and 1,300 classified emails (and counting), that could amount to a really long prison sentence for her.
And that’s before we get to Title 18 US Code Section 798. That law bars anyone who has lawful possession of classified “defense information” from “…willfully communicat[ing], deliver[ing], transmit[ting] or caus[ing] to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it…” classified information. By her use of a private, unsecured email system for such purposes, Clinton clearly violated this law.
We know that, because Clinton knowingly and willfully communicated such information on an unprotected email system, she made it highly vulnerable to interception by any foreign government or terrorist group with the ability to hack into her server. We know that China, Russia, Iran, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a host of others have that ability.
That should be sufficient for a jury to find that she knowingly and willfully made that information available to an “unauthorized person” be it China, Russia, or Iran. Tack on another ten years for each of the emails that included communications intelligence information. There are probably dozens if not hundreds.
Clinton, if she’s indicted, is in for a long trial and the possibility of a very long prison sentence.
And we’re not nearly done. The public corruption part of this case — which is harder to investigate and to prove — may be the part that actually kills Clinton’s shot at the presidency.
The federal conflicts of interest law — Title 18 US Code Section 208 — has not been discussed much in Clinton’s case because the FBI hasn’t said anything about it, other than it has some of the 150 agents working the case assigned to that part of the case.
Under Section 208, any federal official who takes action — by decision, refusal, or whatever — on any matter coming before her in which she had a personal financial interest is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years. If Clinton did anything for any foreign government, company, or individual that was in return for a donation to the Clinton Family Foundation or another big-dollar speech by Bill, that was a violation of Section 208.
Those actions may also have been a violation of the federal bribery statute, Title 18 US Code Section 201, another felony.
All of these possibilities — thousands of emails, hundreds or thousands of transactions with the Clinton Family Foundation and Bill’s speeches — are under investigation.
If, as it seems more likely each week, the FBI wants to charge Clinton with these criminal acts, the Justice Department is going to be hard-pressed to say no. If Attorney General Lynch does say no, you may see some very loud resignations by senior FBI agents over that decision, maybe even that of FBI Director James Comey.
As a wise man I know has asked, how many FBI investigations end with their statement that everything’s fine and nobody has to be prosecuted? In a political campaign, it’s unwise to bet against Clinton. In a criminal investigation, it’s equally unwise to bet against the FBI.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jed Babbin served as a Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush. He is the author of several bestselling books including Inside the Asylum and In the Words of Our Enemies. He is coauthor (with Herbert London) of the new book The BDS War Against Israel. You can follow him on Twitter@jedbabbin.
The American Spectator Foundation is the 501(c)(3) organization responsible for publishing The American Spectator magazine and training aspiring journalists who espouse traditional American values. Your contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Each donor receives a year-end summary of their giving for tax purposes.
Copyright 2013, The American Spectator. All rights reserved.
Email Bombshell: Benghazi Response Teams Deliberately Stopped By Whitehouse
first published on January 12, 2016 by Will
For years, the Obama Administration has stood behind two excuses (given under oath) for not sending a quick reaction force to assist in rescuing American citizens during the Sept. 11, 2012 al Qaeda-linked attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans. The first excuse being: There were no forces available that could have responded quickly. The second reason was: Even if they had scrambled more people, they couldn’t have gotten there in time to make a difference.
Now, an email, hidden for three years, has come to light and refutes the Obama Administration’s narrative as to why our boys at Benghazi weren’t given the reinforcements that may have saved their lives. Former Defense Department Chief of Staff, Jeremy Bash, sent an email to the State Department early into the attacks that clearly states that we had multiple quick reaction forces ready to action on the objective, which adds further significant proof that the rescue forces were deliberately stopped by the White House.
Bash’s email, sent to top State Department officials just three hours into the eight hour ordeal said, “…we have identified the forces we could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak. They include a SOF (Special Operations Forces) element that was in Croatia, and a Marine FAST unit out of Roda, Spain.” Meaning, there were at least two elite units that were at REDCON-1 (all personnel geared up, seated on the aircraft, weapons ready, with the engines started). They just needed clearance from the Commander in Chief to enter Libya. That clearance never came.
The White House declined to comment on the recently surfaced email that opposes their long-standing narrative that no assets were available or ready, and that they had done everything possible for the Americans on the ground, under attack, in Benghazi. According to the report, the Obama Administration never even sought approval from Libya to send in the reinforcements. That approval, according to the CIA and military experts interviewed, would have been given by the host nation without delay.
The SOF element wasn’t the only available rescue unit interrupted from deploying. Foreign Emergency Response Team Leader Mark Thompson testified that his squad was told to stand down. A separate military team operating in nearby Tripoli, Libya, was ordered not to board a plane for Benghazi as well. Additionally, the CIA annex’s Global Response Staff (GRS), who were roughly a mile from the besieged consulate were heavily delayed for no apparent reason by their leadership. They only got the green light from higher after it was apparent that they were going to go anyway, with or without approval.
The brave and selfless actions of these CIA contractors saved many lives, and their story is now being brought to the big screen in Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi. Two of the contractors, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty, both ex Navy SEALs, were killed in the fighting.
To add to the perplexing circumstances surrounding the event, the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt had been overrun by Islamist sympathizers just five hours prior to the initial attack in Benghazi. There should have been multiple teams of U.S. quick reaction forces standing by across Europe and Africa… teams whose sole mission is to respond to these types of events.
We need to stop treating the Benghazi event as a political, polarizing issue. This has nothing to do with democrats versus republicans, but has everything to do with taking care of our own. Whether it was deliberate, or through incompetent negligence, American heroes were thrown to the wolves and written off, and then repeatedly lied about under oath by this administration, and those responsible need to be held accountable.
I HAVE NOT TRIED TO VET OR VALIDATE THE ABOVE ACCOUNT, BUT WHEN ENOUGH SOURCES SAY LARGELY SIMILAR THINGS, IT SMELLS OF CREDIBILITY, AND IS LIKELY TRUE.
SO HERE WE SIT before the first primaries.(and why I am backing Marco Rubio)
- DONALD TRUMP LEADS THE GOP POLLS—and establishment Republicans are very unhappy, and uncomfortable with the prospect of a Trump presidency—or even a candidacy—since ehe polls as losing to both Clinton and Sanders!
- TED CRUZ IS NEXT IN LINE— and his reputation as unlike, and untrustworthy, while nowhere near as bad as Hillary’s, is a liability, as is his far right conservative ideology—which makes him must less electable.
- HILLARY CLINTON IS NEAR OR LEADING POLLS—yet she is clearly guilty of multiple legal infractions and possibly many criminal acts—whether she is indicated or not—she is a despicable candidate…who still enjoys the approval of most dedicated Democratic voters…and President Obama?
- BERNIE SANDERS IS A SELF-PROCLAIMED SOCIALIST AND REVOLUTIONARY—whose stated policies and plans would bankrupt America. Once believed to not be viable candidate, he is backing into credibility as a candidate, favored by the most radical left and naive segments of the electorate.
- MICHAEL BLOOMBERG HAS REOPENED THE CHANCE HE WILL RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT—the former NYC mayor will pull voters from both parties, and could cause no candidate to get the required number of electoral votes to be elected
IN THIS CASE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WOULD CHOOSE THE PRESIDENT—ONE VOTE PER STATE. Since the House is majority controlled by the GOP, that would appear to favor the Republican candidate—but in the prevailing climate—nothing is certain.
ALL OF THIS GOES ON WHILE THE US ECONOMY IS TRYING TO RECOVER FROM 7+ YEARS OF OBAMA’S IDIOCY AS PRESIDENT. NEXT EDITION, I WILL COMMENT ON SOME OF THE TRENDS THAT ARE HELPING IT DO SO, IN SPITE OF MASSIVE HEADWINDS.
PLEASE USE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
See my commentary at http://www.brennerbrief.com/author/johnmariotti/ and