Saturday, May 23, 2015

End the Patriot Act!

We posted this commentary on this blog back in 2011 as we watched the growing level of abuse by our federal government -- but before Mr Snowden released the files on NSA's illicit monitoring of US citizens -- confirming a portion of the actual government abuse.  

Since then, there has been verification of FEMA incarceration camps [guarded by federal marshals], the equipping of DHS with heavily armed equipment and command centers, the massive accumulation of heavy weapons ammunition by such agencies as the Social Security Administration, and the provision of heavy infantry weaponry and tracked vehicles to local police forces.

Since then, there has been a steady stream of revelations of abuse by both the Intelligence AND Law Enforcement communities, using the tools of the Patriot Act to justify their actions.  The latest of these is NSA's demand that it be the repository of all communications from the telecoms - which oddly enough, is meeting resistance.

We don't need no stinkin Bill of Rights!
We repost this commentary because Senator Mitch McConnell [R-KY], Senate Majority Leader, is fighting to keep this abomination on the books by calling for the Senate to reconvene in a week for a vote.  

Unless Congress reaffirms it, it will die a quiet death -- as it should.

Most politicians voted for it lest they be accused of being "unpatriotic" in voting AGAINST a bill titled "PATRIOT".  What fodder for political critics, and no politician wants to be labeled "unpatriotic".  So, the Senate votes, in this case, by NOT holding a vote.

Let this damned thing die!  It is killing this country.
And, while they're at it, they should get rid of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] which includes many of the same abrogations of the Constitution.

A note to the GOP:
It's time to send Mitch back to Kentucky to the home for bewildered politicians; he's outlived his usefulness in the Senate.
            The Patriot Act — RIP: Bill of Rights

I regard the Patriot Act as the greatest threat to individual freedom in the history of the US. It was created in good faith, and justified as a means to track down terrorists and defeat the terrorism threat. But, it can just as easily target US citizens.

Just about every intelligence investigative tool necessary to monitor terrorism was available prior to the Patriot Act; the difference was simply that intelligence officials had to justify their actions. 

At worst, it might take a few minutes to prepare the forms and pass them over to the Attorney General’s office. But, that way, the AG could act as an element of reason in a hasty decision.

I managed a global operational organization for many years, and never found this process onerous. It was inconvenient, but reasonable. My support staff included a bunch of lawyers and a retired federal judge. If a crisis emerged, as they tend to do, I had the personal phone number of the Assistant AG who was available 24/7 to review/sign off on our requirements — or, to tell us to give him more justification. 

In today’s world, a secure video-phone link would provide instant linkage, so the delay would be only the time to verbally review the situation with the AAG while he reviewed the e-documents.

The Patriot Act alternative is to place unlimited power in the hands of a single Intelligence/Law Enforcement operations unit, whose leadership could make snap, subjective decisions without a separate objective viewpoint or review.

Lincoln recognized the real threat
I’ve seen really bad judgment calls on the part of ambitious, but unbalanced, Intelligence executives; I can only imagine how many of these bad calls — without penalty — have been rationalized using the Patriot Act.

Essentially, all it takes is for the executive to accuse a person of being a terrorist, or a terrorist sympathizer or contributor; which essentially arms him with the provisions of the Patriot Act. And, if the accused is a US citizen, he loses all his Constitutional rights; and he has no recourse.

If you don’t think this system can be abused, I refer you to the Grand Jury process [aka: Star Chambers].
The potential for abuse under the Patriot Act goes well beyond one’s imagination.

Lets not incinerate the Bill of Rights in the name of Patriotism.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hillary's Spy

"Sid, don't tell anyone this is a Top Secret Codeword report"               [AP]

Click here for related story [NY Post - John Tabin]

As Hillary Clinton's emails find their way into the Media, we glean the extent of her security violations, not only in disclosing sensitive Top Secret Compartmented [TSC] information to her old campaign manager, but also in feeding his false information into the State Department Intelligence office [Bureau of Intelligence and Research] from which it was then distributed to the entire US  Intelligence Community.

"Goodness! I'm a spy!"
In this NY Post story, we learn that Hillary fed into the State Department bureaus false data -- implied as "intelligence reports" which were furnished by her old friend and campaign manager, Sid Blumenthal [aka: Hillary's Hatchet Man].

Blumenthal reportedly fed Clinton emails formatted like Intelligence cables, which then became part of the US policy process relating to Libya.  One such report elevated Libyan businessman Najib Obeida among the "most influential of the Libyan Prime Minister's new economic advisors" -- although Blumenthal omitted the fact that Blumenthal was "advising a group of contractors courting Obeida as a potential business partner."

Noteworthy, however, was Blumenthal's feed to Hillary regarding his personal knowledge [via Libyan officials] of the attack on Benghazi which detailed the event identifying Ansar al-Shariah -- which had ties to al Qaeda -- as the attack force.  In spite of this detailed information on the Benghazi attack, Clinton declared to UN Ambassador Rice that the attack was by "demonstrators" inspired by the now infamous video.

We've seen other email records of Clinton corresponding with Blumenthal in which Clinton is openly filling in Blumenthal on Top Secret Codeword information - restricted to the "Eyes Only" category for a very limited audience in the Presidential suite.  Those emails alone can be the basis for her conviction on violations of National Security -- but, we'll have to wait for Congress to act.

In another NY Post revelation, Clinton's nearly invisible advisor [aka: operative] was responsible for identifying and "preserving [aka: deleting] all emails theta could potentially be federal records".

Cheryl Mills, in 1998 [during Bill's Administration] was the subject of a demand by House Oversight Committee staffers for criminal prosecution after she
"... knowingly and willfully obstructed the investigative authority of this Committee by withholding documents.  Ms Mills lied under oath about the documents and the circumstances surrounding their non-production."

In October, 2012, Mills pulled damning documents from State Department files which would have revealed the actual details of the attack on Benghazi.  The US Deputy Ambassador to Libya testified that Mills ordered him by phone to "stop cooperating with investigators."

According to the Post, a House Select Committee on Benghazi staffer has advised that if Mills were subpoena'd to testify under oath, the entire Benghazi cover-up by the Administration and Clinton would crumble.

As the case mounts against Hillary, Congressman Pete Olson [R-TX] supported the Special Operations Speaks [SOS] PAC which calls for the "late impeachment [of Hillary Clinton] over her unlawful actions as US Secretary of State."   Olson notes:
"A fundamental tenet of our democracy is the notion that no one is above the law.  Not our citizens, our Presidents, lawmakers, or Cabinet members."

SOS cites Hillary's blatant violation of federal law by creating and using a personal email server to transmit Top Secret intelligence to unauthorized persons, and later attempted to delete those emails in the face of subpoenas.

Additional citations establish the unlawful conflicts of interest involving the Clinton Foundation which laundered $500 million in "donations" from foreign governments "...during Clinton's negotiations with them regarding trade, sanction, and humanitarian deals.

The noose seems to be tightening around Clinton's political neck; we would not be surprised to see Valerie Jarrett unleash evidence against her as a means to settle old political scores.

As a footnote, the New York Times reported that Blumenthal "... was simultaneously working for the [Clinton] Foundation, entities with business interests in Libya, and providing foreign policy advice [and disinformation] to Hillary Clinton while she was at the State Department [as Secretary of State].

Blumenthal has now been subpoena'd to appear before the House Select Committee on Benghazi; we'll be interested in that testimony since the Democrats won't be able to derail those hearings this time around.

It should be interesting, and we certainly hope Hillary stays in the lead on her Presidential campaign -- at least until she is indicted under a "late impeachment" in which Congress would hold Clinton accountable for her criminal activities as a Cabinet Member.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Train Crash - Cyber Attack?

Prelude to a national transportation hack?


Several new reports add interesting elements to this catastrophe:

1)  Passengers on this train stated that, immediately before the train left the rails, they heard a large "Bang!", not further identified, although investigators found a large round break in the window of the locomotive [train engine].  In another train incident in New York, there was a similar report of a "bang" -- complete with broken window in the train engine.  
[Those windows are virtually unbreakable, and we understand the FBI is now investigating both incidents.]

Additional reports reveal that the conductor had slammed on the brakes attempting to stop the train after it inexplicably increased speed -- by computer.

The conductor was fully cooperative with investigators and voluntarily produced his cell phone and freely took a blood test.  He advised he could not explain how the train doubled its speed when he had attempted to slow the train as it approached the curve.

The Philadelphia mayor has condemned the conductor as the irresponsible cause of the crash. A Twitter campaign has been launched to destroy his reputation by calling him a "diversity" hire.

Looks like a set-up to press passage of the $2 Billion Congressional Bill for rail maintenance.  De Blasio has learned a new word "INFRASTRUCTURE" and came to DC to bolster his reputation as a knowledgeable idiot!

There are reportedly seven passengers dead, with hundreds more injured in this train wreck.

The train reportedly was going more than 100 mph in a sector limited to 50 mph because of the tight curve.

Interestingly, one of the passengers reported hearing a "large BANG!" just before the derailing, while two other Philadelphia trains suffered window damage at the same time as the Amtrak crash.  
[To answer the obvious question:  No! Kids throwing rocks at the train will not break the windows; they're shatterproof!  So, whatever struck the windows was likely significantly greater than a hand-thrown rock.  It's worth examining the windows to see if there are bullet holes -- but then, we must ask who fired those rounds (note the calls for "Congressional infrastructure funding" below.]

We suspect the cause will be attributed to driver error, although safeguards were put in  place to prevent a repeat of other, recent train crashes in which excessive speed was the cause -- attributed to operator error.

Oddly, a search of the Internet retrieves little information on recent train wrecks in the US, even all those oil train derailings of the Warran Buffett genre which have spilled millions of gallons of oil in rural, suburban, and urban areas throughout the US -- killing people, livestock, vegetation, and polluting water supplies and creating environmental hazards through the massive oil fires.

Gosh, is the Media censoring itself?
The Media says I'm a Nice Guy!

Or, is that genial old gent, Warren Buffett, exercising his control over the Media since he is so well connected in the Media world, and in the railroad world, and in the infrastructure world, and in the energy sector  -- well, by golly, what ISN'T he controlling these days.  

And we thought the Rockefellers were powerful.

But, we digress.

We note the difficulty in finding details of a recent train wreck [to which we can no longer find a reference on the Internet], in which the operator supposedly fell asleep at the controls, and the train derailed due to excessive speed, killing and maiming passengers.

Such are highly unusual accidents since the computer systems are structured to monitor and control speeds at risky spots which are programmed into the rail routing process.  Even if the operator dies of a heart attack, the computer will respond appropriately if disaster looms.

That is, unless the computer system is hacked.

We expect to hear from the feds that this derailment was caused by terrorists, but that would imply that the terrorists can easily derail a US train, passenger or cargo - and that could derail the entire rail industry, and lower Buffett's profits.  So, the feds will crucify the operator and accuse him of being a cardiac victim, a drunk, a drug-user, or, an incompetent.  We suspect, however, the operator[s] are/were completely competent, and expert enough to know better than to drive 100 mph in a 50 mph zone consisting of a tight curve.

So, we drop back to the explanation that the computer system managing rail traffic was hacked.
By whom, we're unsure, although we have our suspicions, and we'll advise you once we have more information.

Hacks are more powerful than bombs
But, keep in mind, that if the rail system computers can be hacked, so too can the air traffic control system, and local ground based vehicular traffic signaling as well.  

Don't forget, both Dulles and ORD were hacked this past year,  creating havoc for the airlines, Air Traffic Controllers -- and tens of thousands of passengers.  

And, for good measure, our Administration is demanding that all new automobiles and trucks carry computer programs which can be controlled by "security" personnel -- to protect us from "terrorists"; of course, if terrorists hacked into that "security system", think of the havoc that could be wreaked causing millions of cars to spin out of control -- without regard to the drivers trying desperately to steer or slow their vehicles.

We're facing a challenge left open by the incompetence of this Administration which squandered a trillion dollars in 2009 and 2010 [under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] which should have upgraded our infrastructure grids, to include our air/water/ground traffic control systems.  

Oddly enough, Mayor De Blasio, the only Communist mayor in the US, has declared that the rail infrastructure is 100 years or more old and is badly in need of repair; and Congress is pressing forward with another $2 Billion for such graft, er, repair.

Instead, all that money went to bogus companies owned by friends of Mr 0bama; and the US infrastructure has been collapsing ever since. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Another questionable Chairman-JCS

CJCS job is easy; just suck up to 0bama.  I've made a career of that process.

Looks like we have a new Chairman [designate] of the JCS.
Joseph F Dunford, Jr.
Has he passed the 0bama "Litmus Test" [he is willing to shoot American citizens, if ordered]?

We're not sure what his qualifications are though.
His career seems to have consisted primarily of serving as an
1) aide-d'camp,
2) personnel officer,
3) personal assistant,
5) instructor, or
6) flunky on the staff of the JCS.

His nickname: "Fighting Joe"
[we couldn't find a rationale for that name; he may have picked a fight at a Washington cocktail party]

1st Marine Division - platoon and company commander in 3rd Battalion 1st Marines
 and a company commander in 1st Battalion 9th Marines until 1981.
[These were administrative ticket punches]

Aide to commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force
[shoe polisher; delivered coffee, shopped with general's wife]
Rewarded with transfer to HQ Marine Corps Officer Assignment Branch
[where he could program his next "command slot" for his next early promotion].

Commanded L Company of 3rd Battalion 6th Marines.
Operations, Plans, and Training Officer: 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company
[Liaison officer means you're not expected to do much, but it counts as "Joint" service - necessary for promotion to flag rank]
Marine ROTC Instructor at Holy Cross College
Instructor: Officer Candidates School at Quantico.
[Does it get any more brutal than this?]

Member of USMC Commandant’s staff group [paper pusher; yes man]

Senior Aide to the Commandant of the Marine Corps
[Supervised the Commandant's junior aide [1LT], served coffee to Commandant].

Executive Officer and later commander: 2nd Battalion 6th Marines from 1996 until 1998
[USMC had reached its bottom in this period].

Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (under two Chairmen):
[personal courier and coffee pourer].

Chief, Global and Multilateral Affairs Division (J-5).
[Another Liaison job]

Commanded 5th Marine Regiment, ["invasion" of Iraq]
[Administrative movement of Marines from US to Iraq]

Division chief of staff and assistant commander.
[More admin service and coffee pouring]

So, we now have a Chairman of the JCS who appears to be a clone of the disgrace currently in place; but he will serve 0bama in a most obsequious manner.

PX Kelly: Last of the USMC heroes!

We suspect that General P X Kelly [USMC-Ret] may be in grieving over 0bama's selection of a popinjay as Chairman of the JCS, even though Dunford is a Marine
[well, at least he wears a Marine  uniform.

Notably, Kelly earned four combat medals for valor and actually commanded combat units.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Queen Hillary - New POTUS?

Queen Hillary to run for President of the US
[A new guest post by a Presidential Candidate]

[In keeping with our policy of sharing news for the "Inquiring Minds Who Need to Know!"]

As you know, my dear people, the last year for me has been an annus horribilus. 

The Royal House of Clinton has been tormented by questions about our handling of finances and subjected to tiresome questions about the tragic events in Benghazi–in the furthest regions of our empire. And, sadly, there are also questions about my Royal, and very personal e-mails because some contained Top Secret DOD and CIA files; but, at this point, what difference does that make. 

Nevertheless, I will not be daunted in my desire and commitment to serve you the people. For the next seventeen months I will be traveling among you as one of you, to listen to your deepest longings and needs. I will be with you in your Wal-Mart and beside you in your Burger Kings. I will drive with you down the busy interstate highways of our land sharing your poverty and needs with you.

How well I remember the days when the Duke of Arkansas and I were impoverished. After we were expelled from our Washington Palace we hardly had two mansions to rub together. We were so poor we had to remove thousands of dollars of china, flatware, carpets and gifts from the Washington Palace just to survive. Now, happily, benefactors from around our empire have given just enough for us to scrape by.

During those difficult times we had to cut back when our daughter was married. We only had three million dollars to spend on her wedding and I remember our hopes as she moved into her $10 million Manhattan apartment that one day she would be able to move on from that humble abode to something more fitting. 

And please ignore all that nonsense about all of those suicides by people who could have testified against the Duke of Arkansas.  Why, it was just terrible how many of these admirers had such dire psychological problems, particularly our most trusted bodyguards!

So as I travel across our land to meet you all, I will be listening and sharing with you. Then when the time for the royal election comes I know you will crown me as your rightful monarch so that we can all live happily ever after.

BENGHAZI? - So, I killed an Ambassador and SEALs!