H/T Right Scoop
H/T Right Scoop
This woman looks like she’s on meds. So they will do nothing to prevent it from happening again.
Via Free Beacon:
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said Friday that the State Department stands behind the visa process that allowed a terrorist into the United States.
“Are you satisfied that Malik’s application process followed the proper protocol?” one reporter asked Trudeau, referring to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook.
“Yes,” she said.
“How can you say that with such assurance?” the reporter asked.
Trudeau said that she is confident that this case followed protocol because the State Department is confident in its visa process.
“Because we stand behind our screening process for visas,” she said.
Tashfeen Malik apparently gave a phony address in Pakistan, which no one checked or figured out.
Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.
Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?
Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:
More evidence that Hillary Clinton used Sidney Blumenthal as her advisor has come to light as new State Department emails have emerged, despite her testimony that Blumenthal was never her advisor:
FOX NEWS – Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records.
One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.
Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: “He’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest. Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya.”
But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.” The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, “What do you think of this idea?”
A second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, “Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive.”
In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.
In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a “cut out,” a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability. In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.
In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is “trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations.” This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.
Clinton responded two hours later. “I’d like to see Powell when he’s in the building,” with her staff responding, “Will follow up.” In both instances, Clinton’s actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”
Hey nothing to see here. Hillary had a great week, so said the media, when Republicans grilled her and exposed that she lied about Benghazi. So that’s what matters here, not getting to the truth.
So move along.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official diplomatic business created many national security problems, but they may pale by comparison with the wreckage she left behind in her department’s main digital information security office.
Harold W. Geisel, the State Department’s acting Inspector General, issued eight scathing audits and investigation reports during Clinton’s tenure, repeatedly warning about worsening problems and growing security weaknesses within the Bureau of Information Resource Management, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Geisel’s critical comments about the deficiencies throughout IRM carry additional weight since he was not considered an “independent” IG. Watchdog groups noted Geisel had served as a U.S. Ambassador for Hillary’s husband, President Clinton, and had never been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
In fact, President Obama did not nominate an IG to the State Department during Clinton’s entire term. It was only in September 2013 that the Senate finally confirmed Geisel’s successor, Steve Linick, who currently occupies the the post.
After Clinton left the State Department in 2013, Linick quickly undertook remedial action to save the IRM. Barely two months after his Senate confirmation, he issued a “management alert” to State Department leadership, warning that IRM’s languishing security deficiencies since 2010 were still there.
“The department has yet to report externally on or correct many of the existing significant deficiencies, thereby leading to continuing undue risk in the management of information,” Linick said.
A spokesman for the Clinton campaign did not respond Sunday to a request for comment.
Clinton put Bryan Pagliano, her 2008 presidential campaign IT director, in the IRM in early 2009 as a “strategic advisor” who reported to the department’s deputy chief information officer. Pagliano had no prior national security experience or a national security clearance.
One of Pagliano’s jobs while working at the IRM was overseeing Clinton’s private email account and server. He recently refused to testify before Congress about his work for Clinton, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The IRM was established in 2002 by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell after the 9/11 Commission identified failure among government agencies like the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense and the State Department to exchange anti-terrorist intelligence. Powell and his successor, Condeleeza Rice, built the IRM to ensure secure communications among all U.S. embassies and consulates.
As Clinton entered the State Department, the IRM was the central hub for all of the department’s IT communication systems.
Geisel explained IRM’s primary role in one report, noting its “personnel are responsible for the management and oversight of the department’s information systems, which includes the department’s unclassified and classified networks” and “handles all aspects of information security for the department’s intelligence systems.”
Clinton instead allowed the IRM to degenerate into an office without a mission or strategy, according to multiple IG reports issued during and after her four years as the nation’s chief diplomat.
The seriousness of Clinton’s failure was summarized in a 2012 audit that warned, “the weakened security controls could adversely affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems” used by U.S. officials around the world.
Geisel’s July 2013 inspection report issued after Clinton’s departure was so damning that the IRM became the butt of caustic comments throughout the IT world.
Network World, an IT review site, for example, headlined one of its articles on the issue with “FAIL: Your Tax Dollars at Play: the US State Department’s Bureau of Information of Resource Mis-Management.” The article charged that the IRM had become “a total joke.”
Another news outlet told its readers that the editors would “like to be able to tell you what the IRM does, but a new report from the Office of Inspector General concludes that it doesn’t really do anything.”
IRM “is evidently an aimless, over-funded LAN party with no real boss or reason to exist,” concluded reporter Jordan Brochette when the 2013 IG report was released.
Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, reviewed the IG reports for DCNF and concluded that “State’s IT security record is littered with questionable management, insecure systems, poor contract oversight, and inadequate training. The State IG’s reviews show a pattern of significant deficiencies and few, if any, corrections.”
Geisel issued his first audit of IRM in November 2009, eight months into Clinton’s term. It also was the first audit issued after Pagliano arrived at the bureau. Geisel identified many serious IT security deficiencies that year. Unfortunately, most of the problems would continue to be uncorrected throughout Clinton’s term.
One troubling observation early in Clinton’s secretaryship was that the IG found the State Department and even embassy chiefs of mission suffering from a lack of IT security training, including the lack of “security awareness training.”
The lack of IT security awareness by top State Department officials may partly explain why Clinton and her top aides saw no problems with the use of a personal email server.
Geisel also warned in late 2009 that at the IRM, he found “there were no Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for managing IT-related security weaknesses.”
In an audit about IRM in February 2010, the IG reviewed how well IRM officials were implementing Secretary Rice’s 2007 modernization and consolidation progam.
It was in this 2010 audit that the first hints emerged of poor management at the IRM. Geisel concluded the bureau’s leadership failed to satisfy vulnerable IRM field staff deployed at embassies and consulates. He called them IRM’s “customers.”
The IG “found a significant level of customer dissatisfaction among bureaus about the quality and timeliness of IT services after consolidation.”
In November 2010 Geisel issued yet another warning about shortcomings within IRM. In this report, the IG repeated that IRM “needed to make significant improvements” to address “security weaknesses,”
Once again, he emphasized that IRM had failed in providing mandatory “security awareness training” to all top security personnel. He also noted a failure to require all contractors to undergo mandatory security authorization.
“The department did not identify all employees who had significant security responsibilities and provide specialized training,” the IG charged.
The IG discovered other worrisome problems in 2010. It found officials failed to provide corrective patches for security problems in a third of the cases examined by his office. The IG also pointed to more than 1,000 “guest” IT accounts within the department’s IT systems that could provide entry paths for hackers.
Geisel further reported that the IRM had 8,000 unused email accounts and that department officials never changed the passwords on 600 active email embassy and consulate accounts.
There were also “24 of 25 Windows systems tested [that] were not compliant with the security configuration guidance.”
The damning IG reports continued in July 2011 when Geisel detailed serious problems afflicting a new IRM program called eDiplomacy that Clinton unveiled earlier that year.
Geisel was blunt: “eDiplomacy lacks a clear, agreed-upon mission statement that defines key goals and objectives. With the absence of performance measurement process, management has few means to evaluate, control, budget, and measure the success of its projects.”
Geisel painted an alarmingly negative assessment in a November 2011 audit on the IRM’s overall information security program. Specific details were redacted but the report warned for the first time of “additional security breaches,” saying “we identified weaknesses that significantly impact the information security program controls. If these control weaknesses are exploited, the department could be exposed to additional security breaches. Collectively, these control weaknesses represent a significant deficiency.”
If the breaches weren’t quickly fixed, the consequences would be harmful to “the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems.”
The IG noted in this 2011 audit that a relatively new program called OPNET suffered from nearly 10,000 defective user accounts that could be breached by hackers.
Geisel also identified another flaw in the audit – the failure of IRM officials to do “continuing monitoring” of Oracle for “control weaknesses.” Oracle is the department’s most widely used internal database management system.
A November 2012 audit repeated the earlier IG audi that with the mounting IRM deficiencies, “the department could experience security breaches. Collectively, the control weaknesses represent a significant deficiency, as to enterprise-wide security.”
The same report again pointed out that, under Clinton, IRM “had not fully taken corrective action to remediate all of the control weaknesses identified in the FY 2011 report. The weakened security controls could adversely affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems.”
The November 2012 report again noted that training lagged and at times was non-existent. Among the positions that had not received IRM training were the department’s Chief of Mission, a deputy assistant secretary, information management specialists, information technology specialists and security engineers.
Again Geisel noted that within the bureau,“we found that all 46 employees had not taken the recommended role-based security-related training course in the [six month] time-frame, as recommended in the Information Assurance Training Plan.”
Another area of repeated failure was risk management. “The department’s risk management program for information security needs improvement at the system level.”
Geisel’s final – and most denunciatory – report on the IRM was issued in July 2013 and focused on Clinton’s final year in the department.
The report said that after years of deteriorating service, the IRM no longer performed a vital role in the department, with many of its duties usurped by other offices or simply ignored. The bureau “does not have a lead role in most of the functions it does perform and, for the most part, only compiles information generated by others,” Geisel concluded.
The IRM “does not have a mission statement outlining a vision for the office,” and “no document provides a clear connection between the work of IRM and the high-level goals outlined by the Chief Information Officer in the department’s IT Strategic Plan for FYs 2011-13.”
Under Clinton’s watch, new technologies and even social media were ignored by IRM, Geisel said, in the 2013 report that, “IRM policies do not mention the latest technologies and efforts within the department. For example, there is little mention and guidance for handling social media.”
And after four years under Clinton, the systems overseen by the IRM were still not considered user friendly.
“System owners described IRM tools as difficult to use and not user-friendly. Many commented that the tools would lock up while entering content, requiring information to be reentered. System owners attempted to share their frustrations with IRM, but to no avail.”
Perhaps Geisel’s most surprising criticisms, however, were that the “IRM is not engaged with IT strategic planning in the department,” and many of the department’s IT regulations had not been updated since 2007.
The State Department IG also compiled five classified audits of the IRM during Clinton’s tenure that were never made public.
The career bureaucrat who the State Department tapped on Tuesday to improve transparency at the agency as it deals with the Hillary Clinton email scandal recently donated the maximum amount allowed under federal law to the Democrat’s presidential campaign.
Janice Jacobs will work to improve the State Department’s processing of Freedom of Information Act requests and overhaul its record-keeping practices, the agency announced.
But Federal Election Commission records show that she donated $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign on June 22.
Along with Clinton, the State Department has come under fire for the former secretary of state’s email arrangement. The agency has been faulted for allowing Clinton and some of her aides to use the off-the-books email arrangement, which allowed her to flout FOIA requests and other inquiries.
Jacobs was appointed to former President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from April 2006 to June 2007. She served as assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs from June 2008 to April 2014.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that Jacobs will report directly to Sec. of State John Kerry and to Heather Higgenbottom, the deputy secretary for management.
The latest batch of Hillary Clinton emails set to be released by the State Department Monday evening include 150 which contain now-classified information, a spokesman for the agency has confirmed.
Through two mass releases so far – one in June and another last month – the State Department retroactively classified 63 emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as secretary of state.
That’s in addition to several others which the Intelligence Community inspector general discovered contained information that was classified as “top secret” at the time they were sent.
During a daily press briefing Monday afternoon, State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed that approximately 150 of the 7,000 emails that will be released contain information that has been “upgraded” to classified. He said that while State Department staffers are still processing the emails before publishing them online Monday night, none of the emails are believed to contain information that was classified at the point of origination.
Toner said that the new release puts the State Department ahead of a schedule mandated by a federal judge in May.
“We’re producing more documents than we have in the previous three releases,” said Toner. U.S. district court judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the agency to release Clinton’s emails on a graduated schedule at the end of each month.
Clinton has downplayed the existence of classified information in her 30,000-plus emails. When the scandal over her use of a private email account and private server first broke in March, she maintained that none of her emails contained classified information. She has since altered that claim by saying that none of the emails that traversed her server contained information that was marked classified when originated.
Every day the mountain of evidence that is being hidden and the amount of effort needed to perpetuate the ever-widening cover-up continues to increase. There is certainly no shortage of regulatory violations and other, at best questionable, conduct being engaged in at the State under Hillary Clinton and during the days since she left.
A new violation of procedures intended to protect our nation’s secrets is revealed by a reporter during a briefing held by paid State Department paid liar and former Rear Admiral now disgracing his service, John Kirby.
The reporter raises the issue of the State Department’s failure to submit “legally required information regarding Secretary Clinton’s email server to the DHS during her term as Secretary.” He asks Kirby if he’s familiar with it at all, with him naturally stating that he is not, whether that is true or not it buys time. Obstructionists such as those employed by the State Department always want as much time as they can get.
The reporter says it was a 2010 DHS program called the “Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation Program,” under which DHS was to receive every thirty days a list of systems and vulnerabilities from all government agencies. He says, “Evidently there is some reporting that they didn’t get that from State regarding that server.”
He asks Kirby if he’s “familiar at all with that,” to which Kirby predictably replies that he is not. Asked if he would “take it,” Kirby agrees but says, “I don’t know when I’ll be able to get back to you on it. Some of these issues are under review and under investigations, so there may be a real limit here as to what we can do in terms of detail on that.”
What Kirby is telling him is that unless some of his colleagues start pressing for it or unless it is picked up somehow by the mainstream media, he won’t be answering the quite legitimate question. He says that ongoing investigations or reviews might be a problem, but certainly admitting that such a program exists would in no way interfere with either nor would divulging whether that policy had been followed and if not where the failure had occurred.
What Kirby is doing is covering up. It’s now what he gets paid to do, to assist those engaging in criminal conduct in shielding their anti-American activities from the American people.
This is a potentially huge smoking gun, in that during, perhaps throughout, the four year tenure of Clinton as Secretary of State, the practice was either to not report based upon a recognized security breach or to report the deviation and violations with complicity in both agencies to its existence and continuance.
Just who those individuals involved were and the basis for their decisions would be some very telling and relevant information. The process left a decision-making trail that would indicate both intent and culpability of multiple parties involved.
It’s not surprising that Kirby claimed to not know anything about it while also assuming that it was under review or investigation. He didn’t have time to get his story straight but he’d better. This is probably a question he’ll be asked again, and something else he’s going to have to cover up for in order to “serve his country.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s State Department routinely failed to preserve its own emails in order to intentionally hide them from official records.
Clinton-era email use at the State Department was fraught with widespread, intentional concealment, according to an October 2014-March 2015 semiannual report to Congress filed by the State Department’s office of inspector general (OIG).
Only a fraction of the messages sent by email were stored as “record emails,” according to the report.
“The review of the State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART) and Record Email found that, out of the more than 1 billion emails sent in 2011, employees created just over 61,000 official emails; and they created even fewer – 41,000 – in 2013,” the inspector general found. “OIG recommended that the Department establish policies governing usage and that system designers engage with focus groups to enhance the system’s efficiency.” (p. vii)
Clinton’s administration did nothing to teach people how to store emails and oversaw the widespread cover-up of emails that should have been kept.
“A 2009 upgrade in the Department’s system facilitated the preservation of emails as official records. However, Department employees had not received adequate training or guidance on their responsibilities for using those systems to preserve ‘record emails,’” according to the OIG report.
“Record email usage varied widely across bureaus and missions. The Bureau of Administration needed to exercise central oversight of the use of the record email function. OIG found that some employees did not create record emails because they did not want to make the email available in searches or feared that this availability would inhibit debate about pending decisions.”
Former Secretary Clinton has turned over thumb drives and a private email server containing her emails from her tenure at the State Department. An inter-agency government task force led by the Department of Justice and the FBI is currently investigating how classified information ended up on Clinton’s server, and whether foreign agents were able to obtain any of the information on Clinton’s server.
Hillary Clinton’s email scandal should disqualify her from the Oval Office.
At least so says former CIA operative and CNN national security analyst Bob Baer, who is not known for being a political partisan.
“If this was on her server and it got into her smart phone, there’s a big problem there,” Baer said during an appearance on CNN International Saturday, noting that the sensitivity of the information reportedly found on Clinton’s private server was likely more secret than what Edward Snowden pilfered.
“Seriously, if I had sent a document like this over the open Internet I’d get fired the same day, escorted to the door and gone for good – and probably charged with mishandling classified information,” Baer said.
“If this in fact were on her hand held [phone] – was sent to her or she forwarded it in any way – I wonder whether she is capable of being president,” he added.
Pressed by the host as to whether he really thought this situation was a “deal breaker” for Clinton’s presidential candidacy, Baer said, “As a national security employee, a former one, yes.”
“I can’t tell you how bad this is,” he went on. “A lot of things get talked about, a lot of gossip, but having documents like this sent across the Internet, it could be hacked very easily and probably were hacked, is a transgression that I don’t think the president of the United States should be allowed to, you know, have committed.”
While media coverage has focused on a half-dozen of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal emails containing sensitive intelligence, the total number of her private emails identified by an ongoing State Department review as having contained classified data has ballooned to 60, officials told The Washington Times.
That figure is current through the end of July and is likely to grow as officials wade through a total of 30,000 work-related emails that passed through her personal email server, officials said. The process is expected to take months.
The 60 emails are among those that have been reviewed and cleared for release under the Freedom of Information Act as part of a open-records lawsuit. Some of the emails have multiple redactions for classified information.
Among the first 60 flagged emails, nearly all contained classified secrets at the lowest level of “confidential” and one contained information at the intermediate level of “secret,” officials told the Times.
Those 60 emails do not include two emails identified in recent days by Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III as containing “top-secret” information possibly derived from Pentagon satellites, drones or intercepts, which is some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets.
State officials and the intelligence community are working to resolve questions about those and other emails with possible classified information, a process that isn’t likely to be completed until January.
That will be right around the time Mrs. Clinton is slated to face voters in the Iowa caucuses in her bid for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
As the number of suspect emails grows and the classification review continues, it is clear that predictions contained in a notification Mr. McCullough sent Congress this summer is likely to hold true: Mrs. Clinton’s personal emails likely contained hundreds of disclosures of classified information.
There is a time gap which may hold the key to Hillary’s hide-and-seek email game.
According to the Washington Post and other reporting, a Colorado server company obtained possession of Hillary’s server in 2013, transferred the data, leaving a blank server with no usable data at a storage facility in New Jersey.
Yet, in a letter filed on August 12, 2015 with the federal Court in the Judicial Watch FOIA litigation regarding Huma Abedin’s outside employment, Hillary’s lawyer, David Kendall. represented that Hillary did not ask counsel to review her emails until late 2014. [Full embed at bottom of post.] He also confirmed that the Colorado company has had possession of the original server since 2013.
* * *
David Kendall letter Clinton Emails 8-12-2015 excerpt 2
So how could Hillary’s lawyers review a server no longer in Hillary’s possession, and which had been wiped clean?
It’s worth noting that at her March 10, 2015, UN press conference, when a reporter noted that some people suggested an independent review of the server, Hillary did not say that she no longer had the original server or that it had been wiped clean.
Instead, she said “the server will remain private.”
The server contains personal communications from my husband and me, and I believe I have met all of my responsibilities and the server will remain private…
It is that original server that apparently has been turned over to the federal government. Plus a thumb drive, which purportedly only has work-related emails.
If the data was transferred to some other server, where is that one?
On Friday, August 14, 2015, the State Department is required to provide additional information to the Court.
Maybe that will shed some light.
But I’m not hopeful.
Six months ago, Hillary Clinton insisted that her private e-mail system contained no sensitive material, and that the federal government had no need of her server. With federal investigators trying to track down all of the records from her private e-mail server and revelations about Top Secret/compartmented material on her unauthorized system, Hillary’s public statements look like lies to a majority of those polled in the latest Fox News survey. In a poll of 1,008 registered voters, 58% say Hillary lied about the e-mails, and 54% believe she damaged national security:
A Fox News poll released Friday finds a 58 percent majority thinks Clinton “knowingly lied” when she announced in a March press conference that no emails on her private server contained classified information. A third says there is “another explanation” for internal government investigators determining secret info was in fact on Clinton’s server (33 percent).
Moreover, by a 54-37 percent margin, voters feel Clinton put our national security at risk by using a private email server.
The poll gave three options: Clinton lied, There’s another explanation, and Clinton told the truth. Only 2% overall think Hillary told the truth, a staggeringly bad number, and only 33% overall think there’s another explanation than Hillary lying. On option 3, the internals on this poll are instructive. The highest that Clinton told the truth polls in the demographics is 5% among black voters, where 63% choose another explanation. Among Democrats, the number is a whopping three percent. And among younger voters – who are presumably very familiar with e-mail – the “Hillary’s honest” option didn’t get enough responses to register.
Frankly, this question is designed to let respondents get off the hook for deciding whether Hillary lied or not. The middle option of another explanation implies incompetency – not exactly a good look for a presidential candidate – or some milder form of dishonesty. And yet, not many voters took the middle option. Self-described liberal, Democrats, and black voters all had majorities choosing the less-bad option, but almost none of them chose told the truth.
Instead, majorities in almost all other demos believe Hillary lied, even when given a softer option. Younger voters under 35 years of age were especially harsh on this judgment at 63/30/0, but the next age demo (35-54) was almost as dismissive, 61/31/2. In a rare show of consensus, those with (59/34/1) and without (58/33/2) college degrees agree on Hillary’s dishonesty. Two-thirds of independents believe she flat-out lied (67/23/2), and even a majority of women agree (51/40/2).
The responses to the question of harm to national security fall into the same pattern. This was presented as a yes/no, and 54% overall chose yes. The key demos all have yes majorities:
* Independents – 54/36
* Women – 50/40
* College degree – 53/38
* No college degree – 55/37
* 18-35YOs – 61/34
In other words, she’s rapidly approaching Richard Nixon levels of trust in, say, August 1973 or so.
A couple of other notes in the poll will have an indirect impact on Hillary, who’s going to be a continuity candidate based on her participation in the Obama administration. A recent trend toward the positive in Barack Obama’s job approval reversed itself in this poll, the first taken since the Iran deal was announced. He slid from a 46/46 in the beginning of July to 42/51, his worst showing since March. Voters want Congress to reject the Iran deal 31/58, and substantially more of them believe Iran can’t be trusted, 18/75, which is actually a slight improvement from the historical trend. With that hanging in the air, Hillary would have had trouble gaining trust from voters anyway – but the e-mail server scandal all but moots the point now.
More August headlines:
Exclusive: Hillary’s IT Contractor Did Not Have Proper Security Clearance – Daily Caller
The Countless Crimes Of Hillary Clinton: Special Prosecutor Needed Now – Sidney Powell
Tech Company Which Maintained Hillary’s Secret Server Was Sued For ‘Illegally Accessing’ Database And ‘Stealing White House Military Advisers’ Phone Numbers’ – Daily Mail
Hillary Clinton Emails Contained Signal Intelligence From Spy Satellites – Washington Times
*VIDEO* Judge Andrew Napolitano Describes Hillary Clinton’s Crimes
FBI Investigation Of Hillary’s Emails Is ‘Criminal Probe’ – New York Post
Judge Orders Hillary Clinton To Answer For ‘Home-Brew’ Server – Gateway Pundit
The lowest moment from what was probably the lowest speech of his presidency – so far. David Harsanyi, watching this, asks a good question:
Imagine what would have happened if Bush had said that Democrats were caucusing with Saddam Hussein?
12:50 PM – 5 Aug 2015
The GOP opposes the nuclear deal because they think it’s too favorable to Iran and not favorable enough to America. The hardliners in Iran’s parliament oppose the deal for the opposite reason. Insofar as they both want the deal to fail, I suppose that’s “common cause.” But then, as Harsanyi says, it must also be true that Barack Obama made “common cause” with Saddam Hussein since both of them thought the Iraq war was a bad idea. Obama thought it was a bad idea for U.S. and Iraqi security whereas Saddam thought it was a bad idea for his own personal security, but the reasoning is immaterial apparently. All that matters to “common cause” is how the parties to an issue align. Or at least, 12 years after the invasion of Iraq, that’s all that matters now. I wonder what Democrats like Steve Israel, who came out against the Iran deal yesterday, thought when they found out today that they’re on the same side as the worst fanatics in Iran’s government.
Actually, Obama’s insult may be worse than it at first appears. The major theme of this speech, as it always, always is – and always disingenuously – when Obama talks about diplomacy with Iran is that the only alternative is war. Reportedly he went so far today in a private meeting with Jewish leaders as to claim that Iranian rockets will rain down on Tel Aviv if the GOP-led Congress blocks the deal, because that will lead to war with Iran and war will lead to Iranian reprisals against Israel. Never mind that Iranian-made rockets already rain down on Israel every few years thanks to Hezbollah and that the sanctions relief Iran is getting from this deal will help pay for more of them. Never mind too that Israel’s own prime minister seems to think reprisals are a risk worth taking in the name of stopping an Iranian atomic bomb. The point, at least to Obama, is that only a warmonger would oppose this terrible deal, which all but endorses an Iranian bomb 10 years from now. Equating the Republicans in Congress with Iran’s hardliners was his way of suggesting, I think, that both of those groups actually seek war with each other in the name of advancing their own political interests. There’s no such thing as good-faith opposition to an Obama policy, at least outside the Democratic caucus. If GOP hawks hate his nuclear deal, it can only be because they’ve got Gulf War III on the brain and refuse to let some master stroke of diplomacy deter them.
In fact, that’s basically an Iranian talking point coming out of the president’s mouth, that some elements of the U.S. government are stone-cold fanatics who’ll accept nothing short of war with Iran. You hear a lot of Iranian talking points coming from the White House lately, curiously enough: Ed wrote this morning about John Kerry warning his former colleagues in Congress not to “screw” the country’s lunatic supreme leader by torpedoing a deal he kinda sorta supports. Here’s another choice bit from the same interview when Kerry was asked why we would agree to advanced enrichment 10 years from now by a country that’s sworn it’ll destroy Israel:
Though he says he is in tune with this set of Israeli fears, he does not endorse a view widely shared by Israelis – and by many Americans – that Iran’s leaders, who have often said that they seek the destruction of Israel, mean what they say. “I think they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment. Whether or not that translates into active steps to, quote, ‘Wipe it,’ you know…” Here I interjected: “Wipe it off the map.” Kerry continued: “I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t seen anything that says to me – they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. They didn’t make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. They’ve signed on to an agreement where they say they’ll never try and make one and we have a mechanism in place where we can prove that. So I don’t want to get locked into that debate. I think it’s a waste of time here.”
That’s some fine PR for the mullahs: They haven’t tried to destroy Israel yet, and as far as what the future holds, who knows? And yet it’s the GOP, according to this guy’s boss, that’s making common cause with Iranian lunatics, not the White House. Over to you, Michael Weiss:
Please posit these two news stories, conveniently placed side by side.
2:03 PM – 5 Aug 2015
Two clips for you here, one about “common cause” and the other of Obama acknowledging that, sure, some of the money Iran gets after sanctions are lifted will go towards funding terror. This too he defends as if his deal was the only possible outcome of the negotiations: Sanctions relief was always going to be part of a nuclear agreement, he notes, so if you oppose that, you oppose diplomacy altogether. That would be a fair point if the agreement had produced something more meaningful for the U.S., like a permanent end to Iranian nuclearization. If the program had been “dismantled” rather than simply slowed down for 10 years, even Netanyahu could have gone along with it; the benefit would have been worth the cost of some extra cash in Iran’s terror treasury. Instead they got the money and we got nothing more than a 10-year respite from having to decide what to do about a fanatic Shiite regime with nuclear “breakout” capacity. And you know what the weirdest part of all of this is? For all their demagoguery and desperation in pushing this deal, Obama and Kerry don’t need to sell it at all. There’s nothing the GOP can do to stop it. The purchase has already been made in Congress. Obama and Kerry are getting nasty here not because they think it’s essential to getting Democrats to buy in but because, I think, they simply resent having their diplomatic master work criticized so sharply. It’s personal.
Today President Obama gave a speech at American University, urging acceptance of his nuclear deal with Iran. It was the usual exercise in deception and demagoguery, and he skated up to the edge of accusing opponents of the deal – a majority of Americans, apparently – of treason.
After some initial reminiscence about the Cold War, Obama leaped right into misrepresenting the agreement’s terms:
After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The “prohibition” consists of a pious declaration by Iran which it can repudiate at any time. The agreement contains no provisions that will permanently impede Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons. The provisions that (if adhered to) would materially impede Iran’s nuclear weapons program expire in no more than 15 years.
Next, the president offered up a revisionist history of the war in Iraq–a topic of dubious relevance at best:
[M]any of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.
Whereas others who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case in favor of the Iran deal–Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, for example. So what? Next comes a breathtaking series of lies:
I said that America didn’t just have to end that war – we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.
No American administration has ever preferred war to diplomacy. The war in Iraq was anything but unilateral, as more than 20 countries participated in the U.S.-led coalition. And the intelligence on Iraq’s WMDs was not exaggerated, as we know from the now-public October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. (Nor, as we now know, was that intelligence entirely wrong.)
Obama recites Iraq’s recent history, but leaves out a key point:
Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.
Obama neglects to mention his own role: in 2011 he prematurely withdrew all American troops from Iraq, crowing that Iraq was then “sovereign, stable and self-reliant,” a fact that Vice-President Joe Biden hailed as one of Obama’s “great achievements.” Iraq was sovereign and stable but not, as military leaders warned, entirely self-reliant. It was Obama’s needless withdrawal of the last American troops that allowed Iraq to spiral toward chaos and permitted ISIS – the Islamic State in Syria – to move into Iraq. But Obama has never once in his life taken responsibility for anything.
Who is to blame for Iran’s nuclear program? Why, President Bush, of course!
When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges – the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb – that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges…
IAEA reports indicate that Iran’s Natanz facility had around 5,500 centrifuges when Obama took office, and over 15,000 by May 2015. With the Fordow facility, Iran now has around 19,000 centrifuges operating. But it’s all Bush’s fault!
As always, Obama misrepresented the terms of the agreement. These are issues we have written about many times, so I won’t address those misrepresentations in detail. But here are a couple:
If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council; America can trigger snapback on our own.
Sheer fantasy. Much of the sanctions relief that Iran most craves can never be taken back–most notably, the $100 billion to $150 billion in frozen funds that will soon flow to Tehran. Further, all commercial deals that are entered into during the period of sanctions relief are excepted from future sanctions.
Even with those huge loopholes, the “snap back” is a fiction. Even U.S. sanctions will not “snap back” automatically; they will have to be reimposed by Congress and implemented over a period of time. We will have no control over whether the E.U. reimposes sanctions. The supposed “snap back” mechanism is limited to U.N. sanctions, and, as I wrote here, it is doubtful whether paragraph 37 of the agreement, the purported snap back provision, would actually cause U.N. sanctions to be reimposed based on the vote of one member of the Security Council.
It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money – revenue frozen overseas by other countries.
This is a very recent and highly dubious talking point. Until the last week or two, as I wrote here, every source I am aware of has long estimated Iran’s frozen assets at $100 billon to $150 billion. In fact, the Treasury Department, which John Kerry cited as the source for the administration’s new number, pegged the frozen assets at “approximately $100 billion” in sworn testimony before a Congressional committee in January of this year. And that is just a down payment on the economic benefit that Iran’s mullahs will receive from the end of sanctions.
No doubt the worst portion of Obama’s speech is the one that has gotten the most attention. Note how Obama walks right up to the line of accusing Republicans in Congress of treason:
Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.)
No, but it is what Iran’s rulers believe. Iran’s Supreme Leader frequently leads mobs in chants of “Death to America.” Does Obama think he is kidding?
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
If Obama had said that the Republican caucus is making common cause with Iran’s hardliners, it would have been an unambiguous accusation of treason. By phrasing it the other way around–the hardliners are making common cause with Republicans–Obama gives himself a slight margin of deniability. But either way, it is a disgusting slander.
It is also delusional. Iran’s hardliners are the regime in power. The mullahs are not aligning themselves with Republicans; on the contrary, they are trumpeting the fact that they got everything they wanted in their negotiations with John Kerry and Barack Obama. But Obama can’t, and won’t, confront that reality. He will just go on slandering his political opponents and lying to the American people.
Barack Obama is a terrible president, but he is a worse man.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said he was unaware of reports that claim Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear site on Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported that Congress has received evidence from the intelligence community that Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear military site at Parchin.
Toner was asked if the State Department has seen the report.
“The U.S. intelligence community has informed of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin in broad daylight days after agreeing to the nuclear deal with world powers,” the reporter said. “The new evidence, which is classified, satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery.”
“I’ve not seen those reports until you just spoke to them,” Toner said. “But, you know, we’ve been very clear that the joint agreement that we plan that you can’t hide nuclear activity. There are traces that remain.”
Toner clarified, saying that he could not elaborate.
“But I can’t speak to that specific instance you’re talking about,” Toner said.
Skeptics of the nuclear agreement have concerns about confidential side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency that detail the inspection procedures into Iran’s suspected nuclear sites like Parchin.
U.S. SENATE HEARING ON THE OBAMA REGIME’S IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT
To be clear, we’re talking about the most recent mess at State – not the lethal parade of failures known as “Benghazi.” Keeping these scandals straight is getting exhausting. Katie wrote yesterday about CBS News’ report on damning findings of an Inspector General investigation into Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The basics:
CBS News has uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks. The Diplomatic Security Service, or the DSS, is the State Department’s security force, charged with protecting the secretary of state and U.S. ambassadors overseas and with investigating any cases of misconduct on the part of the 70,000 State Department employees worldwide… according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” – a problem the report says was “endemic.” The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.
So we have a drug ring, an “endemic” prostitution problem among Hillary Clinton’s security detail, and pattern of alleged sexual assault in Beirut (where, by the way, our embassy astoundingly isn’t up to snuff on security measures), investigations into which were manipulated or terminated by State Department higher-ups. As we know from the Benghazi matter, they’re hyper-sensitive about bad political optics. The CBS News story also mentioned the IG’s discovery that one US Ambassador “routinely ditched” security to solicit prostitutes in a public park. The Ambassador in question was recalled to Washington, then sent on his merry way by by Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy – a familiar name from the Benghazi imbroglio. It gets worse. The ambassador in question is also alleged to have solicited sexual acts from “minor children,” according to NBC News:
The ambassador who came under investigation “routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to documents obtained by NBC News…Former State Department investigator Aurelia Fedenisn has said that investigators dropped the ball in the case, and that a final report published in March of this year was “watered down,” according to her attorney. “She felt it was important that Congress get this information,” Fedenisn’s lawyer Cary Schulman told NBC News.
Did the State Department keep a known (or at least heavily suspected) pedophile on the job, try to block the investigation, then “water down” the final report? State denies any undue influence on internal probes, and the ambassador is decrying the allegations “smears.” Who is he? The New York Post unearths a name with deep financial ties to President Obama and Democrats:
A DS agent was called off a case against US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over claims that he solicited prostitutes, including minors. “The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team… were well aware of the behavior.” Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation ceased, and the ambassador remains in place, according to the memo. Gutman was a big Democratic donor before taking the post, having raised $500,000 for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and helping finance his inaugural.
Why did Kennedy “order the investigation ceased”? The Post story also notes that Clinton’s Secretary of State Cheryl Mills – you remember her, too, right? – personally involved herself in a separate investigation, effectively shutting it down.
Twenty-two of the 37 corporations nominated for a prestigious State Department award – and six of the eight ultimate winners – while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton family foundation.
The published donor records of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation don’t give exact dates or amounts of its contributors, but it is possible to create a general timeline for when many of the corporations donated and when they were either nominated or selected for the award.
Silicon Valley giant Cisco was the biggest foundation contributor nominated in 2009, giving the Clinton charity between $1 million and $5 million. The company then won the award in 2010 when eight of the 12 finalists and two of the three winners had donated to the foundation.
The other Clinton contributor to win that year, candy-maker Mars, Inc., had given between $25,000 and $50,000. Coca-Cola was the most generous foundation donor to be honored as a finalist in 2010, giving a $5-10 million donation.
TOM’s Shoes, a 2009 winner for its work in Argentina, donated between $100,000 and $250,000. The other 2009 winner, Trilogy International Partners, gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Overall, seven of the 10 finalists in 2009 were foundation donors.
Seven of the 12 finalists for the award in 2011 gave to the charity. One of the winners, Procter & Gamble, had contributed $1-5 million. The other 2011 winner, Sahlman Seafoods, does not appear to have been a donor.
Tiger Machinery, a 2011 finalist, is the Russian dealer of Caterpillar, Inc. tractors and other heavy equipment. Caterpillar gave between $1,000 and $5,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
Intel, another Silicon Valley giant, was nominated for an award each year of Clinton’s time in office, winning the award in 2012. The technology company donated between $250,000 and $500,000.
Five of the eight finalists and one of the two winners were foundation donors in 2012. A finalist that year, Esso Angola, is an international subsidiary of Exxon-Mobil, a prolific contributor to the Clinton Foundation. Exxon-Mobil gave between $1 million and $5 million.
Wow, taking money from Big Oil. The insane left is going to love that.
The State Department had no permanent inspector general – the lead watchdog charged with uncovering misconduct and waste – during Hillary Clinton’s entire tenure as secretary, leaving in place an acting inspector who had close ties to State Department leadership.
President Barack Obama didn’t put forward a nominee to lead the inspector general’s office while Mrs. Clinton led the State Department, making it the only agency with a presidentially appointed inspector general that had neither a confirmed nor nominated head watchdog during that full time period.
Five months after Mrs. Clinton left office, Mr. Obama nominated a permanent inspector general, who was confirmed by the Senate three months later.
The lack of a confirmed inspector general raises questions about oversight of the department under Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. The department has been criticized for its failure to gather and archive the email records of Mrs. Clinton and other officials and for responses to public-record requests that lawmakers and advocacy groups say were insufficient, including its response to requests for information from a congressional panel investigating the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.
The vacancy in the top watchdog spot left the State Department with no confirmed inspector general for more than five years, the longest gap since the position was created in 1957, according to department records. While other agencies have had no permanent inspectors general at various points in recent years, some of those vacancies were due to a lack of confirmation by the Senate on nominees put forward by Mr. Obama.
Is isn’t clear whether Mrs. Clinton had any role in the lack of a nomination.
The acting inspector general, Harold Geisel, had served in a variety of roles, including U.S. ambassador to Mauritius in Bill Clinton’s administration and in a State Department job under Richard Nixon. Because he was a longtime foreign-service officer, Mr. Geisel was banned by law from becoming permanent inspector general, a prohibition that Congress put in place to ensure that oversight is conducted by people who don’t have ties to the departments they investigate.
“It’s a convenient way to prevent oversight,” said Matthew Harris, a University of Maryland University College professor who has worked in law enforcement and researches inspectors general. Acting inspectors general “don’t feel empowered; they don’t have the backing of their people. They’re in a position where they could be removed at any moment,” Mr. Harris said.
Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Mr. Geisel’s role as a Clinton administration ambassador undercut his status as a watchdog.
“We did not believe he could be truly independent. We raised the issue that the lack of a permanent IG was a problem,” Mr. Royce said. He said an independent inspector would likely have uncovered and raised objections to Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email account and computer server for official correspondence.
“A permanent IG would have objected to her efforts to circumvent congressional oversight by keeping her emails off the books,” Mr. Royce said.
A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Nick Merrill, said Mr. Geisel “was a career official spanning Republican and Democratic administrations alike, independent and hard-hitting. As it should be.” A spokesman for the State Department said Mr. Geisel led a team that “conducted more investigations between 2007 and 2012 than the IG had under his predecessor.”
The White House declined to elaborate on reason for the lack of an appointment. A White House spokesman said the inspector general’s office issued more than 450 reports while there was no permanent head in place.
Mr. Geisel, assuming his tenure would be short-lived, said he did little to decorate his office. “I never even put up a picture,” he said in an interview. After his five-year stint as watchdog, the State Department gave him a paid temporary assignment reviewing staffing conditions at outposts in Egypt and Nairobi, Mr. Geisel said.
Designed to be isolated from political pressure, inspectors general are tasked with uncovering waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of federal agencies. The State Department office has a large staff that conducts audits and investigations.
During Mr. Geisel’s tenure, members of Congress and independent watchdog groups raised questions about his distance from top leadership at the State Department.
The nonpartisan Project On Government Oversight said Mr. Geisel had an unduly close relationship with Patrick F. Kennedy, the department’s undersecretary for management, a top post. In a 2010 letter to the White House, the group cited friendly emails between the two as evidence of a close relationship, as well as the fact that Mr. Geisel recused himself from an investigation into a situation involving Mr. Kennedy at one point during his tenure.
Asked whether he believed he was compromised in his ability to do his job, Mr. Geisel said: “My work absolutely speaks for itself.” He described his mission as “telling the truth that needs to be told, which may not be the truth that people want to hear.”
One person who worked in the office from 2009 to 2013, Evelyn Klemstine, spoke highly of Mr. Geisel. “I personally never felt that he inhibited any of the audits that we did,” she said.
The U.S. government has made a bizarre internet gaffe by posting a British Muslim extremist’s photograph of veiled women calling for sharia law, citing it as an inspirational example of free speech in the West.
The American State Department’s ‘Think Again Turn Away’ campaign is designed to dissuade Muslims from joining IS – also known as ISIS – and other extreme groups.
The campaign posted the picture on its Twitter account last week, adding: ‘In open societies, all faiths enjoy freedom of speech; under ISIS rule, no such thing as freedom of expression.’
The photograph shows Muslim women, all in black burkas, running a stall in Dalston, East London. They are standing behind a trestle table covered in leaflets and a banner reading: ‘Shariah law or man made law. Which is better for mankind?’
An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found the banner was used in an extremist campaign called Stay Muslim, Don’t Vote, which calls for strict sharia law to be imposed on Britain, as well as urging Muslims not to vote in elections.
The photo was given the caption ‘Muslims coming out inviting society to Islam’ – which was copied by the U.S. State Department – by a man calling himself Abdulrahman Muhajir, whose Twitter account is suspended.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal he is Moshiur Rahman, a 33-year-old from Luton, who last year was one of 12 Islamists given Asbos banning them from taking part in demonstrations over a violent protest rally on Oxford Street. At least two of the gang are believed to be fighting for IS in Syria.
Anjem Choudary – the hate preacher who has repeatedly blamed British foreign policy for terrorist attacks and whose al-Muhajiroun group was banned by the Government – was present at the event in Dalston on March 7. He has also given talks in Walthamstow and East Ham at demonstrations where the sign was used.
The photo appropriated by the U.S. State Department was first placed on Twitter last week by a woman calling herself Umm Usmaan, who is a leading figure in the anti-democracy campaign.
She described it as an ‘Islamic roadshow’ and included the slogan ‘stay Muslim, don’t vote’ when she put the photo on Twitter.
Yesterday she posted a picture of another sign with the message: ‘The right of legislation belongs to none but Allah!’
Last night, terror expert Douglas Murray, associate director of the Henry Jackson Society think-tank, said: ‘It’s an incredibly weak “fail”,’ he said. ‘They should be putting a bit more thought into their sourcing. With all of our resources, it’s not even as accomplished as the crudest IS propaganda.’
US Twitter users were also quick to ridicule the State Department, with one calling it an ‘epic fail’. Conservative U.S. commentator Mark Steyn added: ‘Why is the State Department promoting sharia for the United Kingdom? Aren’t they supposed to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Sharia’s incompatible with that constitution, as it is with the legal inheritance of Western civilisation.’
The State Department did not respond to requests to comment yesterday.
Stephen F. Hayes reported on Fox News that Hillary Clinton’s top two aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, used personal emails while working for the secretary of state at the State Department:
“Two of Hillary Clinton’s top aides used personal email while they were employed at the State Department, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff. The State Department has evidence of this.
“And the question I think become: were they emailing with Hillary Clinton from their personal email addresses to her personal email address about State Department business, about Benghazi, including sensitive classified information?Those are questions that I think that Trey Gowdy and the House Benghazi committee is going to want to look at very carefully.”
Hayes went on to explain, “This is the key point. Yesterday, she said look, when I was doing State Department business I was emailing to people who on the receiving end of her emails had .gov email addresses and therefore the emails, the documents would have been retained. What this suggests is that others were using non-.gov emails, their personal emails, and if they communicated with her in that manner those emails with her will be lost unless they’re compelled to provide them.”
The group Veterans for a Strong America plans to sue the State Department over a Freedom of Information Action request it filed for Hillary Clinton’s emails and phone logs from the days before and after the attack at Benghazi.
Joel Arends, the group’s chairman and founder, has brought on Mark Zaid, an attorney who specializes in national security and FOIA litigation cases, to handle the lawsuit.
Arends filed a FOIA request in July 2014 for Clinton’s emails and phone logs for around the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
“We didn’t embark on a fishing expedition,” Arends told The Daily Caller. “All that we want are the records from the night before and the day after [Benghazi].”
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during that attack.
Arends said his group filed the FOIA request to obtain information to use in a book “What Difference Does It Make?” The title is borrowed from a question Clinton asked during a January 2013 Senate hearing on Benghazi.
Arends set out to write the book for veterans to find out “what it would mean to them if they knew their government or their chain of command was not going to come to their aid or assistance when there’s resources or assets available, similar to what happened in Benghazi.”
“We want to know who she was talking to, what kind of command and control she had, what kind of situational awareness she had,” Arends told TheDC.
Finding out how Clinton immediately reacted to news of the Benghazi is crucial given Clinton’s likely presidential bid, Arends asserted.
“It’s fair game to know what kind of commander-in-chief she’s going to be.”
“Was she talking to President Clinton? Was she talking to a PR crisis team? Because if she making those kind of phone calls it means that that was time wasted or time that she could have been talking to the State Department crisis communications team.”
Clinton turned over 55,000 emails from her personal email account to the State Department in December. Around 300 of those were given to a House committee investigating the Benghazi attack.
That committee, headed by South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, has subpoenaed Clinton’s emails.
Arends said that like everyone at the time, when he filed his FOIA request he had no idea Clinton exclusively sent private emails that were routed through a private server she had set up in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home.
In light of that revelation, “the most prudent thing to do is to seize that server so that we can make sure that we’re getting all of the documents,” Arends said.
Getting control of that server is crucial because the emails Clinton has turned over to State so far were selected by her and her staff.
“It shouldn’t be up to her staff, given the lack of credibility that they have, to determine what gets turned over and what doesn’t,” Arends said.
Zaid, whose most famous case was a successful lawsuit against the Libyan government on behalf of the families killed in the Pan Am 103 flight over Lockerbie, said that the FOIA lawsuit could force a court to confront “grey areas” regarding how federal agencies manage officials’ records.
“The State Department, if they decline to search for telephone records that might reveal what the Secretary did on certain days because she was on her home phone, that explanation may set off a chain reaction elsewhere to Trey Gowdy’s special committee where he subpoenas the phone records,” Zaid told TheDC.
“If we go to court we can certainly dispute what constitutes an agency record,” he added.
With the lawsuit, Veterans for a Strong America joins the government watchdog Judicial Watch and The Associated Press in challenging the State Department over its handling of FOIA request for Clinton documents.
A U.S. State Department official was jailed Tuesday on a charge of soliciting a minor.
Daniel Rosen was arrested at his home in Washington, D.C., about noon Tuesday and was in custody at the D.C. jail Tuesday night, said Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
Rosen, 44, was arrested “following a series of online exchanges” with a detective assigned to the Fairfax County Police Department’s Child Exploitation Unit, Caldwell said. He was charged with one count of “use of a communications device to solicit a juvenile.”
Caldwell did not release any other details of the investigation. She said Rosen would be extradited to Fairfax County jail, but she did not know precisely when.
Caldwell said the occupation listed for Rosen is “director of counterterrorism” for the U.S. State Department.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the department was aware that one of its employees had been arrested and charged but “for issues related to Department personnel and for privacy reasons” could not identify the person or the charges.
“His security clearance will be suspended and he will be put on administrative leave while this proceeds to its end through any judicial process,” Psaki said.
Rosen’s Linked In profile, if accurate, reveals he’s the guy responsible for the State Department’s “Countering Violent Extremism” programs. Perhaps with a little extremism of his own?
Responsible for all CT Bureau strategic planning, policy planning, program and budget planning and oversight, and legislative relations and interaction.
Oversees $300 million per year in CT programs related to Countering Violent Extremism, Antiterrorism Assistance, Counterterrorism Financing, Counterterrorism Engagement and Regional Initiatives.
Manages the Office of Plans and Policy including oversight of 20+ personnel.
Represents the Office of the Coordinator and the US Department of State in interagency and international meetings, conferences, Congressional briefings, and other fora.
The United States must use “all of the tools at our disposal” to deal with the threat posed by Americans and other Westerners who go to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS, a State Department official told Congress on Tuesday.
But so far, that does not include revoking the passports of U.S. citizens who have traveled to Syria to fight with ISIS.
“Has the State Department cancelled the passports of any U.S. citizens who have joined any terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq?” Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) asked Ambassador Robert Bradtke on Tuesday at a hearing of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee.
“To my knowledge, the State Department has not cancelled any passports,” responded Bradtke, a senior adviser with the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism who was called out of retirement to focus on foreign fighters.
“As Secretary Kerry said, he does have the authority to revoke passports. And this is something we would only do in relatively rare and unique circumstances because of the importance for average Americans (to) have the freedom to travel,” Bradtke said.
“We would only do it also in consultations with law enforcement authorities. And we have not yet had any requests from law enforcement authorities to cancel the passports of ISIS or foreign fighters. So again, we have the authority; it is one tool; we do have other tools to use as well in this regard.”
A second government official told lawmakers that the no-fly list is one of those other tools:
“Congressman, if we have indications that someone on the no-fly list is trying to fly back to the United States, we would deny them boarding,” said Thomas Warrick, a deputy assistant secretary for counter-terrorism policy at the Department of Homeland Security.
“If someone shows up in the United States and there’s indications that that person has been a foreign fighter in Syria, it would be referred to the FBI, and then it would be a matter for law enforcement,” Warrick explained.
“We would have the ability at the border to ask any questions that were necessary and appropriate; we would have the ability and the authority to inspect their luggage, inspect their personal possessions, in order to determine whether they were or were not a foreign fighter who had been fighting with ISIL. Anything like this, I can assure you, is taken extremely seriously.”
Later in the hearing, Warrick was asked what would happen if an Irish national, for example, tried to come to the U.S. after fighting with terrorists in Syria.
“Where somebody has been identified as a foreign fighter fighting for ISIL in Syria… they’re going to be in all likelihood on a no-fly list or another list of the U.S. government that is going to attract a great deal of attention before they’re allowed to get on board an airplane for the United States.”
But Warrick admitted that the no-fly list can’t guarantee that foreign fighters will be kept out of this country:
“Well, they wouldn’t be able to fly here,” he said. “The no-fly list obviously doesn’t apply to other modes of transportation. However, I can assure you that there are equal or equivalent measures in place so that somebody on the no-fly list is almost certainly not going to be allowed entry into the United States, if they come by cruise ship or if they fly to Canada, for example… and they were to try, let’s say, to come across the U.S.-Canadian border.”
No one mentioned the U.S.-Mexico border, which was overwhelmed by an influx of people from Central America just a few months ago.
Warrick put the number of U.S. citizens fighting with ISIS/ISIL at “greater than a hundred,” and he said some of those returning fighters have been arrested on arrival in this country. He did not say how many have been arrested, but when it happens, he said the returning fighters move from DHS purview to FBI purview.
Two Democrats on the subcommittee asked why the State Department has not hired its own expert on Islamic law.
“It is incredibly important that we get Islamic scholars, experts and jurists to issue rulings adverse to ISIS and favorable to the United States,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).
“It is about time that the State Department hire its first Islamic legal expert to work full time on that – maybe a couple (of experts). And it is time that at least somebody be hired at the State Department, not because they went to a fancy American school or because they did well on the foreign service exam.”
Sherman said he’s been told that the State Department is relying on outsiders to provide expertise on Islamic law and issue statements that are favorable to the United States.
Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) said the Middle East is “unraveling,” posing “a threat to us and the West.”
“As the United States moves forward, it just seems that the State Department needs to be promoting leadership from within that has particular focus on this region, since that’s what we’re dealing with… I do think Mr. Sherman has a point, that longer term, the United States has got to get serious about this region and expertise in this region if we’re going to address the challenges we face.”
The State Department has quietly made plans to bring Ebola-infected doctors and medical aides to the U.S. for treatment, according to an internal department document that argued the only way to get other countries to send medical teams to West Africa is to promise that the U.S. will be the world’s medical backstop.
Some countries “are implicitly or explicitly waiting for medevac assurances” before they will agree to send their own medical teams to join U.S. and U.N. aid workers on the ground, the State Department argues in the undated four-page memo, which was reviewed by The Washington Times.
“The United States needs to show leadership and act as we are asking others to act by admitting certain non-citizens into the country for medical treatment for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) during the Ebola crisis,” says the four-page memo, which lists as its author Robert Sorenson, deputy director of the office of international health and biodefense.
More than 10,000 people have become infected with Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and the U.S. has taken a lead role in arguing that the outbreak must be stopped in West Africa. President Obama has committed thousands of U.S. troops and has deployed American medical personnel, but other countries have been slow to follow.
In the memo, officials say their preference is for patients go to Europe, but there are some cases in which the U.S. is “the logical treatment destination for non-citizens.”
The document has been shared with Congress, where lawmakers already are nervous about the administration’s handling of the Ebola outbreak. The memo even details the expected price per patient, with transportation costs at $200,000 and treatment at $300,000.
A State Department official signaled Tuesday evening that the discussions had been shelved.
“There is no policy of the U.S. government to allow entry of non-U.S. citizen Ebola-infected to the United States. There is no consideration in the State Department of changing that policy,” the official said.
Another official said the department is considering using American aircraft equipped to handle Ebola cases to transport noncitizens to other countries.
“We have discussed allowing other countries to use our medevac capabilities to evacuate their own citizens to their home countries or third-countries, subject to reimbursement and availability,” the second department official said.
The internal State Department memo is described as “sensitive but unclassified.” A tracking sheet attached to it says it was cleared by offices of the deputy secretary, the deputy secretary for management, the office of Central African affairs and the medical services office.
A call to the number listed for Mr. Sorenson wasn’t returned Tuesday.
Mr. Obama has been clear about his desire to recruit medical and aid workers to fight Ebola in Africa.
“We know that the best way to protect Americans ultimately is going to stop this outbreak at the source,” the president said at the White House on Tuesday, praising U.S. aid workers who are already involved in the effort. “No other nation is doing as much to make sure that we contain and ultimately eliminate this outbreak than America.”
About half of the more than 10,000 cases in West Africa have been fatal.
Four cases have been diagnosed in the U.S., and three of those were health care workers treating infected patients. Two of those, both nurses at a Dallas hospital, have been cured.
Several American aid workers who contracted the disease overseas were flown to the U.S. for treatment.
The United Nations and World Health Organization are also heavily involved in deploying to the affected region, but other countries have been slower to provide resources to fight Ebola in West Africa or to agree to treat workers who contract the disease.
The State Department memo says only Germany has agreed to take non-German citizens who contract Ebola.
European nations are closer to West Africa, making transport easier, the State Department memo said.
Officials said the U.S. is the right place to treat some cases, notably those in which non-Americans are contracted to work in West Africa for U.S.-based charities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“So far all of the Ebola medevacs brought back to U.S. hospitals have been U.S. citizens. But there are many non-citizens working for U.S. government agencies and organizations in the Ebola-affected countries of West Africa,” the memo says. “Many of them are citizens of countries lacking adequate medical care, and if they contracted Ebola in the course of their work they would need to be evacuated to medical facilities in the United States or Europe.”
The memo says the State Department has a contract with Phoenix Aviation, which maintains an airplane capable of transporting an Ebola patient. The U.S. can transport noncitizens and have other countries or organizations pay the cost.
The U.S. has helped transport three health care workers to Germany and one to France.
In the U.S., the department memo lists three hospitals – the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta – that are willing to take Ebola patients.
According to the memo, Homeland Security Department officials would be required to waive legal restrictions to speed the transport of patients into the U.S.
“A pre-established framework would be essential to guarantee that only authorized individuals would be considered for travel authorization and that all necessary vetting would occur,” the memo says.
A Homeland Security spokeswoman didn’t return emails seeking comment.
Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning public interest watchdog, revealed the existence of a State Department plan this month. When The Times described the document to Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch’s president, he said it is evidence of why the administration balked at adopting a travel ban on those from affected countries.
“Under this theory, there could be people moving here now, transporting people here now, and it could be done with no warning,” Mr. Fitton said. “If our borders mean anything, it is the ability to make sure that dire threats to the public health are kept out.”
After those initial reports surfaced, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, sent a letter asking for answers. On Tuesday, he said the document The Times obtained “raises more concerns and questions than answers.”
“President Obama should be forthcoming with the American people about the scope of his plan to bring non-U.S. citizens infected with Ebola to the United States for treatment,” Mr. Goodlatte said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the State Department refuses to say if any missing contract files from March 2008 – March 2014 were stored electronically.
The American Thinker began covering the case of the missing records for $6 billion on April 5, 2014, soon after the State Department’s Office of Inspector General released two unclassified memos dated March 20, 2014.
Several news media outlets also covered the missing State Department records in early April, but, to date, there’s been little, if any, follow-up to the story. In short, it’s off the mainstream media radar.
Nothing to see here. Move along.
The fact that Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State for four of the six years covered by the missing files may explain the reluctance of the State Department to answer simple, factual inquiries about the missing records.
On September 14, 2014, the American Thinker followed-up its April 2014 story noting this quote from a Department of State spokesperson who asked to remain anonymous:
“At this time, the Department continues to work on the issues raised by the OIG in its audit and to improve its file management. We are in regular communication with the OIG [Office of Inspector General] to update them on our progress.”
Does “work on the issues” mean trying to locate the missing records? Or just cleaning up the accounting processes per. the OIG’s recommendations?
Below is a subsequent email thread, in sequence from September 16-22, which involved the anonymous spokesperson as well as three officials in the OIG (Office of the Inspector General). Names and email addresses are deleted.
From: Lee Cary
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:25 PM
To: Spokesperson, Department of State
Cc: OIC Official #1 @state.gov; OIC Official #2 @state.gov; OIC Official#3 @state.gov
Subject: Media Query 9/16/14
Spokesperson’s name deleted,
Press Officer & Spokesperson
United States Department of State
Re. “Specifically, over the past 6 years, OIG has identified Department of State (Department) contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all.” (Statement in first paragraph of March 20, 2014 document, “Management Alert Contract File Management Deficiencies”)
I hope this finds you well.
1. Do the incomplete and/or missing files represent paper and/or electronic documents?
2. If one or more of the incomplete or missing files are electronic files, are the electronic back-ups of the original documents equally incomplete and/or missing?
Writer for the American Thinker website
From: Spokesperson, Department of State
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 1:29 PM
To: Lee Cary
Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14
Lee – I’ll see what I have for you, Name deleted
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
From: Lee Cary
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:45 AM
To: State Department spokesperson
Subject: Re: Media Query 9/16/14
Thank you, name deleted. Standing by,
From: State Department Spokesperson
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:36 PM
To: Lee Cary
Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14
This is to be attributed on background from a State Department official:
(1) Reports that there is $6 billion that can’t be accounted for are grossly inaccurate. The OIG’s March 2014 management alert noted that there were a number of incomplete files for our contracts, and those contracts’ cumulative value is $6 billion. As highlighted in our response to the OIG, this is an issue of which the Department is aware and IS taking steps to remedy. It is a paperwork issue, not an accounting issue.
Thanks, Name deleted.
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
From: Lee Cary
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM
TO: State Department Spokesperson
Cc: Official #1 @state.gov; OIC Official #2 @state.gov; OIC Official#3 @state.gov; Lee Cary
Subject: Re: Media Query 9/16/14
Name deleted – Thank you for your response. It will, as before, be “attributed on background… etc.” when quoted.
The $6 billion was mentioned in the OIG’s March 20, 2014 memo as: “contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all.”
I do not infer from the OIG’s memo that 6 billion dollars are missing, but, clearly, some degree of accounting for monies is missing, per. the OIG memo.
Q.1. In general terms, what is the content of the missing information that is absent partially, and in some cases totally, from the subject contract files?
I don’t understand your response re. “paperwork issue” and “accounting issue.” On its face, the language (paperwork) designates the means of information storage/conveyance, while “accounting” logically pertains to the general content of the subject content – as in an accumulation of numbers. Numbers on paper would mean both the means of information and its general content.
Q.2. With respect, I repeat and expand my previous query: Are there any missing electronic files, in part or in full? If so, how many “contract files” are totally missing, and what is the approximate, total expenditures involved in those electronic files that are totally missing?
Name deleted, if you are unable to answer my queries, please forwarding me to someone who can/will do so.
Thanks, Lee Cary
Writer for the American Thinker website
From: Lee Cary
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:26 PM
To: OIG Official #1 @state.gov
Cc: AT editor
Subject: Fw: Media Query 9/16/14
The questions below are simple [previous email was attached], direct and, it would seem, merely a matter of fact.
So why am I having so much trouble getting a straight answer from the Department of State spokesperson?
Can you enlighten me, sir.
Writer for American Thinker website
From: OIG Official #1
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 12:34 PM
To: Lee Cary
Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14
If you feel the response doesn’t answer your question, you may want to elevate your inquiry over at the Department to the senior press officer or director.
The main number for Press relations is 202-647-2492 (PAPress2@state.gov).
Signature block deleted
From: Lee Cary
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:54 PM
Cc: OIG Official #1
Subject: Fw: Media Query 9/16/14
Senior Press Officer or Director (see referral below):
I am having no success getting responses to what are two simple and, I believe, clear factual questions that don’t require detailed, confidential information.
Perhaps someone there can help me.
The context for these questions is below:
Q.1. In general terms, what is the content of the missing information that is absent partially, and in some cases totally, from the subject contract files?
Q.2. With respect, I repeat and expand my previous query: Are there any missing electronic files, in part or in full? If so, how many “contract files” are totally missing, and what is the approximate, total expenditures involved in those electronic files that are totally missing?
Writer for the American Thinker website
Note: A query to the PAPress2@state.gov yielded only the following response.
From: State Department Spokesperson
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:08 PM
To: Lee Cary
Cc: OIG Official #1
Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14
Hi Lee – This is not for attribution and please do not print my name:
I have responded to your requests, and we have nothing further for you from the press office. You are welcome to FOIA the State Department for the information you seek. The FOIA process is laid out here: http://foia.state.gov, as it is an office separate from the press office and OIG.
Hope this is helpful and take care,
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.
The failure of a government agency to answer questions is not an admission of guilt, nor necessarily evidence of any malfeasance or violation of any law(s).
But it is curious when the information requested and denied is, on its face, a matter of a simple, physical fact.
So why the unwillingness to identify the missing contract files as having been stored in part, or in total, electronically?
It raises this question: Is this now the fourth instance of significant electronically stored information having conveniently gone missing inside a major government agency? (1) The Department of Justice’s Fast & Furious operation. (2) The IRS scandal. (3) The Department of State’s Benghazi episode. And now this: (4) “contract files” representing $6,000,000,000 of Department of State expenditures are missing in part, or are completely missing.
The clear emphasis in the Office of Inspector General’s memos (linked above) is on the Department of State’s need to improve its accounting procedures. Is there even an effort underway to track and retrieve the missing information concerning $6 billion of expenditures?
Who is in charge of that effort, if it exists?
Are we to believe that there were/are no back-up copies of the missing contract files?
How far has the searched progressed, if there even is a search underway?
What did those expenditures buy?
And just what did happen to the documentation that’s missing? Any clues after six months?
Sandy Berger probably didn’t stuff paper files or hard drives into his socks and walk out of Foggy Bottom with the missing files.
This story does not deserve to die, but it’s headed in that direction.