The targeted strike that killed Iran’s supreme military commander, Qassem Soleimani, elicited criticism of President Donald Trump from liberal media outlets and political adversaries. Many likened Trump’s actions to Obama’s Benghazi debacle. It’s worth revisiting events leading up to and surrounding the September 2012 tragedy to put the Benghazi episode into context.
The given reason for Operation Iraqi Freedom was Saddam Hussein was believed to have a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of United Nations resolutions. There was also an unintended, yet positive consequence of the war. In December 2003, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi surprised the world and announced he would discontinue his country’s weapons of mass destruction program. Clearly, the Iraq War had hastened his decision to abandon rogue nation status.
Libya had been a pariah nation in the eyes of the United States since Gaddafi’s coup d’état in 1969. By the late 1990s, Gaddafi was slowly moving his nation in the right direction. In 1999, he agreed to meet U.S. and British demands to assume responsibility and pay restitution to the families of victims killed in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Dismantling his nation’s weapons of mass destruction program and inviting international inspectors into the country was a major step toward normalizing relations with the West and, most importantly, the United States.
Libyan authorities turned over weapons components and thousands of pages of documentation, which included correspondence with other nations. These papers revealed the name of A. Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who had been secretly transferring nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea, as well as Libya.
Relations between Libya and the United States were on the mend — until 2011.
By all accounts, President Barack Obama was reluctant to launch military action against Libya. Obama was a harsh critic of the Iraq War, and launching an unprovoked war against Libya would show him to be hypocritical. The Arab Spring, an uprising by groups of citizens against their governments, had spread to several Arab nations. A rebellion was brewing in Libya, and a protest broke out on February 17, but it was one Gaddafi’s security forces could probably manage.
It was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was the most forceful proponent of the United States initiating a war with Libya. Most of Obama’s senior advisers urged the United States to sit this one out. Clinton, however, “doubled down and pushed for military action” against Libya. Clinton won over Obama. Ironically, the nation’s top diplomat was the biggest advocate for war. The United States began attacks on March 19, 2011.
The decision by Obama to topple Gaddafi no doubt sent the wrong message to other rogue nations. Gaddafi gave up his nukes as the United States had demanded, only to be attacked by the United States. This turn of events may have convinced other rogue nation leaders to hold onto their nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs as an insurance policy.
It is widely believed that the driving motivation for Clinton’s push to attack Libya was to beef up her résumé in preparation for a 2016 run for the White House. It was Clinton’s insistence that the Libya campaign was a resounding success that set in motion events leading to the biggest and most deadly debacle for U.S. personnel in Libya.
Gaddafi was toppled from power by a U.S.-led bombing campaign, joined by Britain and France. An Obama adviser insisted the U.S. was “leading from behind.” Gaddafi was captured and gruesomely killed by rebel fighters on October 20, 2011. Cellphone video footage showed a long rod, or possibly a sword, was shoved up his rectum. The Libyan leadership vacuum created by Gaddafi’s death was filled throughout much of Libya by Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. These were two powerful, radical Islamic terror groups.
J. Christopher Stevens was the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Stevens’ primary diplomatic post was in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli. But he was frequently at the lightly defended facility in Benghazi, which was a hotbed of violence. Stevens was directed to spend more time in Benghazi because “Secretary Clinton wanted the post made permanent,” according to Gregory Hicks. Hicks was the U.S. deputy chief of mission, the de facto No. 2 diplomatic position in Libya. Hicks later testified before Congress that Clinton had intended to make a December 2012 announcement about the diplomatic upgrade in Benghazi.
The reality was far different from the picture being painted by Clinton. The security situation in Benghazi was extremely dangerous and getting worse by the day. In April 2012, an improvised explosive device was thrown over the wall into the U.S. consulate compound. Other attacks were made against the British ambassador, the Tunisian consulate, and against United Nations and International Red Cross officials. In June, a bomb blew a gaping hole in the security wall of the American Benghazi compound. The deteriorating security situation caused the British government to withdraw its diplomatic personnel and close its Benghazi offices in June.
The dramatic escalation in violence led State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, who was in Libya, to plead with State Department officials to increase security for U.S. diplomats in Libya, especially in Benghazi. According to Nordstrom, State Department officials wanted to keep U.S. security presence “artificially low.” In her 2013 testimony before Congress, Clinton assumed responsibility for the failed security of Benghazi.
Late in the evening of September 11, 2012, 11 years to the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Benghazi compound came under attack from a large group yelling, “Allahu Akbar!” The compound wall was quickly breached, and scores of attackers entered, firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Ambassador Stevens and consular officer Sean Smith were quickly killed.
Hours later, the annex housing CIA officials and CIA-contracted security personnel came under a mortar attack. Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed. Frantic calls were made to Washington, D.C., during the attack requesting reinforcements. No reinforcements were sent.
Back in Washington, D.C., emails were flying back and forth discussing the attack. Officials at the White House, State Department, and CIA knew it was full-out assault by Islamic terrorists. In fact, Clinton emailed her daughter the evening of the attack, telling Chelsea that the perpetrators were Islamic terrorists. But another narrative was crafted to tell the public a completely different story.
The day after the attack, the Obama administration falsely claimed that the attack had been spontaneous. The administration claimed the attack grew from the peaceful protest to a crudely made YouTube video named “Innocence of Muslims” that was considered demeaning to Muslims. That video was posted to YouTube months earlier and, at the time of the attack, had been viewed only a few dozen times. As a flurry of White House emails, memos, and messages confirmed, the Obama administration knew from the very beginning that the video was not the cause of the attacks. That public claim was quickly debunked.
The White House dispatched Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to make the rounds of Sunday news talk shows promoting the falsehood that the attack was a spontaneous event. Libyan officials and the suspected organizer of the attack, Ahmed Abu Khattala, said the video played no role in the attack. The attack, they said, was premeditated. Obama administration officials did not offer an explanation as to why peaceful protestors would be carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers and automatic weapons.
At about 6 a.m. on September 12, an armed, 50-vehicle Libyan convoy rescued the Americans from the annex and safely transported them to the Benghazi airport for evacuation. These Libyan rescuers were not from the transitional government aligned with the United States. In a bit of sad irony, these Libyans were former military officers loyal to Gaddafi. The individuals that the United States had ousted from power about a year earlier were the very ones that came to U.S. assistance.
It wasn’t until September 20, nine days after the attack, that the Obama administration finally acknowledged the YouTube video explanation was untrue. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney grudgingly admitted the facility came under a premeditated attack from Islamic terrorists.
Six years after the YouTube video explanation was thoroughly discredited and Carney’s admission that the video claim was untrue, White House staffer Ben Rhodes, in his 2018 memoir, returned to falsely claiming the video was the cause of the attack.
Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and retired Admiral Mike Mullen chaired the Accountability Review Board (ARB) that investigated the attack. The board found plenty of blame to go around, including U.S. personnel in Libya who “did not demonstrate strong and sustained advocacy with Washington for increased security,” and the “relatively inexperienced, American personnel” on that overseas assignment.
The board further found “certain senior State Department officials within two bureaus demonstrated a lack of proactive leadership and management ability in their responses to security concerns … [but] did not find reasonable cause to determine that any individual U.S. government employee breached his or her duty.” Interestingly, the board’s claim that U.S. personnel in Libya didn’t push hard enough for increased security is contradicted by its subsequent claim that State Department officials didn’t respond adequately to such requests.
The ARB report was dismissed as sloppy and incomplete. The board didn’t interview many key witnesses with deep knowledge of the attack. Some who were questioned by the panel said the probe was inadequate. The board demonstrated its lack of independence by consulting with Clinton’s chief of staff on which witnesses should and should not testify. Shockingly, the board never even questioned Clinton. Perhaps this was because four of the five board members were appointed by her.
Mark Hyman is an Emmy award-winning national investigative journalist. This essay was adapted from his just-released book Washington Babylon: From George Washington to Donald Trump, Scandals that Rocked the Nation.
by Sorcha Faal
A worrisome new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) report circulating in the Kremlin today discussing an astonishing communiqué received this morning from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States, states that there has been a 36,640% increase of American citizens seeking refugee status information over the past 48-hours, as opposed to the numbers of these requests seen during this same time period in 2018—whose numbers then were 5, but today stands at 1,837—all of whom are specifically seeking information about the free land programme in Russia opened to foreigners in 2016—whose previous greatest number of information requesters for were the over 15,000 white South African farmers seeking refuge in Russia last year as “a matter of life or death”—and among these current American information requesters, sees them all having two commonalities—the first being all of them citing as a basis for their information request a recent 24 October 2019 article published in The Wall Street Journal titled “On Russia’s Vast Frontier, Lots Of Free Land And Few Takers”—and the second being that all of them are citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia—one of the 50 States that comprises the United States having a population of over 8.5 million peoples—all of whom awakened in horror this past week upon their discovering that their socialist Democrat Party overlords have prepared a new law to strip them all of their guns and rights to protect themselves, while preparing at the same time to imprison anyone who opposes them—and in response to, sees other millions of these Virginia citizens openly preparing to defy these Democrat monsters. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
Millions of citizens in the State of Virginia begin open rebellion against their socialist Democrat Party overlords
According to this report, earlier this month the Foreign Ministry extensively documented how a leftist run US Federal Court redrew all of the voting districts in Virginia to favor the Democrats—and because of, left the Republican Party unable to put up candidates in 25% of Virginia’s State Senate races—thus enabling these socialist Democrats to take full control over Virginia—in spite of the fact that 860,993 Republican voters outnumbered 823,694 Democratic voters.
Masterminding this socialist takeover of Virginia, this report details, was former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg—the richest media baron in the world worth over $54 billion who founded the leftist American mainstream media giant Bloomberg News—and after his announcing this past week that he was running to be the socialist Democrat Party nominee to be president, ordered Bloomberg News and all of its journalists to stop investigating him and all other Democrats, but continue their investigations into President Trump—an order one would expect to be issued by the crazed socialist Bloomberg who has previously vowed to “take money from the poor because it will make them live longer”—with the exact socialist plot to control by government force the behavior of the American people contained in his own words declaring: “Some people say, well, taxes are regressive…but in this case, yes they are…that’s the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don’t have a lot of money…and so…higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves”.
Having a socialist mindset of beliefs worthy enough to have made him a leader of the former communist Soviet Union, this report continues, Michael Bloomberg actually used his vast wealth to buy the Virginia legislature and its socialist Democrat Party lawmakers earlier this month—and as a reward for his doing so, saw his bought and paid for socialist lawmakers in Virginia putting forth a new law named SB-16 a fortnight ago that will strip this State’s law abiding citizens of their rights by confiscating their legally owned firearms, and imprisoning for 5-years anyone of them refusing to hand their guns over to the government.
Going from merely tyrannical to outright despotic, this report notes, these socialist Virginia lawmakers bought by Michael Bloomberg followed SB-16 with another law named SB-64—the chilling outlines of which would turn millions of Virginian citizens into felons if they dare try to even learn how to defend themselves—and as it’s been explained by American experts who say about this new law:
The State of Virginia, now entirely run by truly insane Democrats who support infanticide and child murder, is proposing a new 2020 law known as SB64 which will be taken up by the Democrat-run Senate beginning January 8, 2020.
The law would instantly transform all martial arts instructors into criminal felons. This includes instructors who teach kickboxing, BJJ, Krav Maga, boxing and even Capoeira.
It would also criminalize all firearms training classes, including concealed carry classes.
It would even criminalize a father teaching his own son how to use a hunting rifle.
As millions of Virginian citizens awaken to the new socialist hell created for them by Michael Bloomberg and his lapdog paid for Democrat Party lawmakers, this report concludes, American patriot freedom fighters belonging to the Virginia Citizens Defense League have spread themselves throughout this once great State to begin preparing for war—preparations begun by their rushing to aid Virginia counties in rebellion against their socialist overlords by enacting new gun sanctuary laws—a vital protection needed for these now under socialist-siege peoples whose fears were best expressed by Madison Heights-Virginia Eternal Baptist Church leader Pastor Jeff Wade, who has just fearfully warned: “The time is coming…I’m mighty afraid that we’re going to have to defend ourselves because of what we believe in…Not only on the Second Amendment..but on any other issue that the government declares to be right, but God declares to be wrong”—and whose looming “time coming” will be when these patriot freedom fighters have to confront the armed socialist forces their own Virginian government and Michael Bloomberg will soon send against them—at which point President Trump will then have to decide if he’ll send in US military forces to protect these Virginian citizens under threat of death—or side with their socialist oppressors—but whose answer to that question is already well known to everyone in the world—most particularly the already heavily armed patriots and freedom fighters in Virginia.
Virginia Begins Massive Gun Grab Of Its Citizens—As Gunless People In New York Are Now Allowed To Rob Banks
A stunning “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up” new Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) report circulating in the Kremlin today discussing the just completed historic meeting between President Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, states these leaders expressed perplexity as to why American socialist forces led by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi destroyed its own case for the Trump impeachment—a nonsensical impeachment process neither Putin nor Merkel can understand anything about as it doesn’t make any sense because President Donald Trump didn’t break any laws—and now sees Pelosi turning this impeachment into a “woke event” to be prosecuted by women and those of colour—that joins these demented socialists with their deranged comrade counterparts in the Commonwealth of Virginia who this past week took over this State’s legislature—and upon taking power, then saw them immediately ordering that all journalists covering the Virginia Statehouse reveal what race they are—that these socialists then quickly followed by banning legally authorized concealed carry guns from the Virginia Statehouse building—a move made because of the fears these socialists have of the over 100,000 citizens of Virginia bombarding them with phone calls and emails to protect their Second Amendment rights—which these socialists then responded to by proposing a law to ban all of the shooting ranges their citizens have used for countless decades and another one making the owning of gun suppressers a felony crime—a noise suppression device for firearms near exclusively used by those having hearing impairments, has never been used in a crime in all of modern American history, and is due to the fact the US government regulates suppressers to the point that each owner of one goes through the strictest background check imaginable—facts and realities being ignored by these socialists whose total disarmament of the citizens in Virginia is what the Democratic Party envisions for all of America—now sees these socialist Virginia lawmakers further stating that any of their citizens supporting the Second Amendment have “mental issues”—thus leaving it no wonder that the Second Amendment supporting citizens in Virginia are now talking about civil war—but before they do so—they might want to examine the benefit of living in a gun-free socialist America—being best exampled in the socialist Democrat Party stronghold of New York that just enacted a law making it a minor misdemeanor to rob a bank if one uses a note instead of a gun—and after robbing a bank with just a note, sees those committing this misdemeanor crime being released as fast as police arrest them—a joyful socialist law being celebrated by New York State criminal Gerod Woodberry—who after being arrested and immediately released five times this past fortnight for robbing banks, gleefully proclaimed “I can’t believe they let me out”. [Note: Some words and/or phrases appearing in quotes in this report are English language approximations of Russian words/phrases having no exact counterpart.]
Millions of Virginian citizens create Second Amendment sanctuaries for protection against socialist Democrat Party gun grab…
…but if disarmed, may see them wanting to join with New York State criminal Gerod Woodberry (above) to rob banks with written notes.
According to this report, as socialist Democrat Party lunacy edges Virginia closer to civil war, what this failed and cancerous political ideology is doing to California has now broken the bounds of sanity itself—best exampled this past week by the socialist stronghold of California declaring that Ham Radio is no longer a benefit and demanding that Ham radio repeater infrastructure be immediately removed from the State—Ham Radio infrastructure and operators that don’t cost anything for California as it’s all volunteer citizen organized and run—whose vital function provides emergency communications when all electrical power is down—and are critical communications needed in a State that keeps cutting power to its citizens because of massive wildfires—massive wildfires President Trump warned California are being caused because these socialists won’t take care of their woodlands—a warning these socialist lunatics in California slammed Trump for even giving—that is until the world’s top fire experts at the University of California-Berkeley astonishingly sided with Trump this past week and declared: “Approximately 75% of damage from California’s wildfires are due to the way we manage lands and develop our landscape”.
Equally as bad for this socialist Democrat Party stronghold State of California, this report notes, are that the lunatic asylum patients running it have become so corrupt and inept, they’ve turned their once beautiful city of San Francisco into an actual fecal bacteria wasteland so unlivable, even the robots working there are losing their jobs—and whose real people living in this socialist wasteland have joined what is being called the Blue-State Exodus gathering momentum all across America—a mass exodus caused by the Blue State Tax Shock Syndrome only seen in socialist Democrat Party controlled regions whose peoples not only suffer from high taxes, but lousy services, too—thus making them what are being called “Leftugees” whom the sane Red States must now defend themselves against before this insidious Blue State socialist disease spreads even further.
Not being understood by the masses of the American people watching as this Democrat Party socialist disease spreads across their nation, this report details, is that its main causation has been the works of the little known Yale and Oxford university educated Professor Shawn Rosenberg from the University of California-Irvine—one of the most important strategists for the Democrat Party who, at last years summit of the International Society of Political Psychologists in Lisbon-Portugal, shocked everyone in attendance with his research paper declaring that “human brains aren’t built for self-rule”—with his further declaring that only “society’s elites” were worthy to rule—and if these “elites” are not allowed to rule, saw him predicting that “In well-established democracies like the United States, democratic governance will continue its inexorable decline and will eventually fail”—a prediction deemed so repugnant by this international summits experts, they gave their main award to Professor George Marcus—one of the founders of the discipline, who has dedicated his career to the optimistic theory that human beings by nature readjust their ideas to match the world as it is and not as they’d like it to be—just as democracy requires.
One of the best current examples of how this ideological war is playing out in America between the socialist Democrat Party backers of Professor Shawn Rosenberg’s vile theory that “elites need to rule because human brains are proving fatal to modern democracy because they just aren’t built for it”, versus Professor George Marcus’s theory that “human beings by nature readjust their ideas to match the world as it is and not as they’d like it to be”, this report concludes, is the recently released US Department of Justice Inspector General’s report which stunningly revealed that the Steele Dossier used to damage President Trump was always a joke—as well as its being shockingly headlined about with the words “The Inspector General’s Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media”—an historic scandal, though, being kept hidden from the masses of the American people by their leftist mainstream propaganda media as Professor Rosenberg’s “elites” manage its cover-up—best exampled by an Obama Regime official being placed in charge to reform the FBI after their crimes against Trump were revealed—one of which was committed by FBI Attorney Dana Boente when he illegally signed a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, but is so “elite” the FBI used to him to respond to the FISA court about their crimes—all to which President Trump responded to his over 70-million followers on Twitter with the words “Are These Dirty Cops Going to Pay the Price?”—a response based on Professor Marcus’s firm belief that people not only have brains, they really know how to use them when elite socialist hypocrisy rears its ugly head.
“We should all work together to clean up these hazardous waste and homeless sites before the whole city rots away,” Trump tweeted about San Francisco on Oct. 26. “Very bad and dangerous conditions, also severely impacting the Pacific Ocean and water supply.”
San Francisco officials were quick to dispute Trump’s claims. But some of California’s most prized rivers, beaches and streams are indeed contaminated with levels of fecal bacteria that exceed state limits, threatening kayakers, swimmers — and the state’s reputation as a bastion of environmental protection.
The presence of fecal bacteria in water is usually the result of problems with sewer systems and septic tanks. But water quality officials agree that the source of at least some of the fecal bacteria is California’s growing homeless population, most of whom don’t have reliable access to toilets.
“I’ve carried 5-gallon buckets that were unambiguously being used as toilets,” said David Gibson, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, describing his experience cleaning up homeless encampments. “They were taking it to the San Diego River, dumping it there, and rinsing it out there.”
Fecal contamination of waterways is a widespread problem and becoming more urgent in states with large homeless populations. In Seattle, homeless people living in RVs are accused of dumping raw sewage straight into storm drains, which flows directly to local waterways. In Oregon, workers cleaning up homeless camps along the Willamette River in Eugene routinely find feces and needles.
The Trump administration has fixated on California’s homeless population in particular as a potent source of pollution.
In addition to Trump’s tweets, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 26 alleging that the state’s lack of urgency on homelessness threatens public health by polluting nearby water with untreated human waste. It then issued a notice to San Francisco accusing it of violating the federal Clean Water Act.
Jared Blumenfeld, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, responded by accusingthe federal EPA of retreating on clean water protection, and called the administration’s focus on the environmental impact of homelessness “sensationalized” and “misguided.”
When it comes to water, scientists look for E. coli and other bacteria to determine levels of fecal contamination. While E. coli is present in both human and animal feces, human fecal contamination is particularly dangerous because it can transmit diseases that affect people, including hepatitis A and cholera.
Most people are not at risk of getting sick unless they drink the water, or if pathogens enter open cuts or sores, said Richard Ambrose, a professor in the department of environmental health sciences at UCLA. Homeless people face the highest risk because they are more likely to wash or wade in the water and have less access to toilets and showers, he said.
in Sacramento, regulators have been measuring elevated fecal bacteria levels in the lower American River for more than three years. Located near downtown Sacramento, it is a popular destination for water sports, even as hundreds of homeless people camp nearby.
Some recreational areas, including Tiscornia Beach, where families picnic, BBQ and wade in the river, had E. coli levels so high in the past year that they hit the upper limits of what the water board’s laboratories could measure — more than seven times higher than the state standard, said Adam Laputz, assistant executive officer of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Contamination from homeless camps is so easy to observe — and smell — that there is no “need to monitor to know there’s a problem,” said Thomas Mumley, executive officer of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which stretches from Napa County to Santa Clara County.
If there are no bathrooms in or near a homeless encampment, “we can assume there’s a discharge of waste” where there shouldn’t be, he said.
This womyn is lucky her last name is Clinton. In the real world, she’d never be worth this much for such little work.
From Daily Mail: Chelsea Clinton has raked in $9 million in the past decade for serving on the board of a media and internet investment company controlled by her mother’s friend.
The former first daughter’s shares in IAC/InterActive Corp were valued last week at a whopping $8.95 million, according to financial publication Barron’s.
The 39-year-old, who has been on the IAC board as a director since 2011, receives an annual $50,000 retainer. She also receives $250,000 in restricted IAC stock units.
The company, which has an ownership stake in 150 brands like Vimeo and Tinder, is run by billionaire businessman Barry Diller. The billionaire, who is the longtime partner of designer Diane von Furstenberg, is a good friend of Chelsea’s mother Hillary Clinton.
Shares in IAC have surged in recent years. It has also seen Clinton’s stake sky-rocket. She reported owning the equivalent of 35,242 IAC shares at the end of December.
Her $8.95 million in shares increased from the $7.2 million she had in June last year and the $6.6 million from October 2018.
Chelsea’s biography on the IAC website largely touts her work with The Clinton Foundation. She also had a brief stint as a special correspondent on NBC from November 2011 through August 2014 during which she had an annual salary of $600,000.
Records obtained last year showed the Clinton took home just over $600,000 last year for her work as director on the boards of IAC and Expedia. Expedia is also owned by Diller.
The IAC board met just six times in 2018, while some members of the Expedia board were only obligated to attend two meetings last year.
Imagine, for a moment, that you or someone you know has become a crime victim. The perpetrator, you learn, had been incarcerated before this offense, and federal immigration officials, discovering that he was in the country illegally, wanted to pick him up for deportation. The jail, however, sits in a “sanctuary city,” so it refused to hold the suspect for immigration officials or even notify them before releasing him back into the community — thus allowing him to harm you or your loved one.
This scenario, which has played out numerous times, illustrates why many Americas are angry about sanctuary cities.
Donald Trump, of course, promised to end them. Beginning in 2017, however, his administration lost a series of legal battles with sanctuary cities. In each case, courts prevented the administration from using its grant-making authority to disincentivize sanctuary policies.
Sanctuary cities were having their cake and eating it too — thumbing their noses at the federal government’s request for basic law enforcement cooperation yet taking in federal law enforcement grant funds.
So last July’s ruling in City of Los Angeles v. Barr must have felt like a gut punch. Reversing a lower-court judgment for Los Angeles, a three-judge panel of the famously liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld scoring factors used by the administration in awarding Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants — scoring factors that handicapped sanctuary cities.
Perhaps owing to the Ninth Circuit’s reputation, Los Angeles, along with other sanctuary jurisdictions appearing as amici curiae, petitioned the court to rehear the case before a larger number of judges, a situation known as rehearing en banc. Petitioners, it seemed, were also buoyed by the split panel. Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, a Clinton appointee, had dissented — a fact the petitions repeatedly mentioned.
But this isn’t your father’s Ninth Circuit. Alongside tax and regulatory reform, President Trump’s biggest domestic accomplishment has been stocking the federal courts with constitutionalists who believe in applying the law as written instead of legislating from the bench. Nine of the Court’s 29 active judges are Trump appointees. That’s more appointees than any other president.
Thanks to them, on December 17, the rehearing petitions were denied, freeing the administration to run COPS in the manner deemed objectionable by plaintiffs.
Let’s look more closely at the case. Los Angeles and its legal pals were upset that the COPS office, which is housed in the Department of Justice, included illegal immigration as one of eight focus areas an applicant could choose when applying for COPS grants.
Worse yet (from their perspective) was COPS’ decision to award bonus points to applicants who certify that federal immigration officials can access local jails to interview non-citizens and that notice will be provided before releasing such individuals. Sanctuary cities broadly restrict such access and notice.
Their main argument was that Congress didn’t empower the Department of Justice to take such actions. But as Judge Sandra S. Ikuta and Judge Jay S. Bybee explain in their majority opinion, Congress, in fact, authorized DOJ to “promulgate regulations and guidelines to carry out” the COPS program — distinguishing it from the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program at issue in previous sanctuary city cases. (JAG grants, unlike COPS grants, are doled out according to a formula set by Congress).
Moreover, as the majority opinion notes, Congress didn’t define “community-oriented policing” in the enabling statute. They left it to the executive branch to “fill in the gaps.”
This gets us to the nub of the issue: Sanctuary cities insist that even the most basic cooperation between federal and local authorities relative to immigration enforcement is, to quote from amici’s petition for en banc review, “anathema” to community-oriented policing — or, as Judge Wardlaw wrote, “antithetical” to it.
In her hyperbolic dissent, Wardlaw called the administration’s view that COPS can encompass federal and local partnerships on immigration enforcement “Orwellian.”
If anything is “Orwellian,” it’s the claim, made constantly by sanctuary cities and their defenders, that sanctuary policies enhance public safety by building trust. They argue that otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants know they can report crime or act as a witness without fear of deportation.
It’s the big sanctuary city lie. A jurisdiction need not be a “sanctuary city” to refrain from asking crime victims and witnesses about immigration status. Indeed, even before liberals began their sanctuary city crusade during the Obama years, the default rule in most places was to not ask victims and witnesses about their status.
For the record, none of the challenged COPS rules suggest, much less require, that local authorities ask crime victims or witnesses whether they are here legally.
Sanctuary policies don’t instill trust. They make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for immigration officials to put deportable aliens who are in local jails for criminal acts into deportation proceedings before being released back into the community.
It’s beyond debate that many individuals shielded by sanctuary policies have committed new crimes — in some cases, heinous ones.
Such policies, while politically correct, have damaged communities, harmed innocents, and contributed to the country’s growing political divide.
In 2020, the administration, thanks to the Ninth Circuit’s refusal to reconsider its decision in City of Los Angeles v. Barr, will be free to encourage cities, counties, and towns not to adopt them.
Ken Sondik is an attorney in Zionsville, Indiana, who writes about sanctuary cities nationally.
More than 180 Australians have been arrested accused of DELIBERATELY lighting bushfires since the start of the horror season that’s left 25 dead
- 24 people have been charged with bushfire-related offences this fire season
- A further 53 people arrested for failing to comply with state-imposed fire bans
- In Queensland, officers have investigated 69 juveniles in relation to fire offences
- At least 25 people have died, and 1,500 homes have been destroyed so far
More than 180 people have been arrested accused of deliberately lighting bushfires since the start of the horror season which has left 25 dead and destroyed more than 2,000 homes.
On the New South Wales south coast, where at least nine people have died since the fire season picked up in October, 29 blazes have been deliberately lit.
So far 24 people across the state have been charged with starting blazes in the bush, while a further 159 have been charged or cautioned over less serious fire offences.
The fast moving Myall Creek bushfire spread rapidly throughout northern New South Wales
This map shows the statistics across each state of Australia where people have been charged for lighting fires
As the fire front approached, the sky was filled with orange flames and thick, grey plumes of smoke
In Queensland, police have arrested 101 people accused of starting bushfires, 69 juveniles and 32 adults.
Five people were arrested for allegedly setting bushland alight in Tasmania – and a further 10 in South Australia.
Meanwhile in Victoria, where locals have experienced some of the most catastrophic conditions the nation has ever seen, 43 people were charged with firebug offences.
There have been 183 people arrested or charged with lighting bushfires nationally – and police fear that figure will climb.
‘Police are well aware that we need to take action against people, whatever that might be, in this time it is particularly a heightened risk of fire activity and we’ve seen the devastation it causes,’ NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Tuesday.
‘We make no apologies for being so vigilant about that.’
A kookaburra perches on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, in northern NSW
Allison Marion’s photo of her son Finn fleeing the advancing bushfires in the seaside town of Mallacoota in Victoria’s far east has become an symbol of this year’s bushfire crisis
Mitch Parish, a former arson squad detective, said the international frenzy surrounding the bushfire crisis would only increase a ‘vanity arsonists’ desire to light an inferno.
‘It’s got to the stage where they’re seeing all the publicity on the fires … and they get bit of a buzz because of all the attention,’ Mr Parish said.
‘People get very emotional and passionate (about fires) and feel a lot of power because it’s a very destructive force.’
NSW Rural Fire Service volunteer Blake Banner was charged with lighting seven fires in the south coast region.
The 19-year-old was allegedly spotted leaving a location as a fire spread rapidly and arrived at a fire ground to help put out a blaze before any of his fellow volunteers on another occasion, police say.
He was granted bail and intends to fight the accusations.
Residents defend a property from a bushfire at Hillsville near Taree, 350km north of Sydney
2019/2020 FIRE SEASON DEATH TOLL
By Brittany Chain for Daily Mail Australia
A total of 10 people have been killed in the New South Wales bushfires since last Monday, taking the total death toll across the nation to 25.
A 71-year-old man became the latest casualty of the bushfire crisis after he was found on a burnt-out property in Nerrigundah on the south coast of NSW.
David Harrison, a 47-year-old man from Canberra, suffered a heart attack defending his friend’s home on Saturday, January 4.
The recent deaths also include dairy farmer Patrick Salway, 29, and his father Robert, 63, who died trying to save their property in Cobargo, near Bega.
An off-duty RFS firefighter, believed to be 72-year-old Colin Burns, was found near a car in Belowra after the NYE fires swept through.
Another person died on December 29 from serious burns sustained in a fire in November.
Well-known outback pilot Dick Lang and his son, Adelaide surgeon Clayton Lang, died in the Kangaroo Island bushfire after their car was trapped by flames.
A 70-year-old man was found dead outside a home at Yatte Yattah, west of Lake Conjola, on Tuesday night, while another man’s body was found in a burnt vehicle on a road off the Princes Highway at Yatte Yattah Wednesday morning.
The body of a man was found in a vehicle on Wandra Road at Sussex Inlet about 11.30am Wednesday but is yet to be formally identified.
A seventh body was found outside a home Coolagolite, about 10km east of Cobargo, on Wednesday.
Beloved great-grandfather Mick Roberts, 67, from Buchan, in East Gippsland, was found dead at his home on Wednesday morning.
On Sunday, young father and volunteer firefighter Samuel McPaul, 28, was fighting a blaze in Jingellic, in Green Valley, about 70km east of Albury on the border of NSW and Victoria, when the truck he was in rolled, killing him instantly.
Two other firefighters died on December 19 after a tree fell on their truck while they were travelling through Buxton, south of Sydney.
Andrew O’Dwyer, 36, and Geoffrey Keaton, 32, were later named as the volunteers involved in the tragic accident the following day.
Both men were young fathers and had volunteered with the Horsley Park Rural Fire Service brigade for more than a decade.
Two people also died in South Australian fires before Christmas, including 69-year-old engineer Ron Selth.
His body was found in his Charleston home, which was destroyed by the Cudlee Creek blaze on December 21.
Another person died in a fiery car crash on the same day.
In early November, just weeks into the horror fire season which has been baring down on the nation for months, three people perished in northern NSW.
George Nole’s body was found in a burnt out car near his home in Glen Innes while 63-year-old Julie Fletcher’s body was pulled from a scorched building in Johns River, north of Taree.
Vivian Chaplain, a 69-year-old woman from Wytaliba, succumbed to her injuries in hospital after attempting in vain to save her home and animals from the blaze.
The fourth victim was named just days later as 58-year-old Barry Parsons.
His body was discovered in bushland on the southern end of the Kyuna Track at Willawarrin, near Kempsey, on November 13.
77-year-old Bob Lindsey and 68-year-old Gwen Hyde were found in their burned out property on October 9th.
Pictured: Volunteer firefigthter watching on as the Gospers Mountain fire in NSW rapidly approached
NSW Fire and Rescue officer protects the Colo Heights Public School from being impacted by the Gospers Mountain fire near Colo Heights south west of Sydney
Banner was stood down from his duties with the force in the interim and Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said members will be devastated if the allegations are proven true.
‘Our members will be rightly angry that the alleged actions of one individual can tarnish the reputation and hard work of so many,’ he said.
A 79-year-old South Australian man was also charged with starting multiple grass and shrub fires as the nation welcomed in the new year.
Police will allege the man lit fires on December 30 and January 2, and then two on Saturday, all in the Kingston area, on the state’s south-east coastline.
The devastating bushfires have cost 25 people their lives so far this season, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and thousands more outbuildings and dwellings.
The blazes, which have now been burning along much of the east coast of Australia for three months, have scorched more than six million hectares of land.
AUSTRALIA’S BUSHFIRE CRISIS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March.
At least 25 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October
NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
- At least 130 bushfires were burning in NSW on Tuesday
- 20 people dead
- 3.6 million hectares burned, greater than the size of Belgium
- At least 1,588 homes confirmed destroyed
- Two people dead
- About 31 active bushfires burning
- More than 784,000 hectares burned
- 330 structures confirmed destroyed but significantly more expected
- Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
- 17 bushfires burning, four of significance
- More than 100,000 hectares burned
- 88 homes confirmed destroyed
- About 600 properties on Kangaroo Island remain without power with SA Power Networks warning it may be some time before crews can access the fire ground to assess damage
- 33 bushfires burning
- 250,000 hectares burned
- 45 homes confirmed destroyed
- More than 35 bushfires burning, two of significance
- 1.5 million hectares burned
- One home confirmed destroyed
- 23 bushfires burning, two of significance
- 30,000 hectares burned
- Two homes confirmed destroyed
- Five bushfires burning
- Five homes confirmed destroyed
In December, the Zinn Education Project (ZEP), a non-profit co-founded in 2007 by William Holtzman, one of Howard Zinn’s Boston University students (class of 1974), to spread the lessons of Zinn’s bestselling A People’s History of the United States, excitedly announced in a fundraising appeal that his goal of signing up 100,000 teachers had been reached.
The effort to appear to be a legitimate educational organization supported by small donors was enhanced by Holtzman’s pledge of up to $15,000 in matching donations. Later, Dave Colapinto (class of 1982) promised to do as he had done in 2018, pledging $10,000. But the latest tax records on file show that for fiscal year 2016/2017 over $117,000 came from Holtzman and $100,000 came from the New Venture Fund, which hides donors like George Soros.
Nor is the organization educational in any meaningful sense, as evidenced by the solicitation’s claim that “Many of the students in high school today will be voting in 2020.” ZEP’s lessons are as un-political as Zinn’s tract, which for forty years has been spreading communist disinformation through wildly distorted quotations of sources, omission of critical evidence, and plagiarism, as I discovered in writing Debunking Howard Zinn. While Zinn lazily cut and pasted paragraphs from the historically suspect works of fellow radicals, he praised the Viet Cong by twisting the words of foreign service officer Douglas Pike to mean their opposite. In his book, Pike described the Viet Cong’s strategies as “agitprop” and accused them of “genocide.” Zinn said Pike claimed the Viet Cong were community builders helpfully teaching “communication” skills. My search through contemporaneous newspaper and magazine articles revealed that Zinn’s claims that the U.S. kept secret the World War II Japanese-American internment camps and that Vietnam War protestor Mary Moylan “was never found” after she refused “to surrender to the FBI” were patently false. It’s just a sampling of what I found.
In terms of current politics, it’s easy to discern how ZEP wants students to vote. Consider some of the lessons:
“Deportations on Trial: Mexican Americans During the Great Depression” begins, “The Trump administration’s war on immigrants has been nothing short of horrifying in its scope.”
“Taking the Fight Against White Supremacy into Schools” presents as “racist” President Trump’s predictions about the snowballing effects in taking down a statue of Robert E. Lee.
“Teaching More Civics Will Not Save Us from Donald Trump,” by curriculum writer Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, takes issue with traditional civics, i.e., teaching the Constitution as “holy text.” For Wolfe-Rocca, “the evil of … the white supremacist, nativist, misogynist language we have heard spill from the lips of Donald Trump resonates with the 39 percent who steadfastly support him precisely because it has deep roots in U.S. history and politics” — a history of “land theft, genocide, slavery, and the disenfranchisement of women and people of color.”
Indeed, one week after the 2016 election, the post “Teaching After the Election of Trump” affirmed ZEP’s “solidarity with those who have denounced Donald Trump’s racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and Islamophobia — as well as his ignorant proposals about the environment and climate change.” Taking encouragement from “young people — in our classrooms and in the streets,” they suggested lessons that would show students how “social movements … made strides even during [such] dark times.” They would “help students explore aspects of Trump’s agenda,” including his “‘divide and conquer politics.’” Suggested lessons included those on Southern tenant farmers [communist] unions, “Teaching with the Black Panthers’ Ten Point Program,” the “FBI’s War on the Civil Rights Movement,” heroic Muslims (including anti-Semite Linda Sarsour), and climate change.
But ZEP is not satisfied with the ability to produce such propaganda while enjoying tax-exemption. In 2017, they successfully pressured Scholastic to stop distributing positive books about President Trump. They conducted protests against the Bill of Rights Institute, including publicly at the 2014 National Council for the Social Studies annual meeting, and then claimed victory when the Institute was absent in 2015. Due to Southern Poverty Law Center lobbying, Zinn lessons on Reconstruction are taught throughout South Carolina. ZEP partners in providing news content to classrooms via Newsela.
The Zinn Education Project continues to conduct NEH-sponsored summer institutes for K-12 teachers — even after then-Governor Mitch Daniels in 2010 sought to expel Zinn’s book from Indiana schools after hearing about one such workshop. His showdown with Purdue University faculty members in 2013 boomeranged, with a graduate student scholarship in Zinn’s name and a fundraising/book distribution drive by ZEP.
In many schools, ZEP lessons supplement Zinn’s book. A Young People’s History of the United States is the textbook for all eighth-graders in Portland, Oregon public schools. A People’s History appears on syllabi in states across the country, especially in Advanced Placement courses, which were rewritten to far-left standards under the Obama administration. Other teachers and professors recommend it as “extra” reading.
The testimonials of Zinn’s students laud him for raising “consciousness” and inspiring protest. When Zinn died in 2010, tributes came from celebrities in the worlds of rock music, Hollywood, media, and correctional facilities. Jane Fonda sadly recalled their unfulfilled dinner plans. Bill Moyers hailed Zinn as a fighter of the plutocracy at that year’s Howard Zinn Lecture at Boston University. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam mourned the loss of a “truly bright light.” On Prison Radio, cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal called Zinn a friend and “brilliant, ground-breaking historian.”
Matt Damon, who grew up next-door to the Zinns in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and who read from Zinn’s newly published book to his fifth-grade class, exalted the book in his movie Good Will Hunting. He continues to promote Zinn, giving ZEP $10,000 in 2016/2017.
Zinn still inspires protesters. ZEP supported Occupy Wall Street, and A People’s History was the staple at the library in Zuccotti Park. Black Lives Matter activists DeRay Mckesson and Johnetta Elzie received the Zinn Freedom to Write Award in 2015. This summer, Willem Van Spronsen, member of Antifa and the John Brown Gun Club, who died in his attempt to blow up an ICE detention facility, left a manifesto invoking Zinn’s book. Indeed, A People’s History celebrates martyrs — like murderous abolitionist John Brown, and Buddhist and American protesters who died by self-immolation during the Vietnam War.
Zinn’s book has attained the status of a holy book. In April, JoBeth Hamon used it in place of the customary Bible in her swearing-in to the Oklahoma City Council. In Fairfax County, Virginia, a wealthy D.C. suburb and one of the largest school districts in the nation, “Rachna Sizemore Heizer … swore the oath of office while holding a copy of . . . Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States,” according to a December 20 article celebrating the new “historically diverse” school board, part of the transformation of this community and 32 others toward racial “equity” through groups funded by Soros and others.
Not surprisingly, Fairfax County students will soon have one day off for protesting. The Zinn Education Project will provide plenty of resources, from abolishing Columbus Day to protesting climate change.
Mary Grabar is the author of Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America and a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.
I used to watch her a lot. She told me for 2 years that we were just around the corner from Mueller coming to arrest Trump who only won because Russian hackers changed votes.
When it was all done, and none of what she said was true, nothing happened.
Anyway, she’s an entertainer, not a newsperson.