Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Justice Department’s list of withheld Fast and Furious documents: 1,323 pages long

From intrepid journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the latest on the Obama administration’s operation to run guns to Mexican drug cartels in order to motivate stricter gun regulations here in the USA.

Excerpt:

For the first time, the Department of Justice has provided a detailed description of 15,662 Fast and Furious-related documents it is withholding from Congress, the public and the press under executive privilege exerted by President Obama.

The description comes in the form of a so-called Vaughn index ordered by a federal court in a lawsuit filed against the Justice Department by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The Justice Department waited to provide the index, due yesterday, until 8:34 p.m.

The number of withheld documents is so extensive, that the list describing them is 1,323 pages long.

[...]Among the withheld communications is a March 8, 2011 email from a Mexico-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) official less than one week after federal agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Fast and Furious in an interview with me for CBS News. The email is described as “discussing response to [Mexico].”

Another withheld email sent in the same time period is from then-White House official Kevin O’Reilly. Dated March 10, 2011, it was sent to more than a dozen federal officials and is described as, “discussing draft press statement.”

More withheld emails “forwarding and discussing news items” have Attorney General Holder’s name on them. One series of such exchanges is dated July 26, 2011, the same day I reported the revelation that ATF had shared information about Fast and Furious with the White House.

[...]Other withheld documents are concerning Freedom of Information (FOI) requests I made in May of 2011. It’s unclear as to why the president would exert executive privilege to keep from turning over documents discussing “which office will respond” to my FOI requests. The Justice Department never properly responded to my requests.

Please see below for more on what Fast and Furious was all about. The mid-term elections are coming up. Don’t let Democrats shake this off!

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Judge orders DOJ to release Fast and Furious documents blocked by Obama

Katie Pavlich reports on it for Townhall.com.

Excerpt:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

“This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal,” Judicial Watch released in a statement.

The FOIA lawsuit has been ongoing for 16-months and is now proceeding after a lengthy delay. The Justice Department originally asked the court for an indefinite hold on a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, citing executive privilege and an ongoing investigation. That indefinite hold request was shot down more than a year ago.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

Unfortunately, this is coming too late for Obama’s 2012 re-election contest, and the mainstream media is unlikely to report it, just like they failed to report the IRS scandal. But if we all share this story, it will help people to realize how lawless and corrupt this administration really is. It’s gangster government, as Michele Bachmann said. The crooks are in charge.

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Democrats try to block whistleblower’s Fast and Furious expose

Fox News reports on the latest Democrat cover-up scandal. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting “because it would have a negative impact on morale,” according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.

After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Two guns found at the murder scene were sold through the ATF operation.

Dodson’s book, titled “The Unarmed Truth,” provides the first inside account of how the federal government permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, despite evidence the guns killed innocent people.

Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon & Schuster, submitted his manuscript to the department for review, per federal rules. However, it was denied.

Greg Serres, an ATF ethics official, told Dodson that any of his supervisors at any level could disapprove outside employment “for any reason.”

[...]Dodson says “The Unarmed Truth” will come out in January, with or without the ATF’s permission.

I hope this book sells a lot of copies.

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Department of Defense training manual labels Founding Fathers as “extremists”

The Daily Caller reports. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

A Department of Defense teaching guide meant to fight extremism advises students that rather than “dressing in sheets” modern-day radicals “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” and describes 18th-century American patriots seeking freedom from the British as belonging to “extremist ideologies.”

The guide comes from documents obtained by Judicial Watch and is authored by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, a DoD-funded diversity training center.

Under a section titled “extremist ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

Besides a brief reference to 9/11 and another to the Sudanese civil war, the guide makes no mention of Islamic extremism.

The guide also repeatedly tells readers to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups. The SPLC has previously come under fire for its leftist bias and tendency to identify conservative organizations such as the American Family Association as hate groups.

In August 2012, an attempted terrorist attack occurred at the Family Research Council, another conservative organization the SPLC has branded a hate group. FRC president Tony Perkins said the SPLC’s designation prompted the attack, stating the gunman “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

In a statement, Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton slammed the Department of Defense documents for what he described as their bias against conservatives.

“The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism. And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military,” said Fitton. ”And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.”

The Elusive Wapiti lists some of the factors in the document which are linked to extremists like the Founding Fathers, and then comments:

I suppose it’s a marker of my supposed extremism that the Left exhibits most or all of these so-called “extremist traits”. For isn’t it the very operative definition of a Liberalist as one who engages in Alinskyite fix-it-freeze-it-polarize-it ad hominem attacks against his/her opponents, who makes sweeping generalizations of their ideological adversaries, who makes repeated assertions unsupported by facts, sometimes long after their assertions have been debunked, who view their adversaries as evil rather than merely misinformed, who’d readily resort to intimidation and sloganeering rather than rational discourse, who assume they’re morally superior to all those unevolved knuckle-draggers in flyover territory, and who themselves are in thrall to Malthusian apocalyptic dogma (overpopulation, environmentalism, anthropogenic global warming)?

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this training manual joins other documents shown to DoD personnel, characteristic of a consistent, maybe even extremist, anti-Right worldview, as little more than a cynical attempt at projection…to deflect criticism away from one’s behaviors by accusing your opponents of doing exactly what you yourself do.

Todd Starnes, who follows the persecution of Christians in the military, commented on this story over at Fox News.

Excerpt:

It’s not the first time the military has been caught using training materials that depict conservatives and Christians as extremists.

In April Fox News obtained an email sent by a lieutenant colonel at Fort Campbell to three dozen subordinates warning them to be on the lookout for any soldiers who might be members of “domestic hate groups” like the FRC and the American Family Association.

“When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem,” the email advised.

At the time the Army denied there was any attack on Christians or those who hold religious beliefs.

“The notion that the Army is taking an anti-religion or anti-Christian stance is contrary to any of our policies, doctrines and regulations,” an Army spokesman told Fox News at the time.

However, in a separate incident, an Army training instructor listed Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism – along with Al Qaeda and Hamas.

The same Army spokesman said the training session was an “isolated incident not condoned by the Department of the Army.”

Fitton told Fox News the military seems to be having a lot of isolated incidents and it appears the Pentagon is sending a message to Christians.

“They are putting out the not-welcome sign to conservative Christians,” Fitton said. “They are trying to make the military an unwelcome place for conservative Christians.”

So the person who wrote this is citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was a source of information for the homosexual activist Floyd Lee Corkins II who tried to shoot up the Family Research Council think tank. Isn’t it ironic that the author of an anti-conservative document is citing the same source that supplied the information used by a convicted domestic terrorist who attacked a conservative organization with guns? I find that ironic. I also find it ironic that the military is so politically correct that it is trying to label what a real domestic terrorist like Nidal Hasan did as “workplace violence”. I find that ironic. Ironic and perplexing. So, Congressman Paul Ryan advocates for small government, and he’s an extremist domestic terrorist, but Floyd Corkins and Nidal Hasan don’t even get a mention in a DOD training manual.

Do you think this person has ever read a book by someone like Thomas Sowell or a Robert George or a Mark Levin? I think that they probably went through their entire education without ever reading a single thing written by an intelligent conservative. They probably can’t even name an intelligent conservative. But they still got a job in the government, working at taxpayers’ expense. I think that we should really reform the government-run public school system that produces people like this DOD writer, so that we can get students graduating with a higher degree of open-mindedness, tolerance and critical thinking. It probably wouldn’t hurt if we steered more students toward math and science instead of the liberal arts areas, which are more vulnerable to this sort of fact-free demonization of conservatives.

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New poll: 26% of Obama supporters think Tea Party is top terrorist threat

Nile Gardiner writes about it in the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Rasmussen has just published an extraordinary poll which highlights the deep-seated prejudice against the Tea Party among both US government workers and supporters of President Obama. According to the poll:

Half of all voters consider radical Muslims the bigger terrorist threat facing the nation, but supporters of President Obama consider the Tea Party to be as big a danger.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters consider radical Muslims to be the bigger threat to the United States today. Thirteen percent (13%) view the Tea Party that way, and another 13% consider other political and religious extremists to be the larger danger. Six percent (6%) point to local militia groups. Two percent (2%) see the Occupy Wall Street movement as the bigger terrorist threat.

However, among those who approve of the president’s job performance, just 29% see radical Muslims as the bigger threat. Twenty-six percent (26%) say it’s the Tea Party that concerns them most. Among those who Strongly Approve of the president, more fear the Tea Party than radical Muslims.

As for those who disapprove of Obama’s performance, 75% consider radical Muslims to be the bigger terrorist threat. Just one percent (1%) name the Tea Party.

… Conservatives overwhelmingly see radical Muslims as the greater terror threat. Liberals are fairly evenly divided between radical Muslims and the Tea Party.

Twenty percent (20%) of government workers see the Tea Party as the nation’s bigger terror threat. Twelve percent (12%) of private sector workers hold that view.

[...]The extraordinary success of the Tea Party has led to it being demonised by the Left, culminating in an unprecedented campaign by the IRS against it, which has prompted a resurgence in public support for the movement – up 14 points since January, to 44 percent among likely US voters. Today’s Rasmussen poll illustrates the sheer depth of animosity towards the Tea Party within sections of the federal government and among President Obama’s strongest supporters (the two are usually interchangeable).

Some liberals have become so blinded by their hatred that they ludicrously see grassroots conservative groups defending the American Constitution as more dangerous than Islamist militants seeking to destroy the United States. Anyone opposed to their cause is a threat. This is irrational and deeply disturbing in a free society that has always cherished the cause of political freedom and open debate. It amply demonstrates just how extreme the American Left has become, and how out of touch it is with reality.

For a liberal in government, the problem is not adding a trillion plus to the national debt every year. That’s fine, and nothing to be concerned about. The trouble is that some people oppose running up these trillion dollar deficits – that’s terrorism. The Democrats believe that they are doing a good thing by using government to target Tea Party conservatives, because you would have to be a terrorist in order to oppose adding $8 trillion to the national debt. It’s not just the IRS that targeted the Tea Party, either. It’s the Department of Homeland Security, as well. Democrats aren’t serious about national security.

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