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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Report: Kay Hagan and family got nearly $450,000 in taxpayer money

Democrat Senator Kay Hagan

Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Here’s the latest from Carolina Journal.

Excerpt:

From a report filed early Saturday by WRAL-TV news, we have confirmation that a cluster of businesses owned by Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband and other family members collected even more subsidies from taxpayers than initially reported. While Carolina Journal’s Don Carrington has highlighted a stimulus grant totaling $250,644 that was paid to JDC Manufacturing, a real estate business co-owned by Hagan’s husband, Chip, and his brothers John and David, WRAL confirmed that JDC received an additional $137,000 in energy tax credits from the project. (Some of the relevant documents are here.)

[...]Add a second federal renewable energy grant of $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the ledger, and we learn that Hagan businesses soaked taxpayers for nearly $450,000 to pay for energy upgrades installed at JDC’s 300,000-square-foot building in Reidsville.

[...]Team Hagan has chosen to hire Marc Elias, a high-powered political lawyer and Caitlin Legacki, acrisis-management specialist and former Hagan press secretary, to argue otherwise.

Now that the story is out, an Obama donor is blocking access to the Hagan stimulus records.

Excerpt:

After first agreeing to allow Carolina Journal to inspect the documents relating to a taxpayer-funded U.S. Department of Agriculture energy grant to a company owned by family members of U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the USDA Rural Development office in Raleigh later said the matter was being handled in Washington — implying the USDA’s headquarters in the nation’s capital.

On Tuesday, CJ spoke by telephone with Delane Johnson, North Carolina’s rural development public information coordinator, who said she would treat CJ’s request for documents about the $50,000 renewable energy grant as a Freedom of Information Act request. By email, she said agency policy requires USDA to contact the grant recipient, JDC Manufacturing, before complying with the document request. She also indicated that she would have a response to CJ within 10 days.

By Wednesday, however, Johnson was much less cooperative. CJ went to the Raleigh office to meet Johnson and ask her additional questions about the process of reviewing the grant file. Upon arrival, CJ was told to take a seat outside Johnson’s office. Another employee went into the office, closed the door, and a few minutes later, informed CJ that Johnson would not be able to speak with him and that the matter was being handled in Washington.

Not only that, but the Washington Free Beacon also reported on a scandal with a judicial nominee.

Excerpt:

Just a week after Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.) recommended a North Carolina judge to President Barack Obama for a seat in the U.S. District Court, the judge ruled in favor of a company partially owned by Hagan’s husband.

The senator’s husband, Charles T. “Chip” Hagan, was a managing member of Hydrodyne Industries LLC when it sued a regional water authority for drawing water out of a river that had one of its hydroelectric dams built on. The lawsuit sought millions of dollars in damages and was carried out by Chip Hagan’s legal firm.

Superior Court Judge Calvin E. Murphy ruled the case in favor of Hydrodyne, setting the table for the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority to pay millions in damages to companies including Hydrodyne.

Murphy’s ruling was made on Oct. 23, 2009, just nine days after Sen. Hagan sent his name to Obama to be nominated for a lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina.

Previously, I blogged about her support for late-term abortion.

This is why we vote Republican, people. Because secular people don’t do morality much.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Results of the Bergdahl investigation will be covered up until after midterm elections

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

The Army has completed its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s abandonment of his Afghan post but will not release the report until after the midterm elections lest it embarrass the Obama administration.

[...]Bergdahl walked away from his army post during wartime in 2009 and was held in semi-captivity for five years until President Obama arranged a trade of five top Taliban commanders held at Guantanamo for Bergdahl’s release, initially on the grounds that Bergdahl’s physical condition was so grave that immediate action was necessary.

[...]As the San Antonio Express-News reported, the Army on Oct. 9 announced the completion of the investigation. The report, by Brig. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, however, will not be released, according to Army spokesman Wayne Hall, until the end of a review process that is likely to be conveniently lengthy.

[...]This review process is eerily reminiscent of that which took place regarding the Benghazi talking points. That process was designed to make the administration look good and less culpable. It, too, took place shortly before an election.

Certainly, a report that might say Bergdahl was in fact a deserter would not help an administration amid an election battle and awash in scandals and failures from ObamaCare to the IRS and now the bungling of the Ebola crisis.

We note how Obama tried to mute the Taliban trade by welcoming Bergdahl’s parents to the White House, where Bergdahl’s father uttered words in Arabic.

The White House sent national security adviser Susan Rice, of Benghazi-video-lie fame, to the talk shows to say Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”

Could it be that the report says otherwise — and that the trade of five Taliban commanders, the functional equivalents of four-star generals, was just a politically motivated mistake?

Every one of the men who served with Bergdahl or tried to find him and who have spoken out publicly has said he was clearly a deserter.

Indeed, the uncontestable fact is that Bergdahl walked away from his post in a time of war, leaving his weapon and gear behind. He was not out for a walk to relieve stress or clear his head.

“Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him,” former Sgt. Matt Vierkant told CNN. At least six soldiers died in operations looking for Bergdahl.

We lost 6 soldiers looking for this deserter/traitor and traded 5 Taliban commanders for his release. The report should recommend a court martial for desertion for Bergdahl. That’s what all the evidence we have about him would suggest. And that would be a disaster for the Democrats in these midterm elections. That’s why it has to be covered up, just like the details of the new Obamacare exchange health plans – it all has to wait until after people have voted.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

Hillary Clinton confidants were present to “separate” damaging documents before Benghazi probe

The best reporter in the universe is Sharyl Attkisson, and here’s her latest up at the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

“I was not invited to that after-hours endeavor, but I heard about it and decided to check it out on a Sunday afternoon,” Maxwell says.

He didn’t know it then, but Maxwell would ultimately become one of four State Department officials singled out for discipline—he says scapegoated—then later cleared for devastating security lapses leading up to the attacks. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were murdered during the Benghazi attacks.

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who allegedly were  present: One was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and a former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. The other, Chaffetz said, was Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.

[...]Maxwell also criticizes the ARB as “anything but independent,” pointing to Mullen’s admission in congressional testimony that he called Mills to give her inside advice after the ARB interviewed a potential congressional witness.

[...]Maxwell also criticizes the ARB for failing to interview key people at the White House, State Department and the CIA, including not only Clinton but Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who managed department resources in Libya; Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro; and White House National Security Council Director for Libya Ben Fishman.

“The ARB inquiry was, at best, a shoddily executed attempt at damage control, both in Foggy Bottom and on Capitol Hill,” Maxwell says. He views the after-hours operation he witnessed in the State Department basement as “an exercise in misdirection.”

It’s so surprising to me that we are just finding out about these things now, and through the Daily Signal, not through the mainstream media. It certainly does show what a Hillary Clinton presidency would be like, though – after all, she was Secretary of State when the attack occurred, and we can see where her staff’s priority’s were. This is the woman who blamed a terrorist attack on a Youtube video, to the grieving families of the victims. It sounded good to her, and made her look good, and that’s what matters, right? It’s not like anyone is out to harm us, right?

Filed under: News, , , ,

IRS auditing conservative news provider Breitbart.com

Yes, the same IRS that targeted Tea Party groups in order to help Obama win re-election.

Ted Cruz wrote a letter to the IRS about the audit, and you can read it here on the Breitbart web site.

Excerpt:

Dear Commissioner Koskinen:

I write to express deep concern over the recent announcement by Breitbart News that the Internal Revenue Service recently notified the Breitbart News Network, LLC that it would be subject to a far-reaching, burdensome, and open-ended audit.

As you know, the Breitbart News Network LLC is a conservative-leaning press outlet. It has editors and reporters who cover daily political news and regularly breaks stories that are critical of the Obama Administration’s policies. To conduct this audit, Breitbart News Network, LLC was asked to provide the IRS with all of its organizational documents, financial records, W-2s, W-4s, 1099s, and K-1s filed, personal income tax returns for each member of the company, payroll tax forms, information regarding properties and assets acquired by the company, bank statements, and array of other records documenting revenues, expenses, and depreciation costs.

This media audit, coupled with the recent proposal of 49 Senate Democrats to amend the Constitution to give Congress plenary power to regulate political speech, paints a disturbing picture of a coordinated assault on the First Amendment.

In another time, under another Administration, the decision to audit a conservative news organization might not have risen to a worrisome level of concern. However, given the IRS’s disturbing track record of illegally targeting conservative organizations-including the IRS recently paying a $50,000 settlement for having wrongfully leaked a conservative group’s confidential tax information-and the persistent refusal by the current Department of Justice to meaningfully investigate or prosecute those crimes, the decision to audit Breitbart News Network, LLC appears highly questionable.

For the IRS to behave like a partisan political organization, targeting media organizations whose views differ from the President’s, would represent a gross abuse of power. It would undermine the statutory mission and integrity of the IRS. And it would likely subject IRS employees to criminal prosecution.

The rest of the letter is Ted Cruz’s questioning of the IRS for their actions. It’s cases like this that make me want to abolish the entire IRS and go with a two-tier flat tax system with almost no deductions. Put the corrupt bureaucrats out of a job. That’s the only thing they will understand – the unemployment line.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

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