AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A contentious proposal to criminalize excessive touching by agents during airport security pat-downs returned Wednesday to the Texas Legislature, along with concerns that the federal government could ground all flights into and out of the state if it ever becomes law.
The House State Affairs Committee heard testimony on a bill by Rep. David Simpson of Longview that would make intentionally touching travelers’ private parts by security officials illegal without probable cause.
The tea party Republican introduced a much-ballyhooed measure in 2011 making it illegal for anyone conducting searches to touch travelers’ privates, even though clothing, while prohibiting searches considered offensive “to a reasonable person.”
The founder of a tea party group in Oklahoma was charged with two felonies on Tuesday for allegedly sending threatening emails to a Republican lawmaker after he refused buy in to the notion that the United Nations was conspiring to transform the country into a communist dictatorship.
According to the Oklahoman, 54-year-old Sooner Tea Party founder Al Gerhart faces up to five years in prison for blackmail and violating the state computer crimes act.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation determined that Gerhart admitted sending an email to state Sen. Cliff Branan (R) “that was intended to threaten and intimidate him.”
MCCONNELL SCANDAL; Strategy Session To Attack Ashley Judd’s MENTAL HEALTH, Jesse Benton Involved, FBI Called In By McConnell
War monger Mitch McConnell, the man who wants to preemptively attack Iran using “overwhelming force”, to satisfy his Zionist desires and AIPAC friends, and who also suggests giving his supposed political enemy Obama “Unilateral Powers”, has been embarrassed by some leaked audio of his campaign strategists at work.
Rather than address the issue McConnell’s campaign is trying to spin this into a “Nixonian tactics to bug campaign headquarters” recording scandal, which it is not, since the leak is obviously from someone inside his own campaign.
I suggest this is just standard political demonization of an opponent practiced by both parties, however, it’s a very interesting look behind the scenes at how they are now focusing on opponent’s Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, family history, mental history, anything to paint their opponent in a bad light. This is also a great example of why the government should NOT be allowed to data mine its own citizens, for this inevitably leads to an elite power using the collected data to blackmail any political opponents.
Interestingly this also involves “Patriot Movement” sellout and traitor Jesse Benton, and also the sellout Rand Paul.
2013.4.9 McConnell Involves FBI After Ashley Judd Tape Leaks (NewsyPolitics, youtube.com):
In the recording, published by Mother Jones, campaign staff for the Republican senator discuss a plan of attack against Ashley Judd.
2013.4.9 Full Transcript & Audio Of Mitch McConnell Campaign’s Meeting On Ashley Judd (motherjones.com):
Oppo research meeting against Ashley Judd. Recorded February 2, 2013 in Louisville, KY.
2013.4.9 Secret Tape; McConnell & Aides Weighed Using Judd’s Mental Health & Religion As Political Ammo (motherjones.com):
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will cancel all tours starting this weekend, due to sequester cuts. The move prompted swift condemnation from Republican lawmakers, who described the decision as the latest attempt to make the sequester seem worse than it is.
“It’s politically motivated,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., told Fox News. “It seems childish — take my ball and go home.”
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, declared in a statement that “the people have been banned from the people’s house.”
The announcement is the latest from the administration about the impact of the cuts that went into effect last Friday. Congressional staffers received a terse email saying White House tours would be canceled effective this Saturday.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush talks with TODAY’s Matt Lauer about the sequester cuts will have on the economy and national security and strategies for improving our immigration system.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush won’t confirm he’s a candidate for the next presidential race, but he sounded like a White House hopeful Monday, declaring his party in need of leadership.
“I have a voice, I want to share my beliefs about how the conservative movement and the Republican party can regain its footing, because we’ve lost our way,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer.
Bush said he wouldn’t rule out a run in 2016, “but I won’t declare today either.”
Instead, he offered his views on the current fiscal problems facing the White House and Congress, including the deep budget cuts that will be rolled out in numerous federal agencies in upcoming weeks.
Bush called the sequestration a “temporary problem in our history,” one the nation appears numb to because of hype raised by President Obama.
“The president kind of led the charge to say that widows and orphans were going to be out on the street, and so when it didn’t happen, he actually himself kind of stepped back on Friday and said it wasn’t going to happen that way,” he said.
Bush said the impact of the sequestration was “oversold” and “people are just numbed by this dysfunction and they watch it with their peripheral vision.”
Bush also said recent fiscal problems are hampering progress on immigration reform, an issue he believes could help restore the nation’s economic growth. It’s also the one of the few areas where both parties have shown considerable compromise.
“This is the one place where cats and dogs seem to be getting along a little more, so I’m optimistic that there could be a consensus about going forward on immigration,” said Bush, who addresses the issue in his new book, “Immigration Wars.”
Bush faulted both the Republican party and its 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for failing to garner more support from Hispanic voters during the last election cycle.
“Gov. Romney put himself in a box, I think, in the primary by trying to out(-conservative) conservatives, some very good conservative candidates, and never really recovered from it,” Bush said.
Immigration may not be the dominant issue for Asian-Amerians, Hispanics and other minorities, Bush added, but Republicans need to recognize that it is important to them.
“It’s a gateway. If you set a tone that you don’t want people to be part of your team, they don’t join,” he said.
While Bush supports an immigration policy that would grant legal status to people who enter the country illegally if certain conditions are met, he does not support granting them citizenship.
“There has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally. It’s just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law,” he said. “If we’re not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, then we’re going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country.”
He also said many people don’t want to become citizens.
“They want to come here, they want to work hard, they want to provide for their families. Some will want to come home, not necessarily all of them want to stay as citizens,” he said.
Bush will appear next week at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC). One person who won’t be joining him on the speaker roster is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was criticized by conservatives after he effusively praised President Obama for helping his state after Hurricane Sandy.
But Bush said conservatives were probably more put off by the way Christie handled budget issues unrelated to Sandy aid.
“I love Christie,” Bush said of his possible rival for the 2016 presidential race. “I think Gov. Christie is a part of the future of the Republican party for sure, and whether he’s going to C-PAC or not is not really changing that.”
MORE at MSN Today
A Montana Republican state legislator has introduced a bill that would give corporations the right to vote in municipal elections. According to Think Progress, Rep. Steve Lavin (R-Kalispell) has introduced Montana House Bill No. 486, which would grant to “a firm, partnership, company or corporation” that owns property within a district the right to vote as a citizen of that district.
Echoing former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 2011 assertion that “corporations are people, too, my friend,” the law, if enacted, would empower a representative of each company in the district to cast a vote in the company’s interest. The representative would be required to present proof of the company’s registration with the secretary of state and that they are that organization’s designee.
This legislation would go beyond even the allowances made for corporations and companies to funnel unlimited dark money into elections as per the “Citizens United” decision. Think Progress reported that the bill was tabled by the state legislature almost immediately, so it is unlikely to be voted into law.
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1A8Dn)
A new investigation into the gun used to kill a Mexican beauty queen last month reveals that the murder weapon was a U.S. Government-issue pistol (only available to federal agents). The ATF agent that supplied this and other weapons to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel has also revealed that the gun-running operations may date back to the 1990’s. Also, not only did ATF agents just let ‘guns walk;’ some of the guns were actually illegally purchased by federal agents themselves (not just cartel operatives), using fake addresses.
by Kevin Diaz
WASHINGTON – A semi-automatic pistol found near the scene of a gun battle in Mexico where five people died, including a Mexican beauty queen, has been traced to a former federal gun agent in Minnesota who was part of the government’s controversial Fast and Furious border gun-tracking operation.
The Justice Department’s inspector general has confirmed that it is investigating allegations that an FN Herstal Five-seven handgun tracked from the area of a Nov. 23 shootout in Sinaloa was linked to George Gillett Jr., who oversaw Operation Fast and Furious from October 2009 to April 2010.
Gillett played a central role in a similar Twin Cities gun sting a decade ago that was shut down after several government-tracked guns were connected to violent gang crimes. He later worked in Arizona and has offered himself as a witness in the Republican-led congressional probe of Operation Fast and Furious, which led to a U.S. House contempt vote in June against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The new probe, confirmed in a Dec. 21 Justice Department letter obtained by the Star Tribune, focuses on alleged purchases of at least three firearms by Gillett while he was the assistant special agent in charge of the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He has since been reassigned to Washington.
While the ATF has been criticized for losing track of U.S.-sold guns trafficked in Mexico, Gillett’s case represents the first time that a weapon recovered south of the border has been tied to an official with the ATF. The powerful Five-seven was limited to military personnel and law enforcement until 2004. The ATF has said the weapon is a favorite of Mexican drug cartels, and those smuggled across the border can command top dollar in Mexico.
Gillett, a former street agent tracking so-called straw gun buyers in the Twin Cities, said Wednesday that on the advice of counsel, he could not comment.
More ties to Fast and Furious
The investigation comes amid heightened congressional scrutiny of arms trafficking and gun crimes in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
ATF records show that Gillett’s gun was one of at least two recovered in the vicinity of the fatal shootout between the Mexican military and drug cartel members in Sinaloa. The other was an AK-47 traced to Uriel Patino, a leading suspect in the Fast and Furious operation, which has been linked to the 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Congressional Republicans rallied around Terry’s death, which they blamed on lax ATF oversight within the Obama administration.
But some law enforcement officials point to gun laws that make it difficult for federal agents to interdict legally purchased weapons until they “walk” into the criminal underworld.
In Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF was faulted for mistakes in a “gun walking” operation tracking nearly 2,000 weapons that eventually disappeared or fell into the wrong hands along the Mexican border in 2009 and 2010. An earlier inspector general report found Gillett’s supervision “seriously deficient.”
The latest revelations involve Gillett’s own personal guns, allegedly purchased using inaccurate addresses. ATF records show that in two of the gun purchases, which include the pistol found in Sinaloa, Gillett listed the address of the Phoenix ATF office. On the third, he listed the address of a local shopping center.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, singled out Gillett in a Dec. 19 letter to the inspector general’s office, noting that it is a felony offense to falsify a federal gun transaction record known as Form 4473. Grassley, one of the leading congressional investigators in the Fast and Furious case, emphasized that many of the suspected gun runners arrested in the operation were charged with lying on the form.
“This information’s implications and its ability to undermine public confidence in the integrity of ATF operations cannot be overstated,” Grassley wrote to the inspector general. “Your office needs to work swiftly.”
‘I didn’t do anything criminal’
The pistol found in the Sinaloa gunfight was purchased at Legendary Arms, a Phoenix gun store, on Jan. 7, 2010, while Gillett was the No. 2 man of the local ATF office. The gun is listed in an ATF trace requested by Mexican authorities as being involved in an attempted homicide.
This article initially published in February 2009 has led to a renewed debate within the Peace movement.
It is worth recalling that Tom Santoni resigned from Veterans For Peace in protest when the impeachment resolution was rejected by the VPM national leadership at the 2009 national convention.
The Impeach Obama issue is spreading across the internet.
Signs of our times: war criminals in high office are celebrated as messengers of peace:
”And thus I clothe my naked villany, … And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.” (William Shakespeare, King Richard III)
In Shakespeare’s words: ”Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” (The Tempest)
Our indelible task is to send the “devils” of our time, the self-proclaimed architects of “humanitarian warfare” and “democracy”, down to where they rightfully belong.
Do not be impressed by the outward appearances of president Barack Obama.
“One may smile, and smile, and be a villain!”
Challenge the “smiling” war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.
Nobody is above the law. Impeach President Obama!
Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.
Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war.
Bring home the troops. In the words of Tom Santoni:
“So, in a spirit of bipartisanship and fair play, mindful that in the country I serve no one is above the law, I call for the impeachment of Barack Obama for war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, and numerous U.N. General Assembly resolutions, just as I had called for the impeachment of Bush/Cheney for committing the very same crimes.”
Spread the word across the land!
Initiate debate on the Impeachment of Obama at the local level, in work places, parishes, schools and universities.
Inform your fellow citizens as to the implications of Obama’s global war.
Initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.
Read Tom Santoni’s 2009 article below. Post it on Facebook.
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, January 13, 2013
By Tom Santoni | Central Florida Veterans For Peace
Note: Mr. Santoni’s views expressed in this article do not represent an official statement of position on behalf Veterans For Peace in regards to the Impeachment of President Barack H. Obama …yet.
How many Obama-ordered civilian deaths in foreign lands will you tolerate before speaking out and taking action? Three Pakistani children are three too many for me.
In a blatant and unmistakable act of war against a sovereign nation, Barack Obama, four days into his administration on Friday, January 23, 2009, as commander in chief of US armed forces, ordered the US military to launch Hellfire missile strikes on homes in northwest Pakistan, killing dozens of civilians including at least three children. The military was aiming to bomb al Qaeda and Taliban “suspects,” but there was some unfortunate “collateral damage”. Oops.
Bomber pilots who leisurely drive to work each day, safely ensconced on military bases in the United States, fired the Hellfire missiles on civilians in Pakistan from unmanned, electronically controlled Predator drone aircraft. “Predator” plus “Hellfire” translates into the remote controlled explosion of children’s fragile bodies half a world away. Oh the joys of joystick bombing, the thrill of commuter combat killing, out of sight, out of mind, out of corporate US media.
The illegal air strikes and subsequent murder of civilians prompted mass protests against the US in Pakistan (a nuclear-armed nation!) and, in all likelihood, created hundreds more very angry people who are ready to do anything, anything, to defend their country, their families, and their deep sense of honor.
According to Pierre Sprey, a former Pentagon official and fighter aircraft designer, “…what happens on the ground is for every one of those impacts you get five or ten times as many recruits for the Taliban as you’ve eliminated. The people that we’re trying to convince to become adherents to our cause have turned rigidly hostile to our cause in part because of bombing and in part because of other killing of civilians from ground forces.”
So, in a spirit of bipartisanship and fair play, mindful that in the country I serve no one is above the law, I call for the impeachment of Barack Obama for war crimes, crimes against humanity, violations of the Geneva and Hague Conventions and the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, and numerous U.N. General Assembly resolutions, just as I had called for the impeachment of Bush/Cheney for committing the very same crimes.
Anyone who doesn’t think Obama should be impeached who supported the impeachment of the previous administration for these same crimes is dealing in double standards and hypocrisy. Everyone who voted for Obama has blood on his hands, especially after he made repeated campaign promises to increase already bank-busting military spending, double the number of US forces in the unwinnable US war and occupation of Afghanistan, continue to develop and deploy Reagan’s Star Wars missile “defense” system, and to “go after suspected terrorists wherever they are.”
Thanks to Democratic and Republican administrations alike, as well as to resource grabs inside developing countries by many Western nations, terrorists are now all over the world striking out against the continuing exploitation and occupation of their lands. Is Obama going to “go after” them all? With hawk-lady Clinton as Secretary of State and so many of Obama’s cabinet choices steeped in generations of promoting US aggression, I don’t doubt it.
Clinton’s appointment of Richard Holbrooke as US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is viewed by many as a recipe for disaster. Says Scott Ritter, former Marine Corp intelligence officer and U.N. weapons inspector, “The cause-and-effect relationship between what the United States does inside Afghanistan and what occurs inside Pakistan cannot be ignored by American policymakers. He [Holbrooke] tends to seek military solutions to difficult ethnic-based problems, and he is likely to argue for the deployment of even more U.S. troops to that war-ravaged nation. That would be a historic mistake.”
Obama, by surrounding himself with foreign policy hawks, is falling into the same old savage mindset: bomb first, analyze later.
As for the tens of millions of Americans who expect the Obama administration to hold Bu$hCorp responsible for it’s murderous multiple felonies, don’t hold your breath. With Obama engaged in the very same activities that enraged us and the world about Bush’s neocon plans for “total global dominance” (this exact phrase appears throughout Department of Defense literature), do we really expect justice?
It speaks volumes that Obama brazenly nominated defense contractor Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn as Deputy Secretary of Defense, already waiving his own policy of not nominating industry lobbyists with conflicting interests for positions in his cabinet. So much for the “hope” to “change” the D.C. insider revolving door of military/corporate/government collusion and their perpetual war influence peddling.
Raytheon designs and manufactures some of the planet’s most barbarous devices of death and destruction that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and made Lynn a very rich man. Raytheon makes cluster bombs that explode on playgrounds in children’s faces long after they’ve been dropped, the Patriot anti-missile system, the Tomahawk cruise missile, Paveway laser-guided bombs, and the errant “smart bomb’ that missed its target in Baghdad in 2003 and killed at least 62 Iraqi civilians. Oops.
The Pentagon rewards Raytheon with tens of billions of our tax dollars each year to make these and newer, more lethal WMD. Lynn has been on Raytheon’s payroll since 2002. That this nomination hasn’t sent up blinding red flags and caused progressives to scream out in protest is beyond me. As long as the American Idle allow such conspicuous and flagrant travesties of justice and crimes against the peace, we, the sheeple, will continue to get exactly the government we deserve.
While Obama is making an honest attempt to deal with our many domestic crises, his foreign policy is nothing but a continuation of US imperialistic, genocidal misadventures masquerading as “homeland security” that are in actuality weaponized offenses designed to control as many of the world’s resources as we can get our grubby little hands on.
It is this material aggression and the sense of American exceptionalism for which Obama must now be held accountable. Hey – he wanted the job! Our job is to fire him if he commits crimes in the process of perpetuating the wanton greed of American empire and its supremacist, bigoted, unsustainable way of life. He has already committed the ultimate crime. Just ask the parents of those Pakistani children.
We must reach across the aisle, condemn the continuing US murder of civilians on their own soil, confront our racist attitude that our lives are worth more than theirs, and do what is right. Impeach Obama and stop the mass murder of civilians! And then continue to immediately impeach every commander in chief that commits crimes against humanity. America will be safer for it, and fewer veterans will commit suicide, and more money will be available to help the tens of millions of Americans falling into the craters of capitalism’s collapse (half of your federal tax dollars go directly to the Pentagon), and the world’s people won’t hate us so much, and precious, brown-eyed babies won’t get blown to smithereens in our name, and we might sleep a little better.
Tom Santoni ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) is a long time human rights and economic justice activist, a professional musician and stained glass artist specializing in peace symbols, and a member of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace. He has written many articles on the harmful effects of the US military’s use of Depleted Uranium and other indiscriminate WMD, as well as the aggressive and imperialist US foreign policy transcending both Democrat and Republican administrations and the war crimes committed by both.
Note: For an excellent Bill Moyers’ interview with two passionate, informed and articulate US citizens opposed to the US bombings and Obama’s continuation of Bush’s Middle East policies, check this out.
It’s getting hard to find a public official in Putnam County, N.Y., who thinks putting the names of gun permit-holders on a map does anybody good.
On Thursday, a flock of officials gathered at a news conference to announce their support for County Clerk Dennis Sant’s decision to refuse a public-records request by the White Plains-based Journal News for a list of licensed handgun permit-holders, whose names and addresses are public record under law.
The state’s top open-records official previously told the Los Angeles Times that county officials would be breaking the law by refusing the newspaper’s request.
On Dec. 22, the newspaper published online an interactive map that included the names and address of people who had pistol permits licensed by Westchester and Rockland counties. The map led to so much outrage that the newspaper has hired armed guards to protect its newsroom. Reporting on one recent incident, the newspaper said it received a suspicious envelope containing white powder on Wednesday evening, which was deemed to be nontoxic.
The Journal News also wants to publish a similar map for Putnam County, but officials have resisted. On Thursday, there was no indication of the battle easing after Putnam County officials said they’re prepared to take the fight all the way to its conclusion, according to statements released by the office of state Sen. Greg Ball, a Republican who represents the area.
“We simply cannot stand by and allow this to happen,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said in a statement. “Safeguarding our citizens is of the utmost importance right now.”
Texas congressman and erstwhile Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is distancing himself from the National Rifle Association (NRA)’s plan calling for massively increased security in schools. According to Politico, the Libertarian Paul said that “government security is just another kind of violence.”
In a statement on his website, Paul railed against the expansion of federal government powers and characterized the NRA’s plan, as put forth Friday in a press conference by the group’s chief lobbyist Wayne LaPierre as the pursuit of “unobtainable safety,” and said “School shootings, no matter how horrific, do not justify creating an Orwellian surveillance state in America.”
“Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal,” he wrote, “because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another.”
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1xCI3)