Thursday October 12th, 2017


"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metctalf

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World & National 
"The Press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people."
-- Justice Hugo L. Black
(1886-1971) US Supreme Court Justice

Times up! Trump's DOJ issues final warning to 'sanctuary' jurisdictions
                 FILE - In this April 14, 2017, file photo, protesters hold up signs outside a courthouse where a federal judge will hear arguments in the first lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's executive order to withhold funding from communities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities in San Francisco. Trump has unveiled a long list of immigration priorities he says must be included as part of any legislative package extending protections for young immigrants known as Dreamers. That includes increasing penalties against so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate and share information with federal immigration authorizes, including blocking them from receiving certain federal grants.  (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)

The Justice Department has issued a final warning to five of the 10 jurisdictions it accused of having “sanctuary” policies that defy federal immigration laws, saying they have until Oct. 27 to submit additional evidence proving compliance or risk losing grant money.

Letters conveying the Justice Department’s preliminary assessment of the jurisdictions’ local laws and policies were sent Wednesday. Cook County, Illinois; Chicago; New Orleans; New York City; and Philadelphia were all warned that the Justice Department believes they cities have laws of policies that run afoul of federal immigration law.

At stake is millions of dollars in federal grant money that is supposed to go only to jurisdictions that comply with section 1373 of Title 8 of the U.S. Code. That law prohibits policies that restrict communications with federal immigration authorities “regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”



Trump's Russia dossier author slapped with congressional subpoena

Democrats: Nunes too close to Russia probe

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee has subpoenaed the head of the Washington firm that commissioned the sensational anti-Trump campaign research dossier — adding fresh intensity to the behind-the-scenes scramble among lawmakers to grasp how the infamous document fits into the Russian election meddling investigation.

The subpoena issued for Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson comes as special counsel Robert Mueller’s separate investigation interviewed the former British spy, Christopher Steele, who worked with Mr. Simpson in compiling the dossier of negative intelligence on Mr. Trump.

The CIA and FBI saw the dossier’s allegations as so sensational and sensitive last year that they excluded any mention of it from the intelligence community’s highly publicized accusations back in January about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.



D.C. officials defend gun laws, look to furhteer tighten concealed-carry rules

                    D.C. officials expect an increase in the number of people seeking permits to carry after deciding last week not to appeal a federal circuit court ruling striking down the "good reason" requirement that severely limited who was able to obtain a concealed-carry permit. (Associated Press/File)

D.C. officials said Wednesday that they are looking at ways to expand the city’s strict gun laws, hoping to recapture some of the ground lost after a federal appeals court struck down the city’s restrictions on issuing concealed-carry permits.

The officials also defended the city’s gun-free zones, saying there are a number of areas where they don’t want anyone carrying a firearm, and in the nation’s capital, with so many high-profile government sites, there will be more zones than many other cities.

No timetable has been set for new restrictions, but D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Public Safety Committee Chairman Charles Allen, Ward 6 Democrat, said in separate interviews that they are looking to stiffen the list of requirements for gun owners to be able to obtain permits in the city.



'Disgusted' Obamas were star-struck by Weinstein's access, cas

Barack and Michelle Obama now say they are “disgusted” by Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment accusations. But as president and first lady, oh my, how they loved the movie mogul’s cash and Hollywood glitz.
As a powerful pipeline to the Democrats’ cash machine in the entertainment industry, Mr. Weinstein raised millions of dollars for Mr. Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

He and his wife, Georgina Chapman, hosted Mr. Obama for a high-end fundraiser at their home overlooking Long Island Sound in Westport, Connecticut, in August 2012. Other guests included actress Anne Hathaway, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.

“Obviously, Harvey and Georgina have just been great friends and have done so much for us, not just in this election but in the previous one,” Mr. Obama said in a dining room with two gold Oscar statues perched on a shelf.
Turning to Miss Hathaway, who had just appeared in the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” the president gushed, “She was the best thing in it. She’s spectacular.”



As Boy Scouts welcome girls, rival group sees expansion of 'war on boys'
                       Boy Scouts of America leaders say they will start developing the next generation of female leaders and allow families to participate in outdoor activities together. (Associated Press/File)

The Boy Scouts of America’s board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to open Cub Scouts to girls next year and to establish a program by 2019 that will allow girls to become Eagle Scouts, a historic policy shift that drew immediate criticism from a rival Scouting group.

Boy Scout leaders cited the century-old organization’s desire to develop the next generation of female leaders and to allow families to participate in outdoor activities together.

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement.



NFL player predicts 'uproar' if players ordered to stand or anthem

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy predicted Wednesday that there would be an “uproar” if the NFL requires players to stand for the national anthem versus taking a knee or sitting in protest.

“I don’t think guys are going to like it,” Mr. McCoy told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “I think it’s going to be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys wanna have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away from guys.”

His comments came a day after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that teams would consider a rule change at next week’s regularly scheduled meeting in New York City that would require players to stand during the pregame ceremony.

In a memo to all 32 teams, Mr. Goodell also said that “we believe that everyone should stand for the national anthem,” prompting President Trump to declare that it’s “about time.”



Trump promises big tax cuts, but GOP-led Congress is alaready thinking about scaling back

President Trump promised the largest tax cut in history, but as he hit the road Wednesday to promote the plan, Republicans in Congress were quietly discussing scaling back key provisions in an effort to deliver the top White House priority.

There’s already talk that the cornerstone of the GOP proposal — a dramatically reduced 20% corporate tax rate that Trump has called a “red line” — may slip to 22% or 23%, those familiar with negotiations said.



Worker warned hotel BEFORE Las Vegas shoter opened fire on crowd


A maintenance worker said Wednesday he told hotel dispatchers to call police and report a gunman had opened fire with a rifle inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino hotel before the shooter began firing from his high-rise suite into a crowd at a nearby musical performance.

The revised timeline has renewed questions about whether better communication might have allowed police to respond more quickly and take out the gunman before he committed the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Worker Stephen Schuck says he was checking out a report of a jammed fire door on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay when he heard gunshots and a hotel security guard, who had been shot in the leg, peeked out from an alcove and told him to take cover.



Ophelia becomes 10th consecutive Atlantic hurricane, tying record

Ophelia became a hurricane late Wednesday, the tenth named storm in a row to reach that status, tying a record set more than a century ago.

Located in the central Atlantic about 760 miles southwest of the Azores, the hurricane poses no threat to land and would probably be unremarkable if not for its place in the record books. The last time a season produced 10 consecutive hurricanes was in 1893, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach — a period when tracking hurricanes largely relied on ships and barometric readings.

The storm was nearly stalled Wednesday evening, with sustained winds of 70 mph. If it picks up speed, it could intensify over the next day or so, then encounter increasing wind shear in three days that should cause it to weaken and fall apart over the weekend, National Hurricane Center forecasters said.



Colonel Who Reported Communist Cadet Slams West Point Leadership


Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington issued an open letter to West Point graduates earlier this week blasting the superintendent, commandant, and dean of the military academy for contributing to a “culture of permissiveness.

The letter was subsequently posted on the website of American Military News.

Heffington told The Daily Caller he wrote the letter to the USMA Class of 1963 when several of its graduates contacted him asking how Spenser Rapone, a cadet espousing radically anti-American views, was allowed to graduate.

Heffington’s eye-opening letter describes systemic problems at West Point that he says have led to a decline in honor, standards and meritocracy. The end result of said neglect, according to the lieutenant colonel, is a current “embrace of mediocrity.”



Harvey Weinstein's late accusers
Rich and powerful women — and men — say nothing for years and then expect credit when they do

Hillary Clinton: Woods walker, Chardonnay drinker, screamer-into-pillows, sore loser. And now? The recycled claim of Feminist Icon Supporter of All Women.

The feminist bar is very low these days. We’ve now heard from a number of very successful, famous actresses (and the aforementioned politician) who are being lauded for coming out against producer Harvey Weinstein. After he was fired from his film company.

“It took Hillary about 5 minutes to blame NRA for madman’s rampage, but 5 days to sorta-kinda blame Harvey Weinstein for his sexually [sic] assaults,” tweeted Kellyanne Conway. But even that was giving Hillary too much credit.
Hillary’s silence, and that of the Obamas, was so absurd even their own blogs (also known as the mainstream media) hectored them about it for days. Five days into the media firestorm, she finally issued a statement quintessentially Clintonian:



Why Iran mst be denuclearized
Once the rogue regime has nuclear weapons, proliferation will become inevitable

America must not permit Iran to produce nuclear weapons. If a rogue state, the world’s No. 1 supporter of terrorism, is allowed to go into the production of nuclear weapons, no other state can be denied them. Proliferation — in self-defense — will go wild, and the result will be a world of nuclear horror and chaos, from which there is no return. Here’s how it will happen — and how it can be avoided.

The Iran nuclear agreement, formally titled the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, makes Iran a threshold nuclear weapons state. Iran must wait only a few years and it will be permitted to produce nuclear weapons. Mideast politics cannot permit Iran to be the sole regional possessor — not with their record of arming and directing proxies such as Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis or even the Taliban. Already, other states (e.g., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt) are making covert preparations to go nuclear.

Given the tinderbox nature of the Mideast today — Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Kurdish regions, ISIS, Iraq, Yemen — the nuclear proliferation race will be intense. It will be accelerated by three factors: first, the regional nuclear fright in Northeast Asia, where North Korea’s neighbors, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, are developing nuclear plans, technologies, personnel and resources; second, the increasing availability of fissile material from reactor growth in developing nations (some of which is intended for weapons purposes); and third, the startlingly rapid increase in international availability of intercontinental ballistic missile technology. No state will be safe without nukes.




"It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright


Medal of Honor


Army Medal of Honor


The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. 

Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.



3/14/20017

We Have Met the Enemy…

      
Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
              
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
              
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/opinion/the-truth-about-the-wikileaks-cia-cache.html?_r=0) acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998 (http://www.wnd.com/1998/04/6108/ ).

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA treaty (https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukusa/ ) signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional ‘Patriot Act’.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The London Telegraph reported in December of 1997 that the Civil liberties Committee of the European Parliament had officially confirmed the existence and purpose of ECHELON. “A global electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, e-mail and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report. …”

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in the UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”

An interesting sidebar appeared in the International Herald Tribune under the headline, “Big Corporate Brother: It Knows More About You Than You Think.” The story details Acxiom Corp, which was a humongous information service hidden in the Ozark foothills. Twenty-four hours a day, Acxiom electronically gathered and sorts all kinds of data about 196 million Americans. Credit card transactions and magazine subscriptions, telephone numbers, real estate records, automotive data, hunting, business and fishing licenses, consumer surveys and demographic detail that would make a marketing department’s research manager salivate. This relatively new (legal) enterprise was known as “data warehousing” or “data-mining”, and it underscores the cruel reality that the fiction of personal privacy has become obsolete. Technology’s ability to collect and analyze data has made privacy a quaint albeit interesting dinosaur.

The Tribune reported that “Axciom can often determine whether an American owns a dog or cat, enjoys camping or gourmet cooking, reads the Bible or lots of other books. It can often pinpoint an American’s occupation, car and favorite vacations. By analyzing the equivalent of billions of pages of data, it often projects for its customers who should be offered a credit card or who is likely to buy a computer.”

Most of this information is from y 1998 piece.  Echelon has developed, matured, and morphed into a much more powerful hybrid. ‘Carnivore’ was software to help triage the cacophony of data. Vault 7 and ‘Umbrage’ are logical (some would argue “insidious”) growth.

    More to follow…