Tuesday August 15th, 2017


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

Updated hrs

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

Trump team accuses CNN of censorship
                    In this photo taken Aug. 14, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington. President Donald Trump appears to have mistakenly retweeted a message from one of his critics saying "he's a fascist." Trump deleted his retweet Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, after about five minutes, but not before the message sent to his 35 million followers racked up a big response. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Trump campaign accused CNN Tuesday of censorship for refusing to broadcast a paid advertisement highlighting President Trump’s achievements.

“Today, CNN provided further proof that the network earns this mistrust every day by censoring President Trump’s message to the American people by blocking our paid campaign ad,” said Michael Glassner, executive director of Donald J. Trump for President Inc. “Clearly, the only viewpoint CNN allows on air is CNN’s.”

The commercial says Democrats are “obstructing” the president’s agenda, and the media are “attacking” him.



President's denunciation of 'evil' racisim from specific groups too little, too late for critics


President Trump belatedly denounced violence specifically by white nationalist groups Monday under enormous pressure, singling out the KKK and neo-Nazis by name after a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Racism is evil,” Mr. Trump said at the White House after meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray. “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Noting that the Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into a deadly car attack, the president said, “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.”



Dreamers face immigration showdown over amnesty with Trump, courts


President Obama had insisted for years that he didn’t have the power to grant a broad tentative deportation amnesty for Dreamers — then just ahead of the 2012 election, and facing severe criticism from Hispanic leaders, Mr. Obama discovered he did in fact have the power.

Thus was born DACA, which has been in effect for five years as of Tuesday and has become perhaps the most controversial policy of the Obama era.

Nearly 800,000 young adult illegal immigrants have been protected by the program, giving them a chance to get driver’s licenses, legally hold a job, collect tax benefits — even to earn a law license or, in some special cases, to join the U.S. military.



Feds Collect Record Income and Payroll Taxes Through July

The federal government collected record amounts of both individual income taxes and payroll taxes through the first ten months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through the end of July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Through July, the federal government collected approximately $1,312,691,000,000 in individual income taxes.

At the same time, it collected $976,278,000,000 in Social Security and other payroll taxes.
Household Debt Hits Record...
$12,840,000,000,000.00...


North Korea Backs Off Gua Missile-Attack Threat
Kim Jong Un warns he could change his mind if the U.S. persists in ‘extremely dangerous reckless actions’
                  Image result for kim jong un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Tuesday, but warned that he could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

The report, published early Tuesday, could help dial back tensions that had spiraled last week following an exchange of threats between North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump.


Lawyers for sailor convicted of sex assault accuse brass of illegally trying to remove them
Say Navy illegally tried to remove legal team

Attorneys for a SEAL war hero are seeking a dismissal of his 2014 sex assault conviction because the Navy is trying to remove the naval lawyers assigned to the sailor’s defense team.

Attorneys for Senior Chief Petty Officer Keith E. Barry say the Navy is engaging in unlawful command influence because the service wants to show Congress it is playing hardball with a convicted sex offender.

“Perhaps certain members of Congress do not like the optics of the Navy presenting a robust defense to a sailor accused of rape,” David Sheldon, Barry’s civilian attorney, told The Washington Times. “There is a reason why the command influence occurred in this case. It’s because the Navy has buckled under to congressional pressure in sexual assault cases at the expense of sailors’ constitutional rights.”

Earlier this year Barry’s legal team formally accused Vice Adm. James W. Crawford III, the Navy’s judge advocate general and highest-ranking lawyer, of exercising illegal command influence in the SEAL’s 2014 trial.
On Aug. 8 Barry’s attorneys filed legal motions before a specially appointed Air Force judge asking that his conviction be dismissed.



House caucus groups ask Trump to fire Bannon, Miller and Gorka

               Image result for steve bannon

The leaders of four minority House caucus groups have written a letter on President Donald Trump calling for the removal of White House staff aides Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka.

The heads of the black, Hispanic, Asian and progressive caucuses are calling in the letter for the firings of the Trump administration officials in the wake of a violent, racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter asserts their continuing presence in the White House is emboldening a resurgent white supremacist movement in America.

“Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy,” says the letter dated Monday. “In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart.”



Mayors Who Remove Confederate Statues are 'Pandering'


Mayors in cities with majority-black populations who order the removal of statues that note Confederate history are "pandering" in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va. violence, according to Newt Gingrich.

"Mayors in towns that are largely black are going to pander to their audience. They are going to go out and prove they are popular by doing something that meets their current demagogic needs. But that's everything the founding fathers worried about," the Republican former House speaker said Monday on Fox News' "The Story With Martha MacCallum."

"Having demagoguery define your country is truly dangerous," Gingrich told MacCallum.



Justice Turns Up the Heat on Hillary

Donald Trump's troubles dealing with the fallout from the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., may pale by comparison to the grief that is in store for his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Last week, I reported in "Ed Klein Confidential" that the Justice Department has reopened the investigation of Hillary's mishandling of classified material on her private email system while she was secretary of state, and is considering offering her a plea bargain if she'll agree to plead guilty to charges of breaking the law.

Since then, I've learned that the prosecutors at Justice also are planning to expand their investigation beyond Hillary's emails to include the Clinton Foundation's finances and Hillary's pay to play relationships with foreign businessmen and governments.



A riot with an unwelcome lesson

The media mob wasted no time in descending on Charlottesville, and the first order of business was to exploit the bigotry, tragedy and evil to make it the work of the Republicans, conservatives, and above all, Donald Trump.

This has been a project years in the making. Shooting congressmen by a crazed Democratic liberal is reduced to a footnote in accounts of the shooting, and shoved down the memory hole to be forgotten in a day or so. But we can be sure the Charlottesville riot will be endlessly exploited over the next several days and weeks as the white folks’ equivalent of the radical Muslim massacres of Paris, Orlando and San Bernardino.

The counterdemonstrators to a white nationalist rally showed up spoiling for a fight, but that does not excuse the rally organizers for what happened, including the assault by a particularly thuggish assassin driving a car into the crowd. They were finally denounced by the president as the “thugs” — the president’s word — they are.



'Juche' or consequences
Its ideological commitment to nuclear weapons means North Korea will never disarm peacefully

“Juche” — the ideology of North Korea — compels unquestioned obedience to the “supreme leader,” who is exalted as the greatest source of political thought. It is enforced by fear and murder even among the elite and accounts for the Kim regime’s paranoia and belligerence.

Because Kim Jong-un and his generals are the most fervent believers in it, juche drives their regime to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to threaten the United States and its allies. North Korea’s ideology is undisturbed by international sanctions.

But the Kim regime’s total immersion in juche has consequences. One direct consequence is the crisis President Trump is facing, which results from juche-propelled threats made serious by Mr. Kim’s ability to deliver on them.



Trump on Charlottesville: Danged if he does, danged if he doesn't


The immediate aftermath of the widely reported Charlottesville violence wasn’t so much a media look at the issues, or the car-plowing suspect and victims, or even the demographics of the protesters — that many came from out of state to stand strong against a small-town statue of Robert E. Lee — as it was a cause to criticize President Donald Trump.

Heck, the way some in the press painted it two days later, it was Trump himself who caused the mayhem.

But why all the angst against the president?

"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. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/15/donald-trump-on-charlottesville-danged-if-he-does-/

“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…