Tuesday December 5th, 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

Rep. John Conyers announces retirement
Endorses son to run for seat
              Image result for john conyers

Embattled Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, has announced Tuesday that he is retiring and has endorsed his son, John Conyers III to run for his seat. Conyers' lawyer confirmed that the retirement is effective immediately.

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now. This too shall pass," said Conyers on a local Michigan radio station Tuesday morning.

He added, "I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children. I have a great family here and especially in my oldest boy, John Conyers III who incidentally I endorsed to replace me in my seat in Congress."



Mueller's Trump-Russia Probe Cost Nearly $7M So Far
                Image: Mueller's Trump-Russia Probe Cost Nearly $7M So Far

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent more than $3.2 million since May on the federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year’s U.S. election and whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded in it.

The Justice Department spent an additional $3.5 million in support of Mueller's efforts, for items including investigators from the FBI, The Washington Free Beacon reports. That brings the total cost so far to nearly $7 million.



Mueller's Credibility Problem
The special counsel is stonewalling Congress and protecting the FBI.

Donald Trump is his own worst enemy, as his many ill-advised tweets on the weekend about Michael Flynn, the FBI and Robert Mueller’s Russia probe demonstrate. But that doesn’t mean that Mr. Mueller and the Federal Bureau of Investigation deserve a pass about their motives and methods, as new information raises troubling questions.

The Washington Post and the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he’d sent anti- Trump texts to a mistress. As troubling, Mr. Mueller and the Justice Department kept this information from House investigators, despite Intelligence Committee subpoenas that would have exposed those texts. They also refused to answer questions about Mr. Strzok’s dismissal and refused to make him available for an interview.

The news about Mr. Strzok leaked only when the Justice Department concluded it couldn’t hold out any longer, and the stories were full of spin that praised Mr. Mueller for acting “swiftly” to remove the agent. Only after these stories ran did Justice agree on Saturday to make Mr. Strzok available to the House.
MUELLER SUBPOENAS TRUMP DEUTSCHE BANK RECORDS...
LOANED MILLIONS FOR REAL ESTATE VENTURES...
'MORNING JOE': Going to Jail for Rest of Lives...
PENCE STAYS CLEAR...
MAG: Dem Obsession with Impeachment Dangerous...


Trump Tells Abbas He's Moving Embassy to Jerusalem: Abbas Spokesman


President Donald Trump informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Abbas's spokesman said.

The statement did not say whether Trump elaborated on the the timing of such a move.

"President Mahmoud Abbas received a telephone call from U.S. President Donald Trump in which he notified the President [Abbas] of his intention to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said in a statement.



NFL bows to player protests, will dole out Millions to Soros-linked social-justice groups
Players Coalition reportedly strikes $89 million deal with NFL team owners
               Image result for nfl protests

Plagued by sagging ratings, player protests and fan outrage, the NFL has thrown a political Hail Mary by reportedly agreeing to dole out millions of dollars to two social justice groups connected to Democratic billionaire George Soros.

Under an agreement with the Players Coalition, NFL owners plan to funnel tens of millions of dollars to the Dream Corps, a leftist advocacy group led by former Obama adviser Van Jones and linked to Mr. Soros, which has called for saving the Clean Power Plan, cutting the prison population by half and providing “sanctuary for all.”

The $89 million, seven-year deal also carves out millions of dollars for the Players Coalition, according to ESPN, which has been advised by Soros-funded groups such as the Campaign for Fair Sentencing of Youth and the Center for American Progress, a leader of the anti-Trump “resistance.”

NFL spokesman Joseph Lockhart stressed Monday that there has been no final decision on the agreement.



Supreme Court hears same-sex wedding cake case
Free speech vs civil rights

The Supreme Court justices appeared split along ideological lines except for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who lobbed both parties with tough questions on Tuesday, in a case testing the limits of gay rights and First Amendment freedoms.

Court watchers are calling it the biggest case since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015, as justices will decide whether people with religious-objections can refuse to serve same-sex weddings.

“Tolerance is essential in a society,” said Justice Kennedy, adding the state of Colorado was intolerant to the Christian baker, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The Trump administration has backed the Christian baker, Jack Phillips, who argued his free speech right to express himself through his cakes was infringed when Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission ordered him to bake cakes for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.



Trump White House Weighing Plans for Private Spies to Counter "Deep State" Enemies

The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state” enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency.

The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.

“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,” this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”



Roy Moore Gets Trump Endorsement and RNC Funding for Senate Race

 
President Trump on Monday strongly endorsed Roy S. Moore, the Republican nominee for a United States Senate seat here, prompting the Republican National Committee to restore its support for a candidate accused of sexual misconduct against teenage girls.

Mr. Trump’s endorsement strengthened what had been his subdued, if symbolically significant, embrace of Mr. Moore’s campaign. At Mr. Trump’s direct urging, and to the surprise of some Republican Party officials, the national committee, which severed ties to Mr. Moore weeks ago, opened a financial spigot that could help Mr. Moore with voter turnout in the contest’s closing days.



House Intel to Draft Conteempt of Congress Against DOJ Leaders

The House Intelligence Committee said it is taking action because the FBI has failed to provide the panel several pieces of evidence it is seeking related to the Russia investigation.

Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told the Washington Examiner the committee will put together a contempt of Congress resolution for Department of Justice leaders starting Tuesday because of the bureau's failure to meet a deadline Monday.



Colin Kaepernick, bogus hero of the left


Colin Kaepernick is riding high, having just won the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award as well as the American Civil Liberties Union’s Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award — honors bestowed, respectively, for sportsmanship and bravery.
But Kaepernick is possessed of neither.

He’s more a tool — a tool of false leftist beliefs, the kind fueled by Black Lives Matter and Eric Holder, the former Barack Obama-era attorney general who never met a race-tied social justice cause he didn’t like.

What has Kaepernick done besides bending a knee on the football field, and wearing socks emblazoned with police pigs?



Robert Mueller's mighty tuna shrinks to a goldfish


Robert Mueller has the heart of a Las Vegas hooker and the guile of a New Orleans stripper. Not to push the metaphor too far, he’s skilled at showing a little skin in a cloud of satin and lace, but never quite comes across with what the customer is paying for.

Mr. Mueller, held up by his fellow Blackstones as a model of lawyerly rectitude, teased everyone last week that after testing his prowess to the limit, he had hooked a mighty tuna. His hallelujah chorus in the media celebrated the hundred-pound monster, but overnight it melted into a two-inch goldfish.

The special prosecutor might yet get the last laugh. He may yet land the promised tuna if there’s actually one out there in the briny deep. So far he’s coming up with nothing but net. The Associated Press, which has never been accused of giving Republicans a break, called the arrest “lots of smoke, but no smoking gun.” The “lots of smoke” looked as the new week began as merely a thin tuft of smoke, or more likely a wisp of fog.

"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…