Posts tagged D.C.

Pure Failure in Benghazi, 60 Minutes reports

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Source: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org

By

Pure Failure in Benghazi, 60 Minutes reports: Our team was unguarded, and then abandoned when attacked. Damning report.

 

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Good for 60 Minutes. Maybe there are still some real journalists out there in the #oldmedia.

According to this report, supported by interviews with key people involved in defending Ambassador Stevens and his team, the CIA compound was “defended” only by local Libyan militia members (who fled as soon as Al Qaeda descended on the building) and an unarmed American security detail.

What kind of absolutely boneheaded security planning is this? Get the local boys to man the turrets while they learn the lay of the land and talk to to their buddies? And an unarmed American security detail? Why unarmed?

Then when the fight begins, with our team heavily out gunned, no support was called in? In fact the assistant to the ambassador was specifically told that no help was on the way. Again why? We had no one off the coast ready to offer cover in the event this sort of thing happened? I am sure we did. If we didn’t (which I can’t imagine) this is a logistical disaster on a colossal scale. But for whatever reason we didn’t send anyone in. No hell-fire missiles were shot by drones which undoubtedly were patrolling the skies above Benghazi. No, the ambassador and his team were basically left to die Alamo style, as quietly as possible.

Don’t forget. The American public was told that the attack was a spontaneous act of violence born from a protest against an anti-Muslim movie that almost no one saw. This is a lie which was told over and over in the critical weeks after the attack.

Benghazi was a gross failure of the Obama administration with potentially huge impact on the soon to be held 2012 US presidential elections. Likewise it was also as big a failure for Hillary Clinton’s State Department with potentially as big an impact on her likely run for president in 2016.

The below video is an important report. We commend 60 Minutes for it and we are pleased that it appears that not all of the mainstream media, an entity we often call the “crony media,” can be cowed by Washington.

Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org


Nick Sorrentino
About Nick Sorrentino

Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.

 


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No comment, other than…

Related links:

Thanks To Obama, The Al-Qaeda Flag Is Now Flying High And Proud Over Libya
CIA asset: ‘Libyan opposition is al-Qaeda’

 

Extreme Hypocrisy! Obama Orders Federal Workers To “Make Life As Difficult For People As We Can”

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Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

By Michael Snyder

Extreme Hypocrisy! Obama Orders Federal Workers To “Make Life As Difficult For People As We Can”

 

Barack-Obama-On-The-Phone-In-The-Oval-Office-2009-300x300Why would the president of the United States try to purposely hurt the American people?  Well, in 2013 this is done in order to score political points and force the opposition in to doing what you want them to do.  A few days ago, an angry Park Service ranger publicly admitted that he and his fellow rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown.  That Park Service ranger would never have received such an order unless it came from the very top.  Apparently the Obama administration plans to cause as much pain as possible until Obama gets everything that he is demanding.  In many cases, it is actually going to cost far more money to put up barricades and use guards to keep Americans from visiting open air memorials, driving on roads, and fishing in bodies of water than it would to put up a “closed” sign and simply go home.  As you will see from the examples posted below, the Obama administration is being extremely spiteful and vindictive.  And the level of hypocrisy that we are now witnessing is hard to fathom.  For instance, the National Mall has been totally closed to the public, but the Obama administration is specifically reopening it for a massive pro-immigration rally that will benefit the Democrats politically.  The abuse of power that is taking place is absolutely staggering, and the American people need to demand that those that are abusing it be held accountable when all of this is over.

The following are just a few examples of how Obama is using this shutdown to make life as difficult for people as possible…

#1 The Obama administration is doing all it can to keep Americans from even getting a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, but Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential” and are still preparing his meals.

#2 Small businesses cannot get loans, but the exclusive gyms that are only for members of Congress have been deemed “essential” and remain open.

#3 The National Mall has been closed to the public, but it will be opened for a huge pro-immigration rally being held by Obama supporters.

#4 Last chance cancer treatments for children with cancer have been suspended, but the IRS continues to collect taxes from us.

#5 The NIH has stopped therapy dogs from visiting sick children, but Obama and Congress are still getting paid.

#6 The USDA website has been shut down, but Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move website is still operating.

#7 A runner has been fined $100 for jogging through Valley Forge National Historical Park, but the military golf course that Obama uses regularly is still open.

#8 The Obama administration has shut down the Grand Canyon, but the new two billion dollar NSA spy center is still spying on all of us.

#9 The federal government has forced an elderly couple out of their home on Lake Mead during this shutdown, but the operations of the Federal Reserve have not been affected at all.

#10 In South Carolina, the Obama administration is actually using Park Service rangers to keep people away from a privately-owned hotel.

#11 In Tennessee, the feds have totally shut down the Foothills Parkway, a major thoroughfare that runs through Blount County.  At this point the feds are not even letting people visit the graves of their dead relatives.

#12 The Obama administration has actually removed all of the well pumps along a 184 mile trail that goes from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh just so that anyone that decides to use the trail will not be able to get any water to drink.

#13 The Obama administration is actually attempting to close 1,100 square miles of ocean off of the coast of Florida.  It is going to take a tremendous amount of time, money and energy to keep fishing boats out of that area.

#14 According to one news report, “Gestapo tactics” were used against one tour group made up mostly of senior citizens at Yellowstone National Park…

Pat Vaillancourt went on a trip last week that was intended to showcase some of America’s greatest treasures.
 
Instead, the Salisbury resident said she and others on her tour bus witnessed an ugly spectacle that made her embarrassed, angry and heartbroken for her country.
 
Vaillancourt was one of thousands of people who found themselves in a national park as the federal government shutdown went into effect on Oct. 1. For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
 
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
 
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.

#15 Of course one of the most disturbing abuses of power is how the Obama administration is using barricades and guards to keep military veterans away from open air memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial that are normally open to the public 24 hours a day.

It is beyond disgusting for Barack Obama to take these memorials hostage for political gain.

And a lot of military veterans have decided that they are not going to take this slap in the face.  In fact, one group is organizing a “Million Veteran March on the Memorials” this weekend.  You can find their Facebook page right here.  According to their page, a mass protest is being planned for 9 AM this Sunday morning…

“Join fellow Veterans at the war memorials in Washington DC on Sunday October 13th at 9 AM and at memorials across these United States.”

And veterans will not be the only ones in D.C. this weekend.  An organization known as “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” will also be there.  You can find their Facebook page right here.  The truckers are planning a three day strike and protest which will stretch from Friday to Sunday…

“The American people are sick and tired of the corruption that is destroying America! We therefore declare a national protest in support of our nation’s truckers on the weekend of October 11-13, 2013! Truck drivers will not haul freight! Americans can strike in solidarity with truck drivers! Truckers will lead the path to saving our country if every American rides with them!”

Many truckers are even planning to take their trucks right into the heart of Washington D.C. itself.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens.

Personally, I have never seen anything like what we are witnessing right now.  The president of the United States is actually trying to purposely hurt the American people in order to put pressure on Congress.  He isn’t even being subtle about it.

Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican or an Independent, you have got to be absolutely disgusted by what Obama is doing.  He is showing an astounding lack of respect for the American people.

It is one thing to play hardball with Congress.  That is acceptable.  It is quite another thing to spitefully abuse the American people in order to get what you want.

What Obama has done goes way over the line.  If the American people are not outraged by this, what will it take to wake them up?

Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

July 4th Open Carry March on D.C. – Recent Updates

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Whether one agrees or not with supporting / joining the upcoming scheduled open carry march on D.C. on July 4th one thing is almost guarantied.  If history proves anything the mainstream media will black this out until they can either edit and spin the story to their owner’s advantage or a provocateur created action gives the MSM the green light, as the spin has already taken place.

Below are article snippets with links to the full resources for the information I have seen to date.  Research on your own if you choose as I am sure more information and opinions are available than I have had time to mention here.

The ultimate test of the 2nd Amendment: July 4th open carry march on Washington

By

In what can only be described as perhaps the ultimate test of the 2nd Amendment in our nation’s capitol, an open carry march with loaded rifles is being planned for Independence day.

The organizer for this event is Adam Kokesh, an outspoken advocate for gun rights and veteran of the Iraq War. He is well-known within the Patriot community for pushing the envelope in order to bring attention to our constitutional rights and defense of them. He hosted a television show on Russia Today called Adam vs. The Man and has continued to bring forth radio segments on the internet using the same show title since leaving RT.

Adam was one of the organizers of a gutsy march on the White House on Presidents’ Day back during the primaries in support of Ron Paul. It was a march that comprised exclusively several hundred veterans and active duty military members whose goal was to proclaim that “Ron Paul was the choice of our troops.” It was carried out peacefully and respectfully but received very little national mainstream press coverage in spite of the uniqueness of such an event.

In perhaps Adam’s most courageous planned event to date, a march is scheduled for the 4th of July. A facebook group has been set-up to organize and plan the event which will be a march with loaded rifles slung behind participant’s backs. The information regarding the march openly discloses to interested participants that it will be a non-permitted event into Washington, DC where open-carry is forbidden to be done according to current gun control laws.

As stated in part within the facebook group’s information:

Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.

This event will be truly a test of whether or not the American people are still “allowed” to “peaceably assemble” freely without the unconstitutional need to get permission from the government, i.e. by permit. That is one aspect of the march that should be noted.

FULL STORY

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Adam Kokesh Interviewed About The Upcoming Armed March On D.C.
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The above video is Adam Kokesh’s first media appearance on the Alex Jones radio and TV show since he announced his armed march on D.C. Adam expanded on his publicly announced plan to lead an armed formation of 2nd Amendment Rights activists from Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery to the White House and back. He told Alex Jones that this is an armed revolt and an overthrow of the illegitimate government but he agreed with Alex that what he means by that is it is a symbolic overthrow of their violation of the civil rights of American gun owners. This is a powerful interview, read the CNS news article below.

Alex Jones Interviewed Radio host and activist Adam Kokesh plans to lead an armed march from the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia all the way to the White House and back.

According to a Facebook event posted by Kokesh, titled “ Open Carry March on Washington,” he plans to lead a peaceful march July 4th “across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court, & the White House, then peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge.”

As of 7:00am on 5/8/2013 there are 2,663 people who are intending to participate in this event.

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D.C. Police Chief Vows To Take Action Against July 4th Gun Marchers

DC-Police-Chief1An Iraq war veteran and Internet talk show host is trying to gather thousands of protesters to march into the District on Independence Day with loaded rifles on their backs.

But if Adam Kokesh follows through with his July 4 plans — 2,500 people have signed up for the cause — he and his makeshift band will be met on the Arlington Memorial Bridge by two police forces packing guns of their own.

Kokesh, 31, and D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier say they want to work together to ensure a peaceful airing of grievances. But the chief says only one side can have guns: hers. And she’ll have backup from the U.S. Park Police, which will also position officers at the District line.

“If you’re coming here to protest government policy, great,” Lanier said Tuesday on her monthly appearance on NewsChannel 8, reacting to the group’s plan to cross the Potomac River from Arlington National Cemetery. “If you’re coming here to break the law, we’ll take action.”

Lanier added, “There’s a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge.”

Kokesh is calling the event an “ Open Carry March ” but described it as a general demonstration against “tyranny,” not a protest against specific gun laws.

News of the march comes amid a national debate over gun regulations that emerged after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Kokesh has chosen to stage his protest in one of the most strictly regulated cities when it comes to firearms laws — and one of the most contested.

D.C. Police Chief Vows To Take Action Against July 4th Gun Marchers [continued]

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Warning to Kokesh Marchers

By John Raines

There’s been a lot of confusion about Adam Kokesh’s armed protest march into Washington and multiple people have stated the group will simple turn around if they are met with resistance. I’d like to clear up some of the incorrect assumptions regarding political geography in the Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia area.

First some history. During the colonial period, both Virginia and Maryland claimed ownership of the Potomac River. In 1776 Virginia ceded control and legal ownership of the portion of the river where the two states share a border in the Virginia Constitution.

Some time later in the 1790s Virginia and Maryland ceded land to the Federal government for the creation of Washington D.C. The portion of the Potomac that ran through the District was no longer part of Maryland but became part of D.C. In 1847, the Virginia portion was “retroceded” back to Virginia. However, the Maryland portion originally ceded to the Feds provided the legal ownership over the Potomac and remained in the possession of Washington D.C. This arrangement continues to this day.

What does this all mean? Conventional wisdom would assume that the border between two states is at the middle point of the river. However, with the Potomac this is not true. Since Washington D.C. has ownership of the Potomac River to the lowest point on the Virginia side, (through Maryland’s prior ownership) Adam and his formation will have a very short march before they find themselves in violation of D.C. law. So short in fact, they may mistakenly believe they are still in Virginia before even reaching the Memorial bridge as Columbia Island between the two locations is part of D.C. (Lady Bird Johnson Memorial park).

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FULL STORY

Fear and Oath-ing in D.C.

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Youtube

Common sense commentary about the war on the American people.  “We’re just asking politicians to live up to their oath.”

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H/T http://www.activistpost.com

Former Reporter Amber Lyon Exposes Massive Censorship at CNN

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Source: http://beforeitsnews.com

Amber Lyon: I saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.

Former Reporter Amber Lyon Exposes Massive Censorship at CNN

I saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.
- Amber Lyon

The Amber Lyon story is just the latest in a series of articles that expose the total Joseph Goebbels like censorship rampant in mainstream media today.  The first one I posted several weeks ago exposed how the NY Times basically just regurgitates whatever government officials tell them, while the other showcased how an NPR reporter covering D.C. had to leave and do her own thing out of frustration.  This is precisely why alternative media sites are taking off.  They provide the only outlets left for genuine journalism.

So back to Amber.  Back in March 2011, CNN sent a four person team to Bahrain to cover the Arab Spring.  Once there, the crew was the subject of extreme intimidation amongst other things, but they were able to record some fantastic footage.  As Glenn Greenwald of the UK’s Guardian writes in his blockbuster article from today:

In the segment, Lyon interviewed activists as they explicitly described their torture at the hands of government forces, while family members recounted their relatives’ abrupt disappearances. She spoke with government officials justifying the imprisonment of activists. And the segment featured harrowing video footage of regime forces shooting unarmed demonstrators, along with the mass arrests of peaceful protesters. In sum, the early 2011 CNN segment on Bahrain presented one of the starkest reports to date of the brutal repression embraced by the US-backed regime.

Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.

Having just returned from Bahrain, Lyon says she “saw first-hand that these regime claims were lies, and I couldn’t believe CNN was making me put what I knew to be government lies into my reporting.”

After Lyon’s crew returned from Bahrain, CNN had no correspondents regularly reporting on the escalating violence. In emails to her producers and executives, Lyon repeatedly asked to return to Bahrain. Her requests were denied, and she was never sent back. She thus resorted to improvising coverage by interviewing activists via Skype in an attempt, she said, “to keep Bahrain in the news”.

In March 2012, Lyon was laid off from CNN as part of an unrelated move by the network to outsource its investigative documentaries.

“At this point,” Lyon said, “I look at those payments as dirty money to stay silent. I got into journalism to expose, not help conceal, wrongdoing, and I’m not willing to keep quiet about this any longer, even if it means I’ll lose those payments.”

Amber Lyon, I salute you.

Please forward this post to everyone you know.  I for one want to live in a country with some real and free press.  Not some CIA propaganda arm that pretends to be a reliable source of news.

Read Greenwald’s excellent article here.

In Liberty,

Mike

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

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[CIM]

Always sad to see true investigative reports put down over doing a fine job and replaced with script readers approved by D.C.  By the way, although the article may read “Former Reporter”, I think not.  Maybe the title should read “Former CNN Reporter Gets Promoted In The Eyes Of We The People For Showing True Integrity”.

Related posts:

Amber Lyon reveals CNN lies and war propaganda

CNN Journalist: Mainstream Media Takes Money from FOREIGN Dictators to Run Flattering Propaganda

Exclusive: CNN Exposed by former reporter Amber Lyon – Caught Producing “State News” in Bahrain

 

 

New York Times openly admits mainstream media stories are scripted by the White House

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Source: http://www.naturalnews.com

By J. D. Heyes

New York Times openly admits mainstream media stories are scripted by the White House(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans have long suspected that the so-called “mainstream media” is big-time controlled, whether selectively or institutionally. A recent New York Times story not only substantiates that belief, it proves just how controlled the messages are that are coming from those who mean to rule over us. What’s more, the story demonstrates that most major media sources are complicit in the packaging of information the public is “allowed” to hear.

The revelations may not necessarily be groundbreaking news to many Americans who already suspected they weren’t getting unfiltered and unbiased reporting, though the extent of control over the information reaching the public from the major campaigns may surprise many.

But the revelations should certainly be disturbing to voters who are trying to make choices based on altered or incomplete information.

Of course, that’s the point. Full disclosure would mean giving a rival something to campaign for (or against), so it’s understandable for a candidate to want to carefully control his or her message.

Where it becomes shameful is when the media willingly goes along.

(more…)

Ineptocracy ~ We Are There!

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I ran across this term as I occasionally I may take a few minutes to check out link backs, which took me to the Great Falls Tribune out of Montana, sourcing the definition to Urban Dictionary.

If you take a minute to read the definition and look towards Washington D.C. it should be very clear that this well defines the times that we find ourselves living in along with the governmental system in place and in control.  This is not a system that just happened overnight, but causally tweaked and advanced over a generation to the fast placed reforms and power shifts we now find ourselves in.

Anyway, read the definition and feel free to agree or not, or add a new perspective in the comment section below.

(in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) – a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Media Blackout on Troops who Rallied for Ron Paul in Washington DC

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Source: http://cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com

Thanks to (@sibzianna) :)

Media Blackout on Troops who Rallied for Ron Paul in Washington DC on President’s Day

I have never been as proud to be an American as I am now and that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for our troops and their passion for Ron Paul.

Our troops were warned:
This was posted on the RON PAUL IS THE CHOICE OF THE TROOPS Facebook event page by Kevin Audrain, who claims to be active duty Navy and was leaked to me by multiple unconfirmed sources.
—–Original Message—–
From: Weger, Joel A CIV OGC, Ethics [mailto:joel.weger@NAVY.MIL]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:17
To: ETHICS@LISTSERV.LAW.NAVY.MIL
Subject: [ETHICS] Partisan Political March
Importance: High
It has come to our attention that a partisan political march targeting
military personnel is being organized for February 20, 2012. See link
below:

http://www.facebook.com/events/192677970828185/?ref=notif&notif_t=event_invite

As a reminder, active duty personnel are prohibited by DoD Directive 1344.10
paragraph 4.1.2.10 from marching in a partisan political parade regardless
of whether they are in uniform or civilian clothes. Reservists not on
active duty and retirees may not march in uniform pursuant to paragraph
4.1.4. Reservists not on active duty and retirees may march in civilian
clothes provided that they do not otherwise act in a manner that could
reasonably give rise to the inference or appearance of official sponsorship,
approval, or endorsement.
The directive is a lawful general regulation. Violations of paragraphs 4.1.
through 4.5. of the Directive by persons subject to the Uniform Code of
Military Justice are punishable under Article 92, “Failure to Obey Order or
Regulation.”
In addition, DODI 1334.01, paragraph 3.1.2 prohibits the wearing of the
uniform by members of the armed forces (including retired members and
members of reserve components) during or in connection with political
activities.
You may wish to advise your command regarding this particular event because
of the apparent solicitation of active duty personnel.
Joel A. Weger
Senior Attorney
Department of the Navy
Office of the Assistant General Counsel (Ethics)
703.614.XXXX

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More than 18,000 people were invited to attend to attend the “RON PAUL IS THE CHOICE OF THE TROOPS! (march on the White House)”. Two-thousand-one-hundred and fifty-one people committed to going to the march while 964 people clicked maybe.

I tweeted Sean Hannity and Bret Baier of Fox News two days before the rally took place to get their take on the story and got nothing.

I didn’t think the mainstream media could disappoint me anymore than they already have. When the special news report came in on the television they said nothing about what was going on in Washington DC with our troops and instead talked about war propaganda in Iran.

The troops stood up for our freedoms for the first time that I know of, inside our own borders and it wasn’t even considered newsworthy?

I don’t understand what is wrong with our media!

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I tweeted CNN Wolf Blitzer, Brooke Baldwin, and even went as far as accusing CNN of ignoring it on purpose! I told them that they were losing credibility by the minute…

I was fortunate enough to watch this unfold live on the internet thanks to feeds available from livestream and Ustream.tv but not one word has been uttered on the television.

Here was my take on the thing.

On February 20, 2012, on Presidents Day, our troops gathered for a rally in Washington DC to march in support for their candidate of choice, Ron Paul.

I was moved to tears as our troops marched in formation on our nation’s capitol shouting “President Paul”, “end the FED”, “end these wars”, and “Ron Paul revolution legalize the Constitution”.

For the first time since 9/11 I felt American Pride! It is the most patriotic event I’ve ever saw in my life.

Our troops stood silent and saluted for eight straight minutes to honor those who committed suicide since the Obama Administration took office. It was eerie to think about because for every second that passed a veterans life was lost due to suicide was honored.

Our troops challenged the legal advice given to them and I am thankful they did.

“We the people” must stand against this tyrannical government and the corrupt monetary system that has wreaked havoc all over the world. We can no longer say nothing or what freedom we do have will be forever gone.

 

How To Buy Your Own Congressperson

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Source: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info

Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist’s playbook Or
How To Buy Your Own Congressperson

CBS 60 Minutes

November 07, 2011 — Jack Abramoff, the notorious former lobbyist at the center of Washington’s biggest corruption scandal in decades, spent more than three years in prison for his crimes. Now a free man, he reveals how he was able to influence politicians and their staffers through generous gifts and job offers. He tells Lesley Stahl the reforms instituted in the wake of his scandal have had little effect.

Transcript

Jack Abramoff may be the most notorious and crooked lobbyist of our time. He was at the center of a massive scandal of brazen corruption and influence peddling.

As a Republican lobbyist starting in the mid 1990s, he became a master at showering gifts on lawmakers in return for their votes on legislation and tax breaks favorable to his clients. He was so good at it, he took home $20 million a year.

Jack Abramoff: Inside Capitol corruption
How corrupt is lobbying in Washington, DC? Enough to get “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl angry when she hears how Jack Abramoff bribed and influenced legislators.

It all came crashing down five years ago, when Jack Abramoff pled guilty to corrupting public officials, tax evasion and fraud, and served three and a half years in prison.

Today he’s a symbol of how money corrupts Washington. In our interview tonight, he opens up his playbook for the first time.

And explains exactly how he used his clients’ money to buy powerful friends and influence legislation.

Jack Abramoff: I was so far into it that I couldn’t figure out where right and wrong was. I believed that I was among the top moral people in the business. I was totally blinded by what was going on.

Jack Abramoff was a whiz at influencing legislation and one way he did that was to get his clients, like some Indian tribes, to make substantial campaign contributions to select members of Congress.

Abramoff: As I look back it was effective. It certainly helped the people I was trying to help, both the clients and the Republicans at that time.

Lesley Stahl: But even that, you’re now saying, was corrupt?

Abramoff: Yes.

Stahl: Can you quantify how much it costs to corrupt a congressman?

Abramoff: I was actually thinking of writing a book – “The Idiot’s Guide to Buying a Congressman” – as a way to put this all down. First, I think most congressmen don’t feel they’re being bought. Most congressmen, I think, can in their own mind justify the system.

Stahl: Rationalize.

Abramoff: –rationalize it and by the way we wanted as lobbyists for them to feel that way.

Abramoff would provide freebies and gifts – looking for favors for his clients in return. He’d lavish certain congressmen and senators with access to private jets and junkets to the world’s great golf destinations like St. Andrews in Scotland. Free meals at his own upscale Washington restaurant and access to the best tickets to all the area’s sporting events; including two skyboxes at Washington Redskins games.

Abramoff: I spent over a million dollars a year on tickets to sporting events and concerts and what not at all the venues.

Stahl: A million dollars?

Abramoff: Ya. Ya.

Stahl: For the best seats?

Abramoff: The best seats. I had two people on my staff whose virtual full-time job was booking tickets. We were Ticketmaster for these guys.

Stahl: And the congressman or senator could take his favorite people from his district to the game–

Abramoff: The congressman or senator uh, could take two dozen of his favorite people from their district.

Stahl: Was all that legal?

Ira Rosen is the producer.

Abramoff: We would certainly try to make the activity legal, if we could. At times we didn’t care.

But the “best way” to get a congressional office to do his bidding – he says – was to offer a staffer a job that could triple his salary.

Abramoff: When we would become friendly with an office and they were important to us, and the chief of staff was a competent person, I would say or my staff would say to him or her at some point, “You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.” Now the moment I said that to them or any of our staff said that to ‘em, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do. And not only that, they’re gonna think of things we can’t think of to do.

Neil Volz: Jack Abramoff could sweet talk a dog off a meat truck, that’s how persuasive he was.

Neil Volz was one of the staffers Abramoff was talking about. He was chief of staff to Congressman Bob Ney, who as chairman of the House Administration Committee had considerable power to dispense favors. Abramoff targeted Volz and offered him a job.

Stahl: You’re the chief of staff of a powerful congressman. And Jack owns you and you haven’t even left working for the congressman.

Volz: I have the distinct memory of, you know, negotiating with Jack at a hockey game. So we’re, you know, just a few rows back. The crowd’s goin’ crazy. And Jack and I are havin’ a business conversation. And, you know, I’m– I’m wrestlin’ with how much I think I should get paid. And then five minutes later we’re– he’s askin’ me questions about some clients of his.

Stahl: When you look back was that the corrupting moment?

Volz: I think we were guilty of engaging in a corrupt relationship. So there were several corrupting moments. There isn’t just one moment. There were many.

Abramoff: At the end of the day most of the people that I encountered who worked on Capitol Hill wanted to come work on K Street, wanted to be lobbyists.

Stahl: You’re telling me this, the genius of figuring out you could own the office by offering a job to the chief of staff, say. I’m having two reactions. One is brilliant. And the other is I’m sick to my stomach.

Abramoff: Right. Evil. Yeah. Terrible.

Stahl: ‘Cause it’s hurting our country.

Abramoff: Shameful. Absolutely. It’s the worst thing that could happen. All parts of the system.

Stahl: I’m mad at you.

Abramoff: I was mad at me–

Stahl: I’m not kidding. I’m not kidding.

Abramoff: Look I did things and I was involved in the system I should not have been in. I’m ashamed of the fact I was there, the very reason why now I’m speaking about it. And now I’m trying to do something, in recompense, is the fact that I thought it was– it was wrong of me to do it.

One of the offices he keyed on was that of his good friend, the Majority Leader Tom Delay, eventually hiring his deputy chief of staff and his press secretary, and going into business with Delay’s chief of staff.

Stahl: Did you own his staff?

Abramoff: I was as close to his staff as to any staff. I had a very strong personal relationship with a lot of his staff.

Stahl: How many congressional offices did you actually own?

Abramoff: We probably had very strong influence in 100 offices at the time.

Stahl: Come on.

Abramoff: No.

Stahl: A hundred offices?

Abramoff: In those days, I would view that as a failure. Because that leaves 335 offices that we didn’t have strong influence in.

Stahl: Did he own you?

Bob Ney: Oh, I don’t believe Jack Abramoff owned me. But were we involved in the culture of corruption together? Absolutely.

Former Republican Congressman Bob Ney was ambitious and looked at Abramoff as a way to build alliances with the White House and the majority leader.

Ney: I wanted to be speaker of the House and Jack Abramoff was the beautiful light of day for me to get to the person who I had had some conflicts with, Tom Delay.

Please read the rest of the story her is so desired.

 

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