Posts tagged investigation
By Chris Butler
Audit: School employee used nearly $500,000 on iTunes, jewelry
A former Alcoa City School District employee who oversaw federal funds took nearly $500,000 in taxpayer money to use for herself, according to an audit Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson released Tuesday.
The former employee spent the money on her home mortgage, food, jewelry, clothing and iTunes songs, Wilson said. She even invested some of that money in a local gym, according to the audit.
Unlike many other state audits involving theft of taxpayer money, in which authorities already have indicted the accused government employee, officials haven’t arrested the employee yet, and they haven’t publicly identified her.
“Due to the fact that federal money is involved, this matter has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Knoxville,” said Cortney Dugger, spokesman for Tennessee Ninth Judicial District, in a statement to Tennessee Watchdog.
Dugger couldn’t say whether local or federal officials, or both, would prosecute the case, assuming an arrest is made.
Director of Schools Brian Bell didn’t return Tennessee Watchdog’s messages seeking comment Tuesday, and neither did anyone at Knoxville’s U.S. State Attorney’s Office.
According to the audit, the former school district employee, who assisted the school district’s federal projects administrator, diverted the half-million dollars from the district and two professional organizations — the Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Steering Committee and the East Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Association — where she served as treasurer .
The audit also said the school district reimbursed her for 70 work-related trips that she didn’t actually take.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted with the investigation, which covered almost six years, comptroller spokesman Blake Fontenay said in a news release.
The audit also said the school district and the two professional organizations didn’t properly oversee how the employee spent taxpayer money.
The Difference Between Ron Paul & Ron Paul Inc:
Dennis Fusaro Explains on The Robert Wenzel Show
Worked for the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential campaign. Dennis describes the difference between Ron Paul & Ron Paul Inc.
Miss a show? Here’s the archive.
Yet Another Fast And Furious Gun Appears At Shootout in Mexico
Fast And Furious comes to the news front yet again.
Published by PigMine5
TWA Flight 800, What Really Happened?
Yesterday evening I caught a few tweets regarding a relatively new documentary that I had not watched before regarding TWA Flight 800. After a quick search we found the movie playing on Netflix and sat down to watch. The documentary is also available through EPIX and probably other sources as well. In review the documentary was excellently done, covered the facts while pointing out the investigative errors and what appears to be the propaganda reported on the incident that occurred in 1996. It was 92 minutes well spent and I would recommend it.
TWA Flight 800 is an EPIX Original and described by EPIX as:
It’s been called the biggest accident investigation in aviation history… more than a decade and a half later, the crash of TWA Flight 800 is still shrouded in controversy. What caused the plane to explode 12 minutes after takeoff? Why haven’t the 230 victims’ death certificates been finalized, after all these years? In this shocking documentary, insiders from the original investigation join forces to put together the missing pieces of the puzzle – and blow the lid off an alleged multi-agency cover-up of what really happened.
On of the better
@TWAFlight800Doc related tweets that got my attention below:
— Steven Salazar (@StevenMSal) December 2, 2013
For additional information, added videos and to view or sign their petition go to http://flight800doc.com.
Reality Check: More Americans Are “Rethinking” 9/11
Video text and sources: http://benswann.com
Great job by Ben Swann to touch on the topic of 9/11 that affects us all. Are you rethinking the official storyline of 9/11?
After a couple days I finally had a chance to see this video from September 1st which I had open in a few browser tabs waiting for me. Hillary Mann Leverett was included in a panel discussion regarding the buildup to yet more warmongering, this time for Syria, held on the quickly fading mainstream media station MSNBC. A classic study of intelligence verses msm spin in which Hillary Mann Leverett shinned using tactics basically extinct in today’s lapdog media, honesty, facts and logic. Enjoy!
Written by Daniel McAdams
Lapdog Regime Journalists versus a Bona Fide Expert: Watch the Sparks Fly!
RPI Academic Board Member Hillary Mann Leverett absolutely destroys the conventional wisdom-mongering and regime lapdog “journalists” on Obama’s march to war on Syria. Watch the smug bootlickers discount the sole voice of reason — an expert on the region rather than a talking head:
Thanks to Travis Holte for link.
Written by Daniel McAdams
President’s Spy Review Commission Provides Unintended Comedy
Government commissions are always set up to cover up or hide government incompetence or maliciousness once exposed. They are put together when the government fails spectacularly — as on 9/11 — and they are staffed with government insiders who can be trusted to not dig too deeply into government responsibility for its own failures or even its lawlessness. Look on the board of any government commission and you will always see the consummate insiders like Lee Hamilton.
Rarely is anyone fired for the mistakes made, and the conclusions always involve setting up more reform commissions and review boards to employ the multitude of government/quasi-government revolving door beneficiaries who populate the rarefied air of posh suburban settlements like McLean and Great Falls.
Sometimes these government CYA commissions can be quite comical, as Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden points out in a recent article. In the case of Durden’s piece, the title says it all:
“As Head Of NSA Review Group Obama Appoints Same Person Who ‘Apologized’ For Lying To Congress”
President Obama announced to great Beltway fanfare late last week that he was setting up a commission to review the policies and procedures of the NSA. This was announced as part of a larger reform of NSA surveillance that the president promised, including inserting an adversarial “privacy rights” voice in the secret FISA Court proceedings.
We can only guess who might be appointed as the FISA Court’s “privacy rights” advocate — maybe Diane Feinstein?
By Paul Joseph Watson
IRS Refuses to Answer Congressman on AR-15s for ‘Standoff Capability’
“Do they need a SWAT team to make sure you’ve paid your taxes?”
The IRS has refused to answer Congressman Jeff Duncan’s question on why IRS agents are training with semi-automatic AR-15′s designed for “standoff capability”.
Back in May, Congressman Duncan (R-SC) visited the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Maryland as part of his investigation into the Department of Homeland Security’s large scale ammunition purchases.
While at the facility, Duncan witnessed eight or nine IRS agents using AR-15′s at a 100 yard indoor firing range, leading him to wonder, “Why in the world do we have IRS agents with long gun capability….why are they training with that….why do IRS agents need that capability?”
Duncan noted that the style of firearms training the IRS agents were taking was called “standoff capability,” meaning they could target an individual from a long distance away.
“Why do IRS agents need standoff capability?” Duncan asked at a recent public forum. “They should be checking my tax forms, they should be doing audits.” The Congressman questioned why the federal agency couldn’t call on US Marshals or local law enforcement if they were visiting a potentially dangerous criminal.
“I asked that question – I have not got an answer because my committee does not have jurisdiction over the Internal Revenue Service, so I can’t bring IRS agents in front of my committee and ask them questions,” said Duncan, adding that the IRS merely sent him a response pointing to their website stating that agents do train with weapons they carry, “validating the fact that they do carry AR-15′s,” according to the Congressman.
Duncan said he would now encourage his peers who do have jurisdiction over the IRS to ask the federal agency why its agents are now apparently carrying “standoff capability” assault rifles because, “The IRS has not been cooperative. My committee doesn’t’t have direct oversight over the IRS so I’ve been trying to build support for an investigation. The IRS has not shown me any information on why they need to train with AR-15′s.”
As Joshua Cook points out, the Department of Education is also acquiring tactical weapons, along with numerous other federal agencies that wouldn’t be expected to require such deadly weaponry.
When asked whether the Department of Education should have its own SWAT team, Duncan responded, “Absolutely not, that’s the whole concern with the IRS. Do they need a SWAT team to make sure you’ve paid your taxes?”
“This just as bad as the Dept. of Education actually having agents who are on armed and trained with AR-15s. Both are symptoms of a federal government that is out of control and whose powers have grown well beyond those outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution,” added Steve Hoffman, the Southeast Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC).
Journalists fear covering the Benghazi story, don’t want to lose access (favored crony status)
It’s perfectly reasonable to expect the White House to stonewall the Benghazi investigation. There are fears that whatever happened that night might reflect poorly on the president, and perhaps even more importantly now, on Hillary Clinton who wants to be president. It makes sense that a White House which plays hardball all the time, plays hardball with reporters.
It doesn’t make it right however. Some reporters, many who have long cheered this president are starting to speak out, softly.
I have no idea what happened on September 11th of 2012, right before the presidential election. But I’d like to know more. I think the country would like to know more.
On July 31, CNN’s The Situation Room broadcast a portion of an interview conducted by reporter Arwa Damon with a suspect in the Benghazi attacks. The suspect revealed to Damon that no investigator has attempted to contact him regarding his involvement in that deadly assault. The following day, CNN’s Drew Griffin broke the news that more than 30 CIA agents were on the ground in Libya on the day of the attack and they are being pressured by the spy agency to not reveal to reporters or congressional investigators what they know of the events of that night. Some CNN reporters are reportedly fearful now that their access to the White House will be hampered following their probing into a story that members of the Obama administration would prefer remain uninvestigated…
…“I would suggest it’s not an accident that those who have been given a lot of access to the president have generally been AWOL when it comes to stories that might reflect poorly on him,” the source, who did not wish to be identified, continued. “It’s the name of the game. And it’s bad for everyone trying to do this job the right way.”
MIT “Whitewash” Report to Absolve Responsibility in Swartz Death
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted their own investigation into how Aaron Swartz was treated by the college prior to his “suicide”. MIT reported that they acted “prudently” in how they handled their involvement in the federal government’s prosecution of Swartz.
Swartz was accused of using MIT computers to download nearly 5 million articles from a website database of journals at JSTOR. By using academic access, Swartz allegedly entered into an unlocked closet in the basement to plug into the school’s internet connection.
The internal investigation was initiated by Rafael Reif, president of MIT, who passed the buck to Hal Abelson, professor of computer science.
Reif stated that this report would set “the record straight by dispelling widely circulated myths” regarding how Swartz was targeted by MIT who then acted as if they were neutral in their position as the federal government sought to persecute Swartz.
Abelson’s report cites that MIT was not in pursuit of federal prosecution of Swartz, nor did the college oppose his entering a plea bargain for charges against him.
Abelson stated: “We were not engaged. As a result, we as a community failed to live up to high standards that MIT has set for itself in the past.”
The report said that MIT failed to recognize Swartz as a contributor to internet technology; and then created a “poorly drafted and questionable criminal law as applied to modern computing” under which he was charged, and that “the United States was pursuing an overtly aggressive prosecution.”
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and MIT’s involvement should become a national debate, according to the report.
It was also stated that MIT “should consider beefing up its internal legal expertise on cybercrime matters and expressed concern that minor violations of the terms of service for its computer network could result in felony charges and create a chilling effect on important research.”
Nowhere in the report was Swartz praised or given support by MIT. A sense of feigned neutrality was clear throughout the document.
The release of this report made a determined attempt to give the impression that it was the government and not MIT who wanted Swartz to receive a jail sentence.
In 2011, MIT officials uncovered what is believed to be Swartz’s laptop connected to their network and contacted the New England Crimes Task Force (NECTF).
A member of the US Secret Service was present when Swartz was arrested on the MIT campus.
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Swartz’s girlfriend, said the report was a “whitewash” and that MIT’s behavior throughout the investigation was “reprehensible”.
Stinebrickner-Kauffman stated: “Here are the facts: This report claims that MIT was “neutral” — but MIT’s lawyers gave prosecutors total access to witnesses and evidence, while refusing access to Aaron’s lawyers to the exact same witnesses and evidence. That’s not neutral. The fact is that all MIT had to do was say publicly, “We don’t want this prosecution to go forward” – and Steve Heymann and Carmen Ortiz would have had no case. We have an institution to contrast MIT with – JSTOR, who came out immediately and publicly against the prosecution. Aaron would be alive today if MIT had acted as JSTOR did. MIT had a moral imperative to do so.”
Swartz was known for advocating for the free-flow of information without the constraints of copyright laws.
In the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto (GOAM), Swartz said “information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations.”
Swartz pointed out that scientists have to “sign their rights away” when publishing under academic channels; however with the advent of the Open Access Movement (OAM), “those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.”