As Egyptians prepare for massive protests against the U.S. government-backed Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi, the Obama administration is set to deploy hundreds of American troops to Egypt. While more than a few analysts have argued that U.S. forces will be used to continue propping up â€œIslamofascistsâ€ in the Middle East, authorities from both governments claim the soldiers are merely being sent as part of a nine-month international â€œpeacekeepingâ€ scheme.
To add insult to injury, Obama is telling Egyptian Christians to quietly submit to dhimmitude (second-class status) where they cannot own property, are forced to pay the jizya (extortive taxes for “protection” from the mob), surrender their religious liberties andÂ live in constant fear of beatings, prison, rape, forced “marriages” and conversions, and even execution if one of their Muslim neighbors decides to falsely accuse them to settle a score or try to extort a bribe.
As Egyptians of all factions prepare to demonstrate in mass against the Muslim Brotherhood and PresidentÂ Morsiâ€™sÂ rule on June 30, the latter has been trying to reduce their numbers, which some predict will be in the millions and eclipse theÂ TahrirÂ protests that earlier ousted Mubarak.Â Â Among other influential Egyptians, Morsi recently called on Coptic Christian PopeÂ TawadrosÂ II to urge his flock, Egyptâ€™s millions of Christians, not to join the June 30 protests.
While that may be expected, more troubling is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt is also trying to prevent Egyptians from protestingâ€”including the Copts.Â Â The June 18thÂ edition ofÂ SadiÂ al-BaladÂ reports that lawyer RamsesÂ Naggar, the Coptic Churchâ€™s legal counsel, said that during Pattersonâ€™s June 17 meeting with PopeÂ Tawadros, she â€œasked him to urge the Copts not to participateâ€ in the demonstrations againstÂ MorsiÂ and the Brotherhood.
[…] Â Among other things, underÂ Morsiâ€™sÂ rule, the persecution of Copts has practically been legalized,Â Â as unprecedented numbers ofÂ Christiansâ€”men, women, and childrenâ€”have been arrested, often receiving more than double the maximum prison sentence, under the accusation that theyÂ â€œblasphemedâ€ Islam and/or its prophet.Â Â It was also underÂ Morsiâ€™s reign that another unprecedented scandal occurred: the St. Mark Cathedralâ€”holiest site of Coptic Christianity and headquarters to the PopeÂ TawadrosÂ himselfâ€”wasÂ besieged in broad daylightÂ by Islamic rioters.Â Â When security came, they too joined in the attack on the cathedral.Â Â And theÂ targeting of Christian childrenâ€”for abduction, ransom, rape, and/or forced conversionâ€”has also reached unprecedented levels underÂ Morsi.Â Â (For more on the plight of the Copts underÂ Morsiâ€™sÂ rule, see my new bookÂ Crucified Again: Exposing Islamâ€™s New War on Christians.)
Yet despite the fact that if anyone in Egypt has a legitimate human rights concern against the current Egyptian government, it most certainly is the Christian Copts, here is the U.S., in the person of Ms. Patterson, asking them not to join the planned protests.
In other words, and consistent with Obama administrationâ€™s doctrine, when Islamistsâ€”including rapists and cannibalsâ€”wage jihad on secular leaders, the U.S. supports them; when Christians protest Islamist rulers who are making their lives a living hell, the administration asks them to â€œknow their placeâ€ and behave likeÂ dhimmis, Islamâ€™s appellation for non-Muslim â€œinfidelsâ€ who must live as third class â€œcitizensâ€ and never complain about theirÂ Â inferior status.
Congress is taking action on religious liberty in the military, a story that wasÂ originally reportedÂ by Breitbart News. New legal language passed a key committee this week and next goes to the full House and then the Senate; it could become federal law later this year.
[…] Â The first amendment was offered by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). It protects the rights of chaplains to speak and pray in a manner consistent with their faith, such as ending a prayer in Jesusâ€™ name. This amendment passed by voice vote.
A second amendment was offered to create â€œatheist chaplains,â€ as Breitbart NewsÂ reportedearlier this week. This mockery of the chaplaincy was proposed by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ), pushed by groups often hostile to Christians and observant members of other faiths. The committee rejected this amendment by a vote of 43-18. The military already provides secular counseling to service members, while chaplains are by definition religious and spiritual counselors.
The third amendment is the most consequential. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) offered an amendment specifying that the religious speech and actions of all service members is a protected right, and that the Department of Defense will enact regulations to allow and accommodate those beliefs in both word and deed.
The Obama Administration â€œstrongly objectsâ€ to a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have protected the religious rights of soldiers â€“ including evangelical Christian service members who are facing growing hostility towards their religion.
The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming, R-La. It would have â€œrequired the Armed Forces to accommodate â€˜actions and speechâ€™ reflecting the conscience, moral, principles or religious beliefs of the member.â€
The Obama Administration said the amendment would have a â€œsignificant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.â€
â€œWith its statement, the White House is now endorsing military reprimands of members who keep a Bible on their desk or express a religious belief,â€ Fleming told Fox News. â€œThis administration is aggressively hostile towards religious beliefs that it deems to be politically incorrect.â€
The White House released a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014. Â […]
The SAP includes a veto threat: â€œâ€¦if the bill is presented to the President for approval in its current form, the Presidentâ€™s senior advisers would recommend that the President veto the bill.â€
In other words, Obama says he will veto any bill that forbids his appointees or officers from telling a soldier that he cannot mention Jesus during prayer or have a Bible on his desk, or that keeps those appointees from telling a chaplain (who is an ordained clergyman) what religious teachings he is allowed to give in worship services, or what spiritual counseling he can give to another soldier.
Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, tells Breitbart News:
President Obama is waging a war on religion. He and Chuck Hagel are denying the most basic rights to those who put their lives on the line to protect all of our rights. It is shameful and appalling. I am confident that congressional leadership will show courage to stand up for our troops against this radical assault on religious liberty in the military.
This is the most compelling expression yet of the aggressive approach of the Obama-Hagel Defense Department to soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who are observant Christians or devout members of other peaceful faiths, as seen in Breitbart Newsâ€™Â previous reportsregarding the unconstitutional infringements of one of Americaâ€™s most treasured, fundamental rights.
What on earth do a bunch of paper pushers need with AR-15’s and shotguns?
Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican Congressman from SC, has started a bit of a firestorm on Twitter. Duncan is the Homeland Oversight Chair, and during a recent tour of a DHS facility, the congressman noticed IRS (yes, the Internal Revenue Service) agents training with AR-15 style rifles.
Why you might ask? Well thatâ€™s a good question, and the congressman has the same ones. Itâ€™s been known that the Department of Homeland Security has been bulking up their guns and ammo reserves for sometime now. However, this is the first report weâ€™ve gotten of IRS agents getting in on the action. Now, the IRS does have armed enforcement agents, and they have for a long time, but why they now need tactical training is a serious question.
â€œWhy do IRS law enforcement agents need standoff capability that you would have with a long rifle or with a weapon similar to an AR-15?Â Theyâ€™re generally investigating tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.Â We think of the IRS as an audit agency more than doing the type of law enforcement where they have to use an AR-15.â€
Duncan said the IRS has the resources of the federal government, including the FBI, if they come into a situation where they feel like they need a SWAT team.
Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a pro-life Republican from Washington state, recently shared the sad news about her unborn baby and a potentially fatal diagnosis.
Beutler posted a message on Facebook saying her unborn child has been diagnosed with Potterâ€™s Syndrome, a condition which prevents the childâ€™s kidneys from developing properly and is typically fatal for the baby.
On May 1, Beutler, 34, announced that she and her husband, Daniel Beutler, were expecting their first baby this fall.
â€œWe donâ€™t know what the future holds for our family, but we ask for your prayers and appreciate the privacy a family needs in such circumstances,â€ Herrera Beutler wrote. â€œAccording to the medical information and advice weâ€™ve received, I will be able to continue to balance the responsibilities of an expectant mother with serving as your representative in Congress.â€
â€œOur baby has a serious medical condition called Potterâ€™s Syndrome,â€ Herrera Beutler announced Monday on Facebook. â€œWe have had a second opinion and the medical diagnosis was consistent with the initial news: there is no medical solution available to us. We are praying for a miracle.â€
â€“ Oh goodyâ€¦ and sheâ€™s GOPâ€¦. letâ€™s all watch this one develop. Letâ€™s see if she follows the party line â€¦.
â€“Abort the baby. Wait a few months. Get pregnant again. This is not a big deal.
â€“ Why not be proactive and get an abortion?
â€“ Sorry, prayers wonâ€™t do a damn thing.
â€“ She should just go to a Planned Parenthood and be done with â€œitâ€, after all, itâ€™s not a human yet.
â€“I laugh at her in that her political ideology has her in a corner I would wish nobody in.
This sickening behavior â€“ gloating over a babyâ€™s illness and her motherâ€™s pain â€“ is more common than you might think.
[…] Â What motivates these people to abuse women who have chosen to carry to term despite a poor prenatal diagnosis? I strongly suspect that many of them have been involved in an abortion â€“ or know they would want one in a similar situation. It angers them to see someone make a choice they didnâ€™t have the courage to make themselves. But itâ€™s impossible for any normal-thinking person to really know what motivates them.
Like all good sociopaths, the bullies try to shift blame on to the victims, saying they were â€œasking forâ€ such treatment because of their political views. Since a pro-lifer would â€œforceâ€ women in her situation to give birth, she deserves to be shamed and harassed throughout her difficult pregnancy.
But anyone with a normal sense of compassion and empathy would say thatâ€™s not just irrational. Itâ€™s evil. Few things are more sociopathic than abusing a pregnant woman carrying a terminally ill child â€“ no matter what her political affiliation.
A veteran member of the U.S. Army Band said he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in Washington, believes his outspoken opposition to gay marriage prompted higher-ups to take a closer look at his beliefs. The recipient of an Army Commendation Medal and a soloist at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford, Sommers said his core beliefs are enough to mark a soldier for persecution in todayâ€™s military.
[…] Â Sommersâ€™ troubles began last April when he was told to remove pro-Republican, anti-Obama bumper stickers that were on his privately owned car.
The stickers read: â€œPolitical Dissent is NOT Racism,â€ â€œNOBAMA,â€ NOPE2012â€ and â€œThe Road to Bankruptcy is Paved with Ass-Fault.â€ That sticker included the image of a donkey.
His superior officer told the solider that the bumper stickers were creating â€œunnecessary workplace tension.â€
â€œThe types of stickers on your car were creating an atmosphere detrimental to morale and were creating unnecessary workplace tension,â€ the officer wrote in an Army document obtained by Fox News. â€œA Soldier must balance their personal feelings with the mission of the U.S. Army. Even the slightest inference of disrespect towards superiors can have a demoralizing effect on the unit.â€
Attorney Wells said once he got involved, the military backed off of filing a formal reprimand.
â€œHeâ€™s allowed to have those bumper stickers on his car,â€ he said. â€œThe DoD regulation allows it. There was nothing obscene about it.â€
During the summer months, Sommers came under fire for reading the works of Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and David Limbaugh.
Sommers was reading Limbaughâ€™sÂ â€œThe Great Destroyerâ€Â backstage at a U.S. Army Band concert at the U.S. Capitol. A superior officer told him that he was causing â€œunit disruptionâ€ and was offending other soldiers.
â€œI wasnâ€™t reading aloud,â€ he said. â€œI was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.â€
Sommers said he was told to refrain from reading the book â€œwhile in uniform or within sight of anyone from the band.â€
â€œThis is the first time since (my superior officer) indicated I had offended others with my choice of reading material, that I was officially counseled about it,â€ he said. â€œThe statement took my breath away. I was speechless.â€
In spite of those incidents, the Army promoted the soldier in September to the rank of master sergeant. But the promotion would also mark the launch of an effort by the military to punish the soldier.
His promotion coincided with a controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A. The companyâ€™s president told a reporter that he was â€œguilty as chargedâ€ when it came to supporting traditional marriage. Gay rights activists pounced- calling for a boycott of the Christian-owned company. And some Democratic officials vowed to block Chick-fil-A from opening restaurants in their cities.
In response to that, Fox News Channel host Mike Huckabee launched a national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day to rally support for the restaurant chain.
â€œI was inspired by Gov. Huckabeeâ€™s appreciation day,â€ Sommers told Fox News. â€œAnd since I wasnâ€™t able to participate in the event, I decided to serve Chick-fil-A at my promotion party.â€
Itâ€™s a long-standing tradition within the U.S. Army Band for promoted soldiers to host a party for their fellow troops. So the soldier decided to have Chick-fil-A cater the meal.
â€œMy family likes Chick-fil-A and we like what they stand for,â€ he said. â€œI can make a statement and at least express a religious point of view at my promotion party â€“ theoretically without any fear of reprisal.â€
The soldier also tweeted about the party: â€œIn honor of DADT repeal, and Obama/Holderâ€™s refusal to enforce DOMA act, Iâ€™m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today.â€
He also tweeted to radio host Mark Levin: â€œ@Marklevinshow â€˜luv ya, Mark! Fellow Virginian & MSG, Army. Being promoted today, serving Chick-fil-A @ reception in honor of DADT repeal.â€
Both tweets were cited in an official military document.
â€œAs a Soldier you must be cognizant of the fact that your statements can be perceived by the general public and other service members to be of a nature bordering on disrespect to the President of the United States,â€ the document stated.
Sommers said he paid for the party with personal money, not government funds.
â€œI had no idea a Chick-fil-A sandwich would get me in trouble,â€ he said.
He was later summoned by a superior officer, who the soldier said is openly gay, and was told that unidentified individuals were offended by the tweets and some considered them to be racist.
Sommers was reprimanded, threatened with judicial action and given a bad efficiency report. An investigation was also launched.
â€œItâ€™s an obvious attempt to set him up and force him out of the military,â€ Wells said. â€œThey recently did an NCO evaluation that effectively torpedoed his chance at promotion and he could be forced out of the Army.â€
On Saturday, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin urged soldiers to post pictures of themselves reading books written by conservatives like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and David Limbaugh. Palin did so after an “outrageous” report surfaced that revealed the U.S. Army was punishing a soldier for reading books written by conservative authors.
“Whether you agree or disagree with this soldierâ€™s opinions, I think we can all agree that the apparent retribution he faced for proudly reading certain authors is outrageous,” Palin wrote.
A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity is now facing Article 15 charges â€“ which cropped up shortly after he went public with his complaints.
Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers, a decorated soloist with the Army Band, is being charged under a federal law that permits commanding officers to conduct non-judicial proceedings for minor offenses.
Sommers is accused of giving a superior officer the wrong date for a doctorâ€™s appointment. Heâ€™s also accused of failing to carry out an order. In order to comply with that order, Sommers would have had to disclose private information about his autistic sonâ€™s medical records.
The charges were handed down one day after Sommers told Fox News that he was facing discrimination and persecution because of his conservative political and religious beliefs.
â€œThe timing does seem strange,â€ retired Navy Commander John Bennett Wells told Fox News. â€œItâ€™s suspicious. No matter whatâ€™s happening it looks like a graduated attempt to build a case against him on some really ridiculous charges.
Wells is representing the 25-year veteran who, until last summer, had a spotless record.
Common Coreâ€™s English standardsÂ stressÂ nonfiction over literature. By grade 12, 70 percent of what studentsÂ readÂ should be informational rather than literary.Â Supporters of the guidelines say an increased focus on informational texts will better prepare kids for post-college employment.
Many of these nonfiction texts come from government websites and promote the findings of various government agencies.
Some might find the texts a bit dry. (And thatâ€™s without including â€œKenyaâ€™s Long Dry Season.â€)
Here are a few recommended informational texts.
â€œInvasive Plant Inventory,â€ by the California Invasive Plant Council. This is just a list of invasive plant species in California.
â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While assuredly a fascinating read, The DC News Foundation was unable to review â€œRecommended Levels of Insulation,â€ because the websiteÂ was hacked.
â€œFedViews,â€ by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This report from 2009 explains that the federal stimulus helped to stabilize the economy and asserts that there is no link between deficit spending and inflation.
I must admit that I would have been too embarrassed to teach Julia Alvarezâ€™s sexually explicit novel, In the Time of the Butterflies, to the college students I have taught for over twenty years, much less to ninth- and tenth-graders, as many Georgia high school teachers have been instructed to do.
Some high school teachers also have a problem with its overtly feminist and leftist-leaning ideology. The men are portrayed as weak drunkards, continually cheating on their wives.
For example, there is a drunken New Yearâ€™s celebration of â€œthe triumphant announcement.Â Batista had fled!Â Fidel, his brother Raul, and Ernesto they call Che had entered Havana and liberated the country.â€ No indication in the novel that Fidel and Raul turned out to be tyrants, or Che a mass murderer.
The novel has explicit descriptions of masturbation and intercourse, but Iâ€™m too embarrassed to quote those.
The novel is taken straight from Common Coreâ€™s â€œText Exemplarsâ€ for ninth and tenth grades.Â Although the â€œexemplarsâ€ are officially intended to be suggested readings, educrats take the suggestions literally.Â They know that they have to prepare students for theÂ national testsÂ being rolled out in 2014/2015.
[…] Â Even my question in private to the school board member (who claimed to love â€œliteratureâ€) about the fact that informational texts like EPA directives will be replacing a large percentage of literary works was met with the retort, â€œSo how many times do you use Beowulf?Â Graduates need to learn how to read informational texts in order to be able to read instructions at work.â€
No doubt, high school students sharing his opinion would rather read Alvarezâ€™s unchallenging polemical and titillating prose than Beowulf or Paradise Lost.Â Â No doubt, her novel will bring them up to speed on politically correct figures and sex tips.Â The accompanying EPA directives will teach them how to scan boring texts for required instructions at their â€œ21stÂ centuryâ€ jobs where they will do tasks that require little concentration or independent thought.
When I walked into this yearâ€™sÂ Oregon Adolescent Sexuality ConferenceÂ in Seaside, Oregon, one of the first things I encountered was a table manned by three young teen boys. On the table was a collage that included many depictions of totally bare female genitaliaâ€”obviously pornographic and, one would think, illegal.
The collage included a drawing of a woman circa 1950 declaring, in the most base terms, what a womanâ€™s private parts should smell like. It also included a drawing of a pigtailed little girl riding on a tricycle with the word â€œVagina!â€ written above her, and another drawing of a young female child standing by a rose, with the word â€œVaginaâ€ written below her on a chalkboard.
â€œEveryone can come insideâ€ are the words visible along the outer edge of the piece, which appeared to be a decoupaged plate.
The boys smiled nervously as hordes of teens, who had arrived for what some described as a field trip, passed the display table. Planned Parenthood was on the steering committee of this conference.
The booth belonged to Youth for Education and Prevention of Sexual Assault (YEPSA), a supposedly teen-led initiative from Eugene, Oregon. At a booth whose stated mission was the prevention of sexual assault, I could only wonder why the teen boys would be manning a table containing graphic pictures of female genitalia, suggesting that â€œeveryone can come insideâ€ a pigtailed little girl on a tricycle.
With that question in mind, I checked on the Internet and found that the group puts on performances, the first of which wasÂ The Vagina Monologues. The students stated they just finished a run of a play that they wrote about the life struggles of a transgendered woman. They have a transgender education panel coming up, and they do art shows around teen sexuality and gender.
Day two of the conference found me very reluctantly attending a workshop led by YEPSA entitled â€œYou Say Porn, I Say Porn!â€
The program description did not even begin to touch the stark reality of the session. â€œTo porn or not to porn, that is the question. YEPSA will be leading the masses through the very exciting world of pornography.â€ The session was held in a large room, filled with teens and adults. It started with a soft porn video commercial.
About 10 teen facilitators lined up across the front of the room and introduced themselves. They gave their names and the pronoun they prefer (â€œI prefer â€˜she,â€™â€ â€œI donâ€™t have a preference but I identify as male,â€ etc.). This was in keeping with a theory emphasized over and over at the conferenceâ€”that gender is fluid and is determined only by the person in question and how that person feels at that particular time about his or her gender. In others words, biology has nothing to do with gender.
[…] Â This is just a sampling of the plan that Planned Parenthood has for our teens. Check out our website atÂ www.stopp.org, where I will be writing for several weeks on the unbelievably inappropriate materials and scenarios that were presented at this conference.
Oregon Education Department â€œsexuality education expertâ€ Brad VictorÂ prides himselfÂ on the fact that Oregon has the â€œmost progressive sex education laws in the nation,â€ and brags about how he easily slid Oregonâ€™s explicit Administrative Rule under the radar as a consent item at the state board level. The plan is that other states will follow suit. Many are already deeply embroiled in Planned Parenthoodâ€™s sex education. Those who are not embroiled are targeted.
But as we pointed out inÂ our last editionÂ ofÂ The Wednesday STOPP Report, Brad Victor also demonstrated that if parents will speak out at every level, sex education can be easily derailed in a school districtâ€”even one where the programs are already firmly in place. The sooner parents start their challenges, however, the better.
Jim Sedlakâ€™s bookÂ Parent Power!!Â is available free of charge on our website. It is a brilliant instructional tool that lays out the plan that parents can follow to get Planned Parenthood out of local schools. It is a plan that has been proven to work time and time again when parents follow it. Read Jimâ€™s book today and take action!
The IRS scandalÂ is deepening as a new tape has been released today showing a disturbing phone call the Internal Revenue Service placed to a non-profit organization.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a pro-life legal group, made the audio available today of IRS officials telling a group that provides support to women in abusive pregnancy situations to keep its faith to itself. In the recorded phone conversation, an IRS agent lectures the president of the organization about forcing its religion and beliefs on others and inaccurately explains that the group must remain neutral on issues such as abortion.
ADF is providing legal representation for the group â€” which did not receive its tax-exempt status until last week after waiting nearly two and a half years after applying for it.
â€œThe IRS is a tax collector; it shouldnâ€™t be allowed to be the speech and belief police,â€ said Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. â€œThe current scandal isnâ€™t new but has merely exposed the abuse of power that characterizes this agency and threatens our fundamental freedoms.â€
Remember when President Obama publicly demonized Fox News as “destructive” to the nation because they wouldn’t play lapdog like the other networks? Â Turns out he was just laying the groundwork to isolate them from public sympathy so his vendetta against them could be justified.
Charles Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson, Kirsten Powers, Bret Baier discuss DOJ targeting Fox reporter and his parents:
Newly uncovered court documents reveal the Justice Department seized records of several Fox News phone lines as part of a leak investigation — even listing a number that, according to one source, matches the home phone number of a reporter’s parents.
The seizure was ordered in addition to a court-approved search warrant for Fox News correspondent James Rosen’s personal emails. In the affidavit seeking that warrant, an FBI agent called Rosen a likely criminal “co-conspirator,” citing a wartime law called the Espionage Act.
Rosen was not charged, but his movements and conversations were tracked. A source close to the leak investigation confirmed to Fox News that the government obtained phone records for several numbers that match Fox News numbers out of the Washington bureau.
Further, the source confirmed to Fox News that one number listed matched the number for Rosen’s parents in Staten Island.
Rosen’s father, attorney Myron Rosen, told FoxNews.com he found the records seizure to be “downright ludicrous.”
“My son and his wife call us all the time, and we talk about grandchildren,” he said. “We don’t talk about nuclear proliferation.”
He continued: “The fact that they had our phone records, it shows how crazy they are, how desperate.”
The revelation has had a chilling effect on reporters’ ability to gather the information and sources they need:
Anchor Greta Van Susteran took to Twitter to express her frustration with the secret monitoring, saying friends and family won’t call or email anymore out a of a fear of being watched.
“Now that the word is out that Obama Admin seizes Fox phone records, my friends won’t call me at work and since the Obama admin also seizes personal cell and email, my friends wont’ call or email,” Van SusteranÂ tweeted.
The news of more Fox News’ monitoring comes weeks after the Associated Press revealed the Justice Department had secretly monitored 20 personal and private phone lines used by AP reporters and editors. In addition, CBS News Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said yesterday that her work and personal computers had beenÂ compromised.
For awhile, it looked like the White House wanted just to control “the narrative.” But its seizure of AP phone records and surveillance of Fox employees now show its real aim: to control the news.
[…] Â Â The latest news that the Justice Department investigated Fox News reporter James Rosen and two other newsmen in the normal course of their investigative reporting on a national security matter â€” coming on the heels of their seizure of Associated Press phone records â€” suggests an administration obsessed with controlling the news itself with a heavy hand reminiscent of totalitarian regimes.
The AP flap has drawn a properly outraged response from the news agency, because the White House’s obsessive efforts to find leaks cast such a broad, indiscriminate net against reporters just doing their jobs.
First they came for Fox News, and they did not speak outâ€”because they were not Fox News. Then they came for government whistleblowers, and they did not speak outâ€”because they were not government whistleblowers. Then they came for the maker of a YouTube video, andâ€”okay, we know how this story ends.Â But how did we get here?
Turns out itâ€™s a fairly swift sojourn from a president pushing to â€œdelegitimizeâ€ a news organization to threatening criminal prosecution for journalistic activity by a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, to spying on Associated Press reporters. In between, the Obama administration found time toÂ relentlessly persecuteÂ government whistleblowers and publicly harass and condemn a private American citizen for expressing his constitutionally protected speech in the form of an anti-Islam YouTube video.
Where were the media when all this began happening? With a few exceptions, they were acting as quiet enablers.
[…] Â Itâ€™s instructive to go back to the dawn of Hope and Change. It was 2009, and the new administration decided it was appropriate to use the prestige of the White House to viciously attack a news organizationâ€”Fox Newsâ€”and the journalists who work there. Remember, President Obama had barely been in office and had enjoyed the most laudatory press of any new president in modern history. Yet even one outlet that allowed dissent or criticism of the president was one too many. This should have been a red flag to everyone, regardless of what they thought of Fox News. The math was simple: if the administration would abuse its power to try and intimidate one media outlet, what made anyone think they werenâ€™t next?
Dr. Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Tea Party Patriots, related the madness of an intrusive questionnaire with 35 topics and 80 sub-topics, which she was expected to complete in just 20 days, under penalty of perjury. Â One of the questions asked her to list the ways her organization was condoning or promoting illegal activities. Â â€I think the IRS needs to fix its labeling machine,â€ Kenney said sarcastically. Â â€Weâ€™re the San Fernando Valley Patriots, not Occupy Oakland.â€
She eventually gave up on the â€œcostly and exhausting IRS process,â€ but kept her organization going with her own money and a few modest donations kept n a cake tin. Â â€Like patriots before us, we persevere,â€ she declared. Â â€The voice of this Republic resides in our citizens, not in the tongue of government. Â More must grasp that self-evident truth. Â This dialogue is about the jackboot of tyranny upon the field of our founding documents. Â To whisper the letters â€˜IRSâ€™ strikes a shrill note on Main Street, USA, but when this behemoth tramples upon Americaâ€™s grassroots, few hear the snapping sounds.â€
[…] Â Susan Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, talked about the IRS inquisition into the conduct of her groupâ€™s prayer meetings, and the â€œeducationalâ€ content of their protest signs. Â She was eventually instructed by the IRS not to protest outside Planned Parenthood offices.
[…] Â Becky Gerritson of the Alabama Tea Party was one of several who testified that they received intimidating lettersÂ personally signedÂ by the infamous Lois Lerner, the IRS official currently on paid administrative leave. Â â€This is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view,â€ charged Gerritson. Â â€What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama is un-American.â€
â€œIâ€™m not interested in scoring political points. Â I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in, the America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of, and Iâ€™m terrified that it is slipping away,â€ Gerritson testified.
Early Tuesday during a House Ways and Means Committee, Democrat Jim McDermott blamed tea party groups for IRS targeting. McDermott essentially said that because conservative groups dared to apply for tax exempt status, they deserved to be targeted.
[…] Â Luckily, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan was there to shut down his nonsense and received roaring applause in the hearing room for doing so.
During Tuesday’s testimony, Congressional Democrats attacked the private citizens brought before them to tell their individual horror stories. The witnesses were Tea Party groups and other conservative groups put through months of paralyzing harassment by an IRS that had intentionally singled them out based on their political beliefs.
Well, that is not the point and everyone knows it. Had the IRS put the same number of left-leaning groups through the same hyper-scrutiny as they did right-leaning groups, none of this would be happening. There would be no scandal.
But the idea here is to change the subject from the fact that the IRS singled out Obama’s political foes for paralyzing scrutiny in the run-up to Obama’s re-election campaign, to the supposed abuse of a tax exempt status by conservative political groups.
The thinking goes that if Democrats can make the Tea Party look like tax cheats it will take the heat off of Obama and further damage his opponents.
Well, right on cue, Politico arrives this morning like the cavalry withÂ an appallingly dishonestÂ (but expected) piece of reporting that falls right in line with what Congressional Democrats did yesterday. It is as pure a piece of coordination and left-wing propaganda as you will ever read.
And this is the only kind of investigative reporting Politico ever does. Imagine if Politico poured these same resources into investigating the IRS’s connections to the White House or the shaping of the IRS talking points by the State Department.
Q: In early 2010, was there a time when you became aware of applications that referenced Tea Party or other conservative groups?
A: In March ofÂ 2010, I was made aware.
Q: Okay.Â Now, was there a point around this time period when [your supervisor] asked you to do a search for similar applications?Â
Q: To the best of your recollection, when was this request made?
A: Sometime in early March ofÂ 2010.
Q: Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?Â
A: He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.
Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington?
A:Â [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn’t — Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn’t find the paper.Â So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.
Q: When was this, what time frame?
A: I don’t recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.
Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.Â
Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.Â
A: Yes, or parts of them.Â
Q: Okay.Â So she asked you to send particular parts of these applications.Â
Q: And that was unusual.Â Did you say that?Â
Q: And she indicated that Washington had requested these specific parts of these specific applications; is that right?
â€œItâ€™s impossible,â€ an IRS employee responded to an investigatorâ€™s question about the allegations that the targeting of conservative groups was due to â€œtwo â€˜rogue agents.â€ â€œAs an agent we are controlled by many, many people.Â We have to submit many, many reports.Â So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.â€
Answering a question about the employeeâ€™s reaction to news reports that the targeting was contained in Cincinnati and the fault of the Cincinnati office, the employee said that Washington has been throwing them under the bus.
â€œWell, itâ€™s hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were lowâ€‘level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C.Â So, take it for what it is,â€ a Cincinnati IRS employee said. â€œThey were basically throwing us underneath the bus.â€
Another government agency caught abusing their power against helpless citizens. Â These scandals just keep piling up, and ALL involve innocent, average Americans being deliberately targeted and victimized by their own government. Still think this is the land of the free?
The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged Tuesday that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, following concerns from congressional Republicans and agriculture groups that the release could endanger their safety.
[…] Â The information on livestock and produce farmers was sought through a Freedom of Information Act request by the groups Earth Justice, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pew Charitable Trust. They were given information on roughly 80,000 farmers and ranchers.
Pew returned the original information, per the agency’s request Thursday, according to documents obtained by Fox.
The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.
Earth Justiceâ€™s basic reason for existence is to try to sue into oblivion any industrial development that they donâ€™t like; and a large part of their strategy is to find someone to target, then find something that they can target them with (like, for example, the Clean Water Act). But youâ€™re sayingÂ Moe, the family farmers arenâ€™t subject to the CWA!Â â€¦And perhaps that is true. But thereâ€™s a whole bunch of regulations that those farmers are subject to â€“ and their personal information has just been given to a bunch of hardcore progressive lawyers who capitalize the word â€˜people.â€™ In other words; if you donâ€™t think that the EPA has put small farmers and ranchers at increased risk of punitive lawfare by partisan activists, well. I would almost envy you that private world of yours, except that I suspect that there isnâ€™t quite enough oxygen in it.
They put reporters under surveillance, data mine innocent citizens’ phone records and e-mails, grope little old ladies at the airport, sic the IRS on conservative groups, and call it “security.”
Meanwhile, REAL terrorist threats are coddled, protected, and allowed to slip through the cracks. Â Some, like the terrorists that “went missing,” are actually given the fake identities they need to get through security by our own government!
Why anyone would want to give incompetent bureaucrats with seriously screwed up priorities even MORE power to “protect” innocent citizens is beyond me!
The federal government gave witness protection to known and suspected terrorists and the U.S. Marshals Service even lost track of two of those people, according to a report Thursday from the Justice Departmentâ€™s auditor that exposes the previously hidden side of the witness program.
â€œWe found that the department did not definitively know how many known or suspected terrorists were admitted into the [witness protection] program,â€ the Justice inspector general said.
The auditor said that until it raised concerns, those terrorists were able to board airplanes and were able to â€œevade one of the governmentâ€™s primary means of identifying and tracking terroristsâ€™ movements and actionsâ€ through the new identities the government provided them.
It also said that of the two known or suspected terrorists that the federal government lost track of, one was later discovered to be living outside of the U.S. and the other is also likely outside of the country.
In a blistering letter to President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham said theÂ IRS targeted the two non-profits he headsÂ with an audit last year after the organizations took out ads urging people to support biblical principles on marriage and in choosing political candidates.
In theÂ letter, dated Tuesday, Graham said in light of recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, he does not believe the audit was “a coincidence â€” or justifiable.” Graham, son of famed Christian evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte, N.C., and Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide relief organization headquartered in Boone.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” Graham concluded in the letter. “This is morally wrong and unethical â€” indeed some would call it ‘un-American.'”
James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate disclosed today that he was a victim of IRS discrimination, in a revelation that adds to the growing Internal Revenue Scandal.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says he faced discrimination from the federal agency when trying to start a new group.
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Dobson is the president and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting Â§ 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26 year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Actionâ€™s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.
Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Actionâ€™s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I donâ€™t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is â€œnot educationalâ€ because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a â€œpartisan right-wing groupâ€ because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints.
She then added, â€œyouâ€™re politicalâ€ because you â€œcriticized President Obama, who was a candidate.â€
The Biblical Recorder, the official news journal for North Carolina Southern Baptists, found itself in the same situation in March â€“ audited for the first time since the Baptist newspaper was founded in 1833.
The newspaper garnered national attention last summer after Editor Allan Blume published an interview with Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. In reference to his support of the traditional family, Cathy said he was â€œguilty as charged.â€
The Biblical Recorder also published the Billy Graham Evangelistic Associationâ€™s ads affirming traditional marriage.
And then â€“ came the telephone call from the Internal Revenue Service.
â€œIt raised some red flags and made me wonder why we were being targeted for an audit when we have been around since 1833 and have never been audited before,â€ Blume told Fox News. â€œPutting it all together made me wonder.â€
Blume said the timing may have been coincidental â€“ but â€œit didnâ€™t seem that way.â€
â€œThere seems to be a very anti-Christian bias that has flowed into a lot of government agencies â€“ oppression literally against Christian organizations and groups,â€ he said. â€œIt makes you wonder whatâ€™s going on.
Blume said the newspaper was eventually cleared, but the audit consumed time and money.
â€œIt was a lot of time and energy that we didnâ€™t have,â€ he said. â€œIt took some of our staff literally several weeks of doing nothing but that (the audit),â€ he said.
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
â€œIn one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent â€˜Ms. Richardsâ€™ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire boardâ€™s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,â€ theÂ Thomas More Society announced today. â€œOnce the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.â€
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The IRS also pressured another pro-life group about its religious activities. â€œThe IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the groupâ€™s involvement with â€™40 Days for Lifeâ€™ and â€˜Life Chainâ€™ events,â€ according to the law firm. â€œThe Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.â€
[A]s details of the IRS scandal emerge, it’s increasingly giving the appearance of a wide-scale effort to tilt the playing field against conservative activist groups who might have been helpful to Republican candidates in the 2012 election, while at the same time coddling liberal groups helpful to Obama.
Consider what we now know the IRS did:
â€¢ Gave preferential treatment to liberal groups. On Tuesday, USA Today reported that while the IRS was hounding conservative groups and holding up their applications for tax-exempt status, it was quickly ushering liberal groups with names like “Progress Florida” and “Missourians Organizing for Reform” through the process.
USA Today found that in the 27 months after Feb. 2010, the IRS did not approve a single Tea Party application. Over those same months, however, dozens of applications submitted by liberal groups that were engaged in the same type of activities and were seeking the same tax status as the conservative ones sailed through the agency.
[…] Â Â â€¢ Made unusual document requests. Not only did the IRS target conservative groups for extra scrutiny, it also asked for massive amounts of information that it couldn’t possibly need to determine tax-exempt status.
[…] Â â€¢ Engaged in selective leaks. This week, ProPublica, a liberal-leaning nonprofit journalism organization, revealed that the IRS had leaked it nearly a dozen pending applications, including one submitted by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.
Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, said donors stopped contributing to causes and candidates because of the confusion and fear that the IRS created.
“They succeeded in preventing us from doing what we were trying to do in 2012,” Zawistowski said. “Groups literally stopped fundraising in the summer of last year.”
The IRS is under investigation for the excessive scrutiny it gave conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, a practice that elicited complaints from the Portage County Tea Party and other groups during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
Billionaire businessman Frank VanderSloot, a major Mitt Romney super PAC donor who was subjected to three federal agency audits after being slimed by the Obama campaign, says he isnâ€™t the only one of his peers who was audited after donating to Romney.
VanderSloot, who was also national co-chair of the Romney campaignâ€™s finance committee,Â wasÂ described in an April 2012 Obama campaign Web posting as one of eight â€œwealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.â€
Shortly after the post appeared, VanderSloot was subjected to two Internal Revenue Service audits â€” one focusing on his personal finances, the other related to his business interests â€” and a Labor Department audit of one of his businesses. When asked about whether any of the other seven donors who appeared on the list were audited as well, VanderSloot spoke cautiously, but did say he â€œwasnâ€™t the only one.â€
â€œI talked to only a handful of them since,â€ VanderSloot said.Â â€Iâ€™ve reached out to all of them. But only got calls back from a handful and most of the responses were theyâ€™re just laying low, you know, they took their own beatings and they donâ€™t want any more of it and they donâ€™t want to even talk about this.â€