Archive for the 'Politics' Category



Court Rules That Mexican Mother Can Sue Over Cross-Border Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

Politico:

A woman whose son was killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona can sue for damages, a federal court ruled Tuesday.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz is not entitled to qualified immunity, saying that the Fourth Amendment — which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures — applies in this case.

“Based on the facts alleged in the complaint, Swartz violated the Fourth Amendment. It is inconceivable that any reasonable officer could have thought that he or she could kill J.A. for no reason,” Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld wrote in the majority opinion. “Thus, Swartz lacks qualified immunity.”

Swartz, who was found not guilty in April of second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting, has said he shot at people throwing rocks through the border fence in Nogales, Arizona. A retrial in the case will take place in October.

Okay then.  Since non-citizens get these rights under a constitution to which they are not subject, then the next step is for the Ninth Circuit to issue a cease-and-desist order for all SWAT raids where people get shot by cops in their own homes on American soil.

Right?

SWAT Officers Who Shot LaVoy Finicum Speak For The First Time

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

The Oregonian:

The state police SWAT officer who investigators say fired five times at refuge occupation spokesman Robert “LaVoy” Finicum said Monday he second-guessed himself when he learned of an unaccounted-for bullet hole in the roof of Finicum’s truck.

In the days after the Jan. 26, 2016, shooting in Harney County, the officer wracked his brain trying to figure out how it could have occurred, considering that none of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team agents at the scene said they had fired any shots.

“I never thought I did it, but there were times I was thinking, ‘I don’t know. This doesn’t make any sense,”’ he said. “If that was going to be attributed to me and I had no recollection of it … could I continue in this profession?”

When he learned investigators had tracked all his shots and the magazine of his AR-15 rifle was missing five bullets, he said he told them: “The FBI has a big effing problem, and this is serious.”

The testimony from “Officer 1” – the only identification of the SWAT officer used in court because of government concerns over militia threats – is crucial to the prosecution’s case in the trial of an FBI agent at the scene that day.

Agent W. Joseph Astarita is accused of lying about having fired two disputed shots at Finicum’s truck as state police and the FBI moved to arrest leaders of armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One struck the roof and one missed entirely.

Astarita’s lawyers have argued that other people at the scene, and most likely Officer 1, could have fired the shots.

Officer 1 said he knew he hadn’t fired the shots in question because investigators found only 24 rounds remaining in the magazine of his AR-15 rifle, which he said he loaded with 29 rounds.

He had fired three times as Finicum’s truck was speeding toward a roadblock set up on U.S. 395 as the refuge leaders left the bird sanctuary. They each struck the front of the truck. He then fired two times and struck Finicum’s back after Finicum had walked away from his truck and reached into his jacket, according to investigators.

Officer 1, now a captain who has worked for the state police for 20 years, was the lieutenant and commander of the agency’s SWAT team at the time of Finicum’s shooting.

Officer 2, the second state police officer who shot Finicum that day, also testified – the first time either of them have publicly spoken about their roles in what happened. He fired once, his bullet also hitting Finicum in the back. He’s now a sergeant with the tactical team, having worked 21 years with the agency.

Their superiors worried from the outset that they would face threats, so much so that the night of the shooting they directed investigators to take photos of each officer with a paper bag concealing their faces when documenting their clothing and equipment.

Prosecutors sought to portray the state police officers who fired their rifles that day as having acted according to state police policy while the FBI agents skirted standard protocol.

The two state police officers said they immediately alerted supervisors that they had fired and surrendered their rifles and ammunition.

In contrast, prosecutors showed that FBI agents were seen on aerial video scouring the scene for items and ducking under trucks after the shooting. The FBI agents also failed to ensure a shell casing spotted on the ground was marked as evidence and then in a highly unusual move, demanded they be interviewed as a group by detectives, prosecutors said.

Defense lawyers have painted a much different portrait of state police, suggesting Officer 1, who was supposed to be in a command role that day, instead ran aggressively to confront Finicum in a risky maneuver without any cover causing a potential cross-fire situation with another state trooper.

They pointed out that state police didn’t immediately create a crime scene log to control who entered or exited the area and allowed other police vehicles to pass through.

They suggested state police officers heightened the tension from the beginning by firing a less- lethal sponge bullet at Ryan Payne, the front seat passenger in Finicum’s truck, who was about to surrender when authorities first stopped the two-car caravan of refuge leaders earlier on the highway.

They also revealed that Officer 1 exchanged text messages about the shooting, witness officers’ statements and evidence with state SWAT officer Joey Pollard, who witnessed the shooting, and their boss, Travis Hampton, now state police superintendent. The exchanges came before his interview, held five days after the shooting.

[ … ]

Prosecutor Gary Sussman followed up, asking if that was because Pollard’s focus was elsewhere. Pollard said he was looking at Finicum’s hands when Finicum stepped out of the truck and heard a “loud bang.”

After the shooting, Pollard drove Officer 1 from Burns to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office in Bend. Deschutes County was tasked with leading the investigation of the shooting. After Officer 1 and Officer 2 turned in their gear and were photographed, Pollard drove each officer home.

In the days that followed, testimony Monday revealed Pollard exchanged multiple text messages with Officer 1 and instructed Officer 1 on Feb. 1 about the bullet hole that forensic investigators found in the roof of Finicum’s truck.

Good Lord.  What a circle jerk.

Remember folks, this didn’t arise out of thin air.  The whole thing began as a protest against the FedGov over trumped-up charges against ranchers whose land the BLM wanted because it had been promised to Uranium One in exchange for donations to The Clinton Foundation, all approved and catalyzed by The State Department.

Never forget that.  These officers are under cross examination right now because they did the bidding of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their band of demons.

Trey Gowdy: Trump Aids Need To Reevaluate Staying After His Summit Remarks

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

HuffPo:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s advisers should consider leaving the White House if Trump continues to publicly disparage the nation’s intelligence community and cast doubt on the evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

“The president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to re-evaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration,” Gowdy said on Fox News Sunday, referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley. “But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming and the president needs to say that and act like it.”

Well, I’ll say it if Trump won’t.  Hey Trey, are you listening?

The NSA and CIA are among the most wicked organizations on the planet, and cannot be trusted.  You can throw the DOJ and FBI into that mix as well.

As for Gowdy, what do you think the chances are of Trey having been method-actor this whole time, working for the deep state, always outraged, never bringing anyone to justice, and always preventing the need to take anything to court or hold anyone accountable for their illegal actions?

Britain Is Finished, America Wants To Commit Suicide, And The Police Aren’t There To Protect You

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Via WRSA, the British authorities knew all along that the Pakistani rape gang existed in Rotherham a full decade before investigating.  Furthermore, the police knew and ignored it.

Here in the states, Mueller has offered Tony Podesta immunity for testifying against Paul Manafort.  John and Tony Podesta both ought to be in prison as we speak.

And yet here we are with the swamp creatures alive and well.  Do you understand?

Trump Pardons Oregon Ranchers Who Inspired Refuge Standoff

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Via WRSA, pardons for the ranchers.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned two imprisoned Oregon ranchers whose sentencing on arson convictions sparked the 2016 occupation of a wildlife refuge, part of a long-simmering dispute over federal land policies in the U.S. West.

The armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon followed a judge’s ruling that sent Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, back to prison to serve more time after their initial release. Police shot one of the occupiers dead during the 41-day midwinter protest.

The takeover was another flare-up in a decades-old conflict over federal control of millions of acres of public land in the Western United States. In Oregon, about half of all land is controlled by the federal government.

Right.  “Arson.”

It’s really important to remember what these charges are all about, and it isn’t arson.  Here it is.

Dwight and Steven admitted to having started two fires, for which the court found them guilty. One of the fires was a prescribed burn in 2001 that, according the court record, accidentally spread onto 139 acres of BLM land. Those 139 acres happened to be located on one of the family’s federal grazing allotments. The other fire, from 2006, was a back-burn. Steven had set the fire on the family’s private property in order to protect their winter feed from a lightening fire that had started on adjacent BLM land. That fire accidentally spread to one acre of BLM land.

They were going to have to sell their ranch in order to pay fines and legal fees.  Sell their ranch.  Folks were interested in buying it.

But for what purpose?  Uranium and gold.  That’s right, the Clinton Foundation / Clinton Global Initiative and deals cut with the BLM were behind all of this.  These men weren’t guilty of arson.  It was an accident, and a small amount of land was burned anyway, and for good reason.

Just How Deep Did ATF Weapons Trafficking To Mexico Go Anyway?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

“Did the State Department issue the Justice Department a license or a written waiver in order to allow for the transfer of thousands of weapons across the U.S.-Mexico border?”

[ … ]

If an answer was provided to those questions, it is not reflected in the 100 page June 29 response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against State by attorney Stephen Stamboulieh representing Kent Terry, the brother of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and me.

Read the whole thing.  Yea, it’s very difficult to get any government agency to respond to embarrassing FOIAs.  I’ve still never gotten an answer to my FOIA on who issued arming orders to the National Guard or other troops involved in Hurricane Katrina gun confiscations, and I’ve asked multiple times.

Ignoring FOIA requests is part and parcel of .gov, whether local, state or federal.  The law may as well not exist as far as I’m concerned.

When the sheepdog turns on the sheep and couples up with the wolves, who will protect the sheep?  What happens when the sheepdog goes corrupt and ignores the safety of the flock when they’re merely doing the bidding of the wicked shepherd?

 

Governor Greg Abbot Announces School Safety Plan And Proposed Changes To Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Via The Texas Tribune, here is the plan (PDF).

Here are my problems with it.  Money, money, money, money, money, and more money.

And a hefty dose of predictive behavior modification from the department of pre-crime.  And then there is this special program.

The Telemedicine Wellness Intervention Triage and Referral (TWITR) Project has created a model for identifying students at risk for committing school violence and intervening with those students before acts of violence occur.

[ … ]

Students are identified by trained school staff and screened for risk-based behaviors by Licensed Professional Counselors in schools then provided psychiatric services by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) over a telemedicine link. Two telemedicine psychiatry sessions are provided through the project. If, through the assessment, a student is identified as requiring mental health care, either a referral for individual and/or family counseling is made or the student is referred to a medical school department of psychiatry for additional telemedicine psychiatric services

How nice.  The village witchdoctor will take a child aside, regardless of whether approved by parents, if s/he meets some criteria set up by … the village witchdoctors.

There is also a proposal to protect the identity of “tipsters.”  Great.  I can’t see such a thing being abused by school kids at all.

There’s more, from “red flag” laws to “Strengthening the Safe Firearm Storage Law.”  It’s a statists wet dream come true.

Common Sense Politician Control

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Georgiaboy61:

How about this for an idea? A citizen-searchable database on the associations (legit and otherwise) of elected representatives such as Leahy and Nelson, as well as a list of campaign donors? As well as data on their FA ownership, possession of CCW permits, and other relevant similar information? Transparency is good, right, and what’s good for the proverbial goose is good for the gander. Oh, and if FAs are bad then we the people fully-expect that you and yours, Senators, will be surrendering your taxpayer-funded armed security details at the earliest opportunity. Remember, it’s for the children….

How could any politician refuse when it’s for the children?

Three Women In Paddock’s Room?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Laura Loomer:

Recent documents released regarding the the October 1, 2017 Las Vegas Shooting are beginning to shed light on more discrepancies and abnormalities surrounding the official timeline and narrative of the tragedy as originally stated by Sheriff Joe Lombardo and Special Agent Aaron Rouse of the Las Vegas FBI , including documentation that three women were found in the alleged shooter’s room.

The most recent batch of documents that were released include witness reports, dispatch logs, and officer reports that recount the events that took place that night and further reveal that Paddock was not alone in his room as was was first stated by Sheriff Lombardo.

Page 26 of the dispatch logs that were released by LVMPD details the moments when the alleged shooter, Stephen Paddock, was located by a security detail at the Mandalay Bay. As actions were taken to assemble a team of officers to apprehend the suspect, a dispatcher shared the name of the alleged shooter located in Room 32-135, along with three females that were reported to be in the room with Mr. Paddock. However, the names of those three women are redacted from the report …

No wonder the FBI and LVPD didn’t want these documents released.  So here’s a question to ponder.  How many MSM outlets will investigate this?

The Unfolding Wickedness Of The Deep State

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark Tapscott:

Virtually everybody in the nation’s capital is waiting either in fear or in eager anticipation for the upcoming investigative report of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Horowitz is among the most respected and effective IGs ever appointed, but former President Barack Obama, who nominated him in 2011, may consider that decision among the most regrettable from his eight years in the White House.

Here’s why: The Inspectors General Act of 1978 authorizes the IGs and their investigators and auditors to obtain and examine any official document necessary to carrying out their responsibilities in fighting waste, fraud and corruption in government. Presidents appoint IGs — but those IGs report to Congress, making them an important component of congressional oversight of the executive branch.

But a few months before Horowitz was sworn into the job in 2012, Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general and previously deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, gutted the IG act provision that mandates their access to all necessary documents. Holder acted at the behest of then-FBI Director Robert Mueller and others at the bureau.

Holder — who would subsequently be held in contempt by Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents in the “Fast and Furious” scandal — thus forced Horowitz to request in writing any documents he sought from the bureau.

There then ensued a three-year struggle in Congress and the media that culminated in Obama having no choice but to sign the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016, which removed all doubt about the IG’s access.

During the three years between Holder’s blatant subversion of the 1978 Inspectors General Act and passage of the 2016 law, James Comey succeeded Mueller as FBI chief. He continued, however, to wall off Horowitz’s access to documents essential to doing his job until the new law was passed.

Horowitz has been investigating the FBI’s conduct in its investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server and email system to conduct official business as America’s chief diplomat. He’s also probing the bureau’s investigation of allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and elements linked to the Russian government.

In the course of those two investigations, Horowitz has obtained and reviewed an estimated 1.2 million documents. There is an old saying in Washington that “things that go around have a way of coming back around.”

As more facts are uncovered about the lengths to which former FBI Director James Comey, his then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and a half-dozen other pro-Hillary Clinton bureau insiders went to protect the Democratic nominee in her email scandal, the least discussed element is Obama’s role in the affair.

But former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy make persuasive cases that protecting Obama in the Clinton email scandal was key to the FBI’s clearly bungled investigation.

Remember Comey’s July 2016 nationally televised announcement that he would not recommend prosecution of Clinton despite her “extreme carelessness” in handling super secret classified national security information?

One of the drafts of Comey’s announcement referred to Clinton emails between her and “the president.” But, as McCarthy recently pointed out, “a revised draft of Comey’s remarks was circulated by his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki. It replaced ‘the president’ with ‘another senior government official.'”

Mukasey recently explained on “The Ingraham Angle” why that change made a huge difference in understanding the Clinton email scandal:

“President Obama was sending messages and receiving messages on Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Jim Comey knew that, and when President Obama went on television and said, ‘There’s no issue here, she didn’t really intend to cause harm,’ what he was really saying in essence is, ‘You’d better let her off, because if you wind up accusing her, you wind up accusing me.’

“Comey followed that lead. And the notion that this was somehow something that he had to do for the welfare of the country, there’s a lot of disingenuous claptrap.” In other words, preserving Obama’s “plausible deniability” was priority number one.

Several observations.  First of all, regardless of the involvement of the IG as we speak, Holder and the DoJ still hasn’t been held accountable for Fast & Furious, and probably never will be.  Moreover, we will likely never read all of the documents pertaining to that scandal.  I think Tapscott’s assessment lacks the moderation this fact demands.

Second, if the IG investigation means turning charges over to a court, the progressives own most of the judicial system.  Nothing will be done.  If the IG investigation means turning the findings over to Congress or the Senate, we all know with surety that nothing will be done.  The current Legislative Branch in the main contains the most self serving gaggle of spineless vipers ever to slither the earth excepting the deep state itself (Of course, there are good men like Louis Gohmert, Walter Jones and Thomas Massie, but they lack the power to make a difference).  Finally, many members of the Legislative branch are themselves in the deep state or the coverup (e.g., John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Richard Burr, etc.).

Third, I don’t believe for one second that priority number one for all or even any of their actions was protection of Obama.  Comey and McCabe are attempting to throw each other under the bus, and you must remember that there is no honor among criminals.  Self protection was the goal of their actions, not some sort of honorable, altruistic self sacrifice.  Thus I reject Tapscott’s main presupposition.

However, he has done a good job of connecting the dots.  Read the balance of the report.


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