theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dems Need a Mythical War on Voting Rights

When the Voting Rights Act was adopted in 1965, America was a segregated nation. Many states, especially in the South, had discriminatory voting laws that worked to prevent African-Americans from voting. Despite furious opposition from the Jim Crow caucus within the Democratic Party, a bipartisan Congressional majority enacted the law. That began the process of redressing this historic injustice that was part of the unfinished legacy of the Civil War that had concluded a century earlier. We’ve come a long way since then. Jim Crow is but an awful memory and blacks not only vote in most of the South at the same rates that whites do but also can look to a large Congressional Black Caucus whose existence is largely due to subsequent court interpretations of the Act that created minority-majority districts. But for the left, it’s always 1965 and a revival of Jim Crow is just around the corner. That’s the gist of the cover story of this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “A Dream Undone,” that takes it as a given that minority voting rights are not only under attack but about to disappear.
That this is palpably false is self-evident since efforts to single out blacks and prevent them from voting simply do not exist anywhere in the nation. Why then devote space to a nonexistent problem? The Times is singing from the Democratic Party hymnal heading into 2016 as Hillary Clinton attempts to scare African-American voters who are somewhat apathetic about her candidacy into turning out in the same numbers they did for Barack Obama. But if Democrats want to frighten their party’s base into thinking Jim Crow is on its way back, they’ll have to do better than arcane disputes about voter ID or early voting laws.
The conceit of Jim Rutenberg’s lengthy essay is that there is a clear continuum between the death rattle of the segregationists south that began to die in the early 1960s and today’s Republican Party. The superficial justification for this thesis is the way the “solid South” that was run by the racist wing of the Democratic Party was transformed into contemporary deep red South dominated by the GOP. That happened because conservative white voters abandoned the Democrats for the Republicans. But while liberals may view these voters with suspicion, there is no evidence that they are clamoring for a return to the past. One of the greatest victories of the struggle for Civil Rights was the way it transformed the white South from a bastion of racism to one in which racial equality was taken as a given. Race exists as an issue in the America of 2015, but comparisons with 1965 aren’t merely misleading, they are flat out falsehoods. That is especially true in the South, where blacks vote and hold office in numbers that are largely commensurate with their share of the overall population.
At the heart of the controversy are court rulings that have effectively ended federal supervision of voting laws in much of the South. States and localities have correctly argued that a regulation that was created to police the south of the 1960s has no relevance today. But the Obama administration and its liberal cheerleaders are desperate to try and revive the practice because it feeds the notion of a voting rights crisis even when they cannot prove there is one.
The current arguments about voter integrity laws have also been manipulated by the left into arguments about race. But to assume, as Rutenberg does with almost no attempts to persuade readers of the justice of this charge, is to betray the political agenda behind the opposition to voter ID. Liberals argue that laws that seek to have voters identify themselves at the polls with a picture ID disproportionately impact minorities, the elderly and the poor. But the disparate impact argument falls short of proof of racism. Blacks are just as capable of getting a picture ID (which are easily provided by the government even if you don’t have a driver’s license, a passport or some other form of identification) as anyone else. It’s also true that most of those who won’t bother to get a picture ID also won’t bother to register or vote. Moreover, polls have shown that like the overwhelming majority of Americans, blacks support voter ID rules.
It’s easy to understand why this is so despite the hyperbolic rhetoric about voter ID heard from Democrats and echoed in the Times Magazine article. Most Americans rightly think that if you need a picture ID to get on a plane or train, transact any business with the government or a bank, get a beer or alcoholic drink or even buy prescription drugs, then it only makes sense that you should do when doing something that is more important such as voting.
Interestingly, Rutenberg’s piece acknowledges something that most liberals won’t do when discussing voter ID: voter fraud is not a myth. The left claims that there is no such thing as voter fraud in contemporary America. Of course, making such an assumption requires us to forget everything we know about American political history as well as human nature. But the article does mention a prominent case of mass cheating in Florida that led to a major push for voter integrity laws. Rutenberg also trips over but doesn’t quite understand another major reason why there aren’t many cases of vote cheating scandals: the complete lack of interest in the subject on the part of the Obama administration which shelved all such investigations when Eric Holder was attorney general. Holder also acknowledges his disdain for calls for prosecuting Black Panther activists who were intimidating voters in Philadelphia during the election that brought his boss to power.
Philadelphia might have been a good spot for Rutenberg to examine the kind of suspicious vote totals in that Democratic stronghold that might yield more such examples. Indeed, Pennsylvania Republicans believed a voter ID law that was passed but never implemented might win them the state in 2012. That wasn’t because they planned on denying the vote to blacks but because they hoped it might deter Democrats from cheating. But he has no more interest in the topic than Holder since to do so might take the air out of his accusations of racism.
But, of course, voter ID isn’t the only reason why Democrats claim voting rights are in danger. They also to point to efforts to pull back on the movement for early voting throughout the nation. According to Rutenberg, North Carolina’s efforts to have only one week of early voting rather two or several is evidence of an effort to roll back black rights. But unlike with voter ID there is not even any real evidence of disparate impact.
What other evidence is there of a war on voting rights? The article also cites disputes about the drawing of district lines. But there is a clear problem with this line of attack. One of the most obvious changes between 1965 and 2015 is that there are a lot of blacks and Hispanics in Congress. That is not only due to the ability of more minorities to vote but to the drawing of districts in such a way as to create minority majority constituencies that more or less guarantee that a black or a Hispanic will win.
As Rutenberg writes, this practice has been challenged but it has largely been upheld even when the districts have no geographic continuity and can stretch across traditional political boundaries. But the big loser here has not been conservatives or Republicans. Instead it is Democrats who have been devastated by a form of gerrymandering that drains their most reliable supporters — African Americans — out of competitive districts and restricts them to non-competitive Democratic bastions. That has helped build a Congressional GOP majority but while Democrats often lament the impact of gerrymandering they often fail to acknowledge that the Voting Rights Act created the real problem for their party. But for Rutenberg it is all part of a narrative that points to an attack on voting rights.
Rutenberg begins and ends his article with an interview with Henry Frye, a black man who was denied the right to register in 1956 North Carolina. Today that same man not only lives in a country where such outrages are a part of the past, he also lived to see an America with a black president and attorney general. That doesn’t mean prejudice is gone but it does show that the Voting Rights Act achieved its purpose. But today, Frye believes disputes over voter ID and early voting is the moral equivalent to Jim Crow.
Democrats hope other blacks have bought into the same myth. But the comparison, like the shaky reasoning that underpins the entire article, has no basis in fact. But for liberals, a mythical war on voting rights must be invented if they hope to hold onto the White House next year.

Plunder and Deceit

David Limbaugh 

Can we simultaneously love our children and betray their generation and generations unborn?
Do I have your attention? I hope so, but I can't take credit for that lead. I stole it from Page 1 of Mark Levin's new book, "Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future."
Conservatives have long decried the left's feigned concern "for the children" while it pursues an agenda that is wrecking their future, from Social Security and other budget-busting entitlements to the undermining of our national security. But no one has devoted a book to turning this meme on its head and cogently proving the statists guilty of that which they falsely accuse others.
There's a big difference between the left's invoking "the children" and Levin's doing so, for leftists only do it to obscure policy issues they can't argue on the merits. Levin mentions the children not to divert you from logical thinking but to coax you into it.
Universally, parents strive to give their children better opportunities than they had. Today, however, the situation is -- shockingly -- reversed. The current generation, at the behest of the statist political class and its enablers, is living on the backs of its children in the cynical name of safeguarding their interests. Those in this generation are mortgaging their children's future to make their own lives more comfortable.
Statist defenders of the status quo will protest that these are outrageous charges and that they are trying to improve everyone's life, including those in the rising generation. But the stubborn facts belie their claims. When anyone brings up these subjects, they either change the channel or start their familiar fearmongering and scapegoating -- anything to avoid a fair examination of the issues.
Levin's book is precisely what the nation needs to force a public discussion of these issues and to keep statists' hands off the remote. Levin is uniquely suited to call our attention to the horrifying facts because 1) he makes the complex understandable; 2) people read his books; 3) he meticulously documents every position he takes; 4) he understands statists' motivations; 5) he has the credibility to sound another national warning; 6) no matter how dire our circumstances appear, he refuses to accept defeat; and 7) unlike so many other critics, he offers concrete, practical and realistic solutions.
Anyone remotely attuned to current events knows that the United States is racing toward Greek-level insolvency. He knows our national debt exceeds $18 trillion. But does he know this figure is vastly understated, as Levin demonstrates? Does he realize that our government's unfunded liabilities are about $100 trillion and that if we don't make structural adjustments to our smorgasbord of "entitlement" programs, they will consume 100 percent of tax revenues by 2039 -- conservatively estimated?
Everyone should know these things, yet people seem to assume there's no need for panic because our ruling class isn't concerned. Every time any conservative warns of this inevitable fiscal Armageddon, the statists and their media henchmen set out to destroy him as an evil Scrooge hellbent on hoarding all the wealth for "the rich."
Imagine if the political left in this country expended one-fourth the energy calling the public's attention to the looming fiscal crisis, which actually threatens our kids' future, as it does in hyping "global warming," which doesn't. We could turn things around within a generation -- provided we were willing to make modest sacrifices, which truly would be for the children.
Dream on. Leftists are not about to join us and will continue to slander everyone who sounds the alarm. That's why Levin's book is so necessary and so timely.
I have long understood that Social Security and Medicare are upside-down, but after reading Levin's book, I know exactly why. I now have all the facts and figures at my fingertips, unpleasant as they are. Levin deals with one devastating issue per chapter: the debt, Social Security, education, immigration, the environment, the minimum wage, national security and the Constitution. He documents how the statists are destroying this nation -- and our children's future -- in all these categories.
I admit that Mark Levin is my good friend, but it honestly amazes me how, in a relatively short book, he can present power-packed information on all these critical issues as thoroughly as the densest textbook yet in a style as readable and riveting as any best-selling novel.
This book is a one-stop shop on the vital issues that our generation must address. As Levin points out, ultimately these are more than economic and national security issues. They are moral issues. We have a moral obligation to place these matters on the front burner, no matter how deceptively distant they may seem to us now and regardless of what kind of heat we take.
Don't give the statists the benefit of the doubt, for they have to know what they are doing. The numbers do not lie, and Levin provides all the numbers in this book. This is purely a matter of plunder by deceit.

Despite how ominous all this sounds, we can make the necessary changes to turn this ship around. God bless Mark Levin for once again warning the nation and providing us a way out of this nightmare.

I Am Not a Mother, and You Are Not An American

S. E. Cupp 

Among the many words you might use to describe me -- some of which would likely hurt my parents' feelings and I'm certain aren't fit for print -- there are a few that I imagine would be fairly uncontroversial.
"Mother" being one. "American" being another. You might also call me "healthy." That is, until you saw my morning hip-cracking performance.
But a guide to "bias-free language" posted on the University of New Hampshire's website (until it was taken down recently) deems these words and hundreds of others problematic. That's right -- the preferred term is "parenting," not "mothering" or "fathering." "American" is biased because it, "depending on context, fails to recognize South America." (What?) And "healthy," applied to the able-bodied, implies that people with disabilities are not, and so "non-disabled" is the better term. Also, please replace "homosexual" with "same gender loving," and did you know that "old person" is somehow preferable to "older person" and "elderly"?
That sound you hear is the fast-approaching clickety-clack of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
After blog writers noticed the guide on the UNH website -- and rightly linked to and mocked it (after vomiting, I presume) -- the university quickly took great pains to distance itself from the pages-long document that had resided there unbothered since 2013. The university first put a disclaimer on top of the webpage disassociating itself from the guide and later removed it altogether.
University President Mark Huddleston issued a statement that read in part: "I am troubled by many things in the language guide, especially the suggestion that the use of the term 'American' is misplaced or offensive. The only UNH policy on speech is that it is free and unfettered on our campuses."
But if it wasn't really associated with the university, which now insists it was put together by a nebulous group of "community members," it's unclear what it was doing there in the first place. The intro to the guide made it sound pretty darn associated: "An integral part of UNH's mission is to continue to build an inclusive learning community, and the first step toward our goal is an awareness of any bias in our daily language."
But putting aside questions of ownership and association, that this document was even conceived of and put to paper or HTML is a frightening affirmation that political correctness and word policing, especially on college campuses, has reached cartoonish levels, marked by a comical arbitrariness, imagined offenses, meaningless distinctions and invented boundaries.
I checked in with some of my liberal friends (yes, I have them!) to see if anyone would strain to defend this.
One emailed me: "Oh my god. This guide is the worst. Just looked at it and it makes me want to kill myself." Which is hilarious but probably includes some kind of microaggression.
My good friend Van Jones, incidentally one of the best fathers I know, was a little more, er, careful. "There are times when the term 'parenting' is probably a good, neutral option. But I don't agree that 'fathering' is a gender-neutral activity, biologically or socially. To father a child means something specific and important. Being a good father means acting specifically as a male role model -- so that both sons and daughters know what a good man looks like."
Well said -- and, I would have once thought, fairly obvious and uncontroversial. Now I'm certain something Van just said will get him in trouble with someone.
"The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect." That's a line from "1984," in which George Orwell prophesied a tyrannical government that sedulously eliminates words from the English language as a means to "narrow the range of thought." As Syme, a lexicographer at the Ministry of Truth, says, "In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."
Suddenly this seems less like fiction and more like reality.


AP Photo


Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday will call on Congress to end the trade embargo the U.S. has imposed against Cuba since 1962.

The position, which Clinton already outlined in her 2014 book "Hard Choices," puts her in line with President Barack Obama, who moved in December to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and has called for normalized trade relations.

The position, which Clinton already outlined in her 2014 book "Hard Choices," puts her in line with President Barack Obama, who moved in December to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and has called for normalized trade relations.
Perhaps more importantly, it draws a sharp contrast with two top Republican presidential contenders from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush, at a time when younger Cuban-American voters in Florida are softening their stance on the matter. The Republican-led Congress is unlikely to allow such a change in U.S.-Cuba relations anytime soon.
"The time has come for us to continue down the path of engagement that has been laid out by President Obama," Clinton said Thursday after a campaign meeting with labor leaders in Maryland. "It's something I worked on as secretary of state, something I strongly recommended to (Obama) that he consider in his second term."

Clinton's campaign says she will frame her GOP rivals as backing "failed policies of the past."
U.S.-Cuba relations have long been a flashpoint in Florida politics. The generations of Cuban-Americans who were born in Cuba and fled shortly after the Castro-led revolution in the late 1950s generally supported a hard line, including the embargo that keeps American businesses from trading with Cuba and blocks Americans from traveling in the country and spending money there as tourists.

For decades, south Florida politicians and presidential candidates vying for the state's crucial electoral votes reflected those views, regardless of party. Clinton's husband was among them, even as he quietly attempted to engage Fidel Castro in the 1990s.
Now, says Florida pollster Fernand Amandi, an expert on Cuban-American public opinion, that once solid voting bloc is "a community in transition," giving Clinton an opening that "wouldn't have been possible not very long ago."
U.S.-born Cuban-Americans, Amandi said, are consistently more supportive of normalized relations than their Cuban-born parents or, even if they aren't, the younger voters are less likely to consider themselves one-issue voters. "The younger generations are more like any other immigrants - they care about pocketbook issues, jobs, their kids' educations," he said.

There also has been an influx of Cuba-born immigrants in the last few decades, Amandi explained. "They lived under the sanctions and concluded that it just emboldened the Castro regime," he said. "So think after 55 years of failure, it's time for something else."
Beyond the Cuban-American community, a majority of adults in the U.S. support normalizing relations with Cuba. A Pew Research Center survey conducted July 14-20 found that nearly 73 percent of Americans approve of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba while 72 percent support ending the trade embargo, both double-digit percentage increases from January, immediately after Obama's decision.
Pew found the same trends even among Republicans, with 56 percent of GOP voters backing a diplomatic bond and 59 percent supporting an economic relationship.
Rubio remained unmoved Thursday, releasing a statement ahead of Clinton's visit. "Unilateral concessions to the Castros will only strengthen a brutal, anti-American regime 90 miles from our shore," Rubio said. "President Obama and Secretary Clinton must learn that appeasement only emboldens dictators and repressive governments, and weakens America's global standing in the 21st century."
Associated Press writer Lisa Lerer contributed to this report from Washington.


Exposed: America's Enemies Within

No longer are we simply engaged in a battle of ideas -- 

Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. 

conservative. America's choice of governing has become 

far more daunting -- light vs. 

darkness, good vs. evil.

By Lloyd Marcus

My 87-year-old black Dad called to say he wanted to congratulate me for my perseverance. “You finally have me and all your siblings (4) agreeing with you.” 

My deep desire is to alert my son, daughter, and other non-political hard-working Americans of the moral, spiritual, and cultural evil threatening to overtake our great nation. No longer are we simply engaged in a battle of ideas -- Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative. America's choice of governing has become far more daunting -- light vs. darkness, good vs. evil. “Choose ye this day, whom you will serve.”

Despite Leftist merchants of evil using big words and arrogant condescension to convince us that morality is relative, we instinctively know some things are good and some things are bad. Equally annoying is Leftists' air of superiority -- claiming to care more than us commoners about equality, saving the planet and all life; their evil intentions hidden beneath a shroud of faux compassion.

Leftists have what I call their no-pictures-please policy. They get fuming mad whenever anyone accurately describes, visualizes, or shows pictures of procedures and behaviors the Left has demanded that Americans embrace. For example: Leftists want women to freely kill their babies all the way up to moments before birth. The last thing they want the public to see is video of the partial birth abortionprocedure. 

Yes, I am unequivocally saying liberals/Democrats (Leftists) are forcing their evil agenda down America's throat. “Forcing” is exactly what the Left is doing. Americans typically vote against Leftists' desire to make abhorrent behavior mainstream and transform America into a welfare state. Leftists send in their activist judges to overturn the will of We the People. After verbally slapping us around calling us racist, sexist, and homophobic, Leftist judges make what the people voted against into law.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood… against spiritual wickedness in high places.” As I lay out the facts, you judge for yourself.

Videos exposing Planned Parenthood's inhuman thriving baby-body-parts-are-us business have horrified the nation. Americans are demanding that government stop giving PP $500 million a year of taxpayers' money.
Well, guess where the majority of PP chop shops are located? Black neighborhoods. PP founder Margaret Sanger pulled no punches. PP was started to deal with “the negro problem.” Sanger believed blacks were inferior and bred too often. Black abortions are disproportionately higher than whites.

Blacks who have not been seduced by the dark side are sounding the alarm, letting blacks know they are aborting themselves into extinction. A billboard in a black neighborhood read, “The Most Dangerous Place for An African-American Is in the Womb.” Guess who was outraged and demanded the billboard be taken down? Al Sharpton and other assorted Leftists who claim to be advocates for blacks.

Sharpton is leading the charge in the hate inspired “Black Lives Matter” movement; founded on the lie that white cops routinely murder blacks. I guess black baby lives do not matter to Sharpton when they are killed by his Leftists homeys at PP.

Here's another thing that causes one to scratch his head. Leftists are fanatical about protecting the rain forest. They say it may hold a cure for AIDS. And yet, most Leftists are obsessed with killing babies. Even after a baby survives a failed abortion, Leftists demand that medical staff let the baby die. Amazingly, a law had to be passed to end this barbaric practice. Why haven't Leftists considered the possibility that the doctor or researcher with a cure for cancer, 
AIDS and other diseases may have been among the 55 million babies aborted in America since 1973? 
Leftists are defending PP black marketing baby body parts. And yet, these same Leftists are tearfully outraged over the death of a furry animal and fight to their death to protect trees and imprisoned cop killers. There is something seriously wrong in people who possess such a mindset.

Good morning, Ma'am. We appreciate your patronage over the years. However, our religious conscience prevents us from baking a wedding cake for your marriage to a woman. I imagine this is pretty much how the conversation went. Well, all heck broke loose. Christian bakers Aaron and Melisa Klein had to close down their shop and state ordered to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 in absurd damages.
Check this out folks. America rallied behind the Kleins and started a donations account. When the account reached $100,000, homosexuals pressured Go-Fund-Me into shutting down the account -- claiming Go-Fund-Me was supporting hate

Okay, so first homosexual activists fined the Kleins $135k. Then, they attempted to block efforts to pay the fine. So, the fine is not about paying the lesbian couple, it is about destroying the Kleins. In essence, Leftists want to hang the Kleins' economically bloody carcass in the public square as a warning to Christians who refuse to betray their faith. Can you say an assault on Christians' constitutional “free exercise of religion”, boys and girls?

Scripture says “no weapon formed against us shall prosper” and “what they meant for evil, God meant for good.” The Kleins' account has reached $372,000, thus far. Praise God!
The Kleins have five kids with whom they planned to leave their business. Leftists have other plans for the Klein family.

Dad calling me about his and my siblings' conversion was really cool. However, I am constantly thinking and praying for wisdom to awaken fellow blacks and other Americans continuously played by Leftists. I rest in the knowledge that surrendering to evil is the only way we fail.
Interviewers have asked on numerous occasions, “How do you endure the name calling and hate you receive as a black conservative Republican?” I reply, “It is easy because I know I am on the right side....God's.”


Demand the Documents


To paraphrase Lincoln, if we could first know where Iran is and whither Iran is tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. To evaluate the Iran deal, we need, to the degree possible, to understand the Iranian regime, its nature and its history, its past and present behavior. 
The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn’t want us to have all the information available to judge that regime and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided.
Here’s an important instance. We have been told by six current or former intelligence officials that the collection of documents captured in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound includes explosive information on Iran’s relationship with al Qaeda over the past two decades, including details of Iran’s support for al Qaeda’s attacks on Americans. Some of these officials believe this information alone could derail the deal. We haven’t seen it. But the American people should see it all before Congress votes on the deal in September.
“There are letters about Iran’s role, influence, and acknowledgment of enabling al Qaeda operatives to pass through Iran as long as al Qaeda did their dirty work against the Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, tells The Weekly Standard. “What Congress should demand is to see all the UBL [Osama bin Laden] documents related to Iran and all the documents related to intentions of AQ into the future—they are very telling.”
Derek Harvey, a former senior DIA official who has been described by several U.S. generals as the top intelligence analyst in government, helped run the exploitation team. He says,
The UBL treasure trove of information almost certainly contains extremely valuable, insightful information, and potentially explosive, that would illuminate the duplicitous Iran relationship with Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda writ large.
Michael Pregent, a member of the DIA team that examined the documents, confirmed some of the revelations about Iran. As he put it,
The documents indicate that Iran facilitated the safe passage of al Qaeda operatives, provided safe houses during travel, and had an agreement in place—a you-don’t-mess-with-us-and-we-won’t-mess-with-you clause. The guaranteed safe passage through Iran into Afghanistan and Pakistan could only have been carried out by Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operatives. 
The bin Laden documents have long been the subject of a behind-the-scenes battle between the White House and elements of the intelligence community. After an initial scrub of the documents in the months after the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, the Obama administration let them sit untouched for as long as a year. When officials at the DIA and Central Command requested access to the collection to extract intelligence and provide it to war fighters, they were initially denied. And soon after the team from DIA and CENTCOM was given limited access to the documents, they were ordered to stop their exploitation. What they did see was illuminating.
Among the most significant were documents that shed new light on the complicated relationship between Iran and al Qaeda. Even the Obama administration has acknowledged the relationship. In 2011, the administration designated six al Qaeda operatives who were responsible for what officials described as al Qaeda’s lifeline. The network was based in Iran. “This network serves as the core pipeline through which al Qaeda moves money, facilitators, and operatives,” according to the Treasury Department’s designation. In an interview with The Weekly Standard at the time, a senior Obama administration official involved in the designation said, “Without this network, al Qaeda’s ability to recruit and collect funds would be severely damaged.”
David Cohen, then undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence and currently the deputy director of the CIA, told The Weekly Standard the intelligence on Iran’s support for al Qaeda was incontrovertible. “There is an agreement between the Iranian government and al Qaeda to allow this network to operate,” Cohen said. “There’s no dispute in the intelligence community on this.” Those conclusions were based, at least in part, on the bin Laden documents. 
Contacted about the status of al Qaeda’s Iran network earlier this spring, two intelligence officials confirmed that it was still functioning and still critical to al Qaeda operations. That’s not all.
We are told that one document fills in the picture of possible Iranian foreknowledge and complicity in the 9/11 attacks first raised in the 9/11 Commission report, published in 2004. According to the report, al Qaeda detainees in U.S. custody 
described the willingness of Iranian officials to facilitate the travel of al Qaeda members through Iran, on their way to and from Afghanistan. For example, Iranian border inspectors would be told not to place telltale stamps in the passports of these travelers. Such arrangements were particularly beneficial to Saudi members of al Qaeda. Our knowledge of the international travels of the al Qaeda operatives selected for the 9/11 operation remains fragmentary. But we now have evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 Saudi “muscle” operatives traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.
The 9/11 Commission detailed much of that travel and reported:
There is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers. There also is circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of these future muscle hijackers into Iran in November 2000. 
The commission concluded: “We believe this topic requires further investigation by the U.S. government.”
The Obama administration does not want the bin Laden documents released. To date, the administration has made public fewer than 150 documents out of more than a million, despite a statutory requirement to expedite the release of the collection. Remarkably, members of Congress, including those on the intelligence committees, do not have access to the documents. Republicans in Congress share the blame for this. With the admirable exception of Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republicans have shown little interest in the documents and what they tell us about al Qaeda and, in this case, Iran. That’s inexcusable, but it’s not too late. 
The administration claims that the documents have been translated and exploited. We’re skeptical—and so are our sources. But if the administration is right, it should be able to find and release immediately all documents related to Iran. 
Highly credible senior intelligence officials who have seen the bin Laden documents say that the collection includes important information about al Qaeda and Iran. The White House has consistently blocked the release of that information. It will take concerted action by the leadership of Congress—in particular, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr along with Chairman Nunes—to wring this information out of the administration.
Not to demand these documents—not to insist on having access to them despite all the administration’s protestations and obfuscations, not to allow the American people to understand the whole truth about the Iranian regime with which the administration has negotiated this agreement—would be an abdication of responsibility on the part of Congress that history would judge harshly.

Information in classified Clinton emails from multiple intelligence agencies

Classified emails stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server contained information from multiple intelligence agencies in addition to data connected to the 2012 Benghazi attack, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News.
The information came from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National-Geospatial Agency, as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency, the source said.      
A random sampling of emails by the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General has identified five emails containing classified information. One of the classified emails was released in full by the State Department on its “reading room” public website for Clinton’s emails.
The official responsible for overseeing the government’s security classification system, John Fitzpatrick, told McClatchy Newspapers that while reviewing four years of Clinton’s emails, intelligence agencies grew concerned that State Department officials were not guarding classified information in screening documents for public release.
A congressional source told Fox News that in early July, Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s undersecretary for management, met with about a dozen staffers on Capitol Hill from the intelligence, homeland security and foreign affairs committees.
In the meeting, Kennedy made the argument that he had checked with CIA and the publicly released email had no classified information, but that the agency was not the originating agency for the intelligence and would have no say over the classification issue, the source said.   
Staffers however questioned why the meeting was held in a classified setting, the source told Fox News, adding that Kennedy carried the email with him in a locked black bag, reserved for classified information.
A CIA spokesperson had no public comment on Thursday to Fox News, while the ODNI referred calls to the inspector general of the intelligence community.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Planned Parenthood: Call it 'research,' not 'business,'


A woman identified as Dr. Savita Ginde talks with undercover activists in the latest video targeting Planned Parenthood. (Center for Medical Progress)
A Colorado Planned Parenthood doctor stresses calling the harvesting of fetal tissue "research" and not "business" -- and casually pokes around in a petri dish of aborted remains as a colleague exclaims, "Another boy!" -- in the latest video released Thursday by an activist group whose hidden camera stings have imperiled the embattled nonprofit's taxpayer funding.
The video’s release by the Center for Medical Progress comes a day after CMP was issued a restraining order preventing it from issuing any new footage of a group that worked with Planned Parenthood, StemExpress. But Thursday’s material focuses almost entirely on a woman identified as Dr. Savita Ginde, the vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
"A lot of times, especially with the second [trimester fetuses], we won’t even put water, because it’s so big you can put your hand in there and pick out the parts.”
- Dr. Savita Ginde
Ginde is shown for the majority of the edited video having a discussion about whether to frame tissue procurement as research or business with the undercover activists, whom she believes to be from a procurement company. It is against federal law to sell fetal body parts for profit.
“Putting it under the research gives us a little bit of a, a little sort of overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde said. “Yeah, and in public I think it makes a lot more sense for it to be in the research vein than I’d say the business vein.”
Ginde says in the video that it’s important for all Planned Parenthood affiliates to be on the same page about the issue, particularly those affiliates who may be in states where prevailing public opinion goes against abortion.
“Because if you have someone in a really anti-state that’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught,” she said.
During the conversation, Ginde is asked if she ever gets intact specimens.
“Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact,” she said.
CMP alleges that, since this particular Planned Parenthood affiliate does not use feticides in its second-trimester procedures, any intact deliveries prior to an abortion “are potentially born-alive infants under federal law.”
Near the end of the more than 11-minute video, Ginde digs through the remains of an 11-week-old fetus in a petri dish, showing different body parts to the undercover activist. 
At one point, a sound identified as a skull cracking is heard. Later, someone in the room asks questions such as "Do they want brain?" and "Do people do stuff with eyeballs?" The activist laments that using water in the petri dish has caused some of the tissue to come apart.
“Well you know, a lot of times, especially with the second [trimester fetuses], we won’t even put water, because it’s so big you can put your hand in there and pick out the parts,” Ginde says. “So I don’t think it would be as war-torn.”
As Ginde looks over the fetal tissue she says, “It’s a baby.”
The last quote in the video comes from a medical assistant, joyfully proclaiming “And another boy!” when she realizes the sex of the fetus they are dissecting.
The video is the fourth to be released by CMP. Like the first three, it contains undercover video of Planned Parenthood officials and associates.
Previous videos show Dr. Mary Gatter, a Planned Parenthood medical director in Southern California, meeting with people posing as buyers of fetal specimens. The conversation focuses on how much money the buyers should pay, although Planned Parenthood insists that it only sought to cover its expenses. The videos have brought investigations of Planned Parenthood's policies on aborted fetuses by three Republican-led congressional committees and three states.
Federal law prohibits the commercial sale of fetal tissue, but it allows the not-for-profit donation of tissue if the women who underwent abortions give their consent. Planned Parenthood says the payments discussed in the videos pertain to reimbursement for the costs of procuring the tissue -- which is legal.