Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘intimidation’

… What are They Thinking ?!?! [#Operation Choke Point]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,November 10th,2016

.. I am sorry that I did not know what Operation Choke Point was , before .

.. I do now .

.. It is unquestionably illegal , an illegal use of congressionally appropriated funds for which there is no moral or legitimate purpose . People who run legal businesses have a right to do business , without hindrance . Banks and other financial institutions may choose to or not to do business with them . They have the right to choose to enter or exit areas of business that they find tasteful . If they find them distasteful , then they will not do so . But , it is their choice …

.. [h/t — Newsmax]..
.. [link] to the news story ..

.. Governments have at their discretion a great deal of power . They should use it responsiby and carefully . It is not the province of the government , however , to grossly misuse its law enforcement and regulatory powers to harass , intimidate , and / or penalize them . They have a right to do business with whom they choose . They do not have a right to put them out of business by indirectly targeting them by their financial intermediaries [the banks / s&ls , etc]. It is not just unfair , it is illegal and unconstitutional …

Advertisements

Posted in financial opinion, fraud, legal info, legal strategy, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Amazing That They Would Do This [Russian Ploy in Ukraine]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,April 26th,2014

.. I had heard of the ploy with the Jewish residents of Ukraine , especially those who are the Jewish residents of the eastern and southeastern sections of that nation , who were demanded in flyers to register themselves and their property , or to be deported …

.. originally , I thought that it could have been Ukrainian radicals who pulled the stunt …

.. but , considering the level of diplomatic and military chess in Russia , I realized that it was much more likely that it was pro – Russian east Ukrainians , or even Russians themselves …. but , why ?? …

.. [h/t — Newsmax]..
.. [link] to the commentary ..

.. I realized , as has Bill Kristol [the fellow in the commentary , the editor of theWeeklyStandard] … that the Russians were the most likely culprit . They would want to turn world opinion against Ukraine . Guess why ??

.. so far , world sympathies have been with Ukraine . Especially after the Second Orange Revolution in the Maidan Square , earlier this year . The Russians would pay virtually any price if they could get away with it to turn world opinion against Ukraine …

Posted in personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Islamophobic My Ass …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,April 3rd,2014

.. this film and this clip (both of which were released) are a true groundbreaking exposé of the horrendous problem in the Arab World … and even here in  the Americas (both here in the United States , and in Canada) … the gawd awful horror of honor killings …

… these women have bravely fought the good fight to bring this story to the screen … and now , C.A.I.R. (the Council on American – Islamic Relations) is trying to shut it down …

.. why ? .. because they call it Islamophobic … As I put it in my title , the video and movie are anything but Islamophobic …

.. how can people do such a thing ? Basically , the ” honor ” system is nothing but the enslavement of women …

.. [h/t — HonorDiaries]..

.. [link] to their website ..

.. [h/t — YouTube]

.. [link] to an Extended Clip …

.. [link] to the movie itself

.. you should see the website , and the film trailer . When and if possible , buy the film from the ITunes store , or attend a screening in your local community . These folks deserve your support , and C.A.I.R. should be ashamed of itself for trying to silence screenings on college campuses … In the old days , that might have worked , but now ?? … in the internet age , that cannot work , it will not work , it must not work  ….

Posted in personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… It is an Accurate Term , Folks [“Homosexual”] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,April 2nd,2014

.. trust me , I still use it ..

.. many people still use it ..

.. [h/t — TruthRevolt]..
.. [link] to the article ..

.. the PC word police is turning its fire to FoxNews . They are working on folks , ones such as Megyn Kelly , Bill O Reilly , and Sarah Palin . They are trying to intimidate FoxNews as a network , and its personalities . Wrong move , dummies ! The more that you hammer them over this , the more stubborn that they will be …

.. it seems that the PC – word police is trying to ban the word ” homosexual ” from public use . Uh , guys and gals , it accurately describes the action and the act , you morons !! …

Posted in moral opinion, moral opposition, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… the Anti – Che [Felix Rodriguez] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,August 12th,2013

.. I wanted to repost this fine National Review piece by Jay Nordlinger about the quinticential anti – Che (Guevara) and pentultimate freedom fighter Felix Rodriguez

.. thank you and may God Bless You for Your Service , Felix ! Hopefully , god – willing , someday , you will be able to return home to Cuba , in both freedom , and in triumph !! …

The Anti-Che

… Jay Nordlinger , National Review …

Miami, Fla. — Felix Rodriguez seems fated to be linked to Che Guevara. This is not entirely just. Rodriguez loves freedom, and has worked tirelessly for it; Guevara loved tyranny, and worked tirelessly for it. “Two sides of the same coin,” some people say. Maybe — but only in the way that light and dark are two sides of the same coin. Rodriguez had a role in stopping Guevara. He was there, in the Bolivian mountains, in 1967. He was the last person to talk with Guevara — a man who did so much to tyrannize the country where Rodriguez was born, Cuba.

The story of Guevara’s last day has been told many times, in many ways. Rodriguez told it in his 1989 memoir, Shadow Warrior. It

... Felix is at left , the slob in a bead is Guevara ...

… Felix is at left , the slob in a bead is Guevara …

is told in a book published earlier this year, Daybreak at La Higuera, by Rafael Cerrato, a Spaniard. La Higuera is the village where Guevara met his end. Cerrato’s main sources for the book are Rodriguez, who was working for the Central Intelligence Agency, and Dariel Alarcón Ramírez, whose nom de guerre was Benigno. A Cuban, Benigno was Guevara’s lieutenant in Bolivia. He was also a member of Fidel Castro’s inner circle. He defected in 1996 — and now he and Rodriguez are friends.

Just a week ago, Rodriguez made a donation to the CIA Museum: ashes from Guevara’s last pipe. But he has a few more of those ashes here, in his Miami home. His den is chock-a-block with mementos. On the wall, for example, is a bond signed by José Martí, Cuba’s national hero. In this den, we talk about events past, present, and future. Rodriguez is an excellent talker (as well as doer). He is large, sharp, and commanding.

He was born in 1941. His hometown is Sancti Spíritus, in central Cuba. His father was a storeowner; his mother helped out in the store and tended the house. Rodriguez’s earliest memory is of being with his mom while she talked about what Hitler was doing in Europe. The little boy was scared that the Nazis would come to Cuba. Among his forebears are notable figures from Cuba’s wars of independence. One of these figures is Alejandro Rodríguez Velasco, who would become the first popularly elected mayor of Havana. In 1895, Máximo Gómez sent a letter to this man’s wife — who had asked whether her husband might come home from the field. Gómez wrote her a tender letter about the value of fighting for freedom. This letter is one of Felix Rodriguez’s treasures.

And who was Máximo Gómez? Cubans know: He was an officer from the Dominican Republic, who went to Cuba to help that country win its independence from Spain. For Cubans, he is a Lafayette. In the 1980s, Felix Rodriguez went to El Salvador, as a private citizen, to help that country defeat a Castro-backed Communist insurgency. The alias he adopted: Max Gomez. Here in his den, he reads out the letter from the original Gómez — and chokes up.

When he was about twelve, an uncle offered him the chance to study in the United States. Felix was reluctant at first, because he loved his life in Cuba. But another uncle, who had studied in Paris, said, “Think hard about this. This is a rare opportunity, and if you pass it up, you’ll regret it.” Felix heeded this advice. And he chose a school in Pennsylvania, because he wanted to see snow. The school was called Perkiomen, in Pennsburg, not far from Philadelphia. When he was a junior in high school, his country experienced its cataclysmic event: the takeover by Castro and his fellow revolutionaries. Felix’s parents were on vacation in Mexico. (It turned out to be a long vacation.) Felix, just 17, determined to fight the Communists, as soon as possible.

It was possible through something called the Anti-Communist Legion of the Caribbean, being formed in the Dominican Republic — which itself was ruled by a dictator, Trujillo. Felix joined up against his parents’ will. He arrived in Santo Domingo — or Ciudad Trujillo, as it was then — on July 4, 1959. He hoped that this date, the Fourth of July, would be as auspicious for Cubans as it had been for Americans. The Anti-Communist Legion staged just one mission into Cuba, a disaster: Castro was waiting for them, and all the troops were killed or captured. Rodriguez had been excluded from the mission at the last second. A friend of his, Roberto Martín Pérez, was captured and spent the next 28 years in Castro’s prisons. Rodriguez vowed to keep doing what he could.

One of the themes of his life is that too few people know what it is to have your country seized by totalitarians. In a 60 Minutes piece, aired in 1989, Mike Wallace asked Rodriguez why he was helping the Salvadorans. “What is it, are you a war-lover? Is that it? Are you constantly in search of adventure?” Rodriguez replied, in short, that people in general are clueless. You can read about Communism, but until you have experienced it for yourself, you have no idea. Also, there is the experience of exile: to be ripped from your country and family and friends, and not be able to return.

Many people think of Castro and his brother as Northern European–style socialists who occasionally get a little rough — or as traditional caudillos who flavor their speech with Marxism-Leninism. In reality, they are in the mold of Hoxha or Ceausescu, monsters. And the Castros’ grip on Cuba is monstrous. Like many Cubans and Cuban Americans, Rodriguez often refers to Fidel Castro simply as “he” or “him.” Equally often, he refers to him as “the son-of-a-bitch.”

#page#At the beginning of 1961, he had an idea: He would assassinate the son-of-a-bitch. It would avoid or shorten the coming war, he reasoned. He and a friend volunteered their services — and the CIA accepted. The Agency equipped Rodriguez with a German rifle, which had a telescopic sight. The Agency also added a radio operator to the team. Three times, this team headed to Cuba on a luxurious yacht, whose captain was American and whose crew was made up of tough, hardened Ukrainians and Romanians, bearing East Bloc weapons. Rodriguez later heard that the yacht belonged to Sargent Shriver, President Kennedy’s brother-in-law. All three times, something went awry, and the Agency changed its mind about the assassination mission. In late February of ’61, Rodriguez was sent into Cuba as part of an infiltration team, whose mission was to help the Cuban resistance in advance of the invasion: an invasion that would be known as the Bay of Pigs.

Rodriguez’s mission was, of course, harrowing, with many close calls. But it was not without its amusing elements. One day, Rodriguez and a companion approached a beach. Not thinking, Rodriguez said to a militiaman, “Is it okay to use this beach or is it private?” The militiaman said, “Compañero, where you been? There aren’t any private beaches anymore. They all belong to the people!” “Oh, right,” said Rodriguez. “Thanks, compañero. Power to the Revolution!” But Rodriguez was soon warned away from a particular stretch of beach: which was marked off for Fidel Castro himself.

In his Miami den, Rodriguez gives a detailed account of the Bay of Pigs, an operation that earned the name “fiasco.” The blunders of the American planners are almost unbelievable. The Cubans had confidence until the end, says Rodriguez: America was John Wayne. And John Wayne never loses. Until he did. After the Bay of Pigs, Cuban hopes sank, and Castro cemented his power. Fear gripped the island. People shrank from resistance, understandably. Rodriguez managed to get to the Venezuelan embassy in Havana, where he was sheltered for five months: He left Cuba in September 1961. He would not be sheltered in the Venezuelan embassy today: The government in Caracas regards the Castro dictatorship as a model. Venezuelan oil helps sustain the Castro dictatorship. As Rodriguez sees it, Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, is loyal to the Castros, like a son to a father (two of them). Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, was the same way.

Rodriguez married a Cuban girl he met when he was 14 — “It was love at first sight.” He and Rosa had two children, Rosemarie and Felix Jr. The family settled into American life — but not entirely. They were between countries, in a sense, as so many others in South Florida were. Then, in 1967, came Felix’s rendezvous with Guevara.

The old Argentinean guerrilla was in Bolivia to lead a revolution, to impose on that country what he had already helped impose on Cuba. The “old” guerrilla was 39; Rodriguez was 26. He was assigned by the CIA to assist Bolivian forces in tracking Guevara down. What was his role in ultimate success? We can say the following: Rodriguez’s skillfully gentle interrogation of a young guerrilla prisoner helped the Bolivians home in on the guerrilla leader. On October 9, Rodriguez met this leader face to face, in the mud-brick schoolhouse in La Higuera. You can imagine some of the emotion. Guevara had killed many people, personally, back in Cuba — mainly at La Cabaña, his fortress headquarters. Before they died, the Cubans shouted, “Viva Cuba libre!” (“Long live free Cuba!”) and “Viva Cristo Rey!” (“Long live Christ the King!”). And now Rodriguez had him at his feet.

Guevara was a cocky killer, but he was not so cocky at this moment. Still, he had an air of command. Said Rodriguez, “Che Guevara, I want to talk to you.” Said Guevara, “No one interrogates me.” But talk they did — about philosophy, life, and death. Rodriguez asked him about the people he killed at La Cabaña. Guevara said they were all “foreigners.” He himself had been a foreigner in Cuba, of course. And as Rodriguez pointed out to him, he was a foreigner in Bolivia. Guevara answered, “These are matters of the proletariat that are beyond your comprehension.” Rodriguez asked how he, an Argentinean physician, could have become president of the Cuban national bank. Guevara told him a funny story: One day, Castro said to his top cadres, “Who here is a dedicated economist,” or economista? Guevara thought he had said comunista — and raised his hand. That’s how he became president of the national bank. Rodriguez thought he might be kidding — but later, Benigno, the Cuban defector, confirmed the story. He had been present, sitting right next to Guevara.

Rodriguez’s orders from Washington were to do everything he could to keep Guevara alive. Then, the prisoner would be transported to Panama, to be interrogated by the Americans. But the Bolivians had the authority in this matter. It was their war, their country — and they wanted him dead. Rodriguez gave the prisoner the news. “It’s better this way, Felix,” said Guevara. “I should never have been captured alive.” Rodriguez said to him, “Comandante, do you want me to say anything to your family if I ever have the opportunity?” After an interval, Guevara said, “Yes. Tell Fidel that he will soon see a triumphant revolution in America” (i.e., South America). “And tell my wife to get remarried and try to be happy.” The two men embraced. Then Rodriguez walked out of the schoolhouse. (He was never to meet Guevara’s family.)

#page#The Bolivian officer in charge, Joaquín Zenteno Anaya, had offered Rodriguez the chance to finish Guevara off. Guevara had done Rodriguez’s country so much harm, Zenteno said. It was only right that he have the opportunity. But he declined. It was left to a Bolivian sergeant. Rodriguez has always maintained that Guevara died with courage and dignity. He admired him for it, and still does. But that’s as far as his admiration goes.

He remembers meeting a woman some 30 years ago, whose son had been executed at La Cabaña. He was 15 years old. She went to the fortress to beg for his life. Guevara received her. This was on a Monday. He called an assistant and said, “When is this prisoner scheduled to be executed?” On Friday, he was told. The prisoner’s mother thought Guevara was going to grant a reprieve. Instead, he said, “Get him and execute him now, so his mother doesn’t have to wait until Friday.” She fainted. Says Rodriguez, “He was a very, very cruel man.”

What does he think when he sees Guevara’s face on all those T-shirts? What does he think of the people who wear those T-shirts? Mainly that they are ignorant, having no idea who Guevara was or what he did or what he stood for. One day, Benigno and his wife saw a young Frenchman in a Che shirt. His wife asked him, “Who is that fellow on your shirt?” The young man answered, “A rock singer.”

Rodriguez became an American citizen in 1969. And he volunteered for Vietnam. From 1970 to 1972, he was in special operations. He told the Vietnamese with whom he worked, “I’ve already lost my country,” meaning his original country, “but it’s not too late for you: You can fight for your country.” One Christmas, after he was back home in Miami, he received a card from a Vietnamese comrade named Hoa. “Do you think the United States will ever abandon us?” asked Hoa. Rodriguez wrote back and said no. In his view, the U.S. did in fact abandon the Vietnamese, in 1975. He is of the school that says the U.S. won the war militarily but lost it politically, and shamefully. After their triumph, the Vietnamese Communists killed about a million.

In 1976, Rodriguez left the CIA, for several reasons. One had to do with security. In May of that year, Zenteno, the Bolivian, was gunned down in Paris. He had been serving as his country’s ambassador to France. Claiming responsibility was a group that called itself the International Che Guevara Brigade. Not long after, Rodriguez received a call at home. In Spanish, a man asked for “Felix Ramos.” Then he said, “You’re next.” That name, Felix Ramos, had been Rodriguez’s alias in Bolivia. (Unlike “Max Gomez,” it had no political or historical significance.) The Agency offered to give Rodriguez and his family new identities and move them to a different state. But Rodriguez decided against: too disruptive. So, the Agency added security enhancements to his house, bullet-proofed his car, and took some other measures. They also gave him a very high award: the Intelligence Star, for valor.

For some years, the Cuban dictatorship had a price on Rodriguez’s head. From Benigno, Rodriguez learned that Raúl Castro had a special interest in him. There were at least three plots against Rodriguez. Is there still a price on his head? He thinks not: “The Cuban government has enough problems without worrying about me. But it’s always possible that some crazy guy will try to do something to congratulate himself.”

Rodriguez has a lot to say about the Carter years — none of it good — but we will skip ahead to the Reagan years. In 1985, Rodriguez went to El Salvador, as a private citizen, and as Max Gomez. He flew hundreds of combat missions with Salvadoran forces, applying what he had learned about counterinsurgency. He told the Salvadorans exactly what he had told the Vietnamese: “It may be too late for Cuba, but it’s not too late for you.” El Salvador remained out of Communist hands and took a democratic path (however stony). Like all astute observers, Rodriguez sees a general threat to Latin America today: The threat is from little Castros who are elected democratically — once. Then they go about Castroization. Rodriguez cites Evo Morales, among others: He will rule Bolivia for a very long time, presumably.

While in El Salvador, Rodriguez received a request from a White House staffer, a man soon to become famous: Oliver North. Would Rodriguez help with the resupply of the Contras in Nicaragua? They were fighting the Castro-backed, and Soviet-backed, junta in Managua. Rodriguez agreed — but fairly rapidly became disillusioned with the whole “Enterprise” (as North called it). Equipment for the Contras was shoddy and unsafe. Operational security was shaky. What really stuck in Rodriguez’s craw was war-profiteering. In 1987, he testified at the Iran-Contra hearings, without a lawyer, and without holding back. That was the end of his involvement in scandal, he thought.

But a month later, there was an eye-popping story in the Miami Herald: A convicted money launderer for the Medellín cartel had accused Rodriguez of soliciting drug money for the Contras. This was a leak supplied by “unnamed congressional sources.” And who might they be? It was no mystery. In the Senate, John Kerry was chairing a subcommittee known to one and all as the “Kerry Committee.” He was keen to establish a link between the Contras and drug-running. He was especially keen to link the vice president, George Bush, to any such drug-running. Rodriguez had a tie to Bush, because the vice president’s national-security adviser was Donald Gregg, who had been Rodriguez’s superior in Vietnam. Rodriguez wanted to testify before Kerry’s committee in an open hearing, so he could clear his name. But Kerry insisted on a closed hearing.

#page#Toward the end of that hearing, Rodriguez said to Kerry, “Senator, this has been the hardest testimony I ever gave in my life.” Kerry asked why. “Because,” said Rodriguez, “it is extremely difficult to have to answer questions from someone you do not respect, and I do not respect you and what you are doing here.” The senator was not pleased. “Boy, did he blow his top,” Rodriguez says. But after almost a year — and considerable Republican pressure — Kerry apologized to Rodriguez and acknowledged that the money launderer’s accusation was false. Fine, says Rodriguez. But if you Google his name, you will find plenty of references to the Medellín drug cartel. The endurance, the permanence, of the 1987 lie rankles Rodriguez.

While Kerry had Rodriguez before him, he took the opportunity to question him about Che Guevara and Bolivia. For one thing, had he really done all he could to save the guerrilla’s life? Kerry was sarcastic in this questioning. It seems to Rodriguez that Kerry, at that time, had sympathy for Guevara, and the Sandinistas, and Castro. In 2004, when the senator was the presidential nominee of the Democratic party, Rodriguez spoke against him at a rally on Capitol Hill organized by Vietnam Veterans for Truth. Today, of course, Kerry is secretary of state — which pains and disgusts Rodriguez. “I despise that guy. He is a phony. He was a phony during the Vietnam War. He’s a self-promoter.” His voice trails off: “I don’t like the guy at all . . .”

Cubans such as Felix Rodriguez expected the Castro dictatorship to last a year, two years, maybe three. He was 17 when Castro took over; Castro, with his brother, still rules the island, and Rodriguez is 72. Communism in Cuba has lasted longer than Communism in Eastern Europe, by ten years and counting. Obviously, this is more painful and disgusting to Rodriguez than John Kerry’s current status as U.S. secretary of state. Cuba was no Jeffersonian democracy when Castro took over. But it was nothing like the totalitarian hell he and his partners made it. And it has had no chance to evolve in a democratic direction, as the Dominican Republic and lots of other places did. When will it end? When will the Communists fall? Cubans are weary of answering this question, after almost 55 years. Rodriguez, though, points to the Castros’ friends in Venezuela: If the oil ever stopped coming, the brothers would be in trouble. Needless to say, Rodriguez is unsure whether he will see Cuba again.

Twenty-five years ago, he wrote in his memoir, “Sometimes I feel a little bit like Ulysses. . . . Like him, I am from an island nation. Like him, I went to war. And like him, I am having a hard time getting home.” How about today? Does he still feel that way? Is he still trying to get home? Where’s home? “It’s complicated,” Rodriguez says. Yes, it is. It is complicated for virtually all Cuban Americans of his generation. Rodriguez is a patriotic Cuban. He is also a patriotic American. Under normal circumstances, this would be a bald contradiction, but the circumstances of the Cuban exile are peculiar, not normal. Rodriguez says that the Cuba he knew has been destroyed, over these 50-plus years. He doesn’t know anyone over there anymore. The Communists long ago expropriated his family home in Sancti Spíritus. If the regime fell, he wouldn’t claim it. But he might like to negotiate to buy it, “for sentimental reasons.”

The 60 Minutes piece done on him in 1989 is an exercise in soft-Left condescension. It portrays anti-Communism as some kind of mental disorder, or at least a sign of immaturity. Of Rodriguez, Mike Wallace says, “He has never lost his love of war nor his anti-Communist ideals.” Rodriguez doesn’t love war: But he is willing to fight in order to keep or gain freedom and peace. At the end of the segment, Wallace wonders, “What does the future hold for this 48-year-old foot soldier in a fading Cold War?” Arthur Liman, who was chief counsel to the Iran-Contra Committee, says, “I think that Felix Rodriguez will probably end up — and I hate to say this — in an unmarked grave in some faraway place, fighting the remnants of Communism.” Wallace responds, “A little bit like Che Guevara.”

William F. Buckley Jr. once came up with a formulation: Say that Smith pushes an old lady out of the way of an onrushing bus. Then Jones pushes an old lady into the way of an onrushing bus. It would be absurd to say that these are two men who push old ladies around. Felix Rodriguez will always be linked to Che Guevara, and they both fought. But they are not alike. Rodriguez’s face will probably not grace a T-shirt. He is what they call a “right-wing Cuban exile.” Guevara is a “romantic revolutionary” and “idealist.” His face sits on a billion T-shirts. Pilgrims flock to La Higuera, to worship at his shrine there. But of the two men, Rodriguez and Guevara, only one deserves honor.

Posted in moral opinion, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… You Call it LawFare …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Saturday,May 25th,2013

one of my favourite blogs in my blogs blogroll

that one is LawFareBlog.com

it is dedicated to the subject and coverage of legal warfare , aimed @ conservatives

and libertarians

this kim strassel column caught my eye , on the web // wsj 05242013

it was a test drive of the ObamaCrap intimidation strategy in the ‘ 08 campaign

it sent a veiled warning to GOP and conservative contributors

speak out and fund , contribute large amounts , you will have trouble w. us in office will use levers of government to get back at you , send message to others

hit on ’12 GOP campaigns , hit their donor streams …

… POTOMAC WATCH May 23rd , 2013 …

Strassel: Conservatives Became Targets in 2008 The Obama campaign played a big role in

a liberal onslaught that far pre-dated Citizens United.By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL   The White House insists President Obama is “outraged” by the “inappropriate” targeting and harassment of conservative groups. If true, it’s a remarkable turnaround for a man  who helped pioneer those tactics.

On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground. The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.

What came next was not common. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign (and later general counsel for the White House), on the same day wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, “its officers and directors,” and its “anonymous donors.” Mr. Bauer claimed that the nonprofit, as a 501 (c)(4), was committing a “knowing and willful violation” of election law, and wanted “action to enforce against criminal violations.”

AIP gave Justice a full explanation as to why it was not in violation. It said that it operated exactly as liberal groups like Naral Pro-Choice did. It noted that it had disclosed its donor, Texas businessman Harold Simmons. Mr. Bauer’s response was a second letter to Justice calling for the prosecution of Mr. Simmons. He sent a third letter on Sept. 8, again smearing the “sham” AIP’s “illegal electoral purpose.”

Also on Sept. 8, Mr. Bauer complained to the Federal Election Commission about AIP and Mr. Simmons. He demanded that AIP turn over certain tax documents to his campaign (his right under IRS law), then sent a letter to AIP further hounding it for confidential information (to which he had no legal right).

The Bauer onslaught was a big part of a new liberal strategy to thwart the rise of conservative groups. In early August 2008, the New York Times trumpeted the creation of a left-wing group (a 501(c)4) called Accountable America. Founded by Obama supporter and liberal activist Tom Mattzie, the group—as the story explained—would start by sending “warning” letters to 10,000 GOP donors, “hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.” The letters would alert “right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.” As Mr. Mattzie told Mother Jones: “We’re going to put them at risk.”

The Bauer letters were the Obama campaign’s high-profile contribution to this effort—though earlier, in the spring of 2008, Mr. Bauer filed a complaint with the FEC against the American Leadership Project, a group backing Hillary Clinton in the primary.

“There’s going to be a reckoning here,” he had warned publicly. “It’s going to be rough—it’s going to be rough on the officers, it’s going to be rough on the employees, it’s going to be rough on the donors. . . Whether it’s at the FEC or in a broader criminal inquiry, those donors will be asked questions.” The campaign similarly attacked a group supporting John Edwards.

American Leadership head (and Democrat) Jason Kinney would rail that Mr. Bauer had gone from “credible legal authority” to “political hatchet man”—but the damage was done. As Politico reported in August 2008, Mr. Bauer’s words had “the effect of scaring [Clinton and Edwards] donors and consultants,” even if they hadn’t yet “result[ed] in any prosecution.”

As general counsel to the Obama re-election campaign, Mr. Bauer used the same tactics on pro-Romney groups. The Obama campaign targeted private citizens who had donated to Romney groups. Democratic senators demanded that the IRS investigate these organizations.

None of this proves that Mr. Obama was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits. But it does help explain how we got an environment in which the IRS thought this was acceptable.

Related Video   Editorial board member Steve Moore offers a round-up of the news this week on the IRS’s targeting conservative groups. Photo: Getty Images . . The rise of conservative organizations (to match liberal groups that had long played in politics), and their effectiveness in the 2004 election (derided broadly by liberals as “swift boating”), led to a new and organized campaign in 2008 to chill conservative donors and groups via the threat of government investigation and prosecution. The tone in any organization—a charity, a corporation, the U.S. government—is set at the top.

This history also casts light on White House claims that it was clueless about the IRS’s targeting. As Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman wrote this week: “With two winning presidential campaigns built on successful grassroots fundraising, with a former White House counsel (in 2010-11) who is one of the Democrats’ leading experts on campaign law (Bob Bauer), with former top campaign officials having been ensconced as staffers in the White House . . . it’s hard to imagine that the Obama inner circle was oblivious to the issue of what the IRS was doing in Cincinnati.” More like inconceivable.

And this history exposes the left’s hollow claim that the IRS mess rests on Citizens United. The left was targeting conservative groups and donors well before the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on independent political expenditures by corporations.

If the country wants to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, it must first remember the context for this abuse. That context leads to this White House.   There are many other examples that one can add to Strassel’s analysis. One that I remember with particular bitterness is from September 2008, when the Democratic National Committee and several Obama-aligned organizations pressured the Jewish community to un-invite Sarah Palin from a rally against Iran at the UN.

What happened was that a group of Jewish non-profit organizations had organized the rally and invited both Gov. Palin and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Clinton initially agreed to attend, but the Obama campaign was terrified at the prospect of her sharing a stage with Palin and sending a signal that Democrat women left frustrated by Clinton’s loss might switch parties. So they pressured Clinton to withdraw–and then pressured the Jewish groups to deny Palin a platform, claiming that the rally was now “partisan.”

Jewish members of the Democratic National Committee reportedly made threats to challenge the groups’ IRS non-profit status.

J Street, which had only recently started up as an organization devoted to promoting criticism of Israel and Obama’s Middle East policy, joined in the pressure campaign, circulating a petition addressed to Jewish leader and rally organizer Malcolm Hoenlein.

When Palin was un-invited, J Street celebrated its role in that deplorable display of thuggish intimidation of free speech and assembly: “We Won!” it boasted. (So did Iran, that day.)

The Obama campaign’s tactics weren’t confined to non-profit groups. Indeed, its present practice of trying to intimidate journalists emerged at the same time. In late August 2008, the Obama campaign organized an effort to shut down a radio interview between Chicago journalist Milt Rosenberg and conservative author Stanley Kurtz, who had just done the definitive research exposing the ties between Ayers and Obama. (The campaign declined an invitation to appear on the show itself.) The producer of the show later wrote: “It’s interesting to see what lengths the Obama campaign is willing to reach to stifle dissenting voices.”

Those of us who protested the Obama campaign’s tactics at the time were ignored, as were most who noted what the Obama administration later did to the Tea Party and conservatives. Strassel adds that Bauer came back for the Obama re-election campaign in 2012 and used the same tactics against Romney donors.

“None of this proves that Mr. Obama was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative  nonprofits,” she writes. “But it does help explain how we got an environment in which the IRS thought this was acceptable.”

The important point is that the Obama administration’s behavior in the Benghazi scandal (intimidating whistleblowers), the IRS scandal (targeting conservative nonprofits and donors), and the AP and Rosen scandals (hounding individual journalists and news agencies , and the AP and Rosen scandals (hounding individual journalists and news agencies) is a feature of Obama’s character and leadership, not a bug. He may know well enough to keep himself at arm’s length, to retain the façade of “plausible deniability.” But the pattern of behavior is becoming undeniable, as is Obama’s ultimate responsibility.

[Update]  on Saturday evening

.. I was reviewing another relatively conservative legal blog , one that is also a part of my blogroll , called — Legal Insurrection . com . It is run by Prof . William Jacobson , a law professor at Cornell University ‘ s law school . I came across it a couple of years ago , and it was an immediate hit with me . He also touches on the Kim Strassel column in the Wall Street Journal . I trust that you will find it as informative as I do  …

Team Obama’s dirty war against conservatives

            Posted by                            Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:39am
Kimberley Strassel makes in important point today at The Wall Street Journal, taking apart the defense that the IRS was warranted in targeting conservative groups seeking 501(c)(4) status because of the Citizens United decision.  Strassel documents how people close to and involved in the Obama campaign sought to pressure the government to target conservatives years before the Citizens United decision.

Conservatives Became Targets in 2008:

The White House insists President Obama is “outraged” by the “inappropriate” targeting and harassment of conservative groups. If true, it’s a remarkable turnaround for a man who helped pioneer those tactics.

On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground. The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.

What came next was not common. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign (and later general counsel for the White House), on the same day wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, “its officers and directors,” and its “anonymous donors.” Mr. Bauer claimed that the nonprofit, as a 501(c)(4), was committing a “knowing and willful violation” of election law, and wanted “action to enforce against criminal violations.”

AIP gave Justice a full explanation as to why it was not in violation. It said that it operated exactly as liberal groups like Naral Pro-Choice did. It noted that it had disclosed its donor, Texas businessman Harold Simmons. Mr. Bauer’s response was a second letter to Justice calling for the prosecution of Mr. Simmons. He sent a third letter on Sept. 8, again smearing the “sham” AIP’s “illegal electoral purpose.”

Also on Sept. 8, Mr. Bauer complained to the Federal Election Commission about AIP and Mr. Simmons. He demanded that AIP turn over certain tax documents to his campaign (his right under IRS law), then sent a letter to AIP further hounding it for confidential information (to which he had no legal right).

The Bauer onslaught was a big part of a new liberal strategy to thwart the rise of conservative groups.

Strassel then goes on to document how the new liberal targeting strategy played out in the years prior to Citizens United.

And this history exposes the left’s hollow claim that the IRS mess rests on Citizens United. The left was targeting conservative groups and donors well before the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on independent political expenditures by corporations.

If the country wants to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, it must first remember the context for this abuse. That context leads to this White House.

That’s certainly part of the dirty war against conservatives.

But the dirty war also has included secondary boycotts of conservative speakers and groups organized by Media Matters, Color of Change and similar well-funded liberal entities.  Those boycotts were not mere expressions of disagreement, but attempts to deprive conservatives of platforms on and through which to express speech, whether a radio show, a cable news station, or a 501(c)(4) organization.

None of these can be viewed in isolation.  For 5 years we have endured wide-ranging attempts to suppress conservative political speech.  The IRS scandal is just one part of it.

Update:  A reader writes:

Note as well that Bob Bauer’s wife is the, ahem, interesting Anita Dunn.

Posted in legal info, legal opinion, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… What are these ObamaCraps Thinking ??? …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,May 20th,2013

What Are These ObamaCraps Thinking ???

.. A reporter is doing her or his job . Even though , normally , possession of certain material is a very big no – no (ie , illegal) . A reporter , especially one doing their job , is given a certain amount of latitude . It appears that the ObamaCrap Department of InJustice has really done it again .

.. James Rosen is a solid reporter . He is a long – time correspondent for FoxNewsChannel , covering State , Defence , and Intelligence issues . He is not someone who is known for stepping over a line . He has , to my knowledge , a very understated manner , but a very strong professional reputation . How anyone can think of him as the target of any kind of criminal investigation , I do not understand .

.. Well , guess what . Jimmy Rosen , it appears , is on the hot seat . Until now , in secret . The InJustice Department was conducting a criminal investigation , one that you would think would target someone in their own department . Well , no  . They are  going after the media . Again .

.. You think , after the AP imbroglio , they would have learned their lesson . Unfortunately , that appears not to be the case . InJustice is targeting Rosen , but not just him . They are going after another FoxSnooze producer , along with west – coast based correspondent William LaJeunesse . Why ?

.. It appears that they are really mad over getting badly burned on the botched ATF operation that was ” Fast and Furious . ” Well , they are pissed over part and parcel getting out . They are going after a high – profile target . Guess who ! James Rosen .

** here ** read the search warrant affadavit (James Rosen case FNC) for yourself . It is a pdf file , no scribd to fiddle with …

… to quote … [h/t — Newsbusters]

When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.

They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e – mails.

The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to the Associated Press.

… and , to quote … [h/t — the Washington Post]

Obama last week defended the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation involving the AP, which is focused on who leaked information to the news organization about a foiled plot involving the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. AP executives and First Amendment watchdogs have criticized the Justice Department in part for the broad scope of the phone records it secretly subpoenaed from AP offices in Washington, Hartford , Conn., and New York.

“The latest events show an expansion of this law enforcement technique,” said attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim on federal charges filed in 2010 that he disclosed national defense information. A trial is possible as soon as 2014. “Individual reporters or small time periods have turned into 20 [telephone] lines and months of records with no obvious attempt to be targeted or narrow.”

The president said press freedoms must be balanced against the protection of U.S. personnel overseas. According to the office of Ronald Machen Jr., the U.S. attorney for the District, its prosecutors followed federal regulations by first seeking the information through other means before subpoenaing media phone records. Machen’s office is investigating both the Kim and AP cases. The Justice Department said in a statement that in both cases it had abided by “all applicable laws, regulations, and longstanding Department of Justice policies intended to safeguard the First Amendment interests of the press in reporting the news and the public in receiving it.”

… FoxNewsChannel Statement … [h/t — Twitchy]

” We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co – conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter . In  fact , it is downright  chilling . We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of   [what up   unitl now has always been a free press . ]”

.. One should remember , that it remains an open question whether it is ever illegal , for a reporter to solicit information. No reporter, including Rosen, has been prosecuted for doing so .

… In effect , this is criminalizing news reporting . Where the hell is the Department of InJustice going ? What are they doing ? What are  they thinking ? …

Posted in personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »