All the President’s Thugs

By J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS | PJ MEDIA | FEBRUARY 28, 2013

Hey, Bob, you can’t say we didn’t warn you. We knew this White House was capable of attacking even the great Bob Woodward for telling the truth.

You could have listened to Michael Barone. He saw it coming even before Barack Obama was elected. In October 2008, he penned “The Coming Obama Thugocracy.”

I experienced it when DOJ press harpy Tracy Schmaler yelled at a half dozen reporters, as the White House official did to you, about my under-oath testimony involving the New Black Panther dismissal.  Her victims included Pete Williams, Quin Hillyer, and Sharyl Attkisson. After Schmaler’s thug tendencies were well known, she was nurtured and promoted within the Thugocracy instead of being canned, as any administration before this one would have done to her — Republican or Democrat.

Schmaler has since been appointed a Made Man of sorts, entering the rarefied private sector air of David Axelrod’s shop.

Schmaler’s story is typical of this gang. Her shouting, threats, and rants at reporters would have rendered her unqualified to serve in the press shop of a state department of agriculture.

But there is something unique about the Obama White House. It borrows tactics and standards from the darker figures in history — threats, projection, unrepentant dishonesty, towering columns in stadiums, and even bloody mayhem like Fast and Furious hatched for political purposes.

Richard Nixon seems like a fluffy kitten compared to this crowd.

Which brings us back to you, Mr. Woodward. What’s happened when you, of all people, are the bad guy?

Had you ventured into any cocktail party in Silver Spring or Takoma Park just a few years ago, you would have been treated like a hero — liberal Washington’s very own version of Pittsburgh Pirate Bill Mazeroski, who with one swing of a bat brought down the reviled Nixon.  “Maz” never had to pay for a meal in Pittsburgh after that October afternoon in 1960 when he delivered a World Series.

FULL ARTICLE …

U.S. says it’s ready to strike back at Chinese cyber attackers

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 20, 2013

As The Real Agenda informed yesterday, a new report issued by internet security company Mandiant has concluded that some of the most visible cyber attacks on U.S. based companies and government entities are coming from China. This wasn’t a secret at all, since much of the equipment used in American companies and institutions are either manufactured in China or have Chinese-made components. According to experts, it is precisely through this components that the Chinese hackers may be entering sensible systems in government and large corporations such as banks and media outlets.

The accusation made by Mandiant established that the Chinese military is responsible for hacking into government and private computer systems to steal data in an attempt to get its hands on trade secrets and information about infrastructure. Today, the Obama administration is said to be weighing a list of fines and commercial punishment to stop the Chinese and any other government-sponsored cyber attack.

Research conducted by Mandiant in the last three years, shows that attacks on American government agencies, and private companies are coming directly from a Chinese-based operation in Shanghai. The existence of this entity and the purpose of its operations are well-known by the Asian government, says Mandiant.

The Associated Press reports today that American officials familiar with the U.S. plans, the White House will present a report with preliminary proposals to address the Chinese threat. It is not clear whether this proposals are real actions that the U.S. government will take, has taken already or if it is only a way to publicly show concern about the attacks while privately maneuvering in a different direction. The U.S. report will speak again about the imminent cyber threat previously described by people like Leon Panetta, who earlier this year and late in 2012 spoke about the possibility of a possible ‘cyber Pearl Harbor’.

Mandiant’s report, which apparently was requested by a group of private companies reveal that more than 140 enterprises were attacked by the People’s Liberation Army’s Unit 61398. The attacks were carried out after the hackers breached security protocols in those companies which supposedly enabled them to steal sensible information about their operations as well as private data about their customers. Along with Mandiant’s report, military experts believe that the hackers are part of China’s cyber command which works directly under orders from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This would mean that the cyber attacks are authorized by people in important positions who work for China’s military.

“If the Chinese government flew planes into our airspace, our planes would escort them away. If it happened two, three or four times, the president would be on the phone and there would be threats of retaliation,” said former FBI executive assistant director Shawn Henry to AP. Both Mandiant’s report and the U.S. government’s recognition of the alleged Chinese threat, puts even more pressure on the Americans to show firmness in their actions. Simply talking about the threat will not solve anything. The Americans will have to retaliate strongly against the hackers and / or begin direct public talks with the Chinese military in order to sort out the details of the attacks.

According to Mandiant, this division of the Chinese Army employs thousands of people modern programming techniques and network management, which means that it counts with the support of important people and government organizations. The alleged Chinese military unit has stolen hundreds of terabytes of data since its activities were first registered in 2006″.

Although many of the alleged corporate victims are based in the United States, Canadian and British companies have also been attacked. In the case of the Canadians and British, hackers have accessed and stolen information about business transactions, mergers, acquisitions, and emails from senior managers.

“We believe APT1 can continue a campaign of cyber espionage in large part because it receives direct support from the Chinese government,” says Mandiant, identifying APT1 with Unit 61398. The same way that APT1 seems to be conducting cyber espionage activities on American, Canadian and British companies and government agencies, it is clear that American intelligence and spying agencies also conduct operations to learn about what other countries are up to.

“In a state that rigorously monitors Internet use, it is highly unlikely that the Chinese government is unaware of an attack group that operates from the Pudong New Area of Shanghai,” says the Mandiant report. APT1 “systematically stole hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organizations,” Mandiant said.

A report by the U.S. Congress last year said that increasingly dexterous entities backed by the Chinese government are trying to enter the U.S. systems, and called China “the most threatening player in cyberspace.” This means that the U.S. did not learn about the threat by reading Mandiant’s report, so it would be interesting to know why the Americans haven’t publicly demanded answers from the Chinese, if the threat is do evident.

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Assassinating Americans is ‘legal’, ‘wise’ and ‘ethical’

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 6, 2013

The Law Office of the White House has established that it is legal to kill a U.S. citizen overseas “if a senior government member” ensures that the target to kill is someone who poses an “imminent threat to the country” and his capture is not possible. The White House has made that decision clear through spokesman, Jay Carney. “The president is very careful when conducting the war against terrorism in accordance to Constitution and the laws, ” Carney said.

The license to kill which has given the Obama administration permission to end the lives of Americans abroad was exposed after a 16 page document issued by the American Justice Department was made public. The document alleges that murdering Americans does not violate the U.S. Constitution or the rights of citizens.

The memorandum extends the concept of “imminent attack” and grants the U.S. Government the authority, should it have ‘concrete evidence’ of a conspiracy to seek, target and kill Americans which the administration considers dangerous for American interests. Although the document describes potential suspects as members of Al Qaeda, or people who are in charge of terrorist operations, the truth is that other documents such as military manuals portray Constitutionalists, Libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, gun owners and veterans as domestic threats who can also be targeted for assassination. In fact, in 2012, the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress approved the National Defense Authorization Act, which also allows the president to target and murder Americans on U.S. soil.

The paper obtained by NBC news is part of a legal memorandum from 2011 that was passed to some members of the Justice and Intelligence committees of the Senate. This report was written months before drone attacks were launched in Yemen, in a supposed attempt to prevent imminent terror attacks on the U.S. or its interests in the region. One of those attacks was used to murder a U.S. born citizen — Anwar Al Awlaki — who allegedly was a member of Al-Qaeda, but who also dined at the Pentagon with top members of the Department of Defense. In addition to al-Awlaki, three other Americans were killed in the attack, including the 16-year-old son of the cleric.

According to human rights organizations in the U.S., Awlaki suffered an extrajudicial killing and therefore they presented grievances against the government demanding to know what had been the legal basis for this action. Awlaki was an American citizen even if he liked to preach jihad and took refuge in Yemen, which made him subject of detention and a fair legal process that included a trial and chance of appeal.

The Obama Administration, supported by various court rulings – rejected repeatedly any request from lawmakers, civil rights groups and various media organizations to publicize the memorandum and other information on extrajudicial events. The administration also refused to recognize or acknowledged its existence.

“These drone attacks are legal, are ethical and intelligent”, replied the White House spokesman. Now that the memorandum has been made public, Washington will have its hands full over a scandal that it did not expect to deal with until NBC made the memo public.

The administration “is very careful” when deciding who and when to attack, Carney noted.

After answering questions from the White House press, Carney was questioned about whether the 16 year-old boy who was killed by the drone attack that killed Awlaki, also posed a threat to the United States. “For a president who opposes torture and who considers waterboarding as such, is it not a violation of human rights to kill an American citizen without trial?

Tomorrow, the first hearing will be held to confirm the man chosen by President Obama to head the CIA. John Brennan, one of the promoters of the strategy of drone attacks and current counter terrorism adviser to Obama will face questions regarding government policy before his confirmation is completed. In fact, 11 senators have already asked Obama to reveal the assumptions used to approve drone attacks when it comes to U.S. citizens.

The letter implied the toughest warning made to date against that strategy and senators agreed to oppose to any nominations for the Pentagon and the CIA unless the memos were made public. Therefore, Brennan’s confirmation will not be easy.

A document issued by the advocacy group Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) claimed that at least 54 countries collaborated “actively” with the secret program of illegal detention of suspected terrorists developed by the CIA after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, we have officially learned that this list includes infamous U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.

The report is over 200 pages and states that the administration of George W. Bush embraced the “dark side” to combat international terrorism. According to the study, the Republican administration authorized numerous violations of human rights without regard for U.S. or international laws.

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Obama’s Legacy: Big Government, Bigger Monopolies and support for Illegal Immigration

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 31, 2013

The brightest highlight of Barack Obama’s presidency is that he has been able to keep alive the thought — in the heads of his supporters —  that they are entitled to getting free government handouts. At the same time, he has kept alive the dream of large corporate conglomerates that their monopolies will not be touched, unless it is to make them bigger and stronger. But perhaps Obama’s most important achievement — still to come — is the dream of millions of illegal immigrants who, if made legal, will secure support for his agenda, with or without him on the presidency.

Let’s remember that Obama’s agenda is not his per se. He follows the path shown to him decades ago, which includes bringing radical changes to the United States, namely a massive move to redistribute the wealth. It is precisely on immigration where Obama and his minions from both parties will force the American hand.

President Obama gave his first speech of his second term to defend the need for reform of the U.S. immigration system. Talking from Las Vegas, Obama started the gamble of his second term, that is, the passing of legislation to turn 30 million illegals into green card holders. The U.S. president called on Congress to pass new legislation as soon as possible, pressuring lawmakers as he did during his first four years in the White House. A day later, Obama appeared in two Hispanic television channels, announcing his commitment: “I will invest all I have in the reform,” he said.

“I’m hoping that we can get it and I am sure it won’t take many months,” the president said to Telemundo. “I think it’s something we can achieve this year and I would like it to happen, if possible, in the first half of 2013.”

“The issue here is more political than technical. It is that Republicans and Democrats must agree and send their proposal,” Obama said. The president said during his speech Monday in Las Vegas that he asked Congress to pass reform as soon as possible or otherwise he would present his own plan if there is no progress. With this comment, Obama has once again threatened the power of Congress to make and pass laws by asserting he can come up with legislation all by himself and sign it into law when he wants. He has said the same about issues such as gun control and the debt ceiling.

“I can guarantee that I will invest everything I have, I will not stop talking about it.” Obama then said that a majority of Americans support reform: “I will do everything to ensure that I equate public opinion with the votes in Congress to get a bill that I can sign.”

During his interview with Univision, Obama spoke of the amount of time he would like to spend before legislation is passed. “I do not want to wait six months or a year. Senators are doing their job and we have begun to find where there are differences so we can pay attention,” he said. “Give time to debate, but if it takes more than three months, then it would be a problem,” he threatened once again.

On Monday, a group of eight senators, four Democrats and four Republicans announced a preliminary agreement for reform, in a sign of the interest of both parties to change the system, even if it means opening the door to citizenship for millions of undocumented. In reality, the main goal of any piece of legislation that comes out of Washington in three, six or twelve months will be to give a free path to citizenship to millions of illegals, even before those who have waited in line for years to legally enter the country or obtain their green cards through the traditional application process.

As expected, the proposal that Obama put on the table on Tuesday does not make any adjustments about border security, because his only aim is to guarantee the perpetuation of his agenda, which intends to have 30 new million voters to elect the next puppet president.

“In the next few months we will discuss these issues,” Obama said on Univision. Then he made an astonishing statement: “The basis of the reform should be if a person who has lived in the United States and has done it well with his neighbors, has the opportunity to apply for citizenship.” To Obama it is not relevant whether people entered the country legally or not, or if they stayed in the United States in violation of existing immigration laws.

Another aspect that the legislation doesn’t seem to address is the economic impact that the country will suffer once the American government takes responsibility for supporting services and programs that many of the millions of illegals will surely want to get access to for themselves and their extended families. The cost will certainly not be paid for with taxes, since Obama is focused on making everyone dependent on government bribes.

Obama said he is confident that the new legislation will be ready before the end of 2013. “Yes we can,” he said, reminding viewers of his 2008 campaign slogan.

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U.S. House approves legislation to give government blank check on debt ceiling

Proposal does not require a balanced budget or the reduction in government spending.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 24, 2013

The House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress approved the bill exalted by the Republicans that will extend the debt ceiling and the debate about it until 19 May.

The motion, passed with 285 votes in favor – 86 democrats – and 144 against – 33 Republicans – will allow the Treasury to borrow money but states that both houses of Congress must pass a budget (the Senate did that during the first year of Barack Obama’s first term) or else their salaries will be withheld.

The Congress should meet before the end of February to agree to increase the limit on how much money the country can borrow so that the government can pay its bills and debts.

The time that Congress has given itself will allow lawmakers now devote their time and energy to battle about the size of the U.S. budget. John Boehner, chairman of the House, ‘convinced’ his fellow conservatives that his new strategy is an opportunity to achieve significant cuts in some state programs, such as Medicare, health care those related to the elderly.

Republicans and Democrats are focused on cutting funds from indispensable social programs, which in most cases are the only safety net for millions of Americans. Despite continues calls for the reduction in military spending, both parties have refused to cut expenses in that area, but do not hesitate to cut important programs such as health and medical care for Americans.

Democrats showed opposition to the Republican proposal, with Nancy Pelosi describing it as a “joke” and Steny Hoyer saying it was just a “political stunt” that would only perpetuate “uncertainty”. A small group of Democrats supported it because it avoids, at least for now, the threat of bankruptcy and divorces the issue from the debt ceiling which Republicans claim needs to be linked to a cut in expenses. The same law will have no trouble in the Senate, where its leader, Democrat Harry Reid, has already advanced that he will give the green light.

The White House also welcomed the measure approved Wednesday. In his daily briefing, the president’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said Tuesday that if it came to the Oval Office, Obama would not veto the law. The current debt ceiling is at $16.4 trillion and the Republican proposal does not specify another amount, which will allow the government to make permitted to make automatic increases to avoid bankruptcy. This means the U.S. will be able to officially spend its way into oblivion without any Congressional supervision.

The bill allows the government to borrow the money it needs to meet its obligations, including interest payments. However, this is not a blank check to the Treasury, sponsors say, which may not borrow extra funds during the period of suspension to meet the deficit of a trillion dollars in 2013. In practice, however, it does look like a blank check for the Treasury and the U.S. government to borrow indiscriminately up until 19 May. In one sense, Republicans, Democrats and the White House continue to kick the can down the road as no real solution is given to the debt and spending problems.

The House of Republicans have reiterated over the last two years that would not increase the debt ceiling unless this increase was accompanied by the same amount of spending costs. However, the law passed yesterday does not state that have the supposed balancing of the budget must occur.

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