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Thread: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    US Army declares war on press freedom




    Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:23AM GMT
    7
    By Gordon Duff

    The United States Army, operating from a secret base in Arizona, has declared war on independent media through hacking, blocking communications and sabotaging both radio broadcasts.

    Computer security teams working with Veterans Today traced a pattern of attacks to Fort Huachuca, headquarters of the US Army Intelligence School.

    This base, in the tiny town of Sierra Vista, Arizona, just north of the Mexican border, is home, not only to this spying operation but also to America’s drone program as well. Every drone attack begins there, with “pilots” trained at Fort Huachuca and drones developed and tested there.

    The attacks on independent news and media organizations were discovered when a number of websites, not just Veterans Today, began noting unusual traffic patterns and clumsy hacking attempts. Security software traced these attacks to Fort Huachuca and to a number of local police computer systems around the US.

    At Fort Huachuca, the internet censorship, operating to block websites worldwide that report news unfavorable to some US policies or that are critical of Israel, a pattern clearly recognized, was traced to commands tasked with training “Cyber Warfare” specialists.

    These training classes, funded by Congress and paid for by the American people, are intended to protect government computer systems from attacks by unfriendly governments and terror organizations. In reality however there are other issues as well. America protects her secrets but those secrets are, more often than not, how the American government violates America’s laws.

    The Cyber Warfare specialists of Fort Huachuca, operating well outside the authority of the US Constitution, censor the internet, run “sock puppet” websites spreading propaganda and disinformation, orchestrate smear campaigns against journalists and activists who are not under total control and use electronic countermeasures to silence freedom of speech.

    PATTERN OF CRIMINALITY
    Congress has authorized no funds for the domestic psychological warfare programs at Huachuca. There is no evidence that the command there is operating under any authorization nor is there evidence that they are even under American command at all, particularly as the pattern of activity deeply parallels efforts by organizations such as the ADL and AIPAC, groups, oddly enough, cited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of Congress as tied to espionage against the United States.

    By definition, the US Army is controlled by a foreign government that may well represent a “clear and present danger” to the security of the United States.

    Any action whatsoever by the US Army inside the United States is a violation of “posse comitatus,” a law that prevents the military from engaging in insurrection against the United States.

    Thus, by definition as outlined in Federal Statute, the actions of these intelligence and psychological warfare commands are, technically, acts of insurrection and, by definition, potentially treason, a capital crime punishable by life imprisonment and even death.

    Moreover, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the constitution, clearly guarantees both freedom of speech and freedom of press. Every action, jamming communications, hacking websites, smearing journalists and spreading propaganda are, not just violations of these provisions but acts of war against the United States.

    By definition, the US Army is at war with America.

    In addition, their actions, jamming telephone communications, hacking Skype servers to interfere with radio and television broadcasts, are violations of both state and federal laws that protect communications infrastructure from terrorism.

    By definition, the US Army is a terror organization.

    PATTERN OF ABUSE

    Edward Snowden’s revelations over NSA spying at home and abroad failed to touch on how information illegally obtained was being used. Here, for the first time, we see rogue commands within the military itself using such information to target both individuals and organizations to serve an agenda consistent with a police state dictatorship.

    By definition, the US Army is the American Gestapo.

    The pattern is clear, silencing criticism of US policy in the Ukraine, in Syria and Iraq and continued US complicity in Israel’s apartheid abuses of the Palestinian people. News organizations that advocate investigation of fraud at the Department of Veterans Affairs are targeted, those calling for increased financial oversight of military spending and financial crimes are also victims.

    By definition, the US Army is involved in racketeering and extortion.

    The use of a “training command” to spy on Americans, censor press, wage psychological war and spread wild conspiracy theories, spending millions of dollars while America’s war veterans are dying by the thousands due to health care funding cuts is more than simply unjust, it is criminal.

    By definition, the US Army is guilty of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy.

    NOT JUST THE ARMY

    This is one base, albeit a “secret base” in the parched recesses of the American desert. This is one command. By luck or happenstance, the Army or whoever their controllers are, and no American can be certain of who controls the US Army anymore, chose to make use of a command with strong ties to the intelligence community, many of whose members now side with the independent press.

    However, in finding this one command and the series of abuses they are involved in, when added to the NSA abuses and so many others, there is more than a pattern, there is a clear threat.

    When you combined control of the corporate press with broad warfare on any independent press, when you combine this with massive and systematic spying on the public and then look at the militarization of police forces across America, it is not unrealistic to assume that America is no longer “America.”

    Were one to define a “police state” or “totalitarian dictatorship,” America’s rigged elections, spying, controlled press and government secrecy rival any in breadth and exceed almost all in scope and efficiency.

    Many speak of Americans as “sheep.” What is clear is that, should those “sheep” awaken, every provision has been made to lead them to slaughter.

    GD/HSN

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  2. #122
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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    Already posted this one today.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  3. #123
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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    We are definitely on the same page.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    even though our posts were on different pages! LOL
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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    Simply beyond the pale...


    Ex-CBS Reporter: Government Agency Bugged My Computer

    October 27, 2014

    A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

    In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

    “This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

    She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

    Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

    The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

    The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

    “The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

    Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.

    But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

    “They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

    In her book, Attkisson says CBS lost interest in her coverage of the deadly attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and killed her stories of the federal “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.

    Both CBS and the White House declined to comment.

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    Sharyl Attkisson’s Computer Intrusions: ‘Worse Than Anything Nixon Ever Did’

    October 27, 2014

    The intrusions into former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computers constitute the narrative spine of the reporter’s new book “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” The book starts with not really a word, but a sound: “Reeeeeeeeeee.”

    That’s the noise that Attkisson’s Apple computer was making at 3:14 one morning. A Toshiba laptop computer issued by CBS News did the same thing a day earlier, around 4 a.m. All this goes down in October 2012, right in the midst of the Benghazi story. A person who’s identified as “Jeff” warns Attkisson: “I’ve been reading your reports online about Benghazi. It’s pretty incredible. Keep at it. But you’d better watch out.” “Jeff,” like several of the names in “Stonewalled,” is a pseudonym.

    Now we know why Attkisson has been so stingy for so long with details of her computer intrusions: She wanted to have some material for her book. The story debuted in May 2013, when Attkisson appeared on a Philadelphia radio show and declared that there may be “some relationship” between her computer troubles and the sort of tracking that descended upon Fox News reporter James Rosen in a much-discussed leak case. On a subsequent appearance on Fox News’s “O’Reilly Factor,” Attkisson said she thought she knew who was responsible for the ruckus.

    All of which was just enough to whet the appetite for the treatment in “Stonewalled.” On one level, the book is a reminder of all the ways people can mess with you. It’s not just her computers that showed signs of tampering, says Attkisson, who bolted CBS News earlier this year. “[B]y November 2012,” she writes, “there are so many disruptions on my home phone line, I often can’t use it. I call home from my mobile phone and it rings on my end, but not at the house.” More devices on the fritz at Attkisson Central: “My television is misbehaving. It spontaneously jitters, mutes, and freeze-frames,” she writes, noting that the computers, TVs and phone all use Verizon’s FiOS service. At one point, “Jeff” inspects the back of Attkisson’s house and finds a “stray cable” attached to her FiOS box. That cable, he explains, could be used to download data. (Read more: The bizarre tale of Sharyl Attkisson’s spare wire)

    Next big moment: Attkisson gets her computer checked out by someone identified as “Number One,” who’s described as a “confidential source inside the government.” A climactic meeting takes place at a McDonald’s outlet at which Attkisson and “Number One” “look around” for possibly suspicious things. Finding nothing, they talk. “First just let me say again I’m shocked. Flabbergasted. All of us are. This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America.” That’s all coming from “Number One.”

    The breaches on Attkisson’s computer, says this source, are coming from a “sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, or the National Security Agency (NSA).” Attkisson learns from “Number One” that one intrusion was launched from the WiFi at a Ritz Carlton Hotel and the “intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool.”

    To round out the revelations of “Number One,” he informs Attkisson that he’d found three classified documents deep inside her operating system, such that she’d never know they were even there. “Why? To frame me?” Attkisson asks in the book.

    So CBS News hires an independent computer analyst whom Attkisson identifies as “Jerry Patel,” also a pseudonym. He finds a massive amount of suspicious activity in the computer, including the removal of all kinds of log messages. The author describes the scene as “Patel” does his work: “Now he’s breathing heavily. It alarms me because it alarms him and he’s not easily alarmed. His voice becomes more formal and he launches into what sounds like a speech for posterity. ‘In my professional opinion, someone has accessed this box … I see evidence that shows a deliberate and skilled attempt to clean the log files of activity.’” Intrusions of this caliber, concludes “Patel,” are “far beyond the the abilities of even the best nongovernment hackers.”

    In summing up, Attkisson writes, “Everything Patel has found serves to confirm my January source and analysis. Patel tells me that only a few entities possess these skills. One of them is the U.S. government. I already know this from Number One. But now CBS knows it, too. And it will all be in his final report.”

    More drama arises in September 2013. As White House officials pressure CBS News executives over Attkisson’s Benghazi reporting, something goes haywire with her computer. “That very night, with [White House spokesman Eric] Schultz, [White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney and company freshly steaming over my Benghazi reporting, I’m home doing final research and crafting questions for the next day’s interview with [Thomas] Pickering. Suddenly data in my computer file begins wiping at hyperspeed before my very eyes. Deleted line by line in a split second: it’s gone, gone, gone.” Attkisson grabbed her iPhone to record the madness.

    Don Allison, a security specialist at Kore Logic, takes a close look at Attkisson’s iMac. The results turn up scandalous, as Attkisson writes: “While a great deal of data has been expertly wiped in an attempt to cover-up the deed, Don is able to find remnants of what was once there. There’s key evidence of a government computer connection to my computer. A sort of backdoor link that leads to an ISP address for a government computer that can’t be accessed by the general public on the Web. It’s an undeniable link to the U.S. government.”

    The expert explains to Attkisson: “This ISP address is better evidence of the government being in your computer than the government had when it accused China of hacking into computers in the U.S.”

    The Erik Wemple Blog has reached out to Allison; we’ll update as soon as we hear from him and will write an astounding number of posts related to “Stonewalled.”

    Update: We heard back from his security firm, whose president says they can’t talk because of a confidentiality agreement

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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press


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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    USA Today Bureau Chief: Obama Most 'Dangerous' President Ever for Media Freedom



    by Warner Todd Huston 28 Oct 2014 452 post a commen

    Susan Page

    Breitbart Non-Syndicated


    USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page offered some of the sharpest criticism yet of the Obama administration's violation of the freedom of the press, saying Obama is "more restrictive" and "more dangerous" than any president in history.

    Page delivered these comments at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar on October 25.

    This is nothing new, of course. Obama has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism over his treatment of the press.

    In 2013, for instance, Fox News chief Roger Ailes released a scathing letter criticizing Obama for investigating Fox News reporter James Rosen. Ailes said that Obama and his politicized Department of Justice is "criminalizing the pursuit of investigative journalism."

    Ailes is not Obama's only critic. Many voices in the media have criticized Obama's approach to the Bill of Rights.

    In 2013, the Associated Press said Obama's crackdown on freedom of the press was having a "chilling effect" on journalism. This after Obama's Justice Department secretly obtained the phone records of 100 AP reporters.

    Even the Huffington Post complained that Obama's treatment of the press was a "dictator's dream."

    Earlier this year, Reporters Without Borders downgraded the USA in its World Press Freedom list from 33rd most-free to the 46th, due to Obama's treatment of the press.

    As The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reported, there is an ever-growing list of media voices criticizing Obama's violations of the freedom of the press.

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    DOJ Press Aide Talked About Stopping ‘Out of Control’ Attkisson in Email

    November 20, 2014

    Judicial Watch has obtained emails, through the Freedom of Information Act, that show an exchange in which a Department of Justice press aide talked about calling up Attkisson’s bosses because she was “out of control.”

    Here is the email conservatives have been touting this evening as a smoking gun to show Attkisson was targeted by the government:



    That is an email from former DOJ press aide Tracy Schmaler to Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz.

    These are the two subsequent emails in the chain:




    Attkisson alleges in her new book Stonewalled that a government agency that she cannot specifically identify hacked her computer and planted documents on it.

    [h/t Twitchy]

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    Obama Rips Fox: ‘We’re Going to Have to Change How the Media Reports’

    May 12, 2015

    For going on seven years we have learned three things about President Obama: 1) He loves the poor so much he continues to create more of them. 2) He loves the poor so much he does everything in his power to keep them poor. 3) He doesn’t see the opposition as loyal, but as bad players — his enemy. This is especially true of Fox News, which Obama ripped as anti-poor bigots during a Wednesday afternoon summit on poverty.

    We’re used to this Obama, the forever-partisan who has never seen himself as president of all the people but only of those who worship him.

    What was most revealing about the president’s comments was his expressed desire to “change how the media reports.”

    Speaking of Fox News, the poor, and the way GOP leaders think, Obama said, [W]e’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues.”

    Here is the full transcript:

    I think that the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated. I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant venue. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, “I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obama Phone, or whatever.” And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up. And very rarely do you hear an interview of a waitress, which is much more typical — who is raising a couple of kids and doing everything right but still can’t pay the bills.

    And so, if we’re going to change how Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell think, we’re going to have to change how our body politic thinks, which means we’re going to have to change how the media reports on these issues, and how people’s impressions of what it’s like to struggle in this economy looks like. And how budgets connect to that. And that’s a hard process because that requires a much broader conversation than typically we have on the nightly news.

    After seven failed years, to watch Obama sit there and discuss the poor as though he is part of the solution and not the problem, is laughable.

    And let’s not forget that Obama knows nothing about poverty. He has lived a privileged life.

    Obama attended prep schools as a child, lived with his well-to-do grandparents in Honolulu as a teen, where he attended Panahou, a fancy private school. Both of his grandparents were well educated; she even worked as the vice president of a bank. For a time, Obama had a nanny! From there Obama attended Occidental College in California, was well off enough to visit Pakistan for 3 weeks; he then attended two of the most prestigious colleges in the country: Columbia and Harvard.

    The closest Obama has ever come to experiencing anything close to poverty was during his time as a community organizer in Chicago. And in that dynamic, the poor were just pawns for Obama to manipulate to achieve his political ambitions.

    Obama knows nothing of struggle, or what life is like for those who do. And after 7 years of his failed economic policies, we also know he doesn’t give a damn enough about the poor to change his policies in a way that might actually help them.

    Obama likes poor people fine — he likes them dependent on the government.

    He also likes the news media to do what it’s told.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    More political bs from Obama. no one thinks that the poor are lazy etc.

    This is simple spin and nothing elsr. are there poor? Yup. Are some of them lazy? Yup. Are some of them just sponging? Yup. Not all are.....
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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    Obama operatives stripped Judical Watch of ‘media’ status, overcharged for FOIA requests

    By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016


    Political operatives within the Obama administration wrongly punished conservative legal group Judicial Watch, stripping it of “media” status and trying to force it to pay higher fees for its open records requests, the General Services Administration inspector general said in a letter released Thursday.

    The GSA botched several high-profile open records requests, delaying them for months while political appointees got involved, Inspector General Carol F. Ochoa said. The findings were released while the administration was facing charges of slow-walking open records requests for Hillary Clinton’s emails, as well as other requests.

    In the case of Judicial Watch, the order to strip it of media status came from political operatives with long ties to Democratic causes — and even from the White House.

    The inspector general said the decision came at the behest of Gregory Mecher, a former Democratic campaign fundraiser who at the time was liaison to the White House. He is married to Jen Psaki, a longtime spokeswoman with the Obama administration and its election campaigns.

    Ms. Ochoa said stripping Judicial Watch of media status violated several agency policies and things got worse when the GSA denied an appeal by the group.

    The same person who ruled on the initial request also ruled on the appeal, “contrary to GSA procedures,” the inspector general said.

    Judicial Watch ended up suing over the request, the agency finally agreed to waive all fees and even ended up paying Judicial Watch $750 as part of the settlement.

    Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, questioned the agency’s decision to fight a losing case that ended up costing it money.

    “It’s outrageous but not surprising. Welcome to our world. This is what we put up with all the time from the agencies,” he said.

    President Obama promised an era of transparency when it came to open records requests under the Freedom of Information Act, which is the chief way for Americans to pry loose data from the federal government.

    Despite the president’s exhortations, the government is increasingly fighting requests, forcing the public to file lawsuits to look at information.

    Last year, the administration spent $31.3 million to fight FOIA cases — more than twice the $15.4 million the administration spent in 2008, the final year under President George W. Bush.

    The GSA has not been one of the major offenders, reporting no FOIA legal spending in 2015 and just $11,000 a year in 2014 and 2013, when it faced Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and paid the $750 settlement.

    That doesn’t mean the agency has been operating cleanly. In a 2010 letter, a previous inspector general said the agency botched a request seeking information about GSA communications with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and two other Democrats.

    White House officials got involved and further delayed the request, the inspector general said.

    Ms. Ochoa said in her letter that she found three bungled cases in the five years since that 2010 investigation. A 2013 request for records mentioning Donald Trump — now the Republican presidential nominee — took 242 days, five times the average. A 2012 request seeking information on GSA bonuses was blocked for 515 days.

    The Judicial Watch request, though, was the most striking.

    The group was trying to get a look at a goofy video produced by the agency’s New York office on company time and using company resources. The GSA at the time was facing fierce criticism from Capitol Hill for having wasted money on lavish conferences with questionable team-building activities such as the video.

    Judicial Watch asked to be treated similar to a member of the media, which would mean an exemption from fees. Two weeks earlier, Judicial Watch was approved for the media exemption.

    But ahead of the GSA request, Mr. Mecher, the political appointee with ties to the White House, requested that Judicial Watch’s status be re-examined, investigators said. Elliot Mincberg, a lawyer with deep Democratic ties who was on loan to the GSA at the time, issued a determination rejecting Judicial Watch as a media requester.

    Ms. Ochoa said the justification for that was weak — a page from a Justice Department guide that predated the current law governing the definition of media. Mr. Mincberg “did not conduct any independent legal research” about the 2007 law, and that “shows a lack of due diligence,” Ms. Ochoa concluded.

    The GSA then failed to follow its own procedures in its denial letter — despite internal misgivings — and again in mishandling the appeal, Ms. Ochoa wrote.

    “Why are White House liaisons involved in our FOIA request?” said Mr. Fitton, the Judicial Watch president.

    Mr. Mecher, who is now a top congressional staffer in the office of Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, did not respond to an email seeking comment on his role.

    Mr. Mincberg said in an email that he “performed a relatively minor task” at Mr. Mecher’s request but declined to elaborate, saying he was acting at the time as an attorney for the agency and would need its approval to speak more.

    Mr. Mincberg had been lent to the GSA as a FOIA troubleshooter — though his arrival was met with skepticism. Ms. Ochoa reported that one senior lawyer emailed a colleague saying, “This will not end well.”

    Later, Mr. Mincberg would run into trouble at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was a senior attorney.

    In 2014, that department’s inspector general cited him for obstructing an investigation into the deputy secretary. Mr. Mincberg was accused of withholding information from investigators, appearing to coach witnesses and, during one interview, threatening to bring charges against the investigators themselves.

    GSA spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn did not respond to specific questions about Mr. Mincberg or Mr. Mecher, but insisted that her agency had improved its handling of FOIA requests. She said the agency has a new tracking system and increased training and coordination.

    “With these improvements, GSA accelerated its processing time from an average of 21 days for simple requests and 63 days for complex requests in fiscal year 2013 to 12 days for simple requests and 46 days for complex requests last fiscal year,” she said.

    Judicial Watch is fighting a series of court cases to get a look at Mrs. Clinton’s emails from the State Department and has other cases pending against the CIA, the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the IRS.

    A case against the Homeland Security Department, in which Judicial Watch argued that the department regularly obstructed its requests, was dismissed Thursday.

    Judge Richard J. Leon, sitting in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled that delays for Judicial Watch’s requests weren’t enough to prove that Homeland Security was violating its policies.

    Judicial Watch points to no fact or statement to establish why the requests were delayed or how the delays were the result of an either formal or informal DHS policy or practice to violate FOIA’s requirements, rather than an inevitable but unintended delay attributable to a lack of resources,” the judge wrote.

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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration turns against the Free Press

    Report: Obama’s Spying On The Press Was Far More Extensive Than Previously Thought

    John Merline
    2 days ago
    47 comments
    5 min read



    President Trump might be openly hostile to the mainstream media, but it was the Obama administration that was engaged in a widespread effort to thwart the media. Which do you think is more harmful to a free press?

    The full extent of Obama’s actions against the press are only now coming to light.

    The Columbia Journalism Review reports on a newly released government document showing that the Obama Justice Department engaged in a far more sweeping effort to spy on the Associated Press than previously believed.

    “In 2013, the Justice Department launched a brazen attack on press freedom,” the CJR notes, “issuing sweeping subpoenas for the phone records of The Associated Press and several of its reporters and editors as part of a leak investigation. At the time, the subpoenas were widely seen as a massive intrusion into newsgathering operations. Last month, we learned that they told only part of the story.”

    The spying came in the wake of the AP’s reporting on a thwarted Yemen-based bomb plot, which contained classified information about the CIA operation. Months later, the AP learned that the DOJ had vacuumed up two-months of phone records on 21 different lines trying to find the leaker.

    Unprecedented Intrusion


    Upon learning this, the AP blasted the Obama Justice Department. AP’s President and CEO Gary Pruitt said the records collected could “reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

    Turns out, Pruitt should have been even more outraged. The new report, obtained by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, finds that the DOJ actually collected records on 30 phones.

    The report shows that DOJ attorneys at one point considered subpoenaing records of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and ABC News and “strongly suggests that the attorneys went so far as to obtain ‘telephone numbers and other contact information’ for reporters and editors at those organizations who had worked on articles about the Yemen bomb plot.”

    The CJR goes on to say, “Disturbingly, the report does not come close to explaining why the subpoenas targeted the trunk lines of major AP offices — lines which could potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the AP’s newsgathering activities.”

    Just One of Obama’s Media Attacks

    Bad as this was, it was just one of several examples of the Obama administration’s efforts to bully and silence the few reporters who dared challenge his spin on events.

    Obama repeatedly barred Fox reporters from events. At one point, it named Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “co-conspirator” in a leak case being pursued under the Espionage Act. Obama’s communications director Anita Dunn said the White House treated Fox News “the way we would treat an opponent.”

    The administration also spent seven years trying to force New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal his sources.

    Risen, writing in The New York Times in 2016, noted bitterly how “Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.”

    In 2013, Leonard Downie called Obama’s efforts to control information “the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration, when I was one of the editors involved in The Washington Post’s investigation of Watergate.”

    When not harassing reporters, Obama officials refused to cooperate with them, racking up the worse record for fulfilling FOIA of any previous administration. Obama even routinely banned news photographers from official events so he could keep an iron grip on his image. Michelle Obama banned the press from her taxpayer-paid China visit.

    Also around this time, the Federal Communications Commission announced plans to investigate whether newsrooms were meeting their communities’ “critical information needs.”

    On Obama’s watch, the U.S. ranking for press freedom dropped to 46th place.

    Yet, despite the occasional grumbling by an editor or a reporter here or there, most of these attacks went unnoticed. Whenever Obama spoke to the press, he pretended to be their champions. And the press, in turn, acted like teenagers in love rather than professionals threatened by a paranoid control freak.

    In fact, when reporters tried to complain about Obama’s treatment, the reporters themselves often got attacked.

    The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik wrote in 2014 that “I have been comparing Obama to Nixon in his disdain for the First Amendment and a free press since 2009, and mainly all I got was attacked — often from long-time colleagues in the media who couldn’t believe the object of their political affection could have such contempt for them.”

    So why has the press saved all its ire for Trump, who has — despite his words — been far friendlier to the press in his deeds than Obama? One can only speculate.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you’ll
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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