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IRS officials claim their lives will be in danger if they testify about the TEA Party targeting scandal

May 16, 2017

 According to this story a closed hearing is going to be held on Friday to determine whether or not IRS officials should testify in an open hearing about the TEA Party targeting scandal. The IRS officials do not want to testify publicly because they claim their lives will be in danger. Here is more:

Current and former IRS officials are asking not to publicly testify about the agency’s alleged bias against Tea Party and other conservative organizations, claiming they are in danger if they do so.

Former official Lois Lerner and Holly Paz both argued in recent filings under seal in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati that the death threats and other harassment they have faced take precedence over the public’s right to hear their testimony on the case of IRS bias against conservative groups, USA Today reported.

  It goes without saying but I feel I need to say it anyway in light of what I am about to write, I do not support death threats in any way shape or form. However, why would these officials fear death threats unless their testimony will confirm what the TEA Party already knows happened in the first place? If their testimony was to exonerate them there would be no fear but it is obvious to me their testimony will implicate them in the IRS targeting scandal and of course it should not be forgotten that this scandal first came to light when Lois Lerner admitted wrongdoing…

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

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Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks

May 16, 2017

  For all of the hubbub about Donald Trump possibly colluding with Russia to throw the election not one shred of evidence has been found. And that might be because it was not Donald Trump but rather a Democratic insider who was actually working to take down Hillary Clinton.

  Julian Assange has stated in the past that WikiLeaks did not get its information from the Russians and a WikiLeaks operative stated it was a Democratic insider who was disgusted with the system who leaked the information.

  Ever since Seth Rich, a Democratic National  Committee insider, was murdered in a robbery in which nothing was stolen there has been speculation in some circles that perhaps he was the Democratic insider who was responsible for the leaks and once it was found out he was murdered. Of course the mainstream media never found this story to be interesting so it was relegated to conspiracy theory. But now the family has released the results of its own private investigation and it turns out Seth Rich did in fact have contact with Wikileaks.

Read more…

The White House pushes back against Washington Post claim Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russians last week

May 15, 2017

  Earlier tonight I wrote a post about a Washington Post story that claimed Donald Trump shared classified information at a White House meeting with Russian officials last week. The White House is now pushing back against this claim, basically calling it fake news. Here is more:

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster briefly spoke to reporters gathered at the White House and issued a terse denial without taking any questions. “The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” McMaster said.

“At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”

He concluded with, “I was in the room. It didn’t happen.”

The White House also issued statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell and McMaster that attempted to pour cold water on the report.

“This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced,” Powell said in the statement.

  This story is probably going to blow up tomorrow and the problem I see with this denial is that it denies an accusation that was not explicitly made in the original Washington Post story: The story did not claim intelligence sources or methods were discussed and it did not claim the President disclosed military operations, it did claim that Donald Trump named the city the source was operating in.

  Is there a clear distinction between discussing a source and discussing his or her location? I do not think there is. If the President did not discuss sources, as the administration is claiming, it is reasonable to believe that would include the location of said source.

  Quid est veritas? I have no idea what the truth is at this point. But no matter what is truth this is going to get very ugly very quickly.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

The Washington Post claims Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian officials last week

May 15, 2017

  The Washington Post is reporting that one day after firing James Comey, in a White House meeting with Russian officials, Donald Trump shared highly classified information with the Russians.

  Here is more:

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency.

  I think that it is safe to say the left will not accept the Hillary Clinton/Huma Abedin defense that this was not gross negligence but rather extreme carelessness without intending to mishandle the information. But that does not really matter because, as the article linked to above eventually states, the President has the authority to declassify information.

Read more…

Is Donald Trump preparing to shake up his White House staff?

May 14, 2017

  The headline of this post is put in question form because I am not sure how legitimate this source is but I get the feeling this is something the President is considering. According to this story Donald Trump is considering a major shake up of his staff. Here is more:

At the urging of longtime friends and outside advisers, most of whom he consults after dark, President Trump is considering a “huge reboot” that could take out everyone from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, to counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sean Spicer, White House sources tell me.

Trump is also irritated with several Cabinet members, the sources said.

“He’s frustrated, and angry at everyone,” said one of the confidants.

 The conversations intensified this week as the aftermath of the Comey firing pushed the White House from chaos into crisis. Trump’s friends are telling him that many of his top aides don’t know how to work with him, and point out that his approval ratings aren’t rising, but the leaks are.
“The advice he’s getting is to go big — that he has nothing to lose,” the confidant said. “The question now is how big and how bold. I’m not sure he knows the answer to that yet.”
  I have always found it odd that after promising to “drain the swamp” (a term he stole from the Democrats) one of his first moves was to bring in swamp member Reince Priebus as his Chief of Staff and I am no fan of Steve Bannon so if these two fall victims of a purge I will not be upset.
  However with Ivanka Trump trying to push her father to the left this is a little troubling:
If Trump follows through, his innermost White House circle would shrink from a loop to a straight line of mid-30s family members with scant governing experience: Jared and Ivanka. So while the fighting and leaking might ease, the problems may not because it’s the president, not the staff, calling the shots.
  Those are the last two people he needs counseling him in the White House but they are the two people he seems to trust above all others.
  Getting control over the leaking is what I believe is the most important at this time and this would almost surely help to contain this problem. But it comes at a price. Is that price worth it?
  That is the question but we have seen Donald Trump rise to the top amid controversy before and I would not be surprised to see him do so again. After all, he did shake up his campaign staff a couple of times when he was running for President and when everybody said these shakeups would cost Donald Trump in the end he got the right team together and won the Presidency. While I did not support Donald Trump at this point it is clear we cannot sell him short.
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

 

Sunday, May 14th open thread: ‘There’s a Mother Always Waiting at Home’

May 14, 2017

  open-threadHere is the open thread for Sunday, May 14th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week  we discussed 9 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. I understand that all of you are busy and cannot always find the time to check the blog for updates so why not subscribe to America’s Watchtower and receive email updates whenever I write a new post? That is the easiest way to follow the blog to ensure you never miss another post.

  In addition to subscribing you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. But you will get more than that for I often post links to articles I probably will not be writing about so it is a great way to keep up with what is happening.

 The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond to or retweet my tweets right from the blog. It also allows you to tweet me right from America’s Watchtower. How cool is that! If you do not have a Twitter account what better reason do you need to sign up for one!

  Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there who read America’s Watchtower, here is Johnny Cash performing “There’s a Mother Always Waiting at home.”

frui diem

Rex Tillerson signs Arctic Council agreements linking global warming to human activity

May 13, 2017

  tillersonDonald Trump promised us the United States would back out of the Paris climate agreement, however that was before he appointed Ivanka Trump to head a review of the agreement. Since then he has decided to postpone a decision on whether or not the United States would honor the agreement.

  With the election of Donald Trump it seemed as if the global warming hysteria and propaganda would die down however Ivanka Trump is a global warming alarmist who apparently has quite a bit of sway with her father so this news raised red flags with me.

  Now we are learning that Rex Tillerson has signed two agreements with the Arctic Council to remain in the council and these agreements also affirm global warming as a man-made problem.

  Here is more:

Read more…