(FOXNEWS) Sen. John McCain has hired a controversial Syria analyst who recently was fired by one D.C. organization and resigned from another after it emerged that she inflated her academic credentials.
The Republican senator’s office confirmed to Fox News that Elizabeth O’Bagy was hired as a legislative assistant, and will start work next week.
“Elizabeth is a talented researcher, and I have been very impressed by her knowledge and analysis in multiple briefings over the last year. I look forward to her joining my office,” McCain said in a statement.
O’Bagy’s pro-Syrian opposition research was used by hawkish lawmakers, including McCain, to build the case for intervention against the Assad regime in Syria.
But her clout quickly eroded when she was fired by the Institute for the Study of War after the think tank alleged she lied about her education credentials.
O’Bagy reportedly first countered that she had defended her dissertation and was simply waiting for the university to confer the degree – but admitted last week she never enrolled in a Ph.D.program.
She apparently applied to a joint master’s/Ph.D. program, but was not accepted and was only in the master’s program.
O’Bagy also resigned from a Washington-based, pro-Syrian opposition group, The Syrian Emergency Task Force, in the wake of the controversy.
“I would like to deeply apologize to every person with whom I have worked, who has read and depended upon my research, and to the general public,” O’Bagy said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “While I have made many mistakes and showed extremely poor judgment, I most particularly regret my public misrepresentation of my educational status and not immediately disclosing that I had not been awarded a doctorate in May 2013.”
She went on to say she nevertheless stands by her findings from her work inside Syria.
MORE Than Half of the Current U.S. Senators SKIPPED a Briefing on the NSA Spying on American Citizens
(JOHNNY ENGLISH for FEDERALJACK) Congratulations America, we have been fooled yet again. The Monsanto Protection Act was passed by the House of Representatives, hidden inside the Agricultural Appropriations Bill HR 993, last week. It also passed through the Senate this week and was signed into law by President Obama under the cover of night. It seems our President loves signing laws in the middle of the night while we sleep and dream of a better life for our children and grandchildren. Mr. Obama must have forgot the speech during his first campaign in 2007, where he clearly states that Americans have the right to know what is in their food (VIDEO). Apparently we do not, as evidenced by the defeat of Prop 37 in California this past November and continued support of companies like Monsanto by the current administration.
Let us briefly cover what the Monsanto Protection Act is. This law strips the Federal Courts’ ability to stop the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seeds, despite the health risks or consumer health concerns. A petition by Food Democracy Now said this about the bill when introduced into HR 993:
“If approved, the Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.”
What this means is, Monsanto is protected from litigation. Even if their GMO seeds are a known cause of disease and pose a risk to our health. I believe that has been proven already by the University of Caen in France, when they completed a 2 year test last year feeding GMO corn and soy to mice over their complete life cycle. The results were horrendous at best.
More than 250,000 Americans signed a letter urging President Obama to use his Executive Authority and veto this bill. Once again, our President has ignored the wants and needs of the people. Instead, under cover of night, he happily signed the bill into law guaranteeing disease and poor health to all that consume GMO foods. How were they able to sneak this by the general public? I’ll tell you how. Bait and switch. What stories have dominated the press recently? Which one of the “big 3 topics” has been flaunted before us on every news network? Let us take a look.
Gay rights. Along with religion and racism, gay rights issues have been used to divide this country for years. There are many other distractions, but these 3 are usually at the head of the table when it comes to tearing America apart at the seams. This week the Supreme Court is due to rule on gay marriage. Every news channel, every magazine and every radio show has covered this story. I find the timing very odd. Actually, I expected something to slip by, just not so blatantly. There are special avatars to use on social networks, and I am sure there is a ribbon you can wear somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a commentary on gay rights. And I have the opinion that we all deserve certain rights as Americans, actually, as HUMANS. However, I believe it has been used as a distraction in this case. Waved before our eyes like a magician waves his hand over a hat, distracting the audience while his other hand pulls off the “trick”. If a huge news story arises in the media, whether it be entertainment or otherwise, you can bet the government is stealing more of our rights away. Do the research. Look back in history at all the major headlines. Then match that up with an agenda sponsored by the government.
The entry into, and subsequent failure of our war in Vietnam was covered up by several events. The Gulf of Tonkin incident (that never happened), assassinations of JFK (to enter the conflict), MLK and Bobby Kennedy. Jane Fonda’s horrible photo op, race riots, hippie movement, and the list goes on. This is just one example. There are many more since. Now we have pro sports, fake reality TV and video games to add to the growing list of distractions. It’s no wonder we cannot gain ground in this fight for our freedom. It’s no wonder the elite grow stronger and we grow weaker. We must stand up now, or be slaves forever. WAKE UP!!!!
(FEDERALJACK) On this edition of DTRH Popeye spends the first (1st) hour with Julio Rausseo discussing Julio’s run-in with the Amtrak Police at Union Station in Chicago for filming a TSA checkpoint in the train station as well as Julio’s thoughts on the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Hour two (2) Popeye plays an interview that WAC founder Luke Rudkowski did with Journalist & Activist Abby Martin about Sen. Rand Paul threatening her with being fired from her job just for asking him questions about his support of Mitt Romney. Also in the cross-hairs is a new show on cable network TLC showcasing pregnant moms and their pregnant teenage daughters, not only is this a sign of how low we have fallen as a society but it highlights a bunch of horrible parents.
(RAND PAUL) Today, Sen. Rand Paul introduced eight amendments and co-sponsored one amendment to the USA PATRIOT Act extension bill.
During the initial debate on PATRIOT Act reauthorization earlier this year, Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid’s said he would allow amendments and debate when the bill was brought up again.
Senator Reid’s (D-Nev.) comments in the Feb. 15, 2011, Congressional Record:
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I express my appreciation to everyone involved. It has been a difficult issue, but I will put on the record what I have told a number of Senators personally, and that is that we will, prior to this expiration occurring, bring up the PATRIOT Act and have an opportunity for an extended period of time–a week at least–to offer amendments and do whatever people feel is appropriate on this bill.
I have talked to a couple of Senators who have told me specifically that they want to offer amendments. Although I didn’t agree I would support their amendments–one was a Democrat and one was a Republican–I said that is what we should be able to do, to set this up so they can offer their amendments. And I will do whatever I can to make sure we move forward on this legislation in ample time so that we can pass this PATRIOT Act for a more extended period of time, which is so important to the security of this country. I know people have problems with it, and that is why we are going to have the amendment process.
Taking Sen. Reid at his word, Sen. Paul is introducing the following amendments to the extension bill:
- Burden-Shifting Suspicious Activity Report Amendment: Requires law enforcement to initiate requests for suspicious activity reports (SARs). Shifts the burden for generating suspicious activity reports to law enforcement, requiring FBI/other law enforcement to initiate requests for SARs, rather than requiring financial institutions to automatically generate these reports.
- Supported by Kentucky Bankers Association and National Association of Federal Credit Unions
- National Security Letters Issued by Judges: States that no officer or employee of the United States may issue a National Security Letter (NSL) unless a FISA court judge finds that probable cause exists to issue the NSL. Brings NSLs into compliance with plain text of Fourth Amendment.
- Firearm Records Amendment: Clarifies that the authority to obtain info under the USA PATRIOT Act does not include authority to obtain certain firearm records. Supported by Gun Owners of America.
- Roving Wiretaps Amendment: This amendment eliminates the possibility of “John Doe” roving wiretaps that identify neither the person nor the phone to be wiretapped. Also requires government agents to ascertain the presence of the target of a roving wiretap before beginning surveillance of a particular phone or email, using the same standard that is already required for criminal roving taps.
- Leahy/Paul Amendment: This amendment consists of the substance of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) PATRIOT Act reform bill (S. 193) as reported from the Judiciary Committee. The vote was 10-7 (those voting in favor included Sen. Mike Lee [R-Utah]).
- Sen. Paul is co-sponsoring Sen. Leahy’s amendment.
- Section 215/Access to Business Records: Restores the pre-PATRIOT Act standard for obtaining records.
- Supported by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
- “Good Faith Standard” Suspicious Activity Report Amendment: This amendment would implement a reform that was previously proposed by the Financial Services Roundtable. This reform will help reduce the high number of “defensive filings” submitted by financial institutions due to their fear of being penalized for failure to file a suspicious activity report (SAR). It codifies a “good faith standard” to ensure that if a financial institution has established a SAR decision-making process, has followed existing policies, procedures, and processes, and determines not to file a SAR, the bank or credit union would not be penalized for its failure to file the SAR unless the failure was accompanied by evidence of bad faith.
- Supported by Kentucky Bankers Association and National Association of Federal Credit Unions
- Judicial Review of Suspicious Activity Reports: States that the Secretary of the Treasury may not require any financial institution to submit a suspicious activity report unless an appropriate district court of the United States issues an order finding that probable cause exists to obtain the information.
- Minimization/Destruction of NSL and Section 215 Business Records Info: Directs the Attorney General to establish minimization and destruction procedures governing the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of private information by the FBI. The purpose is to ensure that private information obtained outside the scope of an NSL or Section 215 order is appropriately disposed of or destroyed.
http://RTR.org | http://RealityReport.TV | In this edition of the Reality Report Gary Franchi reviews a landmark Supreme Court decision and reveals the silver bullet to kill Obamacare. Sheriff Richard Mack returns to the show to give his firsthand account of a courtroom in Fresno, California where the Constitution is prohibited. Speakers from the 2010 Boston Tea Party present their feedback on the historic event and Nina delivers the news. Her stories include the shocking results of twins who were vaccinated in India, the Swedish Military’s prior knowledge of the recent terrorist bombing, Ron Paul’s plans to end the Federal Reserve, and the details about the revelation that Obamacare is unconstitutional. The viewers share their thoughts on whether or not Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is a hero or villain and an unlikely application makes its way into the hall of shame as this weeks “Enemy of the State.”
Sheriff Richard Mack: Boston Tea Party 2010
Boston Tea Party 2010 Highlights
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Enemy of the State: Camp FEMA 2
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(TECH DIRT) This is hardly a surprise but, this morning (as previously announced), the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the internet via the COICA bill — despite a bunch of law professors explaining to them how this law is a clearviolation of the First Amendment. What’s really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it’s seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy. There’s very little chance that the bill will actually get passed by the end of the term but, in the meantime, we figured it might be useful to highlight the 19 Senators who voted to censor the internet this morning:
- Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont
- Herb Kohl — Wisconsin
- Jeff Sessions — Alabama
- Dianne Feinstein — California
- Orrin G. Hatch — Utah
- Russ Feingold — Wisconsin
- Chuck Grassley — Iowa
- Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania
- Jon Kyl — Arizona
- Chuck Schumer — New York
- Lindsey Graham — South Carolina
- Dick Durbin — Illinois
- John Cornyn — Texas
- Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland
- Tom Coburn — Oklahoma
- Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island
- Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota
- Al Franken — Minnesota
- Chris Coons — Delaware
This should be a list of shame. You would think that our own elected officials would understand the First Amendment but, apparently, they have no problem turning the US into one of the small list of authoritarian countries that censors internet content it does not like (in this case, content some of its largest campaign contributors do not like). We already have laws in place to deal with infringing content, so don’t buy the excuse that this law is about stopping infringement. This law takes down entire websites based on the government’s say-so. First Amendment protections make clear that if you are going to stop any specific speech, it has to be extremely specific speech. This law has no such restrictions. It’s really quite unfortunate that these 19 US Senators are the first American politicians to publicly vote in favor of censoring speech in America.
(GULAG BOUND) Proving once again that you can’t keep a dedicated Communist down–even after the historic loss of seats given by We-the-People to the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives–soon to be former Speaker of the House and [former] Democrat Socialist member Nancy Pelosi (who only resigned from the organization after becoming House minority leader) has announced she isn’t leaving. Pelosi announced Friday 5 November that she will seek her old job of House Minority Leader back.
Note: See what I meant when I wrote in column after column that–no matter what happens–you can’t get rid of totalitarians (aka “the ruling elite” and “the slave holder class“)? Like roaches, their infestation into our businesses, homes and lives is very tough to eradicate. As the now-almost-totally-Marxist-Democrat Party is still bent upon the destruction of us all, stronger and stronger bug spray is required. Pelosi said in part: “…driven by the urgency of protecting health care reform, Wall Street reform, and Social Security and Medicare, I have decided to run.” Translation: It is inescapable that Pelosi, the Democrat leaders and Obama & Co have and are now really and clearly saying: “We don’t care what you miserable people want. We will destroy you and your so-called freedoms. We will rule and control you–one way or another!” Sketchy reports from dubious sources also added that Pelosi bit her lip before she almost added: “And your little dog Toto, too!”
As I and others have written and said, last Tuesday’s election results were phenomenally good and began the process of taking back our country. But, our job to retake and then restore our Republic has just begun. That still means ridding our governments–federal, state and local–of the totalitarian-types who are determined that we work for them. By the way: That means you too, RINOs.
Now, however, We-the-People have unmistakably shown that we are up to the task. We-the-people will survive and prosper. And at the very least–if and only if we remain vigilant and active–we will drive the bugs and vermin back underground.
“Free government is founded in jealousy, not confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind those we are obliged to trust with power…. In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution” — Thomas Jefferson, 1799
Congressmen Fail to Include ‘Democratic Socialists of America’ Membership in their Election Campaigns:
Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Run for House Minority Leader:
Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty:
Sher Zieve is an author and political commentator. Zieve’s op-ed columns are widely carried by multiple internet journals and sites, and she also writes hard news.
Her columns have also appeared in The Oregon Herald, Dallas Times, Sacramento Sun, in international news publications, and on multiple university websites. Sher is also a guest on multiple national radio shows.
Sher can be reached at Sher_Zieve@yahoo.com.
Graphics added by Gulag Bound
(Associated Press) WASHINGTON — A Justice Department prosecutor killed himself while under investigation over whether he and other attorneys in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens acted improperly in the case, officials said.
Nicholas A. Marsh, 37, committed suicide on Sunday, two years after being part of the Justice Department team that convicted Stevens on corruption charges that were eventually thrown out. Marsh’s suicide was confirmed by his lawyer, Robert Luskin.
“I think Nick loved being a prosecutor and I think he was incredibly fearful that this would prevent him from continuing to work for the Justice Department,” Luskin said Monday. “It’s incredibly tragic after all this time when we were on the verge of a successful resolution.”
The prosecutors in the Stevens case failed to disclose evidence favorable to the defendant as Supreme Court precedent requires. The omission was so serious that Attorney General Eric Holder stepped in and asked a federal judge to throw out Stevens’ convictions, which the judge did, while taking the additional step of appointing a prominent Washington attorney, Henry Schuelke, to investigate possible improprieties by the prosecutors.
“My general sense is that with the direction things are going, I really would have been shocked if Hank had done anything other than exonerate Nick Marsh,” said Luskin, who called the suicide a “terrible tragedy.”
Luskin said his impression was that the investigation was drawing to a close.
“I think we were within shouting distance of the finish line,” the attorney said.
Stevens, a longtime Republican senator from Alaska, lost his Senate seat in an election shortly after his October 2008 conviction. He died in a plane crash in Alaska in August.
Lanny Breuer, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said, “Our deepest sympathies go out to Nick’s family and friends on this sad day. The Department of Justice is a community, and today our community is mourning the loss of this dedicated young attorney.”
During the Schuelke investigation, Marsh had been transferred from the department’s Public Integrity Section, which handles corruption probes. Marsh most recently been working in the department’s Office of International Affairs.
“Notwithstanding the unfounded accusations recently made against him, he took his ethical and professional obligations as seriously as any prosecutor or lawyer I’ve ever met,” Joshua Berman, a former prosecutor and close friend of Marsh, said in a statement.