Commissioners were instructed not to reveal $5 million fine until day after controversial Lifeline expansion vote
by Lachlan Markay • Washington Free Beacon
Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.
The commission’s five members unanimously backed the Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), but Republican commissioner Ajit Pai parted from his colleagues in a partial dissent. According to Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to reveal the details of its investigation until April 1, a day after the FCC voted to expand the Lifeline program. Continue reading
The House hearing on Benghazi reveals that Hillary Clinton’s spin about the attack was a politically expedient fiction.
by Kimberley A. Strassel • Wall Street Journal
Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony on Thursday, we now understand why the former secretary of state never wanted anyone to see her emails and why the State Department sat on documents. Turns out those emails and papers show that the Obama administration deliberately misled the nation about the deadly events in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
Don’t forget how we came to this point. Mrs. Clinton complained in her testimony on Capitol Hill that past Congresses had never made the overseas deaths of U.S. officials a “partisan” issue. That’s because those past deaths had never inspired an administration to concoct a wild excuse for their occurrence, in an apparent attempt to avoid blame for a terror attack in a presidential re-election year. Continue reading
The very existence of her illicit server means she broke the rules.
by Jonah Goldberg • National Review
Every time the State Department pulls out a new fistful of Hillary Clinton e-mails like Richard Dreyfuss yanking a license plate out of a shark’s belly in Jaws, someone declares that there’s “no smoking gun!”
I’ve written before about how shouting “There’s no smoking gun!” is a non-denial denial. Ask a cop. When a murder suspect immediately exclaims, “You have no indisputable evidence I murdered my boss!” instead of, “I didn’t do it!” it’s a good sign that the suspect thinks he covered his tracks, not that he’s innocent.
Fellas, if your wife asks if you’re having an affair, respond by saying, “You have no proof!” See if she takes that for a denial.
But here’s the thing. There is a smoking gun. In fact, there’s a whole smoking arsenal. The problem is that the standards for what counts as a smoking gun keep changing. Continue reading
The Democratic front-runner is starting to sound a little like a president who resigned.
by James S. Robbins • USAToday
Last month, famed Washington Post reporter and Watergate investigator Bob Woodward said that the email scandal engulfing former secretary of State Hillary Clinton “reminds me of the Nixon tapes: thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his.”
Woodward’s impression is justified, and not just by the steady drip, drip of new secrets in the latest batch of Clinton emails released by the State Department on Monday. There is also a remarkable resonance between Nixon’s statements during the evolving Watergate crisis and Clinton’s public statements regarding her emails:
The people come first
Nixon: I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.
Clinton: I think it’s kind of fun. People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about. Continue reading
by Michael S. Schmidt • New York Times
A special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — has endorsed a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.
Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and the State Department disputed the inspector general’s finding last month and questioned whether the emails had been overclassified by an arbitrary process. But the special review — by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency — concluded that the emails were “Top Secret,” the highest classification of government intelligence, when they were sent to Mrs. Clinton in 2009 and 2011.
On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with the conclusion of the intelligence review and noted that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified. Continue reading
Compared to missing 18 minutes in Nixon Watergate tapes
by Garth Kant • WND
The revelation emerged after a court ordered the release of State Department documents as part of Judicial Watch’s effort to obtain Clinton emails under the Freedom of Information Act.
Emails sent and received by Clinton on her private server are missing over periods totaling five months, beginning when she took office as secretary of state in 2009.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the gaps indicate Clinton lied under oath when she said all her emails had been turned over, and it suggested government officials had not turned over everything they were required to deliver. Continue reading
How the Administration is obscuring facts about your health insurance until after the election.
by Robert Laszewski • USAToday
The second Obamacare open enrollment is scheduled to begin on November 15th and end on February 15th. Instead of learning critical lessons from the mistakes of the first open enrollment fiasco, the Obama administration appears to be trying to silence potential critics.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the administration sent an email to the insurance companies participating in Obamacare telling them to keep their mouths shut about the testing of the new health law’s enrollment system saying, that unlike last year, they would require “all testers (the insurance companies) to acknowledge the confidentiality of this process” before they would be allowed to participate. The administration reminded insurers that their confidentiality agreement with the Obama administration means that insurance executives “will not use, disclose, post to a public forum, or in any way share Test Data with any person or entity, included but not limited to media…” This includes any “results of this testing exercise and any information describing or otherwise relating to the performance or functionality” of the Obamacare enrollment and eligibility system. Continue reading
This week, for instance, a government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, said administration officials admitted that all the “missing” e-mails belonging to Lois Lerner (the woman at the heart of the scandal) had been backed up after all — as part of a practice to back up all the government’s e-mails.
No government official had said anything like that before.
As House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., describes it, these reports are another part of “what’s emerging to be just an amazing sequence of cover-up, delay, denial. ” Continue reading
Anyone paying attention to the Internal Revenue Service scandal has been waiting for the next smidgen to drop. Well, two more hit pretty hard this week. At the president’s next encounter with the media, I will scream collusion if no one asks him for his exact definition of a “smidgen,” and if he thinks he has seen a smidgen of corruption yet. At this point, only the most gullible or culpable can continue to claim there is no compelling evidence in this case. Given the delays, lies and stonewalling, there is no viable argument against a special prosecutor.
In a stunning revelation this week, it was disclosed that former IRS official Lois Lerner told colleagues, “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and then proceeded to ask the IRS IT department, in an e-mail, “if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable.” When she was told they were not, she e-mailed back, “Perfect.” This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation. Continue reading
The IRS’s illegal actions — and its efforts at cover-up — undermine the foundations of our government.
by Kevin D. Williamson
I will confess to a little despair over the relatively mild reception that has greeted the evidence, now conclusive and irrefutable, that the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of senior leaders affiliated with the Democratic party, was used as a political weapon from at least 2010 through the 2012 election. It may be that the American public simply does not care about the issue; it is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict what issues will seize the electorate’s attention, or to understand why after the fact. It may be that the public does not understand the issue, in which case a brief explanation of the known facts may be of some use.
Here is what happened. In the run-up to the 2012 election, senior IRS executives including Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS branch that oversees the activities of tax-exempt nonprofit groups, began singling out conservative-leaning organizations for extra attention, invasive investigations, and legal harassment. The IRS did not target groups that they believed might be violating the rules governing tax-exempt organizations; rather, as e-mails from the agency document, the IRS targeted these conservative groups categorically, regardless of whether there was any evidence that they were not in compliance with the relevant regulations. Simply having the words “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” (a reference to one of Glenn Beck’s many channels of activism) in the name was enough. Also targeted were groups dedicated to issues such as taxes, spending, debt, and, perhaps most worrisome, those that were simply “critical of the how the country is being run.” Organizations also were targeted based on the identity of their donors. Their applications were delayed, their managements harassed, and the IRS demanded that they answer wildly inappropriate questions, such as the content of their prayers. Continue reading
Since the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack that killed four Americans — including Ambassador Chris Stevens — at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the Obama administration has covered up the essential facts about what happened before, during and after that terrible night. House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to go forward with a select committee to investigate Benghazi is both welcome and long overdue.
Some of the relevant facts were established by the Jan. 15 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. From that report, for example, a partial timeline was constructed concerning the roles of the intelligence community and the military prior to and during the attack. It was clear that Stevens repeatedly asked for additional security forces in Benghazi, but not only were his requests denied, the mission’s defenses were reduced. In addition, it was learned that no military forces were on standby to aid the facility before it was attacked, and no request for such aid came from the State Department during the assault. Continue reading
The e-mail revelations and the Obama administration’s lies.
Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly, the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.
We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.
Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration–crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success — and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries — indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies. Continue reading
Key details about the deaths of four Americans — three with deep San Diego roots — on Sept. 11-12, 2012, in terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have been established for more than a year. Since then, much of the national media has done all it can to avoid admitting that 2+2=4.
Within hours after the second attack, the president of Libya told U.S. officials it was executed by terrorists. Given that the assaults on two U.S. facilities involved rocket-propelled grenades, this was not exactly surprising.
But for weeks afterward, the Obama administration — most notably the president himself in a Sept. 25, 2012, speech to the United Nations — suggested the attacks were a spontaneous outgrowth of protests over a crude anti-Muslim YouTube video posted by an American. This deception came at the height of a presidential campaign in which one of the incumbent’s main selling points was his record fighting terrorism. Continue reading
by Stephen F. Hayes
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed last summer by Judicial Watch, the Obama administration last week released 41 documents related to the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. An email from the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has received most of the attention. In it, Rhodes laid out four goals for Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who would be appearing on five Sunday talk shows 36 hours later. “To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad; To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy; To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests; To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
The Judicial Watch documents also included White House talking points for Rice, with possible questions and answers she might provide to meet the goals set out by Rhodes. These new White House talking points included a broad discussion of the Arab Spring and its challenges, as well as several specific references to the attacks in Benghazi—a mention of Ambassador Chris Stevens, a question on Benghazi intelligence, and a separate section under the header “Benghazi.”