More Evidence Emerges Suggesting Bin Laden Film Producers Were Given Illegal Access to Classified Information

Via The Washington Times:

The killing of Osama bin Laden last year was referenced repeatedly this week at the Democratic National Convention. This is ironic, as President Obama, in denying requests for basic information about the raid, said he wasn’t going to release the information because he didn’t want to be seen as “spiking the football.”

As there is no spiking-the-football exception to our open-records laws, Judicial Watch initiated a federal court battle with the administration over the release of postmortem images of bin Laden and his alleged burial at sea.

So we were amazed to see a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times disclosing that the administration may have leaked classified information to the Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow for a film on the bin Laden raid: “The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film [sic] by the Oscar-winning pair who made ‘The Hurt Locker’ will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.” We also asked for documents about those leaks, were stonewalled and had to sue “the most transparent administration in history” to get the documents about Ms. Bigelow’s access. (As Ms. Dowd noted, the film reportedly was scheduled for an October 2012 release, just before the presidential election, but promotional trailers are running now until the rescheduled release in December.)

We forced the release of documents last May that detailed the inappropriate access filmmakers were given to a Pentagon briefing that included the disclosure of the identity of a “planner, SEAL Team 6 Operator and Commander.” Also referenced were White House meetings with John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser.

Now, according to new records “found” by the CIA and dumped on us two weeks ago, not only did Mr. Boal and Ms. Bigelow have unusual access in preparation for their film, but the Obama White House was keenly interested in the movie.

The latest document dump includes a June 15, 2011, email from Benjamin Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications: The White House was intent on “trying to have visibility into the [Osama bin Laden] projects and this is likely the most high profile one. Would like to have whatever group is going around in here at the [White House] to get a sense of what they’re doing / what cooperation they’re seeking.”

Mr. Obama’s political appointees had stars in their eyes over their Hollywood connections. CIA press official Marie E. Harf discussed providing preferential treatment to the Boal-Bigelow project over others related to the bin Laden killing: “I know we don’t pick favorites but it makes sense to get behind a winning horse. Mark and Kathryn’s movie is going to be the first and the biggest. It’s got the most money behind it, and two Oscar winners on board.”

In a July 20, 2011, email, Mr. Boal (Ms. Bigelow’s screenwriter) writes to thank then-CIA Director of Public Affairs George E. Little (now with the Pentagon) for “pulling” for him with the agency, noting that it made “all the difference.” Mr. Little responds: “I can’t tell you how excited we all are (at Pentagon and CIA) about the project. PS — I want you to know how good I’ve been not mentioning the premiere tickets.)”

The latest documents also disclose troubling new leaks. In another email, Ms. Harf advises Mr. Little that Mr. Boal and Ms. Bigelow would be “meeting individually with both [name redacted] and the translator who was on the raid .” Ms. Harf separately describes Mr. Boal’s contact with the agency as being a “deep dive.” Ms. Harf also helps the filmmakers with nonpublic details of the layout of bin Laden’s compound.

Ms. Harf was no career civil servant at the CIA. According to her Twitter bio, she is a “national security wonk” for the Obama campaign.

And what about that Dowd column? On Aug. 5, 2011, Ms. Harf exchanged several emails with New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti about the film and Ms. Dowd’s soon-to-be famous column about the film. Mr. Mazzetti gave Ms. Harf an advance copy of the column, with the caveat, “This didn’t come from me and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about!” (The coziness between the New York Times reporter and the CIA caused quite a stir in the media, including some self-criticism and internal strife at the Gray Lady.)

All these documents corroborate Ms. Dowd’s criticisms that the Obama team was giving the filmmakers classified information in support of a movie it hoped would boost Mr. Obama’s campaign.

No wonder we’ve had to fight one year of stonewalling from the administration to get these documents. Though some of the pro-Obama media have tried to spin them otherwise, these new documents show there is no doubt that the Obama White House was intensely interested in this film that was set to portray Mr. Obama, to quote from the documents, as “gutsy.”

Last month saw the release of a new book, written by one of the Navy SEALs who took part in the raid, that reveals details of the bin Laden capture that are materially different from the White House narrative. Sure enough, the author is being threatened with prosecution by the Obama administration and was attacked specifically by Pentagon spokesman George Little (the same guy who wanted the “premiere tickets” to the bin Laden film).

One wonders if anyone will be prosecuted in the Obama administration for giving filmmakers a “deep dive” into bin Laden raid secrets, such as the names of a “commander” and “interpreter” involved with the raid.

DOJ Threatens Gallup with Prosecution in Retaliation for Unfavorable Poll Results

Via Daily Caller:

Internal emails between senior officials at The Gallup Organization, obtained by The Daily Caller, show senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod attempting to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president.

After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit that appears damning on its face.

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Record Number of Americans no Longer in Workforce

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.

The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.

In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000—meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.

There were also 119,000 fewer Americans employed in August than there were in July. In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 142,220,000 Americans working. But, in August, there were only 142,101,000 Americans working.

Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force (meaning they had a job or were actively looking for one) who did not have a job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistic also reported that in August the labor force participation rate (the percentage of the people in the civilian non-institutionalized population who either had a job or were actively looking for one) dropped to a 30-year low of 63.5 percent, down from 63.7 percent in July. The last time the labor force participation rate was as low as 63.5 percent was in September 1981.

DNC Speaker Advertised as ‘Former Bain Employee’ Never Worked for a Bain Company – Actually a Union Organizer

Via The Blaze:

Three speakers billed as “former employees of companies controlled by Romney’s Bain Capital” took the stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention and accused former Bain executive and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being a pretty rotten human being.

Odd thing, though: One of the speakers, David Foster, never actually worked for a Bain-controlled company.

“In 2001, with GST bankrupt and Romney still CEO of Bain, I stood in front of hundreds of steelworkers in their 50s and 60s, and retirees in their 70s and 80s, and told them Romney and Bain had broken their promises. Jobs, vacation pay, severance, health insurance and pension benefits that were promised — they were all gone,” said the non-Bain employee on Wednesday.

Foster never actually worked for the company, according to ABC News and a former spokesman for the company. He was a union organizer at the time.

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CBO: Unemployment Expected to Rise to 9.1% Due to Current Tax Laws

Via CNS News:

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting that if changes in federal taxing-and-spending policies already enacted and set to take effect at the beginning of next year do in fact take place, the unemployment rate will climb to 9.1 percent.

In a report released on Aug. 22, An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022, CBO’s baseline projections show that by the fourth quarter of 2013 the national unemployment rate will be 9.1 percent.

The estimate is based on the assumptions that the automatic caps on federal spending mandated under the Budget Control Act will take effect and that the extensions of the Bush-era tax rates enacted in 2010 will also be allowed to expires as they are set to do after Dec. 31.

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Developing: Iran Sends Elite Troops to Assist Assad

Via The Telegraph:

Iran is intensifying its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad by sending 150 senior Revolutionary Guards commanders to Syria to help repel opposition attempts to overthrow the government.

Western intelligence officials say that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has personally sanctioned the dispatch of the experienced officers to ensure that the Assad regime, Iran’s most important regional ally, survives the threat to its survival.

In addition, Iran has shipped hundreds of tons of military equipment, including guns, rockets, and shells, to Syria through the regular air corridor that has been established between Damascus and Tehran.

Intelligence officials believe the increased Iranian support has been responsible for the growing effectiveness of the Assad regime’s tactics in forcing anti-government rebel groups on the defensive.

In the past few weeks, pro-Assad forces have seized the offensive by launching a series of well-coordinated attacks against rebel strongholds in Damascus and Aleppo.

The Iranian operation to support Mr Assad is being masterminded by Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Guards’ Quds force which is responsible for overseeing Iran’s overseas operations. The decision to increase Iran’s support for Syria was taken after the Syrian defence minister and Assad’s brother-in-law were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Syria’s national security headquarters in July, together with a number of other senior defence officials.

The Revolutionary Guards officers were flown to Damascus in chartered Iranian aircraft which were given permission to fly through Iraqi air space. Iranian military equipment is said to have been shipped to Syria by the same route.

Iranian opposition groups also claim that some of the 48 Iranians taken hostage by Syrian rebels last month were part of the 150-strong detachment of Revolutionary Guards sent to support the Assad regime.

A spokesman for the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) claimed that the Iranians being held by Syrian opposition groups included several brigadier-generals and a number of colonels who had many years of experience serving in the Revolutionary Guards.

“Iran has taken a strategic decision to deepen its involvement in the Syrian crisis,” a senior Western security official said. “The Iranians are desperate for their most important regional ally to survive the current crisis. And Iran’s involvement is starting to pay dividends.”

On Thursday, Syrian army bombardment was reported to have killed at least 20 people in an area of southern Damascus which houses a large Palestinian community. Assad loyalists have accused Palestinian refugees living in the capital of siding with the rebels, and have retaliated by launching repeated attacks against the Yarmouk refugee camp.

Iran’s support for pro-regime forces in Syria, particularly the supply of arms and ammunition, is making a vital contribution to the regime’s fightback against rebel forces, who only a few weeks ago were threatening to overrun the Syrian capital. Tehran’s position has been prompted by fears that any change of government in Damascus could jeopardise Iranian support for Hizbollah, the militant Shia Muslim militia it backs in Lebanon.

Under the Assad regime Damascus has allowed Iran to ship regular supplies of arms and equipment to southern Lebanon to enable Hizbollah to sustain its aggressive stance against Israel. The ayatollahs fear that any change of regime in Syria might cut the supply line. Intelligence officials believe that many of the Iranian commanders sent to Syria have previous experience of working in Lebanon with Hizbollah.

50% of Military Voting Assistance Offices in Violation of ‘MOVE Act’

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – U.S. military personnel and their families are not getting the kind of assistance with voter registration and absentee ballots that federal law envisioned, says a report from the Defense Department’s inspector general.

Under the 2009 MOVE Act, the U.S. military was directed to establish voting assistance offices on every military installation, except for those in war zones. But the Aug. 31 IG report says, “Our attempts to to contact IVAOs (Installation Voting Assistance Offices) failed about 50 percent of the time.”

DOD investigators, posing as military personnel, tried to contact every one of the voting assistance offices using contact information provided by the military’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.

To begin with, the list of 224 voting assistance offices itself was incomplete, omitting a number of installations. Then investigators said they were able to make contact with only 114 of the voter assistance offices; they were unable to make contact with another 113.

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