State Dept. Employee who Denied Security in Benghazi Promoted

Via Frontpagemag:

That seems entirely reasonable and fair. If Hillary is supposed to get the White House, why not make Charlene Lamb a Regional Security Officer?

At the Congressional hearing, Charlene Lamb stated that she would not have approved more security for Benghazi and said, “we had the correct number of assets in Benghazi at the time of 9/11 for what had been agreed upon.”

That conclusion was shot down by the first friendly insider “protect Hillary” report and the second more serious Senate report. Lamb also refused to describe Benghazi as a terrorist attack.

Eric Nordstrom, the regional security officer, blamed Lamb directly in his testimony.

In that interview, Nordstrom said he sent two cables to State Department headquarters in March 2012 and July 2012 requesting additional diplomatic security agents for Benghazi, but he received no responses.

He stated that Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi artificially low. He said Lamb believed the Benghazi facilities did not need any diplomatic security special agents because there was a residential safe haven to fall back to in an emergency.

So obviously the thing to do is to move Lamb up the ladder.

Charlene Lamb, cited for failures in leadership from the Department of State’s own Accountability Review Board report, has been promoted to Regional Security Officer. We’ve heard rumor that she’s slated for international duty in Canada. She started the security officer training last week, much to the dismay of many within the State Department.

Department of State’s own Accountability Review Board report, has been promoted to Regional Security Officer. We’ve heard rumor that she’s slated for international duty in Canada. She started the security officer training last week, much to the dismay of many within the State Department.

She currently holds the rank of MC (Minister Counselor) or the equivalent of a  2-star and is taking a full colonel position. This is usually reserved for people with hardship issues as State is an up-or-out organization.

Rank and file are [upset]and as one put to me, “it shows that as long as you play by the rules with the black dragons you can actually get someone killed and be rewarded”.

She refuses to leave DS (Diplomatic Security) as she has kids in college and is radioactive. No one in the private sector will give them (the DS 3) a look and [no one came] to the rescue with a willing patsy to take her off states hand with a $200k job.

Rank and file are [upset]and as one put to me, “it shows that as long as you play by the rules with the black dragons you can actually get someone killed and be rewarded”.

She refuses to leave DS (Diplomatic Security) as she has kids in college and is radioactive. No one in the private sector will give them (the DS 3) a look and [no one came] to the rescue with a willing patsy to take her off states hand with a $200k job.

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Dem Rep Convicted of Sexual Assault Refuses to Resign – Media Silent

Via The Boston Globe:

What is Carlos Henriquez waiting for?

The clock is ticking on his opportunity to show that he cares about the interests of the people of the Fifth Suffolk District.

It’s been nearly a week now since the Dorchester lawmaker was convicted of assaulting a woman who had dared to refuse to have sex with him. She was a college student who met him working on a class project; somehow she ended up assaulted and stranded on the side of the road at 4 a.m. after jumping out of his car. Henriquez didn’t testify or make any statement after the verdict.

A judge sentenced him to six months in the Suffolk County House of Correction with the words, “When a woman tells you she doesn’t want to have sex, that means she does not want to have sex.”

When someone asked me shortly after conviction what would happen next, I blithely replied that there would be a special election. I simply took for granted that Henriquez would resign, setting the stage for choosing a replacement. Every politician who isn’t Chuck Turner quits upon conviction, and some leave even before they are tried. Even fallen pols understand that you can’t effectively perform any part of the job from a jail cell.

Why does it matter? Because as important business is looming, his district is effectively without representation. Yes, his staff is still on the job, ostensibly to perform constituent services. But that is less than half the job of a state representative. And they can’t even do that effectively without a boss they are working on behalf of and speaking for. Make no mistake, his constituents are now voiceless on Beacon Hill. It’s utterly intolerable.

Henriquez’s attorney, Stephanie Soriano-Mills said Tuesday that her client has not said whether he will resign. “His major concern is that his constituents are represented and making sure that the business of the House moves forward without distraction,” she said

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Documents Prove Adminsitration Immediately Knew Benghazi was Terrorist Attack

Via Fox News:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

“My first call was to General Dempsey, General Dempsey’s office, to say, ‘Hey, I am headed down the hall. I need to see him right away,'” Ham told lawmakers on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation on June 26 of last year. “I told him what I knew. We immediately walked upstairs to meet with Secretary Panetta.”

Ham’s account of that fateful day was included in some 450 pages of testimony given by senior Pentagon officials in classified, closed-door hearings conducted last year by the Armed Services subcommittee. The testimony, given under “Top Secret” clearance and only declassified this month, presents a rare glimpse into how information during a crisis travels at the top echelons of America’s national security apparatus, all the way up to the president.

Also among those whose secret testimony was declassified was Dempsey, the first person Ham briefed about Benghazi. Ham told lawmakers he considered it a fortuitous “happenstance” that he was able to rope Dempsey and Panetta into one meeting, so that, as Ham put it, “they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House.” Ham also told lawmakers he met with Panetta and Dempsey when they returned from their 30-minute session with President Obama on Sept. 11.

Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., sitting in on the subcommittee’s hearing with Ham last June, reserved for himself an especially sensitive line of questioning: namely, whether senior Obama administration officials, in the very earliest stages of their knowledge of Benghazi, had any reason to believe that the assault grew spontaneously out of a demonstration over an anti-Islam video produced in America.

Numerous aides to the president and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly told the public in the weeks following the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans that night — as Obama’s hotly contested bid for re-election was entering its final stretch — that there was no evidence the killings were the result of a premeditated terrorist attack, but rather were the result of a protest gone awry. Subsequent disclosures exposed the falsity of that narrative, and the Obama administration ultimately acknowledged that its early statements on Benghazi were untrue.

“In your discussions with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta,” McKeon asked, “was there any mention of a demonstration or was all discussion about an attack?” Ham initially testified that there was some “peripheral” discussion of this subject, but added “at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack, and we knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. [Sean] Smith, unaccounted for.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, a first-term lawmaker with experience as an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, pressed Ham further on the point, prodding the 29-year Army veteran to admit that “the nature of the conversation” he had with Panetta and Dempsey was that “this was a terrorist attack.”

The transcript reads as follows:

WENSTRUP: “As a military person, I am concerned that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration. I would hope that our military leadership would be advising that this was a terrorist attack.”

HAM: “Again, sir, I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack.”

WENSTRUP: “And you would have advised as such if asked. Would that be correct?”

HAM: “Well, and with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir.”

Panetta told the Senate Armed Services Committee in February of last year that it was him who informed the president that “there was an apparent attack going on in Benghazi.” “Secretary Panetta, do you believe that unequivocally at that time we knew that this was a terrorist attack?” asked Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. “There was no question in my mind that this was a terrorist attack,” Panetta replied.

Senior State Department officials who were in direct, real-time contact with the Americans under assault in Benghazi have also made clear they, too, knew immediately — from surveillance video and eyewitness accounts — that the incident was a terrorist attack. After providing the first substantive “tick-tock” of the events in Benghazi, during a background briefing conducted on the evening of Oct. 9, 2012, a reporter asked two top aides to then-Secretary Clinton: “What in all of these events that you’ve described led officials to believe for the first several days that this was prompted by protests against the video?”

“That is a question that you would have to ask others,” replied one of the senior officials. “That was not our conclusion.”

Ham’s declassified testimony further underscores that Obama’s earliest briefing on Benghazi was solely to the effect that the incident was a terrorist attack, and raises once again the question of how the narrative about the offensive video, and a demonstration that never occurred, took root within the White House as the explanation for Benghazi.

The day after the attacks, which marked the first killing of an American ambassador in the line of duty since 1979, Obama strode to the Rose Garden to comment on the loss, taking pains in his statement to say: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.” As late as Sept. 24, during an appearance on the talk show “The View,” when asked directly by co-host Joy Behar if Benghazi had been “an act of terrorism,” the president hedged, saying: “Well, we’re still doing an investigation.”

The declassified transcripts show that beyond Ham, Panetta and Dempsey, other key officers and channels throughout the Pentagon and its combatant commands were similarly quick to label the incident a terrorist attack. In a classified session on July 31 of last year, Westrup raised the question with Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, commander of AFRICOM’s Joint Special Operations Task Force for the Trans Sahara region.

Bristol, who was traveling in Dakar, Senegal when the attack occurred, said he received a call from the Joint Operations Center alerting him to “a considerable event unfolding in Libya.” Bristol’s next call was to Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson, an Army commander stationed in Tripoli. Gibson informed Bristol that Stevens was missing, and that “there was a fight going on” at the consulate compound.

WESTRUP: “So no one from the military was ever advising, that you are aware of, that this was a demonstration gone out of control, it was always considered an attack -”

BRISTOL: “Yes, sir.”

WENSTRUP: “– on the United States?”

BRISTOL: “Yes, sir. … We referred to it as the attack.”

Staffers on the Armed Services subcommittee conducted nine classified sessions on the Benghazi attacks, and are close to issuing what they call an “interim” report on the affair. Fox News reported in October their preliminary conclusion that U.S. forces on the night of the Benghazi attacks were postured in such a way as to make military rescue or intervention impossible — a finding that buttresses the claims of Dempsey and other senior Pentagon officials.

While their investigation continues, staffers say they still want to question Panetta directly. But the former defense secretary, now retired, has resisted such calls for additional testimony.

“He is in the president’s Cabinet,” said Rep. Martha Roby R-Ala., chair of the panel that collected the testimony, of Panetta. “The American people deserve the truth. They deserve to know what’s going on, and I honestly think that that’s why you have seen — beyond the tragedy that there was a loss of four Americans’ lives — is that  the American people feel misled.”

“Leon Panetta should have spoken up,” agreed Kim R. Holmes, a former assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush and now a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “The people at the Pentagon and frankly, the people at the CIA stood back while all of this was unfolding and allowed this narrative to go on longer than they should have.”

Neither Panetta’s office nor the White House responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.

Flashback: Clinton/Gore Advisor Used Traffic Jam to Rig Election

Via the Daily Caller:

Michael Whouley, founding partner of the strategy group tied to Hillary Clinton’s budding 2016 presidential effort, orchestrated a traffic jam to help his client Al Gore win the 2000 New Hampshire primary against Bill Bradley.

Gore campaign manager Bob Shrum wrote in his memoirs about Whouley’s last-minute gambit to use the Gore motorcade to suppress the vote on primary day, as Slate’s David Weigel noted on Wednesday.

“Michael Whouley came up with a last-ditch scheme: Send Gore into areas of southern New Hampshire where there was a lot of Bradley support among upscale voters and commuters who worked across the border in Massachusetts. Many of them cast their ballots late in the day after driving home. Gore’s motorcade — candidate, press, Secret Service, and police — could snarl traffic and keep some of the commuters from ever getting to their polling places or even trying to,” Shrum wrote.

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Former Guantanamo Detainee Implicated in Benghazi Attack

Via the Washington Post:

U.S. officials suspect that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee played a role in the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorist organization, according to officials familiar with the plans.

Militiamen under the command of Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah, participated in the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, U.S. officials said.

Witnesses have told American officials that Qumu’s men were in Benghazi before the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, according to the officials. It’s unclear whether they were there as part of a planned attack or out of happenstance. The drive from Darnah to Benghazi takes several hours.

The State Department is expected to tie Qumu’s group to the Benghazi attack when it designates three branches of Ansar al-Sharia, in Darnah, Benghazi and Tunisia, as foreign terrorist organizations in the coming days.

In 2007, Qumu was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and sent to Libya, where he was detained. The Libyan government released him in 2008.

He and two other men, militia leaders Ahmed Abu Khattala and Seif Allah bin Hassine, will be identified as “specially designated global terrorists,” a determination that allows U.S. officials to freeze their financial assets and bar American citizens and companies from doing business with them.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the developments.

About a dozen criminal complaints have been filed in the Benghazi case, with more expected. U.S. intelligence officials have said that several militias had a hand in the attack. Some of the individuals charged are from Darnah, although it’s not clear if they are tied to Qumu’s group. Khattala has already been named in a criminal complaint.

The FBI declined to comment Tuesday.

U.S. officials are also investigating whether any of the people involved in the Benghazi raid had a role in the killing of Ronnie Smith, an American schoolteacher who was gunned down while jogging in the city last month.

Lawless conditions in eastern Libya have frustrated U.S. efforts to investigate the attack in Benghazi and capture those responsible. U.S. officials scrapped a plan to snatch Khattala in Benghazi for fear that American action could trigger unrest and destabilize the Libyan government.

Khattala, meanwhile, has flaunted his freedom, giving interviews to U.S. reporters as the FBI watches from afar. He has denied any involvement in the attack.

Qumu, 54, a Libyan from Darnah, is well known to U.S. intelligence officials. A former tank driver in the Libyan army, he served 10 years in prison in the country before fleeing to Egypt and then to Afghanistan.

According to U.S. military files disclosed by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, Qumu trained in 1993 at one of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist camps in Afghanistan and later worked for a bin Laden company in Sudan, where the al-Qaeda leader lived for three years.

Qumu fought alongside the Taliban against the United States in Afghanistan; he then fled to Pakistan and was later arrested in Peshawar. He was turned over to the United States and held at Guantanamo Bay.

He has a “long-term association with Islamic extremist jihad and members of al-Qaida and other extremist groups,” according to the military files. “Detainee’s alias is found on a list of probable al-Qaida personnel receiving monthly stipends.”

Qumu also had links to Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein, known by his alias Abu Zubaida, a key al-Qaeda facilitator who is being held indefinitely at Guantanamo.

The United States is offering $10 million for information about the Benghazi attack.

The day before the raid, anti-American violence erupted in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere when al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called on followers to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terrorist group’s No. 2, who was killed in a CIA drone strike. Officials, however, said there is no evidence that al-Qaeda’s core leadership was directly tied to the assault on the compound in Benghazi.

“The situation on Sept. 11th in Benghazi was a complicated one,” a senior administration official said. “We will never be able to know what motivated everyone involved in this attack, and one of the things the investigation is looking at right now is the level of planning that may have gone into it.”

In addition to Qumu and Khattala, American officials are eager to question Faraj al Chalabi, a Libyan extremist who might have fled the country.

 

Public Employee Union Caught Stealing Taxpayer Money for Organizing Efforts

Via Watchdog.org:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Opponents of an effort to unionize family child-care providers have long suspected — but could never prove — that some taxpayer money designated for training was instead used for union organizing.

There now appears to be a smoking gun that supports their allegation — mandated disclosure forms, uncovered by Watchdog Minnesota Bureau, were filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Two LM-2 annual financial reports filled out by AFSME Council 5 in 2011 and 2012 show $33,300 in taxpayer money from Ramsey County DHS  — Department of Community Human Services — were categorized as an “organizing reimbursement” and apparently spent on organizing for a controversial child-care providers’ union.

“It angers me that my tax money is going to do the one thing that is going to hurt me,” said Cyndi Cunningham, an opponent of a provider union who operates her own St. Paul child-care business.

”It’s not just Ramsey County’s money, it’s my tax money. I’m paying to have somebody organize against me.”

The payments listed in the LM-2 filings correspond with disbursements for training purposes by the Ramsey County Department of Community Human Services to AFSCME Council 5 and its affiliate, Child Care Providers Together.

AFSCME reported receiving from Ramsey County $19,885 in 2011 and $13,453 in 2012 for the purpose of organizing. Altogether, more than half of the $59,600 in Ramsey County taxpayer money received by the union and CCPT since 2010 has been spent on organizing, according to the LM-2 reports and county finance records.

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Saudi Prince: Fracking is Direct Threat to Oil Producers

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, a billionaire businessman and nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, said the production of shale oil and natural gas in the United States and other countries, primarily done through fracking, is a real competitive threat to “any oil-producing country in the world,” adding that Saudi Arabia must address the issue because it is a “matter of survival.”

New shale oil discoveries “are threats to any oil-producing country in the world,” said Prince Alwaleed in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “It is a pivot moment for any oil-producing country that has not diversified. Ninety-two percent of Saudi Arabia’s annual budget comes from oil. Definitely it is a worry and a concern.”

Alwaleed also commented that many Saudi leaders did not comprehend the threat posed by oil and natural gas production from shale. However, he said he would use his influence to keep pressing the issue.

“I will make them get it, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “I’ll make them get it. It is a matter of survival. There is no choice but to get it. I will keep pushing until they do.”

“The majority of Saudi Arabians get it,” said the prince. “We will mobilize the media, mobilize the people to put maximum pressure on the government to do things to rectify the problem.”

Prince Alwaleed has been warning about the threat posed by fracking shale in places such as the United States and Russia for some time. Back in May 2013, in an open letter to the Saudi oil minister, Ali al Naimi, as translated from Arabic by the Wall Street Journal, Prince Alwaleed said, “With all due respect to your Highness’ viewpoint about shale gas and that it poses no danger on Saudi economy at ‘the present time,’ I was hoping that your Highness would also shed light and focus on the danger of this matter in the ‘not-so-distant future,’ especially that America and some Asian countries made big discoveries in shale gas extraction which will affect the oil industry around the world in general and Saudi Arabia in particular.”

“It is necessary to diversify sources of revenue, establish a clear vision for that and start implementing it immediately,” said the prince, who added, “we see that raising North American shale gas production is an inevitable threat.”

During hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a mixture of water and sand (99.5%) and chemicals (0.5%) is injected into a deep horizontal well at high pressure, creating fractures in the rock out of which crude oil and natural gas, can flow. Because of fracking the shale deposits in places such as Bakken in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and Marcellus in Pennsylvania, the U.S. production of oil and natural gas is increasing dramatically.

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), fracking (and horizontal drilling) has resulted in the United States becoming (in 2010) the world’s largest natural gas producer.  Also, in October 2013, domestic oil production surpassed the amount of oil imported into the United States for the first time since 1995.

In addition, because of fracking, America is projected to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the largest oil producer in 2015, according to the EIA.

In 2008, the United States was producing 5 million barrels of crude oil per day; because of fracking, America is now producing 7 million barrels per day.

According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), “A little more than a decade ago natural gas production from shale accounted for 2% of total U.S. output. Today that figure is 37%, and another HIS Global study projects that natural gas developed through the use of hydraulic fracturing will rise to more than 75% of the domestic supply by 2035.”

Poverty Rate at 5-Decade High Under Obama

Via The Washington Times:

Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.

Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.

“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.

Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.

The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.

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Al Gore Shuts Down Climate Change Offices, Lays Off 90% of Staff; Donations Down 80%

Via BuzzFeed:

WASHINGTON — Last January, Al Gore took a boatload of scientists, donors, and celebrities to Antarctica to talk about climate change.

Richard Branson, James Cameron, Ted Turner, Tom Brokaw, and Tommy Lee Jones joined more than 100 other paying guests — Gore’s handpicked best and brightest — on the National Geographic Explorer, an ice-class 367-foot cruise ship, to see “up close and personal” the effects of a warming planet, courtesy of the former vice president’s environmental nonprofit, the Climate Reality Project. Singer Jason Mraz, another passenger aboard Gore’s Antarctic voyage, would later describe the trip on his blog as “a kind of floating symposium, much like the TED Talks series.”

Back in the more populated areas of the world, climate change activists snickered. The trip, and the Climate Reality Project, drew headlines but did little, they said privately, to affect the movement Gore hoped to revolutionize when he founded the group in 2006.

In the years since the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the Nobel Peace Prize that followed made Gore the number-one climate change advocate in the world, the activist group he created with his fame has been steadily shrinking, as has its once-lofty mandate: to create a new nonpartisan global movement around climate change.

The numbers, according to a review of the nonprofit’s tax filings, show the change has been severe. In 2009, at its peak, Gore’s group had more than 300 employees, with 40 field offices across 28 states, and a serious war chest: It poured $28 million into advertising and promotion, and paid about $200,000 in lobbying fees at the height of the cap-and-trade energy bill fight on Capitol Hill.

Today, the group has just over 30 people on staff and has abandoned its on-the-ground presence — all of its field offices have since shut down — in favor of a far cheaper digital advocacy plan run out of Washington. Advertising expenses have decreased from the millions to the thousands, and the organization no longer lobbies lawmakers. Donations and grants have declined, too — from $87.4 million in 2008 to $17.6 million in 2011, and many of its high-profile donors have drifted away, one telling BuzzFeed she now sees the group’s initial vision as “very naïve.”

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Lawyer Convicted of Abetting Terrorists Freed by Obama Administration

Via Powerline Blog:

Lynne Stewart, who was convicted of smuggling messages from Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman (“the Blind Sheikh” who masterminded the bombing of the World Trade Center) to his terrorist followers in Egypt, has been released early from prison thanks to the Obama administration. She was released on grounds of “compassion” because she is terminally ill.

District Judge John Koeltl ordered the release based on a request from the director of the Bureau of Prisons through the office of U.S. Attorney. Judge Koeltl previously had denied Stewart’s request for release because it was not supported by the Bureau of Prisons. In other words, Stewart’s release is the handiwork of the Obama administration.

The Bureau of Prisons claims broad discretion in deciding whether to file requests for compassionate release, and it exercises that discretion to reject such release in all but a few cases. According to this analysis, the BOP, which is responsible for more than 218,000 prisoners, filed only 30 motions for early release in 2011. Since 1992, the annual average number of prisoners who received compassionate release has been less than two dozen.

Lynne Stewart has received extraordinarily favorable treatment.

Lynne Stewart is also a terrorist. Not because, as a lawyer, she represented a notorious terrorist, but because she enabled that terrorist to communicate with his terrorist operatives.

By enabling the extraordinary release of Stewart out of sympathy for her medical condition, did those in the administration responsible for this outcome — among whom, presumably, are Attorney General Holder and President Obama — show themselves to be terrorist sympathizers? That conclusion seems too sweeping. But I think it’s fair to say that they sympathized with this particular terrorist.

What was the source of the special sympathy that enabled Lynne Stewart to receive an enormous benefit that the government very rarely grants? Was it her longtime service to the cause of anti-American radicalism? I suspect so.

When it upheld Stewart’s ten-year sentence (which now turns out to be four years), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that she exhibited a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.” Free now from incarceration and bathed in the adoration of her fellow radical leftists, there is no chance that she ever will.

JOHN adds: It is fair to say that Barack Obama and Eric Holder also exhibit a “stark inability to understand the seriousness of her crimes.”

By the way, Paul and I knew John Koeltl back in our student days. Like us, he was active on the college debate circuit.