• The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week

    November 22, 2016

    Tags: ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America

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    For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.


    My book was critical of actions in Iraq under both the Obama and Bush administrations. One helped protect the other.

    Braver people than me, like Thomas Drake, Morris Davis, and Robert MacLean, risked imprisonment and lost their government jobs for talking to the press about government crimes and malfeasance. John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, and Jeff Sterling went to jail for speaking to/informing the press. The Obama administration tried to prosecute reporters from Fox and the New York Times for stories on government wrongdoing.

    Ray Maxwell at the State Department went public with information about Clinton’s email malfeasance before you had even heard of her private server. The media called him a liar, an opportunist, and a political hack and he was pressed into retirement.


    Indeed, Obama prosecuted more federal whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous United States presidents combined, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

    The Obama administration also set a record (77%) for redacting government files or denying access to them in fiscal year 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act.

    More than any previous administration, Obama took longer to turn over files, said more often it could not locate documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over time-sensitive files quickly, requiring years-long legal actions to be brought to force the government’s hand. In the case of Hillary Clinton, files considered “unclassified” in one context were redacted in whole in another.

    Though the backlog of unanswered requests grew by 55%, the administration cut the number of full-time Freedom of Information Act employees by 7.5%. Despite the critical nature of the documents to the election, the State Department was allowed to do its Freedom of Information Act screening of the Clinton emails largely with an ad hoc crew of retirees. The impact on journalists, and the right of the people to know, was immeasurable.


    So spare me. The war on our freedoms was well under way before last week. Where the hell were you and your safety pins then?




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...

      1

      It was very clever of the Democrats to have a half white guy for POTUS. It would make it very uncool to attack such a hybrid. Most fell right in line to avoid being shamed for subtle racism. It is hell being half white. So, LAY OFF the half white guy! or you’ll be sorry.

      11/22/16 8:30 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      2

      So the characters change but the story remains the same. Ding dong, the war witchs career is dead but the Wizard is still hiding behind the curtain to deceive US munchkins. Release the DS Flying monkeys. They know where all the dead bodies are buried. As my good buddy Richie Scallia says, we arent in Kansas but it sure feels like it. You know this story isnt going to end well.

      11/22/16 8:34 AM | Comment Link

    • traven said...

      3

      I have lived through about a dozen presidencies in my lifetime and Obama is the worst. Richard Nixon had more ‘vision’ than Obama. Nixon passed the Clean Air Act’ and had the vision to open the door to China.Obama throws a few legislative bones to the Democratic base and they keep quiet while he embraces the war criminals in the Bush administration, and the bankers who destroyed our economy,approves a world wide drone assassination program, and imprisons whistle blowers who are doing their job to defend our freedom of the press.
      The Democratic Party under Obama then connived to front her majesty, Hillary, as their candidate and we got Trump rather than the candidate who would now be president. .

      11/22/16 11:23 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Traven- I agree. I think historians will label Obama as a complete sham- corrupt and ineffectual. My grandchildren might read the truth about Obama but it will not be available in textbooks for another thirty years.

      11/22/16 11:32 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      5

      Trim teh Poppy and cocaine $hrub CANCERS Upon the presidency! BushWhack Billary, DingleBarry and their patron Bushs!! Toss on teh yard trash pile of herstory!!! Incinerate.

      11/22/16 11:54 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      6

      I protest (when able with no back problem). Bush , Obama, etc.. First time arrested was at hearing with Leon Panneta. My friend was arrested for having a peace sign with his hand, and no words. Only under Obama have I been pepper sprayed many times. Dec. *1* Water is Life.

      11/22/16 12:13 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      7

      What does BB want?

      11/22/16 12:15 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      8

      Speaking of trying to burn the 1st Amendment..after yesterdays Trump terminal kettlemeetpot meltdown towards MSM boneheads, he cancelled and scheduled similar meeting with the NYT’s, and then abruptly rescheduled it. I have a feeling the NYT’s is prepared to give him the proverbial finger though.
      And now…he’s saying he won’t investigate Clinton.
      If his supporters are starting to get a little inkling of that which they were in complete denial of prior to the election, this should give them a clue.

      He’s basically telling his supporters …fuck you, ..you knew when you voted for me I was a….liar.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-conflict-of-interest_us_5833b971e4b058ce7aacbb56

      However, I have no doubt in my mind this halfwit will try and pull off a Constitutional coup d’tat. Where previous admin’s were waging war on the 1st Amendment using secrecy and prosecution, Trump is going Nuclear. At least with his mouth.

      However, I’ve got $.31 that says he’ll use everything at his disposal to try and get the 1st Amendment aborted. Somehow. And if not that.. then he’ll unleash his legal dogs to bark at the entire 4th Estate. But even now, it’s becoming blindingly clear he’s reaching the early stages of total mental meltdown. Let’s just pray it happens before inauguration day.

      11/22/16 12:51 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      9

      Trump said today he doesn’t want to “go backwards” (prosecuting Hillary) and instead focus on running the nation. “Running the nation” to me means enforcing the ethos that no one no matter how popular or powerful is above the law. “Oh, the poor dear she’s suffered enough..the humiliation! Hillary and Bubba will do quite well if an investigation is dropped. They are very well off- more so than 99.5% of the country. If Trump let’s Hillary skate he’s as big a criminal as she is.

      11/22/16 2:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      10

      Blood and John Poole,

      I understand why Trump is not pursuing charges against Killary Rotten Clinton. Completely understand.

      In order to to get both sides of the house and senate to play ball…. He can’t go after their favorite bitch.

      Sooooo…. That being said……

      BIG FUCKING MISTAKE!!!!!!

      All he has done is show the people who hoped for something different, is that he is just more of the same.

      And….. As the jury starts to file back in…….

      M

      11/22/16 2:32 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      11

      Mitch- he must have caught the meme virus of “let’s just move forward” from Obama during their initial meeting.

      11/22/16 3:21 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      12

      I think we’re screwed! Impeaching a sitting POTUS must be done via the legislature. It seems it can’t be engendered directly via a popular recall or referendum. So if the Donald has no intention of changing his imperial ways we might be stuck with him for four years. Any thoughts from Constitutional lawyers or serious thinkers?

      11/22/16 4:51 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      13

      John Poole said…
      “Impeaching a sitting POTUS must be done via the legislature. It seems it can’t be engendered directly via a popular recall or referendum.”unquote

      Oh for fucks sake, this scumbag will cause his own undoing. All it will take is grabbing some gal by the pussy in the Oval room and getting caught. He’s a slave to his own stupidity. And if not that, then there’s always revolution. After all..you did say..serious thinkers. 🙂

      However, I’m thinkin a lot of his so called supporters are probably getting pretty pissed off already, seeing him appointing the status quo, who he promised to totally not do, letting Clinton off the hook..etc etc. Wait till the see him obliterate their only hope for surviving old age. They will fucking explode.

      11/22/16 5:18 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      14

      Pitch. I think The Donald may have miscalculated the zealotry of his constituents. They (and I) want Hillary held accountable for any possible criminal behavior while a governmental employee. He was elected to serve the ethos of: No one is above the law!
      If he undervalues that guiding morality then I’m hoping he will be removed from leadership. I’m one of those odd ball types who considers morality a necessity not a luxury.

      11/22/16 5:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      15

      Blood and John,

      John…. I am “moving foward”……to…..

      Blood…. Start doing arm curls with at least 30 lbs weights.

      Ammo’s heavy.

      M

      11/22/16 5:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      16

      John,

      I’m not sure “zealotry” is the correct time.

      More along the lines…. Of we gave this government its last chance.

      We did it the correct way. We played by the rules.

      And now….

      You pissed us all off.

      M

      11/22/16 5:47 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      17

      PS.

      If your not current on Standing Rock, you might want to get current.

      167 major injured last night. A kid hit with a head shot from a rubber bullet. And…. A woman will most likely lose her arm from a grenade.

      Or… Maybe it should be renamed…. Bunker Hill 2.

      Wonder if the Bundy’s are sending people.

      M

      11/22/16 6:08 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      18

      On the lighter side…. Anyone up for a trip to Russia?

      http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38063142

      M

      11/22/16 6:17 PM | Comment Link

    • T. Crowbury Jacobson said...

      19

      Will students have textbooks 30 years from now. “Our” prez-elect bragged that he loves the uneducated, and he claimed this morning that he’Lloyd be in charge for the next 8 years. He can do much damage to citizens’ rights, students’ education, and truth in 8 years. And he can lay the foundation for similar “thinkers” to be in power for decades.

      11/22/16 6:45 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      20

      Mitch..

      I’m thinking, after so many people were hurt at Standing Rock, if I were in a position to do so, I’d be, personally, become a sniper. Fuck these so called “law enforcement”. After all, they are becoming vindictive. Moreover, we’ll see how long peaceful remains viable. I actually think Custer might have left a memo for them.

      11/22/16 7:33 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      21

      hahahahahahahaha…what did I tell you…

      quote”Off-the-record was a mistake for the TV people, and it would have been a mistake for the Times. The paper successfully called Trump’s bluff.”unquopte

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/what-tv-journalists-did-wrong–and-the-new-york-times-did-right–in-meeting-with-trump/2016/11/22/54fe17ba-b0d3-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html

      fuck this asshole motherfucker.

      11/22/16 8:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      22

      Blood,

      I’m seriously thinking about a roadtrip. With some friends….. Show these mercenaries who the hell their screwing with.

      A lesson insurgents and partisans everywhere know….

      You don’t have to win…. You just have to make it to expensive to stay.

      M

      11/22/16 9:04 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      23

      meanwhile..unbeknownst to most middle
      American rural Trump supporters.. the scum rises..

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/lets-party-like-its-1933-inside-the-disturbing-alt-right-world-of-richard-spencer/2016/11/22/cf81dc74-aff7-11e6-840f-e3ebab6bcdd3_story.html

      Good thing the 2nd Amendment is still a force to be reckoned with. I think a good portion of this nation would hang these scumbags. Of course..I’m only the son of one who helped these scum sucking bastards use their rights guaranteed by the death of millions of those who would hang them.

      11/22/16 9:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      24

      Blood,

      People hoped and prayed he would be different.

      Just a different package.

      M

      11/22/16 9:05 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      25

      11/22/16 9:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      26

      Blood,

      response to your Dick Spencer post…

      I have the Brooks Brothers suits, my watch costs a hell of a lot more than his…. “Rolex, accept no substitute”…

      All I would ask….. 11 minutes alone with that POS.

      11 minutes…. Not to much to ask… Is it????

      11 minutes to change his out look.

      11 minutes.

      M

      11/22/16 9:14 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      27

      Blood,

      Like to see them gather in my lawn.

      M

      11/22/16 9:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      28

      So…..

      No win, or…. No win…

      Trump….. Or…

      http://foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&external=3827144.proteus.fma

      M

      11/22/16 9:19 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      29

      Mitch said..

      “11 minutes to change his out look.”

      11 minutes hell. Give me 30 seconds and I’ll change his look.
      “Like to see them gather in my lawn.”
      I know one thing. The day Nazi brownshirts start parading is the day I take up arms.

      Meanwhile, looks like some people are urging Clinton to challenge the election count in 3 swing states.

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/22/claims_of_vote_manipulation_in_swing_states_could_prompt_recount_or_be_totally.html

      If she does…I can’t wait to see Trump’s head explode…notwithstanding his supporters. There’ll be blood flowing in the streets in an hour. All I know is this country is heading towards an implosion of ideologies and there is no stopping it.

      11/23/16 7:24 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      30

      Guiliani on giving Hillarious a pass on her violations of national security: Theres a tradition in American politics.
      Yes, lie to the Dumbest Country on the Planet. You will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

      11/23/16 7:28 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      31

      Mitch, now I understand Trumps going soft on prosecuting Hillarious. He doesnt want to encourage more defectors in the electors. If this election is contested, then the ending is closer than I thought.

      11/23/16 7:35 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      32

      The fear of an electoral college revolt pushing Mitt Romney as a Democrat alternate to Trump explains why Trump is leaning to Romney for SecState. OR Trump wont hold it against Romney for talking shit about him because he talks shit about everyone.

      11/23/16 8:01 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      33

      Blood,

      11 minutes to do it right. Anything worth doing, Is worth doing right.
      Besides…. I have NO tolerance for that kind of shit. None. Zero.
      Take great pleasure in correcting that sort of thinking.

      What’s sad about that puke, is… Obvious money, education, contacts, etc……
      And the only way he can feel good about himself is to see himself as being a higher lifeform that an entire group of people.

      Sick bastard.

      Ok… Brownshirts…. That is so 1940’s….. Now they wear black… Black shirts, black pants….. Black amour…..

      Kind of like….. Ooohhhhhh…….. Standing Rock.

      M

      11/23/16 8:07 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      34

      PS
      If Killary manages to get the vote changed……

      Think the economy sucks now?…. We’ll be back on barter…. And fighting to keep a ham sandwich.

      Funny though….. Trump is giving her a pass…. “to move on…. Help heal….yadayadayada…..”….

      Killary….. She can’t move on…. So…. Doesn’t go her way…. Destroy…

      Both of them should have taken the self guided tour of Los Angeles….. During the King riots..

      Give them a change in perspective.

      M

      11/23/16 8:13 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      35

      Just go a one way ticket to DC ! I love Megabus. $12

      11/23/16 8:19 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      36

      Jan. 2.o/2o17 !

      11/23/16 8:21 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      37

      Rich,

      Now that’s how you do it!!!

      Articulate, strong points, with the motive attached. Avoiding anything that looks like bigotory.
      And, building on the previous comments.

      And…. Yep….. Everyone who voted for Trump, voted for real change.

      They voted for a government “of the people, for the people, by the people “….

      What we got is…

      Business as usual.

      So….. I’m hoping Texas says kiss my ass…

      And takes Oklahoma, Kansas and the Dakotas with us…

      Taxes to drive trucks across from the East and West coasts will be awesome.

      Besides…. We will get to sit out the fight that’s brewing.

      M

      11/23/16 8:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      38

      Chuck,

      Let us know when you need bail money….

      That’s going to be a dangerous mess…

      I’m thinking of spending my time at Standing Rock…

      Only have to worry about headshots, hypothermia, and getting blown up.

      M

      11/23/16 8:28 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      39

      I prefer Water is Life. The ex Blackwater group and Sherrifs are brutal. Friends are ready to go. My tickets to DC are already given away if needed, as soon as booked. Book some yourself, and give them away!

      11/23/16 8:49 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      40

      Chuck,

      My wife already did. Whole bunch of them.

      She sent standing rock a bunch of bail money, blankets, tents, food, heaters, etc…

      Under her own name.

      And she’s worried about me going up there and doing so game changing????

      Go figure.

      M

      11/23/16 9:00 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      41

      Chuck,

      Looks like some other people are planning some game changing.

      Mercenaries against soldiers…

      Merc’s are going to get a whooping.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/veterans-deployment-standing-rock-protest-2016-11

      M

      11/23/16 9:09 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...

      42

      Let US not forget how unintended consequences pave the way to Hell. Turns out JFK was NOT Oswalds target. Gov Connolly was. Because Oswald was a lousy shot, we got LBJ and the rest is history.

      11/23/16 9:16 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      43

      Amen

      11/23/16 10:25 AM | Comment Link

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