Overturning COVID restrictions and states of emergency


Memo to lawyers: What are you waiting for? File big cases now.

Jon Rappoport image

Re-Posted from the Canada free Press By  —— Bio and ArchivesSeptember 16, 2020

Overturning COVID restrictions and states of emergency

I‘ve been covering the decision in the Pennsylvania COVID case and the court filing in Ohio.  They give us the templates for potential victories in other states and countries.

In Pennsylvania, a federal judge just ruled that Governor Wolf’s COVID containment measures are unconstitutional.  The judge went further.  NO emergency cancels the Constitution.  There is a line that cannot be crossed.  The right to assemble, to have freedom of movement, to earn a living—-they can’t be wiped off the board by lockdowns for ANY reason.

This is, indeed, a heroic ruling.  It affirms the unmistakable rays of light emanating from the basis of the American Republic.

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed)

In Tom Renz’s gigantic Ohio filing against Governor Mike DeWine, both the Constitution and issues of fact/science are asserted.  Facts mean something.  A declaration of emergency must undergo scrutiny, to determine whether a clear and present danger justifies the declaration.

Otherwise, a government can destroy the Constitution, the rule of law, and human rights by falsely claiming danger when there is none.  We would be back in the time of Royal Edict, with the king’s army as the “rationale.”

In 2020, lunatic cultural proclivities, media propaganda, political jockeying, pretensions of science, scare tactics, rigging of “facts,” and profit motives are in the mix.  They produce amnesia about basic principles.

The law, when correctly applied, refreshes memory and sweeps away a blizzard of claims and counter-claims.  The law comes to the point.

Using the law, one can say to governors and their public health advisors, “You’ve been going on for months now about the COVID spread and the emergency and the containment measures, but we want to reduce this to basics: do you have the Constitutional right to strip away our freedoms, and is there a factual reason to believe a state of emergency is necessary—-so we’re going to court.”

Or, putting it another way: “Sir, you’re holding a gun to my head while you’re explaining at length why I can’t move.  But you see, nothing has happened in court yet.  Meet my lawyer.  Are you going to shoot us both?  Is that where you really want to go?”

In Ohio, attorney Tom Renz, on behalf of his clients, and against the governor, is asking for a jury trial.  He wants citizens to hear the complex arguments about COVID SCIENCE.  He wants citizens to understand the con and the game that is being played, in great detail.  This is impressive.  Renz believes The People deserve to know and they are capable of understanding.

From my nearly 40 years working as a reporter, experience tells me attorney Renz is correct.  When the truth is laid out step by step, The People come to their senses.  They cut through their own malaise.  They cut through media indoctrination.  As if they once took a voyage to an island called Logic, they suddenly remember that voyage.

After all, the COVID lockdowns and the economic destruction are being visited on the population at large, so let a dozen of their members (OUR members) hear the case and adjudicate it.

I’m not naïve about courts and judges and lawyers and juries.  But I do know that, among the denizens of that system, there are keen minds and persons of good will.  Persons who know that the Law, as it was once enshrined by the Founders, is a beacon and a breakthrough.

It is a culmination, after centuries of struggle, which places freedom at the head of the table.

Freedom—-not edicts, not lockdowns.

What is COVID science?  Has the virus actually been defined?  Have case and death numbers been drastically inflated?  Is there a pandemic?  Why is a diagnostic test that has so many holes, that has never been properly validated, being deployed?  How many obfuscations has the CDC planted to hide official secrets?

Let’s go to court and turn on the lights and explore the rabbit hole.

(Links to the sources for this article can be found in this article posted on my blog.)

Seriously What Good are Laws?


Having taken an oath to defend the Constitution and who refuse to protect it from all attempts to destroy its meaning, are not declared to be working toward overthrowing the country, and placed under arrest

Tony Mangan image

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By  —— Bio and ArchivesSeptember 16, 2020

 

Seriously What Good are Laws?

There are laws for everything, enough to fill volumes. Yet, lawless politicians ignore the laws that do not suit their plans of the moment and mentally create new temporary laws to support their needs. Laws like those are applied in rogue states, controlled by members of their progressive, socialist party. The new laws consider the existing legal laws irrelevant.

There are laws covering speed limits, there are others against “J walking,” climbing up the outside of public buildings, and I’m sure hundreds that I’ve never heard of, and all of those mentioned and many not mentioned, were put in place as public safety policies, so that no harm might come to the public.

There are Federal obligations that mandate the safety of all citizens so that they may prosper and enjoy freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The new progressive Socialist party develops their imaginary laws in order to control the citizenry. Laws that supposedly protect minority groups from “white supremacy” which they dub racist, homophobic, bigoted; basically everyone who is not in a minority category.  In order to supposedly protect minorities, these politicians, both federal and local, allow hordes of “peaceful” protesters to march into cities at night in areas of minority housing and businesses, while they keep the police at bay, and the “protesters” burn and loot those businesses, destroying decades of hard work. Minority-owned businesses changed the lives of the owners and brought work to the area and an improvement in the lives of residents and families, creating an upward trending lifestyle.

Pushed into poverty again, the elite progressives maintain control.

In spite of all the laws for the protection of the citizenry, rogue states declare themselves sanctuaries that harbor gangs of murderers, and anarchists who burn and loot cities, occupy public places as their own regardless of the citizens within those places put in jeopardy of the loss of life, goods, personal property and certainly the pursuit of happiness, as well as freedom to come and go as they please. Since the right to these things are all tenets of the Constitution of the United States of America, how is it that these states are not charged with rejection of the union, not only for putting U. S. citizen in danger but also thwarting the laws of the nation, preventing the sworn protection of all those invited or born to it to live under its protection.

How are these states and cities that do these things at the peril of Americans not guilty of attempting to overthrow our country from within? How is it that anyone employed by the government, having taken an oath to defend the Constitution and who refuse to pass laws that protect it from all attempts to destroy its meaning, are not declared to be working toward overthrowing the country, and placed under arrest without the benefits and rights of the position they held, while they languish in jail?

Legitimate peaceful protesters need to gather in front of the capitol with letters of request that the Attorney General of the United states convene a Grand Jury to look into these matters and begin the process of taking the rogue politicians, both federal and local into custody to determine how failure of keeping their oaths, laws, and their deceitful actions constitute crimes against the country and its citizens. They literally are aiding and abetting the criminal elements that are laying the anarchist groundwork on behalf of those who pay them those who determine which lives matter as opposed to our country’s belief that all lives matter solidified by the wars we have gotten involved in on behalf of the citizens of foreign countries who were becoming victims of governments with the same beliefs as the American socialist progressives.

 

The Next Democrat Shoe To Drop, ‘President Pelosi’s’ Stiletto


‘President Pelosi’s’ stiletto looks ready to come flying at American heads. The only way to dodge it is for people to put aside their fear of the pandemic and to get out to vote IN PERSON

Judi McLeod image

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By  —— Bio and ArchivesSeptember 13, 2020

The Next Democrat Shoe To Drop, ‘President Pelosi’s’ Stiletto

In the Democrat-led shark-feeding frenzy of the 2020 Election Campaign, lock down masses worriedly wait for the next shocking shoe to drop.

Outrageous, over-the-top smears against President Donald Trump did not peak with The Atlantic’s anonymous-sourced story that the president called dead soldiers “losers” and “suckers”.  With the 
Democrat and media gang-up in desperado mode, there will be much, much more to come.

‘President Pelosi’s’ loathsome stiletto

The shoe that so many are waiting to be dropped will be a stiletto—‘President Pelosi’s’ loathsome stiletto.

While cognitive-challenged Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden’s gaffes get worse by day—even when he’s reading answers from his Teleprompter, the Democrats remain impervious to his gaffes and goofs.

Why?

Devious Democrat Elites went into the 2020 presidential race knowing they could easily replace Biden—if he wins.

Not with vice president candidate Kamala Harris but with House Speaker Pelosi by default.

Here’s the step-by-step strategy the Democrats will spin into a workable reality:

President Trump WILL win on Election Night—but Democrats, using the Mail-In Vote and other measures will claim a recount is necessary.

They will make the recount last until Inauguration Day when they will take full advantage of a law that allows House Speakers to serve as temporary presidents until vote recounts can be released.

January 20, 2021 will be the day when Pelosi’s stiletto will come flying, full speed, at America’s head.

Standing in line to vote

When President Trump raised the possibility of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi succeeding him as the next president of the United States, during a speech to the 2020 Council for National Policy, the media said he was only kidding.

Said Trump: “I really don’t think that you are going to know anything on the evening — anything meaningful or anything real — on the evening of Nov. 3rd. You are not going to know what happened. I don’t think you’ll know two weeks later. I don’t think you’ll know four weeks later. And I don’t know what is going to happen. You know, there is a theory that if you don’t have it by the end of the year, crazy Nancy Pelosi would become president. You know that, right?” (The Hill, Sept 12,2020)

“To be sure, Trump likely was having a bit of fun while trying to fire up conservative attendees at the event. That said, he also raised the “theory” because of the perfect storm brewing for a delay in voting results and potential voter fraud. The two main reasons are that some people may not feel comfortable voting in person because of concern about COVID-19 and the more than 51 million mail-in ballots being sent out in nine states and Washington, D.C.

“Of course, in the middle of the pandemic, we can stand in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, the post office, the supermarket, restaurants, big-box stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot, and other retailers and locations, but some Americans apparently believe the virus might be more contagious in the line leading to voting booths. Maybe those who believe this don’t know we had in-person voting during other crises, including flu pandemics and the years encompassing World War I  and World War II.

Have democratic American elections come down to Democrats like Pelosi knowing “every rule and TRICK in the book in order to steal the vote?!

“Those realities aside, should problematic voting scenarios take hold in any large measure, it could be days or even weeks indeed before we know who won this presidential election. And if those weeks were to stretch to noon on Jan. 20, 2021, without the Electoral College declaring a winner, some constitutional scholars believe the presidency would default to the Speaker of the House. Assuming the Democrats retain control of the House, that new president most likely would be Pelosi.

“Were that to come to pass, most Democrats and liberals would scream with joy at the opportunity given to them, while Republicans and conservatives would be shocked into depression and dread.”

But what about the millions who voted to re-elect President Donald Trump?

Where will that cruelly leave them?

…”Academic exercise or not, Republicans, conservatives and the Trump White House underestimate Pelosi at their own risk. She has proved to be an effective and popular leader for her Democratic colleagues. More than that, she knows every rule and trick in the book.  (The Hill)

Have democratic American elections come down to Democrats like Pelosi knowing “every rule and TRICK in the book in order to steal the vote?!

God spare America from Pelosi’s stiletto and God Bless America!

“That means President Pelosi would know that she’d need to act fast to get anything done in the White House. Prior to ascending to the presidency, Pelosi would have kept a close eye on the confusion and delayed vote certification. The more confusion and delay, the better her chances to be named president. She would have convened her senior leadership and most trusted advisers to come up with a one-day plan, a one-week plan and a one-month plan for her “presidency.” (The Hill)

“Any president can do a great deal of good, or initiate a great deal of partisan mischief, in a short time — especially if a game plan is mapped out weeks before the inauguration.

“In the increasingly surreal year that has been 2020, will the theory of a President Pelosi translate into a history-making first?

“Prior to the economic devastation from extended pandemic-related lockdowns and the anarchy, violence and looting happening in many cities, there may have been a slight chance for the House Speaker to take over in the Oval Office because of a close vote and difficult count.”

If Democrat mayors and governors already succeeded at cowing millions by making them wear face masks and shutting down healthy businesses, why wouldn’t they plan on installing Pelosi as America’s next president?

Meanwhile, ‘President Pelosi’s’ stiletto looks ready to come flying at American heads.

The only way to dodge it is for people to put aside their fear of the pandemic and to get out to vote IN PERSON.

God spare America from Pelosi’s stiletto and God Bless America!

The 9/11 Conspiracy Theory


 

Tucker Carlson Questions DOJ Aggression Toward Julian Assange….


Nancy Pelosi previously labeled all Trump supporters as “enemies of the state.”  Similarly we note the apparatus of the administrative state labels Julian Assange the same.  There’s a good argument that the reason why Assange is considered such a threat to the U.S. is specifically because he could expose the lies of the administrative state.

As a consequence the U.S. intelligence apparatus has targeted the WikiLeaks founder and the Bill Barr DOJ is being extremely aggressive in their effort to get control of him.  Tucker Carlson discussed this dynamic last night; albeit stopping short of the brutally honest part.

.

To understand the risk Julian Assange represents to the administrative state, it is important to understand the extent of CIA, FBI and DOJ operations in 2016. It is within this network of foreign and domestic operations where FBI Agent Peter Strzok was clearly working as a bridge between the CIA origination and FBI investigation.

 

By now people are familiar with the construct of CIA operations involving Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor now generally admitted/identified as a western intelligence operative who was tasked against Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos in both Italy (Rome) and London. {Go Deep}

In a similar fashion the CIA tasked U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper to target another Trump campaign official, Carter Page. Under the auspices of being a Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper also targeted General Michael Flynn. Additionally, using assistance from a female FBI agent under the false name Azra Turk, Halper also targeted Papadopoulos.

The initial operations to target Flynn, Papadopoulos and Page were all based overseas. This seemingly makes the CIA exploitation of the assets and the targets much easier.

One of the more interesting aspects to the Durham probe is a possibility of a paper-trail created as a result of the tasking operations. We should watch closely for more evidence of a paper trail as some congressional reps have hinted toward documented evidence (transcripts, recordings, reports) that are exculpatory to the targets (Page & Papadop). HPSCI Ranking Member Devin Nunes has strongly hinted that very specific exculpatory evidence was known to the FBI and yet withheld from the FISA application used against Carter Page that also mentions George Papadopoulos. I digress…

However, there is an aspect to the domestic U.S. operation that also bears the fingerprints of the CIA; only this time due to the restrictive laws on targets inside the U.S. the CIA aspect is less prominent. This is where FBI Agent Peter Strzok working for both agencies starts to become important.

Remember, it’s clear in the text messages Strzok has a working relationship with what he called their “sister agency”, the CIA. Additionally, Brennan has admitted Strzok helped write the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) which outlines the Russia narrative; and it is almost guaranteed the July 31st, 2016, “Electronic Communication” from the CIA to the FBI that originated FBI operation “Crossfire Hurricane” was co-authored from the CIA by Strzok…. and Strzok immediately used that EC to travel to London to debrief intelligence officials around Australian Ambassador to the U.K. Alexander Downer.

In short, Peter Strzok appears to be the very eager, profoundly overzealous James Bond wannabe, who acted as a bridge between the CIA and the FBI. The perfect type of FBI career agent for CIA Director John Brennan to utilize.

Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson hired CIA Open Source analyst Nellie Ohr toward the end of 2015; at appropriately the same time as “FBI Contractors” were identified exploiting the NSA database and extracting information on a specific set of U.S. persons.

It was also Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson who was domestically tasked with a Russian lobbyist named Natalia Veselnitskya. A little reported Russian Deputy Attorney General named Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was working double-agents for the CIA and Kremlin. Karapetyan was directing the foreign operations of Natalia Veselnitskaya, and Glenn Simpson was organizing her inside the U.S.

Glenn Simpson managed Veselnitskaya through the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. However, once the CIA/Fusion-GPS operation using Veselnitskaya started to unravel with public reporting… back in Russia Deputy AG Karapetyan fell out of a helicopter to his death (just before it crashed).

Simultaneously timed in late 2015 through mid 2016, there was a domestic FBI operation using a young Russian named Maria Butina tasked to run up against republican presidential candidates. According to Patrick Byrne, Butina’s handler, it was FBI agent Peter Strzok who was giving Byrne the instructions on where to send her. {Go Deep}

All of this context outlines the extent to which the CIA was openly involved in constructing a political operation that settled upon anyone in candidate Donald Trump’s orbit.

International operations directed by the CIA, and domestic operations seemingly directed by Peter Strzok operating with a foot in both agencies. [Strzok gets CIA service coin]

Recap: ♦Mifsud tasked against Papadopoulos (CIA). ♦Halper tasked against Flynn (CIA), Page (CIA), and Papadopoulos (CIA). ♦Azra Turk, pretending to be Halper asst, tasked against Papadopoulos (FBI). ♦Veselnitskaya tasked against Donald Trump Jr (CIA, Fusion-GPS). ♦Butina tasked against Trump, and Donald Trump Jr (FBI).

Additionally, Christopher Steele was a British intelligence officer, hired by Fusion-GPS to assemble and launder fraudulent intelligence information within his dossier. And we cannot forget Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch, who was recruited by Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to participate in running an operation against the Trump campaign and create the impression of Russian involvement. Deripaska refused to participate.

All of this engagement directly controlled by U.S. intelligence; and all of this intended to give a specific Russia impression. This predicate is presumably what John Durham is currently reviewing.

The key point of all that background is to see how committed the CIA and FBI were to the constructed narrative of Russia interfering with the 2016 election. The CIA, FBI, and by extension the DOJ, put a hell of a lot of work into it. Intelligence community work that Durham is now unraveling.

We also know specifically that John Durham is looking at the construct of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA); and talking to CIA analysts who participated in the construct of the January 2017 report that bolstered the false appearance of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This is important because it ties in to the next part that involves Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

On April 11th, 2019, the Julian Assange indictment was unsealed in the EDVA. From the indictment we discover it was under seal since March 6th, 2018:

(Link to pdf)

On Tuesday April 15th more investigative material was released. Again, note the dates: Grand Jury, *December of 2017* This means FBI investigation prior to….

The FBI investigation took place prior to December 2017, it was coordinated through the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) where Dana Boente was U.S. Attorney at the time. The grand jury indictment was sealed from March of 2018 until after Mueller completed his investigation, April 2019.

Why the delay?

What was the DOJ waiting for?

Here’s where it gets interesting….

The FBI submission to the Grand Jury in December of 2017 was four months after congressman Dana Rohrabacher talked to Julian Assange in August of 2017: “Assange told a U.S. congressman … he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents … did not come from Russia.”

(August 2017, The Hill Via John Solomon) Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year’s election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.

Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill.

“Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year’s presidential election,” Rohrabacher said, “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.”

Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. (read more)

Knowing how much effort the CIA and FBI put into the Russia collusion-conspiracy narrative, it would make sense for the FBI to take keen interest after this August 2017 meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange; and why the FBI would quickly gather specific evidence (related to Wikileaks and Bradley Manning) for a grand jury by December 2017.

Within three months of the grand jury the DOJ generated an indictment and sealed it in March 2018. The EDVA sat on the indictment while the Mueller probe was ongoing.

As soon as the Mueller probe ended, on April 11th, 2019, a planned and coordinated effort between the U.K. and U.S. was executed; Julian Assange was forcibly arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and the EDVA indictment was unsealed (link).

As a person who has researched this three year fiasco; including the ridiculously false 2016 Russian hacking/interference narrative: “17 intelligence agencies”, Joint Analysis Report (JAR) needed for Obama’s anti-Russia narrative in December ’16; and then a month later the ridiculously political Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) in January ’17; this timing against Assange is just too coincidental.

It doesn’t take a deep researcher to see the aligned Deep State motive to control Julian Assange because the Mueller report was dependent on Russia cybercrimes, and that narrative is contingent on the Russia DNC hack story which Julian Assange disputes.

This is critical. The Weissmann/Mueller report contains claims that Russia hacked the DNC servers as the central element to the Russia interference narrative in the U.S. election. This claim is directly disputed by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, as outlined during the Dana Rohrabacher interview, and by Julian Assange on-the-record statements.

The predicate for Robert Mueller’s investigation was specifically due to Russian interference in the 2016 election. The fulcrum for this Russia interference claim is the intelligence community assessment; and the only factual evidence claimed within the ICA is that Russia hacked the DNC servers; a claim only made possible by relying on forensic computer analysis from Crowdstrike, a DNC contractor.

The CIA holds a massive conflict of self-interest in upholding the Russian hacking claim. The FBI holds a massive interest in maintaining that claim. All of those foreign countries whose intelligence apparatus participated with Brennan and Strzok also have a vested self-interest in maintaining that Russia hacking and interference narrative.

Julian Assange is the only person with direct knowledge of how Wikileaks gained custody of the DNC emails; and Assange has claimed he has evidence it was not from a hack.

This Russian “hacking” claim is ultimately so important to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, ODNI and U.K intelligence apparatus…. Well, right there is the obvious motive to shut Assange down as soon intelligence officials knew the Mueller report was going to be public.

Now, if we know this, and you know this; and everything is cited and factual… well, then certainly AG Bill Barr knows this.

, MAGA vs. The Swamp


“MAGA vs. The Deep State Swamp” Number 5 in the Drain the Swamp Series.

For the last four years President Trump has tirelessly exposed the Deep State Swamp. Trump has shown the American people the ruthless corruption in our government and called out the endless propaganda of the controlled mainstream media complex.

President Trump’s first term went by quickly and although much was accomplished, there was still a lot left to do.

The swamp runs deeper than anyone ever imagined.

Now the Democrat nominee, Joe Biden, claims he represents ‘decency.’ He’s a career politician known for gr op ing and sniffing females—adults and children alike.

He made it possible for his son Hunter to receive graft from Communist China. He believes taxpayers should fund abortion on demand. He believes in more taxes, a bigger and more bloated government, political correctness, BLM and ANTIFA, endless lockdowns, and a mask mandate. Joe is pro-war, a globalist, and he supported tossing low-level drug offenders into prison. Does this sound decent to you? Trump is not perfect, but he stands in sharp contrast to Biden. While Joe is pro-China, Trump is pro-jobs for Americans. He wants to preserve our free speech and our right to own firearms. He is a nationalist, not a globalist. He wants to put an end to the rioting and looting. He wants elections to be held in a fair and traditional manner, while Democrats want mail-in ballots, which will open the door to fraud. Trump is anti-war. That alone is a good reason to reelect him. The contrast between the two presidential candidates is obvious and definite. President Trump remains the only decent choice.

—Grrr Team

“Lex Est Quod Dico” – San Francisco Government Gyms Open, Private Gyms Forced to Remain Closed…


“Lex Est Quod Dico” or the law is what I say it is…  Again, highlighting the arbitrary fiats of power hungry government officials, a recent discovery in San Francisco that private health gyms are forcibly closed – yet government gyms are allowed to be open.

CALIFORNIA – Gyms within government buildings in San Francisco have been open for months, despite privately owned establishments being ordered to close due to the coronavirus.

“It’s shocking, it’s infuriating,” Daniele Rabkin, of Crossfit Golden Gate, told a local NBC station. “Even though they’re getting exposed, there are no repercussions, no ramifications? It’s shocking.”

The gyms that have been open for government employees include those for police officers, judges, lawyers, bailiffs, and paralegals, according to the report. One such gym, the Hall of Justice gym, has been open since July 1.

“It just demonstrates that there seems to be some kind of a double standard between what city employees are allowed to do and what the residents of San Francisco are allowed to do,” Dave Karraker, owner of MX3 Fitness in the Castro, said. (read more)

Recalling EPA’s Gold King Mine disaster – Part 1


Five years after the infamous blowout, EPA finally settles with Utah over Gold King pollution

Duggan Flanakin image

Re-Posted from the Canada Free Press By  —— Bio and ArchivesSeptember 6, 2020

Recalling EPA's Gold King Mine disaster

On the fifth anniversary of the notorious spill of 3 million gallons of heavily contaminated acid mine water from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and State of Utah announced an agreement that ends the state’s lawsuit.

Neither the EPA nor the contractors involved at the Gold King spill site are entirely off the hook for their alleged missteps that resulted in downstream damages. Lawsuits filed by the Navajo Nation, the State of New Mexico, and a group of Navajo farmers and ranchers have been consolidated, and discovery is proceeding, with a projected trial date sometime in late 2021.

Pursuant to the agreement, Utah will dismiss its legal actions against the EPA and the United States; mining companies Kinross Gold Corporation, Kinross Gold U.S.A., Inc., Sunnyside Gold Corporation, and Gold King Mines Corporation; and EPA’s contractors: Environmental Restoration, LLC, Weston Solutions, Inc. and Harrison Western Corporation. EPA also agreed to strengthen Utah’s involvement in the EPA’s work to address contamination at the Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site, which includes the Gold King Mine and other abandoned mines.

The agency further agreed to act on the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s application for $3 million in Clean Water Act funds for various projects, including the development of water quality criteria for Utah Lake, septic density studies, nonpoint source pollution reduction projects, and nutrient management plans for agricultural sources.

The agency also agreed to initiate Superfund assessments by the end of 2021 at the Rico Argentine Mine Site, the Camp Bird Mining Site, the Carribeau (or Caribou) Mine Area, all located in Colorado, and possibly other sites that have the potential to impact downstream waters in Utah. Coupled with its work at the recently established Bonita Peak Mining District Superfund Site (which includes Gold King), the EPA expects to conduct and oversee more than $220 million in abandoned mining site work that will potentially improve Utah’s water quality by reducing the flow of heavy metals and other pollutants from old mines in the state’s waterways.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler called the agreement “a win-win for EPA and Utah” that “will bring environmental benefits to Utah, avoid protracted litigation, and hopefully serve as a lesson for the future to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.” EPA General Counsel Matthew Leopold promised that the agency’s “partnership with Utah will be stronger as we continue to support the State in addressing its water quality needs.”

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the state is “very pleased that millions of dollars can now be spent towards mitigation, remediation and assuring water quality in Utah, rather than years of more litigation, trials and appeals.” This, he added, “is what cooperative federalism looks like – a true federal and state partnership” that protects the people, public health and the environment.

The relationship between the EPA and Utah was not always so amicable. Within days after Cement Creek and the Animas River were turned yellow all the way from Colorado through New Mexico and Utah all the way to Lake Powell, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert declared a state of emergency and added that he was “deeply disappointed by the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency. It was a preventable mistake, and they must be held accountable.”

CFACT Senior Policy Analyst Paul Driessen described the incident this way: A contractor under EPA supervision used a backhoe to dig away tons of rock and debris that were blocking the entrance portal of the Gold King Mine, which had been mostly abandoned since 1923. Because of steady seepage, the EPA should have known that the water was highly acidic (pH 4.0-4.5) and laced with heavy metals. It could and should certainly have checked.

Eventually, the greatly weakened portal burst open, unleashing at least 3 million gallons of toxic water that contaminated the Animas and San Juan Rivers all the way to Lake Powell, which straddles the Utah-Arizona border on the Colorado River. The EPA waited an entire day before notifying downstream mayors, health officials, families, farmers, ranchers, fishermen and kayakers of the toxic spill.

Driessen lambasted the Obama Administration, other Democratic Party officials, and eco-activists for their initial response to the incident, which also caused major damage to Navajo Indian lands. But while EPA’s own internal report called the incident “likely inevitable,” an Interior Department review released in October 2015 found it was both “preventable: and also “emblematic” of the federal government’s “inconsistent and deeply flawed approaches to reopening shuttered mines.” Driessen and others agreed.

Specifically, the Interior Department said that contractors at the Gold King site chose not to bore a hole to physically check water levels and contamination inside the mine before digging – a protocol established in 2011 during a successful mine reopening. “Had it been done, the plan to open the mine would have been revised, and the blowout would not have occurred.” Before undertaking its incompetent cleanup, EPA had threatened Gold King property owner Todd Hennis with a $35,000 per day fine unless he granted them access to the property (which the agency and its contractors then turned into a disaster zone).

In a follow-up article, Driessen found the testimony of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell shocking, as she stated she was unaware of anyone being fired, fined or even demoted – and that federal investigations and reports refused to hold anyone responsible for the ensuing disaster. Even worse, while then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said she EPA “absolutely, deeply sorry,” she disavowed any personal or agency responsibility and sent the Navajo emergency water tanks contaminated with oil. Then FEMA denied the Navajo any disaster relief, which prompted nearly 300 affected farmers and ranchers to file a separate (now consolidated) lawsuit.

(Driessen’s in-depth September 2015 MasterResource.org articles (herehere and here) provide extensive details – and damning conclusions – about the scope of EPA and contractor incompetence, negligence, double standards, whitewashing … and refusal to accept responsibility, compensate victims, or even observe the very rules that EPA typically imposes with an iron fist on corporations, municipalities and citizens. (Most of the damning photographs of activities leading up to and after the blowout appear to have been scrubbed from the internet. However, quite a few can still be found here and elsewhere.)

In the early days of the Trump Administration (while Obama holdovers were still running the show), the EPA finally released an Inspector General’s report on the Gold King incident. Rob Gordon, longtime head of the National Wilderness Institute and currently an advisor to the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said the IG’s report was yet another whitewash, more for its omissions than its inclusions.

Gordon noted, for example, that the IG’s report had omitted EPA’s critical, erroneous and indefensible assumption that the mine was only partially full of water, and failed to mention that the EPA crew reburied the natural plug after unearthing it. His final assessment was that there are “gaping holes in the EPA’s fiction” which, if allowed to stand, will send a message that “misleading, deceiving and lying works, and that bureaucrats need not follow the laws they enforce on others.”

Navajo and New Mexico officials were equally dissatisfied with the EPA’s initial response to their cries for just compensation for immediate and future losses of both revenue and their traditional use of land and water impacted by the spill. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas lambasted the EPA for seeking to “impose weak testing standards in New Mexico.” That litigation is still ongoing.

(Part 2 of this article will report on the issues and progress of their now-combined lawsuit.)
Duggan Flanakin is director of policy research for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org)

2019 FISC Report and Opinion Released – Full pdf and links…


A rather odd situation all things considered.  A FISA Court opinion, based on 702 modifications and submissions to the court from the DOJ, dated December 6, 2019, has been released to the public (release date Sept. 4, 2020) [pdf link].

The opinion date is December 6, 2019, which was three days before the IG report was released on December 9, 2019…. which sets up an interesting situation. This report is based on the DOJ and intelligence equity holders (DOJ, FBI, NSA and NCTC) telling the FISA court what compliance modifications they had made to the FISA 702 process.

The “702” topic relates to the electronic communication of American citizens. “702” is literally the designation for a process that intersects with an American, at home or abroad,  who is protected from warrantless searches and seizures by the fourth amendment.  By now everyone is a little more familiar with the FISA-702 importance.

The primary issues involve intelligence gathering by DOJ, FBI and the National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC), and exploitation of electronic metadata searches that capture the communication and private information of American citizens without a search warrant.   This 702 issue has been the subject of multiple efforts (albeit some rather obtuse refinements) by the U.S. intelligence apparatus to be in compliance with the legal restrictions and protections afforded by the fourth amendment.   So far, no process put into place has been effective at stopping the abuse.

 

In my opinion there is a way to stop the abuse through punishment for unlawful exploitation of the system by intelligence users; literally put legal consequences as the teeth within the compliance system and jail users who violate collection and minimization rules.  However, congress and the intelligence community, writ large, have refused to put legal accountability into the process.

While the 702 database search query issue is not directly attached to the fraudulent FISA application used against Carter Page, this December 6, 2019, FISC opinion is literally three days before IG Michael Horowitz told the FISA court about the wrongdoing and misconduct in the four Carter Page FISA application submissions.  Anyone who is concerned about the abuse of the fourth amendment should review these reports to gain a better understanding of the scale and scope of a Pandora’s box process.

I’m slowly going through the 2019 report/opinion because often prior reports (the redacted stuff) are reconciled in new releases.  Example: One previously held back component is this new admission about NCTC exploits:

One of the key elements and purposes of the FISA opinion can be captured on page #17 of the report:

Here’s the full report….  still making notes for a more comprehensive review:

 

Expanded or Targeted Investigative Review of Special Counsel?…


Red State has a good article expanding consideration of the Sara Carter exclusive this week surrounding a recent DOJ and FBI admission to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the special counsel, Andrew Weissmann, “recreating” the original Woods File to support the June 29, 2017, Carter Page FISA application.

[Red State Here -AND- Sara Carter Here]

In essence the questions are: why would the special counsel need to re-create a file?  And if so what would be the purpose behind “losing” their original?

However, CTH would add an overlaying question: What investigative event would precipitate the DOJ approaching the FBI to inquire about investigative “files” secured and handled by the special counsel?…..  Such that the SSCI would need to be brought into the information pipeline recently.

Perhaps !

The 2018 timeline here is very specific.  Both the Wood’s File (for Horowitz review) and the investigative file of SSA Brian Dugan (for Jessie Liu review) would have to be handled within a very similar special counsel time-frame.   Questioning one could certainly lead to more sunlight upon the other. Perhaps time will tell.