Andrew Gillum Found Wasted in Hotel Room With Bags of Crystal Meth by Paramedics Responding to Drug Overdose….


Thankfully Florida elected Ron DeSantis as governor instead of this guy.

Florida authorities responding to a drug overdose located three men in a hotel room. One man was overdosed and needed paramedics.  There were bags of crystal meth found in the room and one of the men incapacitated was former Tallahassee Mayor, former Florida gubernatorial candidate, and current CNN contributor Andrew Gillum.

MIAMI – A police report about an apparent drug overdose in a Miami Beach hotel room overnight Thursday says that one of the three men present in the room was former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Three small plastic bags containing suspected crystal meth were found in the room, the police report said.

[…] The police said officers responded to a room at 1100 West Ave., which is the address of the Mondrian South Beach. Police found fire rescue personnel treating a man for a possible drug overdose.

Police found two other men in the room, including Gillum, described as an “involved other.”

One of the men told police that when he arrived at the hotel shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday, Gillum and the person having the medical issue were “inside the room under the influence of an unknown substance.”

The police report said the man said that on arriving he “observed Mr. Gillum inside the bathroom vomiting…. Officers then attempted to speak to Mr. Gillum. Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state.”

Gillum confirmed his presence in a statement Friday.

“I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends. While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines. I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement,” Gillum said. (more)

Jessica Lipscomb

@jessicalipscomb

David Smiley

@NewsbySmiley

Gillum statement: “I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends. While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines.”

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Secretary of State Pompeo Meets With UN Secretary General Guterres


Any attempt by the ICC to enforce a warrant against any U.S. citizens must be fought by all means necessary

Joseph A. Klein, CFP United Nations Columnist imageRe Posted from The Canada Free Press By  —— Bio and ArchivesMarch 7, 2020

Secretary of State Pompeo Meets With UN Secretary General GuterresSecretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met on March 6th with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres at UN headquarters in New York. The offices of the spokespersons for both the State Department and the Secretary General issued their own readouts of the meeting. One would think from reading them that the readouts were reporting on two different meetings.

The UN readout portrayed the meeting as a kumbaya moment. “The Secretary-General expressed appreciation for the continued engagement of the United States in the United Nation,” the UN statement said. It ticked off as topics of discussion “a range of situations around the world, including Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, the Sahel and the questions related to the implementation of the host country agreement.” The reference to the host country agreement implementation may have alluded to a dispute over the denial or delay of visas issued by the U.S. to UN diplomats from certain countries, principally Russia and Iran, seeking to attend UN meetings in New York. However, the statement completely sidestepped the substance of the issue. Nothing was even hinted regarding any other differences between the United States and the United Nations.

The State Department readout did not hold back, however. Half of the readout was devoted to the UN’s highly biased pro-Palestinian decision to release its blacklist of companies doing business with Israeli firms operating in disputed areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which includes several U.S. companies. It said that Secretary Pompeo “reiterated his outrage at the decision by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to publish a database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories.” The U.S. statement added that Secretary Pompeo “made clear that the United States will continue to engage UN officials and member states on this matter, will not tolerate the reckless mistreatment of U.S. companies, and will respond to actions harmful to our business community.”

The true agenda of the BDS, with which the UN is complicit, is the total destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and its full takeover by Palestinian militants

As usual, the UN Secretary General tried to paper over significant objections to the UN’s moral failures with diplomatic niceties. Secretary Pompeo, representing the UN’s biggest financial contributor by far, was not willing to be a part of such play-acting. What Bachelet did, with the Secretary General’s evident concurrence, blatantly undermines real human rights. The UN blacklist promotes the agenda of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which discriminatorily singles out the Jewish State for economic punishment because of its “settlements” activities. Turkey, which illegally occupied Northern Cyprus in 1974, has since sent thousands of Turkish settlers and occupation troops to Northern Cyprus, without a whimper of objection by UN officials. Ironically, the livelihoods of Palestinians and their families will be jeopardized if Palestinians working for the affected businesses lose their jobs as a result of the boycott encouraged by the UN’s blacklist.

The true agenda of the BDS, with which the UN is complicit, is the total destruction of the Jewish State of Israel and its full takeover by Palestinian militants. “No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine,” said Omar Barghouti, BDS’s co-founder. The truth is that the BDS movement and its offshoot at the United Nations are a throwback to the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.

Thus, the Trump administration correctly objects to the use of the American taxpayer-funded UN bureaucracy to promulgate a blacklist intended to intimidate U.S. businesses and others into complying with the BDS boycott. Secretary General Guterres should heed the message that Secretary Pompeo delivered to him during their face-to-face meeting on Friday or face the financial consequences from further cuts in U.S. contributions to the UN’s bloated budget.

We do not know for sure what was said during the meeting regarding implementation of the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations – the so-called host country agreement.  However, Secretary General Guterres has expressed concerns in the past over failures or delays by the Trump administration in issuing visas to foreign government officials seeking entry to the United States to attend UN meetings as well as the imposition of travel restrictions.

Hopefully, Secretary of State Pompeo made it clear to Secretary General Guterres that the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and her investigatory staff will not be welcome to the United States as long as they pursue their vendetta against American officials, soldiers, and intelligence agents for perfectly lawful actions taken against terrorists in Afghanistan.

A panel of judges from the ICC’s Appeals Chamber has just reversed an earlier ruling by an ICC panel of judges, which had blocked a probe into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan. The Appeals Chamber judges decided unanimously on Thursday to allow the ICC prosecutor to investigate possible crimes on Afghan territory since May 2003 and other alleged crimes linked to the situation there since July 2002. The United States is not a party to the ICC Rome Statute and, moreover, has its own robust system of justice that the ICC has no valid jurisdiction to supplant or override.

The U.S. has already revoked ICC Prosecutor Bensouda’s entry visa to the United States

The ICC prosecutor called the decision “an important day for the cause of justice in the situation of Afghanistan, for the Court, and for international criminal justice more broadly.” To the contrary, the decision was, in Secretary Pompeo’s words, a “breathtaking action by an unaccountable political institution, masquerading as a legal body.” He added, “It is all the more reckless for this ruling to come just days after the United States signed a historic peace deal on Afghanistan, which is the best chance for peace in a generation. We’re going to take all the appropriate actions to ensure that American citizens are not hauled before this political body to settle political vendettas.”

The Trump administration can start by following through on Secretary Pompeo’s warning last year that the U.S. would deny or revoke visas for International Criminal Court staff. The U.S. has already revoked ICC Prosecutor Bensouda’s entry visa to the United States. She should continue to be barred entry, along with her investigators. They also must be barred from interviewing any past or present U.S. officials, soldiers or other government personnel anywhere in the world. Any attempt by the ICC to enforce a warrant against any U.S. citizens must be fought by all means necessary.

Chris Matthews Quits MSNBC Effective Immediately – Video…


At the beginning of his broadcast show tonight Chris Matthews announced he is retiring from NBC effective immediately. Tonight was the final broadcast of Hardball With Chris Matthews…

(AP) Veteran MSNBC host Chris Matthews said he’s retiring from his show “Hardball,” citing his inappropriate comments about women.

Matthews opened his program with the announcement he was ending his run on the political hour that he started in 1997.

He said compliments on a woman’s appearance that some men, himself included, thought were OK “were never OK.”

He remained proud of the work he ’s done on the show, he said.

In a first-person story for GQ published Feb. 28, freelance journalist Laura Bassett said Matthews behaved inappropriately toward her when she was guest on his show.

“In 2016, right before I had to go on his show and talk about sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump, Matthews looked over at me in the makeup chair next to him and said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?’ When I laughed nervously and said nothing, he followed up to the makeup artist. ‘Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her,’” Bassett wrote. “Another time, he stood between me and the mirror and complimented the red dress I was wearing for the segment. ‘You going out tonight?’ he asked.”

Bassett said she written about the encounter in a 2017 essay but didn’t name Matthews because she was afraid of network retaliation, adding, “I’m not anymore.” (link)

Video below:

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

Chris Matthews announces — on a Monday — he’s retiring and that today’s “Hardball” will be the last.

“After my conversation with NBC, I decided tonight will be my last Hardball. I’ll tell you why. The younger generations are ready to take the reigns.”

Embedded video

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Despite DOJ Objections – Judicial Watch Wins Court Order Forcing Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills to Sit for Depositions…


A federal judge has ruled that Hillary Clinton and her former chief of staff Cheryl Mills must sit for a deposition within 75 days (full ruling pdf below).   Judicial Watch won the court ruling despite the ongoing efforts by the DOJ to block their inquiry. [JW Link]

From the Ruling – “The Court has considered the numerous times in which Secretary Clinton said she could not recall or remember certain details in her prior interrogatory answers. In a deposition, it is more likely that plaintiff’s counsel could use documents and other testimony to attempt to refresh her recollection. And so, to avoid the unsatisfying and inefficient outcome of multiple rounds of fruitless interrogatories and move this almost six-year-old case closer to its conclusion, Judicial Watch will be permitted to clarify and further explore Secretary Clinton’s answers in person and immediately after she gives them. The Court agrees with Judicial Watch – it is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton.”

Here’s the Ruling:  [Also Pdf Available Here]

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benghazi4

We know from the Bret Baier interview with Hillary Clinton that she was physically located at her 7th floor office in Washington DC on the night of the attack. Unfortunately we also know during the November 2012 Thanksgiving holiday a mysterious fire took place in that building. Well, actually directly above her exact office – cause undetermined.

A “fire” which preceded an unfortunate slip and fall for the Secretary, resulting in a concussion, which led to the discovery of a blood clot, that ultimately delayed her congressional testimony before a Senate Hearing into the events of the night in question.

We know the Libyan uprising began on February 10th of 2011, and we also know that sometime around the end of February 2011 President Obama signed a presidential directive authorizing the State Dept and CIA to begin a covert operation to arm the Libyan “rebels”.

We also know of a Second Presidential Finding Memo authorizing additional CIA covert action in 2012, this time in Syria. However, unlike the 2011 Libyan operation we do not know the operational name of the second action in 2012 Syria.

We know the Libyan “rebels” were positioned in two strategic places. Benghazi, and the port city of Darnah, both located in Northeastern Libya.

We know this 2011 Libyan covert operation came to be known as “Operation Zero Footprint“, and fell under the military command authority of NATO not (important to repeat), NOT, the U.S. Military.

We know by the time operation “Zero Footprint” began, AFRICOM commander General Carter Ham was removed from OPSEC oversight in the Libyan campaign and NATO commander Admiral James G. Stavridis was in charge.

Stavridis was the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) at the time of the Libyan uprising. He retired as SACEUR in 2013

In 2011, 57-year-old Stavridis was the perfect pick for NATO Libyan intervention considering he is the son of Turkish immigrants. Turkey played a key role in what might be the most politically dangerous aspect of the events to the White House once the goals changed to redirection of the weapons from Operation Zero Footprint.

We know Operation Zero Footprint was the covert transfer of weapons from the U.S to the Libyan “rebels”. We also know the operation avoided the concerns with congressional funding, and potential for public scrutiny, through financing by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

We also know that officials within the government of Qatar served as the intermediaries for the actual transfer of the weapons, thereby removing the footprint of the U.S. intervention.

We know the entire operation was coordinated and controlled by the State Department and CIA. We also know (from the Senate Foreign Relations Benghazi hearings) that “Zero Footprint” was unknown to the 2011 Pentagon and/or DoD commanders who would have been tasked with any military response to the 9/11/12 attack – namely AFRICOM General Carter Ham.

However, it would be implausible to think that then Defense Secretary Bob Gates or Joint Chiefs Chair Admiral McMullen were completely unaware of the operation, this aspect remains murky.

Both Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chair McMullen were in place when Operation Zero Footprint began but retired from their jobs in Sept of 2011, and were replaced by Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey respectively.

Leon Panetta was CIA Director at the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint (March 2011) and was replaced by CIA Director David Petraeus in the fall of 2011 as Panetta replaced Bob Gates and became Secretary of Defense.

However, Panetta (now as Def Sec) and JC Martin Dempsey were the two who initially briefed President Obama on the night of Sept 11th 2012. Because of his previous role in constructing Zero Footprint, Leon Panetta definitely had knowledge of the intents of the joint State Dept/Cia mission in Benghazi, Dempsey may not have.

We know the White House appears to have followed “The Intelligence Oversight Act of 1980” in informing the congressional “Gang of Eight” of Zero Footprint.

The Gang of Eight in 2011 would have included: Speaker – John Boehner, Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.

From Hillary interviews we also know the White House liaison for Secretary Clinton and CIA Director Leon Panetta during Operation Zero Footprint was National Security Advisor To the President, Tom Donilon.

With this information we can assemble a cast of people “IN THE KNOW” of Operation Zero Footprint on two specific date blocks. March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack – and – Post 9/11/12 attack forward.

March 2011 through Pre 9/11/12 attack: Who knew of Operation “Zero Footprint”?:

        • President Obama and Vice President Biden (both Dems)
        • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Dem)
        • CIA Director Leon Panetta (March 2011 – June 2011)
        • *CIA Director General David Petraeus (?) (Sept 2011 – Nov 2012)
        • NATO Commander, James G Stavridis
        • White House National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (Dem)
        • White House National Security Spox Tommy Vietor (Donilon aide)
        • White House National Security Advisor John Brennan (Dem)
        • Speaker of the House John Boehner (Rep)
        • Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi (Dem)
        • House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers (Rep)
        • Minority House Intel Committee – Charles Ruppersberger (Dem)
        • Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (Rep)
        • Senate Majority Leader – Harry Reid (Dem)
        • Senate Intel Chair – Diane Feinstein (Dem)
        • Minority Senate Intel Committee – Saxby Chambliss (Rep)
        • [State Dept] U.S. Libyan Ambassador – Chris Stevens
        • [State Dept] U.S. Asst Secretary of State – Andrew Shapiro
        • [State Dept] Senior Head of U.S. Weapons Office – Mark Adams

Along with whomever inside each nation’s state government that was involved in either the finance (UAE), or the logistics (Qatar). [and later, 2012 Turkey]

Obviously the “know” crowd would include the ultimate end destination users, “The Libyan Rebel Commanders”:

        • Rebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Sufian Ibriham Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu – Darnah Brigade – Ansar Al Sharia
        • Rebel Leader (Islamic Fighting Group) Abu Khattala – Commander of an Islamist militia group called the Abu Obaida bin Jarrah Brigade (17th Feb Brigade) Benghazi – Ansar Al Sharia

*NOTE* Both of these individuals were labeled as officially recognized State Dept. terrorists in December of 2013Khattala was later arrested.

Mustafa-Abdel-Jalil-POTUS

In addition, the “political face” of the Libyan Transitional Government Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, should also be included in this list of people who knew of operation Zero Footprint while it was underway.

Justice Abdel Jalil served as the international face of, and spokesperson for, “the rebels” in 2011/12. He worked closely with Chris Stevens and highly visibly with Secretary Hillary Clinton – However, in my opinion – after extensive research- Jalil was a total patsy. He was paid well to present a comfortable face of the movement, but once Gaddaffi was killed Jalil was quickly dispatched.

This Brings us to who knew about “Operation Zero Footprint” post Benghazi 9/11/12 attack:

To wit you can easily add:

        • CIA Director General David Petraeus
        • Adjunct, and Interim, CIA Director – Mike Morrel
        • U.S. Attorney General – Eric Holder
        • President Obama Advisor and now Chief of Staff – Denis McDonough
        • President Obama Advisor and now Treasury Sec – Jack Lew
        • President Obama Advisor and now National Security Advisor – Tony Blinkin
        • Former UN Ambassador and now Senior Nat Sec Advisor – Susan Rice
        • Chief White House Communications Director – Ben Rhodes

Focusing on the post 9/11/12 team for a moment:

This photo was taken at 1:28am Benghazi time. [7:28pm DC] Following a one hour phone call between POTUS, V-Potus, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

This photo was taken on 9/11/12 at 1:28am Benghazi time. [7:28pm DC] Following a one hour phone call between POTUS, V-Potus, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jack Lew (far right) was Obama’s Chief of Staff. Donilon and McDonough had just left Tommy Vietor in the situation room to update POTUS in the Oval Office. POTUS and VPOTUS had just hung up the phone.

We know McDonough and Donilon were in the immediate loop on the night of 9/11/12 because they were photographed updating President Obama at 7:30pm in the Oval Office along with a curious Jack Lew who was Chief of Staff at the time.

In addition we know from former White House National Security spokesperson Tommy “dude” Vietor, that President Obama was not in the situation room where Vietor and his boss Tom Donilon were keeping up on events.

Here’s where it gets interesting:

Leon Panetta was the CIA Director when Operation Zero Footprint was authorized and began, but he left the CIA about 4 months later (June 30th, 2011) and was replaced by General David Petraeus (August/Sept 2011).

[*Note* it is important to remember when the 2nd authorized CIA program began in 2012 for Syria Petraeus would have been included]

Under this principle you can see that General Petraeus had ZERO liability for the origin of the Benghazi weapons deals – it was a joint State Dept/CIA program already being conducted when Petraeus arrived. If it blew up, it was not his political problem – THIS MADE PETRAEUS A RISK.

We know that during the summer of 2012 “a whistleblower” popped up and gave House Republican Leader Eric Cantor a tip about CIA Director General Petraeus being in an extramarital affair with a reporter named Paula Broadwell; along with rumors Petraeus may have shared classified information with Broadwell during pillow talk etc.

We also know that Eric Cantor told AG Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller about the claim and Mueller began an investigation of Petraeus in the Summer of 2012 before the Benghazi attack in September.

However, we also know that neither Holder nor Mueller (nor Cantor) informed anyone in congress this investigation of Petraeus was taking place. That investigation included Broadwell turning over her computer to the FBI in the same summer, and later a search of her home which did reveal confidential information supposedly leaked from Petraeus.

Sometime in October of 2012 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a conversation with Petraeus urging him to leave.

Immediately after the election of 2012 CIA Director David Petraeus resigned (Nov 9th) and interim CIA Director Mike Morrel took over. This is why Petraeus never testified to the Senate, and Morrel took his place.

General David Petraeus and Paula BroadwellLeon-Panetta-and-Michael-Morell-via-the-Secretary-of-Defense-Public-Domain

We also know this timely switch was beneficial to both the Clinton and Obama camps because Morrel was more politically connected to them than Petraeus.

Given the risks of exposure to both “Operation Zero Footprint”, and worse, the buy-back/redirection to Syria, it’s understandable the risk to Clinton that Petraeus carried. However, Petraeus was not of any risk himself; maybe Leon Panetta would be, but not Petraeus – who, it’s important to add, came from the Defense Department to the office of CIA.

Petraeus’s replacement, interim CIA Director Mike Morrel, and White House Communications Director Ben Rhodes, were the two men who constructed the infamous “Susan Rice” talking points.

After Morrel testified to congress about the CIA involvement around Benghazi, and the issues of terrorism vs. Islamic movie (happy squirrel chase) etc. Morrel was replaced at the CIA by John Brennan.

We know that both Hillary Clinton and CBS immediately hired Mike Morrel. CBS News President David Rhodes -who hired Morrel- is the brother of the White House’s Ben Rhodes; who Morrel coordinated the Clinton friendly, albeit controversial, talking points with.

While it may seem suspect to jump to conclusions, the fact that Eric Holder did not inform either Intelligence Committee of the FBI Petraeus investigation -which is generally standard procedure- lends plausible suspicion to an outline that the events were used as leverage to remove Petraeus; and all of the subsequent risk he represented.

If you accept that Petraeus’s knowledge of, but non-involvement in, “Operation Zero Footprint” represented a potential risk to Hillary and Obama; you’d have to admit that Mike Morrel was by far the more White House friendly person talking about the CIA involvement around the joint State Dept/CIA Benghazi objectives.

Also, it would be disingenuous to ignore the fact Morrel’s loyalty therein was rewarded financially.

Lastly, one of the more slippery people to pin down on the Benghazi attack, and subsequent issues, has been Leon Panetta. If you think about Panetta’s role in the origin of Operation Zero Footprint his comment avoidance makes perfect sense.

Trey Gowdy needs to subpoena Panetta for the Special Committee.

OK, sorry that was more than a moment – but was needed.

Now back to Libya 2011/2012 and the Rift Between State/CIA and DoD/Pentagon over the arming of the “Rebels”. THIS IS REALLY QUITE IMPORTANT because it explains how far out Hillary Clinton had put herself in this covert op “Zero Footprint”.

Duty - by Robert Gates

A few reminder articles will outline and refresh why the White House kept DoD and The Pentagon at arms length throughout their covert operation:

[…] defense leaders in Washington [March 2011] slammed the brakes on the extent of US help to the rebels. Top officials said that some country other than the US should perform any future training and equipping of the Libyan opposition groups. Under withering congressional probing and criticism of what was described as an ill-defined mission to aid a rebel force that officials know little about, Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, sketched out a largely limited role for the US military going forward.

Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told members of the House Armed Services panel that many other countries have the ability to train and support the rebels. “My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States,” said Gates. “Somebody else should do that.” Gates and Mullen told Congress that future US participation will be limited and will not involve an active role in airstrikes as time goes on(link)

From a New York Times article about the same hearing -AND- the discussion of the CIA involvement. Again, remember this is 2011 – you have Secretary Gates, Joint Chiefs Mullen, and CIA Director Panetta:

2011 […] Gates and Mullen were testifying before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees in the wake of revelations that small teams of CIA operatives are working in Libya. Gates declined to comment on the CIA activities in Libya. US officials have acknowledged that the CIA has sent small teams of operatives into Libya and helped rescue a crew member of a US fighter jet that crashed.

The CIA’s precise role in Libya is not clear. Intelligence experts said the CIA would have sent officials to make contact with the opposition and assess the strength and needs of the rebel forces in the event Barack Obama, the US president, decided to arm them. (link)

In hindsight we are now fully aware that unknown to both Mullen and Gates -at the time they were speaking- was President Obama having authorized Operation Zero Footprint several weeks earlier, and Panetta carrying it out.

The State Dept (Hillary) and CIA (Panetta) were now in the execution mode of the covert op.

We now know against the March/April 2011 backdrop of growing information about al-Qaeda’s presence within the rebel units – there was a genuine difference of opinion on whether even getting involved was a good idea.

The Defense Department (Gates, Mullen) was saying no, the State Department (Clinton, Rice), was saying yes.

Remember too, this covert operation was going to require NATO Admiral James Stavridis to allow the weapons into Libya. So lets look at what he was quoted saying around the same timeframe as Mullen and Gates, *knowing Stavridis was one of the actual key figures to make the weapons delivery possible*:

2011 – […] Now, as the White House and NATO continue to debate the possible ramifications of arming the Libyan opposition, the Haqqani network-linked Afghan commander says Libyan al Qaeda affiliates seem to be more “enthusiastic” about the war against Gaddafi every day.

And from what the Afghan Taliban commander has seen, there appears to be more than “flickers” of al Qaeda’s presence in Libya, the description given by NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis(link)

There is Stavridis playing down the possibility of al-Qaeda ideology within the make-up of the Islamic Fighting Group – which is important because by the time this quote was attributed Stavridis was already part of the team coordinating the shipments.

Samantha Power - Susan Rice - President Obama

Also, remember R2P? This March/April 2011 time frame is when “Responsibility To Protect” came up as a justification for our engagement. Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton all wanting to fully support “the rebels”.

Ultimately Obama/Jarrett (The White House) agreed with Hillary Inc (State Dept); hence “Zero Footprint” got the nod – well, let’s be really accurate: it “sort of” got the nod.

Think about it. President Obama authorized arming the Libyan rebels, but the covert nature of Zero Footprint actually reflects the political filter through which all Obama White House decisions are made. A White House team that always looks for an escape hatch in case any decision is ever publicly wrong.

If the rebels were al-Qaeda, the covert op lends plausible deniability.

Isn’t it strange how in 2014 hindsight you can clearly see exactly what we now know as the “Benghazi narrative”; the use of their exact escape hatch because they were al-Qaeda, and it did go horribly and publicly wrong.

Libya Banner 3

Operation Zero Footprint Becomes Political and Legal Risk

It should be noted, and actually emphasized, that Operation Zero Footprint, at least in 2011, was not illegal. Indeed, all indicators are that President Obama followed his constitutional responsibility as he carried out his executive authority.

We know in late February 2011 President Obama signed a Presidential Finding Memo authorizing the State Department and CIA to engage in actions within Libya to identify a course of action.

We know in March 2011 when Hillary Clinton (State Dept) and Leon Panetta (CIA) constructed “Operation Zero Footprint” that President Obama approved the covert action and then informed the Gang of Eight of the weapons transfer operation.

Both of those known facts speak well to the Executive Office following a legally outlined process. This does not, however, dismiss the concern, which became the reality, that the action itself was terribly flawed and horridly imprudent.

During March, April and May 2011 there was enough intelligence information flowing to the White House informing them of exactly who would be the beneficiaries of U.S. Libyan involvement and specifically providing weapons. It did not take long to identify the Benghazi and Darnah “rebels” were actually affiliates of al-Qaeda.

While no-one reporting in 2011 was aware of Operation Zero Footprint, there were literally hundreds of media reports showcasing the ideology of the Libyan “rebel” uprising. Indeed there were numerous reports in mainstream media outlets of al-Qaeda fighters (numerous factions) flowing to Libya to oust their life-long nemesis, Gaddaffi.

From a policy standpoint it will have to be left up to historians to pore over the facts and ultimately decide what was *this* White House goal in the entire region.

      • Ben Ali removal -Tunisia- seemed OK to the administration, Obama and Clinton.
      • Hosni Mubarak removal -Egypt- seemed even more ok to Obama and Clinton.

Both of the above were viewed as potential sources for favorable policy outcomes. Indeed the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt -and election of President Morsi- did not seem to be a concern for the White House.

However, when you get to Gaddaffi’s removal -Libya- you see a serious split between ideologies within the U.S. political class as Obama/Clinton actually pushed the outcome. The U.S. defense department saying they were apprehensive about this outcome, and Obama/Clinton going “all in” for Gaddaffi ouster with French President Sarkozy.

The same interventionist Obama/Clinton motivation was evident with Syria’s Assad as yet another uprising surfaced in yet another Mid-East nation – again in March/April 2011.

We know on October 20th 2011 Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddaffi was finally captured, then killed by “the rebels”.

Gaddafi being shotDead-Gaddafi

From the standpoint of “regime change” operation Zero Footprint was a success.

The Libyan Transitional National Council was now in control. Well, maybe in charge, or, well, sort of.

The TNC (pictured below 4 days later) may have been the face of Libya the Obama/Clinton team wanted to portray. But they were merely just that, a face.

Abdel Jalil and the Libyan National Transitional Council

We know Eastern Libya was then (2011), and is now (2014), a hotbed of radical Islam controlled by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups, the very people who benefitted from the arms that were part of Zero Footprint.

We know by the Fall/Winter of 2011 the U.S. State Dept and CIA were joined and trying to re-secure the same weapons they provided in the Spring/Summer.

December 2011 – New York Times:

“Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro raised the American desire to arrange a purchase program in a meeting this month with Libya’s new defense minister, according to American officials familiar with the proposal.

The United States has committed $40 million to secure Libya’s arms stockpiles, much of it to prevent the spread of Manpads. No budget has been designed for a purchase program, and the price to be paid for each missile and its components has not been determined, the official said. (link)

We know from a speech delivered by Asst. Secretary of State Shapiro in Feb of 2012 the actual program to recapture the Zero Footprint weapons began in August of 2011 about two months before Gaddaffi was killed:

“Once the stalemate broke and the fighting rapidly shifted in the TNC’s [Libyan Transitional National Council] favor in August, we immediately deployed a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force to Benghazi.

Mark Adams, who you will hear from shortly on the panel, is the head of our MANPADS Task Force and spent considerable time on the ground in Libya.

[… ] The initial primary objective was to reach an agreement with the TNC to set up a MANPADS control and destruction program that would enable us to set up what we call our Phase I efforts.

Phase I entailed an effort to rapidly survey, secure, and disable loose MANPADS across the country. To accomplish this, we immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Force, which are teams made up of civilian technical specialists.”

We know those “civilian technical specialists”, being talked about in August 2011, were contractors, CIA contractors, hired by the State Department to recapture the weapons – some of which they provided as a specific consequence of Operation Zero Footprint.

If the story ended there it would be bad enough. A flawed policy, a secret mission arm the Libyan “rebels” without a great deal of thinking through the longer term consequences. A flawed policy with political consequences.

But when you think about the larger picture you understand why the details of the covert weapons operation Zero Footprint were so tightly guarded among select members of Congress (the Gang of Eight), the CIA (Panetta), the State Department (Clinton) and the White House (Donilon).

Each of them was trying to manage a covert operation that would expose a U.S. policy decision to arm al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist militias.

But that’s only “IF” the story ended there, in Libya, at the end of 2011 into the beginning of 2012. It didn’t, the decisions got worse – much worse.

Syria Banner

The uprising in Syria was only a few months behind the uprising in Libya. Arguably if the timing were reversed you could ponder that Assad would have met Gaddaffi’s fate, and Gaddaffi would be as alive today as President Assad.

Whichever rebel group got the attention of the R2P crowd was sure to be the first to get assistance. The Obama R2P Doctrine is so tenuous, and so lacking in political principle, it’s subject to change based on the political whims of capitol hill at any given moment.

The Libyan “rebels” got all the weaponry love – the Syrian “rebels”, not-so-much. At least in 2011; by mid 2012 that sentiment appears to have changed.

Enter Hillary Clinton. As she reiterated vehemently to Greta Van Sustern during a recent interview, it was Hillary who wanted to help the Syrian rebels when no-one else wanted to assist them. Secretary Hillary Clinton wanted early and direct interventionist action in Syria to topple Assad just like Gaddaffi.

Obviously consequences from the first covert weapons mission in Libya made a stark case for not repeating it in Syria. Another huge factor against helping the FSA was Israel. Ultimately Israel could not afford to be put into such a risky position if Syrian rebel forces were given arms that ultimately might be used against them.

Additionally, you would think there’s no way congress, in an election year, would approve of funding Syrian rebels against the possibility of it hurting Israel; And the White House was not about to do a known and official covert operation which had a great potential to go sideways, and become far too politically dangerous. 2012 was an election year.

But they did.

Who wanted to aid Syria more? President Obama or Hillary Clinton? That is a question for later year historians. Regardless of how the idea came up, we know a decision was made to do it, and to do it covertly.

Arming the Benghazi Darnah rebels was, well, stupid. It was actually stupid, and politically stupid, but it was not illegal.

Arming jihadist fighters in Syria likewise ended up being stupid but by all appearances NOT illegal.

obama-hillary-holding-hands-wh-photo

In August 2012, one month before the attack on the Benghazi Compound, the following Reuters article appeared. This is how we find out about the SECOND presidential findingwhich again authorized covert CIA involvement, this time in Syria:

WASHINGTON, Aug 1 [2012] (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.

Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.

This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.

The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.

But U.S. and European officials have said that there have been noticeable improvements in the coherence and effectiveness of Syrian rebel groups in the past few weeks. That represents a significant change in assessments of the rebels by Western officials, who previously characterized Assad’s opponents as a disorganized, almost chaotic, rabble.

Precisely when Obama signed the secret intelligence authorization, an action not previously reported, could not be determined.

The full extent of clandestine support that agencies like the CIA might be providing also is unclear.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined comment.

‘NERVE CENTER’

A U.S. government source acknowledged that under provisions of the presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.

Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.

This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles (100 km) from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.

Turkey’s moderate Islamist government has been demanding Assad’s departure with growing vehemence. Turkish authorities are said by current and former U.S. government officials to be increasingly involved in providing Syrian rebels with training and possibly equipment.

European government sources said wealthy families in Saudi Arabia and Qatar were providing significant financing to the rebels. Senior officials of the Saudi and Qatari governments have publicly called for Assad’s departure.

On Tuesday, NBC News reported that the Free Syrian Army had obtained nearly two dozen surface-to-air missiles, weapons that could be used against Assad’s helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Syrian government armed forces have employed such air power more extensively in recent days.

NBC said the shoulder-fired missiles, also known as MANPADs, had been delivered to the rebels via Turkey.

On Wednesday, however, Bassam al-Dada, a political adviser to the Free Syrian Army, denied the NBC report, telling the Arabic-language TV network Al-Arabiya that the group had “not obtained any such weapons at all.” U.S. government sources said they could not confirm the MANPADs deliveries, but could not rule them out either.

Current and former U.S. and European officials previously said that weapons supplies, which were being organized and financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, were largely limited to guns and a limited number of anti-tank weapons, such as bazookas.

Indications are that U.S. agencies have not been involved in providing weapons to Assad’s opponents. In order to do so, Obama would have to approve a supplement, known as a “memorandum of notification, to his initial broad intelligence finding.

Further such memoranda would have to be signed by Obama to authorize other specific clandestine operations to support Syrian rebels.

Reuters first reported last week that the White House had crafted a directive authorizing greater U.S. covert assistance to Syrian rebels. It was unclear at that time whether Obama had signed it. (read more)

Note how the FSA says they didn’t get missiles, and yet missiles were shipped. This is important against the backdrop of the reality the extreme elements we now call ISIL were operating in Syria and openly laughing at our inability to identify them:

“NO ISLAM WITHOUT JIHAD” – members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba’a, or “strangers”, after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden’s time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.
They try to hide their presence. “Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags,” said Abu Khuder. “They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?” But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.

(JULY 2012) As they stood outside the commandeered government building in the town of Mohassen, it was hard to distinguish Abu Khuder’s men from any other brigade in the Syrian civil war, in their combat fatigues, T-shirts and beards.

But these were not average members of the Free Syrian Army. Abu Khuder and his men fight for al-Qaida. They call themselves the ghuraba’a, or “strangers”, after a famous jihadi poem celebrating Osama bin Laden’s time with his followers in the Afghan mountains, and they are one of a number of jihadi organisations establishing a foothold in the east of the country now that the conflict in Syria has stretched well into its second bloody year.

They try to hide their presence. “Some people are worried about carrying the [black] flags,” said Abu Khuder. “They fear America will come and fight us. So we fight in secret. Why give Bashar and the west a pretext?” But their existence is common knowledge in Mohassen. Even passers-by joke with the men about car bombs and IEDs.

According to Abu Khuder, his men are working closely with the military council that commands the Free Syrian Army brigades in the region. “We meet almost every day,” he said. “We have clear instructions from our [al-Qaida] leadership that if the FSA need our help we should give it. We help them with IEDs and car bombs. Our main talent is in the bombing operations.” Abu Khuder’s men had a lot of experience in bomb-making from Iraq and elsewhere, he added.

[…] Abu Khuder split with the FSA and pledged allegiance to al-Qaida’s organisation in Syria, the Jabhat al Nusra or Solidarity Front. He let his beard grow and adopted the religious rhetoric of a jihadi, becoming a commander of one their battalions.

“The Free Syrian Army has no rules and no military or religious order. Everything happens chaotically,” he said. “Al-Qaida has a law that no one, not even the emir, can break.

The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have acknowledged.

In the beginning there were very few. Now, mashallah, there are immigrants joining us and bringing their experience,” he told the gathered people. “Men from Yemen, Saudi, Iraq and Jordan. Yemenis are the best in their religion and discipline and the Iraqis are the worst in everything – even in religion.”

At this, one man in the room – an activist in his mid-30s who did not want to be named – said: “So what are you trying to do, Abu Khuder? Are you going to start cutting off hands and make us like Saudi? Is this why we are fighting a revolution?”

“[Al-Qaida’s] goal is establishing an Islamic state and not a Syrian state,” he replied. “Those who fear the organisation fear the implementation of Allah’s jurisdiction. If you don’t commit sins there is nothing to fear.” (link – more)

Against the backdrop of ISIL 2014 does this Sound familiar ?

It should also be noted this is the exact time (August 2012) when the U.N. and Kofi Annan gave up trying to influence a peaceful outcome in Syria – things had escalated beyond any hope for a diplomatic resolution.

We know the basic set up to arm the Syrian rebellion was generally not too complex.

Turkey would be used as the distribution hub, and the U.S. had Sunni friends in Saudi Arabia, and Qatar -who were more than willing to see Assad removed- and financially assist in arming the Syrians without too great a concern for what could happen to Israel.

For Obama/Clinton to get weapons to the Syrians, against the shadow of Operation Zero Footprint, without going extensively through congress, could be done covertly and easily. Either ship weapons just like Operation Zero Footprint, Saudi=> Qatar=> Turkey=> Syria, OR, buy back the weapons already floating around from Operation Zero Footprint and redirect them to Syria through Turkey.

OR both.

The Saudis would be a willing financier if the State Dept needed additional money to facilitate the transfers.

We know Ambassador Chris Stevens set up a formal U.S. Embassy consulate in Tripoli around May 26th of 2012; and we know the State Dept and CIA set up their joint operations in Benghazi around the same time. We also now know this is around the EXACT time of the second Presidential CIA Directive.

Looking at the historical timeline, and knowing the contacts developed, gives a great perspective into what would have spurred the CIA/State Department to set up a more expansive presence and operation in the coastal region of Eastern Libya May/June 2012.

The official U.S. State Dept Libyan presence was vacated on Feb 25th of 2011 when the embassy personnel were evacuated. Stevens was re-establishing the diplomatic office and acting as Ambassador to Libya during the 2012 reconstruction phase.

What we did not know at the time was that Chris Stevens was also acting as the facilitator for U.S. arms shipments OUT OF LIBYA, through Turkish diplomatic couriers and into Syria. While coordinating a second covert action to arm the Syrian resistance.

A very strong argument can easily be made that Chris Stevens was a CIA operative inside the State Department. Many people within the State Department are CIA personnel using the State Dept as part of their visible cover.

In Eastern Libya June, July, August 2012 – Obviously the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Ansar Al Sharia, aka 17th Feb Brigade, and all of their commanders knew of the U.S. Benghazi weapons programs. Both the 2011 distribution, and the 2012 repurchase.

Considering the redeployment to Syria – for the most part the Benghazi and Darnah brigades would have been in alignment with their Jihadist brethren in Syria being the beneficiaries of any additional shipments.

But there was in 2011/2012 – as noted in the above articles – an ideological rift between the newly emboldened Muslim Brotherhood and the ‘more initially moderate’ Free Syrian Army (FSA). As the Libyan conflict rolled on through the summer of 2011 more al-Qaeda elements flocked from other engagements into the Syrian fight. Moderates were replaced by extremists.

By the time of the second presidential directive, as Hillary and Chris Stevens were working on support for Syria, Summer 2012, the radical Syrian opposition was embedded inside the FSA. Arguably in hindsight they were the majority element.

The Syrian opposition had three al-Qaida arms operating within it. Including one that also operated in Libya:

      • Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al-Qaida militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;
      • Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al-Qaida banner and operating in Yemen and Libya;
      • Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al-Qaida group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.

It would be into this eclectic mix of Jihadist ideologues, which later became ISIL, that any diverted U.S. arms would flow. It’s no wonder that Senator John McCain was so confused when he was calling them “moderates” in 2012/2013. Almost no-one knew the severe elements in Syria would rise to the surface and become the modern ISIS now capturing all of the global attention.

ISIS John McCain - Abu Mosa

https://twitter.com/ThinkAgain_DOS/statuses/502449737011068928

al-Qaeda with flags

And…. If you just realized…. Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria and Turkey. They were more likely trained, in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles (100 km) from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence; by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.

If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.

But that’s hindsight for ya….. or as Secretary Clinton would say “Whether they were, … at this point, what difference does it make?

By June of 2012 the New York Times was reporting that the CIA is operating a secret arms transfer program to Syria that sounded exactly like the re-diversion plan Clinton developed with Panetta/Petraeus. According to the Times suddenly, there is: “…an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.”

The Reuters article in August 2012 confirms the earlier report.

We know on September 5th 2012 – A Libyan flagged ship called Al Entisar (“The Victory”) docks in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. It is carrying 400 tons of cargo including many weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS) destined for Syrian rebels 35 miles away from Iskenderun.

The ship’s captain told the Times of London that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army broke into a fight over the arms.

Operation Zero Footprint

In response to the Times of London report, and in a generally dismissed part of her congressional testimony, Senator Rand Paul asked outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton a very specific question – (See @2:20 of this video and pay attention to the “duping delight”):

Which would bring us to a series of now reconcilable questions surrounding the joint State Dept. and CIA Benghazi Mission.

The entire weapons operation 2011 was labeled “Operation Zero Footprint”. The intent is outlined in the operational title – to leave no visible record of U.S. involvement in arming the Libyan “rebels”No visible footprint.

We know from congressional inquiry Ambassador Chris Stevens had asked for more security in the months prior to Sept. 11th 2012. Requests sent to the State Dept that were denied.

We also know that NO MARINE DETACHMENT was ever put in place to defend the Benghazi Mission.

We also know the Benghazi Mission was initially, and mistakenly by media, called “a consulate”, or a “consulate outpost”. But there was no State Dept record of any consulate office in Benghazi.

All of these seeming contradictions can be reconciled with the simple understanding that this “Mission” in 2011 was unofficial. Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We also know the Second Operation, in 2012, to arm the Syrians’was also covert – No visible footprint.

Why were security requests denied? Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

We know from General Carter Ham (AFRICOM Commander now retired) the Department of Defense was not even aware the State Dept was operating a mission in Benghazi during 2012. Remember the goal – No visible footprint.

How could Hillary Clinton, Charlene Lamb, or Patrick Kennedy approve or request a marine security detachment knowing the entire mission around both Benghazi operations was covert?

Such a request would have travelled outside the small group of State/CIA insiders. The request would have gone to DoD. Short answer, they couldn’t.

Hence the disconnect between what seemed to be obvious and/or simple questions and the inability to accurately discuss in the public venues of congressional inquiry.

To the public Chris Stevens was a U.S. ambassador, a diplomat. To the folks inside the State Dept and CIA, Chris Stevens was a U.S. Ambassador, AND a CIA operative coordinating covert arms sales.

In 2011 those arms shipments were to aid the Libyan rebels, in 2012 those same arms were redirected to aid the Syrian rebels.

Even after death the public face of Chris Stevens, the official role, was the only role able to be discussed. The covert, or unofficial role, was not. Again, we see the disconnect between inquiry that could be answered, and inquiry that could not be answered. Many irreconcilables surface because of this intelligence role – even through today.

The second role of Stevens, the covert and CIA aspect, still causes problems for people trying to understand the “why not” questions. The broader public asking why have we not seen, or heard from the survivors of the attacks?

The short answer is, we have not heard from the survivors – but the intelligence community has.

Twice some of the survivors have given testimony to congress. The problem for the public is that those hearings are closed door, classified, intelligence hearings – led by Chairman Mike Rogers and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Again, go back to the beginning of Operation Zero Footprint and you see the congressional Intelligence Gang of Eight were fully aware of the intents.

The Gang of Eight in 2011 / 2012 was: House Speaker – John Boehner, Minority Leader – Nancy Pelosi; House Permanent Select Committee on Intel Chairman – Mike Rogers, and his Democrat counterpart Charles Ruppersberger; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; along with Senate Intel Chair Diane Feinstein and her Republican counterpart, Saxby Chambliss.

Why was Speaker Boehner reluctant to establish a Select Committee on Benghazi ?

Simple, again he is one of the Gang of Eight – and he was briefed on both operations. How is he going to call for a select committee when he knows the substance of the committee investigation is classified under national security. Such a committee would not, because it could not, deliver what the public was requesting, sunlight.

The only reason Trey Gowdy was finally assigned the task of a Select Committee, was simply because the public lies of the White House and administration were contradicting themselves.

The White House “talking points“, which was/is a ridiculous squirrel hunt, were created to reconcile the problem faced when unable to discuss a covert operation.

It is far easier to look at the reality of the problem faced by the White House and CIA than any nefarious intention.

Unfortunately for the administration they are not that good.

Team Obama was so committed to keeping the covert operations “Zero Footprint” a secret (because of the political embarrassment from factually arming al Qaeda) that the cover story they manufactured (on the fly) was fraught with contradictions.

How could President Obama dispatch help to the Benghazi team, when DoD was not even aware of it’s existence? Sending help would have compromised OpSec, Operational Security.

The dispatch of F.E.S.T. would lead to increased knowledge of a covert operation.

Hopefully you are beginning to see the root of the contradictions. Once you understand the truth of what was going on within the backstory – there’s almost nothing left which would dangle as an unanswered question. It all reconciles.

Back to the FALL of 2012 – On September 5th/6th 2012 the Turkish vessel “Al Entisar” docked in the Turkish port of Iskenderun. 400 tons of serious cargo including weapons destined for Syrian “rebels”.

In the U.S. that September 5th night former President Bill Clinton was introducing Candidate Barack Obama at the DNC convention in Charlotte North Carolina. In Afghanistan that night something happened that had already become a serious concern for the operatives within “Operation Zero Footprint”.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia Ramirez. Ramirez was killed when her OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan Sept. 5, 2012. Ramirez was assigned to Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. Photo: Photo Courtesy Pro Image Digital;Inc., Courtesy / U.S. ArmyAt the exact time Clinton was speaking in North Carolina, halfway around the world in Afghanistan Army Chief Warrant Officers Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio and Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of San Juan, in the Rio Grande Valley, were killed while flying an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, a Defense Department news release stated.

On September 5th 2012 – A U.S. organized ship loaded with weapons including missiles was offloading at a Turkish port. Bill Clinton was introducing Barack Obama, and the first black female combat pilot was shot down and killed by a shoulder fired missile in Afghanistan.

The relationship between the three events reflects the absolute political fear that revolved around Operation Zero Footprint.

The CIA and Intelligence community had stated earlier the biggest concern anyone held about arming the Libyan Rebels was the possibility those weapons might leave the Libyan conflict and travel to other locations where they would be used against our own soldiers. More and more evidence of this happening was growing.

In 2011 a total of four air assets were destroyed by enemy fire in Afghanistan. Two of those helicopters happened at the same time in August 2011 when we lost the Navy Seal unit that killed Osama Bin Laden. 22 Americans killed.

We had been in close quarter full combat operations in Afghanistan for 10 years, and we never had a problem with close air support. We had never faced the concern of our enemy having MANPADS.

From 2002 through 2010 Combat Operations saw zero occurrences of SAMS, Stingers, or MANPADS in general.

Within months after delivering weapons to the Benghazi and Darnah rebels (May, June and July 2011) we began facing MANPADS in Afghanistan.

Four instances in late in 2011 including the 22 lives lost in what came to be known as Operation “Extortion 17”.

In 2012 it got worse, much worse: June 1st AFGHANISTAN:

A combined patrol discovered a weapons cache containing three shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, three anti-tank mines, 423 RPGs, 118,600 7.62 mm rounds, 30 rifles and other ordnance in the Tarin Kot district of Uruzgan province. The cache’s contents were destroyed.(link)

We had a serious problem and it was picking up speed exponentially. June 6th 2012 we lost another crew. July 25th 2012 yet another. August 16th 2012 again more losses. September 5th 2012 more deaths. It just kept getting worse.

By September 5th 2012 in the preceding nine months we had lost 11 helicopters to shoulder fired missiles in Afghanistan. The following headline hit the media:

America Suffers Worst Airpower Loss Since Vietnam

One of the incidents revealed details of what was being faced. The July 25th 2012 downing of a CH-47 which was found to have been hit with a “new generation” stinger missile. The risks were no longer mere worries, they were real:

[O]n July 25, 2012, Taliban fighters in Kunar province successfully targeted a US Army CH-47 helicopter with a new generation Stinger missile.

They thought they had a surefire kill. But instead of bursting into flames, the Chinook just disappeared into the darkness as the American pilot recovered control of the aircraft and brought it to the ground in a hard landing.

The assault team jumped out the open doors and ran clear in case it exploded. Less than 30 seconds later, the Taliban gunner and his comrade erupted into flames as an American gunship overhead locked onto their position and opened fire.

The next day, an explosive ordnance disposal team arrived to pick through the wreckage and found unexploded pieces of a missile casing that could only belong to a Stinger missile.

Lodged in the right nacelle, they found one fragment that contained an entire serial number.

The investigation took time. Arms were twisted, noses put out of joint. But when the results came back, they were stunning: The Stinger tracked back to a lot that had been signed out by the CIA recently, not during the anti-Soviet ­jihad.

Reports of the Stinger reached the highest echelons of the US command in Afghanistan and became a source of intense speculation, but no action.

Everyone knew the war was winding down. Revealing that the Taliban had US-made Stingers risked demoralizing coalition troops. Because there were no coalition casualties, government officials made no public announcement of the attack.

My sources in the US Special Operations community believe the Stinger fired against the Chinook was part of the same lot the CIA turned over to the ­Qataris in early 2011, weapons Hillary Rodham Clinton’s State Department intended for anti-Khadafy forces in Libya.

They believe the Qataris delivered between 50 and 60 of those same Stingers to the Taliban in early 2012, and an additional 200 SA-24 Igla-S surface-to-air missiles. (link)

In Afghanistan the DoD field response was immediate; all Close Air Support was cancelled.

The White House had a problem – “Operation Zero Footprint” missiles were now being used against us, but DoD didn’t know the origin because the Defense Department did not know about Zero Footprint, the State Department and CIA did.

The killing of Army Chief Warrant Officers Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, and Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, might not have been the final straw – but their September 5th 2012 deaths coincided with an absolute change in direction.

While the ISIS-minded Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Free Syrian Army were arguing over who gets what from aboard the Turkish vessel, back in Benghazi, Libya it was obvious the ideology of the Syrian factions were too extreme and the CIA could no longer control who would use such weapons.

God forbid DoD ground commanders in Afghanistan find out the MANPADS they were facing originated by our covert efforts in Libya.

Tayyip Erdogan - Turkey, David Cameron - U.K.

Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey, David Cameron – U.K.

Strangely one must give credit to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As unbelievable as it might sound he was the lone Islamic voice in March 2011 saying “don’t arm the Benghazi rebels“:

March 2011 – Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, has said he does not support the idea of arming Libyan rebels fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi from power.

Speaking at a joint news conference with David Cameron, the British prime minister, in London, Erdogan said: “Doing that would create a different situation in Libya and we do not find it appropriate to do that.”

Erdogan also said that that sending weapons to Libya could feed terrorism, saying such weapons shipments “could also create an environment which could be conducive to terrorism”. (read more)

Erdogan and U.S. Defense Secretary Bob Gates were of the same mindset.

“My view would be, if there is going to be that kind of assistance to the opposition, there are plenty of sources for it other than the United States,” said Gates. “Somebody else should do that.” (link)

However, for Syria in 2012 Erdogan had a divergent opinion. He was all for arming the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda. This article, again from August 2012 – one month prior to the attack against Chris Stevens, outlines the goal of both Erdogan and President Obama:

(August 2012) President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone Monday “to coordinate efforts to accelerate a political transition in Syria,” the White House said.

This “would include the departure of (Syrian leader) Bashar Assad and be responsive to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people,” the statement said.

Obama and Erdogan shared their concerns over the Syrian regime’s crackdown on opposition “and the deteriorating humanitarian conditions throughout Syria as a result of the regime’s atrocities.”

Both [Obama and Erodgan] promised to coordinate efforts to help the growing numbers of Syrians displaced by the violence within Syria or forced to flee over the border to take refuse in Turkey or other nations in the region.

The statement said US and Turkish teams “would remain in close contact on ways that Turkey and the United States can work together to promote a democratic transition in Syria.” (link)

Obama Erdogan - Turkey

Alas, given the backstory of DoD not wanting to arm the rebels, and given the unintended consequences of 2011/2012 from Operation Zero Footprint, and given an upcoming election in November 2012, you can see why in post September 11 of 2012 the Obama administration would want to discontinue this operation and throw a bag over the events of the past 17 months.

Perhaps following the fiasco at the Port of Iskenderun a week earlier, Turkish Diplomat Consul General Ali Sait Akin arrives at the Benghazi Mission on Sept 11th 2012 to talk about the ongoing efforts to support Syria.

Perhaps, the conversation was about the increasing risk of arming a rising group of radicals against the backdrop of MANPADS being used against U.S. forces in other fields of combat.

Regardless of motivation Ali Sait Akin and Stevens were most certainly discussing the current situation with Turkey suffering the consequences and pushing a greater sense of urgency.

Indeed Turkey’s border region was filled with historic numbers of Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting which was completely out of control. The Scale of the crisis was staggering and out of control. Over 500,000 Syrians were now seeking shelter in Turkey.

Meanwhile the ideology of the radical elements controlling the arms shipments was openly becoming a danger to the entire region, and especially U.S. interests beyond Syria.

This would have put Stevens (U.S.) and Akin (Turkey) as opposing ends of the issue.

What we now know as ISIS – originated inside this group of Zero Footprint recipients, and Erdogan while willing to see Assad removed, was also well aware that these elements do not believe in borders. These rabid ideologues (now known as ISIS-2014) were quickly evolving into a risk for the region.

The U.S. policy team would have viewed the risk far differently than Turkey.

As the New York Times reported in an Oct. 14 2012 article, “Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”

We can only imagine the conversation within the Benghazi compound as both Ali Sait Akin and Chris Stevens parted ways for the final time on September 11th 2012.

Outside the compound walls, the 17th Feb Brigade – Ansar Al Sharia – were also assembled to deliver their final goodbyes.

The Turkish delegation was able to navigate the roadblocks without issue. And within 30 minutes of Consul Akin leaving the venue, Ansar Al Sharia executed their attack.

The Benghazi and Darnah Brigades already knew the compound inside and out, as well as the CIA ANNEX compound, a kilometer away, which contained four warehouse type buildings used by the CIA during the collection, distribution and delivery of Zero Footprint’s objectives over the past 17 months.

In June of 2009 the primary Benghazi Mission compound looked like this:

In March of 2011, when Operation Zero Footprint began, the Tactical Operations Command building (TOC) was added and it looked like this:

.

In December of 2005 the area which became the CIA Annex compound held two buildings:

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In 2009 two more buildings were added bringing the total to FOUR:

.

By the time the CIA took over 2011, and when the compound came under mortar fire 2012, it looked like this:

 

Author’s notes:

patriotThe primary reason for outlining this brief is to deliver a greater understanding of why things happened the way they did in the post 9/11/12 attack media frenzy.

If you understand what took place from March 2011 through the night of the attack itself all of the contradictions reconcile, and most of the questions become answered.

Factually, I would challenge anyone who reads this brief to actually have a question left unanswered.

The events of the attack itself are gut wrenching and troubling. Our brave operations folks had to fight their way out of a situation where they literally were on their own due to the political risks inherent in carrying out their objectives.

However, they knew they were beyond the wire – they knew there was no manner, method or possibility of protection…. And this is the point everyone seems to miss:

THEY KNEW THE DoD WAS IN THE DARK ABOUT THEIR ACTIVITY. There was NOTHING the Pentagon could have done to help them. Those people inside the Eastern Libya City of Benghazi, operating on behalf of the administration, were, for all intents and purposes, GHOSTS. They did not “technically” exist.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the mission they were tasked to carry out, there is no doubt they worked honorably to serve their nation. Ultimately the leadership within the State Department, The CIA, and the White House are responsible for the outcomes of policy.

Our hope is that this outline will stimulate journalists to question those who were at the heart of these two operations. Ultimately the Trey Gowdy select committee will find there is no venue to discuss intelligence operations with public sunlight. While both Zero Footprint in 2011, and the Unnamed CIA operation in 2012 were flawed policy – they were not necessarily illegal.

There is a matter of an unidentified State Dept $6 billion contractor fund missing from Hillary’s term as Secretary of State; that might bear investigation. However, beyond those smaller questions there is little if anything to gain.

FUBAR.

~ Sundance

Common Questions: The AFTERMATH – “The Cairo Protest VS The Benghazi Attack”

Here is where people get confused – because the U.S. State department wanted people to get confused.

On 9/11/12 the State Department was originally trying to deflect attention away from the Cairo Embassy Protest.

CNN correspondent Nick Robertson interviewed Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Al Zawahiri on the morning of the planned Cairo protest 9/11/12. Zawahiri and team told Robertson they were rallying and protesting for the release of the Blind Sheik.

The protest turned violent and the U.S. Embassy was overrun by extremists who eventually hoisted the black flag of al-Qaeda within the compound.

The State Dept was trying desperately to cover their ass and frame the narrative so the optics of the al-Qaeda onslaught to the Embassy could be controlled.

To hide the intentions of the protesting mob (release of the Blind Sheik) the U.S. State Department fell back on a story about the Mohammed video – which they found out about two days earlier.

Against the backdrop of an upcoming election, and with Republicans beating up Democrats over the short-sighted foreign policy, the State Dept did not want the Muhammed Al Zawahiri narrative. The compound being overrun was a political embarrassment so they used the silly video to explain the protest:

(Remember this is all early in the day – prior to the Benghazi attack)

However, Mitt Romney jumped on this State Dept. Press Release to make the case that the U.S. appeared weak and apologetic. It created an immediate stir.

Unknown at the time was an UNRELATED attack was taking place at the Benghazi compound. The attack at Benghazi Libya had nothing to do with the protests at the Cairo embassy.

However, once the Benghazi attack took place, the State Dept needed a cover story which would sell to the U.S. electorate to explain the Benghazi issues. What Hillary and team did was sell/use the Cairo story as an explanation for Benghazi.

This is how the YouTube video came into play.

The YouTube video had nothing to do with the Cairo Embassy Protest.
The YouTube video had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack.

Nothing about the YouTube story was correct. It was all manufactured excuse-making, strategically put into the media cycle to protect the administration from the reality of flawed policy.

The YouTube video had nothing to do with the Embassy protest in Cairo, nor the Benghazi attack in Libya. By now I think everyone would concur, albeit the media never went back to the Cairo motive to discuss because it became a secondary issue.

Did the Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Cairo, or specifically Muhammed Al Zawahiri, coordinate in some way with Ansar al Sharia in Libya, specifically on 9/11/12?

That’s a good question – unfortunately however, it’s a question without a factual answer. I don’t know; and an argument can be made that given all of the players and the influx of their communication it’s quite possible there was some coordination of effort.

What is factually certain is any communication they did have had nothing to do with a ridiculous U-Tube video.

The Cairo protest was 100% certain to be about the release of the Blind Sheik.

Was the Benghazi attack related in some effort to gain a hostage (Chris Stevens) as leverage toward that Al Zawahiri effort? Possible. I’ve seen that argument made, but have not been able to definitively connect the two.

It is a hard question to answer because the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammed Al Zawahiri (the brother of al-Qaeda’s #1 Ayman Al Zawahiri), and the leadership of Ansar Al Sharia were not necessarily telling the foot soldiers the plans or larger objectives.

I do, however, believe the answer, if known, would be known by Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt and his team of military and intelligence people. The most reasonable approach is to listen to the Egyptian intelligence leadership on this point

DHS Whistleblower Philip Haney Dies of Gunshot Wound – Amador Sheriff Rules Suicide…


Re-Posted from The Conservative Tree House on  by 

Several new outlets have been reporting today on the death of Philip Haney, a DHS whistleblower who became well known for outlining how the Obama administration downplayed issues surrounding domestic radical Jihadist activity and Islamic terrorism.

It is being reported by Amador County, CA, sheriff’s office that Haney died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  However, many people are questioning the finding.

CALIFORNIA – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) whistleblower Philip Haney was found dead in Amador County, Calif., on Friday, according to local authorities.

Haney, 66, “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the Amador County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. Sheriff and coroner Martin A. Ryan shared the initial details of the case.

“On February 21, 2020 at approximately 1012 hours, deputies and detectives responded to the area of Highway 124 and Highway 16 in Plymouth to the report of a male subject on the ground with a gunshot wound,” the release read.

“Upon their arrival, they located and identified 66-year-old Philip Haney, who was deceased and appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. A firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle. This investigation is active and ongoing. No further details will be released at this time,” the office added. (read more)

DocWashburn@DocWashburn

Phil Haney was murdered last night. When BHO became President, Phil’s work identifying those (who come here to kill us) was scrubbed from intelligence training manuals & hard drives. Here’s my interview w/Phil about his book, “See Something, Say Nothing”. https://soundcloud.com/docwashburnradio/phillip-haney-5-23-17-karn 

809 people are talking about this

Kevin Shipp@Kevin_Shipp

Whistleblower Phil Haney shot dead last night. I knew Phil. He was exposing the penetration of the US government by Islamic cultural jihadists. He was instrumental in exposing Keith Ellision and Obama’s concealment of radical Islam in America.

View image on Twitter
7,395 people are talking about this

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

BREAKING: The late DHS whistleblower Philip Haney was owed tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties for his bestselling book, “See Something, Say Nothing,” and at one point had sought a class-action lawsuit with other authors stiffed by the publisher

1,302 people are talking about this

Keynote Address: The Cost of America’s Cultural Revolution by Heather Mac Donald


Heather Mac Donald delivers the keynote address at the launch of the National Association of Scholars’ report, Social Justice Education in America.

Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford use their celebrity platform to trash President Trump — and thus half of their movie audience!


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When Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford use their celebrity platform to trash President Trump — and thus half of their movie audience — they spit in the face of the people gave them that platform. But times have changed since Jimmy Stewart graced us with his all-American characters and personal life to match, and it just doesn’t matter any more. So why do these hypocrites do it? Three celebrity regular guys will join you on a 3-night Caribbean cruise in May, if you sign up in time. Come with Bill, Scott and Steve, for a great time, live shows, lots of Q&A, casual conversation and laughter over great food and drinks. http://bit.ly/StratoCruise2020 Become a Member and help to produce these messages and spread them around the world. https://BillWhittle.com/register/

Ex Muslim Exposes The Reality of Islam In The West | Yasmine Mohammed | SPIRITUALITY | Rubin Report


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Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Yasmine Mohammed (Author and Activist) about how she became an ex Muslim and the untold reality of Islam in the West. Yasmine grew up in a fundamentalist Muslim home in Canada. Despite living in a western country her childhood more closely resembled living under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia. She was forced to wear a hijab starting at age 9 and was later put into an arranged marriage. She left her husband and tried to regain control over her life. Yasmine had her awakening when she saw Sam Harris’s famous appearance with Ben Affleck on Real Time With Bill Maher. It was then that she knew she had a duty to tell the world about her experiences growing up Muslim in Canada. She also discusses her book “UNVEILED: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam”. Yasmine shares stories about her young students of the Zoomer generation and how she sees them as potentially being the end of “woke culture”. She also reveals why she thinks people in the West are being sold a lie by fetishizing the hijab through burkinis in Sports Illustrated, and Nike swoosh hijabs. The lie being that these things empower women, when in fact they oppress them. Yasmine also shares her surprise at how afraid a lot of westerners are to speak up, despite having their speech protected. Watch Dave Rubin’s previous interview with Yasmine Mohammed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAqEv…

Widespread Poverty Stats Greatly Overstate the Number of Americans Who Are Destitute


By James D. Agresti, January 25, 2020

While pressing her agenda to expand means-tested welfare programs, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is claiming that the federal government’s poverty statistics vastly undercount the number of Americans who are “destitute.”

In reality, the exact opposite is true because those statistics omit a broad range of government benefits, charity, and unreported income. When these are counted, the poorest fifth of U.S. households consume five times more goods and services than the poverty stats reveal. These material resources amount to an average of more than $50,000 per household per year, making the poorest fifth of Americans richer than the averages for all people in most developed nations of the world.

AOC’s Claims

In a recent video, AOC alleges: “You would not know that our country is posting record profits because 40 million Americans are living in poverty right now, and if the poverty line was real—if it was around what some people think it should be—about $38,000 a year, we will be shocked at how much the richest society on the planet is allowing so much of its people to live in destitute [sic].”

Her number of 40 million is roughly equal to the Census Bureau’s figure of 38.1 million, or 11.8% of the U.S. population. This represents merely one of the widely different ways of measuring poverty, but it is the federal government’s official measure, and the media follows suit. As stated in a 2019 paper in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: “The official poverty rate is also one of the most cited government statistics in the popular press.”

What’s Excluded

Without vital context—which AOC and most news reports fail to provide—the oft-cited Census poverty stats are highly misleading. For as the Census Bureau explains, they don’t “include the value of noncash benefits such as those provided by SNAP [Food Stamps], Medicare, Medicaid, public housing,” and a host of other goods and services that the poor receive from government and charities. More specifically:

  • Food Stamp beneficiaries received an average of $3,200 per household in Food Stamps during 2017.
  • Medicaid beneficiaries received an average of $7,794 per person in healthcare benefits during 2016.
  • Section 8 voucher beneficiaries received an average of $8,333 per household in rental assistance during 2016.
  • Head Start beneficiaries received an average of $9,871 per child in childcare and preschool benefits during 2017.
  • Other government programs provide noncash welfare benefits in the form of utility assistance, college grants, school lunch, school breakfast, community health centers, family planning services, prescription drugs, job training, legal services, cell phones, cell phone service, and internet service.
  • Federal law requires most hospitals with emergency departments to provide an “examination” and “stabilizing treatment” for anyone who comes to such a facility and requests care for an emergency medical condition or childbirth, regardless of their ability to pay and immigration status.
  • Private charities provide additional benefits to low-income people, such as food, clothing, housing, and healthcare.

Furthermore, Census income and poverty figures are obtained through household surveys, and low-income households don’t report much of their cash income in such surveys. Regarding this:

  • study published by the American Economic Journal in 2019 found that 63% of all New York State households who received benefits from two major cash welfare programs did not report any of this money to the Census Bureau.
  • The same study found that people who did report receiving cash welfare from these two programs received an average of 65% more money from the programs than they reported to the Census Bureau.
  • In 2013, the chief actuary of the U.S. Social Security Administration estimated that 3.9 million illegal immigrants worked “in the underground economy” during 2010.
  • In 2016, the IRS reported that 63% of income not reported to the IRS by third parties (like employers) is never reported to the IRS by the people who receive the money.

The Big Picture

An official federal measure that accounts for all of people’s material resources is called “consumption.” Recorded by the federal government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, it is a comprehensive measure of the goods and services consumed by households. It is also the World Bank’s “preferred welfare indicator, for practical reasons of reliability and because consumption is thought to better capture long-run welfare levels than current income.” Significantly, a 2003 paper in the Journal of Human Resources explains that “consumption standards were behind the original setting of the poverty line,” but government changed to the current method because of its “ease of reporting.”

The Bureau of Economic Analysis normally reports consumption for the entire nation and doesn’t break down the data to show how people at different levels fare. However, it published a report in 2012 that does that for 2010. Placed side-by-side with the Census Bureau income figures that underlie its poverty stats, the differences are striking—particularly for the poorest and richest U.S. households:

The federal data graphed above shows that the poorest 20% of U.S. households consumed an average of $57,049 of goods and services per household in 2010, while they reported an average of $11,034 in pre-tax money income to the Census Bureau. This means that widely reported federal poverty stats exclude about 80% of the material resources of low-income households. Put simply, the poorest fifth of U.S. households consume five times more goods and services than the poverty stats reveal.

AOC argues that the federal poverty line for “1 earner & a mother home full-time” should be $38,000/year, as compared to the current line of about $26,000 for a family of four. She attempts to justify this by saying that the current line “doesn’t include cost of childcare, geographic cost of living, or healthcare.” What she neglects to say is that low-income households typically receive such items and many others for free or greatly reduced prices.

In contrast, most U.S. households earn their healthcare, housing, food, childcare, phone service, and such for themselves, while also paying taxes that fund these items for others. As a result, U.S. middle-income households consume only 26% more goods and services than the poorest fifth.

The impacts of this wealth redistribution are even more drastic for the richest fifth of U.S. households, who forfeit a large portion of their income to taxes and receive few government benefits. They report 15 times more pre-tax money income than the poorest fifth of households, but they consume only twice as much goods and services as the poorest fifth.

Given that the available data treat the poorest 20% of households as a single group, while 11.8% of U.S. residents are officially in poverty, one might assume that poor households consume markedly less than the $57,049 average for the group. However, other government data suggests that is not the case. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on a subset of consumption called “consumer expenditures.” These show a mere $2,179 difference between the lowest 10% of U.S. households and the second lowest 10%. Since consumer expenditures exclude many forms of non-cash welfare, and eligibility for welfaredeclines as income rises, the poorest 10% may consume more goods and services than the second-poorest 10%.

Conclusion

Contrary to AOC, the facts are clear that frequently reported federal poverty stats vastly overstate the number of Americans who are destitute. Moreover, Just Facts’ recent study of data from the World Bank and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals that the poorest fifth of Americans consume more goods and services than the averages for all people in most developed nations of the world. In spite of these facts, AOC decries “economic injustice in America” and insists that the U.S. cannot “capitalism our way out of poverty.”

The School Funding Inequity Farce


By James D. Agresti
November 25, 2019

Leading presidential candidates and major media outlets are claiming that school districts with high concentrations of minorities and poor children generally receive less funding per student than other districts. That hasn’t been true for at least half a century, but people are spreading this myth through deceptive studies that exclude federal funds.

In reality, a broad range of credible studies that include all funding sources show that such school districts are as well-financed as others.

The Claims

According to Democrat presidential hopeful and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, “our current approach to school funding at the federal, state, and local level underfunds our schools and results in many students from low-income backgrounds receiving less funding than other students on a per-student basis.”

Along the same lines:

  • Sarah Mervosh of the New York Times reported in early 2019 that “on average, nonwhite districts received about $2,200 less per student than districts that were predominantly white….”
  • Maria Danilova of the Associated Press (AP) reported in 2018 that “the highest-poverty” school districts “receive an average of $1,200 less per child than the least-poor districts, while districts serving the largest numbers of minority students get about $2,000 less than those serving the fewest students of color….”
  • Democrat presidential contender and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders claims that “less is invested in the education of children from low-income families compared with their more affluent peers” because “school districts are funded out of local property taxes.”
  • Clare Lombardo of National Public Radio (NPR) reported in 2019 that “high-poverty districts serving mostly students of color receive about $1,600 less per student than the national average.”

With the exception of Sanders—who provides no evidence to support his claim—all of the others misrepresent their sources by failing to reveal that they ignore federal funds. Moreover, their sources obscure this fact in the following ways:

  • Warren cites a study by the Education Law Center, which refers to federal funding on page 2 but then never accounts for any of it. Instead, the study mentions on page 5 that it uses “actual state and local revenues” for its analysis.
  • The New York Times and NPR cite a report from EdBuild, which doesn’t say a word about the exclusion of federal revenues. Instead, it tacitly slips this into a separate webpage of “research methods“ that references “revenues from state and local sources” while ignoring federal revenues except when subtracting out charter school funding.
  • The AP cites a report from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that repeatedly mentions federal funding, but when it presents the $1,200 and $2,000 underfunding figures quoted by the AP, it cites a study from the Education Trust that explicitly excludes “federal sources.” The Commission on Civil Rights doesn’t even allude to this fact—and to discover it, readers must go to the footnote and then locate the study from a citation with an unclickable link.

In short, these politicians and journalists never hint that their statistics exclude federal funds, and the sources they appeal to bury this crucial caveat. This ensures that only diligent readers with time to investigate will learn the truth.

Moreover, those who propagate this falsehood often call for more federal funds to fix this contrived disparity. But since they ignore federal funding, their proposals to increase it will not change the statistics they present.

Warren’s K–12 education plan, for instance, makes the false claim quoted above and then calls for “quadrupling Title I funding—an additional $450 billion over the next 10 years—to help ensure that all children get a high-quality public education.” Title I is the largest source of federal K–12 education funding, but because Warren doesn’t count this money in her statistics, her plan won’t affect her own measure of school funding.

The Reality

Wide-ranging studies that include all education funding—like those conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (1996), Ph.D. economist Derek Neal (2006), the left-leaning Urban Institute (2008), and the conservative Heritage Foundation (2011)—have all found that school districts with higher portions of minority students spend about the same amount per student as districts with smaller portions of minorities.

The Urban Institute study, which looks the furthest back in time, found that “differences in spending per pupil in districts serving nonwhite and white students are very small” since at least 1972.

Likewise, a study published by the journal Education Next in 2017 found that “per-student K–12 education funding from all sources (local, state, and federal) is similar, on average, at the districts attended by poor students ($12,961) and non-poor students ($12,640), a difference of 2.5 percent in favor of poor students.” The study also found that “this difference has not changed much since 1994–95,” the earliest data in the study.

Within school districts, research published by the Brookings Institution in 2017 found that “on average, poor and minority students receive between 1-2 percent more resources than non-poor or white students in their districts, equivalent to about $65 per pupil.”

The Property Tax Charade

Warren alleges that “school systems rely heavily on local property taxes, shortchanging students in low-income areas.” This was previously the case, but it hasn’t been so for decades. As explained by the Urban Institute:

In the past, because public schools were funded largely by local property taxes, property-rich and -poor school districts differed greatly in expenditures per pupil. Since the early 1970s, however, state legislatures have, on their own initiative or at the behest of state courts, implemented school finance equalization programs to reduce the disparity in within-state education spending.

Consequently, data from the U.S. Department of Education show that local revenues have declined from 83% of all school funding in 1920 to 45% in 2016:

Furthermore, the chart above only shows national averages. These don’t reveal the fact that school districts in low-income areas typically receive greater portions of their budgets from state and federal funds. For example, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in 2011 that some school districts receive no federal Title I education funding, while others receive as much as 36% of their budget from it.

Along with increasing shares of school funding paid by state and federal taxpayers, the inflation-adjusted average spending per student grew by 22 times in the same era:

False Justifications

Some people openly argue that federal funding should be ignored when comparing schools, because this money is meant to help disadvantaged students. However, federal law is at odds with such logic.

The Education Trust, for example, writes that it excludes such funds from its analysis because “federal dollars are intended—and targeted—to provide supplemental services to such specific groups of students as those in poverty, English learners, and students with disabilities.”

In accord with that view, the Obama administration published an issue paper stating that federal education funding “is intended to provide the extra help low-income students need to succeed, but it cannot do that if state and local funds are not evenly distributed to start with.” The administration also drafted regulations to impose this requirement on school districts.

In contrast, the applicable federal law explicitly states that “nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to mandate equalized spending per pupil for a state, local educational agency, or school.” Thus, the Congressional Research Service determined that the Obama administration’s proposed regulations “appear to directly conflict” with the law.

Federal law does require that states and localities not reduce their funding to schools when they receive federal funds. This provision says that states and localities can only use federal funds “to supplement the funds that would, in the absence of such federal funds, be made available from state and local sources,” “not to supplant such funds.” This does not require that funding be equal before or even after federal funding. It simply requires that states and localities don’t cut other funding just because they receive federal funds.

The law also requires that local school districts provide services that “are at least comparable” to all schools within their district before they receive federal funds. New York City, for example, cannot provide unequal services to schools and then use federal funds to equalize them. To meet this requirement, districts must provide similar staff-to-student ratios, “curriculum materials,” and “instructional supplies” to schools in their district in order to receive federal funds.

Nevertheless, politicians and unions sometimes create funding disparities within local school districts by agreeing to contracts that give senior teachers more pay and discretion to choose the schools where they work. These higher-paid teachers tend to avoid inner-city schools with high rates of crime and student discipline problems, resulting in lower spending-per student in poor neighborhoods. Federal law permits this practice by excluding “staff salary differentials for years of employment” from its compliance provisions.

Conclusion

Regardless of any rationale for excluding federal funds from school funding comparisons, it is deceitful to omit such money without even a hint. Yet, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Associated Press are doing just that.

Such disinformation is enabled by advocacy groups like EdBuild and the Education Law Center, which publish reports that exclude federal funds while burying this vital fact.

Warren takes the deception even further by leading people to believe that she actually accounts for federal funds. She does this by claiming that “the current investment in Title I—$15.8 billion—is not nearly enough to make up for state-level funding inequities,” but her supposed evidence for this is a study that excludes all of this money. This provides false grounds to continually demand more from taxpayers and to portray the U.S. education system as systemically racist.