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Is ACORN behind violent unrest in Ferguson?

Senior Editor Matthew Vadum’s article in American Thinker last week has caused quite a stir. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin read the entire article on-air. Here is a YouTube video with the audio from that broadcast:

Here is the article itself from  American Thinker:

 

Is ACORN behind violent unrest in Ferguson?

By Matthew Vadum
ACORN’s old Missouri chapter is playing at least a supporting role in the violent unrest and crime wave that has plagued Ferguson and St. Louis, Missouri since the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.
With all the pathologies on parade right now in and around Ferguson, really, how could the loyalists of ACORN, which once claimed a membership of 400,000, have stayed away from the opportunity to lynch a white police officer for doing his job?  The recruiting and fundraising opportunities for the cop-hating progressive movement are virtually unlimited.
What’s going on in Ferguson is mobocracy at its ugliest.
Activists are blackmailing the grand jury that is now hearing evidence against police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown in August reportedly in self-defense.  If the grand jurors refuse to indict Wilson, radical activists are promising even more mayhem.
The message is unmistakable: indict the cop, and there will be peace.  Don’t, and Ferguson will burn.
One of the groups deeply involved in causing chaos in Ferguson is Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.
MORE is the rebranded Missouri branch of the former Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010.  That ACORN state chapter reconstituted itself in December 2009 as MORE under orders from ACORN’s national headquarters.  President Obama used to work for ACORN, and he represented it in court as a lawyer.
MORE has been active in the protests and in efforts to free jailed demonstrators so they can continue vandalizing businesses, intimidating perceived adversaries, setting fires, throwing projectiles and urine at cops, and engaging in the left’s usual modes of so-called nonviolent protest.  MORE believes that protesters should be given a blank check to inflict whatever harm they wish on the community in pursuit of social justice.

MORE is also a recipient of taxpayer funding – and to no one’s surprise, it is not a good steward of those dollars.  MORE received $21,000 for its “foreclosure prevention” efforts but “did not fully comply” with the rules, according to the St. Louis city comptroller’s “fiscal monitoring review” released a few days before Brown was shot.

MORE is one of the now defunct ACORN network’s most active renamed state chapters.  In 2010, MORE activists did their best to cause a near-riot at a Chase bank office in a St. Louis suburb.  Activists screamed, “Predatory lender, criminal offender!” and demanded that banks not foreclose on defaulted mortgages.  MORE also was trying to shake down Chase, whose philanthropic arm contributed millions of dollars to ACORN, for some more money.
MORE’s executive director is longtime ACORN organizer Jeff Ordower.  Ordower, an outspoken vote fraud apologist, previously ran Missouri ACORN and oversaw ACORN’s Midwest operations.  He was also an SEIU organizer in Texas.
In his online biography, Ordower boasts that he was “one of a group of founders of the Chicago based organization Gender Just, which merged queer, class and racial justice.”  The bio states that he “is welcoming co-conspirators in attempts to scale up numbers of radical organizers who can financially support themselves in the work.”
Under Ordower’s leadership, MORE is a magnet for the community organizers, lowlifes, and lawbreakers now waging war in the streets nightly against beleaguered Ferguson police and businesses.
Following longstanding ACORN practice, MORE has been throwing out the welcome mat for criminals.  On its Facebook page the group offers fugitives an opportunity to stay one step ahead of the authorities.  It recently hosted an event that allowed possible absconders to verify if warrants were pending for their arrest.  The Facebook post asks  would-be attendees:
“Don’t know if you have any outstanding bench warrants?  Join MORE and ArchCity Defenders for a free warrant search.  This is an opportunity to find out if you have any warrants without having to worry about being arrested in the process.”
Criminals are, of course, natural community organizers.
Community organizing guru Saul Alinsky openly admitted his ties to the Al Capone gang in 1930s Chicago.  Alinsky befriended hit man “Big Ed” Stash and Frank Nitti, who took over the gang after Capone went to prison in 1931.
In Alinsky’s own words, Nitti “took me under his wing” as he explored the inner workings of the criminal underground.  “I called him Professor and I became his student,” Alinsky said.
Attacking the structure of society is what criminals and community organizers do.  As Alinsky wrote in Rules for Radicals, a community organizer must foment unrest and anarchy.
The organizer’s first job is “community disorganization” by manufacturing crises in order to inflame the community.  The organizer must “create the issues or problems.”  He must “rub raw the resentments of the people of the community” and “fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression.”
The organizer must “agitate to the point of conflict” because without friction and controversy, “people are not concerned enough to act.”  Having harangued the community out of its feelings of complacency, the organizer then directs its rage at specific targets and scapegoats, providing “a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations.”
Officer Darren Wilson makes a perfect target for the highly active remnants of the ACORN activist empire.

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Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales?

Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum has an article on non-citizen voting in today’s FrontPage magazine:

 

Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales?

By Matthew Vadum

Voting by illegal aliens and other non-citizens is so prevalent throughout the nation that it gave us Obamacare, according to a disturbing new study.

And if illegal voting by non-citizens, who tend to support Democratic Party candidates and who heavily supported President Obama, could tip the scales in the 2008 congressional elections, it can do so again in congressional elections next week and in the presidential contest in 2016. In 2008 one report estimated that as many as 2.7 million non-citizens were registered to vote nationwide.

The academic report, to be published in the December issue of Electoral Studies, continues the ongoing demolition of the Left’s narrative that voter fraud is a figment of paranoid Republicans’ imagination. Democrats cling religiously to their mantra that voter fraud doesn’t exist or is of little consequence because they have difficulty competing electorally without vote fraud. Fraud helps Democrats eke out victories in close races, which helps to explain their vehement opposition to commonsense electoral integrity measures like purging dead people from voter rolls or requiring photo ID for voting.

The findings of Jesse Richman and David Earnest, two political science professors at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., confirm that voter fraud is commonplace and widespread, something that honest, as opposed to engaged or left-wing, scholars have known for years.

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Tragedy, as politics: Exploiting Ferguson

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and policy.]

African-Americans have long been the victims of oppression by politicians and bureaucrats. That’s been true from the 17th Century when slavery, a practice older than civilization, began to be associated with the concept we now call “race,” through the era of Jim Crow and one-party Democratic Party rule in much of the country (a time that included FDR’s racist National Recovery Administration), to the present time (when, for example, in Washington, DC, African-Americans are eight times more likely than others to be arrested for marijuana offenses, and are disproportionately the victims of horrific public schools and of laws that restrict small-business opportunities).

Often, law enforcement officials have been part of that oppression. During Jim Crow, African-Americans were often framed for crimes, then rented out as laborers, a practice that was, in effect, a partial restoration of slavery. During the Civil Rights Movement, police often looked the other way when violence was visited upon civil rights workers and on everyday African-Americans, and sometimes police were active participants in these crimes.

I grew up around police officers, studied law enforcement beside them in college, and worked as a police reporter. I have the greatest respect for these men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day. But I understand why many African-Americans are deeply distrustful of the police.

If, in fact, an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, had shot and killed an unarmed young man, Michael Brown, in the back, or while Brown was trying to surrender with his hands up, and if that officer did not have full justification for his actions, I would support punishing the officer to the fullest extent of the law.

The problem is that that version of the story, it appears, is not Read all »

What they’ve done to public health: a laughing matter (if it weren’t so deadly)

“You cannot get it [Ebola] from just riding on a plane or a bus,” the President said.

…which would be true, unless, say, someone with Ebola were to cough on you. Then it wouldn’t be true.

How infectious is Ebola? So infectious that a nurse in Spain was, officials say, infected by touching her face while removing her gear. So infectious that the average patient infects 1.5 to 2 other people. If unchecked, that would mean that it would spread to every person on earth in 20-34 iterations, in less than a year. No, that won’t happen, but the World Health Organization is projecting 10,000 cases per week in Africa by December. (By the way, WHO’s projection in September for the number in late October was overly optimistic; it fell short by a factor of three.) Each patient requires 20 health workers to care for him or her, at a cost, if the most up-to-date technology were used, of $500,000 per patient. In Africa, the average income is about $2,500 a year, and the continent, with 24 percent of the population, has three percent of the healthcare workers. By the math, we are skewered.

How infectious is Ebola? Scientists studying the virus in the laboratory are supposed to do so in what are basically spacesuits, completely sealed with their own oxygen supplies, with airlocks and ultraviolet lighting and showers and other aspects of “BSL-4″ (Biosafety Level 4) laboratories, the most secure labs known to man. Only smallpox, which is believed extinct in the wild, and the viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Hantavirus, Machupo, and Ebola and its cousin Marburg are treated this carefully. Rabies and yellow fever are only BSL-3.

How infectious is Ebola? Jonathan V. Last notes in The Weekly Standard (http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/six-reasons-panic_816387.html):

In August, Science magazine published a survey conducted by 58 medical professionals working in African epidemiology. They traced the origin and spread of the virus with remarkable precision—for instance, they discovered that it crossed the border from Guinea into Sierra Leone at the funeral of a “traditional healer” who had treated Ebola victims. In just the first six months of tracking the virus, the team identified more than 100 mutated forms of it. . . .

By the by, that Science article written by 58 medical professionals tracing the emergence of Ebola—5 of them died from Ebola before it was published.

 

One of the legitimate responsibilities of government is to protect the public health—that is, to protect us from infectious disease and from disease caused by a common environmental source. But President Obama has appointed, to public health positions, Prohibitonists rather than public health experts: the likes of

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Labor Watch: “Official Time” and the Veterans Affairs Scandal / Sick veterans languish on waiting lists while VA employees work full-time for unions

 “Official Time” and the Veterans Affairs Scandal

Sick veterans languish on waiting lists while VA employees work full-time for unions (PDF here)

By Alec Torres

Summary: The Veterans Affairs scandal shocked the nation, and as further revela­tions of widespread corruption and failure became public, they showed the natural failure of socialized medicine. But one part of the scandal has not received the attention it deserves: the role of special privileges for union officials, who spend their time serving their self-interest, rather than serving the nation’s ailing veterans.

As bad as the VA scandal seems, it’s actually worse. While veterans of the U.S. armed forces wait for health care, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is paying hundreds of its employees to work full-time for labor unions.

First, a summary of the facts behind the scandal:

The VA boasts that it “operates the na­tion’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities.” Yet officials at as many as 42 VA facilities have come under investigation for allegedly keeping two sets of books, appar­ently in order to hide long wait-times (and protect bonuses that are paid if wait-times are short). After a patient requested an appoint­ment, administrators would wait to enter the request into the electronic records system until the point at which a doctor would be available within 14 days.

After the scandal broke, first reported by CNN, the VA conducted an internal audit that found that over 57,000 patients had to wait more than three months for their initial appointments at the VA. Around 70 percent of all VA facilities had used an alternative to the official appointment schedule in or­der to deceptively minimize the reported wait-times.

When the scandal became public, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki declared himself “mad as hell,” while President Obama declared himself “madder than hell.” Shinseki was fired and replaced by former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald.

The scandal takes on added significance because the VA has been cited in the debate over health care. As members of Congress considered the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” the VA system was often cited as a model for healthcare in America. [See the sidebar by Steven J. Allen Read all »

That Lyndon Johnson quote (Part 2)

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

Last week, at http://capitalresearch.org/2014/10/we-have-lost-the-south-for-a-generation-what-lyndon-johnson-said-or-would-have-said-if-only-he-had-said-it, I took a look at that story that has circulated in recent years as, in essence, a smear of Southern Republicans: that President Lyndon Johnson, after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, said that “We have lost the South for a generation.”

More from my investigation of this quote:

► Almost all uses of that version of the quote are from the past 10 years. However, I found a close variation in a 1988 Washington Post article by Patricia Brennan in which she quotes Johnson aide Ben Wattenberg. (Wattenberg was one of the first “neoconservatives” in the original sense of the term, a New Deal liberal who came to recognize the failures of Big Government policies.) As quoted by Brennan, Wattenberg said that, even during Johnson’s 1964 landslide, “there were six states that Barry Goldwater kept: Arizona and five states in the South. You trace it forward and you see that they never came back. They were out because of civil rights and they stayed out. . . . The day they passed the civil rights bill, LBJ said to Bill Moyers, ‘You know, I think we gave the South to the Republicans.’”

I suspect that Wattenberg, apparently speaking off the cuff, paraphrased another Moyers quote of Johnson (about which, more below). Further garbled over time, as in the Telephone Game, that quote in the Washington Post article may have been the source for the lost-the-South-for-a-generation version. Or it’s possible that the quote originated as an indirect quote, one without quotation marks, that appeared in the magazine The Economist in 2002. By 2004, the quote was appearing in articles with quotation marks. I can find no direct reference to Johnson saying it or to whom it was said. It is always used as a quote that, well, everyone knows.

 

► In the early 1990s, another version of the story held that the Johnson statement was “There goes the South.” The Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald used that version November 4, 1992.

Timothy Noah of the left-wing online magazine Slate (then affiliated with the Washington Post) wrote (January 27, 2004, posted at http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2004/01/forget_the_south_democrats.html):

“There goes the South for a generation,” Lyndon Johnson is said to have predicted as he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act into law. Actually, it’s been two generations, but otherwise Johnson was dead-on. For 40 years, the Democratic Party begged Southern Democrats to return to the fold.

Considering that all Southern states except Virginia voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976, while Carter was losing the rest of the country as a whole, and that, with the exception of in 1964, the South was significantly more Republican than the country as a whole beginning in 1988 at the presidential level and in 2010 at the local and state level, the fake Johnson quote was hardly “dead on.” Still, I suppose that Noah deserves credit for only half-lying because he qualified his use of the fake quote (“Johnson is said to have predicted”).

 

► The Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2000, published an interview with Johnson aide Harry McPherson and Jack Valenti in which McPherson was quoted as saying that another Johnson aide, Bill Moyers “came in on the evening of the passage of the Voting Rights Act.” (Note that he referred to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 rather than the Civil Rights Act of 1964.)

. . . Johnson, having had a wonderful day signing the bill, everybody around him praising him, was sitting, Bill says, with his head in his hands at his desk. Bill said, “Mr. President, it’s the greatest day of your presidency.” Johnson said, “Yes, and it’s the day we gave the South to the Republican Party for the rest of our lifetimes.”

Interestingly, Valenti wrote an account of the passage and signing of the Voting Read all »

Your Tax Dollars At Work: Liberal religious organizations make amnesty pay

Your Tax Dollars At Work:  Liberal religious organizations make amnesty pay

By James Simpson, Organization Trends, October 2014 (PDF to come)

Summary: The federal government is spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars a year to underwrite private care for persons who have entered the country illegally. Much of the money flows into religious nonprofits. The nation’s laws receive less consideration than the appeal of “free” government subsidies, and the causes and harms of illegal immigration are brushed aside.

Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama has aggressively sought amnesty for persons who are in America illegally. When an amnesty bill was not forthcoming from Congress, Obama began issuing directives to federal agencies that defied both federal law and the will of Congress. Deportations were curtailed, and in 2013 over 36,000 criminal aliens (as they are termed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE), including 193 murderers, were released from jail, ICE reports.

In June 2012, without congressional authorization, President Obama created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under DACA, persons in the country illegally who were born after June 16, 1981, and arrived in the United States before their sixteenth birthday may obtain work permits and permission to remain here for two years, and then reapply for an additional two years. DACA applicants must also meet additional criteria:

*Must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007;
*Been present as of June 15, 2012, and when they applied for deferred action;
*Be currently in school, or have graduated from high school, or obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from the military;
*Have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses;
*Been 30 years of age or younger as of June 15, 2012.

The problem is, if someone is here illegally, how does government verify many of these questions? In practical terms, DACA allows virtually any illegal resident who is approximately 30 years of age or younger to stay in the U.S. indefinitely. Furthermore, both in word and deed, this administration has sent an unmistakable message south: Come on up, you won’t be turned away.

Persons interviewed at the border frequently cite this reason for heading north. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) confirmed this as well. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd this July, Inhofe stated that through Obama’s DACA program, Obama is essentially saying:

“‘Come here, we’ll take care of you,’ and they all believe this… I talked to them individually… All of them were programmed to say that they had relatives here, they’re invited to come up here, they’re going to stay here—at the same time the HHS says, ‘We’re not going to send them back.’ So long as they have that assurance, more are coming in.”

Beginning in 2012 persons began streaming into the country illegally. That stream has now become a flood. Most recent entrants are from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, a part of Central America also called the “Northern Triangle.” A quirk in the law that allows for immediate deportation of illegal youths from Mexico also creates a much more prolonged process for deporting those from “non-contiguous countries,” thus increasing their chances to obtain asylum.

A June 2014 ICE document leaked to the press revealed a dramatic acceleration in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from these countries. In fiscal year 2011, ICE apprehended a total of 4,321 UAC. By FY 2013, that number had increased to 21,314. For FY 2014, the report projected 53,375 UAC crossing the border and 95,500 in 2015.

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“We have lost the South for a generation”: What Lyndon Johnson said, or would have said if only he had said it

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

“We have lost the South for a generation,” President Lyndon B. Johnson told an aide after he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Not really, of course. Johnson didn’t say that.

I’ve examined more than a hundred uses of that quote, going back to what seems to be its first appearance in 2002 (as an indirect quote, one without quotation marks) and what seems to be its first appearance as a direct quote in 2004. That would be some 40 years after Johnson supposedly uttered it. Some falsely attribute the story to Johnson aide Bill Moyers, but not one writer or commentator using the quote includes a citation that tracks back to anyone who heard (or claims to have heard) LBJ say it. The quote directly contradicts earlier versions that appeared closer to the event. So it can be said with a high level of confidence that the quote is fake. There is simply no reason to believe it.

Yet it’s part of left-wing gospel.

Every person who follows politics has heard some version of the story: LBJ made the comment at some point on the day they passed the Civil Rights Act, or later on the morning of the day Johnson signed the legislation (that legislation being the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or maybe the Voting Rights Act of 1965), or he said it that evening as he lay in bed, or he said it at the conclusion of the signing ceremony when he turned to a friend, or maybe an aide, and said, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.” Or “for your lifetime.” Or “for a generation.” Or “We have lost the South for a generation.” Or maybe he said, “There goes the South.” And he was absolutely right: As a reaction to Johnson’s act of courage, the South turned Republican immediately, overnight, instantly, only 46 years later. Yessiree. That’s their story, and they’re sticking to it. Read all »

The “Vast Left-wing Conspiracy”: George Soros’s Democracy Alliance remains a potent force in the 2014 elections

This special issue of Foundation Watch updates our previous profiles of the Democracy Alliance published in December 2006, January 2008, and December 2008.

The “Vast Left-wing Conspiracy”:  George Soros’s Democracy Alliance remains a potent force in the 2014 elections

By Matthew Vadum, Foundation Watch, October 2014 (PDF here)

Summary:  The political landscape in America is much different than it was in 2005 when the nine-year-old Democracy Alliance was founded.  The secretive club for radical millionaires and billionaires who want to turn America into Greece was founded soon after John Kerry’s unexpected defeat in the 2004 presidential election.  The outlook for the Left was bleak at that time but no longer.  The Left has regained its footing and is on the march, determined to dismantle the First Amendment and reorder society through Obamacare, a wealth redistribution scheme disguised as health care policy.  The Democracy Alliance, once determined to remain separate from the Democratic Party, is more partisan than it has ever been as its seeks to expand left-wing political infrastructure across the country.

The Democracy Alliance—a secretive, pro-Democratic Party funding powerhouse—is embracing more union bosses as members, amid growing fears in left-wing circles that Republicans are poised to take over the U.S. Senate in the November elections. This trend adds to organized labor’s already considerable clout within this elite fundraising empire, which claims to have funneled more than $500 million into liberal and pro-Democratic organizations. The invitation-only Alliance, co-founded by far-left billionaire philanthropist George Soros, calls itself a “first-of-its-kind partnership of change-makers who are committed to a stronger democracy and a more progressive America.”

It claims to be the “center of gravity” for left-wing funding and, “over the past nine years,” has “aligned leaders in the progressive movement and political infrastructure” in order to secure “victories at the ballot box and in policy fights. “

The Democracy Alliance funds many key institutions on the Left. One of them is Catalist LLC, formerly known as Data Warehouse. This for-profit company was created by Clinton aide Harold Ickes and Democratic operative Laura Quinn to help leftist groups get out the Democratic vote. It describes its mission as providing “progressive organizations with the data and services needed to better identify, understand, and communicate with the people they need to persuade and mobilize.” The chairman of Catalist is Democracy Alliance member Albert J. Dwoskin, a Virginia-based real estate developer. (For a complete profile of Catalist, see Organization Trends, November 2012.)

The Democracy Alliance has also funded staples of the left-wing activist community including People for the American Way, EMILY’s List, ACORN, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Progressive States Network, Center for Community Change, Sierra Club, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, and the (now defunct) Secretary of State Project, which helped elect left-wing candidates to be the chief electoral official in at least nine states (these little-noticed officials become critical when vote fraud occurs).

The Alliance and its ultra-wealthy supporters drone on endlessly, wringing their hands about the importance of getting money out of politics as they pump millions of dollars into politics. As the Washington Free Beacon reports, Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig told prospective donors to his Mayday PAC this year that attacking the First Amendment’s corporate political speech protections would be easier if those on the other side were gagged by new laws. “We have no protection for network neutrality because of the enormous influence of cable companies’ money in the political system,” he said. “If NN is your issue, then this is why you should see that politics is your issue too.” Lessig is also an advisor to the Fund for the Republic, a campaign finance reform organization that uses soothing, bipartisan language and reaches out to those on the political Right. The Fund acknowledges receiving financial support from Democracy Alliance members.

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Briefly Noted: October 2014

The Benghazi Accountability Coalition is pressing Congress for answers about the Obama administration’s bungling in the deadly debacle in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who died trying to fend off the Islamist attack, said he can’t understand why the Obama administration won’t answer even the most basic questions about what happened. “When a mission is compromised, the warriors, they know they will be extracted,” said Woods, who was also a Navy SEAL himself. “During all of the hours that this attack happened, there was no attempt made to rescue.” The administration’s refusal to launch such a rescue mission stands in stark contrast to its willingness to swap Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who apparently defected to the Taliban in Afghanistan, for five members of the Islamic terrorist high command.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says internal State Department documents have surfaced that show that three months before the Benghazi attack, security guards were fleeing their posts “out of fear of their safety.” Those documents consisted of emails obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act, which is “the best way to get information out of this administration—an administration that is committed to secrecy and stonewalling on something that would have taken down previous administrations,” Fitton said. “Which is the lying by a president and his officials, to protect his re-election, about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans.”

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