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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘scandal’

Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Scandal is About Her Corruption, NOT the FBI Director’s Anti-Woman Bias

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

{Originally posted to the National Review website}

Hillary Clinton is perfect.

That, apparently, is the Left’s new line on their nominee. It was one thing to label her a corrupt old crone when she was running against newfangled 1930s near-octogenarian Bernie Sanders. It was another thing to sigh over her foibles when she led Donald Trump by double digits.

But in a close election, Democrats have decided to don the blinders: Hillary is a saint. And all who oppose her are angels of darkness.

When Hillary’s e-mail scandal first cropped up, the Left acknowledged Hillary’s dicey relationship with the truth, but praised rival Bernie Sanders for his gentlemanly unwillingness to exploit Hillary’s corruption for political gain. Then, when Sanders finally shuffled off into the political sunset, they shifted their narrative: Now, Hillary was being targeted over speculation and innuendo — but she had some of that coming, given her decision to set up a private e-mail server. When the FBI effectively closed its original investigation, they could point to FBI director James Comey’s supposed rectitude as evidence for their theory that Hillary had made a mistake, but she hadn’t done anything criminal.

Then, like a zombie rising from the dead, E-mailgate returned: twice as brutal, twice as ugly, and twice as unkillable.

It’s too late in the election cycle to ward off E-mailgate with some tut-tutting or a wave of the hand. This election is too close for Democrats to simply acknowledge Hillary’s corruption, then vote for her in order to stop Trump.

No, they must blind themselves to Hillary’s corruption utterly, and blind others to it as well. They must spray lye in the eyes of the public to protect Hillary’s lies. And so the Left have declared their new enemies: James Comey, and supposed sexism.

Parodic New York Times columnist Charles Blow led the way with a column titled “Emails, Genitalia and the FBI.” Blow now alleges that the election is rigged — sound familiar? — by nefarious forces beyond Hillary’s control. “This election isn’t in danger of being stolen by Hillary Clinton,” Blow says, “but in danger of being stolen from her.” And why, pray tell, would James Comey, Hillary’s heretofore savior, turn on her like a Judas? Because, writes Blow, “this is just the latest lifeline being thrown to a Republican candidate drowning in his own ineptitude.” Comey must be working for the Trumps. Or the Russians. Or somebody.

Senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.), a petrifying political cow dropping, has accused Comey, in full Joe McCarthy fashion, of the same malfeasance. “I am writing to inform you that my office has determined that [your] actions may violate the Hatch Act,” Reid wrote to Comey. “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government#…#[but] you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.” Reid is now approximately five minutes from brandishing a list of Communists before the cameras, calling for Comey’s resignation.

And Harry Reid isn’t the only one. Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake — a woman who once declared that she would let rioters destroy her city because it was imperative to give them “room” to express themselves — called Comey “reckless” and suggested that “he’s under pressure and he got shook.” Former attorney general Eric Holder, who is still under contempt of Congress, declared Comey’s actions absolutely deplorable.

Most hilarious, Professor Robin Lakoff of the University of California, Berkeley, labeled the entire enterprise sexist. “Emailgate is a bitch hunt,” she wrote at Time.com, “but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It’s us. The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. Can you imagine this happening to a man?”

Lakoff apparently forgot that this re-investigation exists only began because a man, Anthony Weiner, is under FBI investigation; she apparently forgot that General David Petraeus was punished for similar crimes; she apparently neglects that 91 percent of all prison inmates are men, and that virtually every political scandal in history has targeted a man. But never mind that: Hillary must be shielded, and if her genitalia will serve the cause, so be it!

One of the most disappointing aspects of this election cycle has been the realization by some conservatives that many of our fellow conservatives want to be Democrats. They want to be Democrats not in terms of policy, although some Trump fans are indistinguishable from blue dog Democrats. They want to be Democrats in terms of politician-worship. Too many Republicans look at how Democrats rally around awful people ranging from Bill Clinton to Teddy Kennedy, and think, “How can we do that? If we just did that, we’d be able to elect more Republicans!”

There’s truth to that. Obviously, Democrats are willing to stand with their candidates, even after those candidates use their interns as humidors or their female friends as car anchors. But that’s what distinguishes Republicans from Democrats historically. And even when Republicans begin to act like Democrats — when we begin to excuse the worst excesses of our candidates in the name of victory — it doesn’t work all that well. Many Republicans still agonize over the foibles and evils of Trump. Many Republicans won’t vote for him. The same doesn’t hold true for Democrats, who may pretend at skepticism but fall into pure godworship the moment the chips are down.

Hillary Clinton isn’t a victim. She created a private server for her own benefit, and she’s been ensnared in her own paranoia and ambition. The fact that Democrats will cling to her sainthood despite that obvious truth demonstrates that Democrats cannot be trusted with power. To the extent that Republicans imitate Democrats, they can’t be trusted with power either.

Yes, at long last, the Left has pulled its anti-Trump card: Hillary has a vagina, and is being targeted for that supposedly debilitating condition.

The attempts to paint E-mailgate as sexism demonstrate the Left’s blindness to Hillary’s flaws. At least we acknowledge Trump’s faults in the GOP — or at least a major segment of us do. The Left’s attempts to pawn off all anti-Hillary scandals as effects of sexism (and Obama’s as effects of racism) are a basic avoidance maneuver.

Ben Shapiro

The IRS Scandal Still Matters

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Years after the Internal Revenue Service scandal broke and long after the media lost interest in the agency’s practice of subjecting conservative groups to special scrutiny and delays, the government is quietly seeking to bury it. A ruling from a federal judge earlier this month demanding that the IRS finally resolve stalled applications for non-profit status has gotten results.

Many of these small groups often affiliated with the Tea Party movement have now been granted the designation they needed to begin fundraising. Among them was Z Street, a pro-Israel group whose tax exemption request dated back to 2010. While the resolution seems to be satisfactory, the result is actually anything but. Rather than a belated triumph for justice, what has happened here is quite the opposite. Though the Z Street litigation preceded the general outrage about the revelations about the IRS’s discrimination broke in the spring of 2013, it opened a window into the way the supposedly apolitical tax agency operated. IRS personnel didn’t just make Z Street jump through hoops unknown to groups that were not associated with causes opposed by the Obama administration. An IRS agent specifically told Z Street founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus that the government gave “special scrutiny” not only to pro-Israel organizations but also to those that advocated views that “contradict those of the administration’s.”

Though the government fought a long battle to prevent Z Street—which is sympathetic to Israel’s settlement movement—from suing to recover its rights, the courts consistently upheld its right to do so. But thanks to a separate court ruling, the IRS has now waved the white flag on this case and dozens of others that all involved agents opposing or stalling requests from non-profits similarly linked to positions that were not favored by President Obama.

No one should think justice has really been done. After years of being dormant because of its inability to raise money that could be deducted as a charitable donation, Z Street has probably been dead in the water too long to recover. The same is probably true for the other “winners” in this battle. More to the point, whatever influence their educational efforts might have achieved had they been allowed to function effectively has been lost. Considering that most of these groups sought to promote ideas (though not parties or politicians) on which the 2012, 2014, and now the 2016 elections were fought, there’s no denying the fact that they were effectively silenced by a band of officious government bureaucrats pursuing the liberal agenda of the Obama administration.

Though there is still no proof that the IRS agents were acting on direct orders of the White House, their willingness to behave in this matter advanced the president’s political interests in a way that ought to stir bipartisan outrage. Unfortunately, neither Democrats nor the president’s faithful liberal media were able to see past their partisan loyalties to take effective action. Indeed, as we head toward the election of our next president, the IRS scandal has been sent down a memory hole and is largely forgotten. This wasn’t the first time the IRS has been used to advance a partisan agenda, but it isn’t likely to be the last. There is no reason to think that the pattern might not be repeated in the future once the dust settles.

That’s why it’s important that Z Street’s litigation against the IRS continue so that the courts get to the heart of the problem. For the group to get its exemption without getting answers about why it was denied so long, and who gave the order to obstruct it  is unacceptable. Though the courts may think the question is now moot, what is needed is a resolution that will point toward a constitutionally valid process for the IRS to follow, not belated government surrender to groups that were fatally undermined by an illegal policy.

This is not an issue on which conservatives and liberals ought to be divided. A government that is allowed to play fast and loose with the basic rules of fairness to disadvantage conservatives or friends of Israel could easily be employed by different people to discriminate against liberals. That’s why the IRS scandal still matters. Let’s hope the courts don’t close the file on this issue before genuine accountability is provided.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Evidence In Anthony Weiner Sexting Scandal Leads To FBI Reopening Criminal Investigation Of Hillary Clinton

Monday, October 31st, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blogsie, The Lid}

It takes a lot for the FBI to reopen an investigation.  It takes even more for the FBI to reopen an investigation of a presidential candidate eleven days before the election. But that’s exactly what happened.

Early this afternoon it was announced that the FBI was reopening the Criminal Investigation of Hillary Clinton’s conduct as secretary of state, with regards to her email server and America’s secrets (and don’t listen to any Clinton surrogates who say it’s not a criminal investigation…the FBI doesn’t do any other kind of investigation).

The first inkling of the news was  a tweet from Rep. Jason Chaffetz

 

About ten minutes after Chaffetz’s tweet came this letter from FBI Director Comey to congressional leaders:

comey-letter

The new information didn’t come from Wikileaks, according to the NY Times,  it came from Huma Abedin (thanks to the Weiner sexting investigation scandal).Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, an aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony Weiner. Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, an aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony Weiner.

We don’t know when this new criminal investigation will be over, nor what exactly the new material is. However in this highly charged political year less than two weeks before election day, Comey would not reopen the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton and do it so publicly, unless he thought it was significant. Whether or not this will have any effect on people’s votes is also unknown. It may be that this kind of news is already baked in to people’s attitudes about Clinton…we shall see. Either way if you are a Trump supporter, it can’t hurt.

 

Jeff Dunetz

Worried About Obama: Netanyahu’s Request for Amona Industrial Quiet Becomes Scandal De Jure

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

It’s not easy to be the prime minister of the Jews, as Benjamin Netanyahu discovered yet again this week.

It began a week ago, in a meeting between Netanyahu and the residents of Amona and Ofra, the former being under the gun of demolition by order of the Supreme Court come December. In the meeting, as can be surmised from a Channel 2 News Wednesday report and from social media posts by the participants, Netanyahu warned that the Obama Administration could become very dangerous in its last two months in office, which is why they, the settlers, and the Israeli government must be careful not to provoke them.

As the news channel put it, the PM said, “It’s not only Amona, in the coming period between the elections in the US and the end of the Obama term our entire settlement enterprise is at risk.”

This was not the kind of explosive charge the Netanyahu government wanted to throw at the gates of the White House. In fact, Netanyahu was probably asking the residents for industrial quiet that would help keep the Administration’s attention on other things, such as the transition or the actual wars elsewhere on its doorstep.

On Wednesday night, Netanyahu’s office quickly denied the report, and stated, “Prime Minister Netanyahu never said the things that were attributed to him, but rather noted that past residents at the end of their term would promote initiatives that were not consistent with Israel’s interests. The Prime Minister reiterated that he hopes that [such misquotes] not be repeated, as he expects the US not to change its traditional policy of several decades to prevent anti-Israeli resolutions at the UN Security Council.”

And now we’ll all hold our breath until November 9, when a brave new world might just emerge for Israel…

JNi.Media

Colin Powell Says Clinton’s ‘People Have Been Trying to Pin’ Email Scandal on Him

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

It is the Clinton way, when in doubt blame someone else.  But they forget most people would trust former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s word over that of Hillary Clinton. Powell says team Clinton is trying to throw him under the bus for the email scandal.

According to reports Hillary Clinton told FBI officials that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had advised her to use a personal email account while she held the Secretary of State office herself.

In an statement on Friday, Powell said he didn’t remember the dinner conversation where he supposedly told her to use a private email but, “He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.” Notice the word unclassified.

People Magazine saw Colin Powell Saturday night and the former Sec of State complained that team Clinton was trying to throw him under the bus.

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell, 79, told PEOPLE Saturday night at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends fête in East Hampton, New York.

“The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” Powell added.
Why does the former diplomat believe this to be the case?

“Why do you think?” he said. “It doesn’t bother me. But it’s okay; I’m free.”

Let me ask, which former Secretary of State do you believe?

Jeff Dunetz

Unwitting Israelis May Still Be Eating Tainted Telma Cornflakes

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Members of the Knesset State Control Committee are being called back from their vacations to a special session on Tuesday for an investigation into the failure to to prevent salmonella-tainted Telma cornflakes from reaching consumers in Israel.

An inquiry team will arrive at the Unilever Israel Telma factory in Arad as well to conduct a “comprehensive inspection,” lawmakers said, and may consider legal action against the firm.

The Health Ministry has also set up a separate commission of inquiry, headed by Prof. Itamar Gruto, chief of public health services at the ministry.

“We are considering removing the license on the production line,” said Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) on Friday. “Unilever has failed in its conduct and lied to the public and to the Ministry of Health. We view that with severity.”

Inspectors at the manufacturer’s Unilever umbrella company discovered early Friday that 240 boxes of the popular cereal were nowhere to be found, according to a report by Channel 10 News.

All were part of the same shipment recalled by Telma last week due to the discovery of salmonella bacteria in one of the packages.

But it is feared the missing boxes have already reached consumers who shopped at the Shufersal supermarket chain. A customer called the Unilever hotline to report she had purchased a box of the cereal that matched the recalled product number.

Unilever contacted Shufersal to track down where the sale had taken place, eventually pinning it down to the store in Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak, in central Israel. Unilever Israel CEO Anat Gabriel also issued a public apology on Thursday night. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the recent events,” she said. “We apologize that we mistakenly announced that no product from the tainted line had reached the market.”

The incident sparked heightened concerns from the Health Ministry, which issued a statement Saturday night, warning that consumers who become ill to call a doctor right away. “We see in this announcement [that tainted boxes were sold] a result of negligence on the part of the company, both towards the public and toward the Health Ministry,” the ministry said.

“The species of salmonella [in question] is not rare or aggressive. It may cause diarrhea or fever. If these symptoms appear, please turn to your doctor.”

The missing packages, which were tracked, are not to be found in any of the storerooms nor on any supermarket shelves stocked by the distributors.

Unilever Israel also released a contamination notice to consumers that read: “Consumers who have in their possession a product on the above list are asked to not consume it and to contact Unilever’s consumer service desk, telephone 1-800-780-780, to obtain a replacement product and have the product in your possession collected.”

The “above list” referred to 240 750-gram packets of Telma brand cornflakes with kosher certification from the ultra-Orthodox Edah Haharedit organization and a production date of June 27, 2016.

The notice asked consumers to take a precautionary measure by avoiding several brands in particular such as Cornflakes of Champions cereal (Alufim) purchased on June 26 and 27; Eda HaHaredit kosher-certified Cornflakes purchased on June 23, June 27, 28 and 29; and Cocoman Tzedafim (Shells) cereal purchased on June 29 and 30.

Tazpit Press Service (TPS) contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

The Benghazi Scandal You Always Knew

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

If the results of a two-year investigation into the Benghazi attacks feel politically charged, it is because this is a scandal about the administration’s response in Washington to a deadly attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA annex. For this, Barack Obama’s administration only has itself to blame. That hasn’t stopped Democrats from casting about in a frenetic effort to portray the fruitful and disturbing Republican-led investigation into these attacks as a partisan witch hunt.

The report from House Republicans on the Benghazi Committee is straightforward. The committee found that the U.S. military made no effort to intervene on behalf of the besieged Americans under attack in Benghazi over the course of that 13-hour assault. “Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets,” the GOP report read, nothing was done to save the lives of the Americans who died only after hours of combat. It found that the White House relied on its political advisors and not its national security team to frame public perceptions of this attack so as to preserve the impression that the threat of Islamic terrorism overseas was on the decline.

The committee found that then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who led the charge to exculpate the White House in the wake of that attack, contradicted and humiliated the State Department. Her appearance on the Sunday morning news programs following that attack betrayed what the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs said was the fact that the White House was  “very worried about the politics” of Benghazi. While the White House remains selective about what it divulges regarding the president’s activities and whereabouts on the night of the attack, the committee learned that Obama declined his daily intelligence briefing the day after. Finally, the investigations uncovered that administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were convinced of the terroristic nature of the attack even while they were relating something very different about its character to the American people.

That seems simple enough. In the press, however, the race is on to transform the findings of this investigation into something far more complex.

To gauge the level of media investment in the Democratic narrative regarding this investigation, all one has to do is read the second paragraph of NBC News’ dispatch on the subject.

“The 800-page document represents the end of a costly, politically charged investigation led by House Republicans who sought to highlight Clinton’s role in the slipshod response to the attack,” read the report authored by Andrea Mitchell, Alex Moe, and Abigail Williams. “But after more than two years, the report, released Tuesday, instead paints a more nuanced portrait of incompetence.”

One of the reasons the press has deemed this investigation a failure for the GOP is they are committed to the view that the Republicans were engaged in a purely partisan exercise. They are judging it as they would judge a debate—by assessing winners and losers. From that rigid construct, reporters permit themselves to declare the GOP’s presumed target, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a survivor and their efforts a waste.

First, if this were a political fishing expedition designed to harm Hillary Clinton’s image, the idea that the Benghazi Committee’s investigation turned up nothing of note is simply delusional. It was the work of this committee that uncovered the existence of Hillary Clinton’s homebrew email server and the scandalous conduct of a State Department that allowed this breach of protocol and colluded in covering up its existence. Considering the time Clinton has spent defending herself on this issue, the legal jeopardy in which it has thrust her staff, and the damage it has done to her political image, to declare the committee’s investigation both a political exercise and a failure is an example of the wish fathering the thought.

That’s why the Benghazi investigation should not be seen as a political event. Like Hillary Clinton’s secret server, which quite possibly exposed classified American diplomatic cables to foreign governments, the attack was a national security failure. The administration’s response to that national security failure, not this later investigation of it, is the scandal. What’s more, it is a scandal that is intuitively understood by just about anyone of modest political competence. That is, six weeks out from an election, Barack Obama’s White House was more concerned about the politics of the Benghazi attack than they were the security implications.

Democrats can rend garments over the political nature of the House GOP’s report all they want. They can call dub the results of the investigation a “conspiracy theory on steroids,” and go off on bizarre fundraising-friendly tangents about Donald Trump in their report on the committee’s findings. Their panicked reaction betrays a justified fear. The investigation paints a pretty clear picture of politicized behavior of the worst variety—one that the public can very easily comprehend. Republicans have Occam’s razor on their side. The very simplest explanation for the White House’s behavior suffices. It is a story of an administration more concerned with winning elections than relating a full and unvarnished account of the deadly attack in Benghazi. Despite all the bluster from Democratic partisans, that’s not “nothing.”

Noah Rothman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-benghazi-scandal-you-always-knew/2016/06/29/

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