It was reported recently that the TSA has created a list to track so-called “troublesome passengers.” If this is true, why can’t American citizens do the same or even sue TSA agents, who are especially troublesome, like the ones who harass kids and little old ladies in airport security lines?
By Dr. Ron Paul
When I was in Congress and had to regularly fly between D.C. and Texas, I was routinely subjected to invasive “pat-downs” (physical assaults) by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). One time, exasperated with the constant insults to my privacy and dignity, I asked a TSA agent if he was proud to assault innocent Americans for a living.
I thought of this incident after learning that the TSA has been compiling a “troublesome passengers” list. The list includes those who have engaged in conduct judged to be “offensive and without legal justification” or disruptive of the “safe and effective completion of screening.” Libertarian journalist James Bovard recently pointed out that any woman who pushed a screener’s hands away from her breasts could be accused of disrupting the “safe and effective completion of screening.” Passengers like me who have expressed offense at TSA screeners are likely on the troublesome passengers list.
Perhaps airline passengers should start keeping a list of troublesome TSA agents. The list could include those who forced nursing mothers to drink their own breast milk, those who forced sick passengers to dispose of cough medicine, and those who forced women they found attractive to go through a body scanner multiple times. The list would certainly include the agents who confiscated a wheelchair-bound three-year-old’s beloved stuffed lamb at an airport and threatened to subject her to a pat-down. The girl, who was at the airport with her family to take a trip to Disney World, was filmed crying that she no longer wanted to go to Disney World.
The TSA is effective at violating our liberty, but it is ineffective at protecting our security. Last year, the TSA’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), conducted undercover tests of the TSA’s ability to detect security threats at airports across the country. The results showed the TSA staff and equipment failed to uncover threats 80% of the time. This is not the first time the TSA has been revealed to be incompetent. An earlier DHS study found TSA screenings and even the invasive pat-downs were utterly ineffective at finding hidden weapons.
The TSA’s “security theater” of treating every passenger as a criminal suspect while doing nothing to stop real threats is a rational response to the incentives the TSA faces as a government agency. If the TSA puts up an appearance of diligently working to prevent another 9/11 by inconveniencing and even assaulting as many travelers as possible, Congress will assume the agency is doing its job and keep increasing the TSA’s budget. Because the TSA gets its revenue from Congress, not from airline passengers, the agency has no reason to concern itself with customer satisfaction and feels free to harass and assault people, as well as to make lists of people who stand up for their rights.
Congress should end the TSA’s monopoly on security by abolishing the agency and returning responsibility for security to the airlines. The airline companies can contract with private firms that provide real security without treating every passenger as a criminal suspect. A private security firm that assaults its customers while failing to detect real dangers would soon go out of business, whereas the TSA would likely have its budget and power increased if there was another attack on the U.S.
If shutting down the TSA is too “radical” a step, Congress should at least allow individuals to sue TSA agents for assault. Anyone who has suffered unfair treatment by the TSA as a result of being put on the “troublesome passengers” list should also be able to seek redress in court.
Making TSA agents subject to the rule of law is an important step toward protecting our liberty and security.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
If This Woman Still Has a Job by the End of Today…
By AFP Staff
Why is it that radical liberal activists only believe free speech and the First Amendment apply to them? Take the case of Allison Hrabar. According to conservative news and commentary website “The Daily Caller,” Ms. Hrabar was one of the activists who chased Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. on the evening of June 12 over the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
A Trump staffer outed Ms. Hrabar to “The Daily Caller,” saying she was part of the group that walked into the restaurant and then proceeded to harass Ms. Nielsen until she left the establishment.
In video that was posted to the Internet documenting the demonstration, activists can be heard chanting, “Kirstjen Nielsen, you’re a villain, locking up immigrant children.”
Well, it turns out that Ms. Hrabar gets her paycheck from the Department of Justice working as a paralegal.
Over the past few years, dozens of conservatives have lost their jobs because of extracurricular activity that someone somewhere found to be offensive. AFP’s own reporter John Friend was one such victim when a radical keyboard activist tracked Friend down at his job with a local California government agency. Friend operates his own website where he writes about politics and history and occasionally dabbles in contentious issues.
This individual in question ended up harassing Friend’s boss, threatening to “expose” them for having Friend as an employee. Even though Friend was an exemplary employee who didn’t bring his politics to work, he was still unceremoniously fired.
Now, with her job apparently on the line, Ms. Hrabar is crying that she has a First Amendment right to protest after work hours.
This is how another conservative news website reported it: “The Washington Examiner spoke with Hrabar Wednesday and she defended her behavior as off government time and a use of her First Amendment rights.”
The problem is, apparently, Ms. Hrabar reportedly uses company time to tweet about politics.
According to “The Daily Caller,” Ms. Hrabar tweeted June 13 at 1:56 p.m., “Keeping families together in jail is not an acceptable solution.”
We at American Free Press actually support Ms. Hrabar’s First Amendment right to protest on her own time. However, you can’t have it both ways. If conservatives can be fired for their political views outside of work, then extreme liberals should not expect to be safe in their jobs, either.
You can watch the protest video here:
Deep Truth Conference
The nation’s major annual forum of progressive, anti-war activists continues to reject speakers addressing topics of the deep state and 9/11, so Dr. Kevin Barrett and other intrepid truth-tellers organized a “Left Out Forum.” The Deep Truth conference panel discussions and presentations are now available online.
By John Friend
A recently concluded conference that was live-streamed to countless viewers over the Internet wrapped up last weekend to much fanfare. Deep Truth: Visionaries Speak Out began Friday, June 8 and concluded Sunday, June 10, and featured a number of prominent political dissidents, independent researchers and journalists, peace activists, and others concerned with countering and exposing the lies and insidious agenda of the deep state manipulating our government and society.
The conference was organized and produced in part by No Lies Radio, “a controversial, hard-hitting, truth-telling nonprofit Internet radio station broadcasting 24/7 at noliesradio.org,” according to the conference’s About Us page. No Lies Radio is an affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network and has a history of live-streaming conferences and events dealing with 9/11 and the deep state, including the 9/11 Truth Film Festival held annually in the San Francisco Bay area and the Justice in Focus event organized by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth in New York City in 2016. No Lies Radio also hosts False Flag Weekly News, a weekly radio broadcast hosted by Dr. Kevin Barrett, a leading 9/11 truth advocate and contributor to this newspaper, and Professor Tony Hall, a Canadian academic that has focused on 9/11 and other controversial events, that is live-streamed to viewers around the world. Dr. Barrett was a leading organizer of the Deep TruthConferencethis year and hosted and participated in panel discussions over the course of the weekend.
The Deep TruthConference originated as a direct response to the hostility and censorship its organizers experienced when attempting to participate in the Left Forum, one of the largest progressive and anti-war networks in the country.
“The Deep Truth Conference is part of a continuing response to censorship by the Left Forum, the USA’s biggest leftist conference, held each year in New York City,” Dr. Kevin Barrett explained to this reporter recently. “In 2016, several pro-9/11 truth and anti-Zionist presenters made their debut at the Left Forum. I harshly criticized Noam Chomsky, even though going to the Left Forum to criticize Chomsky is like going to the Vatican to criticize the Pope. The next year, 2017, Zionist pressure groups, led by Spencer Sunshine’s Political Research Associates, forced the Left Forum to ban us. I called Sunshine to ask why he was afraid of our message, and we ultimately rented a room down the hall from the Left Forum and held the Left Out Forum. Like the previous year’s presentations, it was very well attended and well-received. This year, 2018, we were once again banned from the Left Forum, so the organizers protested and leafleted at the Left Forum to publicize the Deep Truth cyber-conference one week later.”
This year’s conference featured six separate panel discussions comprising some of the most important figures in the alternative media and 9/11 truth community, including: former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, a long-time peace activist and journalist; Alison Weir, an author who serves as executive director of If Americans Knew, a non-profit organization that focuses on the nefarious influence Israel and the pro-Israel lobby has on American politics; former congresswoman, peace activist and 9/11 skeptic Cynthia McKinney; Philip Giraldi, a former counter-terrorism specialist with the CIA and a leading critic of U.S. foreign policy; and Gilad Atzmon, the internationally renowned jazz musician, author, and critic of Zionism and the subversive influence of the pro-Israel lobby in the West; and other important speakers.
The panel discussions focused on a number of inter-related themes, including: the mass media, propaganda, and censorship; the oligarchic nature of Western political systems; false-flag and other deep state events; Zionism and Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine; and issues relating to geoengineering, smart meters, and 5G technology.
A major theme throughout the conference was, of course, 9/11, a topic Barbara Honegger, a well-known 9/11 researcher and former associate at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, focused on during her panel discussion.
“The Great Lie of who attacked America on 9/11 was used to railroad through the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) which, to this day, is still the legal rationale for all of the 9/11 wars,” Honegger recently explained to this reporter. “9/11 killed nearly 3,000 innocent civilians, but the 9/11 lie has killed millions, displaced untold millions more, cost our nation and its allies thousands of lives and trillions in treasure, and has been used as the pretext for an invasive mass-surveillance police state. Only a critical mass of public awareness will make it possible to bring the real perpetrators of this heinous act to justice. The online live-streamed Deep Truth: Visionaries Speak Out conference has enabled those of us dedicated and courageous enough to know and speak the truth to reach that critical mass.”
Dr. Barrett echoed Honegger’s sentiment, correctly arguing that 9/11 is still a bleeding wound that impacts the lives and perceptions of Americans to this day.
“The truth about the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, JFK, RFK, and the USS Liberty is important, but the general public doesn’t have a direct emotional connection to those events,” Dr. Barrett noted. “But much of the American public is still traumatized by 9/11, so the truth about 9/11 still has tremendous potential to affect hearts and minds, and thereby change policies.”
The video archives of the entire conference, including all panel discussions and speeches, may be accessed at noliesradio.org/deeptruth.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.
Activists Target Another FAU Scholar
Florida Atlantic University professor Dr. Marshall DeRosa is being harassed over his politically incorrect Southern scholarship and prison outreach efforts as part of the left’s perpetual attacks on the Koch brothers.
By S. T. Patrick
Since March, Dr. Marshall DeRosa has been under fire from journalists and activists across Florida and nationwide. The charges against DeRosa, a professor at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for 28 years, range from the innocuously political (“Koch-funded”) to the serious and potentially career-threatening (“white supremacist”).
The criticism of DeRosa had been a niche story until the left-leaning magazine The Nation published a hit piece on March 21, “How Charles Koch is Helping Neo-Confederates Teach College Students.” Since then, DeRosa has been the target of protests and harassment from across the FAU campus and beyond. Student activists, primarily from the FAU Democratic Socialists and FAU Student Power groups, have made DeRosa’s classes at FAU difficult endeavors. Some students have even gone so far as to post accusatory flyers inside DeRosa’s classrooms.
The attacks on DeRosa center on his ties to what critics are calling “white nationalist” and “neo-Confederate” groups such as the League of the South Institute (LSI), which, according to its own advertisement, is the “educational arm of the Mary Noel Kershaw Foundation.”
In an email exchange with this writer, DeRosa described the end of his tenure with the LSI. “My disengagement from the League of the South was a gradual process,” DeRosa wrote. “I don’t have a specific date, but I believe it began in the late 1990s. As an academic I was able and willing to give presentations about my scholarship. Professor Forrest McDonald [world-renowned historian at the University of Alabama] invited me to the first organizational meeting at the University of Alabama. The purpose was to provide an academic and research forum for scholars. It did not and was not intended to be engaged in politics.”
DeRosa is currently associated with the Abbeville Institute, an organization formed “to critically explore what is true and valuable in the Southern tradition.” Abbeville is named after the birthplace of former Sen. and Vice President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
What is confusing are the duplicitous motives of the protestors, as well as organizations such as Campus Reform and Media Matters for America. A majority of the headlines and flyers use the name “Koch” more prominently than they use “DeRosa.” Therefore, it can be assumed that DeRosa is just the target du jour for the left’s perpetual attacks on Charles and David Koch, the oil billionaires known for donating to Republican political causes. One of those causes, the Charles Koch Foundation’s education initiatives, allows FAU to fund the civics classes DeRosa teaches at the South Bay Correctional Facility (SBCF), a private prison operated by GEO Group, Inc.
DeRosa teaches approximately 130 students at SBCF. Almost 70% of his students are black. The remaining 30% are equally white and Hispanic. Sources within SBCF tell this writer that the students are “real fans” of both DeRosa and his classes. What he is teaching all of the South Bay students is uniform; he teaches about individual rights, duties, and dignity. In a reaction that may surprise his harshest critics, the classes seem to be affecting the black students most.
DeRosa told “WashingtonExaminer.com,” “(The black students are) coming to the realization that the government has been their enemy.”
These dictums must be surprising to an educational structure and prison-industrial complex that demands obedience to an authority, a reliance on government programs, and a blind faith in law. Yet they are ideals that DeRosa believes will make the prisoners valuable members of their communities and families after their time is served.
When asked why these classes were important to him, DeRosa responded with a quote from Matthew 25:36, “. . . I was in prison, and you came to me.”
The DeRosa story is really a crossroads of ongoing conflicts that have plagued Florida for decades. Florida is a state that is very Southern in culture, yet it attempts to promote itself as an impartial, fully modernized, coastal vacation destination. It is a state that has over 154,000 residents in jails or prisons. The state is also slowly moving toward prison privatization. That move had previously caused conflict on the FAU campus when in 2013 students protested over the GEO Group’s purchasing of the naming rights to the football stadium. DeRosa is simply caught in the current wave of old conflicts.
For DeRosa, however, the attacks and harassment have been very personal. In communication with this writer, as well as in reports culled from SBCF sources, DeRosa has been a polite intellectual with an intense devotion to both his students and his material. Unfortunately for DeRosa and his colleagues, he is also caught up in a schism that the historical community has yet to resolve adequately.
There has to be a way for scholars interested in southern or Confederate history to study it with impartiality and without the snap judgments that cause many to label them as “white supremacists” or “white nationalists” solely due to their interest and lack of volatile scorn. They should not have to reflexively despise the South or hate all of its institutions and principles to study it critically.
DeRosa is a scholar with an interest in the Confederacy, and he is an author of a book on the Confederate Constitution of 1861. He has done what many do in the field of history—he has associated with other historians with similar interests. That is professional; it is neither illegal nor immoral. It isn’t even a bad decision. It is the norm in any scholarly field.
DeRosa, to date, has been given the tacit support of an FAU administration that in 2016 fired James Tracy, the professor who contributed to a book on the Sandy Hook school shooting claiming he had some doubts about the official story surrounding the event. If FAU is an educational institution that seriously believes in the university being a forum for the marketplace of ideas, DeRosa will stay at FAU and his students at SBCF will continue to learn his valuable lessons.
S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.
Big Tech Teams Up With SPLC to Censor Opposing Views
By AFP Staff
If you’ve ever wondered why conservative viewpoints have been targeted overwhelmingly by big tech companies for censorship, you need look no further than a new report that documents how the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has slimed its way through the doors of the biggest tech companies out there, offering its services as the leading censor of conservative voices.
The SPLC fashions itself as a civil rights organization, but the truth is the Alabama-based organization is nothing more than a gatekeeper for left-wing speech, targeting mostly conservative organizations and individuals simply because they disagree with the radical left. Every year, the SPLC publishes a list of so-called hate groups that include churches and individuals. While a few far-left groups make that list, overwhelmingly it is composed of conservative organizations and individuals. Many groups have objected to being added to the list, but so far, as far as we know, no one has been removed from it.
An investigation by the Daily Caller Foundation, the organization behind the “Daily Caller” news and commentary website, has found that the SPLC is the driving force behind censorship that has been popping up on Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter.
For some time now, conservative voices on the Internet have been targeted by small, very vocal minorities, who have used social media to amplify their voices despite having little real support among the American public. Now, these individuals have used their shrill voices to demand the biggest technology companies in the world to comply with their demands. In order to avoid the hounding and the bad publicity, tech companies have largely acquiesced to the demands of the fringe left and have banned conservative voices.
A spokesman for Facebook, who spoke with the “Daily Caller,” said that the tech company works directly with the SPLC “to inform our hate speech policies.” In other words, anyone on the SPLC’s list of so-called hate groups is a target for censorship.
According to the “Daily Caller,” Amazon is by far the worst offender when it comes to turning over control to the SPLC. Amazon not only allows the SPLC to police its marketplace, but also allows the SPLC to actually ban charities—even churches—from its Smile charitable program, which allows customers to make a donation directly to their favorite charity along with their Amazon purchase. If Amazon customers only knew that the multi-billion-dollar company gives the SPLC the power to ban Christian groups from its charity program they might rethink patronizing the online retailer. The problem is, Amazon doesn’t publicize this, so the SPLC nefariously gets away with censoring opposing viewpoints outside the realm of public scrutiny.
The SPLC is currently being sued by several individuals and organizations that have found themselves on the radical group’s black list.
Let Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter know that you, like the majority of Americans, do not support censorship. Contact them directly with your thoughtful letters to tell them how you feel.
AFP will continue to cover this issue as new information arises.
#GoSilent Strives to Put Memory Back In Memorial Day
By AFP Staff
A campaign headed up again this year by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is encouraging Americans to remember the reason we celebrate Memorial Day. IAVA asks people to pledge to go silent for one minute at 3 p.m. to “honor, remember, and reflect.”
A pledge page is set up at IAVA.org where people can publicly or privately commit to this minute of silence, and to name the individual(s) being honored if so desired. “This Memorial Day, IAVA will lay a wreath before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and later pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. EST. Gather your friends and family across the country and pause with us for a national moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
IAVA, a non-partisan advocacy organization, was founded and is led by veterans, calling itself “the modern-day veterans hall for the current generation with over 400,000 members worldwide.” It strives to “connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans.” The group offers one-on-one case management help to assist veterans in finding needed services in addition to its advocacy work.
“This year, as a part of an ongoing campaign to elevate the voices of veterans and combat the unprecedented politicization of our military and veterans, #GoSilent is more important than it has ever been before,” Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA founder and CEO, told ConnectingVets.com.
“As veterans and our military are being used as political props and shields by special interest groups and politicians across the aisle, it has never been more important to come together as a nation to remember what this day is really about, and to honor the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our freedoms.”
Meet Me on the Dark Web
Given the modern-day requirement of remaining politically correct at all costs, philosophers, free thinkers, and others are retreating to a little-known Internet fringe area to have politically incorrect debates.
By John Friend
A burgeoning political and intellectual dissident movement known as the Intellectual Dark Web is gaining traction and popularity as the thought police and enforcers of political correctness that are attempting to control the prevailing political, social, and cultural discourse continue their tyrannical overreach into the lives of not only public intellectuals, journalists, and other outspoken thinkers, but also average Americans holding views that challenge the prevailing political orthodoxy.
The Intellectual Dark Web, or IDW, is comprised of a number of popular, yet politically incorrect and controversial, thinkers, academics, journalists, and independent political and cultural commentators that have openly rebelled from “the establishment”—major academic institutions, mainstream media platforms and outlets, and other avenues and venues promoting politically correct narratives and ideas. Many of these individuals began their careers operating in established institutions before rebelling and venturing out on their own in order to pursue their unique intellectual passions and challenge many of the pillars of mainstream, politically correct narratives shaping our political discourse today.
At its heart, the IDW is a movement of independent thinkers who are determined to buck the shackles of political correctness and champion free speech, free thought, and free intellectual and political inquiry, at least on many topics. A recent profile of the IDW published by The New York Times describes the group as “a collection of iconoclastic thinkers, academic renegades, and media personalities who are having a rolling conversation—on podcasts, YouTube, and Twitter, and in sold-out auditoriums—that sounds unlike anything else happening, at least publicly, in the culture right now.”
Many of its members have either been forced out, shunned, or otherwise ostracized from establishment circles and organizations, and have developed and founded their own media platforms, using YouTube, social media outlets like Twitter, and personal websites and blogs to express themselves and gain an extraordinary following.
Notable names openly identifying with the IDW include, among others: Sam Harris, the popular podcaster, neuroscientist, and atheist; Ben Shapiro, a conservative pundit, writer, and podcaster who formerly worked at Breitbart News; Jordan Peterson, one of the most important—and controversial— public intellectuals in Canada; Dave Rubin, a popular comedian and commentator who has made his name on the Internet; and Joe Rogan, a podcaster and commentator in the martial arts world.
Members of the IDW often disagree politically and have a wide range of opinions and views on the political spectrum. But one thing they all agree on is that free speech and free intellectual inquiry are under direct assault in America and the wider Western world, where political correctness and intellectual tyranny prevail. Virtually all of them have been purged from major institutions and establishment-serving organizations, which are increasingly hostile to persons expressing politically incorrect opinions, for their intellectual and political pursuits.
“People are starved for controversial opinions,” Rogan, the popular podcast host and commentator, explained to the Times. “And they are starved for an actual conversation.” That’s where the IDW comes in. Rogan, like other members of the IDW, has seen a dramatic increase in this audience in recent years, and now his podcast reaches millions of listeners every month. Other members of the IDW draw enormous crowds for their public speeches and presentations, while others generate millions of views on their YouTube channels.
The rise of the IDW and other independent media outlets and venues is certainly a welcome development in the eyes of critical thinkers, free speech activists, and those of us concerned about the future of intellectual inquiry in the West.
As the controlled corporate mass media and other establishment-serving organizations continue to be exposed as the deceptive, manipulative, and freedom-crushing entities they truly are, the flourishing of the IDW and other independent thinkers brings hope and light to a potentially dark future of political correctness, censorship, and intellectual tyranny.
John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.
Google: Christianity Must Be Censored
Internet giant Google now says a popular Lutheran publisher’s faith-based advertising is bad for business. Concordia Publishing’s CEO explains that the company is standing firm: “We are not willing to sacrifice our beliefs to comply with Google’s requirements.”
By Dave Gahary
Concordia Publishing House (CPH) is the publishing arm of the 2 million-member Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a conservative denomination that rejects ordaining women, abortion, and homosexual marriage. Founded in 1869, CPH is the oldest publishing company west of the Mississippi River and the world’s largest distinctly Lutheran publishing house. According to its website, it publishes “the world’s most widely circulated daily devotional resource,” printing and distributing over 850,000 copies quarterly, and its children’s books have been published in the millions of copies. But none of this matters to the world’s most visited website, Google.com, who has refused to do business with CPH.
CPH president and CEO Dr. Bruce G. Kintz explained in a Facebook post: “Google ads will no longer accept anything related to the cph.org domain. They stated the reason is because of the faith we express on our website. [A CPH associate] was told, as an example, that things like our Bible challenge on our [Vacation Bible School] webpage would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads.”
Google uses its AdWords division to bring in almost 100% of its revenue. It also owns censor-crazy YouTube, which has recently banned thousands of online videos on “controversial” topics like the “Holocaust” and school shootings, topics that have the potential of threatening the powers-that-be.
This newspaper’s website has been the target of YouTube’s censors, who took particular interest in audio interviews this reporter has done about the many anomalies of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which many believe did not unfold the way the government-mainstream-media complex has presented. In fact, AFP’s YouTube page has been scoured and purged of all interviews that present an alternative view of Sandy Hook. The most recent one removed simply discussed the results of a court case involving a parent of one of the victims and researcher Wolfgang Halbig, the school safety consultant at the center of the campaign to get more answers from government and school officials about what happened there.
Google, however, is itself not free from controversy. It is the target of criticism over “privacy concerns, tax avoidance, antitrust, censorship, and search neutrality.” Its mission statement, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” had as its unofficial slogan, “Don’t be evil,” which if it wasn’t so pathetically ironic might be funny. In 2015, “Don’t be evil” was replaced by “Do the right thing,” another laughable phrase.
Google informed CPH on April 23 that all the publishing house’s ads were “disabled due to a violation of Google’s policy for advertising based on interests and location.”
Specifically, the type of ads targeted are known as “remarketing” ads. As explained in a post on the CPH website, entitled “Concordia Publishing House Responds to Google Disabling of Faith-Based Advertising,” these type of “ads reach out to individuals who have made a decision to visit a CPH webpage. Google defines this as showing ads to people who’ve visited your website or used your mobile app. When people leave your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads across their different devices.”
On its website, under the “Prohibited categories” heading, Google AdWords spells out what is verboten, which they consider “legally or culturally sensitive”:
Alcohol; gambling; clinical trial recruitment; restricted drug terms; users under 13; personal hardships; health; negative financial status; relationships; commission of a crime; abuse and trauma; imposing negativity; identity and belief; sexual orientation; political affiliation; political content; trade union membership; race and ethnicity; religious belief; marginalized groups; transgender identification; sexual interests; birth control; non-family safe and adult content.
The Internet is, primarily, a tool to get information and products, as is illustrated in the top 20 keywords that demand the highest costs per mouse click: “insurance; loans; mortgage; attorney; credit; lawyer; donate; degree; hosting; claim; conference call; trading; software; recovery; transfer; gas/electricity; classes; rehab; treatment; cord blood.” Keywords refers to words that are used most often in searches to find products or information.
After their ads were rejected, CPH contacted Google and was told “remarketing ads based on religious beliefs was not allowed.” CPH then requested a manager review this decision, which was denied, and were told the only way to bring the ads “into compliance” was to remove all “faith-based content.”
Soon after, a Google AdWords representative explained, “the disapproval resulted from the fact that the items in the ad and on the CPH website refer to Jesus and/or the Bible.” If CPH removed all references to Jesus or the Bible, their ads would be reinstated.
Kintz wasn’t amused.
“[W]e are not willing to sacrifice our beliefs to comply with Google’s requirements,” he said in a statement. “It’s no secret that society is becoming increasingly hostile to the Christian faith. This increasing hostility makes our mission of proclaiming that faith through the books, Bibles, and curriculum that we produce all the more important. We will continue to proclaim the faith because we know without a doubt that the Word of the Lord endures forever.”
The way Google treated CPH is all the more incredible and disgusting knowing that in the U.S., the largest advertising market in the world, most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day, mostly revolving around the three Ss: sex, stocks, and sports.
Hey, Google! Let us see all the ads out there, and let us decide. Do the right thing.
Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information.
Fake News Conglomerate Strangling AFP
Attacks by Some of the Biggest Companies in the World Threaten to Cripple Our Honest Newspaper
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What Ails the President is a 61-page collection of three powerful, in-depth articles by Barnes Review history magazine editor John Tiffany that have never before appeared in print
The first section of this booklet takes us on a tour of the various health maladies of the presidents, from Washington up to the modern era. When did their illnesses affect their ability to run the nation, and which of their health problems was kept from the public? You might be surprised to learn just which presidents had some very serious health problems and how their presidencies were affected by their ailments.
In the second section, Tiffany gives us the history of the right and duty of the citizenry to arm itself, not only to ward off invaders but also for personal protection. It’s a long and proud history going back to the days of the kings of England, now ingrained in our American psyche.
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It is “likely that new gun control laws will disproportionately harm African-Americans and other minorities” based on history, explains Ron Paul. It makes sense for progressives who are concerned about minority rights to join with libertarians and conservatives in working to protect gun rights.
By Ron Paul
The recent shooting at YouTube’s California headquarters is certain to add momentum to the push for more gun control. Even before the shooting, YouTube was working to undermine gun rights by banning videos promoting firearms, including videos teaching safe gun usage.
As is usually the case, this latest shooting took place in a state with restrictive gun laws. In fact, California’s gun laws may be the nation’s most onerous. California not only registers all firearm purchases, but California residents must obtain permission from their local police before they can legally concealed carry guns. Among the things a Californian must do to obtain permission to legally concealed carry a gun is show “good cause” why the government should allow him to concealed carry.
California’s Mulford Act prohibits lawful gun owners from openly carrying legal firearms. This law was passed in the late 1960s and signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. The impetus for the law was the Black Panthers’s armed patrols aimed at protecting the residents of African-American neighborhoods from police brutality.
The Mulford Act is hardly the only example of a gun control law motivated at least in part by racial animus. As Tiffany Ware of the Brown Girls Project, an initiative that teaches African-American women responsible firearms ownership and usage, says, “Throughout much of American history gun control was a method for keeping blacks and Hispanics, ‘in their place.’ ” One of the earliest examples of gun control was laws prohibiting slaves from owning guns. After slavery was ended, Jim Crow laws denied African-Americans respect for their Second Amendment rights.
While the modern gun control movement is not explicitly racist, it is still likely that new gun control laws will disproportionately harm African-Americans and other minorities. Concerns about this are increased by cases like that of 32-year-old Philando Castile. A police officer who had stopped Castile’s car shot Castile after Castile told the officer he had a firearm in his car.
Those behind the new gun control push ignore how gun control has been used against African-Americans in the past and how new gun control laws will disproportionately harm racial minorities. This may seem ironic since many gun control supporters are progressives or cultural Marxists who specialize in finding racism in every aspect of American politics and culture. However, considering that may other policies favored by progressives—such as minimum wage laws that limit job opportunities and occupational licensing that makes it impossible for many to start their own businesses—negatively impact minorities and lower-income Americans, perhaps progressive support for gun control is not so ironic.
What is indisputably ironic is that many of those working to give the Trump Administration new authority to ban guns are the same people who regularly and vigorously oppose President Trump. These so-called “never-Trumpers” no doubt cheered when President Trump endorsed taking an individual’s guns away without due process. These “never-Trumpers” also cheered when Attorney General Jeff Sessions banned bump stocks. A bump stock increases the speed at which a rifle fires. By banning bump stocks, Sessions is taking an action President Obama’s anti-gun rights Attorney General Eric Holder said he refused to take without explicit congressional authorization.
History, including American history, shows that the right to keep and bear arms can be especially valuable to racial and other minorities. Therefore, progressives who are sincerely concerned about protecting minorities from oppressive government should join libertarians and constitutional conservatives in defending the Second Amendment.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
Waco Massacre: Janet Reno’s Truth
On this 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP concludes its series of articles looking back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a peaceful group of American citizens. This is part four of that four-part series. Parts one to three follow, in full, as published in previous issues of American Free Press.
Janet Reno Responsible for Waco Massacre
Part 4 of 4: The deadly fire at Waco was started by strategies approved by Janet Reno’s Justice Department.
By S. T. Patrick
The plan for the raid on what the mainstream media strategically called a “compound” worked its way up the chain of command to Attorney General Janet Reno on April 12, 1993. It was a two-step plan that the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) hoped would end at step one—injecting tear gas into two areas of Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidian home and church complex outside of Waco, Texas. They had hoped that this would drive the men, women, and children out and the engagement would be short-lived. Part two of the plan to lay siege to Mount Carmel involved tearing down the outer walls in an effort to expose those inside.
Reno was not alone in her decisions. She was often consulted not only by the commanders in the field, but also by FBI Director William Sessions and Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell, a Clinton administration appointee tied to the same Arkansas scandals that would trail the president and first lady throughout their tenure in D.C.
Reno suggested a scheme that would involve waiting until the water supply to the home was so depleted that the inhabitants would be thirsted out of Mount Carmel and into the hands of government officials. A later Justice Department report stated that the FBI convinced Reno that “(Branch Davidian leader David) Koresh was rationing water to ensure discipline.” Reno quickly abandoned the water strategy and instead asked the FBI for a written report on entrance options.
The FBI’s report was received by the attorney general on April 17. She quickly gave her approval to an assault plan that would begin on April 19. What was to be a 48-hour plan lasted approximately five minutes.
“It was not law enforcement’s intent that this was to be D-Day,” a later Justice Department report claimed.
At 6:02 a.m., M6OA1 tanks, modified for demolition, began tearing through the walls of Mount Carmel. The tanks then began firing CS gas into the building. Shortly thereafter, in protection of their home, the residents of Mt. Carmel fired shots at the armored CEVs (combat engineering vehicles). The operations plan, approved by Reno,called for an escalation of government action if the tanks were fired upon. The order of the shots and the identities of the shooters would remain a controversy within the Waco research community.
Regardless of the order of shots, return fire on the part of the Davidians was a certainty. Unlike many Americans, there are those who believe in the literal protection of property rights and the right to exist as a community. When they are threatened and fired upon by others—in an official governmental capacity or not—they will fire back. Self-defense laws protect individuals from other individual intrusions, but it is assumed that individuals are simply supposed to acquiesce when the intruder is a government entity over-aggressively and mortally enforcing its will. The Branch Davidians outside of Waco believed differently.
The Justice Department report detailed Reno’s reactions as those of a surprised attorney general and not as the country’s leading law enforcement official who had pre-planned for all likely outcomes. In defending Reno, allowing her a human reaction to the commanders’ militaristic actions, the report also made the attorney general look incompetent.
Reno “did not read the prepared statement carefully,” the report said. “Nor did she read the supporting documentation. She read only a chronology.” If that is true, then Reno approved fatal violence against American citizens after reading an outline in lieu of carefully studying the actual plans.
Around 11:40 a.m., after a vapor had formed from the over 400 ferret rounds fired into the home, the building caught fire. Within a half hour, Mount Carmel was destroyed and those inside had died.
Reno, President Bill Clinton, and FBI spokesmen all immediately began claiming that the Branch Davidians had started the fire. The BATF and the FBI made sure that no evidence could be investigated, just as Branch Davidian spokesman Steve Schneider said they would on March 10, over a month before the blaze.
“If anybody wanted to come here and burn the place down, kill all the people, what evidence would be left?” Schneider had asked, a month earlier.
Over the next month, Schneider made multiple statements predicting that government agents would, indeed, burn Mount Carmel to the ground in an effort to destroy evidence.
Schneider was correct in his predictions, despite a FBI negotiator once telling him, “No, we’re not going to do something like that.”
In a statement as callous as Hillary Clinton’s later comment regarding Muammar Qaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died.”), President Clinton summed up the entire horrific tragedy at Waco in one line: “Some religious fanatics murdered themselves.”
On a February 2001 episode of “Larry King Live,” former White House aide Linda Tripp alleged that it was the first lady who had pressured the late Vince Foster, Mrs. Clinton’s partner at Rose Law Firm and Deputy White House Counsel for the Clinton administration, to find a solution to the Waco standoff.
According to author Robert Morrow, “Foster, at Mrs. Clinton’s direction, transmitted the order to move on the Branch Davidians’ Waco compound, which culminated in a military style attack on the wooden building.”
Mike McNulty, producer of the documentary “Waco: Rules of Engagement,” also believed Mrs. Clinton gave the orders from the White House. In 1993, and throughout the Clinton administration, Mrs. Clinton did not have an appointed or elected role in the administration. She had neither been elected, nor had she ever been confirmed by the Senate. She assumed power by proxy, the definition of a shadow government.
Regardless of who gave the orders at the White House level, Reno is on record as having approved the tactics used against the Branch Davidians. She also approved the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as the only Oklahoma City conspirators, despite evidence that others, including a Middle Eastern man seen with McVeigh, were involved. In 2000, it was Reno who ordered Elian Gonzalez returned to his father’s custody in Cuba. Whether or not she made warm speeches for progressive groups before her 2016 death, she is still responsible for the 80-plus lives lost at Mount Carmel, 21 of which were children. For Reno, the first woman to serve as attorney general, this is her legacy. This is her truth.
Published in American Free Press Issue 17 & 18, April 23 & 30, 2018.
The Waco Massacre
Part 1 of 4: On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP begins a series of articles by S. T. Patrick to look back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a group of American citizens. This is part one of a four-part series.
By S. T. Patrick
Twenty-five years ago, on April 19, 1993, America witnessed one of the most indelible moments of the Clinton presidency as it unfolded on cable news. In a field outside of the small community of Axtell, Texas—13 miles from Waco—a tank, on orders from the U.S. government, powered its way through the front door of Mount Carmel, a home to nearly 100 Branch Davidians. Mount Carmel was quickly ablaze in a gaseous inferno that would take the lives of approximately 80 Davidians, including almost 20 children.
Many questions lie in the smoldering ashes of Mount Carmel. The government spokesmen and national media owned the narrative immediately following the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) siege at Mount Carmel. Made-for-television films such as “In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco,” which presented the government’s view of the earlier Feb. 28 conflict with the Davidians, had been made even before the April siege.
In the years following the fire, the political right lifted its own public-relations torch regarding what is now simply known as “Waco.” Militias, Second Amendment activists, and libertarians have all pushed their own causes and anger through the hazy lens of Mount Carmel.
Dick J. Reavis, a former senior editor of Texas Monthlyand reporter for the Dallas Observer, wanted to take the story beyond the conflicts of current events. In 1995 Reavis released The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, which studied the origins of the Branch Davidians and the trek that found them in McLennan County, Texas, just 90 minutes from Dallas.
In an interview with this writer, Reavis pointed out that the media never discussed the demographics of the Davidian community outside of Waco. They preferred, instead, to paint the Davidians as right-wing gun nuts and religious zealots. To the mainstream media, the labels are synonymous with white racism. Reavis describes a multi-cultural community that is much different.
“There were about 120 people, perhaps 130, living in Mount Carmel at that time,” Reavis said.
“The press never pointed this out—or skipped over it—but those people were of all races on the face of the Earth. About 20% of them were mainly West Indians, but black. . . . In other words, you had an integrated community. There were Asians and there were some Mexican-Americans. The rest were white. There were several nationalities—Brits, Australians, all the West Indies.”
Most of the Branch Davidians had been born into and raised in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, domestically and internationally. Those living in Waco in 1993 had located there out of a belief that David Koresh was a successor to Ellen White, the founder of the church. They believed that Koresh was next in a line of leaders who could decode prophecies.
The pilgrimage to the McLennan County countryside dates back to Victor Houteff and a schism within the church. Houteff founded the Branch Davidians based upon the ideology of an imminent second coming of Jesus Christ, an apocalyptic event that, it is believed, will also see the final defeat of the armies of “Babylon.” Financial instability led them to Texas rather than to Israel, their intended destination. After Houteff’s death and a failed Armageddon prediction from his widow, control of Mount Carmel—the Davidian home named after the mountain in Joshua 19:26—fell to Benjamin and Lois Roden.
An eventual struggle for leadership ensued after Mr. Roden’s death. Mrs. Roden supported Vernon Howell (who changed his name to David Koresh in 1990) in the position of prophet, because her son, George, was unfit for the position due to mental instability. In 1987, after threatening a Texas court with sexually transmitted diseases if it did not rule in his favor, George Roden was jailed for contempt of court. In 1989 he killed another Davidian with an axe. Found not guilty due to insanity, Roden spent the remainder of his life in an asylum. Koresh assumed the leadership of the Branch Davidians and control of Mount Carmel.
The Davidians at Mount Carmel saw themselves as Messianic Jews who celebrated the traditions of Judaism with the ideology of Christianity. Each generation would have a messenger sent from God that would interpret end-times prophecy. The prophet would then lead the flock via his or her interpretation of God’s word, prophecy, and a biblical analysis of current events.
According to Reavis, Koresh and the Branch Davidians had no problems with local law enforcement and even assisted the local sheriff on one drug case. When local law enforcement found out that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were going to raid Mount Carmel, local officials asked, “Why don’t you just go talk to (Koresh)?”
Reavis is most perplexed by the way political groups have taken up the case since 1993. The Branch Davidians, he explained, were completely apolitical. They aligned with no political ideology and believed American politics were minutia when faced with the Second Coming. Koresh pragmatically believed he could profit from second-hand firearm upgrades and sales if a national gun-grab occurred, but he was not a boisterous Second Amendment advocate.
“What the remaining Davidians think of the gun rights question is, ‘Why do you bring that up?’ ” Reavis explained. “They think they were attacked for religious reasons. They do not believe—because they are ‘End Timers’—that human beings can do anything to improve our circumstances on Earth. Therefore, banning guns or allowing guns is a moot question, because it has to do with life on Earth, and they are anti-political.”
Rather than fleeing the compound when the February raid and the April siege began to threaten their lives, Reavis describes a more devout group of believers that chose to stay. In one intense moment during the fatal burning of Mount Carmel, one Davidian asked another what they would do next. “I guess we wait on the Lord,” he was told.
“They thought they were in something like Noah’s Ark,” Reavis explained. “You don’t jump off Noah’s Ark. They thought that the outside world would be destroyed and not the inside of Mount Carmel. If that was wrong, they also thought, they would go immediately to Heaven. I think there were some who stayed in because of their religious convictions. Those who did flee ran into a great theological problem. . . . (God) wanted to take those people (inside Mount Carmel) to Heaven, and I ran out on that chance.”
Originally published in American Free Press Issue 3 & 4, Jan. 15 & 22, 2018.
David Koresh: Fact vs. Myth
Part 2 of 4: Why was the U.S. government so bent on taking down Waco religious leader?
By S.T. Patrick
The central figure in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) and FBI attack on the Branch Davidian home and church outside of Waco, Texas, was David Koresh. Many have called him a “cult leader,” yet to other researchers, he is a victim of religious and anti-constitutional persecution.
In 1959, Koresh was born Vernon Howell to a 14-year-old mother who would later turn to prostitution. His step-father, a violent alcoholic, was a carpenter-turned-bartender. His biological father had left the family upon meeting another teenage girl. Born dyslexic, Koresh lamented that he spent years being referred to by schoolmates as “Mr. Retardo.” It has been alleged by some researchers that Koresh was gang-raped by a group of older boys when he was eight years old. The peer abuse was so intense that he dropped out of high school to become a non-union carpenter.
Koresh picked up religion through his grandparents, both Seventh-Day Adventists. While working out of Dallas, he met a girl who became pregnant. Bothered by this as fornication and against biblical principles, he felt it was his duty to marry her. She declined, had an abortion, became pregnant again, and then had the child. Conflicted by his own personal decisions, the results of which left him alone, he drifted to Mount Carmel.
In the mid-1980s, while on a Davidian excursion to Israel, Koresh claimed he was taken up into a sort of spaceship called a merkaba. While inside, the knowledge of the Bible was implanted into his mind. Those around Koresh later said they noticed an instantaneous yet incredible change during this period. He had quickly gained the ability to quote long passages of the Bible without the use of an aid or text. After what other Davidians saw as a spiritual miracle, Koresh’s legitimacy and authority within the group grew. Koresh eventually won leadership over the Branch Davidians and Mount Carmel in 1987 when the mentally unstable George Roden killed another Davidian in a gunfight.
Much ado has been made about Koresh’s affinity for underage girls. The attention paid to the issue has been so deafening that it has overtaken many of the other pertinent religious, constitutional, and legal debates surrounding the Waco story.
Mark Breau, a former Davidian, left the group and reported Koresh to law enforcement for child molestation. The district attorney’s office investigated the complaint, and although they suspected it was true, the parents of the girls refused to either confirm or complain. It was also Breau who told authorities that Koresh had firearm pieces that would convert an AR-15 to an automatic firing weapon.
Dick J. Reavis, the author of The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, has framed the debate over Koresh’s marriages to underage girls as a religious matter rather than a legal or societal one.
“In the Book of Revelation, which is behind a lot of Koresh’s theology, there are 24 judges who stand in judgment over people,” Reavis explains. “During the End Times, the judges are all born to virgins. Koresh said that he had to father those 24 judges. So the parents who followed [Koresh] thought it was a great honor for their daughters to be picked,” legally underage or not.
Reavis, without making a moral or legal argument favoring either side of the debate, points out the constitutional controversy that exists when genuine religious convictions conflict with both American law and societal norms. The legal age for marriage in many countries is determined by religious practices, whereas in America it can range from the age of 13 (New Hampshire, with court approval) to 21 (Mississippi). Koresh believed his relationships were marriages based upon religious practices.
“What I found most interesting about Mount Carmel was not the fireworks but what it reveals about American society,” Reavis said. “We say we have freedom of religion, but prohibit sex with women under the age of 16 or 18, depending on what state you are in. You can believe what you want, but anything you practice is regulated if the government wants to regulate it. The same thing is true about guns. We claim you have the right to bear firearms, but everyone knows that is regulated. So what happened exposes our mythology . . . freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of gun ownership . . . it exposes our mythology and teaches us a lot about where we are still living today.”
It is not uncommon for members of majority religious denominations to label minority religious sects as “brainwashed cults.” The difference between a so-called cult and a majority religion often boils down to the number of members. Mainstream historians will deride the idea of Koresh as anything other than a cult leader. But at some point, Americans will have to define and deal with the true meaning of freedom.
Minority religions, minority leaders, and minority thought always test the certitude of the majority’s beliefs.
For Koresh and the other 80-plus Davidians who died in the fires of Mount Carmel, the Constitution didn’t work. For the many who supported the raid and still believe in its validity today, the Constitution worked just as they wanted.
Originally published in American Free Press Issue 7 & 8, Feb. 12 & 19, 2018.
Unanswered Waco Questions
Part 3 of 4: Mysteries still loom over the U.S. federal attack on peaceful Waco church members.
By S.T. Patrick
Twenty-five years after a gaseous inferno burned down the last remnants of the Mount Carmel Church near Waco, Texas, unanswered questions puzzle investigators, historians, and journalists still trying to make sense of one of the worst tragedies of the 1990s.
The nature of the gas injected into Mount Carmel has been a controversial issue for scholars and bureaucrats alike. A Justice Department report noted that Attorney General Janet Reno had been concerned that CS gas would harm pregnant women and young children. At a briefing two days after Ms. Reno expressed her concerns, a Ph.D. from an Army research center assured her that no laboratory tests regarding CS gas had been performed on children but that “anecdotal evidence was convincing that there would be no injury.”
CS gas derives from an aerosolized white powder. It is a lachrymator irritant, which stimulates the shedding of tears. According to OSHA manuals, it also causes skin and respiratory irritation. Though an adviser had told Ms. Reno otherwise, CS gas is also flammable. In fact, one CS manufacturer explained that when burned, CS particles can create lethal fumes.
Named for the American inventors that created it—B.B. Corson and R.W. Stoughton—CS gas has been available since 1928. Though its use is quite obviously effective, it has been banned for use in warfare in over 100 countries, including the United States. It is not illegal, however, for a country to use it on its own people.
Amnesty International has reported that indoor use of CS gas has been known to cause death. Manufacturers, therefore, suggest that its use be limited to large, outdoor areas.
An Army manual on the quelling of civil disturbances highlights its effectiveness on people by stating, “Generally, persons reacting to CS are incapable of executing organized and concerted actions.” It goes on to state that affected persons may be rendered unable to vacate an area.
Waco victim Wayne Martin, who died of smoke inhalation, was found with traces of cyanide and burning CS particles. Cyanide is quite often a byproduct of house fires.
The injection of CS gas into Mount Carmel was a governmental decision. Many have tried to either ascertain or even guess what the motive behind the use of CS gas might have been. If the ramming of a tank through the front door was not enough of an eye-opening maneuver for the Davidians to exit their home, why use gas that could burn them, blind them, disorientate them, and start a towering inferno? What was the government’s goal?
Many have also wondered if the government or the Davidians fired first on April 19, 1993. There were clear bullet holes on the inside of the front door, yet the source of the bullets remains unclear. It would seem that the Branch Davidians were firing from inside Mount Carmel, yet researchers such as Dick J. Reavis, author of The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, point out that once the door was involuntarily opened, holes seen on the internal side of the door could have also come from outside the home.
The forensics evidence would have given investigators a fuller picture had it not been destroyed in the fire as well.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) claimed that videotape from three cameras pointing at the door would prove that the Davidians, and David Koresh, specifically, fired first. The problem with that assertion is that the BATF seems to have lost the videotapes. The BATF’s onsite activities log for April 19, 1993 is also missing.
After the government had contended that no pyrotechnics were used at Mount Carmel, researcher Michael McNulty found expended tear gas and “flash bang” grenades in the evidence collected at Waco.
Ms. Reno stated that the FBI assured her that the pyro was used hours before the fire was ignited.
McNulty also found a memo stating that the Combat Applications Group—now called Delta Force—was present. The FBI had initially denied the presence of Delta Force operatives at Waco. Both the FBI and Ms. Reno, however, eventually admitted their presence but also claimed that Delta Force was “just observing.”
The horrors of Waco remain fresh in the hearts and minds of those who care about governmental abuses of power. And to those interested in the case, questions may always exist. Why didn’t the FBI simply talk to Koresh, as local law enforcement had suggested? Why did the FBI and BATF prepare as if it were a military invasion? If the children’s well-being was of the utmost concern to government forces, why was there such widespread support for the use of CS gas? Who fired first? If there was any compassion for the innocents inside, why were there no rescue efforts as soon as the fire began?
Waco is a puzzle. It is a labyrinth in which all the passions of contemporary political, religious, and constitutional debate are intertwined. To adequately answer one question is to make the others all the more difficult. The saddest reality is that 25 years later, we don’t appear to know much more than we knew after the initial independent investigations were completed. With so much of the evidence left in ashes, the questions may always remain unanswered.
Originally published in American Free Press Issue 9 & 10, Feb. 26 and March 5, 2018.
S. T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.
Neocons Are Back With a Big War Budget and Big War Plans
The military-industrial complex has yet again taken the lead in U.S. government spending, receiving “the largest military budget in history” in the recent $1.3 trillion omnibus bill. And, as Ron Paul explains, “the neocons continue to do very well in this Administration.”
By Ron Paul
On Friday, President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill for 2018. The $1.3 trillion bill was so monstrous that it would have made the biggest spender in the Obama Administration blush. The image of leading congressional Democrats Pelosi and Schumer grinning and gloating over getting everything they wanted—and then some—will likely come back to haunt Republicans at the midterm elections. If so, they will deserve it.
Even President Trump admitted the bill was horrible. As he said in the signing ceremony, “There are a lot of things that we shouldn’t have had in this bill, but we were, in a sense, forced—if we want to build our military. . . .”
This is why I often say: Forget about needing a third political party—we need a second political party! Trump is admitting that to fuel the warfare state and enrich the military-industrial complex, it was necessary to dump endless tax dollars into the welfare state.
But no one “forced” President Trump to sign the bill. His party controls both houses of Congress. He knows that no one in Washington cares about deficits so he was more than willing to spread some Fed-created money at home to get his massive war spending boost.
And about the militarism funded by the bill? Defense Secretary James Mattis said at the same press conference that, “As the President noted, today we received the largest military budget in history, reversing many years of decline and unpredictable funding.”
He’s right and wrong at the same time. Yes, it is another big increase in military spending. In fact, the U.S. continues to spend more than at least the next seven or so largest countries combined. But his statement is misleading. Where are these several years of decline? Did we somehow miss a massive reduction in military spending under President Obama? Did the last Administration close the thousands of military bases in more than 150 countries while we weren’t looking?
Of course not.
On militarism, the Obama administration was just an extension of the Bush administration, which was an extension of the militarism of the Clinton administration. And so on. The military-industrial complex continues to generate record profits from fictitious enemies. The mainstream media continues to play the game, amplifying the war propaganda produced by the think tanks, which are funded by the big defense contractors.
This isn’t a conspiracy theory. This is conspiracy fact. Enemies must be created to keep Washington rich, even as the rest of the country suffers from the destruction of the dollar. That is why the neocons continue to do very well in this Administration.
While Trump and Mattis were celebrating big military spending increases, the president announced that John Bolton, one of the chief architects of the Iraq war debacle, would become his national security advisor. As former CIA analyst Paul Pillar has written, this is a man who, while at the State Department, demanded that intelligence analysts reach pre-determined conclusions about Iraq and WMDs. He cooked the books for war.
Bolton is on the record calling for war with Iran, North Korea, even Cuba! His return to a senior position in government is a return to the unconstitutional, immoral, and failed policies of pre-emptive war.
Make no mistake: The neocons are back and looking for another war. They’ve got the president’s ear. Iran? North Korea? Russia? China? Who’s next for the warmongers?
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
Elites Move to Ban Guns Following Recent Mass Shootings
Not surprisingly, the push for more draconian gun-control laws has strengthened following the Feb. 14 shooting deaths of 14 students and 3 teachers at a high school in south Florida. Now, a former Supreme Court justice has weighed in calling for a constitutional amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, which he says is “a relic of the 18th century.”
By Mark Anderson
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens caused a stir on March 27 when he took to the sympathetic pages of TheNew York Timesin an op-ed calling for repeal of the Second Amendment via constitutional amendment. What’s not as well known is that, about a month before that, a bill had been quietly introduced in Congress to ban all “assault weapons.”
The Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (H.R. 5087), which has 174 cosponsors as of this writing, was introduced in the House Feb. 20, just six days after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. As of March 20, the legislation had been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, which referred it to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. The bill would “make it a crime to knowingly import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon (SAW) or large capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD).”
The bill does permit “continued possession, sale, or transfer of a grandfathered SAW, which must be securely stored. A licensed gun dealer must conduct a background check prior to the sale or transfer of a grandfathered SAW between private parties. The bill permits continued possession of, but prohibits sale or transfer of, a grandfathered LCAFD.”
The nationally televised March for Our Lives had just happened on March 24 in Washington, D.C.—where scores of emotional teens stumped for drastically increased gun controls—when Stevens’s anti-gun homily was published in the Times.
Referring to the radical idea of repealing the second of the 10 amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights—a concept that has never been seriously contemplated much less carried out—Stevens wrote: “Overturning that decision [in District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld the individual right to bear arms] via a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option. That simple but dramatic action would move Saturday’s marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform. It would eliminate the only legal rule that protects sellers of firearms in the United States. . . .”
He argues: “Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate states led to the adoption of that amendment. . . . Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century.”
Of course, Stevens knows that America has a standing army, which has grown beyond what our Founders envisioned due to the U.S. leading the charge in interventionist, undeclared world warfare. Worse still, the U.S. ceaselessly patrolling the world has over the years led to calls for surrendering command of U.S. forces to United Nations commanders—a prospect U.S. Army Medic Michael New resisted in 1995 when refused to wear a UN uniform.
“For over 200 years after the adoption of the Second Amendment,” Stevens, 97, opined, “it was uniformly understood as not placing any limit on either federal or state authority to enact gun control legislation. In 1939 the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a ‘well-regulated militia.’ ”
Irrespective of that court decision, the types of weapons needed for personal and community defense, in a Second Amendment context, would logically be based on effectiveness, since it’s absurd to speak of defending town, state, and nation from tyranny with inferior firepower. The widely popular AR-15—the prime target of the Florida students, other gun opponents, and an example of SAWs addressed in H.R. 5087—is arguably the best readily available defense weapon in terms of its utility and power.
Stevens’s Times piece comes adorned with a picture of an 18th century musket alongside an AR-15, and he tries to say that the AR-15’s power so far exceeds the power of the weaponry from the days of the Second Amendment’s framers that the amendment itself is enabling dangers that the framers could not have foreseen. Therefore, Stevens believes, the U.S. should disregard the framers in terms of the principle of homeland defense.
Overlooked is the fact that the musket represented the top firearm technology of its day, just as the AR-15 does now. Naturally, the educated men who framed the national charter understood that weapons technology would advance like any other technology. Conversely, sound principles are by definition unchanging—with the principles of self-defense and national defense being definitive in America’s founding—regardless of the weapons technology at any given time.
The mainstream media, meanwhile, uses loaded terms like “assault weapon” regarding the AR-15, even though any weapon is best defined by the circumstances of its usage. In other words, an AR-15, a .38 revolver, a baseball bat, or a meat cleaver are all “assault weapons” if used unlawfully in an actual assault. But an AR-15 or any other weapon is a defense weapon when lawfully used to “defend the realm” from an assault.
And while all the talk of nixing the Second Amendment and banning so-called assault weapons only pertains to civilian-owned firearms, the government’s abuse of its own firepower is undeniably evident—from police shooting citizens without just cause to the military unlawfully bombing nations with which the U.S. is not at war.
It is worth noting that the Second Amendment is largely bulletproof despite groups like the Conference of the States (CS) seeking to amend the Constitution, according to Cindy Nation, a volunteer for the Conference of the States, an organization based in Houston.
Ms. Nation assured AFP that existing calls for a formal Conference of the States to propose constitutional changes are designed to be strictly limited.
Her group wants to convene such a conference to, among other things, insert term limits for all federal officials into the Constitution, which would require ratification by 38 states under Article V of the Constitution.
However, repealing the Second Amendment appears to be impossible, she said, since none of the CS groups of which she’s aware have any known intentions of touching that amendment.
Besides, “It’s against the rules to add amendment topics later outside the framework of the initial topics with which states apply for a [CS],” she said.
Pompeo and Haspel are Symptoms of a Deeper Problem
What most threatens our republic, says Ron Paul, is not the particular war-mongering neocons President Trump wants to appoint to the State Department and CIA but “that both federal agencies are routinely engaged in activities that are both unconstitutional and anti-American” and the wider executive branch over-reach.
By Ron Paul
President Donald Trump’s recent cabinet shake-up looks to be a real boost to hardline militarism and neoconservatism. If his nominees to head the State Department and CIA are confirmed, we may well have moved closer to war.
Before being chosen by Trump to head up the CIA, Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo was one of the most pro-war members of Congress. He has been militantly hostile toward Iran, and many times has erroneously claimed that Iran is the world’s number one state sponsor of terror. The truth is, Iran neither attacks nor threatens the United States.
At a time when Trump appears set to make history by meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un face-to-face, Pompeo remains dedicated to a “regime change” policy that leads to war, not diplomacy and peace. He blames Iran—rather than the 2003 U.S. invasion—for the ongoing disaster in Iraq. He enthusiastically embraced the Bush policy of “enhanced interrogation,” which the rest of us call “torture.”
Speaking of torture, even if some of the details of Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel’s involvement in the torture of Abu Zubaydah are disputed, the mere fact that she helped develop an interrogation regimen that our own government admitted was torture, that she oversaw an infamous “black site” where torture took place, and that she covered up the evidence of her crimes should automatically disqualify her for further government service.
In a society that actually valued the rule of law, Haspel may be facing time in a much different kind of federal facility than CIA headquarters.
While it may be disappointing to see people like Pompeo as secretary of state and Haspel as the head of the CIA, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. The few areas where Trump’s actions are consistent with candidate Trump’s promises are ripping up the nuclear deal with Iran and embracing the torture policies of Bush. Candidate Trump in late 2015 promised to bring back waterboarding “and a whole lot worse” if he became president. It seems that is his intention with the elevation of Pompeo and Haspel to the most senior positions in his administration.
We should be concerned, of course, but the real problem is not really Pompeo or Haspel. It is partly true that “personnel is policy,” but it’s more than just that. It matters less who fills the position of secretary of state or CIA director when the real issue is that both federal agencies are routinely engaged in activities that are both unconstitutional and anti-American. It is the current executive branch over-reach that threatens our republic more than the individuals who fill positions in that executive branch. As long as Congress refuses to exercise its constitutional authority and oversight obligations—especially in matters of war and peace—we will continue our slide toward authoritarianism, where the president becomes a kind of king who takes us to war whenever he wishes.
I am heartened to see some senators—including Sen. Rand Paul—pledging to oppose Trump’s nominees for State and CIA. Let’s hope many more join him—and let’s hope the rest of the Congress wakes up to its role as first among equals in our political system.
Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.
This Is the Beginning of Totalitarian Government
Donald Trump turned his back on his word to protect the Second Amendment as he enthusiastically picked up the gun control mantra and embraced enacting additional gun control laws. In response to the president’s surprising “green light” signal, gun control bills that had been assumed dead on arrival have been resurrected.
By Chuck Baldwin
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings last year in October, I wrote a column entitled “They Are Coming for Our Guns.” In that column, I listed 16 gun control bills that were working their way through the U.S. House and Senate. See the column here: They Are Coming for Our Guns.
At the time I wrote that column, the vast majority of conservatives, Republicans, and Christians paid no heed, because they said, “Donald Trump is ‘pro-Second Amendment’ and won’t let any more gun control legislation pass.”
Fast forward just four months later to after the Florida school shootings, and we watched and listened to Trump turn his back on his word to protect the Second Amendment as he enthusiastically picked up the gun control mantra of Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi and embraced enacting additional gun control laws.
Please understand: In spite of the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas, gun control Democrats in Washington, D.C. were mostly stymied, and the myriad gun control laws they were pushing appeared dead on arrival. Trump had campaigned and won as a fierce defender of the Second Amendment, and everyone (including Democrats) figured that even if some gun control bills passed the Congress, Trump was sure to veto them.
Following the mass shooting in Florida, there was no surge in gun sales (which is not normally the case—usually gun sales skyrocket after mass shootings in anticipation of more gun control laws being enacted), as conservatives and gun owners were confident that their constitutional right to keep and bear arms was not in jeopardy: Trump would make sure of that.
But, as I have tried to warn people, Trump has no core convictions; he has no center; he has no moral compass; and he is a dish rag when it comes to the Constitution. Of the 16 gun control bills in Congress that I referenced in my October 2017 column, Trump is now actively supporting at least 10 of them.
In Trump’s highly publicized round-table discussion with members of Congress from both parties (including radical gun control zealots such as Dianne Feinstein), Trump announced that he favors implementing several additional gun control laws, including banning bump stocks (and similar “modifiers”), more background checks for gun purchases—including adding a variety of “mental health” screenings—and implementing the “Fix NICS” bill (a longtime goal of gun grabbing Democrats like Schumer and Feinstein).
In point of fact, the original “Fix NICS” bill was introduced under Barack Obama and included outlawing private gun sales. Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie is warning the American people that the Republican leadership in Congress is trying to pass the “Fix NICS” bill this week. He warns of how devastating the bill will be to America’s veterans and seniors who will be thrown into the “no buy” list for a host of reasons. And will the bill include the original language outlawing the private sale of firearms? Don’t count it out.
Trump also announced that he supported gun confiscation without due process. He twice said that government should take (confiscate) the guns first and worry about due process later. He then looked at Feinstein and told her he would support her bill. “Her” bill is the “assault-weapons” ban that would outlaw all semi-automatic rifles.
After Trump’s shameless calls for more gun control, the White House has tried to calm Trump’s conservative constituents by walking back several of those comments. That doesn’t change the fact that Trump said them—more than once. And it doesn’t change the fact that Trump is still forging ahead with plans to implement new gun control laws.
Again, until Trump made his stupid Stalinist statements supporting more gun control laws—even gun confiscation—the Democrat-led charge for more gun control was dead. However, after Trump’s stupid Stalinist statements, politicians in both parties have gone into a gun control frenzy.
Already, the Republican house, senate, and governor of Florida have enacted one of the most draconian gun control laws in U.S. history. The law bans the sale of firearms to anyone under the age of 21; it mandates a three-day waiting period for most gun purchases; it adds a “red flag” law that allows law enforcement to confiscate the firearms of individuals who have not committed a crime or have not even threatened to commit a crime—but who might be “suspected” of having “mental health” issues; it adds additional background checks for gun purchases; and it mandates “mental health” screening for all public school students in the state.
Again, these Marxist-inspired gun control laws were passed by a Republican-led House, Senate, and governorships.
Do you think for one minute that Trump’s pro-gun control rhetoric had nothing to do with the way those Republicans voted in Florida? Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. The party takes its cues from him. When Trump embraced and promoted the enactment of more gun control, it was a signal to Republicans and Democrats alike to proceed with more gun control. And that’s exactly what both parties are doing.
A few days ago, the state of Washington became the first state in the country to enforce its newly enacted “red flag” law and confiscate the firearm of a man who had broken no law and who had not even threatened anyone. His firearm was confiscated on the mere notion that he was “suspected” of having “mental health” issues. I wrote about this Gestapo-style episode last week.
Now, the state of Illinois is about to pass a law that would authorize blanket gun confiscation of everyone under the age of 21. Writing for American Thinker, Daniel John Sobieski writes:
It is no longer a conspiracy theory spawned by deplorable bitter clingers, but a creeping reality spawned by shootings law enforcement could have prevented but didn’t. The Illinois House has passed legislation requiring 18- to 20-year-olds to give up certain legally purchased and legally owned firearms:
A bill requiring 18 to 20-year-olds to hand over or transfer ownership of heretofore legally possessed “assault weapons” is gaining sponsors in the Illinois Senate after passing the House last month.
The bill, HB 1465, was sponsored in the House by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and passed by a vote of 64-51 on Feb. 28.
After being introduced in the upper house by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), the bill has added seven co-sponsors in the last week. Notable among them was Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), the NRA “A” rated 2014 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.
Gun confiscation is here. First they will come for the young, who can go to war with guns but can no longer go hunting with them or protect their families. If you are a 20-year-old single mom with a restraining order against a violent ex-boyfriend, well, you’ll just have to trust your life to 911 as your door is being kicked in. Meanwhile, the government wants you to give it your guns.
Notice that Democrats and Republicans in Illinois are supporting this Marxist bill that confiscates guns from law-abiding people with no due process whatsoever.
Make no mistake about it, this is the beginning of totalitarian government.
As I noted in last week’s column, no fewer than 30 states have either already passed gun confiscation laws (Florida makes that number now seven) or are in the process of enacting gun confiscation laws.
Instead of enacting additional gun control laws, what our president, governors, and lawmakers should be doing is expunging existing gun control laws—including eliminating virtually all of America’s gun-free zones.
As Mr. Sobieski wrote:
It is typical of gun-control zealots that their answer to the slaughter invited by gun-free zones is to create more gun-free victims. Those who fear an armed citizenry are typically those who believe that all rights are on loan from an all-powerful government. The Founders wisely wrote the Second Amendment to protect the other nine in the Bill of Rights.
Critics of the Second Amendment say they are not going after guns used for legitimate activities such as hunting. But when the Founders wrote the Second Amendment, it was because the British were coming, not because it was the start of deer season.
In the hands of British redcoats, the musket was an assault weapon. In the hands of a law-abiding American, even those between 18 and 20, an AR-15 is what the Second Amendment is all about.
It is time for the American people to forget about which party controls Congress and who is in the White House and start standing en masse for the Constitution and Bill of Rights—and against any new gun control laws—or the Second Amendment (and the rest of our liberties) will soon be toast.
I want to once again remind readers that self-defense—including defense against tyrannical government—is more than a right guaranteed in the Second Amendment to our Constitution; it is a duty assigned us in nature by our Creator. For anyone, especially a Christian, to willingly surrender their means of self-defense is not only a crime against liberty; it is a sin against God.
I urge my Christian friends (and anyone else) to read the book my constitutional attorney son and I wrote entitled To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.
Mark it down: Any law demanding free men to surrender their arms—especially their AR-15 rifle—is unconstitutional, unnatural, immoral, and unbiblical. And no Christian or any other free man should ever comply with such a law.
I know that there is a plethora of pastors who teach that Christians ought to obey the government should it outlaw our guns. They are wrong. They are wrong biblically, constitutionally, and morally.
Our book shows the natural and biblical duty of self-defense. I don’t know of another book like it. Many books deal with this subject from a constitutional perspective, but none that I know of deals with this subject from a biblical perspective. And make no mistake about it: The right to keep and bear arms is as much a moral and biblical issue as it is a political and constitutional issue.
With all that is happening today, it is crucial that people (especially Christians) become familiar with the truths contained in this book. I urge you to order one for yourself and one (at least) for your friends and kinfolk—and maybe for your pastor. Order To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Gunshere.
Chuck Baldwin is a radio broadcaster, syndicated columnist, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded.