Victory for the Bundys

Federal agents and prosecutors repeatedly lied and hid evidence during the Cliven Bundy legal proceedings, prompting Judge Gloria Navarro to dismiss the entire case with prejudice. The government is thus barred from prosecuting these patriots again on these charges. The long nightmare Bundy and his family and supporters have faced is over.

By Mark Anderson

On Jan. 8, U.S. federal Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed with prejudice the case against Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, and Ryan Payne. After spending nearly two years in prison, the Bundys celebrated their hard-fought victory along with property-rights advocates and proponents of small government around the country.

Cliven Bundy spoke with AFP on Jan. 9 in an exclusive interview. He said he was filled with joy and relief over the fact that his ordeal, and that of his family and supporters, is essentially over, and chuckled that he was a bit jaded from giving nonstop press interviews

“I went into that place a free man and I intended to leave it as a free man,” Bundy stated, referring to the jail in which he spent 700 days.

During his incarceration, federal prosecutors feverishly tried to nail these patriotic men for resisting and protesting an attempted but failed impoundment of Cliven’s cattle by armed Bureau of Land Management and FBI agents.

The “Bunkerville standoff” in Clark County, Nev. in April of 2014 made world headlines. Scores of supporters, some of whom were armed in the open-carry state, showed up that spring from across the nation to stand with the Bundys. No shots were fired by either side, and the feds eventually backed down.

When AFP spoke with Bundy on the phone, his sons and other family and friends could be heard chatting and laughing in the background.

He commented that, under Article III of the Constitution, judges can hold office only during periods of good behavior.

“Good behavior is when our judges are in tune with the Constitution. When you’ve got judges like I had in my case—abridging the Constitution—nobody holds them accountable,” he remarked.

Bundy was referring to several rulings that, among other things, allowed prosecutors to retry Bundy, his sons, and his supporters—even though juries had repeatedly decided in favor of the ranchers and their friends.

Bundy summarized for AFP: “They tried to ruin my ranch, my heritage, and my posterity. But we’re in the cattle business and we intend to stay there.”

On Jan. 9, AFP spoke with popular radio show host Jim Lambley, the owner of KSDZ-FM, about the long and difficult case that was brought against Cliven Bundy, his sons, and several supporters. Lambley’s station in Nebraska, known as the “The Twister,” has reported on the Bundy case more than any other licensed broadcast-media outlet.

“The government needs to write some checks because it stole the lives of these people for two years,” Lambley commented to AFP, just after the dismissal was announced.

The Jan. 8 dismissal followed Judge Gloria Navarro’s Dec. 20, 2017 decision to declare a mistrial in the proceedings against Bundy and the three others. That alone was a stunning development in the saga of the elder Nevada rancher whose devotion to principle, like that of his sons and supporters, represents in the minds of many a repudiation of the arbitrary exercise of federal power.

Throughout this grueling case, Judge Navarro was believed to be largely unsympathetic to the defendants, but when she decided to dismiss the charges, she stated that prosecutors willfully withheld evidence from defense lawyers, which is what tipped the scales. She referred to it as “flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.”

She also declared, “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated.” Her statement implies the government’s misdeeds in this case are legion.

Government misdeeds were not limited to the courtroom. Marooning the defendants in jail for so long, of course, denied them the fair and speedy trial required by the Constitution. Both Ammon and Ryan Bundy were grossly humiliated when they were subjected to body cavity searches every time they were transferred from their jail cells to the U.S. District Court. The government even imposed solitary confinement at times.

Given the conduct of their jailers, you’d think that Bundy and company had already been convicted and sentenced.

Lambley agreed with this AFP writer’s observation that it appears the government committed an especially grave miscarriage of justice in the way it handled the series of Bundy show-trial proceedings that started in February 2016 and finally concluded Jan. 8. Nearly 20 defendants in all were tried under a 16-count indictment consisting of rather vague and redundant conspiracy, obstruction, and weapons charges, among others.

Legal expert Roger Roots, who observed the court proceedings from start to finish, feels Cliven Bundy was correct when he said, right after the dismissal, that he had been jailed for 700 days as a “political prisoner” for refusing to acknowledge federal supremacy over the public land near his southern-Nevada cattle ranch, where his cattle have long grazed. The impoundment was said to have been ordered over Bundy not paying grazing fees, but citing the area’s unique history, he maintains that federal jurisdiction was never established over Clark County.

Asked if Bundy and the 19 others had indeed been political prisoners, Roots replied: “If they had been left-wingers they would never have been looking at such ridiculous charges. The thing about Cliven and the others is that they provided real resistance with real constitutional principles.”

Crucial remaining matters include the Las Vegas Review Journal’s motion to try to force the federal government to open all of its files in this case. If the motion succeeds, the documents could reveal whether illegally secret court hearings were held and, among many other things, provide more information on the existence of federal snipers in the vicinity of the standoff and the Bundy homestead—despite denials by the prosecution that the snipers existed and relevant evidence withheld from the defense.

Roots noted that, despite the judge throwing out the case with prejudice, a government appeal of the dismissal cannot be ruled out.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Jail for Hillary?

As the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee continues its investigation of the FBI and its former director, James Comey, a new letter from committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson to the director of the FBI has brought to light “arguably criminal actions of main FBI insiders” in the agency’s investigation, and exoneration, of Hillary Clinton, who illegally shared classified information using a private server. Is prosecution on the horizon? 

By John Friend

More evidence is coming to light demonstrating how top officials and bureaucrats working in the FBI covered for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, ensuring this career criminal would not be punished for gross negligence and other blatant criminal acts committed during her long tenure in public office. But an ongoing congressional investigation could put an end to that and finally force the prosecution of the Clinton crime family.

In a Dec. 14 letter submitted to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), who serves as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, details key edits made by FBI officials and bureaucrats to former FBI Director James Comey’s public statements declaring the exoneration of Mrs. Clinton for transmitting classified information via an unsecured, private email server, which sparked much controversy at the time.

Mrs. Clinton had been accused of not only illegally transmitting classified information via her own private email server but also of covering up these criminal actions by destroying evidence and manipulating top officials and bureaucrats investigating the matter.

Johnson’s letter sheds more light on the arguably criminal actions of main FBI insiders, who were determined to protect then-candidate Clinton while undermining GOP candidate Donald Trump, who was and remains a vocal critic of Mrs. Clinton’s criminal actions.

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Johnson’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is currently investigating the FBI and its former director, James Comey, focusing particular attention on the manner in which it conducted the inquiry into Clinton’s many criminal actions.

The letter details a coordinated effort by pivotal FBI officials and insiders who worked under Comey to essentially decriminalize Mrs. Clinton’s blatant and demonstrably criminal actions by editing key legal terms and phrases, withholding important information, and downplaying the central role various intelligence agencies played in the investigation into Clinton’s email scandal. Some legal experts have gone so far as to argue that the congressional probe could lead to charges being filed against Mrs. Clinton.

As part of Johnson’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and ultimate exoneration of the former Democrat presidential candidate, the FBI submitted documents to the Senate committee, including an early draft of Comey’s public statement, which was eventually delivered on July 5, 2016, “clearing Clinton of criminal wrongdoing in her use of a private email server,” the letter reads.

Johnson’s letter explains how senior FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, E.W. Priestap, and Jonathan Moffa, edited the legal language in Comey’s draft statements to “change the tone and substance of Director Comey’s statement in at least three respects.”

The edits were designed to “reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information” as well as to entirely remove references to “the intelligence community’s role in identifying vulnerabilities related to Secretary Clinton’s private email server” and “downgrade the likelihood that hostile actors had penetrated Secretary Clinton’s private server.”

Critical legal language was edited as well, including removing the use of “gross negligence” when describing Clinton’s actions and substituting that phrase with “extremely careless.” Gross negligence is a legal term often invoked by prosecutors when charging an individual with criminal wrongdoing.

John Friend is a freelance author who lives in California.




AFP Visits Texas Church Massacre Site

AFP’s interview with a witness to the Dec. 10 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas left this reporter with unanswered questions. The Air Force failed to notify the FBI of the shooter’s conviction on spousal assault charges, and now 26 churchgoers have been killed and 20 more wounded by a man who should never have been allowed to purchase the AR-15 he used to slaughter these innocent people. 

By Mark Anderson

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas—A key witness of the senseless shooting at a southern Texas church, which police say left 26 dead and 20 wounded, spoke with AFP on Dec. 10, vividly describing the assault from the very place she witnessed it exactly five weeks earlier. Her recollections raise important questions about the chain of events and the time frame.

Terrie Smith, 54, who runs a food counter at the Valero gas station across the road from First Baptist Church in her quiet hometown of Sutherland Springs, recalled that, on that tragic Sunday, Nov. 5, her food counter was closed, as was customary, but she was at the station to get gasoline that morning when a gruesome chain of events began.

“My fiancé and I had just gotten out of the vehicle when an SUV was coming this way . . . and he made a quick U-turn right in front and pulled in [turned left] onto FM 539,” she said.

The driver pulled to the right and parked across from First Baptist Church at least 50 feet from the church’s front door, with the SUV’s rear end facing the Valero station.

“As soon as he got out of his vehicle, he started shooting,” Ms. Smith continued. “He kept on shooting all the way around. He went around the building . . . . He made a complete circle.”

“He went all the way around the building?” AFP asked.

“He shot the whole outside first,” she replied, seeing much of the attack from several feet outside Valero’s front door to get the best view under the trying circumstances. As the assailant circled the entire building, possibly twice, he was walking fast and not actually running, as he repeatedly shot apparent AR-15 rifle rounds at the building, she said.

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The overall church facility is not rectangular, because the main sanctuary adjoins a long narrow offshoot of rooms, externally painted tan, that are used for meetings and Sunday school. Going all the way around the building represents a considerable distance.

The sanctuary section, still covered with what appears to be the original white asbestos siding, was patched so well that one can now scarcely tell a shooting took place, save for an undetermined number of faint, filled-in external and internal holes.

Neither the tan-painted areas, large sanctuary windows, nor other windows show obvious bullet impacts. They appear to still consist of the old glass, with crumbling old caulk and no new spackling. Ms. Smith and her fiancé, both of whom had waved away approaching motorists, then crawled to and entered the Valero station, telling the few on-site customers to take cover.

Things suddenly got very quiet when the shooter “went [back] to his vehicle and then he ran straight to the church,” she said, meaning he even took the time to return to his pearl-colored SUV before invading the building to carry out the worst of the assault.

“That took about how long, everything you’ve said so far?” AFP asked.

“Ten to 15 minutes at the most,” she replied.

She saw only one person exit the church. He made it to the Valero, “with blood on his arms and on the side of his face,” she said. Regarding that survivor, she recalled, “He just collapsed right there on the floor.” Evidently grazed by a bullet shot from the outside, he survived.

Asked to carefully recollect his precise words before he fainted, she replied: “He said, ‘Somebody’s in the church; they’re shooting everybody in the church; my family’s in there . . . my family’s in there.’ ”

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Ms. Smith soon heard a different gun sound as longtime local resident Stephen Willeford, an NRA instructor donning a pistol, shot at the assailant.

Willeford reportedly then flagged down young Johnnie Langendorff as he entered town from the south on Highway 87. In Langendorff’s truck, the two pursued the assailant—identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels—at speeds up to 95 mph northerly on 539, reportedly for 11 miles.

The two called police en route. The police took over after Kelley crashed his SUV near New Berlin. He was found dead with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and had been wounded by Willeford even though he’d been wearing armored black tactical gear.

The Air Force had dishonorably discharged Kelley in 2014 after a military conviction on spousal assault charges. Weapons-related charges stemming from Holloman AFB, N.M. were dropped. Kelley should not have been able to even purchase firearms, but the Air Force failed to file Kelley’s conviction with the FBI, meaning he was not flagged on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database as he bought guns.

A police spokesman told AFP the Texas Rangers are still investigating the Sutherland Springs shooting. The expected release date for a final public report is unknown.

One question among several is how the assailant was able to attack the congregation with such impunity when he called so much attention to himself—apparently shooting for an extended time period—well before entering the sanctuary.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful emails at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




St. Nicholas Would Be Amazed at the Holiday He’s Taken Over

While certain aspects of many Americans’ Christmas celebrations are derived from ancient traditions, some of our customs have evolved fairly recently. Whether your family traditions revolve around solemn candlelight or Santa Claus—or both—we hope each of you have had a very “holly jolly,” peaceful, and joyful Christmas this year!

By S.T. Patrick

The traditional staples of Christmas in America derive their origins from places that are uniquely cultural, religious, traditional, and profitable. From the traditional madness of Black Friday to the dulcet tones of crooner Bing Crosby, Americans either bask in or avidly detest the season that folksinger Burl Ives once called “holly jolly.”

Many of the Christmas traditions that are exhibited today are relatively modern creations based in some history—or historical legend. Parsing their origins between natural, cultural evolution and pure pursuit of profit can often bring out the Grinch in even the most positive person.

The phrase “Black Friday,” for example, dates back to Philadelphia in 1961. Its meaning has evolved from a negative description of increased pedestrian and automobile traffic to one of economic prosperity. It is the time of year when many retail ledgers move from losses (“the red”) to profit (“the black”). Spending in America during the Christmas holiday season now tops $600 billion annually, 73% of which is spent on gifts. The average American spends over $800 on gifts.

While Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, recent years have seen an increase of what is called “Christmas creep.” Many retailers have attempted to extend the seasonal deluge of consumer debt backwards, to Thanksgiving Day or before. Those now irked by Christmas music in October, aggressive seasonal advertising campaigns in November, or QVC’s month-long “Christmas in July” sale of sparkly, overstocked tchotchkes, may believe that “Christmas creep” refers to the corporate vice-president who created the idea of inching the season toward Halloween.

Retail and big business did not let a crisis go to waste, even during the worst economic times. Beginning in the Great Depression, banks began offering Christmas club savings programs that encouraged struggling patrons to save now so that they could spend later. Shortly thereafter, Sears introduced its first Sears Wish Book so that financially strapped citizens would know exactly what to buy.

Santa Claus, the holiday’s most iconic figure, is the subject of some myth and debate, though it is generally agreed today that he has supplanted His birthday celebration. The idea that Coca-Cola created the modern image of Santa Claus solely to sell soft drinks, for instance, is a myth. The imagery of Santa in a red-and-white outfit had existed for decades before Coca-Cola first used the benevolent character to sell products in the 1930s.

One thing that can be said of Santa Claus is that he is typically American. Though generous, who else but an Americanized icon would be known for separating people by his own unilateral definitions of naughty and nice?

IRS Loses Cases

The image and legend of Santa Claus is something that has been built over centuries and stems from a historical character, St. Nicholas. Nicholas was a third-century figure born in the then-Greek and now-Turkish village of Patara. When his wealthy parents died early in his life, Nicholas used his inheritance to follow the Christian teachings he had learned. He gave everything he had inherited to aid the sick and the suffering.

Promoted to Bishop of Myra as a young man, he suffered persecution, exile, and imprisonment under the anti-Christian Roman emperor Diocletian. Upon his release, Nicholas attended the Council at Nicaea in A.D. 325. Though his name does not appear on all existing lists of attendees, his presence is corroborated on the oldest existing Greek list, as well as five others. Many of the most accurate legends of Nicholas involve him saving innocents and the unjustly persecuted from prison. When he died on December 6, A.D. 343, legend says that an unusual liquid substance called manna mysteriously formed in his grave. Because manna is said to have healing powers, the legend of Nicholas spread throughout the region and created a following more widespread than any he had experienced in his lifetime.

The responsibility for canonization—the bestowing of sainthood—in the Roman Catholic Church was given to the pope in the late 1100s. Nicholas was given the status of sainthood prior to the East vs. West schism in 1054; therefore, debate exists as to whether St. Nicholas is a saint at all. Although 40 saints were removed during the Roman Catholic calendar revision of 1969, Nicholas was not one of them, so the celebration of his feast day is optional.

Despite commercialism that often borders on the vulgar, America remains the most giving nation in the world. If Christmas still brings a season of giving that would make the ghost of St. Nicholas—and the magi themselves—gloriously gleeful, then just maybe we can all patiently embrace a premature airing of Perry Como’s “Home for the Holidays.” After all, the generosity of the season is still exhibited in our motives and actions if not in our culture.

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.




FBI vs Antifa

Given the frequent violence against both people and property perpetrated by radicals associated with antifa during Trump rallies and other “right-leaning” gatherings, it is about time the FBI takes a look at individuals driven by “an antifa ideology.” 

By John Friend

In a move that was long overdue, the federal government recently announced it is actively investigating individuals driven by “an antifa ideology,” according to Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI.

Antifa, or anti-fascists, are a loose-knit coalition of extremely radical anarchist, anti-racist, and anti-capitalist organizations and groups, many of which express violent and revolutionary political perspectives. Antifa sympathizers also frequently hold extreme leftist and cultural Marxist political, cultural, and racial perspectives, and often demonize and target whites, heterosexuals, and other traditional or conservative Americans who oppose illegal immigration, endless welfare, and political correctness more generally.

During the 2016 presidential election, radical antifa activists and organizations made national and international headlines for violently targeting pro-Trump rallies and other peaceful, legal assemblies. Trump supporters were regularly berated, viciously targeted both verbally and physically, spat upon, and even violently assaulted at numerous Trump rallies across the country during the election. Antifa groups also attempted to shut down other rallies, including on university campuses, destroying private property and causing mayhem and violence in the process. In many cases, unfortunately, their efforts were successful due to a lack of law and order.

This paper covered these events extensively at the time and will continue to do so. The actions of various antifa groups and organizations during the 2016 election and after can only be described as domestic terrorism, as the antifa sympathizers involved in the disruptive and often violent actions that took place and continue to take place across the country are directly attempting to influence political processes via intimidation, violence, and lawlessness.

In testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Wray explained that his agency is investigating individuals inspired by antifa groups or organizations for possible acts of violence and other criminal activity. The director was quick to point out that they are not being investigated for their political perspectives, but rather for their violent or criminal actions.

“While we’re not investigating antifa as antifa—that’s an ideology and we don’t investigate ideologies—we are investigating a number of what we would call anarchist-extremist organizations, where we have properly predicated subjects of people who are motivated to commit violent criminal activity on kind of an antifa ideology,” he explained to the House panel.

Antifa groups and their sympathizers have coordinated violent attacks on right-wing groups and their rallies for months, including at the high-profile Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this year. An independent review of the rallies and protests in Charlottesville that weekend found that law enforcement officials in the area intentionally allowed antifa groups and sympathizers to attack the attendees of the Unite the Right rally, with Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas even boldly declaring: “Let them fight. It will make it easier to declare it an unlawful assembly.”

John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.




Breaking News: Mistrial Declared in Cliven Bundy Proceedings

Judge Gloria Navarro, who has presided over the multiple Bundy trials emanating from the Nevada “cattle grazing fees” standoff in April 2014, has declared a mistrial. Yet family patriarch Cliven Bundy continues to stand firm in displaying the kind of rarely seen and highly honorable “ironclad principles” he has shown since the beginning of his ordeal with the federal government. 

By Mark Anderson

Around 50 supporters of the Bundy family on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 20 left the U.S. District Courthouse in Las Vegas in a state of elation. Judge Gloria Navarro ruled to declare a mistrial in the current proceedings involving longtime Bunkerville, Nev. rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons, Ryan and Ammon, and Ryan Payne.

These four defendants have become emblematic of the plight of ranchers resisting onerous federal land controls. They were joined in the spring of 2014 by hundreds of protesters, who arrived from across the nation and gathered near Bundy’s ranch in Clark County, in southern Nevada, to exercise their First and Second Amendment rights.

These stalwart souls protested the actions of Bureau of Land Management agents, as well as armed FBI agents and contractors, who had arrived to impound Bundy’s cattle over allegations of unpaid grazing fees on public lands.

The impoundment attempt, on April 12, 2014, was unsuccessful.

But while the government turned tail and retreated that day, a 16-count federal indictment was eventually handed down. Cliven, Ammon, and the two Ryans were among nearly 20 individuals initially indicted in this now-legendary federal case, which hasn’t gone well for prosecutors ever since the first of several planned trials started in February 2017.

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The government, despite spending millions of taxpayer dollars, has seen its case steadily deflate to the point where, as of now, the only remaining piece is for the prosecution and the defense to deliver briefs, by 5 p.m. Dec. 29, to Judge Navarro. Those briefs will consist of arguments to enable the judge to decide whether or not to fully dismiss the case.

The mistrial happened just before 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Dec. 20, as, “Navarro told the jury to ‘Go home. . . . It’s over,’ ” recounted Roger Roots, a legal expert and author who has observed firsthand virtually every Bundy trial proceeding.

After Judge Navarro reviews the briefs, an open hearing will be convened at 9 a.m. on Jan. 8. That day, if she rules for dismissal “without prejudice,” the indictment remains in force and federal prosecutors technically could reset the trial of Cliven and the three others, reportedly for Feb. 26. But if she rules for dismissal “with prejudice,” then the indictment is dissolved.

A dissolved indictment would mean the government would have to go to the trouble and expense of convening a new grand jury in order to seek a new indictment—which would constitute “double jeopardy” and, therefore, a constitutional violation. Roots does not believe the government would even try to get a new indictment if it were to face such a high legal hurdle.

Judge Navarro’s findings for a mistrial were founded on the fact that the prosecution had committed at least five Brady v Maryland violations, including: failing to disclose to the defense the existence of surveillance cameras, including those trained at the Bundy homestead; not disclosing the fact that concealed snipers were stationed around the area at the time of the 2014 standoff; not disclosing the existence of maps of the snipers’ positions; and, among other things, not disclosing threat-assessment reports, which include government admissions that Cliven and company are not dangerous people.

In a dramatic twist, family patriarch Cliven Bundy, as a matter of principle, had stayed in prison despite a court ruling at a recent detention release hearing to allow him to go home under house arrest. He has been jailed since early 2016 while suffering from health problems. Bundy based his decision on the fact that a few remaining defendants, which had included his sons Mel and Dave until they, too, were granted house arrest, still in jail awaiting a final trial that’s been scheduled to take place sometime in 2018.

Ryan Bundy stated: “My father’s position on not coming out is that he’s an innocent man. He’s not guilty of any crime. And the standard in America is that we are innocent until proven guilty. It’s the government’s responsibility and it’s their duty and their obligation to provide that proof. We shouldn’t have been in jail, not one day.”

Ryan and Ammon Bundy, as well as Ryan Payne, all were recently released under house-arrest rulings, after an equally grueling amount of time behind bars.

During a recent on-the-air interview, Cliven’s daughter-in-law Briana, who is Mel’s wife, told “Free Speech Zone” host Jim Lambley of KSDZ-FM “The Twister” out of Nebraska that in the almost two years that Cliven Bundy has been behind bars, several more grandchildren were born, yet he still chose to remain in jail to stand for the others still imprisoned.

On a Dec. 20 appearance on the same radio show, Briana added,“Over 3,300 hundred pages of evidence that helped the defense have been withheld and have been turned over to the defense in the last two weeks . . . . It was absolutely intentional and she [Judge Navarro] said she believes it was intentional because of what they withheld.”

Roots, who’s cautiously optimistic, said that given the mistrial ruling, the final few defendants behind bars have a dramatically improved chance of never going to trial.

“Cliven won’t go home until this case is all the way over,” he remarked, moved by the patriarch’s ironclad principles.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Trump Decision to Move Embassy to Jerusalem Will Harm U.S.

Has “America-First” President Donald Trump put the interests of Israel ahead of those of the United States in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing the U.S. embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? The president’s announcement is in stark contrast to the U.S. government’s 50-year position supporting the removal of Israeli military forces from territories captured in 1967.

By Philip Giraldi

President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his stated intention to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem does not benefit the United States in any way and will almost certainly do great harm to the American people. It is ironic that a man who ran for president based on a simple slogan “America first” has instead put Americans at risk by deferring to Israeli interests without any regard for the consequences of such action.

The subordination of U.S. interests to those of Israel will no doubt be pondered by historians 20 years from now, if the United States of America continues to survive that long. Israel would not appear to be a good candidate for Washington’s best friend in the whole world, which is where the political class and media have placed it. It’s the only country in the world largely composed of settler-colonists and descendants that has been allowed to displace and perpetually punish the former inhabitants. It’s also a country with a terrible human rights record that nevertheless is able to tap U.S. taxpayers for billions of dollars in aid and other freebies annually combined with American-provided political protection from bodies like the United Nations. And it does all that through the operation of a fifth column of co-ethnic-religionists hugely over-represented amongst U.S. elites and organized to put the interests of Israel ahead of the interests of the United States.

The declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital is the latest disgrace, most particularly because Israel, which has no borders, has no legal title to much of the land that it is claiming. But the move is not a matter of law, but rather the product of decades of pressure by both Israel and its powerful domestic U.S. lobby. Now that Jerusalem is part of Israel, the next step will be to “legalize” the occupation of the West Bank, which will be accompanied by the ethnic cleansing of the remaining Palestinians.

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The original 1947 United Nations partition plan that created Israel called for Jerusalem to be “internationalized,” but that arrangement was subverted when Israeli terrorists expanded the area it controlled and began the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. U.S. presidents have put off moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem because of UN Security Council Resolution 478, passed in 1980, which contradicted Israel’s declaration that Jerusalem was its “complete and united capital.” East Jerusalem was territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, which historians recognize as a war that Israel started. Resolution 478 led to the placing of foreign diplomatic missions anywhere in Israel but Jerusalem, putting the lie to the Israeli pretensions. Since 1967, the U.S. has also supported UN resolution 242, calling for the removal of Israeli military forces from territories captured in 1967.

All those responsible positions taken by Washington in the past have now been upended by the Trump White House action. Heavy lobbying by pro-Israel organizations, which began in earnest in the 1980s, demanded a “move the embassy” law that would seek to legitimize Israel’s claims on the entire city. The pressure was particularly intense on Congress, resulting in the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 under President Bill Clinton. The act was actually drafted by the Zionist Organization of America and AIPAC.

It is important to recognize that when it comes to Israel, no legitimate U.S.-driven interests are ever in play. Rather, it is a case of effective, multi-billion-dollar lobbying mounted by those mostly Jewish organizations and individuals that are heavily focused on promoting Israeli interests. Politicians at all levels in the United States are now routinely screened by the Israel lobby and are made to state their views on the Middle East conflict before they enter primaries or otherwise run for office.

Israel uniquely employs thousands of Internet trolls who work to counter any perception that their country is behaving badly. They have been hard at work since Trump made his announcement. Anyone asserting in the media that the Palestinians have again been robbed is attacked from all sides by commenters using American-sounding names but writing often non-native English. The comments are, ironically enough, full of suggestions that Arabs are somehow subhuman and incapable of negotiating their own futures.

Jewish talking heads embedded in the media have also fulsomely praised Trump’s apparently brilliant decision to follow the “one road to peace.” As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once observed that the 9/11 attack on the United States had been “good for Israel,” it would almost certainly be wise to consider the source and the objective when articles appear praising Trump. One recent piece on the embassy move as the road to peace was actually written by the Israeli ambassador.

Particularly discouraging is the lining up of leading Democratic Party politicians to praise the Trump move. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is Jewish and who fancies himself Israel’s “shomer” or defender in the Congress, has been prominent. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), also Jewish and one of the leaders in the Senate’s promoting and passing pro-Israel legislation, was also very supportive. Some critical media has observed that both men have been conspicuously more active in responding to the “needs” of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) rather than those of their own constituents.

Back in 1962, the Kennedy administration tried to have the predecessor organization of AIPAC, the American Zionist Council, register as a foreign agent precisely because it was feared that Israel would exploit American Jews to interfere in U.S. politics to support Israeli governments even when contrary to U.S. interests. That is precisely what has happened. Unfortunately, Kennedy died and the Department of Justice never enforced the registration order.

It is still early days but the Jerusalem decision by Trump has already pitted the United States against the entire world with the sole exception of Israel. Nothing good can come out of it. The only question is: When will Americans see the light and force their leaders to take back our government, and will that happen before it is too late?

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. This article appeared on the website of “The Unz Review.”




Larry Silverstein Cashes In Again

Yet again, Lucky Larry has financially prospered from the 9/11 attacks, yet again with approval of fellow Zionist, Judge Alvin Hellerstein. At $4 billion-plus and counting, how much will this 9/11-insider suspect profit from the deaths of so many innocent people?

By John Friend

Larry A. Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, has won a $95.2 million settlement against American Airlines Group Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., and other defendants with ties to the aviation industry for losses sustained during the 9/11 attacks, it was recently reported.

Insurers for American and United Airlines will cover the multi-million-dollar settlement reached with Silverstein and his property management firm, Silverstein Properties.

According to the official account, American and United airliners were hijacked by radical Islamic terrorists connected to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network on 9/11 and flown into the iconic Twin Towers in New York City—the two largest buildings in the World Trade Center complex—causing their destruction that fateful day.

Silverstein became the primary leaseholder of the World Trade Center complex shortly before 9/11. It had previously been managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey but was transferred to private hands—Silverstein and his Silverstein Properties—in the weeks leading up to 9/11.

Skeptics of the official 9/11 tale maintain this move was designed to both facilitate the attacks and enrich a man deeply connected to the state of Israel, alleged by some to have played a key role in orchestrating the attacks.

Six weeks prior to 9/11, Silverstein won a 99-year lease on the World Trade Center complex with a minimal investment of roughly $14 million. Almost immediately, Silverstein purchased an insurance policy on the complex that included acts of terrorism. Since 9/11, Silverstein has collected over $4 billion in insurance settlement money as a result of the attack, a huge figure considering his original investment.

Silverstein has been a leading figure in the organized pro-Israel community for decades, and served as president of the United Jewish Appeal in New York. He also has intimate connections to the state of Israel, particularly its hardline, right-wing political factions, and major Zionist organizations around the world.

 

“Silverstein has been closely tied to two Likud mainstays—Ariel ‘the Butcher’ Sharon and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” wrote legendary journalist Victor Thorn in his must-read book 9/11 Evil, which is available from the AFP Bookstore.*

“Prior to 9/11, Netanyahu and Silverstein would speak on the phone every Sunday afternoon. [Netanyahu] becomes a key player in this scenario because he was the man who actually coined the term ‘war on terrorism,’ the official term for the never-ending, Israeli-induced war.”

*You can also find many other titles from Victor Thorn at AFP’s bookstore, including 9/11 Made in Israel and a special offer for both 9/11 Evil and 9/11 Made in Israel.

John Friend is a freelance author who lives in California.




Is Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

The media is “slavering like Pavlov’s dogs” over the revelation that Gen. Mike Flynn lied to the FBI about a conversation with Russia. But if the establishment succeeds in taking down President Trump, the question is, says Patrick Buchanan: Who’s next in today’s “us-versus-them” America?

By Patrick Buchanan

Why did Gen. Mike Flynn lie to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak?

Why did he not tell the FBI the truth?

As national security adviser to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship.

Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful.

Putin accepted the loss of his diplomats and country houses on Long lsland and the Eastern Shore. Rather than expel U.S. diplomats in retaliation, he invited them and their families to the Kremlin’s New Year’s parties.

“Great move . . . (by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump. “I always knew he was very smart.”

This columnist concurred:

“Among our Russophobes, one can hear the gnashing of teeth.

“Clearly, Putin believes the Trump presidency offers Russia the prospect of a better relationship with the United States. He appears to want this, and most Americans seem to want the same. After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being ‘Putin’s puppet,’ lost.”

IRS Loses Cases

Flynn, it now appears, was not freelancing, but following instructions. His deputy, K. T. McFarland, sent an email to six Trump advisers saying that Obama, by expelling the Russians, was trying to “box Trump in diplomatically.”

“If there is a tit-for-tat escalation,” warned McFarland, “Trump will have difficulty improving relations with Russia.” Exactly.

Flynn was trying to prevent Russian retaliation. Yet, as the ex-director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, he had to know his call to Kislyak was being monitored and recorded.

So, again, why would he lie to the FBI about a conversation, the contents of which were surely known to the people who sent the FBI to question him?

The other charge of lying about a call with Kislyak was Flynn’s request for Russian help in getting postponed or canceled a Security Council vote on a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements on the West Bank.

Obama’s White House was backing the anti-Israel resolution. And Bibi Netanyahu had asked Trump to weigh in to block the vote.

Bottom line: Flynn, acting on instructions, tried to prevent a U.N. condemnation of Israel, and to dissuade Russia from a mass expulsion of U.S. diplomats, lest this poison the well against a rapprochement for which the American people had voted.

In the court of public opinion, Flynn’s actions would find broad support. Rather than deny knowledge of them, Trump should have taken credit for them.

Why the general would lie to the FBI about conversations he had to know U.S. intelligence had recorded is a puzzling question, but now also an irrelevant one, water over the dam.

For Trump’s general is now the newly conscripted collaborator of the media-Mueller-Democrat-Deep State conspiracy to overturn the election of 2016 and bring down the Trump presidency.

Remarkable.

After 18 months, we have no evidence Trump colluded with Russia in hacking the emails of the DNC or John Podesta, which is what the FBI investigation was supposedly about.

There is no conclusive evidence Flynn committed a crime when, as national security adviser-designate, he tried to prevent Obama from sabotaging the policies Trump had run on—and won on.

Yet there is evidence Russian intelligence agents colluded with a British spy in the pay of the oppo research arm of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign—to find dirt on Donald Trump.

And there is evidence James Comey’s FBI wanted to hire the British spy who appeared to have access to the Russian agents who appeared to possess all that wonderful dirt on The Donald.

It is hard to see how this ends well.

This weekend, after Flynn’s admission he lied to the FBI, Beltway media were slavering like Pavlov’s dogs at anticipated indictments and plea bargains by present and former White House aides, Trump family members, and perhaps Trump himself.

The joy on the TV talk shows was transparent.

Yet the media have already been badly damaged; first, by the relentless Trump attacks and the cheering for those attacks by a huge slice of the country; second, by their reflexive reaction. The media have behaved exactly like the “enemy” Trump said they were.

In this us-versus-them country, the media now seem to relish the role of “them.” The old, proud journalistic boast to be objective and neutral reporters, observers, and commentators is gone.

We are all partisans now.

As last Friday’s sudden 300-point drop in the Dow reveals, if Trump’s enemies bring him down, they will almost surely crash the markets and abort the recovery that took hold in Trump’s first year.

And if the establishment, repudiated by Trump’s victory, thinks it will be restored to the nation’s good graces if they destroy Trump, they are whistling past the graveyard.

When Caesar falls, the cheering for Brutus and Cassius tends to die down rather quickly. Then their turn comes.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Bookstore

COPYRIGHT 2017 CREATORS.COM



24 States Pass Laws Protecting Israel

Wisconsin is the latest of two dozen states that have passed laws intended to punish companies and individuals that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, movement that intends to stop Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. But is this action by states unconstitutional, in light of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution? 

By Mark Anderson

When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) issued an executive order Oct. 27 directing state agencies to refrain from engaging with businesses that have “ties to the anti-Israel BDS movement,” the state became the 24th to forbid state contracts and other official activities with companies that they believe boycott Israel.

“We stand firmly against discrimination in any form and we wholly support our friends in Israel,” Walker was quoted as saying by Breitbart News, without explaining how the state defines a company with “ties” to BDS. “I look forward to leading a trade delegation to Israel to foster new trade partnerships between Wisconsin and Israeli businesses.”

That 15-member delegation to which Walker referred was in Israel until Nov. 2.

The executive order states: “Consistent with existing Wisconsin nondiscrimination provisions and regulations governing purchases . . . [state] agencies may not execute a contract with a business entity if that entity is engaging in a boycott of Israel. Further, agencies shall reserve the right to terminate any contract with a business entity that engages in a boycott of Israel during the term of the contract.”

Liberty Stickers

BDS stands for boycott, divestment, and sanctions, a civil-protest tactic adopted by Israel’s critics to work to end its occupation, expansive construction of settlements, and military assaults within Palestine, especially in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. BDS calls for consumers and companies in the U.S. and abroad to not buy Israeli made products and to curtail investments in and cease overall business with Israeli companies.

According to investigators such as Alison Weir, a former journalist who operates the “IfAmericansKnew. org” website about Israel-Palestine issues, lopsided press portrayals of the situation there have gravely aggravated the situation, clouding public perception about why Israel’s critics support BDS.

Among other things, Ms. Weir told AFP at a Dearborn, Mich. rally in July 2016 that during her on-the-scene visits to Palestine, whenever attacks are carried out by those on the Palestinian side against Israel—typically involving sporadic rocket forays that inflict comparatively little damage— those attacks are given prominent press coverage.

However, disproportionately destructive attacks by Israeli pilots—using U.S.-made warplanes and laser-guided bombs derived from the nearly $4 billion in official U.S. foreign-aid dollars provided in one lump sum annually to Israel’s government— often level entire buildings and blocks of buildings with brutal force, sometimes burying defenseless men, women, and children in the rubble. According to her organization’s research, 1,242 Israelis and at least 9,510 Palestinians have been killed between Sept. 29, 2000 and the present.

While many Palestinians are Christians, pro-Zionist Christian preachers such as John Hagee of San Antonio, Texas turn a blind eye to the extreme suffering endured by Palestinians in the land that Jesus Christ once walked, which includes Bethlehem.

THE ANTI-BDS TALLY

During the same week Walker made his anti-BDS announcement, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order blocking his state from awarding contracts to companies thought to be supportive of BDS.

This anti-BDS movement goes back at least as far as 2015, with some states having fully passed the legislation and others on the brink of doing so. Besides Maryland and Wisconsin, the other states with anti-BDS measures in place are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. In addition, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support boycotts of Israel.

The Jewish press can be quite informative in anti-BDS mechanics. For example, a March 2016 Jerusalem Post article reported: “An Illinois state agency named 11 companies barred from doing business with the state for boycotting Israel or its settlements, the first such designation by an official U.S. body.”

But even the Post conceded that the situation can be tricky: “A number of the entities on the list approved . . . by the Illinois Investment Policy Board have pulled money from Israeli businesses that operate in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, but have not boycotted Israel within its 1967 [border] lines. At least two of the entities have said their disinvestment from Israel in recent years was based on commercial, not political, calculations.”

A key unanswered question is whether the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution—which delegates to Congress the power to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”—blocks or limits the states from being so deeply involved with commerce in the first place, regardless of the entities involved. AFP readers may want to contact their state legislators with that and related questions.

Mark Anderson is a longtime newsman now working as the roving editor for AFP. Email him at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




Modern Thanksgiving Just a Tall Tale

As we pause today to reflect on the many reasons we have to be grateful, the editors and staff of AFP gives thanks for you, our readers, who support, challenge, encourage, and defend American Free Press. Since 2001 you have stood by us, and in this last year—a particularly challenging one, as Executive Editor Chris Petherick detailed in our last issue’s “Personal Message From the Editor”—you have made it possible for us to stand firm in the face of lies and attacks meant to take us down. Thank you!

The ability to laugh in the face of adversity is a valuable strength, and we’ve had plenty of opportunities to practice that ability this year! This column from S.T. Patrick offers us all a little chuckle. 

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!

By S.T. Patrick

Every American educated in a government or private elementary school remembers the Thanksgiving scene well.

It was taught to us as a moment of peace and harmony between the “savage natives” known as Indians—named as such because Christopher Columbus believed he had found the East Indies—and the Pilgrims, the religious independents roughing it for Christ.

Among the earliest of what became American traditions was the open mealtime prayer, the turkey, the corn on the cob, and the idea of gathering with your best friends and most bitter enemies alike to celebrate the holidays as one unified group. The Thanksgiving story is the perennial scene remembered from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Historians are still undecided as to the veracity of the tale detailing how Walmart offered a Black Friday DVD player for $5.99 the next day, yet there seems to be a general agreement amongst the learned that the Detroit Lions lost a game. While that’s a tongue-in-cheek historical recollection, the reality is that the Walmart and Detroit Lions scenarios are just as truthful as the Pilgrims and Indians story mimicked in many elementary schools on a dress-up day.

Myth and legend have permeated American history from the day the Pilgrims landed neither on Plymouth nor on any other rock. Columbus discovered zero of the 50 American states. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree and never admitted his misbegotten case of amateur logging to his father by humbly confessing that he “cannot tell a lie.”

Paul Revere never rode through Boston warning that the British were coming. In 1775, Bostonians were British subjects and thus British, after all. Townspeople would have responded, “We’re already here!” Revere was one of three “Midnight Riders,” yet in 1860 he became the only one to be immortalized in verse by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. That is why we remember Revere more than William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, the two other Midnight Riders.

Abraham Lincoln never walked through hours of knee-high snow to return an extra penny to a store or an overdue book to a library. World War II hero and future president Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower never saw combat.

Both John F. Kennedy (Profiles in Courage, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957) and Barack Obama (Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope) used un-credited ghostwriters to fully author the books that helped propel them to political-cultural stardom and cult-like hero worship among certain segments of the masses.

For much of the past century, textbook publishers have glossed over consequential individual decisions, populist trends, and real conflicts to present progressive moments of cultural unity.

The largest textbook conglomerates in America—Cengage, Houghton Mifflin, and McGraw-Hill—have led this fight to sanitize history. The History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and most history publications have followed. The ends (cultural harmony and social progress) have justified the means (inaccuracy and distortion).

There is no evidence that the Pilgrims and Indians ever sat down to turkey or popcorn, no evidence that they—knowingly, for the Indians—prayed together, and no evidence that Thanksgiving, as it is today, began in that fabricated moment. In truth, many meals were had by intermingling cultures for a variety of reasons.

Thanksgiving was made an official U.S. holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, hoping it would build morale for northern troops fatigued by war. Many years had passed before Dixie viewed Thanksgiving as anything more than a northern conspiracy to push Yankee traditions south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Thanksgiving is now legally celebrated in America on the fourth Thursday in November. President Franklin D. Roosevelt tinkered with the date by moving it up one week, but it was returned to its rightful place on the calendar two years later when FDR admitted that his micro-tinkering was once again unwanted and unneeded by Americans.

Pre-American cultures and traditions commemorated days of thanks as celebrations for a completed harvest. They were community celebrations of a job well done and a plentiful bounty, not days of thanks to anyone or for anything.

The contemporary idea of Thanksgiving—the one shared by Americans today—is relatively new in our history, yet it is an idea with arguable levels of value. There is some unity in our shared traditions, even when they are based on stories distant from the factual truth.

Truth, however, is important and should be told—even at times when it is most difficult, times when the telling of it at most shakes the foundations and at least causes irritated discomfort. For what is the country’s history if it is not worthy of a truthful retelling to the extent that it can be truthfully retold?

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.




SPLC Wages War on Conservative Pastor

Jacob Tyler recently talked with Pastor Chuck Baldwin for a little background and perspective on why the Southern Poverty Law Center has persistently had him in its sights for nearly a decade. 

By Jacob Tyler

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has had conservative Christian Pastor Chuck Baldwin in its sights since at least 2008, labeling him an extremist and cautioning law enforcement to be wary of his supporters, as they’re potentially “domestic terrorists.” Anyone who has spent time in the trenches for the cause of truth is acquainted with the slanderous shenanigans of the SPLC.

The self-proclaimed arbiter of justice and tolerance, defender of civil rights, and hate-group watchdog purports to shine the bright light of truth on the misdeeds of the mythical right-winger ever skulking in the dark, tirelessly scheming to repress people of color in ever new and more imaginative ways. In truth, however, from the SPLC’s perspective, merely possessing a political outlook even slightly to the right of the leftist behemoth is enough to warrant being targeted. In its zealous pursuit of this paranoid agenda, the SPLC attacks and defames even the most dignified and respectable of individuals.

Its focus on Baldwin is one such example. Baldwin, who now lives in Montana, founded the Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., hosted “Chuck Baldwin Live” for eight years, and is a prolific writer. The “shoot first, ask questions later” approach employed by SPLC co-founder and attorney Morris Dees and his lackeys has invited more than a little criticism throughout the years.

 

IRS Loses Cases

An article in the July/Aug. 2017 issue of Politico Magazine notes: “As Dees navigates the era of Trump, there are new questions arising around a charge that has dogged the group for years: that the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan, progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog. . . . Critics say the group abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred by labeling legitimate players ‘hate groups’ and ‘extremists’ to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax. . . . [I]ts authority to police the boundaries of American political discourse is facing its greatest challenge yet.”

It has gotten so bad that even Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer in a December 2016 speech condemned the SPLC as “defamers and blacklisters.”

AFP recently spoke with Baldwin, who explained the chronology of the SPLC’s focus on him. He first came under fire shortly before beginning his presidential campaign in 2008. “A deputy sheriff came into my office one day and asked if I’d come out to his squad car, where he proceeded to show me on his computer a report that had been issued to law enforcement personnel . . . which identified myself and my friend, Pastor Greg Dixon [an independent Baptist preacher who was a principal founder of the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches and an iconic figure in modern Christian circles] on a watch list of potential government extremists,” Baldwin stated.

When asked by AFP what put him on the “extremist” radar to begin with, Baldwin stated he believed that anyone who takes stands such as those he is known for will not go long without receiving a similar level of attention. The SPLC’s attention has continued intermittently since then. In the past decade, there have been other examples of the SPLC targeting Baldwin.

In 2009 law enforcement officials were instructed in a now infamous February 2009 report titled “The Modern Militia Movement,” prepared by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, to be on the lookout for anyone driving vehicles with bumper stickers promoting the campaigns of Ron Paul, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr, or the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin, asserting there was a tangible possibility that such people were “right-wing extremists.”

In 2010, after Baldwin relocated to Montana, another deputy sheriff showed him a copy of a memo released by a local police lieutenant for other law enforcement officials in the area that once again placed Baldwin on a watch list based on reports being disseminated by the SPLC.

In 2011, Baldwin was targeted yet again by the SPLC shortly after starting a non-501(c)(3) church organization, Liberty Fellowship. Again, he was labeled an extremist.

“I have lived under the cloud of these accusations spawned by the SPLC for all of these years,” Baldwin lamented. “Almost without exception, reporters I encounter will bring up claims leveled against me by the SPLC. For the most part, it seems that they have a political agenda, and for the most part they’re going to stick with what the SPLC has to say. But there are also many who are only interested in my message and support me even more when they hear about the SPLC’s attacks. They’ll look me up and become a supporter as a result of the attacks, so it is a mixed bag of results.”

Perhaps most galling about all of this is that Baldwin, a conservative Christian pastor who advocates for traditional American values, is being routinely targeted and slandered by the SPLC while many left-leaning pastors are given a free hand to foment disinformation and division among the American people, then exalted by the SPLC and the media for doing so. AFP asked Baldwin to comment on this.

“It just goes to show the biased agenda of the SPLC,” he stated. “The organization has a very prejudiced agenda in which people they deem to be outside their political persuasion are targeted for destruction while people that favor their political ideology are given a pass.

“It also serves to spotlight the agenda of the mainstream media, as it follows in lockstep with whatever narrative the SPLC decides to run with—which I feel people are definitely waking up to. This has, of course, had a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump—but the underlying answer is that this is a very biased organization with no interest in truth or honesty with a definite political agenda. That agenda is the politics of destruction. They try to destroy the reputation and character of individuals that oppose them. The real hate mongers here are the SPLC.”

When asked if he felt patriots being targeted by the SPLC had any recourse against the persecution, Baldwin concluded:

“They have to recognize that the MSM [mainstream media] and all its facets is deliberately going to lie to them. Start looking to independent news sources instead. American Free Press has been around for a long time and puts out news that other people will not put out. [Much of] the independent media is truly presenting a balanced view on what’s going on and doing some good, old-fashioned journalism, which is virtually a dead art as far as the MSM is concerned.”

Jacob Tyler is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in Tennessee.




Obama DoJ Funneled Money to Leftists

Emails written by President Obama’s Department of Justice confirm the administration forced predatory banks to pay $1 billion, which was then funneled to the Clinton Foundation and some of the administration’s favorite radical groups.

By Allen West

The House Intelligence Committee announced recently that it would be conducting an investigation of “Uranium One,” as the issue is being called. To summarize: Somehow the Obama administration, through the Hillary Clinton State Department, approved the sale of 20% of the U.S.’s uranium stock to a Russian company that was being investigated. Suspiciously, some “interesting” monetary deposits were made to the Clinton Foundation, along with a $500,000 speaker’s fee to Bill Clinton, coinciding with the uranium sale.

But what if “Uranium One” wasn’t just the Clinton Foundation running a pay-for-play scheme in conjunction with the Obama administration? What if the Obama administration itself, through its Department of Justice (DoJ), was running a shakedown scheme?

As reported by the Daily Caller:

Emails written by Obama administration Department of Justice officials confirm reports the agency engaged in a systemic effort to funnel money to liberal advocacy organizations from settlements reached with big banks.

The documents, obtained by the House Judiciary Committee as part of an ongoing investigation, reveal the Obama Justice Department effectively skirted Congress’s budgetary authority by requiring that major financial institutions donate to a group of affordable housing nonprofits and legal advocacy organizations as part of settlement agreements resulting from predatory mortgage lending practices.

The internal DoJ documents represent the latest revelation in a two-year investigation spearheaded by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

The investigation has thus far yielded evidence implicating the Obama DoJ in using mandatory donations to funnel roughly $1 billion in settlement money to activist groups, including the National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League. The list of third party organizations were unrelated to the legal settlements, except through general claims that they would use the funds to aid the low-income Americans most severely harmed by predatory lending practices.

IRS Loses Cases

Let’s have a little history lesson here. First of all, the whole mortgage meltdown of 2008 can be traced back to President Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act, based on his belief that every American has a right to own a home—another example of government interjecting itself in our lives, not to allow us to “pursue our happiness” but instead trying to “guarantee our happiness.” The end result was government forcing itself into a private-sector market, in this case the mortgage industry, as well as enacting punitive measures against private-sector lending institutions that did not comply and conduct risky business endeavors.

Yes, the private sector lending institutions did wrong in creating the mortgage-backed securities that were sold, knowing they weren’t strong or profitable. The end result was the sub-prime mortgage-lending crisis and the revelation that these mortgage-backed securities were worthless. However, this crisis could have been averted had the government never ventured into the mortgage industry in the first place. The same government also used its power to attempt to force lending institutions to take on highly risky endeavors. And yes, many lending institutions that believed they could make money enacted even worse practices, what the government termed “predatory lending.” The whole scheme, crafted by government in the first place, should never have been unleashed.

Along comes Barack Obama, who adeptly used his bully pulpit to demonize lending institutions instead of telling the whole truth, willingly aided by a compliant ally, the liberal progressive media. Obama and his lead henchman at DoJ, Eric Holder, levied fines against these financial lending institutions, not in an attempt to correct the wrong but for far more nefarious purposes.

The community-organizer-in-chief then funneled funds from the penalties levied against these financial institutions to his administration’s preferred progressive socialist organizations. While this has previously been suspected, it is now confirmed.

Bottom line: The Obama administration was running a shakedown of financial institutions that sought to settle instead of going through the legal “kangaroo court” of Holder’s DoJ. One is reminded of when, during his election night victory speech, Obama infamously said: “Chicago is coming to Washington, D.C.” Now we truly know what that meant: The same style of gangster mentality that once ruled the streets of Chicago, Al Capone-style, was heading to our nation’s capital.

It seems safe to assume this story won’t be receiving much, if any, attention from the liberal progressive media. For them, this isn’t anything upsetting—just another example of their cronyism, elitism, and corruption and why we can never allow the progressive socialists of the Democrat Party to have control and power in our government.

Americans can never accept this type of behavior, which is reflective of a Third-World banana republic, not our constitutional republic. Anyone who engages in this type of disgusting behavior is indeed a threat to the country and to the rule of law.

Allen Bernard West is an American political commentator, retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, and former member of the House of Representatives.




ADL Trying to Criminalize Free Speech & Thought

Freedom of speech is in a sad state these days. You can only exercise your First Amendment rights in certain restricted areas, and, if you hold conservative viewpoints, those areas are growing even smaller.

By Phillip Giraldi

Recent debates about “safe spaces” at universities and declarations of states of emergency to prevent alleged white supremacists from speaking are part of a much broader movement to manage the information that the American public should be allowed to access. In its most recent manifestations, an anonymous group produced a phony list of 200 websites that were guilty of serving up Russian propaganda, a George Soros-funded think tank identified thousands of individuals who are alleged to be “useful idiots” for Moscow, and Twitter announced that it is no longer taking ads paid for by two Russian media outlets, RT International and Sputnik.

Apparently, the exposure of dissident sites, the outing of dissident individuals, including myself, and the banning of a small number of ads will preserve American democracy and allow the truth tellers at The New York Times and MSNBC to inform us regarding what we need to know and not one iota more lest we draw some false conclusions.

If the road to hell really is paved with good intentions, it just might be that the wave of censorship that is currently engulfing the Internet really is intended to make people feel good about themselves so they will behave decently when they interact with other users. But if one is interested in the free flow of information and viewpoints that comes with the alternative media, it certainly does not look that way. U.S. investigative journalist Robert Parry describes it as a deliberate process of “demonizing and silencing dissent that questions mainstream narratives.”

One of the organizations most interested in limiting conversations about what is going on in the world is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL claims that it is “the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism and hate of all kinds,” though it clearly excludes incitement or even physical harm directed against Palestinian Arabs resentful of the Israeli occupation of their country. Its definition of “hatred” is really quite selective and is focused on anyone criticizing Israel or Jewish-related issues. Its goal is to have any such speech or writing categorized as anti-Semitism and, eventually, to have “hate crime” legislation that criminalizes such expressions. As most criticism of Israel or of Jews is currently limited to the alternative media, and that media lives on the Internet, the ADL and those who are like-minded now are focusing on “cyberhate” as the problem and are working with major Internet providers to voluntarily censor their product.

The ADL is quite adept at telling other people how to think. Back in 1999, the complaints of one Jewish officer who did not like how he was treated at CIA led to mandatory “Jewish sensitivity” training courses produced and presented by the ADL. Then Agency Director George Tenet, who mandated the training, explained, “With the help of ADL trainers we educated an entire bureaucracy and taught people about how their words could be misinterpreted in a manner that was detrimental to the interests of the country.” I was fortunately already out the door at that time and was not subjected to such nonsense, which would have led me to resign.

On Oct. 10, the ADL issued a press release out of its New York City offices to explain just how far that process has gone. The organization boasts of the fact that it is now working with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter “to engineer new solutions to stop cyberhate.” Apple is not identified by name in the press release but one should presume that it is also involved, as well as YouTube, which is owned by Google. When you consider that the associates in this venture with the ADL are vast corporations that control huge slices of the communications industry, the consequences of some kind of corporate decision on what constitutes “hate” become clear. Combatting “cyberhate” will become across-the-board censorship for viewpoints that are considered to be unacceptable.

The ADL will be the “convener” for the group, providing “insight on how hate and extremist content manifests—and constantly evolves—online.”

This means it will define the problem, which it calls the “spew[ing] of hateful ideologies,” so the corporate world can take steps to block such material.

And “the initiative will be managed by the ADL’s Center for Technology and Society in Silicon Valley.”

The ADL boasts of a “long track record of fighting bigotry and defending free expression,” apparently failing to understand the contradiction, as free speech includes the right of individuals and groups to be bigoted. The ADL has, for example, opposed activities by Palestinian groups on campus because some Jewish students find them “offensive.”

And the ADL also chooses to avoid addressing the issue of Israel, which already has considerable internal censorship and is behind recent moves to manage the Internet globally. In January 2016, the Israeli government proposed across the board censorship of the most prominent social media platforms on a global scale by creating an “international coalition that would make limiting criticism of Israel its primary objective.”

A “loose coalition . . . would keep an eye on content and where it is being posted, and members of the coalition would work to demand that the platforms remove the content . . . in any of their countries at the request of members.” Collusion to operate collectively across borders would effectively limit the global nature of Internet platforms, but it also relies on the full cooperation of the corporate communications industry, which is what the ADL is attempting to obtain.

Facebook already employs thousands of censors and there is literally no limit to how far those who want to restrict material that they consider offensive will go. To be sure, most groups who want to limit the flow of information do not have the clout or resources of the ADL with its $64 million annual operating budget so its “cyberhate” campaign will no doubt serve as a model that others will then follow. For the ADL, reducing criticism of Israel is a much-sought-after goal. For the rest of us, it is a trip into darkness.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest.




Democrats Behind Fake News Dossier

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC have been tied to the bogus report on Trump’s “deep, compromising ties to Russia,” which even former FBI Director James Comey called “salacious and unverified,” that was released before the presidential election and is still being trumpeted by the corporate press and Republicans like Sen. John McCain as “evidence” the president has been influenced—or even blackmailed—by the Russian government. On the contrary, claims President Trump, “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.”

By John Friend

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, and even following Donald Trump’s electoral victory, Democrat strategists, Hillary Clinton and her top aides and supporters, and much of the corporate-owned mass media have attempted to discredit and marginalize Trump by alleging he has ties to and has been influenced by the Russian government.

Purported “Russian meddling” in the 2016 election has been a major talking point for Democrats, who have relentlessly attempted to tie Trump and his closest associates—including his son, Donald Trump Jr.—to the Russian government. Democrat partisans and anti-Trump members of the GOP, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other Republican leaders, continue to peddle the largely discredited theory that Russia “interfered” in the heated 2016 election in order to help Trump triumph in the heated presidential election.

Now it has been revealed that the Clinton campaign, working in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee (DNC), funded research that ultimately resulted in the much ballyhooed “Russian dossier,” which was leaked to the mass media and has been used to promote the largely discredited notion that Trump has deep, compromising ties to Russia, and that the Russians interfered in the election.

Early last week, The Washington Post published a detailed report alleging that Marc E. Elias, a top lawyer for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained and financed a Washington-based company called Fusion GPS to conduct the research and amass the dossier. Elias used his law firm, Perkins Coie, to retain Fusion GPS and to pay for its research activities.

Elias and DNC officials all have lied, claiming that they did not know who paid for the dossier.

The funders were only discovered thanks to a lawsuit brought by a technology mogul who was smeared in the document. The billionaire had sued Fusion GPS along with a mainstream media outlet that posted the entire document to its website for everyone to read. In his suit, he gained access to Fusion GPS’s bank accounts and discovered who had paid for the research.

Prior to the Clinton campaign and DNC contracting Fusion GPS to conduct the research, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet, contracted Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on then-candidate Trump and many of the other top GOP contenders at the time. Elias, working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC, eventually contracted Fusion GPS to engage in similar research, which was used to buttress Democrat talking points designed to discredit Trump by portraying him as a Russian puppet who was potentially being blackmailed by the Kremlin.IRS Loses Cases

ENTER THE BRITISH SPY

Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official who has close ties to both the FBI and the broader U.S. intelligence community, to put together the dossier, which alleges, among other things, that Russia has been “cultivating, supporting, and assisting Trump for at least five years,” The Hill reports. The dossier, entitled, “U.S. presidential election: Republican candidate Donald Trump’s activities in Russia and compromising relationship with the Kremlin,” also alleges that Trump and his top aides “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin” about Mrs. Clinton.

In the dossier, Steele further contends that Trump has deep financial ties to Russia.

Additionally, a number of lewd allegations were made about Trump in the dossier, allegations which have been met with skepticism and doubt. Trump has denied all of the charges contained in the dossier, calling it a “fake dossier” that was “made up” by disingenuous and dishonest individuals seeking to tarnish his image and reputation in the minds of the American public.

Trump has regularly attacked and criticized allegations of “Russian meddling” in the election, and has denied having close, compromising ties to Russia, describing the allegations as a “hoax.”

“I have to say, the whole Russian thing is what it’s turned out to be,” Trump explained to reporters following reports demonstrating the “Russia dossier” report was financed and compiled largely at the behest of the Clinton campaign and DNC. “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.”

The dossier is a collection of 17 memos authored by Steele between June 20 and Dec. 13, 2016. In the memos, Steele cites conversations he had with unnamed Russian sources, many of whom he paid for their “information.”

Former FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump and former President Barack Obama on the dossier prior to the election. Comey described it as “salacious and unverified” in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Many of the claims made in the dossier have been debunked, and many others have not been verified and likely never will be.

Several DNC leaders and many former Clinton campaign officials have denied involvement or knowledge about the “Russian dossier” and Fusion GPS’s role in compiling it.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez and top DNC leaders “were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” a DNC spokeswoman recently told The Washington Post.

John Friend is a freelance writer who lives in California.