“[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.” –Samuel Adams, essay in The Public Advertiser, 1749
We lead today with special commentary by Mark Alexander on a grand jury’s decision to forgo charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
By Mark Alexander
As anticipated, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Monday night that the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was justified self defense. “[The grand jury] determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments,” said McCulloch. In fact, Brown’s autopsy determined he was facing Wilson when shot, and one of Brown’s wounds was at close range inside Wilson’s patrol vehicle, the result of Brown’s attempt to reach through the driver’s door window and take the officer’s gun after having assaulted Wilson.
Predictably, Barack Obama and his dependable stable of “race bait” surrogates immediately set about to convert the verdict into political capital. Of course, the 24-hour news recycling talking heads, all vying for advertising market share, provided the race agitators a very big stage, and will continue to do so as long as they can stir up enough protestors.
For his part, Obama claimed the racial anger was “understandable,” but, given that there is no upcoming election, he left the constituent building to his race baiting attorney general, Eric Holder, who ensured the nation that the Justice Department investigation remains open: “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing.”
Holder is a master race baiter, and, when joined by race hustlers, including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and legions of lesser useful idiots, they have become very effective at promoting hate crime hoaxes in order to foment discontent and rally black constituents.
Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, Holder and company set the race bait by vowing to “seek justice” after a “white-Hispanic” man, George Zimmerman, shot and killed, in self-defense, ablack teenage thug named Trayvon Martin.
Ahead of the 2014 midterm election, Holder promised to “seek justice” in the shooting of another black teenage thug. In both cases, for political expedience, Holder assumed the shooters were guilty until proven innocent. Obama even suggested in an address to the UN that the Ferguson shooting could be seen in the same light as atrocities committed by ISIL cutthroats.
Among the more visible racists in Ferguson immediately after the shooting were the Black Panthers, who coined the chant, “What do we want? – Darren Wilson! – How do we want him? – Dead!”
Missouri Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, who is fishing for a 2016 veep slot under Hillary Clinton, joined that chant, referring to Brown as an “unarmed teenager” and promising “to achieve justice for Michael Brown,” but omitting any reference that Wilson’s actions might have been justified.
Having worked as a uniformed officer in two states while completing my undergraduate degree, I take great offense at the constant description of Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager.” No law enforcement officer should ever approach a suspect or assailant, whether in a vehicle or on a street, with the assumption he or she is “unarmed.” I would not be writing these words had I wavered from that precautionary training. The fact that Brown did not possess a weapon is hindsight 20/20, not something Wilson knew at the time of the altercation.
For the record, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, over the last decade there were an average of 58,261 assaults against law enforcement personnel each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries and more than 150 deaths per year.
Now, after three Brown autopsies and copious deliberations, the verdict is in – the shooting was justified. But don’t expect the facts to get in the way of the race bait political agenda.
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Monday night what the police in riot gear, the activated National Guard and the delayed press conference already said hours before: “[The grand jury] determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer [Darren] Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments.” The grand jury reviewed three autopsies and heard more than 70 hours of testimony, and in the end they found insufficient evidence for any charge – that’s significant, as a grand jury needs only probable cause, not proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Yet “protesters” were prepared to immediately become rioters and loot everything from alcohol to TVs from local businesses and then set fire to those businesses. The Left has sufficiently propagandized the black community so that they see injustice around every corner. Are there injustices? Absolutely. Is the Ferguson Police Department blameless? Absolutely not. But the violent and destructive results of this irresponsibly fomented anger are plastered across our TV screens.
In his statement following the St. Louis County grand jury announcement that officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the death of Michael Brown, Barack Obama accepted the ruling of the grand jury and made calls for peaceful protest and action, even as some television networks showed pictures of an erupting riot in Ferguson. “First and foremost, we are a nation built on the Rule of Law,” Obama said. “And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction.” Obama continued, saying Ferguson highlighted the problems in race relations and policing strategies: “So, to those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively.” As Martin Luther King once said, rioting and violence are used by people who feel they have no other ways to redress their grievances: “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have fomented racial grievances all along, both in Ferguson and in the case of Trayvon Martin. To call for calm now is a bit disingenuous.
While the streets of Ferguson erupted into fiery violence last night, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson is not the end of the legal circus surrounding the shooting. In September, the Department of Justice opened two investigations, one into possible civil rights violations in the Ferguson Police Department, and another into Wilson himself. “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said in a statement. “Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions.” Is this Holder’s way of “having a conversation” on race? He has inserted the federal government into the situation, keeping anger high by implying justice has not yet been served. More…
As the weekend progressed, it became clear that any chance of reaching a nuclear deal with Iran – what little chance there was, anyway – was next to zero as the Monday deadline neared. Yesterday officials confirmed that negotiators failed to come to an agreement, which means essentially nothing changes. Iran will continue masquerading its uranium enrichment program with promises of cloture and the can is once again kicked further drown the road. According to The Washington Free Beacon, “The parties now claim that last-minute progress in the talks warrant an extension into December – and likely thorough July 2015 – though the sides have yet to decide upon a location for continued negotiations, according to a Western source cited by the Associated Press.” Right – “last-minute progress.” The only nation making progress is Iran, whose charade ensures that it gets ever closer to the goal of attaining a nuclear warhead. Real progress looks unattainable as long as the Obama administration is calling the shots. The question is, can Israel survive two more years of obfuscation? More…
In a sit-down interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Barack Obama explained that his abuse of executive power should not be exploited by his successors in the Oval Office. Theemperor was asked, “How do you respond to the argument, a future president comes in, wants lower taxes. Doesn’t happen. Congress won’t do it – he says I’m not going to prosecute those who don’t pay capital gains tax?” Naturally, the president circumvented the question the first time around by defending his amnesty diktat, prompting Stephanopoulos to inquire once again, “So you don’t think it’d be legitimate for a future president to make that argument?” Responded Obama: “With respect to taxes? Absolutely not.” If only Democrats could follow their own advice. To be fair, he was asked about unilaterally lowering taxes, not raising them. He might have a different answer to the latter.
For more, visit Right Hooks.
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After two years and two elections, yet another House report on the incidents and decisions surrounding the attack on our compound in Benghazi, Libya, excuses the Obama administration from answering allegations of covering up the incident to avoid embarrassment less than two months before Barack Obama’s prospective re-election.
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the 2012 attack Nov. 21 and found that the intelligence community did nothing wrong when responding to the terrorist attack that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead by al-Qaida hands. In a joint statement, committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Ranking Member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) said, “Based on the testimony and the documents we reviewed, we concluded that all the CIA officers in Benghazi were heroes. Their actions saved lives.”
But the report doesn’t answer how the Obama administration covered up the attack for political gains, and the Leftmedia was all too eager to report that the Benghazi report was a non-story. For example, CBS News gleefully reported, “[T]he two-year investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.” So Obama is in the clear, right?
Not so fast. We still don’t have all the answers. The report states, “[T]he Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate.” Remember, the administration blamed a YouTube video for the “demonstration” that turned violent. Problem is, those who knew the score – such as the deputy CIA director – didn’t seem willing to tell the unvarnished truth as they changed talking points to better suit a narrative.
As political commentator Mollie Hemingway notes, “[M]aybe when you’re, I don’t know, trying to ‘underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy’ because you’re focusing on campaigning more than truth-telling, you end up underscoring something that isn’t true.”
But this report makes some new facts public. It reveals a drone strike that killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top al-Qaida operative who perished in Pakistan earlier on Sept. 11, 2012, could have been to blame, as various groups aligned with al-Qaida carried out the attack on the Benghazi compound. We also learned that one purpose of the CIA presence in Benghazi was to try and keep tabs on weapons moving from Libya to Syria – a Predator drone that arrived on-scene after the attack began was diverted from a mission in Derna, a coastal city thought to be a transfer point for weapons.
And while the report finds the CIA “could have placed more weight on eyewitness sources on the ground and should have challenged its initial assessments” about the incident, the House Committee “found no evidence of an intelligence failure” based in part on an “internal CIA analytic review.” As if the agency isn’t in full CYA mode.
Yet at the time we were spoon-fed the narrative about the video. While the evidence mounted that the protest was really a coordinated al-Qaida attack, the media became less and less curious as to how the group that was supposedly “decimated” by the death of Osama bin Laden had the resources to carry out such an operation. But, to borrow a line screeched by Hillary Clinton, what difference, at this point, does it make? Four good men are dead, the president who failed to act more decisively in the matter and then lied about it was re-elected, and the secretary of state who stood idly by aims to succeed him.
Something else that died in the Benghazi aftermath was any notion the Leftmedia doesn’t simply serve as a cheerleader for the statist team in charge. The media that once hounded a president out of office for a criminal cover-up that was heinous but not fatal now can’t be bothered with rooting out the real story in this case. If a Benghazi-style attack had happened in September 2004, Bob Shrum would have been right because that would have been the lead story all the way to November. But journalism passed away about the time the keys to the White House were handed to Barack Obama, and we’re all the worse off for it.
However, the investigation into the Benghazi scandal is not over. The Select Committee on Benghazi, led by Trey Gowdy (R-SC), continues its investigation into the attack. Maybe it can cut through the political fog to find the political motivation for why the Obama administration lied to the American people and dishonored the death of four Americans in Libya.
Chuck Hagel’s resignation, well, ouster, as secretary of defense is nothing if not a clear repudiation of the defense policy of his soon-to-be former boss, Barack Obama. When Obama chose Hagel two years ago, he did so because he was looking for someone who would implement a two-pronged strategy of shrinking America’s military while simultaneously disengaging it from world affairs. Not exactly a task for someone genuinely concerned about the threats this country faced. But Hagel was not a genuinely concerned kind of guy.
Hagel, technically a Republican while he was in the Senate, was a loud voice against the Iraq war who aligned himself with then-Senators John Kerry and Barack Obama in claiming the war against Jihadistan was not worth fighting. Without rehashing that old debate, it’s safe to say this stance was based on a wrong-headed view of the world. Hagel did not believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein was supporting international terrorists, or that losing Iraq to sectarian and terrorist strife would be disastrous to our Middle Eastern policy. All of these views have come to be disproved in grand style.
Obama chose Hagel, who was not known for possessing keen leadership skills, because Hagel fit his mindset. Hagel was reportedly often silent at meetings, not offering any constructive opinions. He functioned mostly as a conduit for Obama’s wishes. He never balked at the social engineering Obama wanted to inject into the military, nor did he put up much protest when it came to drawing down American forces to dangerously low levels. Hagel defended the latter policy by citing concerns related to budgets over those related to growing threats on numerous strategic fronts around the world.
But Hagel never quite fit in with Team Obama. The Chicago mob surrounding the president in the White House and the left-wing intelligentsia didn’t trust the man, who they viewed as a Republican latecomer to the party.
It was only in recent weeks that Hagel seemed to get his head on straight. He started opposing Obama’s security strategies. White House officials claim he attempted to stall the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay because of his concerns about the security risks posed by releasing detainees. He also butted heads with National Security Adviser Susan Rice over policy on Syria, claiming it was in danger of coming apart because there were no clear objectives laid out.
And while Obama wished to slowly chip away at ISIL with little U.S. involvement, Hagel saw a much more serious threat. “ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group we have seen,” Hagel said in August. “They are beyond just a terrorist group. … I think the evidence is pretty clear. Yes they are an imminent threat to every interest we have whether in Iraq or anywhere else.”
It would figure in the Obama White House that, as soon as Hagel showed signs of coming to his senses, his days were numbered. It also figures that after a bruising midterm repudiation of his presidency, Obama would fire the only Republican in his cabinet. It’s certainly true the administration is in need of a foreign-policy team shakeup, but ousting Kerry, Rice or any of the other members of the team was never going to be an option.
Hagel was never a good choice for the position of secretary of defense. His level of competence was far below that required to fulfill the duties of his post, and his worldview remained skewed by a prejudice that America’s challenges were forged solely by America’s involvement in foreign affairs. Yet his failure in the position was not his alone.
Hagel was tasked with executing a series of bad decisions that only further compounded America’s problems overseas – pulling out of Afghanistan, cutting troop strength, cutting procurement orders and implementing social policies that have no business in the military. The list is long and infuriating. In short, Hagel failed in large part because he was in a no-win situation.
Potential replacements include Michele Flournoy, a former undersecretary under Leon Panetta who embraces the small military model, and Ashton Carter, an academic considered to be an expert on budgets and weapons in the Pentagon. The primary element of success for a secretary of defense is serving a president who has an obvious dedication to America’s national security and a clear understanding of world affairs. We’re not going to see that for at least a couple of years.
For more, visit Right Analysis.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Dennis Prager: We Have a Moral Divide, Not a Racial One
- Thomas Sowell: Beware of Our Betters
- Ken Blackwell & Bob Morrison: Hagel Dismissed, but Not Missed
- Joe Bastardi: Crazy Is as Crazy Does
- Ed Feulner: A Nation of Problem-Solvers No More?
For more, visit Right Opinion.
OPINION IN BRIEF
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013): “We want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society – not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State.”
Columnist Dennis Prager: “If the truth here accords with what … police officer [Darren Wilson] said, he did not commit an immoral act when he shot Michael Brown. On the other hand, if he shot the young man for no good reason, he committed an immoral act. But according to the it’s-all-a-matter-of-perceptions view, there is no moral truth, only black perceptions and white perceptions. This all accords with the left’s views of truth and morality. Neither exists. Visit any university to confirm this. … Morality is entirely subjective. ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are individual or societal preferences. No more, no less. Like truth, morality is just a perception, one determined by an individual’s race, gender, and/or class. That is why, for the left, no man can judge any abortion, no matter how late in pregnancy and no matter the reason – because men do not possess a uterus.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Jonathan Gruber’s several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got ObamaCare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media. Whatever did or did not happen between Bill Cosby and various women is not likely to affect the lives of 300 million Americans. But ObamaCare does. … Whether the issue is ObamaCare, amnesty for illegal immigrants or ‘global warming,’ when you hear that ‘all the experts agree,’ that may mean nothing more than that the fix is in. And ‘all’ may mean considerably less than 100 percent – or even 50 percent. … Jonathan Gruber’s notion that the people are ‘stupid’ is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “What I’m hearing is that a lot of black people are feeling powerless today … except for one who is bypassing Congress with executive actions.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
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