Did you know that the Democratic Party defended slavery, started the Civil War, founded the KKK, and fought against every major civil rights act in U.S. history? Watch as Carol Swain, professor of political science at Vanderbilt University, shares the inconvenient history of the Democratic Party. Donate today to help us reach more people with this video!
By Philip Giraldi
There has been surprisingly little media follow-up on the story about the July 25th Dulles Airport arrest of House of Representatives’ employed Pakistani-American IT specialist Imran Awan, who was detained for bank fraud while he was allegedly fleeing to Pakistan. The mainstream media somewhat predictably produced minimal press coverage before the story died. The speed at which the news vanished has prompted some observers, including Breitbart, to sound the alarm over a suspected cover-up of possible exposure of classified information or even espionage that just might be part of the story that we are now calling Russiagate.
To be sure, the tale is a strange one with plenty of unsavory links. Thirty-seven year old Awan, his wife, sister-in-law and two brothers Abid and Jamal worked as IT administrators, full and part-time, for between 30 and 80 congressmen, all Democrats, including former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. They did not have security clearances and it is not even certain that they were in any way checked out before being hired. Nor were their claimed skills at IT administration confirmed as their work pattern reportedly turned out to consist more of absences than time spent in the House offices. One congressional IT staffer described them as “ghost employees.”
At one point, Imran brought into the House as a colleague one Rao Abbas, someone to whom he owed money, best distinguished by his being recently fired by McDonald’s. Abbas lived in the basement of a house owned by Imran’s wife as a rental property. He may have had no qualifications at all to perform IT but the congressmen in question did not seem to notice. Abbas wound up working, on the rare occasions that he went into the building, in the office of Congressman Patrick Murphy, who was at the time a member of the House Intelligence Committee as well as for Florida Congressman Theo Deutch. He was paid $250,000.
To cover for all the non-working but on the payroll employees, Imran also hired a high school friend Haseeb Rana, who actually did know something about computers. Rana reportedly did “all the work” and kept wanting to quit for that reason. It was also against House rules for an IT administrator to fill in for someone else, as Rana routinely did, since each such employee had be personally registered by the congressman.
The Awans and their two friends were all taken on as salaried employees of the House of Representatives at senior civil service level paygrades of ca. $165,000 annually, which normally is what is paid to highly experienced senior managers or chiefs of staff. Imran’s younger brother Jamal was only twenty years old when he was hired at that level in 2014.
The process of granting security clearances to Congressional staff is not exactly transparent, but it is not unlike the procedures for other government agencies. The office seeking the clearance for a staff member must put in a request, some kind of investigation follows, and the applicant must then sign a non-disclosure agreement before the authorization is granted. Sometimes Congress pushes the process by demanding that its staff have access above and beyond the normal “need to know.” In March 2016, for example, eight Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee requested that their staffs be given access to top secret sensitive compartmented information.
It is not known if the Awans, who were working for several Intelligence Committee members simultaneously, would have been involved or had access to the computers able to pull up classified material being used by those staffers, but Buzzfeed, in its initial reporting on the investigation of the Awans family, repeated the concerns of a Congressman that the suspects might have “had access to the House of Representatives’ entire computer network.” Indeed, it is difficult to imagine that that was not the case. In office environments, the IT administrators routinely ask for passwords if they are checking out the system. WikiLeaks emails confirm that Imran certainly had passwords relating to Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as well as to others on her staff.
Congress paid the Awans more than $4 million between 2004 and 2016 at their $165,000 salary level, a sum that some sources suggest to be three or four times higher than the norm for government contractor IT specialists performing similar work at the same level of alleged competency. Four of the Awans were among the 500 highest paid of the 15,000 congressional staffers. The considerable and consistent level of overpayment has not been explained by the congressmen involved. In spite of all that income being generated, Imran Awan declared bankruptcy in 2010 claiming losses of $1 million on a car business that he owned in Falls Church Virginia that ran up debts and borrowed money that it failed to repay. The business was named Cars International A, abbreviated on its business cards as CIA.
The Awans family also was noted for its brushes with the law and internal discord, though it is doubtful if the congressional employers were aware of their outside-of-the-office behavior. The brothers were on the receiving end of a number of traffic citations, including DUI, and were constantly scheming to generate income, including what must have been a hilarious phone conversation to their credit union in which Imran pretended to be his own wife in order to wire money to Pakistan. They were on bad terms with their father and step-mother, including forging a document to cheat their step-mother of an insurance payment and even holding her “captive” so she could not see their dying father. Their father even changed his last name to dissociate himself from them.
As of February 2016, the Awans came under suspicion for having set up an operation involving double billing as well as the theft and reselling of government owned computer equipment. It was also believed that they had somehow obtained entry to much of the House of Representatives’ computer network as well as to other information in the individual offices’ separate computer systems that they were in theory not allowed to access. The Capitol Hill Police began an investigation and quietly alerted the congressmen involved that there might be a problem. Most stopped employing the Awan family members and associates, but Wasserman-Schultz kept Imran on the payroll until the day after he was actually arrested.
Some of those defending the Awans, to include Wasserman-Schultz and the family lawyer, have insisted that he and his family were the victims of “an anti-Muslim, right-wing smear job,” though there is no actual evidence to suggest that is the case. They also claim that the bank fraud that led to the arrest, in which Imran obtained a home equity loan for $165,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union based on a house that he owned and claimed to live in in Lorton Virginia, was largely a misunderstanding It has been described as something “extremely minor” by his lawyer Chris Gowen, a high priced Washington attorney who has worked for the Clintons personally, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative.
It turned out that Imran and his wife no longer lived in the house which had been turned into a rental property, a clear case of bank fraud. The Awans had tenants in the house, an ex-Marine and his Naval officer wife, who were very suspicious about a large quantity of what appeared to be government sourced computer equipment and supplies, all material that had been left behind by the owners. They contacted the FBI, which discovered hard drives that appeared to have been deliberately destroyed.
Paul Joseph Watson
The mainstream media is completely blacklisting any mention of the bombshell revelations by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh about murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, in which Hersh explained how Rich was Wikileaks’ source for the DNC leak and how the “Russian hacking” story was completely concocted by former CIA director John Brennan.
In an audio tape obtained by Big League Politics, Hersh says he saw an FBI report leaked to him by an insider which confirms that Rich had contacted Wikileaks with sample emails from the DNC leak and asked for payment for the full data dump.
“All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said ‘I want money.’ Later, WikiLeaks did get the password, he had a DropBox, a protected DropBox,” he said. They got access to the DropBox,” added Hersh.
By Eric Zuesse
Strategic Culture Foundation
The Monthly Harvard-Harris Poll: June 2017 is the latest poll in that series, and it scientifically sampled 2,258 U.S. registered voters, of whom (as shown on page 30) 35% were Democrat, 29% were Republican, and 30% were independent). It indicates (page 24) that 37% approve and 63% disapprove of the way the Republican Party is handling its job. It also indicates (page 25) that 38% approve, and 62% disapprove, of the way the Democratic Party is handling its job. So: despite there being 6% more self-described Democrat's than Republican's, there was only 1% more disapproval of the Republican Party than of the Democratic Party; and, this indicates that there was a substantial disapproval of the Democratic Party by Democratic voters (more disaffection by them for ‘their’ Party, than Republicans have for theirs).
The answers to other questions in the poll also help to provide an answer as to why this is so, and why the voting public don’t hold either Party in high regard — why America’s supposedly ‘democratic’ (small-"D") politics is currently a contest between uglies, with neither Party offering anything like what the U.S. voting public want their government to do (i.e., it fits what this scientific study found actually to control U.S. politics):
Hillary Clinton sided with Russia on sanctions as Bill made $500G on Moscow speech.
As the relentless media driven agenda to link President Trump to the Russian government continues, it has emerged that Bill Clinton made half a million dollars on a speech in Russia in 2010, while Hillary Clinton opposed the same sanctions against Russian human rights abusers that the Russian lawyer who met with Don Trump Jr. did.
Fox News has been investigating the fact that Hillary Clinton’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill, also opposed by lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually coincided with a $500,000 speech Hillary’s husband gave in Moscow to Renaissance Capital, an investment bank with ties to the Kremlin.
The source comes from WikiLeaks-released documents, and details how the Clinton campaign attempted to play down the issue during the election campaign.
“With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow,” Jesse Lehrich, on the Rapid Response Communications team for Hillary For America, boasted on May 21, 2015, according to the Wikileaks files.
“If you want to talk about having relationships with Russia, I’d look no further than the Clintons,” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a briefing last week. “Bill Clinton was paid half a million dollars to give a speech to a Russian bank, personally thanked by President Putin.”
Former Governor Mike Huckabee, currently visiting Russia, chimed in to say that Russians he has spoken to want their money back.
By David Kupelian
A major crime wave is ravaging your neighborhood – not only frequent break-ins and burglaries, but armed robberies, assaults and even murders. What do you do? Do you arm yourself and make sure your doors are locked at night and add a security system?
Or … do you intentionally leave your doors unlocked and post a large, brightly lit sign saying, “Welcome criminals and psychopaths. There’s a lot of money in here, women too. The doors are unlocked and we are unarmed”?
In today’s America, one of the two major political parties favors the latter option.
Case in point: High-profile Democrat Rahm Emanuel is currently mayor of Chicago, where more than 4,000 people were shot last year, 762 of them murdered. The former Obama White House chief of staff is proud Chicago has some of the nation’s most stringent gun-control laws, even though decades of research proves more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens reliably results in less crime. Worse, the mayor defiantly boasts of his determination to keep Chicago a “sanctuary city” – meaning the city’s police are prohibited from cooperating with federal law enforcement in getting criminal illegal aliens off the city’s streets by deporting them. Indeed, the “sanctuary city” designation serves as a “Welcome” sign to violent criminal illegals, assuring them that Chicago, like hundreds of other sanctuary cities, is their “safe space.”
Likewise, in San Francisco, the famed BART rapid transit system is currently plagued by “swarming attacks,” in which a dozen or more teens board a train car and assault and rob passengers. On April 22, for example, 40 to 60 teens boarded a train at the Coliseum station, robbed seven passengers and beat up two. Normally, of course, surveillance footage of such crimes would be immediately released to the media so the public could help identify the perpetrators. But not in San Francisco, where BART officials steadfastly refuse to release video footage of such crimes to the media. Why would they do that? Because, you see, letting the public see the video would encourage racism, they claim.
This is the same thinking that recently led a Seattle city councilman to object to hosing human feces and urine off public sidewalks in an area with homeless shelters because it would be racially insensitive. Power-washing the sidewalks, he claims, might evoke “images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists,” and thus traumatize observers.
By W. James Antle III
It's impossible in some quarters to discuss Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a shady Russian lawyer without being quizzed about similar bad things politicians from the opposing party have done.
This bit of rhetorical judo has become so common in our politics that it even has a name: "whataboutism." Naturally, its origins have been traced back to the Russians, if not even further back. The Economist's Edward Luce described it as an attempt to "match every Soviet crime with a real or imagined Western one."
More recently, the tactic has been deployed by diehard supporters of President Trump, as well as by his more removed "anti-anti-Trumpist" backers.
And you know what? Trump's supporters are not wrong to urge us all to truly examine historical precedents. Because all too often, Trump's fiercest critics declare his every utterance and action unprecedented without bothering to thoughtfully consider the precedents.
Now, when "whataboutism" is used to defend the indefensible, it is obviously wrong. But not every historical comparison can be dismissed as simple "whataboutism." And there are good reasons why "What about ... " questions have so frequently been raised under this president. The case against Trump is not simply that he does things that are wrong or bad, but that he is bad in ways that are unprecedented and represent a sharp break from important political norms.
If we are going to chastise Trump for norm violations, shouldn't we first establish how normal or abnormal his actions in a given area really are? If we are going to say he is guilty of doing the unprecedented, shouldn't we look to see if there are in fact any precedents?
These "what about" questions also impose some accountability on Trump critics. When asked in good faith, they can be used to determine consistency and avoid double standards.
None of this means that if President Trump were to suspend habeas corpus, we should respond by saying, "Calm down! Even Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War!" It does, however, mean that even people who believe Trump represents something fundamentally different from past presidents have an obligation to try to keep him in historical perspective.
The tendency to treat everything Trump does as an emergency, without distinction, will make true emergencies more difficult to recognize. And if the press gets it wrong, hyping something that isn't especially unusual, it makes it easier for Trump to dismiss future criticisms or unflattering reports as "fake news."
Take, for example, the dearth of on-camera press briefings. There is a legitimate argument to be made that this stifles transparency because it reduces the consequences for refusing to answer questions or giving incoherent responses — the viewing public doesn't get to see the administration's representatives squirm. (It's also a missed opportunity for Trump to use the bully pulpit, but that's another story.)
This is from George Washington's farewell address to the nation. This was before the democratic and republican parties even existed.