Did Linkin Park have a change in heart, if not faith?

I find both Linkin Park’s music and lyrics to be substantially changed in this song as compared to their previous ones.
I’ve asked several friends from college involved in the Christian music scene what they think.  I’ll report back here, discretely, with what they find.  Meanwhile, the lyrics of a lot of breakthrough Christian bands have been brought to mind.
Lyrics here (courtesy of Google Lyrics, Linkin Park, The Catalyst):
 
God bless us everyone
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun
And it can’t be outfought
It can’t be out done
It can’t be out matched
It can’t be out run
No
 
God bless us everyone
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun
And it can’t be outfought
It can’t be out done
It can’t out matched
It can’t be out run
No
 
And when I close my eyes tonight
Two symphonies of blinding light
God bless everyone
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun
 
Oh
Like memories in cold decay
Transmissions echoing away
Far from the world of you and I
Where oceans bleed into the sky
 
God save us everyone,
Will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns?
For the sins of our hand
The sins of our tongue
The sins of our father
The sins of our young
No
 
God save us everyone,
Will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns?
For the sins of our hand
The sins of our tongue
The sins of our father
The sins of our young
No
 
And when I close my eyes tonight
To symphonies of blinding light
(God save us everyone, will we burn inside the fires of a thousand suns? Oh)
Like memories in cold decay
Transmissions echoing away
Far from the world of you and I
Where oceans bleed into the sky
 
Like memories in cold decay
Transmissions echoing away
Far from the world of you and I
Where oceans bleed into the sky
 
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
Lift me up, let me go
 
God bless us everyone
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun
And it can’t be outfought
Can’t be out done
It can’t be out matched
It can’t be out run
No
 
God bless us everyone
We’re a broken people living under loaded gun
And it can’t be out faught
Can’t be out done
It can’t be out matched
It can’t be out run

Liberals and Democrats – What’s REALLY Wrong with Libtards and Demoncraps?

Ok, what’s REALLY wrong with Libtards and Demoncraps? (Liberals and Democrats)
 
Idealism. These two categories of people, largely overlapping, have replaced any sense of reality for what they would like reality to be. Raised on Hollywood, they think that if they just believe hard enough, it’ll come to pass, and when it doesn’t, we find them rioting in the streets.
 
REAL MEN defend God, Country, Community, Family, and Selves, in that order (or reordered, as immediately necessary), against any and all threats to this hierarchy we know as government, and specifically in the case of the United States of America, our Republic (says so in both the U.S. Constitution as well as in all 50 State Constitutions).
 
To that end, God allowed REAL MANKIND (this includes women) to develop the tools we need to defend ourselves, including all manner of “arms” as provided for in our Second Amendment (knives, firearms, swords, spears, etc.), and as written by REAL MEN.
 
We the People call these REAL MEN our Founding Fathers.
 
Libtards and Demoncraps are the result of overly exuberant mental conditioning, what happens when a potential libtard’s idealistic tendencies are stretched so far that their psyche snaps it’s last hold on reality.5

North Korea’s ICBM Test and Threat

On July 4, 2017, North Korea tested a missile which it claims to be its first intercontinental missile.  North Korea claimed, and Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary confirmed, the missile dubbed the Hwasong-14 ICBM flew for 40 minutes up to an altitude of 1,500 miles, well above the orbital altitude of the International Space Station.  A more depressed trajectory, this mid-range missile could reach Alaska.  They followed their test with threats of widespread destruction against the United States.   Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, declares that North Korea continues to “ignore the repeated warning from the international community.”

On July 5, 2017, Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, delivered the following speech to the United Nations:

Thank you, Mr. President.

To my friends on the Security Council, I must say that today is a dark day. It is a dark day because yesterday’s action by North Korea made the world a more dangerous place. Their illegal missile launch was not only dangerous, but reckless and irresponsible. It showed that North Korea does not want to be part of a peaceful world. They have cast a dark shadow of conflict on all nations that strive for peace.

Yesterday’s act came from the same vicious dictator who sent a young college student back home to his parents unresponsive and in a coma. For Americans, the true nature of the North Korean regime was painfully brought home with the images of two guards holding Otto Warmbier up as they transported him from a prison he should never have been in.

Otto Warmbier is but one person out of millions who have been killed, tortured or deprived of their human rights by the North Korean regime. To Americans, the death of one innocent person can be as powerful as the death of millions because all men and women are created in God’s image. Depravity toward one is a sure sign of willingness to do much more harm.

The nature of the North Korean regime is clear. Only the scale of the damage it does could become different. That’s why yesterday’s escalation is so alarming. If North Korea will treat an innocent young student the way it treated Otto Warmbier, we should not be surprised if it acts barbarically on a larger scale.

The United States does not seek conflict. In fact, we seek to avoid it. We seek only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an end to the threatening actions by North Korea. Regrettably, we’re witnessing just the opposite. Make no mistake, North Korea’s launch of an ICBM is a clear and sharp military escalation.

The North Korean regime openly states that its missiles are intended to deliver nuclear weapons to strike cities in the United States, South Korea and Japan. And now it has greater capacity to do so.

In truth, it is not only the United States and our allies that are threatened. North Korea’s destabilizing escalation is a threat to all nations in the region and beyond. Their actions are quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution.

The United States is prepared to use the full range of our capabilities to defend ourselves and our allies. One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction. We have other methods of addressing those who threaten us and of addressing those who supply the threat.

We have great capabilities in the area of trade. President Trump has spoken repeatedly about this. I spoke with him at length about it this morning. There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging, trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Such countries would also like to continue their trade — such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That’s not going to happen.

Our attitude on trade changes when countries do not take international security threats seriously. Before the path to a peaceful solution is entirely closed, however, there remains more that the international community can and must do diplomatically and economically. In the coming days, we will bring before the Security Council a resolution that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea’s new escalation.

I will not detail the resolution here today, but the options are all known to us. If we are unified, the international community can cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime. We can restrict the flow of oil to their military and their weapons program. We can increase air and maritime restrictions. We can hole senior regime officials accountable.

The international community has spoken frequently against the illegal and dangerous actions of the North Korean regime. For many years, there have been numerous U.N. sanctions against North Korea, but they have been insufficient to get them to change their destructive course.

So in order to have an impact, in order to move North Korea off its military escalation, we must do more. We will not look exclusively at North Korea. We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime. We will not have patience for stalling or talking our way down to a watered-down resolution.

Yesterday’s ICBM escalation requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short. Action is required. The world is on notice. If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.

Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China; 90 percent of trade with North Korea is from China. We will work with China. We will work with any and every country that believes in peace.

But we will not, repeat, the inadequate approaches of the past that have brought us to this dark day.

We cannot forget the multiple missile tests this year, or yesterday’s escalation.

We cannot forgot Otto Warmbier and others North Korea continues to hold. We cannot forget the threats to our friends and allies around the world.

We will not forget, and we will not delay.

Thank you.

Let’s examine North Korea’s position:

“President Donald Trump has staunchly opposed North Korea’s pursuit of ICBMs, as well as its desire to develop the technology to fit them with nuclear warheads, which Pyongyang views as essential to its survival in case of foreign invasion.” – Time, July 5, 2017
Given President Trump’s 50-year history of action, it is extremely unwise to attempt to call his bluff, as he simply has none.  He researches what he can and cannot do, then does what he must in order to accomplish his goals.
 
For Pyongyang to view nuclear weapons “as essential to its survival in case of foreign invasion” is about as blitheringly idiotic as could be, especially since 95% of all countries around the world have no nuclear weapons.  Not one of those 187 countries without nuclear weapons is invading them, so why would any one of the 8 countries with nuclear weapons want to invade North Korea?  We’ve had nukes for seventy-two years.  Most of the other 7 countries have had their nukes for at least fifty years.  If any of us had any interest in invading North Korea or using nuclear weapons against North Korea in a preemptive strike, we’d have done so long ago.  What we’ve been hoping for over the last 64 years is that North Korea would come to its senses and do what nearly all other countries have done:  Establish normal diplomatic relations and engage in free trade with others.
The U.S. (nor any other country) has absolutely no interest whatsoever in invading North Korea, unless North Korea develops and threatens to use nuclear weapons against others.  Thus, North Korea’s fearful reaction, their aggressive actions, and their threats are not only not in their best interests, they’re in their absolutely worst interests.  They’re completely irrational.  It’s downright blatantly stupid given the direct consequences which will — must — follow North Korea’s threats of using nuclear weapons against others.
 
Some FACTS about nuclear weapons:
 
1. Out of 196 countries around the world, only 9 (4.6%) of them have nuclear weapons. The other 187 countries (95.4%) around the world have no nuclear weapons.
 
2. Russia has 47.9% of all nuclear weapons. The U.S. has 44.5% of all nuclear weapons. Third on that list, France as 2.1%, followed by China at less than 2%.  North Korea might have as many as 8 nuclear weapons (0.05%), but the actual number is probably less than that due to their underground testing.  Here’s the full list
 nuclear weapons
3. When it comes to official world policy on North Korea, 98.15% of all nuclear weapons in the world can be pointed at and used against the country, should that need arise.
Bottom line, given the military might and nuclear capability of the U.S., Russia, France, China, the U.K., Pakistan, India, and Israel — ALL of whom are members of the United Nations, North Korea will NEVER succeed in using force, especially nuclear force, against any other country, as ALL other countries would wipe them off the face of God’s good, green Earth.  North Korea is about a second away from self-annihilation.  They had better find someone who isn’t bent on self-destruction to right their ship and lead their nation out of the minefield into which they’ve drifted.

How to PROPERLY Secure Your vBulletin Forum

After spending a couple of hours on a post, I inadvertently forgot to:

1. Copy my work
2. Log back in
3. Recreate the title
4. Post my work

However, no message forum user should ever have to remember to follow these four steps during a single session. Unfortunately, since one of my favorite message forum’s installation of vBulletin does not preserve the post (it does on most other vBulletin forums, including my own), the inevitable result is that the post (and my time) is lost.  A user’s long, hard work winds up being met with the following message, along with the complete loss of his or her work:

vBulletin Login Timeout

Therefore, I’m going to ask them again to please change the timeout from its current setting.

Here’s why: Overly short timeouts are the least effective way to increase forum security. By changing other parameters, you can make your forum many millions of times more secure than by greatly inconveniencing users with puny timeouts.

 

Only slightly complicating this problem is the fact that there are two issues at work. Actually, there are many, but given what the admins can quickly and easily change, it only involves two issues: Brute-force attacks and man-in-the-middle attacks. The login timeout involves man-in-the-middle attacks. Put simply, while you’re logged in, someone listening in to the data transmissions between your computer and the forum’s servers can easily locate the session key. However, that’s useless to them unless they’re able to crack it while the session key is in play, then use it to log into using the sniffed user’s account, and change their password, e-mail information, etc.

All that nets them, however, is that individual user’s login credentials. It cannot hack the system itself. Furthermore, even the guest session uses a 32 character session hash. Given 96 available characters, that’s a keyspace of 2.70819E+63. In case you’re wondering, and according to Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation, it would take a massive cracking array capable of one hundred trillion guesses per second at least 6.22 thousand trillion trillion trillion centuries to exhaust this session hash. If one wanted to be 99.9999% certain it couldn’t be found, then it would still take 6.22 billion trillion trillion centuries to crack.

Not only is that an extremely long time, more than a trillion trillion times longer than the age of the entire universe, it’s also the reason why maintaining a short login time is not merely petty, but it’s pathetic, as well.

Let’s work through some examples to see how this works:

Given:
– Login timeout: 20 min
– Min password length: 7 characters
– Max number of retries: 5
– Retry lockout: 15 minutes

Example 1: Change login timeout to 10 min

Result: This halves the time a man-in-the-middle attack can intercept a login. However, these attacks are only good during that particular session. Unless the attack cuts off communication with the user, the moment that user logs off, that key is cleared and the attack is halted. In the meantime, users are greatly inconvenienced by constantly being booted off the server every time they grab a lock snack, make dinner, or are busy working on a long post.

Result: It only makes the bad guys work twice as hard.

Bottom line: Login timeouts are so pathetically and ridiculously ineffective (see the 6.22 trillion trillion trillion centuries explanation above) that it’s best to set them to 12 hours, if not 24 hours, and use other, far, far, far more effective means as described below:

Example 2: Change the min password length to 8 characters.

Result: Since 96 characters are available for passwords, this makes the bad guys work 96 times harder. That’s 48 times more effective than halving the login timeout.

Bottom line: Increase the min password length to 8, thereby gaining 48 times more effectiveness in deterring a brute-force attack.

Speaking of passwords, you can also enforce a ban on dictionary passwords and/or the use of at least one each of upper, lower, numbers, and special characters. That results in an increase in security of between several thousand-fold to trillions.

Example 3: Reduce the max number of retries to 2 (total of 3 tries)

Result: This halves the number of times a brute-force approach can crack the password. However, if the min password length is set to 7, that’s 75,144,747,810,816 possible passwords. Thus, instead of giving them 6 chances to work miracles, you’re giving them 3 chances to work miracles. Regardless, merely by using reasonable values for the max retries and retry lockout, you’ve already defeated the brute force approach, completely.

Bottom line: It’s better to leave it at 5 retries.

Example 4: Increase the Retry Lockout to 30 minutes.

Result: This just ticks people off. The whole point of combining the use of the min password retries and retry lock out is to limit the long-term ability of anyone to brute-force attack any particular user’s login.

Bottom line: Leave it at 15 minutes.

With 5 total tries and a retry delay of 15 minutes, you’re limiting the system to a maximum of 20 tries per hour, or 480 tries in a 24-hour period. Compared to 75,144,747,810,816 possible passwords, that’s nothing. Well, actually, it’s next to nothing. Specifically, it’s 6.387671e-12. Put another way, you’re at least 99.999999999361% “safe.” However, that’s simply by combining an attempt limit and retry lockout with an 8 character password minimum. Those who use a 9 or 10 char password receive 96 to 9,216 times more protection.

With all of the above in mind, here’s an expert vBulletin administrator’s advice:

Recommended Settings:

– Login timeout: 24 hours (1,440 min)
– Min password length: 8 characters
– Enforce no dictionary words: Yes
– Enforce the use of upper, lower, numbers, and special chars: No
– Max number of retries before lockout: 3
– Retry lockout: 5 minutes

Now, if you’d like to double the trillion trillion trillion centuries (or more) level of protection afforded with the settings above, for just $18 a year, you can Convert Your vBulletin Installation to HTTPS (SSL/TLS).

Facebook’s “Malicious Software” May Be Hacking Its Own Users

Facebook keeps saying I have some sort of “malicious software.” That’s totally bogus, as I’m running the leading anti-virus software, have run a second leading anti-virus software, and have run three different highly acclaimed anti-malware packages to scrub my system.
 
Furthermore, the problem occurs only after I attempt to log on, regardless of the computer, network, or ISP.  Meanwhile, anyone else who logs onto Facebook using my computer has absolutely zero problems and receives no such error message.
I’m not the only one experiencing this problem.  Here are some links to others who are experiencing the same or similar issues:
 

 – Jack Yan & Associates

Another by Jack Yan & Associates

There are even four pages on Facebook’s user community wherein a growing number of people are reporting the same issue.

These facts and the details I provide below form the basis of my belief that Facebook’s “malicious software” detection is either riddled with errors or is totally bogus, perhaps even Facebook’s way of getting people to download their “partnered” anti-“malicious software” on an individual’s computer in order to spy on users’ machines.

When this happened two weeks ago, I wrote them the following letter.  I promised I would hide this blog post if they permanently removed the “malicious software” flag in their system.  After five days, they did just that and I was able to log in.  This morning, however, I receive the “malicious software” message again, so I made this blog post visible once more, and will likely keep it until Facebook publically acknowledges that at the very least, their “malicious software” flag has nothing to do with whatever Facebook detects on a users’ computer (it can’t, due to the browser’s security), but rather, it’s tied to individual user accounts.

Dear Facebook:

On the afternoon of June 6th, 2017, while in the middle of typing a post on Facebook via my primary FB account, I received the following popup message from Facebook that states:

“Hi (name), we’re continuously working to keep your account secure. We’ve noticed that this device may be infected with malicious software. To continue to use Facebook, you can either use other devices or clean this device by downloading the scanner provided by Facebook and Trend Micro.”

Screenshot:

 

malicious software

In your Terms of Service, under Section 2, “Sharing Your Content and Information,” you specifically state, “You [the user] own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.”

Since that’s indeed the case under U.S. Copyright Law, why are you blocking MY access to MY information?

I am an IT security specialist with 29 years of experience. I have written 24 security-related articles for Network World, and authored security-related documentation during my 20+ years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.  Therefore, please take me seriously when I affirm this problem does not exist on any local computer which I have used to log into Facebook, but rather, on your network, and specifically, my account on your network.

Just to be absolutely certain, however, I conducted the following series of tests:

I tried “other devices.” In fact, I tried 7 completely different machines:

  • neighbor 1
  • neighbor 2
  • public library 1
  • public library 2
  • friend’s
  • my spare computer
  • my local machine

I tried them in 6 different geographic locations, using 3 different ISPs:

  • Comcast
  • Qwest/CenturyLink
  • Peak Internet

I also tested two browsers (Chrome and Firefox) on all of those, along with Opera on two of them.

In all seven cases (19 test cases, total), the following results remained consistent:  Logging in with my primary account resulted in the “malicious software” error message on all machines, locations, and ISPs, but logging in with any other account resulted in a clean login regardless of machine, location, or ISP. Of these 7 machines, four were running Norton Security, and the other three ran Kaspersky, Avast, and AVG.

Therefore, it is unequivocally clear that this issue is not a problem inherent in any of the local machines, subnets, geographical locations, browsers, Internet Service Providers, or antivirus software.

Rather, it is most certainly a problem with either Facebook’s servers in general, or with my primary Facebook account as hosted on your servers.

Since that is without a doubt the case, running your mandated software from any four of your partners on my local machine would accomplish absolutely nothing, yet risks unauthorized disclosure of my personal information, infection of my computer, or even the introduction of a virus at the local machine’s administrator level by whoever hacked my Facebook account.

To be quite fair, as a direct result of your non-communication policy, I have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not this “malicious software” pop-up is legitimate or if it is itself a malicious hack of my account designed to get me to run ransomware as an administrator on my local machine.  At the very least, the way you go about holding the account hostage and forcing us to download the software not from one of your security partners but from some other site is highly suspicious.

However, to that end, I made a note of your partners: Trend Micro, Kaspersky, ESET, and F-Secure. I then proceeded to use their trial versions (only three had trial versions) to thoroughly scan and clean my machine.

I then repeated the above tests to see if my local machine had absolutely anything to do with the issue, at all.

No. The results of the tests remained the same. Furthermore, five people successfully logged onto Facebook using both my primary and backup machines, regardless of their geographic location, the browser used, or the ISP.

Clearly, my machine is not the issue.  It’s my account.  Either Facebook wrongly blocked my account with their “malicious software” hack, believing that a virus exists on my side of their firewall (absolutely not, as has been abundantly demonstrated by the test procedures given above), or my account has been hacked from inside of Facebook’s firewalls by someone who really is trying to use it as a way of hacking my local machine.

Facebook:  The problem resides solely on your side of the net. Please stop trying to get us to run your software on our machines.  We’re already running the world’s best anti-virus and anti-malware software, including from at least one of your four security partners.  As I have clearly demonstrated, there is absolutely nothing I can do on my end that will fix this problem, and that includes running your mandated software.  The problem is on your end.  Fix the problem on your end, and the problem will be solved.

Thank you.

Again, I am an IT security specialist with 29 years of experience. I have written 20+ security-related articles for Network World, and authored security-related documentation during my 20+ years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.  Therefore, please take me seriously when I affirm this problem does not exist on local computers, but rather, on your network.

Sincerely,

Name witheld by request
M.S. Management (Project Management)
MBA (Technology Management)
B.S. Finance, Insurance, and Business Law

 

 

Anne Graham on How God Could Let Something Like This Happen

“Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding the attacks on Sept. 11).
 
“Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.
 
“How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?” In light of recent events…terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
 
“Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school …. the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
 
“Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said OK.
 
“Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with “WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.”
 
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.
 
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
 
Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
 
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing?
 
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they WILL think, of you for sending it.
 
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
 
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it… no one will know you did.
 
But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
 
God bless you as you share it with friends. No Nation or people can ever survive or succeed without Jesus Christ.

Three Strikes Against James Comey

This morning’s news was abuzz with liberals attempting to further obfuscate the firing of former FBI Director James Comey:

“Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told lawmakers Thursday there has been “no effort to impede” the Russia investigation…” ”

This strongly supports the fact that Trump did NOT fire Comey to impede any sort of investigation.

“…and said former FBI Director James Comey continues to have “broad support” in the agency even after the White House claimed he lost the trust of his employees.”

I hear that Comey was well-liked, that he was a good leader of men.

That doesn’t for one second negate the Department of Justice’s claims that both his decisions and actions routinely violated both FBI and Department of Justice policy, and in ways which undermined the trust of the American people — from BOTH political parties — over the last year.

Ok, liberals, I’m going to stretch your brains a bit. Hopefully, most of you can handle it. This goes for conservatives, too, as most of you haven’t read Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s recommendations on Comey, either. This memorandum was sent to AG Sessions, who in turn recommended Comey’s dismissal to President Trump, who considered the matter, concurred, and sent Director Comey a termination letter.

This letter details precisely WHY Comey was fired:

May 9, 2017

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

FROM: ROD J. ROSENSTEIN

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

SUBJECT: RESTORING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.

The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.

The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution.

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.

In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his “goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it.” But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it sua sponte.

Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would “speak” about the decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or “conceal” it. “Conceal” is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.

My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Ford, wrote that “it is not the bureau’s responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted.” Silberman believes that the Director’s “Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover.” Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton, joined with Larry Thompson, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had “chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department’s traditions.” They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to “preserve, protect and defend” the traditions of the Department and the FBI.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, observed the Director “stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion” because the FBI director “doesn’t make that decision.”
Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush, called the decision “an error in judgement.” Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Attorney General under President Obama, said the Director’s decision”was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.” Holder concluded that the Director “broke with these fundamental principles” and “negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.”

Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual events as”real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” that is “antithetical to the interests of justice.”
Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President H.W. Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was”astonished and perplexed” by the decision to “break[] with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Ayer’s letter noted, “Perhaps most troubling… is the precedent set by this departure from the Department’s widely-respected, non-partisan traditions.”

We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.

Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.

You can also read photocopies of all three letters, at The New York Times article entitled, “White House Announces Firing of James Comey.”

So, STRIKE ONE.

***

Intermission:  The Comey Chronology:

Comey

***

But this isn’t all.  There’s another reason Comey may also have been fired.

20 years ago James Comey was an attorney on the Senate Whitewater Investigation looking into the conduct of President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton. The investigation was to determine whether Bill Clinton used his political position as governor of Arkansas (in the 1980s) to push through an illegal loan to benefit Bill and Hillary’s business partner in Whitewater.

Several people involved in Whitewater went to jail, but no criminal prosecution was in the cards for Bill and Hillary. Remember James Comey was the Deputy Special Counsel for the Whitewater investigation.

In Christopher Anderson’s book, “American Evita: Hillary Clinton’s Rise to Power”, Anderson gives details of the New Square offenders pardon by Bill Clinton (they had been convicted of bilking the government of $30 million dollars). Christopher Anderson relates that at Hillary’s urging Bill gave clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists who took the lives of 16 Americans and wounded many others.

Anderson tells us that Hillary admired the Marxist Carl Oglesby and Saul Alinsky. It is from her admiration for Saul Alinsky that she formed her belief that “the only way to make a real difference is to acquire power.”

The pardon of billionaire Marc Rich (who traded illegally with America’s enemies including Iran) by President Bill Clinton was something that everyone knew reeked of impropriety after learning that Rich’s wife donated $450,000 to the Clinton Library.

Again, James Comey oversaw investigations of the pardon matters as well. Unbelievably, James Comey did not recommend charging the Clintons in any of these matters. Wouldn’t it be fair and balanced to give news coverage to these facts?

The Clintons controlled Comey for DECADES.

So, STRIKE TWO

***

But even that’s not the end of it!  No…

Trena Jarnagin-Blackburn Here’s the real reason COMEY got fired.
BOMBSHELL: Young Congresswoman Gets Comey Fired, Here’s What He Was Hiding

Re: Former FBI Director James Comey and Rep. Elise Stefanik

The firing of James Comey comes as a relief to most patriotic Americans who lost trust in his leadership over his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation, but most people don’t know all the events that led up to President Donald Trump actually firing him. It involves a young congresswoman, who uncovered Comey’s explosive secrets, and that’s all Trump needed to get rid of the disgraced FBI Director.

This will blow your mind.

Rep. Elise M. Stefanik (R-NY) is the youngest member of congress at 32 years old, and on March 20, she singlehandedly finished Comey’s career. Not many people were paying attention to a junior congresswoman questioning the FBI Director, but what she uncovered is pure gold. Remember, at this time, Trump had accused Obama of wiretapping him and the Democrats were accusing Trump of colluding with Russia.

During questioning, Rep. Stefanik lured Comey into a trap. She got Comey to admit that a counter-intel investigation into the Russia-Trump connection started way back in July 2016. Think about that; this is so fishy because Trump had just been nominated by the GOP, and immediately, the Obama White House starts a bogus investigation trying to link Russia to Trump. That’s called a political witch hunt.

But, that’s not all.

The damning admission leads to questions about wiretapping private citizens like Trump and his staff. Then, Comey tripped up and couldn’t recover. Rep. Stefanik knew Comey was required to alert congress about this investigation into Russia and Trump, but he couldn’t do that, could he? If Comey followed the rules set out by the Department of Justice, he had to inform congress, but if he did, the GOP would have blown up and exposed this as an obvious political witch hunt to destroy their presidential candidate.

“On March 20th the mask fully came off. Comey was a solid Black Hat. The March 20th appearance before congress was the final straw in showcasing just how politically corrupt James Comey was,” The Conservative Treehouse reports.
Rep. Stefanik cornered Comey on the timeline and got him to stumble and squirm.
She asked, “When did you notify the White House, the DNI, and congressional leadership [of the bogus investigation]?” Comey immediately started sweating after admitting that it’s protocol to inform congress quarterly and the investigation started in July 2016. Then, came the kicker. Comey didn’t inform congress until March 2017, only after he had no other choice as these hearings were set to begin.

Watch as Rep. Stefanik outsmarted Comey and lured him into admitting he was in essence spying on GOP candidate Trump for former President Barack Obama. One other point of note, James Comey outright lies by claiming there was no active DNI (Department of National Intelligence), which is entirely false since James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

The Conservative Treehouse weighed in, explaining, “Former FBI Director James Comey intentionally kept congress in the dark on his investigative activity. Our system of checks and balances are specifically set up to stop this from happening, and to keep a watch on the ‘watchers.’ Director Comey subverted the oversight for his own political purposes.”

There is no defense for the former FBI director acting alone and not notifying congress of what he is doing through the established protocols. It doesn’t matter who the FBI director is. Comey should have been fired on March 20th after he told congress he was intentionally not allowing them oversight over his conduct.

So, when the liberal loons accuse President Donald Trump of firing James Comey to stop an investigation into Russia, that’s a pile of crap. They have investigated it ad infinitum, and they can’t prove a damn thing because it is something the Obama White House and former Director Comey invented way back in July 2016.

So, STRIKE THREE.

***

When then FBI Director James Comey attested to Hillary’s criminal wrongdoing just a couple of weeks before the election, I was elated, as the truth was being confirmed by a credible source, the principle investigative agency of the U.S. Federal Government.  Sadly, it was a great litany, but it ended in…  NOTHING.  That’s