September 16, 2015

©2015 jbjd

Donald Trump obviously knows a little about federal election law. After all, he finally managed to file papers with the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) to begin collecting money and run for President of the United States on June 22, 2015. DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC. But he was talking about running for President back in 2011. As a Republican. He even hinted back then, if he lost the Republican primary, he might run as a 3rd party candidate. Is Donald Trump Serious About a 2012 Run for President?  Ultimately, he decided not to run in 2012. Or in 2000, or 1988.

Point is, if Mr. Trump is intellectually (and fiscally) competent to be our President, surely he understands the connection between filing papers with the FEC and conducting a campaign. It’s simple: in order to accept donations and turn them into campaign expenditures, including paid political advertisements; a candidate for President must first file papers with the FEC, which monitors the financial transactions. Sounds simple to me. Then, when President Obama filed his nomination papers on April 4, 2012, and began collecting and spending money for his renomination; why did Trump insist the timing of those campaign expenditures resulted from his – Trump’s – ongoing prodding, and were not just run-of-the-mill paid political advertisements? Why didn’t he take advantage of the opportunity he had, by virtue of his ‘bully pulpit,’ to educate the general public about some of the inner workings of the political process?

A few years ago, I wrote a column entitled TRUMP to LEMMINGS: DO NOT LOOK BEFORE you LEAP! (copied below, for your convenience) in which I detailed support for my opinion, Trump is just another snake-oil salesman, distinguished from Obama only by the color of his skin (and whatever is his latest party designation).

I haven’t changed my mind. Donald Trump is either too stupid to be President; or too sinister. Take your pick.


My mind is a terrible thing to waste.



©2012 jbjd

Today, in a calculated display of hubris rivaled only by a production spawned from President Obama’s re-election campaign, Donald Trump has unveiled his much touted October “bombshell“: a “deal” to entice Mr. Obama to produce both his college and passport applications and records. Trump promises that jumping through this hoop “by October 31,” and “to my satisfaction,” and “if it’s complete,” will yield a check for $5,000,000 to Obama’s designated ‘charity.’ (I put the word ‘charity’ in single quotes because in addition to listing a well known outfit like “American Cancer Society”; he lists not only the umbrella enterprise of “AIDS research”; but also the generalized category “inner city children in Chicago.”) He couches his request in terms of acting on behalf of the people, to end their “questions” and “anger.” Yes, he knows that the President will be doing a “great service for the country” by allowing them to “know something about their President.” In short, by releasing the documents Trump mentioned, the President suddenly will “become transparent.”

Of course, some of us know, no “thing” coming out of this dog-and-pony show will inform anyone where Barack Obama was born.

For starters, notice that Trump qualified his reference to Obama’s “long-form birth certificate” by adding (after an obvious pause) “or whatever it may be.” It’s the “whatever it may be” which should have been the tip-off, Trump is wearing his circus barker hat. Why do you suppose he is ‘hedging his bets’ as to the ‘document’s’ authenticity?

As I explained in SHE SAID / HE SAID: SCRIPTING the 04.27.11 LAUNCH of PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LONG FORM BIRTH CERTIFICATE back on April 1, 2012 (and other articles linked therein), what was released on April 27 was the political ad campaign conceived, executed, and launched by the President’s re-election campaign, the contents of which were fully protected by the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on restrictions on political speech. Featuring the image of the mock-up of a long-form birth certificate, the ads ran on internet sites such as (Emphasis added.)

Do you suppose that Mr. Trump, in April 2011 still a possible contender for the Presidency; doesn’t recognize a political ad campaign when he sees one?

Trump asserts he forced the President’s April 27 release of this advertising image: “I’m very honored to have gotten him to release his long-form birth certificate…” Presumably, he means, in a desperate attempt to quell doubts as to the President’s birth status which have swirled unabated for more than 3 years, since the primary in 2008; it was his – Trump’s – many references to concerns as to whether Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen, uttered as a (pseudo) Presidential candidate in the spring of 2011 which compelled the release of the document at this particular time. (Again, crediting the release of the certificate – “or whatever it may be” – to the President, as opposed to correctly attributing the release to the President’s re-election campaign, cannot have been an innocent oversight.) But, of course, Trump had no more to do with either the substance or the timing of the April 27 appearance of the long form image; than any of the other millions of Americans challenging the narrative of Obama’s birth and demanding some sort of documentation. In fact, its release was triggered by the formal announcement of the President’s re-election campaign 3 weeks earlier, on April 4, and the accompanying mandatory filing with the FEC which then allowed the solicitation of funds in his name by the newly formed re-election campaign, funds which the campaign immediately translated into expenditures on political advertising such as the long-form ad. In other words, it was the official (read, legal) kick-off of the President’s re-election campaign which provided the first opportunity to address what were ongoing eligibility issues that could jeopardize his re-election. (The formal kick-off of the President’s campaign was also accompanied by previously scheduled events associated with the re-election campaign, including a stint on Oprah and a major NY fundraiser, also on the 27th. Id.)

SHE SAID / HE SAID contains not only a lucid (albeit lengthy) explanation of the long-form image as a campaign expenditure; but also references several other articles on the “jbjd” blog, dispelling the long-form myth, including  HOW to WRITE SMART CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY LAWS in your STATE (and make applying to get on the ballot harder than applying to get into Harvard), which points to the lethal problems associated with allowing candidate ‘self-authentication.’ Indeed, did you notice that Trump’s deal for Obama’s records never specifies who must transmit these records, or to whom these records must be submitted? And while he says, the documents must be “complete” and to his “satisfaction”; he never specifies, who will determine whether these criteria are met. Because he knows better.

For example, during the recent Presidential debates; Obama verified the authenticity of some of his ‘facts’ by citing their source was “reporters.” What if these same “reporters” verify any forthcoming records? (See Pooh-poohing Pulitzer) And recall that Annenberg Political Fact Check staffers with no expertise in document authentication confirmed, the mock-up of the President’s Certification of Live Birth, and accompanying ad copy, were real. (See RUMORS, LIES, AND UNSUBSTANTIATED ‘FACTS’) Assuming she is being sincere in this heated exchange with John Sununu from the Romney campaign; Reporter Soledad O’Brien is only one of millions of Americans who still wrongly believe, what APFC says must be true.

UPDATE 09.17.15: The original video is no longer available. In its stead, here is a link to a page explaining what happened between Ms. Soledad and Mr. Sununu on CNN; and points to the recent metamorphosis to the ‘factcheck’ URL.

In sum, Donald Trump knows better than to contend that any ‘documents’ forthcoming through this publicity stunt will increase the knowledge of the American people about the circumstances of our President’s birth; or diminish our ire at what many of us feel is a con. On the contrary; by failing to take advantage of media opportunities like this, to educate the public that, legally, the April 11, 2011 long-form release by the Obama re-election campaign was only part of a political ad launch; and worse, by cynically encouraging the Obama campaign this opportunity to repeat that ploy; Trump only broadens the con, and exacerbates our ire.

Obviously, Mr. Trump thinks most Americans are as foolish as does President Obama.


My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


September 5, 2015

©2015 jbjd

I don’t have time to write my usual tome but, I just watched yet another ‘talking head’ make a fool of herself, unchallenged, bemoaning the fact, the judge in KY sent Clerk Kim Davis to jail for refusing to issue a marriage license to a same sex couple; and I have to vent. The Pulitzer Prize winning pundit suggested the court’s action only engenders sympathy for Ms. Davis, when the correct move would be to fire her for not doing her job by carrying out what is now settled law.

Whatever happened to intellectual curiosity? Hasn’t anyone rationalizing the woman should be fired instead of imprisoned, stopped to ask the next question, namely, who would fire her?




August 19, 2015

©2015 jbjd

When it comes to his ‘idea’ that one way to begin fixing current immigration problems is to re-define ‘birthright citizenship’; Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump proves, once again, he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.

Donald Trump said Tuesday that he doesn’t think people born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants are American citizens.

“I don’t think they have American citizenship and if you speak to some very, very good lawyers — and I know some will disagree — but many of them agree with me and you’re going to find they do not have American citizenship.

Donald Trump: Birthright babies not citizens.

I am guessing that one of those “very, very good lawyers” he refers to, is Ann Coulter, who hypes the same drivel in her book Adios, America and, at least when it comes to Trump’s forays into immigration ‘policy,’ is an unabashed fan. First, a little background.

On Monday, August 17, responding to questions about talk of ending ‘birthright citizenship,’ Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell

 “It would take passing a constitutional amendment to get that changed. It’s part of our 14th Amendment. So honestly, I think we should put all of our energies, all of our political will into finally getting the border secured and fixing the legal immigration.”

Ms. Coulter was interviewed by syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher the next day:

“I have turned against her [Carly Fiorina) as of yesterday with the hot, hot hate of a 1000 suns.

…yesterday among the attacks I saw on the magnificent Donald Trump immigration plan was, you know, everybody wants to get rid of anchor babies.

You can read the section of my book. It’s very short. It’s not from the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment, you’ll all remember, came after the Civil War, remember what the Civil War was about? That was freeing the slaves. It wasn’t about allowing illegal aliens to run across the border, drop a baby and say, “Ha ha, you missed me, I’m a citizen now.”

Do you think the framers of the 14th Amendment, that’s what they were hoping to do? She [again referencing Ms. Fiorina] said both she and Chris Christie, I saw, saying on TV yesterday, “Well, of course you’d need a Constitutional amendment to do that, that’s crazy.”

And I would bet Mr. Trump paid dearly for Ms. Coulter’s advice. But neither knows what he or she is talking about.

As I have tried to explain – see, for example, SENSE and non-SENSE, AGAIN with the 14th AMENDMENT!, jbjd’s FRENEMIES LIST – the 14th Amendment to the Constitution did not confer U.S. citizenship on anyone; under the Constitution, only Congress may define what constitutes ‘citizenship’ (Art. I, sec. 8. Clause 4). Thus, any attempt to define who is a citizen, through the Amendment process first would have to specifically modify that delineated power in Art. I

Rather, the 14th Amendment, implicitly assuming the fact that slaves, whether natural born or naturalized, were citizens of the U.S., merely re-stated that fact. For effect, it also clarified that, by definition being a citizen of the U.S. also means, being a citizen of the state in which one resides. (Prior to the 14th Amendment, some states and the District of Columbia denied the status of ‘citizenship’ to slaves.) But the sole purpose of mentioning the citizenship status of natural born and naturalized people was to serve as a preamble to the heart of the Amendment: all citizens of the U.S. (and therefore, the states and D.C.) are entitled to equal protection and due process.

In so doing, the 14th Amendment now extended the Due Process entitlement already found in the 5th Amendment, which had applied to the federal government; to the states and D.C. Thus, inasmuch as Congress defines all people born in the U.S. as citizens under the law; then, any newly initiated program, whether Executive or Legislative in origin, which calls for the involuntary deportation of these citizens requires due process. This means, even if the ‘plan’ floated by Mr. Trump was implemented, the Judicial branch would be inundated with and drowned to a halt by the petitions of citizens facing such deportation.

(There’s also this: Art. I, sections 9 and 10 of the Constitution already prohibit Congress from passing ex post facto laws, that is, laws which criminalize conduct after the fact. Thus, criminalizing being in this country, having been born here, would first require amending the Constitution so as to eliminate the prohibition against ex post fact laws.)

So much for taking ‘legal’ advice on immigration, from someone with a vested financial interest in selling her books.

UPDATED 08.19.15: Here is an interesting treatise on the subject, produced with our taxpayer money by the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”). An interesting finding is that, the common law definition of the disputed terms, as incorporated into the 14th Amendment, prevailed until ‘codified’ in 1898, in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. That is, whoever is born here – with limited exceptions such as children of diplomats – and subject to the jurisdiction thereof – this excluded native Americans not ‘citizenized’ by treaties with the U.S. – is a citizen of the U.S. and the state of residence. Subsequent laws extended citizenship to all Indian tribes, regardless of treaty status. ADMINISTRATOR


My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


January 7, 2015

©2015 jbjd

On September 19, 2012 French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a series of images described by the Christian Science Monitor as “raunchy cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.”  Here, in an interview with al Jazeera, Stephane Charbonnier, editorial director of Charlie Hebdo, explains he timed the images to coincide with current events, namely, press accounts of world-wide demonstrations of “radical Muslims” against the “Fascist American film” (the YouTube video, “Innocence of Muslims”).

The timing of the 2012 images was widely criticized by everyone from the French prime minister to church officials, having come only days after “about 200 (emphasis added) people” demonstrated in front of the U.S. embassy in Paris, against the “Innocence” video, on September 15 (emphasis added). Id. (France’s population is 66 million, of which 5-10% is Muslim.

The publication even attracted the attention of Brazilian cartoonist Carlos Latuff, who posted this cartoon of Mr. Charbonnier on the same day. (Note,Charbonnier is wearing the same jersey worn during the al Jazeera interview.)

But, the “Innocence of Muslims” video was not a factor in world de-stabilization on September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked us in Benghazi, Libya. No; it only became a weapon in global terror after the Benghazi attack, when President Obama conspired with Secretary Clinton to make it one. THE MOHAMMAD VIDEO SLEIGHT-of-HAND.


My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


January 3, 2015

©2015 jbjd

If the House of Representatives (“accusers”)  of the U.S. Congress finds that President Obama attempted to subvert the Constitution by directing the IRS to exercise its power to stifle political speech that was otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution; or was connected in any suspicious manner with any person engaged in such conduct and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter that person; or made announcements and assertions bearing on the case which the evidence shows he knew to be false or designed to thwart the lawful investigation by government prosecutors then, they must vote for Impeachment. And let the Senate “judge” whether to convict.

In 1974, the late great Representative Barbara Jordan, Democrat from Texas and member of the House Judiciary Committee discusses Impeachment with respect to President Nixon. (Note, the YouTube video incorrectly dates her statement as taking place in 1971.)

Of all the ‘material’ statements made by Ms. Jordan, I found this passage to be the most salient.

It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the legislature against and upon the encroachments of the executive. The division between the two branches of the legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers — and the judges the same person.

(Note: I intentionally linked to the American Rhetoric site because it provides a true transcript of Ms. Jordan’s remarks. As regular readers of “jbjd” know, I usually link to C-Span for original source material. However, while C-Span lists Ms. Jordan’s video on its site; it cannot be played due to “rights restrictions.” And, while it provides a written transcript of her speech, the transcript contains errors, at least one of which is what we would call a ‘material’ error.

For example, the transcript reads,


But the speaker said,


American Rhetoric got it right; I have contacted C-Span to make the corrections.)

Ms. Jordan proposed the Committee should “juxtapose” some of the activities the President (Nixon) had engaged in (with respect to events surrounding ‘Watergate,’ misuse of the IRS for political purposes, and defiance of Congressional subpoenas (contempt of Congress)), against Impeachment criteria enunciated by contemporaneous Constitutional experts including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, and participants at state ratifying conventions. She argued, therefore, the record supported a recommendation of Impeachment. And, after considerable analysis and debate; ultimately, her fellow Committee members on a bi-partisan basis approved 3 (three) articles of Impeachment. (The Congressional Quarterly Press is a member site. But you can reach the source page by searching, House Judiciary Committee Articles of Impeachment Nixon CQPress.) However, before a vote on Impeachment by the full House, President Nixon resigned. Id.

Having reviewed the applicable standards of Impeachment, let’s adapt Ms. Jordan’s exercise, to President Obama, with respect to the IRS. I’ll start.

In the category of ‘made announcements and assertions bearing on the case which the evidence shows he knew to be false’ or were designed to thwart investigation by government prosecutors: “Not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS (accompanied by derisive sneering and snickering), with accompanying evidence.

Here is the interview conducted with Bill O’Reilly from FOX News, on February 2, 2014.

Here is the transcript of that interview, provided by FOX.

But Mr. Obama knew in February 2014 his assertion there was not a “smidgen” of corruption, was false because on May 13, 2013 the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) issued a report confirming the IRS had been unlawfully targeting conservative-sounding applicants for tax-exempt status, at least as far back as 2010. (For a summary of the TIGTA report, see And since May 2013, public reports had chronicled that on May 9, Lois Lerner, then Director of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, had planted a question to be asked the next day, May 10, at a meeting of the American Bar Association, which would provide an opportunity for her to admit to this unlawful targeting, just 3 (three) days in advance of the publication of that damning TIGTA report.

“I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the [American Bar Association] Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks,” Roady said in a statement to U.S. News and World Report. “I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”

Here is an audio of Ms. Lerner’s response to that planted question.

Your turn.



My mind is a terrible thing to waste.


May 4, 2014

©2014 jbjd

On the night of Tuesday, September 11, 2012 al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Benghazi, Libya began attacking the U.S. diplomatic compound there, and the CIA Annex nearby. By the time they cleared out the next day, they had murdered 4 (four) Americans : J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador; Sean Smith, Information Officer, U.S. Foreign Service; and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both U.S. Navy SEALs.

In the 21 months since the attack, the meme became cemented that an internet video maligning the Islamic Prophet Mohammad had not only triggered this catastrophe, but also ignited similar conflagrations at American Embassies worldwide. But then, the Ben Rhodes email finally arrived.

Now, I think I figured out how what I believe is a false Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme got started; and I think the record establishes when, where, and why.

Time and Place

September 11, 2012 was the 11th anniversary of the bombings on the Twin Towers. Only 4 (four) days earlier, Barack Obama had bragged to delegates at the DNC Convention: “al Qaeda is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead.” The general election, pitting the Democrat incumbent against Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney, was just 7 (seven) weeks away. The Gallup poll had the candidates in a dead tie.

The seeds of the Mohammad-video-qua-villain meme that sprouted during the ongoing attack in Libya, were planted hours earlier, before an incident involving our Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Cairo and Benghazi are in the same time zone. Washington, D.C. is 6 (six) hours behind, Eastern Time (ET). Thus, noon local time in Cairo/Benghazi on Tuesday, is 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday here.


Sam Becile, aka Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, Nicola Bacily, Robert Bacily, Erwin Salameh, Ahmad Hamdy, Kritbag Difrat and PJ Tobacco, an Egyptian Coptic Christian based in CA, pleaded no contest to federal bank fraud charges in California in 2010 and was ordered to pay more than $790,000 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without approval from his probation officer. But in August 2011,  he decided to make a movie.

The low budget film, originally called “Desert Warrier,” was shot on location in CA under a permit obtained by a group called Media for Christ, a nonprofit organization based in Duarte, which advertises its mission as promoting Christian values. The amateur actors Nakoula had recruited off of Craigslist thought they were starring in historical fiction depicting the life of “Master George,” living in Egypt 2,000 years ago. But Nakoula, bothered at Muslim treatment of Christian Copts, had something else in mind. Through heavy-handed  post-production editing,  the amateur filmmaker somehow managed to convert the innocuous ‘Warrier’ into a parody called “Innocence of Muslims,” depicting the Prophet Mohammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. All references to Muslims or to the Muslim religion have been obviously re-dubbed. For example, actors could clearly be seen moving their mouths to pronounce the name “Master George” while the soundtrack had them uttering “Mohammad.” All unbeknownst to the original cast.

The 14-minute English language ‘promo’ for “Innocence” was uploaded to YouTube in June; it was translated into Arabic and uploaded several more times thereafter.

Nakoula contacted conservative U.S.-based Egyptian-American Coptic activist Maurice Sadeq and his pal Pastor Terry Jones, the Florida man who became notorious when he began burning Korans in 2010, to promote his film. Jones’ latest foray into ‘spectacle’ was “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day,” September 11, 2012, when he planned to conduct a public trial of the Prophet Mohammad and broadcast it live on the internet.  On Thursday, September 6, Sadeq emailed promos of both Nakoula’s film “Innocence” and Jones’ “‘Mo’ Day'” trial, to journalists around the world.

Controversial Cairo television host Sheikh Khaled Abdallah aired clips of the dual Mohammad films on an Islamic-focused television station on Saturday. On Sunday, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa publicly denounced “the actions undertaken by some extremist Copts who made a film offensive to the Prophet.” (About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians. The rest are Muslim.) Salafist leader Wesam Abdel-Wareth, also the president of Egypt’s ultra-conservative Al-Hekma television channel, called for a protest against the film ‘Mohammad’s trial’ at 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 11, outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

On Monday, September 10, Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party contacted the U.S. Embassy, in writing, announcing the protest planned for tomorrow. While making clear it wasn’t calling for an open-ended sit-in in front of the embassy, the party nonetheless demanded that the U.S. government ban broadcast of the film and issue an official apology for its offensive content. (Ahmed Khalil, a senior leader of the party, would later tell a reporter, the actions of “certain U.S. citizens” who produced the film served to jeopardize Washington’s relations with the entire Muslim world.)

That same day, Dr. Jones released a YouTube announcing he would screen Nakoula’s anti-Islam trailer tomorrow, September 11, as part of his campaign to turn the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America into “International Judge Mohammad ‘Mo’ Day.” (Notice, the airing is scheduled after work, at 6:00 PM our time, which is midnight over there.)

On Tuesday, September 11 Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan announced the group planned to call for a million-man rally on Friday to register their opposition to the anti-Islam film. He, too, wanted the U.S. Administration to issue a formal apology for the film to the Muslim world, adding that the U.S. government should prosecute the “madmen” whose activities were harming Washington’s relations with Arab and Muslim countries. He also stressed that all demonstrations should remain peaceful in nature. “Protests should be peaceful and avoid any form of vandalism,” Ghozlan asserted. “They should be civilised demonstrations of the Egyptian people’s displeasure with this film.” He went on to warn that “any non-peaceful activity will be exploited by those who hate Islam to defame the image of Egypt and Muslims.”

By noon on September 11, approximately 5 (five) hours before the scheduled protest, Embassy staffers, responding to entreaties from both the Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood to disclaim any Mohammad-related offensive speech, posted this on the Embassy’s Twitter account, under the heading “US Embassy condemns religious incitement”:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Selected sentences from the statement were also tweeted out by embassy staff.

Those tweets could be seen here at 6:00 AM ET.

HuffingtonPost printed a Reuters story on Tuesday about the Cairo protests, referencing both Nakoula’s movie about Mohammad, and the one featuring the Prophet’s trial by Pastor Jones. (I took a picture so as to preserve the posting time(s), just in case. Note, these are local times.)


An Egyptian state website carried a statement by Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church condemning what it said were moves by some Copts living abroad “to finance the production of a film insulting Prophet Mohammad.”

About a 10th of Egypt’s 83 million people are Christians.

It was not immediately clear which film angered protesters.

However, according to the website, the Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who angered Muslims by burning a copy of the Koran, was due to take part in an event on Tuesday called “International Judge Mohammad Day” in Florida in which it would symbolically put the Prophet on trial and play it out live over the Internet.)

The Cairo demonstration of protest against the Mohammad film(s) got underway as scheduled 5 hours later, at 5:00 PM local time, or 11:00 AM ET.

By this time, the promo for “Innocence” first posted on YouTube in June had been up for more than 2 months, and was now accompanied with Arabic translated versions re-posted thereafter. The joint promos of “Innocence” and “‘Mo Day Trial” sent to the press had been broadcast on Egyptian t.v. Prominent figures had called on Egyptians to protest. Yet press accounts describe that out of a total population in Egypt of 83 million, 90% of whom are Muslims; no more than “2,000” people –  “Salafist activists” – were gathered in the Embassy compound. Live news feeds interspersed with pre-recorded images from the scene confirm accounts that the crowd remained peaceful, despite sporadic cries of “Obama, Obama there are still a billion Osamas,” and the occasional firecrackers, sometimes mistaken for bullets. A few flares were lit.

An Ahram Online reporter at the scene described members of the Salafist party could be seen coaxing enthusiastic protesters to come down from atop the Embassy’s walls, while many members of the Egyptian security forces who had been summoned to maintain order in advance of the gathering now sat on the sidewalk, appearing relatively relaxed.

Most of the crowd was gone by 10:00 PM local time, Tuesday, September 11; it was only 4:00 PM here. As the update to the HuffingtonPost article linked above confirms, there were no injuries, among either protesters or Embassy staff. The only property damaged was an American flag, which vandals replaced with a black flag favored by ultraconservatives and militants and labeled with the most basic Islamic profession of faith: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet.”

With the demonstration concluded, the Embassy issued more tweets. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold are ET and not local time.)

4:47 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “As Spokesperson Nuland said, protestors breached our wall and took down flag. Thanks for your concern and kind wishes.”

5:58-59 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets in three parts: “1) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. 2) Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we’re the ones actually living through this. 3) Sorry, but neither breaches of our compound or angry messages will dissuade us from defending freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

(At 6:00 PM ET, Stand Up America Now begins a livestream of Jones’ anti-Muslim presentation online. It is midnight, local time.)

Here is the last tweet from the Embassy, sent at 12:30 AM local time, Wednesday, September 12.

6:30 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets: “This morning’s condemnation (issued before protests began) still stands. As does condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy.”

There have been no public statements here about events in Cairo.


Meanwhile, all hell was breaking loose in Libya, at the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, 777 miles away.

The attack against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi began at 9:30 PM local time, or 3:30 PM ET, around the time the peaceful protest in Cairo was breaking up. Here is a partial timeline of events. (IMPORTANT: times (and corresponding dates) in bold now reflect local time and not ET.)

9.40pm – CIA officials in ‘The Annex’ get a distress call from the consulate saying they are under attack.

10.05pmArmed only with handguns, team of about six CIA security officers leave their base for the public diplomatic mission compound.

10.30pmWith bullets whistling overhead, the CIA team move into the compound after unsuccessfully trying to get heavy weapons and help from local Libyan allies.

U.S. and Libyan guards enter burning building and pull out the body of Sean Smith.

11.10pmA Defense Department drone, which had been on an unrelated mission some distance away, arrived in Benghazi to help officials on the ground gather information.

11.30pmU.S. personnel who had been working or staying at the mission all accounted for, except for Ambassador Stevens.

11.40pm – Driving back to the secure base, the evacuees come under further fire.

12am – The installation itself comes under fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.

12amA CIA security team based in Tripoli, which included two U.S. military officers, lands at Benghazi airport and begins plotting how to locate the missing ambassador.

1am – The patchy attacks on the base begin to die down after 90 minutes of fierce fighting.

The Ambassador, as an unidentified patient, is admitted to Benghazi Medical Center just after 1:00 AM local time (7:00 PM ET), described as unresponsive. He is declared dead 15 minutes later, at 1:15.

At sometime between 3:00-4:00 AM, Libyan security forces locate the body at the hospital. Americans at the annex describe his features. Libyans identify the body as Ambassador Stevens.

No doubt within minutes, everyone from Benghazi to Washington knows.

It is 9:00-10:00 PM, ET.

Around 10:00 PM ET, President Obama called Secretary Clinton.

The conversation is about to pivot to Cairo.

Embassy staffers in Cairo had begun posting the conciliatory yet resolute tweets on their feed 16 hours earlier. Their words had remained visible to anyone monitoring the site, without adverse reaction, all this time. Now, they were taken down.

10:10 p.m. 9/11/12 Politico cites an unnamed administration official saying, “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.”

(The Politico link works, for now; but, just in case…)Clinton.Benghazi.Statement.3


According to, Ms. Clinton issued her first public statement about Benghazi at “about 10:00 PM.” (Emphasis added.) Fortunately, her statement was also posted on MSNBC at precisely 10:32. (Emphasis added.) She mentioned one person had been killed; no doubt, it was Ambassador Stevens. (Clarification 06.22.14: This “person” could also have been Sean Smith, whose body was removed from the Embassy at around 10:30 PM local time on the 11th, which was around 4:30 PM ET (in D.C.) But parsing out blame, she didn’t specifically cite to a film about Mohammad – either Nakoula’s ‘Innocence’ or Jones’ ‘trial’ – or even to any “video.” Instead, she blamed his death on “inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” (Emphasis added.)

Clinton’s statement is linked to the SoS web site, but her words are no longer there. FactCheck provides a link to MSNBC but, it has been pulled from there, too. FactCheck went on to say, the next day, September 12, she spoke to the State Dept. That link leads to another “404.” So, I took a picture of the statements she made on both days, from the FactCheck web site, in case that disappears.

President Obama would not be heard on Benghazi, until the next day. (Statements attributed to him on the 12th can still be accessed through the FactCheck links but I used pictures, anyway.)



Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012


These carefully chosen words in public statements from both the President and the Secretary, last night and today – “senseless violence”; “inflammatory material”; “act of terror” – not only conflated the peaceful nature of the demonstration Cairo with the brutal assault in Benghazi but accomplished much more. Almost immediately, this ‘offensive’ material piqued the interest of both national and international media, resulting in the free distribution of Nakoula’s work worldwide.

On Thursday, September 13, protesters returned to the Embassy in Egypt, throwing rocks this time. The Embassy in Yemen was attacked by violent protesters  By Friday, violence had spread to India, Tunisia, Germany, Lebanon, and Sudan.

“Talking Points”

On May 16, 2013, The Swampland (Time) posted a timeline compiled from the 100 pages of e-mails the White House released to the press the previous day. Of course, this was done before Judicial Watch successfully petitioned the court in an FOIA suit to compel release of the documents subpoenas from the House Oversight Committee had thus far failed to procure, which included the now-infamous Ben Rhodes email.

The timeline begins with this entry dated September 14, 2012, both explaining why the drafting of talking points originated with the CIA, and making clear, as far as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was concerned, the issue here was not Cairo, but Benghazi. (I have been unable to locate an original written request for talking points, but I found a sort of paraphrasing of what appears to be that request, among these released documents.)

[A]t this morning HPSCI coffee with DCIA, HPSCI members eagerly sought some sort of “white paper” they could use to reply to numerous media requests asking for comments on other inflammatory press articles regarding the Benghazi attacks.

HPSCI has asked for unclassified points immediately that they can use in talking to the media.

(The ‘raw’ documents can be viewed at

It’s 2 days out, and no one else but Clinton and Obama is talking publicly about Cairo, only Benghazi.

At some point, someone chooses Susan Rice, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., to represent the Administration on the Sunday talk shows.

The Swampland provides a ‘clean’ version of the talking point edits annotated, in color, which is immeasurably easier to follow. These are well worth perusing. But I just want to point out a couple of prominent points in this alteration proposed by that NSC spokesman dude Tommy – that’s what the 32-year-old likes to be called – Vietor.


Notice, the emphasis is now being shifted to Cairo. But what happened since Tuesday to merit this new found attention there?

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, the comments from President Obama and Secretary Clinton were not intended to steer the conversation from Benghazi to Cairo. That is, let’s pretend on Monday the CIA learned through social media of potential demonstrations ‘tomorrow,’ and alerted the Embassy.  Presumably, they – the CIA – would be closely monitoring the situation the next day. Undoubtedly, they would have read the Embassy’s twitter feed in real time. But remember, the Cairo demonstration on September 11 was quite peaceful, with nary a gun, let alone a mortar, in sight. The CIA – and anyone else monitoring the situation – would have seen this, too. This could explain why the tweets were fine before the President and the Secretary sought to link Cairo with Benghazi, requiring their removal the next day.

There’s also this fact, reflected in the email. Denis McDonough, the President’s Chief of Staff, is running this show. And he, at least, appears to be good at his job. For example, while these ‘CIA talking points’ were created so as to satisfy a request from the Hill; in his appointed ‘talking points’ oversight role, he could have just insisted that these be run by State. But such heavy-handedness could raise suspicion. Instead, he adeptly disguised the order, framing it as mere common sense consideration, in case State, like House Intelligence, had to answer questions from the media, too.

And then, there’s this.



No doubt David Petraeus, Director of the CIA was displeased with the current and final iteration of the talking points the agency had created less than 24 hours earlier. No doubt, notwithstanding the alterations imposed by several other ‘eyes’ from throughout the Executive branch, these would serve as the unclassified talking points (“UNCLAS”)  requested by the Legislative branch, specifically Rep. Ruppersberger, HPSCI “Vice Chair.” And, despite Jay Carney’s recent sojourn into obfuscation; no doubt, these same edited ‘CIA talking points’ were delivered to Susan Rice on Saturday, as indicated, for use in her upcoming appearances on the Sunday talk shows the next day, with the Director’s grudging acquiescence, consistent with White House ‘requests’ to “coordinate” the talking  points, with State.

At best, the link between events in Cairo and Benghazi found in the ‘CIA talking points’ is still too tenuous…

The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post and subsequently its annex. There are extremists participated in these violent demonstrations.

and, needed more aggressive shoring up if the “inflammatory material posted on the Internet” seed planted by both the President and the Secretary days earlier, was to flourish as the cause, and not the effect of the melees.

Cue Ben Rhodes and the magically appearing email – he has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from NYU – he wrote on Friday, as the basis of the 4:00 PM ‘preparation’ call to Susan Rice on Saturday, in advance of her appearances on the 5 Sunday shows.


Here’s where the word “video” first appears.

The Administration’s forced integration among Cairo and Benghazi and the video was fully achieved with Ms. Rice’s stalwart appearances on those 5 Sunday shows, September 16.

ABC’s “This Week”

But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

CBS’s “Face the Nation”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

NBC’s “Meet the Press”

Well, let us– let me tell you the– the best information we have at present.  First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing.  And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.  But putting together the best information that we have available to us today our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.

CNN’s “State of the Union”

There was a hateful video that was disseminated on the internet. It had nothing to do with the United States government and it’s one that we find disgusting and reprehensible. It’s been offensive to many, many people around the world.

That sparked violence in various parts of the world, including violence directed against western facilities including our embassies and consulates.

“Fox News Sunday”

The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video.

Violent demonstrations break out in Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Phillippines, Sri Lanka, and Somalia, the next day.


My mind is a terrible thing to waste.





FOX (News) is KING of THE HILL

February 12, 2014

©2014 jbjd

Ever searching for reliable sources of real news, I recently began reading The Hill, after viewing its Associate Editor A. B. Stoddard, a regular panelist on the FOX News show Special Report with Brett Baier. Generally, I found the site to be both informative and well-balanced. Perhaps this is why I was so irked by this latest experience.

On February 10, The Hill published an article by its columnist, Bill Press, denigrating the Republicans on their stance on immigration, at the bottom of which was provided this mini-bio: Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of The Obama Hate Machine.

Here was my comment:

Press’ ‘article’ closes with this mini-bio: Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of The Obama Hate Machine.

Inasmuch as The Hill has condescended to provide this forum to Mr. Press; it could mitigate the damages to its credibility by also including the fact, he is the former Chair of the California Democratic Party. PRESS BILL PRESS to EARN his PRESS CREDENTIALS.

Later, I viewed this clip from a February 9 segment on Media Buzz, the FOX News show which analyzes media coverage of “a wide range of topics, including technology, social media, politics, culture and sports,” in which the host, Howard Kurtz, showing ‘how it’s done,’ introduced Mr. Press both as a “nationally syndicated radio show host and former Chairman of the California Democratic Party.”

Note to The Hill: as indicated in the oath; just because it’s the truth doesn’t mean, it’s the whole truth.


Freedom costs.


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