By Tyler Durden | ZeroHedge | January 16, 2019

In what Judicial Watch describes as a “major victory for accountability,” a federal judge ruled Tuesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice and former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes must answer written questions about the State Department’s response to the deadly 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, as part of an ongoing legal battle over whether Hillary Clinton sought to deliberately evade public record laws by using a private email server while secretary of state.

As Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain reports, the judge’s order amounts to approval of a discovery plan he ordered last month. In that ruling, Lamberth wrote that Clinton’s use of a private email account was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency” and said the response of the State and Justice Departments “smacks of outrageous misconduct.”

Judicial Watch announced last night that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials – including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap – will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan(The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:

▪ Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;

▪ whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and

▪ whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

Judge Lamberth ordered written responses under oath to Judicial Watch’s questions from Obama administration senior officials Rice, Rhodes and Sullivan, and former FBI official Priestap. Rice and Rhodes will answer interrogatories under oath on the Benghazi scandal. Rejecting the State and Justice Department objections to discovery on the infamous Benghazi talking points, Judge Lamberth reiterated:

Yet Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case: information about the points’ development and content, as well as their discussion and dissemination before and after Rice’s appearances could reveal unsearched, relevant records; State’s role in the points’ content and development could shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters or on State’s reluctance to search her emails.

Judicial Watch also may serve interrogatories on Monica Hanley, a former staff member in the State Department’s Office of the Secretary, and on Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant.

According to Lamberth’s order, regarding whether Clinton’s private email use while Secretary of State was an intentional attempt to evade FOIA, Judicial Watch may depose:

Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security.… Boswell’s March 2009 memo to Mills … discusses security risks Clinton’s Blackberry use posed more generally. And Boswell personally discussed the memo with Clinton. So, he plainly has relevant information about that conversation and about his general knowledge of Clinton’s email use. Judicial Watch may depose Boswell.

Justin Cooper. the Clinton Foundation employee who created the clintonemail.com server. In its proposal, Judicial Watch noted Cooper’s prior congressional testimony “appears to contradict portions of the testimony provided by Huma Abedin in the case before Judge Sullivan.” … Cooper repeatedly told Congress that Abedin helped set-up the Clintons’ private server, e.g., Examining Preservation of State Department Federal Records: [before a Congressional hearing] Abedin testified under oath she did not know about the server until six years later.… Judicial Watch may depose Cooper.

Clarence Finney, the former deputy director of State’s Executive Secretariat staff…. [T]his case’s questions hinge on what specific State employees knew and when they knew it. As the principal advisor and records management expert responsible for controlling Clinton’s official correspondence and records, Finney’s knowledge is particularly relevant. And especially given the concerns about government misconduct that prompted this discovery, Judicial Watch’s ability to take his direct testimony and ask follow-up questions is critical.

Additionally, Judicial Watch states that it seeks to go beyond cursory, second-hand testimony and directly ask Finney what he knew about Clinton’s email use. This includes asking about emails suggesting he knew about her private email use in 2014, and emails he received concerning a December 2012 FOIA request from Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) regarding senior officials’ personal email use-topics State’s 30(b)(6) deposition in Judge Sullivan’s case never addressed. Judicial Watch may depose Finney.

4. Heather Samuelson. the former State Department senior advisor who helped facilitate State’s receipt of Hillary Clinton’s emails.… [T]his case turns on what specific government employees knew and when they knew it. Judicial Watch must be able to take their direct testimony and ask them follow-up questions. Judicial Watch may depose Samuelson.

5. Jacob Sullivan. Secretary Clinton’s former senior advisor and deputy Chief of Staff. The government does not oppose Sullivan’s deposition.

Regarding whether the State Department’s settlement attempts that began in late 2014 amounted to “bad faith,” Judicial Watch was granted depositions from the State Department under Rule 30(b)(6); Finney; John Hackett, the former deputy director of State’s Office of Information Programs & Services; Gene Smilansky, an attorney-advisor within State’s Office of the Legal Advisor; Samuelson; and others.

Judicial Watch was also granted interrogatories on whether the State Department adequately searched for responsive records, as well as several document requests.

“In a major victory for accountability, Judge Lamberth today authorized Judicial Watch to take discovery on whether the Clinton email system evaded FOIA and whether the Benghazi scandal was one reason for keeping Mrs. Clinton’s email secret,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

“Today, Judicial Watch issued document requests and other discovery to the State Department about the Clinton email scandal. Next up, we will begin questioning key witnesses under oath.”

The court-ordered discovery is the latest development in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit filed after the U.S. Department of State failed to respond to a May 13, 2014 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Judicial Watch seeks:

▪ Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

▪ Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.

The Judicial Watch discovery plan was in response to a December 6, 2018, ruling by Judge Lamberth.

Incredibly, Justice Department attorneys admit in a filing opposing Judicial Watch’s limited discovery that “Counsel for State contacted the counsel of some third parties that Plaintiff originally included in its draft discovery proposal to obtain their client’s position on being deposed.” This collusion occurred despite criticism from the Court that the DOJ engaged in “chicanery” to cover up misconduct and that career employees in the State and Justice Departments may have “colluded to scuttle public scrutiny of Clinton, skirt FOIA, and hoodwink this Court.”

Judicial Watch countered that “[t]he government’s proposal, which is really nothing more than an opposition to [Judicial Watch’s] plan, demonstrates that it continues to reject any impropriety on its part and that it seeks to block any meaningful inquiry into its ‘outrageous misconduct.’”

As a reminder, this Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.


Originally Published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge.

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to America Uncensored by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. You are encouraged to click their link above for more interesting content.


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By Mac Slavo | SHTFplan | January 10, 2019

The government shutdown is just providing more evidence that the government itself is unnecessary. Private companies in the Yellowstone area are voluntarily paying to keep the park clean without federal funding.

According to Reason, nearly three weeks into the government shutdown, some of America’s national parks are starting to get a bit rank. Access to the parks (which are supposedly “owned” by the people who think they are the government) is free since there are no employees to collect the typical $35-per-vehicle entrance fee. But that comes with the trade-off of there being no employees to empty trash bins or clean toilets either.

Meanwhile, without being forced by the government, private companies are voluntarily paying to keep Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming clean. National Public Radio reports, local businesses are chipping in to make sure the bathrooms get cleaned, the roads get plowed, and the tourists keep coming. Even in the middle of winter, the park gets an estimated 20,000 visitors per month—and those hardy folks want to rent snowmobiles, hire tour guides, and take sightseeing trips. The private-sector businesses that thrive on those tourist dollars have a pretty strong incentive to make sure Yellowstone remains accessible – much more incentive than the government has.




This is what voluntary interaction looks like.  Not one single person is forcing these companies to pay for snow plowing, however, because it is in their best interests, they have decided to foot the bill. Xanterra Parks and Resorts, which runs the only hotels inside Yellowstone that remain open during the winter, is leading the effort to cover the $7,500 daily tab for keeping the roads plowed and the snowmobile trails groomed during the shutdown, NPR further reports. Thirteen other private businesses that offer tours of the park are also chipping in $300 a day to help cover that expense.

There’s also probably a useful lesson here about what the privatization of national parks would look like. Rather than the corporatized dystopia of environmentalist nightmares, removing the government from the equation would allow businesses that have a vested interest in maintaining and protecting America’s natural splendor to do exactly that—and would prevent the parks from being caught up in the unrelated drama of whatever nonsense is happening in Washington, D.C. –Reason

In all, it seems like a pretty straightforward lesson about how private businesses will respond to changing market conditions and incentives. Keeping the park accessible means those businesses can continue to profit off tourists, government shutdown or not.  The market has responded and as government becomes more obsolete and people begin to realize they can live their lives without a master dictating their every move and stealing their money, there will be more and more stories such as this that come to light.


Contributed by Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com, where this article was originally published.


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* America Uncensored | January 9, 2019 *

President Donald Trump just told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take a hike and close the door on her way out.

While meeting with the president on Wednesday, democrats said they had no intention of changing their stance on funding the wall. Trump responded by showing them the door.




According to both the President and Vice President Pence, Trump asked Pelosi if he was to reopen the government now if she would fund the wall within 30 days? When she responded with “no”, Trump kicked her out.

The president then took to twitter, writing:

Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time.

I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?

Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!

Trump chose to stand his ground for the security of the nation.

The presidents tweets prompted some to remember that Mexico was supposed to pay for the wall.

And others showing support.

Vice president Mike Pence confirmed the incident to reporters, saying:

“We just ended a very short meeting, We heard once again that Democratic Leaders are unwilling to negotiate,”

While many Americans would cheer the president’s decision to kick Nancy out of the White House, it would seem more fitting to kick her out of the country to see the wall from the other side.

Looking past all the talking heads, the government shutdown fiasco leaves just one question in the minds of hard working Americans. Why are taxes still being taken out of my check?!


Contributed by L. Steele of AmericaUncensored.net


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By Daisy Luther | The Organic Prepper | Jan. 7, 2019

We weren’t expecting to see a loss of food stamp benefits until the end of January, but a grocery store in Indiana reported they are unable to process EBT payments.

In Clay City, Indiana, the local IGA discovered the problem last week. Initially, they thought it was a technical glitch.

“Our machines weren’t taking any EBT cards and we didn’t really know what was going on. We didn’t know if it was a technical issue. And then we found out it was due to the government shutting down,” Tristen Malone said. (source)

UPDATE:

Officials at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration have confirmed that issues with EBT payments at one Clay City grocery store are due to a technical error, and aren’t related to the government shutdown, as the store’s management previously claimed. (source)

However, no explanation has been forthcoming, nor has an estimated time the service will resume been provided.

And although it’s for a slightly different reason, The Red Lion store in York County, Pennsylvania has also had issues. New owners recently purchased the grocery store and sent in their application to accept government benefits before the shutdown occurred.

“Right now we’re officially frozen because the government is shut down and we can’t process our application.”

Tom Lohr is the new owner of D & K.

He says they tried to get pre-approved for the license before the sale went through.

“We tried to be proactive and start this in December, late November, early December , set up the new entities with the businesses it just has not worked out.”

Lohr purchased the business, but doesn’t own the company name, so the license belongs to the original owners.

“We were trying to make it a smooth transition where it would happen the first day we opened, they said if we didn’t hear anything by January 4th to give them a call back. They went dead basically just before Christmas, I think,” said Lohr.

Sixteen percent of their business comes from people who use food stamps.

D & K wants to be able to serve those in need, they’re just waiting for the government to re-open. (source)

And by the end of January, these two stores may only be a drop in the bucket.

More than 42 million Americans rely on food stamps.

A lot of people are very smug when it comes to those who rely on EBT benefits for food, picturing people driving Cadillacs to pick up their government-funded lobster and then go home and watch daytime soaps. But if you consider the state of the economy, it’s no surprise that there are millions who can’t make ends meet. Almost half of all Americans can barely afford both food and rent every month. Prices are just getting higher and wages are not increasing to meet the demands.

Really, the average EBT user isn’t always who you’d expect. Any considering 15 million children are living in homes below the poverty line, the kids will be the ones to suffer.

It’s pretty easy to be judgmental about those who accept food stamps if you have a good job and a full pantry, but remember that not everyone is in their situation by choice. Nobody is immune to hard times. I’ve been there myself.




Imagine the unpleasant surprise

Imagine going to the store to make a purchase, fully believing you have money in your account. But when the cashier tries to ring through your purchase, it’s denied. You ask her to swipe it again, because you know there’s money…but again, it’s declined. “No funds available,” you’re told.

The people who are going to buy groceries with EBT cards that are supposed to be working right now must be feeling desperate. And their frustration will cross into anger very quickly.

A cashier from Clay City, Indiana confirmed this.

“They’re really upset about it, which is understandable. I mean that’s like, you know, really discouraging that they can’t use it. And I mean we’ve had some people even get mad about it but it’s like out of our control, there’s nothing we can do about it,” Malone said. (source)

Now imagine what the situation would be like if suddenly, at the end of January, 42 million people across the country discover they won’t be able to feed their families.

It could be chaos very quickly. You know the saying, “We’re just nine meals away from anarchy.”

It’s all part of the Government Shutdown Theater.

Every single time the government shuts down, an example is made of ordinary Americans. With the Obama shutdown in 2013, all sorts of people suffered, from Native Americans to migrants to victims of domestic violence. In the current shutdown, it’s the poor people or those working government jobs paycheck to paycheck who will pay the price.

Why do they do this? Why do they make those who are suffering, suffer more?

Because the members of Congress and the government wants to impress upon us all how very essential they are to our well-being. They want to provide us with dramatic “evidence” that we can’t get by without them.

It’s delusional to think our “representatives” in Congress are there to represent anyone but themselves and their “sponsors.”

No one actually from the government is hurt by the shutdown.

Meanwhile, the “important” people aren’t noticing any hardship from the government shutdown. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took a trip to Hawaii (but she promises it wasn’t a vacation.) And members of Congress get paid, but their staffers do not. (Kudos to this handful who have chosen to donate or forfeit their salaries during the shutdown.) It would be difficult for my opinion of these people to be much lower, but I’m sure they’ll manage to undercut my expectations even further.

The IRS will still take your money and track you down, but they won’t issue any refunds.

The system, as it stands, is anything but “by the people and for the people.”

The system is for the people who are benefitting from it. It’s for the people who are playing Americans like disposable chess pieces on a board. It’s for the people who literally benefit from the suffering of those less fortunate.

But it’s not for the rest of us.

Get prepared for some serious repercussions.

There are no signs of this shutdown ending any time soon. (Although that can change on a dime.) If it runs through the end of the month, be prepared to see some serious fallout when millions of people cannot purchase food for their families anymore. But don’t worry – your members of Congress will be just fine, regardless of how long this charade continues.

If you, personally, are relying on SNAP benefits for food, I strongly advise you to stock up now on low-cost items like beans, rice, oatmeal, peanut butter, pasta, flour, and canned fruits and vegetables. If you have money left on your card for the month, spend it now on things that won’t spoil.

If you are in a position to donate to food banks to help others, the need could soon be at an all-time high. A package of pasta and a can of sauce could at least provide a family with a warm dinner.

And no matter what your situation is, be prepared for the potential of unrest. Because hungry people with hungry children will do desperate things.


Contributed by Daisy Luther of TheOrganicPrepper.com

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper.


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By Mac Slavo | SHTFplan | January 2, 2019

Cybersecurity “experts” in the United States have long alleged that “Russian bots” were used to meddle in the 2016 elections. But, as it turns out, the authors of a Senate report on “Russian election meddling” actually ran the false flag meddling operation themselves.

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name. Described by the New York Times as a group of “tech specialists who lean Democratic,” New Knowledge has ties to both the U.S. military and the intelligence agencies.

The CEO and co-founder of New Knowledge, Jonathon Morgan, had previously worked for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the U.S. military’s advanced research agency known for horrific ideas on how to control humanity. Morgan’s partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the NSA (National Security Agency) who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of authoritarian investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone, according to a report by RT.

Morgan and Fox have both struck gold in the “Russiagate” scheme, which sprung into being after Hillary Clinton blamed Moscow for Donald Trump’s presidential victory in 2016. Morgan, for example, is one of the developers of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the online tool that purports to monitor and expose narratives being pushed by the Kremlin on Twitter. And also worth mentioning, that dashboard is bankrolled by the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy – a collection of Democrats and neoconservatives funded in part by NATO (North AtTreaty Tready Organization) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development).

It is worth noting that the 600 “Russia-linked” Twitter accounts monitored by the dashboard is not disclosed to the public either, making it impossible to verify these claims. This inconvenience has not stopped Hamilton 68 from becoming a go-to source for hysteria-hungry journalists, however. Yet on December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created the fake army of Russian bots, as well as several fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama’s 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead. In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had “orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.”–RT

This scandal is being perpetrated by the United States media and has so far deceived millions, if not more. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on “expert opinion” from Morgan’s dubious creation, Hamilton 68.

Things got even weirder when it turned out that Scott Shane, the author of the Times piece, had known about the meddling for months because he spoke at an event where the organizers boasted about it!

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama’s former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge’s campaign to suppress Republican votes, “enrage” Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a “false flag” to hurt Moore. He dubbed it “Project Birmingham.” –RT

There really was meddling in American democracy by “Russian bots.” Except those bots weren’t run from Moscow or St. Petersburg but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the “Russiagate” hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection, brainwashing, and Nazi-style propaganda campaigns.


Contributed by Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com


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