Justice Integrity Project
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey delivered hard-hitting speeches at the National Press Club last week that showed why each is regarded as a top option as the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
Perez, born in Buffalo, NY and shown in our photo at right, described how his family’s immigrant roots in the Dominican Republic helps inspire his implementation of the Obama administration’s policies, including a presidential order enabling estimated 4.2 million workers to qualify for overtime.
Booker, shown below in a file photo, spoke on “The Search for Equal Justice.” He was reared in a prosperous New Jersey suburb that his parents desegregated, and after a stint as mayor of the 95 percent minority nearby city of Newark won election to the U.S. senate in 2013.
Each spoke on June 22 at the press club, which is located in downtown Washington, DC. This editor attended both talks as part of our ongoing understanding of the 2016 election campaign and other national issues. We focus both on mainstream and little-reported issues in the contest between prospective Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
The Labor Secretary's talk was entitled, Building the Best America, with quotations below from the prepared text, which closely paralleled his talk as delivered.
“A few weeks ago,” Perez began, “the New York Times asked, “When did optimism become uncool?” I must confess that – as a chronic, relentless optimist – I took it a little personally. I know my teenage kids think I’m uncool. I get that.
"But the Times hit on something darker within our politics – the fact that some politicians find it expedient to exploit people’s worst fears… to accentuate the negative and eliminate the positive… to turn people against each other instead of toward each other."
Saudi Arabia's royal heir apparent traveled to the U.S. capital last week in a charm offensive to shore up the kingdom's controversial relations with U.S. elites.
In the wake of increasing American suspicions of a Saudi role in financing 9/11 terrorists and supporting ISIS, President Obama met June 17 with the monarchy's number three leader, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Salman, 30, is also the Saudi defense minister and the favored son of his country's elderly king, who ascended to the throne last year. A war hawk, Salman (shown in a file photo and known by his initials "MBS") met June 16 with U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and other VIPs, as reported in Saudi Arabia's Wonder Prince Comes to Washington. By tradition, the ambitious MBS stands behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 56, but doubts about what will happen give current meaning to the term "palace intrigue," as David Ignatius reported in the Washington Post, A 30-year-old Saudi prince could jump-start the kingdom — or drive it off a cliff.
Meanwhile, U.S. defenders of the kingdom such as CIA Director John Brennan, the longtime CIA bureau chief in Saudi Arabia, pooh-poohed suspicions that the Saudis have hurt the United States.
Today's column reports on this Saudi visit as the second segment of our ongoing coverage of fallout from 9/11, the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, and the June 12 massacre in an Orlando nightclub by an accused Islamist radical, Omar Mateen, a security guard for a major U.S. contractor, G4S.
In the first segment, Conservatives Blast Obama On Terror Attack, Miss Key Clues on June 17, we reported on conservative reactions to the fatal shootings of 49 patrons and staff at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando.
Authorities ascribed the deaths to Mateen, 29, shown in a file photo. Officials said Mateen acted on his own pro-Islamist beliefs before a SWAT team killed him. Our next segment will raise questions about official accounts and media treatments of the nightclub shooting.
We begin today's column by summarizing why the American public is becoming suspicious of the extraordinary deference that U.S. elites in both major political parties extend to the oil-rich kingdom, which advances its Wahhabist version of Islam by funding jihadists and in wars against Syria and Yemen.
Next, we examine here allegations that the Saudis maintain their influence over American government leaders via vast (but not necessarily illegal) spending that helps presidential contenders, the entities that support them, and other elected and appointed officials.
In support of the Saudis, officials from both parties in the U.S. government have kept secret from the American public the 2002 Joint Senate-House report on who funded the 9/11 terrorists, despite the view of experts and 9/11 families that suspicions point to Saudi-funded entities.
Above is a quotation from U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Tea Party Republican who has been outraged over the secrecy. He has been a leader in the fight to publish the 2002 congressional findings, which after years of obstruction has received leadership support, a positive CBS "60 Minutes" feature, and other deserved momentum.
We shall examine also below how the U.S. government has helped thwart 9/11 families from pursuing litigation against Saudi organizations suspected of funding 9/11 hijackers. The evidence is that 15 out of 19 were Saudis, with some living high in Florida and California via funding that the American public has been forbidden to learn about.
Finally, we report on how Salman sought to use his visit last week to address such controversies while frustrated by President Obama's apparent reluctance to ramp up the war against Syria's government as Saudi Arabia deeply desires.
At the National Press Club this week, a panel of conservatives harshly attacked President Obama and his administration's handling of Orlando-type terrorism threats. Their partisan passion helps illuminate the nation's deep voter divides and lack of basic information even among elected officials about covert intrigues.
Author Philip B. Haney and four other current or former officials accused the president of leading an incompetent administration whose top law enforcers and other key personnel coddle radical Islamists.
Our column today reports on their allegations, which matched similar claims being raised by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and conservatives elsewhere around the nation. Indeed, nearly half of the two dozen attendees at the press conference were Trump supporters who rose in near-unison several times to applaud the major panelists.
In Florida, RealClearPolitics reported, Florida Governor Rick Scott: "We're Fed Up" With Radical Islam.
Update: A second part of our coverage will report on the visit this week by the Saudi Arabian monarchy's heir apparent, Deputy Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to shore up its U.S. relations with a public relations offensive in the wake of increasing criticism regarding its pro-Islamist policies and their suspected links to 9/11, the ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, and other threats to U.S. interests. Our next segment will raise questions about official accounts and media treatments of the nightclub shooting.
For now, this column reports evidence from conservatives showing that top officials at the very highest levels apparently do not trust many subordinates and elected oversight officials with sensitive information even though the U.S. constitutional system requires that an elected congress maintain oversight over governmental operations. We provide details on that in Part II of this report.
We begin with the featured speaker June 14, Philip B. Haney. The author and former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-terrorism expert is shown at left in a screen shot from a television interview.
Haney alleges that the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, hamstrings the DHS and other public safety personnel with this rule for suspects: "Even if a person is affiliated with a known terrorist organization you [the federal employee] can't assume he is a terrorist."
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Bush Administration Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz were among those at the press conference endorsing Haney's warning and his new book, See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government's Submission to Jihad, co-authored by WND editor Art Moore.
Bachmann, for example, said the FBI and DHS repeatedly thwarted her attempts to get answers to her questions on the kinds of security issues raised by Haney, even though she is an attorney who had been a member of the House Intelligence Committee before leaving office in 2015.
Haney complained that after he identified some 300 suspected "terrorists" from non-classified documents he was subjected to a federal grand jury probe and treated with such suspicion otherwise that he was ousted from his office, confined to cubicle, and forced to surrender the gun that he normally carried as part of his workday.
Haney and other panelists described his longtime concerns as especially timely following the fatal shootings in the early morning hours of June 12 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Authorities have said the shooter was Omar Mateen, 29, a security guard who had been been under repeated FBI investigation on suspicions of sympathy for radical terrorism.
Mateen, shown in a photo, was reported to have vowed allegiance to both ISIS and Al Qaeda as he used an AK-47 semi-automatic and a handgun for the killing spree that killed 49 nightclub patrons and staff at the gay club before police team killed him at approximately 5 a.m.
The death of Muhammad Ali on June 4 is generating many warm reflections, especially from those who met and admired him, as did I.
Illustrating his lasting legacy across the world are memories sampled below.
Some are from the sports world, including from two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman, Ali's most famous surviving opponent. Another is from boxing historian Thomas Hauser, Ali's biographer.
Ali's impact transcends sports, as Foreman eloquently stated in several Tweets soon after Ali's death. They shared full range of emotions as gladiators in one of the sport's most iconic battles, the 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" title fight in the Congo (then known as Zaire) that the 1996 documentary When We Kings so memorably portrayed.
That fight featured the apogee of Ali's tactic of "Rope a Dope" to wear out an opponent by leaning on ropes to absorb punishment before Ali delivered his knockout (shown here on video).
The fight, with the crowd chanting "Ali, bomaye!" (meaning, "Ali, kill him!" in Lingala) helped in a bizarre way to make Ali one of the world's popular public figures -- and likely helped induce the Parkinson's disease that afflicted the fighter for his last 30 years.
At right are the haunting final pictures of Ali, taken in Phoenix two months ago by British photographer Zenon Texeira, on assignment from the Sun. Excerpts from copyright and world exclusive photo shoot are below from the column, Dignity at the End: Ali in the Final Portait.
"The importance of Muhammad Ali," they wrote, "goes beyond boxing and embeds itself in the turbulent times in the 1960s, during the African-American Civil Rights Movement, when the boxer refused military service in Vietnam and called for the equality of all people regardless of religion, social status and skin colour."
Included below also is a remarkable CBS News video introduced by anchor Walter Cronkite showing Ali saving a man's life as a Good Samaritan in 1981 by talking the troubled man out of jumping from a ninth-floor ledge in Los Angeles.
Also portrayed below are other instinctive acts of Ali's charity and boldness. For example, he declined to meet President Clinton in the White House unless the president reversed an arrogant aide's sudden decision to exclude Hauser from a 1996 celebrity gathering in the Oval Office.
Former CKX CEO Robert F.X. Sillerman, a high-level entertainment industry entrepreneur who in 2006 added the Ali and Elvis Presley licensing rights to his company's portfolio, shared this memory exclusively with me for today's column:
Told to me by people who were there: Ali met Elvis Presley only once. He was in Las Vegas training for a fight and went to see Elvis perform. Afterwards, he went backstage, walked into Elvis's dressing room, where Elvis was sitting on a couch surrounded by girls. Ali went over to Elvis and said, "Elvis, you are the King."
Elvis untangled himself from the girls, got up, put his hands on Ali's fists and said: "I may be the King. But you, Muhammad, are The Greatest of All Time."
I have seen the pictures, unfortunately, all that remains from this incredible encounter: two titans, perhaps the two most important cultural influencers of the second half of the twentieth century.
The power of these and other expert treatments cited below far outstrip my own experiences. But mine help provide context for larger lessons. For one, we see from Ali's life how each of us can be inspired by the great dramas unfolding around us if we only look around, whether or not we have met in person.
This "Readers Guide to the RFK Assassination" presents key books, videos, documents, websites and other archives most relevant to 1968 Democratic Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy's fatal shooting just after midnight June 5, 1968.
The materials focus heavily on remaining questions about responsibility and motive for Kennedy's shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shortly after his victory in the California Democratic primary appeared to pave the way for his presidential nomination. Shown below is his victory speech shortly before he was gunned down while leaving via a kitchen pantry to avoid crowds.
Included also in this guide compiled by our Justice Integrity Project is research that explores the assassination's current implications for the U.S. justice system and other governance.
The materials contain varied perspectives in a style common to other topics in our series, which includes guides to the assassinations of President Kennedy in 1963 and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968.
Readers of each can find abundant evidence of covert official involvement, including in the crimes and cover-up. But we provide also books and other evidence supporting the official verdicts. In the case of RFK's murder, a jury found in 1969 that Sirhan Sirhan acted alone to kill Kennedy and wound five others with shots fired in the hotel's pantry.
Thus, our operative principle in this project is to raise informed questions aggressively but also to provide sufficient evidence for readers to reach your own conclusions.
The continued public suspicions about the deaths of JFK, MLK and RFK (as the victims were known) have been fostered by the highly irregular legal procedures involving each death, including suppression of relevant documents and fear among witnesses and investigators.
One illustration of the continuing controversy was the dramatic but unsuccessful plea this year by Kennedy's friend Paul Schrade to California's parole board to free Sirhan on the grounds of innocence in killing Kennedy.
Schrade, now 91, said he was undoubtedly shot by Sirhan in the forehead at the hotel. But, Schrade maintained, Sirhan could not possibly have shot Kennedy because the New York senator was killed from a point-blank shot from behind, according to medical evidence, whereas Sirhan was always several feet in the front of the senator. Sirhan's defenders say he was a patsy and victim of mind-control being unjustly held to enable the real killer to escape. Sirhan is shown in a mug shot soon after his arrest. He says he cannot remember relevant details.
Schrade's reaction is shown during the February parole hearing, as illustrated by an Associated Press pool photograph of the proceedings, which have been marked for decades by unusual secrecy and arbitrary decision-making.
For such reasons, the new Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) has been created as a non-partisan citizen group advocating release of sealed records pertaining to major suspected political assassinations.
This editor is one of CAPA's founding directors. Information from these Readers Guides is expected to be summarized on CAPA's site, subject to CAPA's review procedures from its board of scientific, historical, and legal experts and reader feedback.
Another development the continued publication of new revelations, reflections and scholarship. Los Angeles reporter Fernando Faura will publish on June 6The Polka Dot File regarding his investigation immediately after the shooting of the mysterious woman in the polka dot dress who supposedly yelled "We shot him" and then disappeared.
Faura said murder investigations completely disregarded his evidence when he presented it after the shooting, which he and others claim exemplified a pattern of stifling other leads to RFK's murder.
Among other recent and planned books (described below) are those of a more historical nature that illustrate the continuing importance of the RFK death, particularly after the JFK and MLK murders had wiped out the other two major progressive leaders of their era.
The goal here is to create a continually updated Readers Guide that provides perspective both on the 2016 elections and on other civic issues as the 50th anniversary of the RFK and MLK killings approaches in 2018.
Especially disturbing for this 2016 election season is the widespread notion promoted by the mass media that all three of the 1960s murders are long-settled issues that concern only wacko "conspiracy theorists" or history "buffs." Even minimal research would illustrate many major security, legal, and propaganda issues that are highly relevant to current affairs and decision-making by the next group of elected and appointed officials taking charge on the world stage.
Murder of political leaders is a common problem, according to noted historian and human rights attorney William Pepper, who believes that a continuing cover-up ruins the legacy of his friends Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
"Assassinations didn't start in the 1960s," says Pepper, author of explosive investigations that include a new book due June 21 exposing King's murderers in detail. "They have been part of our society for a very long time."
Even more remarkable than Pepper's listing of political victims from Socrates, Julius Caesar and Jesus up to modern times, he has provided legal representation for both of his friends’ convicted killers.
Pepper believes the late James Earl Ray, King's convicted killer, and RFK's still-imprisoned convicted slayer Sirhan Sirhan have been patsies framed by authorities to take the blame for the real assassins hired by still-powerful entities.
Update: Gary Null Show, New Evidence On Martin Luther King Murder, Gary Null interviews Dr. William Pepper, a King family friend and author who published a new book June 21 naming the murderers, June 21, 2016. We present new evidence that demands a revision of the history behind the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. An exclusive live press conference happened today over the radio, June 21, at the studios of the Progressive Radio Network.
Pepper (shown in a 1967 photo with King) has spent decades attempting to expunge the convicted men's guilt in their separate cases.
Pepper's work has included his courageous and creative successes in persuading several of those allegedly complicit in King’s murder to confess at least part of their guilt. Overcoming obstacles by so-called law enforcement, Pepper has revealed, most notably so far in his 2003 book An Act of State. a chilling plot perpetrated by rogue officials, who sometimes used Mafia or military gunmen,
His explosive new book The Plot To Kill King is scheduled for release this month. Setting the stage, Pepper shared his insights May 21 in a panel discussion about American assassinations and Deep State intrigue held at the annual Left Forum at John Jay Criminal Justice College in Manhattan.
Joining the panel were best-selling author Russ Baker, speaking on President John F. Kennedy’s death, and this editor.
Baker is working on a new book about the JFK murder and cover-up.
I previewed the Justice Integrity Project's comprehensive Readers Guide to the RFK Assassination that is being released today in preparation for the 48th anniversary of the late New York senator Robert Kennedy's 1968 death early in the morning of June 5, 1968.
The shooting came minutes after Kennedy won that year's California Democratic presidential primary. The victory positioned RFK as that cycle's most likely Democratic nominee and the favorite to win the presidency. The presidency would have given him also the clout to renew an investigative into his brother's assassination, and implement other progressive policies, including ending the Vietnam war and pursuing the kind of economic and social justice policies King had advocated.
Instead, Republican Richard Nixon won the election and two terms in office, putting the nation on a long-term authoritarian, Big Government course that continues to the present with a bipartisan consensus to engage in endless wars on grounds of national security.
No Lies Radio, a non-profit grassroots affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network, documented our 110-minute panel (including Q&A moderated by Gregory Longo). This was part of six-panel series at the conference on "The Deep State" at the conference. No Lies Radio recorded all six of the panels, which are listed below with links to the speakers and now-archived radio coverage.
University of California historian and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott advanced the Deep State concept with his pioneering 1993 book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK.
Scott's compelling thesis and evidence, since endorsed by many others, are that the major 1960s assassinations represented a power grab by a hidden "Deep" government. The perpetrators' ability to suppress the truth of the JFK, MLK and RFK murders showed that rogue officials could eliminate the decade's three most important progressive leaders without accountability in courts or elsewhere.