Lock-down Anger Just Got Started

Protesters shouted “I want my life back” and held up signs with slogans such as “Protect constitutional rights,” “Freedom isn’t everything but without freedom, everything is nothing,” and “Daddy, what is a kiss?” Police said on Twitter they had arrested more than 100 people.

Some protesters tried to keep a distance from each other, sitting on the ground and wearing masks, but others clustered together.

Like dozens of countries around the globe, strict guidelines have been enacted on public activity to slow transmission of COVID-19, imposing its lockdown on March 17. The protesters handed out newspapers entitled “Democratic Resistance,” which said the new coronavirus is an attempt to seize power by spreading fear. The papers quoted 127 doctors from around the world who question the need for strict lockdowns.

A Police spokesman said permission had been granted for a flyer distribution campaign, but authorities had not granted permission for a public demonstration.

“According to state emergency declarations, we are obliged to prevent a gathering,” a spokesman said, adding 180 police officers were on duty.

A State Court ruled earlier this month that people have the right to hold demonstrations if they adhere to social distancing rules after activists brought a case that argued that the lockdown breaches freedom of assembly.

On Saturday, some protesters sat peacefully on the ground at a distance from each other, holding white roses in reference to the White Rose resistance movement against the Nazis in Germany. “We are here today … to stand up for our opinion. For the protection of constitutional rights, freedom, and above all freedom of speech,” said a woman holding a rose who gave her name only as Sandra.

This story actually came from a German newspaper and is about the demonstrations and protests currently underway in Germany! That story eerily parallels what could easily be an exact story about the United States. Are there any ties there?

There is so much of this type of protest going on around the world, it’s hard to accept that each is about a specific nation’s issues addressing COVID-19 and its fallouts in each. But in the case of Germany, it appears that the German people are taking plays from U.S. workers playbook on protests. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Either way, citizens of at least these two countries are facing similar horrors at the hand of the virus — or is it the fault of COVID-19?

Who Is In Control?

If we only knew! Is it possible that there is someone who is maybe not actually pulling these strings, but might be coordinating the pulling? Don’t take this the wrong way: I am NOT claiming there is any such coordination nor is this a conspiracy theory. But in numerous countries around the world, similar protests are underway for the same reasons.

Let’s be perfectly clear: I don’t know of any of these protests that are actually protesting COVID-19. Covid-19 is NOT the culprit. There’s no doubt it is “a,” if not “the” major player in all this. But the disease is NOT locking down the citizens of Germany, Hong Kong, the U.S. or Kyiv. Protests are underway in India and Lebanon.

Protests have been ongoing in Colombia since November 2019 against a range of proposed economic and political reforms. While they stopped in January 2020, following the outbreak of coronavirus, they appear to have started once again. Since March 24, Colombia has been under lockdown, first starting at city levels and expanding across the country.

France has been under lockdown since March 17 to curb the spread of COVID-19 and amid the global health crisis, the news of riots in a Paris suburb that occurred on March 18 may have slipped under the radar. Paris has become accustomed to the “yellow-vest” demonstrations of which some turn violent. It was natural for those to morph into protests against France for lockdowns regarding the virus.

Is it just a coincidence that all these countries along with others find themselves not only dealing with a health crisis but a crisis that involves their citizens protesting? Sometimes protests turn violent as a result of their governments’ attacks on the economies of their nation in the name of beating a virus.

Usually, when something like this happens in places that appear to be unattached there are some connections. But I have no idea if any or all of these have some ties to the others or, if so, with whom and why they are related in some way.

Why is The Anger so Threatening?

That’s the easiest question to answer. Peoples’ lives have been turned upside down by those who are supposed to make sure everything is OK. And when the entity that is chosen to do that suddenly becomes the entity that shuts down the economic life source for everyone one of their citizens, tempers quickly boil over.

It’s the same across the Globe.

But the protests while are partly due to economic reasons, most of these countries are democratic or some combination of democracy and socialist in their governments. Their populace is accustomed to working in jobs and being paid for their work. And their pay allows them to survive, paying necessary amounts for their families to make it. Through no choice of their own — no election and therefore no authorization of shutdowns — citizens find themselves with no jobs and no way to make it financially without government assistance. And turning to federal governments for that assistance leaves bad tastes in everyone’s mouth.

Summary

That’s why the populace in these countries have resorted to demonstrations and sometimes even protests: to have their lives restored. In each of these countries impacted there have been numerous epidemics of various sorts through the years, none of which has forced these total lockdowns that are in place today.

The U.S. is NOT the only such country whose citizens have Constitutional rights that preclude governments from arbitrarily taking the lockdown and quarantine actions that have been put in place. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution ensures that Americans’ right to free speech and to assemble will be unilaterally maintained “by the People.” And the state governments seem to have weaponized the coronavirus against its own citizens.

We didn’t see that happen in the Spanish flu, the HIV epidemic, H1N1 flu, or any other epidemic. So why now?

Any answer here is totally subjective. We may be given an answer or some answers to the “why” question. But we don’t know right now.

What we DO know is that our government at the federal level and at state levels had better act quickly to get these skirmishes resolved before protestors create an environment that can easily escalate and create real problems for many people.

What exacerbates the problem is that none of the “experts” can give solid and believable information about the virus and how to defeat it. Having so many die with only guesses for answers just lights the fires of fear and anguish. That must be stopped.

It’s horrible but typical of many in government to shed any responsibility or any of this and point to President Trump when blamed by the People. In fairness, at its inception, those same people were prosecuting him for abuse of power! But even while that was happening he established the White House task force to spearhead the quick building of a response team with all the “experts” that Democrats demanded he brings to the fray already in place. Unilaterally he quickly through executive order closed our borders to any travel from China. Such is only rare exceptions. Democrats, on the other hand, in all of January and the first week of February this year dealt with one and only one matter: the impeachment of the President. The House of Representatives were allowed by Speaker Pelosi to take up any coronavirus matters until February 5 — 6-days after Trump closed our borders to travelers from China. They were too busy attacking him first in impeachment and then for racism and xenophobia on his part for the China travel ban. Their own experts would state that Trump’s actions doing so saved thousands of U.S. lives.

Will we discover who, what, and why for all this? I hope we do, but not for the purpose of blaming someone politically. We need to find out the causes and the “caus-ers” so we can confront all those involved and implement processes to assure it will never happen again.

Shame on any Americans who are scrounging for the answer just to use for ammunition about their counterparts! We’re a better nation than that. Let’s while we’re looking for those answers continue to find ways to restart our economy and quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible to put Americans back on the job! Unless we find ways and find ways quickly to do that, our nation as we know it is doomed.

But in retrospect, that may be the actual objective of those who continue to want division and animus in our political atmosphere, knowing it will spill out into the streets and perpetuate the atmosphere. Nothing but further division can possibly result from that scenario.

Who’s responsible? Don’t look to others for those answers: Watch the players in all this. They’ll give you a sign — the proof — of who’s making it happen.

We need that to happen immediately!

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FBI Director Chris Wray: “We’re broken…and We’ve Got to be Fixed”

In a letter sent to Intelligence Inspector General Michael Horowitz following the humiliation of the FBI at the hands of the FISA Court, FBI Director Chris Wray publicly offered some changes the FBI are going to make:

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) appreciates the OIG’s crucial independent oversight role and the thoroughness and professionalism your office brought to this work. The Report’s findings and recommendations represent constructive criticism that will make us stronger as an organization. We also appreciate the Report’s recognition that the FBI cooperated fully with this review and provided broad and timely access to all information requested by the OIG, including highly classified and sensitive material involving national security.”

“The Report concludes that the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation and related investigations of certain individuals were opened in 2016 for an authorized purpose and with sufficient factual predication. The Report also details instances in which certain FBI personnel, at times during the 2016-2017 period reviewed by the OIG, did not comply with existing policies, neglected to exercise appropriate diligence, or otherwise failed to meet the standard of conduct that the FBI expects of its employees — and that our country expects of the FBI. We are vested with significant authorities, and it is our obligation as public servants to ensure that these authorities are exercised with objectivity and integrity. Anything less falls short of the FBI’s duty to the American people.”

“Accordingly, the FBI accepts the Report’s findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action. I have ordered more than 40 corrective steps to address the Report’s recommendations. Because our credibility and brand are central to fulfilling our mission, we are also making improvements beyond those recommended by the OIG. And where certain individuals have been referred by the OIG for review of their conduct, the FBI will not hesitate to take appropriate disciplinary action if warranted after the required procedures for disciplinary review.”

Below is a summary of the actions we are taking, which we describe in more detail in the attachment to this letter.

First, we are modifying our processes under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), both for initial applications and renewals, to enhance accuracy and completeness. The FBI relies on FISA every day in national security investigations to prevent terrorists and foreign intelligence services from harming the United States. We are making concrete changes to ensure that our FISA protocols, verifications, layers of review, record-keeping requirements, and audits are more stringent and less susceptible to mistake or inaccuracy. These new processes will also ensure that the FISA Court and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are apprised of all information in the FBI’s holdings relevant to a determination of the probable cause.

“Second, we undertook an extensive review of investigative activity based out of FBI Headquarters. The FBI is a field-based law enforcement organization, and the vast majority of our investigations should continue to be worked by our field offices. Moving forward, in the very rare instance when FBI Headquarters runs a sensitive investigation, we require prior approval by the FBI Deputy Director and consultation with the Assistant Director in Charge or Special Agent in Charge of the affected field offices.”

“Third, we are making significant changes to how the FBI manages its Confidential Human Source (CHS) Program. Many FBI investigations rely on human sources, but the investigative value derived from CHS-provided information rests in part on the CHS’s credibility, which demands rigorous assessment of the source. The modifications we are making to how the FBI collects, documents, and shares information about CHSs will strengthen our assessment of the information these sources are providing.”

“Fourth, I am establishing new protocols for the FBI’s participation in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)-led counterintelligence transition briefings (i.e., strategic intelligence briefings) provided to presidential nominees. The FBI’s role in these briefings should be for national security purposes and not for investigative purposes. Continued participation by the FBI in these transition briefings is critical to ensuring continuity in the event of a change in administrations. The new FBI protocols about transition briefings will complement procedures already implemented by the FBI earlier this year to govern the separate category of defensive briefings. The FBI gives defensive briefings, which are based on specific threat information, in a wide variety of contexts and for myriad federal, state, and other public and private individuals and entities. The procedures we recently established for defensive briefings regarding malign foreign influence efforts have brought a new rigor and discipline to whether and how such briefings should proceed.”

“Fifth, I am mandating a specialized, semiannual training requirement for FBI personnel at all levels who handle FISA and CHS matters. This training will be experience-based, and it will cover specific lessons learned from this Report, along with other new and revised material. Earlier in my tenure as Director, I reinstated an annual ethics training program for all FBI employees, because I learned the training had been discontinued in prior years. While that training was not introduced in response to this Report, all current FBI employees involved in the 2016-2017 events reviewed by the OIG have since completed this additional training in ethics and professional responsibility.”

“Finally, we will review the performance and conduct of certain FBI employees who were referenced in the Report’s recommendations — including managers, supervisors, and senior officials at the time. The FBI will take appropriate disciplinary action where warranted. Notably, many of the employees described in the report are no longer employed at the FBI.”

                Carter Page

The issue with the FBI in all this is the illicit (and some say “illegal”) application produced by the FBI to obtain authority to surveil Trump Campaign worker Carter Page.

It’s safe to say that each of these proposed changes seems critical in the quest to clean up what has been for years called “The greatest law enforcement agency in the World.” It’s sad such a letter even needed to be penned. It’s more disturbing, though, that somehow the FBI became what it has become under the leadership of former Director James Comey.

Who’s minding the shop?

Director Wray, two weeks ago, made a second trip to the Hill to defend the FBI once again. This trip was Part 2 of the necessary FBI cleanup Wray began several months ago. Thankfully for Americans, Wray in his testimony was a bit more direct about the FBI issues:

“The failures highlighted in the inspector general report are unacceptable, period. And they cannot be repeated,” Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee.

“I have already ordered more than 40 corrective actions to our FISA policies and procedures,” Wray continued, adding that he has “gone above and beyond” in outlining what “should be changed” and “can be changed” and can provide “accountability,” “rigor” and “discipline.”

“I do not think anyone has carte blanche to bypass rules, and I intend to make it painfully clear that is unacceptable at the FBI today,” he added.

I, as do many Americans, expect the FBI not just to be known as such a significant law enforcement agency; I expect the FBI to “BE” the most excellent law enforcement agency in the World. There’s a vast difference between “being known as” and “actually being.”

In consideration of where Director Wray may be in his political thinking, this news came to the forefront:

“FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly represented an American energy executive who was facing a criminal investigation by Russia in 2006. However, as Trump deals with multiple investigations AFTER all speculation about his campaign’s ties to Russia that were debunked by Robert Mueller, one wouldn’t know that particular detail of Wray’s career history. Why? Wray himself deleted the reference well before he was up for one of the country’s top law enforcement jobs.

As early as 2009, Wray’s profile for law firm King and Spalding described his clients and included the line: ‘An energy company president in a criminal investigation by Russian authorities.'”

The firm said that Wray “purposely” made the changes but that he wasn’t the only attorney to work on the case over the years for a client the firm would not name. With offices spread across the globe, King and Spalding have previously represented companies that dealt with Russian state-run energy companies Rosneft and Gazprom.

This fact does not necessarily mean that Mr. Wray is not qualified to run the FBI. But where is the outcry from the Left for his hiding HIS involvement with Russia? Aren’t Democrats and their media minions the “keepers of information regarding all thing corrupt” to report to Americans? They all swallowed the “ignore pill” when it came to anything that might be perceived to be negative news for the Left. It makes me wonder where Director Wray is regarding political non-partisanship.

Summary

These thoughts about Christopher Wray go to a much broader and more critical concern. And that concern has resided mostly in the back of my mind since his appointment to Director. My anxiety has crept forward to the “front” of my mind multiple times since he became Director. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but, regarding politics during the last decade or so, I’ve often discovered too late that my concerns were based on facts that, when revealed, proved to be justified. I don’t know if the following matters are tied to facts, but they certainly cause me to question:

  • Much of the so-far revealed FBI nastiness regarding Russia and the Trump Campaign happened on Chris Wray’s watch as Director. Remember: President Trump sent James Comey packing just a few months after his inauguration. Wray took over the Bureau in August of 2017.
  • Even if it all happened BEFORE he became Director,  Wray was not part of the deep-dive that unveiled all the corruption at the Bureau, especially regarding the Russia collusion investigation. It is very concerning to me that a newly appointed Director, knowing his good friend and former DOJ fellow employee Robert Mueller was steering that Russia collusion investigation did NOT work closely with Mueller to as quickly as possible identify the corrupt FBI employees and make changes.
  • Why did the FBI not conduct the investigations into the group we reported yesterday were indicted in December (2019) for massive illegal contributions, much of that went to the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign? That is a typical job for the FBI. Yet the Department of Justice conducted that investigation internally.
  • The final concern: those “40 corrective actions to our FISA policies and procedures” Director Wray reported have been put in place at the FBI are non-existent. I hope I am wrong with that statement. But as of this moment, we have been unable to confirm Wray’s claim those 40 have been implemented. No one at the FBI has any accountability to Truth News Network. Director Wray did not send us a press release to document the claims he made in his letter to Congress. But we’ve reached out to numerous government contacts inside and outside the FBI and cannot find anyone who has those 40 corrective actions mentioned in the letter. They know nothing about them other than what Wray stated.

I’m not an “anti-FBI” American. I’m far from that. I have a very close friend who is an FBI lifer that I don’t just know “about,” I really “know” him. I am confident that among the 35,000 FBI employees, there are numerous loyal Americans and patriots. Of late, however, bits of information and evidence are leaked that cause many to reflect on the agency’s universal credibility. The recent investigations into the FBI have revealed the shockingly political partisan actions taken by FBI upper-level management members to upend a duly elected President based not on evidence, but based on partisan disagreements with the President’s policies.

Isn’t it spooky to think that an American president — ANY American president — could possibly be driven from office by a small group of political hacks from the FBI and DOJ? Forget about the Russians. Those FBI malcontents attempted a coup from the inside!

President Trump has done many good things since elected. One of his commitments is still unfulfilled: to clean up Washington D.C. and rid our government of corrupt politicians. His problem in doing so is two-fold: finding the “what” and “who’s” of the internal corruption and having the confidence that those who are in the branches of government that generally guarantee that fraud does not happen are truthfully and honestly not a part of it.

Regarding Director Wray: I’m not yet sure of his credibility and commitment to do everything he can to make the Bureau honest in its investigatory capacity. Fortunately for us all, President Trump now has an Attorney General whose lifetime of law enforcement shows his honesty and commitment to the rule of law — Will Barr — at the helm of the Department of Justice.

What do we know about Attorney General Barr? Besides his biography and substantial resume, his voracity was confirmed to me when Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough demanded not only that William Barr is fired as AG, he demanded that Mr. Barr be disbarred.

That means the Attorney General is pulling the right strings and stirring the correct hornets’ nest to cause Joe to holler. That’s good enough for me!

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