10 Major FBI Scandals on Comey’s Watch

The FBI interviewed almost every terrorist who successfully struck America

News just broke that President Trump is dismissing the director of the FBI, James Comey.

Comey will inevitably be remembered for the controversial role he played in the 2016 presidential election, where his agency conducted surveillance of the Trump campaign as well as investigated the Clinton camp for mishandling classified materials, giving both sides arguments for how the FBI ultimately swayed the vote.

But even before the 2016 campaign, the FBI endured a number of humiliations under Comey’s tenure. Most damning were revelations that the FBI was generally aware of almost every terrorist who successfully struck America over the last eight years.

Here are 10 of Comey’s biggest embarrassments at the FBI:

1. Before he bombed the Boston Marathon, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev but let him go. Russia sent the Obama Administration a second warning, but the FBI opted against investigating him again.

2. Shortly after the NSA scandal exploded in 2013, the FBI was exposed conducting its own data mining on innocent Americans; the agency, Bloomberg reported, retains that material for decades (even if no wrongdoing is found).

3. The FBI had possession of emails sent by Nidal Hasan saying he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers to protect the Taliban — but didn’t intervene, leading many critics to argue the tragedy that resulted in the death of 31 Americans at Fort Hood could have been prevented.

4. During the Obama Administration, the FBI claimed that two private jets were being used primarily for counterterrorism, when in fact they were mostly being used for Eric Holder and Robert Mueller’s business and personal travel.

5. When the FBI demanded Apple create a “backdoor” that would allow law enforcement agencies to unlock the cell phones of various suspects, the company refused, sparking a battle between the feds and America’s biggest tech company. What makes this incident indicative of Comey’s questionable management of the agency is that a) The FBI jumped the gun, as they were indeed ultimately able to crack the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone, and b) Almost every other major national security figure sided with Apple (from former CIA Director General Petraeus to former CIA Director James Woolsey to former director of the NSA, General Michael Hayden), warning that such a “crack” would inevitably wind up in the wrong hands.

6. In 2015, the FBI conducted a controversial raid on a Texas political meeting, finger printing, photographing, and seizing phones from attendees (some in the group believe in restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic).

7. During its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, the FBI made an unusual deal in which Clinton aides were both given immunity and allowed to destroy their laptops.

8. The father of the radical Islamist who detonated a backpack bomb in New York City in 2016 alerted the FBI to his son’s radicalization. The FBI, however, cleared Ahmad Khan Rahami after a brief interview.

9. The FBI also investigated the terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Despite a more than 10-month investigation of Omar Mateen — during which Mateen admitting lying to agents — the FBI opted against pressing further and closed its case.

10. CBS recently reported that when two terrorists sought to kill Americans attending the “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas, the FBI not only had an understanding an attack was coming, but actually had an undercover agent traveling with the Islamists, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi. The FBI has refused to comment on why the agent on the scene did not intervene during the attack.

Grabien contributed to this report.

51% Of Murders In The U.S. Come From Just 2% Of The Counties

CRIME1

WASHINGTON (Zero Hedge)–The United States can really be divided up into three types of places. Places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders, and places where murders are very common.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders. 69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.

The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.

Murders actually used to be even more concentrated. From 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any given year had zero murders. Possibly, this change is a result of the opioid epidemic’s spread to more rural areas. But that question is beyond the scope of this study. Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime” showed how dramatically counties within states vary dramatically with respect to murder and other violent crime rates.

CRIME2

Breaking down the most dangerous counties in Figure 2 shows over half the murders occur in just 2% of the counties, 37% in just the worst 1% of counties.

CRIME3

Figure 1 illustrates how few counties have a significant number of murders. Figure 3 further illustrates that with a cumulative perspective. 54% of counties have zero murders, 69% have at most one murder, 76% have at most two murders, and so on. To put it differently, only the top four percent of the counties have 16 or more murders. 

If just 1% of the counties with the worst number of murders somehow were to become a separate country, the murder rate in the rest of the US would have been only 3.4 in 2014. Removing the worst 2% or 5% would have reduced the US rate to just 3.06 or 2.56 per 100,000, respectively.

CRIME4

Even within the Counties with the murders, the murders are heavily Concentrated within those counties. 

When you look at individual counties with a high number of murders, you find large areas with few murders. Take Los Angeles county, with 526 murders in 2014, the most of any county in the US. The county has virtually no murders in the northwestern part of the county. There was only one murder each in Beverly Hills, Hawthorne, and Van Nuys. Clearly, different parts of the county face very different risks of murder.

CRIME5

The map below of Indianapolis shows the distribution of murders, with 135 murders. Although the city extends well beyond the 465 Highway that encircles downtown Indianapolis, there are only four murders outside of that loop. The northern half of the city within 465 also has relatively few murders.

CRIME6

Washington, DC has large areas without murders. 14th Street NW divides the eastern and western parts of the district, with murders overwhelmingly limited to the eastern half. The area around the capitol is also extremely safe.

CRIME7

Here is the murder map for Dallas.

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Gun Ownership

According to a 2013 PEW Research Center survey, the household gun ownership rate in rural areas was 2.11 times greater than in urban areas (“Why Own a Gun? Protection is Now Top Reason,” PEW Research Center, March 12, 2013). Suburban households are 28.6% more likely to own guns than urban households. Despite lower gun ownership, urban areas experience much higher murder rates. One should not put much weight on this purely “cross-sectional” evidence over one point in time, but it is still interesting to note that so much of the country has both very high gun ownership rates and zero murders.

Conclusion

This study shows how murders in the United States are heavily concentrated in very small areas. Few appreciate how much of the US has no murders each year. Murder isn’t a nationwide problem. It’s a problem in a very small set of urban areas, and any solution must reduce those murders. 

 

WaPo PAGE ONE MONDAY: Trump strategy of ‘fear’ working on illegals

Amid immigration setbacks, one Trump strategy seems to be working: Fear

WASHINGTON, D.C. (By David Nakamura of The Washington Post)–In many ways, President Trump’s attempts to implement his hard-line immigration policies have not gone very well in his first three months. His travel ban aimed st some Muslim-majority countries has been blocked by the courts, his U.S.-Mexico border wall has gone nowhere in Congress, and he has retreated, at least for now, on his vow to target illegal immigrants brought here as children.

But one strategy that seems to be working well is fear. The number of migrants, legal and illegal, crossing into the United States has dropped markedly since Trump took office, while in recent declines in the number of deportations have been reversed.

Many experts on both sides of the immigration debate attribute at least part of this shift to the use of sharp, unwelcoming rhetoric by Trump and his aides, as well as the administration’s showy use of enforcement raids and public spotlighting of crimes committed by immigrants. The tactics were aimed at sending a political message to those in the country illegally or those thinking about trying to come.

“The world is getting the message,” Trump said last week during a speech at the National Rifle Association leadership forum in Atlanta. “They know our border is no longer open to illegal immigration, and if they try to break in you’ll be caught and you’ll be returned to your home. You’re not staying any longer. If you keep coming back illegally after deportation, you’ll be arrested and prosecuted and put behind bars. Otherwise it will never end.” Read more from The Washington Post here.

To Enter Heaven, You Have To Confront Who You Hurt The Most

I stood in front of none other than myself. I, or he, seemed so wise, so enlightened.

Just like I had always tried to be.

He saw my reaction, and grinned. “Who did you expect? For all the pain you’ve caused, you’ve made no one suffer more than yourself.”

I shook my head. I had never been easy on myself, that was certain, but I had caused far more harm to anyone I’d ever loved. I didn’t even belong in heaven in the first place.

“You always wanted to be the best. To be perfect. You created an unachievable goal, knowing deep down you’d never reach it, so that you’d work harder and harder each day. You never allowed yourself to be content, because contentment gives room for mediocrity–and out of all the sins you’ve committed, that was that only one you felt unforgivable.”

I tried to speak, but he interrupted me, his voice raising.

“You wanted to be everything you never could. You strove for perfection, and you let it eat away at you. You idealist. You masochist. You stupid, stupid man.”

I’d had enough. “But it forced me to become better. It forced me to strive, to work harder and harder…”

“It forced you to hate yourself. To never be happy with any achievement, no matter how great. To toil, day in and day out, working for your flawed goals. You accomplished plenty, sure–but it was a double-edged sword, with the sharper edge always pointing towards yourself.”

He seemed to grow in stature, and he glared at me with a fiery fury.

“You broke yourself from the inside, and you never allowed yourself to be fixed, lest you lose that burning desire to become better. And look where it brought you. Look what it made you do. Look at how you ended it.”

I tried to reply, but the realization brought me to my knees. He walked towards me, and took me by the hand. He looked me in my eyes.

“Don’t cry,” he said, lifting me up, “this isn’t the Old Testament. God understands. Suicide is not unforgivable.”

Short Story: Born Without Emotions

I was born without emotions. For some time I did not understand why others seemed to experience events and situations differently than me, it wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just didn’t know how, or even a better word, what to express. One day I decided that I wanted to feel. I wanted those experiences that everyone else was having, even if they weren’t the best. I wanted to feel normal, and belong. I created an emotion donation box, that sat outside my front door, for anyone who was willing to donate their unwanted emotions. One thing I learned from creating this box, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Each day I woke up only to find that the day was filled with nothing better than the nightmares I endured the night before. My emotion box yielded the same dark,  unwanted emotions that I was plagued with each and every minute.

I open my eyes and clear the sleep dust from their corners, I groggily sit up and swivel to the side of my bed, yet another day of disappointment awaits. Except…I don’t feel empty? Something is different. None of the nausea that accompanies depression, none of the repetitive thoughts of what I could have done that accompany regret. I feel warm and content–is this happiness? I immediately run to my front door, to my emotion box that I relent to check every day. I look to my left, nothing. I look to my right and catch a glimpse of someone walking around the corner. I eagerly chase after them, keen to thank this person for what quite literally is the happiest day of my life. Upon reaching the point where I last saw them there is nothing, no sign that anyone was here just a few moments ago.

The glee that they gave me is overwhelming and overpowering, everything delights me, all I can think of is how badly I would like to thank them for what they did. They were wearing your average jeans and a red hoodie–nothing entirely discernible. I then return home, overjoyed beyond compare. I turn on the television to catch up on the news, and there was breaking news live on a scene, paramedics line a perimeter set-up by several police cars. The camera pans to the person on top of the building above…then…they jump. A man, no older than twenty, wearing jeans and a red hoodie.

I never did get to thank them, the person who gave up their last ounce of happiness, so I could experience my first.

TRUMP: FBI Director Comey was the best thing to happen to Clinton

WASHINGTON–President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday took to Twitter to respond to earlier comments by former democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton. Clinton said in an interview on CNN that “had the election taken place on October 27, I’d be president.” She then continued to blame FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress just 10 days before the general election, along with what she referred to as “Russian” Wikileaks.

Trump tweeted in response: “FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?

LIMBAUGH WARNS PENCE: You guys were sent there to drain the swamp…

Vice President Mike Pence Calls The Rush Limbaugh Show To Defend The Budget Deal

RUSH: We welcome back to the program the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence. Welcome back, sir. Great to have you here with us today.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Rush Limbaugh, it is an honor to be with you always. Thanks for having me on.

RUSH: If this happens, Mr. Vice President, why vote Republican? What is the point of voting Republican if the Democrats are gonna continue to win practically 95% of their objectives, such as in this last budget deal?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, look, respectfully, Rush, I actually think this was, as the president said a little while ago, I think this was actually a clear win for the American people. Look, you’ve had Washington, D.C., that has been, you know, paralyzed by gridlock and partisan infighting for many years, and in this new president you have someone who was able to bring people together and make a $21 billion increase in defense spending at a time of great challenge for America’s interests around the world. And that’s a–you know, he spoke about that today, surrounded by a lot of great members of the United States Air Force. And it was also a piece for years, Democrats in Washington insisted that any increase in defense spending would be matched with an increase in domestic spending. Read the whole interview here.

Marine Le Pen gaining on Emmanuel Macron in French election polls

Emmanuel Macron is losing ground to Marine Le Pen with he lead now at 22 points compared with 26 points last week.

By Mark Stone, Europe Correspondent, in Paris

PARIS (Sky News)–The centrist favourite to win the French presidency is losing his lead over his far-right rival with just a week to go until the vote.

Emmanuel Macron’s lead over Marine Le Pen has slipped six points since polls conducted just before the first round last Sunday.

However, he is still as much as 20 points ahead.

According to pollster Harris Interactive, who correctly predicted the result of the first round with remarkable accuracy, Mr Macron now has a lead of 61% against Ms Le Pen’s 39%.

That compares to a poll carried out under the same conditions just before last Sunday’s vote which put Mr Macron at 67% and Ms Le Pen at 33%.

Importantly, the most recent Harris poll was conducted before Ms Le Pen announced an alliance with the defeated first round presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.

Mr Dupont-Aignan was sixth in the first round contest, securing 4.7% of the vote.

His party, Debout La France (Stand Up France), is an off-shoot of the conservative right. The alliance will be seen by some right-wing voters as attractive.

Ms Le Pen has said that Mr Dupont-Aignan would become her prime minister.

He once claimed he could never form an alliance with the far-right.

His policies are less extreme then hers, though he is deeply eurosceptic and a longstanding critic of the eurozone.

The newly formed duo released a joint statement on Saturday alongside a modified manifesto.

Within it, some of Ms Le Pen’s campaign pledges seem to have become more ambiguous.

There is no explicit mention of her promise to quit the single currency, and only a looser reference to ditching French membership of the EU.

Sections of the French media are claiming it represents an important turn designed to lure more voters.

Elderly right-wing voters had been particularly concerned about the pledge to quit the eurozone because of the effect it could have on their savings.

The two candidates have spent the weekend campaigning in different parts of the country.

Ms Le Pen was in the south of France on Sunday with a particular campaign message on the environment–a key issue for the now defeated far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon.

It’s possible that far-right Ms Le Pen coul, curiously, attract a proportion of far-left voters because despite their opposing views on immigration, Mr Melenchon and Ms Le Pen share some anti-establishment and anti-globalisation visions.

Ms Le Pen and her campaign team claim Mr Macron represents a bubble that will burst at the first national crisis.

He is, they say, representative of the globalist, border-less elite of politicians and financiers who have no interest in looking after real people.

“The country Mr Macron wants is no longer France; it’s a space, a wasteland, a trading room where there are only consumers and producers,” Ms Le Pen told a crowd of thousands of supporters in the southern city of Nice.

Conversely, Mr Macron’s team are casting Ms Le Pen as a dangerous xenophobe with a closed, narrow and nationalist vision.

They are attempting to persuade voters that Ms Le Pen’s “sanitisation” of her Front National Party is an illusion.

They claim her attempt to broaden its image and policies beyond a longstanding hard-line on immigration is simply a ploy to attract voters.

In the first round of voting last Sunday, Mr Macron secured 23.75% of the vote compared with Ms Le Pen’s 21.53%.

Given that half of voters didn’t choose either Ms Le Pen or Mr Macron, big question in this final week is which way will they all vote? Polling has revealed some surprising trends.

Both candidates will begin their final few days of campaigning with large rallies in the French capital later Monday.

On Wednesday, the two will go head-to-head in a live televised debate.

The choice for voters is two starkly contrasting visions for France which will define the direction of the country and the continent.

The vote is on Sunday.

TWITTERBLOOMBERG produce round-the-clock streaming news

Twitter Teams Up With Bloomberg for Streaming News

New Service Comes as Social-Media Firm Fights for Video Ad Dollars

SAN FRANSISCO (By Lukas I. Alpert of The Wall Street Journal)–Twitter Inc. (TWTR -0.78%) has found its first partner for its push into round-the-clock streaming television: Bloomberg.

The social-media company is joining forces with the global financial news outlet to create a service that will stream news produced solely for Twitter 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It is going to be focused on the most important news for an intelligent audience around the globe and it’s going to be broader in focus than our existing network,” said Bloomberg Media’s chief executive officer, Justin Smith.

The partnership will be announced Monday at an event Bloomberg LP is holding for advertisers by company founder Michael Bloomberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Read more from The Wall Street Journal here.

BATTLE OF 100 DAYS: Trump Enthralls Pennsylvania Crowd

Bullish Trump renews his battle with the ‘incompetent’ media as he mocks ‘boring’ White House Correspondents’ Dinner he snubbed and boasts that his First 100 Days rally attracted ‘much better people’

  • Donald Trump held rally commemorating his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday
  • He spoke to nearly 10,000 people and claimed to have broken ‘the all-time record’ for the arena
  • Mocked the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, which was held at the same time in Washington
  • Elite reporters, Trump claimed, ‘would love to be with us’ but were ‘trapped at the dinner, which will be very, very boring’
  • He said the political media ‘deserves a very, very big, fat fat failing grade’ for its coverage of his first 100 days
  • Vice President Mike Pence warmed up the crowd and blamed ‘left-wing activists and their willing allies in the media’ for ‘ignoring the facts and spreading that fake news’
  • Trump blasted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and said if Democrats ‘knew what the hell they were doing’ they would approve funding for his border wall

HARRISBURG, Pa. (by David Martosko, U.S. Political Editor for DailyMail.com)–President Donald Trump renewed his fierce battle with the nation’s political press corps on Saturday night while America’s journalistic upper-crust were feting themselves at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington. Read more from Daily Mail UK here.

SHOWDOWN NK

U.S. May Launch Strike if North Korea Reaches for Nuclear Trigger

The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

North Korea has warned that a “big event” is near, and U.S. officials say signs point to a nuclear test that could come as early as this weekend.

The intelligence officials told NBC News that the U.S. has positioned two destroyers capable of shooting Tomahawk cruise missiles in the region, one just 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear test site.

American heavy bombers are also positioned in Guam to attack North Korea should it be necessary, and earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group was being diverted to the area.

The U.S. strike could include missiles and bombs, cyber and special operations on the ground.

The Latest: Russian Lawmaker: US Bigger Threat Than North Korea

The latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula: A senior Russian lawmaker says the US is a greater threat to global peace than North Korea, according to the Associated Press.

Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said Friday “the most alarming thing about the current U.S. administration is that you can’t be sure if it is bluffing or really going to implement its threats.”

He says “America objectively poses a greater threat to peace than North Korea,” adding that “the entire world is scared and left guessing if it strikes or not.”

Kosachev says there is a “small hope” that President Donald Trump’s administration would listen to warnings from Russia and China not to use military force against nuclear-armed Pyongyang.