A selection from a 2006 Marine Corps request for a laser weapon. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has asked Danger Room repeatedly to take down the unclassified document.
In its mounting campaign against leakers, the U.S. government isn’t just going after officials who revealed weighty secrets like the White House’s drone strike “kill list” or its plan to sabotage Iran’s nuclear sites. Federal agents are also chasing a leaker who gave Danger Room a document asking for a futuristic laser weapon that could set insurgents’ clothes on fire from nine miles away.
It’s an odd investigation, because the energy weapon doesn’t exist; the unclassified document describing it reads almost like a spoof of the laser system out of Real Genius; and this is 2012 — nearly five years after the leak in question.
But that hasn’t stopped the Naval Criminal Investigative Service from contacting Danger Room and its attorneys several times over six months regarding an investigation into the document (.pdf), which describes a “Precision Airborne Standoff Directed Energy Weapon” and is marked ”For Official Use Only,” or FOUO.
“This investigation is currently being conducted as a counterintelligence matter to determine if a loss/compromise of classified information occurred,” e-mailed Special Agent Christopher Capps, who works for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s field office in Washington, D.C.
Capps also asked Danger Room to divulge the source who provided the imaginary weapon document.
“Where did Ms. Weinberger get the information … that she posted to the website?” he wrote. “Did anyone inform her or give her direction that the document should not be put on the web?”
“As a separate question,” Capps continued, “would Wired.com be willing to remove the document from the website?”
Danger Room, through its attorney, declined to provide the information, or to answer any questions related to the reporting of the story. The document has not been removed.
In an interesting recent book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of the Market, the Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel points to the range of things that money can buy in modern societies and gently tries to stoke our outrage at the market’s growing dominance. Is he right that we should be alarmed?
While Sandel worries about the corrupting nature of some monetized transactions (do kids really develop a love of reading if they are bribed to read books?), he is also concerned about unequal incomes or wealth, which makes trades using money inherently unequal. More generally, he fears that the expansion of anonymous monetary exchange erodes social cohesion, and argues for reducing money’s role in society.
Sandel’s concerns are not entirely new, but his examples are worth reflecting upon. For example, in the United States, some companies pay the unemployed to stand in line for free public tickets to congressional hearings. They then sell the tickets to lobbyists and corporate lawyers who have a business interest in the hearing but are too busy to stand in line.
Clearly, public hearings are an important element of participatory democracy. All citizens should have equal access. So selling access seems to be a perversion of democratic principles.
The fundamental problem, though, is scarcity. We cannot accommodate everyone in the room who might have an interest in a particularly important hearing. So we have to “sell” entry. We can either allow people to use their time (standing in line) to bid for seats, or we can auction seats for money. The former seems fairer, because all citizens seemingly start with equal endowments of time. But is a single mother with a high-pressure job and three young children as equally endowed with spare time as a student on summer vacation? And is society better off if she, the chief legal counsel for a large corporation, spends much of her time standing in line?
Who is Spencer Thayer and why was he mocking a harmless old black dude reading his bible? It seems the lead mocker of the black man who was reading his bible near the Chick-fil-A franchise in Chicago is also part of OWS. Indeed he seems a participant in demonstrations for a great many far left causes. Of course he he posted a comment to the original story claiming Legal Insurrection’s Anne Sorock edited her videos to make him look bad and that the old man had been needlessly provoking him. She has posted the unedited video as well as a short follow up in which she asks the black man what he thought of the accusation that he was really gay deep down. She also has more links to Thayer’s political activities.
Let it be hoped Thayer is about to learn it’s one thing to lead a chant that we are the 99% at a OWS rally and get your picture taken by the media. It’s another altogether for the video of you in the forefront of a pack of prosperous young men who are harassing an elderly black man to be spread across cyberspace. That was really taking a brave stand against the evil system, “Thunderball”. I am sure your idol Nietzsche would consider you a trueÜbermensch.
What is it about these left-wing activist types that even as they express undying concern for the welfare of mankind they so often treat people they perceive to be of lesser status like garbage?
To Google Thayer is an amusing waste of time. He seems to like to spread his opinion – I wouldn’t call it consistent or coherent enough to be labeled a philosophy- across the internet.
A World Without Guns
We don’t have to wonder what America would look like without guns in the hands of the citizenry. All we have to do is look to the gun control nations. What’s happened in Australia, Norway, and Britain is well known, but there are many more examples. They stretch throughout history — around the globe and across centuries. Tyrants, large and small, always take advantage of the defenseless. Whether for protection from an over-reaching government, or from a pack of feral thugs, the citizens must have good defenses.
The English that settled this land knew first hand what happens when government has an agenda different than that of the people and the people have no method of defense. That government can make an individual do anything — anything at all. They can tell you what religion to adhere to, what type of food to eat, how to raise your children, who you must cater to, what philosophy you must follow — the list is endless. To keep the boot of tyranny off the neck of the people the people must have the ability to defend themselves. Hence the second amendment. It is the defender of this Republic.
And what about the lone wolves that buy guns legally? What about the gangs of thugs that buy guns illegally? What happens when government takes all the guns it can find — the guns of law abiding citizens? Criminal chaos happens. Aurora happens. Wisconsin happens. Chicago happens. Why? Because the people of good will are disarmed. At first criminals will shoot the populace with abandon because they know they’re safe to do so — and when they run out of ammunition they’ll keep coming — because a criminal doesn’t need a gun — he will use any weapon available to achieve his means.
So how do you avoid the violence? How do you stop them? You arm good citizens. With concealed carry citizens in the audience of the Aurora Theatre the Batman Shooter wouldn’t have made it out. They’d have blown his head off. But more importantly the Aurora Shooting would likely never have happened at all. Lone wolves like Holmes are cowards, and cowards won’t suit up and walk into a theater with loaded long rifles when they know the audience are not fish in a barrel, they’re armed, and that in a theatre of that size there would be 12-20 citizens shooting back.
So has anyone in the world gotten gun laws right? Yes. Switzerland. The Swiss system is genius. They have virtually no gun violence, they never go to war, and no one would ever consider invading them. Why? Because they have mandatory gun laws. An assault rifle in every house, courtesy of the government, and every man over the age of 15 is trained to defend his home, or homeland, whichever needs defending. It makes for a truly civil civilization.
Read HERE and do check out all the links!
“I Can See Russia From My House” Untrue!
Obama and his infamous strategist David Axelrod understand how to play political hardball, the best it’s ever been played. Team Obama has decided to distract America’s voters by condemning Mitt Romney for not releasing enough years of his tax returns. It’s the perfect cover.
By attacking Romney’s tax records, Obama’s socialist cabal creates a problem that doesn’t exist. Is the U.S. Senate Majority Leader making up stories out of thin air? You decide. But the reason for this baseless attack is clear- make Romney defend, so not only is he “off message” but it helps the media ignore the real Obama scandal.
My answer for Romney? Call Obama’s bluff.
Romney should call a press conference and issue a challenge in front of the nation. He should agree to release more of his tax returns, only if Obama unseals his college records. Simple and straight-forward. Mitt should ask “What could possibly be so embarrassing in your college records from 29 years ago that you are afraid to let America’s voters see? If it’s THAT bad, maybe it’s something the voters ought to see.” Suddenly the tables are turned. Now Obama is on the defensive.
If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University, it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia have ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
But don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.
Has anybody asked the question, “What if Chick-fil-A had been Chick-fal-Afel?” And what if instead of Dan Cathy expressing his Christian beliefs during a Baptist radio interview, it had been Omar expressing his Muslim beliefs during a CAIR radio interview? The difference is this…Omar would have been given the keys to the cities of and by the mayors who closed their doors to Dan Cathy!
I’ve been told by my liberal friends that I’ve “changed” and that my politics are “skewed”! Really? Things certainly have changed and somebody’s politics are skewed alright, but I think my friends could use a little “reality check” themselves! The fact above is exactly what we TRUE Conservatives and TRUE Americans in the Tea Party mean when we say we are Taking back America! And we’ll be a whole lot closer to that day when both Cathy and Omar can be free to express their religious beliefs publicly without threat or intimidation! I don’t see it to be quite honest…
While the Christian Clergy cower in silence and fear of loosing their government welfare, the Imams unbound by these fears incite their flocks to take what’s theirs http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/12/takbir-nyc-traffic-snarled-by-muslim-cabbies-stopping-to-pray.html
From Michael J. Fell at CDN:
From the floor of the United States Senate chamber, without a single shred of evidence, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently charged that for ten years Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney paid no taxes.
Is not the legal system in the United States based on the presumption of innocence? Did Harry Reid grant himself the authority to alter that, or did he obtain permission from the White House by fiat?
Since when is it the business of the Senate Majority leader to take to the Senate chamber microphone and accuse a political opponent of a serious crime while presuming him guilty and demanding he prove his innocence? Is not Senate business the job for which Reid was elected? How does making this unsubstantiated charge fit in with conducting the business of the United States Senate?
It would be bad enough if this Harry Reid distraction from the failures that define the post-fad institutionalized “progressive” left’s Oval Office tragedy was an isolated incident. For a “man” in what has historically been a prestigious position to make such outrageous charges without a single shred of evidence exceeds extremely egregious. But sadly, an overview of the political landscape shows that it is not just Harry Reid who is engaged in spouting lies, uttering distortions and intentionally creating or parroting misinformation.
The White House re-election campaign has sued Ohio over a state provision that gives three extra days for early voting to members of the military. The administration and the “progressive” Party Pravda pushed back hard, claiming that the lawsuit did not intend to target military voters. That claim is pure, unfiltered bollocks. Over the decades, “progressive” Democrats have sought to suppress military votes. In 2000, when “progressive” Democrats were passionately seeking to steal the Florida Electoral College votes from George W. Bush, they actually succeeded in disqualifying military ballots.
Then there is the 2012 case of “progressive” Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. Despite having blue eyes and blonde hair, she claims that she is “Native American”. The “evidence” she presents to support her claim? Her mommy told her so.
Never mind that her claim was rejected by the Cherokee Nation, and that an investigation of her family tree offers no support for her assertion. In the meantime, while Warren claimed she didn’t know whether or not Harvard had ever promoted her Native American background, the Boston Globe reported: “For at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.”
Such a deal! Lie about your heritage so your application to work as a member of the Harvard Law school faculty is given preferential treatment. When your lie is discovered, say it must be true because mommy said so.
On the latest airing of FOX News Sunday, host Chris Wallace caught White House re-election campaign chairman David Axelrod in a lie about “Recovery Summer”. Axelrod repeatedly stated that in 2010 he never spoke about the administration’s imaginary “Recovery Summer”. Evidence shows he did exactly that during an interview with David Gregory on the NBC program Meet the Press.
As it turns out, “Recovery Summer” was, in and of itself, another oft trumpeted “progressive” fabrication.
Then there is Fast & Furious. The White House and their “progressive” co-conspirators dreamed up the “perfect” way to convince Americans that more rapacious “progressive” big government infringements on their constitutionally protected gun rights were needed.
What was that “perfect” plan? To intentionally allow hundreds of deadly automatic and semi-automatic weapons to walk across the southern border and into the hands of known criminals in Mexican drug cartels. The cover story would be that the government intended to track the guns and catch cartel higher ups red handed.
Never mind that zero effort was made to track the guns. None of the guns that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Department of Justice let walk were capable of being tracked by GPS. Once the guns crossed the border, there was no way of telling where they ended up.
Instead of providing any evidence to support their tracking claim, the DOJ and the White House asserted they were merely continuing a program established by the Bush administration. The difference between the two policies discredits that assertion. The far fewer number of guns that were allowed by the Bush administration to leave the country had been equipped with GPS tracking devices.
After the House of Representatives Investigative Committee caught U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a lie and demanded additional information from the DOJ about the Fast and Furious scandal, the White House exerted Executive Privilege, which cannot be used unless the White House itself was involved in the activities under question.