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Archive for March 13th, 2019



If you missed it last night while you were watching The Bachelor finale, the Pentagon is implementing its policy to ban most transgender people from serving in the military.

A memo signed Tuesday night by acting Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist says the policy will go into effect on April 12.

Under the policy, transgender people who join after it takes effect will have to serve in the gender they were assigned at birth. Service secretaries will be allowed to grant waivers on a case-by-case basis.

The specifics: The policy will grandfather in currently serving transgender troops or anyone who has already signed an enlistment contract, allowing them to continue serving openly.

But after April 12, people diagnosed with gender dysphoria will not be able to serve unless a doctor certifies they have been stable in their biological sex for 36 months, have not transitioned to the gender they identify with and are willing to serve in their biological sex.

If they are diagnosed after they join the military, they have to continue serving in their biological sex.

Troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria can be discharged if they are “unable or unwilling to adhere to all applicable standards, including the standards associated with their biological sex,” the memo says.

Pentagon says it’s not a ban: In a background call with reporters Wednesday, defense officials repeatedly insisted the policy is not a ban.

They point to the fact that currently serving transgender troops can continue doing so and that only transgender people diagnosed with gender dysphoria will be barred from enlisting.

“Merely identifying as transgender has no practical military consequence,” an official said.

“I really don’t get any logic to how this gets you to this is a ban on transgender service,” the official added later.

But transgender people and their advocates say it effectively is a ban akin to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” By saying transgender people can serve if they haven’t been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and serve in their biological sex, the argument goes, the Pentagon is effectively saying transgender people can serve if they hide who they are.

Congress reacts: Democratic lawmakers slammed the Pentagon starting Tuesday night and into Wednesday for moving forward on the policy.

“These tough, brave service members have never used bone spurs as an excuse to dodge their duty and service to our country,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said in a statement Tuesday night. “We owe them our gratitude, not government-sanctioned discrimination. This policy is malicious, demeaning, and destructive and it does not serve our country’s interests. I will fight it with every fiber of my being.”

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said “it would be prudent” for Shanahan to delay implementing the policy until courts have made final rulings on it.

“Any other course of action not only undermines military readiness, but is also an insult to transgender individuals who have served and are still serving with distinction,” he said in his statement. “Anyone who is qualified and willing should be allowed to serve their country openly. Make no mistake, this is a discriminatory ban on transgender people, not a ban on a medical condition and we will continue to fight against this bigoted policy.”

The top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) similarly said “the Pentagon should not move forward with this discriminatory and potentially unlawful plan to ban highly-qualified and skilled individuals from serving their country. ”

“There are thousands of transgender Americans serving in our Armed Forces today with courage, honor, and distinction,” Reed said in his statement. “Our troops defend the rights and freedoms of all Americans. We must not allow bigotry to impede our military’s critical mission.”

“The president’s revival of his bigoted, disgusting ban on transgender service members is a stunning attack on the patriots who keep us safe and on the most fundamental ideals of our nation,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in her own statement. “No one with the strength and bravery to serve in the U.S. military should be turned away because of who they are. The House will continue to fight this discriminatory action, which has no place in our country. We will never allow hate and prejudice to dictate our national security.”


Tom Fitton: Key FBI Officials Were ‘Bending over
Backwards’ to Protect Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton appeared on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the
Fox Business Network to discuss former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s testimony on
Capitol Hill and special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.


Trump orders US to ground Boeing 737 Max jets

Trump grounds all Boeing 737 Max jets in US

President Trump issues an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 planes.
President TrumpOpens a New Window. on Wednesday ordered a ground stop of all Boeing 737 Max jetsOpens a New Window. in the U.S., joining a slew of other nationsOpens a New Window. in banning the aircraft after a  fatal crash on Sunday involving an update to the Chicago-based manufacturer’s most popular plane.  “We are going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9 and planes associated with that line,” Trump said. “Pilots have been notified. Airlines have been all notified. Airlines are agreeing with us.”
Despite the emergency action, he called Boeing — one of the largest U.S. exporters — an “incredible company.”


“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be,” CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. “We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
Muilenburg and Trump spoke on Tuesday, a White House spokesman previously said.
A Boeing Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed on Sunday killing 157 people, less than five months after another crash in Indonesia involving a jet from the fleet. U.S. officials joined Canadian authorities on Wednesday in claiming that preliminary satellite data shows similarities between the two crashes.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been under pressure to halt operations of the fleet after countries including China, Ireland, the United Kingdom and all of Europe either suspended use of the aircraft or banned the planes from their airspace.  Several lawmakers — including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas — also called on the agency to act.
Ticker Security Last Change %Chg
In the U.S., United Air Lines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines operate Boeing Max jets.  “Our teams will be working to rebook customers as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” American said in a statement.  Southwest said it “remains confident in the Max 8” but is “immediately complying” with the order and removing the jets from its fleet. The carrier flies the plane on less than 5 percent of its daily flights.
United also said it would ground the 14 Max planes in its fleet.
Earlier in the week, Boeing said it was working on an update to the software of the jets, including changes to the so-called “angle of attack” input — the device that tracks stalling on takeoff. Issues with the sensor are thought to have led to the Lion Air crash in October.  While the Wall Street Journal reported that approval of that software was delayed due to the 35-day government shutdown over Trump’s request for funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, the FAA’s acting administrator on Wednesday said it did not impact the review.
The U.S. in 2013 ordered a ground stop on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, but the action impacted a much smaller number of planes. Through February, Boeing delivered 376 Max jets and has 4,636 unfilled orders.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Judicial Watch Announces Depositions of Senior Obama-era Officials and Former Hillary Clinton Aides


First Witness Testifies Tomorrow

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today a schedule of depositions of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides who have been ordered by the court to provide answers under oath to Judicial Watch’s questions about the Benghazi and Clinton email scandals.

In January 2019, United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap – to respond under oath.

The court-ordered discovery comes 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.

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.
 The confirmed discovery schedule now includes:
March 12: State Department’s responses to interrogatories and document requests were due.
March 14: Deposition of Justin Cooper, a former aide to Bill Clinton who reportedlyhad no security clearance and is believed to have played a key role in setting up Hillary Clinton’s non-government email system.
April 5: Deposition of John Hackett, a State Department records official “immediately responsible for responding to requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act.”
April 16: Deposition of Jacob “Jake” Sullivan, Hillary Clinton’s former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff.
April 23: Deposition of Sheryl Walter, former State Department Director of the Office of Information Programs and Services/Global Information Services.
April 26: Deposition of Gene Smilansky, a State Department lawyer.
April 30. Deposition of Monica Tillery, a State Department official.
May 7: Deposition of Jonathon Wasser, who was a management analyst on the Executive Secretariat staff. Wasser worked for Deputy Director Clarence Finney and was the State Department employee who actually conducted the searches for records in response to FOIA requests to the Office of the Secretary.
May 14: Deposition of Clarence Finney, the deputy director of the Executive Secretariat staff who was the principal advisor and records management expert in the Office of the Secretary responsible for control of all correspondence and records for Hillary Clinton and other State Department officials.
June 11: 30(b)(6) Deposition, which will be designated by the State Department.
June 13: Deposition of Heather Samuelson, the former State Department senior advisor who helped facilitate the State Department’s receipt and release of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
As yet to be determined is the deposition date for Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell, who wrote a March 2, 2009, internal memorandum titled “Use of Blackberries on Mahogany Row,” in which he strongly advised that the devices not be allowed.

Written questions under oath are to be answered by:
Monica Hanley, Hillary Clinton’s former confidential assistant at the State Department.
Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s former special assistant.
E.W. Priestap, who is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.
Susan Rice, President Obama’s former UN ambassador who appeared on Sunday television news shows following the Benghazi attacks, blaming a “hateful video.” Rice was also Obama’s national security advisor involved in the “unmasking” the identities of senior Trump officials caught up in the surveillance of foreign targets.
Ben Rhodes, an Obama-era White House deputy strategic communications adviser who attempted to orchestrate a campaign to “reinforce” Obama and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being “rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy.”

“Judicial Watch is doing the heavy lifting on the ongoing Clinton email scandal, even as Congress dropped the ball and DOJ and State continued to obstruct our quest for the truth,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Court in our case wants real answers on the Clinton email scandal which is why our request for basic discovery was granted.”

This Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit led directly to the disclosure of the Clinton email system in 2015.




John Nelson -
Bob Gilmore
Dick Fankhauser

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