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Jonathan Turley

'We Do Investigations Here At The FBI': FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation

The FBI and its director James Comey have been careful not to be swept into the political campaign in comments about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal server. The Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, have repeatedly scoffed at any danger of an indictment and insisted that this is merely a “security review” or “security inquiry.” Indeed, close Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal was on CNN this morning stressing that this was nothing more than a security review. Now Comey is being quoted by Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge as directly refuting this core claim by Clinton and saying that this is a criminal investigation. He would also likely disagree with Bill Clinton’s recent claim that the investigation was just a “game” and nothing more.
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Report: Clinton Emails Contained Human Intelligence Classified At Highest Levels

There is another surprising report out today on the Clinton email scandal. Fox News Reporter Catherine Herridge is reporting that at least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained extremely sensitive information identified as “HCS-O,” the code used for reporting on human intelligence sources in ongoing operations. We previously discussed the disclosure that emails had been identified with Special Access Program information that even the Inspector General could not review without added clearances.

In the meantime, some in the Clinton camp may be singing “Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” The State Department is citing the winter storm for yet another delay in releasing the remaining emails — possibly pushing their release past the first primary contests. Any break would likely be welcomed, particularly after a growing number of people including Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have said that Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure private email system probably resulted in the emails being hacked by various hostile powers.
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Afghan Positions Being Overrun By Taliban Due To Nonexistent “Ghost Soldiers” Used To Funnel Money To Corrupt Afghan Officials

As the Taliban probes the strength of Afghan forces, they are finding it an easier task than anticipated with a sizable number of the Afghan force constituted of “ghost soldiers.” As much as half of the soldiers in frontline positions are missing. We previously discussed the same problem of “ghost soldiers” in Iraq who are paid soldiers but only exist on paper as part of the widespread corruption of that country.

Now Afghanistan’s ghost army is facing real insurgents. Senior policy and army officials who have been pocketing the money for these nonexistent soldiers have left their country. Estimates put the percentage of nonexistent soldiers at 40 percent of the Afghan army, a shocking level of corruption even for Afghanistan. Not surprisingly, a ghost army did not fare well and the Taliban has now seized some 65 percent of Helmand province — Afghanistan’s largest. The provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, could fall.
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Federal Court Strikes Down Federal Provision Used To Bar Trademark Protection For Redskins and Other Controversial Names

I have previously written about my disagreement with the US Patent and Trademark Office decision to rescind federal trademark protections for the Redskins as a racially disparaging name as well as the underlying law used to strip the team of its trademark protection. The law allows for a small administrative office to effectively dictate the outcome of a long simmering societal debate over the team name. More importantly, the standard for determining what names or words are disparaging remains dangerously undefined with striking contradictions as we have previously discussed in permitted and disallowed trademarks. 

One of the cases that I have discussed involves an Asian-American rock band called The Slants, which was also barred by the office. Now the band has won a major victory not just for itself but also the first amendment in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC The Court struck down the part of the law allowing the denial of the registration of offensive trademarks. The case, which is likely to appealed to the Supreme Court, will have a major impact on the Redskins controversy.
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Forty Percent of Millennials Favor Censorship of Offensive Speech By Government

We have long discussed the rapid decline of free speech protections in the West. I have long argued that the West appears to have fallen out of love with free speech, which is more often viewed as a rising scourge rather than a defining value in some countries. A recent poll of the Pew Research Center shows just how many people we have lost to those calling for greater censorship and criminalization of speech. It is not surprisingly more prevalent with younger age groups, though Democrats are almost twice as likely favor censorship that Republicans. The largest (and most alarming) group is the millennials — 40% of whom favor government censorship of speech offensive to minority groups.

Thirty-five percent of Democrats supported such bans as opposed to 18 percent of Republicans.

The least likely to support censorship were people who have lived long enough to know the dangers — only 21 percent of those 70 and older supported such censorship. The numbers go down by age (and experience).
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Idaho School Bans Confederate Flag On Student’s Car

We have previously discussed the ongoing controversy over the confederate flag as well as past cases of student speech being curtailed. This story combines those themes after Jordan Beattie, a student at Cossa Academy in Wilder, Idaho was banned from flying the confederate flag that his girlfriend had given him. He was told that the flag was interpreted to be a gang symbol.

Schools officials said that they found an image of the flag on a gang site used by the local police, but the Caldwell Police Department Gang Unit told the media that it was unsure as to where the school received that information. Caldwell Police Department Captain Frank Wyant said “We don’t look at the Confederate flag as a gang symbol. We don’t encourage anybody to take it down. Those are their rights and that’s what we’re here for is to protect and uphold those rights.”
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Video: TSA Supervisor Threatens Young Man Filming the Patdown Of His Father

We have yet another case of a police or security officer threatening a citizen for recording an encounter. The videotape below was taken by a young man who filmed the putdown of his father at the New Orleans airport. The supervisor warns the young man that he will be arrested for filming the public scene.

.What is most striking is that the young man calmly explains that that TSA regulations allow such filming so long as people do not photographs the monitors. This appears news to the TSA supervisor who should be aware of such key regulations. The young man was right. Here is the language from the TSA
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‘This Flag Never Goes Down’: Amazon Reportedly Takes Down Historical Book On Confederate Flag Due To Confederate Flag On Cover

The extensive move to remove the Confederate Flag from public and some commercial settings has raised serious concerns over both free speech and academic freedom. While the flag has been used as a racist symbol, it is also a historical symbol. According to one author, that distinction appears to have been lost by Amazon, which reportedly took done the book by Michael Dreese, a civil war author with six books on the conflict. Two of those books concern both the Union and Confederate battle flags and their roles in the Civil War. However, “This Flag Never Goes Down” (a book on the Confederate flag) was taken down by Amazon from its listed works.
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US Funded Industrial Park in Afghanistan Found With Only One Business and No Electricity . . . And Missing Records

We have yet another example of how we are wasting billions of dollars in Afghanistan where a combination of incompetence and corruption continues to drain the  US treasury. This week, SIGAR released two reports showing how, an inspection of the $7.8 million Shorandam Industrial Park in Kandahar is an utter failure and how the money to create a sustainable source of power for Kandahar City has left the city literally in the dark. Once again, there is no indication of any discipline or action taken against those who approve such projects and oversee such failures.
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Report: Afghanistan War Reaches $1 Trillion And Will Require Hundreds of Billions More

Despite the public pledge of President Obama to pull out of Afghanistan, we continue to spend huge amounts of money in the war and the Obama Administration has fought to keep U.S. troops in the country. Now an estimate from the Financial Times and independent researchers put the cost of the war at roughly $1 trillion with a commitment of hundreds of billions more in the coming years. There continues to be no serious debate over our ongoing losses both in personnel and money in this war.
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