Big Man on Campus, Congressman Eric Swallow Swalwell (D-CA) has entered the 2020 presidential race!! Can he solve these BIGPROBLEMS??
The Department of Defense recently misplaced (at least on paper) over $2,000,000,000 designated for F-35 fighter jet parts. An inspector general at the Pentagon dug into the books on America’s $400 billion effort to produce “next‑generation strike fighter aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and international partners.”
The Hill notes that neither the F-35 program nor a separate, billion-dollar federal agency that administers Defense contracts (creatively named Defense Contract Management Agency) can account for these “3.45 million pieces of government property” and must rely on the supplier, super-contractor Lockheed Martin, to detail for Defense if and when they purchased the engine parts GOING BACK TO THE YEAR 2002.
Politico reported in 2015: [t]he F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is $163 billion over budget, seven years behind schedule, and will cost taxpayers about twice as much as sending a man to the moon.
According to Lockheed Martin’s 2017 annual report, the F-35 manufacture comprises 25% of their sales.
Defense’s F-35 office Fed-splained away the OIG findings in a comment to The Hill: “There were no surprises in the report and the items mentioned are well known to the F-35 Enterprise. [somewhat ironic, as the billions of dollars in “items” themselves are not known at all] […] [F-35 office] will continue to inventory, track and contractually account for all [government furnished parts] associated with the F-35 system.”
The phrase “continue to” now means “start to” in gov-speak.
“Remember that $2.1 billion we’ve sent you over the past sixteen years? Can you just real quick confirm that was actually used to make planes because we don’t know lol.”
The Trump administration’s Secret Service has shown a real talent for ineptitude, as we have documented.
On Monday, Secret Service director Randolph Alles was on his way out quietly (a scheduled sayonara, according to Randolph Alles) before someone leaked the plan to the press and Trump had to unceremoniously ax the two-year Secret Service and 35-year Marine Corps veteran.
Secret Service officials have been caught by surprise with the news and are only finding out through CNN, according to the source.
A source familiar with the director said his ouster was not related to the recent scrutiny the Secret Service got after a Chinese woman illegally entered the President’s Mar-a-Lago club carrying Chinese passports and a flash drive containing malware. Just five days ago, Trump said he “could not be happier with Secret Service” following the Mar-a-Lago incident.
The “incident” involved Yujing Zhang (below) entering Trump’s Florida country club on the pretense of swimming some laps while carrying “a thumb drive with malicious software on it, four phones, a laptop and a separate hard drive[,]” but no bathing suit.
She is being held without bail and is charged with lying to a federal agent and entering restricted property without permission. There is speculation of espionage after more thumb drives, cash and a “hidden camera detector” were recovered in a raid of Zhang’s apparently off-Largo hotel room.
Samuel Ivanovich, Secret Service agent extraordinaire, neglected to use a Mandarin-speaking agent for the first “hours” of interrogation, although the club staff who let Zhang into reception (and through a metal detector with all her gadgets) blamed a “language barrier.” He also forgot to record audio of the first four hours of footage, so when the raw tape is played for the jury it will be slightly less realistic than a Law & Order episode (New York Times reported Mr. Clouseau didn’t realize that the agency’s office in Palm Beach didn’t have that capability.
Washington Post had more:
Ivanovich also testified that when the thumb drive they recovered from Zhang at the club was inserted into another agent’s computer, “a file immediately began to install itself.” The agent, Ivanovich said, had never seen that happen before. …
Acting director of ICE, Ronald Vitiello, and his boss up the food chain, DHS SecretaryKirstjen Nielsen, also recently left the Federal terror security business.
Maybe the Feds should study counter-espionage from local police in nearby Jupiter, who lied about a bomb in the building to execute a secret (“delayed notice”) warrant and plant secret cameras in the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is criminally charged with getting his dick wet.
USA Today notes the Florida Department of Health, which buttressed a human trafficking investigation into the spa, used some sloppy techniques, including answering “N/A” to a qualifier as to why such intrusive and Constitutionally-shady techniques were required for surveillance, and citing two beds (in a massage parlor), bottled water and ranch dressing as evidence of people being sold.
Kraft’s lawyers [argued] in their latest motion to suppress video evidence [that] the Jan. 20 traffic stop after Kraft allegedly exited the spa […] had the “sole purpose of identifying Mr. Kraft – a passenger in the car – in the absence of any traffic violation or reasonable suspicion of one by the driver.”
Ironically, the warrant did not allow audio recording, so Kraft’s jury, like Zhang’s, will have to watch in awkward silence if the tapes are allowed into evidence. And be spared the stipulations of hidden valleys into which to pump that Ranch.
Shaun Bridges, corrupt Secret Service agent already “serv”ing 71 months for money laundering and obstruction of justice while investigating Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, got an additional two years for lifting over 1600 Bitcoins from a Secret Service-controlled wallet.
This was separate from his Bitcoin theft from the Silk Road investigation itself.
As we previously reported, Bridges could have received up to 10 additional years for the latest offense.
Bridges was actually caught a day before he was scheduled to turn himself in for the first theft with bags containing a passport, offshore account records, a non-US citizenship application for his wife and multiple bulletproof vests. In other words, he was apparently set to get out of Dodge and cash in his ill-gotten Bitcoin chips at the time of his second arrest.
They also noted in 2016 Bridges was suspected of perpetrating multiple Bitcoin thefts from US law enforcement agencies months after the agency was urged to block his access.
As we reported above, Ulbricht lost his 2017 appeal to the Second Circuit Court. He is now appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn that decision.
According to Nasdaq, the unlikely challenge hinges on the Federal Government’s warrantless surveillance of Ulbricht’s internet activity and the prosecution’s reported withholding of criminal activity by Bridges and fellow investigator-turned-criminal Carl Force (of the DEA) during Ulbricht’s trial.
Ulbricht, 33 (below) was moved to a high-security prison in Colorado to continue the double life sentence for his nonviolent crimes last fall.
Kannon K. Shanmugam (below), who defended Alonzo King in the horrifying Maryland v. King decision, will reportedly argue for Ulbricht if the Supreme Court picks up the case.
Somerset, KY man Curtis Combs, 36, continued the humiliation of White House grounds Secret Service agents by nearly breaching the mansion’s fence.
Rather than exercise any discretion at all, Combs dressed as the Pokémon, Pikachu. He filmed only his “pre-jump,” as the live stream was interrupted (see below), at which point he told Secret Service he sought YouTube fame.
Although he had researched previous fence jumps, according to New York Daily News, the scheme was less original than we expected:
In 2014, a man sporting a Pikachu hat and carrying a Pikachu doll attempted to get over the White House North Lawn before the Secret Service stopped him.
Combs scaled the half-assed concrete barrier but was caught scaling the actual fence. His police affidavit indicated he expected to be arrested. If history is any indication, jumpers do get caught…eventually:
Safely back home in Kentucky, Combs told his local CBS affiliate the stunt was to “make a statement…for blue collar workers” he believes are being exploited. (The YouTube line was just to assure Secret Service he was not a threat.) He reportedly quit his factory job to lay “shock and awe” on the American people.
The social justice warrior set up a GoFundMe page to handle the likely fine that will result from his actions. He has received no donations.
Marcus Hutchins, the man who reportedly brilliantly slowed the WannaCry cyber attack on the U.K.’s National Health Service (and hundreds of thousands of computers around the world) was picked up by the FBI in Las Vegas on August 2. He was apparently leaving the Def Con hacking “conference.”
Hutchins (above), 22, is a British national who uses the alias MalwareTech on social media.
While sprung from prison, he was made to wear a GPS monitor and forbidden from using the internet.
The Independent reports this is the culmination of a two-year investigation into Hutchins, whose “Trojan” software (the Kronos) infects computers and then steals banking passwords.
There is an as yet unnamed co-defendant in the case.
Hutchins faced a six-count indictment, which carries a possible 40 years in prison, on August 14 in the Eastern District of Wisconsin court. He pleaded not guilty and was given internet access. The trial is set for October 23.
International Business Times suggested the Feds may go easy on Hutchins given his recent usefulness to society.
Hutchins’ discovery of the “killswitch” for WannaCry, which slowed the spread of the ransom-demanding virus, apparently led to reporters camping out around his house back in May.
In other “citizens that actually know how to use computers are a threat to national security” big government crackdown news, one of the corrupt Federal agents that shamelessly choreographed a double life sentence for Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht (who was quietly moved to a maximum security prison in Colorado this summer, because nonviolent crime) pleaded guilty to money laundering. Again.
Shaun Bridges, formerly of the Secret Service, worked with former DEA thug Carl Mark Force on the Baltimore task force that took money and Bitcoins from the Silk Road investigation, likely framed Ulbricht for ordering assassinations…all the things good Federal agents add to society.
Bridges, 35, moved 1600 Bitcoins (worth $6.6 million) out of a Federal account. This is even more reprehensible because Bridges had already been sentenced in 2015 to 71 months in prison for money laundering and obstruction of justice.
Washington Times reported the taxpayer-funded thief had not even begun the initial sentence, and could get up to another 10 years in prison at his November sentencing.
Force was also arrested in 2015 and pleaded guilty to money laundering, obstruction of justice, and “extortion under color of official right.” He was sentenced to 6.5 years.
Ulbricht, who lost the May appeal of his convictions of money laundering, conspiracy to traffic and distribute narcotics, computer hacking and identity fraud, arguing that his investigators were using the case to commit their own crimes, will die in prison.
On March 15, John McCain announced that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is a Russian agent when Paul tried to block a vote that would reportedly have allowed Montenegro to join NATO, according to Politico:
“The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin […] [i]f there is objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin,” McCain said. “You are achieving the objectives of trying to dismember this small country, which has already been the subject of an attempted coup.”
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) a 28-country international alliance that assembled against Russia [then Soviet Union] and other Communists in the beginnings of the Cold War in 1949, most recently used Article 4 to require “member state consultation” following Putin’s annexation of Crimea, Poland in 2014. Article 5, obliging member states to defend others when threatened, has apparently only been enacted once: to send the International Security Assistance Force into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
Paul’s introduction to his failed amendment to sink the Montenegro NATO invitation:
More domestically, on March 17 the Secret Servicemisplaced, according to New York Daily News, a Secret Service-issued laptop — containing floor plans for Trump Tower, information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation and other national security information — that was stolen from an agent’s car in Brooklyn.
In the “who can lose more national secrets on a laptop” contest, Hillary appears to maintain a slim lead:
Just seven days earlier (March 10), Jonathan T. Tran, of Milpitas, CA jumped the White House fence and roamed around the grounds for 17 minutes, according to Washington Post.
According to BBC, Tran, 26, shown above in a court sketch, breached multiple barriers of security:
[Tran] was carrying two cans of mace, a US passport, a computer and one of Mr Trump’s books, authorities said…[he] had managed to climb a 5ft (1.5m) fence near the US Treasury Department, which is next to the White House. He then scaled an 8ft vehicle gate, and a shorter fence near the east wing of the White House grounds.
Post reports the laptop contain[ed] a letter addressed to the president about Russian hackers, saying Tran had found “information of relevance,” according to a criminal complaint filed March 11.
TIME TO RESET THE CLOCK:
The Secret Service (budget: $2,800,000,000 annually) has cultivated a comical public persona for the past several years. Multiple “White House fence jumpers” were caught during the Obama years, including one wielding a knife who made it through the front door of the mansion and near the actual living quarters in 2014:
Omar Gonzalez had passed an alarm box on the lawn, which Washington Post reported was muted at the request of an “usher.” Therefore, the front door guards had no warning to bolt the door, and Gonzalez made it up some stairs and into the East Room. The much-maligned Secret Service initially lied and said the intruder was stopped at the front door. Not so. Scientific diagrams from the Post illustrate his full [TRIGGER WARNING] penetration:
Post quoted three unnamed sources “familiar” with the breach, and noted at that time: Agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said the office is not commenting during the ongoing investigation of the incident.
We provide a list from Wikipedia of all the fence security breaches (just those that were stopped on the lawn) from the George W. Bush administration until now. Our emphases:
February – April 2006 – Brian Lee Patterson, jumped the White House fence a total of four times.
October 13, 2006 – Alexis Janicki, 24, of Independence, Missouri, an Iraq War veteran suffering from PTSD, was arrested after climbed over the fence while in possession of marijuana.
March 16, 2007 – Catalino Lucas Diaz, scaled the fence with a package and threatened officers that he had a bomb. Catalino was arrested after determining that he had no dangerous weapon.
June 9, 2009 – Pamela Morgan, jumped the fence onto the northeast corner of the grounds while carrying a backpack. Morgan was arrested immediately and her backpack later searched and found to contain nothing dangerous.
March 30, 2014 – Unidentified male, caught and arrested after climbing over the fence.
August 7, 2014 – An unknown toddler squeezed through the fence, and was returned to his parents.
October 22, 2014 – Dominic Adesanya, formerly of Bel Air, Maryland, jumped the fence onto the north lawn and was quickly taken down by two security dogs while punching and kicking them before being arrested by the Secret Service. He was later ordered by a judge to a mental health facility. Adesanya, who had twice jumped the White House fence in July 2014, pleaded guilty in April 2015 to entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds and was sentenced in July 2015 to time served and one year of supervised release. Adesanya’s lawyer said that he suffered from schizophrenia.
November 26, 2015 – Joseph Anthony Caputo, 22, of Stamford, Connecticut, was arrested by Secret Service agents almost immediately after jumping over a White House fence as the first family was inside celebrating Thanksgiving. Caputo had left a suicide note and will and apparently had intended to die. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Caputo pleaded guilty to one federal misdemeanor count of illegal entry of restricted grounds in a deal with prosecutor and was sentenced to three years’ probation with various conditions.
March 10, 2017 – A man carrying a backpack, later identified as Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California, was arrested after jumping the White House fence, coming within steps of the mansion. Court papers charged Tran with “entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon” and stated that he had two cans of mace in his possession at the time of the incident.
We are not making this up: Within 24 hours of writing this article (March 18), an still-unnamed individual jumped a bike rack/pedestrian barrier but did not actually clear the fence.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reportedly “tweeted”: “Individual jumped bike rack on Pennsylvania Ave, not White House fence. Great response by Secret Service.”
So great, in fact, the next intruder had to get creative. On March 18, the very next day, CNN reported Sean Patrick Keoughan drove into a White House checkpoint and announced he had a bomb.
Keoughan, 29, of Roanoke, Virginia, was charged with threatening and conveying false information about the use of an explosive, according to the US attorney’s office. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
[He] had pulled up to the White House an hour prior to his bomb threat, saying he had an appointment with President Donald Trump, the office said. He also said he could communicate telepathically with the President.
Joseph Clancy was appointed by Obama in February 2015 to help clean up the mess, against Washingtonian recommendations. USA Today:
In the fallout [from the scandals], then-Director Julia Pierson, the first woman to lead the agency, was forced to resign.
In selecting Clancy, Obama defied the recommendation of a bipartisan White House security panel, which recommended that a new director come from outside the agency.
Pierson (above, flag) served 18 months. She was promoted by Obama to clean up Secret Service in the aftermath of agents getting caught with prostitutes at Summit of the Americas in Colombia, 2012.
Clancy (above, bald) resigned as head of the Secret Service effective…March 4, 2017. Remember this date.
One of the first incidents of Clancy’s two-year tenure was a highly-publicized (and perhaps sensationalized…see sources) incident in March 2015. Agents Mark Connolly and George Ogilvie made national news for allegedly leaving a fellow agent’s retirement party sloshed and plowing at low speed into a traffic barrel that sequestered a “suspicious package.” Huffington Post:
The area was locked down because [the Secret Service were] investigating a package thrown out of a car by a woman who had shouted, “It’s a bomb,” [Washington Post] said, citing a police report.
[A] law enforcement official familiar with some of the details described the vehicle as moving very slowly and deliberately at about 1 mile per hour.
The driver intentionally nudged a light-weight plastic orange construction barrel a couple of feet out of the way so the vehicle could reach a checkpoint, and did not drive through police tape, the official said.
[Marc Ambinder of The Week opined days later that he–as well as outlets like Washington Post, New York Post, and–real news!–The Daily Show—may have jumped to unwarranted conclusions regarding the agents’ alcohol use. Ambinder unofficially retracted the earlier statement he made in Politico: “This latest incident — where two high ranking Secret Service agents, while drunk, allegedly drove themselves into a crash barrier at the White House, disrupting a tense investigation into a suspicious package nearby, is heartbreaking.”]
WHAT WAS THE DATE IN 2015 OF THE “BOMB AND BASHED DRIVING” CONDUCT BY THE AGENTS???
March 4, 2015.
According to Wikipedia, Clancy was also head of security for Comcast from 2011 until his appointment by Obama.
April 20: The Secret Service announced it was closing the sidewalk in front of the White House permanently, according to multiple sources.
April 29: On April 25, Trump appointed Randolph “Tex” Alles, acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, as new head of the Secret Service.
Picture from Wall Street Journal.
Alles is a 35-year Marine Corps veteran who retired in 2011 as a major general to begin work at CBP.
On March 17, Donna Brazile lamented in Time that the Russians fixed the 2016 presidential election, called for an independent investigation of their interference of the DNC communications, portrayed herself as a damsel drubbing up Democratic diversity in the 2016 primaries, and oh by the way admitted she helped Hillary cheat in a nationalized presidential debate, contradicting her previous statement [our emphasis]:
Then in October, a subsequent release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign. I had been working behind the scenes to add more town hall events and debates to the primary calendar, and I helped ensure those events included diverse moderators and addressed topics vital to minority communities. My job was to make all our Democratic candidates look good, and I worked closely with both campaigns to make that happen. But sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.
By stealing all the DNC’s emails and then selectively releasing those few, the Russians made it look like I was in the tank for Secretary Clinton. Despite the strong, public support I received from top Sanders campaign aides in the wake of those leaks, the media narrative played out just as the Russians had hoped, leaving Sanders supporters understandably angry and sowing division in our ranks. In reality, not only was I not playing favorites, the more competitive and heated the primary got, the harder D.N.C. staff worked to be scrupulously fair and beyond reproach. In all the months the Russians monitored the D.N.C.’s email, they found just a handful of inappropriate emails, with no sign of anyone taking action to disadvantage the Sanders campaign.
As we reported in October, Brazile’s misconduct was exposed not by the pro-Trump Russians, but by Wikileaks.
Brazile disparages the Republican reluctance to support “special prosecution” of Russian communication with Jeff Sessions and other Trump allies: Despite all the deeply troubling evidence, the White House continues to insist that “there’s no there there.”
Her own nonsensical syntax seems to be plagiarized from her former boss Bill Clinton‘s go-to legal defense: “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”