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Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Jean-Pierre Clarifies That Official White House Policy Is The Opposite Of Whatever Biden Says In Interviews

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2022

https://babylonbee.com/news/jean-pierre-clarifies-that-official-white-house-policy-is-the-opposite-of-whatever-biden-says-in-interviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a White House press conference focused on clarifying every statement Biden has ever made, Press Secretary Jean-Pierre clarified that the official White House policy was the opposite of whatever President Biden says in interviews.

This official policy comes on the tail of the White House clarifying and contradicting nearly every statement Biden has made regarding the pandemic, Taiwan, illegal immigrants, Russia, inflation, and unborn babies. Curiously, there has been no correction from the White House after Biden called half of U.S. citizens an existential threat to democracy.

“This policy is to stem confusion and reduce the number of questions asking for clarification and context,” said Jean-Pierre to journalists suffering dizzy spells from the flurry of claims, counterclaims, statements, clarifications, and contexts.

“She said what? That’s a bunch of goat honky; I’m the President of the United States of America,” said Biden in response to the White House’s new policy.

At publishing time, the White House clarified that Biden actually said, “She’s exactly right, and Trump is a terrorist.”

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White House Claims Russia Could Launch Biological or Chemical Attack in Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on March 10, 2022

The article quoted Robert Pope of the DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, who warned some of the labs could have Pathogens leftover from the Soviet Union’s bioweapons program.

Or just maybe leftovers from Wuhan, Fort Dietrich, Plum Island, Kenema Hospital…

https://news.antiwar.com/2022/03/09/

by Dave DeCamp

The US dismissed the idea that it’s funding bioweapons research in Ukraine, but there are Pentagon-linked biological research labs in the country

On Wednesday, the White House claimed without evidence that Russia might use chemical or biological weapons to create a false flag operation in Ukraine. The White House also dismissed Moscow’s accusations that the US is involved in biological weapons research in Ukraine even though there are Pentagon-linked labs in the country.

On Twitter, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said to be on the lookout “for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them.” She said Russia’s claim of the US having biological weapons labs in Ukraine is “preposterous.”

Psaki’s denial comes a day after Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said there are “biological research facilities” in Ukraine the US is concerned Russian forces might seize. Nuland made the comments after being asked if there are bioweapons in Ukraine and said the US is working with the Ukrainians to keep “research materials” out of Russia’s hands.

The Russian military has claimed that it uncovered 30 biological laboratories in Ukraine linked to the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia has documents that show Ukraine ordered the destruction of samples of plague, cholera, anthrax, and other pathogens before Russia launched its attack on February 24.

According to a February 25 article from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the US government has worked with 26 biological research facilities in Ukraine. The article quoted Robert Pope of the DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, who warned some of the labs could have Pathogens leftover from the Soviet Union’s bioweapons program.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.

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The White House Now Says It Never Really Wanted Lockdowns

Posted by M. C. on February 9, 2022

Instead, these people will move on to pushing their new version of lockdownism: vaccine passports and pariah status for the disobedient. Whether they worked or not, lockdowns have clearly fallen out of favor so much that the Biden administration won’t even admit to supporting the idea. That’s a victory for friends of freedom and human rights. The next stop is to strike a similar blow against vaccine mandates.

https://mises.org/wire/white-house-now-says-it-never-really-wanted-lockdowns

Ryan McMaken

Last Friday, a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki to respond to the Johns Hopkins covid study showing lockdowns provided no real benefit in terms of disease prevention.

In response, Psaki dodged addressing the study directly, but then pivoted to claiming that the Biden administration had never pushed lockdowns. “We are not pushing lockdowns,” she insisted. “We’ve not been pro-lockdown—most of the lockdowns actually happened under the previous President.”

#BREAKING: | Press Secretary Psaki responds to Johns Hopkins Study that says lockdowns had little to no effect on curving Covid mortality.

“We are not pushing lockdowns, we’ve not been pro-lockdown — most of the lockdowns actually happened under the previous President.” pic.twitter.com/iOKAFciOwX— El American (@ElAmerican_) February 4, 2022

We have now reached the point in the media and political narrative where the party of lockdowns realizes lockdowns are increasingly unpopular and so now claims it never supported lockdowns at all.

But how can Psaki get away with saying this? We all know that Joe Biden has always supported lockdowns. Well, that’s not quite it, and she’s not completely wrong. By the time Biden was actually sworn in as president, he had already stopped pushing for lockdowns as a continued anticovid option.

On the other hand, it is certainly true that as late as early November 2020, high-ranking Biden advisors were still holding up lockdowns as a possibility that fall and winter. For example, on November 11, 2020, Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board, suggested the country might require a “lockdown for 4 to 6 weeks” and recommended the US government spend additional trillions to “pay for a package right now to cover all of the lost wages for individual workers.”

Osterholm also referenced an August 2020 column he cowrote with Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari in which the authors concluded, “To be effective, the lockdown has to be as comprehensive and strict as possible.”

For his part, Biden was keeping lockdowns very much on the table at least as late as August 2020. Biden declared in a joint interview with Kamala Harris that if covid numbers increased again “I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists…. We’re going to do whatever it takes to save lives.”

By November, however, the administration appears to have shifted to a policy of using lockdowns more as a threat than as a likely plan of action. This position was also reflected in the comments of Zeke Emanuel, a long-time supporter of draconian lockdowns who also remained a Biden advisor in November. Earlier in 2020, Emanuel had advocated for long-term lockdowns, suggesting lockdowns would need to last for eighteen months or more. Yet by November, he instead insisted that whether or not the additional lockdowns would take place would depend “on what we do now.”

In other words, if enough people wore masks and get vaccinated, then the administration wouldn’t be “forced” to push for full lockdowns again. This position was already stated quite clearly by Anthony Fauci in August, when he told an audience:

I believe strongly and I’ll say it very clearly: We do not have to completely lock down if we do things right. And if we do these things right I believe we can open up the economy, get the employment back, get people out of the doldrums of being locked down—if we do it prudently, carefully, and the way the guidelines say.

For Fauci, you don’t need lockdowns if—and that’s a key “if”—everyone does exactly what Fauci tells them to. In any case, Fauci still wasn’t giving up on lockdowns into late November, stating it was “too early to say” if lockdowns could be ruled out.

In spite of this, by November 19—facing a tough election battle—the administration was openly saying it was not planning on trying to implement lockdowns again but with the subtext being that this was contingent on enough of the population getting vaccinated

Indeed, in her own disavowal of lockdowns this past Friday, Psaki pushes this very line of reasoning stating that the “president’s approach has been using the tools we have to prevent [lockdowns].” Translation: So long as vaccines and mask wearing work, lockdowns won’t be necessary. Nowhere in those words, however, is there an admission that lockdowns do more harm than good or that they are unacceptable. No, it appears the administration can have it both ways. It will say it isn’t for lockdowns while simultaneously insisting that lockdowns could be triggered by not “using the tools” that “prevent” lockdowns.

So, Psaki is correct that once Biden had been inaugurated into the White House, there was no general drive from administration officials for lockdowns. The focus had shifted to masks and vaccines.

Today, this fact allows the administration to claim that lockdowns are mostly something that “happened under the previous president.” Indeed, Donald Trump did little to prevent lockdowns and did much to provide political cover for state governors wishing to impose lockdowns. It was on Trump’s watch that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pushed heavily for lockdowns. Trump gave a daily nationwide platform to prolockdown technocrats like Fauci and Deborah Birx. Trump claimed to disagree with these bureaucrats—whom he could have easily fired—but Trump was either too craven or too incompetent to intervene. Instead, dozens of state governors imposed lockdowns on their populations, helped by the fact they could simply say they were following guidelines put out by Trump’s CDC.

Thanks to Trump’s weakness, Psaki is right that lockdowns are something we can all remember from the Trump era.

Legally, of course, it’s unlikely any administration—whether Trump’s or Biden’s—could actually get away for long with directly imposing any sort of nationwide lockdown if it wanted to. The federal courts have already sent a pretty clear message that police actions like lockdowns are prerogatives of the states’ governments.

Moreover, with gubernatorial races in thirty-six states this November, only candidates in the absolutely bluest blue states would even consider telling the voters “as governor I am poised to impose new lockdowns at the first sign of crowded hospitals. Eight weeks to flatten the curve!” That might still work in Europe or China, but it’s hard to see much support from American voters at this point. 

But as we’ve seen, we shouldn’t expect those who supported lockdowns to admit states with lockdowns showed no better results than states that barely locked down at all. Rather, the lockdown party will just split hairs to show they never really pushed lockdowns at all or that “the science changed.”  Instead, these people will move on to pushing their new version of lockdownism: vaccine passports and pariah status for the disobedient. Whether they worked or not, lockdowns have clearly fallen out of favor so much that the Biden administration won’t even admit to supporting the idea. That’s a victory for friends of freedom and human rights. The next stop is to strike a similar blow against vaccine mandates.

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power and Market, but read article guidelines first.

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The Media Wants You to Trust Washington Again Now That Trump Is Gone | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2021

In 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid.”

https://mises.org/wire/media-wants-you-trust-washington-again-now-trump-gone

James Bovard

Former CNN White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski declared on Twitter last week that American journalists would “never expect … Your own govt to lie to you, repeatedly” and “Your own govt to hide information the public has a right to know.” Kosinski denounced “Trump’s unAmerican regime” and declared, “No one should accept this.” Kosinski’s comments epitomize the “Trump-washing” of American history that explains much of the media’s rage, hypocrisy, and follies in the last five years.

Kosinski’s mindset also helps explain why Americans’ trust in the media has collapsed. Kosinski spent years as CNN’s State Department correspondent, but her inside sources apparently never mentioned to her how she was helping them con the world. As history professor Leo Ribuffo observed in 1998, “Presidents have lied so much to us about foreign policy that they’ve established almost a common-law right to do so.” In 1965, Arthur Sylvester, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, berated a group of war correspondents in Saigon: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid.”

A few weeks before the 9/11 attacks, New York Times columnist Flora Lewis wrote that “there will probably never be a return to the … collusion with which the media used to treat presidents, and it is just as well.” But the toppling of the World Trade Center towers made the media more craven than at any time since Vietnam. The media’s shameless deference was one of the most underreported stories of the Iraq War. Washington Post reporter Karen DeYoung admitted in 2004: “We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power.” PBS’s Bill Moyers noted that “of the 414 Iraq stories broadcast on NBC, ABC and CBS nightly news, from September 2002 until February 2003, almost all the stories could be traced back to sources from the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department.” Jim Lehrer, the host of government-subsidized PBS’s NewsHour, explained his timidity in 2004: “It would have been difficult to have had debates [about invading Iraq] … you’d have had to have gone against the grain.” Lehrer explained why he and other premier journalists seemed clueless on Iraq: “The word ‘occupation,’ keep in mind, was never mentioned in the run-up to the war. It was ‘liberation’…. So as a consequence, those of us in journalism never even looked at the issue of occupation.” The elite journalists looked only where government told them to look. Former president George W. Bush’s lying America into a ruinous war has not deterred liberal media outlets from rehabilitating him as the “good Republican” in contrast to Trump.

Kowtowing is the high road to media stardom. A leak from the White House, like a touch from a saint, can instantly heal a reporter’s lame career. For many journalists, “access” is more important than truth. In DC, there is more cachet in snaring exclusive interviews with policymakers than in exposing official wrongdoing. Being invited into the inner sanctums is “close enough for government work” to learning what the feds are actually doing. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman observed, “The [George W.] Bush administration has made brilliant use of journalistic careerism. Those who wrote puff pieces about Mr. Bush and those around him have been rewarded with career-boosting access.” Knowing when to be sycophantic is as vital to career advancement as recognizing which fork to use at a Georgetown dinner party.

Is the problem that journalists don’t know history or that journalists don’t know how to read—or both? Kosinski’s assertion that American journalists would “never expect their own govt to hide information the public has a right to know” is astounding on both scores. The federal government is creating trillions of pages of new secrets every year. The more documents bureaucrats classify, the more lies politicians can tell. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has become mostly a mirage. (FOIA is never mentioned in Kosinski’s Twitter feed.) After she was appointed secretary of state, Hillary Clinton effectively exempted herself from FOIA, setting up a private server to handle her official email. The State Department ignored seventeen FOIA requests for her emails prior to 2014. Prior to the 2016 election, the State Department claimed it needed seventy-five years to fully answer a FOIA request on Hillary Clinton’s aides’ emails—thereby protecting Hillary from revelations that could have hurt her with voters.

Perhaps Kosinski is unaware that the Trump-era secrecy she denounced flourished mightily thanks to the beloved Obama administration. In 2011, Obama’s Justice Department formally proposed to permit federal agencies to falsely claim that documents that Americans requested via FOIA did not exist. The Obama White House crippled FOIA responses by adding a new requirement for all federal agencies to permit the White House to review and potentially veto releases of requested FOIA documents that had “White House equities”—i.e., anything that might make the Obama administration look bad. A 2016 congressional report noted that many journalists had abandoned “the FOIA request as a tool because delays and redactions made the request process wholly useless for reporting.” My own experience, stretching back thirty years, is that federal agencies routinely presume that anyone who has publicly criticized their programs forfeits his rights under FOIA.

Kosinski never tweeted about the role of the “state secrets” doctrine in permitting the Justice Department to shroud torture, war crimes, and illegal surveillance. The state secrets doctrine presumes “government knows best, and no one else is entitled to know.” The George W. Bush administration routinely invoked “state secrets” to seek “blanket dismissal of every case challenging the constitutionality of specific, ongoing government programs,” according to a study by the Constitution Project. A federal appeals court slammed the Obama administration’s use of “state secrets” for presuming that “the judiciary should effectively cordon off all secret government actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the CIA and its partners from the demands and the limits of the law.” Last month, the Biden administration joined the torture secrecy hall of shame by urging a court to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an American citizen who claimed he had been tortured in Egypt, because the alleged torturer had diplomatic immunity because he works for the International Monetary Fund. (I thought the IMF was only entitled to torture economies.) As the legal fate of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and John Kiriakou illustrates, telling the truth is the only war crime now recognized by the US government.

Kosinski’s assertions exemplify the new media storyline that Americans should respect Washington again now that Biden is president. But Leviathan doesn’t turn over a new leaf merely because a different hand swears an oath of office on the Bible. Lies are political weapons of mass destruction, obliterating all limits on government power. The more powerful government becomes, the more atrocities it commits and the more lies it must tell. But we can’t trust the press corps to expose any abuses that might imperil invitations to fancy receptions.

As I warned in a 2018 op-ed in The Hill, “Perhaps the biggest whopper in Washington nowadays is the assumption that the government and the political class will automatically be trustworthy once the Trump era ends…. There will still be a thousand precedents for federal coverups and duplicity. And neither political party nor the bureaucracy has shown any itch to cease deceiving the American people.” But I doubt that Kosinski read that piece or anything else that some government official didn’t hand her on a silver platter. Author:

James Bovard

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including 2012’s Public Policy Hooligan, and 2006’s Attention Deficit Democracy. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications.

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The Most Violent Demonstration Ever to Occur at the White House – Foundation for Economic Education

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2021

The issue, believe it or not, was a bank.

https://fee.org/articles/the-most-violent-demonstration-to-ever-occur-at-the-white-house/

Lawrence W. Reed
Lawrence W. Reed

After months of violent demonstrations—especially in New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Portland—many Americans might not want to learn of yet another. This one, however, dates back long before any living person’s memory and ranks as the worst ever on the grounds of the White House in Washington. The issue, believe it or not, was a bank.

That’s right, a bank. Not racism. Not corruption. Not even an unpopular war. The mob that broke windows and nearly stormed the residence of the highest US official in August 1841 demanded a government-sponsored central bank from a president who refused to give them one. Here’s the story.

The 1840 election pitted incumbent Jacksonian Democrat Martin van Buren against Whig Party challenger and Battle of Tippecanoe hero William Henry Harrison. Four years earlier, Harrison had lost to Van Buren but this time he prevailed. His running mate was former Democrat John Tyler of Virginia, giving rise to the famous campaign slogan, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!”

Harrison assumed the presidency on March 4, 1841 at the age of 68. He term-limited himself by dying just 31 days later. The Whigs expected Tyler to faithfully implement the big-government Whig program designed by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay but were quickly disappointed. Even as the party’s vice-presidential candidate, Tyler never disguised his skepticism for Clay’s schemes of a central bank, corporate welfare and high tariffs.

Clay ran the Senate and his fellow Whigs controlled the House, where Clay had previously served a decade as Speaker. While president Tyler cautioned against creating a new central bank (Andrew Jackson had killed the last one a few years before), Clay pressed forward with it in the summer of 1841. A bank bill passed both houses and went to Tyler’s desk, where it died by veto on August 16. The president regarded it as unconstitutional in part because it would force the states to accept branches of the central bank within their boundaries, in direct competition with state-chartered banks.

Tyler began his veto message by reminding Congress that his opposition to a federal bank was longstanding. For 25 years, he pointed out, he expressed this view as a state and federal legislator. He had just sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the very Constitution that Clay’s bank scheme would undermine. To turn his back now on both the Constitution and his own conscience, wrote Tyler, “would be to commit a crime which I would not willfully commit to gain any earthly reward, and which would justly subject me to the ridicule and scorn of all virtuous men.”

A central bank would enhance the power of the federal government at the expense of the states, bestow benefits on a financial elite, and undermine the cause of sound money. Tyler wisely wanted nothing to do with it.

The Whigs erupted in a fury of indignation. In his biography of Tyler, historian Gary May describes what happened next:

At 2:00 a.m. on the morning of August 18, a drunken mob gathered outside the White House portico. They blew horns, beat drums, threw rocks at the building, and fired guns into the night sky. Tyler and his family were awakened by the noise…Someone in the mansion’s upstairs quarters lit candles and the light scared the crowd off. Another group arrived a few hours later, dragging a scarecrow-like figure. They set it afire and John Tyler was burned in effigy. It was the most violent demonstration ever to occur at the White House complex.

Security at the executive mansion was minimal in those days. It was not uncommon, in fact, for visitors to walk right in unescorted. A drunken painter even threw rocks at President Tyler as he walked the south grounds. When an odd-looking package arrived by mail at the White House, Tyler feared a bomb, but it fortunately turned out to be a cake.

Clay urged the Senate to override the president’s veto but he failed to get the required two-thirds vote. A new central bank bill with minor adjustments then passed both houses. On September 9, Tyler vetoed that one too. The second veto prompted a stream of invective from Whig-friendly media that lasted for the rest of Tyler’s term. From May’s biography again:

“If a God-directed thunderbolt were to strike and annihilate the traitor,” the Lexington Intelligencer wrote, “all would say that ‘Heaven is just.’” Tyler was called “His Accidency”; the “Executive A**”; “base, selfish, and perfidious”; “a vast nightmare over the republic.” One writer claimed that the president was insane, the victim of “brain fever.” Another, borrowing from Shakespeare, called “for a whip in every honest hand, to lash the rascal naked through the world.” There were anti-Tyler rallies and demonstrations everywhere and numerous burnings in effigy, including in Richmond and at the Charles City County courthouse, where the young John Tyler had practiced law. Angry letters poured into the White House; many proffered threats on the president’s life. What happened next was also expected, but it was still shocking because it had never before happened in American history: the president’s entire cabinet, save [Secretary of State] Daniel Webster, resigned.

On Monday, September 13, angry congressional Whigs formally expelled President Tyler from their ranks. Henry Clay pronounced to his political comrades that Tyler was “a President without a party.” Unlike the opportunistic and ambitious Clay, Tyler was a man of steadfast principles—and those are things that too many politicians (then and now) neither possess themselves nor can abide in others.

Whig vitriol dogged Tyler for the remainder of his term. In the months after the bank vetoes, he also nixed Whig bills to hike tariffs. In response, his congressional opponents formed the first-ever committee to explore whether the president should be impeached and named former president John Quincy Adams as its chair. Its final report, released on August 16, 1842, concluded that Tyler had committed “offenses of the gravest character” and deserved to be impeached. Fearing a political backlash in the country, the committee’s majority stopped short of recommending it.

The report of the Adams committee was partisan political theater at its worst. Tyler had done utterly nothing impeachable. His “offenses of the gravest character” amounted to nothing more than failure to advance the flawed big government agenda of Henry Clay and the Whig Party.

A few years later when Clay realized his own life-long lust for the presidency would never materialize, he famously declared in a speech to the Senate, “I would rather be right than be President.” Time and again, he was neither.

So a firestorm in the Congress produced a riot at the White House. It was all about a bank which the country did not need and which the president rightly used his constitutional authority to thwart. By any measure, it was not our finest hour. But Tyler’s vetoes stand, in my view, as great moments in presidential courage.

One final note regarding President John Tyler: His two grandsons are still around today, at ages 96 and 92. It sounds incredible that two men are living right now whose grandfather was President of the United States almost 180 years ago. You can read the details here.

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Secret Service conducts WH training exercise for ‘potential critical incidents’

Posted by M. C. on December 22, 2017

Stand Down

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/366157-secret-service-conducts-training-exercise-for-potential

When you see stupid headlines like this you wonder ‘what have  they been training for’ all these years.

The video below indicates they know how to “stand down”. Read the rest of this entry »

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