‘Bob Grant has died. Born March 14, 1929 he was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. Grant, who lived in Tom’s River, N.J., died on New Year’s Eve.He was a veteran of radio broadcasting in New York City, and Grant is considered to be a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format who influenced many people after him.He began working in radio in the 1940s at WBBM in Chicago as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War he served in the Naval Reserve. He became sports director at KABC in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a huge following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.” Many people were avid listeners of his show and it helped the popularity of the format.He was the father of conservative talkradio.He was known to say: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”
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WABC 77 New York – Bob Grant GAG (Get At Grant) Hour- Dec 1988
Bob Grant, Father of Conservative Talk Radio, Dead at 84
Veteran New York radio personality Bob Grant — widely credited with inventing the conservative talk-radio format — has died at the age of 84.
Grant, who lived in Tom’s River, N.J., passed away on New Year’s Eve, according to the Branchburg Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements.
Grant began his career as a controversial talk show host in 1970, when he joined WMCA in New York and quickly bucked the liberal slant of many of the other hosts.
The gravel-voiced talker’s in-your-face opinions and regular telling off of callers often got him in hot water.
He opened his show stating: “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.”
He slammed uncouth politicians as “craven bootlickers.” He once said of the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it.”
Grant routinely signed off with the chant “Get Gaddafi,” in a taunt at Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi.
In 1973, he called Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal of New York a coward for cancelling an appearance on his show, leading Rosenthal to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.
The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals and was ultimately thrown out after a judge decided Grant had offered Rosenthal equal time.
Grant left WMCA in 1977 to work for WOR, but was fired for controversial remarks he made in 1979.
“A caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. [This woman] was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio,” he said.
“I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how! … WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.”
Grant returned to WMCA in 1980, where his producer was Steve Malzberg, now host of “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.
“I had grown up listening to Bob Grant so this was a dream come true,” Malzberg said.
“He was an extremely nice guy, a wonderful and funny pioneer who overcame many attempts to turn him into a villain. He persevered and did what he love until the very end.”
In 1984, Grant was hired by WABC, which had switched formats from Top 40 music to all-talk. With its strong signal, Grant was heard by millions of listener in the Northeastern United States.
The station began billing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.”
But Grant got in trouble with WABC in 1996 when he made a mean-spirited crack about Commerce Secretary Ron Brown whose plane had crashed in Croatia.
“My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist,” Grant said. Brown, along with 34 others on board, had been killed.
Grant then moved back to WOR and his show became nationally syndicated. His WOR run ended in 2006.
In 2007, he returned to WABC where he stayed for a year and a half, before leaving to host an Internet radio show titled “Straight Ahead!” He again returned to WABC in Sept. 2009, to host a Sunday talk show, retiring last summer because of poor health.
Grant’s family asks that memorial contributions may be made in his memory can be made to the Young America’s Foundation, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170 or the New York Police and Fire Widows’ & Childrens’ Benefit Fund, Inc., 767 Fifth Ave., 2614C, New York, NY 10153.
Bob Grant (March 14, 1929 – December 31, 2013) was an American radio host whose real name was Robert Ciro Gigante. A veteran of broadcasting in New York City, Grant is considered a pioneer of the “conservative” and “confrontational” talk radio format.
Grant graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. He began working in radio in the 1940s at the news department at WBBM (AM) in Chicago, as a radio personality and television talk show host at KNX (AM) in Los Angeles, and as an actor. During the Korean War, he served in the Naval Reserve.  He later became sports director at KABC (AM) in Los Angeles, where after some substitute appearances he inherited the talk show of early controversialist Joe Pyne in 1964 and began to build a following. Grant hosted three shows on KABC (AM) in 1964 titled, “Open Line,” “Night Line,” and “Sunday Line.”
Move to New York City (WMCA: 1970–1977)
Grant came to New York in 1970, where he hosted a talk show on WMCA as the “house conservative”, distinctively out of fashion with both the times and with some countercultural WMCA personalities, including Alex Bennett. His offbeat but combative style (along with Fairness Doctrine requirements of the era) won him seven years on WMCA, with a growing and loyal audience. His sign-off for many years was “Get Gaddafi”, which meant remove Muammar al-Gaddafi, the dictator of Libya, whose anti-Israeli stance was in opposition to Grant’s pro-Israeli feelings.
On March 8, 1973, Grant had scheduled New York Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal, who was leading a boycott of meat. Grant later learned that Rosenthal would not appear on his show, and in a discussion with a caller, Grant referred to Rosenthal as a “coward.” Rosenthal then filed a complaint with the F.C.C., and the issue went all the way up to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Straus Communications v. Federal Communications Commission, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, January 16, 1976, Wright, J. The appeals court ultimately ruled in favor of WMCA and Grant, due to the fact that Grant offered the congressman an invitation to appear on his show, granting Rosenthal equal time.
One of Grant’s most memorable regular callers was Ms. Trivia, who aired her “Beef of the Week”, a series of seemingly trivial complaints. Ms. Trivia was Grant’s guest at a Halloween Festival dinner held at Lauritano’s Restaurant in theBronx, where a young Ms. Trivia, not long out of her teens, revealed herself for the first time to a startled radio audience, many who had expected and assumed, based upon her articulation and intonation, that she would be an elderly, prudish woman. Instead, a statuesque and fashionable Ms. Trivia, wearing an elaborate Victorian costume, was the surprise guest seated next to Grant at the dais table along with several political figures from New York. The following day the majority of calls to the show were for the purpose of obtaining information about the mysterious Mm. Trivia, with Grant in his typical manner finally in exasperation hanging up on the callers, shouting, “THIS IS NOT Mm. TRIVIA’S SHOW!”
A linguistic “hoax” trivia question originated on Grant’s WMCA show in 1975, “There are three words in the English language that end in -gry. Two of them are angry and hungry. What is the third?” While at WMCA, Grant attracted attention in 1975 from a commentary he recorded titled, “How Long Will You Stand Aside.” Grant also released an LP record in 1977 titled, “Let’s Be Heard,” which was a recording of a speech Grant gave before a synagogue in New York. Grant left WMCA in 1977.
WOR AND WWDB
In 1979, radio host Barry Farber, fought with WMCA station manager Ellen Straus to rehire Grant. Farber broadcast during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot on WMCA. When asked by Straus at a meeting if Farber was willing to give up his airtime for Grant, Farber replied, “Yes he can have my time. I’d rather he have my time than no time at all.” While away from WMCA, Grant went up the dial to New York’s WOR (AM) for a time, where he was fired for controversial remarks. Grant describes the remarks that got him fired from WOR:
||I had done my nightly show on WOR and a caller phoned in to the show saying he was upset with a woman who was blaming the police for what happened to her sons. I had read the story the man was referring to and noted that the woman, who was very angry with the police, was the public relations director or community relations director of WCBS newsradio. I stupidly asked the caller if he knew how she got that job. The caller said he didn’t know and I promptly and arrogantly said, “I will tell you how. She passed the gynecological and pigmentation test — that’s how!” Not only did that turn off Roger Ailes, but WOR was forced to fire me even though I had given the radio giant the biggest overnight ratings they ever had.
After being fired from WOR, Grant worked at WWDB in Philadelphia. Grant had gone back to WMCA after working at WWDB in Philadelphia. It was reported upon Grant’s departure that his ratings had slipped to number 23 out of 39 shows during the 4-7 P.M. weekday timeslot.
In 1984, WABC (AM) in New York City hired Grant to join their new talk station. He first hosted a show from 9-11pm, before moving to the 3-6pm afternoon time slot. The Bob Grant Show consistently dominated the ratings in the highly competitive afternoon drive time slot in New York City and at one point the radio station aired recorded promos announcing him as “America’s most listened to talk radio personality.” The gravel-voiced Grant reminded listeners during the daily introduction that the “program was unscripted and unrehearsed”.
Grant’s long stay at WABC ended when he was fired for a remark about the April 3, 1996 airplane crash involving Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Grant remarked to caller named, Carl of Oyster Bay (Carl Limbacher, later of NewsMaxfame), “My hunch is that [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it’s because, at heart, I’m a pessimist.” When Brown was found dead, Grant’s comments were widely criticized, and several weeks later, after a media campaign, his contract was terminated.
Return to WOR (1996–2006)
After being fired, Grant moved down the dial to WOR to host his show in the same afternoon drive-time slot. Grant’s age began to show while broadcasting at WOR. He was less engaging with the callers, and not as energetic during his broadcasts. For a time, the Bob Grant show went into national syndication, but has been a local only show since 2001. Grant and his WABC replacement Sean Hannity would sometimes throw jabs at each other. Hannity defeated Grant in the ratings from 2001–2006.
Grant’s WOR run ended on January 13, 2006. Grant’s ratings were not to blame for his departure, according to the New York Post, which mentioned that the decision was reached because the station’s other shows had niche audiences to garner more advertising dollars. On January 16, 2006, shortly after Grant’s last WOR show, Grant appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio show and TV program Hannity & Colmes, where his former competitor paid tribute to him. Having left his options open for “an offer he cannot refuse,” Grant returned to WOR in February 2006, doing one minute “Straight Ahead” commentaries which aired twice daily after news broadcasts until September 2006. On September 8, 2006 Grant again appeared on Hannity’s show to provide a post-retirement update, which led to premature rumors that Grant was returning to WABC. Grant then made various isolated radio appearances. He appeared as a guest host on WFNY (now WXRK) on December 7, 2006, and was interviewed by attorney Anthony Macri for Macri’s WOR show on February 24, 2007.
Post-Retirement: Return to WABC and Internet broadcasting
His guest appearances became more frequent beginning in July 2007. On July 7, 2007, he guest hosted for John R. Gambling, and appeared on Mark Levin’s show (which is networked from WABC) on July 10. Grant, guest hosted for Jerry Agar on July 9, 10, 11 and re-appeared as a fill-in host again for John Gambling on August 20 and 21. Then, on August 22, while appearing on Hannity’s show, he announced that he was returning as a regular host to WABC, in the 8–10 PM slot that at the time was filled by Agar. It would later be revealed, on what was Agar’s final show a few hours later, that he would be starting effective immediately, as Grant took over the final segments of the show. His first full show on ABC since 1996 was on August 23. The story of Grant’s return, as reported by the New York Daily News, had been discovered only a couple of hours before Grant’s official announcement.
Grant’s stint lasted less than a year and a half, until his regular nightly show was pulled by WABC in late November 2008 as part of a programming shuffle stemming from the debut of Curtis Sliwa’s national show, and later Mark Levin’s show expanding to three hours, leaving no room for Grant. Grant did his most recent AM radio work as guest host filling in for Michael Savage on January 21, 2009, Mark Levin on March 23, 2009, and Sean Hannity on July 31, 2009.
During the week of July 6, 2009 Grant began hosting an Internet radio show titled Straight Ahead! which originally ran Monday through Friday from 8 to 9 a.m. Eastern time on UBATV.com. As a webcast, the show differed from Grant’s radio shows, in that the viewer watched Grant as he did his broadcast. The first two months of Straight Ahead! were from inside Grant’s home, and were run with technical assistance from independent filmmaker Ryan O’Leary.New York radio personalities Richard Bey and Jay Diamond were also brought on board to broadcast their own one hour shows. Grant mentioned that he did not get paid to do the UBATV show, but believes that Internet broadcasting is the future.
Beginning in September 2009, Grant reduced Straight Ahead! from five days a week down to two (Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m Eastern time). Grant also moved the show from his home to a professional studio. Due to a low number of callers to the show, Grant usually interviewed only guests for the hour. On January 13, 2010, Grant did his last UBATV show. Grant’s last UBATV show and his last WOR show both fell on the date of January 13.
On September 13, 2009, Grant returned to WABC for a third stint at the station, doing a weekly Sunday talk show from 12pm to 2pm. Grant’s return to AM broadcasting has allowed him to continue interacting with his fan base through greater listenership and participation than his previous internet radio show provided. At the close of his first show, he expressly thanked the management of the station for “inviting him back” and said he looked forward to continuing this joint venture every week for the foreseeable future. Grant issued a statement in October 2012 that his October 7 broadcast would be his last, but then rescinded that message after the show, labeling it a “mistake” and an attempt to grab attention. He then took off a short time for medical work, and when he returned to the air, it was for a shortened 1pm to 2pm Sunday show (current as of November 2012). Bob Grant’s last show on WABC was July 28, 2013 when he retired due to ill health.
Grant also prepares weekly columns for his website, www.BobGrantOnline.com. The site was originally sponsored by NewsMax. As of February 19, 2013, Grant has discontinued his editorials.
Characteristics of Grant’s radio shows
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately. (January 2010)
Grant’s political philosophy generally followed American conservatism, but with some lurches into populism, libertarianism, conspiracy theory, and unorthodoxy (such as being pro-choice and anti-Flag Desecration Amendment). Grant was known for using a number of catchphrases on his show, such as “You’re a fake, a phony, and a fraud!”, “Straight ahead”, “Get off my phone!”, “Anything and everything is grist for our ever-grinding mill”, and his closing line, “Your influence counts. Use it.” His opening line was used as the title of his 1996 book, Let’s Be Heard, a title representing an abbreviated version of his original opener, “And let’s be heard! Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to another hour of the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions in the belief that as American citizens you have the right to hear, and to be heard.” Before his daily monologue, Grant would ask the rhetorical question, “And what’s on your mind today, hmmm?”, and would sometimes call women “chickie-poos”. He occasionally referred to women as “broads” and when certain undesirable, lacklustre or contentious women were combative he referenced them as “several miles of bad road”. One of his favorite put-downs was to refer to someone as a “cacazote”. During the 1988 presidential bid of Michael Dukakis, this term took on a natural segue as Grant often referred to him as “Dukacazote”. He also referred to feckless politicians as “craven bootlickers,” especially when elected officials would cave in to political pressures, and Grant accused them of “folding like a cheap camera”. Due to his Italian heritage, Grant frequently used Italian slang words to describe callers or other individuals calling them gavones (crude or uncultured persons), stunads (stupid, thick, dense) or chiacchorones (persons who talk excessively). During his second stint at WOR, Grant often closed his show with the phrase, “Somebody’s got to say these things, it has to be me!” As a resident of Manalapan, New Jersey in the late-1990s, he considered running for statewide office, but eventually decided against it.
Grant occasionally made on-air reference to an always unheard, ethereal Beatrice-like presence à la Dante’s Paradiso section in The Divine Comedy, “The Lady Josephine”, to whom he constantly paid obeisance. His son, Jeff Grant, a traffic reporter with a different station, would call in occasionally. Grant made frequent references to the REO Diner in Woodbridge, New Jersey, his regular haunt.
For many years Grant closed each show with the exclamation, “Get Khadafy!” This was apparently an allusion to the practice of Roman statesman Cato the Elder ending his speeches with a call for the destruction of Carthage even if he had not been discussing Carthage in the speech. When Khadafy was finally killed in the 2012 Libyan civil war, Grant praised the decision.
When once asked by the caller George the Atheist whether he believed in God, Grant replied, “What if I tell you, George, that sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t?” On his July 21, 2005 broadcast, Grant, a baptized and raised Roman Catholic, unequivocally stated to the same caller his opinion on the Second Coming of Jesus: “He’s not coming back. Look, I don’t believe he’s coming back. I think that’s a myth and I say it. I don’t trumpet it but if a person asks — and you know one thing for sure, I’ve been deadly honest, dead-on honest all the time I’ve been on the air talking to people and they ask me questions or they make a comment that elicits a response, they are going to get an honest response. It may always not be ‘correct’ but it’s honest.” Grant has since stated that he is not an atheist.
Like many hosts in the talk radio format, Grant had his battery of usual callers that added interest to the show. John from Staten Island, Jimmy from Brooklyn, Al from Chappaqua, Greg from Chatham, David from Irvington, Dorothy from Montclair, Hal from North Bergen (at the time an undercover FBI agent provocateur posing as a white supremacist, he later went rogue), patients rights activist Eddie Carbone, and the popular Frank from Queens were some of the frequent callers. A few quasi-fictitious characters (played by Grant) were also employed during the show such as, ‘Julian P. Farquar, Dexter Pogue, Rantz Greeb, Paul “needlenose” Monage, and Lucy Shagnasty.
Over the years, Grant has made a number of statements on his shows that critics have described as racist. For example, he was quoted in the Newsday of June 2, 1992, as saying “Minorities are the Big Apple’s majority, you don’t need the papers to tell you that, walk around and you know it. To me, that’s a bad thing. I’m a white person.” In his book, Grant defended this statement by writing that he did not intend to put down other races, but only intended to express that “no one likes to be in the minority,” and that America can only survive by retaining its “humane, west European culture.” Thus, he supports ending bilingualism and multiculturalism, two policies of which he has been highly critical.
On October 15, 2008, Grant said “Did you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the ‘O’ flag. [...] He had the flag painted over, and the ‘O’ for Obama. Now,…these things are symptomatic of a person who would like to be a potentate — a dictator.” The “O” flag to which Grant referred was, in fact, the state flag of Ohio.
Grant distinguished himself from other conservative talk show hosts by calling for Obama to release his long form birth certificate, prior to Obama releasing it.
Although Grant is generally known as being a conservative, he has been a critic of hard-lined conservative advocates in primary races, including the Tea Party movement’s candidates. This has been a frequent debate topic between Grant and his callers over the past few years. During the fall election of 2010, Grant criticized candidates, such as Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle. Grant endorsed Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio on a July 10, 2010 broadcast for the Florida senate primary. On a May 8, 2011 broadcast, Grant informed his audience that he supported the moderate Jon Huntsman, Jr. for the Republican nomination for president, although he would later go on to supportMitt Romney.
Influences and legacy
Being largely the innovator of his own particular talk radio style, Grant previously worked with the likes of Barry Gray and Joe Pyne. Pyne would often end each broadcast with “Straight Ahead” which is something Grant picked up, leading many to believe that Grant was the first host to frequently use that line.
Over the years, national radio talk personality Howard Stern has made differing remarks on his admiration for Grant as an early influence. Upon Stern’s arrival in New York, he cited Grant as an influence, but as Stern’s stardom rose, Grant became the subject of ridicule on Stern’s show. During Stern’s prime, he denied being influenced by Grant or having respect for him. Stern has also frequently criticized Grant for changing his act to appease management.Grant told Paul D. Colford, author of the 1996 Stern bio, Howard Stern: King of All Media, about being approached at a public appearance by Ben Stern, Howard’s father, with a teenage Howard in tow. Father introduced son to Grant and told him of Howard’s desire to go into radio. “I looked at this big, gawky kid and I said to him, ‘Just be yourself,’” Grant recalled. Stern has denied Grant’s version of the story. Soon after Grant’s firing from WABC, and before his first WOR show, Grant appeared as a call-in guest on Stern’s radio show. In more recent years, Stern began to praise Grant’s legacy, and called in on his last WOR show in 2006.
Glenn Beck now uses the catchphrase “Get off my phone!” as a spinoff of Grant’s earlier call-in talk show style, as do Tom Scharpling and Mark Levin; similarly, Sean Hannity often uses Grant’s phrase “Straight ahead.”
In 2002, industry magazine Talkers ranked Grant as the 16th greatest radio talk show host of all time.
On March 28, 2007 Bob Grant was nominated for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Radio & Records had planned to issue a Lifetime Achievement Award to Grant during its annual convention in March 2008; however, the award was revoked in January 2008 for “past comments by him that contradict our values and the respect we have for all members of our community.” Several talk radio hosts have spoken out against the decision; Neal Boortz has stated:
||I usually try not to miss the Radio & Records talk radio convention… Not this year. Maybe never again. R&R has succumbed to political correctness… I don’t call for boycotts. But I do think it would be wonderful to see talk show hosts refuse to appear at this convention… What we have seen here in this revocation of the award to Bob Grant is simple pandering to political correctness. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sean Hannity, Opie and Anthony, Comedian Jim Norton, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Lionel and Howard Stern opposed the move as well, with Levin stating “I am disgusted with the mistreatment of Bob Grant. I am fed up with the censors, intimidators, and cowards in this business.”[this quote needs a citation] Don Imus deemed the award unimportant, offered to return awards he had received after treating them to his sledgehammer and block of wood, and called Grant’s comments “stupid”, although he also referred to Grant as a “legendary broadcaster.”
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Countdown to government shutdown
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
The nonessential parts of the federal government may be shut down on Oct. 1 until Congress passes either a fiscal year 2014 budget appropriations bill or a continuing resolution.
Fiscal year 2014 begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2014. Since the Democrats want to increase government spending and taxes and the Republicans want to decrease government spending and taxes, neither party will agree to a budget appropriations bill.
Instead of a stalemate, Congress could pass a joint continuing resolution that appropriates funds for government departments, agencies and programs at current, expanded or reduced levels until a formal appropriations bill is signed into law or until the resolution expires. A continuing resolution would have to be passed by both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the president.
The House passed a continuing resolution on Sept. 20 that would fund the federal government at current levels for the first 11 weeks of the fiscal year 2014 and keep the federal government open. If this continuing resolution is not passed by the Senate, some nonessential parts of the federal government would need to be shut down.
The House resolution had two amendments. The first would strip out funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare and thereby stop its implementation. The second would direct how federal government spending is prioritized in the event the Treasury hits the borrowing debt ceiling limit in the near future.
The 230-189 vote was mainly along party lines with 228 Republicans and two Democrats voting in favor and 188 Democrats and one Republican voting against the continuing resolution.
House votes to fund federal government but defund Obamacare Credit: http://www.ktvu.com
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a victory rally after the resolution passed and remarked, “The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare. The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor put several Democratic Senators, who are up for re-election in Nov. of 2014, on the spot. Cantor called out Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina. Cantor said, “It’s up to Senate Democrats to follow House Republicans and show some responsibility.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Sept. 19, “I will do everything and anything possible to defund Obamacare.” Cruz promised to filibuster any attempt to strip out the language of the House continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare. A filibuster is the use of irregular or obstructive tactics by a Senator to prevent the adoption of a measure.
Cruz began his filibuster by saying: “I rise today in opposition to Obamacare. I rise today in an effort to speak for 26 million Texans and for 300 million Americans. All across this country Americans are suffering because of Obamacare. Obamacare isn’t working and yet fundamentally there are politicians in this body who are not listening to the people. They are not listening to the concerns of their constituents. They are not listening to the jobs lost, the people forced into part-time jobs, the people losing their health insurance, the people who are struggling. A great many Texans, a great many Americans feel that they do not have a voice. So I hope to play some very small part in helping to provide that voice for them. …I intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare. I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare, until I am unable to stand.”
Cruz delivered on his promise by standing and speaking for more than 21 hours on Sept. 23-24.
According to a Sept. 15 NBC/WSJ poll, 44 percent of respondents call Obamacare a bad idea and 31 percent believe it’s a good idea.
In a national survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on Sept. 14-15 by Rasmussen Reports, 51 percent favor a government shutdown until Congress cuts health care funding. The Rasmussen survey also found that “58 percent favor a federal budget that cuts spending, while 16 percent prefer one that increases spending. Twenty-one percent support a budget that keeps spending levels about the same.”
According to Rasmussen, “74 percent of Republican and 62 percent of unaffiliated voters would rather have a shutdown until the two sides can agree on what spending to cut,” while “63 percent of Democrats agree with the president and would prefer to avoid a shutdown by authorizing spending at existing levels.”
“Republicans are simply postponing for a few days the inevitable choice they must face: pass a clean bill to fund the government, or force a shutdown. I have said it before but it seems to bear repeating: the Senate will not pass any bill that defunds or delays Obamacare,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).
The Democrats are determined to fund Obamacare, shut down the government on Oct.1 and blame it on Republicans.
Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 4-5 p.m. Monday thru Thursday and from 3-5 p.m. Friday and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.
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Sen. Ted Cruz Delivers First Major Floor Speech Offering an Amendment to Defund Obamacare
►► Sen Ted Cruz with Greta Van Susteren on Defunding Obamacare
Shutdown Showdown – Sen Ted Cruz On Defunding Obamacare – Hannity – 9-23-2013
Palin Fires Back at Fmr. McCain Strategist, GOP Establishment for ‘Waving White Flag’ on Obamacare
Brit Hume To O’Reilly: Talk Radio Hosts Driving Republicans to Embrace ‘Suicide Missions’
LibertyNEWS TV – “ObamaCare Sound & Fury: Name-Shaming & Blame-Gaming”
The Nuclear Option: The Filibuster “Power Grab” in the Senate
Professor Michael Teter ’99 on “The Unconstitutional Senate: One Senator, One Vote, One Filibuster”
Background Articles and Videos
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – “Liberty is too Precious a thing to be buried in books”
The Greatest Speech Ever Made – Charlie Chaplin
The filibuster is a powerful parliamentary device in the United States Senate, which was strengthened in 1975  and in the past decade has come to mean that most major legislation (apart from budgets) requires a 60% vote to bring a bill or nomination to the floor for a vote. In recent years, the majority has preferred to avoid filibusters by moving to other business when a filibuster is threatened and attempts to achieve cloture have failed. Defenders call the filibuster “The Soul of the Senate.”
Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn” (usually 60 out of 100 senators) brings debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII.
According to the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Ballin (1892), changes to Senate rules could be achieved by a simple majority, but only on the first day of the session in January or March. The idea is that on this first day, the rules of the new legislative session are determined afresh, and rules do not automatically continue from one session to the next. This is called the constitutional option by proponents, and the nuclear option by opponents, who insist that rules do remain in force across sessions. Under current Senate rules, a rule change itself could be filibustered, with two-thirds of those senators present and voting (as opposed to the normal three-fifths of those sworn) needing to vote to break the filibuster. Even if a filibuster attempt is unsuccessful, the process takes floor time.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cloture (/ˈkloʊtʃər/ KLOH-chər) is a motion or process in parliamentary procedure aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. It is also called closure or, informally, a guillotine. The cloture procedure originated in the French National Assembly, from which the name is taken. Clôture is French for “ending” or “conclusion”. It was introduced into the Parliament of the United Kingdom by William Ewart Gladstone to overcome the obstruction of the Irish nationalist party and was made permanent in 1887. It was subsequently adopted by the United States Senate and other legislatures.
Politics and procedure
A similar procedure was adopted in the United States. This was invoked for the first time on November 15, 1919, during the 66th Congress, to end filibuster on the Treaty of Versailles.
The cloture rule originally required a supermajority of two-thirds of all senators “present and voting” to be considered filibuster-proof. For example, if all 100 Senators voted on a cloture motion, 67 of those votes would have to be for cloture for it to pass; however if some Senators were absent and only 80 Senators voted on a cloture motion, only 54 would have to vote in favor. However, it proved very difficult to achieve this; the Senate tried eleven times between 1927 and 1962 to invoke cloture but failed each time. Filibuster was particularly heavily used by Democratic Senators from Southern states to block civil rights legislation.
In 1975, the Democratic Senate majority, having achieved a net gain of four seats in the 1974 Senate elections to a strength of 61 (with an additional Independent caucusing with them for a total of 62), reduced the necessary supermajority to three-fifths (60 out of 100). However, as a compromise to those who were against the revision, the new rule also changed the requirement for determining the number of votes needed for a cloture motion’s passage from those Senators “present and voting” to those Senators “duly chosen and sworn”. Thus, 60 votes for cloture would be necessary regardless of whether every Senator voted. The only time a lesser number would become acceptable is when a Senate seat is vacant. (For example, if there were two vacancies in the Senate, thereby making 98 Senators “duly chosen and sworn”, it would only take 59 votes for a cloture motion to pass.)
The new version of the cloture rule, which has remained in place since 1975, makes it considerably easier for the Senate majority to invoke cloture. This has considerably strengthened the power of the majority, and allowed it to pass many bills that would otherwise have been filibustered. (The Democratic Party held a two-thirds majority in the 89th Congress of 1965, but regional divisions among Democrats meant that many filibusters were invoked by Southern Democrats against civil rights bills supported by the Northern wing of the party). Some senators wanted to reduce it to a simple majority (51 out of 100) but this was rejected, as it would greatly diminish the ability of the minority to check the majority.
The three-fifths version of the cloture rule does not apply to motions to end filibusters relating to Senate Rule changes. To invoke cloture to end debate over changing the Senate Rules, the original version of the rule (two-thirds of those Senators “present and voting”) still applies.
The procedure for “invoking cloture,” or ending a filibuster, is as follows:
- A minimum of sixteen senators must sign a petition for cloture.
- The petition may be presented by interrupting another Senator’s speech.
- The clerk reads the petition.
- The cloture petition is ignored for one full day during which the Senate is sitting. For example, if the petition is filed on Monday, it is ignored until Wednesday. (If the petition is filed on a Friday, it is ignored until Tuesday, assuming that the Senate did not sit on Saturday or Sunday.)
- On the second calendar day during which the Senate sits after the presentation of the petition, after the Senate has been sitting for one hour, a “quorum call” is undertaken to ensure that a majority of the Senators are present. However, the mandatory quorum call is often waived by unanimous consent.
- The President of the Senate or President pro tempore presents the petition.
- The Senate votes on the petition; three-fifths of the whole number of Senators (sixty with no vacancies) is the required majority; however, when cloture is invoked on a question of changing the rules of the Senate, two-thirds of the Senators voting (not necessarily two-thirds of all Senators) is the requisite majority. This is commonly referred to in the news media as a “test vote”.
After cloture has been invoked, the following restrictions apply:
- No more than thirty hours of debate may occur.
- No Senator may speak for more than one hour.
- No amendments may be moved unless they were filed on the day in between the presentation of the petition and the actual cloture vote.
- All amendments must be relevant to the debate.
- Certain procedural motions are not permissible.
- The presiding officer gains additional power in controlling debate.
- No other matters may be considered until the question upon which cloture was invoked is disposed of.
The ability to invoke cloture was last attained by a US political party in the 113th Congress, by the Democrats, in regards to the Corker-Hoeven Amendment to the 2013 Immigration Reform Bill. The previous time was in the 113th Congress during a debate on the vacancy in the position of Secretary of Defense. The previous time was in the 111th Congress, also by the Democrats, with the help of two independents.
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US President Barack Obama in ‘red line’ warning to Syria over chemical weapons”
President Obama has decided to Take Military Action on Syria – FULL Statement 8/31/2013
President Obama: I Didn’t Set The Red Line, The World Set The Red Line
Rand Paul: Islamic Rebels In Syria Won’t Be American Allies, Mistake To Get Involved
Rand Paul Grills John Kerry: Will Obama Honor Congress’ Vote or Make ‘Constitutional Theater’
Donald Rumsfeld Blasts Obama’s ‘Red Line’ He Will ‘Blame Everybody and Anybody’ But Himself
With Focus on U.S.-Led Strikes, Global Failure to Meet Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Goes Unnoticed
Syria : Chemical attack claims reignites Obama’s ‘Red Line’ intervention in Syria (Aug 21, 2013)
Syria : The Red Line has been crossed Obama to send military aid to al qaeda rebels (Jun 13, 2013)
President Obama Gets Instructed in Israel: We are following the Red Line, sir.
Glenn Beck Obama Is Going To Start World WAR 3 If They Attack Syria!
GLENN BECK SAID WORLD WAR 3 IS COMING
Rush Limbaugh Says Obama’s ‘Red Line’ Blame Shifting Puts His ‘Stability’ in Question: ‘Psycopathic’
Jon Stewart Slams Syrian Red Line, Begs Cable News ‘Idiot Parade’ to ‘Shut the F*ck Up’
Jon Stewart harnesses of Obama about the Red Line from Syria
Rush Limbaugh: Media Trying to ‘Protect’ Obama From His Own ‘Red Line’ in Syria
Michael Savage on Syria: “There’s never enough war for these sickos!”
Michael Savage Interviews Walid Shoebat – August 22, 2013 – Latest Concerns About Barack Obama
Americans Oppose US Intervention In Syria But…
Syria : The Red Line has been crossed Obama to send military aid to al qaeda rebels (Jun 13, 2013)
Panel Takes on Obama ‘Red Line’ on Syria, Bill Kristol Calls Pres ‘Irresponsible’ Not Wanting War
WW3 REPORT: ISRAEL V SYRIA. OBAMA’S RED LINE
Poll States 60% Of Americans Against U.S. Intervention In Syria
How US Media Is Pushing For War With Syria
Documentary BBC – A History of Syria (2013)
Obama’s red lines
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
President Obama has a credibility problem concerning red lines.
On Aug. 20, 2012 in a televised press conference from the White House Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.” A YouTube video titled “US President Barack Obama in ‘red line’ warning to Syria over chemical weapons” captured Obama’s statement.
On Sept. 4 in a televised press conference in Stockholm, Obama said, “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line. My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’ credibility’s on the line.” A YouTube video titled “President Obama: I Didn’t Set The Red Line, The World Set The Red Line” captured Obama’s latest statement regarding a red line.
Sen. Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) appeared on “Face The Nation” on Sept. 1 and was asked the question “How would the United States look if the president says I have decided to take military action, I want Congress to give me authority, Congress does not give that authority?”
Paul answered, “I think it would show that he made a grave mistake when he drew a red line. I think a president should be very careful about red lines he is not going to keep. But, then again, when you set a red line that was not a good idea and now you are going to adhere to it or show your machismo, I think then you are trying to save face and adding bad policy to bad policy.”
On Aug. 31, Obama announced that he would be seeking from Congress a resolution authorizing military action against the Assad regime for using chemical weapons on the Syrian people.
On Sept. 3 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Syria. Paul praised Obama for asking Congress for a resolution to use military force. However, he pressed Secretary of State John Kerry as to whether Obama would still order military action should Congress vote down the resolution.
Kerry said, “The president still has the constitutional authority and he would be in keeping with the Constitution.”
Paul replied, “I disagree. I do not believe he has the constitutional authority.” “This power is a Congressional power and it is not an executive power. They didn’t say big war or small war. They didn’t say boots on the ground or no boots on the ground. They said declare war. Ask the people on the ships launching the missiles whether they are involved with war or not. If we do not say that the Constitution applies, if we do not say explicitly we will abide by this vote, you are making a joke of us. You are making us into theater. So we are playing constitutional theater for the president. If this is real you will abide by the verdict of Congress,” Paul added. A YouTube video titled “Rand Paul Grills John Kerry: Will Obama Honor Congress’ Vote or Make ‘Constitutional Theater” captured the exchange between and Paul and Kerry.
Paul paraphrased the words of James Madison, the father of the Constitution, who wrote in a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1798, “The Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the legislature.”
Paul agrees with Madison who wrote in 1793, “The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature . . . the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.”
Obama would be well advised not to cross this constitutional red line, since in poll after poll the American people have indicated they do not want military action in Syria.
Raymond Thomas Pronk presents the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and authors the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com.
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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -116
Segment 2: The Great Divider Obama (GDO), “White African-American”, Incites Eric Holder and Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) Racist Attack Against George Zimmerman To Rally Black Voters In 2012 Presidential Campaign — Holder Should Be Impeached — Racist Racketeering And Outside Agitators and Media Show Trial and Electronic Lynching — Videos
F.B.I and U.S. Justice department Black vs White Crime statistics.
Double Standard: Black Men Named Trayvon Get Killed all the Time, But The Left Doesn’t Care
PJTV: Chicago Murder Rate Proves That Liberals Do Not Care About Gun Deaths
Trayvon Tragedy: Manufactured Racism? How NBC Edited Racism Into the George Zimmerman 911 Call
Trayvon Tragedy: Did NBC Edit the Zimmerman 911 Tape to Serve a Political Agenda?
GLENN BECK,Trial by Media – Will Zimmerman lose because of bogus media reporting?
Prosecution Witness Describes Trayvon Martin As Attacking George Zimmerman On Night Of Murder
CHICAGO HAD 500 MURDERS IN 2012
90% of the murders in Chicago are black on black gangs killing each other where’s the outrage from our so called black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson they say nothing when blacks kill other blacks this is the biggest problem
Defense Rests Case in George Zimmerman Trial
Zimmerman Trial Indicates KKK Style Racist Injustice in Courts is Still with Us, Media is Culprit
Judge Napolitano To Megyn Kelly: Zimmerman Prosecution Brought Case To Court Out Of Public Pressure
The George Zimmerman murder trial has been given wall-to-wall coverage on every cable network, but one Fox News contributor today wondered why it went to court in the first place. Megyn Kelly noted today that a lot of what the prosecution had brought out to discredit Zimmerman’s story actually ended up helping the defense, which led Judge Andrew Napolitano to say that the prosecution should have probably charged Zimmerman with a lesser crime and that the only reason they allowed the case to get this far was due to “public pressure.”
Kelly found it unbelievable that the prosecution would play Zimmerman’s interview last year with Sean Hannity, especially considering that plus other evidence they’ve brought out means they’ve gotten to show Zimmerman’s side of the story without direct cross-examination. Napolitano said this is all about trying to “demonize” Zimmerman are only showing all of Zimmerman’s interviews and comments about the night of Trayvon Martin’s death to exploit tiny changes in detail.
Kelly and Judge Alex Ferrer were both mystified at how defensive of Zimmerman the prosecution’s evidence and witnesses appear to be, especially with the Hannity interview. Ferrer called the prosecution “desperate” because they’re willing to let the jury view Zimmerman as sympathetic if it means they can catch a misstatement. He did say it might have looked bad for Zimmerman when he said to Hannity that “it all happened so fast” that he couldn’t say for sure how much danger he was in.
Napolitano argued that the whole case is very bad for the prosecution, and they never should have let it get this far to begin with.
“The prosecution has a weak case here. This is a dangerous intersection of racial politics and the law, where the racial politics [are] not animating this prosecution. The prosecutor should be free to say, ‘You know what? This is not a second-degree murder case, our witnesses are weak, they’re going to help the defense as well as they’re going to help us. We should charge him with a much lesser crime, and we have a better chance of convicting, or we should not charge him with anything.’ They’re not stupid. They know they have a weak case and they’re putting it out anyway because of the public pressure to prosecute this guy.”
Do defense witnesses help Zimmerman’s case?
George Zimmerman Trial is Over case dismissed!
George Zimmerman Is Not Racist: “Cut Him Loose”
Trayvon Martin Case – President Obama Weighs In: ‘If I Had a Son, He’d Look Like Trayvon’
Trayvon Tragedy: Race Hustling Left Using Death to Inflate Hate
The mainstream media is determined to use the Trayvon Martin tragedy to push its agenda of racial division. Political insider Matthew Dowd even went so far as to implicate Christianity in the death of Trayvon. Some are even referring to the shooter George Zimmerman as a “white hispanic.” Is the left determined to pit the entire nation against itself? Find out.
‘Gold Teeth’: Zimmerman Defense Releases Photos To ‘Create Doubt’ About Trayvon Martin
Fox News Mocks Media’s ‘Overkill’ Coverage Of Zimmerman Trial: ‘So Clearly Sad He Might Get Off
Behind the photos of the Trayvon Martin case
Trayvon Martin 7-Eleven Surveillance Video (FULL)
They are Going to Lynch George Zimmerman
Trayvon Martin: Son of Satan’s Son
Attorney General Eric Holder comments on Trayvon Martin Investigation
Mark Levin justifiably implies Judge Debra Nelson looks like a man
FBI Report: George Zimmerman NOT Racially Motivated in Trayvon Martin Shooting – 7-13-12
Michael Savage – Attorney General Praises Street Agitator Al Sharpton, As His Friend, Ally
George Zimmerman is 100% innocent and I have the key: Trayvon Martin attacked Him
Ex-Sanford Police Chief Tells CNN He Was Fired For Not Arresting Zimmerman
Trayvon Martin rally draws thousands in call for arrest
Bill Lee: Disgraced, Fired, Former Sanford Police Chief Testifies in Zimmerman Trial
‘Gold Teeth’: Zimmerman Defense Releases Photos To ‘Create Doubt’ About Trayvon Martin
Zimmerman Trial Trayvon Martin Greta Van Susteren The Five
Fox Guests: Zimmerman Witness ‘Devastating For Prosecution,’ ‘Dealt MASSIVE Blow To State’s Case
Rush Limbaugh Calls The Five: Praises Fox News, Argues with Bob Beckel, Slams Media Over Zimmerman
Glenn Beck: The George Zimmerman Trial
Judge Confronts Zimmerman
GLENN BECK,Struggles continue for prosecution in George Zimmerman trial
White Hispanic viciously beaten by gang of African Americans
BLACKS COMMITING HATE CRIMES: Attack on CAPA teacher caught by surveillance cameras
Death Wish 3 scene Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson Vs Denzel Washington in Film Debut – Death Wish
Death Wish III (1985) (FULL MOVIE)
Death Wish IV The Crackdown (1987) (FULL MOVIE)
Jurors Start Deliberating George Zimmerman Case
A jury began deliberating George Zimmerman’s fate Friday after hearing dueling portraits of the neighborhood watch captain: a wannabe cop who took the law into his own hands or a well-meaning volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin because he feared for his life.
Before the jury got the case, Zimmerman’s lawyers put a concrete slab and two life-size cardboard cutouts in front of the jury box in one last attempt to convince the panel Zimmerman shot the unarmed 17-year-old Martin in self-defense.
Attorney Mark O’Mara used the slab to make the point that it could be used as a weapon. He showed cutouts of Zimmerman and Martin to demonstrate that the teenager was considerably taller and he displayed a computer-animated depiction of the fight based on Zimmerman’s account.
He said prosecutors hadn’t met their burden of proving Zimmerman’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, he said, the murder case was built on “could’ve beens” and “maybes.”
“If it hasn’t been proven, it’s just not there,” O’Mara said. “You can’t fill in the gaps. You can’t connect the dots. You’re not allowed to.”
In a rebuttal, prosecutor John Guy accused Zimmerman of telling “so many lies.” He said Martin’s last emotion was one of fear as Zimmerman followed him in a neighborhood of townhomes on a rainy night Feb. 26, 2012.
“Isn’t that every child’s worst nightmare, to be followed on the way home in the dark by a stranger?” Guy said. “Isn’t that every child’s worst fear?”
One juror, a young woman, appeared to wipe away a tear as Guy said nothing would ever bring back Martin.
The sequestered jury of six women will have to sort through a lot conflicting testimony from police, neighbors, friends and family members. Witnesses gave differing accounts of who was on top during the struggle, and Martin’s parents and Zimmerman’s parents both claimed that the voice heard screaming for help in the background of a 911 call was their son’s.
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, but the jury will also be allowed to consider manslaughter. Under Florida’s laws involving gun crimes, manslaughter could end up carrying a penalty as heavy as the one for second-degree murder: life in prison.
Allowing the jurors to consider manslaughter could give those who aren’t convinced the shooting amounted to murder a way to hold Zimmerman responsible for the death of the unarmed teen.
To get a manslaughter conviction, prosecutors must show only that Zimmerman killed without lawful justification.
O’Mara dismissed the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman was a “crazy guy” patrolling his townhouse complex and “looking for people to harass” when he saw Martin. O’Mara also disputed prosecutors’ claim that Zimmerman snapped when he saw Martin because there had been a rash of break-ins in the neighborhood, mostly by young black men.
The defense attorney said Zimmerman at no point showed ill will, hate or spite during his confrontation with Martin _ which is what prosecutors must prove for second-degree murder.
“That presumption isn’t based on any fact whatsoever,” O’Mara said.
In contrast, prosecutors argued Zimmerman showed ill will when he whispered profanities to a police dispatcher over his cellphone while following Martin through the neighborhood. They said Zimmerman “profiled” the teenager as a criminal.
Guy said Zimmerman violated the cornerstone of neighborhood watch volunteer programs, which is to observe and report, not follow a suspect.
Zimmerman’s account of how he grabbed his gun from his holster at his waist as Martin straddled him is physically impossible, Guy said.
“The defendant didn’t shoot Trayvon Martin because he had to, he shot him because he wanted to,” Guy said. “That’s the bottom line.”
But to invoke self-defense, Zimmerman only had to believe he was facing great bodily harm, his attorney said. He asked jurors not to let their sympathies for Martin’s parents interfere with their decision.
“It is a tragedy, truly,” O’Mara said. “But you can’t allow sympathy.”
With the verdict drawing near, police and city leaders in Sanford and other parts of Florida said they have taken precautions for the possibility of mass protests or even civil unrest if Zimmerman, whose father is white and whose mother is Hispanic, is acquitted.
There were big protests in Sanford and other cities across the country last year when authorities waited 44 days before arresting Zimmerman.
Guy told the jury the case wasn’t about race.
“It’s about right and wrong,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
Judge In Zimmerman Case Pressured by Obama Administration?
Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Speculation is raging that the judge in the George Zimmerman case could have been put under pressure by the Obama administration after she staged a bizarre outburst during which she interrogated Zimmerman while repeatedly silencing his lawyers.
The hostile exchange began when Judge Debra Nelson asked Zimmerman if he planned to testify.
Essentially, Judge Nelson told Zimmerman he had the “absolute right to remain silent” but then proceeded to demand he answer her questions interrogation-style while silencing his lawyers.
Defense attorney Don West twice objected to Nelson’s interrogation, prompting the judge to raised her voice and exclaim, “Your objection is overruled!” in a manner more befitting of an angry parent lecturing a child than a legal professional.
Both of Zimmerman’s lawyers appeared shocked as attorney Mark O’Mara asked under his breath, “what is going on?”
Several legal experts and observers said the outburst was unprecedented.
“I have never seen that in more than 30 years of court reporting,” tweeted journalist Kathi Belich.
Former Senatorial candidate Richard Rivette also expressed his shock at the judge’s behavior.
“This judge is an idiot. I spent five years investigating high profile capital cases defending people from the death penalty, and worked for the Federal judiciary as an independent investigator on other cases. No judge ever inquires as to whether a defendant will testify until the entire defense case is presented. If the defense rests and does not call the defendant then the judge knows there will be no testimony. If the defense calls the defendant then that’s when the judge finds out. They have to get through the entire case first. To see if it is valid after prosecution cross-examines their witnesses and experts as to whether a defendant SHOULD testify, which is decided in private not in public, and NOT on the record. By doing this, the judge has undermined a portion of Zimmerman’s credibility. He looks like he is waffling and this is normal judge/defendant questioning, which it is NOT,” said Rivette.
Respondents to the story at the National Review Online also expressed their view that Zimmerman was being railroaded.
“A fix is in from the administration to find Zimmerman guilty regardless of what it takes,” commented one.
“By demanding that Zimmerman respond to a question, after she has assured him that he has the right to remain silent, she is undermining his right to remain silent and making it appear as though he and his attorneys are not firm in their convictions. This judge is shameless,” added another.
Judge Nelson also ruled this week that Trayvon Martin’s text messages, which showed that Martin had been involved in fights before and was trying to buy or sell a gun, cannot be shown to the jury, which some suggested was another indication of an anti-Zimmerman bias.
Nelson also granted a request by prosecutors to block the defense’s attempt to show the jury a computer-animated depiction of the fight between Martin and Zimmerman.
She is also likely to allow the jury to consider lesser charges against Zimmerman in light of the prosecution’s probable failure to prove its case for second-degree murder, another indication that the state is desperate to avoid him walking free.
Judge Nelson has been very careful at every stage of the trial to dismiss evidence or testimony that could convince the jury in favor of acquitting Zimmerman.
Now some are asking the question – did Nelson’s aggressive outburst represent an attempt to prejudice the jury against Zimmerman?
Given the likelihood that Zimmerman will be acquitted, has Judge Nelson been put under pressure by the federal government to aggressively advocate for the prosecution, just as Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was apparently pressured to vote to uphold Obamacare?
Ever since President Barack Obama personally inserted himself into the controversy by declaring Trayvon Martin to be akin to the son he never had, higher-ups have constantly meddled in the case in an effort to secure a murder charge for a scenario that Zimmerman would not normally have even been arrested for under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Indeed, ex-Sanford police chief Bill Lee told CNN yesterday that “he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice,” and that his investigation “provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene.”
It also emerged this week that the federal government encouraged and funded last year’s protests demanding the arrest of Zimmerman via the Community Relations Service, a division of the Department of Justice. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the CRS was “deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman,” spending millions of dollars in the process.
Given the plethora of threats by Trayvon supporters to stage violent riots if Zimmerman is acquitted, could Nelson be under pressure to secure a charge of at least manslaughter in order to avoid nationwide civil disorder?
If that’s the case, her apparent effort to prejudice the jury clearly suggests that a mistrial has taken place.
Judge Rules Jury Can Consider Manslaughter Charge In Zimmerman Trial
A judge said Thursday that jurors in the George Zimmerman case can consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, but she denied a request for the jury also to consider third-degree murder after a defense attorney called the proposal “outrageous.”
Prosecutor Richard Mantei argued that instructions for third-degree murder should be included on the premise that Zimmerman committed child abuse when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because Martin was underage.
But defense attorney Don West called the proposed instruction “a trick,” and he accused the prosecutor of springing it on the defense at the last minute.
“Just when I didn’t think this case could get any more bizarre, the state is alleging child abuse?” West said. “This is outrageous. It’s outrageous the state would seek to do this at this time.”
West questioned how Zimmerman could be charged with child abuse while Martin was on top of Zimmerman “pummeling him.”
Judge Debra Nelson denied the third-degree murder instruction, saying she was exercising caution since she was unsure if prosecutors could prove intent.
“I just don’t think the evidence supports that,” Nelson said.
The judge, however, agreed with the prosecution that jurors could consider manslaughter as a lesser charge.
West said he wanted the six jurors to only consider the second-degree murder charge or not guilty.
“The state has charged him with second degree murder. They should be required to prove it,” West said. “If they had wanted to charge him with manslaughter … they could do that.”
Jurors could begin deliberating as early as Friday. Prosecutors were expected to give closing arguments Thursday afternoon, followed by the defense closing on Friday morning.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. On the night of the fatal scuffle in February 2012, Martin was visiting his father and his father’s fiancee at the same townhome complex whereZimmerman lived.
Zimmerman observed Martin while driving in his neighborhood, called police and the fight ensued after the neighborhood watch volunteer got out of his vehicle. Zimmerman claims Martin was slamming his head into the concrete pavement when he fired his gun.
Some civil rights activists argued that a delay in charging Zimmerman was influenced by Martin’s race, and protests were held around the nation in the 44 days between the fatal fight and Zimmerman’s arrest. Martin was black and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
DOJ sends secret “peacekeepers” where Trayvon Martin was killed
Last Updated: July 10, 2013
Judicial Watch, Inc. on April 24, 2012 launched an investigation into the Trayvon Martin case based on reports that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had sent a secret team of “peacekeepers” to Sanflord, Florida, where Martin was shot on February 26, 2012 after wandering in a gated community after dark. George Zimmerman, a resident of the community and its neighborhood watch captain, is currently on trial for Martin’s death though he maintains he acted in self-defense.
Records obtained by Judicial Watch in response to local, state and federal public records requests show that the so-called peacekeepers are part of a large and growing division within DOJ called the Community Relations Service (CRS). Though CRS purports to spot and quell racial tensions nationwide before they arise, the documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the group actively worked to foment unrest, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on travel and hotel rooms to train protestors throughout Florida. The peacekeepers also met with officials of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for several months later in Tampa, to warn them to expect protests in connection with Martin’s death.
- CRS employee spent $1,142.84 to travel to Sanford, Florida from March 25-28, 2012 “to work marches, demonstrations, and rallies”;
- CRS employee spent $751.60 to travel to Sanford, Florida from March 30-April 1, 2012 “to provide technical assistance to the City of Sanford, event organizers, and law enforcement agencies for the march and rally on March 31”;
- CRS employee spent $1,307.40 to travel to Sanford, Florida from April 3-12, 2012 “to provide technical assistance, conciliation, and onsite mediation during demonstrations planned in Sanford”;
- CRS employee spent $672.24 to travel to Tampa, Florida from April 18-20, 2012 “to meet with RNC official related to possible protests and demonstrations during the RNC”
In response to a Florida Sunshine Law request to the City of Sanford, Judicial Watch also obtained an audio recording of a “community meeting” held at Second Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford on April 19, 2012. The meeting, which opens with a gospel hymn and organ music, is reported to have led to the official ouster of Sanford’s Police Chief Bill Lee. A week earlier, a group calling themselves the “Dream Defenders” had barricaded the entrance to the police department demanding he be fired for failing to file murder charges against Zimmerman. The church meeting produced a nine-point plan, the main demand being the firing of Chief Lee.
Ex-Sanford police chief: Zimmerman probe ‘taken away from us’
By Eliott C. McLaughlin
The George Zimmerman investigation was hijacked “in a number of ways” by outside forces, said the former police chief of Sanford, Florida.
Bill Lee, who testified Monday in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial, told CNN’s George Howell in an exclusive interview that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.
“It was (relayed) to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later,” he said. “You don’t do that.”
When Sanford police arrived on the scene on February 26, 2012, after Zimmerman fatally shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, they conducted a “sound” investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene, he said.
It had nothing to do with Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, he said; from an investigative standpoint, it was purely a matter of self-defense.
Zimmerman told police he killed Martin after the teen attacked him. While the evidence at the time corroborated that claim, the ex-chief said, Lee’s lead investigator made a recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter.
Justice Dept. ‘peacekeepers’ worked ‘Trayvon’ rallies, group claims
It was a matter of protocol, Lee said. Arresting Zimmerman based on the evidence at hand would have been a violation of Zimmerman’s Fourth Amendment rights, he said. Thus, the Sanford police presented a “capias request” to the state’s attorney, asking that the prosecutor determine whether it was a “justifiable homicide,” issue a warrant for arrest or present the case to a grand jury.
“The police department needed to do a job, and there was some influence — outside influence and inside influence — that forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process,” Lee said. “With all the influence and the protests and petitions for an arrest, you still have to uphold your oath.”
“That investigation was taken away from us. We weren’t able to complete it,” he said.
One example involved the 911 tapes, in which neighbors implored dispatchers to send police as a voice in the background screamed for help.
The Sanford police intended to release the tapes once the probe was over, Lee said, because you can’t publicize evidence amid an investigation.
Instead, the mayor told him on March 16 the tapes had been released to Martin’s family and the public. The family was asked to help identify voices, Lee said, but if police were in charge of the investigation, they wouldn’t have presented evidence to a group.
“It should be done individually so there’s no influence on the other people in the room,” he said. “Then, there’s no questions that can be brought up about how (an identification) was obtained or whether it was influenced.”
I’m happy that at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity.
Ex-Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee
Releasing the evidence to the public was problematic, as well, because it created the potential for someone to concoct a “story about what they observed when they really didn’t observe it,” he said.
Martin family attorney Jasmine Rand said she doesn’t believe playing the tapes to a room full of people “makes any difference to the outcome of the case.”
“We have to remember that that was played for the family in a private room because they were hearing the last moments of their son’s life as he cried for help,” Rand told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday night. “And I think Sybrina Fulton (Martin’s mother) got up and walked out of that room. She didn’t sit in there and talk to everybody, because she had a visceral reaction when she heard her son yell for help and she couldn’t help him because she knew he was dead.”
Lee was placed on paid leave March 22, 2012, after the Sanford City Commission expressed a lack of confidence in him. The same commission rejected his resignation in a 3-2 vote a month later, with dissenting commissioners questioning the fairness of Lee’s losing his job.
Two months later, Lee was sacked. City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a news release, “The police chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community.”
Lee believes lack of confidence did play a role in his dismissal, he told CNN, but he also believes Bonaparte faced political pressure and terminated him “without cause,” which was permitted under his employment contract.
“I upheld my oath,” Lee said. “I’m happy that at the end of the day I can walk away with my integrity.”
Asked whether he would do things differently given the opportunity, the 30-year veteran of law enforcement said there always are things he could change in hindsight, but he stands by the investigation.
At every turn in the 40-minute interview with CNN’s Howell, Lee doggedly defended his investigators, saying race never played a role in any decision and that his officers “conducted an unbiased review.”
Investigators knew letting Zimmerman walk free for 46 days was an unpopular decision — and they took abuse for it — “but they performed professionally. That’s the mark of a strong police department.”
Lee took issue with the media casting his department as apathetic or lackadaisical in the case.
“A lot of the information that was given out as fact was misinformation,” he said. “It was reported in some media that we didn’t conduct an investigation for two weeks, but yet in that same media they would show a photograph of a crime scene with crime scene tape, with patrol cars and blue lights and investigators on the scene.”
Lee shrugged off the notion that he was hired to clean up racism and other problems in the department. His goal upon becoming chief was to improve professionalism and trust, and he set several goals, all of which were met during his 10-month tenure, he said.
One of his greatest regrets, he said, is that the Zimmerman investigation ultimately shattered his childhood dream to be police chief of the community where he was raised.
“It’s a dream of a vision that is going to be unrealized,” he said. “I’m at peace with it on most days. I’m a man of faith. But it stings.
Shooting of Trayvon Martin
The fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman took place on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. Zimmerman is currently on trial for second-degree murder in the case.
Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old African American high school student. George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old multi-racial Hispanic American,[Note 1] was the neighborhood watch coordinator for the gated community where Martin was temporarily staying and where the shooting took place.
Statements given by Zimmerman have indicated that on the night of the shooting Zimmerman was in his vehicle on a personal errand when he noticed Martin walking beyond the gated fence inside the community. Statements then read that Zimmerman then called the Sanford Police Department to report Martin’s behavior as suspicious, stating “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about” and “looking at all the houses”, although according to a police report, there was “no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter”. While still on the phone with the police dispatcher, Zimmerman exited his vehicle, and after concluding his telephone call with police was involved in a violent encounter with Martin. The encounter ended with Zimmerman fatally shooting Martin once in the heart at close range.
When police arrived on the scene, Zimmerman stated that Martin had attacked him and that he had shot Martin in self-defense using a weapon Zimmerman had on him, loaded with a hollow-point bullet already in the gun’s chamber. Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose and from two vertical lacerations on the back of his head. EMTs treated Zimmerman at the scene, after which he was taken to the Sanford Police Department. Zimmerman was detained and questioned for approximately five hours. He was then released without being charged. At the time, police said they found no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.
The circumstances of Martin’s death, including the fact that he was unarmed, and the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman received national and international attention and scrutiny. Allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct, along with intense media reporting that was sometimes inaccurate, contributed to public demands for Zimmerman’s arrest. Questions were also raised about Florida’s stand-your-ground law. On March 22, 2012, a Special Prosecutor, Angela Corey, was appointed to take over the investigation. On April 11, 2012, the Special Prosecutor filed a charge of murder in the second degree against Zimmerman, who then turned himself in and was placed in custody. The prosecution’s account of what they allege happened on the night of the shooting is largely contained in the Affidavit of Probable Cause. Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to the charge and is out on a $1 million bond while awaiting the results of the trial.
Zimmerman’s trial began on June 10 in Sanford, Florida. He had requested a “stand your ground” hearing, but in March 2013, his defense elected to bypass the hearing so that his case would be tried before a jury.
arties involved in the case
|Trayvon Benjamin Martin
Trayvon Martin in an undated photo
BornFebruary 5, 1995
Florida, U.S.DiedFebruary 26, 2012 (aged 17)
Sanford, Florida, U.S.Cause of deathSingle gunshot fired at intermediate range (1-18 inches)EthnicityAfrican AmericanHeight5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[Note 2]Weight158 pounds (72 kg)[Note 2]
Trayvon Benjamin Martin (February 5, 1995 – February 26, 2012) was the son of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, who were divorced in 1999. He was a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School and lived with his mother and older brother in Miami Gardens, Florida.
On the day Martin was fatally shot, he and his father were visiting his father’s fiancée and her son at her townhome in The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred. Martin had visited his father’s fiancée at Twin Lakes several times.
Martin had been suspended from school at the time of his death, his third disciplinary suspension of the year. One suspension was for tardiness. Another suspension was for graffiti, when Martin was observed by a security camera in a restricted area of the school marking up a door with “W.T.F.” When he was later searched by a Miami-Dade School Police Department officer, looking for the graffiti marker, the officer found several pieces of women’s jewelry in his backpack, which Martin said were not his, stating a friend had given them to him. A screwdriver was also found, which was described by the school police investigator as a burglary tool. The jewelry was impounded and given to the police, but no evidence ever surfaced to indicate that the jewelry was stolen. Martin’s third suspension involved a marijuana pipe, and an empty bag containing marijuana residue. Martin was not charged with any crime related to these incidents and did not have a juvenile record. Judge Nelson ruled that the defense may have access to Martin’s records, including the details of these suspensions, as well as access to Martin’s social media sites, but ruled they will not be admissible as evidence during the trial unless they can be shown to be relevant.
Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said the parents had never heard about the bag of jewelry and that it was completely irrelevant to what happened on February 26. Martin’s parents and their attorneys also said the defense’s request for school records and social media was a “fishing expedition” aimed at attacking their son and an attempt to assassinate his character.
|George Michael Zimmerman
George Zimmerman mugshot
BornOctober 5, 1983 (age 29)
Manassas, VirginiaEthnicityLatino/CaucasianHeight5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)Weight185 pounds (84 kg)[Note 3]Criminal chargeSecond-degree murderCriminal statusOn trial
George Michael Zimmerman was born on October 5, 1983, in Manassas, Virginia, and is the son of Gladys (née Mesa) Zimmerman, who was born in Peru, and Robert Zimmerman, Sr., a retired Virginia magistrate. He was raised Catholic, in a family that his father has described as “multiracial;” his father is a white American of German descent and his mother is Peruvian with some black ancestry through her Afro-Peruvian maternal grandfather.[Note 1] Zimmerman’s voter registration record lists him as Hispanic and a registered Democrat.
Zimmerman’s height is reportedly 5′7″ (1.70 m); and his weight is recorded as being 185 lb (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information dated April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest. Zimmerman’s height is shown as 5′8″ (1.73 m); and his weight at 200 lb (91 kg) on the Sanford Police Department Offense Report for February 26, 2012, the night of the shooting.
In 2009, Zimmerman had moved with his wife to The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, a multi-ethnic gated community, where the shooting occurred. At the time of the shooting, he was employed as an insurance underwriter and was in his final semester at Seminole State College for an associate degree in Criminal Justice. In one of his interviews with police he stated his goal was to become a judge.
In 2005, Zimmerman was charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, after shoving an officer while a friend of Zimmerman’s was being questioned about underage drinking. The charges were reduced, then dropped when Zimmerman entered a pre-trial diversion program. Also in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiance filed a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman requested a reciprocal restraining order. Both orders were granted. The incidents were raised by prosecutors at Zimmerman’s initial bond hearing. The judge described the incidents as “run of the mill” and “somewhat mild” and rejected the prosecution’s claim that the incidents demonstrated that Zimmerman was violent or a threat to the community.
Sanford Police Department
Bill Lee had been chief of the Sanford Police Department for ten months when the shooting occurred. Prior to Lee becoming chief, the department had been accused of protecting relatives of police officers involved in violent incidents with blacks, and the Martin case increased distrust between the police and Sanford’s black community.
On March 22, Chief Lee temporarily stepped down from his position due to public criticism over his handling of the Trayvon Martin shooting. In April, the Sanford City Commission refused to accept Lee’s resignation and stated that “Lee’s spotless record showed there needed to be further review to determine if he failed in his duties.” Lee was fired on June 20, 2012 by Sanford City Manager Norton Bonaparte. Lee responded by saying “I continue to stand by the work performed by the Sanford Police Department in this tragic shooting, which has been plagued by misrepresentations and false statements for interests other than justice.”
On June 26, 2012, the lead investigator of the case, Christopher Serino, was transferred out of the Sanford Police Department’s investigative unit and reassigned to the patrol division at his own request. Serino said he felt pressured by several of his fellow police officers to press charges on Zimmerman when he believed there was not enough evidence to do so, and that one of the officers pressuring him was friendly with Martin’s father.
In September 2012, Orlando TV station WFTV released a memo from the interim police chief Richard Myers blaming the police department spokesman, Sgt. David Morgenstern, for mishandling the Travyon Martin case and removed him from his spokesperson position.
Martin family attorneys
Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing the interests of the Martin family, operates a law firm in Tallahassee, Florida, with his partner Daryl Parks. The firm has eight lawyers who focus on wrongful death, malpractice, personal injury and civil rights. In 2006, Crump sued to have the video released in the case of Martin Anderson, a teenager who died at a boot camp run by the Bay County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office. The Martin family is also represented by Natalie Jackson, an Orlando civil rights attorney.
Background of the shooting
The Retreat at Twin Lakes, north entrance
The Retreat at Twin Lakes is a 260-unit gated townhome community in Sanford, Florida. The population in the development at the time of the shooting, was about 49% non-Hispanic white, 23% Hispanic(of any race), 20% black, and 5% Asian, according to Census figures. Both George Zimmerman and Tracy Martin’s fiancee were renting homes in the development when the shooting occurred. At the time of the shooting, Martin had been staying with his father’s fiancee at The Retreat.
From January 1, 2011 through February 26, 2012, police were called to The Retreat at Twin Lakes 402 times. During the 18 months preceding the February 26 shooting, Zimmerman called the non-emergency police line seven times. On five of those calls, Zimmerman reported suspicious looking men in the area, but never offered the men’s race without first being asked by the dispatcher. Crimes committed at The Retreat in the year prior to Martin’s death included eight burglaries, nine thefts, and one shooting. Twin Lakes residents said there were dozens of reports of attempted break-ins, which had created an atmosphere of fear in their neighborhood.
In September 2011, the Twin Lakes residents held an organizational meeting to create a neighborhood watch program. Zimmerman was selected by neighbors as the program’s coordinator, according to Wendy Dorival, Neighborhood Watch organizer for the Sanford Police Department.
Three weeks prior to the shooting, on February 2, 2012, Zimmerman called police to report a young man peering into the windows of an empty Twin Lakes home. Zimmerman was told a police car was on the way and he waited for their arrival. By the time police arrived, the suspect had fled. On February 6, workers witnessed two young black men lingering in the yard of a Twin Lakes resident around the same time her home was burglarized. A new laptop and some gold jewelry were stolen. The next day police discovered the stolen laptop in the backpack of a young black man, which led to his arrest. Zimmerman identified this young man as the same person he had spotted peering into windows on February 2.
Zimmerman had been licensed to carry a firearm since November 2009. In response to Zimmerman’s multiple reports regarding a loose pit bull in the Twin Lakes neighborhood, a Seminole County Animal Services officer advised Zimmerman to “get a gun”, according to a friend, rather than rely on pepper spray to fend off the pit bull, which on one occasion had cornered his wife. Although neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry weapons, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee acknowledged that Zimmerman had a legal right to carry his firearm on the night of the shooting.
Shooting and investigation
Main article: Timeline of the shooting of Trayvon Martin
On the evening of February 26, 2012, Zimmerman observed Martin as he returned to the Twin Lakes housing community after having walked to a nearby convenience store. At the time, Zimmerman was driving through the neighborhood on a personal errand.
Zimmerman call to police
7:09:34 PM, February 26, 2012
|Problems playing this file? See media help.
At approximately 7:09 PM,[Note 4] Zimmerman called the Sanford police non-emergency number to report what he considered a suspicious person in the Twin Lakes community. Zimmerman stated, “We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy.” He described an unknown male “just walking around looking about” in the rain and said, “This guy looks like he is up to no good or he is on drugs or something.” Zimmerman reported that the person had his hand in his waistband and was walking around looking at homes. On the recording, Zimmerman is heard saying, “these assholes, they always get away.”
About two minutes into the call, Zimmerman said, “he’s running.” The dispatcher asked, “He’s running? Which way is he running?” The sound of a car door chime is heard, indicating Zimmerman opened his car door. Zimmerman followed Martin, eventually losing sight of him. The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, “yeah,” the dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman responded, “Okay.” Zimmerman asked that police call him upon their arrival so he could provide his location. Zimmerman ended the call at 7:15 p.m.
After Zimmerman ended his call with police, a violent encounter took place between Martin and Zimmerman, which ended when Zimmerman fatally shot Martin 70 yards (64 m) from the rear door of the townhouse where Martin was staying.[Note 5]
|[show]Full transcript of Zimmerman’s call to SPD non-emergency number
Sanford Police Investigation
Police officer Timothy Smith arrived at the scene at approximately 7:17 PM. He reported finding Zimmerman standing near Martin, who was lying face down in the grass and unresponsive. At that time, Zimmerman stated to Smith that he had shot Martin and was still armed. Smith handcuffed Zimmerman and removed his weapon from him. Smith observed that Zimmerman’s back was wet and covered with grass and he was bleeding from the nose and the back of his head.
Ricardo Ayala, the second officer to arrive that night, noticed Officer Smith had Zimmerman in custody, then observed Martin lying face down in the grass and attempted to get a response from him. At this time, Sgt. Anthony Raimondo arrived and together with Ayala began CPR. Paramedics from Sanford Fire and Rescue arrived and continued CPR, finally declaring Martin dead at 7:30 PM.
Other officers who had arrived by this time secured the area and made contact with neighbors in the area and obtained statements from witnesses at the scene. They did not realize Zimmerman had been in a vehicle, however, so it was moved before they could seize it. Zimmerman was treated and released by paramedics while still at the scene of the incident. After placing Zimmerman in his police vehicle, Officer Smith heard Zimmerman say, “I was yelling for someone to help me, but no one would help me.” Zimmerman was then transported to the Sanford Police Department where he was questioned by investigators for approximately five hours. The police determined that Zimmerman yelled for help at least 14 times in a 38 second span. The question of who was calling for help has been disputed since then by others and remains inconclusive. (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls)
Martin’s body was taken to the morgue, where he was tagged as a John Doe as he was not carrying any identification. Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, called to file a Missing Persons report early on February 27 and police officers arrived at his fiancée’s condo with photographs of his dead son about 9:20 am.
George Zimmerman with a bloody, swollen nose in the back seat of a police car on the night of the shooting.
The back of Zimmerman’s head at the police station.
Zimmerman was handcuffed at the scene of the shooting and taken to the Sanford police station for questioning, arriving there at 7:52 p.m. according to a police video. His gun, a black Kel-Tec PF-9 9mm semi-automatic pistol, taken from him by Officer Smith at the scene, was placed into evidence.
Zimmerman was interviewed by Investigator D. Singleton and by Detective Chris Serino on the night of the shooting. He also underwent voice stress analysis, a type of lie detector test, on the night of the shooting. Crime Scene Tech D. Smith photographed his injuries and hands and collected gun shot residue. Zimmerman’s clothes were taken as evidence after his wife arrived with a change of clothes. The day after the shooting, Zimmerman performed a videotaped reenactment of the incident for police.
Zimmerman was not given a drug or alcohol test. Peter Bella, a retired Chicago Police forensic investigator, told The Washington Times, “Except for DUIs, police cannot test suspects for drugs or alcohol, unless the accused demands or consents to it, or they get a warrant”. The police did not suspect that Zimmerman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he was never asked to take such a test.
The Martin family alleged that Seminole County Attorney Wolfinger met personally with Sanford Chief Lee on the night of the shooting and instructed Lee not to make an arrest. Based on their accusation, the Martin family requested that the Justice Department investigate the State prosecutor’s office. Wolfinger responded that the accusations were “outright lies” and denied that any such meeting or communication took place. Wolfinger’s office reported that the Sanford police consulted with Kelly Jo Hines, the prosecutor on call the night of the shooting, but it has not been disclosed what was talked about.
On March 12, 2012, Police Chief Lee turned the investigation over to the State Attorney’s office for review. Lee said there was not enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman. “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.” In response to criticisms of the investigation, Lee responded that “We are taking a beating over this” and defended the investigation. “This is all very unsettling. I’m sure if George Zimmerman had the opportunity to relive Sunday, February 26, he’d probably do things differently. I’m sure Trayvon would, too.”
On March 13, 2012, Chris Serino sent a capias request to the state’s attorney recommending charges of negligent manslaughter against Zimmerman, though Serino maintains he did not believe they had the evidence to support those charges and that manslaughter was only included in the capias in order for the prosecutor’s office to continue with their own investigation. The capias states, “the encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin was ultimately avoidable by Zimmerman, if Zimmerman had remained in his vehicle and waited the arrival of law enforcement or conversely if he had identified himself to Martin as a concerned citizen and initiated dialog in an effort to dispel each party’s concern”. “There is no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any criminal activity at the time of the encounter.” The State Attorney’s office initially determined there was insufficient evidence to charge Zimmerman and did not file charges based on the capias request.
On March 16, Serino told the Orlando Sentinel that his investigation had turned up no reliable evidence that cast doubt on Zimmerman’s account, that he had acted in self-defense. “The best evidence we have is the testimony of George Zimmerman, and he says the decedent was the primary aggressor in the whole event, everything I have is adding up to what he says.”
On March 20, 2012, State attorney Norm Wolfinger announced that a Seminole County grand jury would be convened on April 10 to investigate the death of Martin. However, after State Attorney Angela Corey was assigned to the case by Florida Governor Rick Scott on March 22, she decided that her office would decide whether to press charges. “I always lean towards moving forward without needing the grand jury in a case like this, I foresee us being able to make a decision, and move on it on our own.”
Governor Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the shooting and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi confirmed that the FDLE was involved and stated “no stone will be left unturned in this investigation.”
On March 20, 2012, the Justice Department announced that it was opening investigations into the incident. The FBI opened a parallel investigation into whether Martin’s civil rights were violated, interviewed witnesses, and looked into Zimmerman’s background.
On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s race, but instead on Martin’s attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him and his co-workers were complimentary of him.
Serino also told the FBI that he had felt pressure from three officers within the department to charge Zimmerman although he “did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges”, and accused one of these officers of being friendly with Martin’s father. He also expressed concern to the FBI about possible leaks of evidence to the media from within the department.
Martin’s autopsy report
The Volusia County medical examiner found that Martin was killed by an injury resulting from a single gunshot to the chest, fired at “intermediate range,” between 1 and 18 inches according to a forensic expert.[Note 6] An FDLE analysis of Martin’s body and clothes described the distance as “a contact shot”. The autopsy also found that Martin had one small abrasion on his left ring finger below the knuckle. No other injuries were found on Martin’s body at the time of his death. Physicians who reviewed the official autopsy report for the Orlando Sentinel, stated in their opinion that Martin lived from 20 seconds to several minutes after he was shot, and that Martin likely remained conscious “for a time anyway.”
The autopsy report stated that Martin had trace levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his blood and urine. The toxicology report found the levels to be 1.5 nanograms/ml of THC and 7.3 nanograms/ml of THC-COOH, a metabolite of THC that can stay in the system for weeks after cannabis has been smoked. Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science, stated that the THC amount was so low that it may have been ingested days earlier and played no role in Martin’s behavior.
Recordings of eight calls to the police made on the night of the shooting were released by the Sanford police on March 17, 2012.
A witness to the confrontation just prior to the shooting stated that Martin was on top of Zimmerman and punching him, while Zimmerman was yelling for help. This witness, who identified himself as “John”, stated that “the guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911″. He went on to say that when he got upstairs and looked down, “the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”.
A 13-year-old boy walking his dog saw a man on the ground shortly before the shooting and identified him as wearing red. His mother later disputed the testimony and claimed that the police pressured him into choosing the color that the man was wearing and that her son could not see any details in the dark. She also stated that the police waited five days before requesting to even question her son and said that the lead homicide investigator told her that he did not believe the shooting was self-defense.
Mary Cutcher and her roommate, Selma Mora Lamilla, appeared on AC 360, and Cutcher stated that she believes that “there was no punching, no hitting going on at the time, no wrestling” just prior to the shooting but admitted that she neither saw the shooting nor the preceding altercation. Cutcher and her roommate heard the pair in their backyard and a “very young voice” whining, with no sounds of a fight. They heard a gunshot; the crying stopped immediately, and they saw Zimmerman on his knees straddling Martin on the ground. Mary Cutcher phoned police after the fatal shooting and said the black man was standing over another man, although Trayvon Martin was already dead. According to the Orlando Sentinel article, “Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Morgenstern [on March 15] issued a statement disputing Cutcher’s version of events, calling her statements to WFTV “inconsistent with her sworn testimony to police.” However, Cutcher and her roommate maintain that their account of the incident to the police did not agree with Zimmerman’s, and they demanded the police issue a retraction.
On March 29, 2012, an eyewitness referred to as a male said that he saw two men on the ground scuffling, then heard the shooting, and saw Zimmerman walk away with no blood on him. The witness later appeared on CNN AC360 referred to as a female, giving more details on her account. She pointed out that she heard an argument between a younger and an older voice. During the time that she witnessed the incident, the scuffling happened on the grass. She said that the larger man, who walked away after the gunshot, was on top and that it was too dark to see blood on his face.
A witness who arrived shortly after the shooting revealed photos that he took that night that showed “blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman’s head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head”. In revealing the photo to ABC News in mid-April, he noted that he had heard but had not seen the scuffle, had been the first to arrive, and had been the first to talk to Zimmerman after the shooting.
One eye-witness statement given the night of the shooting describes “a black male, wearing a dark colored ‘hoodie’ on top of a white or Hispanic male who was yelling for help.” The witness said that the black male was throwing punches “MMA [mixed martial arts] style.” After hearing a “pop,” he saw the black male “laid out on the grass.” When the witness was subsequently interviewed weeks later by a different agency, the witness said he thought that the black male was either punching or pinning the lighter skinned male underneath him. He was no longer certain who was calling for help, having not seen their mouths in the dark. He was still certain that the black male had been on top of the lighter-skinned male.
On March 20, Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump revealed that Martin had been on the phone with a friend moments before he was shot. During an ABC News exclusive report, Crump allowed portions of his recorded interview with Martin’s friend to be aired. She said that Martin told her that a man was watching him from his vehicle while talking on the phone before the man started following Martin. Martin told his friend at one point that he had lost the man but the man suddenly appeared again. The friend said that she told Martin to run to the townhouse where he was staying with his father and the father’s girlfriend. She then heard Martin say, “What are you following me for?” followed by a man’s voice responding, “What are you doing around here?” She said that she heard the sound of pushing before the phone went dead. She immediately attempted to call him back, but was unable to reach him. Crump stated that he would turn the information over to the Justice Department because “the family does not trust the Sanford Police Department to have anything to do with the investigation.” Martin’s friend was subsequently interviewed by state prosecutors on April 2, 2012. During her interview with the prosecutor, Martin’s friend recounted her last phone call with Martin and added that Martin had described the man as “crazy and creepy,” watching him from a vehicle while the man was talking on the phone. Martin’s friend told prosecutors that she heard words like “get off, get off,” right before she lost contact with Martin.
On March 6, 2013, prosecutors admitted that witness 8 had lied under oath, when she falsely testified that she had been in the hospital on the day of Martin’s funeral.
Crump had refused to disclose the identity of Witness 8, stating that she was only 16, a minor at the time of the shooting, and asked the media to respect her privacy. It was subsequently revealed that she was actually 18 at the time when she said she was on the phone with Martin. According to the defense, her actual age had been edited out of previously released disclosures. Crump has denied intentionally giving any misleading statements about her age.
George Zimmerman’s account of events
On the advice of his legal counsel, Zimmerman did not speak to the media after the shooting. The statements he gave to police investigators were publicly released on June 21, 2012, when Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, published his written and recorded statements on Zimmerman’s legal defense web site. Prior to the release of the statements, the only publicly available information about Zimmerman’s version of the incident came from interviews with some of his family members and friends and from leaks to the news media by sources inside the investigation, and his recorded phone call to 9-1-1. Zimmerman maintained his public silence until he was interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News on July 18, 2012. According to early news reports on the incident, on the night of the shooting, and afterwards, Zimmerman described in detail for investigators what took place.
Zimmerman said he was driving to the grocery store when he spotted Trayvon Martin walking through the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s father said that, while his son was not on duty that night as Neighborhood Watch captain, there had been many break-ins and he thought it suspicious that someone he didn’t recognize was walking behind the town homes instead of on the street or the sidewalk. Zimmerman therefore called a non-emergency police line to report Martin’s behavior and summon police. During the call, Zimmerman told the dispatcher that Martin was “coming to check me out.” A source to the Orlando Sentinel said in May that Zimmerman told investigators that at one point Martin circled his vehicle,[Note 7] and he rolled up his window to avoid a confrontation.
After telling the police dispatcher that Martin “ran,” Zimmerman left his vehicle to determine his location and ascertain in which direction Martin had fled. The dispatcher asked if Zimmerman was following Martin, and Zimmerman replied “Yeah.” Then the dispatcher said, “OK, we don’t need you to do that.” Zimmerman replied with “OK” and stated that Martin got away. After a discussion about where Zimmerman would meet police, the call ended, and Zimmerman told investigators he was returning to his vehicle when Martin approached him from his left rear and confronted him. According to Zimmerman, Martin then punched him in the face, knocking him down, and began beating his head against the sidewalk. Zimmerman said he called out for help while being beaten, and at one point Martin covered his mouth to muffle the screams. According to Zimmerman’s father, during the struggle while Martin was on top of Zimmerman, Martin saw the gun his son was carrying and said something to the effect of “You’re gonna die now” or “You’re gonna die tonight” and continued to beat Zimmerman. Zimmerman and Martin struggled over the gun, and Zimmerman shot Martin once in the chest at close range, in self-defense.[Note 8]
On June 21, 2012, Zimmerman’s attorneys released audiotapes of several interviews he had with police shortly after the shooting. Also included were Zimmerman’s written statement of February 26, 2012, and video recordings of his reenactment of the incident and a voice stress test that he passed.
In the interviews, Zimmerman says he took note of Martin because he was near a home that he had previously called police about. He also said “he was just walking casually, not like he was trying to get out of the rain,” and he felt “something was off” about Martin.
Zimmerman said he left his truck to find a street sign so he would be able to tell the police dispatcher where he was. He told investigators that he was not following Martin but was “just going in the same direction he was” to find an address, but admitted that he had also left his truck to try to see in which direction Martin had gone. The altercation began, he said, when Martin suddenly appeared while Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle. He described Martin at different points in the interviews as appearing “out of nowhere,” “from the darkness,” and as “jump[ing] out of the bushes.” Zimmerman said that Martin asked, “You got a fucking problem, homie?” Zimmerman replied no, and then Martin said that he did now, and punched him. As they struggled on the ground, Zimmerman on his back with Martin on top of him, Zimmerman yelled for help “probably 50 times.” (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) Martin told him to “Shut the fuck up,” as he hit him in the face and pounded his head on a concrete sidewalk. When Zimmerman tried to move off the concrete, Martin saw his gun and said “You’re going to die tonight motherfucker!” Martin grabbed for the gun, but Zimmerman grabbed it first. He said after firing his weapon at Martin, he wasn’t sure at first that he had hit him, so he got on top of him in order to subdue him.[dead link] Bystanders and police arrived shortly after Martin was shot.
Police reports state Zimmerman “appeared to have a broken and a bloody nose and swelling of his face.” Zimmerman was offered three chances to be taken to the hospital, but Zimmerman declined each time, according to police reports released by the prosecution. ABC News reported that a medical report compiled by the family physician of George Zimmerman showed that, following the altercation with Martin, Zimmerman was diagnosed with a closed fracture of his nose, two black eyes, lacerations to the back of his head, a minor back injury, and bruising in his upper lip and cheek.
In the course of Zimmerman’s recorded interviews, Detective Chris Serino questioned aspects of Zimmerman’s account, such as Zimmerman’s statement that he didn’t know the name of a street in the Twin Lakes community where he had lived for three years. Zimmerman said in response that he had a bad memory and takes medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Investigators also questioned the extent of his injuries and why he didn’t identify himself to Martin as a Neighborhood Watch coordinator. Zimmerman said he didn’t want to confront Martin.
On June 26, 2012, the prosecution released the results of a voice stress test performed on George Zimmerman the day after the shooting. A voice stress test is a type of test used to measure deceptive or psychological stress in the human voice in response to questions. Zimmerman was asked, “Did you confront the guy you shot?”, to which Zimmerman answered, “No.” Zimmerman was asked, “Were you in fear for your life, when you shot the guy?”, to which Zimmerman answered, “Yes.” The examiner concluded that Zimmerman “told substantially the complete truth” in the examination, and Zimmerman was classified as “No Deception Indicated (NDI)” according to the report.
During a bond hearing on April 20, 2012, Investigator Dale Gilbreath testified under oath that he did not know whether Zimmerman or Martin started the fight and that there is no evidence to contradict Zimmerman’s claim that he was walking back to his vehicle when Martin confronted him. Gilbreath, however, questioned Zimmerman’s statement that Martin was slamming his head against the sidewalk just before he shot the teenager, saying it was “not consistent with the evidence we found.” Gilbreath was one of two investigators who attested to the facts stated in the probable cause affidavit.
Legal analysts have stated that Zimmerman’s credibility could become an issue at trial and that Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense rests on whether the jury can trust him “as a reporter of the facts”. Douglas Keene, a trial consultant and forensic psychologist, stated that in a self-defense case, a jury has to decide “whether or not someone can be trusted to have used good judgment. Credibility is always a paramount issue in any trial,” he said.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has criticized Special Prosecutor Angela Corey’s handling of the case, said he believes that the video reenactment of the incident would help Zimmerman during a trial if it were submitted as evidence and shown to a jury, but he wasn’t sure that it would be. Without going into detail, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump referred to several alleged inconsistencies between Zimmerman’s written statement and his recorded call to the police dispatcher.
Zimmerman’s first media interview
On July 18, 2012, Zimmerman, accompanied by his attorney Mark O’Mara, gave his first long media interview to Sean Hannity. Part of the interview appeared on Hannity that evening. During the interview he said that he did not regret his actions on the night of the shooting, but he also said, “I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that wouldn’t have put me in the position where I had to take his life. I want to tell everyone, my wife, my family, my parents, grandmother, the Martins, the city of Sanford and America: I’m sorry that this happened. I’m truly sorry.”
When Hannity asked Zimmerman why his suspicions were aroused when he noticed Martin, Zimmerman replied in part:
- “I felt he was suspicious because it was raining. He was in-between houses, cutting in-between houses, and he was walking very leisurely for the weather. … It didn’t look like he was a resident that went to check their mail and got caught in the rain and was hurrying back home. He didn’t look like a fitness fanatic that would train in the rain.”
Following the interview with Hannity, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey filed formal notice that she intends to use the interview as evidence against Zimmerman. According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Zimmerman’s story differed in at least two details from previous versions of what he said happened the night he shot Martin. Florida defense lawyers said it was a mistake for Zimmerman to do a TV interview and discuss what happened that night. One of them said, “It’s really baffling what he thought he’d gain from it. I question who’s in charge of the defense strategy, Zimmerman or O’Mara”.
Martin’s parents said they don’t accept Zimmerman’s apology for killing their son. Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said she doubted that Zimmerman’s apology was sincere. “I have a hard time accepting it because he also said that he doesn’t regret anything that he did that night…” Fulton stated.
Prosecution’s account of events
The prosecution’s account is largely contained in the affidavit of probable cause filed on April 11, 2012, in support of second-degree murder charges against Zimmerman. A conviction of second-degree murder could result in Zimmerman receiving a prison term of 25 years to life. The affidavit states that it does not contain a complete recitation of facts, but presents only the facts to support probable cause for second-degree murder charges. Judge Mark Herr ruled that the affidavit was legally sufficient to establish probable cause. The affidavit describes what investigators allege took place between Zimmerman and Martin on the night of the shooting.
The affidavit states that Martin was walking back from a nearby 7-Eleven store to the townhouse where he was temporarily living when Zimmerman profiled Martin, who was unarmed and not committing a crime. Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman was driving in his vehicle when he observed Martin and assumed he was a criminal. Feeling that Martin did not belong in the gated community where Zimmerman lived, he called the police to request for an officer to respond, because he perceived Martin was acting suspiciously. Investigators said the dispatcher told Zimmerman an officer was on the way and to wait for him. In the call, Zimmerman made reference to people he felt had gotten away with break-ins in the neighborhood, and while talking about Martin, stated “these assholes, they always get away” and also said “these fucking punks”.
According to investigators, while Zimmerman was speaking with police, Martin was on the phone with a friend and described to her what was happening. She said that Martin was scared because he was being followed by an unknown male and didn’t know why. Investigators said that Martin attempted to run home, but Zimmerman followed him, because he didn’t want Martin whom he falsely assumed was going to commit a crime, to get away before the police arrived. When the police dispatcher realized Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, he instructed Zimmerman not to do that and told him an officer would meet him. Prosecutors stated that Zimmerman ignored the dispatcher’s instruction and continued pursuing Martin on foot. Investigators said Zimmerman then confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.
The affidavit describes witness accounts of hearing people arguing, what sounded like a struggle, and yells for help that were recorded in the 9-1-1 calls to police. According to prosecutors, Martin’s mother reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son. (See Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls) When police arrived at the scene, Zimmerman admitted to shooting Martin in the chest. An assistant medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined that Martin had died from the gunshot.
Legal analysts have criticized the prosecution for over-charging Zimmerman, claiming that the probable cause affidavit does not support a charge of second-degree murder. Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz claims that the probable cause affidavit may be perjurious if Special Prosecutor Angela Corey knowingly omitted facts favorable to Zimmerman’s self-defense claims.
Richard Kuritz, a former prosecutor who worked with Angela Corey, said the state attorney had no obligation to include exculpatory evidence in the affidavit. He stated that Dershowitz could face civil action for making accusations that Corey committed a crime. “To suggest that she’s committing any crime, Dershowitz is way off on that”, Kuritz said.
Background sounds of yelling for help in 9-1-1 calls
In recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, yells for help are audible in the background. Zimmerman’s family says it was Zimmerman yelling for help, Martin’s family says it was Martin yelling for help, and independent audio analysts offer differing opinions as to who was yelling for help.
In an interview with prosecutors on March 19, Zimmerman’s father identified the yells as George Zimmerman’s, stating, “There is no doubt who is yelling for help. It is absolutely my son.” Other relatives of Zimmerman, including his brother, concur and are equally adamant. During a bond hearing on June 29, the 9-1-1 recording was played in court, and Zimmerman’s father testified that “it was definitely George’s” voice heard yelling for help in the recorded 9-1-1 call.
According to police reports, after listening to audio recordings of the 9-1-1 calls, Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, told police investigators that it was not Trayvon Martin’s voice yelling for help. Martin has since told reporters he was uncertain at that time, but that when he heard an enhanced recording on March 16 he was convinced it was his son yelling for help. Investigators interviewed Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, who reviewed the 9-1-1 calls to police and identified the voice crying for help as her son. Investigators also interviewed Martin’s cousin who stated that without a doubt “on a stack of bibles” it was Martin yelling for help on the 9-1-1 tape.
During the FBI investigation, Witness 45, a neighbor of Zimmerman’s, stated he was 110% sure the voice calling for help was Zimmerman’s.
Independent audio experts vary in their interpretations of the low-quality audio of the phone recordings, which one expert compared to analyzing low-resolution video from a security camera. The FBI was not able to determine whether it was Zimmerman or Martin who could be heard yelling out for help in 9-1-1 calls, citing both poor audio quality and “the extreme emotional state of the person screaming.” Two expert audio technicians, listed as possible witnesses for the prosecution, analyzed the emergency calls made during the altercation. One analyst reported that he believed some of the cries came from Martin. The other analyst said the quality of the recordings was insufficient for good analysis, but said some cries were likely from Martin and some likely from Zimmerman.
Zimmerman’s attorneys had requested a Frye hearing regarding the admissibility of the testimony of the audio analysts, to determine if the methods used by them are generally accepted by the scientific community. At the time of the hearing, Florida used the Frye standard, but during the course of the case, Florida switched to the Daubert standard, effective July 1, 2013. The Daubert standard is generally considered more stringent, and requires more scrutiny before admission of expert testimony.
On June 22, Judge Nelson ruled that the prosecution’s audio experts won’t be allowed to testify at Zimmerman’s trial. The judge said in her ruling that, “There is no evidence to establish that their scientific techniques have been tested and found reliable.” Her ruling didn’t prevent the 9-1-1 calls from being played at trial.
Martin family response
Supporters of Trayvon Martin rally in Union Square during a “Million Hoodie March” in Manhattan on March 21. Martin’s parents addressed the crowd.
Tracy Martin was skeptical of the account of his son’s death told to him by Sanford police investigators and believed Zimmerman didn’t act in self-defense. Two days after the shooting, he was referred to civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who was retained to pursue legal action and to persuade the news media to cover the case. Attorney Natalie Jackson and publicist Ryan Julison, both of Orlando, also joined the Martin team. Due to their efforts, the case started to receive national attention on March 7. On March 9, Crump announced he was suing to have 911 calls from the night of the shooting made public. They were released by the Sanford mayor on March 16. As attention to the case grew, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton gave media interviews and appeared at some of the protests being held which called for Zimmerman’s arrest. On June 28, 2013, Alicia Stanley, Trayvon Martin’s step-mother, stated that she did not believe Zimmerman targeted Trayvon because he was black.
Zimmerman and family
While the shooting was being investigated, Zimmerman, his wife, and his parents went into hiding due to threats they were receiving as the case gained more attention. Zimmerman left his job and his school expelled him, citing safety concerns. Due to security concerns, Zimmerman’s first lawyers had not been able to meet with him in person.
On April 9, Zimmerman placed a self-created web site on the internet, which included some brief statements, but no information about the shooting, since he had been advised by legal counsel not to discuss it. He also solicited donations for living expenses and legal defense costs.
After taking over as Zimmerman’s defense counsel on April 11, Mark O’Mara took down Zimmerman’s self-created web site and replaced it with a professional information site. He arranged for a second web site to be set up to collect donations overseen by an independent third party. Following Zimmerman’s April 20 bond hearing, he and his wife were accused by prosecutors of not disclosing the funds raised through the original web site; as a result of these allegations, Zimmerman’s original bail was revoked. He was subsequently released again with a higher bail amount. Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman, was charged with perjury in June 2012; the charge still stands.
George Zimmerman’s defense team had set up a Twitter account, a Facebook page and a website with a defense fund registered with the Florida Division of Consumer Services. After three months, the Facebook page was shut down by O’Mara, because he said it was leading to unhelpful discussions.
In July 2012, Zimmerman returned his original web site to the internet, and his parents also created their own web site. Both sites discuss how the case has changed the Zimmermans’ lives and seek donations for living expenses.
On January 30, 2013, Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, asked on Zimmerman’s defense fund website for the public to donate more money. O’Mara stated that Zimmerman’s legal defense could cost up to $1 million.
Main article: State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman
On April 11, 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder in Martin’s death. In Florida, a conviction for second degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. If a firearm was used then the mandatory minimum is 25 years in state prison. Zimmerman’s attorney waived Zimmerman’s right to appear at an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Zimmerman is currently out on a $1 million bond with several conditions – that he be electronically monitored, reside in Seminole County, have no bank accounts or passport and observe a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. The judge said he granted bond “because Zimmerman posed no threat to the community”.
A jury of six women was chosen on June 20, to hear the case. Five of the six are white. In addition, four alternates, two women and two men, all white, were also chosen. The jury will be anonymous, where the identity of the jury will be revealed to the prosecution and defense, but not released to the public or media. During jury selection, the judge announced that the jury would be sequestered during the trial.
The trial began on June 24, 2013.
An undated personal photo of Trayvon Martin wearing a hoodie was displayed by protesters and sold by merchants on hoodies, T-shirts and keychains, prompting the family to trademark slogans using his name.
After the shooting, Zimmerman was criticized by the Martin family and in the media for following Martin and for carrying a weapon. Sanford police chief Bill Lee stated that neighborhood watch volunteers are not encouraged to carry a gun but have a Constitutional right to do so. Lee further stated, “Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred.” Sanford Police volunteer program coordinator Wendy Dorival, told The Miami Herald that she met Zimmerman in September 2011, at a community neighborhood watch presentation. “I said, ‘If it’s someone you don’t recognize, call us. We’ll figure it out,’ ‘Observe from a safe location.’ Dorival said.”
Protests were staged around the U.S. prior to Zimmerman’s April 11 indictment on murder charges. Over 2.2 million signatures were collected on a Change.org petition, created by Martin’s mother, calling for Zimmerman’s arrest. It was the website’s largest petition ever.
Since Martin was killed while wearing a hoodie, hoodies were used as a sign of protest, and many cities staged “million hoodie marches” or “hundred hoodie marches”. Additionally, some professional athletes, including Carmelo Anthony and the entire Miami Heat roster, tweeted photos of themselves wearing hoodies.
Bags of Skittles candy and cans of Arizona Iced Tea were also used as protest symbols. Martin was reported to be returning from a 7-Eleven convenience store with these items when he was shot, although the beverage he purchased was actually an Arizona brand fruit drink.
Walkouts were staged by students at over a dozen Florida high schools, and thousands of people attended rallies around the country to demand Zimmerman’s arrest. Members of the Occupy movement marched in solidarity during the “Million Hoodie March”.
A number of high-profile citizens made public comments or released statements calling for a full investigation, including Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and President Barack Obama.
Speaking on the day of Zimmerman’s arrest, Al Sharpton said, “Forty-five days ago, Trayvon Martin was murdered. No arrest was made. The Chief of Police in Sanford announced after his review of the evidence there would be no arrest. An outcry from all over this country came because his parents refused to leave it there.” Jesse Jackson also referred to Martin as “murdered and martyred”. And U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (Dem.), who represents Martin’s hometown of Miami, used the word “murdered” when she referred to Martin’s fatal shooting.
Herman Cain objected to what he called “swirling rhetoric” and “a war of words”, and former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant singled out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for being “race hustlers” who were exploiting Martin’s death “to inflame racial passions”. Bryant also criticized President Barack Obama for his “nebulous” comment, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”  Former education secretary William Bennett criticized what he called a “mob mentality,” saying that “…the tendency in the first days by some, including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and an angry chorus of followers, was to rush to judgment with little regard for fairness, due process, or respect for the terrible death of a young man.”
Senior Fellow Shelby Steele at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution said that the tragedy of Trayvon Martin’s death was being exploited by a generation of “ambulance-chasing” black leaders who have promoted “our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity”.
President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters on March 23 after federal investigators were deployed to Sanford, said, “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids, and I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this… If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
According to Zimmerman’s father, George Zimmerman received death threats after the shooting and was forced to move out of his home. The New Black Panther Party offered a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman; this was condemned by the city of Sanford.
In parts of the U.S., various acts of vandalism, assaults, and crimes have been connected in part to alleged revenge for the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Film director Spike Lee retweeted to his 200,000 Twitter followers an erroneous Sanford, Florida, address, purported to be Zimmerman’s, which forced a family out of their home to avoid harassment after they received hate mail and unwanted visits from reporters. Lee was criticized for his retweet and he later issued an apology for having tweeted the wrong address.
Professor Alan Dershowitz criticized the probable cause affidavit against Zimmerman as “so thin that it won’t make it past the judge,” calling it “irresponsible and unethical,” and opined that the charges were motivated by prosecutor Corey’s desire to be re-elected. The deadline for qualifying to run against Corey was 9 days after she filed charges, and no one stepped forward to challenge her, so she won re-election. In June, Dershowitz said that Corey had contacted the dean of Harvard Law School about his remarks, threatening to sue Dershowitz for libel and slander, and the school too, and saying she wanted him to be disciplined by the American Bar Association. Dershowitz said the dean defended his remarks under academic freedom, and he commented that “[e]ven if Angela Corey’s actions were debatable, which I believe they were not, I certainly have the right, as a professor who has taught and practiced criminal law nearly 50 years, to express a contrary view.” CNN legal analyst Mark NeJame expressed concern over Corey’s threats and questioned if the prosecution of Zimmerman was for political reasons.
Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote “…what’s often overlooked in all the heated conversations about this tragedy is the actual timeline based on police documents.” and “[The timeline] indicates that the victim as well as the accused made some terrible choices that night…and it tells us to keep our minds open and our tempers in check, at least until some of [the] gaps get filled at Zimmerman’s trial.”
Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera claimed that Martin’s “gangsta style clothing” was “as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was”. Rivera was quoted saying, “I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies.”  Faced with outrage over his statements, Rivera apologized, saying that he had “obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager”. When a 7-Eleven surveillance video showing Martin making a purchase on the night of the shooting was released two months later, however, Rivera referred to the clothes he had been wearing as “thug wear”. His comments were criticized by the Martin family attorney, Benjamin Crump, who compared them to people blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts.
Bill O’Reilly of Fox News called for restraint and urged other pundits to stop trying the case in the media. He said that the case is a “tragedy” but should not be tried in the media.
After Zimmerman’s bond was revoked for misrepresenting how much money he had when his bond was set, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump said he expected the prosecution to bring Zimmerman’s credibility “front and center in this entire case”. Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara stated that it was a “mistake” that had “undermined his credibility, which he will have to work to repair”.
Alleged race issues
Allegations against Zimmerman
Chicago protestors on March 28.
Zimmerman was accused of being motivated by racism and of having racially profiled Martin. During early media coverage of the incident, Zimmerman’s call to the police dispatcher was edited by NBC, shortened such that it appeared that Zimmerman had volunteered Martin’s race. The unedited audio recording proved that the police dispatcher specifically asked about Martin’s race, and only then did Zimmerman reveal that Martin was black. NBC apologized for the misleading edit and disciplined those involved.
Defense of Zimmerman’s character
In an open letter on March 15, 2012, Zimmerman’s father, Robert Zimmerman, defended his son against allegations that his actions were racially motivated, stating that Zimmerman was Hispanic, was raised in a multiracial family, and “would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever,” saying that the portrayal of his son as a racist “could not be further from the truth.” According to his family, some of Zimmerman’s relatives are black. Zimmerman’s former lawyer Craig Sonner stated that Zimmerman is not a racist, and that he had mentored black youths in the past. Joe Oliver, a former television news reporter who is acquainted with Zimmerman, noted “I’m a black male and all that I know is that George has never given me any reason whatsoever to believe he has anything against people of color.”
In early April, an anonymous letter to the NAACP, which was signed “A Concerned Zimmerman Family Member,” said Zimmerman had been one of the few to take any action to protest the 2010 beating of Sherman Ware, a black homeless man, by the son of a Sanford police officer. Zimmerman reportedly distributed fliers in the black community trying to get others involved too, and helped organize a January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum to protest the incident. Zimmerman’s father confirmed his son’s efforts on Ware’s behalf.
In May, the Miami Herald secured an audiotape of the January 8, 2011, Sanford City Hall community forum. On the audiotape, Zimmerman was heard criticizing the conduct of the Sanford Police Department in the Ware case. Zimmerman criticized former chief, Brian Tooley, and said Tooley had engaged in a “cover-up” and that he should lose his pension. He also said he’d been on ride-alongs with Sanford police where he found them to be lazy. The Herald also reported that it had contacted five out of six black churches where Zimmerman was reported to have distributed fliers on the Ware beating, however no one recalled receiving them.
On July 12, interviews conducted by the FBI were publicly released. The Sanford Police Department’s lead investigator, Chris Serino, told FBI agents that he believed Zimmerman’s actions were not based on Martin’s race, but instead on Martin’s attire, the circumstances of the encounter, and previous burglaries in the neighborhood. Zimmerman’s neighbors and co-workers were interviewed as well. Neighbors who knew Zimmerman had nothing derogatory to say about him, and his co-workers were complimentary of him.
Allegations against Martin
During the trial of Zimmerman, state’s witness #8, Rachel Jeantel, testified that Martin had described Zimmerman as a “creepy ass cracker” just prior to the shooting. 
Jeantel further testified that she thought race was an issue because Martin told her he was being followed by a white man. Jeantel stated her belief that “creepy ass cracker” was neither racial nor offensive. She testified that people in “her culture” call white people crackers, though she couldn’t recall if Martin would call white people crackers 
Allegations against the Sanford police
For not arresting Zimmerman, the Sanford police faced heavy criticism, protests, and allegations of racial bias. The NAACP wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressing “no confidence that, absent federal oversight, the Sanford Police Department will devote the necessary degree of care to its investigation” and requesting that personnel be detailed to Sanford to review the case without bias. Lee repeatedly defended the investigation, stating that the Sanford police did not feel they had conducted a racially biased investigation and welcomed a review of their efforts.
Allegations were also made that the Sanford police were protecting Zimmerman. Lee told reporters that they could not arrest Zimmerman because no evidence contradicted his story, and that to do so would leave the police open to litigation. In regards to the 9-1-1 dispatcher telling Zimmerman that “We don’t need you to [follow him],” Lee said “That is a call taker making a recommendation to him. He’s not under a legal obligation to do that, so that is not something we can charge him with.”
On March 21, 2012, three out of the five members of the Sanford City Commission, including the mayor, passed a motion of no confidence in regards to the Police Chief Bill Lee, and his handling of the case; however, the vote was advisory only. The following day, Lee announced that he had temporarily stepped down from his position as chief of police, stating “my involvement in this matter is overshadowing the process.” Lee further stated, “I do this in the hopes of restoring some semblance of calm to a city which has been in turmoil for several weeks.” On April 23, 2012, the city of Sanford announced that Police Chief Bill Lee would resign but city commissioners voted to reject the resignation. Some commissioners had concerns about the fairness of Lee losing his job and the mayor stated he preferred to wait for the results of an investigation. Lee was to remain on paid leave.
In an interview with CNN, following his testimony at Zimmerman’s trial, Bill Lee said that he felt pressure from city officials to arrest Zimmerman to placate the public rather than as a matter of justice.Lee said, “It was relayed to me that they just wanted an arrest. They didn’t care if it got dismissed later.” Lee further stated in the interview that the Sanford Police conducted a “sound” investigation, and the evidence provided no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman at the scene.Lee said that the police needed to do a job, and there was some outside, and inside influence, that “forced a change in the course of the normal criminal justice process.” The former police chief said the investigation was taken away from us and “we weren’t able to complete it.” Lee also said that his lead investigator made a recommendation that Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter, as a matter of protocol. The Sanford police presented a “capias request” to the state’s attorney, asking that they determine whether it was a “justifiable homicide.”
“Stand your ground” laws
Self-defense laws in the United States, particularly regarding justifiable homicide, vary by state. Florida law, as of 2005, includes a “stand your ground” provision, under which a person, who reasonably fears death or great bodily harm (the ordinary deadly self-defense requirement) is relieved of the common-law requirement that one first attempt to retreat, if one can safely do so, before using deadly force. In almost all states, such laws exempt people in their own homes; Florida’s version extends the no-retreat doctrine to vehicles and public places. In at least 17 states, including Florida, there is no duty to retreat before using force. After the shooting, media reports had indicated that Zimmerman would most likely use the “Stand Your Ground” provision in Florida’s self-defense law. According to Durell Peaden, one of the sponsors of the Florida law, the law does not say that a person has a right to confront another. “When [Zimmerman] said ‘I’m following him’, he lost his defense.” However, the same Mar 20, 2012, article goes on to state, “Peaden and Baxley said they didn’t know all the facts of the case, so their interpretations of what happened could change if new information arises during the investigation.”
According to David Kopel, if Martin first attacked Zimmerman, the claim of self-defense by Zimmerman would be valid under the usual self-defense laws that didn’t include the “Stand your ground” law. On the other hand, if Zimmerman stalked and attacked Martin, the “Stand your ground” law would not protect Zimmerman from prosecution. In either case, the Florida “Stand your ground” law would be irrelevant.
However, the “Stand Your Ground” law grants Zimmerman the right to a pretrial hearing where a judge could find Zimmerman immune from prosecution and dismiss the charges without going to trial. The defense would need to show through a preponderance of the evidence, i.e. show with more than 50% certainty, that Zimmerman thought he would be killed or seriously injured. The trial began without Zimmerman asking for such a hearing.
Three weeks after the shooting, Florida authorities announced they had picked 19 people to head up a task force to review the Florida statute that deals with justifiable use of force, including the stand your ground provision. After six months of work, the result was that the task force did not recommend significant changes to the law.
On January 16, 2013, Trayvon Martin’s mother and Democratic lawmakers in Florida called for the repeal of the state’s “stand your ground” law.
Trayvon’s father Tracy Martin, family attorney Benjamin Crump and mother Sybrina Fulton, at the ‘Million Hoodies’ protest in Union Square, New York
For the first 10 days after Martin’s death, the story was covered by only the Florida media. In order to bring more attention to the case, Martin family attorney Natalie Jackson sought the assistance of publicist Ryan Julison on March 5.
On March 7, 2012, Reuters covered the story, and the following day, CBS News, acting on a tip it received from the network’s local bureau in Atlanta, Georgia, obtained an exclusive interview with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton that was broadcast on CBS This Morning.
Also on March 8, The Huffington Post, The Young Turks, and TheGrio.com, which is affiliated with NBC News, started to cover the case. On March 9, 2012, ABC World News featured the story on their nightly broadcast. CNN first reported on the case on March 12, 2012, and by the end of that week, radio hosts and bloggers were also reporting on the story. National coverage started to increase the week of March 12 and intensified after March 16, when tapes of 9-1-1 calls were released to the public. Having the 9-1-1 calls, which the police had previously declined to release, gave radio and TV reporters more material to report on.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism reported that media coverage of the Trayvon Martin case became the first story in 2012 to be featured more than the presidential race. According to the Project, the varying types of media have focused on the case in different ways. An article in the Tampa Bay Times wrote that, “on Twitter, people are outraged at Zimmerman and want justice, while on cable news and talk radio people are discussing the state’s laws for self-defense and gun control and on blogs the focus has been on race.”
Fox News newsmagazine host Geraldo Rivera, a former NBC employee, asserted that MSNBC “made an ideological decision that… they would argue strenuously for the prosecution of George Zimmerman and the ultimate conviction of George Zimmerman… [T]hey are cheerleading for the conviction of George Zimmerman.”
Aspects of coverage
Media portrayal of Martin and Zimmerman
The Associated Press noted that initially the most widely used media photo of Martin was several years old and showed him as a “baby-faced boy,” rather than as a 17-year-old young man. To represent Zimmerman, the media chose a shot of a beefy 21-year-old Zimmerman taken seven years prior to the shooting, whereas recent photos show him as slim-faced and more mature. The two outdated photos chosen by the media may have helped shape the initial public perception of the shooting. The AP quoted academic Kenny Irby on the expected effect, “When you have such a lopsided visual comparison, it just stands to reason that people would rush to judgment,” and another academic, Betsi Grabe, as saying that journalists will present stories as a struggle between good and evil “[i]f the ingredients are there.”
With the release of witness testimony and the details of the altercation prior to Martin’s death, various media had advanced the primary source testimony with speculation surrounding the events which further drove public outcry. Martin and Zimmerman’s height and weight were the subject of contention in the media and blogs and used to assert speculation. Some of these speculations fueled outrage and controversy on both sides; combining scant or misleading information with speculation. Contributing to the controversy was an image of a different person also named Trayvon Martin in a “gangsta” pose; the error discovered much later.
Reporting on Zimmerman’s call to police
Economist and commentator Thomas Sowell criticized the national media for implying that Zimmerman had continued to follow Martin after the police dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that.” He said that they mostly left out Zimmerman’s answer, “O.K.” because “too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news.”
After the audio of the call was released, reports by CNN and other news outlets alleged that Zimmerman had said “fucking coons” two minutes and twenty-one seconds (2:21) into the call. Two weeks later on April 4, 2012, CNN claimed that enhanced audio revealed that Zimmerman had said “fucking cold.” The following day, April 5, 2012, CNN’s Martin Savidge reported that forensic audio expert Tom Owen claimed it was “fucking punks.” It is said to be “fucking punks” in the affidavit of probable cause, dated April 11, 2012. Other reviewers of the call have offered alternate interpretations of what was said, some labeling it “unintelligible.” According to the Associated Press, the alleged racial slur “fed growing outrage over the police department’s initial decision not to arrest Zimmerman.”
Misleading audio editing by NBC
Between March 19 and 27, 2012, the NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today show, and NBC’s network-owned Miami affiliate WTVJ NBC6 ran segments which misleadingly merged parts of Zimmerman’s call. On one version of the recording played by NBC, Zimmerman was heard saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something… He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male.” In another what was played was, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” In the original 9-1-1 recording, Zimmerman said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The 9-1-1 operator then asked: “OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?”, and Zimmerman answered, “He looks black.” The phrase, “He’s got his hand in his waistband, and he’s a black male” came several exchanges after that point in the conversation.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote that NBC’s alterations “would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality… Zimmerman simply answered a question… Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry… To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice…”
NBC issued an apology for “an error made in the production process that we deeply regret,” but never apologized on the air. The network said that the Today show and Miami edits took place in two separate incidents involving different people. A Miami-based NBC News producer lost her job, WTVJ reporter Jeff Burnside was fired, and two other employees were disciplined. Lilia Luciano, who was the reporter on broadcasts containing both edited versions of the audio, was also fired, and her aired reports on the Trayvon Martin story, along with the misleading audio, were removed from the Today website.
On December 6, 2012, Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBC alleging that they intentionally edited the phone call so that Zimmerman would sound racist. The lawsuit said, “NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.” A NBC spokeswoman said the network strongly disagreed with the accusations that Zimmerman made in the complaint, stating; “There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly and we intend to vigorously defend our position in court.”
Surveillance video mistake
ABC News obtained a surveillance video of Zimmerman walking unassisted into the Sanford police station after the shooting. An officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but ABC originally said that no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video. The Daily Caller disputed this claim, and posted a still from the ABC video which showed the injury on the back of Zimmerman’s head. ABC later reported that it had “re-digitized” the video, and said that this version showed “what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman’s head,” but the story’s main focus was on a doctor who claimed it was unlikely that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken.
- ^ a b Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is a Hispanic from Peru. George Zimmerman’s ancestry includes an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather.
- ^ a b The initial police report from the night of the shooting lists Martin’s height as 6’0″ (1.83 m) and weight as 160 lb (73 kg). Zimmerman estimated Martin’s height at 5’11″ to 6’2″ on the night of the shooting. The morning after the shooting, an autopsy found that Martin’s body was 5’11″ (1.80 m) long and weighed 158 lb (72 kg). Other values for Martin’s height of 6’2″ (1.88 m) and 6’3″ (1.91 m), and weight of no more than 150 lb (68 kg), were reported as being given by Martin’s family.
- ^ Zimmerman’s weight was shown as 185 pounds (84 kg) on his Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Booking Information on April 11, 2012, the date of his arrest.
- ^ Some reports in the media incorrectly gave the time as 7:11.
- ^ See The New York Times article The Events Leading to the Shooting of Trayvon Martin for seven aerial views which include depictions of The Retreat at Twin Lakes; the home where Trayvon was staying; the site of the shooting; Zimmerman’s home; the site of the 7-11; and other sites of interest.
- ^ The autopsy report can be found at “Trayvon Martin Autopsy Report: Killed By Bullet Fired At Intermediate Range”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- ^ An Orlando Sentinel source reported in May 2012 that Zimmerman told investigators that Martin “was circling” his vehicle at one point, but news stories after Zimmerman’s statements to police were released reported that he said Martin “circled” his vehicle.
- ^ Some referenced information is from the embedded video of Robert Zimmerman’s interview,
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- ^ Lee, Trymaine (March 8, 2012). “Trayvon Martin’s Family Calls For Arrest Of Man Who Police Say Confessed To Shooting (UPDATE)”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ Grio, The (March 8, 2012). “Family wants answers in Fla. teen’s death”. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ Uygur, Cenk (March 8, 2012). “Trayvon Martin Shot, Killed By Neighborhood Watch”. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- ^ Rosenbaum, Matthew (March 9, 2012). “Florida Family Seeks Justice After Unarmed Teen Shot By Neighborhood Watch Captain”. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ Kuo, Vivian (March 12, 2012). “Florida teen’s shooting by watchman questioned”. CNN. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ a b Lee, Trymaine (March 16, 2012). “Trayvon Martin Case: 911 Audio Released Of Teen Shot By Neighborhood Watch Captain (AUDIO)”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ Deggans, Eric. “Update: Trayvon Martin story now more covered than presidential race”. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- ^ “O’Reilly Accuses Geraldo Rivera Of ‘Doing The Same Thing’ As MSNBC In Downplaying George Zimmerman Charges”. Mediaite. 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- ^ “Friend: George Zimmerman scared for his life”. Click Orlando. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- ^ “Misconceptions in the Trayvon Martin Case”. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- ^ “The Trayvon Martin Killing, Explained”. Mother Jones. Retrieved 2013-06-29.
- ^ Mackey, Robert (March 29, 2012). “Bloggers Cherry-Pick From Social Media to Cast Trayvon Martin as a Menace”. New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- ^ David Martosko (2013-06-26). “Second Trayvon Martin Twitter feed identified”. The Daily Caller. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- ^ Sowell, Thomas (April 24, 2012) “Who is ‘Racist’?” The American Spectator. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- ^ “Did Trayvon Martin’s shooter use slur in 911 tapes?”. Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN). March 22, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- ^ “911 Tapes From Trayvon Martin Shooting: Was a racial slur uttered?”, CNN Anderson Cooper 360, AC360 Blogs, April 4, 2012.
- ^ “CNN’s Martin Savidge reports on forensic analysis of 911 tape”. CNN. April 6, 2012.
- ^ “Did George Zimmerman Complain About ‘F*cking C**ns’ In 911 Call Before Killing Trayvon Martin?”. Mediaite. March 20, 2012.
- ^ Coates, Ta-Nehisi (March 22, 2012). “Did George Zimmerman Use A Racial Slur?”. The Atlantic.
- ^ “Affidavit: George Zimmerman did not use racial slur in 911 call”. Syracuse.com. Associated Press. April 13, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- ^ “NBC6 Zimmerman Edit Explanation | NBC 6 Miami”. Nbcmiami.com. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- ^ a b Sheffield, Matthew. “NBC News President: Network Should ‘Probably’ Apologize On-Air for Repeatedly Running Fake Zimmerman Clip”. Newsbusters.org. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
- ^ “Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 20″. NBC Today Show. Youtube.com. March 20, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- ^ “Lilia Luciano report on Trayvon Martin, Mar 22″. NBC Today Show. Youtube. March 22, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- ^ “NBC issues apology for edited Zimmerman 911 call”. Fox News. April 3, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- ^ Carr, David (April 22, 2012). “TV News Corrects Itself, Just Not on the Air”. The New York Times.
- ^ “NBC Station Fires Reporter For Making Similar Edit in George Zimmerman 911 Call – TVSpy”. Mediabistro.com. 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- ^ Robles, Frances (25 April 201). “NBC6 fires local reporter Jeff Burnside in editing of Zimmerman police call”. Miami Herald.
- ^ Stelter, Brian (April 6, 2012). “NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape”. The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
- ^ “Today Show Luciano Report transcript, Mar 20, 2012, 0700 EST”. LexisNexis. NBC Company. March 20, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- ^ Ariens, Chris. “Another Misleading Edit Costs Another NBC News Employee Her Job”. TVNewser.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 3, 2012). “Lilia Luciano Fired By NBC News Over Botched George Zimmerman Edit”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- ^ “George Zimmerman sues NBC over edited 911 call”. Fox News Latino. Associated Press. December 6, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- ^ Martinez, Michael. “George Zimmerman sues NBC Universal over edited 911 call”. CNN.com (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.). Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- ^ “George Zimmerman sues NBC and reporters”. USA Today. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- ^ a b Gutman, Matt (March 28, 2012). “Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman”. ABC News. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- ^ “Police surveillance video of Zimmerman may show head injury”, The Daily Caller, March 29, 2012
- ^ Matt Gutman (April 2, 2012). “George Zimmerman Video Shows Little Evidence of a Broken Nose, Doctor Claims”. Good Morning America. ABC News.
- ^ “Trayvon Martin: ABC enhances George Zimmerman video”, Orlando Sentinel, April 2, 2012
- Zimmerman Defense websites:
- Other George Zimmerman legal websites:
- Collected news and commentary
- Walk throughs and graphics of events leading up to the shooting:
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UPDATED May 8, 2013
Includes Videos From
House Oversight Committee Investigation of Benghazi Terrorist Attack
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A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up deception is used.
The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority who abuse their power to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty or a crime.
While the terms are often used interchangeably, cover-up involves withholding incriminatory evidence, while whitewash involves releasing misleading evidence.
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Below is a letter from a group of about 700 retired U.S. military special operations veterans to the House of Representatives, urging Congress to establish a committee to investigate the Benghazi attack. Colonel Dick Brauer, founder of the group Special Operations Speaks explained the effort on Fox and Friends this morning.
To: Members of The U.S. House of Representatives
Subject: The Benghazi attacks on 9/11/ 2012
The undersigned are a representative group of some 700 retired Military Special Operations professionals who spent the majority of their careers
preparing for and executing myriad operations to rescue or recover detained or threatened fellow Americans. In fact, many of us participated in both the Vietnam era POW rescue effort, The Son Tay Raid, as well as Operation Eagle Claw, the failed rescue attempt in April of 1980 in Iran, so we have been at this for many years and have a deep passion for seeking the truth about what happened during the national tragedy in Benghazi.
The purpose of this letter is to encourage all members of the US House of Representatives to support H.Res. 36, which will create a House Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi. It is essential that a full accounting of the events of September 11, 2012, be provided and that the American public be fully informed regarding this egregious terrorist attack on US diplomatic personnel and facilities. We owe that truth to the American people and the families of the fallen.
It appears that many of the facts and details surrounding the terrorist attack which resulted in four American deaths and an undetermined number of American casualties have not yet been ascertained by previous hearings and inquiries. Additional information is now slowly surfacing in the media, which makes a comprehensive bipartisan inquiry an imperative. Many questions have not been answered thus far. The House Select Committee should address, at a minimum, the following questions:
1. Why was there no military response to the events in Benghazi?
a. Were military assets in the region available? If not, why not?
b. If so, were they alerted?
c. Were assets deployed to any location in preparation for a rescue or recovery attempt?
d. Was military assistance requested by the Department of State? If so, what type?
e. Were any US Army/Naval/USMC assets available to support the US diplomats in Benghazi during the attack?
f. What, if any, recommendations for military action were made by DOD and the US Africa Command?
2. What, if any, non-military assistance was provided during the attack?
3. How many US personnel were injured in Benghazi?
4. Why have the survivors of the attack not been questioned?
5. Where are the survivors?
6. Who was in the White House Situation Room (WHSR) during the entire 8-hour period of the attacks, and was a senior US military officer present?
7. Where were Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey during the crisis, and what inputs and recommendations did they make?
8. Where were Tom Donilon, the National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, his deputy, Valerie Jarrett and John Brennan during the attacks, and what (if any) recommendations or decisions did any of them make?
9. Why were F-16 fighter aircraft based in Aviano, Italy (less than two hours away) never considered a viable option for disruption (if not dispersal) of the attackers until “boots on the ground” (troop support–General Dempsey’s words) arrived?
10. Were any strike aircraft (such as an AC-130 gunship) in the area or possibly overhead that would cause former SEAL Tyrone Woods to laser-designate his attacker’s position and call for gunship fire support, thereby revealing his own location that led to his death?
11. Who gave the order to “STAND DOWN” that was heard repeatedly during the attacks?
12. What threat warnings existed before the attack, and what were the DOD and DOS responses to those warnings? What data (which will reveal exact timelines and command decisions) is contained within the various SITREPS, records, logs, videos and recordings maintained by the myriad of DOD, Intelligence Community and State Department Command Centers that were monitoring the events in Benghazi as they unfolded?
13. Why did the Commander-in Chief and Secretary of State never once check in during the night to find out the status of the crisis situation in Benghazi?
14. What was the nature of Ambassador Stevens’ business in Benghazi at the time of the attack?
15. What guidance has been provided to survivors and family members since the time of the attack, and who issued that guidance?
16. Why are so many agencies now requiring their personnel that were involved in or have access to information regarding the events that took place in Benghazi sign Non-Disclosure Agreements?
This was the most severe attack on American diplomatic facilities and personnel since the attacks on the US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. Thus far, it appears that there has been no serious effort to determine critical details of this attack. This is inexcusable and demands immediate attention by the Congress. Congress must show some leadership and provide answers to the public as to what actually occurred in Benghazi. Americans have a right to demand a full accounting on this issue.
A longstanding American ethos was breached during the terrorist attack in Benghazi. America failed to provide adequate security to personnel deployed into harm’s way and then failed to respond when they were viciously attacked. Clearly, this is unacceptable and requires accountability. America has always held to the notion that no American will be left behind and that every effort will be made to respond when US personnel are threatened. Given our backgrounds, we are concerned that this sends a very negative message to future military and diplomatic personnel who may be deployed into dangerous environments. That message is that they will be left to their own devices when attacked. That is an unacceptable message.
The House Select Committee should focus on getting a detailed account of the events in Benghazi as soon as possible. H. Res. 36 will provide a structure for the conduct of a thorough inquiry of Benghazi and should be convened immediately.
We ask that you fulfill your responsibilities to the American people and take appropriate action regarding Benghazi. With over sixty members of the US House of Representatives calling for this Select Committee already, it seems that the time is right to take appropriate action on Benghazi.
CBS Devotes Two Straight Days of Coverage to ‘Possible Cover-Up’ on Benghazi; ABC, NBC Out to Lunch
By Matthew Balan
CBS used its Sunday evening and Monday morning newscasts to keep the spotlight on the question of a “possible cover-up” surrounding the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Jeff Glor led CBS Evening News with the scoop from earlier in the day on Face the Nation – that a “career U.S. diplomat is raising new questions” about the Obama administration’s claim that the attack spontaneously erupted in response to an early protest in Egypt.
Monday’s CBS This Morning also aired a report on this latest development on the September 11, 2012 attack. Meanwhile, ABC and NBC have yet to pick up on the veteran diplomat’s allegations, despite the fact that he is set to testify publicly to Congress on the issue on Wednesday.
Glor teased a report from correspondent David Martin by trumpeting that “a new witness emerges – a senior U.S. diplomat contradicts the White House and seems to support Republican claims of a cover-up over the attack in Benghazi.” Martin first outlined what Rep. Darrell Issa had revealed earlier in the day on Face the Nation:
DAVID MARTIN: Greg Hicks – at the time, the number-two diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli…directly contradicts administration claims that at first, the attack was thought to be nothing more than a demonstration growing out of a similar protest that day in Cairo. ‘I thought it was a terrorist attack from the get-go. I think everybody in the mission thought it was a terrorist attack from the beginning.’
The CBS journalist continued with a clip of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s now-discredited assertion about the terror attack, which she made on several Sunday morning talk shows on September 16, 2012. He also noted that Rep. Issa “pointed out Rice’s statement directly contradicted the president of Libya, who had appeared just before her on ‘Face the Nation’.”
Near the end of the segment, Martin underlined a key assertion from Hicks – that the diplomat “told committee investigators Rice’s words were an insult to the president of Libya, and may have hobbled efforts to capture those responsible for the attack. ‘I firmly believe that the reason it took us so long to get the FBI to Benghazi is because of those Sunday talk shows.’”
Hours later, on Monday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Margaret Brennan rehashed much of what her colleague had reported the previous evening. Brennan also highlighted another statement from Hicks on Rice’s apparent slight to the Libyan president:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Hicks said that the public contradiction was a personal insult to the Libyan president, because Ambassador Rice – quote, ‘basically said that the president of Libya is either a liar or doesn’t know what he’s talking about. My jaw hit the floor as I watched this.’ He believes that’s why the Libyan government refused to allow the FBI access to the crime scene for several weeks.
Brennan had also singled out the FBI’s pursuit of three persons of interest who could provide information on the attack in Benghazi during a report on Thursday’s CBS This Morning, and touted how “what happened that night is still the topic of debate in Washington“. ABC devoted a news brief to the FBI investigation on Wednesday’s World News, while NBC punted on covering it.
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2013/05/06/cbs-devotes-two-straight-days-coverage-possible-cover-benghazi-abc-nb#ixzz2SeOcSj3V
The Benghazi talking points: What’s known and unknown
Posted by Glenn Kessler
“I wasn’t involved in the talking points process…. As I understand it, as I’ve been told, it was a typical interagency process where staff, including from the State Department, all participated, to try to come up with whatever was going to be made publicly available, and it was an intelligence product.”
— Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jan. 23, 2013
New information is raising questions about the development of the administration’s talking points on the deadly attack on the diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans, including the ambassador, dead.
Readers may recall that The Fact Checker concluded that there was something rather odd about U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice’s comments on the Sunday news shows shortly after the attack. Rice said the attack “began spontaneously” because of a reaction to a protest in Cairo sparked by a “hateful video,” and there was no indication it was “premeditated or preplanned.”
We awarded her Two Pinocchios the morning after she appeared on the shows, concluding that “the publicly available evidence stands in stark contrast to Rice’s talking points.”
The White House at the time sharply disputed that conclusion, but over time that column has held up rather well. (In an interview with congressional investigators that was released over the weekend, deputy chief of mission Gregory Hicks said “my jaw hit the floor as I watched this.”) Some readers have suggested we should boost the Pinocchio rating for Rice’s comments. Still, it is clear Rice was simply mouthing the words given to her. The bigger mystery now is who was involved in writing — and rewriting — the talking points.
The talking points have become important because, in the midst of President Obama’s reelection campaign, for a number of days they helped focus the journalistic narrative on an anti-Islam video — and away from a preplanned attack. As we noted in our timeline of administration statements, it took two weeks for the White House to formally acknowledge that Obama believed the attack was terrorism.
We also have awarded Pinocchios to Republicans for claims about Benghazi. In this column, as a reader service, we outline below some of the new disclosures, contained in a report by House Republicans and an article in the Weekly Standard, and contrast the new information with previous statements made by administration officials.
The House report contains references to specific e-mails between administration officials; the Weekly Standard then identifies who wrote the e-mails as well as various drafts of the talking points. As far as we know, the administration has not publicly denied the information about the talking points contained in the GOP report or the article.
The key new disclosure is that senior levels of the White House and State Department were closely involved in the rewriting of the talking points. Previously, Obama administration officials had strongly suggested that the talking points were developed almost exclusively by intelligence officials.
Here is White House spokesman Jay Carney speaking to reporters on Nov. 28, 2012:
“Ambassador Rice was using unclassified talking points that were developed by the intelligence community and provided not just to her, not just to the executive branch, but to the legislative branch. And they represented the best assessment by our intelligence professionals about what had happened in Benghazi at that time.”
“The White House and the State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two — of these two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility,’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate. Those talking points originated from the intelligence community. They reflect the IC’s best assessments of what they thought had happened.”
Note how Carney stressed that this was “developed by the intelligence community” and the “talking points originated from the intelligence community.”
In a narrow sense, this is correct. Both the House report and the Weekly Standard say the CIA created — or “originated” — the first draft of the talking points. The version as of Friday morning, Sept. 14, 2012, was rather detailed, saying that “Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaeda participated in the attack” and mentioning the militant group Ansar al-Sharia. It also referred to previous attacks against foreign interests and the possibility there had been surveillance of the U.S. facility.
But a senior State Department official — identified by the Weekly Standard as State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland — objected to this draft after being asked to clear the talking points for release. The CIA made some changes, but apparently that was not enough. Nuland said in an e-mail disclosed by the House report that the edits did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership” and that the State Department’s leadership “was consulting with [National Security Staff.]”
(Update: Reading between the lines, part of State’s concern appears to be inconsistency in messaging. Nuland, as State Department spokesman, had been constrained from saying much about the attack at the podium, and now the CIA was proposing to give lawmakers much more information than the administration had released. Moreover, from State’s perspective, the original draft contained references to CIA’s warnings about the security environment, which appeared designed to deflect attention from the agency’s substantial role in Benghazi.)
Minutes later, a White House official (said to be Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications), who was part of the email group receiving Nuland’s message, e-mailed to say that the State Department’s concerns would need to be addressed and the issue would be resolved at a meeting the next day at the White House.
The result, after the meeting, was a wholesale rewriting of the talking points. The House report says “the actual edits, including deleting all references to al-Qaeda, were made by a current high-ranking CIA official,” which the Weekly Standard identifies as Deputy Director Mike Morell.
Oddly, in November, three GOP senators released a statement saying that Morell had told them that the references to al-Qaeda had been removed by the FBI — but then six hours later the CIA contacted them to say Morell “misspoke” and instead the CIA had actually made those deletions. His own apparent role appears not to have been mentioned.
Morell may have had his hand on the pen, but the available evidence suggests that White House and State Department had much more involvement than the “single adjustment” of changing the word “consulate” to “diplomatic facility,” as Carney asserted.
The biggest unknown is whether the “building leadership” in the State Department that objected to the initial talking points included anyone on Clinton’s immediate staff. (One presumes that nit-picking over wording would not have risen to Clinton’s level.) There is no indication that Nuland had any role in crafting or even discussing the talking points after her email on Friday evening, nor is it clear from the email portions that have been released whether she had actually consulted with other officials before objecting to the draft.
Nuland is expected to be nominated for assistant secretary for European affairs. Lawmakers are likely to question her closely on this point during her confirmation hearings.
Clinton, during her testimony before the Senate and the House in January, made the following comments about the development of the talking points. She also stressed it was an “intelligence product” and said she was not involved in the “talking points process” and she “personally” was not focused on them — odd locutions that leave open the possibility that she was aware of the internal debate at the time.
“I would say that I personally was not focused on talking points. I was focused on keeping our people safe.”
“I wasn’t involved in the talking points process…. As I understand it, as I’ve been told, it was a typical interagency process where staff, including from the State Department, all participated, to try to come up with whatever was going to be made publicly available, and it was an intelligence product.”
“I was not involved in the so-called talking points process. My understanding is it was a typical process, trying to get to the best information available. It was an intelligence product.”
“The evidence was being sifted and analyzed by the intelligence community, which is why the intelligence community was the principal decider about what went into talking points. And there was also the added problem of nobody wanting to say things that would undermine the investigation.”
As more information emerges, we will continue to track how the administration’s statements hold up over time and whether more Pinocchio ratings are appropriate.
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Ron Meyer Analysis of CPAC Invites with Monica Mehta & Julie Roginsky on Neil Cavuto – 3-4-13
Christie Says He’s Not Bothered By Lack of Invite to Conservative Conference
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Former National Security Adiviser Bud McFarlane: For Obama to Do Nothing is Dereliction of Duty
Know The TRUTH ~ Step By Step ~ Bret Baier’s ~ ‘Death and Deceit in Benghazi’
Obama Confronted on Benghazi – Stutters Through Response!
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Rush military caller says that Obama ordered no response to Benghazi attack
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Graham Questions Military Leaders on Response to Benghazi Attack
Part II: Graham Questions Military Leaders on Benghazi
Sen. Chambliss at Benghazi SASC Hearing
Panetta: Benghazi was a ‘problem of distance and time’.
No Word from Hillary During Benghazi Attack Panetta, Dempsey did not speak to Clinton
Panetta Defends Pentagon’s Benghazi Response
Senator Blunt Questions Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey About Benghazi Attacks
Rand Paul’s Reaction To Defense Secretary Panetta’s Benghazi Testimony – Fox News
Obama vs Panetta on Attacks in Benghazi – Obama Could have saved American Lives
Senators challenge military leaders on Benghazi attack response
“…The top two Defense Department officials were sharply challenged by lawmakers Thursday on their insistent claims that nothing more could have been done to save the four Americans who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack in Benghazi.
Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey were peppered with questions from Republican senators during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The officials claimed military aircraft and other assets were too far away to get to the scene in time, and suggested armed aircraft like F16s could have done more harm than good in a chaotic situation. The senators, though, pressed the officials for a fuller explanation on why military assets were not deployed to rescue Americans under attack that night – in what will likely be their last chance to question the outgoing Defense secretary.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., disputed testimony that the difficulty in dispatching assets to the scene was “a problem of distance and time.” He suggested the “light footprint” in the region and a failure to respond to threats left the military ill-prepared.
“For you to testify that our posture would not allow a rapid response — our posture was not there because we didn’t take into account the threats to that consulate, and that’s why four Americans died,” he said. “We could have placed forces there. We could have had aircraft and other capacity a short distance away.”
He continued: “No forces arrived there until well after these murders took place.”
Dempsey acknowledged having gotten word of a warning from the U.S. consulate about being unable to withstand a sustained attack, but said the military never got a request for support from the State Department.
“So it’s the State Department’s fault?” McCain asked, curtly.
“I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey said.
McCain responded: “Who would you blame?”
Dempsey went on to claim that several U.S. posts were facing significant threats, though McCain said none so much as Benghazi.
Shortly afterward, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pressed Panetta again on why no forces were deployed until after the attack was over. Dempsey and Panetta said they talked to President Obama one time that night, but Graham questioned why there weren’t subsequent follow-up conversations.
“It lasted almost eight hours … did the president show any curiosity?” Graham asked.
Panetta said there was “no question” Obama “was concerned about American lives.”
“With all due respect,” Graham responded, “I don’t believe that’s a credible statement if he never called and asked you, ‘are we helping these people?’”
The secretary’s testimony on Benghazi was long-sought by Republican lawmakers. After then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified last month, Graham had demanded that Panetta be brought before the Senate — threatening to hold up the nomination of his prospective replacement Chuck Hagel over the issue.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced last week that Panetta would testify.
Responding to long-running questions about whether more military assets could have been dispatched to protect those under fire in Libya on Sept. 11, Panetta in his opening statement claimed there simply wasn’t enough time to do more.
“There was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond,” he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We were not dealing with a prolonged or continuous assault which could have been brought to an end by a U.S. military response. … Time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”
Still, he said the Pentagon “spared no effort … to save American lives.”
Panetta was testifying in what may be his final public appearance on Capitol Hill as he prepares to leave the department.
Panetta, in his testimony, detailed the military response on the day and night of the attack.
As Fox News has previously reported, he said an unarmed, unmanned drone was positioned overhead the Benghazi compound.
But he said armed aircraft like AC-130 gunships would have taken too long to get there — “at least nine to 12 hours if not more to deploy.”
“This was, pure and simple … a problem of distance and time,” he said.
Panetta said he also directed that a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team stationed in Spain prepare to deploy in addition to a second FAST platoon; a special operations force in Central Europe prepare to deploy to a staging base in Southern Europe; and a special ops force in the U.S. similarly prepare to deploy to Southern Europe.
As for what was happening in Libya, he claimed the “quickest response” was the Tripoli-based team of six people which was sent to Benghazi.
“Members of this team, along with others at the annex facility, provided emergency medical assistance and supported the evacuation of all personnel. Only 12 hours after the attacks had begun, all remaining U.S. government personnel had been safely evacuated from Benghazi,” he said.
Since the September assault, some have questioned whether enough was done to protect those at the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed that night.
There have been questions about the perceived delays CIA officials – stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support would be above when they landed in Benghazi, but it wasn’t. …”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/07/panetta-defends-military-response-to-benghazi-attack-at-senate-hearing/#ixzz2KGmLO0Iu
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Team Wreckers: Speaker Boehner Tells ‘Tea-Party’ Republicans To Fall in Line!
Tea Party Backlash: Far Right-Wing ‘Num-Nuts’ Lash Out at GOP Leadership on
Speaker Boehner’s Looming War With The Hard Right Tea-Party Extremists
Boehner punishes conservative David Schweikert – Mark Levin
Rush Limbaugh: John Boehner is purging the GOP of Tea Party conservatives
Boehner Starts War With Tea Party By Removing 4 Members From Key Positions
Justin Amash: GOP leadership is out of step with America
The Tea Party vs. John Boehner
SA@TAC – The State of the Right
What We Believe, Part 1: Small Government and Free Enterprise.
What We Believe, Part 2: The Problem with Elitism
What We Believe, Part 3: Wealth Creation
What We Believe, Part 4: Natural Law
What We Believe, Part 5: Gun Rights
What We Believe, Part 6: Immigration
What We Believe, Part 7: American Exceptionalism
EAT THE RICH!
Rand Paul Warns Boehner, Cantor: Hope You’re Not Aspiring for Higher Office
PJTV: Will the GOP Allow Obama to Raise Taxes on the Rich?
Background Articles and Videos
Debt Ceiling Crisis: Boehner vs. Tea Party
Tea Party Leaders Cite Member “Concern” about Speaker Boehner’s Leadership
Democrats—Republicans–Tea Party Conservatives
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Glenn Beck’s The Blaze Panel discuss anti-American violence in Libya.
Glenn Beck says Obama Planned Embassy Attacks American people being set up !
One Year Ago » Obama Declared Peace in Our Time at the UN
Finally The Truth Muslim Protests About NATO Drone Strikes, Backing Saudi Jihadists
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UPDATED Septmeber 27, 2012
Romney Protester Says Vote for Obama Because He Gives Free Phones
True Wireless TV Spot – Got Food Stamps? Get A Free Cell Phone Too!
Free Obama Cell Phones
SafeLink Wireless Provides Free Cell Phone Service to Low Income Families in Tennessee
4409 — OBAMA PHONE: Obama giving away FREE cellphones
Rush: “Obama Phones” Free Cell Phones and Service Doubles Under Obama
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Lew Rockwell and Tom Woods discuss Rothbard and the Koch Brothers
People & Power – The Koch Brothers
I am a classical liberal or libertarian.
I greatly admire the works of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, The Von Mises Institute, Cato Institute, Reason and the Koch brothers.
Competition is what it is all about. This is a mistake the Kock borthers made in not encouraging instead of discouraging the formation of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and trying to marginalize Murray Rothbard. What is needed is many Cato Institutes and Ludwig von Mises Institutes spreading the word on the benefits of free market capitalism and limited government.
The Republican Party establishment, sad to say, is controlled by progressive neoconservatives, which is why many classical liberals or libertarians have left the Republican Party and are now independents.
Nixon, Ford, Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain, and Romney are all big government progressive Republicans. They may talk conservative, but walk as big government spenders. Limited government and fiscal responsibility are the last thing these big government progressive neoconservatives want. The Republican Party has became the party of war and the Democratic Party has become the party of welfare. The result is the warfare and welfare economy and state.
It is only a matter of time before a new political party will emerge that will reflect the views of libertarian conservatives, traditional conservatives, social/religious conservatives and national defense conservatives.
Both the Democratic and Republican party leaderships are so permeated with progressives or liberals that they are both lost causes.
Background Articles and Videos
“…The Koch family ( /ˈkoʊk/ KOHK) of industrialists and businessmen is most notable for their control of Koch Industries, the second largest privately owned company in the United States. The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy oil into gasoline. Fred’s four sons became involved in litigation against each other in the 1980s and 1990s. According to the Koch Family Foundations and Philanthropy website, “the foundations and the individual giving of Koch family members” have financially supported organizations “fostering entrepreneurship, education, human services, at-risk youth, arts and culture, and medical research.” 
David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch—the two brothers still with Koch Industries—are affiliated with the Koch family foundations. Annual revenues for Koch Industries have been “estimated to be a hundred billion dollars.” 
Main article: Political activities of the Koch family
David and Charles have funded conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups in the United States. Since the 1980s the Koch foundations have given more than $100 million to such organizations, among these think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, as well as more recently Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are Koch-linked organizations that have been linked to the Tea Party movement.
- Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), American chemical engineer and entrepreneur who founded the oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries
- Mary Robinson Koch (October 17, 1907 – December 21, 1990), wife of Fred C. and namesake of the company tanker vessel Mary R. Koch
- Four sons of Fred C. and Mary Robinson Koch:
- Frederick R. Koch (born 1933), collector and philanthropist
- Charles G. Koch (born 1935), Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Industries
- David H. Koch (born 1940), Executive Vice President of Koch Industries
- William Koch (born 1940), businessman, sailor, and collector
- David Koch Theatre
- Charles Koch Arena
- David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
- The Science of Success, a book by Charles Koch in which he attributes the success of the family business to Market-Based Management
- Koch Industries
- ^ “Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies”. Forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/21/private-companies-11_land.html. Retrieved 10/4/11.
- ^ Koch, Charles C. (2007). The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World’s Largest Private Company. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-470-13988-2.
- ^ “Koch Industries, Inc.”. Company Profile Report. Hoover’s, Inc.. 2010. http://www.hoovers.com/company/Koch_Industries_Inc/cftjki-1.html. Retrieved 10 May 2010. “[W]hen he tried to market his invention, the major oil companies sued him for patent infringement. Koch eventually won the lawsuits (after 15 years in court), but the controversy made it tough to attract many US customers.”
- ^ “Epic struggle among Koch brothers ends”. Houston Chronicle: p. 2. 26 May 2001.
- ^ http://kochfamilyfoundations.org/Foundations.asp
- ^ Mayer, Jane(August 10, 2010) http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama The New Yorker
- ^ Zernike, Kate (October 19, 2010). “Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/us/politics/20koch.htm.
- ^ Charles Koch, in interview with Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal. 6 May 2006. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114687252956545543.html
- ^ Vogel, Kenneth P. (August 9, 2010), “Tea party’s growing money problem”, Politico, http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=1&subcatid=70&threadid=4355176, retrieved 2011-06-14
- ^ Fenn, Peter (February 2, 2011), “Tea Party Funding Koch Brothers Emerge From Anonymity”, U.S. News & World Report, http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/Peter-Fenn/2011/02/02/tea-party-funding-koch-brothers-emerge-from-anonymity, retrieved 2011-06-13
- ^ a b Fred and Mary Koch Foundation …”
“…Koch Industries, Inc. (/ˈkoʊk/), is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Wichita, Kansas, United States, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company. Koch companies are involved in core industries such as the manufacturing, refining and distribution of petroleum, chemicals, energy, fiber, intermediates and polymers, minerals, fertilizers, pulp and paper, chemical technology equipment, ranching, finance, commodities trading, as well as other ventures and investments. The firm employs 50,000 people in the United States and another 20,000 in 59 other countries.
In 2011, Forbes called it the second largest privately held company in the United States (after Cargill) with an annual revenue of about $98 billion, down from the largest in 2006. If Koch Industries were a public company in 2007, it would rank about 16 in the Fortune 500.
Fred C. Koch, for whom Koch Industries, Inc. is named, co-founded the company in 1940 and developed an innovative crude oil refining process. His sons, Charles G. Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, and David H. Koch, executive vice president, are principal owners of the company after they bought out their brothers, Frederick and William, for $1.1 billion in 1983. Charles and David H. Koch each own 42% of Koch Industries, and Charles has stated that the company will publicly offer shares “literally over my dead body”.
In 1925, Fred C. Koch joined MIT classmate Lewis E. Winkler at an engineering firm in Wichita, Kansas, which was renamed the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company. In 1927 they developed a more efficient thermal cracking process for turning crude oil into gasoline. This process threatened the competitive advantage of established oil companies, which sued for patent infringement. Temporarily forced out of business in the United States, they turned to other markets, including the Soviet Union, where Winkler-Koch built 15 cracking units between 1929 and 1932. During this time, Koch came to despise communism and Joseph Stalin’s regime. In his 1960 book, A Business Man Looks at Communism, Koch wrote that he found the USSR to be “a land of hunger, misery, and terror.” According to Charles G. Koch, “Virtually every engineer he worked with [there] was purged.”
In 1940, Koch joined new partners to create a new firm, the Wood River Oil and Refining Company, which is today known as Koch Industries. In 1946 the firm acquired the Rock Island refinery and crude oil gathering system near Duncan, Oklahoma. Wood River was later renamed the Rock Island Oil & Refining Company. Charles G. Koch joined Rock Island in 1961, having started his career at the management consulting firm Arthur D. Little. He became president in 1966 and chairman at age 32, upon his father’s death the following year.
The company was renamed Koch Industries in honor of Fred Koch, the year after his death. At that time, it was primarily an engineering firm with part interest in a Minnesota refinery, a crude oil-gathering system in Oklahoma, and some cattle ranches. In 1968, Charles approached Union Oil of California about buying their interest in Great Northern Oil Company and its Pine Bend Refinery but the discussions quickly stalled after Union asked for a large premium. In 1969, Union Oil began trying to market their interest in Great Northern by telling potential buyers that Koch’s controlling interest could be thwarted by currying favor with another owner, J. Howard Marshall II. When Marshall discovered this he threw his lot in with Koch, they together acquired a majority interest in the company and ultimately bought Union’s interest. Ownership of Pine Bend refinery led to several new businesses and capabilities, including chemicals, fibers, polymers, asphalt and other commodities such as petroleum coke and sulfur. These were followed by global commodity trading, gas liquids processing, real estate, pulp and paper, risk management and finance.
In 1970, Charles was joined at the family firm by his brother David H. Koch. Having started as a technical services manager, David became president of Koch Engineering in 1979.
Among Koch Industries’ subsidiaries across various industries are:
Georgia-Pacific is a paper and pulp company that produces “Brawny” paper towels, “Angel Soft” toilet paper, “Mardi Gras” napkins and towels, “Quilted Northern” toilet paper and paper towels, “Dixie” paper plates, bowls, napkins and cups, “Sparkle” paper towels, and “Vanity Fair” paper napkins, bowls, plates and tablecloths. The Atlanta-based company has operations in 27 states.
INVISTA is a polymer and fibers company that makes “Stainmaster” carpet, and “Lycra” fiber, among other products.
Koch Pipeline Company LP
Koch Pipeline Company LP, which owns and operates 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of pipeline used to transport oil, natural gas liquids and chemicals. Its pipelines are located across Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alberta, Canada. The firm operates offices in Wichita, Kansas, St. Paul, Minnesota and Corpus Christi, Texas.
In 1946 Wood River Oil Co. (a precursor company to Koch Industries) purchased Rock Island Oil and Refining Co. As a part of the transaction, it acquired a crude-oil pipeline in Oklahoma. As a result of construction and investments, Wood River acquired other pipelines in the U.S. and Canada. “In the ensuing years,” according to Koch Pipeline’s website, “the company bought, sold and built pipeline systems transporting crude oil and refined products, as well as natural gas, natural gas liquids and anhydrous ammonia (for fertilizer).” Koch Pipeline and its affiliates currently maintain a 4,000-mile network of pipelines.
In January 2000, Koch Pipeline agreed to a $35 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the State of Texas. This settlement, including a $30 million civil fine, represented compensation for three hundred oil spills in Texas and five other states dating back to 1990.
- Pipeline accident
Koch’s Sterling butane pipeline had a leak in Lively, Texas, on August 24, 1996. Two teenagers were killed when the gas exploded and burned. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that severe external pipeline corrosion was the cause of the failure, and recommended to Koch to improve corrosion evaluation procedures. Although Koch distributed pamphlets about safety around the pipelines, they failed to maintain an up-to-date mailing list. Only 5 out of 45 residences in the area of the accident had received pamphlets. The families of the dead had not.
In 1999, a Texas jury found that negligence had led to the rupture of the Koch pipeline and awarded the victims’ families $296 million — “the largest compensatory damages judgment in a wrongful death case against a corporation in U.S. history”.
In a statement released in 2010, Koch Industries offered this comment:
The August, 1996 pipeline accident in Texas was a tragedy. Koch accepted responsibility immediately for the incident, which is the only event of its kind in the company’s history. The thorough review conducted of this pipeline the year before the accident did not uncover any issues that posed a foreseeable threat to public safety. The bacteria-induced corrosion that caused the accident acted more quickly to damage this pipeline than had ever been documented by any industry expert. Koch’s cooperative efforts to identify the source and cause of this problem so that this knowledge could be shared throughout industry were praised by the National Transportation Safety Board, which did a two-year investigation into this incident.
Flint Hill Resources LP
Flint Hill Resources LP, originally called Koch Petroleum Group, is a major refining and chemicals company based in Wichita, Kansas. It sells products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ethanol, polymers, intermediate chemicals, base oils and asphalt. It operates oil refineries in six states. Flint Hill has chemical plants in Illinois, Texas and Michigan. The firm is also a major manufacturer of asphalt used for paving and roofing applications. It operates 13 asphalt terminals located in six states including Alaska (2 terminals), Wisconsin (2), Iowa (3), Minnesota (4), Nebraska (1), and North Dakota(1). The firm manages the purchasing of domestic crude oil from Texas and Colorado offices, has four ethanol plants across Iowa, operates three refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and has a refinery terminal in Alaska. The Minnesota refinery can process 320,000 barrels (51,000 m3) of crude a day, most of which comes from from Alberta, Canada, and handles one quarter of all Canadian oil sands crude entering the U.S. It also operates fuel terminals in Wisconsin (4 locations), Texas (6), and one each in Iowa and Minnesota.
In March 1999, Koch Petroleum Group acknowledged that it had negligently dumped hundreds of thousands of gallons of aviation fuel into wetlands from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had illegally dumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi River. Koch Petroleum paid a $6 million fine and $2 million in remediation costs, and was ordered to serve three years of probation.
In April 2001, the company reached a $20 million settlement in exchange for admitting to covering up environmental violations at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In June 2003, the US Commerce Department fined Flint Hill Resources a $200,000 civil penalty. The fine settled charges that the company exported crude petroleum from the US to Canada without proper US government authorization. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security said from July 1997 to March 1999, Koch Petroleum (later called Flint Hill Resources) committed 40 violations of Export Administration Regulations.
In 2005, Koch’s Flint Hills Resources refinery was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Awards program for reducing air emissions by 50 percent while expanding operations. The EPA has worked with Flint Hills Resources to develop “strategies for curtailing so-called ‘upset’ emissions, in what agency and company sources say could lead to guidance to minimize such emissions from petroleum refineries and other industrial facilities.” The EPA described the process as a “model for other companies.”
In 2006, Flint Hill Resources was fined nearly $16,000 by the EPA for 10 separate violations of the Clean Air Act at its Alaska oil refinery facilities, and required to spend another $60,000 on safety equipment needed to help prevent future violations.
Koch Fertilizer, LLC
Koch Fertilizer, LLC, which is one of the world’s largest makers of nitrogen fertilizers. Koch Fertilizer owns or has interests in fertilizer plants the United States, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and Italy, among others. Koch Fertilizer was formed in 1988 when the Koch companies purchased the Gulf Central Pipeline and ammonia terminals connected to the pipeline. The next year, the Koch Nitrogen Company was formed in order to market ammonia. The next few years saw purchases of various ammonia facilities in Louisiana, Canada, and elsewhere, and ammonia sales agreements with firms in Australia, the U.K., and other countries. The year 2010 saw the founding of Koch Methanol, LLC, and Koch Agronomic Services, LLC. In October 2010, a plant in Venezuela was nationalized by the government. In 2011, the firm acquired the British fertilizer firm J&H Bunn Limited.
Koch Agricultural Company
Koch Agricultural Company’s Matador Cattle Company division operates three ranches totaling 425,000 acres (1,720 km2) located in Beaverhead, Montana, Matador, Texas and the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. There are more than 15,000 head of cattle raised on the ranches.
The Matador Land and Cattle Company was founded in 1882 by Scottish investors, whose acquisition included 2.5 million acres in four Texas counties. In 1951, the company was sold to Lazard Freres and Company, which in turn sold some of the Texas land to Fred C. Koch. In 1952 Koch formed Matador Cattle Company, and later one of his companies purchased part of Matador Ranch, which was brought together with other Koch ranches in Montana and Kansas. Today, according to the ranch’s website, it “is owned and operated by Matador Cattle Company, a division of Koch Agriculture Company, which is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.”
Koch’s Matador Ranch in Texas earned the Lone Star Land Steward award for outstanding natural resource management in 2010. The Montana ranch has earned several environmental stewardship awards, including the EPA Regional Administrator’s award.
Environmental and safety record
From 1999 to 2003, Koch Industries was assessed “more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments.” Another source points out that Koch has had only “eight instances of alleged misconduct … over the span of 63 years” despite being a giant multinational, and that this compares favorably to the fines, penalties and judgments accrued by the similarly large General Electric corporation.
Pollution and resource fines
In May 2001, Koch Industries paid $25 million to the federal government to settle a federal lawsuit that found the company had improperly taken more oil than it had paid for from federal and Indian land.
In 2007, Koch Nitrogen’s plant in Enid, Oklahoma, was listed as the third highest company releasing toxic chemicals in Oklahoma, according to the EPA, ranking behind Perma-Fix Environmental Services in Tulsa and Weyerhaeuser Co. in Valliant. The facility produces about 10% of the US national production of anhydrous ammonia, as well as urea and UAN.
In 2010, Koch Industries was ranked 10th on the list of top US corporate air polluters, the “Toxic 100 Air Polluters”, by the Political Economic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Awards and certifications
||This section relies on references to primary sources or sources affiliated with the subject, rather than references from independent authors and third-party publications. Please add citations from reliable sources. (May 2011)
According to its website, Koch Industries and its subsidiaries received 289 stewardship awards over the two years ending January 2011.
Koch Industries’ headquarters in Wichita has been certified for meeting the Energy Star standards for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. As of 2010[update] it is the only Wichita office building to be so recognized. A Tulsa, Oklahoma site of the Koch-owned John Zink Company site was part of the EPA’s National Environmental Performance Track program from 2003 until 2009 when the program was suspended.
In 2011, the Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross awarded Koch Industries with a Corporate Excellence Award for its long-standing commitment to the humanitarian mission of Red Cross.
In 2008, Koch Industries discovered that the French affiliate Koch-Glitsch had violated bribery laws allegedly securing contracts in Algeria, Egypt, India, Morocco, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia after an investigation by Ethics Compliance officer, Egorova-Farines. After Koch Industries’ investigative team looked into her findings, the four employees involved were terminated. A Bloomberg article states that Egorova-Farines’ reported her findings immediately, and even after Koch’s investigators substantiated the findings, her “superiors removed her from the inquiry in August 2008 and fired her in June 2009, calling her incompetent.” Koch Industries’ general counsel, Mark Holden, gave a different account of the events to Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. Holden stated that Egorova-Farines failed to promptly share the findings, choosing instead to give the information to a manager at Koch-Glitsch who was later fired for bribery. Rubin writes that, according to Holden, “Egorova-Farines was not fired but instead ran into performance problems, left the company to go on leave and never returned.” Egorova-Farines sued Koch-Glitsch for wrongful termination in France. Rubin writes that she lost and “was ordered to pay costs for bringing a frivolous case.”
In May 2011, a Utah judge dismissed a Koch Industries lawsuit alleging that Youth For Climate Truth, in releasing a fake Koch Industries press release, had infringed on Koch Industries’ trademark.
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||This section may stray from the topic of the article into the topic of another article, Political activities of the Koch family. Please help improve this section or discuss this issue on the talk page. (November 2011)
See also: Political activities of the Koch family
Koch Industries has spent more than $50 million to lobby in Washington since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The company has opposed the regulation of financial derivatives and limits on greenhouse gases. It sponsors free market foundations and causes.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, many of Koch Industries’ contributions have gone toward achieving legislation on energy issues, defense appropriations and financial regulatory reform. According to Greenpeace, the company has “had a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming,” and has out-spent ExxonMobil (another corporation active in fighting climate change science and legislation) in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change. “From 2005 to 2008, ExxonMobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding.” Another Greenpeace study states that between 1997 and 2008 Koch Industries donated nearly $48 million to groups which doubt or oppose the theory of anthropogenic global warming. Koch Industries replied saying the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.”[context?]
One policy proposal to control global warming that Koch Industries has come out against is Low Carbon Fuel Standards, such as were passed in 2007 in California. According to Koch Industries, “LCFS would cripple refiners that rely on heavy crude feedstocks to provide the transportation fuels that keep America moving.”
According to a critic of the Mercatus Center and the Kochs, the political activity by some of the Koch-supported foundations — such as Mercatus Center — helps the company financially.[relevant to this paragraph? – discuss] According to Thomas McGarity, a law professor at the University of Texas who specializes in environmental issues, “Koch has been constantly in trouble with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Mercatus has constantly hammered” on the EPA.[relevant to this paragraph? – discuss] The founder of the Mercatus Center, Richard H. Fink, also heads Koch Industries’ lobbying operation in Washington DC. According to a study by the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America, Koch Industries (and other Koch brothers-owned companies) “have benefited from nearly a $100 million in government contracts since 2000.”
Koch Industries have also been active in supporting and opposing politicians, including presidents. According to Jane Mayer, During the US 2000 election campaign, Koch Industries spent some $900,000 to support the candidacies of George W. Bush and other Republicans.[neutrality is disputed] It has funded opposition campaigns against programs of the Obama administration — “from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus”. The Koch Industries website includes an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal by Charles Koch, one of the company’s owners, “Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out” The article states:
Because of our activism, we’ve been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we’re determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges [deficit spending by governments] seriously.
- Koch family
- Koch Family Foundations
- ^ a b c “Koch Industries Welcomes 2009 Leadership Kansas Class” (PDF). http://www.kochind.com/files/070709KIILeadershipKansas.pdf. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ “Forbes Magazine Profile for America’s Top 100 Private Companies”. Forbes.com. 3 November 2010. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/21/private-companies-10_Koch-Industries_VMZQ.html. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ “Koch Industries, Inc – Industry Areas”. Kochind.com. http://www.kochind.com/IndustryAreas/default.asp. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ Continetti, Matthew (April 4, 2011). “The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics”. The Weekly Standard. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/paranoid-style-liberal-politics_555525.html?nopager=1.
- ^ a b Fisher, Daniel (Mar. 13, 2006). “Mr. Big”, pp. 24–26. Forbes. Online summary for calendar year 2005 at .
- ^ “America’s Largest Private Companies”. Forbes. 8 November 2007. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/21/biz_privates07_Americas-Largest-Private-Companies_Rank.html?boxes=custom. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ “Forbes rankings for 2009″. Forbes.com. 2009-10-28. http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/28/largest-private-companies-business-private-companies-09_land.html. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ “The Principled Entrepreneur”. The American. July–August 2007. http://www.american.com/archive/2007/july-august-magazine-contents/the-principled-entrepreneur. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- ^ a b “Summary of Koch Industries History”. sec.gov. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 14 November 2005. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/41077/000119312505225697/dex993.htm. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
- ^ The Top 10 Forbes Asia October 19, 2009
- ^ a b c Koch, Charles C. (2007). The Science of Success: How Market-Based Management Built the World’s Largest Private Company. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-470-13988-2.
- ^ a b c Daniel Fisher (13 March 2006). “Mr. Big”. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/global/2006/0313/024.html.
- ^ Koch, Fred C. (1960). A Business Man Looks at Communism. Wichita, Kansas.
- ^ a b J. Howard, Marshall II (1994). Done in Oil: An Autobiography. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. p. 254. ISBN 0-89096-533-1.
- ^ Bruce Upbin; Brandon Copple (14 December 1998). “Creative destruction 101″. Forbes.
- ^ John, Lincoln (1989). Rich Grass and Sweet Water. College Station: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 0-89096-387-8.
- ^ Koch Industries website, Industry Areas, accessed Aug 25 2010,
- ^ Georgia Pacific website, accessed March 11, 2011, Georgia-Pacific Company Overview
- ^ “History”. Koch Pipeline Company, L.P.. http://www.kochpipeline.com/AboutUs/history.asp. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- ^ “Koch Pipeline Company L.P. – Newsroom”. Kochpipeline.com. 2000-01-13. http://www.kochpipeline.com/news/printable.asp?id=270. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ By Ralph K.M. Haurwitz and Jeff Nesmith (2001-07-23). “Austin news, sports, weather, Longhorns, business”. Statesman.com. http://www.statesman.com/specialreports/content/specialreports/pipelines/23pipegathering.html. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ “Koch Agrees to $35 Million Settlement in Two Environmental Cases”. Safety Online. 17 January 2000. http://www.safetyonline.com/article.mvc/Koch-Agrees-to-35-million-Settlement-in-Two-E-0001?VNETCOOKIE=NO.
- ^ Pipeline Rupture, Liquid Butane Release, and Fire, Lively, Texas, August 24, 1996
- ^ “Austin news, sports, weather, Longhorns, business”. Statesman.com. http://www.statesman.com/specialreports/content/specialreports/pipelines/23pipelively3.html. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
- ^ a b c d e f Loder, Asjylyn; David Evans (3 October 2011). “Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales”. Bloomberg Markets Magazine. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-02/koch-brothers-flout-law-getting-richer-with-secret-iran-sales.html. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- ^ “Koch Industries Responds to New Yorker Claims”. Newsmax Media. http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/koch-industries-new-yorker/2010/08/26/id/368519. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- ^ Flint Hill Resources website, accessed March 11, 2011, FHR Asphalt
- ^ a b Dembicki, Geoff (March 22, 2011). “The Kochs: Oil Sands Billionaires Bankrolling US Right”. The Tyee (Vancouver, B.C.). http://thetyee.ca/News/2011/03/22/KochBrothers/index.html. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- ^ Koch Industries website, accessed March 11, 2011, http://www.fhr.com/newsroom/contact.aspx?ID=9
- ^ “Koch Petroleum Group Sentenced for Minnesota Pollution” (Press release). Environmental Protection Agency. 9 March 2000. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/eae2020401d0bf098525689d00713ea5!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- ^ “Koch Pleads Guilty to Covering up Environmental Violations at Texas Oil Refinery”. justice.gov. U.S. Department of Justice. 9 April 2001. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2001/April/153enrd.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- ^ Don Richards (22 January 2001). “DOJ Reduces Indictments Against Koch Industries”. ICIS. http://www.icis.com/Articles/2001/01/22/130888/doj-reduces-indictments-against-koch-industries.html.
- ^ US Dept of Commerce, Commerce Dept Fines Kansas Firm, June 3, 2003 press release, http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2003/kansasfirmfined.htm
- ^ Jessica Harper (18 November 2009). “Flint Hills is coming out of murky waters”. Dakota County Tribune. http://www.thisweeklive.com/2009/11/18/flint-hills-is-coming-out-of-murky-waters/.
- ^ “Inside EPA’s Clean Air Report”. InsideEPA. http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:7eiXKq7LLHkJ:www.flinthillsresources.info/upload/InsideEPA9-09Pactwithoil.pdf+Flint+Hills+Resources+epa&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjlfx6q_Ri64N7NdqA3rho-Amf6W1nzG7_PkmPqn7Z9eJiGxEsQN9ph1qqI7EjuAUdIwNaS1l1voou3gXceHm_zhgBmQidSNdEp44PfgvYdxXP_u1PTXKeTbv4SM4bGwfZZ_7S2&sig=AHIEtbQgO5KZzY5H1tGz7XGieXnNJakdqQ. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- ^ “Flint Hills Resources, LP Agrees to Transition Its Texas Flexible Permits to Federally Approved Clean Air Act Permits – Transition affects facilities in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Longview”. EPA. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/6F25BD791C4B21CB852577C400552339. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- ^ EPA Press Release, EPA Fines Flint Hill Resources Alaska, Dec 13 2006, accessed Aug 25 2010, http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/b0789fb70f8ff03285257029006e3880/6b191200b3ce87e2852572430062f987!OpenDocument
- ^ Koch Fertilizer website, accessed March 11, 2011, http://www.kochfertilizer.com/
- ^ Yasha Levine (1 September 2010). “7 Ways the Koch Bros. Benefit from Corporate Welfare”. The New York Observer. http://www.observer.com/2010/daily-transom/how-libertarian-koch-bros-benefit-corporate-welfare.
- ^ “Fertilizers”. http://www.kochind.com/IndustryAreas/fertilizers.aspx.
- ^ “Koch Industries says no word on Venezuela takeover”. Reuters. 11 October 2010. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1112262420101011.
- ^ Koch Industries website, accessed March 11, 2011, Ranching
- ^ “The History of Matador Ranch”. Matador Ranch. http://www.matadorranch.com/matadorranchhistory.php. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- ^ “Lone Star Land Steward Awards Winners Announced” (Press release). Texas Parks & Wildlife. 6 May 2010. http://archive.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/text.phtml?req=20100506. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- ^ “EPA Honors Koch Ranch for Environmental Excellence; Award is Ranch’s Fourth Major Environmental Honor in 1999″ (Press release). Koch Industries. 7 June 1999. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1999_June_7/ai_54811290/. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- ^ Bloomberg’s Exposé on Koch Industries Reveals … What Exactly? Daniel Indiviglio| 4 October 2011
- ^ Russell Ray (20 June 2001). “Tribe Likely to Get Piece of Settlement in Osage County, Okla., Oil Squabble”. Tulsa World.
- ^ “EPA Reports Toxic Releases to Air, Water and Land in Oklahoma in 2007″. Environmental Protection Agency. 2009-03-19. http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/6427a6b7538955c585257359003f0230/0c43e41531a2f7848525757e00664797!OpenDocument.
- ^ Voorhis, Dan (2010-12-16). “Fertilizer Helps Koch Grow”. Wichita Eagle. http://www.kansas.com/2010/12/16/1635564/fertilizer-helps-koch-grow.html.
- ^ “Toxic 100 Air Polluters” (Press release). March 31, 2010. http://www.peri.umass.edu/toxic_press/.
- ^ “Koch Companies Recognized with 289 Stewardship Awards since 2009″ press release, January 24, 2011.
- ^ “Koch Industries Inc., Earns Prestigious Energy Star for Efficiencies at Wichita Complex” (Press release). Koch Industries. 17 June 2008. http://www.kochind.com/newsroom/news_releases_details.aspx?id=994. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- ^ “ENERGY STAR Labeled Offices in Kansas”. energystar.gov. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=labeled_buildings.showMap&SEARCH_OWNER_ID=&S_CODE=KS&PROFILES=&YEAR=&BUILDING_TYPE_ID=700&SEARCH_SPP_ID=&CITY=&ZIP=&SEARCH_PROP_MANAGER_ID=&FILTER_B_ID=#. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- ^ “Process and Pollution Control”. kochenergy.com. Koch Industries. http://kochenergy.com/EHS/processandpollutioncontrol.aspx. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- ^ “Performance Track Final Progress Report”. epa.gov. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 2009. http://www.epa.gov/performancetrack/downloads/PT_ProgRprt_2009_web.pdf. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- ^ Heck, Josh (18 May 2011). “Red Cross Recognizes three fundraisers”. Wichita Business Journal. http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/news/2011/05/18/red-cross-recognizes-three-fundraisers.html. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
- ^ a b Rubin, Jennifer. “Koch responds to Bloomberg”. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/koch-responds-to-bloomberg/2011/03/29/gIQA3KzNIL_blog.html. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- ^ “SUMMARY JUDGMENTS: Our daily legal-news aggregator for May 11, 2011″ Thompson Reuters News and Insight
- ^ Secretive Republican Donors Are Planning Ahead by Kate Zernike published October 19, 2010, New York Times
- ^ Pulling the Wraps Off Koch Industries By LESLIE WAYNE; Published: November 20, 1994; New York Times; ” Their donations reflect their belief in libertarian and free market philosophies or their personal interests.”
- ^ OpenSecrets, Summary of Koch Industries
- ^ Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine . greenpeace.org . 30 March 2010]
- ^ a b c d e f g Covert Operations The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. by Jane Mayer . newyorker.com . August 30, 2010
- ^ Vidal, John (30 March 2010). “US oil company donated millions to climate skeptic groups, says Greenpeace”. The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/30/us-oil-donated-millions-climate-sceptics.
- ^ “Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine”. Global Warming. Washington: Greenpeace. 2010-03-29. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
- ^ http://www.kochind.com/ViewPoint/lowCarbon.aspx Low Carbon Fuel Standards
- ^ “Mercatus, the staunchly anti-regulatory center funded largely by Koch Industries Inc.” I Am OMB and I Write the Rules By Al Kamen washingtonpost.com, July 12, 2006]
- ^ Koch Companies Have Received Almost $100 Million In Government Contracts August 20, 2010 — Media Matters Action Network
- ^ Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out, Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2011
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Andrew Breitbart speaking at Tea Party rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia in July 31, 2010
IN MEMORIAM, ANDREW BREITBART: PJTV Remembers a True Patriot and Friend
“PJTV’s Roger L. Simon, Bill Whittle, Lionel Chetwynd and Stephen Kruiser remember the energy and impact of the great Andrew Breitbart. From his internet savvy, to his willingness to battle ACORN and the left, Andrew Breitbart will be greatly missed by the PJ Media community.”
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On March 1, conservative activist, blogger and new media publisher, Andrew Breitbart, collapsed and died of an apparent heart attack shortly after midnight while walking near his home in Westwood, California. A bystander saw him collapse and called paramedics. They rushed him to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was declared dead. The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy.
Breitbart spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2012 on Feb. 10, where he made a surprise announcement about videos he claimed to have of Barack Obama from his college days:
“This election we are going to vet him from his college days to show you why racial division and class warfare are central to what hope and change was sold in 2008. The videos are going to come out and the narrative is going to come out. That Barack Obama met a bunch of silver ponytails in 1980s, like Bill (Ayers) and Bernadine (Dohrn), equally radical, who said one day we would have the presidency, and the rest of us slept as they plotted, and they plotted, and they plotted and they oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in the Annenberg Challenge and they had real money, from real capitalists. …Then they became communists. We got to work on that. That is a parenthesis. Barack Obama is a radical, we should not be afraid to say that! Okay? And Barack Obama was launched from Bill and Bernadine’s salon. I’ve been there.”
Breitbart’s entire CPAC 2012 speech can be viewed on YouTube.
Andrew Breitbart at CPAC 2012 02102012 – FULL SPEECH
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Michael Savage interviews Andrew Breitbart on Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 1
Michael Savage interviews Andrew Breitbart on Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 2
Michael Savage interviews Andrew Breitbart on Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 3
Michael Savage talks to Andrew Breitbart about the Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 4
Michael Savage talks to Andrew Breitbart about the Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 5
Michael Savage talks to Andrew Breitbart about the Shirley Sherrod Controversy Part 6.
Michael Savage talks to Rep. Steve King about the Shirley Sherrod linked Pigford Affair
For 10 years Breitbart had been an editor of the Drudge Report website and researcher for Arianna Huffington who he helped launch The Huffington Post web publication.
Breitbart published his own websites breitbart.com and a video blog breitbarttv.com and the “bigs” websites–Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism and Big Peace.
His Big Journalism website posted on May 28, 2011, a sexually explicit photo of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. The congressman had sent a 21-year-old college student a link to the photograph. On June 8, 2011, Brietbart reported that Weiner has sent other photos. Weiner resigned from Congress on June 21, 2011.
Weiner Takes on Blitzer over Weinergate
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In 2009 Breitbart and his Big Government website assisted in the demise of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Videos of Hannah Giles, who posed as a prostitute, and James O’Keefe, her boyfriend, meeting with ACORN staff in several offices were aired on both the Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity television shows and Fox News. ACORN was subsequently liquidated in November 2010.
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Michael Savage Interviews Andrew Breitbart on ACORN Investigation -(Part 1 of 2)- September 18, 2009
Michael Savage Interviews Andrew Breitbart on ACORN Investigation -(Part 2 of 2)- September 18, 2009
Death Of A Breitbart
He wrote a weekly column for the Washington Times and his work was also published by the National Review Online, the Weekly Standard Online and the Wall Street Journal.
Breitbart wrote two bestsellers, “Hollywood, Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon — the Case Against Celebrity,” in 2004 and “Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World,” in 2011. He recently wrote a new conclusion to “Righteous Indignation” where he said:
“I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.
Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.”
The Politics of Hollywood with Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart — Media War
Breitbart was 43 and is survived by his wife, Susie Bean, daughter of actor Orson Bean, and four young children.
[Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Wednesdays and author of the companion blog www.pronkpops.wordpress.com]
Background Articles and Videos
PART 1 Glenn Beck – Soros puts “hit” on Beck – 10-20-2010
PART 2 Glenn Beck – Soros puts “hit” on Beck – 10-20-2010
PART 1: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-8-2010 DAY 1
PART 2: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-8-2010 DAY 1
PART 3: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-8-2010 DAY 1
PART 1: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-9-2010 DAY 2
PART 2: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-9-2010 DAY 2
PART 3: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-9-2010 DAY 2
PART 1: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-10-2010 DAY 3
PART 2: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-10-2010 DAY 3
PART 3: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-10-2010 DAY 3
PART 1: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-11-2010 DAY 4
PART 2: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-11-2010 DAY 4
PART 3: Glenn Beck: George Soros’ New World Order Exposed, 11-11-2010 DAY 4
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Ron Paul on Freedom Watch w/ Judge Nepalitano (1-5-12)
SA@TAC – Taking the ‘Neo’ Out of ‘Conservative’
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SA@TAC – Daniel McCarthy on Neoconservatism
An interview with The American Conservative Editor Daniel McCarthy on the state of the American Right in 2010 and how the neoconservatives turned the GOP into the “War Party,” corrupting, devaluing and damaging conservatism for most of the decade prior.
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GBTV: Progressives in the Republican party
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 1
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 2
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 3
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 4
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 5
Glenn Beck on Progressivism Part 6
Making Sense of the Conservative Movement
What’s the Modern Definition of a Conservative?
Movie Magic Crippled Conservatives
The Bulwarks of the Conservative Movement
Progressives have taken over the Republican Party as they did the Democratic Party.
Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry are big government progressives that try to fool the American people into believing that they are conservatives that support limited government.
All four “talk” conservative while they “walk” progressive and expand the size and scope of Federal and state governments.
What is even worse is all four are also neoconservatives that want the United States to police the world and empire or nation build abroad–spread progressivism over the entire world–with an interventionist aggressive foreign policy!
The neoconservatives want war with Iran and Syria.
Progressives want government intervention at home and abroad.
Do not let the so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts fool you that they favor one of the Republican progressive candidates as their “conservative” choice.
None of the Republican progressive candidates are either conservative libertarians or conservative traditionalists, they are big government Republican neoconservative progressives.
The Republican progressives want to make the American people dependent upon war.
The Democratic progressives want to make the American people dependent upon welfare.
Both political parties are running budget deficits exceeding $1 trillion and will never run balanced budgets or pay off the national debt.
The American people pay the bills in taxes, inflation, damaged bodies and their lives.
Only the American people can stop Republican and Democratic progressives.
Keep in mind that most of the media are either Democratic or Republican progressives including many of the so-called “conservative” talk radio show hosts.
Many of these talk radio show hosts are neoconservative progressives that support Romney, Gingrich, Santorium and Perry.
These talk radio show hosts fear that the American people are starting to wake up to the fact that all four Repubican presidential candidates that they support and praise are neoconservative progressives.
This includes Bennett, Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Hewitt, Levin, Medved and Ingraham.
The American people are reading and discovering that Republican candidates are big government neoconservative progressives and not conservative libertarians or conservative traditionalist.
Do not be fooled by either the Republican neoconservative progressive candidates nor your favorite talk radio show hosts.
I have been in the conservative movement since Barry Goldwater ran for President in 1964.
I am a classical liberal or what in America is called a libertarian.
I identify my political philosophy as classical liberal or traditional libertarian or simply conservative.
SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’
I have read and reread the works of Smith, Burke, Bastiat, Say, Menger, Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Sowell, Rand, Rothbard, Nock, Nash, Kirk and many others.
For many years I voted the lesser of two evil progressives by voting for Republican candidates that I knew were neither libertarians nor traditional conservatives.
Only one President, Ronald Reagan, was a conservative libertarian, but he was a disappointment for he failed to reduce the size and scope of the Federal government.
I am no longer a Republican, but an independent.
Life is too short and I have wised up.
I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils for the simple reason it is still evil.
The only Republican presidential candidate that is clearly not a progressive but a classical liberal or traditional libertarian is Ron Paul.
The only Republican presidential candidate that wants to decrease the size and scope of the Federal government, balance the Federal budget, bring the troops home and eliminate the progressive income tax, IRS, Federal Reserve System, and many government departments, agencies and programs is Ron Paul.
The only way to stop the progressives of both political parties is to vote for candidates that truly believe in the Constitution and limited government.
This will take decades to accomplish and another political party with the financial backing of the American people.
Progressives control both political parties, media, professions, colleges, unions, and most large businesses.
It will not be easy, but it can be done over time.
Do not be fooled by the neoconservatives who are actually right-wing progressives who left the Democratic Party.
Now and in the future I will not support or vote for any Republican or Democratic candidate for any public office that is a progressive or neoconservative.
As they say in Texas, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Republican Neoconservative Progressive Candidates
Party Establishment Choice: Mitt Romney
Rush Limbaugh Admits Mitt Romney is a GOP Disaster if nominated
John McCain endorses Mitt Romney for President
Mitt Romney gets Endorsement from George H.W. Bush (12-22-11)
The story of two men trapped in one body
Mitt Romney: I’m Progressive
Mitt Romney: “R” Does Not Stand for Republican
The Real Romney?
Mitt Romney on the Contract with America
See Mitt Romney Promote an Individual Mandate
Romney anti-Gingrich ad “Baggage”
Smiling (Restore Our Future)
Newt Gingrich Vs Mitt Romney 2012 Ad
SA@TAC – No Excuse: Mitt Romney’s Case for American Empire
Party Base Choice: Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich on abortion in 1991: “Relax and accept it”
Newt Gingrich: We should respect pro-abortion Republicans
Newt Gingrich: There’s plenty of room for pro-abortion Republicans
Newt Gingrich Admits He’s a Progressive in the Theodore Roosevelt Tradition
Newt Gingrich is a Progressive Rockefeller Republican
Newt Gingrich: I’m a Wilsonian
Newt Gingrich: I supported Rockefeller over Goldwater
Newt Gingrich FDR was Greatest President of the 20th Century
Newt Gingrich: Progressives took over both parties
Sean Hannity endorses Newt Gingrich
The REAL Newt Gingrich
SA@TAC – Newt Gingrich is Not a Conservative
Newt Gingrich is Toast
Neoconservative Religious Right Choice: Rick Santorium
SA@TAC – Who’s a Republican?
SA@TAC – Compassionate Conservative Rick Santorum
Santorum: pursuit of happiness harms America
Rick Santorum says he’s “proud” of his earmarks
Rick Santorum – Unelectable
Senator Rick Santoum A Big Washington Insider & Spender
Senator Rick Santorum Admits Voting for Ear Marks and The Bridge To Nowhere
Rick Santorum On Earmarks “Congress Appropriates Money! That’s What Congress Is Supposed To Do”
Rick Santorum hearts turncoat Arlen Specter
Rick Santorum on gay marriage
Rick Santorum Opposes Gay Marriage and Adoption
Santorum: pursuit of happiness harms America
Ron Paul Destroys Rick Santorum On Iran! – Iowa Republian Presidential Debate
cnn – rick santorum: barack obama’s foreign policy is appeasement
Dennis Kucinich on Santorum’s attacks on Ron Paul
Rand Paul Exposes Rick Santorum: He’s a Reckless & Trigger-Happy Big Spender
SA@TheDC – Conservatism for What?
SA@TAC – Constitutional Conservatives?
Republican Party Conservative Libertarian Choice: Ron Paul
Ron Paul – The Founders gave Government one Role: Protecting Liberty
Ron Paul Ad – Life
Thanksgiving Family Forum – Ron Paul Highlights
SA@TheDC – Conservatism for What?
Ron Paul on Iowa Caucus, Spending Cuts, Opponents
Ron Paul Ad – Plan
Ron Paul: The Economy
Ron Paul: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney Are “Consistently Inconsistent”
Veteran Ron Paul Calls Newt Gingrich A Chicken Hawk Draft Dodger!
“Blessed are the Peacemakers:” Ron Paul’s Christian Foreign Policy
Congressman Ron Paul, MD – We’ve Been NeoConned
Ron Paul on Just War, War Breaking Families
SA@TAC – Ronald Reagan: Isolationist
SA@TheDC – “I Like Ron Paul Except on Foreign Policy”
Ron Paul – “The one who can beat Obama”
Background Articles and Videos
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Vote Ron Paul in 2012!! It’s that Simple.
Ron Paul says Rick Santorum is “Very Liberal”
Ron Paul – State of the Union with Candy Crowley
Ron Paul- Newt Gingrich would not go to Vietnam War in 1960′s, he is a hypocrite
Ron Paul Destroys Newt Gingrich In New Ad
New Ron Paul Ad – Plan
Big Government Conservatism
Controlling Leviathan: The Battle for Limited Government
SA@TAC – What’s a ‘Neoconservative?’
Ron Paul: Mitt Romney is a Serial Flip-Flopper & Part of the Status Quo
SA@TAC – Newt Gingrich is Not a Conservative
SA@TAC – A Conservative Foreign Policy Comeback?
SA@TAC – Israel and the Right
SA@TAC – Compassionate Conservative Rick Santorum
Rush Limbaugh: Mitt Romney ‘Is Not A Conservative’
Guiliani Skewers Mitt Romney as a Flip-Flopper on Morning Joe
Mitt Romney in Worcester 2002 “My views are progressive”
Mitt Romney: “R” Does Not Stand for Republican
Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!
Will you and Mitt Romney sent your children to war with Iran? … A long pause and no answer
Background Articles and Videos
SA@TAC – Who’s a Republican?
SA@TAC – The Great Neo-Con: Libertarianism Isn’t ‘Conservative’
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Flipping Mitt Monkey
Mitt Romney: I’m Progressive
Romney ad becomes parody of itself
Guiliani Skewers Mitt Romney as a Flip-Flopper on Morning Joe
Brit Hume Bashes Mitt Romney For Climate Flip-Flop
Romney on Ronald Reagan
Mark Levin On Mitt Romney And The EPA
Romneys on abortion 2002
The Real Romney?
Mitt Romney The Ultimate Flip-Flopper
Collective Dislike: Why Republicans Loathe Soul-Less, Phony Mitt Romney (Part 1)
Collective Dislike: Why Republicans Loathe Soul-Less, Phony Mitt Romney (Part 2)
Rush Limbaugh: “Romney is not a conservative”
Ron Paul: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney Are “Consistently Inconsistent”
Rush Limbaugh vs. Alex Jones on Ron Paul
Rush Limbaugh endorses Ron Paul’s economic plan
THE Plan To Save America 2012
Ron Paul – “The one who can beat Obama”
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“I’d never knowingly hire a man that cheats on his wife. If the wife can’t trust ya, why should I?”
Newt Gingrich with Third Wife, Callista Bisek
Newt Gingrich with Second Wife, Marianne Ginther
Newt Gingrich with First Wife, Jackie Battley and Two Daughers, Jackie and Kathy
Newt Gingrich Marriage Timeline
1962: Newt married Jackie Battley on June 19, 1962.
1963: Newt’s daughter Kathy was born.
1966: Newt’s daughter Jackie Sue was born.
1980: Newt met Marianne Ginther in January 1980.
1980: Jackie and Newt separated in April 1980.
1981: Jackie Battley and Newt Gingrich’s divorce was finalized in February 1981.
1981: Six months later Newt married Marianne Ginther on August 8, 1981.
1987: Marianne and Newt separated in June 1987.
1993: Newt and Callista Bisek began their affair in November 1993.
1993: Marianne and Newt reconciled in late 1993/early 1994.
1999: Newt and Marianne separated in May 1999 and filed for divorce in July.
1999: Marianne and Newt reached a settlement in their divorce case.
2000: Marianne and Newt’s divorce was finalized in April 2000.
2000: Callista Bisek and Newt announced their engagement. 2000: Newt married Callista Bisek on August 18, 2000.
Newt Gingrich Cheated On His Wives For America
Newt Gingrich Loves FDR
Newt Gingrich: Serial Hypocrisy
Newt Gingrich: Selling Access
Ron Paul – Three of a Kind
Newt Gingrich should not be elected President
The Real Newt Gingrich
The REAL Newt Gingrich 1/3 Actions & Voting Record
The REAL Newt Gingrich 2/3 Actions & Voting Record
The REAL Newt Gingrich 3/3 Actions & Voting Record
Newt Gingrich Full Of Errors
Newt Gingrich Discusses His Three Marriages
Newt Gingrich: I Screwed Around On My Wives Because I Love This Country So Much
Newt Gingrich Admits Affair
Charles Krauthammer: “Newt Gingrich Is Done”
Newt Gingrich’s Libya Positions, Then and Now
Adelson gives $5 million to pro-Gingrich group
Israel creates a super PAC to attack Ron Paul and Supports Newt Gingrich and Progressive Neoconservatives
Israel against Ron Paul ad in South Carolina The most hated video on YT
Newt Gingrich: I supported Rockefeller over Goldwater
Newton L. Gingrich Repeatedly Lies, Claims Authority to Murder
Newt Gingrich Pushes Amnesty Plan at CNN GOP Debate
Newt Gingrich – NOT Conservative on Illegal Immigration
Newt Gingrich on Immigration not so Conservative
The Laura Ingraham Show – Gingrich explains business with Freddie Mac
Rush Limbaugh Takes On Newt Gingrich At C-PAC 3 01
Rush Limbaugh – I Have A theory On Newt Gingrich
Iowa Voter to Gingrich: “Why don’t you get out before you make a bigger fool of yourself”
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Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul’s Economic Pl