On his father’s side, Cruz had two older half-sisters, Miriam and Roxana Cruz. On his mother’s side Cruz had a half-brother, Michael Wilson (1960 – 1965), who died before he was born. Cruz learned of the deceased sibling from his mother during his teenage years.
Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to PresidentJames Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and that the last two items in the Bill of Rights offer an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”
Cruz joined the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.
Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court. Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: “We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”
In 2003, while Cruz was Texas solicitor general, the Texas Attorney General’s office declined to defend Texas’ sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws banning homosexual sex as illegal sodomy were unconstitutional.
Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided 5–4 in his favor in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row. With the support of the George W. Bush Administration, the petitioners argued that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to notify the convicted nationals of their opportunity to receive legal aid from the Mexican consulate. They based their case on a decision of the International Court of Justice in the Avena case which ruled that by failing to allow access to the Mexican consulate, the US had breached its obligations under the Convention. Texas won the case in a 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court holding that ICJ decisions were not binding in domestic law and that the President had no power to enforce them.
After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, Cruz worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in as U.S. Senator from Texas in 2013. At Morgan Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. In 2009 and 2010, he formed and then abandoned a bid for state attorney general when the incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott, who hired Cruz as Solicitor General, decided to run for re-election.
Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst. Cruz defeated Dewhurst despite being outspent by Dewhurst who held a statewide elected office. Dewhurst spent $19 million and Cruz only spent $7 million. Dewhurst raised over $30 million and outspent Cruz at a ratio of nearly 3-to-1.
In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler’s 3.2 million (40.6%). Two minor candidates garnered the remaining 3% of the vote. According to a poll by Cruz’s pollster Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, Cruz received 40% of the Hispanic vote, vs. 60% for Sandler, outperforming Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the Hispanic vote by 6 points.
After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.
Cruz giving a speech to the Montgomery County Republican Party meeting held in Conroe, Texas, on August 19, 2013
Cruz has sponsored 25 bills of his own, including:
S.177, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced January 29, 2013
S.505, a bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States, introduced March 7, 2013
S.729 and S. 730, bills to investigate and prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally purchase firearms, and to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms through straw purchases and trafficking, introduced March 15, 2013
S.1336, a bill to permit States to require proof of citizenship for registering to vote in federal elections, introduced July 17, 2013
Under the headline “A bipartisan message to Iran”, Cruz thanked President Barack Obama for signing S 2195 into law. The letter, published in the magazine Politico on April 18, 2014, starts with “Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law”. Cruz also thanked senators from both political parties for “swiftly passing this legislation and sending it to the White House.”
According to transcripts as reported by Politico, in his first two years in the Senate, Cruz attended 17 of 50 public Armed Services Committee hearings, 3 of 25 Commerce Committee hearings, 4 of the 12 Judiciary Committee hearings, and missed 21 of 135 roll call votes during the first three months of 2015.
In January 2015, Cruz voted in the U.S. Senate that global warming is real, but not man-made, rejecting an amendment stating that human activity significantly contributes to climate change.
In a March 2015 Texas Tribune interview, Cruz questioned the credibility of environmental advocates concerned about the issue of global warming by saying, “On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-earthers”.
Cruz has stated that satellite data shows no global warming in the past 17 years, based on a range of data that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change views as indicative of a short term trend (1998 was a particularly warm year), to deny the longer term warming trend of 360 consecutive months above the 20th century average.
Since being elected, Cruz has characterized the economic policies of the Obama Administration as being misguided. Chiding the GOP over its 2012 electoral losses, he stated that “Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent” and has also noted that the words “growth and opportunity” ought to be tattooed on every Republican’s hand.
In February 2014, Cruz opposed an unconditional increase in the debt limit. He said that Republican politicians feared the truth and “they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.”
At a Heritage Foundation policy summit in February 2014, Cruz said that energy policy should be a key issue, stating “As much as we need to approve the Keystone pipeline, we need to think far broader than that.” He pushed legislation to lift the 1970 ban on crude oil exports, and abolish the ethanol mandate. Cruz received more than US$1 million in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry since 2011.
Cruz advocates for “volunteer conservation”, and criticized efforts by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency to expand regulatory oversight on water use by attempting “to turn irrigation ditches into lakes and rivers and oceans”.
Cruz speaking at the May 2015 Citizens United Freedom Summit
On foreign policy, Cruz has said that he is “somewhere in between” Rand Paul‘s “basically … isolationist” position and John McCain‘s active interventionism.
In April 2015, Cruz filed an amendment to a bill introduced by TennesseeSenatorBob Corker, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would require affirmative Congressional approval of any Iranian nuclear dealbefore sanctions relief can occur.
In 2004, Cruz criticized Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for being “against defending American values, against standing up to our enemies, and, in effect, for appeasing totalitarian despots.” Cruz helped defeat efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that the treaty infringed on US sovereignty.
In 2013, Cruz stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war and stated that America’s armed forces should not serve as “al-Qaeda‘s air force”. In 2014, Cruz criticized the Obama administration: “The president’s foreign policy team utterly missed the threat of ISIS, indeed, was working to arm Syrian rebels that were fighting side by side with ISIS”, calling ISIS “the face of evil”. Cruz has called for bombing ISIS, but is doubtful that the United States “can tell the good guys from the bad guys” in a plan to arm “moderate” rebels, and the plan to defeat ISIS should not be “laden with impractical contingencies, such as resolving the Syrian civil war.”
In 2014, Cruz spoke at an event held by the group In Defense of Christians (IDC). He was booed by the group after making statements considered pro-Israel. Cruz left the stage after telling the audience, “Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason”. Some commentators believe there is a divide in the conservative movement between those who sided with Cruz and Israel, and those who sided with Middle Eastern Christians and some arguing that Cruz’s comments were out-of-bounds. Others who criticized Cruz included Mollie Hemingwayand Ross Douthat. Cruz apologized for questioning the motives of his critics and said that all should be united in speaking out against persecution of religious minorities.
Cruz is a gun-rights supporter. On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening to filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows. On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.
In April 2015, Cruz stated “what I have been pressing is the Armed Services Committee” to hold hearings on whether service members should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on military bases. He believes that service members should be better equipped to protect themselves from incidents like the Navy Yard and Fort Hood mass shootings. He further added, “I think it’s very important to have a public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights“.
In 2014, some claim Cruz unintentionally gave majority leader Harry Reid the procedural opening he needed to allow a Senate vote to confirm Vivek Murthy, who had raised concerns about the health effects of gun ownership, to be United States Surgeon General, though it has been reported Reid intended to push through the remaining confirmations of President Obama’s nominees regardless.
In the summer of 2013, Cruz started a “nationwide tour” sponsored by The Heritage Foundation to promote a congressional effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that Republicans should unite in upcoming Continuing Resolution negotiations to defund Obamacare and with regard to a potential government shutdown Cruz downplayed worries of the political risk to Republicans by citing the results of the 1996 midterm elections.
On September 24, 2013, Cruz began a speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act relative to a continuing resolution designed to fund the government and avert a government shutdown. Cruz promised to keep speaking until he was “no longer able to stand”. Cruz yielded the floor at noon the following day for the start of the proceeding legislative session after twenty-one hours nineteen minutes. His speech was the fourth-longest in United States Senate history. Following Cruz’s speech, the Senate voted 100–0 regarding a “procedural hurdle toward passing a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown”. Cruz was joined by 18 Republican senators in his effort to prevent stripping out a clause that would have defunded the Affordable Care Act by voting against the cloture motion, leaving the effort 21 votes short of the required number to deny cloture.
Cruz is cited in the press as having been a major force behind the U.S. government shutdown in 2013. Cruz delivered a message on October 11, 2013 to fellow Republicans against accepting Obamacare and, describing it as a “train wreck”, claimed the American people remain “energized” around the goal of gutting the law. Cruz stated Obamacare is causing “enormous harm” to the economy. Republican strategist Mike Murphy stated: “Cruz is trying to start a wave of Salem witch trials in the G.O.P. on the shutdown and Obamacare, and that fear is impacting some people’s calculations on 2016.” Cruz said that he “didn’t threaten to shut down the government” and blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.
The Houston Chronicle, which had endorsed Cruz in the general election, regretted that he had not lived up to the standard set by the previous U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. After a deal was made to end the shutdown and extend the debt-ceiling deadline, Senate Republican leaderMitch McConnell called Cruz’s actions “not a smart play” and a “tactical error”, and Cruz stated: “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. The test that matters… is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?” In March 2015, Cruz announced his wife would be taking an unpaid leave of absence and would no longer have access to health insurance through her employer, so they purchased private insurance rather than enter the health care exchange.
In 2015, Cruz opposed President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, stating that he believes it would cause large scale job loss. When discussing whether or not to have a minimum wage in general, Cruz stated “I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.”
National Security Agency
Cruz has raised concerns that the National Security Agency has not been effective in its surveillance of potential terrorists while intruding needlessly into the lives of ordinary Americans.
Cruz is pro-life. The only exception to his pro-life views is “when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life”.
Cruz supports legally defined marriage as only “between one man and one woman,” but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide. On February 10, 2015, Cruz re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act.Cruz opposes participation in gay pride marches, criticizing Dallas’ Republican mayor Tom Leppert, stating “When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that’s a statement and it’s not a statement I agree with.” He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which included provisions to extend protection to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. In a speech in Waukee, Iowa, Cruz said that “[t]here is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage.”
Cruz advocates the abolition of the IRS, and implementing a flat tax “where the average American can fill out taxes on a postcard”. He opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying that it imposes a burdensome tax that will hurt competition by creating additional costs for internet-based businesses.
Cruz voted against the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, that would have created the National Endowment for the Oceans and authorize more than $26 billion in projects to be built by the Army Corps of Engineers, at least $16 billion of which would have come from federal taxpayers. Cruz voted against the bill because it neglected “to reduce a substantial backlog of projects, to the detriment of projects with national implications, such as the Sabine-Neches Waterway“. Cruz stated that the Corps’ responsibilities were expanded without providing adequate measures for state participation. Proponents of the bill argued that it would provide steady funding to support research and restoration projects, funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy, through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments, distributed through a competitive grant program.
Senator Cruz speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Commentators have expressed their opinion that Cruz would run for President in 2016. On March 14, 2013, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. He came in tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast. In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote. Cruz came in first place in the two most recent Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention.
Cruz did speaking events in the summer of 2013 across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, early primary states, leading to speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a run for President in 2016. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes Cruz as the first potential Presidential candidate to emphasize originalism as a major national issue.
On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United. The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates. In his speech, Cruz mentioned that Latinos, young people and single mothers, are the people most affected by the recession, and that the Republican Party should make outreach efforts to these constituents. He also said that the words “growth and opportunity” should be tattooed on the hands of every Republican politician.
On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced on his Twitter page: “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” He was the first announced major Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 campaign.
HarperCollins published Cruz’s book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America on June 30, 2015. The book reached the bestseller list of several organizations in its first week of release.
Cruz with his wife Heidi at a rally in Houston, March 2015
When he was a child, Cruz’s mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship. In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship, he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.
Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government in The Hill, on December 27, 2013, named Cruz “2013 Person of the Year.” Manning stated that “of course, Cruz made his biggest mark when he and fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a last-ditch national grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare before the law went into effect fully. Imagine how many Senate Democrats wish right now that they had heeded Cruz’s entreaties and agreed to delaying or defunding it for one year. Now, they are stuck with the law and all its consequences.”
Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa (/ˈvɑrɡəsˈjoʊsə/;Spanish: [ˈmaɾjo ˈβaɾgas ˈʎosa]; born March 28, 1936) is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Some critics consider him to have had a larger international impact and worldwide audience than any other writer of theLatin American Boom. Upon announcing the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said it had been given to Vargas Llosa “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat”.
Many of Vargas Llosa’s works are influenced by the writer’s perception of Peruvian society and his own experiences as a native Peruvian. Increasingly, however, he has expanded his range, and tackled themes that arise from other parts of the world. In his essays, Vargas Llosa has made many criticisms of nationalism in different parts of the world. Another change over the course of his career has been a shift from a style and approach associated with literary modernism, to a sometimes playfulpostmodernism.
Like many Latin American writers, Vargas Llosa has been politically active throughout his career; over the course of his life, he has gradually moved from the political lefttowards liberalism or neoliberalism. While he initially supported the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, Vargas Llosa later became disenchanted with his policies. He ran for the Peruvian presidency in 1990 with the center-right Frente Democrático coalition, advocating neoliberal reforms, but lost the election to Alberto Fujimori. He is the person who, in 1990, “coined the phrase that circled the globe”, declaring on Mexican television, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship”, a statement which became an adage during the following decade.
Early life and family
Mario Vargas Llosa was born to a middle-class family on March 28, 1936, in the Peruvian provincial city of Arequipa. He was the only child of Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and Dora Llosa Ureta (the former a radio operator in an aviation company, the latter the daughter of an old criollo family), who separated a few months before his birth. Shortly after Mario’s birth, his father revealed that he was having an affair with a German woman; consequently, Mario has two younger half-brothers: Enrique and Ernesto Vargas.
Vargas Llosa lived with his maternal family in Arequipa until a year after his parents’ divorce, when his maternal grandfather was named honorary consul for Peru in Bolivia. With his mother and her family, Vargas Llosa then moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he spent the early years of his childhood. His maternal family, the Llosas, were sustained by his grandfather, who managed a cotton farm. As a child, Vargas Llosa was led to believe that his father had died—his mother and her family did not want to explain that his parents had separated. During the government of Peruvian President José Bustamante y Rivero, Vargas Llosa’s maternal grandfather obtained a diplomatic post in the Peruvian coastal city of Piura and the entire family returned to Peru. While in Piura, Vargas Llosa attended elementary school at the religious academy Colegio Salesiano. In 1946, at the age of ten, he moved to Lima and met his father for the first time. His parents re-established their relationship and lived in Magdalena del Mar, a middle-class Lima suburb, during his teenage years. While in Lima, he studied at the Colegio La Salle, a Christian middle school, from 1947 to 1949.
When Vargas Llosa was fourteen, his father sent him to the Leoncio Prado Military Academy in Lima. At the age of 16, before his graduation, Vargas Llosa began working as an amateur journalist for local newspapers. He withdrew from the military academy and finished his studies in Piura, where he worked for the local newspaper, La Industria, and witnessed the theatrical performance of his first dramatic work, La huida del Inca.
In 1953, during the government of Manuel A. Odría, Vargas Llosa enrolled in Lima’s National University of San Marcos, to study law and literature. He married Julia Urquidi, his maternal uncle’s sister-in-law, in 1955 at the age of 19; she was 10 years older. Vargas Llosa began his literary career in earnest in 1957 with the publication of his first short stories, “The Leaders” (“Los jefes”) and “The Grandfather” (“El abuelo”), while working for two Peruvian newspapers. Upon his graduation from the National University of San Marcos in 1958, he received a scholarship to study at the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain. In 1960, after his scholarship in Madrid had expired, Vargas Llosa moved to France under the impression that he would receive a scholarship to study there; however, upon arriving in Paris, he learned that his scholarship request was denied. Despite Mario and Julia’s unexpected financial status, the couple decided to remain in Paris where he began to write prolifically. Their marriage lasted only a few more years, ending in divorce in 1964. A year later, Vargas Llosa married his first cousin, Patricia Llosa, with whom he had three children: Álvaro Vargas Llosa (born 1966), a writer and editor; Gonzalo (born 1967), a businessman; and Morgana (born 1974), a photographer.
Beginning and first major works
Vargas Llosa’s first novel, The Time of the Hero (La ciudad y los perros), was published in 1963. The book is set among a community of cadets in a Lima military school, and the plot is based on the author’s own experiences at Lima’s Leoncio Prado Military Academy. This early piece gained wide public attention and immediate success. Its vitality and adept use of sophisticated literary techniques immediately impressed critics, and it won the Premio de la Crítica Española award. Nevertheless, its sharp criticism of the Peruvian military establishment led to controversy in Peru. Several Peruvian generals attacked the novel, claiming that it was the work of a “degenerate mind” and stating that Vargas Llosa was “paid by Ecuador” to undermine the prestige of the Peruvian Army.
In 1965, Vargas Llosa published his second novel, The Green House (La casa verde), about a brothel called “The Green House” and how its quasi-mythical presence affects the lives of the characters. The main plot follows Bonifacia, a girl who is about to receive the vows of the church, and her transformation into la Selvatica, the best-known prostitute of “The Green House”. The novel was immediately acclaimed, confirming Vargas Llosa as an important voice of Latin American narrative.The Green House won the first edition of the Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize in 1967, contending with works by veteran Uruguayanwriter Juan Carlos Onetti and by Gabriel García Márquez. This novel alone accumulated enough awards to place the author among the leading figures of the Latin American Boom. Some critics still considerThe Green House to be Vargas Llosa’s finest and most important achievement. Indeed, Latin American literary critic Gerald Martin suggests that The Green House is “one of the greatest novels to have emerged from Latin America”.
Vargas Llosa’s third novel, Conversation in the Cathedral (Conversación en la catedral), was published in 1969, when he was 33. This ambitious narrative is the story of Santiago Zavala, the son of a government minister, and Ambrosio, his chauffeur. A random meeting at a dog pound leads the pair to a riveting conversation at a nearby bar known as “The Cathedral”. During the encounter, Zavala searches for the truth about his father’s role in the murder of a notorious Peruvian underworld figure, shedding light on the workings of a dictatorship along the way. Unfortunately for Zavala, his quest results in a dead end with no answers and no sign of a better future. The novel attacks the dictatorial government of Odría by showing how a dictatorship controls and destroys lives. The persistent theme of hopelessness makes Conversation in the Cathedral Vargas Llosa’s most bitter novel.
In 1971, Vargas Llosa published García Márquez: Story of a Deicide (García Márquez: historia de un deicidio), which was his doctoral thesis for the Complutense University of Madrid. Although Vargas Llosa wrote this book-length study about his then friend, the Colombian Nobel laureate writer Gabriel García Márquez, they did not speak to each other again. In 1976, Vargas Llosa punched García Márquez in the face inMexico City at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, ending the friendship. Neither writer had publicly stated the underlying reasons for the quarrel. A photograph of García Márquez sporting a black eye was published in 2007, reigniting public interest in the feud. Despite the decades of silence, in 2007, Vargas Llosa agreed to allow part of his book to be used as the introduction to a 40th-anniversary edition of García Márquez’sOne Hundred Years of Solitude, which was re-released in Spain and throughout Latin America that year.Historia de un Deicidio was also reissued in that year, as part of Vargas Llosa’s complete works.
Following the monumental work Conversation in the Cathedral, Vargas Llosa’s output shifted away from more serious themes such as politics and problems with society. Latin American literary scholar Raymond L. Williams describes this phase in his writing career as “the discovery of humor”. His first attempt at a satirical novel was Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (Pantaleón y las visitadoras), published in 1973.This short, comic novel offers vignettes of dialogues and documents about the Peruvian armed forces and a corps of prostitutes assigned to visit military outposts in remote jungle areas. These plot elements are similar to Vargas Llosa’s earlier novel The Green House, but in a different form. As such, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service is essentially a parody of both The Green House and the literary approach that novel represents. Vargas Llosa’s motivation to write the novel came from actually witnessing prostitutes being hired by the Peruvian Army and brought to serve soldiers in the jungle.
From 1974 to 1987, Vargas Llosa focused on his writing, but also took the time to pursue other endeavors. In 1975, he co-directed an unsuccessful motion-picture adaptation of his novel, Captain Pantoja and the Secret Service. In 1976 he was elected President of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers and oldest human rights organisation, a position he held until 1979. During this time, Vargas Llosa constantly traveled to speak at conferences organized by internationally renowned institutions, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Cambridge, where he was Simón Bolívar Professor and an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College in 1977–78.
In 1977, Vargas Llosa was elected as a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language, a membership he still holds today. That year, he also published Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (La tía Julia y el escribidor), based in part on his marriage to his first wife, Julia Urquidi, to whom he dedicated the novel. She later wrote a memoir, Lo que Varguitas no dijo (What Little Vargas Didn’t Say), in which she gives her personal account of their relationship. She states that Vargas Llosa’s account exaggerates many negative points in their courtship and marriage while minimizing her role of assisting his literary career.Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is considered one of the most striking examples of how the language and imagery of popular culture can be used in literature. The novel was adapted in 1990 into a Hollywood feature film, Tune in Tomorrow.
Vargas Llosa in 1982
Vargas Llosa’s fourth major novel, The War of the End of the World (La guerra del fin del mundo), was published in 1981 and was his first attempt at a historical novel. This work initiated a radical change in Vargas Llosa’s style towards themes such as messianism and irrational human behaviour. It recreates the War of Canudos, an incident in 19th-century Brazil in which an armed millenarian cult held off a siege by the national army for months. As in Vargas Llosa’s earliest work, this novel carries a sober and serious theme, and its tone is dark. Vargas Llosa’s bold exploration of humanity’s propensity to idealize violence, and his account of a man-made catastrophe brought on by fanaticism on all sides, earned the novel substantial recognition. Because of the book’s ambition and execution, critics have argued that this is one of Vargas Llosa’s greatest literary pieces. Even though the novel has been acclaimed in Brazil, it was initially poorly received because a foreigner was writing about a Brazilian theme. The book was also criticized as revolutionary and anti-socialist. Vargas Llosa says that this book is his favorite and was his most difficult accomplishment.
After completing The War of the End of the World, Vargas Llosa began to write novels that were significantly shorter than many of his earlier books. In 1983, he finished The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (Historia de Mayta, 1984). The novel focuses on a leftist insurrection that took place on May 29, 1962 in the Andean city of Jauja. Later the same year, during the Sendero Luminoso uprising, Vargas Llosa was asked by the Peruvian President Fernando Belaúnde Terry to join the Investigatory Commission, a task force to inquire into the massacre of eight journalists at the hands of the villagers of Uchuraccay. The Commission’s main purpose was to investigate the murders in order to provide information regarding the incident to the public. Following his involvement with the Investigatory Commission, Vargas Llosa published a series of articles to defend his position in the affair. In 1986, he completed his next novel, Who Killed Palomino Molero (¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero?), which he began writing shortly after the end of the Uchuraccay investigation. Though the plot of this mystery novel is similar to the tragic events at Uchuraccay, literary critic Roy Boland points out that it was not an attempt to reconstruct the murders, but rather a “literary exorcism” of Vargas Llosa’s own experiences during the commission. The experience also inspired one of Vargas Llosa’s later novels, Death in the Andes (Lituma en los Andes), originally published in 1993 in Barcelona.
It would be almost 20 years before Vargas Llosa wrote another major work: The Feast of the Goat (La fiesta del chivo), a political thriller, was published in 2000 (and in English in 2001). According to Williams, it is Vargas Llosa’s most complete and most ambitious novel since The War of the End of the World. Critic Sabine Koellmann sees it in the line of his earlier novels such as “Conversación en la catedral” depicting the effects of authoritarianism, violence and the abuse of power on the individual. Based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, who governed the Dominican Republic from 1930 until his assassination in 1961, the novel has three main strands: one concerns Urania Cabral, the daughter of a former politician and Trujillo loyalist, who returns for the first time since leaving the Dominican Republic after Trujillo’s assassination 30 years earlier; the second concentrates on the assassination itself, the conspirators who carry it out, and its consequences; and the third and final strand deals with Trujillo himself in scenes from the end of his regime. The book quickly received positive reviews in Spain and Latin America, and has had a significant impact in Latin America, being regarded as one of Vargas Llosa’s best works.
In 2006, Vargas Llosa wrote The Bad Girl (Travesuras de la niña mala), which journalist Kathryn Harrison argues is a rewrite (rather than simply a recycling) of Gustave Flaubert‘s Madame Bovary (1856). In Vargas Llosa’s version, the plot relates the decades-long obsession of its narrator, a Peruvian expatriate in Paris, with a woman with whom he first fell in love when both were teenagers.
Later life and political involvement
Like many other Latin American intellectuals, Vargas Llosa was initially a supporter of the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro. He studied Marxism in depth as a university student and was later persuaded by communist ideals after the success of the Cuban Revolution. Gradually, Vargas Llosa came to believe that Cuban socialism was incompatible with what he considered to be general liberties and freedoms. The official rupture between the writer and the policies of the Cuban government occurred with the so-called ‘Padilla Affair’, when the Castro regime imprisoned the poet Heberto Padilla for a month in 1971. Vargas Llosa, along with other intellectuals of the time, wrote to Castro protesting the Cuban political system and its imprisonment of the artist. Vargas Llosa has identified himself with liberalism rather than extreme left-wing political ideologies ever since. Since he relinquished his earlier leftism, he has opposed both left- and right-wing authoritarian regimes.
With his appointment to the Investigatory Commission on the Uchuraccay massacre in 1983, he experienced what literary critic Jean Franco calls “the most uncomfortable event in [his] political career”.Unfortunately for Vargas Llosa, his involvement with the Investigatory Commission led to immediate negative reactions and defamation from the Peruvian press; many suggested that the massacre was a conspiracy to keep the journalists from reporting the presence of government paramilitary forces in Uchuraccay. The commission concluded that it was the indigenous villagers who had been responsible for the killings; for Vargas Llosa the incident showed “how vulnerable democracy is in Latin America and how easily it dies under dictatorships of the right and left”. These conclusions, and Vargas Llosa personally, came under intense criticism: anthropologist Enrique Mayer, for instance, accused him of “paternalism”, while fellow anthropologist Carlos Iván Degregori criticized him for his ignorance of the Andean world. Vargas Llosa was accused of actively colluding in a government cover-up of army involvement in the massacre. US Latin American literature scholar Misha Kokotovic summarizes that the novelist was charged with seeing “indigenous cultures as a ‘primitive’ obstacle to the full realization of his Western model of modernity”. Shocked both by the atrocity itself and then by the reaction his report had provoked, Vargas Llosa responded that his critics were apparently more concerned with his report than with the hundreds of peasants who would later die at the hands of the Sendero Luminoso guerrilla organization.
Vargas Llosa at the founding act ofUPD, September 2007
Over the course of the decade, Vargas Llosa became known as a “neoliberal“, although he personally dislikes the term and considers it “pure nonsense” and only used for derision. In 1987, he helped form and soon became a leader of the Movimiento Libertad. The following year his party entered a coalition with the parties of Peru’s two principal conservative politicians at the time, ex-president Fernando Belaúnde Terry (of the Popular Action party) and Luis Bedoya Reyes (of the Partido Popular Cristiano), to form the tripartite center-right coalition known as Frente Democrático (FREDEMO). He ran for the presidency of Peru in 1990 as the candidate of the FREDEMO coalition. He proposed a drastic economic austerity program that frightened most of the country’s poor; this program emphasized the need for privatization, a market economy, free trade, and most importantly, the dissemination of private property. Although he won the first round with 34% of the vote, Vargas Llosa was defeated by a then-unknown agricultural engineer, Alberto Fujimori, in the subsequent run-off. Vargas Llosa included an account of his run for the presidency in the memoir A Fish in the Water (El pez en el agua, 1993). Since his political defeat, he has focused mainly on his writing, with only occasional political involvement.
A month after losing the election, at the invitation of Octavio Paz, Vargas Llosa attended a conference in Mexico entitled, “The 20th Century: The Experience of Freedom”. Focused on the collapse of communist rule in central and eastern Europe, it was broadcast on Mexican television from 27 August to 2 September. Addressing the conference on 30 August 1990, Vargas Llosa embarrassed his hosts by condemning the Mexican system of power based on the rule of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which had been in power for 61 years. Criticizing the PRI by name, he commented, “I don’t believe that there has been in Latin America any case of a system of dictatorship which has so efficiently recruited the intellectual milieu, bribing it with great subtlety.” He declared, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship. The perfect dictatorship is not communism, not the USSR, not Fidel Castro; the perfect dictatorship is Mexico. Because it is a camouflaged dictatorship.” The statement, “Mexico is the perfect dictatorship” became a cliché in Mexico and internationally, until the PRI fell from power in 2000.
Vargas Llosa has mainly lived in Madrid since the 1990s, but spends roughly three months of the year in Peru with his extended family. He also frequently visits London where he occasionally spends long periods. Vargas Llosa acquired Spanish citizenship in 1993, though he still holds Peruvian nationality. The writer often reiterates his love for both countries. In his Nobel speech he observed: “I carry Peru deep inside me because that is where I was born, grew up, was formed, and lived those experiences of childhood and youth that shaped my personality and forged my calling”. He then added: “I love Spain as much as Peru, and my debt to her is as great as my gratitude. If not for Spain, I never would have reached this podium or become a known writer”.
Vargas Llosa’s style encompasses historical material as well as his own personal experiences. For example, in his first novel, The Time of the Hero, his own experiences at the Leoncio Prado military school informed his depiction of the corrupt social institution which mocked the moral standards it was supposed to uphold. Furthermore, the corruption of the book’s school is a reflection of the corruption of Peruvian society at the time the novel was written. Vargas Llosa frequently uses his writing to challenge the inadequacies of society, such as demoralization and oppression by those in political power towards those who challenge this power. One of the main themes he has explored in his writing is the individual’s struggle for freedom within an oppressive reality. For example, his two-volume novel Conversation in the Cathedral is based on the tyrannical dictatorship of Peruvian President Manuel A. Odría. The protagonist, Santiago, rebels against the suffocating dictatorship by participating in the subversive activities of leftist political groups. In addition to themes such as corruption and oppression, Vargas Llosa’s second novel, The Green House, explores “a denunciation of Peru’s basic institutions”, dealing with issues of abuse and exploitation of the workers in the brothel by corrupt military officers.
Many of Vargas Llosa’s earlier novels were set in Peru, while in more recent work he has expanded to other regions of Latin America, such as Brazil and the Dominican Republic. His responsibilities as a writer and lecturer have allowed him to travel frequently and led to settings for his novels in regions outside of Peru.The War of the End of the World was his first major work set outside Peru. Though the plot deals with historical events of the Canudos revolt against the Brazilian government, the novel is not based directly on historical fact; rather, its main inspiration is the non-fiction account of those events published by Brazilian writer Euclides da Cunha in 1902.The Feast of the Goat, based on the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, takes place in the Dominican Republic; in preparation for this novel, Vargas Llosa undertook a comprehensive study of Dominican history. The novel was characteristically realist, and Vargas Llosa underscores that he “respected the basic facts, [. . .] I have not exaggerated”, but at the same time he points out “It’s a novel, not a history book, so I took many, many liberties.”
One of Vargas Llosa’s more recent novels, The Way to Paradise (El paraíso en la otra esquina), is set largely in France and Tahiti. Based on the biography of former social reformer Flora Tristan, it demonstrates how Flora and Paul Gauguin were unable to find paradise, but were still able to inspire followers to keep working towards a socialist utopia. Unfortunately, Vargas Llosa was not as successful in transforming these historical figures into fiction. Some critics, such as Barbara Mujica, argue that The Way to Paradise lacks the “audacity, energy, political vision, and narrative genius” that was present in his previous works.
Modernism and postmodernism
The works of Mario Vargas Llosa are viewed as both modernist and postmodernist novels. Though there is still much debate over the differences between modernist and postmodernist literature, literary scholar M. Keith Booker claims that the difficulty and technical complexity of Vargas Llosa’s early works, such as The Green House and Conversation in the Cathedral, are clearly elements of the modern novel.Furthermore, these earlier novels all carry a certain seriousness of attitude—another important defining aspect of modernist art. By contrast, his later novels such as Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, and The Storyteller (El hablador) appear to follow a postmodernist mode of writing. These novels have a much lighter, farcical, and comic tone, characteristics of postmodernism. Comparing two of Vargas Llosa’s novels, The Green House and Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, Booker discusses the contrast between modernism and postmodernism found in the writer’s works: while both novels explore the theme of prostitution as well as the workings of the Peruvian military, Booker points out that the former is gravely serious whereas the latter is ridiculously comic.
Literary scholar M. Keith Booker argues that Vargas Llosa perfects the technique of interlacing dialogues in his novel The Green House. By combining two conversations that occur at different times, he creates the illusion of a flashback. Vargas Llosa also sometimes uses this technique as a means of shifting location by weaving together two concurrent conversations happening in different places. This technique is a staple of his repertoire, which he began using near the end of his first novel, The Time of the Hero. However, he does not use interlacing dialogues in the same way in all of his novels. For example, in The Green House the technique is used in a serious fashion to achieve a sober tone and to focus on the interrelatedness of important events separated in time or space. In contrast, Captain Pantoja and the Special Service employs this strategy for comic effects and uses simpler spatial shifts. This device is similar to both Virginia Woolf‘s mixing of different characters’ soliloquies and Gustave Flaubert’s counterpoint technique in which he blends together conversation with other events, such as speeches.
Vargas Llosa’s first literary influences were relatively obscure Peruvian writers such as Martín Adán, Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and César Moro. As a young writer, he looked to these revolutionary novelists in search of new narrative structures and techniques in order to delineate a more contemporary, multifaceted experience of urban Peru. He was looking for a style different from the traditional descriptions of land and rural life made famous by Peru’s foremost novelist at the time, José María Arguedas. Vargas Llosa wrote of Arguedas’s work that it was “an example of old-fashioned regionalism that had already exhausted its imaginary possibilities”. Although he did not share Arguedas’s passion for indigenous reality, Vargas Llosa admired and respected the novelist for his contributions to Peruvian literature. Indeed, he has published a book-length study on his work, La utopía arcaica (1996).
Rather than restrict himself to Peruvian literature, Vargas Llosa also looked abroad for literary inspiration. Two French figures, existentialistJean-Paul Sartre and novelist Gustave Flaubert, influenced both his technique and style. Sartre’s influence is most prevalent in Vargas Llosa’s extensive use of conversation. The epigraph of The Time of the Hero, his first novel, is also taken directly from Sartre’s work.Flaubert’s artistic independence—his novels’ disregard of reality and morals—has always been admired by Vargas Llosa, who wrote a book-length study of Flaubert’s aesthetics, The Perpetual Orgy. In his analysis of Flaubert, Vargas Llosa questions the revolutionary power of literature in a political setting; this is in contrast to his earlier view that “literature is an act of rebellion”, thus marking a transition in Vargas Llosa’s aesthetic beliefs. Other critics such as Sabine Köllmann argue that his belief in the transforming power of literature is one of the great continuities that characterize his fictional and non-fictional work, and link his early statement that ‘Literature is Fire’ with his Nobel Prize Speech ‘In Praise of Reading and Writing’.
One of Vargas Llosa’s favourite novelists, and arguably the most influential on his writing career, is the American William Faulkner. Vargas Llosa considers Faulkner “the writer who perfected the methods of the modern novel”. Both writers’ styles include intricate changes in time and narration. In The Time of the Hero, for example, aspects of Vargas Llosa’s plot, his main character’s development and his use of narrative time are influenced by his favourite Faulkner novel, Light in August.
In addition to the studies of Arguedas and Flaubert, Vargas Llosa has written literary criticisms of other authors that he has admired, such as Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Camus, Ernest Hemingway, and Jean-Paul Sartre. The main goals of his non-fiction works are to acknowledge the influence of these authors on his writing, and to recognize a connection between himself and the other writers; critic Sara Castro-Klarén argues that he offers little systematic analysis of these authors’ literary techniques. In The Perpetual Orgy, for example, he discusses the relationship between his own aesthetics and Flaubert’s, rather than focusing on Flaubert’s alone.
Mario Vargas Llosa is considered a major Latin American writer, alongside other authors such as Octavio Paz, Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Márquez and Carlos Fuentes. In his book The New Novel in Latin America (La Nueva Novela), Fuentes offers an in-depth literary criticism of the positive influence Vargas Llosa’s work has had on Latin American literature. Indeed, for the literary critic Gerald Martin, writing in 1987, Vargas Llosa was “perhaps the most successful [. . . and] certainly the most controversial Latin American novelist of the past twenty-five years”.
Most of Vargas Llosa’s narratives have been translated into multiple languages, marking his international critical success. Vargas Llosa is also noted for his substantial contribution to journalism, an accomplishment characteristic of few other Latin American writers. He is recognized among those who have most consciously promoted literature in general, and more specifically the novel itself, as avenues for meaningful commentary about life. During his career, he has written more than a dozen novels and many other books and stories, and, for decades, he has been a voice for Latin American literature. He has won numerous awards for his writing, from the 1959 Premio Leopoldo Alas and the 1962 Premio Biblioteca Breve to the 1993 Premio Planeta (for Death in the Andes) and the Jerusalem Prize in 1995. The literary critic Harold Bloom has included his novel The War of the End of the World in his list of essential literary works in the Western Canon. An important distinction he has received is the 1994 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, considered the most important accolade in Spanish-language literature and awarded to authors whose “work has contributed to enrich, in a notable way, the literary patrimony of the Spanish language”. In 2002, Vargas was the recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award. Vargas Llosa also received the 2005 Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute and was the 2008 recipient of the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Award at Dickinson College.
2007 – El Pregón de Sevilla (as Introduction for LOS TOROS)
2009 – El viaje a la ficción: El mundo de Juan Carlos Onetti
2011 – Touchstones: Essays on Literature, Art, and Politics
2012 – La civilización del espectáculo
2012 – In Praise of Reading and Fiction: The Nobel Lecture
2014 – Mi trayectora intelectual (My Intellectual Journey)
2015 – Notes on the Death of Culture
1952 – La huida del inca
1981 – La señorita de Tacna
1983 – Kathie y el hipopótamo
1986 – La Chunga
1993 – El loco de los balcones
1996 – Ojos bonitos, cuadros feos
2007 – Odiseo y Penélope
2008 – Al pie del Támesis
2010 – Las mil y una noches
Vargas Llosa’s essays and journalism have been collected as Contra viento y marea, issued in three volumes (1983, 1986, and 1990). A selection has been edited by John King and translated and published asMaking Waves. 2003 – “The Language of Passion”
In the midst of the economic decline — following drought and the end of slavery — in the province of Bahia in Northeastern Brazil, the poor of the backlands are attracted by the charismatic figure and simple religious teachings of Antonio Conselheiro, the Counselor, who preaches that the end of the world is imminent and that the political chaos that surrounds the collapse of the Empire of Brazil and its replacement by a republic is the work of the devil.
Seizing a fazenda in an area blighted by economic decline at Canudos the Counselor’s followers build a large town and defeat repeated and ever larger military expeditions designed to remove them. As the state’s violence against them increases they too turn increasingly violent, even seizing the modern weapons deployed against them. In an epic final clash a whole army is sent to extirpate Canudos and instigates a terrible and brutal battle with the poor while politicians of the old order see their world destroyed in the conflagration.
It is generally believed that Vargas Llosa’s three milestone novels are La Ciudad y Los Perros (The Time of the Hero), La Casa Verde (The Green House) and Conversación en la Catedral (Conversation in the Cathedral), though many critics agree that The War of the End of the World should also be included among these three. The author is famously known for considering this his most accomplished novel — an opinion shared by the Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, as well as the American critic Harold Bloom, who even includes the novel in what he calls the “Western canon.”
As he did later on with La Fiesta Del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat), Vargas Llosa tackles a huge number of characters and stories caught during a time of strife, interweaving these in way that gives us a picture of what it was to live in those times.
Deep within the remote backlands of nineteenth-century Brazil lies Canudos, home to all the damned of the earth: prostitutes, bandits, beggars, and every kind of outcast. It is a place where history and civilization have been wiped away. There is no money, no taxation, no marriage, no census. Canudos is a cauldron for the revolutionary spirit in its purest form, a state with all the potential for a true, libertarian paradise–and one the Brazilian government is determined to crush at any cost.
In perhaps his most ambitious and tragic novel, Mario Vargas Llosa tells his own version of the real story of Canudos, inhabiting characters on both sides of the massive, cataclysmic battle between the society and government troops. The resulting novel is a fable of Latin American revolutionary history, an unforgettable story of passion, violence, and the devastation that follows from fanaticism.
With few of the sly narrative flourishes that distinguish most of his fiction, Vargas Llosa now offers a vast historical novel tightly focused on an 1890s rebellion in the Bahia state of Brazil–by followers (called jagunÃ‡os) of an apocalyptic religious figure, dubbed “The Counselor,” in the little town of Canudos. And though much of this novel is surprisingly drab and flat, the extraordinarily punishing, unremitting scenes of battle and carnage bring the book’s lesson home all too vividly: the madness that can horribly grow out of any small fanaticism and power-base. The Counselor’s followers in Canudos are both poor peasantry and societal dregs–bandits, circus geeks, failures, whores–but his manifest saintliness harmonizes them. When the republican-government officials of Brazil, however, learn that money is no longer being used at Canudos, they foolishly suspect that this is a monarchist plot that is merely using the people at Canudos as pawns; furthermore, this myopia–which utterly ignores the religious basis of the very Christian experiment there–is compounded by the hysterical influence of an important newspaper publisher. Inevitably, then, Canudos will be crushed–yet not without resistance: one, then two massive and bloody government assaults fail. Then a third succeeds–and since it occurs after The Counselor’s natural death, it leads to a terrible decision by the holdout jagunos to slaughter their own innocents, women and children and the aged, rather than allow them to face the depredations of the “Freemason” soldiers who are attacking so successfully. What is ultimately sacrificed, murdered, therefore, is the spiritual quality of Canudos; extremity turns it into ideology–and more death. But this powerful conclusion, unfortunately, is a very long time in coming; in its first hundreds of pages, the novel is often stiff, dull in dialogue, precisely detailed but with little aura of atmosphere and scene. In sum, then: an odd combination of cardboard and passionate horror–with grim, rich rewards for those readers willing to plow through the book’s early, stodgy chapters.
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Donald Trump V. Megyn Kelly…
Conservatives grapple with surprise Trump snub
Michael Pemberton, a 65-year-old conservative from Kentucky, started the day in a good mood. He was attending his second RedState Gathering, and ready to hear from 10 of the Republican Party’s presidential candidates. He dug into breakfast — coffee and fruit — and sat down with another conference-goer.
“One of the chaps across me asked, ‘Did you hear the news?'” recalled Pemberton. “I thought he was going to tell me that a sinkhole opened up in Kentucky and I couldn’t go again. But no: He said, they disinvited Donald Trump. I lost my appetite.”
Pemberton grabbed a sharpie and a note card and scrawled out “I AM DONALD TRUMP.” He affixed it to his jacket with an American flag pin and grudgingly walked into the conference, determined never to come again.
More than 700 activists had signed up for the gathering, and up to a thousand of them had been expected to join Trump at a Saturday night party at the College Football Hall of Fame. On Saturday morning, the reaction to Trump’s exclusion was mixed — and distracting. Annoyance at what seemed to be a politically correct purge competed with annoyance at Trump himself.
“It was really inappropriate to attack Megyn Kelly,” said Richard Fonte, 70, an activist who split his time between Texas and Illinois, and strongly supported Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) for president. “That and the fact that he’s taking the position that he might run as a third party — that would automatically elect Hillary Clinton.”
Fonte’s wife, Dulsey, 68, was even happier to see Trump gone: “I find him crude,” she said. “I have no sympathy for his candidacy.”
5 times Donald Trump has insulted women(2:08)
During the first GOP presidential debate, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump about his insulting remarks toward women over the years. Here are five examples, from Rosie O’Donnell to Brande Roderick. (The Washington Post)
Those sentiments had been burbling up on the right, but even 12 hours earlier, Trump’s Republican critics had started to soften their tone, and say that the billionaire candidate had tapped into a well of legitimate voter anger. Saturday’s burst of anger at Trump was jarring; not everyone at the conference could agree what Trump had even said. Was he making a crude joke about menstruation or wasn’t he?
“It’s wrong to exclude him and insult him on what people interpret he said as opposed to what he said,” said Pemberton. “He was saying that Megyn was seeing blood, in her eyes. As far as ‘blood coming out all over,’ the first thing I think of is not a woman’s menstrual cycle. I think of Jesus Christ, thorns on his head, nail holes in his hands, stigmata.”
In an interview with The Washington Post’s Robert Costa, Erickson defended his Trump snub by attacking the overall tone of the candidate’s post-debate rants. The CNN “blood” interview came after a series of jabs at Kelly, which started in the spin room behind the debate stage. To Erickson, it all sounded sexist and dismissive. “I’m not going to have a guy on stage with my wife and daughter in the crowd who thinks a tough question from a woman is because of hormones,” he said.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump clarified, saying he was talking about blood coming from her nose. (His campaign had failed to convey this to Erickson.)
His campaign later released a statement, credited to Trump, that ripped into the RedState editor-in-chief personally.
“The guy (Erick Erickson) who made the decision about RedState called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a ‘goat [expletive] child molester’ and First Lady Michelle Obama a ‘Marxist Harpy,'” Trump said. “He was forced to make a humbling apology. Also, not only is Erick a total loser, he has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event.”
People and groups Donald Trump has denounced
Not one to back down easily from controversial statements, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s list of disapproved-of people continues to grow.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who opened Saturday’s session of the Gathering, found himself pulled into the Trump frenzy. He did not mention Trump in his speech, nor did Erickson ask any questions about the candidate or his remarks. Yet when Huckabee walked into a short news conference, he hit a wall of Trump queries.
“Rather than say something about the criticism, I’ll tell you there’s not a more professional, more savvy, and more brilliant person in television today than Megyn Kelly,” Huckabee insisted.
He refused to speak on Trump’s behalf. He rejected a question about whether the Trump outrage fed into Democratic accusations that the GOP waged a “war” on women.
“The Republican Party is not engaged in a war on women,” said Huckabee. “The Republican Party is not engaged in saying things about Megyn Kelly. One individual is. I’m a Republican. I’ve been one since a teenager. I think what I say about Megyn Kelly has more gravity.”
It sounded as though Huckabee was attacking Trump, until he got a question about whether the tycoon was too “thin-skinned” to be president.
“I don’t know what his skin looks like,” said Huckabee. “I haven’t been that close. Do we have another non-Donald Trump question?”
A few reporters obliged, asking Huckabee about gay marriage, abortion, and the upcoming block of Southern Republican contests that have become known as the “SEC primary.” Then came another Trump question.
“I’m running for president,” said Huckabee. “I’m not running to be the social media critic of someone else who’s running for president. You guys can ask him all day. Talk to me about issues. Talk to me about my tax plan. Talk to me about Iran. There’s plenty of people who can talk about Donald Trump. I’m the only one who can talk about Mike Huckabee running for president.”
PUBLISHED: 09:16 EST, 8 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:05 EST, 8 August 2015
Donald Trump has publicly lashed out after he was banned from one of the biggest gatherings of conservative activists over controversial comments he made about Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, the GOP frontrunner appeared to imply that Kelly ‘unfairly’ grilled him about his history of insulting women during a televised debate because she was menstruating.
He remarked that there ‘was blood coming out of her… wherever’, sparking outrage and causing RedState’s Erick Erickson to boot him off the line-up of the high-profile event in Georgia.
On Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to hit back at his critics, writing: ‘So many “politically correct” fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!’
In a later post on Saturday morning, the 2016 presidential candidate added that his remarks about Kelly were not made in reference to her menstrual cycle – but to the host’s nose.
Scroll down for video
Donald Trump taking part in Thursday’s GOP debate, hosted by Fox News’s Megyn Kelly (right). A day later Trump lashed out at the way Kelly had questioned him about his history of insulting women. He said on Friday: ‘You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever’
In a tweet on Saturday morning, the Republican frontrunner hit back with the tweet: ‘So many “politically correct” fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!’
He also rejected claims that he had been referring to Kelly’s menstrual cycle during his interview with CNN, saying that his quote – [there] was blood coming out of her… wherever’ – was actually referring to her nose
Then in a tweet to RedState, he said: ‘I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. “weakness”‘
Trump on CNN: ‘There was blood coming out of her… wherever’
‘Re. Megyn Kelly quote: “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” (NOSE). Just got on w/thought,’ he tweeted his 3.58million followers.
Trump had taken umbrage to the way Kelly questioned him during Thursday night’s televised debate involving GOP candidates – which was watched by a record 24million viewers.
On Saturday, he also wrote a public message to RedState’s official Twitter page, saying: ‘I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. “weakness”.’
A Trump campaign spokesman said that the controversy is ‘just another example of weakness through being politically correct’ – and Trump will now go elsewhere to spread his message.
‘For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr Trump coming, we will miss you,’ the spokesman told Daily Mail Online on Saturday. ‘Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader. We’ll now be doing another campaign stop at another location.
Meanwhile, a campaign press release sent to Daily Mail Online describes how Trump made Kelly look ‘really bad’ in the GOP debate, saying: ‘She was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard.’
It continues: ‘Mr Trump said “blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever” meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics. Only a deviant would think anything else.
The release also deems Erickson a ‘total loser’ who ‘has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns’. Therefore, it ‘is an honor to be uninvited from his event’, it reads.
It even goes so far as to mention a tweet posted by Erickson in 2009, in which the conservative blogger allegedly described Supreme Court Justice David Souter as a ‘goat f***ing child molester’.
And it cites Erickson’s former description of First Lady Michelle Obama as a ‘Marxist harpy wife’.
Erickson has since apologized for both remarks. Daily Mail Online has reached out to his communications team for comment following the release of Trump’s campaign statement.
Throughout Saturday, Kelly, who previously hosted America Live, appeared to be resisting temptation to fight back against Trump’s continued outbursts, remaining silent on social media.
Frontrunner: Trump participates in the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Thursday
Moderators: During the televised debate, Kelly, center, asked candidates questions along with Fox hosts Chris Wallace (left) and Bret Baier (right). Trump also attacked Wallace, but much more mildly than Kelly
Jibe: Trump reposted this message from a supporter, which brands Kelly a ‘bimbo’, to his 3.58m followers
Outrage: Trump’s comments sparked a storm of outrage that led to RedState’s Erick Erickson booting him from the high-profile Georgia event’s Saturday line-up. Above, Erickson tweeted this post on Friday night
She is due to appear on MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz at 11am on Sunday, a Fox spokesman pointed out. The interview was apparently filmed in advance on Friday night and discusses Trump’s remarks.
On Friday night, Erickson declared that ‘there are just real lines of decency a person running for President should not [cross]’ and that Trump’s comments about Kelly had been ‘inappropriate’.
‘It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong,’ he said.
And on Saturday, Erickson noted on stage – as he kicked off the second full day of the RedState conference – that Trump’s rescinded invitation would likely serve as a distraction for speakers.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN STATEMENT ON THE MEGYN KELLY CONTROVERSY
‘Mr Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad – she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard.
‘Mr Trump said “blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever” meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics.
‘Only a deviant would think anything else.
‘This related to the debate, which because of Mr Trump had 24 million viewers – the biggest in cable news history.
‘According to TIME, Newsmax, Drudge Report, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill and many others, Mr Trump won the debate.
‘By the way, the guy (Erick Erickson) who made the decision about RedState called Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat [expletive] child molester” and First Lady Michelle Obama a “Marxist Harpy.”
‘He was forced to make a humbling apology.
‘Also, not only is Erick a total loser, he has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event. Mr Trump is an outsider and does not fit his agenda.
‘Many of the 900 people that wanted to hear Mr Trump speak tonight have been calling and emailing – they are very angry at Erickson and the others that are trying to be so politically correct.
‘To them Mr Trump says, “We will catch you at another time soon.”‘
He urged the audience and the media at the Atlanta-based gathering to keep their questions to the morning’s keynote guest, presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, and his plans for America.
But despite his request, there was only one topic on most reporters’ minds at Huckabee’s press conference: Trump.
Huckabee avoided commenting directly on Trump’s explosive comments about Kelly – his former Fox News colleague – while praising her journalistic standards and professionalism.
Kelly, he said, is one of the ‘most beloved people in the building’ at Fox.
‘She is also one of those people you don’t tangle with,’ he said.
He described her as a tough, ‘hands-on’ journalist, who is passionate about her job.
‘It doesn’t matter who you are, she’s gonna try to get to the story,’ he said. ‘And I respect her for that. And she has pressed me hard on many things. That’s fine. That’s what she’s supposed to do. And that’s why she is a successful journalist. She deserves it. She’s earned it.
‘So rather than say something about the criticism, I’ll tell you that there’s not a more professional, a more savvy and more brilliant person in television today than Megyn Kelly.’
During the exchange that incited the all-out assault on Kelly from Trump, the host had asked Trump if his comments about the opposite sex fed into liberals’ claims that the Republican Party is engaged on a ‘War on Women.
But at Saturday’s press conference, Huckabee defended his party from the line of attack, saying: ‘The Republican Party is not engaged in a “War on Women”.
‘The Republican Party is not engaged in saying things about Megyn Kelly.
‘One individual is. I’m telling you what I say about a woman, and I think she’s one of the most remarkable people I know.’
He then took an unprompted swipe at Trump over his evolving views on the issues (the GOP frontrunner has changed his party affiliation multiple times throughout his life).
‘I think what I say about Megyn Kelly probably has more gravity than what anyone else says about Megyn Kelly, not only because I have known and worked with her, but I’ve been a Republican long enough to understand what it takes to be a Republican,’ he said.
And while he wouldn’t take the bait to take a KO shot at Trump, he distanced himself from the candidate’s derogatory remarks about women. ‘I certainly wouldn’t say them,’ Huckabee said.
Asked if Trump should apologize to the media maven, he added: ‘I’ll have to leave that up to him.’
Major conference: Erickson kicks off the second full day of the RedState gathering in Atlanta on Saturday
Erick Erickson’s Twitter response after he disinvited Trump and invited Megyn instead to the RedState event
However, at one point, Huckabee appeared to lose his cool, snapping at a reporter who had asked him why he was declining to criticize Trump’s blatant remarks about Kelly during the GOP debate.
The former Governor of Arkansas cut off the reporter, saying: ‘I didn’t in anyway support them, and I haven’t declined to criticize them… I’m running for president.
‘I’m not running for the social media critic for somebody else who’s running for president.
‘You guys can ask him all day, talk to me about issues,’ he added, listing off some topics he felt were fair game such as his tax plan or the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran.
He finished: ‘I’m running for president, not to evaluate one of the other 16 people, or 323 people running for president. So, there’s plenty of people who can talk about Donald Trump.
‘I’m the only person who can talk about what Mike Huckabee’s doing, running for president.’
So many ‘politically correct’ fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!
Donald Trump, Twitter
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was likewise bombarded with questions about Trump’s spat with Kelly at an early-afternoon news conference following his own speech at the conservative gathering.
‘I think every candidate should treat everyone else with civility and respect, that’s the standard I try to follow as a senator,’ he told a reporter looking for a reaction to Trump’s comments about Kelly.
He also refused to weigh in on conference organizers’ decision to disinvite Trump.
‘Well, I think that’s a decision for RedState to make,’ he said.
Cruz spent much of the gaggle filibustering as reporters shouted over each other to ask him questions about Trump, diving into a long statement on the crimes against Americans of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.
‘We’re not going to solve the problems of this country, we’re not going to defeat the Washington cartel, by obsessing over, the politics of personality,’ he said.
‘This is about real challenges facing the American people. This is about bankrupting our kids and grandkids, defending the bill of rights, and restoring America’s leadership in the world. That’s where my focus has been, and it’s where I intend to keep it.’
He finally commented on the drama with Kelly, but never mentioned Trump by name.
‘I think Megyn Kelly is a terrific journalist,’ he said, ‘and I think she does a great job. I think she did a very good job moderating the debate.’ Continuing, he said, ‘I’m not going to engage in a back and forth on personalities,’ as he tried to get reporters to write about something ‘infinitely more important that the momentary bickering between different political’ candidates – Suleimani.
Keynote guest: Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaking at the RedState Gathering on Saturday
Huckabee shakes hands with Erickson as he steps on to the stage to talk about his plans for America
‘She was a mess with her anger’: Trump’s press office sent this release to Daily Mail Online on Saturday
Before leaving the room, Cruz did take a question on charges that Trump’s disparaging comments toward women were playing right into the hands of Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ attacks on the Republicans.
‘You know I’ve gotta say you’re exactly right that women across this country are deeply dismayed with the direction this country goes,’ he said, noting that as the father of two little girls, he cares ‘very much’ about not only them, but women in America.
That millions of women are in poverty, their median wages stagnate, and single moms are struggling to feed their children, ‘that is the war on women,’ Cruz said.
‘And I look forward to getting back to the sort of environment where small businesses are prospering, and women have every opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams,’ he added.
Trump’s remarks about Kelly during Friday night’s CNN interview were the latest in a series of upsets in which the politician has turned on female targets.
Following the interview, Trump was attacked by Carly Fiornia, the only woman in the GOP field, who tweeted: ‘Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse.’ and ‘I stand with Megyn Kelly.’
The latter tweet – and its accompanying hashtag #istandwithmeg – have since gone viral.
And on Saturday, Governor Rick Perry said in a statement to Daily Mail Online that Trump ‘has proven once again that he doesn’t have the temperament to hold our nation’s highest office.’
Questions: Texas Senator Ted Cruz (seen at RedState on Saturday) was bombarded with questions about Trump’s spat with Kelly at an early-afternoon news conference following his speech at the major gathering
Supporters: Cruz, right, has his photo taken with Betsy Shaw Kramer, from Georgia, following his speech
‘Attacking veterans, Hispanics and women demonstrates a serious lack of character and basic decency, and his comments distract from the serious issues facing our country,’ Perry said.
In Friday’s CNN exchange Trump roundly attacked Kelly, saying: ‘I don’t have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly, she came out, reading her little script, trying to be tough and sharp.
‘When you meet her you realize she is not very tough or very sharp. She is zippo.’
When Lemon asked him to expand, he said: ‘I just don’t respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her, I don’t think she’s very good. She’s highly overrated.
‘I got out there they start saying all this stuff… she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever… you could see she was off-base.’
‘It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong
He concluded: ‘She’s a lightweight, I couldn’t care less about her’. Some commentators online criticized Lemon for not asking Trump to explain himself.
However, the disparaging remarks did irk some influential Republicans, including Erickson, who runs the RedState political website.
Trump was due to appear at a special three-and-a-half-hour ‘tailgate’ towards the end of Erickson’s RedState gathering in Atlanta – but was booted from the lineup close to midnight on Friday.
In a response to the blackballing, Trump’s campaign called him ‘weak’, ‘pathetic’ and said they would organize another event.
Most of his rivals, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Marco Rubio will be there.
Kelly was asked to fill in for Trump.
In an interview with the Guardian, Erickson said that he thought Trump’s remarks were so objectionable that he has effectively ‘disqualified himself’ from the race.
He added that the dispute would be ‘the beginning of the end’ of Trump’s campaign.
Trump’s dispute with Kelly began with a tense exchange on Thursday night’s Republican contenders’ debate, where he appeared onstage with other 2016 candidates.
These included Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Scott Walker.
The scrap began after Kelly tried to force Trump to address his history of insulting women, whom he has previously called ‘pigs’ and ‘disgusting animals’.
Carly Fiorina and Lindsey Graham, who are also hoping to become the Republican presidential candidate, posted tweets against Trump on saturday
Donald Trump arrives for the GOP presidential debate
She said: ‘You’ve called women you don’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals…’
‘Only Rosie O’Donnell’, Trump intervened, before Kelly could finish speaking.
She continued: ‘No, it wasn’t… Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks.
‘You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?’
Trump attempted to laugh the question off, and said he doesn’t ‘have time for total political correctness’.
He also characterized the insults as ‘fun’ and ‘kidding’ before adding that he’d be ‘very nice’ to Kelly – but could turn on her.
In a later question she confronted him again, this time with past remarks where he’d said he was a Democrat and pro-choice – before asking ‘when did you actually become a Republican?’
Trump began attacking her almost immediately after the debates.
According to the Washington Post, Trump hit out at Kelly immediately in the so-called ‘spin room’ where reporters gather after the contest.
He said: ‘The questions to me were not nice. I didn’t think they were appropriate. And I thought Megyn behaved very badly, personally’.
Donald Trump spoke for the longest period of time at the GOP debate, taking up 10 minutes and 32 seconds
Trump has since threatened to boycott future Fox debates after being treated ‘unfairly’.
He later continued the backlash on social media, repeating a comment by one supporter that branded Kelly a ‘bimbo’. He also asserted that she ‘really bombed’.
Kelly has yet to address the remarks, although she did post messages on her Twitter account noting the debate’s record viewership of 24million people, as confirmed by Nielsen data.
On Saturday, Marcy Stec, the communications director of EMILY’s List – a political action committee that was founded in 1985 and aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic female candidates to office – said that Trump and Erickson are ‘just symptoms of a larger problem’.
‘At its core, the ideology that Republican Party policies are grounded in is a fundamental distrust of women. Republicans have shown us time and time again: They don’t trust women,’ she said.
‘They don’t respect women. They don’t understand women. And even more importantly, they don’t want to… Republicans are simply unfit to address the challenges faced by women in this country.’
She added: ‘Today’s outrage over extreme rhetoric is justified – but tomorrow we’re still going to be stuck with a field of candidates whose collective agenda threatens the health and well-being of women and families. And that is truly outrageous.’
‘SHE’S DISGUSTING’: A HISTORY OF TRUMP INSULTING WOMEN
‘If someone screws you, screw them back’: Trump (seen on Thursday) has a track record of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly
Trump has a track record of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly, and advises those who buy his books to do the same.
‘For many years I’ve said that if someone screws you, screw them back,’ he wrote in Trump: How to Get Rich. ;’When somebody hurts you, just go after them as viciously and as violently as you can.;
When doing so, he has repeatedly targeted women and their physical appearance.
‘Rosie O’Donnell’s disgusting, I mean both inside and out. You take a look at her, she’s a slob. She talks like a truck driver,; he said in 2006 during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. ‘I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, “Rosie, you’re fired” from her television show, The View.
During the debate, Trump acknowledged making such comments — but only about O’Donnell.
When Kelly said Trump’s comments had gone beyond O’Donnell and asked about his use of such insults on Twitter, Trump replied that he didn’t ‘have time for total political correctness’.
A review of Trump’s writings, televised interviews and Twitter feed show he’s long used harsh language to describe women – and occasionally men.
In tweets sent last year, Trump called Huffington Post editor Arianna Huffington ‘a dog who wrongfully comments on me’ and said she is ‘ugly both inside and out!’
In 2012, Trump wrote on Twitter of singer Bette Midler: ‘But whenever she sees me, she kisses my ass. She’s disgusting.’
Trump has also said the same of men. ‘Little @MacMiller, I’m now going to teach you a big boy lesson about lawsuits and finance. You ungrateful dog!’ he tweeted in 2013 at a rapper who wrote a song titled Donald Trump.
And to former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank in 2011: ‘Barney Frank looked disgusting – nipples protruding – in his blue shirt before Congress. Very very disrespectful.’
During the debate, Kelly also referenced a boardroom scene from Trump’s NBC’s realty show, Celebrity Apprentice, in which Trump was told by one contestant that a female teammate had gotten down on her knees to beg.
‘That must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees,’ Trump said in response.
In the book, Trump declared that ‘All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.’
And he had this to say about women’s victories on the show: ‘It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on The Apprentice were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal’.
On some occasions Trump appears to have recognized he’s gone too far. In April, he retweeted, then deleted, a tweet that read ‘If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?’
Claiming a spike in fundraising since Thursday night’s debate, Carly Fiorina threw a punch at Donald Trump while also making an appeal to voters currently inclined to support him.
“We certainly have seen an uptick in financial support. We’ve seen an uptick in support generally and so, it’s very exciting,” Fiorina told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to talk to as many people as we can through every medium there is. I will continue to do what I’ve done from day one. I will answer any question. I will talk to anyone. I’m not afraid to talk about anything.The more people get to know me, the more people support me. So, that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”
NBC conducted an online survey that suggests Fiorina and Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) were the two candidates who gained the most support from their debate performances, although Trump still led the field. “22 percent said Fiorina won or had the best performance in the debate, followed by 18 percent who said Trump had the best performance,” per MSNBC. “However, another 29 percent said Trump did the worst in the debate, clearly showing how polarizing he is. When the candidates’ negative performance percentages are subtracted from their positive percentages, Fiorina notched a positive 20, whereas Trump scored a negative 11.”
Trump insulted Fiorina on Sunday following her defense of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who asked the real estate mogul and reality TV star if he could defend making derogatory comments about women. “I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!” Trump tweeted.
Fla. Gov. Scott will back candidate with best economic plan
Will the candidates offer solutions to key issues in the debate?
Which 2016 presidential candidate has the best economic plan?
Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions
Thomas Sowell — Dismantling America
Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens
Facts and Fallacies with Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell – The Vision of the Anointed
Thomas Sowell – Diversity
Affirmative Action in India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Israel, Malaysia, Nigeria
Thomas Sowell – What Evidence Supports Affirmative Action?
Firing Line – Thomas Sowell w/ William F. Buckley Jr. (1981)
THE 2016 FIELD: WHO’S IN AND WHO’S THINKING IT OVER
A whopping 22 people from America’s two major political parties have declared themselves candidates in the 2016 presidential election.
The field includes two women, an African-American and two Latinos. All but one in that group – Hillary Clinton – are Republicans.
At 17 candidates, the GOP field is deeper than ever. A few Democrats are still assessing their chances at succeeding in a much smaller group of five whose front-runner has been defined from the very beginning.
REPUBLICANS IN THE RACE
Jeb Bush Former Florida governor
Résumé: Former Florida governor and secretary of state. Former co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Education: B.A. University of Texas at Austin.
Family: Married to Columba Bush (1974), with three adult children. Noelle Bush has made news with her struggle with drug addiction, and related arrests. George P. Bush was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Jeb’s father George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States, and his brother George W. Bush was number 43.
Claim to fame: Jeb was an immensely popular governor with strong economic and jobs credentials. He is also one of just two GOP candidates who is fluent in Spanish.
Achilles heel: Bush has angered conservatives with his permissive positions on illegal immigration (saying some border-crossing is ‘an act of love) and common-core education standards. His last name could also be a liability with voters who fear establishing a family dynasty in the White House.
Chris Christie New Jersey governor
Base: Establishment-minded conservatives
Résumé: Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder and lobbyist.
Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder. Former statehouse lobbyist.
Education: B.A. University of Delaware, Newark, J.D. Seton Hall University.
Family: Married to Mary Pat Foster (1986) with four children.
Claim to fame: Pugnacious and unapologetic, Christie once told a heckler to ‘sit down and shut up’ and brings a brash style to everything he does. That includes the post-9/11 criminal prosecutions of terror suspects that made his reputation as a hard-charger.
Achilles heel: Christie is often accused of embracing an ego-driven and needlessly abrasive style. His administration continues to operate under a ‘Bridgegate’ cloud: At least two aides have been indicted in an alleged scheme to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution for a mayor who refused to endorse the governor’s re-election.
Carly Fiorina Former CEO
Résumé: Former CEO of Hewett-Packard. Former group president of Lucent Technologies. Former U.S. Senate candidate in California.
Education: B.A. Stanford University. UCLA School of Law (did not finish). M.B.A. University of Maryland. M.Sci. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Family: Married to Frank Fiorina (1985), with one adult step-daughter and another who is deceased. She has two step-grandchildren. Divorced from Todd Bartlem (1977-1984).
Claim to fame: Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, something that could provide ammunition against the Democratic Party’s drive to make Hillary Clinton the first female president. She is also the only woman in the 2016 GOP field, making her the one Republican who can’t be accused of sexism.
Achilles heel: Fiorina’s unceremonious firing by HP’s board has led to questions about her management and leadership styles. And her only political experience has been a failed Senate bid in 2010 against Barbara Boxer.
Lindsey GrahamSouth Carolina senator
Religion: Southern Baptist
Base: Otherwise moderate war hawks
Résumé: U.S. senator. Retired Air Force Reserves colonel. Former congressman. Former South Carolina state representative.
Education: B.A. University of South Carolina. J.D. University of South Carolina Law School.
Family: Never married. Raised his sister Darline after their parents died while he was a college student and she was 13.
Claim to fame: Graham is a hawk’s hawk, arguing consistently for greater intervention in the Middle East, once arguing in favor of pre-emptive military strikes against Iran. His influence was credited for pushing President George W. Bush to institute the 2007 military ‘surge’ in Iraq.
Achilles heel: Some of his critics have taken to call him ‘Grahamnesty,’ citing his participating in a 2013 ‘gang of eight’ strategy to approve an Obama-favored immigration bill. He has also aroused the ire of conservative Republicans by supporting global warming legislation and voting for some of the president’s judicial nominees.
Bobby Jindal Louisiana governor
Base: Social conservatives
Résumé: Governor of Louisiana. Former congressman. Former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation. Former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
Education: B. Sci. Brown University. M.Litt. New College at Oxford University
Family: Married to Supriya Jolly (1997), with three children, each of whom has an Indian first name and an American middle name. Bobby Jindal’s given name is Piyush.
Claim to fame: Jindal’s main source of national attention has been his strident opposition to federal-level ‘Common Core’ education standards, which included a federal lawsuit that a judge dismissed in late March. He is also outspoken on the religious-freedom issues involved in mainstreaming gay marriage into the lives of American Christians.
Achilles heel: During his first term as governor, Jindal signed a science education law that requires schools to present alternatives to the theory of evolution, including religious creationism. His staunch defense of businesses that want to steer clear of providing services to same-sex couples at their weddings will win points among evangelicals but alienate others.
George PatakiFormer New York governor
Résumé: Former governor of New York. Former New York state senator and state assemblyman. Former mayor of Peekskill, NY.
Education: B.A. Yale University. J.D. Columbia Law School.
Family: Married to Libby Rowland (1973), with four adult children.
Claim to fame: Pataki was just the third Republican governor in New York’s history, winning an improbable victory over three-term incumbent Mario Cuomo in 1994. He was known for being a rare tax-cutter in Albany and was also the sitting governor when the 9/11 terror attacks rocked New York CIty in 2001.
Achilles heel: While Pataki’s liberal-leaning social agenda plays well in the Empire State, it won’t win him any fans among the GOP’s conservative base. He supports abortion rights and gay rights, and has advocated strongly in favor of government intervention to stop global warming, which right-wingers believe is overblown as a global threat.
Rick Perry Former Texas governor
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Résumé: Former Texas governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner and state representative.
Education: B.Sci. Texas A&M University
Family: Married to Anita Thigpen (1982) with two adult children. His father was a former Democratic county commissioner in Texas.
Claim to fame: Perry boasts that while he was governor between the end of 2007 and the end of 2014, the Texas economy created 1.4 million new jobs while the rest of the U.S. lost close to 400,000. A Perry-led Texas also had the nation’s highest high school graduation rate among Hispanics and African-Americans.
Achilles heel: Perry has a tough hill to climb after his 2012 presidential campaign spectacularly imploded with a single word – ‘Oops’ – after he couldn’t remember one of his own talking points during a nationally televised debate. He also faces an indictment for alleged abuse of power in a case that Republicans contend is politically motivated and meritless.
Rick Santorum Former Penn. senator
Résumé: Former US senator and former member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Former lobbyist who represented World Wrestling Entertainment.
Education: B.A. Penn State University. M.B.A. University of Pittsburgh. J.D. Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.
Family: Married to Karen Santorum (1990), with seven living children. One baby was stillborn in 1996. Another, named Isabella, is a special needs child with a genetic disorder.
Claim to fame: Santorum won the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucuses by a nose. He won by visiting all of Iowa’s 99 states in a pickup truck belonging to his state campaign director, a consultant who now worls for Donald Trump.
Achilles heel: As a young lobbyist, Santorum persuaded the federal government to exempt pro wrestling from regulations governing the use of anabolic steroids. And the stridently conservative politician has attracted strong opposition from gay rights groups. One gay columnist held a contest to redefine his name, buying the ‘santorum.com’ domain to advertise the winning entry – which is too vulgar to print.
Scott Walker Wisconsin governor
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Base: Conservative activists
Résumé: Governor of Wisconsin. Former Milwaukee County Executive. Former member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Education: Marquette University (did not finish)
Family: Married to Tonette Tarantino (1993), with two children. One of Mrs. Walker’s cousins is openly lesbian and was married in 2014, with the Walkers attending the reception.
Claim to fame: Walker built his national fame on the twin planks of turning his state’s past budget shortfalls into surpluses and beating back a labor-union-led drive to force him out of office through a recall election. Both results have broad appeal in the GOP.
Achilles heel: Wisconsin has suffered from a shaky economy during Walker’s tenure, which makes him look weak compared with other governors who presided over more robust job-creation numbers. He promised to create 250,000 private sector jobs but delivered less than 60 per cent of them. Also, he led an effort in the state legislature to enact $800 million in tax cuts – putting the Badger State back on the road to government deficits.
Ben Carson Retired Physician
Religion: Seventh-day Adventist
Résumé: Famous pediatric neurosurgeon, youngest person to head a major Johns Hopkins Hospital division. Founder of the Carson Scholars Fund, which awards scholarships to children of good character.
Education: B.A. Yale University. M.D. University of Michigan Medical School.
Family: Married to Candy Carson (1975), with three adult sons. The Carsons live in Maryland with Ben’s elderly mother Sonya, who was a seminal influence on his life and development.
Claim to fame: Carson spoke at a National Prayer Breakfast in 2013, railing against political correctness and condemned Obamacare – with President Obama sitting just a few feet away.
Achilles heel: Carson is inflexibly conservative, opposing gay marriage and once saying gay attachments formed in prison provided evidence that sexual orientation is a choice.
Ted Cruz Texas senator
Religion: Southern Baptist
Base: Tea partiers
Résumé: U.S. senator. Former Texas solicitor general. Former U.S. Supreme Court clerk. Former associate deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.
Education: B.A. Princeton University. J.D. Harvard Law School.
Family: Married to Heidi Nelson Cruz (2001), with two young daughters. His father is a preacher and he has two half-sisters.
Claim to fame: Cruz spoke on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours in September 2013 to protest the inclusion of funding for Obamacare in a federal budget bill. (The bill moved forward as written.) He has called for the complete repeal of the medical insurance overhaul law, and also for a dismantling of the Internal Revenue Service. Cruz is also outspoken about border security.
Achilles heel: Cruz’s father Rafael, a Texas preacher, is a tea party firebrand who has said gay marriage is a government conspiracy and called President Barack Obama a Marxist who should ‘go back to Kenya.’ Cruz himself also has a reputation as a take-no-prisoners Christian evangelical, which might play well in South Carolina but won’t win him points in the other early primary states and could cost him momentum if he should be the GOP’s presidential nominee.
Jim Gilmore Former Virginia governor
Religion: United Methodist
Résumé: Former governor and attorney general of Virginia. Former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Former U.S. Army intelligence agent. President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation. Board member of the National Rifle Association
Education: B.A. University of Virginia.
Family: Married to Roxane Gatling Gilmore (1977), with two adult children. Mrs. GIlmore is a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Claim to fame: Gilmore presided over Virginia when the 9/11 terrorists struck in 1991, guiding the state through a difficult economic downturn after one of the hijacked airliners crashed into the Pentagon. He is nest known in Virginia for eliminating most of a much-maligned personal property tax on automobiles, working with a Democratic-controlled state legislature to get it passed and enacted.
Achilles heel: Gilmore is the only GOP or Democratic candidate for president who has been the chairman of his political party, giving him a rap as an ‘establishment’ candidate. A social-conservative crusader, he is loathed by the left for championing the state law that established 24-hour waiting periods for abortions. Gilmore also has a reputation as an indecisive campaigner, having dropped out of the 2008 presidential race in July 2007.
Mike Huckabee Former Arkansas governor
Religion: Southern Baptist
Résumé: Former governor and lieutenant governor of Arkansas. Former Fox News Channel host. Ordained minister and author.
Family: Married to Janet Huckabee (1974), with three adult children. Mrs. Huckabee is a survivor of spinal cancer.
Claim to fame: ‘Huck’ is a political veteran and has run for president before, winning the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and finishing second for the GOP nomination behind John McCain. He’s known as an affable Christian and succeeded in building a huge following on his weekend television program, in which he frequently sat in on the electric bass with country & western groups and other ‘wholesome’ musical entertainers.
Achilles heel: Huckabee may have a problem with female voters. He complained in 2014 about Obamacare’s mandatory contraception coverage, saying Democrats want women to ‘believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar.’ He earned more scorn for hawking herbal supplements in early-2015 infomercials as a diabetes cure, something he has yet to disavow despite disagreement from medical experts.
John Kasich Ohio governor
Résumé: Governor of New York. Former chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee. Former Ohio congressman. Former Ohio state senator.
Education: B.A. The Ohio State University.
Family: Married to Karen Waldbillig (1997). Divorced from Mary Lee Griffith (1975-1980).
Claim to fame: Kasich was Ohio youngest-ever member of the state legislature at age 25. He’s known for a compassionate and working-class sensibility that appeals to both ends of the political spectrum. In the 1990s when Newt Gingrich led a Republican revolution that took over Congress, Kasich became the chairman of the House Budget Committee – a position for a wonk’s wonk who understands the nuanced intricacies of how government runs.
Achilles heel: Some of Kasich’s political positions rankle conservatives, including his choice to expand Ohio’s Medicare system under the Obamacare law, and his support for the much-derided ‘Common Core’ education standards program.
Rand Paul Kentucky senator
Résumé: US senator. Board-certified ophthalmologist. Former congressional campaign manager for his father Ron Paul.
Education: Baylor University (did not finish). M.D. Duke University School of Medicine.
Family: Married to Kelley Ashby (1990), with three sons. His father is a former Texas congressman who ran for president three times but never got close to grabbing the brass ring.
Claim to fame: Paul embraces positions that are at odds with most in the GOP, including an anti-interventionist foreign policy, reduced military spending, criminal drug sentencing reform for African-Americans and strict limits on government electronic surveillance – including a clampdown on the National Security Agency.
Achilles heel: Paul’s politics are aligned with those of his father, whom mainstream GOPers saw as kooky. Both Pauls have advocated for a brand of libertarianism that forces government to stop domestic surveillance programs and limits foreign military interventions.
Marco Rubio Florida senator
Résumé: US senator, former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, former city commissioner of West Miami
Education: B.A. University of Florida. J.D. University of Miami School of Law.
Family: Married to Jeanette Dousdebes (1998), with two sons and two daughters. Jeanette is a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader who posed for the squad’s first swimsuit calendar.
Claim to fame: Rubio’s personal story as the son of Cuban emigres is a powerful narrative, and helped him win his Senate seat in 2010 against a well-funded governor whom he initially trailed by 20 points.
Achilles heel: Rubio was part of a bipartisan ‘gang of eight’ senators who crafted an Obama-approved immigration reform bill in 2013 which never became law – a move that angered conservative Republicans. And he was criticized in 2011 for publicly telling a version of his parents’ flight from Cuba that turned out to appear embellished.
Donald Trump Real estate developer
Résumé: Chairman of The Trump Organization. Fixture on the Forbes 400 list of the world’s richest people. Star of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’
Education: B.Sci. Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Family: Married to Melania Trump (2005). Divorced from Ivana Zelníčková (1977-92) and Marla Maples(1993–99). Five grown children. Trump’s father Fred Trump amassed a $400 million fortune developing real estate.
Claim to fame: Trump’s niche in the 2016 campaign stems from his celebrity as a reality-show host and his enormous wealth – more than $10 billion, according to Trump. Because he can self-fund an entire presidential campaign, he is seen as less beholden to donors than other candidates. He has grabbed the attention of reporters and commentators by unapologetically staking out controversial positions and refusing to budge in the face of criticism.
Achilles heel: Trump is a political neophyte who has toyed with running for president and for governor of New York, but shied away from taking the plunge until now. His billions also have the potential to alienate large swaths of the electorate. And his Republican rivals have labeled him an ego-driven celeb and an electoral sideshow because of his all-over-the-map policy history – much of which agreed with today’s today’s democrats – and his past enthusiasm for anti-Obama ‘birtheris
DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE
Lincoln ChafeeFormer Rhode Island governor
Résumé: Former Rhode Island governor. Former U.S. senator. Former city councilman and mayor of Warwick, RI.
Education: B.A. Brown University. Graduate, Montana State University horseshoeing school.
Family: Married to Stephanie Chafee (1990) with three children. Like him, his father John Chafee was a Rhode Island governor and US senator, but also served as Secretary of the Navy. Lincoln was appointed to his Senate seat when his father died in office.
Claim to fame: While Chafee was a Republican senator during the George W. Bush administration, he cast his party’s only vote in 2002 against a resolution that authorized military action in Iraq. Hillary Clinton, also a senator then, voted in favor – giving him a point of comparison that he hopes to ride to victory.
Achilles heel: Chafee’s lack of any significant party loyalty has turned allies into foes throughout his political career, and Democrats aren’t sure he’s entirely with them now. He was elected to the Senate as a Republican in 2000 but left the party and declared himself a political independent after losing a re-election bid in 2006. As an independent, he was elected governor in 2010. Now he’s running for president as a Democrat.
Martin O’MalleyFormer Maryland governor
Résumé: Former Maryland governor. Former city councilor and mayor of Baltimore, MD. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Education: B.A. Catholic University of America. J.D. University of Maryland.
Family: Married to Katie Curran (1990) and they have four children. Curran is a district court judge in Baltimore. Her father is Maryland’s attorney general. O’Malley’s mother is a receptionists in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
Claim to fame: O’Malley pushed for laws in Maryland legalizing same-sex marriage and giving illegal immigrants the right to pay reduced tuition rates at public universities. But he’s best known for playing guitar and sung in a celtic band cammed ‘O’Malley’s March.’
Achilles heel: O’Malley may struggle in the Democratic primary since he endorsed Hillary Clinton eight years ago. If he prevails, he will have to run far enough to her left to be an easy target for the GOP. He showed political weakness when his hand-picked successor lost the 2014 governor’s race to a Republican. But most troubling is his link with Baltimore, whose 2016 race riots have made it a nuclear subject for politicians of all stripes.
Jim WebbFormer Virginia senator
Religion: Christian (nondenominational)
Base: War hawks and economic centrists
Résumé:Former U.S. senator from Virginia. Former U.S. Secretary of the Navy under Ronamd Reagan. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
Education: B.A. US Naval Academy (transferred from the University of Southern California). J.D. Georgetown University.
Family: Married to Hong Le Webb (2005). Divorced from Jo Ann Krukar (1981-2004). Divorced from Barbara Samorajczyk (1968–1979).
Claim to fame: Webb is the rare Democrat who can bring both robust defense credentials and a history of genuine bipartisanship to the race. He served in Republican president Ronald Reagan’s defense directorate as Navy secretary, and earned both the Navy Star and the Purple Heart in combat. Webb is also seen as a quiet scholar who has written more than a half-dozen historical novels and a critically acclaimed history of Scots-Irish U.S. immigrants.
Achilles heel: Webb has a reputation as a bit of a quitter. He resigned his Navy secretary post over a budget-cut dispute just 10 months after taking the job, and he declined to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He also attracted bad press for defending the use of the Confederate flag as a heritage symbol for American southerners. Amid a nationwide clamor to remove the flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds, he wrote that Americans should ‘respect the complicated history of the Civil War. … Honorable Americans fought on both sides.’
Hillary ClintonFormer sec. of state
Religion: United Methodist
Résumé: Former secretary of state. Former U.S. senator from New York. Former U.S. first lady. Former Arkansas first lady. Former law school faculty, University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
Education: B.A. Wellesley College. J.D. Yale Law School.
Family: Married to Bill Clinton (1975), the 42nd President of the United States. Their daughter Chelsea is married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, whose mother was a 1990s one-term Pennsylvania congresswoman.
Claim to fame: Clinton was the first US first lady with a postgraduate degree and presaged Obamacare with a failed attempt at health care reform in the 1990s.
Achilles heel: A long series of financial and ethical scandals has dogged Clinton, including recent allegations that her husband and their family foundation benefited financially from decisions she made as secretary of state. Her performance surrounding the 2012 terror attack on a State Department facility in Benghazi, Libya, has been catnip for conservative Republicans. And her presdiential campaign has been marked by an unwillingness to engage journalists, instead meeting with hand-picked groups of voters.
Bernie Sanders* Vermont senator
Base: Far-left progressives
Résumé: U.S. senator. Former U.S. congressman. Former mayor of Burlington, VT.
Education: B.A. University of Chicago.
Family: Married to Jane O’Meara Sanders (1988), a former president of Burlington College. He has one child from a previous relationship and is stepfather to three from Mrs. Sanders’ previous marriage. His brother Larry is a Green Party politician in the UK and formerly served on the Oxfordshire County Council.
Claim to fame: Sanders is an unusually blunt, and unapologetic pol, happily promoting progressivism without hedging. He is also the longest-serving ‘independent’ member of Congress – neither Democrat nor Republican.
Achilles heel: Sanders describes himself as a ‘democratic socialist.’ At a time of huge GOP electoral gains, his far-left ideas don’t poll well. He favors open borders, single-payer universal health insurance, and greater government control over media ownership.
* Sanders is running as a Democrat but has no party affiliation in the Senate.
DEMOCRATS IN THE HUNT
Joe Biden, U.S. vice president
Biden would be a natural candidate as the White House’s sitting second-banana, but his reputation as a one-man gaffe factory will keep Democrats from taking him seriously.
Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator
Warren is a populist liberal who could give Hillary Clinton headaches by challenging her from the left, but she has said she has no plans to run and is happy in the U.S. Senate.
Is the nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran a good or bad deal? Would it be harder or easier for Iran to develop nuclear weapons? Would it make Iran and its terror proxies stronger or weaker? Should the U.S. Congress support or defeat the deal? Dennis Prager answers these questions and more.
Top three political realities of the Iran nuclear deal
Eric Shawn Reports: The Iran Deal’s details
Senate Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal
House Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal
Will the Iran nuclear agreement work?
Ted Cruz: Iran Deal a ‘Catastrophic Mistake’ (July 15, 2015) | Charlie Rose
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) questions on Iran Nuclear Deal (C-SPAN)
Sen. Ted Cruz: Any president worth his salt would overturn Iran deal
Donald Trump on nuke deal: They are laughing at us in Iran
Federal Prosecutor: Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal Clearly Treason
Mark Levin gives his commentary regarding the hearing on Iran nuclear deal (audio from 07-29-2015)
Mark Levin: Barack Obama has planted the seeds for World War III (audio from 07-14-2015)
The Savage Nation- Michael Savage- Wed, August 5, 2015 (1st Hour)
The Godfather – Sollozzo Known As The Turk 4/10 (HD)
The Godfather – Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey
Godfather-Meeting of the five families
Iran Nuclear Agreement: The Administration’s Case
Full text: Obama gives a speech about the Iran nuclear deal
President Obama is continuing his push for the Iran nuclear deal, giving a speech at American University. Here is a complete transcript of his remarks.
OBAMA: Thank you.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Thank you very much.
I apologize for the slight delay; even presidents have a problem with toner.
It is a great honor to be back at American University, which has prepared generations of young people for service and public life.
I want to thank President Kerwin and the American University family for hosting us here today.
Fifty-two years ago, President Kennedy, at the height of the Cold War, addressed this same university on the subject of peace. The Berlin Wall had just been built. The Soviet Union had tested the most powerful weapons ever developed. China was on the verge of acquiring the nuclear bomb. Less than 20 years after the end of World War II, the prospect of nuclear war was all too real.
With all of the threats that we face today, it is hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time. In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young president offered a different vision.
OBAMA: Strength, in his view, included powerful armed forces and a willingness to stand up for our values around the world. But he rejected the prevailing attitude among some foreign-policy circles that equated security with a perpetual war footing.
Instead, he promised strong, principled American leadership on behalf of what he called a practical and attainable peace, a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.
Such wisdom would help guide our ship of state through some of the most perilous moments in human history. With Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully.
Under Democratic and Republican presidents, new agreements were forged: A nonproliferation treaty that prohibited nations from acquiring nuclear weapons, while allowing them to access peaceful nuclear energy, the SALT and START treaties, which bound the United States and the Soviet Union to cooperation on arms control.
Not every conflict was averted, but the world avoided nuclear catastrophe, and we created the time and the space to win the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.
The agreement now reached between the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran builds on this tradition of strong, principled policy diplomacy.
After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. It cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. It contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program.
As was true in previous treaties, it does not resolve all problems. It certainly doesn’t resolve all our problems with Iran. It does not ensure a warming between our two countries. But it achieves one of our most critical security objectives. As such, it is a very good deal.
Today, I want to speak to you about this deal and the most consequential foreign-policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq, as Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world. Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.
Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.
It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.
Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history.
OBAMA: And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.
More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent.
Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.
I raise this recent history because now more than ever, we need clear thinking in our foreign policy, and I raise this history because it bears directly on how we respond to the Iranian nuclear program. That program has been around for decades, dating back to the Shah’s efforts, with U.S. support, in the 1960s and ’70s to develop nuclear power. The theocracy that overthrew the Shah accelerated the program after the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, a war in which Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons to brutal effect, and Iran’s nuclear program advanced steadily through the 1990s despite unilateral U.S. sanctions.
When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges, the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb, that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges and showed no inclination to slow, much less halt, its program.
Among U.S. policymakers, there’s never been disagreement on the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world’s most unstable region and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown. It would embolden terrorist groups like Hezbollah and pose an unacceptable risk to Israel, which Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to destroy. More broadly, it could unravel the global commitment to nonproliferation that the world has done so much to defend.
The question then is not whether to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, but how. Even before taking office, I made clear that Iran would not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon on my watch, and it’s been my policy throughout my presidency to keep all options, including possible military options, on the table to achieve that objective.
But I have also made clear my preference for a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the issue, not just because of the costs of war, but also because a negotiated agreement offered a more effective, verifiable and durable resolution. And so in 2009, we let the Iranians know that a diplomatic path was available. Iran failed to take that path, and our intelligence community exposed the existence of a covert nuclear facility at Fordo.
Now some have argued that Iran’s intransigence showed the futility of negotiations. In fact, it was our very willingness to negotiate that helped America rally the world to our cause and secured international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions.
OBAMA: Keep in mind, unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran had been in place for decades, but had failed to pressure Iran to the negotiating table. What made our new approach more effective was our ability to draw upon new U.N. Security Council resolutions, combining strong enforcement with voluntary agreements for nations like China and India, Japan and South Korea, to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our European allies of a total oil embargo.
Winning this global buy-in was not easy. I know; I was there. In some cases, our partners lost billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate. But we were able to convince them that, absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East.
In other words, it was diplomacy, hard, painstaking diplomacy, not saber rattling, not tough talk, that ratcheted up the pressure on Iran. With the world now unified beside us, Iran’s economy contracted severely, and remains about 20 percent smaller today than it would have otherwise been. No doubt this hardship played a role in Iran’s 2013 elections, when the Iranian people elected a new government, that promised to improve the economy through engagement to the world.
A window had cracked open. Iran came back to the nuclear talks. And after a series of negotiations, Iran agreed with the international community to an interim deal, a deal that rolled back Iran’s stockpile of near 20 percent enriched uranium, and froze the progress of its program so that the P5+1 — the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the European Union, could negotiate a comprehensive deal without the fear that Iran might be stalling for time.
Now, let me pause here just to remind everybody that, when the interim deal was announced, critics, the same critics we are hearing from now, called it a historic mistake. They insisted Iran would ignore its obligations, they warned that the sanctions would unravel. They warned that Iran would receive a windfall to support terrorism.
The critics were wrong. The progress of Iran’s nuclear program was halted for the first time in a decade, its stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced, the deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped, inspections did increase. There was no flood of money into Iran. And the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place. In fact, the interim deal worked so well that the same people who criticized it so fiercely now cite it as an excuse not to support the broader accord. Think about that. What was once proclaimed as an historic mistake is now held up as a success and a reason to not sign the comprehensive of deal.
So keep that in mind when you assess the credibility of the arguments being made against diplomacy today. Despite the criticism, we moved ahead to negotiate a more lasting, comprehensive deal. Our diplomats, led by Secretary of State John Kerry kept our coalition united, our nuclear experts, including one of the best in the world, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, work tirelessly on a technical details.
In July, we reached a comprehensive of plan of action that meets our objectives. Under its terms, Iran is never allowed to build a nuclear weapon. And while Iran, like any party to the nuclear non- proliferation treaty, is allowed to access peaceful nuclear energy, the agreement strictly defines the manner in which its nuclear program can proceed, ensuring that all pathways to a bomb are cut off.
OBAMA: Here is how.
Under this deal, Iran cannot acquire the plutonium needed for a bomb. The core of its heavy reactor at Arak will be pulled out, filled with concrete, replaced with one that will not produce plutonium for a weapon. The spent fuel from that reactor will be shipped out of the country, and Iran will not build any new heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.
Iran will also not be able to acquire the enriched uranium that could be used for a bomb. As soon as this deal is implemented, Iran will remove two-thirds of its centrifuges. For the next decade, Iran will not enrich uranium with its more advanced centrifuges. Iran will not enrich uranium at the previously undisclosed Fordo facility, which is very deep underground, for at least 15 years.
Iran will get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium, which is currently enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs for the next 15 years. Even after those 15 years have passed, Iran will never have the right to use a peaceful program as cover to pursue a weapon, and in fact this deal shuts off the type of covert path Iran pursued in the past.
There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key nuclear facilities. For decades, inspectors will have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, from the uranium mines and mills where they get raw materials to the centrifuge production facilities where they make machines to enrich it. And understand why this is so important.
For Iran to cheat, it has to build a lot more than just one building or covert facility like Fordo. It would need a secret source for every single aspect of its program. No nation in history has been able to pull of such subterfuge when subjected to such rigorous inspections. And under the terms of the deal, inspectors will have the permanent ability to inspect any suspicious sites in Iran.
And finally, Iran has powerful incentives to keep its commitments. Before getting sanctions relief, Iran has to take significant concrete steps, like removing centrifuges and getting rid of its stock piles. If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council, America can trigger snap back on our own.
On the other hand, if Iran abides by the deal, and its economy beings to reintegrate with the world, the incentive to avoid snap back will only grow.
So this deal is not just the best choice among alternatives, this is the strongest nonproliferation agreement ever negotiated, and because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.
I’ve had to make a lot of tough calls as president, but whether or not this deal is good for American security is not one of those calls, it’s not even close. Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prison, evaluated by headline-grabbing soundbites, and so before the ink was even dry on this deal, before Congress even read it, a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into armchair nuclear scientists…
… disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple and sometimes contradictory arguments about why Congress should reject this deal.
OBAMA: But if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. So, let me address just a few of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to this deal.
First, there’re those who say the inspections are not strong enough, because inspectors can’t go anywhere in Iran at any time with no notice.
Well, here’s the truth. Inspectors will be allowed daily access to Iran’s key nuclear sites.
If there is a reason for inspecting a suspicious undeclared site anywhere in Iran, inspectors will get that access even if Iran objects. This access can be with as little as 24 hours notice.
And while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.
And — and by the way, nuclear material isn’t something you hide in the closet.
It can leave a trace for years.
The bottom line is, if Iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will.
Second, there are those who argue that the deal isn’t strong enough, because some of the limitations on Iran’s civilian nuclear program expire in 15 years.
Let me repeat. The prohibition on Iran having a nuclear weapon is permanent. The ban on weapons-related research is permanent. Inspections are permanent.
It is true that some of the limitations regarding Iran’s peaceful program last only 15 years. But that’s how arms control agreements work. The first SALT treaty with the Soviet Union lasted five years. The first START treaty lasted 15 years.
And in our current situation, if 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have better tools to detect it, a stronger basis under international law to respond and the same options available to stop our weapons program as we have today, including, if necessary, military options.
On the other hand, without this deal, the scenarios that critics warn about happening in 15 years could happen six months from now. By killing this deal, Congress would not merely Iran’s pathway to a bomb, it would accelerate it.
Third, a number of critics say the deal isn’t worth it, because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Now, let’s be clear. The international sanctions were put in place precisely to get Iran to agree to constraints on its program. That’s the point of sanctions. Any negotiated agreement with Iran would involve sanctions relief.
So an argument against sanctions relief is effectively an argument against any diplomatic resolution of this issue. It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money, revenue frozen overseas by other countries.
But the notion that this will be a game-changer with all this money funneled into Iran’s pernicious activities misses the reality of Iran’s current situation.
Partly because of our sanctions, the Iranian government has over half a trillion dollars in urgent requirements, from funding pensions and salaries to paying for crumbling infrastructure.
Iran’s leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives. Even a repressive regime like Iran’s cannot completely ignore those expectations, and that’s why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.
Now, this is not to say that sanctions relief will provide no benefit to Iran’s military. Let’s stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to.
OBAMA: We have no illusions about the Iranian government or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies, including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq.
They tried to destabilize our Gulf partners. But Iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. They engaged in them before sanctions and while sanctions were in place. In fact, Iran even engaged in these sanctions in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war, a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. The truth is that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts, and whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.
Moreover, there is no scenario where sanctions relief turns Iran into the region’s dominant power. Iran’s defense budget is eight times smaller than the combined budget of our Gulf allies. Their conventional capabilities will never compare to Israel’s, and our commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge helps guarantee that.
Over the last several years, Iran has had to spend billions of dollars to support its only ally in the Arab world, Bashar al-Assad, even as he’s lost control of huge chunks of his country. And Hezbollah suffered significant blows on this same battlefield. And Iran, like the rest of the region, is being forced to respond to the threat of ISIL in Iraq.
So, contrary to the alarmists who claim Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges. The ruling regime is dangerous and it is repressive. We will continue to have sanctions in place on Iran’s support for terrorism and violation of human rights. We will continue to insist upon the release of Americans detained unjustly. We will have a lot of differences with the Iranian regime.
But if we are serious about confronting Iran’s destabilizing activities, it is hard to imagine a worse approach than blocking this deal. Instead, we need to check the behavior that we are concerned about directly, by helping our allies in the region strengthen their own capabilities to counter a cyber attack or a ballistic missile, by improving the interdiction of weapons’ shipments that go to groups like Hezbollah, by training our allies’ special forces so they can more effectively respond to situations like Yemen.
All these capabilities will make a difference. We will be in a stronger position to implement them with this deal.
And by the way, such a strategy also helps us effectively confront the immediate and lethal threat posed by ISIL.
Now, the final criticism, this is sort of catchall that you may hear, is the notion that there is a better deal to be had. We should get a better deal. That is repeated over and over again. It’s a bad deal — we need a better deal.
One that relies on vague promises of toughness and, more recently, the argument that we can apply a broader and indefinite set of sanctions to squeeze the Iranian regime harder. Those making this argument are either ignorant of Iranian society, or they are not being straight with the American people. Sanctions alone are not going to force Iran to completely dismantle all vestiges of its nuclear infrastructure, even aspects that are consistent with peaceful programs. That, is oftentimes, is what the critics are calling a better deal.
OBAMA: Neither the Iranian government, or the Iranian opposition, or the Iranian people would agree to what they would view as a total surrender of their sovereignty.
Moreover, our closest allies in Europe or in Asia, much less China or Russia, certainly are not going to enforce existing sanctions for another five, 10, 15 years according to the dictates of the U.S. Congress because their willingness to support sanctions in the first place was based on Iran ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It was not based on the belief that Iran cannot have peaceful nuclear power, and it certainly wasn’t based on a desire for regime change in Iran.
As a result, those who say we can just walk away from this deal and maintain sanctions are selling a fantasy. Instead of strengthening our position, as some have suggested, Congress’ rejection would almost certainly result in multi-lateral sanctions unraveling.
If, as has also been suggested, we tried to maintain unilateral sanctions, beefen them up, we would be standing alone. We cannot dictate the foreign, economic and energy policies of every major power in the world. In order to even try to do that, we would have to sanction, for example, some of the world’s largest banks. We’d have to cut off countries like China from the American financial system. And since they happen to be major purchasers of our debt, such actions could trigger severe disruptions in our own economy, and, by way, raise questions internationally about the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. That’s part of the reason why many of the previous unilateral sanctions were waived.
What’s more likely to happen should Congress reject this deal is that Iran would end up with some form of sanctions relief without having to accept any of the constraints or inspections required by this deal. So in that sense, the critics are right. Walk away from this agreement, and you will get a better deal — for Iran.
Now because more sanctions won’t produce the results that the critics want, we have to be honest. Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact. Without this deal, Iran will be in a position, however tough our rhetoric may be, to steadily advance its capabilities. Its breakout time, which is already fairly small, could shrink to near zero. Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities? And as someone who does firmly believe that Iran must not get a nuclear weapon and who has wrestled with this issue since the beginning of my presidency, I can tell you that alternatives to military actions will have been exhausted once we reject a hard-won diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports.
So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.
OBAMA: And here’s the irony. As I said before, military action would be far less effective than this deal in preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. That’s not just my supposition. Every estimate, including those from Israeli analysts, suggest military action would only set back Iran’s program by a few years at best, which is a fraction of the limitations imposed by this deal.
It would likely guarantee that inspectors are kicked out of Iran. It is probable that it would drive Iran’s program deeper underground. It would certainly destroy the international unity that we have spent so many years building.
Now, there are some of opponents — I have to give them credit. They’re opponents of this deal who accept the choice of war. In fact, they argue that surgical strikes against Iran’s facilities will be quick and painless.
But if we’ve learned anything from the last decade, it’s that wars in general and wars in the Middle East in particular are anything but simple.
The only certainty in war is human suffering, uncertain costs, unintended consequences.
We can also be sure that the Americans who bear the heaviest burden are the less-than-1 percent of us, the outstanding men and women who serve in uniform, and not those of us who send them to war.
As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat. I have sat by their bedside sometimes when they come home.
I’ve ordered military action in seven countries. There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative.
But how can we, in good conscience, justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives, that has been agreed to by Iran, that is supported by the rest of the world and that preserves our option if the deal falls short? How could we justify that to our troops? How could we justify that to the world or to future generations? In the end, that should be a lesson that we’ve learned from over a decade of war. On the front end, ask tough questions, subject our own assumptions to evidence and analysis, resist the conventional wisdom and the drumbeat of war, worry less about being labeled weak, worry more about getting it right.
I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously.
But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. In fact, it’s those…
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.
The majority of the Iranian people have powerful incentives to urge their government to move in a different, less provocative direction, incentives that are strengthened by this deal. We should offer them that chance. We should give them the opportunity.
OBAMA: It’s not guaranteed to succeed. But if they take it, that would be good for Iran. It would be good for the United States. It would be good for a region that has known too much conflict. It would be good for the world.
And if Iran does not move in that direction, if Iran violates this deal, we will have ample ability to respond. You know, the agreements pursued by Kennedy and Reagan with the Soviet Union. Those agreements and treaties involved America accepting significant constraints on our arsenal. As such, they were riskier.
This agreement involves no such constraints. The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion. Our military remains the ultimate backstop to any security agreement that we make. I have stated that Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon, and have done what is necessary to make sure our military options are real. And I have no doubt that any president who follows me will take the same position.
So, let me sum up here. When we carefully examine the arguments against this deal, none stand up to scrutiny. That may be why the rhetoric on the other side is so strident. I suppose some of it can be ascribed to knee-jerk partisanship that has become all too familiar, rhetoric that renders every decision made to be a disaster, a surrender. You’re aiding terrorists; you’re endangering freedom.
On the other hand, I do think it is important to a knowledge another more understandable motivation behind the opposition to this deal, or at least skepticism to this deal. And that is a sincere affinity for our friend and ally Israel. An affinity that, as someone who has been a stalwart friend to Israel throughout my career, I deeply share.
When the Israeli government is opposed to something, people in the United States take notice; and they should. No one can blame Israelis for having a deep skepticism about any dealings with the government like Iran’s, which includes leaders who deny the Holocaust, embrace an ideology of anti-Semitism, facilitate the flow of rockets that are arrayed on Israel’s borders. Are pointed at Tel Aviv.
In such a dangerous neighbor Israel has to be vigilant, and it rightly insists it cannot depend on any other country, even it’s great friend the United States, for its own security.
So, we have to take seriously concerns in Israel. But the fact is, partly due to American military and intelligence assistance, which my administration has provided at unprecedented levels, Israel can defend itself against any conventional danger, whether from Iran directly or from its proxies. On the other hand, a nuclear-armed Iran changes that equation.
And that’s why this deal must be judged by what it achieves on the central goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal does exactly that. I say this as someone who is done more than any other president to strengthen Israel’s security. And I have made clear to the Israeli government that we are prepared to discuss how we can deepen that cooperation even further. Already, we have held talks with Israel on concluding another 10-year plan for U.S. security assistance to Israel.
OBAMA: We can enhance support for areas like missile defense, information sharing, interdiction, all to help meet Israel’s pressing security needs. And to provide a hedge against any additional activities that Iran may engage in as a consequence of sanctions relief.
But I have also listened to the Israeli security establishment, which warned of the danger posed by a nuclear armed Iran for decades. In fact, they helped develop many of the ideas that ultimately led to this deal. So to friends of Israel and the Israeli people, I say this. A nuclear armed Iran is far more dangerous to Israel, to America, and to the world than an Iran that benefits from sanctions relief.
I recognize that prime minister Netanyahu disagrees, disagrees strongly. I do not doubt his sincerity, but I believe he is wrong. I believe the facts support this deal. I believe they are in America’s interests and Israel’s interests, and as president of the United States it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.
I do not believe that would be the right thing to do for the United States, I do not believe it would be the right thing to do for Israel.
For the last couple of weeks, I have repeatedly challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better, plausible alternative. I have yet to hear one. What I’ve heard instead are the same types of arguments that we heard in the run up to the Iraq war. “Iran cannot be dealt with diplomatically.” “We can take military strikes without significant consequences.” “We shouldn’t worry about what the rest of the world thinks, because once we act, everyone will fall in line.” “Tougher talk, more military threats will force Iran into submission.” “We can get a better deal.”
I know it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats, to compare any attempt at diplomacy to Munich, but none of these arguments hold up. They didn’t back in 2002, in 2003, they shouldn’t now.
That same mind set in many cases offered by the same people, who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong…
… lead to a war that did more to strengthen Iran, more to isolate the United States than anything we have done in the decades before or since. It’s a mind set out of step with the traditions of American foreign policy where we exhaust diplomacy before war and debate matters of war and peace in the cold light of truth.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict,” President Reagan once said. It is the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. President Kennedy warned Americans not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than the exchange of threats. It is time to apply such wisdom. The deal before us doesn’t bet on Iran changing, it doesn’t require trust, it verifies and requires Iran to forsake a nuclear weapon.
OBAMA: Just as we struck agreements with the Soviet Union at a time when they were threatening our allies, arming proxies against us, proclaiming their commitment to destroy our way of life, and had nuclear weapons pointed at all of our major cities, a genuine existential threat.
You know, we live in a complicated world, a world in which the forces unleashed by human innovation are creating for our children that were unimaginable for most of human history.
It is also a world of persistent threats, a world in which mass violence and cruelty is all too common and human innovation risks the destruction of all that we hold dear.
In this world, the United States of America remains the most powerful nation on Earth, and I believe that we will remain such for decades to come.
But we are one nation among many, and what separates us from the empires of old, what has made us exceptional, is not the mere fact of our military might.
Since World War II, the deadliest war in human history, we have used our power to try and bind nations together in a system of international law. We have led an evolution of those human institutions President Kennedy spoke about to prevent the spread of deadly weapons, to uphold peace and security and promote human progress.
We now have the opportunity to build on that progress. We built a coalition and held together through sanctions and negotiations, and now we have before us a solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without resorting to war.
As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast.
If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.
John F. Kennedy cautioned here more than 50 years ago at this university that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war. But it’s so very important. It is surely the pursuit of peace that is most needed in this world so full of strife.
My fellow Americans, contact your representatives in Congress, remind them of who we are, remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for so that we can leave behind a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our children.
Trump campaign: ‘He’s in first place for a reason’
Rand Paul Attributes Trump’s Rise to Temporary ‘Loss of Sanity’
Rand Paul Slams Donald Trump, Calls His Rise In Polls Temporary Loss Os Sanity – Mark Steyn – Cavuto
Trump Mentions Infowars Report During Campaign Speech
Dr. Jerome Corsi: Trump Is The Real Deal
An Honest Conversation About Donald Trump
Why Thursday’s Debate Matters (But Most Don’t)
“I was thinking of setting myself on fire” — that’s how former Mitt Romney strategist Stuart Stevens felt in January 2012. His candidate was in the midst of a marathon of primary debates and he despaired at the draining, repetitive nature of the events, saying they had a “‘Groundhog Day’ quality” to them.
Stevens’ despair about that campaign cycle’s torturously repetitious series of debates highlights a simple but oft-forgotten fact about these events: Candidates may put a lot of effort into preparing for debates, but they don’t usually move the polls. There were 20 Republican presidential primary debates in 2011 and 2012, and even the most knowledgeable political junkies can probably only name a handful of memorable moments from them.
But despite the relative boringness of those debates, there is significant anticipation surrounding Thursday’s inaugural GOP face-off. The sheer amount of media coverage related to who made it onto the prime-time stage, how candidates are or aren’t preparing and what to expect from Donald Trump suggests that this gathering won’t be the snooze that many past debates were. That raises a simple question – what accounts for the difference?
My take is that information makes the difference. Specifically, the 2012 debates failed to move the polls because they typically didn’t provide much new information on candidates, while Thursday’s event could provide a significant amount of new information to the party elite, the media and rank-and-file primary voters.
The 2012 Debates Didn’t Move the Polls
In 2011 and 2012, the Republican primary debates simply did not move the polls. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on the day of the debate and seven days after for every debate each candidate participated in. The results indicate that in most weeks following a debate, most candidates did not see a big uptick or drop in their RCP polling average. (To view a histogram demonstrating this, click here.)
Additionally, there wasn’t much difference between how much a debate and a typical week on the campaign trail changed polling numbers. To determine this, I calculated the difference between each candidate’s RCP average on every day after early April 2011 and their average seven days later. The mean was -0.24 (it was 0.41 for the post-debate weeks) and the standard deviation was 2.21 (2.47 in post-debate weeks). While debates on average moved candidates in a slightly positive direction and average weeks spent campaigning did the opposite, the magnitude of these changes was small. In other words, on average, debates changed a candidate’s standing in the polls about as much as a week on the campaign trail did.
Candidates were often unable to move polls through debates partially because those debates revealed relatively little new information about them. If Mitt Romney looked wooden on stage or Rick Santorum invoked the culture war, voters and journalists didn’t bat an eyelash. These candidates, their positions and personalities were, in many cases, known quantities at the time of the debate. In a few rare cases, candidates used good performances in debates to earn a second look from voters and the media. Both of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s moments in the sun were fueled at least partially by good debate performances. But the other candidates who surged to the front – Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Santorum, Rick Perry – typically began their ascent by performing well or getting media attention at a non-debate event. And when those candidates fell out of favor with the party, it was usually not a debate that did them in (not even in the case of Perry’s “oops” moment).
But Thursday’s Debate Could Change Things – and That Matters
While the 2012 debates didn’t provide voters with new information, Thursday’s gathering promises to provide information to three key groups – the party elite, the media and voters.
First, this debate will be an important part of the “invisible primary.” There are lots of good articles and books out there on the invisible primary, but here are the basics: In the invisible primary, “party elite” (defined broadly as anyone who uses their time, money or influence to advocate for their preferred candidate – which means everyone from Iowa door-knockers to governors of key primary states) attempt to reach consensus on which candidate to support. These party actors then use their resources and influence to give their preferred candidate a boost before primary voters head to the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. The party elite are not all-powerful – candidates who have won the invisible primary have gone on to lose or nearly lose the nomination, and sometimes the party is too fractured to give any candidate a clear invisible primary win – but the support of these elite actors does seem to matter.
Right now the invisible Republican primary is completely unsettled, and the party elite cannot be happy about Donald Trump’s recent success in the polls. Much of the GOP elite tend to gravitate towards candidates who share their ideology, have a good record of advocating for that ideology in public office and are plausible general election candidates. It would be an understatement to say that Trump fails to meet these requirements. The Donald has never held political office, he donated to Hillary Clinton throughout the 2000s, has flipped his position on health care, abortion and taxes, fares much worse than his fellow Republicans in hypothetical general election match-ups – I could go on, but the point is clear. There are large, powerful elements of the Republican Party with a keen interest in finding a candidate who can at least stop Trump in his tracks, if not go on to win the nomination and the presidency. And Thursday’s debate is one of the party’s first good opportunities to scout out the field for such a contender.
Second, this debate will have an impact on media coverage of the candidates. Specifically, candidates have an opportunity to get good or bad press or to kick off a media-wide “discovery” of a candidate or “scrutiny” of Trump. The first possibility here is fairly straightforward. If one of the well-known and serious candidates – say, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – performs especially well or poorly in the debate, then they could earn favorable or unfavorable press that changes their standing in the polls.
The second and third possibilities – a candidate is “discovered” or “scrutinized” – are much more interesting. The terminology here comes from “The Gamble” – an excellent book on the 2012 election by George Washington University Professor John Sides and UCLA Professor Lynn Vavreck. Sides and Vavreck studied the 2012 Republican primary and found that many of the candidates who enjoyed a brief moment atop the polls did so because of a media “discovery, scrutiny and decline” pattern. In the discovery phase, a relatively unknown candidate does something that attracts the attention of journalists (e.g. Herman Cain winning the Florida Straw Poll). These journalists become fascinated with that candidate, write a ream of stories about him or her (often neutral-to-positive in tone) and as a result that candidate rises in the polls. These same journalists then write positive stories about that candidate’s rise, and the candidate rockets to an even higher position. Thursday’s debate could focus the media’s attention on a new candidate. For example, if Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a breakout performance in the main debate or if Carly Fiorina dominates the second-tier candidate debate earlier in the evening, the media could “discover” them and cause a subsequent rise in the polls. Of course, this might not happen, but a good debate performance provides a plausible springboard for a media-fueled poll bounce.
It’s also possible that this debate kicks off the “scrutiny” phase of Trump’s candidacy. According to Sides and Vavreck, scrutiny happens after the candidate has had some time atop the polls and journalists decide to really dig into their public record and personal history. Right now Trump is firmly in the discovery phase of his candidacy. The media are still treating him as more of a celebrity than a candidate, so his policy positions and his past are getting less attention than his performance in the latest poll or his most recent bombastic statement. If the media and party establishment begin to scrutinize Trump in the way they would any other politician, it may lead to bad press and a related drop in his poll numbers – the beginning of the “decline” in Sides and Vavreck’s process.
That’s not to say that Trump will definitely be scrutinized after the debate. And the scrutiny may have a muted or delayed effect – part of Trump’s appeal is his aggression towards the mainstream media and political establishment. But it is possible that the debate marks a turning point in how Trump is viewed – and if that’s the case, then it has potentially huge consequences.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, many voters will be really introduced to these candidates for the first time. While the party and the media play a large role in influencing voters, voters themselves matter the most. There are a massive number of ways any one candidate could leverage the debate to speak to his or her desired coalition in a persuasive way, so it’s harder to play these scenarios out. But if a candidate manages to speak clearly, directly and persuasively to their coalition through this debate, that could really make a difference.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 Cold War espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson. The screenplay was written by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, based on the 1974 novel of the same name by John le Carré.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 2
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 3
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 4
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Part 5
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Part 6
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Part 7
John le Carré about Smiley’s People 1/2
John le Carré about Smiley’s People 2/2
British Novelist John le Carré on Democracy Now 2010
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the first novel of the “Karla Trilogy”, the second and third novels being The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) and Smiley’s People (1979), later published in an omnibus edition as The Quest for Karla (1982). These are the fifth, sixth, and seventh le Carré spy novels featuring George Smiley. Three characters who are important players in TTSS first appeared in le Carré’s very first book, Call for the Dead (1961). They are George Smiley, Peter Guillam, and Inspector Mendel.
Control, chief of the Circus, assigns the code names “Tinker”, “Tailor”, “Soldier”, “Poor Man”, and “Beggar Man” to five senior intelligence officers at the Circus. He suspects that one of the five, whose identity is unknown, is a Soviet mole. Control assigns these code names with the intention that, should an agent named Jim Prideaux uncover information about the identity of the mole, Prideaux can relay it back to the Circus using an easy-to-recall codename. The names are derived from the English children’s rhyme “Tinker, Tailor“:
In 1972, Control, the head of British Intelligence (“the Circus”), sends agent Jim Prideaux to Czechoslovakia to meet a Czech general who wishes to sell information. The operation is blown and a fleeing Prideaux is shot in the back by Russian soldiers and tortured. Amid the international incident that follows, Control and his deputy, George Smiley, are forced into retirement. Control, already ill, dies soon afterwards.
Through a love affair in Hong Kong with Irina, the wife of a Moscow Centre intelligence officer, British agent Ricki Tarr discovers that there might be a high-ranking Soviet mole, code-named “Gerald”, within the Circus. After going into hiding to avoid Soviet agents, Tarr alerts his immediate superior, Peter Guillam, who in turn notifies Undersecretary Oliver Lacon, the Civil Service officer responsible for overseeing the Intelligence Services. Lacon enlists Smiley to investigate. Smiley and Guillam must investigate without the knowledge of the Circus, which is headed by Sir Percy Alleline and his deputies – Bill Haydon, Toby Esterhase, and Roy Bland, as any of these could be the mole.
Smiley suspects that Gerald is responsible for the failure of Operation Testify, the mission which led to the torture of Prideaux and the disgrace of Control. Prideaux, who was repatriated and dismissed from the Circus, reveals to Smiley that Control suspected the mole’s existence and that the true aim of Testify was to learn the mole’s identity from the Czech general. Prideaux also reveals that the Moscow Centre personnel who interrogated him already knew this, and it becomes clear to Smiley that the operation was a trap set by the Soviets to discredit Control and remove the threat to Gerald.
Alleline, who was Control’s rival, has risen to head the Circus as a result of seemingly top-grade Soviet intelligence from a source code-named “Merlin”. The Merlin material is handled by a secret committee, consisting of Alleline and his deputies, in an operation called Witchcraft. Smiley’s investigation leads him to believe that Merlin’s information is false and is being used by Moscow Centre to influence the leadership of the Circus. Cleverly, the Soviets have induced the Circus leadership to believe that Merlin maintains his cover by feeding the Soviets low-grade intelligence from a false Circus mole. As a result, the leaders of the Circus suppress any rumours of a mole, thereby protecting the actual mole. Meanwhile, “chicken feed” is given by Merlin in return for the Circus’s “Crown Jewels”.
Smiley pressures Esterhase into confessing his role in feeding intelligence to Merlin, and into revealing the location of the safe house where Gerald and his Soviet handler meet. Tarr is dispatched to Paris to send a personal message to Alleline, who alerts the Witchcraft committee and thus forces Gerald to seek an emergency meeting with his handler at the safe house. Smiley and Guillam break in on the meeting and Gerald is revealed to be Haydon, a respected colleague and former friend who once had an affair with Smiley’s now estranged wife, Ann. Haydon acknowledges he was recruited several decades previously by Karla, the Moscow Centre spymaster.
Alleline is removed and Smiley is appointed temporary head of Circus to deal with the fallout. Haydon is to be exchanged with the Soviet Union for several of the agents he betrayed, but, shortly before he is due to leave England, is mysteriously killed while in custody. Though the identity of his killer is not explicitly revealed, it is strongly implied to be Prideaux, his old partner and possibly his lover, whom he betrayed in Operation Testify.
George Smiley. Educated at Lincoln College, Oxford, where he fully intended on making a career as a professor specializing in “the literary obscurities of seventeenth-century Germany”. But in 1928 (mid-1930s in revised chronology) he was recruited by Circus “talent spotter” Jebedee. Smiley became a spy’s spy for two reasons: first, his wife, Lady Ann Sercomb, described him as “breathtakingly ordinary”. Secondly, Smiley saw the opportunity for “excursions into the mystery of human behaviour”. As of the events of Tinker Tailor, Smiley has become Control’s right-hand man. However, Smiley is forced out of the Circus after Control’s retirement and continues his academic research into the 17th century German Baroque literature.
Percy Alleline. Chief of the Circus following Control’s ousting. “A lowland Scot and a son of the Manse“. “A bit of an athlete”. “Missed the war by a year or two”. Former field agent; Control despised him. Cambridge. Alleline spent his early career in South America, Northern Africa and India. One of the four who ran the double agent codenamed “Merlin”. Alleline is knighted in the course of the book in recognition of the quality of the “Witchcraft” intelligence provided by Merlin.
Roy Bland: Second in command to Bill Haydon of London Station. “Cockney voice”. Son of a dockworker who was “a passionate trade-unionist and a Party member”. “A warm-hearted and impulsive fellow, red-haired and burly”. Smiley had recruited him. Expert in Soviet satellite states. Oxford. One of the four who ran the double agent codenamed “Merlin”. Bland was the top specialist in Soviet satellite states and spent several years as a left-wing academic in the Balkans before being instated in Circus.
“Control”: Former head of the Circus; forced to retire and now dead. Before the war he was a Cambridge don.
Toby Esterhase. “Runs between Bill Haydon and Roy Bland like a poodle”. Ran the “lamplighters” (see “Jargon” below) when Control was in charge. White hair. “Dressed like a male model, but was unmistakably a fighter”. “Tiny Toby spoke no known language perfectly, but he spoke them all”. “Toby Esterhase would put the dogs on his own mother if it bought him a pat on the back from Alleline”. Hungarian; recruited by Smiley as “a starving student in Vienna”. One of the four who ran the double agent codenamed “Merlin”.
Peter Guillam. Currently in charge of the “scalp hunters” (see “Jargon”) at the Brixton location (“they were to handle the hit-and-run jobs that were too dirty or too risky for the residents abroad… they weren’t gradual, and they weren’t gentle, either”). Son of a French businessman and an Englishwoman and longtime associate of Smiley from the Ministry of Defence.
Bill Haydon. Commander of London Station; worked with the Circus since the war. “Dashing Bill Haydon, our latter day Lawrence of Arabia”. “Painter, polemicist, socialite”. “Of that pre-war set that seemed to have vanished for good”. Reputed to be bisexual. Father was a high-court judge. Close companion of Prideaux since university. Oxford. One of Ann Smiley’s many cousins, also her lover. One of the four who ran the double agent codenamed “Merlin”.
Oliver Lacon. “Of the Cabinet Office, a senior advisor to various mixed committees and a watchdog of intelligence”. Recruited Smiley to find the mole. As Guillam phrased it, “Whitehall’s head prefect”. Cambridge.
Mendel. Retired former Inspector in the Special Branch, who assists Smiley. A “quirkish, loping tracker of a man, sharp-faced and sharp-eyed”. Keeps bees as a hobby.
Jim Prideaux (code name: Jim Ellis). Fluent Czech-speaker. Agent who was shot in Czechoslovakia on an operation code-named “Testify”, an assignment that was blown to the Soviets. Former head of the “scalp hunters”. Now a schoolteacher. Close companion (and former lover) of Haydon. “A large fellow”. Athlete. Fluent in several languages, raised partially abroad and educated at Oxford University.
Connie Sachs. Former Russia analyst for the Circus, forced to retire, now runs a rooming house in Oxford. “A big woman, bigger than Smiley by a head”. Alcoholic.
Ricki Tarr. A field agent; the one who found Irina. Smiley originally gave him his job. Works for Guillam.
The characters in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy use a great deal of spy jargon which is presented as the authentic insiderspeak of British Intelligence. Le Carré has said that, with the exception of a few terms like “mole” and “legend”, this jargon was his own invention.Examples are:
An espionage agent or spy; a citizen who is recruited by a foreign government to spy on his own country. This term should not be confused with a member of an intelligence service who recruits spies; they are referred to as intelligence officers or more particularly case officers.
The in-house name for MI6, the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service), which collects foreign intelligence. “Circus” refers to the (fictional) locale of the headquarters in Cambridge Circus, London.
An officer of one side acting as if he is likely defector material, drinking, complaining about his job, in the hope of attracting a recruitment offer from an enemy intelligence officer, with the object of recruiting the enemy as a double agent instead.
MI5, the Security Service, the UK’s internal counter-espionage and counter-terrorism service, which the Circus also calls “The Security Mob”.
The CIA in particular and the US intelligences services in general.
Technicians who find and remove hidden microphones, cameras, etc.
A sexual blackmailing operation.
The internal auditors and financial disciplinarians of the Circus.
The Circus headquarters operations staff, including those who watch doors and verify that people entering secure areas are authorised to do so.
A section which provides surveillance and couriers.
A false identity
An espionage job denoting an operation with an object of assassination.
An agent recruited long before he has access to secret material, who subsequently works his way into the target government organisation. Le Carré has said this was a term actually used in the KGB; an equivalent term used in Western intelligence services was sleeper agent.
Secretaries and trusted typists serving the senior officers of the Circus.
The Soviet intelligence services, in particular the KGB and Karla’s fictional “Thirteenth Directorate”.
Nuts and Bolts
The engineering department who develop and manufacture espionage devices.
Members of surveillance teams who inconspicuously follow people in public.
The cleanest security category available, used of questionable foreigners, “Clean as fabric washed in Persil“.
The television adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy also uses the term “burrower” for a researcher recruited from a university, a term taken from the novel’s immediate sequel The Honourable Schoolboy.
Karla is modelled on KGB Gen. Rem Krassilnikov, whose obituary in The New York Times reported that the CIA considered him as such. Moreover, skewing in favour of the latter, Smiley reports that Karla was trained by “Berg”, Alexander Mikhailovich Orlov, anNKVD intelligence officer who defected to the West in 1938.
The character Bill Haydon is partly derived from Kim Philby, a senior SIS officer who defected to the USSR in 1963. David Cornwell (John le Carré), who worked as an intelligence officer for both MI5 and the SIS (MI6), has said that Philby betrayed his identity to the Russians, which was a factor in the 1964 termination of his intelligence career.
Connie Sachs, the Circus’s principal Russia researcher, is modelled upon Milicent Bagot.
In 1988, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a dramatisation, by Rene Basilico, of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in seven weekly half-hour episodes, produced by John Fawcett-Wilson. It is available as a BBC audiobook in CD and audio cassette formats. Notably, Bernard Heptonportrays George Smiley. Nine years earlier, he had portrayed Toby Esterhase in the television adaptation.
In 2009, BBC Radio 4 also broadcast new dramatisations, by Shaun McKenna, of the eight George Smiley novels by John le Carré, featuring Simon Russell Beale as Smiley. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was broadcast as three, one-hour episodes, from Sunday 29 November to Sunday 13 December 2009 in BBC Radio 4’s Classic Serial slot. The producer was Steven Canny.
Swedish director Tomas Alfredson made a film adaptation in 2011 based on a screenplay by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan. The film was released in the UK and Ireland on 16 September 2011, and in the United States on 9 December 2011. It included acameo appearance by John le Carré in the Christmas party scene as the older man in the grey suit who stands suddenly to sing the Soviet anthem. The film received numerous Academy Award nominations including a nomination for Best Actor for Gary Oldman for his role as George Smiley. The film also starred Colin Firth as Bill Haydon, Benedict Cumberbatch as Peter Guillam, Tom Hardy as Ricki Tarr, and Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux.
Frank Jones (Caine) is a retired British naval officer and Korean War veteran, who is now a businessman. His bright but naive and idealistic son, Robert (Nigel Havers), works as a linguist at GCHQ, the top secret British intelligence listening station, using his love of Russian to listen to various pieces of communication on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
The film opens on Remembrance Day in Whitehall, as the war veterans line up to walk past the Cenotaph, then moves back to a conversation between Frank and his son at Robert’s flat some months earlier, where Robert tells Frank that strange things are happening at GCHQ, and he’s planning on leaving and marrying an older woman called Cynthia (Felicity Dean) with whom he’s fallen in love.
Robert says a Soviet mole was found, and that security is all over the place encouraging people to rat on each other. The higher ups seem convinced that if they don’t do something, their American friends in the CIA will stop working with them. Frank isn’t thrilled over the marriage plans, and he tells his son before he leaves that it’s unlikely anything off key can be happening in the agency. It’s obvious that Frank loves his son deeply and wants him to be happy, whatever he may choose for himself.
The scene cuts to a room in British Intelligence, where operatives including Bruce (Gordon Jackson) are listening to a tape recording of the conversation between Frank and his son.
A few days later, police tell Frank that Robert has died in a fall in an apparent suicide, and a verdict of accidental death is recorded. However, in the midst of his grief, Frank is puzzled by the circumstances of his son’s death and decides to use his old skills to conduct his own investigation. He approaches his friend Charles Greig (Barry Foster), who had joined MI6 after his service in the navy. Greig agrees to make discreet enquiries on his part.
Returning to Robert’s flat, Frank is confronted by radical socialist journalist Bill Pickett (Kenneth Colley), who had arranged to meet Robert to discuss the problems at British Intelligence, but Frank rejects his investigative approaches. Frank is also told that he is in the running for a large government contract for his firm, with an implicit undertone that he not make waves about his son’s death.
The rest of the film digs into an examination of the British establishment which is disturbing and ugly, and make Frank question his view of the country he loves. There are strong echoes of the Anthony Blunt case and the Cambridge spies. Frank, discreetly pursued by British Intelligence, finds men who easily consider others expendable if their ideas of class and privilege are endangered.
Pickett is also killed in mysterious circumstances in a traffic accident, having found out the name of the man who Robert wished him to meet before meeting Frank. Frank is then approached by Robert’s best friend and fellow British intelligence linguist Allen Goodburn (Andrew Hawkins) at Robert’s funeral. Frank learns from Goodburn that it was his good friend Grieg who had approached him as to Robert’s feelings for the service. Frank gets Grieg drunk and gets him to confess that he was at Robert’s flat the night Robert died. Greig admits he was there as the service had something on him, but that his job was only to leave the door open and let “others” heavy-hand Robert, not kill him. he also reveals the name of the mole as Sir Adrian Chapple (John Gielgud).
Leaving Grieg in his drunken stupor, Frank is picked up by British Intelligence and driven to a country house, where he is confronted by Secretary to the Cabinet (David Langton) and Lord (James Fox). They explain to him that his son was out of control, and was killed as part of a plan to mislead the Americans to the extent of the depth of Russian intelligence’s operatives inside British operations, in the hope that they could continue to gain intelligence from the CIA. They have presently left the higher Russian operative in place, until they can assess the extent of the damage caused. They advise Frank that should he go public with any of this information, he and/or Robert’s girlfriend Cynthia and her daughter will be killed or at least restrained.
The film returns to the present, and the Remembrance Day parade. Frank confronts Chapple at his home in Whitehall, and gets him to confess to being a spy for Russia. Frank orders him to sign a full confession, which he does, but as Frank reads it, Chapple produces a gun and demands its return. Frank grabs the gun, which goes off and kills Chapple — leaving his signed confession to act as a suicide note and put Frank in the clear. He returns to the Remembrance Day parade.
The closing credits roll to an ambulance attending the death of Chapple, as Frank walks past the Cenotaph up Whitehall.
The film was largely shot on location in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire; home of GCHQ, which forms the premise of the film. Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham Crematorium and The Promenade feature in the film
Though it was given a limited release, the film opened to positive reviews. It has an approval rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Story 2: McCain Calls Trump Supporters Crazies — Trump Calls McCain A War Hero Four Times, Loser and Dummy — Accurate Statements All — Videos
Actual Voice of General Patton starting at 1:15 vs. Hollywood
CRAZY – PATSY CLINE – HQ Stereo
Donald Trump on Fox & Friends Defends His Sentator McCain Not A Hero Comments
Donald Trump: McCain’s a War Hero Because He Was Captured, ‘I Like People That Weren’t’
Todd Starnes McCain started all of this mess
McCain: ‘Term Of Endearment’ To Call Trump Supporters ‘Crazies’
Trump: John McCain Is A Dummy & Rick Perry Needs IQ Test
Did John McCain Lie About His P.O.W Record?
McCain POW Cellmate Speaks Out on McCain’s Heroism
Former POW says McCain is “not cut out to be President”
John McCain Losing His Cool
Mean spirited McCain is known for throwing temper tantrums, flying off the handle, blowing his top,seething with anger, accusing others of lying, and of mistreating POW/MIA family members. So how will he treat U.S.? POW/MIA families report…You decide
John Mccain Exposed By Vietnam Vets And POWs
Fact Check: The Washington Post on Donald Trump and John McCain
By SHARYL ATTKISSON
Donald Trump appears to have gotten under the skin of not only Democrats, but also fellow Republicans and the news media. Has that subjected Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, to unfair and/or inaccurate reporting?
An article in the Washington Post today is headlined, “Trump slams McCain for being ‘captured’ in Vietnam.”
The article’s lead sentence states, “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump slammed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam War veteran, on Saturday by saying McCain was not a war herobecause he was captured by the North Vietnamese [emphasis added].”
Is this report accurate?
In fact, Trump’s actual quote is the opposite of what is presented in the Post’s first sentence.
1. The Post did not provide context at the outset disclosing that McCain and Trump have been feuding, with McCain characterizing some Trump supporters as “crazies” and Trump stating that McCain graduated last in his class in Annapolis. The charged rhetoric continued at the conservative Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa this weekend.
2. When a panelist characterized McCain as a “war hero,” the Post is accurate in reporting that Trump initially said McCain is “not a war hero.” But then, Trump immediately modified his statement saying– four times– that McCain is a war hero:
“He is a war hero.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured.”
“He’s a war hero, because he was captured.”
“I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero. But right now, he’s said some very bad things about a lot of people.”
3. Did Trump say McCain is not a war hero because he was captured? No, not in the exchanges represented in the Post.
4. Is the Post’s characterization an accident? It would appear not, because it is repeated in the Post’s caption of the video clip, which also states: “Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam war veteran, was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese [emphasis added].”
Further, in the Post’s second sentence, Trump is quoted as stating of McCain, “He’s not a war hero…He’s a war hero because he was captured,” but the article selectively left out the phrase Trump had uttered in between: “He is a war hero.”
Trump actually said the opposite of what the Post lead sentence and video caption claim. The Post might have been able to get away stating that Trump “implied” McCain was not a war hero because McCain was captured, but even that would have been a subjective interpretation since Trump had actually stated the opposite.
It’s true that Trump stated one time that McCain is not a war hero. But Trump stated four times that McCain is a war hero–and that was not accurately characterized in the article.
For interpreting and characterizing Trump’s true quote in a way that is at best questionable, and for selectively using some quotes and leaving others out, the Post receives Two Little Devils. (Ratings scale at end of article.)
Obviously, all are free to draw conclusions about any candidate or politician. But the news media has a responsibility to do its best to report accurately and fairly–even when reporters find a candidate and/or his positions to be personally distasteful.
Trump: I don’t need to be lectured
Donald Trump6:46 p.m. EDT July 19, 2015
McCain has abandoned our veterans. I will fight for them.
John McCain has called his own constituents who want a secure border “crazies.” No one in the news media or the establishment, including the Republican National Committee, criticized the senator for those comments.
Now, as respected reporter Sharyl Attkisson has proved point by point, the news media are also distorting my words. But that is not my point. McCain the politician has failed the state of Arizona and the country.
Trump’s low-class outburst: Our view
During my entire business career, I have always made supporting veterans a top priority because our heroes deserve the very best for defending our freedom. Our Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are outdated dumps. I will build the finest and most modern veterans hospitals in the world. The current medical assistance to our veterans is a disaster. A Trump administration will provide the finest universal access health care for our veterans. They will be able to get the best care anytime and anywhere.
Thanks to McCain and his Senate colleague Bernie Sanders, their legislation to cover up the VA scandal, in which 1,000+ veterans died waiting for medical care, made sure no one has been punished, charged, jailed, fined or held responsible. McCain has abandoned our veterans. I will fight for them.
The reality is that John McCain the politician has made America less safe, sent our brave soldiers into wrong-headed foreign adventures, covered up for President Obamawith the VA scandal and has spent most of his time in the Senate pushing amnesty. He would rather protect the Iraqi border than Arizona’s. He even voted for the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, which allows Obama, who McCain lost to in a record defeat, to push his dangerous Iran nuclear agreement through the Senate without a supermajority of votes.
A number of my competitors for the Republican nomination have no business running for president. I do not need to be lectured by any of them. Many are failed politicians or people who would be unable to succeed in the private sector. Some, however, I have great respect for.
My record of veteran support is well-documented. I served as co-chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission and was responsible, with a small group, for getting it built. Toward this end, I contributed over $1 million so our warriors can be honored in New York City with a proper memorial. I also helped finance and served as the grand marshal of the 1995 Nation’s Day Parade, which honored over 25,000 veterans. It was one of the biggest parades in the history of New York City, and I was very proud to have made it possible.
I will continue to fight to secure our border and take care of our veterans because these steps are vital to make America great again!
A Monmouth University poll of Iowans released Monday and conducted over the weekend showed Scott Walker continues to maintain a solid lead in the Iowa Republican caucus, though Trump has gained an edge over the rest of the field and now stands alone in second place.
Of likely caucus attendees, 22% told pollsters that they’d support the Wisconsin governor in next winter’s matchup, but 13% said they would back Trump, who has suddenly catapulted to the front of some national polls. Trump only earned 4% of Republicans’ support in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg survey conducted in May, a month before Trump announced his campaign and made a string of controversial comments that came alongside his rise.
The Monmouth poll was fielded while Trump found himself embroiled in a new controversy over a remark that seemed to disparage the military record of 2008 nominee McCain while at an event in Iowa. The poll found no change in Trump’s support before and after he made his comment this weekend in Iowa.
“Walker has been a favorite of Iowa voters ever since his well-received appearance at the Iowa Freedom summit in January. More recently, Trump has outmaneuvered the rest of the field to earn the second spot despite his controversial statements over the weekend,” said Patrick Murray, who conducted the poll.
Trailing Walker and Trump is Ben Carson at 8%, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at 7%, and 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee at 6%.
Monmouth polled 452 Iowans from Thursday to Sunday for a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.
Story 1: Breaking News: 5 Dead including 4 Marines and gunman killed in shootings and 3 wounded at Navy Reserve Center, Chattanooga, Tennessee –Gun Free Zone Except For Killer — Gunman Identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez — Lone Wolf Terrorist? — Videos
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Clendenen guards the top of the C.B. Robinson Bridge at Amnicola Highway after a morning shooting near the Naval Reserve Center, in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Thursday, July 16, 2015. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said there’s “an officer down” at a military reserve center. (Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP) THE DAILY CITIZEN OUT; NOOGA.COM OUT; CLEVELAND DAILY BANNER OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
4 Marines Killed In Chattanooga Shooting; Suspect Also Dead
4 U.S. Marines, gunman dead in Chattanooga shooting
Chattanooga shooting: 4 Marines killed, gunman dead
Raw: Police at Home Near Chattanooga Shooting
Donald Trump Reacts to Chattanooga Shootings on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’
Gun Grabbers Responsible for Chattanooga Shooting
News Wrap: Chattanooga military sites targeted by gunman
More Information Discovered About Chattanooga Shooting Suspect
4 Marines Among Dead In Chattanooga Shootings | msnbc
‘Heartbreaking’: President Obama Speaks on Chattanooga Shooting
Chattanooga Shooting Naval Military Reserve – 4 Marines Killed
Shooting At Military Centers In Chattanooga (VIDEO) Tennessee
BREAKING 4 Marines, gunman killed in Chattanooga shootings Military Reserve Centers, Tennessee
Police Pursue Tenn. Navy Recruiting Shooting
Four servicemen dead and one critical after gunman opens fire on military recruitment center
Mimi’s Interview with Jeffrey Simon “Lone Wolf Terrorism”
Mimi’s Interview with Jeffrey Simon “Lone Wolf Terrorism”
LIVE UPDATES: Attacker identified in shooting attack on military installations that killed four
Two military centers attacked by UTC engineering graduate
ONFIRMED: TVA says Chattanooga Shooting suspect Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeez was a student intern while he attended UTC.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s family photo in Chattanooga. Via Facebook.
The federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority confirms to BuzzFeed News Chattanooga suspect was an intern there pic.twitter.com/DynSWsz42s
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke on CNN: “Today our hearts are breaking in this city.”
Ryan Smith, who wrestled with Andulazeez at Red Bank High School, said he was a “swell guy.”
“He was an unbelievable nice person,” Smith said. “He was honestly one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met.”
Smith said that Abdulazeez was very religious, and that he would argue “back and forth” with the boys’ high school wrestling coach during fasting rituals.
“His whole family was really religious,” Smith said. “His family, they all wore the drapes and stuff, all the women in his family wore the little hoods.”
Andulazeez became an mixed martial artist after high school, Smith said. Smith did not know what motivated his former friend to attack the military installations in Chattanooga.
“You’ve got to make good decisions, and he didn’t make a good decision,” Smith said.
The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center is reporting no apparent nexus to terrorism has been uncovered in the investigation of the fatal shootings in Tennessee, but intelligence officials are monitoring the investigation closely.
It also says there has been no credible claim of responsibility so far for anyone who might have influenced the gunman, who also was killed.
Those details were in a report the counterterrorism center circulated Thursday evening to U.S. law enforcement agencies. The Associated Press reviewed the report.
Even though the report says there was no connection uncovered so far to terrorism, it described efforts by the Islamic State group to revitalize homegrown extremists to conduct physical attacks inside the United States.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is expressing condolences for four Marines killed in shootings in Tennessee. He called the victims “four heroes.”
Maybus says “the tragedy in Chattanooga is both devastating and senseless.”
The Marines were killed at the Navy Operational Support Center, often referred to as a “reserve center.” It’s used by both Navy and Marine personnel to provide training and readiness support for reserve components to support the services. The Navy maintains 123 such facilities across the United States and its territories.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she’s directing the FBI to take the lead on a “national security” investigation into the Chattanooga attacks.
In a statement, she said the two shootings at military sites in Chattanooga represented a “heinous attack.”
Federal authorities have not identified a motive but have said they are investigating the possibility it was an act of terrorism.
Crissy Essex, left, 44, Sabrina Cupell, and Cheyenne Essex bring signs and an American flag to a building memorial at the 6215 Lee Highway location where a gunman fired multiple rounds into the Armed Forces Career Center.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., will remain open until 8 p.m. tonight. All are welcome to enter through the front doors for prayer in the Nave.
BREAKING: Two women were led away in handcuffs from the suspect’s home. It’s not clear at this time who these females are.
Vice President Joe Biden says the United States will get to the bottom of the shootings that killed at least four Marines in Chattanooga.
Biden says the young Marines killed were part of what he’s calling “probably the most incredible generation that this country has seen.” He’s pointing out that more than 4 million Americans have signed up for military service since 9/11, even though they knew they’d almost certainly be put in harm’s way.
Biden says the families of those troops have already given a lot to the country.
Biden is asking Americans to keep the families of the victims in their prayers.
The vice president was speaking at a summit of liberal activists in Washington.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton has described the shootings as an episode of “senseless violence” that she linked to other recent mass shootings.
“It’s terrible when we lose Marines anywhere in the world. But to lose four in Chattanooga, Tennessee is just heartbreaking,” she told reporters after holding her first town hall event in New Hampshire.
“I hope that we can find a way to stop this kind of violence that is stalking our children and people in study and people who wear the uniform of our country,” Clinton said.
BREAKING: Shooting suspect did wrestling and mixed marial arts. Video here.
Chattanooga Police Department instructor Ricky Ballard guards the front door at the Chattanooga Fire Training center prior to a news conference about a domestic terror incident that killed four Marines at the nearby Naval Reserve facility on Amnicola Highway.
BREAKING: Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is coming to Chattanooga this evening for a briefing from TEMA Director Purkey at the Emergency Operations Center.
‘We expect that to take place around 7:30 p.m. ET,’ Dave Smith says
Statement by President Obama:
I just received a briefing from FBI Director Comey, as well as my White House team, about the tragic shooting that took place in Chattanooga today. We don’t know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We’ve identified a name. And at this point, a full investigation is taking place. The FBI will be in the lead, working closely with local law enforcement.
We’ve also been in contact with the Department of Defense to make sure that all our Defense facilities are properly attentive and vigilant as we sort through exactly what happened. And as details of the investigation proceed, we’ll make sure that the FBI, as well as local law enforcement are providing the public with all the information that’s involved.
My main message right now is, obviously, the deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who have served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion.
And although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences, and knowing that they have our full support as they try to overcome the grief that’s involved here.
I also want to say that there are reports of injuries to Chattanooga local law enforcement officials. Thankfully, as far as we know at this point, they have survived the assault. And we want to make sure that they know that we’re thinking of them. They’re in our thoughts and prayers.
We take all shootings very seriously. Obviously, when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place, and what further precautions we can take in the future. And as we have more information, we’ll let the public know.
But in the meantime, I’d ask all Americans to pray for the families who are grief-stricken at this point. And I want everybody to understand that we will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened.
A Hamilton County Sheriff’s officer carries a rifle out of Erlanger Hospital’s emergency room when the lockdown is ended after a shooting at both the Amnicola Highway Armed Forces Career Center and the Naval Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway.
Carol, we’re still working to gather the details on that. Stay here for the latest details.
Comment From Carol L
Where did the shooter work?
TN House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick: I am deeply saddened to hear of today’s horrific events in our hometown of Chattanooga. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I have been in contact with state and local officials to monitor any developments. I have the utmost confidence in our law enforcement agencies to handle this situation in a swift and professional manner.
Congressman Marsha Blackburn:
I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence that has been carried out on our military facilities in Chattanooga today, resulting in the deaths of four Marines. This is a heartbreaking loss for our nation’s military and the entire Chattanooga community. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those involved and the people of Chattanooga. I know that the community will come together to help each other heal.
Rep. Tom Graves: My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the Marines who were killed in the horrific attack in Chattanooga today. These Marines perished while serving our country and I know that our community in Northwest Georgia is forever grateful for their sacrifice.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann: “This has been a tragic day for Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee. My heart and prayers go out to everyone involved in this horrendous situation. I have spoken with local, state and federal officials and will continue to monitor this situation closely.”
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks to members of the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on the shooting in Chattanooga.
POTUS said he was briefed by FBI director and White House team on Chatonooga shooting. We don’t yet know all details, POTUS said. The attacker appears to be a lone gunman, he said.
POTUS said he’s in contact with DOD. FBI is taking lead in investigation along with local law enforcement, POTUS said.
POTUS said his main message is “deepest sympathies to the American people” and the death of four Marines is “heartbreaking.” POTUS asked all Americans to pray for families of victims, who are still in process of being contacted.
Multiple people who said they went to Red Bank High School with Abdulazeez sent the Times Free Press photos of what appears to be his senior picture and senior quote in the school’s yearbook.
“My name causes national security alerts,” the quote reads. “What does yours do?”
Obama: “I’d ask all Americans to pray for tHe families that are grief stricken.” #ChattanoogaShooting
Violence Policy Center Statement on Chattanooga Shooting
Washington, DC — Following today’s shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee which left four U.S. Marines dead, Violence Policy Center (VPC) Executive Director Josh Sugarmann issued the following statement:
“Another day in America, another mass shooting. While we are still learning the facts behind this latest mass murder, easy access to increasingly lethal firearms is the one factor that is almost constant in these attacks. Lives are lost, families are devastated, and communities are scarred, yet all too often we look for answers while ignoring the very tools that are commonly used to perpetrate these heinous acts. Until this changes, such horrific events are inevitable.”
BREAKING: President Obama is expected to make a statement on the Chattanooga shooting from the Oval Office shortly.
The shooting suspect’s father was appointed as a special policeman (unarmed) by the Chattanooga City Council.
It’s confirmed that shooter’s father works for the City of Chattanooga Public Works Department.
Abdulazeez means “servant of the almighty” in Arabic.
Comment From tn wife
We need not forget to pray for the young man doing the shooting. How sad to get to this point
BREAKING: Mohammad Youssduf Adbulazeer was arrested on a DUI charge on April 20, 2015.
4 Marines, gunman killed in Chattanooga shootings Military Reserve Centers, Tennessee
Four U.S. marines are dead after a gunman opened fired at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday.
Authorities say the shooter was also killed. One police officer was being treated after he was shot in the ankle while “actively and enthusiastically engaging” the gunman.
“This is a nightmare for the city,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a news conference. “It is incomprehensible to see what happened.”
Gunfire was reported at a military recruitment centre in a strip mall as well as the Navy Operational Support Center. The two scenes are roughly 10 kilometres apart.
Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Tennessee, told the he was treating the shootings as an “act of domestic terrorism.”
FBI special agent Ed Reinhold later clarified that investigators weren’t clear on motive and were treating the shooting as a “terrorism investigation until it can be determined that it was not.”
“We are looking at every possible avenue — whether is as terrorism, whether it was domestic or international, or whether it was a simple criminal act,” Reinhold said.
U.S President Barack Obama was briefed on the shootings Thursday.
Photos of the recruiting centre at the strip mall showed its doors were riddled with more than 20 bullet holes.
Chattanooga’s Lee University was in lockdown around noon Thursday, advising all on campus to “stay inside until further notice.” A woman who answered the phone at Chattanooga State Community College said the campus was also in lockdown.
“Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services,”Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said at the Thursday news conference.
Loretta Blevins, head server at the Track’s End Restaurant less than a kilometre down the road from the recruiting centre, said there was about 16 people huddled inside the restaurant as emergency vehicles streamed up and down the road.
“It’s breathtaking when you see all the emergency vehicles and you have no idea what’s going on or how close it is to you,” she said.
Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, said the recruiting centre on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga has recruiting services for all four branches of the military. The Army recruiters told Lepley they were not hit and not injured. They have evacuated and are safe. He has no information about recruiters for the other branches.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, was working at the recruitment centre and heard “one single shot, which kind of sparked our attention.”
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds,” he said. “We realized it was an actual shooting, so we then initiated our active shooter drill: getting down low to the ground, moving to a safe location. And we waited until everything seemed to be clear.”
Four Marines and gunman killed in Tennessee shooting that officials call ‘domestic terrorism’
By Mark Berman
Four Marines were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Naval facility and an armed forces recruiting center in Tennessee on Thursday morning, a violent spree that authorities say they are investigating as a possible terrorist attack.
The gunman, who has not been identified, was also killed.
“While we expect our sailors and Marines to go into harm’s way, and they do so without hesitation, an attack at home, in our community, is insidious and unfathomable,” Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, said in a statement.
In addition to the four Marines, the gunman injured another military service member, a Chattanooga police officer and one other person, according to military officials.
“Somebody brutally and brazenly attacked members of our armed services,” Fred Fletcher, the Chattanooga police chief, said at at a news conference.
The Marine Corps said four Marines were killed in the shootings. Ed Reinhold, the special agent in charge for the FBI, declined to discuss details of the investigation, which he described as in its initial stages.
“We will treat this as a terrorism investigation until we determine it was not,” he said. He added: “We have not determined if it was an act of terrorism or a criminal act.”
Reinhold said that the shooting appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, who he said was from the area or at least lived in the area. This gunman, who did not work at either facility, had “numerous weapons” on him, Reinhold said, and was not wearing body armor.
One of the shootings occurred at a Navy Operational Support Center, which the U.S. Navy said was a facility that provides support for reserve component personnel. The other shooting took place at an armed forces recruiting center. The Pentagon said Thursday afternoon the Marines would be identified after next of kin were notified.
The shooting is being viewed as “an act of domestic terrorism,” U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said. However, Killian said the investigation would bear out precisely what kind of crime this was, cautioning people not to get caught up in the label.
4 Marines killed in attacks on Chattanooga military facilities
Last Updated Jul 16, 2015 4:11 PM EDT
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines and wounding a soldier and a police officer, officials told CBS News.
The shooter also was killed. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
“Today was a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga,” Mayor Andy Berke said. “As a city, we will respond to this with every available resource that we have.”
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said officials were treating the attacks as an “act of domestic terrorism,” though FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold said authorities were still investigating a motive. The first shooting happened around 10:45 a.m.; the attacks were over within a half-hour.
Berke said five people died in all, including the gunman. A police officer was shot in the ankle, and others were wounded, he said.
U.S. officials told CBS News correspondent David Martin that four U.S. Marines were among the dead.
A Marine recruiter was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg, the Marine Corps said on its Facebook page.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
The shootings began at a recruiting center on Old Lee Highway in Chattanooga where five branches of the military all have adjoining offices. A gunshot rang out around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, the center leader for U.S. Army recruiting at the center.
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds. We realized it was an actual shooting,” he said.
He and his colleagues then got on the ground and barricaded themselves in a safe place. Dodge estimated there were 30 to 50 shots fired.
He did not see the shooter or a vehicle. The Army recruiting office was not damaged, but doors and glass were damaged at the neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices, he said.
Law enforcement officials told recruiters that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at the building and drove off, said Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
One witness told CBS affiliate WDEF that a man who was in a silver Mustang convertible was “just unloading a large gun on the Naval recruiting office.”
The recruiting center sits in a short strip between a Cricket Wireless and an Italian restaurant with no apparent additional security. Nearby, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn’t quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.
“Even though it knew it was most likely gunfire I heard, you also don’t want to believe it’s happening in the moment,” he said. “Since I didn’t see anything, I couldn’t be sure.”
By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.
Within minutes of that attack, the shooter then opened fire at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga, about 7 miles away. Reinhold said all of the dead were killed there.
The center sits between the highway and a pathway that runs through Tennessee RiverPark, a popular park at a bend in the Tennessee River northeast of downtown Chattanooga. It’s in a light industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant.
The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them.
Five dead, including gunman, in Tennessee military facilities shootings
The other four killed were Marines at a Naval Reserve Center, a military official said in Washington, DC.
Shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s news office. (photo credit:REUTERS)
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Five people were killed on Thursday including a suspected gunman who opened fire at two military-related facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee in an attack local officials described as brazen, brutal and an act of domestic terrorism.
CBS News quoted two law enforcement officials as saying the suspect was Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez. No motive has yet been given. The suspected shooter, who has not been officially identified, is believed to have lived in the area and acted alone, local police said.
The other four killed were Marines at a Naval Reserve Center, a military official said in Washington, DC.
“We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism,” said Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, adding that no official determination of the nature of the crime had yet been made.
The suspect, seen driving in an open-top Mustang, is believed to have first gone to a joint military recruiting center in a strip mall, and peppered the facility with gunfire. No one was injured in the attack.
“Everybody was at a standstill and as soon as he pulled away everyone scrabbled trying to make sure everyone was OK,” said Erica Wright, who works two doors down from the center.
The gunman then drove off to a Naval Reserve Center about 6 miles (10 km) away, fatally shooting the four Marines before being fatally shot himself in a firefight with police.
Three others were wounded in the attacks, including a police officer and a Marine. The shootings began at about 10:45 a.m. local time and ended about 30 minutes later.
“There were numerous Chattanooga and Hamilton County officers who responded. They arrived on the scene extremely quickly. They actively and enthusiastically engaged this brazen criminal, and one of those officers was injured by gunfire from this criminal,” Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told a news conference.
A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama had been told about the shooting.
“The President has been briefed by his national security staff on the Chattanooga shooting, and will continue to get updates as warranted,” said spokesman Eric Schultz.
Lockdowns had been put in place at businesses, a college and other facilities near the shooting sites.
The city along the Tennessee River is in the southeastern section of the state just north of the Georgia border. Just over 173,000 people live there, according to a 2013 estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence in order to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change. This article serves as a list and compilation of acts of terrorism, attempts of terrorism, and other such items pertaining to terrorist activities within the domestic borders of the United States by persons acting in the interests of states or non-state actors. It does not include actions by agents of the U.S. government itself, such as the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia or the 1993Waco Massacre in Texas, which are regarded by some as acts of state terrorism.
October 16, 1859: Anti-slavery Pottawatomie massacre – In response to the sacking of Lawrence, John Brown led a group of abolitionists in the murders of five pro-slavery Kansas settlers.
April 14, 1865: Pro-slavery Abraham Lincoln assassination – Part of a conspiracy by Confederate supporters John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward in Washington, D.C. to create chaos for the purpose of overthrowing the Federal Government. Booth succeeded in assassinating Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, Seward survived numerous stabbings by Powell who stabbed others as he was chased out of Seward’s home, and Atzerodt failed to carry out the planned murder of Johnson. Booth was killed by soldiers when he failed to surrender. Eight conspirators were tried and convicted for their role in the conspiracy by a military tribunal, including Powell and Atzerodt. Four defendants were executed for their roles including Powell, Azterodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman ever to be hanged by the U.S. government.
October 28, 1893: Carter Harrison assassination-Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast was upset that the Mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison, Sr., advocated for the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, seeing it as an action against the citizenry and acting under the influence of England, the Rothschild bankers of Europe, and Wall St. Prendergast imagined this as part of a larger conspiracy that betrayed the will of Jesus Christ. As a delusional newspaper man, he found himself unable to influence policy in Washington or Chicago and ultimately took it upon himself to change the course of history by assassinating the powerful mayor. He felt that his inevitable acquittal would establish a precedent wherein Christian law would be established throughout the city. Prendergast was found sane by a jury and hanged on July 14, 1894.
July 2, 1915: Frank Holt (also known as Eric Muenter), a German professor who wanted to stop American support of the Allies in World War I, exploded a bomb in the reception room of the U.S. Senate. The next morning he tried to assassinate J. P. Morgan, Jr. the son of the financier whose company served as Great Britain’s principal U.S. purchasing agent for munitions and other war supplies. Muenter was overpowered by Morgan in Morgan’s Long Island home before killing himself in prison on July 7.
July 22, 1916: The Preparedness Day Bombing killed ten people and injured 40 in San Francisco. Two radical labor leaders, Warren K. Billings and Thomas Mooney, were convicted of the crime and sentenced to hang, but with little evidence of their guilt both sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. They were eventually pardoned, and the actual bombers’ identities remain unknown.
1916, July 30: The Black Tom explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey was an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the material from being used by the Allies in World War I.
November 24, 1917: A bomb exploded in a Milwaukee police station, killing nine officers and a civilian. Anarchists were suspected.
1919 United States anarchist bombings: A series of package bombs were mailed to prominent business and government leaders around the country. Most were intercepted and did not go off, with only one person killed. Italian Galleanist anarchists were suspected, but not convicted.
1920 Wall Street bombing: A horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives was detonated in front of the J. P. Morgan bank on Wall Street, killing 38 and wounding 143. Galleanist anarchists were again suspected, but the perpetrators were never caught.
May 31, 1921: During the Tulsa race riot, there were reports that whites dropped dynamite from airplanes onto a black ghetto in Tulsa. The riot killed 39–300 people and destroyed more than 1,100 homes.
May 18, 1927: The Bath School disaster (bombings) killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–12 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe.
October 10, 1933: A Boeing 247 was destroyed in mid-flight over Indiana by a nitroglycerin bomb. All seven people aboard were killed. This incident was the first proven case of air sabotage in the history of aviation. The identity of the perpetrator and the motive for the attack are unknown.
July 4, 1940: Two New York City policemen were killed and two critically wounded while examining a bomb they had found at the British Pavilion at the World’s Fair
1940–1956: George Metesky, the Mad Bomber, placed over 30 bombs in New York City in public places such as Grand Central Station and The Paramount Theatre injuring ten during this period in protest of the high rates of a local electric utility. He also sent many threatening letters to various high profile individuals.
1951: A wave of hate related terrorist attacks occurred in Florida. African-Americans were dragged and beaten to death, with 11 race-related bombings, the dynamiting of synagogues, and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
The most active perpetrators of terrorism in New York City were Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN), a Puerto Rican separatist group, responsible for 40 NYC attacks in this decade. The Jewish Defense League (JDL), which engaged in attacks against targets it perceived to be anti-Semitic, launched 27 attacks during this period. Both the Independent Armed Revolutionary Commandos (CRIA), another Puerto Rican separatist group, and Omega 7, an anti-Castro Cuban organization, were also each responsible for 16 attacks during this period.
April 1970: At Stanford University over a period of several nights bands of student radicals systematically set fires, break windows and throw rocks.
November 21, 1970: Bombing of the City Hall of Portland, Oregon in an attempt to destroy the state’s bronze Liberty Bell replica. The late night explosion destroyed the display foyer, blew out the building doors, damaged the council hall, and blew out windows more than a block away. The night janitor was injured in the blast. The crime remains unsolved, though a number of local anti-war and radical leftist groups of the era remain the primary suspects.
June 13, 1974: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
Summer 1974: “Alphabet Bomber” Muharem Kurbegovich bombed the Pan Am Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three and injuring eight. He also firebombed the houses of a judge and two police commissioners as well as one of the commissioner’s cars. He burned down two Marina Del Rey apartment buildings and threatened Los Angeles with a gas attack. His bomb defused at the Greyhound Bus station was the most powerful the LAPD bomb squad had handled up until that time. His personal vendetta against a judge and the commissioners grew into demands for an end to immigration and naturalization laws, as well as any laws about sex.
January 24, 1975: A bomb was exploded in the Fraunces Tavern of New York City, killing four people and injuring more than 50 others. The Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN, the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation, which had other bomb incidents in New York in the 1970s, claimed responsibility. No one was ever prosecuted for the bombing.
September 11, 1976: Croatian terrorists hijacked a TWA airliner and diverted it to Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, and then Paris, demanding a manifesto be printed. One police officer was killed and three injured during an attempt to defuse a bomb that contained their communiques in a New York City train station locker.Zvonko Bušić who served 32 years in prison for the attack, was released and returned to Croatia in July 2008. In September 2013 Bušić shot himselfand was given a hero’s funeral by the Croatian government.
1976 September 21: Orlando Letelier, a former member of the Chilean government, was killed by a car bomb in Washington, D.C. along with his assistant Ronni Moffitt. The killing was carried out by members of the Chilean Intelligence Agency, DINA.
1980 June 3: Bombing of the Statue of Liberty. At 7:30 pm, a time delayed explosive device detonated in the Statue of Liberty’s Story Room. Detonated after business hours, the bomb did not injure anyone, but caused $18,000 in damage, destroying many of the exhibits. The room was sealed off and left unrepaired until the Statue of Liberty restoration project that began years later. FBI investigators believed the perpetrators were Croatian seeking for media coverage of living conditions of Croats in Yugoslavia, though no arrests were made.
1981 December 7: James W. von Brunn served 6 years in prison for attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. He testified his motive was to raise awareness of alleged “treacherous and unconstitutional” acts by the Federal Reserve.
1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack: In what is believed to be the first incident of bioterrorism in the United States the Rajneesh movement spreads salmonella in salad bars at 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon, to influence a local election which backfired as suspicious residents came out in droves to prevent the election of Rajneeshee candidates. Health officials say that 751 people were sickened and more than 40 hospitalized. All but one of the establishments attacked went out of business. Investigators believed that similar attacks had previously been carried out in Salem, Portland and other cities in Oregon.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
1993 September 5: Charles F. Hockenbarger of the Westboro Baptist Church assaults the Rev. W. Gerald Weeks while the Reverend was counter-protesting a WBC anti-homosexuality protest outside Topeka‘s First Lutheran Church by carrying a sign that read “God’s Love Speaks Loudest”. Hockenbarger receives a sentence of 5 days in jail, appeals the sentence, and loses the appeal.
1994 December 10: Advertising executive, Thomas J. Mosser, was killed after opening a mail package from the Unabomber, being the second fatality of the mailbomb campaign.
1994 December 30: Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, two receptionists in abortion and family planning clinics, were killed by John Salvi.
1997 February 24: 69-year-old Palestinian Ali Hassan Abu Kamal opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claims this was a punishment attack against the “enemies of Palestine“. His widow claimed he became suicidal after losing $300,000 in a business venture. In a 2007 interview with the New York Daily News his daughter said her mother’s story was a cover crafted by the Palestinian Authority and that her father wanted to punish the United States for its support of Israel.
2001 September 11: the September 11, 2001 attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists. The attacks killed 2,507civilians, 72 law enforcement officers, 343 firefighters, and 55 military personnel, and were carried out using hijacked commercial airplanes to damage the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The 110-story skyscrapers in New York City were ultimately destroyed, and the Pentagon received extensive damage in the western side of the building. Building 7 of the World Trade Center was also destroyed in the attack, though there were no casualties. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach its target.
2001 September 18 – November: 2001 anthrax attacks. Letters tainted with anthrax killed five across the U.S., with politicians and media officials as the apparent targets. On July 31, 2008 Bruce E. Ivins a top biodefense researcher committed suicide. On August 6, 2008, the FBI concluded that Ivins was solely responsible for the attacks, and suggested that Ivins wanted to bolster support for a vaccine he helped create and that he targeted two lawmakers because they were Catholics who held pro-choice views. However, subsequent evaluations have found that the FBI’s investigation failed to provide any direct evidence linking Ivins to the mailings.
October 2002 Beltway sniper attacks: During three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and critically injured 3 others in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Virginia. The pair were also suspected of earlier shootings in Maryland, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Washington state. No motivation was given at the trial, but evidence presented showed an affinity to the cause of the Islamic jihad.
2006 July 28: Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, Naveed Afzal Haq, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, killed one woman and shoots five others at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle. During the shooting, Haq told a 911 dispatcher that he was angry with American foreign policy in the Middle East.
2007 October 26: A pair of improvised explosive devices were thrown at the Mexican Consulate in New York City. The fake grenades were filled with black powder, and detonated by fuses, causing very minor damage. Police were investigating the connection between this and a similar attack against the British Consulate in New York in 2005.
2008 February: In the first reported incident of animal-rights extremists physically assaulted the family members of animal researchers, six masked activists attempted to force their way into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher and injured the researcher’s husband.
2008 March 6: A homemade bomb damaged a Recruiting Office in Times Square. In June 2013 The FBI and New York City police offered a $65,000 reward for information in the case and revealed that ammunition used for the bomb is the same as is used in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones. On April 15, 2015 the F.B.I increased the award to $115,000 and said they have persons of interest
2008 May 4: Multiple pipe bombs exploded at 1:40 am at the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse in San Diego causing “considerable damage” to the entrance and lobby and sending shrapnel two blocks away, but causing no injuries. The F.B.I. is investigating links between this attack and an April 25 explosion at the FedEx building also in San Diego.
2009 April 8: According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, intruders left malware in power grids, water, and sewage systems that could be activated at a later date. While the attacks which have occurred over a period of time seem to have originated in China and Russia, it is unknown if they are state-sponsored or errors in the computer code.
2009 May 25: 17-year-old Kyle Shaw sets off a crude explosive device at a Starbucks at East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, shattering windows and destroyed a bench at the coffee shop. There were no injuries. The attack was a “bizarre tribute” of the movie Fight Club, in an attempt to emulate “Project Mayhem”, a series of assaults on corporate America portrayed in the film. Shaw took a plea agreement and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in November 2010.
2009 November 5: 2009 Fort Hood shooting: Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army Major serving as a Psychiatrist, opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29. On August 23, 2013 Hasan was convicted by a Military tribunal. Hasan acted as his own attorney and took responsibility for the attack saying his motive was jihad to fight “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims”. On August 28 Hasan was sentenced to death.
2010 February 18: Austin suicide attack: Andrew Joseph Stack III flying his single engine plane flew into the Austin Texas IRS building killing himself and one IRS employee and injuring 13 others. Stack left a suicide note online, comparing the IRS to Big Brother from the novel 1984.
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people. Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED‘s were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A “Shelter in place” order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident’s driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013. Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations. A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims. On April 8, 2015 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts related to the bombing and shootout with police. On May 15, 2015 Tsarnaev was sentenced to death.
2014 June 8: 2014 Las Vegas shootings: Two police officers and one civilian died in a shooting spree in the Las Vegas Valley committed by a couple, identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller, who espoused anti-government views and were reportedly inspired by the outcome of the Bundy standoff. The Millers both died during a gunfight with responding police; Jerad Miller was fatally shot by officers, while Amanda Miller committed suicide after being wounded.
2014 October 23: 2014 New York City hatchet attack: Zale Thompson injured two New York City police officers, once critically at a Queens, New York shopping district by striking them with a hatchet. 4 officers were posing for a photograph when Thompson charged them. The police opened fire killing Thompson and injuring a bystander. Thompson who converted to Islam 2 years before the attack posted “anti-government, anti-Western, anti-white” messages online.
2014 November 28: Austin, Texas: Right-wing and anti-government extremist Larry Steven McQuilliams set a fire at the Mexican Consulate and shot towards several government buildings. Police arrived on scene and shot him dead. McQuilliams had a prior criminal history including drug possession and robbery.
2014 December: “The Guardians of Peace” linked by the United States to North Korea launched a cyber attack against SONY pictures. Embarrassing private emails were published and the organization threatened attacks against theaters that showed The Interview a satire which depicted the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Following the refusal of theater chains to show the movie, SONY Pictures withdrew release of the movie, a decision that was criticized by President Obama and others. Obama said the USA will respond. North Korea denied responsibility for the attack and proposed a joint investigation with the U.S.
2014 December 20: Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a reported gang member, allegedly assassinated New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in theBedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley was reported to have walked up and fired directly into the officers squad car. Other officers chased the suspect into a nearby subway station, where Brinsley fatally shot himself in the head. Prior to the shooting, Brinsley had written Instagram messages calling for revenge attacks in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. He also allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland earlier that day.
1927: The Ku Klux Klan launched a wave of political terror in Alabama, attempting to undermine African American rights.
1951 December 25: Harry T. Moore state co-coordinator of the Florida NAACP and his wife were killed by dynamite bomb in his Mims, Florida home. Despite extensive FBI investigation no one was arrested but Orlando KKK suspected.
March 25, 1965: The Ku Klux Klan murdered Viola Liuzzo, a Southern-raised white mother of five who was visiting Alabama from her home in Detroit to attend acivil rights march. At the time of her murder, Liuzzo was transporting Civil Rights Marchers.
March 20, 1981: Michael Donald was randomly selected to be lynched by two Ku Klux Klan members near his Alabama home. He was beaten, had his throat slit, and was hanged.
1951 Wave of hate related terrorist attacks in Florida. Blacks dragged and beaten to death, 11 race related bombings, dynamiting of synagogues and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
2015 June 17: Charleston church shooting a mass shooting took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The church is one of the United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights. Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, Clementa C. Pinckney, a state senator. A tenth victim was also shot, but survived. The FBI has not classified the act as terrorism, which was met with controversy.
Anti-government, Anti-liberal, and fascist extremism
2002 May: Lucas John Helder rigged pipe bombs in private mailboxes to explode when the boxes were opened. He injured 6 people in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. His motivation was to garner media attention so that he could spread a message denouncing government control over daily lives and the illegality of marijuana, as well as promote astral projection.
2014 June 8: Two Las Vegas police officers while eating pizza in a restaurant and one civilian were shot to death allegedly by Jerad and Amanda Miller a married couple in a suicide attack. A Gadsden flag, swastika and a note promising “revolution,” was placed on the deceased officers bodies. The couple were thrown out a patriot group defending rancher Cliven Bundy
2014 September 16- Eric Matthew Frein described as a survivalist is alleged to have killed a Pennsylvania State trooper and critically wounded another at theBlooming Grove barracks. Life was disrupted in the region during the ensuing manhunt. On October 30 Frein was captured near an abandoned airport hangar and was shackled with the handcuff belonging to the trooper he is accused of killing. Prosecutors said they would pursue the death penalty.
1996–98: anti-abortion extremist Eric Rudolph cited biblical passages as his motivation for a series of bombings, including Atlanta’s Olympic Centennial Park, aLesbian bar, and several abortion clinics. Rudolph acknowledges his attacks were religiously motivated, but denies that his brief association with the racistChristian Identity movement was a motivation for his attacks.
1998: James Kopp killed at least one and went on a series of anti-abortion shooting sprees, both in the U.S. and Canada.
Between 1993 and 2001, the major attacks or attempts against US interests stemmed from militant Islamic jihad extremism except for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. In 2001 nearly 3,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks organised by al-Qaeda and largely perpetrated by Saudi nationals, sparking the War on Terror. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden considers homegrown terrorism to be the most dangerous threat and concern faced by American citizens today. As of July 2011, there have been 52 homegrown jihadist extremist plots or attacks in the United States since the September 11 attacks.
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people. Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED’s were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A “Shelter in place” order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident’s driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013. Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations. A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims. On April 8, 2015 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts related to the bombing and shootout with police. The death penalty phase of the trail is scheduled to follow.
2015 May 3: Garland, Texas. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi roommates from North Phoenix, Arizona killed by a security guard when they started shooting at a building holding a Mohammad cartoon contest sponsored by Stop Islamization of America. A school security helping with security at the event was shot in the leg.
1974 June 13: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
1970 October 22: An antipersonnel time bomb explodes outside a San Francisco church, showering steel shrapnel on mourners of a patrolman slain in a bank holdup; no one is injured. The Black Liberation Army is suspected.
1971: During this year the Black Liberation Army is suspected of killing three policemen one at his desk in San Francisco, shooting four others and opening fire on three patrol cars and rolling a grenade which heavily damages a police car and injures two officers. An attempt is made to bomb a police station. These incidents happen in various cities around the country. In August the group runs a one-month-long guerrilla warfare school in Fayetteville, Georgia. Seven are arrested in January 2007 in connection with the San Francisco desk shooting incident.
1972 January 22: Two St. Louis policemen, Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, are shot in the back by at least three persons; four suspects in the case are members of the Black Liberation Army; one suspect is later killed in a street battle with police; the recovered pistol matches Laurie’s.
1972 December 28: A Brooklyn, New York bartender is held for $12000 ransom by the Black Liberation Army.
1973 January 7: After shooting a police officer a week earlier Mark Essex a former Black Panther party member shoots nineteen people, ten of them police officers, in retaliation for police killings in and around a Howard Johnson’s hotel in New Orleans. He also set fires in the hotel before being killed by police.
1973: A New York City transit detective is killed and ten law enforcement personnel are shot four by machine gun during the year mostly in and around New York City by the Black Liberation Army. Also two members of that organization are arrested with a car full of explosives. In the next few years there are a number of violent incidents involving this organization but they are more criminal in nature.
1975 January 24: FALN bombs Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four and injuring more than 50.
1975 December 29: A bomb set off by FALN in East Harlem, New York, permanently disables a police officer while causing him to lose an eye.
1977 August 3: FALN bombs exploded on the twenty-first floor of 342 Madison Avenue in New York City, which housed United States Department of Defensesecurity personnel, as well as the Mobil Building at 150 East Forty-Second Street, killing one. In addition the group warned that bombs were located in thirteen other buildings, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center resulting in the evacuation of one hundred thousand people. Five days later a bomb attributed to the group was found in the AMEX building.
May 3, 1979: FALN exploded a bomb outside of the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, injuring five people.
1980 March 15 Armed members of FALN raided the campaign headquarters of President Jimmy Carter in Chicago and the campaign headquarters of George H. W. Bush in New York City. Seven people in Chicago and ten people in New York were tied up as the offices were vandalized before the FALN members fled. A few days later, Carter delegates in Chicago received threatening letters from FALN.
1981 May 16: One was killed in an explosion in the toilets at the Pan Am terminal at New York’s JFK airport. The bombing is claimed by the Puerto Rican Resistance Army.
1864 November 25: Confederate Army of Manhattan Fires were set at 19 New York City hotels, P.T. Barnum‘s Museum, and 2 hay barges resulting in minor damage. Plot to burn down New York City organized by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin failed because the Greek fire incendiary devices were defective and the Lincoln Administration had been tipped off by a double agent and intercepted telegraph messages. After the conspirators found out the plot had been discovered they escaped to Canada. Confederate Captain Robert C. Kennedy became the only conspirator apprehended when he was arrested following his return to the U.S. Kennedy was tried by a military tribunal and hanged.
1920 September 16: The Wall Street bombing: A suspected attempt to kill financier J.P. Morgan by exploding the first car bomb. Bomb was created by putting scrap metal and 100 pounds of dynamite on a horse-drawn cart and blowing it up on Wall Street. Morgan was out of town but 38 people were killed. Responsibility for the attack has never been firmly established.
1970 March 6 Three members of the Weather Underground are killed when their “bomb factory” located in New York’s Greenwich Village accidentally explodes. WUO members Theodore Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins die in this accident. The bomb was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon detonation. See Greenwich Village townhouse explosion.
1971 April Pipe bombs found at the embassies of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in Washington, D.C.
1972 Two Jewish Defense League members were arrested and charged with bomb possession and burglary in a conspiracy to blow up the Long Islandresidence of the Soviet mission to the United Nations
1972 March 7 4.5 pounds of C-4 explosives found on a plane by New York City Police Bomb Squad.
1975 September 22: Sarah Jane Moore tries to assassinate President Gerald Ford outside of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The attempt fails when a bystander grabs her arm and deflects the shot. Moore has stated the motive was to create chaos to bring “the winds of change” because the government had declared war on the left wing.
March 1995: Charles Ray Polk is arrested while attempting to buy a quantity of plastic explosives and machine guns in order to assassinate four police officers and a female judge, and to use in a planned bombing of the IRS offices in Tyler, Texas.
April 1996: Anti-government activist & survivalist Ray Hamblin is arrested after authorities find 460 pounds of the high explosive Tovex, 746 pounds of ANFOblasting agent, and 15 homemade hand grenades on his property in Hood River, Oregon during an investigation into a series of explosions in his storage sheds.
July 1996: Washington State Militia leader John Pitner and seven others are arrested on weapons and explosives charges in connection with a plot to build pipe bombs for a confrontation with the federal government. Pitner and four others will be convicted on weapons charges, while conspiracy charges against all eight will end in a mistrial. Pitner will later be retried on that charge, convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
1997 March 17: anti-abortion extremist Peter Howard puts 13 gas cans and three propane tanks in his truck, and drives it through the door of a California women’s clinic in a failed attempt to fire bomb the clinic.
September 1999: anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Waagner was pulled over by the Pennsylvania State Police, but fled into the woods and evaded capture, leaving behind a stolen car that contained firearms, explosives, fake ID, and a list of abortion clinics. Later in September 1999, while on a self-described “Mission from God”, he took his wife and their nine children on a cross-country road trip headed west in a stolen Winnebago, planning to murder various abortion doctors, beginning with one in Seattle, Washington. However, after crossing into Illinois his vehicle broke down, and Waagner was arrested when Illinois State Policestopped to investigate. Waagner was convicted on charges of interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle and for being a convicted felon in possession offirearms. Waagner later escaped and used a cross country crime spree to continue to fund his anti-abortion mission.
2001 December 22: British citizen and self-proclaimed Al Qaeda member Richard Reid attempted to detonate the C-4 explosive PETN concealed in his shoeswhile on a flight from Paris to Miami. He was subdued by crew and passengers with the plane landing safely in Boston.
June 2006: The Animal Liberation Front targets UCLA professor Lynn Fairbanks with a firebomb due to her research on animals. The bomb was placed on the doorstep of a house occupied by her neighbor and a tenant. According to the FBI, the device was lit but failed to ignite and was powerful enough to have killed the occupants.
2006 September 11: A man rammed his car into a women’s clinic that he thought was an abortion clinic and set it ablaze in Davenport, Iowa causing $20,000 worth of damage to the building.
2009 December 25: British and Nigerian citizen and self-described Al-Qaeda member Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in flight over Detroit by igniting his underpants which were filled with the C-4 explosive PETN. He has been indicted in a U.S. federal court; charges include the attempted murder of 289 people. Several days later, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen and Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for the attempted attack. Addressing America, the group threatened to “come for you to slaughter.” On January 24, 2010 an audio tape that US intelligence believes is authentic was broadcast in which Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. The intelligence officials expressed doubt about the veracity of bin Laden’s claim. On October 12, 2011 Abdulmutallab plead guilty to all counts against him and read a statement to the court saying “I attempted to use an explosive device which in the U.S. law is a weapon of mass destruction, which I call a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims, for U.S. use of weapons of mass destruction on Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond”.
2010 May 1 2010 Times Square car bomb attempt and plot: An attempted evening car bombing in crowded Times Square in New York City failed when a street vendor saw smoke emanating from an SUV and called police. The White House has blamed Tehrik-e-Taliban the Pakistani Taliban for the failed attack and saidFaisal Shahzad aged 30, an American of Pakistani origin who has been arrested in relation to the incident was working for the group. In July 2010, the Pakistani Taliban released a video featuring Shahzad in which he urged other Muslims in the West to follow his example and to wage similar attacks. On May 3, Shahzad was arrested at Kennedy Airport as he was preparing to fly to Dubai. The device was described as crude and amateurish but potent enough to cause casualties. On May 13 the F.B.I. raided several locations in the Northeast and arrested 3 on alleged immigration violations. Several suspects were arrested in Pakistan including the co-owner of a prominent catering firm used by the US embassy. On June 21 Shahzad plead guilty to 10 counts saying he created the bomb to force the US military to withdraw troops and stop drone attacks in a number of Muslim countries. Shahzad said he chose the location to cause mass civilian casualties because the civilians elected the government that carried out the allegedly anti Muslim policies. On October 4, 2010 Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. During his sentencing, he threatened that “the defeat of the U.S. is imminent” and that “we will keep on terrorizing you until you leave our lands.” Shahzad planned on detonating a second bomb in Times Square two weeks later.
2013 April 8: Letters believed to contain the poison Ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker and a Mississippi Justice official. Tests on the granular substance found in the letters tested positive for “low grade” ricin.
2015 January 15: Washington, DC. U.S. Capitol Terror Attack Stopped By FBI. Investigators say a 20-year-old Ohio man now in FBI custody wanted to set off pipe bombs at the U.S. Capitol as a way of supporting ISIS. Federal authorities identified the man as Christopher Lee Cornell, also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah. Cornell, who lives in the Cincinnati area, allegedly told an FBI informant they should “wage jihad,” and showed his plans for bombing the Capitol and shooting people, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court. The FBI said Cornell expressed his desire to support the Islamic State. Authorities say Cornell was arrested Wednesday after buying two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, but an FBI agent says the public was never in danger.
2015 May 3: Garland, Texas. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi roommates from North Phoenix, Arizona killed by a security guard when they started shooting at a building holding a Mohammad cartoon contest sponsored by Stop Islamization of America. A school security helping with security at the event was shot in the leg.
1864 November: Plan by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin and the Copperheads organization Sons of Liberty to attack New York City and disrupt elections collapsed when the Sons of Liberty backed out upon seeing large numbers of Union troops.
1865 February 28 Dahlgren Affair: Alleged plot by Union General Judson Kilpatrick to burn down Richmond, Virginia and kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet. Allegations based on papers recovered by a 13-year-old member of the Confederate home guard. The authenticity of the papers have been a matter of dispute.
1940 January: The FBI shuts down the Christian Front after discovering its members were arming themselves for a plot to “murder Jews, communists, and ‘a dozen Congressmen'” and establishing a government modeled after Nazi Germany.
1943 March 31: Clarence Cull arrested and charged with attempting to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt by suicide bombing. Cull blamed Roosevelt for lost convoys of Merchant Ships.
1996 January 1: Members of the Viper Team militia are arrested after they caught surveying government buildings in Arizona.
1996 July 13: John J. Ford, 47, of Bellport, Long Island, a former court officer and president of the Long Island U.F.O. Network, and Joseph Mazzachelli plotted to poison local politicians with radium and shoot them if that did not work. They believed the government was covering up knowledge of UFO landings.
1997 July 4: Members of the splinter militia group the Third Continental Congress are arrested while planning attacks on military bases which they believed were being used to train United Nations troops to attack U.S. citizens.
1997 July 30 Two men who were planning to bomb the New York City subway the next day arrested. A resident of their apartment informed police after he overheard the men discussing the plot.
1998 March 18: Members of the North American Militia are arrested in plot to bomb Federal Buildings in Michigan, a television station and an interstate highway intersection.
1999 December 5: Members of the San Joaquin Militia are arrested on charges of plotting to bomb critical infrastructure locations in hopes of sparking an insurrection. The leaders of the group plead guilty to charges of plotting to kill a Federal judge.
1999 December 8: The leader of the Southeastern States Alliance militia group is arrested in plot to bomb energy faculties with the goal of causing power outages in Florida and Georgia.
2000 March 9: The former leader of the Texas Militia is arrested in a plot to attack the Federal Building in Houston.
2002 February 8: Two members of Project 7 are arrested plotting to kill judges and law enforcement officials in order to kick off a revolution.
2003 April 24: William Krar is charged for his part in the Tyler poison gas plot, a white supremacist related plan. A sodium cyanide bomb was seized with at least 100 other bombs, bomb components, machine guns, and 500,000 rounds of ammunition. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
2003 May 1: Iyman Faris pleads guilty to providing material support to al-Qaeda and plotting to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting through cables with blowtorches. He had been working as a double for the FBI since March, but in October was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2005 August 31 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot: Kevin James, Hammad Samana, Gregory Patterson, and Levar Washington were indicted on charges to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism in California. The men planned attacks against Jewish institutions and American military locations in Los Angeles during the Yom Kippur holiday.
2006 February 21: The Toledo terror plot where three men were accused of conspiring to wage a “holy war” against the United States, supply help to the terrorist in Iraq, and threatening to kill the US president.
2006 June 23: The Miami bomb plot to attack the Sears Tower where seven men were arrested after an FBI agent infiltrated a group while posing as an al-Qaeda member. No weapons or other materials were found. On May 12, 2009 after two mistrials due to hung juries five men were convicted and one acquitted on charges related to the plot. Narseal Batiste, the groups ringleader, was convicted on four charges, the only defendant to be convicted on all four charges brought against the defendants.
2007 March 5 A Rikers Island inmate offered to pay an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to behead New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly and bomb police headquarters in retaliation for the controversial police shooting of Sean Bell. The suspect wanted the bombing to be considered a terrorist act.
2007 May 1: Five members of a self-styled Birmingham, Alabama area anti-immigration militia were arrested for planning a machine gun attack on Mexicans.
2007 May 7: Fort Dix attack plot. Six men inspired by Jihadist videos arrested in a failed homegrown terrorism plot to kill soldiers. Plot unravels when Circuit Cityclerk becomes suspicious of the DVDs the men had created and report it to authorities who place an informant in the group. In October 2008 one man pleaded guilty to charges related to the plot. On December 22, 2008 five other men were convicted with conspiracy to kill American soldiers but were acquitted of attempted murder. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka were sentenced to life in prison.