protest

House Republicans move forward on Benghazi, analyzing testimony for contradictions

A group of House Republicans are reviewing testimony provided by witnesses who have testified in front of congressional committees looking into the 2012 attack on the American compound in Benghazi which claimed the lives of four Americans.

In an interview with United Liberty on Thursday afternoon, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, explained that he and several other House Republicans have been reviewing testimony from congressional witnesses to look for contradictory statements.

Westmoreland said that he went to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) approximately six weeks ago to get his blessing to form a group consisting of members of three key House committees — Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs. He wanted members with prosecutorial experience to build a potential case.

“We would look at the testimony, we would look at a list of witnesses that have testified in front of Government Oversight and Foreign Affairs,” Westmoreland told United Liberty. “And we would look at them, and we would look at their testimony and see if there [were] any contradictions in testimonies that may have been presented by somebody else at another committee.”

Boehner’s staff contacted Westmoreland two weeks later, offering staff support to assist the group as it reviews some 50,000 pages of testimony and interviews.

“[I]t’s a small group,” said Westmoreland. “We don’t want any big committee chairs, we wanted the average run-of-the-mill kind of guy that could look at this and not be on TV every night, or be doing interviews and trying to make a lot of gain out of it, because the American people, they want to know the truth, and that’s what we’re doing our best.”

Martin Luther King, Radical

Jason M. Farrell is a writer and activist based in Washington D.C. A former research fellow with the Center For Competitive Politics, he has been published in The Daily Caller, Policy Mic, LewRockwell.com and The Federalist, among other blogs and news sites.

Click around the internet today, and you’ll find no shortage of libertarians debating Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideology, as many try to claim King as their own. Absent from much of today’s discussion over beliefs will be a discussion of strategy or purpose. That burning question—how can we make change happen?—is usually answered with exhortations to call your congressman and sign petitions.

King realized over fifty years ago that begging the government for action contrary to its own interests was a futile endeavor—only radical action can inspire radical change. Libertarians should consider this may be a far more important takeaway from his legacy than the “libertarianness” of his dream.

King did not want to wait for politicians to care about change, or courts to come around and see the virtues of abandoning long-standing legal precedents. Gradual or incremental change, in point of fact, is usually no change at all. “I think the word ‘gradualism’… is so often an excuse for escapism and do-nothingism which ends up in stand-stillism,” King said in a 1957 television interview. “I think we must move on toward this great goal… we must re-examine this whole emphasis that the approach to desegregation must be gradual rather than forthwith or immediate”. No generation wants to be the one to endure a painful shake-up in the status quo, a fact Dr. King and his generation knew too well.

Occupy DC: Collective Housing and Dumpster Diving

After waking up this morning, I saw on Twitter that Occupy DC was commemorating its one year anniversary by marching down K Street and protesting big banks, such as Bank of America and others. After knocking out some work, I decided to head over to Freedom Plaza, just a couple of blocks over from the White House, to see what was going on.

After observing for a few minutes, seeing next to nothing. A group of maybe 15 activists were discussing techniques to throw off police during a group protest. It was mildly entertaining, but also pointless.

As I was about to leave, a small group of activists sat down to discuss the finer points of anarchist activism, such as “collective housing” and dumpster diving. The sound isn’t that great in the video, but you can hear some of the points being made by protesters, such as their aversion to private property. This woman leading the talk explains, “Collective housing is a very important environment to survive, organize, and support each other. This is why we’re not pro-private property, because we think we need to share. If we don’t share, it means nothing”:

Chick-Fil-A comes under fire for anti-gay marriage position

Chick-Fil-A

On Sunday, my wife and I went to see Refused, a Swedish hardcore band that just recently got back together after 14 years. I’m not going to be a hipster about it, so I’ll admit that I didn’t get into them until around 2000, a couple of years after the split up, after seeing the video for “New Noise.” After listening to their last record, The Shape of Punk to Come (1998, Burning Heart Records), I realized that they were very anti-capitalist, going so far as to call it a “crime.”

So while I was at the show, I wasn’t surprised to hear Dennis Lyxzén, the band’s frontman, mention their views, even though it was incredibly brief. We paid around $70 for our two tickets, another $50 for two t-shirts, and walked into the show with a full awareness of what to expect. In fact, these viewpoints are common in the style of music to which I listen. Bands like Propaghandi, NOFX, and a slew of others all express an anti-capitalist point of view, whether it’s in their lyrics or activism. As a believer in free markets, I just happen to strongly disagree.

The same could be said of Chick-Fil-A. The Atlanta-based restaurant chain has once again come under fire over its stance on a hotly debated social issue. In an interview for the Baptist Press, Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A, expressed his company’s opposition to same-sex marriage:

In a departure from previous comments, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told a Baptist website that the Atlanta-based company is “guilty as charged” in its support of traditional marriage.

It’s time to bring down SOPA and PROTECT IP

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been keeping you up to date on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). While its supporters say that the legislation is needed to safeguard intellectual property rights and protect jobs, SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act (it’s Senate counterpart) would fundamentally change the Internet by censoring websites that purportedly enable copyright infringement or piracy.

There are many who will deny that piracy is a growing problem, but the answer to the problem is not SOPA, PROTECT IP, or any other bill that would promote government censorship of the Internet and, as Mark Lemley, David Levine, and David Post have noted, remove due process protections for sites accused of copyright infringement. These bills would also tinker with DNS filtering, which would block “offending” websites from being accessed by Internet service providers.

As you can imagine, the consequences of these two bills has many websites owners on edge. The prospect of an entire site being essentially wiped off of the web due to a single instance of copyright infringement, even if it’s unintended, has many ready to fight back. That’s why today many big names are either blacking out their sites in protest of SOPA/PIPA — among them are Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, and Wordpress.org. Others, such as Google, are hoping to educate vistors of the dangers of these two bills.

Occupy Wall Street: The Young and the Clueless

“Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain - and since labor is pain in itself - it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.” ~French Economist Frederick Bastiat, 1845, Economic Sophisms”

“There are many well-meaning people today who work at placing an economic floor beneath all of us so that no one shall exist below a certain level or standard of living, and certainly we don’t quarrel with this. But look more closely and you may find that all too often these well-meaning people are building a ceiling above which no one shall be permitted to climb and between the two are pressing us all into conformity, into a mold of standardized mediocrity.” ~President Ronald Reagan

For the past few weeks, America has been treated to a steady news coverage diet of Occupy Wall Street, a motley amalgam of former hippies, idealistic but misinformed college students, Marxist advocates, seekers of mayhem for mayhem’s sake, and the just plain clueless. Welcome to the Flea Party, the far left’s answer to the organic uprising of the TEA Party. However, that is where the comparison stops. Whereas the TEA Party uprising has been peaceful, the Flea Party has been a study in anti-social behavior masquerading as noble civil disobedience.

Top of the POPS?

Everyone else has already said my thoughts on this OWS silliness. There is only one small part of it I want to comment on, brought to my attention by George Scoville:

With much of the nation’s attention on Occupy Wall Street and the protests that have sprung up around the country, one group taking notice is landlords responsible for the spaces where the protests happen, The New York Observer reports.

Some would like police assistance in moving the protestors out, as the Wall Street Journal noted, while others want to use the event to change the rules so that owners are given more leeway.

Privately owned public spaces, or POPS, are part of New York’s incentive zoning program, under which buildings are granted additional floor area or related waivers in exchange for providing these spaces. Zucotti Park in Manhattan is one such location.

Brookfield Properties, which owns Zucotti Park, pointed out that the plaza there hasn’t been power washed since the day before the protests began, nearly four weeks ago, the Observer reported.

The Real Estate Board of New York’s president, Stephen Spinola, told The Observer that his trade association may consider asking the Department of City Planning for new rules on the city’s POPS, perhaps allowing the private owners to close the spaces at a set time, which, he claims, would add to security and allow maintenance.

Not washed? Ewww.

Podcast: UL Talks With Angela Keaton of AntiWar.com About The War In Iraq

In a special podcast, Jason and Brett discuss the Iraq war and the anti-war movement with Angela Keaton, well-known anti-war activist and Development Director at AntiWar.com.

As the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq approaches on March 20th, we here at United Liberty would like to encourage you to participate in some form of peaceful protest. writing about it either in a note on Facebook, on a blog or letter to the editor of your local paper, participating in a demonstration or simply donating to AntiWar.com or another anti-war organization.

While engaging in protest, please keep this in mind: The disagreements on foreign policy should be directed at policymakers, such as the president and Congress. Please be respectful to our men and women in uniform. They deserve no less.

Dissent against policies and actions of our government is a right. Use it.

You can download the podcast here. The always lovely Aimee Allen graces us with “Silence is Violence” in the music that opens the interview.

You can subscribe to the RSS of JUST our podcasts here, or you can find our podcasts on iTunes here.

Within the podcast, Ms. Keaton references a list of links which have been included below:

House Intel member: Two flags flew at Benghazi — al-Qaeda and the U.S.

Lynn Westmoreland

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) held a hearing earlier this month on the controversial Benghazi talking points. Members took turns questioning former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell about the edits made to the document, including the removal of references to al-Qaeda, the false narrative that the attack was a protest to a YouTube video gone awry.

Morell insisted that there was no cover-up of the talking points, telling members of the committee that that neither he “nor anyone else at the agency, deliberately misled anyone in Congress about any aspect of the tragedy in Benghazi.” But some, including Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), aren’t so sure.

Westmoreland is a member of HPSCI and, like others on the committee, posed some tough questions to Morell about the talking points, which, he notes, gave the impression that the attack was a protest. The Georgia Republican, however, wasn’t satisfied with the answers, and he’s moving forward

United Liberty spoke with Westmoreland on Thursday about the HPSCI hearing with Morell. He explained why he has doubts about the former CIA official’s testimony and how he and others House Republicans moving forward to examine testimony and interviews of witnesses in their search for answers. (You can read our story on that here.)

Harry Reid doesn’t like citizens standing up to government

Harry Reid

The dispute between the heavily-armed Bureau of Land Management agents and the Bundy family may have deescalated over the weekend, but it’s not over, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). He says Americans can’t ignore the law and get away with it:

“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told NBC’s Nevada affiliate KRNV on Monday. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”

Bundy gained headlines over the weekend after the BLM rounded up his cattle on federal land, citing unpaid grazing fees. The situation intensified after protesters supporting Bundy — some of whom were reportedly armed — faced off against the BLM. However, on Saturday, the BLM returned Bundy’s cattle “due to escalating tension,” according to The Associated Press.

Here’s the video via the Free Beacon:


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