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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Summary Of Benghazi Testimony

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Whistleblowers: High-level Bureaucratic Errors Caused Benghazi
II Wall Street Journal Version, May 8, 2013 – A riveting account from diplomat right on the scene
III Ambassador John Bolton comment
By John Rossomando • May 8, 2013
Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) – Steven Emerson, Executive Director
May 8, 2013
Three State Department whistleblowers told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday that bureaucratic wrangling led to the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012 that left four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, dead.
The whistleblowers included Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of Mission and Charge d’Affairs in Libya; Eric Nordstrom, diplomatic security officer and former State Department regional security officer in Libya; and Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary for Counterterrorism.
Inadequate security, combined with substandard building requirements at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, resulted in the tragedy, Hicks’ testified.
A seven-member security team was dispatched from Tripoli to Benghazi as soon as reports emerged that the diplomatic mission was under attack. Stevens was reported missing by the time the team arrived, according to a timeline provided by the Defense Department last year.
As the assault unfolded, four Army Special Forces members, part of a second team, were told not to go although they were poised to board a Libyan C-130 bound for Benghazi as early as 1:45 a.m.
“They were told not to board the flight, so they missed it,” Hicks said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., pressed Hicks on whether Stevens had told him about a demonstration outside the consulate the afternoon before his death.
Stevens had made no mention of any demonstration before the consulate was attacked, Hicks said. He was “shocked and embarrassed” when U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows the following Sunday to say that the attack had been the result of protests against the “Innocence of Muslims” video.
Gowdy then disclosed the contents of an email sent to top State Department officials the day after the attack saying Ansar al-Shariah was responsible. The email from Beth Jones, acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“When he (the Libyan ambassador to the United States) told me that former elements of the Gaddafi regime was responsible, I told him that the group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Shariah, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists,” the email said.
Rice’s comments hindered the FBI investigation into the Benghazi attacks because it made getting the Libyans to cooperate more difficult, Hicks said.
Fellow whistleblower Nordstrom testified that the Benghazi consulate was considered temporary and was not built to the specifications needed for a high-risk area.
Nordstrom blamed Clinton for the less-than-secure design of the Benghazi consulate, saying she was the only person who could grant waivers to except it from the standards put in places following the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
All three witnesses placed responsibility for the inadequate security at the Benghazi mission on the higher ups of the Departments of State and Defense. (Obama, H. Clinton, Hagel, Susan Rice and loyal Democratic Party Associates and Enablers) jsk
II Diplomat Airs Benghazi Attack Details in Riveting Account of Libya Raid, Official Knocks Administration Response

Redacted from article by SIOBHAN HUGHES And ADAM ENTOUS
WASHINGTON—A high-ranking American diplomat delivered an emotional reconstruction Wednesday of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, providing the first detailed public account from an American official who was on the ground in Libya.
Gregory Hicks told a House hearing of the harrowing attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The testimony from Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 U.S. official in Libya at the time, before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also drew new attention to key questions about the attacks, and how the administration handled the aftermath.
The diplomat said he believes the U.S. military could have done more to assist U.S. personnel on the ground. He also said top officials in Washington overlooked information in their early conclusion, since abandoned, that the attack began as a protest.
The riveting narrative from Mr. Hicks, a career diplomat, could revive an issue that had begun to fade after the re-election of President Barack Obama and the confirmation this year of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mark Thompson, the deputy coordinator for operations at the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism in Washington, and Eric Nordstrom, who was in charge of U.S. security in Libya until shortly before the attacks, also testified.
Mr. Hicks recounted his last conversation with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, his own desperate appeals for help, and the moment he received “the saddest phone call I’ve ever had in my life.” Mr. Stevens and three other Americans died in the attacks.
Mark Thompson, Gregory Hicks and Eric Nordstrom of the State Department give testimony to Congress about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Photo: Getty Images.
Republicans charge the Obama administration hasn’t told all it knows about the periods before, during and after the assault. The administration and Democrats say that dozens of hours of public testimony and thousands of pages of documents, along with an exhaustive independent investigation, have settled the outstanding questions.
Pentagon officials rebutted Mr. Hicks’ testimony Wednesday, saying the military wasn’t in position to mount a rescue that night, and on that critical matter, the hearing didn’t shed new light. The administration’s allies have called the Republican-led House investigations, under way in five different committees, politically motivated, aimed at discrediting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a leading candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Mr. Hicks alleged he was demoted for challenging the official line, specifically the picture painted during TV interviews by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who said the rampage grew out of a protest over a U.S.-made, anti-Islamic video that sparked anti-American demonstrations across the Mideast and Europe.
“I was stunned, my jaw dropped and I was embarrassed,” Mr. Hicks said of his reaction to Ms. Rice’s statements.
During a return to Washington to attend a funeral for one of the men killed, Mr. Hicks said he was summoned to the office of an undersecretary “and she delivered a blistering critique of my management style.” Based in part on the criticism, Mr. Hicks said he agreed to curtail his employment in Libya. Mr. Hicks said he wound up as a foreign affairs officer.
“I’ve been effectively demoted from deputy chief of mission to desk officer,” Mr. Hicks said.
The State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Hicks also criticized Mrs. Clinton for minimizing debate about when the administration realized the attacks were terrorism. In January, questioned by lawmakers, she threw up her arms and, noting there were four dead Americans, asked, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Mr. Hicks said Libya’s new leader, Mohamed Magariaf, who was trying to establish credibility after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, had already declared that the attack resulted from terrorism. Mrs. Clinton’s statement, Mr. Hicks said, was an affront to the Libyan leader.
“His credibility was reduced,” Mr. Hicks said. “And I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi” to investigate the attacks.
Mr. Hicks, by turns calm and emotional, told lawmakers his story of the night of last Sept. 11. He said he was at home in Tripoli watching television when a foreign-service officer ran in at 9:45 p.m. local time, yelling, “Greg, Greg, the consulate’s under attack.”
Checking his cellphone, Mr. Hicks said he saw two missed phone calls, one from Mr. Stevens and one from a phone number he didn’t recognize.
Mr. Hicks said he called the number he didn’t recognize and Mr. Stevens answered. “Greg, we’re under attack,” Mr. Stevens said before the call cut off. It was the first stage in a frightening and chaotic episode for State Department staffers in Libya.
Just before 11 p.m., Mr. Hicks said he asked the embassy’s defense attaché, who was in contact with the Pentagon’s Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, whether any military aircraft were on the way.
“Is anything coming? Will they be sending us any help? Is there something out there?” Mr. Hicks said he asked.
The defense attaché told him that the nearest fighter jets were based in Italy, and it would take two to three hours for them to “get on-site”—but there were no air-refueling aircraft available so they could make the trip.
“I said, ‘Thank you very much.’ And we went on with our work,” Mr. Hicks testified.
At about 12:30 a.m. local time, diplomats in Tripoli learned of a new threat by Islamists—to attack the embassy complex in the Libyan capital city. The 55 diplomatic personnel in two facilities began to prepare to evacuate.
Through the night, Mr. Hicks and his team frantically decided they needed to send a second team from Tripoli to Benghazi to secure the airport for the withdrawal of personnel. They decided that a team of special-operations forces should go. But the team was told to stand down, a call Mr. Hicks said he believed came from the military.
Mr. Hicks quoted a lieutenant colonel as telling him: “This is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military.”
At 2 a.m., Mrs. Clinton and her top advisers called Mr. Hicks for an update. “She asked me what was going on and I briefed her on developments,” Mr. Hicks said, adding that most of the call was about the search for Mr. Stevens.
Mr. Hicks said that he didn’t discuss whether the attack was terrorist-related with Mrs. Clinton, because he had already reported that assertion.
Mr. Hicks said during the night, the embassy received several calls from Mr. Stevens’s phone in which a caller said: “We know where the ambassador is. Please, you can come get him.”
Mr. Hicks said the Americans feared the calls were a hoax, designed to lure the Americans into “a trap.”
Then, around 3 a.m., Mr. Hicks received a call from the prime minister of Libya, informing him that Mr. Stevens was dead. “I think it was the saddest phone call I’ve ever had in my life,” Mr. Hicks said, choking up. He said he immediately called the State Department to inform them.
Mr. Nordstrom said the Accountability Review Board didn’t properly delve into the matter because it didn’t talk to the right people. “They stopped short of interviewing people who I personally know were involved in key decisions,” he testified.
III “John Bolton: Benghazi Could Topple Administration” -NewsMax
Make no mistake… before the Benghazi hearings even started, damning details from witnesses, who were being intimidated into silence, started to leak… but those damning allegations were just the tip of the iceberg.
An unprecedented and putrid cover-up of the highest magnitude is taking place… the rotting stench of which leads all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And finally, the American people are beginning to learn the horrendous truth.

Obama Still After Your Guns

If you were deceived by the President into thinking that he did not want tougher gun laws, his speech on Saturday should be enough evidence that he still is after your guns. 

When he says that he wants to prevent guns reaching bad guys, he does not tell us how. The only way is to confiscate all guns which assumes that at that point no one will be hurt by guns.  This is a false assumption. It maybe an old saw, but when no one has guns only the criminals will have guns.

Conservative Tom


Obama hails top cops, reiterates call for tougher gun laws

By Peter Schroeder 05/11/13 11:35 AM ET
President Obama hailed the nation's police force as America at "its best and its bravest" Saturday, while continuing his push for tougher gun laws.
At an event honoring the nation's top cops, Obama reiterated his call for "common sense steps" to better control the flow of guns, in part to protect the officers joining him at the White House.
He said Washington had to make it "harder for criminals to get their hands on lethal weapons."
An effort in the Senate to pass new gun control laws in the wake of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, has fizzled, but lawmakers insist they will continue working on the issue.
The president hailed the officers gathered in Washington to receive the award, and all in law enforcement. He pointed to the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon, and the ensuing manhunt, as emblematic of the best of law enforcement.
"First responders were running towards explosions, not knowing if there was something more on the way," he said. "We don't always get that opportunity to stand and applaud the men and women who keep us safe."
Obama also used the event to argue that, even in a tough economy, Washington must ensure law enforcement officials have the funds they need.
"The rest of us should be just be able to summon some tiny fraction of courage and the same sense of responsibility, and certainly that applies to us responsible for supporting you," he said. "We've got make sure they've got the resources that they need."
The president rattled off a number of the achievements of the law enforcement gathered, but singled out Detective Ivan Marcano from New York. While off-duty, Marcano witnessed a pair of attackers assault a cab driver in the Bronx. Jumping from his girlfriend's car, he confronted the attackers and was shot in the chest. The attackers escaped — initially.
On the way to the hospital in his girlfriend's car, they ran into the getaway vehicle. Marcano, using one hand to apply pressure to his gunshot wound and the other to pull out his service weapon, pursued on foot and was able to arrest one of the attackers, Obama said. The other was eventually captured as well. The president expressed amazement at that degree of dedication.
"He wasn't on the clock when this happened. This was date night, it was unbelievable," he said. "She deserves a really nice dinner after putting her through that."

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Pilosi: Republicans Have Obsession With Benghazi

It is always interesting when the opposition downplays an event in which four people die. Representative Pilosi, the former speaker, is saying that Republicans are obsessed with Benghazi. She seems to think that the death of four people is no problem. However, if the President would be a Republican, Pilosi would be demanding a special prosecutor, so we can discount her words as totally political theater.

This tells us that the Democrats are in full "protect the President" mode. It also says that mistakes were made and that no one from the Administration is going to come forward.

This story stinks to high heaven!

Conservative Tom


Rep. Pelosi knocks Republicans' 'obsession' with Benghazi attack

By Sam Baker 05/11/13 11:43 AM ET
Congressional Republicans are using their Benghazi investigation as political "subterfuge" to distract from other issues, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Saturday.
Pelosi said it's important to find out what happened in the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. But the right is taking it too far, she said in an interview with MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry.
"The obsession that some of my Republican colleagues have in the House doesn't look like it's on the path to really finding a solution, but just to keeping an issue alive," she said.
House Republicans held a day-long hearing this week on the Benghazi attacks, focusing on security at the consulate as well as the way the administration described the attack. 
"We certainly have to give the full attention Benghazi deserves, but we cannot let it soak up all of the congressional attention," Pelosi said. "What would be the purpose of that?"
The issue has also dominated conservative media.
"We want to find out what did happen, but … then it becomes an issue that is subterfuge: 'Let's talk about Benghazi forever, so we don't have to talk about what the American people want us to talk about,'" Pelosi said. "They want us to talk about jobs, they want us to talk about economic security, economic growth."
Republicans have accused the administration of downplaying the attack, citing initial talking points that described it as a protest over an anti-Islamic YouTube video rather than a coordinated terrorist attack.
Some Republicans have also questioned whether the administration refused requests for additional security in Benghazi.
"Much of what is being said out there by some of my colleagues in Congress is simply not true … it simply isn't true," Pelosi said. "So we have to make sure the public record is clear."

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Top IRS Lie To Congress Regarding Tea Party

When top officials of the IRS lie to Congress, should they not be subjected to perjury in front of Congress? We think  so. In 2012, Douglas Shulman, the IRS commissioner at that time testified that the Tea Party was NOT being targeted. Obviously, that was either an outright lie or an incompetent reporting incorrect facts. In either case, charged should be brought.

We must hold our officials responsible for telling Congress accurate information and NOT to lie, deceive or misrepresent the facts.  If they do, they are not being good public servants and should be held responsible.

Conservative Tom

Report: Top IRS officials knew of Tea Party targeting two years ago

By Peter Schroeder 05/11/13 03:26 PM ET
Senior officials with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) knew the agency was targeting Tea Party groups as early as 2011, according to a report.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that an upcoming report from a federal watchdog will find that top officials were aware of the targeting two years ago.
The report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is slated to be released next week — the AP obtained a draft copy of the report.
According to that draft, the head of the IRS division that overseas tax-exempt groups became aware that conservative groups were being targeted for scrutiny in June, 2011. The report does not say whether Douglas Shulman, IRS commissioner at the time, was aware of it.

n 2012, Shulman testified before Congress alongside other senior IRS officials, and vowed that the agency was above politics, and was not targeting any groups on a partisan basis. Shulman left the IRS at the end of 2012.
The news comes as the IRS is facing criticism from all sides for a decision to place additional scrutiny on groups that described themselves using the words "tea party" and "patriot." The IRS apologized for the action on Friday, and laid blame for the decision on lower-level employees based in Ohio.
“We made some mistakes,” said Lois Lerner, director of the agency's tax-exempt team. “For that, we apologize.”
Lerner maintained Friday that the decision to carve out groups with Tea Party affiliations for review was not due to partisan motives, but rather a misguided attempt to streamline applications by sorting them into issue groups.
Lerner said the employees behind the decision were "less sensitive than they should have been about the impact this might have."
The apology, which came after Tea Party groups accused the IRS of targeting them, set off a cascade of criticism from Capitol Hill, as well as the White House.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for a top-to-bottom review by the administration of the federal government to ensure such "thuggish practices" are not in place elsewhere. Top Republicans in the House said they would be independently investigating the matter.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the action "inappropriate" and said it would be thoroughly investigated by TIGTA. However, he also added that the IRS is an "independent enforcement agency" with only two political appointees at its head.

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Ron Paul On Benghazi and Hillary

Paul: Benghazi Failure Should Keep Hillary From 'Ever Holding Office'

Image: Paul: Benghazi Failure Should Keep Hillary From 'Ever Holding Office'
Saturday, 11 May 2013 07:40 AM
By Matthew Auerbach
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Speaking at an event hosted by the Iowa Federation of Republican Women Friday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said that Hilary Clinton’s alleged failure to prevent the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi should “preclude” her from ever again holding public office, Politico reports.

Paul says he has not yet decided whether he will be a presidential candidate in 2016, but he appeared to be in full campaign mode during his two stops in this first-in-the-nation caucus state.

Speaking to a small group of voters at a household event sponsored by the Iowa Federation of Republican Women, Paul drove home his point that Clinton’s mishandling of the Benghazi situation should disqualify her from serving the American people.

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“I think it precludes Hillary Clinton from ever holding office,” Paul said.

“I think her mistakes were of such significance that she should never again be in that position, to make those decisions.”

While Clinton has also remained mum on her plans for 2016, recent public opinion polls have shown her to be of the best-liked politicians in the country and a strong favorite for the Democratic Party’s 2016 nomination.

Paul began his assault on Clinton earlier in the day, telling reporters at a press conference she was “absolutely responsible” for the inadequate security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

“She was in charge of the State Department. She was asked repeatedly for increased security for Benghazi,” Paul said.

“I fault her absolutely for not reading the cables.

Part of being in charge is triaging what comes to your desk and what doesn’t come to your desk. And to say that Libya wasn’t important enough for her to be reading the cables from the ambassador asking for more security, I think was inexcusable.”

Paul is in Iowa to address the state Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner, a much sought-after speaking slot for politicians who may have a run for the White House in mind.

While attacking Clinton is a sure way to score political points with fellow Republicans, Paul has also shown a willingness to buck his party’s orthodoxy as he seeks to expand his base beyond the limited-government Tea Party movement.
The ophthalmologist and first-term lawmaker called on Republicans to be more inclusive of minorities, as he spoke in the state that traditionally hosts the first primary season contest.
“As a party we need to grow bigger,” he said. “We are an increasingly diverse nation and I think we do need to reach out to other people that don’t look like us, don’t wear the same clothes, aren’t exactly who we are.”

Information from Bloomberg News Service was used in this report.

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McConnell Steps Into IRS Targeting Tea Party Issue

McConnell Demands Probe of IRS Tea Party Targeting

Image: McConnell Demands Probe of IRS Tea Party Targeting
Saturday, 11 May 2013 03:54 PM
By Matthew Auerbach
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is demanding President Obama order a complete review of his administration in the light of the IRS revealing Friday that it had targeted conservative groups that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their tax documents during the 2012 election, reports Politico.

“I call on the White House to conduct a transparent, government-wide review aimed at assuring the American people that these thuggish practices are not underway at the IRS or elsewhere in the administration against anyone, regardless of their political views,” McConnell said.

"Last year, amid reports that the Obama administration was using the levers of executive power to harass conservative political groups in Kentucky and elsewhere, I issued a very public warning to the administration that the targeting of private citizens on the basis of their political views would not be tolerated.

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"Today’s apology by the IRS is proof that those concerns were well founded. But make no mistake; an apology won’t put this issue to rest. Now more than ever we need to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the First Amendment is non-negotiable, and that apologies after an election year are not an sufficient response to what we now know took place at the IRS.

This kind of political thuggery has absolutely no place in our politics.”

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that a federal watchdog's upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.

The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted.

On Friday, the IRS apologized for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.

The Treasury's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week.

The Associated Press obtained part of the draft report.

That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.

While McConnell has called for action on Obama’s part, other GOP lawmakers have already announced they will take matters into their own hands.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., will convene a hearing on the situation in the coming weeks.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will do the same.

“The fact that Americans were targeted by the IRS because of their political beliefs is unconscionable,” Issa said.

“The committee will aggressively follow up … and hold responsible officials accountable for this political retaliation.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party was silent in defense of the IRS.

It’s “clearly stated from the leadership of the IRS that this is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior and we concur with that,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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Tea Party Rejects IRS Apology

We agree completely with the Tea Party's stand on the IRS targeting of '"tea party" and "patriot" groups applying for tax free status.  This should not happen in a representative republic! It does happen in third world countries with dictators, is that what Obama wants to be?

Along those lines, Michael Savage on his radio show last night,  pontificated that Obama wants to push freedom loving American patriots to the point of armed revolution. At that point he will declare martial law and name himself President  for life. This would explain DHSs purchase of guns, ammunition and vehicles.  

Savage's suggestion is that we, patriotic Americans, not fall for his bait and continue to resist using the Court System, the legislative system and peaceful protest. If we do not fall for the trap, he will have to leave office peacefully at the end of his last four years. Upon reflection, we believe Savage is correct.

What is your opinion?

Conservative Tom
 to IRS: "Apology not accepted"
In response to IRS officials today admitting that its agents actively targeted Tea Party groups for increased scrutiny during the 2012 election,  the nation's largest Tea Party group and a subject of IRS inquiries over the past year, issued the following statement: 
"What we've long suspected to be the case is now confirmed to be true. The Obama administration has used the IRS as a political weapon. The IRS may claim that it is 'sorry.' But given the damage that has been done, their apology is not accepted," said Niger Innis, Chief Strategist for
"What would Democrats have done if the Nixon administration ordered the IRS to actively target the National Organization of Women or the American Civil Liberties Union? Nixon had his own enemies list and resigned. These activities are eerily similar, and yet Obama remains in office even in light of Fast and Furious, the Benghazi tragedy, and now the active targeting of his political opposition. We demand a thorough independent investigation into who did what, when, why, and how far up into the administration this scandal goes. We would expect intimidation like this from third-world, tin-pot dictators, not our own US government."