FBI director admits domestic use of drones.

FBI director admits domestic use of drones

Published time: June 19, 2013 14:55
Edited time: June 19, 2013 15:41

FBI Director Robert Mueller (Reuters / Yuri Gripas)
FBI Director Robert Mueller (Reuters / Yuri Gripas)

 

The FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance purposes, the head of the agency told Congress early Wednesday.

Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, confirmed to lawmakers that the FBI owns several unmanned aerial vehicles, but has not adopted any strict policies or guidelines yet to govern the use of the controversial aircraft.

Does the FBI use drones for surveillance on US soil?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mr. Mueller during an oversight hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Yes,” Mueller responded bluntly, adding that the FBI’s operation of drones is “very seldom.”

Asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to elaborate, Mueller added, “It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident where you need the capability.” Earlier in the morning, however, Mueller said that the agency was only now working to establish set rule for the drone program.

Mueller began answering questions just after 10 a.m. EDT and has also touched briefly on the recently exposed NSA surveillance program that has marred the reputation of the United States intelligence community as of late. Mueller said 22 agents have access to a vast surveillance database, including 20 analysts and two overseers.

When Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) asked Mueller later in the morning if he’d consider being more open about the FBI’s surveillance methods, the director decried being much more transparent that the bureau already is. Mueller said the FBI has and will continue to weigh the possibility of publishing more information about its spy habits, but warned that doing such would be to the advantage of America’s enemies.

There is a price to be paid for that transparency,” Mueller said. “I certainly think it would be educating our adversaries as to what our capabilities are.”

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.

dietrich-bonhofferA Voice from the Past Warns Us to Take a Stand.

Never have I set ink to paper with a more sober heart.  Never have I approached a New Year with a deeper burden.  Our nation, the nation that you love and I love is slipping through our fingers at a rate of loss that would have been deemed impossible before now.

Our government is waging an incremental assault on the U.S. Constitution.  We all saw a direct assault on the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion when Obamacare began forcing the Catholic Church to violate their convictions.

Now we have a direct attack the second Amendment by attacking the right to bear arms.

Noah Webster said it most succinctly and most eloquently:  “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

Leftist politicians, militant unions, news and entertainment media have united to create an America that will remove Christian civilization as we know it.  If drastic action is not taken immediately, the despotic control of that they have seized in the information industry will soon give them an immense, continuous and increasing power over everything we hear, see and say.

Now a man’s voice echoes from down the decades to reinforce our mandate.  His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, just a few weeks before an allied offensive brought Germany to its knees and ended World War II in Europe, a young, mild-mannered Lutheran theologian was hanged by the Nazis in Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

His crime … conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theological genius of the 20th century, is now emerging as a war hero, martyr and spy.

“What is so amazing about the story of Bonhoeffer is that he puts a completely different spin for us as Americans on World War II,” says Eric Metaxas, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” (Thomas Nelson, 2010), the first biography in 40 years of this influential Christian. The book is being released on the anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s execution.

“Christians all over the world have read his books,” Metaxas says, “but very few people know the full story of his involvement in a plot to kill the head of the German state.”

Bonhoeffer is revealed in the book as one of the few German Christians who refused to appease Hitler and his perverted interpretation of Christianity. Bonhoeffer’s staunch resistance to the Third Reich and his push for civil disobedience cost him his life.

His enriched faith, however, was born in America in 1930, when spent a year at Union Theological Seminary. But the most profound American influence was at New York’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. There he heard the powerful preaching of civil rights pioneer Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., and the deeply emotional music of what he called “negro spirituals.”

Bonhoeffer became a passionate parishioner and Sunday school teacher at the Harlem church.

“The experience he had in Harlem deepened his faith in such a way that when he came back to Germany, he felt called by God,” Metaxas says. “It wasn’t just theology in his head. He felt called by God to obey God. For him that meant very clearly to stand up for the Jews.”

Perhaps one other experience in America cemented his “stand for the Jews.”  On Bonhoeffer’s first and only Easter in the United States, he tried to attend services at one of New York’s famous churches. But he couldn’t get in; they were so packed, you needed tickets to attend. Wanting to be in a house of worship on Easter Sunday, Bonhoeffer went instead to a synagogue, where he heard the charismatic Rabbi Stephen Wise. Bonhoeffer wrote to his grandmother …

“He delivered an enormously effective sermon on corruption in New York and challenged the Jews, who make up a third of the city, to build from this city the City of God, to which the Messiah would then truly be able to come.”

In 1914, Wise co-founded the NAACP, and he was instrumental in the creation of the World Jewish Congress.  A synagogue in New York City bears his name.

Wise’s grandson, also named Stephen, now in his 80s, has been spearheading an effort to get Bonhoeffer’s name listed with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in Israel, as one of the “Righteous Gentiles” of the Holocaust.

What Bonhoeffer came away with from his New York experience was a willingness to stand by the true faith. He wrote to Rabbi Wise, telling him what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, and how the “religious” people were complacent.

“There were many German churchgoers, whether they were Christians or not I don’t know, but they went to church and somehow they made peace with the Nazis,” Metaxas says. “They thought there was nothing wrong. Bonhoeffer had such a devoted faith he knew without any question that the Nazis were anti-Christian and they were evil, and if he didn’t stand against them he would have to answer to God.”

Bonhoeffer believed he was called by God to help those who wanted to assassinate Hitler.

“Bonhoeffer was not a pacifist,” Metaxas says. “And that will be news to a lot of people who think of Bonhoeffer as their hero, as some kind of pacifist.”

He was willing to be involved in a plot to kill Hitler. “He wasn’t helpful as a gunman; he was helpful with contacts all around Europe,” Metaxas says. “He had the ability because he had ecumenical church contacts to work as a double agent, and that is what he was, he was a double agent.”

The plot was discovered, and Bonhoeffer was arrested in 1943.

Two years later, as the Battle of Berlin raged, it was clear that the Third Reich would be defeated. But Hitler wanted his enemies dead, including Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was hanged. Three weeks later, Hitler committed suicide.

On May 1, German forces in Italy surrendered. The next day, German forces in Berlin surrendered. On May 7, 1945, the unconditional surrender of all German forces was signed. The war in Europe was over.

What was left in its wake was the murder of 6 million Jews and a legacy that has tarnished the Christian faith in Europe.

But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and ’40s, but today as well.

“It’s a deep temptation within us,” says Metaxas. “We need to guard against it and we need to know that it can lead to our ruin. Germany was led over the cliff, and there were many good people who were totally deluded.”

Bonhoeffer, says Metaxas, was a prophet. He was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was God’s voice at a time when almost no one was speaking out against the evil of the Nazis.

A Voice From the Past is Warning Us to Take Action

dietrich-bonhoffer

My First Blog for 2013:   A Voice from the Past Warns Us to Take a Stand.

Never have I set ink to paper with a more sober heart.  Never have I approached a New Year with a deeper burden.  Our nation, the nation that you love and I love is slipping through our fingers at a rate of loss that would have been deemed impossible before now.

Our government is waging an incremental assault on the U.S. Constitution.  We all saw a direct assault on the first amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion when Obamacare began forcing the Catholic Church to violate their convictions.

Now we have a direct attack the second Amendment by attacking the right to bear arms.

Noah Webster said it most succinctly and most eloquently:  “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.”

Leftist politicians, militant unions, news and entertainment media have united to create an America that will remove Christian civilization as we know it.  If drastic action is not taken immediately, the despotic control of that they have seized in the information industry will soon give them an immense, continuous and increasing power over everything we hear, see and say.

Now a man’s voice echoes from down the decades to reinforce our mandate.  His name is Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, just a few weeks before an allied offensive brought Germany to its knees and ended World War II in Europe, a young, mild-mannered Lutheran theologian was hanged by the Nazis in Flossenburg Concentration Camp.

His crime … conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theological genius of the 20th century, is now emerging as a war hero, martyr and spy.

“What is so amazing about the story of Bonhoeffer is that he puts a completely different spin for us as Americans on World War II,” says Eric Metaxas, author of “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” (Thomas Nelson, 2010), the first biography in 40 years of this influential Christian. The book is being released on the anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s execution.

“Christians all over the world have read his books,” Metaxas says, “but very few people know the full story of his involvement in a plot to kill the head of the German state.”

Bonhoeffer is revealed in the book as one of the few German Christians who refused to appease Hitler and his perverted interpretation of Christianity. Bonhoeffer’s staunch resistance to the Third Reich and his push for civil disobedience cost him his life.

His enriched faith, however, was born in America in 1930, when spent a year at Union Theological Seminary. But the most profound American influence was at New York’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. There he heard the powerful preaching of civil rights pioneer Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., and the deeply emotional music of what he called “negro spirituals.”

Bonhoeffer became a passionate parishioner and Sunday school teacher at the Harlem church.

“The experience he had in Harlem deepened his faith in such a way that when he came back to Germany, he felt called by God,” Metaxas says. “It wasn’t just theology in his head. He felt called by God to obey God. For him that meant very clearly to stand up for the Jews.”

Perhaps one other experience in America cemented his “stand for the Jews.”  On Bonhoeffer’s first and only Easter in the United States, he tried to attend services at one of New York’s famous churches. But he couldn’t get in; they were so packed, you needed tickets to attend. Wanting to be in a house of worship on Easter Sunday, Bonhoeffer went instead to a synagogue, where he heard the charismatic Rabbi Stephen Wise. Bonhoeffer wrote to his grandmother …

“He delivered an enormously effective sermon on corruption in New York and challenged the Jews, who make up a third of the city, to build from this city the City of God, to which the Messiah would then truly be able to come.”

In 1914, Wise co-founded the NAACP, and he was instrumental in the creation of the World Jewish Congress.  A synagogue in New York City bears his name.

Wise’s grandson, also named Stephen, now in his 80s, has been spearheading an effort to get Bonhoeffer’s name listed with Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, in Israel, as one of the “Righteous Gentiles” of the Holocaust.

What Bonhoeffer came away with from his New York experience was a willingness to stand by the true faith. He wrote to Rabbi Wise, telling him what the Nazis were doing to the Jews, and how the “religious” people were complacent.

“There were many German churchgoers, whether they were Christians or not I don’t know, but they went to church and somehow they made peace with the Nazis,” Metaxas says. “They thought there was nothing wrong. Bonhoeffer had such a devoted faith he knew without any question that the Nazis were anti-Christian and they were evil, and if he didn’t stand against them he would have to answer to God.”

Bonhoeffer believed he was called by God to help those who wanted to assassinate Hitler.

“Bonhoeffer was not a pacifist,” Metaxas says. “And that will be news to a lot of people who think of Bonhoeffer as their hero, as some kind of pacifist.”

He was willing to be involved in a plot to kill Hitler. “He wasn’t helpful as a gunman; he was helpful with contacts all around Europe,” Metaxas says. “He had the ability because he had ecumenical church contacts to work as a double agent, and that is what he was, he was a double agent.”

The plot was discovered, and Bonhoeffer was arrested in 1943.

Two years later, as the Battle of Berlin raged, it was clear that the Third Reich would be defeated. But Hitler wanted his enemies dead, including Bonhoeffer.

On April 9, 1945, Bonhoeffer was hanged. Three weeks later, Hitler committed suicide.

On May 1, German forces in Italy surrendered. The next day, German forces in Berlin surrendered. On May 7, 1945, the unconditional surrender of all German forces was signed. The war in Europe was over.

What was left in its wake was the murder of 6 million Jews and a legacy that has tarnished the Christian faith in Europe.

But the legacy that Bonhoeffer leaves future generations is of the untold dangers of idolizing politicians as messianic figures. Not just in the 1930s and ’40s, but today as well.

“It’s a deep temptation within us,” says Metaxas. “We need to guard against it and we need to know that it can lead to our ruin. Germany was led over the cliff, and there were many good people who were totally deluded.”

Bonhoeffer, says Metaxas, was a prophet. He was a voice crying in the wilderness. He was God’s voice at a time when almost no one was speaking out against the evil of the Nazis.

First time in American History: Obama and White House refer to the National Christmas Tree as the “Holiday Tree.” Ben Stein lashes out on CBS News against the War on Christmas.

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America.
the family

The following was written  by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

 

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein