Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trump Tweeted Link To Blog That Published Articles By Police Protest Critic Facing 21-Count Indictment

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been criticized for not vetting sources he links to on Twitter, and on Sunday night he tweeted a link to a blog just days after one of its "former" contributors was hit with a 21-count indictment.

On August 3rd, 36-year-old Michael Aaron Strickland was accused by an Oregan Grand Jury of committing 10 counts each related to menacing (misdemeanors) and unlawful use of a weapon (Class C felonies) plus an additional disorderly conduct charge, after pulling a gun against Portland protesters on July 7, 2016 (PDF indictment link). A judge set his bond at $250,000 and Strickland paid 10 percent and remains free, at least until his arraignment this Friday.

Multnomah County prosecutor Katie Molina stated that Strickland was brandishing a Glock 26 with an extended clip, which "he swept at chest level multiple times in front of Don't Shoot PDX protesters and a plain-clothed Portland police officer, The Oregonian reported.

The protests were against police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and Strickland was reportedly armed because he "was jumped by an anti-gun activist who broke his arm in three places at an anti-Second Amendment event," Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft explained on July 10th.

Even though Gateway Pundit published a story by Strickland on July 2nd, Hoft referred to him as "a former contributor" in his blog post titled, "Conservative Activist Jailed After Pulling Gun on Gang of Thugs Trying to Kick His A$$."

Hoft noted that Strickland "has a concealed carry permit in Oregon and can legally carry a weapon." He also argued that Strickland "was being threatened and he pulled the gun on his would-be assailants," but the videos don't really seem to support that version of events. Journalists or bloggers that carry weapons, even in warzones, are generally frowned upon, since it may put other unarmed reporters at risk of being attacked or falsely arrested as spies.

Trump tweeted "ICYMI: Will Media Apologize to Trump?" Sunday night, and linked to a story by Kristinn Taylor, an activist and journalist, who has also had stories published at Free Republic and Breitbart News. Even though Taylor tends to focus on protests, she hasn't tweeted about Strickland's arrest, and didn't respond to a request for a comment to see if she thinks he was wrongly arrested.

The Republican presidential candidate has been sharply criticized for tweeting links to white supremacists and other sketchy sources, but his campaign has argued that he shouldn't be considered guilty of association just for not closely vetting his sources, which sometimes contain misinfo.

But both sides constantly politicize every police shooting or incidence of violence at counter rallies. Even deranged mass shooters are used as political wedges. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Trump have also accused each other of encouraging ISIS terrorists with their statements against each other in the extremely heated 2016 presidential race.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cheryl Mills said 'I don't remember' 34 times in Clinton email deposition and Benghazi House testimony

Longtime Hillary Clinton aide, Cheryl D. Mills - who served as Counselor and Chief of Staff to the former Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013 - said "I don't remember" 34 times while testifying about two key scandals.

On May 27, 2016, Mills was deposed in regards to the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363), concerning the use of non-government emails. According to the transcript, Mills said "I don't remember" nine times. She also said she didn't "recall" or "recollect" when questioned a number of times during the deposition.

"Cheryl Mills’ handling of a now-forgotten email scandal that unfolded during the Bill Clinton White House era was 'loathsome' and 'totally inadequate' a federal judge wrote in a scathing opinion in a 2008 lawsuit, Chuck Ross reported for Daily Caller on June 1, 2016.

Mills claimed she couldn't recollect even testifying during the 2008 trial based on an earlier lawsuit by Judicial Watch over 1.8 million emails that went missing during former President Bill Clinton's administration.

After being asked if she recalled speaking to the State Department in December of 2008 or January of 2009 about the usage of "devices to communicate via e-mail," Mills said she didn't remember, but "imagined it would have occurred close in time to when we were onboarding."

"Probably just weren't significant in my mind," Mills claimed.

Mills also testified that she couldn't remember if she had to request for a State Department email account to be created for herself and if there was an email "within the Secretary's office" regarding Clinton's switch from an AT&T account to the unsecured personal server.

Although Mills recalled that an assistant gave support for "six, seven, eight months" she apologized that she couldn't remember her name. "And not because she didn't do a great job," Mills added.

Dennis McDonough was appointed to the National Security Council after President Obama's election before becoming Deputy National Security Advisor on October 22, 2010, but Mills couldn't "remember if he came into the government first with the President and then left or if he came in later and then..." nor could she recall "what his title was or what his capacity was."

Mills also couldn't remember if Hillary Clinton's former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, who now serves as the vice chair for the 2016 presidential campaign ever discussed having email troubles during Hurricane Sandy, which occurred in late October of 2012, or even if the department's servers were down "during that time period or not."

Finally, Mills said it was "odd" that she couldn't recall sending a test email to Clinton due to "issues receiving" them. She said, "Obviously I sent her an e-mail that says Test, but I don't have a recollection of it."

During her September 3, 2015 testimony before the U.S. House of Representative Select Committee on Benghazi, Mills used the phrase "I don't remember" twenty-five times, according to the transcript.

In both testimonies, most of the things Mills says she didn't remember were common knowledge, reported widely by the media, or answers to questions she presumably would have been prepped by her lawyers upon.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Support independent journalism!

Unlike nearly every blogger or struggling journalist on the Internet, I rarely ask for money. But I'm pretty much in desperate need now. The last time I asked for contributions was in February 26, 2015, and since then, many of my stories were picked up by media outlets and journalists from The New York Times, BBC, MSNBC, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Judicial Watch, Huffington Post, DC Examiner, and even Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and Breitbart News.

My PayPal account is ronbrynaert@yahoo.com

Since late February, I've had 30 stories published by the Daily Caller, mostly on presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; and former contenders Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. I've also done stories on Pakistan, the Panama Papers and President Barack Obama. Even though I'm liberal, the Daily Caller lets me report fairly and critically on all the candidates. Regretfully, many left-leaning journalists and readers refuse to read articles based on where they are published, even though I'm an independent reporter, and no one ever tells me what to write and my stories are never one-sided. All my Daily Caller articles can be read here: link.

The Washington Post, The New York Times and Wired have added corrections to many articles based on my reporting, but have never credited me once. Unfortunately, some of my work has also been plagiarized or presented as new news, even though I reported it months earlier. The Washington Post's Tom Hamburger and Politico's Rachael Bade stories reported articles on Teneo and how it relates to the Clintons, and even though both contacted me before publishing, neither of them gave me credit for breaking their "exclusives" first. Both of them, and their editors, along with media critics who regularly report on plagiarism ignored my complaints in emails, tweets and Direct Messages, regarding this unethical injustice.

I do my best to show all sides, get to the truth, listen to critics, and allow readers to make up their own minds on whom to support in this quite crazy presidential race. Since I'm a media critic, too, I also often defend candidates when false stories are reported about them.

Thanks to the thousands of readers who retweet or like my articles on Twitter (@ronbryn) or share them on Facebook! I've been trying to follow back on Twitter nearly everyone who has linked to me, critically or supportive. So just follow me on Twitter or mention me, if I overlooked you (but don't mock my avatar, because Krazy Kat will get upset).

Here are a few of my Daily Caller articles: Sanders Took Heat From The Anti-War Left Over Gulf War, Yugoslavia Intervention; Ambassador Joked About State Dept. ‘Incompetent Nincompoops’ After Mystery Hostage Release; Ex-Army Chief Quietly Hired By Firm With Close Clinton Ties; Longtime Clinton Aide Also Used Personal Email Address At State Department; and Hillary’s IT Guru Jokes About Security Risks Posed By Federal Employees Using Personal Mobile Devices [VIDEO] by Chuck Ross, who noted, "Former RAWSTORY Executive Editor Ron Brynaert — who recently reported for the Daily Caller that another longtime Hillary Clinton aide used a private email address while working at the State Department — provided some research for this article."

Last year, Judicial Watch did an entire article on my reporting on Teneo and the Clintons, which can be read at this link. It's one of the first articles that come up on Google searches for "Teneo." I also had an article published on the front page of the Washington Times op-ed section called A liberal take on the Clinton email scandal, which was mostly about the dangers of the revolving door at the White House.

Huffington Post published a big story that had an enormous impact - and still does - on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign called "Banks Behind Hillary Clinton’s Canadian Speeches Really Want The Keystone Pipeline", and it credited me as the reporter who broke some of its findings first. Hillary Clinton still hasn't released the transcripts for the speeches she gave to those banks, and I exclusively reported she was paid $150,000 for a speech plus a meet-and-greet at the CIBC 18th Annual Whistler Institutional Investor Conference in January of 2015.

I worked at RAW STORY for six years, including four years as Executive Editor. Most of my stories can be read here: link. During my stint running the website, I provided research and edited nearly every story we published, and had reporters in the White House, Afghanistan and Iraq. I was one of the first editors to publish battlefield stories written by James Foley, who was kidnapped and murdered by ISIS terrorists, which you can read about at this link.

Thanks, and, once again, my PayPal account is ronbrynaert@yahoo.com

Original post from February 26, 2015:

From 2007 to 2010, I was Executive Editor of RAWSTORY.COM where I broke many big stories that were appreciated by liberals AND conservatives, and which sometimes even influenced events and were reported by the mainstream media. Some include: alleged plagiarism by Ann Coulter that was later confirmed by an expert, the smearing of a conservative-leaning military blogger by the Washington Post, non-profit wrote editorials for Abramoff clients, Vice President Cheney given power to preside over NSC meetings, US changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes before war and Miers provided misleading info to Judiciary Committee.

Since leaving RAW STORY, I worked with David Corn and Mother Jones on a story based on WikiLeaks documents called "Does an Al Qaeda 'Anthrax Operative' Own New York Pharmacies?", Jennifer Preston and The New York Times on "Fake identities were used on Twitter to get information on Weiner", Kevin Morris at The Daily Dot on "Gen. John Allen didn't troll Jill Kelley on Wikipedia" and, most recently, with Chuck Johnson at Got News on multiple stories about NBC News anchor Brian Williams including "April 2003 Essay Proves #BrianWilliams Apology & Faulty Memory Story Are Fake" and "2003 NBC News Book Claimed Brian Williams Was on 'Receiving End of an Ambush'".

At this blog I broke the news that former Congressman Weiner was running for NYC mayor months before anyone else and I was cited by the Observer for being the first to report on the last scandal that hurt his campaign, even though he denied it in speeches, as reported by The Huffington Post. Click on my archives to read exclusive reporting on Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Adrian Lamo, Bradley Manning, Barrett Brown, former Pakistan military coup leader Musharraf, and other stories that you won't find anywhere else.

I haven't been paid for any of my reporting since I left RAWSTORY, so please help support -sometimes incredibly risky - independent journalism by contributing to my PayPal account at RonBrynaert@Yahoo.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Former CENTCOM commander victim of 'cybersecurity incident' Hillary Clinton didn't report

The State Department's inspector general report reveals that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and two key staff members failed to report a potential hacking attempt that was referred to as a "cybersecurity incident" they received on Friday the 13th in May of 2011.

A footnote on page 40 of the report states, "In another incident occurring on May 13, 2011, two of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff discussed via email the Secretary’s concern that someone was 'hacking into her email' after she received an email with a suspicious link."

"Several hours later, Secretary Clinton received an email from the personal account of then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs that also had a link to a suspect website," the footnote continues. "The next morning, Secretary Clinton replied to the email with the following message to the Under Secretary: 'Is this really from you? I was worried about opening it!'”

The link in the email sent by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Joseph Burns appears to be a virus that could have infected multiple email accounts belonging to one of her top aides and former officials, including the former Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

Along with Clinton, the possible malware virus was sent to Joseph E. Macmanus, who served as Secretary Clinton's Executive Assistant until April of 2011, before becoming Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs in May. Clinton cc'd her response to the email to Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, who is now the vice chairwoman of her 2016 presidential campaign.

It was also sent to former US ambassador to Morocco Marc Ginsberg; Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs, Communications & Governance Apache Corporation Sarah Teslik; retired United States Marine Corps general and former CENTCOM Commander in Chief Anthony Charles Zinni; Philip N. Remler, the Head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova; U.S./Middle East Project President Henry Siegman; Mark Foulon, former Deputy Undersecretary for Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce from 2003 to 2006 and Acting Under Secretary of Industry and Security from 2006 to 2007; and unknown persons referred to as "sburns" and "iburns."

The footnote adds: "Department policy requires employees to report cybersecurity incidents to IRM security officials when any improper cyber-security practice comes to their attention. 12 FAM 592.4 (January 10, 2007). Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information. 12 FAM 682.2-6 (August 4, 2008)."

"However, OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department," the inspector general report noted.

Another embarrassing error in Washington Post reporting of Clinton emails

(Update: Three hours after publishing this article and alerting four Washington Post journalists, I noticed today's typo was fixed, but there was no editor's note for the correction added. The error can still be viewed at other outlets that picked up the Washington Post story which was published four hours before my article. But the December 31, 2015 typo still hasn't been fixed)

Nearly six months after I reported about an embarrassing mistake by the Washington Post in its reporting on Hillary Clinton's email scandal, there was another one in a top article published today.

At The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman wrote on December 31, 2015: "In the emails released most recently, for instance, Clinton thanked a top aide, Joe McManus, in July 2012 for forwarding what appeared to be information about a threat against her long-serving close personal aide, Huma Abedin...as part of an email chain titled 'Huma' and that included the State Department's top security officer, Eric Bosworth. Abedin's primary residence with her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, was in Manhattan."

The "State Department's top security officer" was actually Eric Boswell, not Bosworth, as the Post wrongly reported.

Ms. Helderman and multiple Washington Post reporters and editors have ignored emails and tweets about that typo, which they still haven't corrected.

Today, in another story that Helderman worked on, Carol Morello and Jia Lynn Yang reported: "In June 2011, there were two hacking attempts on the Clinton email system in one day. An adviser to President Bill Clinton tried to shut down the server each time."

However, the screenshot from page 19 of the State Department inspector general report, that the paper ran right beneath those sentences, clearly states, "On January 9, 2011, the non-Departmental advisor to President Clinton who provided technical support to the Clinton email system notified the Secretary’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations that he had to shut down the server because he believed 'someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to.' Later that day, the advisor again wrote to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, 'We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min.'"

"Tom Hamburger, Rosalind Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report," today's Washington Post article notes at the bottom.

As usual, I will tweet this article to the reporters about the error, and, as usual, I presume my tweets will be ignored and it won't be corrected. I won't be tweeting Pulitzer winner @CarolLeonnig, because she has blocked me on Twitter for criticizing her reporting in 8 tweets on 4 separate days last year.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Daily Caller stories

Sorry, I've promised a few new blog posts the past couple of months, but I've been busy working on stories that have been published at Daily Caller instead.

I have more to add to some of these stories, that I'll eventually blog about here, but, in the meantime, in case you don't know, my twitter account is at @ronbryn, and my Daily Caller articles can all be accessed at this link.

This blog isn't dying. I'll still be doing stuff here, too. See you, soon.

Friday, April 22, 2016

After sniffing pot leaves, Orthodox rabbis decide it's Kosher for Passover

Two leading Orthodox rabbis sniffed some pot plants this week in Israel and okayed it for Passover, but only for medicinal purposes.

88-year-old Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who is "widely considered the leading living ultra-Orthodox halachic authority", and Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein blessed the weed, after prodding from the pro-marijuana group Siach.

Passover is an eight-day Jewish holiday, which has strict dietary rules, but the rabbis said that it was kosher to eat or smoke it, but only if it isn't for recreational purposes. "Kanievky stipulated that in normal circumstances the plant is considered a member of the kitniyot group of legumes and pulses that are banned on Passover among Jews of Ashkenazi origin," The Times of Israel reported.

Many US states have passed or are pushing legalization laws for marijuania, but critics claim that it's far too easy to get prescriptions, since anyone can claim stress as a medicinal purpose.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, at the White House's website, "Confusing messages being presented by popular culture, media, proponents of 'medical' marijuana, and political campaigns to legalize all marijuana use perpetuate the false notion that marijuana is harmless."

Even though some elected Republicans and Democratic officials want the White House to deschedule marijuana as a Class I narcotic, the office contends that these actions "significantly diminishes efforts tkeep our young people drug free and hampers the struggle of those recovering from addiction."

Three of the five current candidates still running for the 2016 presidential favor various forms of legalization, The Huffington Post recently noted. Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are considered marijuana friendly, and Republican Ted Cruz believes the decision should be left up to states. Donald Trump and John Kasich have been a little bit harsher about the topic, but haven't completely decided against some form of legalization.

"Mazel Tov, Jewish stoners!" gossip columnist Perez Hilton wrote in response to the news today.

"Blessed is Hashem our God, King of the universe, who has created types of fragrances," was the blessing, according to an English transcripted posted on the following video.

video link

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Country Music Labels Won't Tell States To Take LGBT Laws And Shove Them

At least five country music labels contacted by the Associated Press refuse to say anything about laws passed or proposed against LGBT people in multiple states, even though some artists have denounced discrimination against gays.

Universal Music Group Nashville, Curb Records, Warner Music Nashville, Sony Music Nashville and Big Machine Label Group have opted to remain mum, the AP reports. Some platinum-selling performers such as Emmylou Harris, Billy Ray Cyrus, and his daughter Miley Cyrus have condemned the bills and laws.

On Monday, the Tennessee legislature passed a Republican-sponsored bill, which "declares that no person providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist." GOP Gov. Bill Haslam hasn't said whether he would sign it into law, yet.

Yesterday, "responding to backlash," the Washington Post reported, Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory penned an executive order that would help LGBT state employees maintain their jobs. PayPal and Deutsche Bank called off expansion that would cost the state hundreds of jobs, and Bruce Springsteen is skipping the state on his latest tour. But, in a video message, McCrory stated that his order “maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker facilities in government buildings and in our schools.”

South Carolina may pass similar laws, while Mississipi already did, and rocker Bryan Adams recently cancelled a show in the latter state.

"The people who are at risk are people like my son who would really be called out publicly, and anyone who is a trans person knows that can escalate into a really dangerous situation," Gretchen Peters, who wrote Martina McBride's "Independence Day" and co-wrote and performed "When You Love Someone" with Adams told the AP. "I live in fear of that as a mother."

Unlike the labels, some music industry related firms have issued condemnations.

Reacting to the actions by Springsteen and Adams, concert producer Live Nation stated that it "supports our artists' efforts to take a stand against this exclusionary and unfair law." Country Music Television called the restroom bill "inconsistent with our values," and Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern said the firm behind the CMA awards is "working closely with the City of Nashville to offer all of our visitors and residents an inclusive environment where they feel welcome."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sanders campaign manager claims Hillary Clinton 'dissed' Bernie's young supporters

Normally, every four years, by the middle of spring, the top contenders left standing in the ring for both major political parties keep their eyes on the November championship prize, but this hasn't been a normal year. Seventeen Republican candidates contended, but only three are left standing, and none seemed inclined to even support the eventual winner, who may not be crowned until July's Republican National Convention. Early on, in the Democratic race, the candidates fought with pillows, but now the last two contenders are starting to trade harder blows, and things are starting to get down and dirty.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are set to rumble in Brooklyn in the Naval Yard on April 14th, five days before the New York primary, in which 291 delegates are at stake. And while both still say they'll support the other one if they lose, Sander's campaign manager suggested on Tuesday in an interview on CNN that Clinton might not be able to win over their side's young supporters because she "dissed" them too much recently.

While New York polls once showed Clinton with a commanding lead, the most recent polls indicate that the former Empire State senator may only have an eleven percent advantage. Just a few weeks ago, one poll claimed that Clinton was "trouncing" Sanders by 48 points. But the poll had some issues, as Daily Caller reported, since it relied on landlines, and most younger people only own cellphones, and tend to screen their phone calls.

Almost buried in a Politico story, and not even highlighted at CNN, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver "challenged Clinton’s electability, calling into question whether she can rally support from Democrats" or even independents who are feeling the Bern more.

“[If] Bernie Sanders is the nominee, he will get the over, over, overwhelming support of Democrats in this race," Weaver said on CNN's "New Day" show. "The question is who can capture and mobilize young people and independents in this race to bring them out and to have them vote in the general election so that we can elect not just Bernie Sanders but Democrats up and down the ballot."

Weaver added, “Hillary Clinton is not gonna do that. All these young people who are coming out for Bernie Sanders, are they gonna come out for Hillary Clinton? I’m not so confident about that given how many times she’s dissed them recently.”

One of the "disses" that Weaver appeared to be referencing was when Clinton snapped at a young activist during a rally at SUNY Purachase on March 31, after she was asked, "Will you act on your words and reject fossil fuel money in your campaign?"

After arguing that she only takes "money from people who work in the fossil fuel" industry, Clinton complained to Eve Resnick-Day, "I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me, I am sick of it."

As noted at Real Clear Politics on Sunday, Clinton told NBC's "'Meet The Press' host Chuck Todd that she 'feels sorry for' young supporters of Bernie Sanders who believe his 'lies' about her taking money from the fossil fuel industry, without 'doing their own research.'"

"When people make these kinds of claims, which now I think have been debunked," Clinton said. "Actually the Washington Post said 'Three Pinocchios'-- and the New York Times analyzed it. Independent analysts have said that they are misrepresenting my record."

In a Fact Checker article on Saturday, The Washington Post reported: "The Sanders campaign is exaggerating the contributions that Clinton has received from the oil and gas industry. In the context of her overall campaign, the contributions are hardly significant. It’s especially misleading to count all of the funds raised by lobbyists with multiple clients as money 'given' by the fossil-fuel industry."

So far, Clinton hasn't specifically responded to the "dissed" comment, but she may have a tougher road ahead of her than Sanders since she and some of her former State Department employees are facing an FBI investigation for their use of private emails to trade information later marked classified. Sanders might even pull out the brass knuckles and score a knock-out in Brooklyn, if he decides to use what could be his strongest weapon to reach the final bout. If Sanders makes it to the DNC, and is able to woo enough superdelegates, the seventy-four-year old one time long shot might be crowned the new "comeback kid."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weiner did consulting work regarding foreign investment in broadcast industry; Teneo handled press for $17.7 billion Cablevision deal

(Editor's note: I added this update today to my original article called "Controversial firm linked to Clintons handles press for $17.7 billion Cablevision deal", but decided to also make it a new post so that readers can easily find it.)

4/2/16 Update: Last October, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner - who is married to former Teneo consultant Huma Abedin - told me that he never worked for that consulting firm because he likes to be his own boss.

Very little is known about Weiner's post-Congress lobbying firm, Woolf Weiner Associates, and he acts angrily when questioned about it. In May of 2013, I did a story called "Anthony Weiner company led by former board director for firm investors blasted as 'CROOKS'", which has a lot of information about his consulting, that no other journalist ever seems to probe.

In regards to this story, this is what Michael Barbaro reported for The New York Times on April 30, 2013:
Mr. Weiner has advised Covington & Burling as it seeks to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to relax its long-standing objections to major foreign investment in the broadcast industry. He has tutored the firm on the key players and their political sensitivities, using knowledge gleaned from his tenure on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Mr. Weiner said he had reached out to federal officials at the Energy and Agriculture Departments, as well as members of Congress, on behalf of his clients. But he insisted that the work did not meet the legal definition of lobbying, which he said his contracts made clear he would not do.

The executives who have worked with him said the raunchy online banter with women that cost Mr. Weiner his post in Congress posed no problem for their employers.

“Nobody said don’t do this,” Mace J. Rosenstein, a partner in Covington’s telecommunications practice, said of hiring Mr. Weiner. 'He’s got this thing he has to deal with and it appears he is dealing with it in his own way.'
A controversial consulting firm connected to the Clintons scored a bigtime client under the radar recently. And even though Teneo was founded by two Hillary Clinton fundraisers - including CEO Declan Kelly who she appointed as Economic Envoy to No. Ireland while she was Secretary of State - the D.C. press ignores the news. The specific person handling the press for the multi-billion dollar international cable deal once worked for a firm whose owner consulted former President Bill Clinton.

The New York Times appears to have published a "scoop" they received from a public relations firm tied to the top presidential candidate - but omitted mentioning either in their article - just to get an exclusive a few hours early. And since it's related to the creation of what will be the "#4 cable operator in the US market", which affects millions of US voters, this omission of news might be disturbing to watchdogs. Teneo sometimes gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a month by clients, and both entities inherently have common ground to make each other look good to the public.

"Teneo is a senior-led advisory firm with deep collective experience working at the highest echelons of the public and private sectors," the Teneo Holdings website states. "Our team has a rich knowledge base and global network of relationships that we bring to bear on behalf of our clients every day."

If that "global network of relationships" includes New York Times reporters, then - in a sense - this rapidly growing international firm, which has been criticized for using government connections across the world to woo clients and accused of milking those links, controls the media on multiple levels. Teneo is especially secretive about their long list of clients - including "the CEOs of many Fortune 100 companies across a diverse range of industry sectors" and "senior leaders of many of the world’s largest and most complex companies and organizations" - and notorious for not commenting on controversies involving itself.

"Cablevision has agreed to sell itself to Altice, an acquisitive European telecommunications giant, for about $17.7 billion, including debt, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday," Michael J. de la Merced, Andrew Ross Sorkin and Emily Steel reported for the new York Times on September 16. "It is the latest deal to reshape the broadband and cable television landscape. An announcement could be made on Thursday, these people said."

The story adds, "Talks between Altice and Cablevision began in June, weeks after the Suddenlink deal was struck and after bankers had deluged the European company with pitches for additional deals to pursue, according to the people who were briefed."

At 8:46 PM last Wednesday, @NYTimes tweeted a link to the exclusive article. A little over five hours later - at 2:08 AM - @M_delamerced bragged in a tweet, "As @andrewrsorkin and I reported (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/17/business/international/altice-in-deal-to-take-over-cablevision.html), Altice is buying Cablevision for $34.90 a share. Release: http://altice.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/20150917-ALT-Cablevision-Acquisition.pdf." The press release in Merced's tweet mentions that David Vermillion from Teneo is handling media relations, and lists his phone number and email address.

At 2:03 PM on September 17, New York Times journalist Michael J. de la Merced celebrated a huge link he received for a story that didn't mention that a PR firm tied to top Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was handling press for a $17.7B deal that will affect millions of Americans. "DRUDGE SIRENS GALORE," @m_delamerced tweeted.

"Teneo Strategy's David Vermillion is handling press for Altice, which has cable systems in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Switzerland, Israel, Dominian Republice and French Caribbean," Kevin McCauley noted at O'Dwyer's PR on Wednesday, which shows that New York Times journalists Merced and Sorkin almost certainly knew about Teneo, but left them out of their story.

Both Merced and Sorkin have ignored my tweets.

Last year, on December 8, 2014, Michael J. de la Merced, "scooped" the world on a story directly related to Teneo, reporting, "Teneo, a corporate advisory firm with an unusually broad array of businesses, has secured backing from the big private equity firm BC Partners, the company plans to disclose this week."

However, Merced's article doesn't make any reference to how he learned about the "company plans". The New York Times reporter doesn't mention a source, named or unnamed, which might be a violation of the paper's rules on journalism ethics.

Merced does paraphrase an exclusive quote he apparently got from one of Teneo's presidents, but, again, there are ethical concerns, if a top business journalist for - arguably - the most important paper in America is publishing stories - that omit key information - based on tips from a powerful P.R. firm. "The investment from BC Partners came about through friendships that some of the firm’s senior executives have with Teneo’s management, according to Richard Powell, the head of Teneo’s communications arm."

"Since its founding by two former FTI executives, Declan Kelly and Paul Keary, and a former Clinton administration aide, Douglas J. Band, the firm has garnered clients like Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group," Merced wrote in December, but didn't mention that both Kelly and Kerry were fundraisers for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was beginning to rev up her presidential campaign, at the time. It also didn't mention that former President Bill Clinton once consulted for the firm, but was reportedly pressured to stop earning money because it was damaging to his wife. So, he instead became a client, allegedly. There also isn't any mention of longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who controversially worked for Teneo, the Clinton Foundation, the State Department and Hillary Clinton, herself, from June of 2012 to February 1, 2013.

According to his LinkedIn resume, Managing Director David Vermillion has been working at Teneo since 2013, after a year as Executive Vice President for Edelman, and it notes, "In 2005, Dave played a central role in the landslide reelection campaign of New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, writing and producing all television and radio commercials and direct mail as well as serving as spokesman for her campaign." Vermillion also worked for Sheinkopf Ltd. as Vice President from 2003 to 2006, for former Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who consulted for President Bill Clinton on his successful 1996 re-election campaign. In 2004, Vermillion was the Treasurer and Chairperson for a 527 called Better Government Committee, with the stated purpose of which was to contribute to other political committees, but no contributions or expenditures were ever recorded.

The New York Times journalists also noted last Wednesday, "But the takeover of Cablevision — one of the last trophies of the American cable industry and the longtime province of its founding family, the Dolans — could also draw significant concern from regulators, particularly as control of the telecom market shrinks to fewer and fewer players."

In their rush to publish an exclusive a few hours early, the reporters didn't even apparently attempt to contact any critics of the deal. And a day later, any story already is in danger of becoming old news. Business journalists reporting on firms that have deep political ties and that will affect how many Americans receive their news should leave room for criticism in all their articles. But not quoting critics might have been a condition of the "scoop", as well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton was last presidential candidate to tweet about Pakistan suicide bombing

When Hillary Clinton ran for president in 2008, she released an ad claiming she would answer the phone in the White House if it rang at 3 AM, but on Easter Sunday she was the very last presidential candidate to tweet about a deadly suicide bombing in Lahore, Pakistan.

Over 300 were injured and at least 72 killed by the blast in the section of Gulshan-i-Iqbal park "which houses swings, train and some other attractions for children," the AFP reports. The attack occurred Sunday night in Pakistan, but their time is 9 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so it was the early afternoon in the United States.

Ohio Governor John Kasich was the first presidential candidate to tweet about the bombing, at 2:10 PM EST. "Let us remember the victims ... as we gather strength and resolve to defeat all who threaten our values," tweeted Kasich, who is trailing far back in third place in the GOP primary race. He also linked to a statement on the attack, condemning the "cowardly mass execution of innocent women and children, reportedly including Christian families" as "an outrage."

Nearly an hour later, Clinton's lone-standing rival in the Democratic primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, "We are grieving today for the families affected by the deplorable attack in Lahore. No one should ever fear taking their children to a park."

Donald Trump didn't address the attack on Twitter until 4:37 PM, even though he did tweet an Easter greeting at 3:41 PM. "Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children," Trump tweeted. "At least 67 dead, 400 injured."

"I alone can solve," Trump added, but he didn't make another tweet about it, explaining how he "alone" could "solve" suicide bombing attacks across the world.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz didn't tweet about the attack until 7:25 PM. "The evil that is radical Islamism struck in Pakistan today in a shocking display of savagery," Cruz wrote, with a link to a statement posted at his campaign website. But that was not until after his twitter account sought volunteers for the #CruzCrew, in a tweet that included a screenshot from a Fox News Poll that claimed Republicans had a higher opinion of him than Trump and Kasich.

Hillary Clinton's official Twitter account tweeted three times after Kasich and Sanders first responded to the attack, but it didn't mention the bombing until after midnight, at 12:27 AM. "My prayers are with the victims of the horrific Easter Day attack in Lahore," the former Secretary of State tweeted. "Pakistan and all nations must confront & defeat terrorists." It included an H, indicating that it was a quote from the current Democratic presidential front-runner herself.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Clinton aide wanted embattled Secret Service Director to read her words of support during prostitute scandal

An email released by the State Department in the last batch of Clinton emails shows that Hillary's aides wanted the Secret Service director to use her "supportive words" when he was in the hot spot facing Congressional hearings during a prostitution and security scandal. Two Clinton Foundation officials originated the chain of emails which were sent to Huma Abdein - at her private Clinton server address - after she applied for her Special Government Employee status so that she could work part-time at the State Department, the foundation, Hillary Clinton herself, and a consulting firm co-founded by the same person who emailed her.

Longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin - who serves as the vice chairwoman for Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign while reportedly under multiple government investigations surrounding the Clinton email scandal and alleged overpayments she received for vacation pay - applied for S.G.E. status in March of 2012. But it took a few months to process because she and her husband, former NY Rep. Anthony Weiner - who resigned after lying about being hacked and sexting multiple women - resisted turning in the required financial paperwork. She wasn't able to go part-time at the State Department and simultaneously work elsewhere until June of 2012.

The chain of emails began when Ilya Aspis, special assistant to former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Foundation, copy-and-pasted a Newsmax article, on April 18, 2012, which reported, "Republican leaders – including Mitt Romney – have voiced support and confidence in Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan in the wake of the Colombia prostitution scandal that has rocked the agency he leads." Aspis, who also once served as the Deputy Director for the Executive Office of President Clinton, doesn't get a lot of attention from the media, and he was paid $38.32 by the Hillary for President campaign, according to a 2009 FEC filing.

Secret Service agents hired prostitutes while they were protecting President Barack in Cartagena, Columbia during the Summit of the Americas, and Sullivan was in the midst of Congressional hearings trying to determine if there were any security breaches. He ended up surviving that scandal, but after it was reported that one of the agents admitted to soliciting call-girls in El Salvador and Panama, Sullivan resigned on February 1, 2013, which was the same day Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin left the State Department.

The article also quoted former Bill Clinton "body man" Doug Band, who helped launch the Clinton Foundation and co-founded the worldwide consulting agency Teneo. Band also sometimes consulted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but he wasn't paid for it, however, he did work on her transition team. Early the next morning, Band forwarded the email to Abedin at her Huma@clintonemail.com address.

Within an hour, Abedin forwarded the email to former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines - another longtime Hillary Clinton aide - to his personal email address, which was redacted by the State Department. Last October, Gawker reported that Reines had lied about never using a "personal email account to conduct official State Department business." And these emails also contradict Reine's initial claims, after the private Clinton server story broke a little over a year ago.

"Sending along in the off chance hrc gets asked by press," Abedin wrote Reines, but there is a redaction beneath that short sentence. Ccing Hillary Clinton, Reines swiftly responded, "She actually got it from Wolf yesterday and gave a great answer about their professionalism protecting her family. I'll send you the excerpt as soon as we have and you can pass to Sullivan so he says her supportive words."

Reines was referring to CNN's Wolf Blitzer who called the prostitution scandal "shocking" during an interview with Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on April 18th. While Panetta admitted it was "disturbing" twice, Clinton seemed more perturbed that the story broke, then what had occurred.

The 2016 presidential candidate said that she didn't think there would be "so much diplomatic fallout as the unfortunate fact that it certainly ate up a lot of the coverage the summit, which was a meaningful get-together, only happens once every three years, an opportunity to showcase Colombia."

Immediately switching gears, Clinton used the moment to hype White House accomplishments and told Blitzer, "Think about how much Colombia has changed. And the United States, with our Plan Colombia support, has really been at the forefront of helping Colombia emerge as a real dynamo in the region."

Clinton never named Sullivan by name, and "her supportive words" didn't really address the scandal, at all.

"As Leon said, there’ll be investigations both in the military and the Secret Service," Clinton said. "I’ve had Secret Service protection for more than 20 years, and I’ve only seen the very best, the professionalism, the dedication of the men and women who have been around me and my family."

Unless Sullivan used Clinton's words in a Congressional hearing, a search on Google didn't turn up any instances where the embattled Secret Service director ever used them. It's also possible that Reines committed a typo, and he meant to write "sees", instead of "says."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Poorly redacted 'hypersexual' manifesto outs first names of graduate students Idaho shooting suspect accuses of not being human

Perhaps proving that many media outlets rush to publish everything these days - with little editing - a television station in Idaho published the "rambling" words of a would-be assassin, and the Washington Post ran two stories directly linking to it. Former Marine Kyle Odom, who allegedly attempted to to kill Idaho pastor Tim Remington on Sunday, was arrested after he “threw unknown material over the south fence line at the White House Complex,” according to a Secret Service statement.

The manifesto that Idaho television station KHQ published online redacted the names of two graduate students - who attended a Texas college with Odom - twice, but appears to have accidentally missed their first names in another sentence, in the same paragraph. Since their first names aren't particularly common, it probably won't take long for journalists and other students to figure out who the shooting suspect, that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho police said Monday has a history of mental illness, accuses of not being human, which led to the attempted assassination.

It's bad enough that The Washington Post chose to link to what they called a "rambling" manifesto, that really doesn't offer any news value, but its poorly edited headline for one article - "Idaho pastor shooting suspect arrested outside White House, wrote warning about ‘Martians’ in Congress," - also suggests the alleged would-be assassin served in Congress. That story was published at 3:25 AM.

Years ago, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz reported, "After weighing the question for nearly three months, The Washington Post and New York Times have agreed to publish in today's Post a 35,000-word manuscript submitted by the Unabomber, the serial mail bomber who has promised to halt his deadly attacks if either newspaper ran his lengthy critique of industrial society."

"Donald E. Graham, The Post's publisher, and Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the New York Times, said they jointly decided to publish the document 'for public safety reasons' after meeting last Wednesday with Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh," Kurtz wrote on September 19, 1995. "The papers are splitting the cost of an eight-page insert, which will appear only in The Post because it has the mechanical ability to distribute such a section in all copies of its daily paper."

Former Washington Post publisher Graham told Kurtz that both papers were "printing it for public safety reasons, not journalistic reasons," and that it "will not necessarily set a precedent."

"Media analysts have been divided on whether the newspapers should print the Unabomber's treatise," Kurtz noted. "Some have said that publishing 35,000 words is a small price to pay for the possibility that the killer would halt his attacks. Others have warned that the newspapers have no way of knowing whether the terrorist will keep his word, and that accepting his terms could encourage violent groups to make similar demands."

One of the bylined Washington Post journalists, Carole D. Leonnig won the Pulitzer Prize nearly a year ago for here work on stories about lapses by Secret Service agents, and was honored with a White House Correspondents' Association award which "include[d] a private reception with the president beforehand."

A second article published by the Washington Post - which at press time was the most widely read article of the day - written by the other bylined journalist, Michael E. Miller, also links to the manifesto and observes that it "outlined [the suspect's] path to Sunday’s shooting in clear but increasingly paranoid prose." The only explanation for writing an extremely long story called "Idaho shooting suspect’s ‘hypersexual’ Martian manifesto is a window into an unraveling mind" is because it "suggests...the act of an unraveling mind."

"Remington, who survived the point-blank shooting in what one church member called a “miracle,” had appeared a day earlier with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) at an event put on by Cruz’s presidential campaign," Miller wrote. "That led to speculation the shooting was politically motivated."

Since Miller includes long quotes from the manifesto, the journalist must have read all of it, but makes no mention of the students, so he apparently didn't notice or care that their first names weren't redacted.

The suspect wrote that early in 2014, two graduate students at the Baylor College of Medicine "began reaching out to him", even though he "barely knew them", and "both kept pointing their finger at [him] saying 'pew pew' like they were shooting gun, and that he was later "told that _ and _ were 'not human.'" He added that they were "tasked" into turning him into the "the next school shooter."

In the manifesto, the suspect also suggests President Obama should take a lie detector test to prove he knows about Martians that "take control of 'wild' human beings and use them as sex slaves", but its highly doubtful that any federal law agencies will act upon that tip.

On Tuesday, Christian Datoc reported for The Daily Caller, "In a recent span of 16 hours, The Washington Post managed to publish 16 anti-Bernie stories, a fact that wasn’t lost on Reddi."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thanks to readers, and updates to my Daily Caller articles on the way

As I noted on my twitter account @ronbryn, I'll have some interesting updates to my stories published at the Daily Caller. I'm a little behind, because I've been working on many other stories.

But here are links to all my Daily Caller articles, so far, and to a story I helped - a little bit - written by Chuck Ross, who does great reporting on the Clinton email scandal.

I've reported on Clinton, Sanders, Trump, and Carson, plus I have future articles, on the way, about Cruz and Rubio. I do my best to show all sides, get to the truth, listen to critics, and allow readers to make up their own minds on whom to support in this quite crazy presidential race.

Since I'm a media critic, too, I also often defend candidates when false stories are reported about them.

Thanks to the thousands of readers who retweet or like my articles on Twitter or share them on Facebook! I've been trying to follow back on Twitter nearly everyone who has linked to me, critically or supportive. So just follow me on Twitter or mention me, if I overlooked you (but don't mock my avatar, because Krazy Kat will get upset).

Sanders Took Heat From The Anti-War Left Over Gulf War, Yugoslavia Intervention.

Ambassador Joked About State Dept. ‘Incompetent Nincompoops’ After Mystery Hostage Release

Ex-Army Chief Quietly Hired By Firm With Close Clinton Ties

Longtime Clinton Aide Also Used Personal Email Address At State Department

Hillary’s IT Guru Jokes About Security Risks Posed By Federal Employees Using Personal Mobile Devices [VIDEO] by Chuck Ross, who noted, "Former RAWSTORY Executive Editor Ron Brynaert — who recently reported for the Daily Caller that another longtime Hillary Clinton aide used a private email address while working at the State Department — provided some research for this article."

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ireland Minister brags about wooing his brother's client to create jobs in his constituency

3/6 Update: "When what’s left of Labour sit around a very small table they must ask themselves how a party of conscience became a political condom," Irish Mirror columnist Pat Flanagan writes. "After being reduced to just seven seats they might also ponder how they allowed 104 years of working-class history be washed away by the monster they created, namely Irish Water." Flanagan also claims that former Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly "barely keeping" his seat in the other week's election is viewed as a "catastrophe" - since he was the public face behind the privatization of water and it's "on the way out" - and that "a high-ranking party official" called him as "toxic as plutonium."

2/28 Ireland Election Update: "Labour Party's deputy leader has narrowly retained his seat in Tipperary"; "Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly was the gift that kept on giving for the Twitterati as they gleefully mocked his very, very vigorous election victory celebration"; "While he was clearly happy in the extreme, one Twitter user, Veronica Walsh, noticed a striking similarity between Mr Kelly's face and the character 'Anger' from the 'Inside Out' Pixar movie"; "With veins protruding from his neck, and his face bright red, he stabbed the air ferociously with his fists." (Editor's Note: I couldn't resist having a little fun, since Kelly reminded me of Marvel Comics character Red Hulk, so I added some silly pictures to my Twitter profile at @ronbryn.)

In a few days, Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly will find out if the privatization of Irish water, his brother, and his own "braggadacio" will stop his meteoric rise in Ireland politics.

An Irish journalist overheard Alan Kelly tell his "spin doctor" that the characters on the hit Netflix show, "House of Cards" (Season 4 is set to air a week after the Ireland elections) "have nothing on the pair." On the streaming show, Emmy winner Kevin Spacey's Frank Underwood commits murder twice after getting spurned by the US president despite helping to get him elected. Clearly drawing from Shakespeare's Macbeth, Underwood often delivers soliloquies to the audience and plots with his wife to get his revenge on political enemies in order to sneak his way into the presidency.

In response to the article, a few weeks ago, a Reddit contributor jokingly wrote, "Alan Kelly has a new election poster.......", and linked to a photo-shopped mash-up picture of Minister Kelly's face on Kevin Spacey's body, as shown above.

According to Mark Kelly of The Irish Times, "There is a new economic bubble forming, and it appears to be morphing into Alan Kelly’s head. The Minister for the Environment, who could teach Italians a thing or two about braggadocio, released an especially vainglorious email on Wednesday after First Data announced 300 new jobs for Nenagh, in his electoral heartland. You see, it was Alan wot won it."

"The jobs are undoubtedly hugely welcome in Nenagh and Kelly clearly played an important role," Mark Kelly added. "Interestingly, First Data is a client of Teneo, the consultancy founded by Kelly’s brother, Declan."

Donal O'Donovan and Niall O'Connor reported for Ireland's Independent on January 21, 2016 - in an article titled "300 jobs created in Nenagh after lobbying from Kelly" - that "[t]he new R&D centre in Nenagh will be the company's first Irish location outside of Dublin. Hiring will start later this year ahead of the facility's opening in 2017."
"However, it has emerged that the company had initially considered increasing its investment in Dublin, where the company is already based, but opted for Tipperary following a meeting with Environment Minister Alan Kelly last year.

Following discussions with Mr Kelly, the company decided to locate its new research centre in the minister's constituency.

It is understood Mr Kelly personally flew to New York on three occasions to meet company executives.

The decision to openly lobby the company to set-up in Tipperary will further add to claims that the Labour Party deputy leader prioritises his own constituency above his ministerial role.
In its press release, First Data quoted Alan Kelly: "I’m absolutely thrilled that First Data are establishing a research and development centre in Nenagh. This is a huge endorsement of the local area and local economy by a major multi-national. I first met with First Data in January of last year in New York and having made the connection with IDA, accompanied them on their many inspections of the facilities in Nenagh and met with them in both New York and Nenagh. I am delighted, having worked with both the IDA and indeed Tipperary County Council, that they have decided to establish a new facility and bring 300 jobs to Nenagh. As the local Minister, I have worked night and day over the last twelve months to ensure that First Data chose both Nenagh and Tipperary as the place to establish their research centre.”

At his blog, Kelly added an additional "I'm absolutely thrilled this day has come," to the press release blurb then added, "I want to thank the IDA, Joe MacGrath, Marcus O'Connor, Brian Beck & all those involved with Tipperary Co Co, all the locals who met First Data on the many occasions they visited Nenagh with me. I want to thank all my own staff for working on this project. They can all now finally talk about it with everyone! Finally I want to thank Dermot Gleeson who has worked with me on this from day one and without whose support, time & work I wouldn't have been able to deliver this."

"Delivering jobs like this in First Data and the Silvemines Hydro Project is the reason I entered politics," he hyperventilated in his conclusion. "Thrilled"

Kelly made no mention of his brother, but Teneo's headquarters are in New York, so it's possible that some of the meetings might have taken place there. There doesn't seem to be any pictures on the Internet showing the Kelly brothers posing together (Editor's Note: Any readers who have found one, please send it to me).

In a somewhat bizarre interview comparing himself to the fictional, corrupt, murdering US President Frank Underwood, portrayed by Emmy winner Kevin Spacey, on the Netflix show based on a UK miniseries "House of Cards", Kelly told The Independent's Niamh Horan, in a story published on January 26: "Anybody who says that power isn’t attractive is telling you a lie. Of course it is. It’s obviously a drug. It’s attractive. It’s something you thrive on. It suits some people. It doesn’t suit others. I think it suits me."

"Before we sit down I hear Kelly joke with his spin doctor that the show’s characters have nothing on the pair," Horan reported, who adds that he's referred to as "Labour’s secret weapon —nicknamed the 'AK47'."

Alan Kelly has drawn a lot of heat from Irish Water protesters, and some suggest that Teneo may somehow be linked to the controversy. Billionaire Denis O'Brien, who is friends with both former President Bill Clinton and Declan Kelly, has also been blasted for owning a related firm called Siteserv, that controls the water meters.

Even though many activists may disagree, "Labour Environment Minister Alan Kelly has said water charges are not a major issue with the voting public, and claimed people were far more concerned with employment," Ireland's Breaking News reported earlier this month. "The Environment Minister dismissed calls for Irish Water to be disbanded and the function returned to local councils."

On May 30, 2015, Michael Kelly in Ireland's Village Magazine, reported that Allen Kelly's "campaigns were slick and well-funded, infused with energy and resources from his high-flying US-politico-PR consultant older brother, Declan, who donated a total of €7,500 in 2010, personally and through companies."

The Irish Examiner reported on July 5, 2014, "Declan, and a company co-owned by him, donated a total of €7,500 in 2010 to help elect the north Tipperary politician to Dáil Éireann. This included a declaration from Mr Kelly that his brother, from his address in New York, donated €2,480. A company jointly owned by Mr Kelly, Stone Park Taverns, also gave the new TD €2,500. Accounts for the same company show that, on top of that, it made a €2,500 payment to “North Tipperary Labour Party”."

Another Teneo co-founder and Hillary Clinton bundler, Paul Keary, also donated €2,500 to Alan Kelly, that year.

In 2014, Declan Kelly gave €1,000, each, to his brother and Labour Party Tipperary from his address in Castletown, Portroe, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary.

Months before he was officially tapped by Hillary Clinton to his envoy position, Declan Kelly and Paul Keary were guest speakers at "a major think tank conference", that was "arranged by Alan Kelly on March 25, 2009: "Senator Kelly has managed to secure of some of Ireland’s leading business and sporting brains to speak about stimulating jobs growth and business in the Mid-West."

"Do you remember when a million dollars used to be a lot of money?" multi-millionaire Declan Kelly rhetorically asked at the News Ideas conference, then said the same about $10 million, $100 million, billions, and trillions referring to money spent by Irish businesses. Kelly bragged, later, that he was "fortunate enough to be invited to the White House" by President Barack Obama, a week earlier. He said "shame on us" if they don't "take advantage" of the economic opportunities presented by the close relationship Ireland had with the United States.

A video of Paul Keary speaking at the same conference can be viewed at this link.

There's not much time left for Alan Kelly to throw any reporters in front of a train, like the ruthless lead character in "House of Cards" did in the startling first episode of season two.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Another Hillary Clinton State Dept. aide used private email account; 5 emails later marked classified & heavily redacted

Two other State Department aides used private email accounts while working for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I've exclusively reported in the last two weeks. Media outlets such as the Associated Press and Gawker - along with conservative watchdog groups Citizens United and Judicial Watch - may want to add both names to any future Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests they intend. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley might want to write another official query naming them, as well.

One key thing to note is that John Kerry's State Department did or now knows both of these former government employees also used private email accounts, but instead of alerting the media or informing the public, they partially redacted both email addresses while dripping out Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails, making it tough for journalists to discover. And since the emails were sent to or from official government accounts, they didn't even need Clinton's emails to know about either private account.

My story on former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs David S. Adams aka "CrippleCreek61" - who now works with other colleagues of the Clintons at Anthony Podesta's Global Solutions - was posted at this website on February 6th, and can be read at this link.

The Daily Caller published my exclusive article about "Monica R. Hanley, who began working for former Secretary Hillary Clinton as far back as June 2004, when the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate was a New York senator" yesterday, and can be read here.

Interested readers on the right and the left can contact media outlets to get them to report on this news, so that voters in the presidential primaries can be more fully informed.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A plea for journalists to report on how fellow journalist Barrett Brown gets thrown into solitary after interviews

(Editor's Note: I try to stay out of taking sides, since I like to report fairly on both sides, but I am passionate about any journalists who are persecuted, wrongly arrested and/or mistreated in prison. Any journalist or blogger who reads this article PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do a story about this, to help prevent journalist Barrett Brown from being tortured for speaking out about his case or wrongful conditions in prisons.)

In my last two articles, "Why Twitter Should Ban Donald Trump: Part 2 Perverted Twitter Justice" and "Part 1 #OpKillTroll", I kind of threw in the following sentences, mostly because the media has largely ignored it

Barrett Brown even recently won a National Magazine Award for The Intercept, while in solitary confinement. This keeps happening after he gives press interviews, and the media doesn't give him enough coverage, as he finishes a five-year sentence, even though he never hacked anyone.

"Prison officials informed him that he was being 'segregated' for 'information-gathering purposes,'" the Free Barrett website notes. "For the first three days in the SHU, Barrett was deprived of his daily antidepressant medication."
On January 25, 2016, The Washington Post published an op-ed under the US President's byline called "Barack Obama: Why we must rethink solitary confinement."

"Solitary confinement gained popularity in the United States in the early 1800s, and the rationale for its use has varied over time," Obama wrote, adding that his "administration is taking steps to address this problem."

Obama continued, "There are as many as 100,000 people held in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons — including juveniles and people with mental illnesses. As many as 25,000 inmates are serving months, even years of their sentences alone in a tiny cell, with almost no human contact."

"Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences," Obama added. "It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior. Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones. Prisoners in solitary are more likely to commit suicide, especially juveniles and people with mental illnesses."

If Obama truly believed this, he wouldn't have only banned it against juveniles: "How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people? It doesn’t make us safer. It’s an affront to our common humanity."

Obama shouldn't really be applauded for the half-ass measures he has taken. Before he leaves office he should stand by his words and make sure this "affront to our common humanity" isn't abused by any public or private prison officials anymore.

Solitary confinement isn't the only wrongful punishment that Barrett Brown has been hit with for speaking to the media.

On July 16, 2015, in one of his award-winning columns for The Intercept, Barrett Brown wrote: "...I was using the inmate email system to follow up with a journalist I’d provided with contact info for one of the inmate researchers and reiterating that the fellow had documented evidence of corruption within the Bureau of Prisons. Then, an hour later, my email was cut off. After a couple of days of inquiry I was pulled aside by the resident head of security, a D.C. liaison by the name of Terrance Moore, who told me he’d been the one to cut off my email access, as I’d been 'using it for the wrong thing,' which he clarified to mean talking to the press."

At Shadowproof Press, Managing Editor Kevin Gosztola reported on July 21, 2016, "Jailed journalist and activist Barrett Brown has received 30 more days of solitary confinement in the prison, where he is serving a five-year and three-month sentence issued against him in January."

"Brown, who had been put in 'the hole' at the Fort Worth Correctional Institution previously, was put in solitary confinement in late June after staff 'singled' him out 'for a search' of his locker and 'found a cup of homemade alcohol,'" Gosztola added.

Does President Obama approve of what happened to Barrett Brown? Did this punishment fit the "crime" for a journalist fighting a years-long addiction to heroin and alcohol while being locked up, mostly because of his anger at being wrongfully persecuted by Obama's Justice Department and wrongfully raided in March of 2012, based reportedly on the words of creepy informants - tied to security firms Brown covered as a journalist - who should be arrested for continually lying to the feds?

(Editor's note: The preceding paragraph included a sly tribute to Barrett Brown, who often purposely uses run-on sentences.)

Gosztola added, "As the Free Barrett Brown group indicated on July 20, Brown 'had a hearing on his infraction and received an extra 30 days in the hole, plus 90 days of phone, visiting, commissary and email restriction.'"

This keeps happening, Gosztola argued because "Brown has broad access to the press. He has been writing satirical columns from prison. This upsets BOP because it makes it harder to isolate and control Brown as a prisoner."

"We can report that Barrett Brown was placed in FCI Three Rivers’ Segregated Housing Unit (SHU) last Wednesday, 27 January, and released Tuesday 2 February — meaning he was in the hole on Monday 1 Feb. when it was announced that Barrett won the National Magazine Award for his prison column in The Intercept," the Free Barrett website posted on February 3, 2016

The Free Barrett website added, "Barrett was moved to the SHU just two hours after he had done a telephone interview with radio producer Kenny Webster. Prison officials informed him that he was being 'segregated' for 'information-gathering purposes.' For the first three days in the SHU, Barrett was deprived of his daily antidepressant medication. Barrett has previously been in the SHU several times, including one stay more than a month long."

"Obama’s action on solitary is a good small step in the right direction toward ending this abusive practice," Brown's supporters wrote.

If journalists and bloggers reported more on what keeps happening to Barrett Brown, then it might stop happening.

Ten days after I first noted this, a search on Google News reveals that only one journalist has reported on Brown's last stretch in solitary confinement.

At D Magazine, Brown's former editor who testified at one of his hearings wrote on February 5, Tim Rogers wrote, "Barrett Brown, as you might know, won a National Magazine Award earlier this week for a jailhouse column that began right here on FrontBurner and then migrated to Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept."

Rogers mentioned that Brown has suffered from "mental illness," and, in fact, the first judge that saw Barrett after his arrest in September of 2012 agreed, and sent him to a mental health facility. "And when Barrett won his award, he was in solitary confinement, where he was deprived of his daily antidepressants," Rogers added.

Free Barrett's twitter account agreed with my tweet about the media's inattention to the ongoing torture of Brown, and added, "Hmm. You'd think someone winning a journalism award from solitary confinement would be news."

On February 1, The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald proudly bragged, "I'm pretty confident at the end of the night, we'll have the only award-winner in federal prison."

Free Barrett responded on February 8, after my tweets, "@ggreenwald even better, you got the only award-winner in solitary confinement. shouldn't this be news?" but all Greenwald did was retweet it. Even though he did help Brown raise money to hire better lawyers than the terrible public defendant who did little for Barrett when he was first arrested, Greenwald's Intercept hasn't really done enough reporting on Brown's imprisonment, and he really should assign reporters to help fight against the ongoing torture of one of their colleagues.

So I'm ending this plea with the same words I wrote at the top.

(Editor's Note: I try to stay out of taking sides, since I like to report fairly on both sides, but I am passionate about any journalists who are persecuted, wrongly arrested and/or mistreated in prison. Any journalist or blogger who reads this article PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do a story about this, to help prevent journalist Barrett Brown from being tortured for speaking out about his case or wrongful conditions in prisons.)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Why Twitter Should Ban Donald Trump: Part 2 Perverted Twitter Justice

UPDATE 2/16/16: I forgot to mention that Twitter's Trust & Safety VP Delbius aka Alison Stewart aka Del Harvey blocked my account after I complained to her publicly about a troll posting a picture of an apartment I used to live at, and anti-semitic tweets directed me by many others. At first, she blandly responded, "@ronbryn To report a TOS violation, you'd need to file a ticket via http://bit.ly/gottaproblem. I'm not the person who'll review it."

Then, after I asked why she left my stalker out of her response, and quipped, "Do you hate Jews?", Delbius tweeted, "@ronbryn Feel free to message @safety in the future with any other issues or questions," and blocked me. But Safety has never responded to a single Tweet I have ever sent it, and Twitter refused to ban the troll or even get him to delete that tweet.

In late October of 2012, Twitter suspended former Rhode Island State Rep. Dan Gordon after he tweeted (while still in office!), "do we have all of the patient's relevant d0xed information?" and "I shall proceed w/an immediate steel-toed scrotum kick to sedate." But he broke TOS rules by immediately opening a new account, and Twitter refused to take down the menacing account he obviously made called "Suicide Watch @brynsuicdewatch", because I wouldn't send them a copy of my driver's license to "prove" I was me. Journalist Lorraine Murphy @Raincoaster, who I reported about in Part 1, thought Gordon's violent threats to me were "entertaining", and, again, tweeted a link to her blog article, which included a link to the dox on me.

Twitter had already refused to ban @YourAnonNews, as I reported in Part 1, even though it "doxed" me under an operation called #OpKillTroll. Since @Delbius seems to be a longtime supporter of cyberstalking harassment and appears to approve of doxing by Anonymous, as I explain below, I certainly didn't want to send her department any more personal information.

When I complained to former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo about Harvey, who was then only director before she was promoted to VP, he responded, "@ronbryn drivel. best way to get me to ignore you is to besmirch @delbius & her rich history of devotion to child safety & law enforcement". Twitter investor Chris Sacca - whose "fund had purchased $400 million in Twitter shares, giving him a 9% stake" in 2011; and "secretly secured commitments for up to $1 billion in 30 days from J.P. Morgan and municipal endowments...buying out former employees and other investors right up until the cap table closed in May 2013, before the IPO" - retweeted it. But doxing personal information is illegal in many states, Del Harvey has a long history of supporting it, and Twitter often defies requests by law enforcement officials for information on people who tweet death threats.

On December 10, 2015, Newsweek's Seung Lee reported, "Earlier this year, former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo sent an internal memo to employees admitting that he and his company 'suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years.' A month later, Twitter announced a 'quality filter' which allows users to remove threats, offensive language and duplicate content from their time lines—but this had mixed results as cyberbullies reportedly circumvented Twitter’s blockades."

In that same article, Newsweek's Lee reported that billionaire Mark Cuban tweeted, "So how come Apple hasn't removed twitter from their app store for violating the UGC & Personal Attack terms? pic.twitter.com/dXClFu0cmC", and that "Sacca sarcastically ask[ed] Cuban if he 'shorted Twitter stock'—selling Twitter stock with the assumption that he will repurchase the stock at a lower price in the future", but there's "no evidence that Cuban has held Twitter stock." Sacca's arguably defamatory and abusive tweet is still viewable on Twitter, while Cuban's tweet "doesn't exist" anymore.

Dan Gordon had been menacing me because I was reporting on Twitter that Anonymous was supporting him, even though he was trying to encourage Operation Wall Street protesters to attack police officers, and had a long criminal history: reportedly at least 18 arrests for assaults, drugs and attempted murder for allegedly trying to choke a girlfriend to death. In a Rhode Island NBC affiliate's TV news story, it was reported that Gordon wrote, "Eat shit and die faggot" on a young teenager's Facebook page. Even though the Associated Press and top papers in Boston and Rhode Island have reported about Gordon's violent past, and extensive criminal record, he often pretends only blogs like Huffington Post did, and they are full of lies.

Yesterday, I unblocked FormerRepDan after I noticed that he claimed in tweets that he had been contacted by the Donald Trump campaign and was invited to the Greenville, South Carolina office. "They may just want a campaign volunteer," Gordon speculated.

I wanted @RealDonaldTrump and others to see Gordon's alleged invitation, side-by-side with a screenshot of his threats to me and links to articles about his extensive, violent criminal history, including stretches in jail. Plus, an Associated Press article about how he reportedly committed "stolen valor" - which is supposed to be a crime - by falsely claiming he received a Purple Heart and fought in the Gulf War.

In response, Gordon - who was banned once for threatening me - retweeted me and called me a "crazy weirdo" and, in another tweet, a "dopey loon". Then he blocked me so that people couldn't see his tweets on my timeline, and as I note below, this is one way how cyberbullies abuse the Twitter system.

After I tweeted, "UPDATE: Twitter won't take down account urging me to commit suicide, which was obviously created by #Trump supporter http://ronbryn.blogspot.com/2016/02/why-twitter-should-ban-donald-trump_11.html," another vile Donald Trump supporter called "TrustedTrevor" responded, "Bitch, you know how many times SJWs have told me and others to 'kill ourselves'? Suck it up, buttercup." It was then immediately retweeted and "liked" by @ItsIchijouTime, @BasedCachanilla @Thombombadillo and @draginol Brad Wardell, the "founder/CEO of Stardock" ("a cutting-edge innovator specializing in desktop utility software and PC entertainment"), who are all supporters of #Gamergate.

(Editor's note: After I added the above paragraph and promoted it on Twitter with a #Trump hashmark, @Thombombadillo complained, "Personally, I'm a Sanders supporter, but I don't shame others for politics." Another #Gamergate supporter @DwayneWillis6 tweeted, "@ronbryn If #GamerGate are a bunch of abusive trolls then clearly, Anti-#GamerGate are the internets KKK," and included a screenshot of this completely racist tweet by @b0ltwolf: "Women that support the video games and gamers are no different than House Niggers during slavery #gamergate #Girlthing #MadeInAmerica." I was wrong and misinformed to condemn trolling and racism only by one side, initially.)

According to the user-generated Wikipedia, "Gamergate refers to the controversy around a harassment campaign orchestrated primarily through the use of the Twitter hashtag #Gamergate, concerning issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture." On October 10, 2014, Gawker's Jay Hathaway reported, "#Gamergate actually began in August as a pernicious attack on one female game developer, Zoe Quinn, and her sex life," and that she "has been the victim of death threats and harassment since she began trying to publish Depression Quest, a text-based game partially based on her own experience with depression, in 2013."

Many critics of the often racist, homophobic, and misogynistic tweets by #Gamergate defenders - who are raging against Twitter's new campaign to allegedly curb cyber-bullying because they believe it's against "free expression" - have been stalked, harassed and menaced for a year-and-a-half. Since nearly all the #Gamergate supporters regularly violate Twitter terms of service, it's hard to understand why the Social Network hasn't banned the anti-social advocates and let many of them get away with breaking cyber-stalking laws, that US federal law enforcement agencies hardly enforce.

Before I get to 2016 candidate Donald Trump, who former Florida Governor Jeb Bush famously accused of trying to "insult [his] way to the presidency" during a televised Republican debate in 2015, I needed to provide some background about a few of the things that have been done to to me for the last four and a half years, which I wrote about in "Why Twitter Should Ban Donald Trump: Part 1 #OpKillTroll".

But if you just want to read about Twitter's new campaign to stop bullying, and how I believe it should be used to ban a name-calling, abusive billionaire - who is shockingly, a top presidential contender leading many GOP polls - for helping to make it an anti-social network, you'll have to wait a day or two. However, I think it's best if you read the whole thing since it shows an example of victimization and Twitter's neglect in enforcing its own rules, perhaps because it hired the wrong person to help lead its Trust and Safety department.

For years, Twitter has done little to stop abusive trolling by bigots, sociopaths and alleged "satirists", even though they clearly break "terms of service" (also know as TOS). Now, since their stock is plummeting and they are losing money, Twitter claims to be taking it seriously, and will put a stop to online harassment.

But it's not just anonymous, cowardly, racist trolls who deserve to be banned. Some members of the hacktivist group Anonymous have used Twitter to dox critics and "enemies" for years. Doxing is a term that is often misused to refer to the outing of people who hide their identities, but it's actually more about posting addresses, phone numbers and private information such as social security numbers. The largest Anonymous Twitter account, @YourAnonNews, has been allowed to dox critics, police officers, and, even, some journalists for years.

This article isn't an attempt to demonize all of Anonymous, since I often report on imprisoned US journalist Barrett Brown, who was "embedded" within the group, wrongly raided by the feds in March of 2012, and arrested months later in September, partly because of his anger that an FBI agent was threatening to arrest his mother. Barrett Brown even recently won a National Magazine Award for The Intercept, while in solitary confinement. This keeps happening after he gives press interviews, and the media doesn't give him enough coverage, as he finishes a five-year sentence, even though he never hacked anyone.

"Prison officials informed him that he was being 'segregated' for 'information-gathering purposes,'" the Free Barrett website notes. "For the first three days in the SHU, Barrett was deprived of his daily antidepressant medication."

As a whole, Anonymous has done - and probably will continue to do - some great things, but doxing is a controversial issue that many members are against.

Some members of Anonymous dox families of their victims - who are sometimes horrible people who commit horrible deeds, as well - and there's a journalist named Lorraine Murphy aka "Raincoaster", who approves of this practice. In January of 2013, I got Murphy's editors at The Daily Dot to remove a link to a dox which included family members of girls who tortured a cat in an online video from her article. "Update: Out of respect for the relatives unintentionally affected, the Daily Dot has removed the link to the Pastebin document Anonymous released," was added in a note added to the bottom of Murphy's story. She even linked to my dox at her tumblr account, and often tweets it, when I notify her about mistakes or offensive sections in her articles, that are sometimes based on hoaxes spread by trolls or celebrate trolling as a modern artform.

I also don't want to demonize all trolls. Some trolls are just out to have fun, mock conventions, or make political statements. Others cross the line and are hateful bigots that get off on tormenting people.

Perverted Twitter Justice

Twitter's Vice President of Safety and Trust, @Delbius, uses the name Del Harvey, when her actual name appears to be Alison Shea.

According to her Twitter profile, "Del Harvey is best known for her contribution to the investigations on NBC Dateline’s popular 'To Catch a Predator' series. As a member of the online watchdog group 'Perverted Justice,' Del has helped bring countless sexual predators and pedophiles to justice. In the series, Del is often seen utilizing her small frame to act as a decoy (an adult pretending to be a young boy or girl)."

However, there doesn't seem to be verifiable evidence that Harvey "helped bring countless sexual predators and pedophiles to justice" (just the number of arrests are mentioned in countless media articles, but countless cases might have been thrown out of court) and, in fact, she and her former "Perverted Justice" colleagues have been accused of making false accusations and derailing the prosecution of suspects who may be guilty of such horrible crimes. She also made an obscene fortune doing this "work", and since Anonymous often targets alleged sexual predators and pedophiles in a vigilante manner, that might be why Twitter doesn't ban Anon accounts when they break T.O.S. with doxes of suspects and their families.

Notorious "Iron Troll" Neal Rauhauser often games Twitter into banning critics of his cyber-bullying, while his account, his countless socks and fellow trolls are hardly ever even suspended. Some of Rauhauser's critics are bullies, too, but none come close to him, since he routinely uses trolls to post social security numbers and make death threats, because he delusionally calls himself the "Principal Investigator at The Internet".

A critique of the "Perverted Justice" forum written by a Yale graduate student in 2008 sounds very similar to what Del Harvey allows accounts like @YourAnonNews to do on Twitter. Michael Seringhaus said that he, "was dismayed to find sandbox rhetoric and perhaps the most petulant FAQ section online today. Click the question 'How is this a crime? There was no actual minor!' and you are treated to a meandering hypothetical response, which begins: 'Such a stupid statement. If you’re reading this and you’ve uttered this at any point of your life, feel free to smack yourself for ignorance right now.' They also caution that they’re very powerful and well connected, and that 'threatening us is a very, very bad idea.'"

And "Perverted Justice" volunteers practice a dangerous form of doxing, as Seringhaus observed, "Interestingly, Dateline busts are just a fraction of the group’s activities. Their main trade appears to be independent baiting expeditions in chat rooms followed by extensive online information gathering and 'outing' of targets on the Web. This might include posting the street address, telephone number and other details about a mark in an online forum. Such information could then be used to humiliate and harass the individual and their family."

"One might argue that pedophiles and 'predators' deserve such punishment, but even so it is hardly the place of pseudonym-sporting civilians to dole it out," Seringhaus wrote. And I'll add, that it's shouldn't be the "place of psudonym-sporting" kids in a group known for wearing masks based on a terrorist from a popular movie "to dole it out" either.

A comment that Harvey made during a October, 2015 Wired.com roundtable, sounds like she is in line with Anonymous and is more concerned with privacy issues and what foreign governments might do to activists, instead of the "safety" that she's supposed to be in charge of: "Yes. Twitter recently introduced a couple of different identification paths for accounts. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t unduly putting people at risk. For example, we made sure that if you couldn’t provide a phone number, there were other options. Because outside the US, if the telecom is directly connected with the government, a phone number can lead the authorities to someone who’s an activist or a dissident or a whistle-blower."

On April 7, 2011, Gawker published a story by John Cook called "How the Weirdos Behind 'To Catch a Predator' Blew $1.2 Million". "Remember 'To Catch a Predator,' the awful festival of horror and shame from Dateline NBC that briefly captured America's heart in the mid-aughts?," Cook wrote. "We thought we'd check in with the creepy internet vigilantes behind it, and guess what? They're broke."

Cook noted "that one of the caught predators shot himself in the head while NBC News cameras waited outside his home, and people started to wonder whether reveling in the sickness and criminality of damaged people whose crimes were hypothetical and who wouldn't have even been there if NBC hadn't lured them there was really such a good idea," so, "[t]he network pulled the plug in 2008."

The fact that Harvey's show led to a suicide is probably why she was an awful choice to head Twitter's "Safety" team. Some think the Texan prosecutor might have been innocent, while others believe even if he was guilty, NBC and "Perverted Justice" helped act as his judge, jury and executioner. As ABC News correspondent Marcus Baram noted on June 4, 2007, "To this day, none of the 23 arrested in the sting operation have been successfully prosecuted due to insufficient evidence, according to the Collin County assistant district attorney's office." On June 24, 2008, Vic Walter and Maddy Sauer reported for ABC NEWS, "NBC has settled a lawsuit that blamed the network for the suicide of a Texas prosecutor who was targeted in an undercover sting against alleged pedophiles as part of the Dateline: To Catch a Predator show."

"The attorney for Conradt's sister, Bruce Baron, told ABCNews.com that 'the matter has been amicably resolved to the satisfaction of both parties,'" Walter and Sauer wrote. "Patricia Conradt had initially sued for $109 million. The amount of the settlement has not been disclosed."

On September 29, 2004, the Associated Press reported, "It's a website created to expose suspected Internet predators. But the site could be targeting innocent people, as a Milwaukee bank teller found out. Molly Brady got a threatening call from a man who said her phone number was posted on the website as a sexual predator. So, Brady typed her phone number into an Internet search engine and found it was linked to a site called 'perverted justice.'"

"The FBI in Milwaukee says it's familiar with the citizen websites, which can do more harm than good, since some of the predators could be violent individuals," the AP article added.

The New York Times - in a December 13, 2006 article by Allen Salkin - reported that, "the group is also criticized by some legal and law enforcement experts, who accuse it of entrapment, making mistakes that ruin innocent lives and, paradoxically, disseminating its own brand of child pornography."

"One concern about Perverted Justice's nonprofessional force of vigilantes, raised by Lieutenant Joseph Donohue, head of the New York State Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, is that decoys impersonating teenagers may be too aggressive, not understanding the need to let the other party initiate the sexual chat, and therefore not gathering chat-log evidence that will stand up in court," the Times article added.

In his 2011 Gawker article, Cook reported "Perverted Justice" secretary Allison Shea was paid $120,000 a year, after the NBC deal, and its "Foundation" that set its goals on "'promot[ing] internet safety' and helping cops 'apprehend internet based sexual predators'" ended up "spen[ding] more than $1,202,739 from 2006 to 2009 in pursuit of its tax-exempt goals. Of that, an astonishing 82% — $984,233 — went to salaries. Almost all of it — $783,000 — went to [founder Phillip John Eide aka 'Xavier] Von Erck,' [treasurer Dennis] Kerr, and Shea."

"Rather than use the money to build a long-lasting institution that might help people — or at least spark more pedophile suicides - ['Von Erck'] blew through it, and now he's got about ten grand left," Cook added.

In a July 2, 2014, Forbes article on Shea, Kashmir Hill reported that she "was the 25th employee at Twitter", and wrote, "Not listening to Harvey tends to be a bad idea. Last December Twitter decided to eliminate users’ ability to 'block' people they didn’t like from following and retweeting their accounts, replacing it with a mute option so they simply wouldn’t see the trolls in their feed. Harvey warned it was a terrible idea and would make cyberbullying easier. The blocking feature was pulled anyway, and the ensuing outcry was such that Twitter reversed the decision within 12 hours. It later tacked on the mute button as an option."

However, neither the block or the mute button do anything to make cyberbullying "tougher". They are just features to allow cyberbullies to maintain their accounts, and the 'block' feature is often used against victims, so that they can't show their Twitter followers the cyberbullying committed against them. Just because you can't see the cyberbullying on your timeline doesn't make it magically vanish from the Internet, and tweets show up prominently high in Google searches, which could affect the decisions of prospective landlords or employers.

"Harvey has an unusual background for someone with so much power over public speech," Hill wrote. "She isn’t a lawyer and won’t say if she graduated from college." Hill noted that at "Perverted Justice", Shea "eventually became the site’s law enforcement liaison, bundling up evidence for local police, and later, thanks to being small of frame, reprised her young-girl (and boy) decoy role on the NBC show To Catch a Predator."

Hill adds, "She advised Twitter to scrub location data from uploaded photos to prevent stalkers from using them to locate people."

However, this feature also prevents victims from using location data to find their stalkers, which Hill doesn't note.

During Harvey's reign, "Twitter [didn’t] allow threats but relies on its community to flag them for removal and report them to the police. While Twitter has automated systems to weed out spam, tweets about direct violence and suicide require manual review." In other words, for years, Harvey essentially relied on vigilante justice instead of doing anything about it herself.