Guatemala City - A Guatemalan court on Friday found Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt, the former dictator who ruled Guatemala during one of the bloodiest periods of its long civil war, guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. Judge Yasmín Barrios sentenced General Ríos Montt, 86, to 80 years in prison. (Snip) “We are completely convinced of the intent to destroy the Ixil ethnic group,” Judge Barrios said as she read the hourlong summary of the ruling by the three-judge panel. Over five weeks, the tribunal heard more than 100 witnesses, including psychologists, military experts and Maya Ixil Indian
It´s been 11 days and counting since the Jets cut ties with Tim Tebow and 13 months since they traded for him. Much of the conversation in the past week and a half has been about which teams -- if any -- would be interested in the former Heisman Trophy winner. The usual suspects include Tebow´s hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, but new general manager David Caldwell has said in no uncertain terms that Tebow isn´t an option (laudatory commercials from local lawyers notwithstanding). The other, less conventional landing spot: New England. Coach Bill Belichick sees value where other talent evaluators don´t
Earlier today, we learned about a bombshell report that said the CIA´s Benghazi talking points were changed 12 times, with extensive input from the State Department. It comes after State Department whistleblower Gregory Hicks testified Wednesday that he was shocked when he saw Susan Rice blaming a protest for the attack on numerous talk shows. Martha MacCallum discussed the next steps in the investigation of what happened in Benghazi with Hicks´ attorney, Victoria Toensing. At this point, she thinks "it´s about time" that House Republicans start issuing subpoenas,
Britain´s Prince Harry arrived in Washington on Thursday, but ABC declared the Obamas to be "Washington´s royalty." On Friday´s Good Morning America, reporter Lama Hasan recounted the prince´s visit to the White House and an event with Michelle Obama. She hyped, "And then there was this: A clandestine visit with the First Lady that brought a little British glamour to Washington´s royalty. " The segment then cut to a clip of the First Lady. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] If the Obama´s are "Washington´s royalty," what does that make the Kennedys? On February 15, 2010, GMA´s George
Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney blamed Mitt Romney and Republicans for “politicizing” the Benghazi terrorist attacks. Harkening back to a Mitt Romney press conference on September 12, 2012, which addressed the Benghazi attacks only in passing while focusing instead on the assault on the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt, Carney suggested that Romney had tried to target the innocent Obama administration for telling the truth about Benghazi. “Republicans, again, in this ongoing effort that began in the hours after the attack when Mitt Romney put out a press release to try to take political
This morning, an IRS official named Lois Lerner apologized for inappropriately targeting non-profit groups for scrutiny in 2012 based on the fact that they had the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names. There are many things that need to be said about this. First, and simplest, is to ask how seriously the Obama administration is going to take this outrageous effort at political suppression by an agency under its charge. Has the IRS inspector general gotten involved? Has a U.S. attorney been apprised of this matter, which can only be considered an act of political intimidation and therefore
As part of a Mothers’ Day weekend defense of his signature legislative accomplishment, President Obama claimed that the law represented the “largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in our history. “ His argument was a hail-mary effort to redesignate subsidies for individuals to purchase health insurance on government-run exchanges as a “tax cut.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, these subsidies actually qualify as more than $1 trillion in “Exchange Subsidies and Related Spending.” (Emphasis mine.) Far from being a historic tax cut, Obamacare actually qualifies as one of the largest
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the House will investigate the IRS after the agency admitted to and apologized on Friday for targeting Tea Party and conservative groups during the 2012 election. "The IRS cannot target or intimidate any individual or organization based on their political beliefs," Cantor said on Friday. "The House will investigate this matter." Lois Lerner, the chief IRS official responsible for tax-exempt organizations, said the the IRS targeted groups that had the words "Tea Party" or "Patriots" in their names and that doing so was "wrong."
The most notable takeaway from Jay Carney’s incomprehensible Friday appearance had little to do with his Klingon grammar. Carney does not represent the historical value of the event – you should be wise to forget his performance, and instead take note that he was flanked by the entire room, without exception. Do not underestimate the significance: the Obama administration has not faced such an onslaught of truth-seeking since he took office in 2008, and further, no Democratic administration has been charged from all sides like this in recent memory. That press conference was unthinkable just days ago
Out of the blue, the Internal Revenue Service has apologized for targeting conservative groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their titles for special treatment in applying for tax exempt nonprofit organization status. Stephen Ohlemacher of AP reports: The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot"
Brave mainstream media journalists are finally doing what they always should be doing: report the story and let readers and viewers decide the truth for themselves. Today, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl released their top story – the headline says it all: “Exclusive: Benghazi Talking Points Underwent 12 Revisions, Scrubbed of Terror Reference.” Karl obtained from his sources 12 different versions of the talking points, which he writes “show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador
Ms. Lerner says that this is nothing more than a string of unfortunate bureaucratic events. But Ms. Lerner is not always clear on what it is she wants to say. Asked directly whether any IRS employee had faced disciplinary action as a result of this incident, she replied, emphatically, “No.” A short while later she said she wishes to retract that, saying instead, “I’m not talking about that.” Ms. Lerner also says that she did not inform her superiors about the problem, which must be a question of key interest to IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, who during testimony before Congress
You got the sense today that the White House’s propaganda arm is starting to play Benghazi very, very carefully. Up until now they’ve been able to get by fairly easily on the fact that most of the relevant evidence is on the other side of executive privilege, or in the hands of politically appointed loyalists, and on the White House Press Corps’ indifference. But Greg Hicks might have been the first leak in the dam. Plenty of reporters are happy to trade narrative management for access, but fewer are willing to be made to look like fools
The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that it explicitly targeted conservative groups for tax audits during the 2012 election season. Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal reported during last year’s election that President Barack Obama had an “enemies list,” and those that found themselves on it could find themselves a target of the IRS. The media discounted such charges and said the Obama administration was too clean to engage in such tactics. David Weigel of Slate Magazine wrote that there was no evidence of this. “There’s no evidence
A former administrator at the New York nonprofit that distributes German reparations to Holocaust survivors was convicted yesterday of running a $57 million fraud that used Russian immigrants to pose as victims of the Nazis. A Manhattan federal jury deliberated five hours before finding Semen Domnitser guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud. Oksana Romalis and Luba Kramrish were also convicted of swindling the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Domnitser, Romalis and Kramrish were the only three of 31 defendants to maintain their innocence in what US Attorney Preet Bharara called “unthinkable crimes.”
Black Gold: Al Gore says "there is no such thing as ethical oil." In his mind, there´s "only dirty oil and dirtier oil." We should be thankful there´s a moral giant making value judgments about energy for the rest of us. Speaking before an audience gathered by the Toronto Globe and Mail, the former vice president rejected the idea that oil from Alberta is "ethical oil" because, in the words of Globe and Mail editor-in-chief John Stackhouse, it is produced by a democratic nation that is committed to human rights.
During his news conference last week, the president sounded defensive in trying to tamp down fears of an impending ObamaCare train wreck. One positive note was his boast about whittling down from 21 pages to three the application for subsidies that individuals have to file. But even that may need some defending. The three-page application is for people who don´t get health insurance at work and are seeking coverage and subsidies for themselves. One big reason the new form is shorter: the type is smaller, with less space for answers.
Corruption: We´re supposed to believe "low-level workers" are behind IRS abuse of conservatives. But this White House has used the IRS against political enemies before. ´I´m not good at math," said an apologetic director of the Internal Revenue Service´s tax-exempt entities division on Friday, after the agency´s targeting of conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election became known. Groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names were harassed. But we´re assured political bias wasn´t the motivation (nothing political about "tea party," right?) and that higher-ups never knew.
Just because you´re paranoid doesn´t mean the IRS isn´t out to get you. We only wish that were a joke. On Friday, an Internal Revenue Service official disclosed for the first time, and by way of apologizing, that the agency that wields the taxing power of the federal government had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny during the 2012 election season. Apology or not, that can´t be the end of the matter. The stunning admission didn´t emerge in an official statement by a senior official at the Treasury Department, which supervises the IRS. Instead, IRS Director of Exempt
Libya: At least a dozen rewrites of the Benghazi talking points were made, with all references to al-Qaida and prior attacks removed at the direction of the secretary of state´s office. The astonishing thing about the administration´s Benghazi cover-up is that it actually thought it could get away with it. But each lie has been successfully peeled away, from the protest that never happened, to the irrelevant filmmaker who was blamed, to the intelligence community whose talking points were used as a cover for incompetence and malfeasance.
As House Republicans piece together the events in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, that led to the death of four Americans, the focus has fallen on the talking points the Obama administration used to describe the attack in the days following. [Snip] While the White House says the changes were merely stylistic, the changes suggest administration officials were interested in sparing the State Department from political criticism in the wake of the attack. CBS News has learned there was a flurry of approximately 100 interagency government emails on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15
Conservative radio talker Mark Levin appears to have touched off the investigation into Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative political groups back in March 2012. In a letter last year on behalf of the Landmark Legal Foundation, an organization he heads, Levin requested an investigation into what he called “misconduct.” On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service revealed that it had improperly targeted conservative groups for audits during the 2012 election. During a conference call, Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of exempt organizations, explained that IRS staffers selected groups
Andrew rightly points out that, among the very interesting news that came out of the Benghazi hearing was the revelation that the State Department’s Gregory Hicks, then the No. 2 American official in Libya, spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 2 a.m. on the night of the attack. Just to flesh that out a bit, Hicks said he briefed Clinton and her senior staff on what was happening on the ground at the time. As Andrew notes, no one mentioned the Internet video — which Hicks testified was a “non-
Prince Harry has said he wants to be a champion of ´wounded warriors´--servicemen and women who have been injured in combat--and today he had his first assignment in the U.S. as he toured one of the country´s largest military medical centers. Harry´s visit to the the Walter Reed National Military Center in Maryland came on the second day of his week-long U.S. tour, which kicked off with visits to Capitol Hill and the White House yesterday, before he paid his respects to fallen soldiers at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia this morning. Dressed in his Army Air Corps fatigues and desert
White House spokesman Jay Carney doubled down on denial Friday, insisting that the extensive closed-door revisions of the CIA’s Benghazi intelligence assessment were conducted by an intelligence official, not by administration officials. “The CIA, in this case [a] deputy director of the CIA, took that process and issued a set of talking points on that Saturday morning, and those were disseminated,” he said in a late-afternoon press briefing at the White House. As a White House spokesman, Carney works to smother unwelcome drama under a mass of non-confrontational responses,