Colonel Michael Bob Starr Accused of ‘Social Engineering’ By GOP Opponent
A Republican congressional candidate and decorated Air Force colonel has come under fire from one of his GOP primary opponents for participating in LGBT Pride runs while he served as a commander at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas.Â
Retired Col. Michael Bob Starr is among eight Republicans battling in the hotly contested March 1 primary for the District 19 seat being vacated by right-wing GOP Congressman Randy Neugebauer.Â
According to the far right website Breitbart Texas, oil field worker and GOP candidate Jason Corley is attacking Starr for appearing in LGBT Pride runs in 2014 and 2015 that were sponsored by the Pride Alliance at Dyess AFB, where Starr served as commander of the 7th Bomb Wing.Â
During a candidate forum sponsored by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars on Friday, Corley reportedly questioned why Dyess AFB is supporting LGBT service members.Â
Jason Corley states that supporting the party is equivalent to communism and says he will support the people #TX19 Debate
â€” Tech Republicans (@TTURepublicans) February 4, 2016
Although Starr didn’t directly respond to the attack, Corley later told Breitbart he raised the issue because he’s concerned about the military “beingÂ used for social engineering,” as well as the possibility of the government paying for gender reassignment surgery for transgender service members. The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on open service was repealed in 2011, and the Pentagon is currently working towards changing its ban on trans service members.Â
Corley also said Starr’s participation in the Pride runs suggests voters in the conservative district may not know enough about the retired colonel, who’s picked up key endorsements in recent weeks and is among the favorites to advance to a runoff for the GOP nomination in one of the nation’s most conservative congressional districts.Â
â€œWe know he served in the Air Force, and I appreciate that,â€ Corley told Breitbart. â€œBut, what else do we know about him? This is an agricultural region and we need candidate who knows ag. We donâ€™t need another Neugebauer.â€
In addition to publishing several photos of Starr participating in LGBT Pride runs at Dyess AFB, Breitbart cited a 2015 newspaper article in which a Pride Alliance member praised the colonel’s support for the group, as well as a 2014 press release from the 7th Bomb Wing titled, “Progression, acceptance and our LGBT Airmen.” Â
Those things are evidence that both Starr and Dyess AFB wereÂ “actively involved in the business of promoting the social engineering project underway,” according to Breitbart, which also notes that the retired colonel doesn’t mention his support for the Pride Alliance on his campaign website.Â
According to his campaign site, Starr spent 23 years in the Air Force and dropped some of the first bombs on Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He’s received numerous awards and decorations, including three Bronze Stars, and was responsible forÂ 12,000 active-duty members, civilian employees and family members at Dyess AFB.Â
Starr, who’s been married to his wife for 23 years, also pledges on his site to “defend life and the pro-family values we all share.”Â
At another recent District 19 forum, Starr said he’d consider an exception to abortion bans for “theÂ immediate life of a mother,” which drew a rebuke from another candidate who said such a provision would giveÂ doctors an excuse to perform the procedures.Â
Corley, meanwhile, joined several of the District 19 hopefuls in railing against LGBT rights, calling be transgender “a mental disorder that someone should seek treatment for” and attacking U.S. Supreme Court justices who sided in favor of nationwide marriage equality.Â
“Republicans in Congress voted to OK these guys to let them in there,” Corley said. “When I go to Congress, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to jump up and down, stamp my foot, beat on the table and say, ‘No, we’re not going to allow this.'”
Corley’s campaign logo features two oil rigs, and his favorite slogan is: “Stop voting for the men in suits. Vote for the man in steel-toed boots.”Â
Corley also called for a “Ted Cruz-style” candidate for speaker of the House, and praised Neugebauer for yelling “baby killer” on the House floor in 2011.Â
“I was like, ‘Hey, that’s my congressman. Thanks for standing up for that.'” Corley said.Â
Image via Facebook
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Former US Attorney Calls for ‘Full Investigation’ After Report Secret Service Failed to Share Threat Against Pelosi
A former U.S. Attorney is calling for a full investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s failure to share intelligence it had detailing a violent threat against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats.
“This is deeply disturbing,” says Joyce Vance, who is now a law professor and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. She says it “requires a full investigation.”
“The Capitol Police are responsible for protecting the Speaker,” Vance continues. “If true” that the U.S. Secret Service “failed to pass on intelligence about threats, that’s very alarming.”
Vance points to a new report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that finds the Secret Service discovered a violent social media based threat on January 4, 2021, two days before the insurrection, but did not share that intelligence with the Capitol Police until nearly 6 PM ET on January 6.
The U.S. Secret Service is an agency under the Dept. of Homeland Security. The DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, is under investigation by two powerful House Committee chairs who on Tuesday accused him of “obstruction.”
In a separate report CREW reveals that “days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, documents exchanged between the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies outlined ‘threats of violence’ on the 6th, coming ‘predominantly from right wing groups’ with ‘plans to bring weapons into the District,’ according to documents obtained by CREW. The Secret Service knew that Trump’s supporters would be demonstrating around Freedom Plaza and the Capitol with the intent to cause violence, but the agency does not appear to have taken the threat seriously.”
“While the Secret Service downplayed threats posed by right-wing extremist groups and Trump’s supporters leading up to January 6, the newly obtained documents reveal just how grave and explicit the threats had actually been,” CREW alleges.
Image via Shutterstock
Secret Service Held Onto Violent Jan. 6 Threat Against Pelosi, Watchdog Says
Two days before the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump the U.S. Secret Service discovered a “series of violent threats” made on social media, including against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, but did not pass them on to the Capitol Police until the evening of January 6 – after the violence of the insurrection had ended, a watchdog reports.
“On January 4, Secret Service agents discovered a Parler account, which we’ve chosen not to name, posting a series of violent threats towards lawmakers. Other profiles with the same name appeared on Twitter, MeWe, Bitchute, Youtube and Facebook,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reveals.
“On December 31, the account posted, ‘January 6 starts #1776 all over again…Fight for EVERYTHING’ and listed ‘Enemies,’ including Pelosi. At 5:55 pm on January 6, after hours of defending the United States Capitol from a violent mob, the United States Capitol Police received the post along with a message from the Secret Service.”
“The language used by the account, as we’ve now seen repeated in recordings released by the January 6th Committee, is a clear call for a violent overthrow of the American government on January 6, 2021,” CREW adds.
The Secret Service found what CREW calls other “troubling” posts tied to that account.
“Biden will die shortly after being elected,” the account posted on January 2, four days before the insurrection. “Patriots are gonna tear his head off. Prison is his best case scenario.”
“We’re all on a mission to save America. Lone wolf attacks are the way to go,” read a Jan. 3 post. “Stay anonymous. Stay alive. Guns up Patriots!!”
CREW takes the Secret Service to task.
“In the past month, we’ve learned that the Secret Service failed to prepare for violence on January 6 despite receiving explicit warnings, then deleted key evidence from the day, likely breaking the law,” the nonpartisan watchdog reports, presumably referring to the deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. “The delay in notifying Capitol Police about the threat to the Speaker of the House only adds to the impression that the agency failed to do its job, and leads to more questions. Why did the agency wait two days, until after the Capitol had been breached and Congressional leaders were in hiding to pass it along?”
Watch: Pence Says He Would ‘Consider’ Appearing Before J6 Committee if Offered ‘Invitation’ to ‘Participate’
Former Vice President Mike Pence, asked if he would testify before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, said if invited he would “consider” participating.
“If there’s an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said Wednesday morning at a political event in New Hampshire, a state presidential hopefuls visit early and often. “It would be unprecedented in history for a vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill, but as I’ve said, I don’t want to prejudge.”
In fact, as NBC News producer Frank Thorp V noted, “It would not, actually, be unprecedented for a VP to testify on Capitol Hill.”
Pence, as he often does, tried to frame his remarks in a historic context.
“Under the Constitution, we have three coequal branches of government, and um, any invitation that’d be directed to me, I’d have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as Vice President.”
Thorp notes that “Vice President Schuyler Colfax testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Credit Mobilier on January 7, 1873, which was while he was in office.” He also points out that President Abraham Lincoln and President Woodrow Wilson testified before Congress.
Politico’s Kyle Cheney adds that “many” of Pence’s “former top aides have testified at length, presumably with his blessing.”
Pointing to the video below, law professor and CNN contributor Steve Vladeck noted Wednesday morning that “Former Vice President Ford testified before Congress in October 1974 … while he was PRESIDENT.” He also notes that “former Presidents (to say nothing of former VPs) have testified before Congress *sixteen* times.”
NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss says the former vice president “needs to testify fully under oath before the House January 6 Committee — and he must not take the Fifth.”
Watch Pence below or at this link:
Former Vice President Mike Pence when asked if he would cooperate if the January 6th committee called on him to testify:
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it.” pic.twitter.com/y9NFrHwYtf
— The Recount (@therecount) August 17, 2022
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