Christopher Johnson has just told his players to feel free to take a knee. The New York Jets co-owner says he disagrees with the NFL’s new policy banning players from protesting police violence and killings of Black people by kneeling during the national anthem.
“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules,” Johnson says, as reported by Newsday. “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players.”
“I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players,” Johnson continued. “Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”
Earlier Tuesday, the NFL issued the new policy, which states that all players who are on the field during the anthem must “stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.” Players are allowed to stay in the locker rooms during the Anthem, which effectively silences their protests.
Despite having gone on for several years, many Americans, thanks to conservatives, Fox News, and President Trump, do not understand what the protests are about.
President Trump falsely claims the players are disrespecting the U.S. Armed Forces, the nation, and the flag. Trump has tweeted about the NFL dozens of times, misleading Americans with posts like this:
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
In reality, kneeling during the national anthem, which was promoted by Colin Kaepernick, is about protesting police attacks and killings of Black people, especially young Black men.
So, it is definitely about race. And free speech, and oppression.
Here’s what Kaepernick said in 2016:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Perhaps he didn’t issue a press release or start a non-profit, but he made clear why he kneeled. And those who joined him knew why too.
And clearly, so does Chris Johnson.
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29 Months Later Bill Barr’s Super Secret Russia Special Counsel Files His Second Indictment – for Alleged Lying
In April of 2019 then-Attorney General Bill Barr ordered the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut to open and lead an investigation into Russia – not into how Russia has been attacking the United States via cyber warfare, undermining Americans’ trust in American institutions, and using social media to do it, but into whether or not the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warranted in opening an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, including its investigation of Donald Trump.
On Thursday, 29 months after Barr first appointed John Durham (photo, right) to lead that super-secret investigation, 11 months after Barr secretly turned Durham into a special counsel to ensure the investigation would continue past his and Trump’s tenure, and after spending untold millions of taxpayer dollars, the Dept. of Justice has announced Durham has obtained a second indictment.
“A prominent cybersecurity lawyer was indicted on a charge of lying to the F.B.I. five years ago during a meeting about Donald J. Trump and Russia, the Justice Department announced on Thursday,” The New York Times reports.
The lawyer, Michael Sussmann, “of the law firm Perkins Coie, which has deep ties to the Democratic Party — is accused of making a false statement about his client at the meeting.”
Mr. Sussmann’s defense lawyers have denied the accusation, saying that he did not make a false statement, that the evidence he did is weak and that who he was representing was not a material fact in any case. They have vowed to fight any charge in court.
At issue is who was Sussman working for when he “relayed concerns by cybersecurity researchers who believed that unusual internet data might be evidence of a covert communications channel between computer servers associated with the Trump Organization and with Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked Russian financial institution.”
Apparently not at issue is if the Trump Organization or campaign had a secret communications channel to a Kremlin-linked organization.
Frequent viewers of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are likely familiar with her reporting on Alfa Bank, including this segment from October 2018:
Durham has not obtained any indictment against anyone in Russia, any Russian operatives, any Trump Organization or campaign official, or anyone who may have been involved in Russia’s attack on the United States.
The only other indictment Durham has obtained from his two-plus year investigation? The Times in 2019 reported on a “low-level” FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who “altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap,” on Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor.
One expert calls the indictment “weak.”
I don't think Durham is politically motivated, but this seems weak and hardly justifies his long investigation. Also a good reminder about the peril of talking to the FBI.
WaPo: Indictment issued. https://t.co/AYAUSodiMs
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) September 16, 2021
Newly Unredacted Documents Reveal a Litany of Allegations Against Pompeo, His Wife, and State Dept. Staffers
Newly unredacted records from a whistleblower complaint in the State Department have shed light on more allegations against former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and members of his former staff.
According to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Pompeo and others were accused of misconduct.
The publication reports: “The alleged misconduct included false or misleading statements to the agency’s legal department, misuse of government resources on personal and political activities potentially prohibited by the Hatch Act, verbal abuse of employees by Mike and Susan Pompeo and directives to staff not to communicate in writing in order to evade transparency laws.”
The unredacted documents come two years after the redacted version of the whistleblower complaint was filed with the State Department Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG is said to have excluded many of the previous redactions in the version of the documents released to CREW.
“The complaint alleges “[s]everal senior career Foreign Service officials who held positions of responsibility within the Executive Secretariat” turned a blind eye to Pompeo’s “questionable activities” and, in some cases, “facilitat[ed]” them, according to CREW.
Employees in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser “expressed concern that some of these activities may have violated [the] Hatch Act or other regulations,” but the whistleblower was “unaware that any resolution was reached, potentially because senior officials in the Executive Secretariat repeatedly declined to seek clarification or guidance from [the Office of the Legal Adviser] despite requests from subordinates to do so.”
The new documents also detail the aftermath of former Inspector Steve Linick’s removal from his post, which was part of a larger Trump-led effort to oust inspectors. The report also indicated that staff members were “stunned” by the directive.
“[T]his is all so surreal three days later. I’m nervous about the future,” the OIG employee wrote in a May 18, 2020 email. In a later email, the official added, “I just heard Trump say we needed to get rid of the ‘Attorney Generals’ as a whole…Oh dear.”
CREW has also received other documentation as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit aimed at uncovering information about Pompeo’s attempts to hinder the investigation into the allegations of misconduct against him.
‘This Is Crazy’: Dem Blasts GOP for Attacking Milley – a Trump-Ordered Nuclear Strike Would Have Been ‘Illegal’
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is going on the offensive against Republicans, conservatives, and media attacks against the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, over reports he assembled top Pentagon officials and made them vow to not launch a nuclear strike without him being part of the “procedure.” Gen. Milley also spoke with his counterpart in China assuring them the U.S. would not launch an attack in the crazed, waning days of the Trump presidency.
Calling it “crazy,” Congressman Lieu, an Air Force Colonel who serves in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) reserves, says it would have been illegal for then-President Donald Trump to launch a “rogue nuclear first strike” without provocation. He’s calling on the press to “slam” Republicans for wrongly saying Trump should have been able to:
I can’t believe I have to say this: a rogue nuclear first strike ordered by the President without provocation would be an ILLEGAL ORDER.
Why is the mainstream press not slamming Republicans for saying Trump should be able to order a rogue nuclear launch? This is crazy. https://t.co/R0x0Pjb4G6
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 16, 2021
Congressman Lieu, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was asked why it would be illegal. Lieu had an easy answer:
Killing millions of civilians for no reason would be mass murder.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 16, 2021
Earlier in the week, responding to a tweet from Naval War College Professor of National Security Affairs, Tom Nichols, Congressman Lieu made the same point:
I previously served on active duty as a JAG. General Milley was referring to a “rogue” nuclear launch. That would be an illegal order if the former President ordered a rogue nuclear first strike without provocation. General Milley was correct in trying to prevent a rogue launch. https://t.co/OZ3bXKKzzy
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 15, 2021
And urged passage of his legislation making it more difficult for a rogue president to launch nuclear weapons:
The fate of the world should not depend on a single general, in this case Mark Milley, trying to stop a President who is unstable. That’s why we need to pass my bill with @SenMarkey that requires POTUS to get congressional authorization before launching a nuclear first strike. https://t.co/qvy7aJdAyq
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 14, 2021
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