Tag Archives: Tyranny

Exclusive Interview: Sheriff Mack on the Oregon Standoff and What the Media Isn’t Reporting



Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook spoke with Sheriff Richard Mack Wednesday about the Hammond family of Oregon, whose conflicts with the federal government led to the widely-reported occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon.

[Read more: Armed Protesters Occupy Oregon Wildlife Refuge Headquarters]

While the standoff— in which Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, joined with other individuals to occupy the refuge headquarters to protest the re-sentencing of 73-year-old Dwight Hammond and his son, 46-year-old Steven Hammond— has been covered by news outlets nationwide, Mack provided details about the conflict between the federal government and the Hammonds that the mainstream media has largely avoided discussing, and also condemned the fact that the Hammonds were charged with arson in the first place.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Ore. Protest Reaction Shows War on Terror Is Tearing America Apart]

While Mack said he does not agree with Ammon Bundy’s actions, he told Cook that the media is wrong to “brand and label Ammon Bundy as a nut extremist.” Mack said that he worries the current standoff may escalate into another Waco or Ruby Ridge because of the federal government’s desire to save face, adding that government orders were given to kill protesters during the standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and Cliven Bundy in Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014.

Listen to Cook’s interview with Sheriff Mack to learn more about what is really happening in Oregon.


Annabelle Bamforth contributed to this report.

Federal Judge Criticizes Obama Admin for Stalling Release of Force Feeding Videos

On Thursday the Obama administration came under fire after another delay in the release of classified footage that shows a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay being forcibly removed from his cell and force-fed.

According to The Intercept, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler admonished lawyers with the Department of Justice after they admitted they had only redacted eight of the 32 tapes and would not be ready to hand them over until August 31.

Judge Kessler was not happy with that response. “We’re going to move forward,” she stated. Judge Kessler has clashed with the government’s attorneys throughout the case. In October 2014, Kessler ruled that the Obama Administration must unseal 32 video tapes related to the force-feeding of Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who was then being held without charge at the military prison in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba.

Dhiab was kidnapped by the Pakistani government in 2002 before being handed over to the United States on suspicion of terrorism. He was held for twelve years without a trial.

The videos in question show Dhiab subjected to violent “forced cell extraction” and forced-feeding. The forced-feeding sessions began after he refused to eat. Dhiab’s lawyers allege that he was subject to this process over 1,300 times. He had been protesting his treatment and conditions at the prison by participating in a hunger strike which at one point had spread to 100 detainees in the facility.

After the Obama Administration attempted to use Executive Order 13,526 (which governs the Executive Branch’s classification of national security information) to deny the release of the tapes, Judge Kessler said it “would displace the court’s power to seal its own record, putting that authority in the government’s hands alone.” She also stated, “the judiciary has the discretion to seal or unseal a judicial record.”

Once again the Obama administration appealed the decision. The appeal failed in May. Judge Kessler said it “was as frivolous an appeal as I’ve ever seen.”

The government told Judge Kessler that the delays were caused by the Pentagon’s video editors, stating that the process has “proven to be much more burdensome and time-consuming.” Attorneys for the government told the judge that the project was “very difficult” and that video editors are tasked with going frame by frame to redact names, faces and other identifiers.

Dhiab’s attorney suggested that rather than release all 32 tapes the government should release one hour-and-a-half video compilation. Judge Kessler is expected to make a ruling as early as Friday. Kessler will decide how many videos need to be redacted and how long of a window the government has. The Obama administration is expected to appeal once more before the tapes are officially released to the public.

The Obama Administration Fears the Release of the Videos

The government had previously argued that the release of any footage of the force-feeding “provides the enemy with opportunity to search for weaknesses and vulnerabilities”. When President Obama attempted to seal the videos several news organizations came together in opposition of such a move, including ABC News, Associated Press, First Look Media, Guardian, McClatchy, NPR, New York Times and Reuters.

Judge Kessler sided with the organizations and Dhiab. Kessler called the governments arguments“unacceptably vague, speculative,”and “plain implausible.” She stated that:

“It is our responsibility, as judges, as part of our obligation under the Constitution, to ensure that any efforts to limit our First Amendment protections are scrutinized with the greatest of care. That responsibility can not be ignored or abdicated.”

The government has also attempted to keep the hearings away from the public eye, but, once again, Judge Kessler intervened. Judge Kessler ruled that the U.S. government could not close the hearing and called the efforts by the Department of Justice “deeply troubling.” Even more telling is the fact that during those hearings the government was not able to get a single witness to testify in favor of the forced-feeding practices.

Dhiab was subject to forced-feedings even after his health was decreasing. Kevin Gosztola of Fire Dog Lake writes:

“As lawyers highlight in their filing, an “evidentiary hearing” established that the government had ordered Dhiab to be force-fed, even though his life was not “at imminent risk from malnutrition.”

Medical personnel would lubricate the feeding tubes with olive oil. Not only was this a departure from “standard medical practice,” it put him at risk of a “rare and untreatable form of pneumonia.”

When Dhiab was force-fed, he was strapped in a “five-point restraint chair which caused him substantial pain, in disregard of a medical staff recommendation for the less-painful use of a one-point restraint.” He was force-fed twice a day instead of leaving the tube in place for “up to four weeks, which caused him needless pain.”

At the end of 2014, after twelve years behind bars with no trial, Abu Wa’el Dhiab was finally released to Uruguay. The violence and forced-feeding procedures have caused permanent damage to his health and he is now confined to a wheelchair.

Pope Views Capitalism As The New Tyranny

“How is it not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it’s news when the market loses two points?”
–Pope Francis

Pope Francis is making international news again this week, criticizing the global economic system, attacking “idolatry of money,” and pleading with politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education, and healthcare.”

The Catholic Church has been criticized itself over the years for a number of issues, and it’s worship of wealth is one of the top points of critique. Reports circulated last fall that the Catholic Church spent $170 Billion in fiscal year 2012 through charities it owns or subsidiaries of the Vatican .

Put into perspective, only 16 US companies had revenues over $170 Billion. Apple had $157 Billion in revenues.

The Church is also the largest charitable organization in the U.S. Its main group, Catholic Charities USA, along with its subsidiaries, reportedly has a paid staff of more than 65,000 and serves more than 10 million people. The Economist says CCUSA distributed nearly $5 Billion in aid to the poor in 2010. On the negative side, the Catholic Church has paid out around $3.3 billion in settlements regarding molestation of children.

Another black eye was delivered to the Church a few weeks ago, when “Bishop Bling Bling” (Franz-Peter Tebartz van Elst) was suspended as the Bishop of Limburg, for having spent $42 Million on the renovation of his residential complex.

As for the impact of the Pope’s message, about 1 in 7 people on the planet self-identify as Catholic (Catholic world population is 1.2 billion.) So the Pope’s message does carry tremendous influence, even for those who are not Catholic.

This week the Pope released his 84 page apostolic exhortation, and calls unfettered capitalism “tyranny.” He urges the rich to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” Francis wrote in the document issued Tuesday.

“I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security,” he wrote.

The 76-year old pontiff calls for an overhaul of the global financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence. “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation, and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.

Denying this was simple populism, he called for action”beyond a simple welfare mentality,” and added “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”

The Pope has recently made headlines by embracing and kissing an extremely disfigured man, as well as saying the Church needs to “stop” being “obsessed” with gays, birth control, and abortion. As for the issue of gays, the Pope said, “who am I to judge?”