Archive for March 11th, 2012

On the same day the Thirteen Colonies declared independence from Great Britain, the Continental Congress appointed the First Committee to design the Great Seal of the United States. Committeeman Benjamin Franklin proposed a scene with the Israelites and Moses standing on the shore, his hand outstretched over the sea, causing the waters to overwhelm Pharaoh and his army. Pharaoh is in an open chariot with a crown on his head and a sword in his hand. The Pillar of Fire is in the sky above Moses; its rays are reaching down to him to express that his actions are commanded by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The motto circling the seal reads: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

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Breitbart’s Death Needs to Be Investigated for the Sake and Safety of All Journalists

By Andrew Steele

A month ago, while speaking at CPAC, conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart bragged to his audience about having incriminating videos of Barack Obama that would sink the president’s reelection campaign.  Later he told Lawrence Sinclair of Sinclair News “Wait til they see what happens March 1st.”

On March 1st, shortly after midnight, Andrew Breitbart was dead at the age of 43.  Even before there was an autopsy the media was quick to assure the shocked public that Breitbart had died of “natural causes”.  Conservative, and even some liberal, mouthpieces shared their fond memories of Breitbart on television and in opinion pieces, while others– like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone– happily basked in the death of their ideological rival.

Breitbart’s final hours were described to The Hollywood Reporter by Arthur Sando, who is a publicity and marketing executive for the dietary supplement company MonaVie and has worked for several large television networks in the past.  According to Sando, Breitbart walked into The Brentwood– a restaurant and bar in L.A.– and sat down next to him.  Sando recognized Breitbart due to his fame and they engaged in a discussion for about two hours.  Sando said that Breitbart was “friendly and engaging” and that he had stopped at the bar for a drink but hadn’t come there to meet anyone in particular.  Breitbart didn’t drink excessively, according to Sando’s account, was on his blackberry a lot, and didn’t exhibit any signs of health or other problems.  Before Breitbart left they exchanged contact information and planned on getting together.

Later that night (at about 12:30 or 1 a.m) Breitbart was found on the sidewalk near his Westwood home after having collapsed, according to his father-in-law, Orson Bean.

“He was walking near the house somewhere…. He was taken by paramedics to UCLA and they couldn’t revive him,” said Bean.

Other reports mention that a neighbor saw Breitbart collapse.

As of this writing the results of the autopsy are still pending.

Though Breitbart was no spring chicken, at 43 he was still young enough for his death to be considered untimely.  It’s been reported that Breitbart had heart problems (I have yet to find any source detailing what specific heart problems he had, however).  His editor in chief Joel Pollak spoke to Carol Felsenthal for a piece that was posted on The Hill.  Though Felsenthal wrote that Pollak never said so specifically, she claimed he indicated that he thought Breitbart died of natural causes.

Yet in that piece Pollack was quoted as saying:

“Andrew was the picture of health. I had a conversation with someone who had been with Andrew on the day before he died and this person told me, ‘Andrew looked so good.’ He went to the gym the day he died, he was losing weight, he was healthy and robust.”

Since Andrew Breitbart was adopted and his birth parents’ identities have not been disclosed to the general public, it’s currently unknown whether or not he had a genetic predisposition to early death due to heart disease or any other kind of ailment.

As the first suspicions were being raised about the amazing timing of Breitbart’s death– taking place in the first hour of the very day he planned to release allegedly controversial video footage– mainstream media columnists began their usual attacks on those voicing their suspicions, with slurs and insults but very few facts to reassure a rightfully distrustful public that Breitbart couldn’t possibly have been the victim of an assassination.  The nature of Breitbart’s death leads many to dismiss reasonable questions about the timing as “conspiracy theories” because indeed it is true that sometimes people unexpectedly die young of natural causes.  What usually comes to most people’s minds when imagining political murders are violent scenes in which a person is shot or quietly strangled, or some kind of traceable poison is slipped into his or her drink.  These kinds of scenes play out in movies and do little to inform the public of how terrifyingly simple it is for a person with the right resources to murder another and make it look like a natural death, leaving behind no trace of the crime whatsoever.

It is indeed possible to make somebody to have a heart attack.

As far back as 1975, during the Church Committee hearings, it was revealed that the CIA had developed a poison that could cause a person to have a sudden heart attack. They froze the poison into the shape of a dart and fired it at high speed from a pistol so that it would go right through the clothes of the person who was shot, melt, and be absorbed into the body and blood to initiate the heart attack, leaving nothing but a small red mark on the body. The poison was developed in such a way that it was undetectable by the autopsy procedures of the time.

Again, Breitbart’s official cause of death hasn’t been released yet, however a heart attack is the explanation that the media seems to be herding the public towards.  This is just one example of a weapon that came to light many decades ago, reluctantly revealed to a committee investigating the activities of American intelligence services.  It’s a testament to what the U.S. government was capable of in 1975, and says nothing of how that technology has been improved thirty-seven years later, or what nasty devices and poisons they managed to keep secret.

Of course, an order to kill Breitbart need not have even come directly from the White House.  It could have come from parties interested in seeing that the President stay in office.  Certainly if the CIA can figure out how to kill a person in a cleverly untraceable way, so can the organizations of powerful people who may have copied the CIA’s methods and technology or even had it directly given to them at one point or another.

It’s on record that in the past the U.S. government has worked with the mob.

Under “Operation Underworld” the U.S. government cooperated with organized crime figures during World War 2 to counter Axis spies and saboteurs along the U.S. northeastern seaboard ports, avoid labor union strikes, and fight theft by black-marketeers of war supplies.

The CIA also utilized members of the mob in plotting to kill Fidel Castro.

As the article “The Plots to Kill Castro” by Edward Jay Epstein, (published in the June 2000 issue of GEORGE) explains, investigations by the CIA’s Inspector General in 1967 and the Church Committee 1975 revealed that there were at least eight separate plots to kill the Cuban leader starting in 1960. Seeking to arrange less expensive ways to carry out the deed, the CIA saw an advantage in employing the mob because of its contacts in the Cuban underworld, and because if the assassins were killed or captured, Castro’s well known actions against the mob in closing down its enterprises in Cuba and the animosity created as a result would provide the CIA a degree of separation from the hit and plausible deniability.

For working with the CIA, the mob members involved in the plot got protection from FBI investigations into their criminal activities at home.

From that article:

“Rosselli proposed a simple plan: through its underworld connections in Cuba, the Mafia would recruit a Cuban in Castro’s entourage, such as a waiter or bodyguard, who would poison Castro. The CIA’s Technical Services Division, informally known as its “workshop,” was given the job of producing and testing on monkeys an untraceable poison. It came up with a botulinus toxin that the CIA’s Office of Medical Services then injected into Castro’s favorite brand cigars. It also produced simpler botulinus toxin pills that could be dissolved in his food or drink. But the deputized Mafia contacts failed to deliver any of the poisons to Castro. As Rosselli explained to the CIA, the first poisoner had been discharged from Castro’s employ before he could kill him, while a back-up agent got “cold feet.”

According to Mancow Muller– a conservative radio host and a friend of Breitbart– who spoke on the Alex Jones show, Breitbart had told him “The house of cards is coming down, I have information that will destroy Barack Obama, it’s over”.

Breitbart was ready to release his Obama college video on March 1st, yet it took his team until March 7th to get it out to the public. Though this might not be all that was on the video, Breitbart specifically mentioned during his CPAC speech that it would show that Obama met with a bunch of “silver ponytails” back in the 1980′s like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who said “One day we’re going to have the presidency”.

Why the alleged specifics of the video are important to mention is because after a week of waiting, what has been released and purported to be Breitbart’s scandalous video is mundane footage of a young Obama praising some professor at a public rally in 1991.

While Breitbart’s critics often argue that he distorted the views of his targets or left out material in order to take their words out of context, there is a huge difference between doing that and turning a boring speech on a sunny day about a professor into a meeting with radical people seeking to usurp the the nation through the presidency.  People will say many things about Andrew Breitbart, but he wasn’t stupid…not in the sense that he would outright lie about what he had and not expect his credibility and career to be in the toilet when a month later what he produced turned out to be something completely different and benign.  

This was not like the Shirley Sherrod incident in which the footage was edited in such a way that it changed the context of what was said.  This was a completely different video…like apples and chocolate cake.  Not only that, but there’s nothing  in the video that could even be debated as being politically damaging to Obama…just a preview of the same smooth talking, cookie cutter oratory Americans would find themselves listening to in 2008.

On top of all this, though the media has claimed that the footage was released by Harvard University Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who had kept the footage hidden during the 2008 campaign because he was an Obama supporter, in fact video of this exact same speech was included as part of a PBS special that aired in 2008.

Had similar circumstances happened to an outspoken critic of the national head of the Soviet Union during the 1970′s, Americans would have rightly cried foul and strongly suspected murder, even if the details of the alleged crime couldn’t immediately be pieced together.   Under the last few presidents, and now under Barack Obama, we’ve witnessed the United States government transform into an increasingly open dictatorship in which Americans can be killed or indefinitely detained on the President’s order, war can be waged solely based on the President’s command, and in which whistle blowers are persecuted and even prosecuted.

This is not about political ideology or whether or not you supported Andrew Breitbart’s views on certain issues, liked his personality, or agreed with his methods. This is about a man who died– a man who made many enemies and who was threatening to bring down the person who holds the most powerful official position in the world, as well as any people who had a stake in keeping him there.

If there’s even a chance Andrew Breitbart was murdered it must be fully and independently investigated, no matter what destination such an investigation might lead to.  An attack on Andrew Breitbart’s life would equate to attack on all political dissenters, both conservative and liberal . As human beings we owe it, not just to Andrew Breitbart but to ourselves and our own security, to shed further light on this strange event and to look out for each other, even if we don’t agree with all the world views our fellow bloggers and commentators hold.

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