Tag Archives: FBI

‘Missing the boat’ on terror?

At first, I wasn’t sure I heard correctly what a North Texas congresswoman said about President Biden’s responsibility for the terrorist attack on a Colleyville synagogue.

She said Biden is paying “too much attention” on “far-right domestic terrorists” and ignoring the threat from foreign terrorists. Biden is “missing the boat” on the terror threats, she said.

So said Beth Van Duyne, a Republican whose congressional district includes the Colleyville community that is home to the synagogue where a British citizen took four people hostage.

In a House floor speech, Van Duyne proposed a resolution citing the heroism of the rabbi who tossed a chair at the hostage-taker, giving himself and his three congregants a chance to escape. FBI agents then stormed the Congregation Beth Israel and shot the hostage-taker to death; Van Duyne wants to honor their heroism as well.

Yes, indeed, there is plenty of heroism to honor and I am glad Van Duyne wants to bestow that recognition.

However, I will not accept that President Biden is to blame for allegedly ignoring the threat of terrorists who come to this country to do us harm. My goodness, Biden responded quickly with a statement that declared the man’s threats in Colleyville to be a “terrorist act.”

I guess my question of the moment is: How in the world does one stop someone from doing what the lunatic did? He wasn’t on terrorist watch lists of which I am aware. He walked into the synagogue, shook hands with the rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, and then surprised everyone with demands that the Justice Department release a woman held in a federal prison on terror-related crimes.

Van Duyne said that the loon didn’t take hostages “at an Applebee’s,” that he targeted a synagogue because he intended to commit a hate crime.

I will point out, too, that FBI Director Christophe Wray — appointed to his post by Donald J. Trump — said in 2019 that domestic terror presented the gravest threat to our national security.

There’s a saying we hear in Washington from time to time about how officials are able to “walk and chew gum at the same time.” I believe President Biden is devoting ample attention to threats from all corners … be they foreign or domestic.


FBI boss: They were domestic terrorists

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray today said what many millions of Americans have thought — or known — since we saw it occur.

The mob that stormed Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 comprised “domestic terrorists,” Wray told a congressional committee.

I do not intend here to denigrate the FBI boss … but duh!

Look, I respect this man a great deal. He has the toughest job imaginable, which includes investigating the crimes committed on the day the terrorist mob stormed into the Capitol Building while committing an undeniable act of insurrection against the U.S. government.

The fact that the FBI director has made this statement aloud and in public gives the discussion the kind of impetus it needs. Wray gives the domestic terror element an element of gravitas. 

Indeed, I am not at all surprised to hear Wray hang this label on the riotous mob. He has stated already that domestic terror presents the greatest existential threat to our national security. It poses a greater threat than any foreign terrorist organization; that includes ISIS, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban … you name it.

What happens now with the investigation of criminal suspects? My hope, and I am can speak only for myself, is that the FBI is able to ratchet up the charges against those it arrests, that they are able to prosecute the suspects on suspicion of committing terrorist acts.

They were whipped into a frenzy on Jan. 6 by a president who was two weeks from leaving office. Donald Trump told them repeatedly on the Ellipse that the election he lost was “stolen” from him and he urged the crowd to take back the government from some nefarious forces he said were committing electoral thievery.

Yes, he got impeached for it and yes he avoid conviction in the Senate. The imprint left behind by the terrorists is indelible and the scars will take years, maybe decades to heal — if they ever do heal.

The terrorists wanted to execute Vice President Mike Pence; you can hear them shouting their intent as they stormed into the Capitol Building where the VP was doing his constitutional duty, which was to preside over the counting and certification of the Electoral College votes that elected President Joe Biden.

Man, if that ain’t terrorism, then it doesn’t exist anywhere.

I am relieved to hear that the FBI director has called it what we have known all along.

It well might be time to declare a new “war on terrorism.” 

FBI: Antifa not involved!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A friend of mine noted on social media that this bit of news won’t convince anyone’s crazy uncle, but the FBI has concluded something critical about the riot that overwhelmed Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

It is that the Antifa movement was not involved in the mob that stormed the nation’s Capitol Building. The riot killed five people, inflicted heavy damage on the structure itself and sent members of both congressional chambers — as well as Vice President Mike Pence — scrambling for cover to protect them against the mob.

Antifa is that leftist conglomeration of Americans who protest fascism in its various forms. Some right wingers have suggested that Antifa sympathizers were disguised as MAGA-hatted rioters.

The FBI has said “no,” that isn’t  the case. The feds have found no evidence of any leftist infiltration of the pro-Donald Trump mob that invaded the Capitol Building, where Congress was conducting its pro forma duty of ratifying Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States.

I agree with my friend that the FBI findings won’t persuade the frothing Trump faithful. It just needs to be stated that the nation’s top law enforcement agency has put the lie to, um, another lie.

Is the Texas AG seeking a pardon?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Reports are buzzing with the White House receiving a “flood” of requests from around the country regarding potential pardons from Donald Trump as he prepares to leave the White House.

So here’s the question: Has one of the requests come from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Republican ally of Trump who sought to nullify millions of votes cast in four states that went to President-elect Joe Biden?

Hey, it’s a fair question. Paxton is being investigated by the FBI on accusations that the AG has committed crimes while abusing the power of his office. Trump has the authority to pardon Paxton pre-emptively, which makes many of us wonder whether the lawsuit filed was intended to prove Paxton’s loyalty to Trump. Thus, he would be a candidate for a presidential pardon.

The U.S. Supreme Court tossed the lawsuit into the crapper, but the Texas AG is still out there … perhaps hoping for a final big favor from his hero Donald Trump.

D’oh! It’s about a pardon?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am just slapping myself upside my own noggin.

Two blog posts have commented on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s goofy lawsuit that seeks to overturn the presidential election results in four states that President-elect Joe Biden won over Donald Trump: Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Now comes the chatter over the GOP Texas AG’s lawsuit. The dipsh** is angling for a pardon from Trump.

D’oh! Why didn’t I snap to that conclusion.

The FBI is investigating Paxton on allegations leveled by former top legal aides in the Texas AG’s office. They contend that Paxton broke the law by dishing out favors for a key political crony/ally/contributor. In come the feds to look more closely at the allegations. Trump, of course, has the power to grant a full pardon for any federal crime or suspicion of a federal crime.

That might explain why Paxton is launching this idiotic legal challenge. I have yet to see a serious legal or constitutional scholar suggest that the challenge Paxton is mounting has an ounce of legal merit. They have labeled it everything from a fishing expedition to a publicity stunt.

There well might be a pardon in the Texas attorney general’s future if Donald Trump gives a damn about what Ken Paxton is trying to do.


Texas AG feels the heat

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ken Paxton is supposed to be fixated solely on the nuts and bolts of his job as Texas attorney general.

He isn’t focused on those details. Instead, he is looking over his shoulder at a reported FBI investigation into whether he broke the law by handing out favors to a political donor.

I consider these questions to be a debilitating factor that takes the AG’s eyes off the mission, which is to represent the state on myriad legal matters.

A number of Paxton’s key AG’s office legal eagles have asked the federal government to examine whether the attorney general has committed criminal acts. They have either resigned, put on leave or been fired by the attorney general.

At least one major Texas newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, has called on Paxton to resign immediately. The Morning News contends that Paxton no longer can serve effectively as the state’s top law enforcement officer, based on the federal investigation that reportedly has commenced and on the state trial on securities fraud that is still pending.

Indeed, it is impossible in my view for the attorney general to work on behalf of the state while the FBI presumably is looking high and low to determine whether there is anything to the allegations that the AG’s top aides have raised.

I get the part about the presumption of innocence. However, the cloud is darkening over Paxton and his tenure as attorney general.

At issue is whether Paxton intervened on legal matters involving Nate Paul, a major donor to Paxton’s campaigns. Paxton’s aides suggest he broke the law; their complaints involve allegations of bribery.

This isn’t going down well with many of Paxton’s fellow Republicans. Some have called the allegations “concerning.” Others have said Paxton should quit.

The drama is going to play out eventually, or one should hope.

Texas needs an AG who isn’t sullied by these types of questions.

Thus, you can count me as one who continues to believe Ken Paxton should resign.

FBI now probing Texas AG? Wow!

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The hits just keep coming.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who’s been indicted and is awaiting trail on charges of securities fraud, is now under investigation by the FBI for allegedly doing favors for a political donor.

Good grief! The AG should resign! His credibility is in tatters. Several of his top legal eagles filed a whistleblower complaint against him, urging the feds to examine what they contend are a series of transgressions, which happen to include bribery.

Now we hear from The Associated Press that the FBI is taking a hard look at what Paxton allegedly did.

As the Texas Tribune has reported: Two unnamed sources told the AP that the bureau was examining claims made by the whistleblowers that Paxton broke the law by intervening several times in legal matters involving Nate Paul, a real estate investor and friend who donated $25,000 to Paxton’s campaign in 2018.

Oh, man! Don’t we deserve to have a chief state law enforcement officer who is clear of any sort of question or suspicion of wrongdoing? I happen to believe we do deserve better than we’re getting from this Republican attorney general.

I stand by my call for Ken Paxton to resign. I don’t much care about his future. I do care about the questions that have sullied the high office he occupies.

It surely still adds up

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I keep adding 2 plus 2 and I still come up with 4.

So, I therefore cannot stop thinking that the arrest of individuals in Michigan on charges of attempted kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had something to do with the ultra-angry rhetoric of Donald J. Trump.

These 13 individuals reportedly are associated with far-right-wing groups. They were arrested and charged with plotting a bizarre kidnapping of Whitmer, a Democrat who has been the target of nasty tweets and other remarks from Trump over the state response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you remember the right-wing protesters who marched on the state capitol in Lansing earlier this year? Some of them were packing firearms openly; I mean we’re talking assault rifles, the kind used on battlefields to kill enemy soldiers.

Indeed, the suspects arrested today reportedly were among those who stormed the capitol.

The FBI reports that the suspects were allegedly planning to storm the capitol again, using Molotov cocktails on the police and grabbing the governor while intending to whisk her away.

Has it come down to this? Individuals have been accused of plotting terrorist acts against American politicians. Where is the president on all of this? He has said nothing to support Gov. Whitmer.

It makes me believe that 2 plus 2 really does equal 4.

Have you given Vlad fair warning, Mr. POTUS?

OK, Mr. President … the cat is out of the bag.

Our nation’s intelligence network — yeah, the folks you have denigrated in front of Vladimir Putin — have come up with some intel that says Russian spooks are paying Taliban terrorists money for every American serviceman or woman they kill on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

You said you weren’t briefed on it by the CIA, the DNI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, the National Security Council or the national security adviser. I don’t believe that for a second.

Still, the word is out. The New York Times has reported it. You dismiss it as “fake news.” C’mon! Get real. The Times is standing foursquare behind its story and the reporting that went into it.

You now need to get on that secure phone in the West Wing, you need to call Russian goon in chief Vladimir Putin and read him the riot act. Except you likely won’t do that. Why? I only can figure that Putin has some goods on you.

I mean, former national security adviser John Bolton says Putin plays you “like a fiddle.” I happen to believe Bolton. You dismiss your former adviser — one of the so-called “best people” — as a “wacko” and a “disgruntled employee.”

So now that the whole world has heard the story about the bounty, what in the name of tough-guy leadership are you going to do about it? Anything? Or are you going to roll over to get your overfed gut patted by the strongman who is laughing his a** off at the havoc he is creating within our system of government.

Immigration ban: mostly for show

Donald J. “Xenophobe in Chief” Trump’s temporary ban on all immigration just doesn’t pass the smell test.

He is signing an executive order that bans for 60 days all immigration into the United States, except for those with temporary work visas. Trump says he wants to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 45,000 Americans.

Sure thing, Mr. President, except that the virus is not being “imported” by immigrants. The overwhelming number of new infections is coming from right here at home, which tells me that that the executive order was issued more than just a tad late in the game.

What’s more, the announcement came — as usual — via Twitter. Trump got into a late-night fidgety spell and blasted out the tweet reportedly without consulting immigration officials, the National Security Council, the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security. Gosh, isn’t it essential that you notify the appropriate agency heads of such drastic matters before you make the public announcement?

Trump’s anti-immigration stance is well known. It’s not just the folks who are sneaking in here illegally that has drawn his ire. He wants to clamp down as well on legal immigration. You know, he doesn’t like all that inbound traffic from what he calls “sh**hole countries,” meaning countries from, oh, Africa and Latin America.

The temporary immigration ban is nothing more than another example of Trump pandering to his base.