The family of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich has continued to investigate his murder for over a year — unsatisfied by the conclusion of the D.C. police that he died in a botched robbery. There have long been rumors that Rich may have been the source of embarrassing emails given to Wikileaks and that he was murdered by someone in power. Now, almost a year after he was shot and killed, the family’s investigator has revealed that Rich was in contact with Wikileaks shortly before his death. [UPDATED: The family reportedly denies that it hired the investigator, Wheeler, and also denies that there is evidence lending credibility to these theories of a Wikileak connection]
British murderer Ian Brady was nothing if not consistent. He lived his life as a heartless monster and he died that way. Brady with his accomplice Myra Hindley were convicted of a series of murders of children around Manchester, England. All of the bodies of their victims were found but one: Keith Bennett (left), 12. As Brady laid on his death bed, officials begged him to bring closure to the family and reveal the location of Keith. He refused and died with the secret. He died this week an unrepentant and repulsive man.
There has been comparatively little coverage of an allegation voiced by Sen. Rand Paul that another Senator confided in him that he was also subjected to surveillance under the Obama Administration. Paul previously voiced his belief that he may have been the subject of surveillance and asked the intelligence committee for confirmation of any such evidence. The surveillance of members of the Senate would raise extremely serious questions on the abuse of surveillance authority and threat to the independence of Congress. If this is untrue, I would have expected a reassuring denial to be issued. Even if the Senators were not the target of surveillance, it would be highly troubling if the government monitored conversations with members of Congress.
Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the Comey termination and comparisons to the Nixon presidency. Those analogies deepened this weekend after the President repeated that he thinks that they should just get rid of the daily press briefings that have been such a central part of White House operations for decades. What is most striking is how, again, the White House has engineered its own undoing. Many people had called for Comey to be fired, particularly Democrats. However, the timing and manner of the termination has created yet another scandal for the Administration. Only 27 percent of citizens support the decision according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. The growing credibility crisis has made the appointment of a Special Prosecutor (or even the resurrection of the Independent Counsel Act) a priority for many. While I have been a dissenting voice regarding the need for a Special Prosecutor, the Comey debacle has changed my view. The public deserves an independent investigation into these allegations and related issues. Perhaps people will be satisfied with the FBI investigation under a new director, but the last week has been so damaging to public confidence that the need for an independent investigation is obvious. Having said that, I am still unsure of the major crime being investigated under the facts that are currently known. For the moment, this Administration appears intent of self-incriminating actions in the absence of an actual crime.
Here is the column:
There is an extremely disturbing videotape below of an elderly woman in Florida being abused and assaulted at a pool as teenagers cheered and jeered. At one point, Leon Balfour Jr., 16, picks up Nancy James, 68, and throws her to the ground. He then picks her up and tosses her into the pool. It is a level of unprovoked and spontaneous violence that is truly shocking. The question is how to deal with a teenager with his level of rage.
Just when you thought you had heard of everything . . . In Saginaw, Michigan Jordan Haskins, 26, has been sentenced to five years probation and sex offender treatment for “cranking” — a sexual fetish where men engage in rough pedal pumping, a type of foot fetishism characterized by an interest in looking at feet pumping the pedals.