In June 2015, the FBI in Indianapolis was notified that Larry Nassar, a doctor for Olympic caliber gymnasts, was sexually abusing his underage patients. In this episode, hear highlights from a riveting Senate hearing with testimony from Maggie Nichols, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Simone Biles and get all the details presented in an Inspector General report explaining why the FBI did nothing to stop Larry Nassar for over a year while he continued to abuse dozens of additional young girls. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Support Congressional Dish via Patreon (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536. Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Background Sources Documentaries Athlete A. Netflix. Hannah Shaw-Williams. June 24, 2020. “Athlete A True Story: What Netflix's Documentary Leaves Out” Screen Rant. Government Documents and Reports Office of the Inspector General. July 2021. Investigation and Review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Handling of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Former USA Gymnastics Physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar (21-093). United States Department of Justice. Office of the Inspector General. 2021. “DOJ OIG Releases Report of Investigation and Review of the FBI's Handling of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Former USA Gymnastics Physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar.” U.S. Department of Justice. Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Richard Blumenthal. July 30, 2019. The Courage of Survivors: A Call to Action. Senate Olympics Investigation. Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. September 8, 2016. “Jane JD Doe Complaint: Case Number 34-2016-00200075.” Superior Court of California, Sacramento. News Coverage Grace Segers. September 15, 2021. “Gymnasts Rip the FBI for Its Failure to Stop Larry Nassar's Serial Sexual Abuses.” The New Republic. Rebecca Shabad. September 15, 2021. “FBI fires agent accused of failing to investigate Nassar sex-abuse allegations.” NBC News. Kara Berg. September 8, 2021. “How much Michigan State has paid in wake of Larry Nassar scandal.” The Lansing State Journal. Sayantani Nath. February 25, 2021. “Who owns Twistars USA gym now? John Geddert sold gym infamous for Larry Nassar's sexual abuse before suicide.” MEAWW (Media, Entertainment, Arts WorldWide). Reuters. February 25, 2021. “Nassar Whistleblower Repeats Call for USAG Decertification.” U.S. News & World Report. Dan Barry, Serge F. Kovaleski and Juliet Macur. February 3, 2018. “As F.B.I. Took a Year to Pursue the Nassar Case, Dozens Say They Were Molested.” The New York Times. Matthew Futterman, Louise Radnofsky and Rebecca Davis O'Brien. June 2, 2017. “Former U.S. Gymnastics Chief Received $1 Million Severance Package.” The Wall Street Journal. Tim Evans, Mark Alesia, and Marisa Kwiatkowski. September 12, 2016. “Former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of abuse.” The Indianapolis Star. Marisa Kwiatkowski, Mark Alesia and Tim Evans. August 4, 2016. “A blind eye to sex abuse: How USA Gymnastics failed to report cases.” The Indianapolis Star. Matt Krantz. September 13, 2013. “2008 crisis still hangs over credit-rating firms.” USA Today. Audio Sources Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector General's Report on the FBI's Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation Senate Judiciary Committee September 15, 2021 Committee concluded a hearing to examine the Inspector General's report on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's handling of the Larry Nassar investigation, after receiving testimony from Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, and Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, both of the Department of Justice; Simone Biles, Houston, Texas; McKayla Maroney, Long Beach, California; Maggie Nichols, Little Canada, Minnesota; and Aly Raisman, Boston, Massachusetts. Sound Clips 47:54 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): By the time Nassar was convicted and sentenced in federal and Michigan State court, over 150 survivors had come forward to recount the impact of these horrific crimes. Today we believe Nasser abused more than 300 athletes before he was brought to justice. 48:20 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Between 2018 and 2019, a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee led by our colleagues, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Jerry Moran conducted an 18 month investigation into this case. The investigation concluded that the US Olympic Committee in the USA Gymnastics knowingly concealed abuse by masseur between the summer of 2015 and September of 2016. The Senate passed two bills aimed at addressing the failures in the Nasser case with overwhelming bipartisan support that protecting young victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017, sponsored by Senator Feinstein, and the umpiring Olympic Paralympic amateur athletes act of 2020 by Senators Moran and Blumenthal both extended the duty of certain adults to report suspected child abuse. These are good and important steps. But the reporting requirement in both laws is not worth much if law enforcement and the FBI failed to respond and immediately and aggressively investigate the abuse cases. 51:57 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): We'll also hear from the Inspector General and the FBI Director, who owe these young women in this committee an explanation of what the FBI is doing to ensure that this never happens again. And I'll add that I am disappointed. We asked the Justice Department to testify about their decision not to prosecute the two FBI officials who made false statements to the Attorney General. I understand it's a long standing department policy not to comment on decisions not to prosecute, but robust oversight of the Department of Justice is a core responsibility of this committee, committed to ensuring that committee members have an opportunity to question the Department of Justice about this issue at an oversight hearing in the fall. 56:44 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): I suspect there's much more to that story. One issue not talked about much is that the FBI has a division in Washington DC, known as the Violent Crimes Against Children unit. This component of headquarters was notified by two of its field offices about the Nassar allegations way back in 2015, and 2016, respectively. The Children's unit employs subject matter experts so it is well position in FBI to guide those field officers on their duties in child exploitation cases. Because it's housed at headquarters, this children's unit also was uniquely positioned to play a coordinating role by supervising case transfers to the appropriate FBI field offices. And this unit was well positioned to offer qualitative supervision of field offices' work. 58:19 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): The Children's unit helped develop a white paper, or more accurately, a whitewash, after the Nassar case attracted national attention. Ensuring that truthful information was provided about the FBI's role in this investigation was clearly not the main priority. This is a serious problem at the heart of the FBI. Not a case of a few errant agents. 1:00:12 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Finally, I want to mention that I'm working on legislation to close the legislative loophole in the sex tourism statute that the Inspector General flagged in his report. This gap in the law allowed Larry Nassar to evade federal prosecution for assaulting children while traveling abroad. 1:26:34 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Our first witness Simone Biles, one of the greatest gymnast of all time. She is the first woman to capture five all round world championship titles and the most decorated gymnast, male or female, in World Championships history. 25 medals overall, she is a seven time Olympic medalist. Her extraordinary accomplishments have received widespread recognition including two Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year awards. 1:27:18 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): McKayla Maroney was a member of the American women's gymnastics team dubbed the Fierce Five at the 2012 Summer Olympics. She won a gold medal in team competition and an individual silver medal in the vault. She was also a member of the American team at the 2011 World Championships where she won gold medals in the team and vault competitions and the 2013 World Championships where she defended her vault title and we frequently see her on TV jumping on a roof. 1:27:48 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Our next witness Maggie Nichols led the University of Oklahoma women's gymnastics team to Team national championships in 2017 and 2019, also winning six individual titles. She represented the United States at the 2015 World Championships where she won a gold medal in team competition and a bronze medal on floor exercise. She also holds several USA Gymnastics national championship medals. 1:28:15 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Finally, Aly Raisman, one of the most accomplished American gymnast of all time, two time Olympian, team captain of the 2012 and 2016 women's gymnastics team captured six Olympic and four World Championship medals, including an individual silver medal in the 2016 Olympic all around and gold medals in team competition in 2012 and 2016. A leader on and off the floor. Reisman uses her platform to advocate for abuse prevention and education. 1:32:25 Simone Biles: USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee knew that I was abused by their official team doctor long before I was ever made aware of their knowledge. In May of 2015, Rhonda Faehn, the former head of USA Gymnastics women's program, was told by my friend and teammate, Maggie Nichols, that she suspected I, too was a victim. I didn't understand the magnitude of what was happening until the Indianapolis Star published its article in the fall of 2016, entitled, "former USA Gymnastics doctor accused of abuse." Yet while I was a member of the 2016 US Olympic team, neither USAG USOPC nor the FBI ever contacted me or my parents, while others had been informed and investigations were ongoing. I had been left to wonder why was not taught until after the Rio Games. This is the largest case of sexual abuse in the history of American sport. And although, there has been a fully independent investigation of the FBI his handling of the case, neither USAG nor USOPC have ever been made the subject of the same level of scrutiny. These are the entities entrusted with the protection of our sport and our athletes. And yet it feels like questions of responsibility and organizational failures remain unanswered. 1:34:30 Simone Biles: We have been failed and we deserve answers. Nassar is where he belongs, but those who enabled him deserve to be held accountable. If they are not, I am convinced that this will continue to happen to others, across Olympic sports. In reviewing the OIGs report, it really feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us and went out of its way to help protect USAG and USOPC. A message needs to be sent. If you allow a predator to harm children, the consequences will be swift and severe. 1:37:00 McKayla Maroney: As most of you are probably aware, I was molested by the US Gymnastics National Team and Olympic Team doctor, Larry Nasser, and in actuality, he turned out to be more of a pedophile than he was a doctor. What I'm trying to bring to your attention today is something incredibly disturbing and illegal. After telling my entire story of abuse to the FBI in the Summer of 2015, not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report, 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said. After reading the Office of Inspector General's OIG report, I was shocked and deeply disappointed at this narrative they chose to fabricate, they chose to lie about what I said and protect a serial child molester, rather than protect not only me, but countless others. My story is one which Special Agent in Charge Jay Abbott and his subordinates did not want you to hear. And it's time that I tell you. In the summer of 2015, like I said, I was scheduled to speak to the FBI about my abuse with Larry Nasser over the phone. I was too sick to go meet with anyone in person. And talking about this abuse would give me PTSD for days. But I chose to speak about it to try and make a difference and protect others. I remember sitting on my bedroom floor for nearly three hours as I told them what happened to me. I hadn't even told my own mother about these facts. But I thought as uncomfortable and as hard as it was to tell my story, I was going to make a difference, and hopefully protecting others from the same abuse. I answered all of their questions honestly and clearly. And I disclosed all of my molestations I had entered by Nassar to them in extreme detail. They told me to start from the beginning. I told them about the sport of gymnastics, how you make the national team, and how I came to meet Larry Nassar when I was 13 at a Texas camp. I told him that the first thing Larry Nassar ever said to me was to change into shorts with no underwear, because that would make it easier for him to work on me. And within minutes, he had his fingers in my vagina. The FBI then immediately asked, Did he insert his fingers into your rectum? I said, No, he never did. They asked if he used gloves. I said no, he never did. They asked if this treatment ever helped me. I said no, it never did. This treatment was 100% abuse and never gave me any relief. I then told the FBI about Tokyo, the day he gave me a sleeping pill for the plane ride, to then work on me later that night. That evening, I was naked, completely alone with him on top of me molesting me for hours. I told them I thought I was going to die that night, because there was no way that he would let me go. But he did. I told them I walked the halls of a Tokyo hotel at 2am, at only 15 years old. I began crying at the memory over the phone. And there was just dead silence. I was so shocked at the agent's silence and disregard for my trauma. After that minute of silence he asked "Is that all?" Those words in itself was one of the worst moments of this entire process for me, to have my abuse be minimized and disregarded by the people who were supposed to protect me. Just to feel like my abuse was not enough. But the truth is my abuse was enough, and they wanted to cover it up. USA Gymnastics in concert with the FBI and the Olympic Committee or working together to conceal that Larry Nassar was a predator. I then proceeded to tell them about London, and how he'd signed me up last on his sheet so he could molest me for hours twice a day. I told them how he molested me right before I won my team gold medal. How he gave me presents, bought me caramel macchiatos and bread when I was hungry. I even sent them screenshots of Nassar's last text to me, which was "Michaela, I love how you see the world with rose colored glasses. I hope you continue to do so." This was very clear cookie cutter pedophilia and abuse. And this is important because I told the FBI all of this, and they chose to falsify my report and to not only minimize my abuse, but silence me yet again. I thought given the severity of the situation, they would act quickly for the sake of protecting other girls, but instead, it took them 14 months to report anything when Larry Nassar, in my opinion, should have been in jail that day. 1:42:00 McKayla Maroney: According to the OIG report, about 14 months after I disclosed my abuse to the FBI, nearly a year and a half later, the FBI agent who interviewed me in 2015 decided to write down my statement, a statement that the OIG report determined to be materially false. 1:42:33 McKayla Maroney: What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer? 1:42:55 McKayla Maroney: What's even more upsetting to me is that we now we know that these FBI agents have committed an obvious crime. They falsified my statement, and that is illegal in itself. Yet no recourse has been taken against them. The Department of Justice refused to prosecute these individuals. Why? Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco couldn't even bring herself to be here today. And it is the Department of Justice's job to hold them accountable. 1:43:25 McKayla Maroney: I am tired of waiting for people to do the right thing, because my abuse was enough and we deserve justice. These individuals clearly violated policies and were negligent in executing their duties. And in doing so, more girls were abused by Larry Nasser for over a year. To not indict these agents is a disservice to me and my teammates. It is a disservice to the system which was built to protect all of us from abuse. It was a disservice to every victim who suffered needlessly at the hands of Larry Nassar after I spoke up. Why are public servants whose job is to protect getting away with this? This is not justice. Enough is enough. Today, I ask you all to hear my voice. I ask you please do all that is in your power to ensure that these individuals are held responsible and accountable for ignoring my initial report, for lying about my initial report, and for covering up for a child molester. 1:44:30 McKayla Maroney: I would like to express my deep gratitude to the United States Senate, a very powerful institution, that from the very beginning has fought for us rather than against us. 1:46:47 Maggie Nichols After I reported my abuse to USA Gymnastics, my family and I were told by their former president, Steve Penny, to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the FBI investigation. We now know there was no real FBI investigation occurring. While my complaints with the FBI, Larry Nassar continued to abuse women and girls. During this time the FBI issued no search warrants and made no arrests. From the day I reported my molestation by Nassar, I was treated differently by USAG. Not only did the FBI fail to conduct a thorough investigation, but they also knew that USAG and the USOPC created a false narrative where Larry Nasser was allowed to retire with his reputation intact and returned to Michigan State University, thus allowing dozens of little girls to be molested. As the Inspector General's report details during this time period, FBI agents did not properly documented evidence failed to report proper authorities and the Special Agent in Charge was seeking to become the new director of security for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. A job opportunity raised by Steve Penny. 1:51:20 Aly Raisman: In 2015, it was known that at least six national team athletes had been abused by Nassar. There was even one of the athletes that was abused on film. Given our abusers unfettered access to children, stopping him should have been a priority. Instead, the following occurred. The FBI failed to interview pertinent parties in a timely manner. It took over 14 months for the FBI to contact me, despite my many requests to be interviewed by them. The records establish that Steve Penney, FBI agent Jay Abbott, and their subordinates worked to conceal Nassar's crimes. Steve Penney arranged with the FBI to conduct my interview at the Olympic Training Center, where I was under the control and observation of USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The day of my interview, Steve Penny flew to the Olympic Training Center, and he made sure I was aware he was there. I felt pressured by the FBI to consent to Nassar's plea deal. The agent diminish the significance of my abuse and it made me feel my criminal case wasn't worth pursuing. Special Agent in Charge of investigating Nassar met Steve penny for beers to discuss job opportunities in the Olympic movement. Another FBI agent work with Steve penny to determine jurisdiction without interviewing the survivors. I've watched multiple high ranking officials at USAG, USOPC and FBI resign or retire without explanation of how they may have contributed to the problem, some of whom were publicly thanked for their service and rewarded with severance or bonus money. My reports of abuse were not only buried by USAG USOPC, but they were also mishandled by federal law enforcement officers who failed to follow their most basic duties. The FBI and others within both USAG and USOPC knew that Nasser molested children and did nothing to restrict his access. Steve Penny and any USAG employee could have walked a few steps to file a report with the Indiana Child Protective Services since they shared the same building. Instead, they quietly allowed Nassar to slip out the side door knowingly allowing him to continue his “work” at MSU Sparrow hospital, a USAG Club, and even run for school board. Nassar found more than 100 new victims to molest. It was like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter. 1:54:33 Aly Raisman: USAG and USOPC have a long history of enabling abuse by turning a blind eye. Both organizations knew of Nassar's abuse long before it became public. Although you wouldn't know that by reading their press releases, which would have you and their corporate sponsors believe that athletes safety comes first. We have called for a fully independent factual investigation for years now, because I and these women who sit before you know firsthand, these organizations and their public statements are not to be trusted. They claim they want accountability, but then seek to restrict which staff can be interviewed, which documents can be examined and claim attorney client privilege over and over again. The so called investigations these organizations orchestrated were not designed to provide the answers we so critically need. Why are we left to guess why USAG and USOPC deliberately ignored reported abuse? Was it to protect the value of the sponsorships? The LA 28 bid? their own jobs? to avoid criminal liability, perhaps. But why must we speculate when the facts are obtainable and the stakes are so high? 1:56:04 Aly Raisman: Why would duly sworn federal law enforcement officers ignore reports of abuse by a doctor across state lines and country borders for a future job opportunity? Or whether additional incentives and pressures? Why must we speculate when the facts are obtainable and the stakes are so high 1:57:00 Aly Raisman: Without knowing who knew what when, we cannot identify all enablers or determine whether they are still in positions of power. We just can't fix a problem we don't understand 2:04:28 Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): I Hope this isn't something so sensitive, you don't feel you can talk about it. But do you have any thoughts or inputs to share about SafeSport, the national nonprofit entity that has been tasked by Congress with handling allegations from amateur athletes? Aly Raisman: Yeah, I personally think safe sport is...I'm trying to be respectful here...I don't like safe sport. I hear from many survivors that they report their abuse and it's like playing hot potato where someone else kicks it over to somebody else, and they don't hear back for a really long time. I think a really big issue is that safe sport is funded by USA Gymnastics or the United States Olympic Committee. I'm not sure exactly what the correct terminology is. But if you're SafeSport and you are funded by the organization you're investigating, they're likely not going to do the right thing. And so I think that it needs to be completely separate. And I personally think SafeSport needs a lot of work. And I know from many survivors and you know, my mom has personally reported things to safesport, but we've followed up so many times, they say we can't help you or they either ignore us or pass it on to somebody else and the person they pass it on to says they kick it back to them. It's just a complete mess and the priority doesn't seem to be safety and well being of athletes. It seems to be protecting USA Gymnastics and doing everything to keep the PR good. 2:10:15 Aly Raisman: Because the FBI made me feel like my abuse didn't count and it wasn't a big deal. And I remember sitting there with the FBI agent and him trying to convince me that it wasn't that bad. And it's taken me years of therapy to realize that my abuse was bad that it does matter. 2:11:33 Simone Biles: Okay, one more to add -- we also want to see them, at least be federally prosecuted to the fullest extent because they need to be held accountable. 3:03:54 FBI Director Christopher Wray: I want to be crystal clear, the actions and inaction of the FBI employees detailed in this report are totally unacceptable. These individuals betrayed the core duty that they have of protecting people. They failed to protect young women and girls from abuse. The work we do certainly is often complicated and uncertain, and we're never going to be perfect, but the kinds of fundamental errors that were made in this case in 2015 and 2016 should never have happened. 3:06:37 FBI Director Christopher Wray: When I received the Inspector General's report and saw that the Supervisory Special Agent in Indianapolis had failed to carry out even the most basic parts of the job, I immediately made sure he was no longer performing the functions of a Special Agent, and I can now tell you that that individual no longer works for the FBI in any capacity. 03:07:01 FBI Director Christopher Wray: As for the former Indianapolis specialists in charge, the descriptions of his behavior also reflect violations of the FBI, his long standing code of conduct and the ethical obligations for all FBI employees, especially senior officials. Now that individual has been gone for the Bureau for about three and a half years having retired in January of 2018. Before any review launched and I will say I will say it is extremely frustrating that we are left with little disciplinary recourse when people retire before their cases can be adjudicated. 3:11:10 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: Let me briefly just summarize the results of our investigation. In July 2015, USA Gymnastics reported the sexual assault allegations against Nassar to the FBI Indianapolis field office. USA Gymnastics officials described graphic information that had been provided by Ms. Maroney, Ms. Nichols and Ms. Raisman, and informed the FBI that all three athletes were available to be interviewed. However, it wasn't until six weeks later, on September 2, that the Indianapolis office interviewed Ms. Maroney by telephone as you heard, and neither Ms. Nichols nor Ms. Raisman were ever interviewed by that office. Moreover, the Indianapolis office did not formally document its interview of Ms. Maroney at the time, or its July meeting with USA Gymnastics. The Office also didn't formally open an investigation or an assessment of the matter. Immediately following that September 2 interview, the Indianapolis office and local federal prosecutors concluded there was no venue in Indianapolis for the federal investigation. Both offices also had serious questions as to whether there was federal criminal jurisdiction, as opposed to state or local jurisdiction. Yet the Indianapolis Field Office didn't advise state or local authorities about the allegations and didn't take any actions to mitigate the risks to gymnast that Nassar was continuing to treat. Further, that office failed to transfer the case to the FBI office that actually might have had venue, despite informing USA Gymnastics that it had actually done so. 3:12:45 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: After eight months of FBI inactivity, in May 2016, USA Gymnastics officials contacted the FBI Los Angeles field office to report the same allegations that they had provided to the Indianapolis office. Following this meeting, the LA office opened a federal investigation and undertook numerous investigative steps. But, critically, it didn't contact state or local authorities and it didn't take action to mitigate the ongoing threat presented by Nassar. 3:13:13 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: It wasn't until August 2016 when Michigan State University Police, that police department, received a separate sexual assault complaint from another gymnast. And in September 2016, the next month, the MSU Police Department executed a court authorized search of Nassar's residence. Among other things, they seized devices containing over 30,000 images of child pornography. 3:13:42 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: According to civil court documents, approximately 70 or more young athletes were allegedly sexually abused by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment between July 2015, when the FBI first received these allegations, until September 2016. 3:14:00 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: We further found that when the FBI's handling of the Nassar matter came under scrutiny in 2017 and 2018, Indianapolis officials provided inaccurate information to make it appear that they had actually been diligent in their follow-up efforts, and did so in part by blaming others. In addition, it resulted in the Indianapolis Supervisory Special Agent drafting a summary of his telephonic interview of Ms. Maroney from 2015. That summary included statements, as you heard from Ms. Maroney, that didn't accurately reflect what she had told them and could have actually jeopardized the criminal investigations by including false information that could have bolstered Nasser's defense. Further, we concluded that that agent made false testimony statements to the OIG in two interviews that we conducted. 3:14:55 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: We also learned during our investigation that in the fall of 2015, the FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge, Jay Abbott, met with USA Gymnastics president, Steve Penny, at a bar and discussed a potential job opportunity with the US Olympic Committee. Thereafter, Abbott engaged with Penny about both his interest in the US Olympic Committee job and the Nassar investigation, while at the same time participating in Nassar investigation discussions at the FBI. Abbott applied for the US Olympic Committee position in 2017. But wasn't selected. We determined that Abbott's actions violated the FBI's clear conflicts of interest policy. We also found that Abbott made false statements to the OIG and my agents in two interviews that we conducted. 3:19:21 FBI Director Christopher Wray: So we have something called CAFI's, which are Child Adolescent Forensic Interviewers. These are interviewers who are specially trained in the unique sensitivities of what it takes to interview people, victims, survivors of these kinds of crimes. And one of the reforms that we've put in place is to make crystal clear in policy that interviews of individuals like Miss Raisman should be conducted with those kinds of interviewers and they should not be conducted telephonically, they should be conducted in person wherever possible. That was true before, we've made it more clear now, and we're putting training in place --mandatory training. 3:20:12 Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): General Horowitz, did any of the FBI employees or agents involved in this case deliberately misrepresent any facts to you and your investigation? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: They did. We found both that the person who wrote the report that Ms. Maroney testified about falsely testified to us about what he did in connection with that report, as well as other matters that we asked him about and Special Agent in Charge Abbott made false statements to us about the steps he took in 2015 when these allegations came in, but also about his job seeking efforts with the US Olympic Committee. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Do these deliberate misrepresentations reach the level of criminal violation? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: Well, we found that they violated criminal law sufficiently that in what we do at that point is make the referral to prosecutors to assess them because that's who needs to make the decision whether or not there will be charges brought. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Director Wray, what happened next? FBI Director Christopher Wray: Well, as inspector general Horowitz said, those were referred to the prosecutors over at the Justice Department and they're the ones that made the decision. As I understand it from Inspector General Horowitz's report the prosecutors at the Justice Department on two separate occasions, both in 2020 and then again in 2021, declined to prosecute, but I really would defer to the Justice Department for those. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): Are you personally aware or professionally aware of any facts or circumstances that would lead to that decision? FBI Director Christopher Wray: I am not. 3:22:49 FBI Director Christopher Wray: So there's a whole bunch of things we've done differently. First, we've accepted every single one of Inspector General Horowitz's recommendations, and then some. We've already begun implementing all of those. We are strengthening policies, we're strengthening procedures. We're taking training, we're strengthening our systems, all building in double checked triple checks, safeguards, oversight, different ways of making sure that we cannot have as occurred here, in certain instances, a single point of failure. That's one of the lessons here that is just totally unacceptable. And so part of what's built in is a bunch of, as I said, double and triple, even quadruple checks to make sure that that doesn't happen, both in terms of how the initial reports are handled with the appropriate urgency, but also in terms of communication. One of the important recommendations from Inspector General Horowitz is reporting to state local law enforcement, as well as communications between field offices, transfers between field offices. 3:31:20 FBI Director Christopher Wray: My understanding of the most senior individual involved, based on looking at the thorough and independent investigation that Inspector General Horowitz conducted, was that the most senior individual with knowledge and responsibility was the Special Agent in Charge in Indianapolis, Mr. Abbott. 3:32:23 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: FBI policies don't require the level of detail and reporting to the headquarters unit that would, for example, put the responsibility directly on them to have notified state local authorities. 3:56:55 Senator Chris Coons (D-DE): My impression from what she'd said, and what I've read is that their concern is that USA Gymnastics and the Olympic Committee have thrown a variety of roadblocks into a genuinely thorough investigation into whether there had or hadn't been previous incidents similar to Dr. Nassar, either in USA Gymnastics or within sports more broadly. It is hard to believe that this is the only time that there's been a failing of this scale. Given, Director Wray, when you just said about the 16,000 arrests, we all know that the horror of child sexual abuse is tragically far more widespread in this country and around the world than any of us would like to see. So first. Mr. Horwitz, do you think there is still a pressing need? And who would be the appropriate entity to conduct that? And what if any advice do you have for us on respecting her request to this committee? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: It's a great question, Senator Coons. And, frankly, as you indicated, the reason we can do a report like this and other reports that we've been able to do is because of the statutory authorities that we've been given by the Congress that make us independent. And by the way, picking up on something Miss Raisman said, which was very perceptive, about who is funding the oversight, as you know, back in 2008, we were given an independent budget line so that our budget is not coming from the Justice Department, but is being set by an independent appropriator. I don't know, as I sit here, frankly, what the oversight mechanisms are currently on USOC and the other entities. But actually, one of the things I did have a chance to talk with Senator Blumenthal about during the break was the importance of given what I'd heard from these gymnast's, the very issue you just mentioned, which is thinking about what is the right independent oversight mechanism of those bodies, which are not just private entities, right? These are organizations that have been sanctioned by Congress to oversee our US athletes, and they need strong oversight as well and I'm happy to work with you as well Senator, and the committee, in thinking about how to do that because we are seeing the IG (Inspector General) model replicated in many places, as you know, across the country, including many state and local entities. 4:04:55 Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): What steps are you taking to ensure that the agents communicate allegations of sexual assault with local law enforcement? FBI Director Christopher Wray: So we've enhanced our policies and procedures on the specific issue of reporting sake and local law enforcement built in. Now they have to document it, which they didn't have to before. And that builds in, as inspector general Horowitz referred to, an ability to hold them accountable. They have to alert their supervisors. So there's a second set of eyes. So that would help. We've also enhanced our training to make clear that it's mandatory and that's regardless of whether there's some question about potential federal jurisdiction. We can continue to investigate if we there's federal jurisdiction, but we have to do, on a parallel track, report to the appropriate state and local or, in some cases, social services agencies as well. 4:06:36 FBI Director Christopher Wray: So I appreciate the question. There are two pieces of this one. The Child Adolescent Forensic Interviewers (CAFIs), which again, is a very specific discipline that requires very specific sensitivities and skill sets. And we've changed our policies to reinforce the use of those interviewers for these kinds of cases. Second is our victim services division. And one of the things that we changed even before receiving inspector general Horowitz his report on my watch is to make clear that the victim services that we provide, which is a little bit different from the forensic interviewing part of it, but it's also very important to handling these survivors with the appropriate sensitivity, that that is triggered at any stage. There is not just a full investigation, but we're in when we're in the assessment or pre-assessment phase. It has to happen there too. 4:07:42 FBI Director Christopher Wray: The scale of this kind of criminality in the country, as reflected by the 18,000 investigations that we've had over the past five years and the 16,000 arrests that we with our partners have made over the last five years, I think goes to your question about resources. And I can assure you that if the Congress were to see fit to give us more resources for those programs, they would immediately be able to be put to good use. 4:12:15 Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CN): Jay Abbott lied to you. Why do you in the course of your investigation of his Miss Congo 18 United States Code 1001. People get prosecuted for making false statements when they applied to a bank, federally insured bank for a mortgage. And here is a federal agent, the former Special Agent in Charge of the Indianeapolis office making a material false statement to you. In your investigation, you refer that for criminal prosecution, did you not? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: That's correct. 4:42:30 Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA): Could you please elaborate on the nature of the discussions between Mr. Abbott and Mr. Penny, regarding potential employment for Mr. Abbott at institutions associated with USA Gymnastics or the US Olympic Committee? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: I can. They began, as I mentioned in a discussion that they had when they met at a bar in 2015, where Mr. Penny and Mr. Abbott discussed a future job opening, Head of Security at the US Olympic Committee, that Mr. Penny expected to occur. That initial discussion led to Mr. Abbott's interest in the position. And then there are ongoing discussions between the two of them, as we outlined in the report, in emails that we've seen, where Mr. Abbott expresses his interest in the job. And equally troubling, acknowledges that it would be inappropriate for him and a conflict of interest for him to pursue the position because of the ongoing Nassar investigation. Yet, as we found in 2017, that is precisely what he did in applying for the job, which he was never ultimately interviewed for. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA): And who initiated the discussion about employment prospects? Was that an opportunity dangled by Mr. Penny? Or was it solicited by Mr. Abbott? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: That was an opportunity mentioned first by Mr. Penny, because of his understanding that there might be a future retirement or an upcoming retirement at the US Olympic Committee. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA): So just to be clear, Mr. Penny, the Chief Executive at USA Gymnastics, while there is an ongoing FBI inquiry into gross misconduct, criminal activity and sexual abuse by at least one USA Gymnastics employee, raises with the Special Agent in Charge at the field office that is steering this investigation, the prospect of potentially lucrative and prestigious employment at a parallel organization where Mr. Penny may have influence. Is that correct? Inspector General Michael Horowitz: That's correct. And at the same time, writing in emails for example, how he's looking for additional information about the Nassar investigation and events as they occur. 4:46:06 Inspector General Michael Horowitz: The challenge on Mr. Abbott, with regard to the criminal issue here, which is 18 USC 208, which is the federal criminal statute is a, I think I mentioned this earlier, challenging one and that's being generous with speaking about how it's written to determine whether there was a criminal violation. The challenge here was, and I'm focused on the law here as to how 208 is because Mr. Abbott was looking for a job at the US Olympic Committee, and Mr. Penny was employed by the US Gymnastics Federation Association, two different entities, that situation is not clearly covered by 208. No matter how clear it would be to a layperson the interactions between those two entities. Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
The war in Afghanistan is over. In this episode, we document how and why the Biden administration finally admitted defeat in our 20 year attempt to create a new government in Afghanistan and we take a hard look at the lessons we need to learn. Afghanistan is a country in a far away land, but there are disturbing similarities between the Afghanistan government that just collapsed and our own. We'd be wise not to ignore them. Executive Producer: Rachel Passer Executive Producer: Anonymous Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Support Congressional Dish via Patreon (donations per episode) Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536. Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Background Sources Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes CD236: January 6: The Capitol Riot CD218: Minerals are the New Oil CD210: The Afghanistan War CD124: The Costs of For-Profit War How We Got Here Craig Whitlock. The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War. Simon and Schuster, 2021. Patrick Tucker. August 18, 2021. “Trump's Pledge to Exit Afghanistan Was a Ruse, His Final SecDef Says.” Defense One. Eugene Kiely and Robert Farley. August 17, 2021. “Timeline of U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan.” FactCheck.org. Eric Schmitt and Jennifer Steinhauer. July 30, 2021. “Afghan Visa Applicants Arrive in U.S. After Years of Waiting.” The New York Times. Craig Whitlock, Leslie Shapiro and Armand Emamdjomeh. December 9, 2019. “The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war.” The Washington Post. Mark Landler and James Risen. July 25, 2017. “Trump Finds Reason for the U.S. to Remain in Afghanistan: Minerals.” The New York Times. John F. Harris. October 15, 2001. “Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden ” Washington Post. The Evacuation: Those Left Behind William Mauldin. September 2, 2021. “Afghanistan Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Staff Left Behind.” Wall Street Journal. Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Annie Karni. August 29, 2021. “Series of U.S. Actions Left Afghan Allies Frantic, Stranded and Eager to Get Out.” The York Times. Sami Sadat. August 25, 2021. “I Commanded Afghan Troops This Year. We Were Betrayed.” The New York Times. Marjorie Censer. August 18, 2021. “US contractors rush to get former employees out of Afghanistan.” Defense News. Siobhan Hughes. August 18, 2021. “Afghanistan Veterans in Congress Trying to Prevent ‘a Death Warrant' for Helping America.” Wall Street Journal. Alex Sanz and Tammy Webber. August 18, 2021. “US friends try to rescue brother in arms in Afghanistan.” AP News. Seth Moulton. June 04, 2021. "Moulton, Bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group to White House: Evacuate our Afghan Partners.” Contractors in Afghanistan Matt Taibbi. August 18, 2021. “We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around.” TK News by Matt Taibbi on Substack. Jack Detsch. August 16, 2021. “Departure of Private Contractors Was a Turning Point in Afghan Military's Collapse.” Foreign Policy. Matt Stoller. July 15, 2021. “‘A Real S*** Show': Soldiers Angrily Speak Out about Being Blocked from Repairing Equipment by Contractors.” BIG by Matt Stoller. Lynzy Billing. May 12, 2021. “The U.S. Is Leaving Afghanistan? Tell That to the Contractors.” New York Magazine. Oren Liebermann. March 29, 2021. “Pentagon could open itself to costly litigation from contractors if US pulls out of Afghanistan this year.” CNN. Lucas Kunce and Elle Ekman. September 15, 2019. “Comment Submitted by Major Lucas Kunce and Captain Elle Ekman.” [Regulations.gov(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulations.gov). Aaron Mehta. Oct 25, 2016. “30 Years: William Perry — Reshaping the Industry.” Defense News. Jared Serbu. August 22, 2016. “DoD now awarding more than half its contract spending without competitive bids.” Federal News Network. 41 U.S. Code § 3307 - Preference for commercial products and commercial services. Money: Lost and Gained David Moore. August 23, 2021. “Lawmakers Benefit From Booming Defense Stocks.” Sludge. Lee Fang. August 20, 2021. “Congressman Seeking to Relaunch Afghan War Made Millions in Defense Contracting.” The Intercept. Anna Massoglia and Julia Forrest. August 20, 2021. “Defense contractors spent big in Afghanistan before the U.S. left and the Taliban took control.” OpenSecrets.org. Stephen Losey. April 16, 2021. “The Bill for the Afghanistan War Is $2.26 Trillion, and Still Rising.” Military.com. Eli Clifton. February 16, 2021. “Weapons Biz Bankrolls Experts Pushing to Keep U.S. Troops in Afghanistan.” Daily Beast. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Lobbying, 2021. Open Secrets. 2021. Defense: Money to Congress. Laws S.1790 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 Sponsor: Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Status: Became Public Law No: 116-92 on December 20, 2019 H.R. 3237: Emergency Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Status: Signed into law, 2021 May 20 House Vote Breakdown Congressional Budget Office Score Law Outline TITLE IV: BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE GENERAL PROVISIONS EXTENSION AND MODIFICATION OF THE AFGHAN SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA PROGRAM Sec. 401: Amends the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 to expand eligibility to include Afghans who worked not only for the US Government for more than 1 year but also our allies as an off-base interpreter or if they performed "activities for United States military stationed at International Security Assistance Force (or any successor name for such Force). Increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to Afghan partners by 8,000, for a total of 34,500 allocated since December 19, 2014. Sec. 402: Authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security and Secretary of state to jointly waive for 1 year (maximum 2 years with an extension) the requirement that Afghan partners eligible for SIVs get a medical exam before they can receive their visa. The Secretary of Homeland Security has to create a process to make sure Afghan SIV holders get a medical exam within 30 days of entry into the United States. Sec. 403: Allows the surviving spouse or child or employee of the United States Government abroad to be eligible for immigration into the United States if the employee worked for our government for at least 15 years or was killed in the line of duty. It also expands entry permissions for Afghan SIV applicants in addition to those who have already been approved. This is retroactive to June 30, 2021. Policies for Visa Processing: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Policy Manual, Chapter 9: Certain Afghan Nationals U.S Department of State -- Bureau of Consular Affairs. “Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans - Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government.” Audio Sources Gen. Mark Milley: "There was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days." August 18, 2021 General Mark Milley: The time frame of rapid collapse that was widely estimated and ranged from weeks to months, and even years following our departure, there was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days. Central Command submitted a variety of plans that were briefed and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense and the President. These plans were coordinated, synchronized and rehearsed to deal with these various scenarios. One of those contingencies is what we are executing right now. As I said before, there's plenty of time to do AARs(After Action Reviews) and key lessons learned and to delve into these questions with great detail. But right now is not that time. Right now, we have to focus on this mission, because we have soldiers at risk. And we also have American citizens and Afghans who supported us for 20 years also at risk. This is personal and we're going to get them out. President Biden on Afghanistan Withdrawal Transcript July 8, 2021 Sound Clips 01:30 President Biden: When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we're on track to meet that target. Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31. The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart 3:40 President Biden: Together with our NATO allies and partners, we have trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military, the Afghan national security force, and many beyond that are no longer serving. Add to that hundreds of thousands more Afghan national defense and security forces trained over the last two decades. 04:04 President Biden: We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools, let me emphasize, all the tools -- training, equipment -- of any modern military. We provided advanced weaponry, and we're going to continue to provide funding and equipment and we'll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their Air Force. 5:54 President Biden: We're also going to continue to make sure that we take on Afghan nationals who worked side by side with US forces, including interpreters and translators. Since we're no longer going to have military there after this, we're not going to need them and they'll have no jobs. We're [sic] also going to be vital to our efforts. they've been very vital, and so their families are not exposed to danger as well. We've already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States. Since I was inaugurated on January 20, we've already approved 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas to come to the United States. Up to now, fewer than half have exercised the right to do that. Half have gotten on aircraft and come commercial flights and come and other half believe they want to stay, at least thus far. We're working closely with Congress to change the authorization legislation so that we can streamline the process of approving those visas. And those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate 1000s of Afghans and their families before the US military mission concludes so that, if they choose, they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan, while their US visas are being processed. 8:13 President Biden: For those who have argued that we should stay just six more months, or just one more year, I asked them to consider the lessons of recent history. In 2011, the NATO allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014. In 2014, some argued one more year. So we kept fighting. We kept taking casualties. In 2015, the same, and on and on. Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that just one more year of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution, but a recipe for being there indefinitely. It's up to the Afghans to make the decision about the future of their country. Others are more direct. Their argument is that we should stay with the Afghans and Afghanistan indefinitely. In doing so they point to the fact that we we have not taken losses in this last year. So they claim that the cost of just maintaining the status quo is minimal. 9:19 President Biden: But that ignores the reality, and the facts that already presented on the ground in Afghanistan when I took office. The Taliban is at its strongest militarily since 2001. The number of US forces in Afghanistan had been reduced to a bare minimum. And the United States and the last administration made an agreement that they have to with the Taliban remove all our forces by May 1 of this year. That's what I inherited. That agreement was the reason the Taliban had ceased major attacks against US forces. 9:55 President Biden: If in April, I had instead announced that the United States was going to go back on that agreement, made by the last administration, the United States and allied forces will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the Taliban would have again begun to target our forces. The status quo was not an option. Staying would have meant US troops taking casualties, American men and women back in the middle of a civil war, and we would run the risk of having to send more troops back in Afghanistan to defend our remaining troops. Once that agreement with the Taliban had been made, staying with a bare minimum force was no longer possible. 10:34 President Biden: So let me ask those who want us to stay: how many more? How many 1000s more Americans' daughters and sons are you willing to risk? How long would you have them stay? Already we have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Would you send their children and their grandchildren as well? Would you send your own son or daughter? After 20 years, a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of 1000s of Afghan National Security and Defence Forces. 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold 1000s coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health. I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome. 11:51 President Biden: Today the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan. So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now: significantly higher in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 12:07 President Biden: But make no mistake, our military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan. We're developing a counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed at any direct threat to the United States in the region and act quickly and decisively if needed. 12:38 President Biden: We also need to focus on shoring up America's core strengths to meet the strategic competition competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine our future. 14:58 Reporter: Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable? President Biden: No. It is not. Because you have the Afghan troops, 300,000. Well equipped, as well equipped as any army in the world, and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable. 15:45 President Biden: Do I trust the Taliban? No, but I trust the capacity of the Afghan military who is better trained, better equipped, and more competent in terms of conducting war. 18:07 Reporter: Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse President Biden: That is not true 18:53 President Biden: And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani, that we are not going to walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force. We are. We're going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in the region. But there is not a conclusion that in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban. I believe the only way there's going to be -- this is now Joe Biden, not the intelligence community -- the only way there's only going to be peace and secure in Afghanistan, is that they work out a modus vivendi with the Taliban, and they make a judgement as to how they can make peace. And the likelihood there's going to be one unified government in Afghanistan, controlling the whole country is highly unlikely. 21:30 Reporter: Mr. President, how serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan government to this mission failing there? President Biden: First of all, the mission hasn't failed yet. 22:00 President Biden: There were going to be negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan national security forces, and the Afghan government that didn't come to fruition. So the question now is where do they go from here? The jury is still out, but the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. 23:20 Reporter: Mr. President, "speed is safety," as you just said in your remarks. Are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating Afghan nationals? Is it happening quickly enough to your satisfaction if it may not happen until next month at the end? President Biden: It has already happened, there have already been people, about 1000 people have gotten on aircraft and come to the United States already on commercial aircraft. So as I said, there's over 2500 people, that as from January to now, have have gotten those visas and only half decided that they wanted to leave. The point is that I think the whole process has to be speeded up -- period -- in terms of being able to get these visas. Reporter: Why can't the US evacuate these Afghan translators to the United States to await their visa processing as some immigrants of the southern border have been allowed to? President Biden: Because the law doesn't allow that to happen. And that's why we're asking the Congress to consider changing the law. President Biden Remarks on Afghanistan Strategy Transcript April 14, 2021 Sound Clips 00:38 President Biden: I'm speaking to you today from the Roosevelt -- the Treaty room in the White House -- the same spot where in October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. It was just weeks, just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls, that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon and made hallowed ground in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would never forget. We went to Afghanistan in 2001, to root out al Qaeda to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan. Our objective was clear, the cause was just, our NATO allies and partners rallied beside us. And I supported that military action along with the overwhelming majority of the members of Congress. More than seven years later, in 2008 weeks before we swore the oath of office -- President Obama and I were about to swear -- President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan. I flew to Afghanistan to the Kunar Valley, a rugged, mountainous region on the border of Pakistan. What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country. And that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan Government. I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that, we accomplished that objective. I said, along with others, we would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be. That's exactly what we did. And we got him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama's commitment into form. And that's exactly what happened Osama bin Laden was gone. That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to Bin Laden a decade ago. And we've stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan have become increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved. Over the past 20 years, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe. Al Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, on Al Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. With the terror threat now in many places, keeping 1000s of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and our leaders. We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdraw and expecting a different result. I'm now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth. After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world. I concluded that it's time to end America's longest war. It's time for American troops to come home. 5:01 President Biden: When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all US forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1 2021, just three months after my inauguration. That's what we inherited. That commitment is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government. And that means something. So in keeping with that agreement, and with our national interest, the United States will begin our final withdrawal beginning on May 1 of this year. 8:11 President Biden: You all know that less than 1% of Americans serve in our Armed Forces. The remaining 99%, we owe them. We owe them. They've never backed down from a single mission that we've asked of them. I've witnessed their bravery firsthand during my visits to Afghanistan. They've never wavered in their resolve. They paid a tremendous price on our behalf and they have the thanks of a grateful nation. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) High-Risk List Center for Strategic and International Studies Transcript March 10, 2021 Speaker: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Sound Clips 7:40 John Sopko: But right now, that state is under threat. In the wake of the February 2020 withdrawal agreement, all is not well. Compromise appears in short supply on either side. Taliban attacks have actually increased since the agreement was signed. Assassination of prominent officials, activists, journalists, aid workers and others have also increased, including an unsuccessful attack on one of the female members of the peace negotiating team. And the Taliban offensive on Kandahar city last October, as peace negotiations were ongoing, may well have succeeded, were it not for U.S. air support. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have achieved little for Afghanistan so far, and only time will tell as to whether the new Biden administration initiative will bear fruit. And the Afghan people's fears for its own government survival are exacerbated by the knowledge of how dependent their country is on foreign military and financial support. 12:56 John Sopko: Another equally serious threat to Afghanistan's stability has also largely been ignored as we focus on the boots on the ground in Afghanistan. And that is the provision of last year's U.S.-Taliban agreement that stipulates that in addition to the departure of U.S. and coalition troops, or non-diplomatic civilian personnel: private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting service personnel also must leave the country by May 1. Should this come to passSIGAR and many others believe this may be more devastating to the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces than the withdrawal of our remaining troops. Why is that? Because the Afghan government relies heavily on these foreign contractors and trainers to function. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 there are over 18,000 Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan, including 6000 Americans, and 7,000 3rd country nationals, 40% of whom are responsible for logistics, maintenance, or training tasks. Now, it is well known that the Afghan security forces need these contractors to maintain their equipment, manage supply chains, and train their military and police to operate the advanced equipment that we have purchased for them. For example, as of December, the Afghan National Army was completing just under 20% of its own maintenance work orders, well below the goal of 80% that was set and the 51% that they did in 2018. So that's actually going down. The Afghan National Police were just as bad if not worse, undertaking only 12% of their own maintenance work against a target of 35% and less than the 16% that we reported in our 2019 high risk list. Additionally, and more troubling. The Department of Defense does train, advise and assist command air, or commonly called TAC air recently reported that since late 2019, they have reduced their personnel in Afghanistan by 94%, and that the military drawdown now requires near total use of contract support to maintain the Afghan Air fleet. They assess that quote “further drawdown in the associated closure basis will effectively end all in country aviation training contracts in Afghanistan.” Again, why is this significant? Why do we view this as a high risk? Namely because contractors currently provide 100% of the maintenance for the Afghan Air Force, UAE 60 helicopters and CE 130 cargo aircraft and a significant portion of Afghans Light Combat Support aircraft. TAC air this January gave a bleak assessment, namely, that no Afghan airframe can be sustained as combat effective for more than a few months in the absence of contractor support. 17:51 John Sopko: Continued funding for U.S. reconstruction programs aimed at promoting economic development, rule of law, respect for human rights, good governance and security for the Afghan people may be more significant, because it may be the primary lever left for the US and other donors to influence that country. It appears that even the Taliban understand Afghanistan's dire need for foreign assistance. Because, as one of the few commitments that the US had to make last year was, “to seek economic cooperation for reconstruction, with the new post settlement, Afghan Islamic government.” Now how much the donor community wishes to stay involved will of course depend on what that government looks like and how it behaves. Numerous officials, including then Secretary of State Pompeo and Ambassador Halley, have stated that the US will be able to advance its human rights goals, including the rights of women and girls with the Taliban by leveraging or conditioning this much needed financial assistance. But unfortunately, as SIGAR has long reported, even when conditionality involved only dealing with the Afghan government, donors do not have a stellar record of successfully utilizing that conditionality to influence Afghan behavior. 27:19 John Sopko: Today our report suggests the donor community should realize the Afghan government is focused on a single goal, its survival. Afghanistan is more dependent on international support than ever before. It may not be an overstatement that if foreign assistance is withdrawn and peace negotiations fail, Taliban forces could be at the gates of Kabul in short order. Hearing: A PATHWAY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN: EXAMINING THE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AFGHANISTAN STUDY GROUP House Committee on Oversight and Reform: Subcommittee on National Security February 19, 2021 Testimony was heard from the following Afghanistan Study Group officials: Kelly A. Ayotte, Co-Chair; News Corp Board of Directors since April 2017 BAE Systems Board of Directors since June 2017 Blackstone Board of Directors Boston Properties Board of Directors Caterpillar Board of Directors Board of Advisors at Cirtronics General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (Retired), Co-Chair Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Obama and Trump presidencies. Lockheed Martin Board of Directors since February 2020 Nancy Lindborg, Co-Chair President and CEO of the David Lucile Packard Foundation Former President and CEO of the US Institute for Peace Former Assistant Administrator for the bureau for democracy conflict and humanitarian assistance at USAID During the mid-Obama years. Sound Clips 3:13 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): I'd also like to take a moment to thank the nonpartisan US Institute of Peace for the support and expertise they provided to the study group during the course of its work. 3:23 Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA): In the fiscal year 2020 omnibus bill Congress led by Senator Graham Senator Patrick Leahy and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee of state foreign ops and related programs. They tasked the independent and bipartisan Afghanistan study group to quote, consider the implications of a peace settlement or the failure to reach a settlement on US policy, resources and commitments in Afghanistan. After nearly nine months of review and consultation with current and former US and Afghan government officials, allies and partners and other key stakeholders, the Afghanistan study group issued its final report earlier this month. 15:12 Kelly Ayotte: We recommend that US troops remain beyond may 1. We believe a precipitous withdrawal of US and international troops in May, would be catastrophic for Afghanistan, leading to civil war, and allow the reconstitution of terror groups which threaten the United States within an 18 to 36 month period. 15:41 Kelly Ayotte: Let me be clear, although we recommend that our troops remain beyond may 1, we propose a new approach toward Afghanistan, which aligns our policies, practices and messaging across the United States government to support the Afghan peace process, rather than prosecute a war. Our troops would remain not to fight a forever war, but to guarantee the conditions for a successful peace process and to protect our national security interests to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a haven again, for terrorists who threaten the United States of America. 37:15 General Joseph F. Dunford: Do we need to increase forces if the Taliban don't accept an extension past the first of May, and if they then would re initiate attacks against US forces? and Chairman, we heard exactly what you heard. In the fall. What we were told by commanders on the ground in the department of fence was that 4500 US forces, in addition to the NATO forces that are there was the minimum level to address both the mission as well as protection of our forces in the context of the conditions that existed in the fall in as you've highlighted, those conditions have only gotten worse since the fall so in in our judgment 2500 would not be adequate. Should the Taliban re initiate attacks against the United States Hearing: Examining the Trump Administration's Afghanistan Strategy House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on National Security January 28, 2020 Witness: John Sopko - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Sound Clips 48:54 John Sopko: We've almost created a system that forces people in the government to give happy talk success stories because they're over there on very short rotations. They want to show success. The whole system is almost geared to give you, and it goes up the chain of command, all the way to the President sometimes. He gets bad information from people out in the field because somebody on a nine month rotation, he has to show success, and that goes up. 54:24 John Sopko: Maybe incentivize honesty. And one of the proposals I gave at that time,be cause I was asked by the staff to come up with proposals, is put the same requirement on the government that we impose on publicly traded corporations. Publicly traded corporations have to tell the truth. Otherwise the SEC will indict the people involved. They have to report when there's a significant event. So put that onus, call it The Truth in Government Act if you want, that you in the administration are duty bound by statute to alert Congress to significant events that could directly negatively impact a program or process. So incentivize honesty. 1:10:25 John Sopko: Over 70% of the Afghan budget comes from the United States and the donors. If that money ended, I have said before and I will stand by it, then the Afghan government will probably collapse. Wartime Contracting Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs September 21, 2011 Witnesses: Charles Tiefer: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Clark Kent Ervin: Commissioner on the Commission on Wartime Contracting Sound Clips 1:11:30 Charles Tiefer: Our private security in Afghanistan appears to be a major source of payoffs to the Taliban. Our report has the first official statement that it's the second-largest source of money for the Taliban. Sen. Carl Levin: After drugs. Charles Tiefer: After drugs, that's right. 1:25:18 Clark Kent Ervin: It's critical that the government have a choice, and that means that there needs to be at least a small and expandable, organic capacity on the part of these three agencies to perform missions themselves, so the next time there's a contingency, the government has a choice between going with contractors and going in-house and the determination can be made whether it's more effective to do it either way, whether it's cheaper to do it either way. As we said at the inception, right now the government doesn't have an option. Contractors are the default option because they're the only option. President George W. Bush announces U.S. Military Strikes on Afghanistan October 7, 2001 President George W. Bush: Good afternoon. On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against Al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime. More than two weeks ago, I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands: close terrorist training camps, hand over leaders of the Al-Qaeda network, and return all foreign nationals including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met and now the Taliban will pay a price by destroying camps and disrupting communications. We will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. ** International Campaign Against Terrorism Senate Foreign Relations Committee October 25, 2001 Witness: Colin Powell: Secretary of State Sound Clip 27:00 Colin Powell: Our work in Afghanistan though, is not just of a military nature. We recognize that when the Al Qaeda organization has been destroyed in Afghanistan, and as we continue to try to destroy it in all the nations in which it exists around the world, and when the Taliban regime has gone to its final reward, we need to put in place a new government in Afghanistan, one that represents all the people of Afghanistan and one that is not dominated by any single powerful neighbor, but instead is dominated by the will of the people of Afghanistan. Executive Producer Recommendations Elect Stephanie Gallardo 2022 Krystal Kyle and Friends. August 21, 2021. “Episode 35 Audio with Matthew Hoh.” Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Howdy Folks, Here comes a bunch of sword tracks. Gower and Matador recall weird sword storys as we bring you this mostly metal sword edition. Soundclips from Game of thrones and Conan are epic as hell. Gower reminisces about his london version of midevil times and matador talks about cutting his foot with a sword in a storage shed. We are old and still bringing you quality shit. Die by the sword, MATADOR
On this new round of Stick It Out Your Back Door, you're going to hear everything from a whimsical passing train to a wild and wooly Radical Faeries ceremony! Special thanks to a wonderful message from KC and Harley from Enormous, the Podcast! Write to Toppie at Smellcast@aol.com. Leave a comment on Toppie's blog! Follow him on Twitter. Friend Toppie on Facebook by emailing him YOUR FB name and link, then Toppie will find YOU and friend you! Please to subscribe! It's free! Go to iTunes Preview. Rss feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheSmellcast
Topics: Introduction • The Secret Behind The Can of Questions on Patreon • New Schedule For The Podcast • Sundays on The Radio • Sound Clips of Tommy as a Traffic Reporter on the Radio • More Photos Taken by Tommy of Route 66 in Arizona • Super Chats • Has Tommy Watched The TV Show "Radio Free Roscoe"? What Are Some Other Shows About Radio? • Can of Questions • How Does Tommy Find His Records? • Overhead Camera a.k.a. Sky Cam Upgrade • Remembering Old Media: The Compact Disc (Jimi Hendrix, Beastie Boys, Jackson 5, Peter Gabriel, Smashing Pumpkins, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis & The News, Paul McCartney) • Is Paul McCartney Dead? • Tommy Demonstrates The Philips Jogproof Portable CD Player • SuperChats • Can of Questions • If Tommy Puts Fingers In His Ears, Does He Get Anxious? • Can of Questions • Does It Make A Difference To You Whether A Film Is Animated Or Not? • The Sound of Ice • And More!
We celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day! My thanks to my guests as we celebrated the advancements in sports for women and all of the men and women that have mentored the progressions of women's sports. Joining us in this episode: Lisa Tinkler and Becky Oakes, Talking Women's Sports Hosts Coach Mike Neighbors, University of Arkansas Women's Basketball Sarah Thomas (Sound clips), NFL Official Listen at acoachsperspective.com, on Apple iTunes or Spotify podcasts under A Coach's Perspective. Next week – We bring back our official's panel! Send in your questions to email@example.com A Coach's Perspective: Tune in Wednesday night's live from 6:00-7:00 pm on 99.9FM/96.9FM or on the Radio-Springfield app. Listen at Previous Shows on the website acoachsperspective.com Or on Apple iTunes or Spotify Podcast under A Coach's Perspective. Like-Facebook: @CoachJeniHopkins Follow-Twitter: @coachhopkins987 Subscribe-Website: acoachsperspective.com Subscribe-Apple iTunes Podcast: A Coach's Perspective
Topics: Introduction • Important Announcement About The Podcast • Remembering Radio & Television Legend Larry King • Larry King Known For Taking Unscreened Phoned Calls • Larry King Interviews Robert Blake About The Murder of Bonnie Lee Bakley • Don Rickles Cracks Up Larry King • Larry King And Paula Adbul Have An Interesting Exchange • Larry King's Final Show on CNN • Can of Questions • If Someone's Born Blind and Deaf, What Language Do They Think In? • Does Tommy Ever Read The Comments In The Live Chat? • SuperChats • Deaf Woman Guess What Things Sound Like • Follow Up Re: Tom Selleck • What Tom Selleck Sounds Like In France • What Tony Danza Sounds Like In France • New Eye Surgery That Could Benefit Millions of People • And More! Sign up to Patreon for Weekly Videos & Access To The Episode Archives https://www.patreon.com/tommyedison
Topics: Introduction • People Trying To Drive in Snowstorms Around The World • New Sound Clips For The Show • First Ladies Melania Trump and Jill Biden • News Anchor Steve Bartelstein & Weatherman Bill Evans Get Into An Argument During A News Story About Melania Trump • News Anchors Paul Moyer and Ann Martin Argue Before Going On The Air • Can of Questions • Is There Anything About Narrators' Voices That Bothers Tommy? • Has Tommy Ever Wanted To Have Children? • Is There A Greater Change That Your Child Would Be Born Blind? • Has Tommy Ever Touched A Turtle? • Unique 300 Year Old Japanese Tradition For Newlywed Grooms • Arnold Schwarzenegger Hams It Up As He Gets The Vaccine • The Woman Behind The Voice At 200 Airports • Words That People Commonly Mispronounce • Why Does Tommy Pronounce The Word "France" The Way He Does? • Wrap Up • And More!
Topics: Streaming The Podcast on Multiple Platforms Live • New Sounds For The Show • Personal Robot Assistant Demonstrations At CES 2021 • Samsung's Bot Care and Bot Handy • CES Went Virtual This Year • Can of Questions • Tommy Drinking A&W Root Beer In Past Videos? • What's Tommy's Favorite Odd Song and Novelty Record? • Technical Difficulties During The Live Stream • Impromptu Game: Name That Bell • Reseting The Stream • Cyndi Lauper's New Year's Eve Debacle • And More!
Topics: Introduction • Watch The Podcast on YouTube & Twitch • New Sound Clips For The Show • The Sopranos Debuted 21 Years Ago Today • When Tommy Interviewed Joe Pantoliano From The Sopranos • Tommy's Favorite Characters In The Sopranos • Blind Grappler Wins Combat Jiu-Jitsu Super Fight • 28:55 • When Tommy Went To The Batting Cages • SuperChat • Has Tommy Ever Tried Yoga or Dancing? • Can of Questions • Which Famous Landmark or Object Would You Like To Touch? • What Are You Drinking During The Podcast? • SuperChat • Would Tommy Ever Try Skydiving? • Follow Tommy on Gab & Parler Social Media Platforms • Rumors About A Potential Media Blackout • Pirate TV Station Disrupts A Broadcast of "Doctor Who" on WTTW in 1987 • Patreon • And More!
Cooking tips with Art the Bills Fan- food from the Hoosier state… Leads us to discuss the Colts Bills game that will kickoff Wildcard Weekend… Playing the rest of the sound that we didn’t get to from Sound Street- all NFL sound… College Football Quiz from Pete Sheppard… NFL Wild Card nuggets… Craig’s Friday Sports […] The post January 8, 2021 3pm hour – Cooking tips – Hoosier food; Sound clips from the NFL; NFL Wild Card ‘Hot Nuggets’ appeared first on 99.3 ESPN.
Topics: The Showgram Now Available on Twitch • New Sound Clips for the Show • Funny Moments From The Leaked President Trump / Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger • When Is The Right Time To Take Down Christmas Decorations? • Why Is Amazon Buying Boeing Jets? • Viewer-Made Movie Trailer Parody of Tommy Starring In A 'Days of Thunder' Remake • The Grammys 2021 Postponed • Famous Songs Re-Recorded By The Original Artists Years Later (Stuck In The Middle With You, Dancing In The Street, Poor Little Fool, Hello Mary Lou, The Twist, Pour Some Sugar On Me) • Can of Questions • Are There Braille Typewriters That Type Print Only? • Has Tommy Ever Had A Wardrobe Malfunction? • Does Tommy Use A Braille Keyboard? • All The Episodes of the Podcast Are Archived At TommyEdison.com • And More!
Introduction • New Platform Schedule for the Podcast • New Sound Clips For The Show • Awkward Moment During Joe & Jill Biden's Appearance on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest • More New Sound For The Show • How Was President Trump Voted Most Admired Man In 2020 If The Mainstream Media Tells People Otherwise? • Biden Supporters React To Trump Being Named Most Admired Man (The Daily Caller) • The Pandemic Didn't Stop New Yorkers From Taking The New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge Into Freezing Water • Can of Questions • Has Tommy Found Smart Home Devices To Be Beneficial To Him? • Were Tommy's Sisters Ever Bullied Growing Up For Having A Blind Brother? • Were Tommy's Parents Ever Banned From Somewhere For Having A Child Who's Blind? • SuperChat • A Viewer Challenges Tommy To Create A Character For Himself To Play In A Movie • Tommy Always Wanted To Play This Type of Character On A TV Show • What's The Philadelphia Mummers Parade That Became A Protest When The Mayor Tried To Cancel It? • Newfoundland Teaches Us About The History of Mummering • Tommy Learns Something New About How People Walk • New Game on the Podcast - What's That Smell? • Look Ahead At The Podcast on Wednesday • And More!
New Sound Clips For The Podcast • NYPD Urges People To Stay Away From Times Square on New Year's Eve • Ryan Seacrest Doesn't Sound Excited For This Year's New Year's Rockin' Eve Show • Two Sisters Who Do Everything Together... Even Giving Birth! • Tommy Reacts To Twitch Banning The Term "Blind Playthrough" • In The Future, Wednesday's Episodes of the Podcast Will Be Live On Twitch (The Podcast Will Remain Live on Sundays on YouTube) • A Viewer of the Podcast Shares His Take On Christmas And The Season's First Snow • Patron Question: Has Tommy Ever Sought Treatment For His Tremors? • Looking Back At 2020 - Final Presidential Debate 2020 Remix Ft. Lil' KC (From WTFBrahh) & Boris Johnson x Stormzy's Vossi Bop Remix Video • Tommy Celebrates Not Smoking For 15 Years • Looking Back At 2020 - Tommy Responds To The Most Popular Comments On The "Stevie Wonder Isn't Blind?" Video • And More!
It’s perfectly healthy to let yourself feel a range of emotions. However, if you’re feeling down more often than not, there are some practical steps you can take to help brighten your mood. In this episode, we share some tools that can help you navigate times where happiness doesn’t come as naturally, and 10 science-backed tips to help you optimize your happiness. As always, a special shoutout to Organifi and their amazing Immunity Boost that tastes great and is a key part of our everyday routine. We love that it’s a sweet afternoon treat and the Immune support blend is made with real, quality ingredients like vitamin C, turmeric, zinc, ginger, mushroom beta-glucans, and more. Check out their products are Organifi.com/masteryourhealth and use our code MASTERS for 15% off Organifi products. In this episode you’ll learn: -About some daily practices that can help increase general happiness -Simple lifestyle changes that can have a huge impact on how you feel -About the importance of human connection -Which foods support greater happiness and better well being -Specific sounds that have been shown to be soothing for almost all humans -Some ways that you can spend time that help increase happiness -The role expectations can play in how you feel References: Soundclip of a rainy cafe ambience Soundclip of rain & thunderstorm
We get things started with a classic nostalgia file story about fighting off corn snakes at the Boiling Springs Country Club. Then, NFL Agent Jordan Thompson of Element Sports Group joins the show. Jordan covers an array of topics, including his experiences working for NFL teams and a day in the life of a pro sports agent. He also shares some memories from law school and his days playing college football. Then, Silicon Valley maven Brock Huber does a deep-dive on the burning hot trading card industry. He also talks about California real estate and shares a great story from his behind the scenes VIP experience at a recent college football national title game. All that and more on your weekly dose of on-demand storytelling delight!This Week's Menu:Cavalcade of Sound Clips (0:01-1:47)Opening Monologue (1:48-16:26) -Market Shout-Outs and Table Setting -The Corn Snake Story -Guest PreviewsDicky Fox's Pearls of Wisdom (16:29-16:37)Jordan Thompson Interview (16:38-56:09) -Guest Intro -Football Career at Hickory HS -Getting Recruited to Play in College -Elon's Biggest Rivalries -Following Elon Football Today -Working for the Detroit Lions -Deciding to go to Law School -Law School Memories -Interning in Washington's Salary Cap Department -Practicing Law at a Big Firm in DC -Maintaining a Workout Regimen -Making the Jump to Element Sports Group -A Day in the Life of an NFL Agent -The Agent's Exam -Competing with Other Agents -Element Sports Group Clients -Guaranteed Player Contracts in the NFL -The Business of Football in the Age of Covid-19 -Living in Atlanta -Plans for Future SB PartiesSteve Buckhantz Captures Brock's Misery as a Wizards Fan (56:10-56:32)Brock Huber Interview (56:33-1:43:37) -Guest Intro -TV Morning Announcements Nostalgia -His Fancy Job at StockX -StockX Company Background -The Burning Hot Trading Card Industry -California Real Estate Talk -Nostalgia File Story: Getting Stranded at the Boise Airport -Florida Water -His VIP Experience at the Jan. 2019 College Football Title Game"I'm Pretty Sure Your Basketball Team Has." (1:43:38-1:44:03)
This week starts off with two nostalgia file entries. The first reflects on a near disaster involving sparklers when Hannah and I got married. The second chronicles a famous game of midnight racquetball. Then, Air Force Academy assistant tennis coach Andrew Veeder joins the show to talk about his best playing moments, his coaching career, and his legendary beard. Afterwards, lawyer Chris Doerring discusses his Internet friendship with SEC Network's Chris Doering, law school memories, and attending this year's college football national championship game (as a Clemson grad) with his girlfriend's father (an LSU grad). All that and more on this week's edition of SMWSM!Itemized Menu:Cavalcade of Soundclips (0:01-1:47)Opening Monologue (1:48-14:41) -Table Setting & Market Shoutouts -Nostalgia File Story: Wedding Reception Sparklers -Nostalgia File Story: Midnight Racquetball -Guest PreviewsJohn McEnroe is Incredulous (14:42-14:50)Andrew Veeder Interview (14:51-49:32) -Guest Intro -Andrew Knows How to Keep a Clean House -Being Discovered as a Tennis Prodigy -Memories from his Official Visit to GWU -Who was Better: Veeder or Josh Ray? -Josh Ray's Tennis Retirement at UNCW -Fastest Serve -Doubles vs. Singles -A Heated Match Against Jacksonville University -Most Memorable Wins -Polar Bear Plunge in Myrtle Beach -Ever Tempted to Dominate Randoms at the Local Tennis Club? -Pickleball and Racquetball -Teaching a Novice -Getting Hired at Florida Tech -Florida Tech Legend Keith Hudon -Realizing Coaching is the Path for him -Moving to UCF -Favorite Place he's Lived -Snow in Colorado -Recruiting at the Air Force Academy -The Demanding Lifestyle of a Cadet-Athlete -Travel Logistics -Time Zone Talk -Beard Talk -Coaching his Children in Tennis -Memories from Lutz-Yelton DormThe Practice of Law is Stressful to Vinny Gambini (49:33-50:07)Chris Doerring Interview (50:08-1:26:31) -Guest Intro -What Folks do for Fun in Irmo, SC -Minor League Baseball Team Names -Choosing Clemson over USC -Greek Life -Student FB Tickets at Clemson -Chipping Golfballs into Drywall? -Deciding to go to Law School -1L Learning Experiences at Elon -Pronouncing his Name -His Internet Friendship with SEC Network's Chris Doering -Study Group Hijinks -Transferring to Wake Forest -Practicing Law in Charlotte -Veterinarian Talk -Going to LSU vs. Clemson with his Girlfriend's Father (an LSU Grad) -His Clemson Fandom -Shaking Dabo Swinney's Hand -Trevor Lawrence Talk -Golf TalkSpreadsheets and Sweater Vests (1:26:32-1:27:08)
This week's episode begins with nostalgia file entries about crossing paths with public figures from sports, politics, and television. Then, New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash joins the show. He tells us about growing up in Boiling Springs, his friendship with NC State legend David Thompson, and running to high school in lieu of driving or taking the bus. We also explore many dimensions of his highly successful writing career. Afterwards, University of Wisconsin-River Falls head women's basketball coach Blake DuDonis joins the program. We discuss playing against NBA star Steph Curry in high school, calling games on SEC Network +, and building a career in college coaching. We also talk winter weather in Buffalo and Minnesota and reminisce about his tenure as Ben LaCroix's college roommate.This Week's Audio Menu:Cavalcade of Sound Clips (0:01-1:47)Opening Monologue (1:48-15:56) -Table Setting -Nostalgia File: Crossing Paths with Public Figures *Coach Roy Williams *Governor Pat McCrory *President Bill Clinton *ESPN Analyst Jay Bilas -Guest PreviewsGeorge Costanza Thinks He Could Be a Writer (15:57-16:07)Ron Rash Interview (16:08-43:21) -Running from Dellwood Drive to Crest High School -The Crest HS Track Team -Being Teammates and Friends with David Thompson -Having a Front Row Seat for David Thompson's Recruitment -Growing up in Boiling Springs -Writing During College and his College Mentors -Deciding to be a Writer -His First Attempts at Getting Published -His Wife's Encouragement -Memories from Getting Published for the First Time -Differences in Writing Poetry, Short Stories, and Novels -His Big Break -His First Book Signings -His Writing Routine -Selling his Books to Hollywood -His Children Getting to Meet Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence -Teaching at Western Carolina -His Daughter's Writing Career -Defining Success (Then and Now) -Upcoming ProjectsHoosiers: Measuring the Basket's Height (43:22-43:41)Blake DuDonis Interview (43:42-1:35:10) -Playing HS Hoops with Ben LaCroix -Playing Against NBA Star Steph Curry in HS -Living with Ben LaCroix in Lutz-Yelton Dorm -Being a Practice Player during College -Becoming a Student-Assistant for Rick Reeves -Pulling Double Duty at Merrimack College -Winters in Massachusetts -Dry Cleaning is Overrated -Joining the Staff at Gardner-Webb -Moving to the University of Buffalo -Winters in Buffalo -Wind Chill Policies -Buffalo Wings -Coaching HS Basketball -Dealing with Referees -Calling Games for SEC Network + -Mississippi State's Historic Upset of UConn at the Final Four -His Most Successful Recruiting Story: Marrying his Wife -Correctly Pronouncing Thibault -His Father-in-Law's Success as a WNBA Head Coach -Best Coach in the Family? -Getting the Head Job at UW-River Falls -3-Point Shooting -Best Travel Story: Chicken Alfredo -Living Near Minnesota Real Estate Maven Taylor Doolittle -His love of Cal Ripkin, Jr.Paul Hemrick: The Lawnmower Whisperer (1:35:11-1:35:29)
Unfortunately the chances for a normal Bulls football season seem very slim. But there was some good stuff to bring your way - listen to the end as Darek has some clips from the 1988 men's basketball game vs. Georgetown, inspired by new Bull Speed Ahead guest Jay Stroman.
SMWSM kicks off your 4th of July weekend with a story about a vintage fireworks display in Boiling Springs. Former Gardner-Webb assistant men's basketball coach Paul Hemrick reminisces about the team's historic run to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. He also plays a game of "Coach, have you ever thought about," discusses his current gig at Wofford, and rejoices that the shot clock is coming to Georgia high school basketball. Then, Savannah Bananas Fans First Director Marie Gentry talks about creative on-field promotions, yellow tuxedos, and life in Savannah. All that and more on this holiday installment of SMWSM!This Week's Itinerary of Audio Treasure:Cavalcade of Sound Clips (0:01-1:46)Opening Monologue (1:47-13:16) -Table Setting (1:47-2:29) -The 3-Step Guide to Being an A+ Podcast Listener (2:30-3:41) -Nostalgia File: 2008 Fireworks Display (3:42-11:15) -Guest Previews (11:16-13:16)Paul Hemrick Interview (13:17-59:34) -Guest Introduction (13:17-15:12) -A Cameo from Melissa (15:13-16:20) -2019 Big South Championship (16:21-22:18) -NCAA Tournament Bracket Unveiling (22:19-24:34) -The Best 16-Seed of All-Time (24:35-26:07) -Snubbing Marty Smith (26:08-26:34) -The Advantages of Playing in Columbia (26:35-31:58) -The Game vs. UVA (31:59-36:34) -Bill Raftery (36:35-37:50) -Taking the Job at Wofford (37:51-39:01) -Melissa Takes Charge of Moving (39:02-40:34) -Lawnmower Maintenance (40:35-40:53) -Playing One-on-One with Beaver Sweeney (40:54-41:59) -Facial Expressions on the Sideline (42:00-43:03) -Coaching Attire and Dry Cleaning (43:04-44:42) -Beating Carolina (44:43-45:21) -Postgame Handshakes (45:22-46:59) -His Days as a Grad Assistant (47:00-48:19) -The GWU Coaching Fraternity (48:20-49:11) -Not Getting to Travel this Spring (49:12-50:02) -Next Year's Schedule (50:03-50:57) -The Shot Clock Comes to Georgia HS Hoops (50:58-52:20) -SMWSM at His First Press Conference as a Head Coach (52:21-53:29) -Coach, Have You Ever Thought About? (53:30-59:03) -Technical Fouls (59:04-59:34)Kramer vs. Mickey Mantle (59:35-1:00:00)Marie Gentry Interview (1:00:01-1:18:48) -Guest Intro (1:00:01-1:00:43) -Fans First Director (1:00:44-1:01:22) -The Creation of the Savannah Bananas (1:01:23-1:02:25) -Origins of the Team's Name (1:02:26-1:03:02) -Yellow Tuxedos (1:03:03-1:03:59) -Best On-Field Promotions (1:04:00-1:05:24) -Road Games (1:05:25-1:05:55) -Baywatch Team Parody Video (1:05:56-1:06:45) -Baseball during Coronavirus (1:06:46-1:09:13) -Inventory of Bananas Gear (1:09:14-1:09:26) -Living in Savannah (1:09:27-1:10:59) -Monterrey Mexican Restaurant (1:11:00-1:11:37) -Laura and Monroe (1:11:38-1:12:17) -State Championships at Caldwell Academy (1:12:18-1:12:52) -Winning the UF Scholarship at GWU (1:12:53-1:14:16) -Path to Working in Athletics (1:14:17-1:15:46) -Hannah the Sports Fan (1:15:47-1:17:15) -Rivalry with the Macon Bacon (1:17:16-1:18:48)Daniel Thomas: Man of the People (1:18:49-1:19:07)
This week's episode kicks off with stories that feature the legendary Woody the Janitor. Then, Josh Angel joins our merry band to talk about inadvertently wearing a bike helmet in his ID picture, his love of the Cleveland County Fair, and his tenure as a volleyball PA announcer. He also provides a spirited defense of his efforts to sunscreen Kyle Lanning's back in 2015. Next, Cole Fountain thrills the Tens of Listeners with his self-deprecating wit. He takes us behind the scenes of his decorated college football career at Georgia Southern University and expresses great admiration for his Father-in-Law's hair. All that and more on this week's dose of storytelling delight.Your Itemized Episode Menu:Cavalcade of Sound Clips (0:01-1:47)Opening Monologue (1:48-12:29) -Table Setting (1:48-3:30) -Woody the Janitor Stories (3:31-10:37) -Previewing this Week's Guests (10:38-12:29)"It's Like Disney World, but in Shelby!" (12:30-12:39)Josh Angel Interview (12:40-52:05) -Guest Intro (12:40-13:32) -Zip Code Talk (13:33-14:02) -Wearing a Bike Helmet in his Student ID Picture (14:03-17:43) -Twin Talk (17:44-20:57) -"Enka Stinka" (Loyalty to Enka High School) (20:58-22:39) -Josh the PA Announcer (22:40-25:53) -The Newly-Wed Game (25:54-25:57) -Dietary Corrections and Becoming an Exercise Enthusiast (25:58-30:44) -The Cleveland County Fair (30:45-33:04) -Thermostat Talk (33:05-36:59) -Wing Man Talk (37:00-40:26) -An Honorary Member of the Ruff Family (40:27-42:35) -Sunscreening Kyle's Back (42:36-44:32) -Josh Loves Belmont (44:33-46:32) -Sharing Belmont with Evan (46:33-49:00) -An Embarrassing Defeat at a Church Cornhole Tournament (49:01-51:30) -Guest Send-Off (51:31-52:05)The Golden Baritones of Verne Lundquist (52:06-52:16)Cole Fountain Interview (52:17-1:23:40) -Guest Intro (52:17-53:18) -A Young Man Built to Play Offensive Line (53:19-55:46) -Getting Recruited to Play College Football (55:47-56:53) -Friendship with the Great Kenny Baker (56:54-58:39) -Redshirting at Georgia Southern (58:40-59:51) -Playing Career Memories and Favorite Road Trips (59:52-1:06:44) -High Point and Low Point (1:06:45-1:07:50) -Brian VanGorder (1:07:51-1:08:23) -Adjusting to Life Post-Football (1:08:24-1:09:38) -Getting into a Lather for GSU Football (1:09:39-1:10:53) -Man Crush on Verne Lundquist (1:10:54-1:12:46) -Putting the Moves on Sloan (1:12:47-1:15:22) -His Father-in-Law's Impeccable Hair (1:15:23-1:17:58) -Coaching Youth Sports (1:17:59-1:21:06) -Flash Foods or Flash Floods? (1:21:07-1:22:30) -A Future Remote Broadcast in Atlanta? (1:22:31-1:23:40)Steve Spurrier Does Stand-Up (1:23:41-1:24:38)
139. Simon und Luca blicken auf die AFC South mit den Texans, Colts, Titans und Jaguars. Mit einigen Überraschungen, SEHR verrückten Takes und auch ein paar Meinungsverschiedenheiten wird die Division seziert. Vielen Dank an die Titans Deutschland, Colts News Germany, Texans Nation D/A/CH und die Jaguars Germany für ihre Unterstützung via Soundclips. Außerdem das Wichtigste in den News mit Brandon Brooks & Deebo Samuel, Corona und Jamal Adams. Enjoy! Hier könnt ihr uns auf Twitter & Instagram folgen und euch sofort über neue Folgen und die NFL informieren. Wir würden uns auch über die ein oder andere iTunes Rezension freuen. Twitter: twitter.com/CoverTwoPodcast Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/covertwopodcast/ Vielen Dank an Tom und Joni für Musik, das neue Logo und Cover!!
This week's monologue includes the story of a truck's rendezvous with a building in Boiling Springs, a tribute to the late great Johnny Majors, and a story from my first professional road trip. Then, Ben Perdue and I talk about a host of topics, including Holiday Inn parties, car maintenance, jamming at the lighthouse with John Blalock, and the famous Taco Bell incident of 2011. Barry Bradberry also joins the show to talk about how he parlayed a 90-day contract into a 45-year career, speeding through Whitsett in an Astro van, and asking for directions.This Week's Itemized Audio Breakfast:Cavalcade of Sound Clips (0:01-1:47)Opening Monologue (1:48-18:16) -Table Setting (1:48-3:23) -Case Farms Truck Crashes into Vacant Spangler Dorm (3:24-8:47) -Coach Johnny Majors Story and Tribute (8:48-13:12) -Preview of Guest Interviews (13:13-14:51) -First College Fair Story (14:52-16:42) -Listener Shout-Outs (16:43-18:16)Jerry and Larry (18:17-18:39)Ben Perdue Interview (18:40-1:11:31) -Guest Intro (18:40-20:40) -Origins of "Band Perped" (20:41-23:26) -Driving on the Turnpike (23:27-24:16) -Going to the Horseshoe (24:17-24:51) -Roadtrip to Maryland (24:52-25:34) -Holiday Inn & Days Inn Parties ("HIPS & DIPS") (25:35-27:01) -Favorite Work Trip Destinations (27:02-28:22) -Atlantic City Memories (28:23-30:33) -"If You Take Care of the Car..." (30:34-33:48) -The Taco Bell Story (33:49-43:47) -Sharing an Office with Blalock (43:58-46:43) -Hotel and Food Preferences (46:44-49:09) -"Like a Ghost in the Night" (49:10-51:58) -Roommate Lunches (51:59-53:16) -Dog Door (53:17-53:50) -Living on the West Coast (53:51-57:21) -Being a Dad (57:22-1:01:22) -Getting a Speeding Ticket at Spring Training (1:01:23-1:02:50) -Living in Cary (1:02:51-1:04:28) -Botching a Co-Worker's Name (1:04:29-1:05:49) -A Late Night Undergrad Adventure (1:05:50-1:08:30) -Performing at Stick's (1:08:31-1:11:02) -Guest Send-Off (1:11:03-1:11:31)Groucho Marx on Pullman Cars (1:11:32-1:11:44)Barry Bradberry Interview (1:11:45-1:37:13) -Guest Intro (1:11:45-1:12:34) -Starting with a 90-Day Contract (1:12:35-1:14:29) -Early Days at Chowan Junior College (1:14:30-1:17:01) -Murfreesboro, NC (1:17:02-1:18:18) -Early Memories of Elon (1:18:19-1:20:18) -First Travel Experiences (1:20:19-1:21:53) -Memorable Trips (1:21:54-1:24:05) -An Accidental Scholarship (1:24:06-1:24:34) -Longest Journeys (1:24:35-1:25:09) -Speeding Through Whitsett in an Astro Van (1:25:10-1:26:44) -Asking for Directions (1:26:45-1:27:33) -Favorite Dining Spots (1:27:34-1:28:54) -Staying Put for 45 Years and Counting (1:28:55-1:31:23) -The Future of Colleges (1:31:24-1:35:22) -Does Not Want an Eponymous Bench (1:35:23-1:36:40) -Guest Send-Off (1:36:41-1:37:13)Elvis is Strung Out on Music (1:37:14-1:37:29)
In episode 54, we highlight the new PorterTron AlNiCo pickups which were released at the 2020 NAMM show. We share some sound clips in one of our Les Bois guitar models. Find out more about them at these links: PorterTron AlNiCo (Filtertron Sized): https://www.porterpickups.com/products/pickups/portertron-filter/ PorterTron AlNiCo (Humbucker Sized): https://www.porterpickups.com/products/pickups/humbucker-pickups/portertron/ Learn more about the bigsby model Les Bois Here: https://porterguitars.com
We open the show this week with a John Kincade prank call, which of course was coerced by Shaq... and we also get Detective Shaq to investigate the guy who was drinking straight from the soup ladels at Whole Foods last week, and how that would be handled in public. And it's one of the biggest days of the year we kick off the 2020 Borderline Bracket, recapping and counting down the funniest clips of the entire year. And to break up the nonsense, we play a round of Kincade's Match Game 2020. Follow the show on Twitter @Shaqcast - on Instagram and Facebook at The Big Podcast with Shaq - or email your best clips and questions to TheBigPodcastWithShaq@gmail.com. Get 20% Off and Free Shipping with the code SHAQ at Manscaped.com Create a free account on BetOnline.AG and receive a 50% SIGN UP BONUS just by using the promo code PODCASTONE
On today's episode we will be listening to some sound clips from the 2020 Precinct 1 Rodeo Breakfast. We interview some people who are anxious for some good tacos, we interview some taco booth volunteers, and we interview some groups who are trying to make a difference in the community.
On today's episode we will be listening to some sound clips from the 2020 Precinct 1 Rodeo Breakfast. We interview some people who are anxious for some good tacos, we interview some taco booth volunteers, and we interview some groups who are trying to make a difference in the community.
Thank you for everything Kobe, legends never die. Rest In Peace to Kobe and Gianna Bryant + John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli + Christina Mauser + Sarah and Payton Chester + Ara Zobayan Music from https://filmmusic.io"Deep Relaxation Preview" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Sound Clips from NBA Finals, ESPN, Jimmy Kimmel/ABC and Film "Dear Basketball"
We finally have the facts. The two year long investigation, lead by Robert Mueller, into whether or not the 2016 Donald Trump for President campaign worked with members of the Russian government to steal and release Democratic Party emails is now complete. In this episode, after reading every word of the 448 page report, Jen breaks what the facts indicate Donald Trump did and did not do so that we can all be "in the know" for the Congressional battles with the President that are sure to come. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Click here to contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Click here to support Congressional Dish for each episode via Patreon Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536 Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Official Mueller Report Jen Briney's highlighted version Interactive Mueller Report from The New York Times Justice Department's pdf version Additional Reading Article: Roger Stone/ Mueller Report: 448 pages with 900 redactions by Elaine Godfrey, The Atlantic, May 1, 2019. Document: Official Mueller Report U.S. Department of Justice, March 2019. Document: Interactive NYT Mueller report New York Times, March 2019. Article: Taibbi: As Mueller Probe Ends,New Russiagate Myth Begins by Matt Taibbi, RollingStone, March 25, 2019. Article: Cohen Hired IT Firm to Rig Early CNBC, Drudge Polls to Favor Trump by Michael Rothfeld, Rob Barry and Joe Palazzolo, Washington Post, January 17, 2019. Article: Trump Dodges Question on Fox News if He's a Russian Asset by Audrey McNamara, The Daily Beast, January 13, 2019. Article: Trump is Compromised by Russia by Michele Goldberg, NY Times, November 29, 2018. Article: Text with Roger Stone’s name (Volume II, pg 128), by Marisa Schultz and Nikki Schwab, New York Post, November 28, 2018. Article: Roger Stone Associate says He won't agree to Plea Deal by Sara Murray and Eli Watkins, CNN, November 26, 2018. Article: 14 States Forgo Paper Ballots, Despite Security Warnings by Gopal Ratnam, Government Technology, October 31, 2018. Article: Will Trump be Meeting his Russian Counterpart or Handler? by Jonathon Chait, NY Intelligencer, July 2018. Transcript: Remarks by President Trump in Press Gaggle The White House, June 15, 2018. Article: Rudy Giulani says Mueller Probe might Get Cleaned up with Presidential Pardons by Chris Somerfeldt, NY Daily News, June 15, 2018 Article: Michael Cohen has said he would take a bullet for Trump by Honorable Maggie Haberman, Sharon LaFriere and Danny Hakim, NY Times, April 20, 2018. Article: Russians Turned Away at Seattle Consulate After Trump announces Closure by Evan Bush, Christine Clarridge, Dominic Gates and Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, March, 26 2018. Article: It's Official: Russiagate is this Generation's WMD by Matt Taibbi, Substack, March 23, 2018. Article: Russian Tweets used as sources for Partisan Opinion study by Josephine Lukito and Chris Wells, Columbia Journalism Review, March 8, 2018. Article: Cable News Ad Revenue up 25 Percent by Joe Concha, The Hill, February 23, 2018. Document: Transcript of December 13, 2017 Rosenstein hearing by Committee of the Judiciary House of Representative U.S. Congress, December 13, 2017. Article: In Retaliations, US Orders Russian to Close Consulate in San Francisco by Mark Landler and Gardiner Harris, NY Times, August, 31 2017. Article: Excerpts from Interview with Trump by Stephen Crowley, NY Times, July 19, 2017. Document: Transcript of June 8, 2017 Comey hearing by Select Committee on Intelligence U.S. Senate, June 8, 2017. Article: Comey, Mueller and the Showdown at John Ashcroft's Hospital Bed by Colleen Shalby, LA Times, May 17, 2017. Document: Statement from Press Secretary regarding James Comey's Testimony White House U.S. Press Secretary, May 9, 2017. Article: Sessions Met with Russian Ambassador During Trumps Presidential Campaign by Adam Entous, Ellen Naskashima and Greg Miller, The Washington Post, March 1, 2017 Article: National Security Advisor Flynn Discussed Sanctions with Russian Ambassador Despite Denials by Greg Miller, Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima Washington Post, February 9, 2017. Document: Steele Dossier Confidential, by Mark Schoofs, BuzzFeed, October 19, 2016. Article: Wiki Leaks to Publish More Hilary Emails by Mark Tran, The Guardian, June 12, 2016. Article: Panel Told of a Sickbed Face-Off by Richard Schmitt, LA Times, May 16, 2007. Resources Press Gaggle Transcript: Remarks by President Trump in Press Gaggle, June 15, 2018 Hearing Transcript: Oversight Hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, December 13, 2017 Hearing Transcript: Open Hearing with Former FBI Director James Comey, June 8, 2017 Report: Steele Dossier, Company Intelligence Report 2016/080 Statement Transcript: Statement from the Press Secretary, May 9, 2017 Visual Resources Sound Clip Sources Hearing: Michael Cohen Testimony Before House Oversight Committee, C-SPAN, February 27, 2019. Sound Clips: 33:31 Michael Cohen: You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it. 33:44 Michael Cohen: To be clear, Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project. 39:21 Michael Cohen: Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation, only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say this campaign was going to be greatest infomercial in political history. He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign, for him, was always a marketing opportunity. 43:50 Michael Cohen: Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw man to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned off at an art Hampton’s event. The objective was to ensure that this portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. 48:50 Michael Cohen: When I say con man, I'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant, but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores. 53:09 Michael Cohen: Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. 55:31 Michael Cohen: And by coming today, I have caused my family to be the target of personal scurrilous attacks by the president and his lawyer trying to intimidate me from appearing before this panel. 56:30 Michael Cohen: And I hope this committee and all members of Congress on both sides of the aisle make it clear that as a nation, we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before Congress and attacks on family are out of bounds and not acceptable. 2:10:30 Michael Cohen: And when Mr. Trump turned around early in the campaign and said, I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and get away with it, I want to be very clear. He's not joking. He's telling you the truth. You don't know him. I do. I sat next to this man for 10 years and I watched his back. 2:11:13 Michael Cohen: And when he goes on Twitter and he starts bringing in my in-laws, my parents, my wife, what does he think is going to happen? He's causing... He's sending out the same message that he can do whatever he wants. This is his country. He's becoming an autocrat and hopefully something bad will happen to me or my children and my wife so that I will not be here and testify. That's what his hope was. To intimidate me. 2:11:46 Rep. Jim Cooper (TN): Have you ever seen Mr. Trump personally threaten people with physical harm? Michael Cohen: No. He would use others. 2:12:00 Michael Cohen: Everybody’s job at the Trump organization is to protect Mr. Trump 2:12:07 Michael Cohen: Every day. Most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something, and that became the norm, and that's exactly what's happening right now in, in this country. That's exactly what's happening here in government. 4:10:30 Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): Mr Cohen, why do you feel or believe that the president is repeatedly attacking you? You are stating that you feel intimidated asking us to protect you following your cooperation with law enforcement. Michael Cohen: When you have access to 60 plus million people that follow you on social media and you have the ability within which to spark some action by individuals that follow and follow him and from his own words that he can walk down Fifth Avenue, shoot someone and get away with it. It's never comfortable when the President of the United States… Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): What do you think he can do to you? Michael Cohen: A lot. And it's not just him, it's those people that follow him in his rhetoric. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI): What is a lot? Michael Cohen: I don't know. I don't walk with my wife. If we go to a restaurant or we go somewhere, I don't walk with my children. I make them go before me because I have fear and it's the same fear that I had before when he initially decided to drop that tweet in my cell phone. I receive some, and I'm sure you, you'll understand. I received some tweets. I received some Facebook messenger, all sorts of social media attacks upon me, whether it's the private direct message that I've had to turn over to secret service because they are the most vile, disgusting statements that anyone can ever receive. And when it starts to affect your children, that's when it really affects you. Interview: Trump joins Judge Jeanine for a phone interview to give an update on where Washington is at with the border crisis, Fox News, January 12, 2019. Sound Clip: 15:00 President Donald Trump: Look, I was a client of his, and you know, you're supposed to have lawyer-client privilege, but it doesn't matter because I'm a very honest person, frankly, but he's in trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs and stuff that I know nothing about and in order to get a sentence reduced, he says, "I have an idea, I'll give you some information on the president." Well, there is no information, but he should give information, maybe on his father in law because that's the one that people want to look at because where does that money? That's the money in the family. And I guess he didn't want to talk about his father in law. He's trying to get his sentence reduced. Press Conference: President Trump Accuses Personal Lawyer Michael Cohen of Lying, C-SPAN, November 29, 2018. Sound Clip: 1:00 President Donald Trump: He was convicted of various things unrelated to us. He was given a fairly long jail sentence and he’s a weak person. And by being weak, unlike other people that you watch - he is a weak person. And what he’s trying to do is get a reduced sentence. So he’s lying about a project that everybody knew about. Interview: Interview with Ainsley Earhardt on Fox & Friends, YouTube, August 23, 2018. Sound Clips: Ainsley Earhardt:What grade do you give yourself so far? President Donald Trump: So, I give myself an A+. Ainsley Earhardt: Will you fire Sessions? President Donald Trump: I'll tell you what, as I've said, I wanted to stay uninvolved, but when everybody sees what's going on in the Justice Department - I put "Justice" now in quotes - It's a very, very sad day. Jeff Sessions recused himself, which he shouldn't have done, or he should have told me. Even my enemies say that Jeff sessions should have told you that he was going to recuse himself and then you wouldn't have put him in. He took the job and then he said, "I'm going to recuse myself." I said, "What kind of a man is this?" And by the way, he was on the campaign and you know, the only reason I gave him the job, because I felt loyalty. He was an original supporter. President Donald Trump: He makes a better deal when he uses me, like everybody else, and one of the reasons I respect Paul Manafort so much is he went through that trial... You know, they make up stories. People make up stories. This whole thing about flipping, they call it, I know all about flipping. For 30, 40 years, I've been watching flippers. Everything's wonderful, and then they get 10 years in jail and they flip on whoever the next highest one is, or as high as you can go. It almost ought to be outlawed. It's not fair. Press Briefing: President Trump Remarks on John Brennan and Mueller Probe, C-SPAN, August 17, 2018. Sound Clip: President Donald Trump: I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad when you look at what’s going on there. I think it’s a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for a very short period of time. But you know what, he happens to be a very good person. And I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort. News Report: State of the Union with Jake Tapper, CNN, YouTube, June 17, 2018. Transcript 9:30 Jake Tapper: How do you respond to critics who say you discussing it on TV, you discussing it with the New York Daily News, President Trump tweeting, that you're sending a signal to defendants in a criminal prosecution that a pardon is out there. It might be on its way. Some people think that this is the president and you suggesting that - signaling really, - don't cooperate with prosecutors because the pardon is there if you'll just hold on. Rudy Giuliani: Jake, I don't think that's the interpretation. It's certainly not intended that way. What it should be... I'll tell you what I clearly mean. What I mean is you're not going to get a pardon just because you're involved in this investigation. You probably have a higher burden if you're involved in this investigation as compared to the others who get pardons but you're certainly not excluded from it if, in fact, the president and his advisors, not me, come to the conclusion that you've been treated unfairly. Press Conference: President Trump gives off-the-cuff news conference on White House lawn, CNBC, June 15, 2018. Transcript Sound Clips: 6:30 Reporter: So there’s some high-profile court cases going on. You’ve got a former campaign manager, your former lawyer. They’re all dealing with legal troubles. Are you paying close attention — President Donald Trump: Well, I feel badly about a lot of them, because I think a lot of it is very unfair. I mean, I look at some of them where they go back 12 years. Like Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign. But I feel so — I tell you, I feel a little badly about it. They went back 12 years to get things that he did 12 years ago? 8:50 Reporter: Is he still your lawyer? President Donald Trump: No, he’s not my lawyer anymore. But I always liked Michael, and he’s a good person. And I think he’s been — Reporter: Are you worried he will cooperate? President Donald Trump: Excuse me, do you mind if I talk? Reporter: I just want to know if you’re worried — President Donald Trump: You’re asking me a question; I’m trying to ask it. Reporter: I just want to know if you’re worried if he’s going to cooperate with federal investigators. President Donald Trump: No, I’m not worried because I did nothing wrong. White House Briefing: President Trump receives a briefing from Military Leadership, YouTube, April 9, 2018. Transcript Sound Clips: President Donald Trump: So I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys — a good man. And it’s a disgraceful situation. It’s a total witch hunt. I’ve been saying it for a long time. I’ve wanted to keep it down. We’ve given, I believe, over a million pages’ worth of documents to the Special Counsel. They continue to just go forward. And here we are talking about Syria and we’re talking about a lot of serious things. We’re the greatest fighting force ever. And I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now. President Donald Trump: The Attorney General made a terrible mistake when he did this, and when he recused himself. Or he should have certainly let us know if he was going to recuse himself, and we would have used a — put a different Attorney General in. So he made what I consider to be a very terrible mistake for the country. But you’ll figure that out. Hearing: Facebook, Google, and Twitter Executives on Russia Election Interference, Senate Intelligence Committee, C-SPAN, November 1, 2017. Sound Clips: 1:49:24 Sen. Roy Blunt (MO): Mr. Stretch, how much money did the Russians spend on ads that we now look back as either disruptive or politically intended? It was at $100,000. Is that— Colin Stretch: It was approximately $100,000. Blunt: I meant from your company. Stretch: Yes, approximately $100,000. Blunt: How much of that did they pay before the election? Stretch: The— Blunt: I’ve seen the— Stretch: Yeah. Blunt: —number 44,000. Blunt: Is that right? Stretch: So— Blunt: 56 after, 44 before. Stretch: The ad impressions ran 46% before the election, the remainder after the election. Blunt: 46%. Well, if I had a consultant that was trying to impact an election and spent only 46% of the money before Election Day, I’d be pretty upset about that, I think. So, they spent $46,000. How much did the Clinton and Trump campaigns spend on Facebook? I assume before the election. Stretch: Yeah. Before the elec— Blunt: They were better organized than the other group. Stretch: Approximate—combined approximately $81 million. Blunt: 81 million, and before the election. Stretch: Yes. Blunt: So, 81 million. I’m not a great mathematician, but 46,000, 81 million, would that be, like, five one-thousandths of one percent? It’s something like that. Stretch: It’s a small number by comparison, sir. Hearing: Russian Interference in 2016 Election, Senate Intelligence Committee, C-SPAN, June 8, 2017. Witness: James Comey - Former FBI Director Sound Clips: 48:20 Senator James Risch (ID): You put this in quotes. Words matter. You wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There’s 28 words there that are in quotes, and it says, quote, ‘‘I hope’’—this is the President speaking—‘‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.’’Now those are his exact words, is that correct? James Comey:: Correct. Senator RISCH: And you wrote them here and you put them in quotes? Director COMEY: Correct. Senator RISCH: Okay. Thank you for that. He did not direct you to let it go? Director COMEY: Not in his words, no. Senator RISCH: He did not order you to let it go? Director COMEY: Again, those words are not an order. Senator RISCH: No. He said, ‘‘I hope.’’ Now, like me, you probably did hundreds of cases, maybe thousands of cases, charging people with criminal offenses. And of course you have knowledge of the thousands of cases out there where people have been charged. Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense, where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome? Director COMEY: I don’t know well enough to answer. And the reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction. Senator RISCH: Right. Director COMEY: I mean, this is the President of the United States with me alone, saying, ‘‘I hope’’ this. I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn’t obey that, but that’s the way I took it. 54:18 Sen. Diane Feinstein (CA): You described two phone calls that you re- ceived from President Trump, one on March 30 and one on April 11, where he, quote, ‘‘described the Russia investigation as a cloud that was impairing his ability,’’ end quote, as President and asked you, quote, ‘‘to lift the cloud,’’ end quote. How did you interpret that? And what did you believe he wanted you to do? Director COMEY: I interpreted that as he was frustrated that the Russia investigation was taking up so much time and energy, I think he meant of the Executive Branch, but in the public square in general, and it was making it difficult for him to focus on other priorities of his. But what he asked me was actually narrower than that. So I think what he meant by the cloud, and again I could be wrong, but what I think he meant by the cloud was the entire investigation is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on the things I want to focus on. The ask was to get it out that I, the President, am not personally under investigation. 1:17:17 Sen. Susan Collins (ME): And was the President under investigation at the time of your dismissal on May 9th? James Comey: No. 1:30:15 James Comey: On March the 30th, and I think again on—I think on April 11th as well, I told him we’re not investigating him personally. That was true. 1:39:10 Sen. Angus King (ME): And in his press conference on May 18th, the President was asked whether he had urged you to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn. The President responded, quote, ‘‘No, no. Next question.’’ Is that an accurate statement? James Comey: I don’t believe it is. 1:48:15 James Comey: I think there’s a big difference in kicking superior officers out of the Oval Office, looking the FBI Director in the eye, and saying, ‘‘I hope you’ll let this go.’’ I think if our—if the agents, as good as they are, heard the President of the United States did that there’s a real risk of a chilling effect on their work. 2:21:35 Sen. Jack Reed (RI): You interpret the discussion with the President about Flynn as a direction to stop the investigation. Is that correct? James Comey: Yes. 2:24:25 James Comey: I know I was fired because something about the way I was conducting the Russia investigation was in some way putting pressure on him, in some way irritating him, and he decided to fire me because of that. I can’t go farther than that. 2:26:00 James Comey: There’s no doubt that it’s a fair judgment, it’s my judgment, that I was fired because of the Russia investigation. I was fired in some way to change—or the endeavor was to change the way the Russia investigation was being conducted. Interview: Lester Holt Exclusive Interview with President Trump, NBC News, May 11, 2017. Sound Clips: President Donald Trump: Look, he's a show boat. He's a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that. Lester Holt: Monday you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteinn. President Donald Trump: Right. Lester Holt: Did you ask for recommendation? President Donald Trump: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not... Lester Holt: You had made the decision before they came... President Donald Trump: I was going to fire Comey. There's no good time to do it, by the way. Lester Holt: Because in your letter, you said, I accepted their recommendation, so you had already made the decision? President Donald Trump: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation. President Donald Trump: And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. Lester Holt: Let me ask you about your termination letter to Mr. Comey. You write, "I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation." Why did you put that in there? President Donald Trump: Because he told me that, I mean he told me... Lester Holt: He told you you weren't under investigation with regard to the Russian investigation? President Donald Trump: I've heard that from others. I think... Lester Holt: Was it in a phone call? Did you meet face to face? President Donald Trump: I had a dinner with him. He wanted to have dinner because he wanted to stay on. We had a very nice dinner at the White House. Lester Holt: He asked for the dinner? President Donald Trump: The dinner was arranged, I think he has for the dinner and he wanted to stay on as the FBI head and I said, I'll consider, we'll see what happens. But we had a very nice dinner and at that time he told me, you are not under investigation. Which I knew anyway. Lester Holt: That was one meeting. What were the other two? President Donald Trump: First of all, when you're under investigation, you're giving all sorts of documents and everything. I knew I wasn't under and I heard it was stated at the committee, at some committee level, that I wasn't. Number one. Then during the phone call, he said it and then during another phone call. He said it. So he said it once at dinner and then he said it twice doing phone calls. Lester Holt: Did you call him? President Donald Trump: In one case I called him. In one case he called me. Lester Holt: And did you ask him I under investigation? President Donald Trump: I actually asked him, yes. I said, if it's possible when you let me know, am I under investigation? He said, "You are not under investigation." Lester Holt: But he's, he's given sworn testimony that there was an ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government. You were the centerpiece of the Trump campaign, so was he being truthful when he said that you weren't under investigation? President Donald Trump: Well, I know one thing. I know that I'm not under investigation. Me. Personally. I'm not talking about campaigns. I'm not talking about anything else. I'm not under investigation. President Donald Trump: He's not my man or not my man. I didn't appoint him. He was appointed long before me. President Donald Trump: There was no collusion between me and my campaign and the Russians. The other thing is the Russians did not affect the vote and everybody seems to think that. Lester Holt: But when you put out tweets, it's a total hoax. It's a taxpayer's charade. And you're looking for a new FBI director. Are you not sending that person a message to lay off? President Donald Trump: No, I'm not doing that. I think that we have to get back to work, but I want to find out, I want to get to the bottom. If Russia hacked, if Russia did anything having to do with our election, I want to know about. White House Press Briefing: Sarah Sanders Daily Press Briefing, White House, May 10, 2017. Transcript Oversight Hearing: FBI Oversight, Senate Judiciary Committee, C-SPAN, May 3, 2017. Witness: James Comey - FBI Director Sound Clips: 57:19 Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT): In October, the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign's connection to Russia. You sent a letter informing the Senate and House that you are reviewing additional emails. It could be relevant to this, but both of those cases are open, but you're still only commented on one. FBI Director James Comey: I commented, as I explained earlier on October 28th in a letter that I sent to the chair and rankings of the oversight committees that we were taking additional steps in the Clinton email investigation because I had testified under oath repeatedly that we were done, that we were finished there. With respect to the Russia investigation, we treated it like we did with the Clinton investigation. We didn't say a word about it until months into it. And then the only thing we've confirmed so far about this is - same thing with the Clinton investigation - that we are investigating and I would expect we're not going to say another peep about it until we're done. 1:47:32 Sen. Al Franken (MN): Any investigation into whether the Trump campaign or Trump operation colluded with Russian operatives would require a full appreciation of the president's financial dealings. Director Comey, would president Trump's tax returns be material to such an investigation? FBI Director James Comey: That's not something, Senator, I'm going to answer. Sen. Al Franken (MN): Does the investigation have access to President Trump's tax returns? FBI Director James Comey: I have to give you the same answer. Again, I hope people don't over interpret my answers, but I just don't want to start talking about anything...What we're looking at and how. 2:00:15 FBI Director James Comey: The current investigation with respect to Russia, we've confirmed it. The Department of Justice authorized me to confirm that exists. We're not going to say another word about it until we're done. 2:11:30 Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI): You do confirm that there is still an ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign and their conduct with regard to Russian efforts to undermine our elections? FBI Director James Comey: We're conducting an investigation to understand whether there was any coordination between the Russian efforts and anybody associated with the Trump campaign. Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI): So since you've already confirmed that such an investigation is ongoing, can you tell us more about what constitutes that investigation? FBI Director James Comey: No. 2:25:40 Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): You have confirmed, I believe that the FBI is investigating potential ties between Trump associates and the Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, correct? FBI Director James Comey:Yes. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): And you have not, to my knowledge, ruled out anyone in the Trump campaign as potentially a target of that criminal investigation. Correct? FBI Director James Comey: Well, I haven't said anything publicly about who we've opened investigations on. I've briefed the chair and ranking on who those people are. And so I, I can't, I can't go beyond that in this setting. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): Have you ruled out anyone in the campaign that you can disclose? FBI Director James Comey: I don't feel comfortable answering that senator, because I think it puts me on a slope to talking about who we're investigating. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): Have you ruled out the president United States? FBI Director James Comey: I don't want people to over-interpret this answer. I'm not going to comment on anyone in particular because that puts me down a slope of... Cause if I say no to that, then I have to answer succeeding questions. So what we've done is brief the chair and ranking on who the U.S. persons are that we've opened investigations on. And that's, that's as far as we're going to go with this point. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): But as a former prosecutor, you know that when there's an investigation into several potentially culpable individuals, the evidence from those individuals and the investigation can lead to others. Correct? FBI Director James Comey: Correct. We're always open minded about, and we follow the evidence wherever it takes us. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): So potentially the President of the United States could be a target of your ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign's involvement with Russian interference in our election. Correct? FBI Director James Comey: I just worry... I don't want to answer that because it seems to be unfair speculation. We will follow the evidence. We'll try and find as much as we can and we'll follow the evidence where it leads. Interview: Interview with President Trump, Fox Business Network, YouTube, April 12, 2017. Sound Clip: 5:30 Maria Bartiromo: Was it a mistake not to ask Jim Comey to step down from the FBI at the outside of your presidency, is it too late now to ask him to step down? President Donald Trump: No, it's not too late. But I have confidence at him, we'll see what happens. It's going to be interesting Interview: Face the Nation interviews Vice-President elect Mike Pence, YouTube, January 15, 2017. Transcript Sound Clip: 8:48 John Dickerson: It was reported by David Ignatius that the incoming national security advisor Michael Flynn was in touch with the Russian ambassador on the day the United States government announced sanctions for Russian interference with the election. Did that contact help with that Russian kind of moderate response to it? That there was no counter-reaction from Russia. Did the Flynn conversation help pave the way for that sort of more temperate Russian response? Vice President-elect Mike Pence: I talked to General Flynn about that conversation and actually was initiated on Christmas Day he had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place. It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia. Hearing: Jeff Sessions for Attorney General Confirmation, Senate Judiciary Committee, C-SPAN, January 10, 2017. Clip: Jeff Sessions Didn't Disclose 2016 Meetings with Russian Ambassador Sound Clips: Sen. Al Franken (MN): If there is any evidence that any one affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do? Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL): Senator Franken, I'm not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn't have not have communications with the Russians and I'm unable to comment on it. Campaign Speech clip: Trump: I could shoot somebody and not lose voters", Iowa Campaign Rally, CNN, January 23, 2016. Sound Clips: Donald Trump: I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Okay? It’s like, incredible. Interview: Trump says Clinton policy on Syria would lead to World War Three, Steve Holland, Reuters, October 25, 2016. National Security Address: Hilary Clinton Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, C-SPAN, November 19, 2015. Transcript Sound Clip: Hillary Clinton: So we need to move simultaneously toward a political solution to the civil war that paves the way for a new government with new leadership and to encourage more Syrians to take on ISIS as well. To support them, we should immediately deploy the special operations force President Obama has already authorized and be prepared to deploy more as more Syrians get into the fight, and we should retool and ramp up our efforts to support and equip viable Syrian opposition units. Our increased support should go hand in hand with increased support from our Arab and European partners, including Special Forces who can contribute to the fight on the ground. We should also work with the coalition and the neighbors to impose no-fly zones that will stop Assad from slaughtering civilians and the opposition from the air. Video: Gonzalez: Pressured Hospitalized Ashcroft to OK Spying, James Comey Testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee, YouTube, May 15, 2007. Community Suggestions See Community Suggestions HERE. Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)
Yemen: Most of us don't know where that is but we Americans have been participating in a war there since 2015. In a surprise move, the 116th Congress recently put a resolution on President Trump's desk that would LIMIT our participation in that war. In this episode, learn about our recent history in Yemen: Why are we involved? When did our involvement start? What do we want from Yemen? And why is Congress suddenly pursuing a change in policy? In the second half of the episode, Jen admits defeat in a project she's been working on and Husband Joe joins Jen for the thank yous. Please Support Congressional Dish – Quick Links Click here to contribute monthly or a lump sum via PayPal Click here to support Congressional Dish for each episode via Patreon Send Zelle payments to: Donation@congressionaldish.com Send Venmo payments to: @Jennifer-Briney Send Cash App payments to: $CongressionalDish or Donation@congressionaldish.com Use your bank's online bill pay function to mail contributions to: 5753 Hwy 85 North, Number 4576, Crestview, FL 32536 Please make checks payable to Congressional Dish Thank you for supporting truly independent media! Recommended Congressional Dish Episodes CD167: Combating Russia (NDAA 2018) LIVE CD131: Bombing Libya CD102: The World Trade Organization: COOL? Additional Reading Article: Hurricane Michael upgraded to a Category 5 at time of U.S. landfall, NOAA, April 19, 2019. Article: US carries out first airstrikes in Yemen in nearly 3 months by Ryan Browne, CNN, April 1, 2019. Article: The assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by Joyce Lee and Dalton Bennett, The Washington Post, April 1, 2019. Article: Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths, BBC News, March 7, 2019. Article: US carried out 36 airstrikes in Yemen last year by Andrew Kennedy, The Defense Post, January 7, 2019. Article: See no evil: Pentagon issues blanket denial that it knows anything about detainee abuse in Yemen by Alex Emmons, The Intercept, January 7, 2019. Report: Senate bucks Trump's Saudi approach by Jeff Abramson, Arms Control Association, January/February 2019. Article: Saudi strikes, American bombs, Yemeni suffering by Derek Watkins and Declan Walsh, The New York Times, December 27, 2018. Article: The wooing of Jared Kushner: How the Saudis got a friend in the White House by David D. Kirkpatrick, Ben Hubbard, Mark Landler, and Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times, December 8, 2018. Report: Saudi lobbyists bout 500 nights at Trump's DC hotel after 2016 election by John Bowden, The Hill, December 5, 2018. Article: Hidden toll of US drone strikes in Yemen: Nearly a third of deaths are civilians, not al-Quaida by Maggie Michael and Maad al-Zikry, Military Times, November 14, 2018. Article: Jamal Khashoggi's friends in Washington are in shock by Scott Nover, The Atlantic, October 12, 2018. Report: Catastrophic Hurricane Michael strikes Florida Panhandle, National Weather Service, October 10, 2018. Article: Yemen's President Hadi heads to US for medical treatment, Aljazeera, September 3, 2018. Article: Bab el-Mandeb, an emerging chokepoint for Middle East oil flows by Julian Lee, Bloomberg, July 26, 2018. Report: YEM305: Unknown reported killed, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, March 29, 2018. Article: Yemen: Ex-President Ali Abdullah Saleh killed, Aljazeera, December 10, 2017. Article: In Yemen's secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates by Maggie Michael, AP News, June 22, 2017. Report: Yemen: UAE backs abusive local forces, Human Rights Watch, June 22, 2017. Article: What we know about Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11 by Simon Henderson, Foreign Policy, July 18, 2016. Report: Yemen: Background and U.S. relations by Jeremy M. Sharp, Congressional Research Service, February 11, 2015. Article: How al Qaeda's biggest enemy took over Yemen (and why the US government is unlikely to support them) by Casey L. Coombs and Jeremy Scahill, The Intercept, January 22, 2015. Report: Yemen protests erupt after fuel price doubled, Aljazeera, July 30, 2014. Article: U.S. charges saudi for 2002 oil tanker bombing by MAREX, Feburary 6, 2014. Report: "Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda": The civilian cost of US targeted killings in Yemen, Human Rights Watch, October 22, 2013. Article: Yemen: Opposition leader to be sworn in Saturday by Reuters, The New York Times, December 7, 2011. Article: Yemen's Saleh signs deal to give up power by Marwa Rashad, Reuters, November 23, 2011. Article: Yemen's leader agrees to end 3-decade rule by Kareem Fahim and Laura Kasinof, The New York Times, November 23, 2011. Article: Yemeni president's shock return throws country into confusion by Tom Finn, The Guardian, September 23, 2011. Article: Yemen: President Saleh 'was injured by palace bomb', BBC News, June 23, 2011. Article: Government in Yemen agrees to talk transition by Laura Kasinof, The New York Times, April 26, 2011. Article: Hundreds take to streets in Yemen to protest by Faud Rajeh, The New York Times, February 16, 2011. Article: U.S. plays down tensions with Yemen by Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, December 17, 2010. Article: Cables depict range of Obama diplomacy by David E. Sanger, The New York Times, December 4, 2010. Article: Yemen's drive on Al Qaeda faces international skepticism by Mona El-Naggar and Robert F. Worth, The New York Times, November 3, 2010. Article: Op-Ed: The Yemeni state against its own people by Subir Ghosh, Digital Journal, October 11, 2010. Roundtable Summary: Reform priorities for Yemen and the 10-Point agenda, MENAP, Chatham House, February 18, 2010. Article: As nations meet, Clinton urges Yemen to prove itself worthy of aid by Mark Landler, The New York Times, January 27, 2010. Article: After failed attack, Britain turns focus to Yemen by John F. Burns, The New York Times, January 1, 2010. Resources Congress.gov: S.J.Res.54 - A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress Govtrack: S.J.Res. 7: A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by ... Congress IMF.org: Gulf Cooperation Council Countries Middle East Institute: Addressing the Crisis in Yemen: Strategies and Solutions Open Knowledge Repository: Leveraging Fuel Subsidy Reform for Transition in Yemen US Dept. of Treasury: International Monetary Fund Sound Clip Sources House Proceedings: Yemen Resolution Debate, 116th Congress, April 4, 2019. Congressional Record Sound Clips: 1:06:30 Rep. Michael McCaul (TX):This resolution stretches the definition of war powers hostilities to cover non-U.S. military operations by other countries. Specifically, it reinterprets U.S. support to these countries as ‘‘engagement in hostilities.’’ This radical reinterpretation has implications far beyond Saudi Arabia. This precedent will empower any single Member to use privileged war powers procedures to force congressional referendums that could disrupt U.S. security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries around the world. 1:14:30 Rep. Barbara Lee (CA): Yes, Madam Speaker, I voted against that 2001 resolution, because I knew it was open-ended and would set the stage for endless wars. It was a blank check. We see this once again today in Yemen. We must repeal this 2001 blank check for endless wars. Over the past 18 years, we have seen the executive branch use this AUMF time and time again. It is a blank check to wage war without congressional oversight. 1:21:30 Rep. Ro Khanna (CA): My motivation for this bill is very simple. I don’t want to see 14 million Yemenis starve to death. That is what Martin Griffith had said at the U.N., that if the Saudis don’t stop their blockade and let food and medicine in, within 6 months we will see one of the greatest humanitarian crises in the world. Senate Floor Proceedings: Yemen Resolution Debate, 115th Congress, 2nd Session, December 12, 2018. Congressional Record Pt. 1 Congressional Record Pt. 2 Sound Clips: 7:09:00 Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Finally, an issue that has long been a concern to many of us—conservatives and progressives—is that this war has not been authorized by Congress and is therefore unconstitutional. Article I of the Constitution clearly states it is Congress, not the President, that has the power to send our men and women into war—Congress, not the President. The Framers of our Constitution, the Founders of this country, gave the power to declare war to Congress—the branch most accountable to the people—not to the President, who is often isolated from the reality of what is taking place in our communities. The truth is—and Democratic and Republican Presidents are responsible, and Democratic and Republican Congresses are responsible—that for many years, Congress has not exercised its constitutional responsibility over whether our young men and women go off to war. I think there is growing sentiment all over this country from Republicans, from Democrats, from Independents, from progressives, and from conservatives that right now, Congress cannot continue to abdicate its constitutional responsibility. 7:14:45 Sen. Bob Corker (TN): I have concerns about what this may mean as we set a precedent about refueling and intelligence activities being considered hostilities. I am concerned about that. I think the Senator knows we have operations throughout Northern Africa, where we are working with other governments on intelligence to counter terrorism. We are doing refueling activists in Northern Africa now, and it concerns me—he knows I have concerns—that if we use this vehicle, then we may have 30 or 40 instances where this vehicle might be used to do something that really should not be dealt with by the War Powers Act. 7:49:06 Sen. Todd Young (IN): We don’t have much leverage over the Houthis. We have significant leverage over the Saudis, and we must utilize it. 7:58:30 Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK): The Sanders-Lee resolution is, I think, fundamentally flawed because it presumes we are engaged in military action in Yemen. We are not. We are not engaged in military action in Yemen. There has been a lot of discussion about refueling. I don’t see any stretch of the definition that would say that falls into that category. 8:01:00 Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK): Saudi Arabia is an important Middle Eastern partner. Its stability is vital to the security of our regional allies and our partners, including Israel, and Saudi Arabia is essential to countering Iran. We all know that. We know how tenuous things are in that part of the world. We don’t have that many friends. We can’t afford to lose any of them. 8:04:30 Sen. Chris Murphy (CT): It is important to note some-thing that we take for granted in the region—this now long-term detente that has existed between the Gulf States and Israel, which did not used to be something you could rely on. In fact, one of the most serious foreign policy debates this Senate ever had was on the sale of AWACS to Saudi Arabia back in the 1980s. The objection then was that by empowering Saudi Arabia, you were hurting Israel and Israeli security. No one would make that argument today because Saudi Arabia has been a good partner in trying to figure out a way to calm the tensions in the region and, of course, provide some balance in the region, with the Iranian regime on the other side continuing to this day to use inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric about the future of Israel. So this is an important partnership, and I have no interest in blowing it up. I have no interest in walking away from it. But you are not obligated to follow your friend into every misadventure they propose. When your buddy jumps into a pool of man-eating sharks, you don’t have to jump with him. There is a point at which you say enough is enough. 8:06:00 Sen. Chris Murphy (CT): Muhammad bin Salman, who is the Crown Prince, who is the effective leader of the country, has steered the foreign policy of Saudi Arabia off the rails. Folks seem to have noticed when he started rounding up his political opponents and killing one of them in a consulate in Turkey, but this has been ongoing. Look back to the kidnapping of the Lebanese Prime Minister, the blockade of Qatar without any heads-up to the United States, the wholesale imprisonment of hundreds of his family members until there was a payoff, the size of which was big enough to let some of them out. This is a foreign policy that is no longer in the best interests of the United States and cannot be papered over by a handful of domestic policy reforms that are, in fact, intended to try to distract us from the aggressive nature of the Saudis’ foreign policy in the region. 8:08:15 Sen. Chris Murphy (CT): I am appreciative that many of my colleagues are willing to stand up for this resolution today to end the war in Yemen. I wish that it weren’t because of the death of one journalist, because there have been tens of thousands who have died inside Yemen, and their lives are just as important and just as worthwhile as Jamal Khashoggi’s life was, as tragic as that was. But there is a connection between the two, which is why I have actually argued that this resolution is in some way, shape, or form a response to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, for those who are primarily concerned with that atrocity. Here is how I link the two: What the Saudis did for 2 weeks was lie to us, right? In the most bald-faced way possible. They told us that Jamal Khashoggi had left the consulate, that he had gotten out of there alive, that they didn’t know what happened, when of course they knew the entire time that they had killed him, that they had murdered him, that they had dismembered his body. We now know that the Crown Prince had multiple contacts all throughout the day with the team of operatives who did it. Yet they thought we were so dumb or so weak— or some combination of the two—that they could just lie to us about it. That was an eye-opener for a lot of people here who were long-term supporters of the Saudi relationship because they knew that we had trouble. They knew that sometimes our interests didn’t align, but they thought that the most important thing allies did with each other was tell the truth, especially when the truth was so easy to discover outside of your bilateral relationship. Then, all of a sudden, the Saudis lied to us for 2 weeks—for 2 weeks—and then finally came around to telling the truth because everybody knew that they weren’t. That made a lot of people here think, well, wait a second—maybe the Saudis haven’t been telling us the truth about what they have been doing inside Yemen. A lot of my friends have been supporting the bombing campaign in Yemen. Why? Because the Saudis said: We are hitting these civilians by accident. Those water treatment plants that have been blowing up—we didn’t mean to hit them. That cholera treatment facility inside the humanitarian compound—that was just a bomb that went into the wrong place, or, we thought there were some bad guys in it. It didn’t turn out that there were. It turns out the Saudis weren’t telling us the truth about what they were doing in Yemen. They were hitting civilian targets on purpose. They did have an intentional campaign of trying to create misery. I am not saying that every single one of those school buses or those hospitals or those churches or weddings was an attempt to kill civilians and civilians only, but we have been in that targeting center long enough to know—to know—that they have known for a long time what they have been doing: hitting a lot of people who have nothing to do with the attacks against Saudi Arabia. Maybe if the Saudis were willing to lie to us about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, they haven’t been straight with us as to what is happening inside Yemen, because if the United States is being used to intentionally hit civilians, then we are complicit in war crimes. And I hate to tell my colleagues that is essentially what the United Nations found in their most recent report on the Saudi bombing campaign. They were careful about their words, but they came to the conclusion that it was likely that the Saudi conduct inside Yemen would amount to war crimes under international law. If it is likely that our ally is perpetuating war crimes in Yemen, then we cannot be a part of that. The United States cannot be part of a bombing campaign that may be—probably is— intentionally making life miserable for the people inside of that country. 8:14:00 Sen. Chris Murphy (CT): There is no relationship in which we are the junior partner—certainly not with Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia can push us around like they have over the course of the last several years and in particular the last several months, that sends a signal to lots of other countries that they can do the same thing—that they can murder U.S. residents and suffer almost no consequences; that they can bomb civilians with our munitions and suffer no consequences. This is not just a message about the Saudi relationship; this is a message about how the United States is going to interact with lots of other junior partners around the world as well. Saudi Arabia needs us a lot more than we need them, and we need to remind folks of that over and over again. Spare me this nonsense that they are going to go start buying Russian jets or Chinese military hardware. If you think those countries can protect you better than the United States, take a chance. You think the Saudis are really going to stop selling oil to the United States? You think they are going to walk away from their primary bread winner just because we say that we don’t want to be engaged in this particular military campaign? I am willing to take that chance. We are the major partner in this relationship, and it is time that we start acting like it. If this administration isn’t going to act like it, then this Congress has to act like it. 8:44:15 Sen. Mike Lee (UT): Many of my colleagues will argue—in fact some of them have argued just within the last few minutes—that we are somehow not involved in a war in Yemen. My distinguished friend and colleague, the Senator from Oklahoma, came to the floor a little while ago, and he said that we are not engaged in direct military action in Yemen. Let’s peel that back for a minute. Let’s figure out what that means. I am not sure what the distinction between direct and indirect is here. Maybe in a very technical sense—or under a definition of warfare or military action that has long since been rendered out- dated—we are not involved in that, but we are involved in a war. We are co-belligerents. The minute we start identifying targets or, as Secretary James Mattis put it about a year ago, in December 2017, the minute we are involved in the decisions involving making sure that they know the right stuff to hit, that is involvement in a war, and that is pretty direct. The minute we send up U.S. military aircraft to provide midair refueling assistance for Saudi jets en route to bombing missions, to combat missions on the ground in Yemen, that is our direct involvement in war. 8:48:00 Sen. Mike Lee (UT): Increasingly these days, our wars are high-tech. Very often, our wars involve cyber activities. They involve reconnaissance, surveillance, target selection, midair refueling. It is hard—in many cases, impossible—to fight a war without those things. That is what war is. Many of my colleagues, in arguing that we are not involved in hostilities, rely on a memorandum that is internal within the executive branch of the U.S. Government that was issued in 1976 that provides a very narrow, unreasonably slim definition of the word ‘‘hostilities.’’ It defines ‘‘hostilities’’ in a way that might have been relevant, that might have been accurate, perhaps, in the mid-19th century, but we no longer live in a world in which you have a war as understood by two competing countries that are lined up on opposite sides of a battlefield and engaged in direct exchanges of fire, one against another, at relatively short range. War encompasses a lot more than that. War certainly encompasses midair refueling, target selection, surveillance, and reconnaissance of the sort we are undertaking in Yemen. Moreover, separate and apart from this very narrow, unreasonably slim definition of ‘‘hostilities’’ as deter- mined by this internal executive branch document from 1976 that contains the outdated definition, we our- selves, under the War Powers Act, don’t have to technically be involved in hostilities. It is triggered so long as we ourselves are sufficiently involved with the armed forces of another nation when those armed forces of another nation are themselves involved in hostilities. I am speaking, of course, in reference to the War Powers Act’s pro- visions codified at 50 USC 1547(c). For our purposes here, it is important to keep in mind what that provisions reads: ‘‘For purposes of this chapter [under the War Powers Act], the term ‘introduction of United States Armed Forces’ includes the assignment of members of such Armed Forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.’’ In what sense, on what level, on what planet are we not involved in the commanding, in the coordination, in the participation, in the movement of or in the accompaniment of the armed forces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the civil war in Yemen? 9:57:15 Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT): In March of this year, I led a letter to the Department of Defense with my colleague Senator JACK REED of Rhode Island, along with many of our colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee, stating our concern regarding U.S. support for Saudi military operations against the Houthis in Yemen and asking about the DOD’s involvement, apparently without appropriate notification of Congress, and its agreements to provide refueling sup- port to the Saudis and the Saudi coalition partners. We were concerned that the DOD had not appropriately documented reimbursements for aerial re- fueling support provided by the United States. Eight months later—just days ago— the Department of Defense responded to our letter and admitted that it has failed to appropriately notify Congress of its support agreements; it has failed to adequately charge Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for fuel and refueling assistance. That admission 8 months after our inquiry is a damning indictment. These errors in accounting mean that the United States was directly funding the Saudi war in Yemen. It has been doing it since March of 2015. Video: Trump: Khashoggi case will not stop $110bn US-Saudi arms trade, The Guardian, October 12, 2018. Donald Trump: I would not be in favor of stopping from spending $110 billion, which is an all-time record, and letting Russia have that money, and letting China have that money. Because all their going to do is say, that's okay, we don't have to buy it from Boeing, we don't have to buy it from Lockheed, we don't have to buy it from Ratheon and all these great companies. We'll buy it from Russia and we'll buy it from China. So what good does that do us? Hearing: U.S. Policy Toward Middle East, House Foreign Affairs Committee, C-SPAN, April 18, 2018. Witnesses: David Satterfield: Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Wess Mitchell: Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Sound Clips: 18:00 David Satterfield: We all agree, as does the Congress, that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is unacceptable. Last month, the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates provided $1 billion to Yemen's humanitarian response appeal, and this complements the US government pledge of $87 million and more than $854 million contributed since beginning of fiscal year 2017. 19:45 Wess Mitchell: Turkey is a 66 year member of the NATO alliance and member of the defeat ISIS coalition. It has suffered more casualties from terrorism than any other ally and hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees. It supports the coalition through the use of Incirlik air base through its commitment of Turkish military forces against Isis on the ground in (Dibick? al-Bab?) And through close intelligence cooperation with the United States and other allies. Turkey has publicly committed to a political resolution in Syria that accords with UN Security Council. Resolution 2254. Turkey has a vested strategic interest in checking the spread of Iranian influence and in having a safe and stable border with Syria. Despite these shared interests, Turkey lately has increased its engagement with Russia and Iran. Ankara has sought to assure us that it sees this cooperation as a necessary stepping stone towards progress in the Geneva process, but the ease with which Turkey brokered arrangements with the Russian military to facilitate the launch of its Operation Olive Branch in Afrin district, arrangements to which America was not privy, is gravely concerning. Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase, to, to purchase the Russian S 400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions under section 231 of CAATSA and adversely impact Turkey's participation in the F-35 program. It is in the American national interest to see Turkey remains strategically and politically aligned with the west. Hearing: U.S. Policy Toward Yemen, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, C-SPAN, April 17, 2018. Witnesses: Robert Jenkins: Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, & Humanitarian Assistance David Satterfield: Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Robert Karem: Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs Nominee and former Middle East Adviser to Vice President Cheney Sound Clips: 9:30 Chairman Bob Corker (TN): Well, Yemen has always faced significant socioeconomic challenges. A civil war, which began with the Houthis armed takeover of much of the country in 2014 and their overthrow of Yemen's legitimate government in January 2015, has plunged the country into humanitarian crisis. 17:25 Chairman Bob Corker (TN): Our first witness is acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, Ambassador David Satterfield. Ambassador Satterfield is one of the most distinguished, one of our most distinguished diplomats. He most recently served as director general, the multinational force and observers in the Sinai peninsula and previously served as US Abassador to Lebanon. 17:45 Chairman Bob Corker (TN): Our second witness is Robert Jenkins, who serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USA ID Bureau for Democracy, conflict and humanitarian assistance. Mr. Jenkins, recently mark 20 years at USAID and previously served as the Director of Office of Transition Initiatives. 18:15 Chairman Bob Corker (TN): Our third witness is Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Robert Kerem. Prior to his Senate confirmation last year, Mr. Karem served as National Security of Staff of Vice President Cheney and then as National Security Advisor to the House, majority leader's Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy. 20:15 David Satterfield: US military support serves a clear and strategic purpose to reinforce Saudi and Mrid self defense in the face of intensifying Houthi and Iranian enabled threats and to expand the capability of our Gulf partners to push back against Iran's regionally destabilizing actions. This support in turn provides the United States access and influence to help press for a political solution to the conflict. Should we curtail US military support? The Saudis could well pursue defense relationships with countries that have no interest in either ending the humanitarian crisis, minimizing civilian casualties or assisting and facilitating progress towards a political solution. Critical US access to support for our own campaign against violent extremists could be placed in jeopardy. 30:00 Robert Karem: Conflict in Yemen affects regional security across the Middle East, uh, and threatens US national security interests, including the free flow of commerce and the Red Sea. Just this month, the Houthi, his attack to Saudi oil tanker and the Red Sea threatening commercial shipping and freedom of navigation and the world's fourth busiest maritime choke point, the Bab el Mandeb. 32:00 Robert Karem: The Defense Department is currently engaged in two lines of effort in Yemen. Our first line of effort and our priority is the fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS in Yemen, two terrorist organizations that directly threaten the United States, our allies and our partners. To combat AQIP, AQAP, and ISIS, US forces in coordination with the UN recognized government of Yemen are supporting our regional key counter terrorism partners in ongoing operations to disrupt and degrade their ability to coordinate, plot and recruit for external terrorist operations. Additionally, US military forces are conducting airstrikes against AQAP and ISIS in Yemen pursuant to the 2001 a authorization for the use of military force to disrupt and destroy terrorist network networks. Our second line of effort is the provision of limited noncombat support to the Saudi led coalition in support of the UN recognized government of Yemen. The support began in 2015 under President Obama and in 2017 president Trump reaffirmed America's commitment to our partners in these efforts. Fewer than 50 US military personnel work in Saudi Arabia with the Saudi led coalition advising and assisting with the defense of Saudi territory, sharing intelligence and providing logistical support, including aerial refueling. 35:45 Sen. Ben Cardin (MD): Mr. Karem. I'm gonna Start with you. Um, in regards to the US military assistance that we give to the kingdom, you said that is to embolden their capacity and to reduce noncombatant casualties. Last March, the CENTCOM commander General Votel stated that the United States government does not track the end results of the coalition missions. It refills and supports with targeting assistance. So my question to you is, how do you determine that we are effectively reducing the non combatant casualties if we don't in fact track the results of the kingdoms military actions? Robert Karem: Senator, thank you. Um, it's correct that we do not monitor and track all of the Saudi aircraft, um, uh, a loft over Yemen. Uh, we have limited personnel and assets in order to do that. Uh, and CENTCOM's focus is obviously been on our own operations in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Syria. Sen. Ben Cardin (MD): I understand that, but my question is, our stated mission is to reduce noncombat and casualties. If we don't track, how do we determine that? Robert Karem: So I think one of our stated missions is precisely that. Um, there are multiple ways that I think we do have insight into, uh, Saudi, uh, targeting behavior. Um, we have helped them with their processes. Um, we have seen them implement a no strike list. Um, and we have seen their, their, their uh, capabilities, uh, improved. So the information is based upon what the Saudis tell you, how they're conducting the mission rather than the after impact of the mission. I think our military officers who are resident in Saudi Arabia are seeing how the Saudis approach, uh, this, this effort that took getting effort. Sen. Ben Cardin (MD): But you know, obviously the proof is in the results and we don't know whether the results are, there are not fair statement. Robert Karem: I think we do see a difference in how the Saudis have operated in Yemen, how they operate. Sen. Ben Cardin (MD): I understand how they operate but we don't know whether in fact that's been effective. The United Nations Security Council panel of experts on Yemen concluded in recent reports that the cumulative effect of these airstrikes on civilian infrastructure demonstrates that even with precaution, cautionary measures were taken, they were largely inadequate and ineffective. Do you have any information that disagrees with that assessment? Robert Karem: Senator, I think the assessment of, uh, our central command is that the Saudi, uh, and Emirati targeting efforts, uh, have improved, um, uh, with the steps that they've taken. We do not have perfect understanding because we're not using all of our assets to monitor their aircraft, but we do get reporting from the ground on what taking place inside Yemen. 40:15 Sen. Rand Paul (KY): Ambassador Satterfield. I guess some people when they think about our strategy might question the idea of our strategy. You know, if your son was shooting off his pistol in the back yard and doing it indiscriminately and endangering the neighbors, would you give hmi more bullets or less? And we see the Saudis acting in an indiscriminate manner. They've bombed a funeral processions, they've killed a lot of civilians. And so our strategy is to give them more bombs, not less. And we say, well, if we don't give him the bomb, somebody else will. And that's sort of this global strategy, uh, that many in the bipartisan foreign policy consensus have. We have to, we have to always be involved. We always have to provide weapons or someone else will and they'll act even worse. But there's a, I guess a lot of examples that doesn't seem to be improving their behavior. Um, you could argue it's marginally better since we've been giving them more weapons, but it seems the opposite of logic. You would think you would give people less where you might withhold aid or withhold a assistance to the Saudis to get them to behave. But we do sort of the opposite. We give them more aid. What would your response be to that? David Satterfield: Senator, when I noted in my remarks that progress had been made on this issue of targeting, minimizing or mitigating civilian casualties, that phrase was carefully chosen into elaborate further on, uh, my colleagues remarks, uh, Robert Karem. We do work with the Saudis and have, particularly over the last six to nine months worked intensively on the types of munitions the Saudis are using, how they're using, how to discriminate target sets, how to assure through increased loiter time by aircraft that the targets sought are indeed clear of collateral or civilian damage. This is new. This is not the type of interaction… Sen. Rand Paul (KY): And yet the overall situation in Yemen is a, is a disaster. David Satterfield: The overall situation is extremely bad. Senator. Sen. Rand Paul (KY): I guess that's really my question. We had to rethink...And I think from a common sense point of view, a lot of people would question giving people who misbehave more weapons instead of giving them less on another question, which I think is a broad question about, you know, what we're doing in the Middle East in general. Um, you admitted that there's not really a military solution in Yemen. Most people say it's going to be a political solution. The Houthis will still remain. We're not going to have Hiroshima. We're not going to have unconditional surrender and the good guys win and the bad guys are vanquished. Same with Syria. Most people have said for years, both the Obama administration and this administration, probably even the Bush administration, the situation will probably be a political solution. They will no longer, it's not going to be complete vanquished meant of the enemy. We're also saying that in Afghanistan, and I guess my point as I think about that is I think about the recruiter at the station in Omaha, Nebraska, trying to get somebody to sign up for the military and saying, please join. We're going to send you to three different wars where there is no military solution. We're hoping to make it maybe a little bit better. I think back to Vietnam. Oh, we're going to take one more village. If we take one more village, they're going to negotiate and we get a little better negotiation. I just can't see sending our young men and women to die for that for one more village. You know the Taliban 40% in Afghanistan. Where are we going to get when they get to 30% don't negotiate and when we it, it'll be, it'll have been worth it for the people who have to go in and die and take those villages. I don't think it's one more life. I don't think it's worth one more life. The war in Yemen is not hard. We talk all about the Iranians have launched hundreds of missiles. Well, yeah, and the Saudis have launched 16,000 attacks. Who started it? It's a little bit murky back and forth. The, the Houthis may have started taking over their government, but that was a civil war. Now we're involved in who are the good guys of the Saudis, the good guys or the others, the bad guys. Thousands of civilians are dying. 17 million people live on the edge of starvation. I think we need to rethink whether or not military intervention supplying the Saudis with weapons, whether all of this makes any sense at all or whether we've made the situation worse. I mean, humanitarian crisis, we're talking about, oh, we're going to give my, the Saudis are giving them money and I'm like, okay, so we dropped, we bomb the crap out of them in this audience. Give them $1 billion. Maybe we could bomb last maybe part of the humanitarian answers, supplying less weapons to a war. There's a huge arms race going on. Why do the Iranians do what they do? They're evil. Or maybe they're responding to the Saudis who responded first, who started it? Where did the arms race start? But we sell $300 billion a weapons to Saudi Arabia. What are the Iranians going to do? They react. It's action and reaction throughout the Middle East. And so we paint the Iranians as the, you know, these evil monsters. And we just have to correct evil monster. But the world's a much more complicated place back and forth. And I, all I would ask is that we try to get outside our mindset that we, uh, what we're doing is working because I think what we're doing hasn't worked, and we've made a lot of things worse. And we're partly responsible for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 48:30 David Satterfield: The political picture on the ground in Yemen has changed radically with the death, the killing of a Ali Abdullah Saleh, uh, with the fragmentation of the General People's Congress. All of that, while tragic in many of its dimensions, has provided a certain reshuffling of the deck that may, we hope, allow the United Nations to be more effective in its efforts. 1:05:45 Sen. Todd Young (IN): Approximately how many people, Mr. Jenkins require humanitarian assistance in Yemen? David Jenkins: 22 million people. Sen. Todd Young (IN): What percent of the population is that? David Jenkins: Approximately 75% was the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance increase from last year. It increased by our, we're estimating 3.5 million people. Sen. Todd Young (IN): And how much has it increased? David Jenkins: About 3.5 million people. Sen. Todd Young (IN): Okay. How many are severely food insecure? David Jenkins: 17.8 million. Sen. Todd Young (IN): How many children are severely malnourished? David Jenkins: 460,000 Sen. Todd Young (IN): How many people lack access to clean water and working toilets? David Jenkins: We estimate it to be around 16 million people. Sen. Todd Young (IN): Does Yemen face the largest cholera outbreak in the world? David Jenkins: It does. Sen. Todd Young (IN): How many cholera cases have we seen in Yemen? David Jenkins: A suspected over a 1 million cases. Sen. Todd Young (IN): And how many lives has that cholera outbreak claim? David Jenkins: Almost 2100. 1:46:00 Robert Jenkins: I do know that the vast majority of people within that, the majority of people in need, and that 22 million number live in the northern part of the country that are accessible best and easiest by Hodeidah port, there is no way to take Hodeidah out of the equation and get anywhere near the amount of humanitarian and more importantly, even commercial goods into the country. Hearing: Violence in Yemen, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North America, C-SPAN, April 14, 2015. Witnesses: Gerald Feierstein: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Former Ambassador to Yemen (2010-2013) Sound Clips: 1:45 Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (FL): On September 10th of last year, President Obama announced to the American public his plan to degrade and destroy the terrorist group ISIL. While making his case for America's role in the fight against ISIL, the president highlighted our strategy in Yemen and held it up as a model of success to be emulated in the fight against ISIL. Yet about a week later, the Iran backed Houthis seized control of the capital and the government. Despite this, the administration continued to hail our counter-terror operations in Yemen as a model for success, even though we effectively had no partner on the ground since President Hadi was forced to flee. But perhaps even more astonishingly in what can only be described as an alarmingly tone deaf and short sighted, when Press Secretary Ernest was asked at a press briefing if this model was still successful after the Yemeni central government collapsed and the US withdrew all of our personnel including our special forces, he said yes, despite all indications pointing to the contrary. So where do we stand now? That's the important question. President Hadi was forced to flee. Saudi Arabia has led a coalition of over 10 Arab nations and Operation Decisive Storm, which so far has consisted of airstrikes only, but very well could include ground forces in the near future. 4:45 Rep. Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (FL): Iran has reportedly dispatched a naval destroyer near Yemen in a game of chicken over one of the most important shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden. This area is a gateway between Europe and the Middle East and ran was not be allowed to escalate any tensions nor attempt to disrupt the shipping lanes. 13:30 Rep. David Cicilline (NJ): I think it's safe to say that the quick deterioration of the situation in Yemen took many people here in Washington by surprise. For many years, Yemen was held up as an example of counter-terrorism cooperation and it looked as if a political agreement might be achieved in the aftermath of the Arab spring. The United States poured approximately $900 million in foreign aid to Yemen since the transition in 2011 to support counter-terrorism, political reconciliation, the economy and humanitarian aid. Now we face a vastly different landscape and have to revise our assumptions and expectations. Furthermore, we risk being drawn deeply into another Iranian backed armed conflict in the Middle East. 17:30 Rep. Ted Deutch (FL): Following the deposition of Yemen's longtime autocratic Saleh in 2011, the US supported an inclusive transition process. We had national dialogue aimed at rebuilding the country's political and governmental institutions and bridging gaps between groups that have had a long history of conflict. Yemen's first newly elected leader, President Hadi made clear his intentions to cooperate closely with the United States. 18:00 Rep. Ted Deutch (FL): Yemen, the poorest country on the peninsula, needed support from the international community. The United States has long viewed Yemen as a safe haven for all Qaeda terrorists, and there was alarming potential for recruitment by terrorist groups given the dire economic conditions that they faced. In fact, the US Department of Homeland Security considers al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate, most likely the al Qaeda affiliate, most likely to attempt transnational attacks against the United States. 18:30 Rep. Ted Deutch (FL): While the national dialogue was initially viewed as successful, the process concluded in 2014 with several key reforms still not completed, including the drafting of the new constitution. The Hadi government had continued to face deep opposition from Yemen's northern tribes, mainly the Shiite Iranian backed Houthi rebels, over the past year. The Houthis, in coordination with tribes and military units still loyal to Saleh, began increasing their territorial control, eventually moving in to Sanaa. Saleh had long been thought to have used his existing relationship to undermine the Hadi government. Houthis are well trained, well funded, and experienced fighters, having fought the Yemeni government and Saudi Arabia in 2009. 23:15 Gerald Feierstein: I greatly appreciate this opportunity to come before you today to review recent developments in Yemen and the efforts that the United States is undertaking to support the government of Yemen under president Rabu Mansour Hadi and the Saudi led coalition of Operation Decisive Storm, that is aimed at restoring the legitimate government and restarting the negotiations to find peaceful political solutions to Yemen's internal conflict. 26:45 Gerald Feierstein: To the best of our understanding, the Houthis are not controlled directly by Iran. However, we have seen in recent years, significant growth and expansion of Iranian engagement with the Houthis. We believe that Iran sees opportunities with the Houthis to expand its influence in Yemen and threatened Saudi and Gulf Arab interests. Iran provides financial support, weapons training, and intelligence of the Houthis and the weeks and months since the Houthis entered Sanaa and forced the legitimate government first to resign and ultimately to flee from the capitol, we have seen a significant expansion of Iranian involvement in Yemen's domestic affairs. 27:30 Gerald Feierstein: We are also particularly concerned about the ongoing destabilizing role played by former President Saleh, who since his removal from power in 2011 has actively plotted to undermine President Hadi and the political transition process. Despite UN sanctions and international condemnation of his actions, Saleh continues to be one of the primary sources of the chaos in Yemen. We have been working with our Gulf partners and the international community to isolate him and prevent the continuation of his efforts to undermine the peaceful transition. Success in that effort will go a long way to helping Yemen return to a credible political transition process. 42:00 Gerald Feierstein: From our perspective, I would say that that Yemen is a unique situation for the Saudis. This is on their border. It represents a threat in a way that no other situation would represent. 52:30 Gerald Feierstein: I mean, obviously our hope would be that if we can get the situation stabilized and get the political process going again, that we would be able to return and that we would be able to continue implementing the kinds of programs that we were trying to achieve that are aimed at economic growth and development as well as supporting a democratic governance and the opportunity to try to build solid political foundations for the society. At this particular moment, we can't do that, but it's hard to predict where we might be in six months or nine months from now. 1:10:00 Gerald Feierstein: When the political crisis came in Yemen in 2011, AQAP was able to take advantage of that and increase its territorial control, to the extent that they were actually declaring areas of the country to be an Islamic caliphate, not unlike what we see with ISIL in Iraq and Syria these days. Because of our cooperation, primarily our cooperation with the Yemeni security forces, uh, we were able to, uh, to defeat that, uh, at a significant loss of a life for AQAP. Uh, as a result of that, they changed their tactics. They went back to being a more traditional terrorist organization. They were able to attack locations inside of, uh, inside of Sanaa and and elsewhere. But the fact of the matter is that, uh, that we, uh, were achieving a progress in our ability to pressure them, uh, and, uh, to keep them on the defensive as opposed to giving them lots of time. And remember in 2009 in 2010, uh, we saw AQAP mount a fairly serious efforts - the underwear bomber and then also the cassette tape effort to attack the United States. After 2010, uh, they were not able to do that, uh, despite the fact that their intent was still as clear and as strong as it was before. And so a while AQAP was by no means defeated and continue to be a major threat to security here in the United States as well as in Yemen and elsewhere around the world, nevertheless, I think that it was legitimate to say that we had achieved some success in the fight against AQAP. Unfortunately what we're seeing now because of the change in the situation again, inside of Yemen, uh, is that we're losing some of the gains that we were able to make, uh, during that period of 2012 to 2014. That's why it's so important that we, uh, have, uh, the ability to get the political negotiation started again, so that we can re-establish legitimate government inside of Sanaa that will cooperate with us once again in this fight against violent extremist organizations. 1:16:45 Rep. Ted Yoho (FL): How can we be that far off? And I know you explained the counter-terrorism portion, but yet to have a country taken over while we're sitting there working with them and this happens. I feel, you know, it just kinda happened overnight the way our embassy got run out of town and just says, you have to leave. Your marines cannot take their weapons with them. I, I just, I don't understand how that happens or how we can be that disconnected. Um, what are your thoughts on that? Gerald Feierstein: You know, it was very, it was very frustrating. Again, I think that, if you go back to where we were a year ago, the successful conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference, which was really the last major hurdle and completion of the GCC initiative, Houthis participated in that. They participated in the constitutional drafting exercise, which was completed successfully. Uh, and so we were in the process of moving through all of the requirements of the GCC initiative that would allow us to complete successfully the political transition. I think there were a combination of things. One, that there was a view on the part of the Houthis that they were not getting everything that they wanted. They were provoked, in our view, by Ali Abdullah Saleh, who never stopped plotting from the very first day after he signed the agreement on the GCC initiative. He never stopped plotting to try to block the political transition, and there was, to be frank, there was a weakness in the government and an inability on the part of the government to really build the kind of alliances and coalition that would allow them to sustain popular support and to bring this to a successful conclusion. And so I think that all through this period there was a sense that we were moving forward and that we believed that we could succeed in implementing this peaceful transition. And yet we always knew that on the margins there were threats and there were risks, and unfortunately we got to a point where the Houthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh, my personal view is that they recognized that they had reached the last possible moment, where they could obstruct the peaceful political transition that was bad for them because it would mean that they wouldn't get everything that they wanted, and so they saw that time was running out for them, and they decided to act. And unfortunately, the government was unable to stop them. Hearing: Targeted Killing of Terrorist Suspects Overseas, Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, C-SPAN, April 23, 2013. Sound Clips: 44:30 Farea al-Muslimi: My name as you mentioned, is Farea al-Muslimi, and I am from Wessab, a remote village mountain in Yemen. I spent a year living with an American family and attended an American high school. That was one of the best years of my life. I learned about American culture, managed the school basketball team and participated in trick or treat and Halloween. But the most exceptional was coming to know someone who ended up being like a father to me. He was a member of the U S Air Force and most of my year was spent with him and his family. He came to the mosque with me and I went to church with him and he became my best friend in America. I went to the U.S. as an ambassador for Yemen and I came back to Yemen as an ambassador of the U.S. I could never have imagined that the same hand that changed my life and took it from miserable to a promising one would also drone my village. My understanding is that a man named Hamid al-Radmi was the target of the drone strike. Many people in Wessab know al-Radmi, and the Yemeni government could easily have found and arrested him. al-Radmi was well known to government officials and even local government could have captured him if the U.S. had told them to do so. In the past, what Wessab's villagers knew of the U.S. was based on my stories about my wonderful experiences had. The friendships and values I experienced and described to the villagers helped them understand the America that I know and that I love. Now, however, when they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads ready to fire missiles at any time. What violent militants had previously failed to achieve one drone strike accomplished in an instant. 1:17:30 Farea al-Muslimi: I think the main difference between this is it adds into Al Qaeda propaganda of that Yemen is a war with the United States. The problem of Al Qaeda, if you look to the war in Yemen, it's a war of mistakes. The less mistake you make, the more you win, and the drones have simply made more mistakes than AQAP has ever done in the matter of civilians. News Report: Untold Stories of the underwear bomber: what really happened, ABC News 7 Detroit, September 27, 2012. Part 1 Part 2 Hearing: U.S. Policy Toward Yemen, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, C-SPAN, July 19, 2011. Witnesses: Janet Sanderson: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Daniel Benjamin: State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Sound Clips: 21:00 Janet Sanderson: The United States continues its regular engagement with the government, including with President Ali, Abdullah Saleh, who's currently, as you know, recovering in Saudi Arabia from his injuries following the June 3rd attack on his compound, the acting president, Vice President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, the opposition, civil society activists, and others interested in Yemen's future. We strongly support the Gulf Cooperation Council's initiative, which we believe would lead to a peaceful and orderly political transition. The GCC initiative signed by both the ruling General People's Congress party and the opposition coalition, joint meeting parties. Only president Saleh is blocking the agreement moving forward and we continue to call on him to sign the initiative. 22:30 Janet Sanderson: While most protests in Yemen have been peaceful over the last couple of months, there have been violent clashes between pro- and anti-government demonstrators and between protesters and government security forces and irregular elements using forced to break up demonstrations. The United States is strongly urged the Yemeni government to investigate and prosecute all acts of violence against protesters. 27:00 Janet Sanderson: We strongly believe that a transition is necessary, that an orderly, peaceful transition is the only way to begin to lead Yemen out of the crisis that it has been in for the last few months. 34:30 Daniel Benjamin: Really, I just want to echo what ambassador Sanderson said. It is vitally important that the transition take place. 1:02:15 Daniel Benjamin: The the view from the administration, particularly from a DOD, which is doing of course, the lion's share of the training, although State Department through anti-terrorism training is doing, uh, uh, a good deal as well, is that the Yemenis are, uh, improving their capacities, that they are making good progress towards, uh, being, able to deal with the threats within their border. But it is important to recognize that, uh, uh, our engagement in Yemen was interrupted for many years. Uh, Yemen, uh, did not have the kind of mentoring programs, the kind of training programs that many of our other counter-terrorism partners had. Um, it was really when the Obama administration came into office that a review was done, uh, in, in March of, uh, beginning in March of 2009, it was recognized that Yemen was a major challenge in the world of counter terrorism. And it was not until, uh, December after many conversations with the Yemenis that we really felt that they were on-board with the project and in fact took their first actions against AQAP. This, as you may recall, was just shortly before the attempted, uh, December 25th bombing of the northwest flight. So this is a military and a set of, uh, Ministry of Interior that is civilian, uh, units that are making good progress, but obviously have a lot to learn. So, uh, again, vitally important that we get back to the work of training these units so that they can, uh, take on the missions they need to. Press Conference: Yemen Conference, C-SPAN, January 27, 2010. Speakers: David Miliband - British Foreign Secretary Hillary Clinton - Secretary of State Abu Bakr al-Kurbi - Yemeni Foreign Minister Sound Clips: 3:30 David Miliband: And working closely with the government of Yemen, we decided that our agenda needed to cover agreement on the nature of the problem and then address the, uh, solutions across the economic, social, and political terrain. Five key items were agreed at the meeting for the way in which the international community can support progress in Yemen. First, confirmation by the government of Yemen, that it will continue to pursue its reform agenda and agreement to start discussion of an IMF program. The director of the IMF represented at the meeting made a compelling case for the way in which economic reform could be supported by the IMF. This is important because it will provide welcome support and help the government of Yemen confront its immediate challenges. 11:45 Hillary Clinton: The United States just signed a three year umbrella assistance agreement with the government of Yemen that will augment Yemen's capacity to make progress. This package includes initiatives that will cover a range of programs, but the overarching goal of our work is to increase the capacity and governance of Yemen and give the people of Yemen the opportunity to better make choices in their own lives. President Saleh has outlined a 10 point plan for economic reform along with the country's national reform agenda. Those are encouraging signs of progress. Neither, however, will mean much if they are not implemented. So we expect Yemen to enact reforms, continue to combat corruption, and improve the country's investment in business climate. 15:45 Abu Bakr al-Kurbi: This commitment also stems from our belief that the challenges we are facing now cannot be remedied unless we implement this agenda of reforms and the 10 points that her exellency alluded to because this is now a priority number of issues that we have to start with, and I hope this is what will be one of the outcomes of this meeting. 16:30 Hillary Clinton: One of the factors that's new is the IMF's involvement and commitment. the IMF has come forward with a reform agenda that the government of Yemen has agreed to work on. 24:30 Hillary Clinton: We were pleased by the announcement of a cease fire, um, between the Saudis and the Houthis. That should lead, we hope, to broader negotiations and a political dialogue that might lead to a permanent, uh, end to the conflict in the north. It's too soon to tell. The Daily Show with John Stewart: Terror 2.0 by Yemen - Sad Libs, CC.com, January 6, 2010. The Daily Show with John Stewart: Terror 2.0 by Yemen, CC.com, January 4, 2010. Community Suggestions See Community Suggestions HERE. Cover Art Design by Only Child Imaginations Music Presented in This Episode Intro & Exit: Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on Music Alley by mevio)