Stupid liberal “gotcha” games: Rep. West flew a US flag under water!

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Face palm:

Rep. Allen West is in hot water with a local blogger after he led a group of veterans on a scubadiving trip off the coast of his Florida district over the weekend and planted an American flag underwater on an artificial reef.

The blogger on the Broward-Palm Beach New Times’s website is accusing him of violating the United States Code by putting the flag in water and flying it below ground level.

“Rep. Allen West going diving off the coast of Deerfield Beach with a bunch of military veterans — except for the fact that he violated U.S. federal law in the process and provided a pictorial of himself doing so,” a blogger on the Broward-Palm Beach New Times’s website wrote early Tuesday morning.

The accusation which, incidentally, comes on Flag Day, is that West, a first-term tea-party-backed Republican, violated the Flag Code, which stipulates that “[t]he flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”

But West’s office quickly threw cold water on the charge.

“Congressman West participated in an event to bring attention to scuba diving off the coast of his Congressional District,” West’s communications director, Angela Sachitano, said in an email to POLITICO.

“He went diving with several disabled veterans who fought to defend the American Flag and this nation. Congressman West displayed the American Flag on an underwater wreck as a sign of respect for the flag and the accomplishment for these veterans who each and every day work to overcome their disability. In addition, Congressman West would like to wish everyone a Happy Flag Day.”

As you can see here, several prominent liberal blogs jumped all over the issue, snidely playing gotcha with West, a patriotic American and honorable Afghanistan war veteran.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know the first thing about military code, but then again I don’t trust liberals to know it, either. That said, assuming what they’re asserting is right to the letter, let’s examine what their “outrage” tells us about liberals.

Whenever discussions about any given issue come to whether or not it’s right or wrong, liberals like to point to the issue’s “legality” as if that makes it right to do. We see this often with abortion. It’s “legal”; therefore it’s “ok to do.” By the same token, flag burning is legal and therefore “ok” and “acceptable” to the left. In fact, liberals view that as one of the most “patriotic” things you can do as an American citizen. Now West, OTOH, if he did “violate federal law” by flying the flag it was something done innocently in the name of patriotism in order to honor fellow veterans, show pride in this country, and celebrate Flag Day.

So, like if flag burning is “patriotic” even though highly offensive to most Americans, why couldn’t liberals take the same view of West’s flag flying under water, even though technically it is against federal law? I mean, both flag burners and flag wavers (even those who would fly it under water) are essentially both doing so with similar motives, right? Well, except for that whole “pride in country” thing, of course …

Liberals. So bloody predictable.

Clearing the stench-filled air: No, Margaret Thatcher did NOT snub Sarah Palin

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Another mainstream media anti-Palin smear, this time orginating in the UK press, bites the dust:

Sarah Palin may not get to have an audience with Margaret Thatcher, but it’s not because the Baroness thinks the hockey mom is wacky.

In the wake of two reports quoting anonymous sources claiming that the former British prime minister is refusing to meet with an adoring Palin on an upcoming European stop because “Sarah Palin is nuts,” a former aide of the Iron Lady says that the purported snub is rubbish.

“I have spoken to Lady Thatcher’s Private Office regarding the story, and they confirm that the attack on Sarah Palin definitely did not come from her office, and in no way reflects her views. As a former aide to Margaret Thatcher myself, I can attest that this kind of thinking is entirely alien to her, and that such remarks would never be made by her office,” wrote Nile Gardiner, a political analyst for the Telegraph U.K.

[…]

He concluded by blaming the liberal elite mainstream media. 

“There was never any snub of Sarah Palin by Lady Thatcher’s office. However, there has been a great deal of mischief-making and unpleasantness from sections of the liberal press in a vain and futile attempt to use Margaret Thatcher’s name to smear a major US politician,” Gardiner wrote.

In other news, dog bites man.

Gunwalker: the scandal that breaks the Obama administration?

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**Posted by Phineas

I’ve said for a long time that I think Eric Holder is the worst Attorney General since the wretched A. Mitchell Palmer (1) and should be forced to resign or be impeached. From his failure to protect voting rights on a color-blind basis to his vindictive persecution of CIA interrogators questioning al Qaeda terrorists and his incompetence in handling the trials of terrorists, he’s not just incompetent — he’s doing genuine harm.

But it appears the scandal that may finally bring Holder down (and his boss?) is one that’s been simmering on the backburner for months and is only now coming to a boil: Operation “Fast and Furious,” aka “Gunwalker,” a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms plan to trace the flow of firearms to Mexican drug cartels by letting US gun-dealers sell them the weapons.

What could go wrong?

At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens (aka “Confederate Yankee“) looks at the forthcoming hearings, reviews the fatal results of Gunwalker, and concludes Obama and Holder have plenty of reason to stonewall Congress:

Rumors began to fly over a week ago that a .50 BMG weapon supplied to Mexican drug cartels by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) was used to bring down a Mexican military helicopter in May. According to CBS News, the use of that weapon can be confirmed, and it turns out the helicopter was one of two fired upon by suspected cartel members.

The raid on the cartel that the helicopters were supporting was successful, netting more than 70 weapons, including the helicopter-down .50 BMG rifle and other weapons traced back to the botched ATF Operation Fast and Furious, also know as “Gunwalker.”

To date, the ATF operation, which encouraged gun shops in the American southwest to sell weapons to suspected criminals and let them carry the weapons across the border, has resulted in an estimated 150 Mexican law enforcement officers and soldiers shot with ATF-supplied weapons. While the theory behind the plot was different, the end result is no more deplorable than Iran’s arming of Iraqi terrorists.

At least two American law enforcement officers have been murdered with ATF weapons as well. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with “Gunwalker” firearms in Arizona, while ICE Special Agent Jaime Zapata was killed in an ambush in Mexico with a gun the ATF allowed to be sold to a cartel gun smuggler in Dallas.

The damning evidence that the U.S. Department of Justice agency is a major supplier of cartel weapons will go in front of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week, in what could be a damning indictment of the ATF’s senior leadership and Eric Holder’s leadership of the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Holder has apparently ordered the DOJ to fight Congressional oversight, with the DOJ and ATF ignoring seven letters and a subpoena from the committee. Neither Holder nor ATF Director Ken Melson will answer questions — which may lead to them being held in contempt of Congress.

Be sure to read the rest.

One can see why Holder would want to keep information from the House committee: if true, it reveals a mind-boggling level of stupidity and possibly criminal recklessness at ATF and Justice that has lead to the deaths of people on both sides of the border.

Owens hints at a hidden agenda behind the program, and one wonders if he isn’t on to something. Obama, as well as the Left in general, have long been advocates of strict gun-control, regardless of the plain meaning of the Second Amendment. Encountering resistance from the gun-rights lobby and conservatives in Congress, the administration has even worked to circumvent the Second Amendment via international treaty. The President has regularly lied about the role of US firearms in Mexico’s violence, far exaggerating their numbers. Could it be that one of the “side benefits” of Gunwalker was to provide more “ammunition” for the administration’s gun-control agenda?

I’d hate to think that was the case, but it can’t be completely discounted, either.

And that leads to the other reason Holder might rather risk a contempt citation at this week’s hearings than tell the truth: if Obama knew of this plan in advance and approved of it or at least didn’t stop it, or if he found out about it afterwards and didn’t do anything about it, then he bears responsibility for an operation that has cost the lives of US and Mexican federal agents and armed dangerous gangs allied with our declared enemies. It could easily be a fatal blow to his reelection chances.

Which means it’s time to ask The Question: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

BACKGROUND: CBS, in particular reporter Sharyl Attkisson, has been doing yeoman work on this story from its earliest days, reminding us of what the MSM used to be. Here’s one of her first reports. The whole series of articles is here.

RELATED: The Diplomad draws a connection from the ATF to… Thor Heyerdahl?

Footnotes:

(1) Hmm… Also appointed by a progressive Democrat president. I detect a pattern.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)