DETROIT — Some Michiganders are jumping to the front of the line for coronavirus vaccines — putting themselves ahead of the state's most vulnerable. "People are scamming the system," said Dr. Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global public health at the University of Michigan. Monto, an octogenarian who lives in Ann Arbor and serves as acting chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, said he hasn't yet been vaccinated. With the demand so high and the supply of vaccines so low, Monto said he's holding out to make su...
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'That stuff doesn't lie around': How Trump would have to go out of his way to steal top secret documents
On Friday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Washington Post editor Eugene Robinson laid out exactly how serious former President Donald Trump's alleged removal of classified information was.
This comes amid reporting that nuclear weapons secrets may have been among the documents the FBI was searching for when they executed a warrant at the former president's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida.
"Just as they compartmentalize some of this intelligence, Gene, if we compartmentalize away everything that people feel about Donald Trump — good, bad, or in between — and take just this information. Imagine it was President X," said anchor Ari Melber. "How does this fit into your view of the significance of this story, as someone we rely on to understand this national news?"
"Unprecedented, unthought of," said Robinson. "Every president I've ever known or watched or observed in or reported on, every administration has been very extremely meticulously careful with Top Secret information, with classified information."
The key point, Robinson stressed, is that at least with regard to documents marked as Top Secret or SCI, there is no way this is something Trump could have done accidentally, or casually.
"Now administrations, governments generally speaking, classify too many things," said Robinson. "There is a lot of stuff they stamp confidential or whatever on that doesn't deserve to be. But when you get to Top Secret, you get to Top Secret/SCI, that most sensitive information, that stuff doesn't lie around in the White House. It doesn't lie around in the Oval Office. It doesn't lie around anywhere, much less in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. It just doesn't. It's handled very carefully, and it's looked at and examined and talked about, and then it's tucked away into secure carriers and taken back to whatever vault it's kept in. It just doesn't happen. And this is another way in which, again, everything else aside, the Donald Trump administration was like literally no other administration in the history of this country, because no other administration would have and certainly no other administration did treat classified information like this."
Watch below or at this link.
Eugene Robinson on Trump's removal of classified information www.youtube.com
Michigan Judge Amy Gierhardt sentenced a member of the white supremacist organization The Base to probation after a plea deal allowed Tristan Webb to plead guilty to gang felonies, conspiracy to train with guns for a civil disorder, and felony firearm in return for a charge of larceny being dropped.
"The Base is a small militant neo-Nazi organization that formed in 2018," Fox 2 Detroit reported Friday. "Among the states that The Base was most interested in operating out of was Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The region's population is largely white and, according to a report from Vice News in October 2020, was considered a potential place that members could conduct paramilitary training."
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office described Webb's history in a statement released after the sentence was handed down.
"Webb, 19, became involved with 'The Base' when he was 17 years old," the AG's office said. "In late 2019, Webb hosted a 'hate camp' at his property for the Michigan cell of 'The Base.' Members of The Base, 'Invictus Youth,' and 'Aryan Resistance' attended. “Hate camp” is a term used by the group to describe firearms tactical training where various paramilitary-style techniques were taught to participants. Soon after, Webb underwent a vetting process to become a full member of The Base."
In May, Judge Amy Gierhart sentenced Justen Watkins to 32-48 months in prison in a parallel case.
WILX-TX reports, "Setting precedent, the convictions secured against Webb and other members of The Base in Tuscola County marked the first in Michigan history that conspiring to train for a civil disorder was charged."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes The Base as "a small militant neo-Nazi organization that emerged mid-2018 and is primarily active in the U.S."
"The Base embraces Hitlerian ideology coupled with a mission to prepare for an impending race war," ADL reported. "The group espouses nihilistic and accelerationist rhetoric— an ideology embraced by white supremacists who have determined that a societal collapse is both imminent and necessary."
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) also has a page on The Base.
"Made up of small, terroristic cells, The Base believes society should be pushed to collapse so a white ethnostate can arise out of the ruins. It is not an organization that seeks to build popular appeal. Instead, groups like The Base seek to inspire a small number of actors to commit themselves wholly to their revolutionary mindset and act on it – either by forming small, clandestine terror cells or inspiring individuals to carry out 'lone actor' attacks," SPLC explained.
Fox 2 Detroit explained how the men were caught.
ALSO IN THE NEWS: Southern Baptist Convention leadership under DOJ investigation
The station reported, "Watkins and another man, Alfred Gorman, first appeared in the Michigan court system after a December 2019 incident when they targeted a house in Wastenaw County, which they alleged to be the home of an antifascist podcaster. The men posted threatening images online, which included a photo of Watkins wearing tactical gear in front of the home. But the house was wrongly identified and instead housed a family in Dexter."
Michigan AG Dana Nessel said, "My department will hold accountable any individual that commits crimes as part of a domestic terrorist organization. Make no mistake, these are violent gangs intent on harming others and their actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
On Friday, Christianity Today reported that the Justice Department has opened a federal investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention over allegations that leadership hushed up allegations of sexual abuse.
"The SBC Executive Committee confirmed on Friday that the Justice Department 'has initiated an investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention, and that the investigation will include multiple SBC entities,'" reported Kate Shellnutt. "The general counsel for the Executive Committee — which oversees day-to-day business for the convention and was the subject of the SBC’s own abuse investigation — said the EC has received a subpoena, but no individuals have been subpoenaed at this point."
"“While we continue to grieve and lament past mistakes related to sexual abuse, current leaders across the SBC have demonstrated a firm conviction to address those issues of the past and are implementing measures to ensure they are never repeated in the future,” said the SBC in a statement vowing to cooperate with federal investigators.
"An independent investigation by Guidepost Solutions into the EC, released in May 2022, found that over the past 20 years, its leaders had compiled a secret list of more than 700 abusive pastors and mistreated the victims who asked them for help," said the report. "The investigation, which cost over $2 million, spanned 330 interviews and five terabytes of documents collected over eight months."
The Southern Baptist Convention is one of several major Christian denominations facing such allegations.
For years, the Roman Catholic Church has been accused of shuffling around priests who abused children, with former Pope Benedict XVI even admitting — after years of denial — that he mishandled multiple abuse cases while he was archbishop of Munich, Germany. Another recent report revealed that leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was aware of child abuse cases and had a policy of keeping them concealed.