Retired Trans Navy SEAL Challenges Trump

A retired Navy SEAL who came out as a transgender ‘woman’ after retiring in 2011 urged President Donald Trump to say to his face that he is not worthy of serving in the U.S. military.

“Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,” Kristin Beck told Business Insider Wednesday. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”

Beck served 20 years in the Navy SEALs with SEAL Teams 1, 5 and the elite Team 6. Beck was deployed 13 times, including stints abroad in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The SEAL veteran received multiple military awards and decorations, including a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat and the Bronze Star award for valor.

“I was defending individual liberty,” Beck said. “I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone.”

Beck’s statement came in response to Trump’s announcement Wednesday that the U.S. government will not allow transgender individuals “to serve in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces.

“After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” Trump said in a series of tweets.

“Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,” the president said.

But Beck said the cost of providing medical services to transgender service members is “negligible.”

“You’re talking about .000001% of the military budget,” Beck said.

“They care more about the airplane or the tank than they care about people,” Beck said. “They don’t care about people. They don’t care about human beings.”

Beck said any issues that would arise due to transgender service members would be a result of incompetent leadership more than anything else.

“A very professional unit with great leadership wouldn’t have a problem,” Beck said. “I can have a Muslim serving right beside Jerry Falwell, and we’re not going to have a problem. It’s a leadership issue, not a transgender issue.”

Beck publicly came out as transgender in 2013 after retiring from the Navy in 2011.

The naval veteran told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in a June 2013 interview that “no one ever met the real me” during 20 years of military service. (For more from the author of “Retired Trans Navy SEAL Challenges Trump” please click HERE)

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Los Angeles Mayor Defies Trump Administration’s Immigration Policy

The mayor of Los Angeles vowed on Wednesday not to comply with the Trump administration’s order to notify the Department of Homeland Security before releasing illegal aliens from custody.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that sanctuary cities must give federal immigration authorities access to jails and alert them when someone facing deportation will be released from custody, in order to receive certain law enforcement grants,” Fox News reported.

Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti told BuzzFeed that his government will not comply with the order.

“We will not change what we are doing and our values are not for sale,” Garcetti said Wednesday. “This decision was more of the kind of ideological rhetoric that actually makes us less safe.”

The mayor further contended, “What they’re asking the city to do is in violation of the Constitution.”

Garcetti’s argument regarding why the DOJ’s policy is unconstitutional was not included in the story.

The federal government has the enumerated power to craft the country’s immigration laws, and it can withhold grant money if those seeking it are not in compliance with the grant’s parameters.

In March, Garcetti issued an executive order barring local government officials from assisting federal immigration officers.

Additionally, in 2014 the Los Angeles Police Department stated it would not honor detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The order further bars LA employees from granting any immigration agent access to a city facility not open to the public unless legally required to do so.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sessions contended that sanctuary city policies like those employed by Los Angeles are dangerous.

“So-called sanctuary policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” the attorney general said.

“These policies also encourage illegal immigration and even human trafficking by perpetuating the lie that in certain cities, illegal aliens can live outside the law … We must encourage these `sanctuary’ jurisdictions to change their policies and partner with federal law enforcement to remove criminals.” (For more from the author of “Los Angeles Mayor Defies Trump Administration’s Immigration Policy” please click HERE)

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FACT CHECK: Are 15,000 Trans People Serving in the US Military?

President Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets on Wednesday stating that the U.S. “will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Immediately after these tweets politicians, organizations and political commentators began tweeting out certain numbers of how many transgender people are serving or have served in the military . . .

The number of trans people serving in the military is unclear. There have been two major studies on the number, with each study purporting different figures . . .

California Rep. Mark Takano tweeted out that Trump was attacking “15,ooo trans service members.” Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ rights organization, also tweeted the 15,000 figure. The Anti-Defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted that “150K transgender Americans have bravely served USA.” . . .

The Williams Institute study from 2014 estimated “that approximately 15,500 transgender individuals are serving on active duty or in the Guard or Reserve forces.” The study suggests that “8,800 transgender individuals are currently on active duty.”

A study in 2016 from the RAND Corporation, sponsored by the secretary of defense, estimates that “the number of transgender individuals currently serving in the active component of the U.S. military at between 1,320 and 6,630 out of a total of about 1.3 million service members.” This number accounts for 0.1-0.5 percent of those serving in active military according to the RAND Corporation. (Read more from “FACT CHECK: Are 15,000 Trans People Serving in the US Military?” HERE)

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The Situation at the Justice Department Is More Dangerous Than Trump Knows

The prospect of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ dismissal seems especially high, as President Trump disparages his longtime loyalist in daily tweets and refuses to say whether he has confidence in his leadership.

The most dangerous scenario attending this unprecedented situation, however, would be if Trump fired Sessions as part of a broader push to oust special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Such a scheme could precipitate a wave of departures at the highest levels of the Justice Department, where Trump’s repeated knocks have leveled morale.

If Trump dismisses Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will likely become acting AG, though BuzzFeed News’ Chris Geidner notes, Trump could install any Senate confirmed official in the post on a temporary basis.

Rosenstein is a career Justice Department official who commands the support of the bureaucracy and lawmakers of both parties. He is also the officer who appointed Mueller as special counsel. The prospect that he would dismiss him, therefore, seems exceedingly low. As such, it seems most likely that he would resign if ordered to fire Mueller. (Read more from “The Situation at the Justice Department Is More Dangerous Than Trump Knows” HERE)

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Kasich Orders Rides Shut Down After Deadly State Fair Accident

Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides at the state fair in Columbus to be shut down until thorough inspections are completed after a ride malfunction Wednesday left one man dead and at least seven people injured.

Three of the seven injured were in critical condition, investigators said.

The man who was killed was one of several thrown from the Fire Ball ride when it malfunctioned, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said. The victims range in age from 13 to 41 years old, Fox 28 reported . . .

“I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured,” Kasich said in a statement.

“I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed.” (Read more from “Kasich Orders Rides Shut Down After Deadly State Fair Accident” HERE)

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BOOM! Trump Bans Transgenders From U.S. Military; Not Allowed “In Any Capacity”

President Trump said he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, a reversal of the Obama administration decision that would have allowed transgender recruits to serve, he announced Wednesday on social media.

Citing the need to focus on victory, Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and “disruption” that transgender troops would require.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail . . .”

Under [Obama’s] Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, the military was given one year to determine how to implement a policy that would allow transgender service members to receive medical care and would ban the services from involuntarily separating people in the military who came out as transgender. (Read more about “Trump bans transgenders from military” HERE)

Top Suspect in Major Dem Scandal Caught Fleeing the U.S.

Federal agents arrested the top suspect in a major Democratic hacking scandal at Dulles Airport in Virginia as he tried to flee the U.S. Tuesday and fly to the Mideast.

Former House IT staffer Imran Awan was then arraigned in federal court in Washington, and he pleaded not guilty to one count of bank fraud following allegations he tried to defraud the Congressional Federal Credit Union.

But he is suspected of much more, including the possible theft of sensitive information from the office computers of numerous Democratic Party lawmakers and sending that data to a secret server. It is a major scandal almost completely ignored by the establishment media.

Awan headed a group of IT workers, mostly relatives, employed by dozens of House Democrats, including former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., for whom he had worked since she took office in 2005 as the representative from Florida’s 23rd district.

Awan was arrested at the airport by agents from the U.S. Capitol Police, the FBI and Customs and Border Protection, according to Fox News. (Read more from “Top Suspect in Major Dem Scandal Caught Fleeing the U.S.” HERE)

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Drone Carrying Cell Phone, Marijuana Crashes in Prison Yard

A drone carrying cell phones, tobacco and marijuana crashed into the yard at Washington State Prison, according to the Department of Corrections.

A growing problem, drones have become the newest way inmates have used to get contraband that can be sold to other prisoners for a significant profit.

Corrections spokeswoman Joan Heath said Tuesday a drone crashed to the ground at the prison near Davisboro around 10:45 p.m. Monday. She could not say how many cell phones or how much tobacco and marijuana was recovered. No one inside or outside the prison has been connected to the drone, she said.

The state prison system has struggled for decades to stop contraband from getting to inmates but, they admit, prisoners are constantly finding ways to skirt any systems put in place to thwart them. Read more from “Drone Carrying Cell Phone, Marijuana Crashes in Prison Yard” HERE)

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State Actors Are Likely Behind Recent Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks computers until a ransom is paid.

This form of cyberattack has become the weapon of choice for cybercriminals, and presumably nation-states.

Whereas cybercriminals use ransomware to extract money, nation-states may be using ransomware as a means to test the United States’ cyber resiliency.

In late June, Ukraine—along with at least 64 other countries, including the United States—was the victim of a ransomware attack from an unknown source.

Experts originally noticed this new malware acted in a way similar to the malware known as Petya, but in a more advanced form. This advanced manifestation was soon creatively given the name “NotPetya.”

While Petya used phishing techniques to access victims’ networks, NotPetya used worm capabilities similar to a ransomware attack seen earlier this year known as WannaCry. This means NotPetya and WannaCry were able to “self-propagate” over multiple networks within a closed system.

NotPetya would build a list of IP addresses within the local area network that enabled its automated expansion.

As written previously in The Daily Signal, NotPetya seemed to focus its attack against those within Ukraine, as it embedded itself in software used primarily in Ukraine.

NotPetya targeted similar infrastructure, such as energy infrastructure, to that of a cyberattack on Ukraine in 2016. The sources of either attack have not yet been identified, but seem to fit quite well into Russian cyberstrategy.

Although NotPetya is considered ransomware, it lacks an important aspect: the incentive to pay the ransom. This is lacking because NotPetya and its developers lack the capability to remove the encryption off files after payment.

NotPetya presents itself less like ransomware and more like a cyberattack disguised as ransomware.

Even so, over $13,000 in bitcoin was paid in ransom from the initial attack.

WannaCry, a virus associated with North Korea-associated hacker group Lazarus, affected over 300,000 people in Europe—including the United Kingdom’s National Health Service—to the United States.

The WannaCry virus displayed similarities linked to the hacking group Lazarus, which attacked Sony in 2014.

There were also other causes to suspect these were not average ransomware hackers: WannaCry and NotPetya sought only $300 to unlock computers, while the average ransom is over $1,000.

It makes sense for a nation-state to use ransomware as a façade. Per the Version cybersecurity report, ransomware is continuing to become one of the most common forms of crimeware.

Ransomware attacks are now appearing paired with other forms of cyberattacks. They may simply be, at this point, the easiest way for nation-states to test or gather information from our networked systems.

There are seldom few actions the U.S. can take to respond to ransomware attacks. For now, emphasis should be placed on maintaining updated operating systems and a backup of networked data.

The U.S. should continue to work with international partners to help locate the origin of these cyberattacks when possible, and use both traditional law enforcement mechanisms along with cyber capabilities to fight cybercrime. (For more from the author of “State Actors Are Likely Behind Recent Ransomware Attacks” please click HERE)

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It Sure Looks Like Politico Already Thinks Kushner Is Guilty

Politico reporter Annie Karni cast objectivity aside Monday in her report on Jared Kushner’s 11-pages of prepared remarks for the Senate Intelligence Committee. In Kushner’s first public explanation of contacts he made with Russian government officials, Karni’s commentary treats Kushner’s guilt as a forgone conclusion and frames his remarks as an endeavor to “downplay” or acquit himself of collusion.

Karni describes Kushner as President Donald Trump’s “powerful son-in-law,” who in his public remarks “attempt[s] to exonerate himself” and “blames” his assistant for the “glaring omissions” on his security clearance forms.

The prepared remarks were framed as Kushner “paint[ing] a picture of himself as a loyal, overworked, under-experienced senior adviser to his father-in-law during a novice campaign that was never staffed up to win.”

Just in case it wasn’t clear for the reader, several paragraphs later Karni reiterates Kushner’s presumed intention to blame his assistant: “As for the confusion about his security clearance forms, he blames the omissions on an assistant.”

“In his opening testimony, he walks through each of his four meetings with the Russians, downplaying all of them to brief, pro forma interactions that lead to no follow-ups” writes Karni. (Read more from “It Sure Looks Like Politico Already Thinks Kushner Is Guilty” HERE)

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