by Michael Keefer
December 4, 2006
The first thing to say by way of preliminaries (and I’d better get it in quickly before someone suggests that I’ve turned up late or over-weight for a pre-match weighing-in) is that I’m not overjoyed with the pugilistic metaphor of my title.
But some sort of response to the volley of attacks on 9/11 researchers and activists with which the Counterpunch website marked the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 seems called for.
Michael Keefer strikes just the right tone in responding to Alexander Cockburn’s attempt to banish “conspiracy nuts” from the kingdom of the left.Keefer accounts for Cockburn’s hostility to conspiracy by locating him in the “class of academics and public intellectuals, for whom a migration of power into military, deep-political, and corporate-media hands may…. be difficult to acknowledge.” We’d add that when those intellectuals are wedded to a brand of analysis that cannot satisfactorily account for what they see transpiring before their eyes, that difficulty is only magnified.
Slowly but surely, the academic left is coming to understand that the deep politics paradigm offers the most promising analytic tools for understanding the dynamics of geopolitical struggle. Don’t be surprised by the discomfort associated with the paradigm shift to continue to produce rhetorically overheated, but substantively lacking, complaints like Cockburn’s for quite some time. But really, that’s his problem.
Counterpunch co-editor Alexander Cockburn set the tone of these pieces with an article describing theologian and ethicist David Ray Griffin, the author of The New Pearl Harbor (2004) and of The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions (2005), as a “high priest” of the “conspiracy nuts””whom Cockburn denounces as cultists who “disdain all answers but their own,” who “seize on coincidences and force them into sequences they deem to be logical and significant,” and who “pounce on imagined clues in documents and photos, [".] contemptuously brush[ing] aside” evidence that contradicts their own “whimsical” treatment of “eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence.”
It’s a characteristically forceful performance, if at times slipshod. One small sign of carelessness may be the manner in which Cockburn slides from calling 9/11 skeptics a “coven” to comparing them, a few sentences later, to “mad Inquisitors” torturing the data (as the old joke goes about economists) until the data confess.” Readers brought up to think that the victims and perpetrators of witch-crazes have not customarily been the same people may find this unintentionally amusing.
Despite the sometimes distinctly nasty tone of this polemic, the idea of exchanging even metaphorical blows with Cockburn and his colleagues is unappealing. The overall quality of the essays that he and Jeffrey St. Clair publish in Counterpunch makes it easy on most days of the week to agree with Out of Bounds Magazine‘s description of it (trumpeted on Counterpunch‘s masthead) as “America’s best political newsletter.” And I’ve admired Cockburn’s own political essays for many years: he’s written movingly, sometimes brilliantly, on a wide range of subjects1 even if his flashes of brilliance sometimes alternate with breathtaking pratfalls: among them his dismissal, as recently as March 2001, of the evidence for global warming; his scoffing, in November 2004, at the rapidly gathering indications that the US presidential election of 2004 had been stolen; and a year later, his mockery of the well-established theory of peak oil and his adherence to the genuinely daft notion that the earth produces limitless quantities of abiotic oil.2 One can forgive a journalist’s slender grasp of the rudiments of scientific understanding. But given his self-appointed role as defender of the progressive left against a horde of fools, It’s dismaying to find him sliding as frequently as he does into positions that seem not just quirky but (dare I say it) unprogressive. Continue reading
By Esteban Hernandez
November 29, 2006
Over the years people have become increasingly skeptical of official accounts regarding historic events. After the Kennedy assassination everything changed. It is not so much a question of conspiracy theorists using the smallest margin of doubt to support their theories, but rather the increasing loss in prestige of major institutions, and the effect this has had on their credibility. 9/11 is the perfect example of a historic event whose detailed analysis from several different angles produces conclusions different from the official ones. In Spain, there is skepticism over the Madrid bombings of 3/11; in the U.S. – and in the rest of the world – there is skepticism over 9/11.
This is the belief of Mike Berger, Media Coordinator of 911truth.org, a movement and website whose goal is to seek the truth behind the events we witnessed on our television screens on September 11, 2001. Are there reasons to doubt the official version? Are there solid arguments which lead us to believe there is something hidden amongst the rubble?
The collapse of the towers
In the opinion of Mike Berger, one of the first things to consider is the collapse of the towers: “Before 9/11 no steel-frame skyscraper had EVER collapsed due to fire. And yet on 9/11, 3 WTC buildings collapsed exhibiting many if not all of the signs of controlled demolitions. The physical tests of the WTC steel by UL Labs on behalf of NIST did not fail in less than 2 hours, longer than the towers stood.…Continue reading
Triple Cross: Journalist Peter Lance on How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him
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New details have emerged about how an al Qaeda spy named Ali Mohamed penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI before the 9/11 attacks. We speak with investigative journalist Peter Lance about his new book, “Triple Cross.” [includes rush transcript]
Ali Mohamed was a member of Osama bin Laden’s inner circle who operated freely within the United States for years before 9/11. Despite being a top al Qaeda operative, he managed to become a naturalized US citizen, join the US Army, get posted to the military base where Green Berets and Delta Force train and infiltrate both the CIA and FBI. And while he was an FBI informant he smuggled bin Laden in and out of Afghanistan and helped plan the attacks on US embassies in Africa. He ended up playing a pivotal role in 9/11.
Journalist Peter Lance joins me here in our firehouse studio. He is a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His new book is called “Triple Cross: How Bin Laden’s Master Spy Penetrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI – And Why Patrick Fitzgerald Failed to Stop Him.”
* Peter Lance, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and a former ABC News correspondent. His latest book is “Triple Cross.” His previous books include “1000 Years For Revenge” and “Cover Up.” Website: Peterlance.com
This transcript is available free of charge.…Continue reading
On Friday, November 24 at 4:00 pm and Saturday, November 25 at 3:30 am and at 10:00 pm
9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out
David Ray Griffin, Peter Dale Scott, Peter Phillips, Kevin Ryan, Ray McGovern
Description: Editors and contributors to the book, “9/11 and American Empire,” assess the Bush administration’s responsibility for the attacks on 9/11, arguing that key administration officials either purposefully ignored the threats leading up to the attacks or were complicit in the planning them. The panelists say that the administration has used the attacks to enact long established plans to expand American empire. The participants are: David Ray Griffin (co-editor/contributor), Peter Dale Scott (co-editor/contributor), Peter Phillips (contributor) and Kevin Ryan (contributor). Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern moderates the discussion. The event was hosted by Berkeley, California-based Pacifica radio station KPFA (www.kpfa.org).
Author Bio: David Ray Griffin, professor emeritus of philosophy and theology at the Claremont School of Theology, is the author of “The New Pearl Harbor” and “The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions.” Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and former professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of “Deep Politics and the Death of JFK” and “Drugs, Oil, and War.” Peter Phillips, professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of the Project Censored media research program, is most recently the co-editor of “Censored 2007: The Top 25 Censored Stories” and “Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney.” Kevin Ryan is a former site manager with Environmental Health Laboratories.…Continue reading
November 15, 2006
THE HIGHJACKING OF A NATION
Part 1: The Foreign Agent Factor
By Sibel Edmonds
In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned that America must be constantly awake against “the insidious wiles of foreign influence…since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”
Today, foreign influence, that most baneful foe of our republican government, has its tentacles entrenched in almost all major decision making and policy producing bodies of the U.S. government machine. It does so not secretly, since its self-serving activities are advocated and legitimized by highly positioned parties that reap the benefits that come in the form of financial gain and positions of power.
Foreign governments and foreign-owned private interests have long sought to influence U.S. public policy. Several have accomplished this goal; those who are able and willing to pay what it takes. Those who buy themselves a few strategic middlemen, commonly known as pimps, while in DC circles referred to as foreign registered agents and lobbyists, who facilitate and bring about desired transactions. These successful foreign entities have mastered the art of ‘covering all the bases’ when it comes to buying influence in Washington DC. They have the required recipe down pat: get yourself a few ‘Dime a Dozen Generals,’ bid high in the ‘former statesmen lobby auction’, and put in your pocket one or two ‘ex-congressmen turned lobbyists’ who know the ropes when it comes to pocketing a few dozen who still serve.…Continue reading
By Carla Binion
October 21, 2006
Consortiumnews Editor’s Note: Many Americans are in denial about what
is happening to the United States. They don’t want to believe that a totalitarian
structure could be put in place in their own country. They don’t want to view
the various pieces of George W. Bush’s “anti-terror” system in that
broad a context. They hope that someone or something — the Supreme Court
maybe — will strike down the excesses of the Republican-controlled Congress
and the Executive Branch.
Though there are still obstacles that stand in Bush’s way — the Nov.
7 elections, for instance — America’s march down a road to a new-age totalitarianism
has advanced farther than many understand, as freelance reporter Carla Binion
argues in this disturbing guest essay:
On October 17, George W. Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act
of 2006. This new law gives Bush power similar to that possessed by Stalin or
Hitler, and grants agencies within the Executive Branch powers similar to those
of the KGB or Gestapo.
Bush justifies this act by claiming he needs it to fight the “war on terror,”
but a number of critics, including former counterterrorism officials, have said
the administration has greatly exaggerated the threat and used illogical methods
to combat terrorism. (Examples are listed below.)
Except for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, few television news reporters have bothered
to mention that the Military Commissions Act has changed the U.S. justice system
and our approach to human rights. As Olbermann said of the new law on his October
17 Countdown program, the new act “does away with habeas corpus, the right
of suspected terrorists or anybody else to know why they have been imprisoned.”
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Constitutional Law Professor,
was Olbermann’s guest.…
Among Hundreds of Books, The Strongest Approach to Truth
October 7, 2006
Reviewer: Robert D. Steele (Oakton, VA United States)
It is with great sadness that I conclude that this book is the strongest of the 770+ books I have reviewed here at Amazon, almost all non-fiction. I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war (see my review of Jim Bamford’s “Pretext for War”), and I am forced to conclude that there is sufficient evidence to indict (not necessarily convict) Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and others of a neo-conservative neo-Nazi coup d’etat and kick-off of the clash of civilizations (see my review of “Crossing the Rubicon” as well as “State of Denial”). Most fascinatingly, the author links Samuel Huntington, author of “Clash of Civilizations” with Leo Strauss, the connecting rod between Nazi fascists and the neo-cons.
This is, without question, the most important modern reference on state-sponsored terrorism, and also the reference that most pointedly suggests that select rogue elements within the US Government, most likely led by Dick Cheney with the assistance of George Tenet, Buzzy Kronguard, and others close to the Wall Street gangs, are the most guilty of state-sponsored terrorism.
The author draws on historical examples of US fabrication of threats (e.g. the bombing of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor) and many others (Jim Bamford publicized Operation Northwoods). It is an undeniable fact that the U.S. Government has been willing to kill its own citizens and fabricate attacks as part of moving the public.…Continue reading
BY ANDREW O. SELSKY
October 10, 2006
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – An anti-Castro militant now in a Texas jail warned the CIA months before the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that fellow exiles were planning such an attack, according to a newly released U.S. government document.
The document shows that Luis Posada Carriles – who had worked for the CIA but was cut off by the agency earlier that year – was secretly telling the CIA that his fellow far-right Cuban exiles opposed to Fidel Castro’s communist government were plotting to bring down a commercial jet.
The document does not say what the CIA did with Posada’s tip. A CIA spokesman said he had no comment on Monday, a federal holiday.
The CIA had extensive contacts with anti-Castro militants and trained some of them, but has denied involvement in the bombing.
The documents were posted online Thursday by the National Security Archive, an independent research institute at George Washington University that seeks to declassify government files through the Freedom of Information Act.
The Cubana Airlines plane, on a flight from Venezuela to Cuba, blew up shortly after taking off from a stopover in Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, killing all 73 aboard, including Cuba’s Olympic fencing team.
The bombing remains an open wound in Cuba. Weeping relatives of the victims met in a Havana cemetery on Friday, the 30th anniversary of the bombing. They demanded that Posada – who is now 78 and in a Texas detention… Continue reading
Statement Regarding al Qaeda Threats
by Patty Casazza, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg, and Lorie Van Auken
Astonishingly, five years post 9/11 the public is made aware about an urgent July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then, National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice. This information comes
from Bob Woodward’s newly released book, “State of Denial”.
Despite this Administration’s rhetoric that they had “no warnings” leading up to 9/11, it has become abundantly clear, that key Administration officials were made aware of the vast array of Al Qaeda threats and warnings that existed in years prior, and more importantly, in the weeks leading up to September 11, 2001.
When we add the July 10, 2001 meeting to the plethora of other clear warnings that our government had, a very concise view of the al Qaeda threat emerges. Those other warnings include, but are not limited to:
* Warnings from leaders of other nations and foreign intelligence apparatus’ of terrorist threats
* June 30, 2001 Senior Executive Intelligence Briefing (SEIB) entitled “bin Laden Threats Are Real”
* The threat of President Bush’s assassination at the G-8 Summit by al Qaeda in July of 2001… Continue reading
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
October 9, 2006
Dateline — Buenos Aires, Argentina
For some 30 years, the Argentine women known as the Madres (Mothers) de La
Plaza de Mayo have marched every Thursday in front of the Presidential Palace
of Argentina. They gather in memory of their children and grandchildren, who
were among the estimated 30,000 people who disappeared during “Operation
Condor.” Another 50,000 people were murdered.
(image: One of the Madres (Mothers) de la Plaza de Mayo displaying a photo of her son who was one of an estimated 30,000 “disappeared” during “Operation
photo taken on October 5, 2006)
Condor” reached its peak in the 1970s. With assistance from
the United States, and the support and knowledge of Henry Kissinger, five of
the southern cone South American nations conducted a campaign of unspeakable
torture and killing against their own citizens.
When you look at the photos carried by many of the Madres de La Plaza de Mayo,
you see middle class men in suits and ties and nicely dressed women. You see
young children with smiling faces.
What happened during Operation Condor is so horrific — all done in the name of the safety and security of “the nation” — that it is barely speakable. The torture included one of the Bush Administration’s favorite techniques — waterboarding — and many other methods. Families were forced to watch or listen to their love ones being mutilated. Friends were required to conduct torture on those that they knew.…Continue reading
by 9.11 Blogger
WNY Media Network
Bob Woodward’s State of Denial provides evidence of the politicization of the 9/11 Commission’s investigative process, conclusions, and certain omissions from its report, as well as then national security advisor Condoleezza Rice’s likely role in burying unflattering, damning evidence through the appointment of Bush/Rice loyalist Philip Zelikow as the Commissions’ chief investigator and Zelikow’s reward (perhaps) of a top senior-level position in the State Department, which Rice now heads. First, some background.
One of the burning questions in newspapers, cable TV news, and blogs is why the 9/11 Commission report did not mention the July 10, 2001 meeting called by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, with then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Tenet and Black hoped to impress on Rice the compelling need to act immediately against bin Laden because there was “a huge volume of data” suggesting strongly that a major attack was imminent.
“But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously,” writes Woodward.
The July 10 meeting between Tenet, Black and Rice went unmentioned in the various reports of investigations into the Sept. 11 attacks, but it stood out in the minds of Tenet and Black as the starkest warning they had given the White House on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Though the investigators had access to all the paperwork on the meeting, Black felt there were things the commissions wanted to know about and things they didn’t want to know about.…Continue reading
September 29, 2006
Listen to Segment ||
The Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The legislation strips detainees of the right to challenge their own detention and gives the President the power to detain them indefinitely. The bill also immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for torturing detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year. We get reaction from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
On Capitol Hill, the Senate has agreed to give President Bush extraordinary power to detain and try prisoners in the so-called war on terror. The editors of the New York Times described the law as tyrannical. They said its passage marks a low point in American democracy and that it is our generation’s version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The legislation strips detainees of the right to file habeas corpus petitions to challenge their own detention or treatment. It gives the president the power to indefinitely detain anyone it deems to have provided material support to anti-U.S. hostilities. Secret and coerced evidence could be used to try detainees held in U.S. military prisons. The bill also immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for torturing detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year.
The Senate passed the measure sixty five to thirty four. Twelve Democrats joined the Republican majority.…Continue reading
British Army expert casts doubt on ‘liquid explosives’ threat, Al Qaeda network in UK Identified
Filed by Nafeez Ahmed
Lieutenant-Colonel (ret.) Nigel Wylde, a former senior British Army Intelligence Officer, has suggested that the police and government story about the “terror plot” revealed on 10th August was part of a “pattern of lies and deceit.”
British and American government officials have described the operation which resulting in the arrest of 24 mostly British Muslim suspects, as a resounding success. Thirteen of the suspects have been charged, and two released without charges.
According to security sources, the terror suspects were planning to board up to ten civilian airliners and detonate highly volatile liquid explosives on the planes in a spectacular terrorist operation. The liquid explosives — either TATP (Triacetone Triperoxide), DADP (diacetone diperoxide) or the less sensitive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine) — were reportedly to be made on board the planes by mixing sports drinks with a peroxide-based household gel and then be detonated using an MP3 player or mobile phone.
But Lt. Col. Wylde, who was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his command of the Belfast Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit in 1974, described this scenario as a “fiction.” Creating liquid explosives is a “highly dangerous and sophisticated task,” he states, one that requires not only significant chemical expertise but also appropriate equipment.
Terror plot scenario “untenable”
“The idea that these people could sit in the plane toilet and simply mix together these normal household fluids to create a high explosive capable of blowing up the entire aircraft is untenable,” said Lt.…Continue reading
By Jerry Mazza, Associate Editor
September 18, 2006
On the morning of
9/11, I couldn’t watch the reading of names on NY1. Not five years in a row. I
clicked off the ritual of bereaved families, somber politicos and media
scripters and went to work on the computer. Before I knew it, it was 1 o’clock.
Something gnawed. I needed to go down to Ground Zero, at least to pay my
respects to the gone. Yet what I found was very alive. Thousands
of 9/11 Truth Movement members shouting,, “9/11 was an inside job,
9/11 was an inside job.” This interspersed with the raspy voice of Alex Jones
booming the facts of the Towers’ demise on a bullhorn. But this was no bull.
This was a whole new ballgame.
There were cordons
of cops in black and blue, white shirt officers, the brass, the suits, the
shooters with burp guns and helmets, tactical cops in caps. There were police
cars, SUVs, double-decker tourist buses crawling down Church Street, beeping
traffic streaming up it, both sides lined with protestors in front of the PATH
train entrance, the entrance to the hole, Ground Zero, visitors gawking, some
raising fists, with or against us.
But above all the
chant went on: “9/11 was an inside job, 9/11 was an inside job.” I slipped
inside the passionate crowd of protestors whose black t-shirts were lettered in
white: “Investigate 9/11.” Suddenly, that warm September sun, that cloudless
sky, that 9/11 day, felt good again.…
By Michael Powell
September 8, 2006
He felt no shiver of doubt in those first terrible hours.
He watched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and assumed al-Qaeda had wreaked terrible vengeance. He listened to anchors and military experts and assumed the facts of Sept. 11, 2001, were as stated on the screen.
It was a year before David Ray Griffin, an eminent liberal theologian and philosopher, began his stroll down the path of disbelief. He wondered why Bush listened to a child’s story while the nation was attacked and how Osama bin Laden, America’s Public Enemy No. 1, escaped in the mountains of Tora Bora.
He wondered why 110-story towers crashed and military jets failed to intercept even one airliner. He read the 9/11 Commission report with a swell of anger. Contradictions were ignored and no military or civilian official was reprimanded, much less cashiered.
“To me, the report read as a cartoon.” White-haired and courtly, Griffin sits on a couch in a hotel lobby in Manhattan, unspooling words in that reasonable Presbyterian minister’s voice. “It’s a much greater stretch to accept the official conspiracy story than to consider the alternatives.”
“There was massive complicity in this attack by U.S. government operatives.”
If that feels like a skip off the cliff of established reality, more Americans are in free fall than you might guess. There are few more startling measures of American distrust of leaders than the widespread belief that the Bush administration had a hand in the attacks of Sept.…Continue reading
Conspiracy theorists insist the U.S. government, not terrorists, staged the devastating attacks
by Jonathan Curiel, Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Dylan Avery has a theory that he says casts doubts on Mark Bingham’s actions on Sept. 11, 2001. According to Avery, the San Francisco public relations executive never called his mom on a cell phone from the cabin of Flight 93, and never told her that “some of us here are going to try to do something.” Instead, says Avery, someone using a voice synthesizer — possibly a government official — called Alice Hoglan on the morning that Flight 93 — and Bingham — became part of Sept. 11 lore.
“The cell phone calls were fake — no ifs, ands or buts,” Avery says in “Loose Change,” a film he wrote and directed that’s one of the most-watched movies on the Internet, with 10 million viewers in the past year. “Until the government can prove beyond a shadow of doubt that al Qaeda was behind Sept. 11, the American people have every reason to believe otherwise.”
Avery is one of perhaps millions of Americans who believe the U.S. government — or rogue elements within it — either orchestrated the attacks or tacitly supported them for nefarious reasons.
As the five-year anniversary of the attacks approaches, the clamor of Avery and other conspiracy theorists has gotten stronger — and more widely accepted. According to a poll by Ohio University and Scripps Howard News Service, 36 percent of Americans believe that government officials “either assisted in the 9/ 11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.” Twelve percent of Americans believe a cruise missile fired by the U.S.…Continue reading
By Bernard Weiner, Co-Editor The Crisis Papers
August 29, 2006
The imminent fifth anniversary of 9/11 provides the proper moment for a good, ol’-fashioned sum-up of the past half-decade under CheneyBush, especially because so much has happened in the past 12-months:
The Bush Administration’s Katrina debacle, Iraq being sucked deeper into the civil-war vortex, Afghanistan turning once again into a major war theater, more and more military leaders speaking out about the disaster that is CheneyBush foreign policy, the defection of so many moderate conservatives from their GOP home, the plummeting of Bush’s popularity to not much more than his fundamentalist base, the revelation that Bush&Co. have been spying on citizens’ phone calls and emails without court warrants, the indictment of CheneyBush’s chief aide Scooter Libby for obstruction of justice in the case of the White House’s outing of a covert CIA agent, the “rendering” of detainees abroad for extreme torturing, etc. etc.
I’ll get to the annual list in a moment. But first let’s step back and take a deeper overview. Buckle your seat belts, here we go.
WHAT 9/11 PERMITTED BUSH TO DO
Whatever you may think of 9/11, and the extent of involvement of Bush&Co., it’s crystal-clear that the events of that tragic day were and continue to be used as an excuse for a wide variety of immoral and illegal actions by the CheneyBush Administration. The radical agenda that was barely on the public’s horizon five years ago has since become all too evident, both domestically and in terms of foreign/military policy, which is why so many traditional conservatives are abandoning the extremism of the Republican Party.…Continue reading