Why won’t the media talk about Saudi national?

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing the media flushed its credibility down the toilet when it valued breaking information first over reporting the facts. Remember CNN’s John King proclaiming a ‘dark skinned’ man had been arrested? Or the misinformation about the number of people killed and injured?

The federal government, meanwhile, took political correctness to a whole new level – initially refraining from calling the attack ‘terrorism’ and refusing to acknowledge the Tsarnaev brothers’ Muslim ties.

The incompetence has spilled over into week two of the investigation. Since TheBlaze broke the story of the Saudi national, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, who was initially considered a ‘person of interest’ in the Marathon bombing investigation before later being downgraded to merely a ‘witness,’ the media has been silent, while the government has been in denial.

As TheBlaze reported, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano finally admitted (kind of) the Saudi was in fact placed on a watch list, but her statement was inconsistent at best:

NAPOLITANO: He was not on a watch list. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watch list, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.

“We have like 10 sources on this,” Glenn said on radio this morning of TheBlaze’s investigation.

“It is amazing,” Pat added. “All of the media sources who just blindly believe what Janet Napolitano has said, when what Janet Napolitano has said has changed almost every day.”

“Journalists, you shouldn’t trust the Bush Administration, and you shouldn’t trust this guy’s administration. You shouldn’t trust them,” Glenn said. “That doesn’t mean you don’t go after them all the time. It means that you approach everything with a healthy does of skepticism.”

The art of investigative reporting has clearly been lost, if mainstream news outlets are now willing to take the government at its word on cases as sensitive as this.

“They just keep saying, ‘Well, I called the government and they said they just totally screwed up and put a random Saudi on the watch list. Oops,’” Stu joked.

And if the government really is just putting random Saudi Arabians on terror watch lists because they are Saudi Arabian and, therefore, a threat, the government is admitting racism!

“We’re supposed to be like, ‘Oh, they’re just racist. Put all the Saudis on the watch list. It’s all right. There’s nothing there. They just put random Saudis on the terror list whenever they interview them,’” Stu said.

“We pointed that out before. Nobody on the right is even taking this approach. Humiliate them for their racism. They don’t want to be called racist, so go for it,” Glenn explained. “If that’s their answer, if you believe what they are saying, then that’s racist.”

Glenn went on to explain that he knows many respected journalists at the major networks who put together reports on this story, only to be told that their stories would not be published or brought to air.

“What kills me is that they are now trying to make this into a conspiracy theory,” Glenn said. “People are like, ‘He has no facts.’ No, I have the documentation. I have the sources. We have as much as Woodward and Bernstein had. We have the sources.”

“Its pretty amazing how much they’ll dismiss,” Pat responded.

“In the end you’ll destroy yourselves. I just hope you don’t destroy our country at the same time,” Glenn said of the media. “We are in it for America. Now is there a single person out there that is also in it for America? ‘Well, we called the DHS already. The Department of Homeland Security said there is nothing to worry about.’ Oh, okay, whoo. You guys should get a nap in. That sounds like a tough day of investigative reporting.”

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

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