OFA and Sebelius – Selling Swampland

Editor’s Note – At some point Americans need to take a very close look at what is coming at them – Obamacare. Its not a pretty picture and the Obama folks know it. How do we know they recognize the problems, they turn to Obama campaign style tactics and employ ‘Organizing for Action’ (OFA) at BarackObama.com and they send HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius out to twist arms. They are selling swampland and they know it.

America is showing signs that they are awakening to the lies and realities of the PPACA as it is officially known, and the OFA is spending big to try and convince you otherwise. It was rammed down America’s gullet by hook and crook, and now they have to employ tactics that stretch legality and use a non-government 501(c)4 group to promote this disaster as a good thing. What a ‘train wreck,’ ask Max Baucus!

On a side note, the OFA is a group that received its tax free accreditation easily as others were delayed by the IRS. How convenient, how disingenuous, and how dastardly – the ‘say and do anything’ crowd knows no bounds. If its got Obama’s name on it, it slides right through just like his brother’s organization.

Nervous OFA Goes on Offense Over Obamacare

Obama-backing group announces seven-figure ad buy touting ObamacareOFAObama

BY:  – The Washington Free Beacon

Organizing for Action (OFA), the shadowy nonprofit activist group that evolved from the president’s campaign, is stepping up its defense of his controversial health care law, signaling to some that the group is increasingly worried about a political backlash against the law.

OFA announced a seven-figure ad buy on Monday for a 30-second spot touting the law’s supposed benefits. It also rolled out an activist program called “Team Obamacare” to “stand up to the conservative attacks, and tell the story of how Obamacare is working.”

The effort comes in the midst of news that Obamacare, as the Affordable Care Act is commonly known, will significantly raise insurance premiums in some states, and may increase rates for many hourly wage-earners.

Implementation of the law has proved a headache for the administration. Even some of the law’s most strident supporters have said that it is “just beyond comprehension” and could be a “train wreck” if it is not implemented correctly.

Problems with implementation and the law’s apparent failure to bring down insurance premiums, as its supporters routinely said it would, have Republicans convinced that their opposition to the law will be a political winner in next year’s midterm elections.

Experts say OFA’s aggressive attempt to defend the law is a tacit recognition of its political pitfalls.

Ben Domenech, a health care policy expert with the Heartland Institute, noted that recent polls show the law is more unpopular than it has ever been.

Sorry, Americans are seeing the truth and this new ad campaign spouts the benfits that really do not exist to all Americans.
Sorry, Americans are seeing the truth and this new ad campaign spouts the benefits that really do not exist to all Americans.

“OFA is nervous about more than just the poll numbers,” Domenech added in an email to the Washington Free Beacon. “They need to convince enough young and healthy people to purchase insurance, or more expensive insurance, in the coming months in order to offset the premium rate spikes actuaries anticipate.”

The law prohibits insurance companies from taking customers’ health history into account when setting insurance rates. It depends on an influx of younger, healthier insurance customers in order to offset the increased cost of insuring the less healthy.

“With the public largely disengaged from the law’s new realities, the first year of implementation could prove particularly awful if the sick sign up and the young and healthy don’t,” Domenech said.

The administration’s push to get people to sign up for health insurance has already sparked allegations by some lawmakers of official wrongdoing.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently pressured major health insurers to donate to a nonprofit group with deep ties to the administration that is working to support Obamacare by signing people up for health insurance.

Republicans see Sebelius’ activity as scandalous.

“It fits into that narrative Republicans are building not only about incompetence in the executive branch but also dishonesty,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak told Newsmax.

“This is a good issue for Republicans,” Mackowiak said. “We want to maximize it.”

OFA’s push appears to be an attempt to reverse that trend and help Democrats reclaim the health care issue ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. The group did not respond to a request for comment.

“OFA’s propaganda campaign might move the needle slightly, but it’s more likely that they’re preaching to the dedicated minority of Americans who already thought Obamacare was great,” Domenech said.

“But they’ve got to try something,” he added, “because their argument that people need to buy more insurance than they need for a higher price than they ought to pay just for the sake of the public good isn’t very convincing.”

Klayman – Class Action Suit on NSA/PRISM – Extortion 17 Parents

Editor’s Note – Larry Klayman, the noted attorney involved in some of the most important litigation in freedom/liberty cases as well as big government issues has filed a class action suit over the PRISM/NSA revelations and has included one very important point.

That point goes to ‘Standing’ – was an individual aggrieved or injured? In this case it is one significant couple, parents of a dead warrior hero. A former DoJ lawyer, Klayman knows their game.

Now the door is open to people to join the class action should the court agree and the court will have to concede that there is ‘Standing’ This was a major issue in so many cases against several named in the suit where courts threw cases out for lack of standing. Court after court failed to allow citizens to redress their government for grievances through the courts in the past, now they must answer.

The specific persons named in the suit as litigants are Charley and Mary Ann Strange on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

They are named because of some very curious and illegal activities they endured, and you will soon learn what happened to them, and that it is directly attributable to the federal government and its overreach into the privacy of their communications.

This is doubly significant because Charley and Mary Ann are the parents of SEAL Team VI member Michael Strange – part of the group killed in Afghanistan on the Chinook CH-47 helicopter with call sign ‘Extortion 17’.

This is the incident they and other family members have been investigating in what is one of the earlier scandals committed by the Obama Administration in 2011 that remains unsolved but is beginning to become well known. Were there a few less egregious scandals, this one scandal would rise to the top where it should be in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

In the suit filed yesterday, one section stands out on ‘Standing’:

24. Plaintiffs and members of the class bring this action because they have been directly affected, victimized and severely damaged by the unlawful conduct complained herein. Their injuries are proximately related to the egregious, illegal and criminal acts of Defendants Obama, Holder, Alexander, McAdam, Vinson, Verizon, the DOJ, and the NSA, each and every one of them, jointly and severely.

The release this week of the PRISM/NSA leaks may be challenged by the government as not having gone after private citizens in public statements, but now they will have to do so under oath with the full weight of perjury and obstruction of justice hanging over their heads.

Here is the PDF of the suit as it was filed: PRISM-class action suit

For more on this, click here at Wired.

Klayman Expands Obama- NSA-Verizon Suit Into Class Action

Senator Rand Paul Expresses Support for Klayman’s Class Action Lawsuit

Posted at Yahoo News

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch and a former Justice Department prosecutor, today announced that he has expanded his lawsuit against President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the heads of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, the entities themselves, and the federal judge, Roger Vinson, who signed the warrant allowing for the alleged illegal violation of the constitutional rights of well over a hundred million subscribers and users, to be a class action lawsuit.

The complaint, which can be found at www.freedomwatchusa.org, was amended yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (Case No.  1:13-cv-OO851).

Importantly, and also yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Senator Rand Paul, a strict constitutionalist, expressed support for a class action lawsuit, obviously knowing that Klayman had already filed one since it has been widely reported.

“I applaud Senator Paul for effectively endorsing our lawsuit, and agree with him that it will serve as a vehicle to have tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of Americans rise up against government tyranny, which has grown to historic proportions. Even the New York Times has recently opined that the Obama administration has lost all credibility.

For this venerable newspaper to make such a strong statement shows just how serious the Obama administration’s alleged violation of the constitutional rights of citizens has become. For the issue of the preservation of civil liberties is not a left or right issue, but one for all Americans to rise up and fight for. We cannot allow a ‘Big Brother’, Orwellian government spy on the American people to access their confidential communications to effectively turn ‘citizens into its prisoners.’

That is why this class action lawsuit, which all Verizon users are welcome to join, no matter what their political persuasion, will serve as the vehicle for a second American revolution, one that is carried out peacefully and legally – but also forcefully. It now falls on a ‘jury of our peers’ to make sure that justice is done to end this illegal and coercive power grab – before it, like a malignant cancerous tumor, destroys the body politic of our great nation. Our Founding Fathers would be proud,” stated Klayman.

For information contact Klayman Lawfirm: daj142182@gmail.com or (424) 274 2579.

Media Contact: Adrienne Mazzone, 561-750-9800 ext 210, amazzone@transmediagroup.com

NSA Leaker Identified by Guardian – Edward Snowden

Editor’s Note – NSA contractor Edward Snowden gave a video interview to the UK’s Guardian which exposed the NSA PRISM story – today they revealed his name and the interview.

This came a day after the DNI James Clapper filed a criminal complaint to the DoJ which you can read here. It’s also interesting to read about clause 215 of the Patriot Act that gave such broad authority.

Here are two more links we recommend:

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’

By  and  in Hong Kong – UK Guardian

Watch video interview of Edward Snowden here.

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for theCIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

NSA Contractor Edward Snowden leaked the PRISM story

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

He has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

‘I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made’

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week’s series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for “a couple of weeks” in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. “That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world.”

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. “I’ve left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay,” he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.

“We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. “I am not afraid,” he said calmly, “because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and “say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become”.

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

‘You can’t wait around for someone else to act’

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression”.

He recounted how his beliefs about the war’s purpose were quickly dispelled. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: “Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn’t feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone”. Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he “watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in”, and as a result, “I got hardened.”

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.

He described how he once viewed the internet as “the most important invention in all of human history”. As an adolescent, he spent days at a time “speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

For him, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: “I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation,” reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. “That has not happened before,” he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week’s news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it “harder for them to get dirty”.

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week’s haul of stories, “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets.”

PRISM, Utah, now Credit Cards and data sent to UK

UPDATE – There have been mistakes already as well, innocents were monitored and their transmissions were listened to as well:

The National Security Agency has at times mistakenly intercepted the private email messages and phone calls of Americans who had no link to terrorism, requiring Justice Department officials to report the errors to a secret national security court and destroy the data, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials. (Read the rest here.)

Editor’s Note – It just keeps coming, scandal after scandal, revelation after revelation – all Obama Administration related, all of them, and yet, only this latest episode does he claim knowledge of it. At this rate, Congress will be totally incapable of performing any of its duties beyond investigating Obama scandals.

Do you trust your government now?

Wait…they already are at LEVEL: OVERWHELMED, just like the entire nation now. Saul Alinsky would be so proud, but even the NY Times and Alan Colmes are no longer proud…wait for it, wait for it…here comes the next shoe…

Worse than we thought, government tracked credit card transactions, shared phone records with UK

By Becket Adams – The Blaze

You may want to sit down for this.

It appears that along with online information, the U.S. government has tracked credit card purchases and, in some cases, shared phone data with the U.K., according to The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast.

It was revealed earlier this week that the feds have been monitoring Verizon, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T customers and that the National Security Administration had established a massive program, code-named PRISM, that indicates the monitoring of Americans.

Now the Wall Street Journal’s sources claim NSA operations also encompass purchase information from credit-card providers.

“It couldn’t be determined if any of the Internet or credit-card arrangements are ongoing, as are the phone company efforts, or one-shot collection efforts,” the WSJ notes.

What is known at this time, however, is that the NSA has established with credit-card companies the same type of relationship it has established with tech companies. That is, the NSA asks for the data and they get it.

Also, according to The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake, at least “one foreign government has gained access to sensitive data collected by the National Security Agency from U.S. telecommunications companies in dragnet court warrants demanding the secret transfer of U.S. customers’ calling records.”

The collected information, referred to as “metadata,” does not include conversation content or the names of people associated with accounts. It does, however, record when and where calls are made and for how long.

And in a few “discreet cases,” as Lake puts it, “the NSA has shared unedited analysis of these records with its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters.”

Furthermore, in 2010, GCHQ actually gained access to the NSA’s PRISM program, The Guardian reports.

“The documents showed the British generated 197 intelligence reports from access to the system in 2012,” Lake notes.

“With advances in computer science, intelligence services can now mine vast amounts of data collected by telecom companies, Internet service providers, and social-media sites for patterns that can illuminate terrorist networks and help solve crimes,” he adds, citing intelligence officers.

“These metadata … reside in vast hard drives that belong to the NSA. Analysts there can then take a phone number or email address and uncover suspected terrorists’ associates, find their locations, and even learn clues about their possible targets.”

A former senior U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast, “My understanding is if the British had a phone number, we might run the number through the database for them and provide them with the results.”

“I do not know of cases where the U.S. government has shared this kind of metadata with the United Kingdom, but I would be surprised if this never happened,” Peter Wood, the CEO of First Base Technologies, said in the same report. “Both countries cooperate very closely on counterterrorism.”

Fort Hood Shooter: "I was defending the Taliban"

Editor’s Note – When a shooter yells “Allah hu akbar” while killing Americans it is obvious to everyone what motivated the shooter, yet the Obama Administration chose to call it ‘workplace violence’. This prevented the assignment of Purple Hearts to those in the military who were training to fight those at war with us who do so under the mantle of Islam who were wounded or killed. How ironic!

By not designating the act as terrorism, the families of those slain had their rights removed from them and the proper attribution of heroism was denied those soldiers who deserve to be recognized with a Purple Heart. Why this was approached in the fashion it was indicates a political motivation rather than a legal one, especially now since the perpetrator said himself said that it was in defense of a terrorist group, the Taliban.

The administration should forthwith amend their stance to properly reflect the facts, sans political rhetoric. This shameful chapter MUST be closed and we need to make the administration and its sycophants and surrogates see fact. We must eschew the propaganda of the Islam apologists, we must know thine enemy!

Fort Hood Shooter Blasts Obama Admin Story

‘I was defending Taliban’ in attack Washington called ‘workplace violence’

From WND Exclusive

For years, the Obama administration has maintained that the victims of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, for which Islamist Maj. Hidal Hasan is charged, simply were in the crosshairs of a situation of “workplace violence.”

The victims – 13 people were killed and nearly another three dozen were injured when, according to witnesses, Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar” and started firing at people – have been denied benefits and combat honors because the government insisted there was no link to terror.

Now, however, the defendant himself is taking that off the table.

As part of his defense, he has demanded to represent himself in his still-unscheduled trial, and this week asked for a delay of several months so that he could prepare his defense which will be built on the idea he did the shootings “in defense of others.”

When asked by the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to identify those he was “protecting,” Hasan said, “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban” and its leader, Mullah Omar.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, is accused of walking into the Soldier Readiness Center on the base Nov. 5, 2009, and opening fire on his fellow soldiers.

The attack didn’t stop until Hasan himself was shot and paralyzed.

A survivor reported Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “Allah is greatest,” a phrase commonly uttered by jihadists prior to carrying out an attack. The Fort Hood attack was the worst shooting on an American military base.

Now, however, the defendant himself is taking that off the table.

As part of his defense, he has demanded to represent himself in his still-unscheduled trial, and this week asked for a delay of several months so that he could prepare his defense which will be built on the idea he did the shootings “in defense of others.”

When asked by the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, to identify those he was “protecting,” Hasan said, “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban” and its leader, Mullah Omar.

Hasan, an Army psychiatrist at Fort Hood, is accused of walking into the Soldier Readiness Center on the base Nov. 5, 2009, and opening fire on his fellow soldiers.

The attack didn’t stop until Hasan himself was shot and paralyzed.

A survivor reported Hasan shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “Allah is greatest,” a phrase commonly uttered by jihadists prior to carrying out an attack. The Fort Hood attack was the worst shooting on an American military base.

Hasan had been on federal officials’ radar screen for at least six months prior to the shooting over postings he made on the Internet. He likened a suicide bomber who kills women and children to a soldier who throws himself on a grenade to give his life in a “noble cause.”

Intelligence officials also intercepted at least 18 emails between Hasan and the radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Hasan told al-Awlaki in one of the emails, “I can’t wait to join you” in paradise. He also asked al-Awlaki whether it was appropriate to kill innocents in a suicide attack, when jihad was acceptable and how to transfer funds without attracting government notice.

In spite of this, Attorney General Eric Holder declined to press terrorism charges against Hasan. Instead the government has labeled the shooting as a case of “workplace violence.” During a memorial service for the victims, President Obama never once used the word terrorism.

The designation has prevented survivors and the victim’s families from receiving Purple Hearts and being able to obtain combat-related special compensation.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning was shot six times in the attack, yet he is denied the same benefits a soldier shot in a similar action overseas would receive.

Fellow soldiers that day “were killed and wounded by … somebody who was there that day to kill soldiers, to prevent them from deploying,” Manning said. “And if that’s not an act of war, an act of terrorism, I don’t know what is.”

Survivors and their family are forced to watch while Hasan continues to receive a paycheck and medical benefits from the military – closing in on $300,000 already.

Neal Sher and Reed Rubinstein, who are representing the Ford Hood victims and their families, said Hasan’s statements change the picture.

“Now the government’s ‘workplace violence’ lie has been fully exposed,” they told the Washington Times. “By his own admission, Hasan was a jihadist who killed innocent Americans to defend the Taliban.”

The lawyers said the Army should simply admit the Fort Hood attack was terrorism and then give the victims, the survivors and their families “all available combat-related benefits, decorations and recognition.”

Earlier, a judge who was going to require Hasan to shave – to comply with military regulations, was removed from the case and replaced with Osborn, who allowed Hasan to make his own decisions about grooming.

The dispute over the beard and other issues have caused some to say Hasan is making a mockery of the military legal system.

“If he were not a Muslim and murdered 13 people in cold blood he would long since have been tried and convicted by now,” said Robert Spencer, founder of Jihad Watch. “This ridiculous haggling over his beard is part of the general policy of the United States government not to offend Muslims and accommodate them in every way possible.”

Spencer went on to say the Army’s deference to Hasan on the beard issue is particularly appalling because it was his own piety that led him to kill his fellow soldiers.

“This accommodation is particularly unconscionable because Hassan said he has to have the beard because of his Muslim faith. But he also by his own account murdered 13 people because of his Muslim faith,” Spencer noted. “Because of this why should we be giving him any accommodation because of his faith? This would be like making sure a Nazi guard at a concentration camp in prison was later supplied with a copy of Mein Kampf along with a swastika emblem.”

Some have questioned why Hasan had no problems being clean shaven before the shooting and why it only became an issue later. Spencer explained the reason is Hasan wants to make himself a martyr in the eyes of the Muslim world.

“The martyr goes into paradise in the condition in which they die. A beard is a sign of a Muslim’s piety, and if he doesn’t have it, it is a serious mark against him,” Spencer explained. “He will consider himself to be an Islamic martyr if he is executed for his crimes or even if he dies in prison for his crimes. This is why he has attempted to plead guilty on several occasions.”

Under military law, an individual is not allowed to plead guilty in any case involving the death penalty.

WND Founder and CEO Joseph Farah, in a commentary, said, “Did you hear about Barack Obama’s Defense Department characterizing the execution-style shooting slayings of 13 and wounding of 29 at Fort Hood in 2009 by a crazed Islamist Army officer as ‘workplace violence’? … The reclassification of one of the worst terror attacks ever on domestic U.S. soil came in a strategic plan on battling ‘violent extremism in the United States’ focused on engaging local law enforcement and communities, and on countering ‘extremist propaganda.’ It pledged to put together a ‘task force of senior officials’ to work with local communities that could be targeted for recruitment and radicalization.”

But, he wrote, the report never mentions “radical Islam.”

“This is akin to reclassifying the 9/11 attacks as ‘pilot error,’” wrote Farah.

Also commenting recently was William Murray, author of “My Life Without God.”

“President Barack Hussein Obama refuses to designate Hasan’s assault on Fort Hood as terrorism even though Hasan referred to himself as a ‘soldier of Islam.’ As a result of Obama’s refusal, the families of the dead and the injured have been refused combat compensation.

“President Obama will not even issue Purple Hearts to the victims – not to the families of the dead, and not to those who were wounded,” he wrote. “Barack Obama and his Department of Defense insist Hasan’s attack was mere ‘workplace violence’ and was ‘isolated’ and therefore not terrorism or combat.”

But, Murray pointed out, “Obama ordered the assassination of Hasan’s jihadist partner and instructor in the attack, American-born al-Qaida collaborator Anwar al-Awlaki. A CIA drone killed al-Awlaki and several others in Yemen in September 2011. It was the first execution ever of a U.S. citizen without trial by our government.

“If Maj. Nidal Hasan acted alone and the jihad attack at Fort Hood was mere ‘workplace violence,’ why was retribution required on al-Awlaki? Because the killing wasn’t retribution at all; it was because Obama needed to shut al-Awlaki up and stop his bragging about the attack on Fort Hood. With al-Awlaki taking credit for the shooting, Obama could not classify it as ‘workplace violence.’ All those involved other than Hasan had to be eliminated,” he said.

In an exclusive interview with WND’s Greg Corombos, former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy, who led the successful prosecution against the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, said the military judge had no choice but to allow Hasan to represent himself at trial and probably couldn’t stop Hasan from turning the courtroom into a platform for his radical Islamic views.

“I don’t see how the judge could avoid it. As the Supreme Court has held, if you make a knowing and intelligent decision before the trial starts that you want to represent yourself, you have an absolute constitutional right to do that,” McCarthy said.  ”I think that the objections that people have or the fears they have that by representing himself he’s going to turn the proceedings into a circus are a little bit overblown. Let’s face it, even if he weren’t representing himself he could try to turn the case into a circus if that’s what he was determined to do.

“Whether he’ll be able to do that or not is really going to be a function of how strong the judge presiding over the trial is, not whether (Hasan’s) just a defendant at the table or the defendant who represents himself.”

McCarthy said Hasan’s strategy is most likely to lay the grounds for an appeal of a likely death sentence.

“What a defendant is always trying to do is sow error into the record because that’s the best chance you have of getting the outcome reversed on appeal. I think what he’s really trying to accomplish here is get the death penalty off the table one way or the other. This is a way that makes the trial a little bit more chaotic,” said McCarthy, who argued that if Hasan is convicted and sentenced to death he has a good chance of finding a sympathetic appellate court that could save his life.

Another issue in the case is what discovery evidence Hasan will have access to as he prepares his defense. McCarthy said the government’s cautious charges in this case should limit the amount of sensitive information provided to Hasan.

“It would concern me more if he were being accused as an al-Qaida operative because then there would be an argument that he should be given the discovery about the overall al-Qaida conspiracy,” McCarthy said. “The way the prosecution has a way of regulating how much or how little a defendant is entitled to in terms of discovery is how you plead the case.

“In this case, the prosecution has plead the case narrowly. They’ve gone out of their way not to accuse him of terrorism, which I think is a mistake, but I think they have made it a simple, straightforward homicide case. Therefore, I would say that he should not be entitled to any discovery about our enemies,” said McCarthy, who noted the only al-Qaida-related content the prosecution will likely mention is Hasan’s relationship with radical cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki.

Hasan is also asking for a delay in the start of the trial because of his intent to pursue a new, “defense of others” strategy.  When asked by Judge Osborn who he was defending, Hasan mentioned the leadership of the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.  McCarthy said he would not delay the trial any further and hopes the judge will rule that way.

Listen to the radio interview between WND and Andrew C. McCarthy here.