An Inmate Allegedly ‘Leaking Blood All Over’ Was Denied Medical Treatment for Hours. The Prison Guard Gets Qualified Immunity –

A prison guard who opted not to ensure prompt medical care for an inmate with a broken hand and a partially severed tendon is entitled to qualified immunity and thus cannot be sued over the incident, a federal court ruled last week.

The doctrine of qualified immunity requires that, in order to hold certain government actors accountable in civil court, plaintiffs must furnish a prior court ruling where the exact misbehavior they’re alleging has already been explicitly ruled unconstitutional. If they’re not able to do so, state officials—from cops to prison guards to college administrators—are sometimes able to violate your constitutional rights without any recourse.

It’s a standard that requires a devotion to myopic detail. Here, there were a few factors distinguishing the allegations from prior court decisions, including the location of the injury and the amount of blood shed.

In October 2014, Charles Wade, then an inmate at United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, injured his hand and was escorted on a 10-minute walk from the kitchen to a holding cell by Captain Gordon Lewis. Wade says that over the course of that walk, he was “leaking blood all over” and left “a path of blood,” but that his requests to go to the infirmary were ignored. He would stay in the holding cell for several hours before receiving any attention from a prison nurse. His injuries eventually worsened: Though he put in a request for help after his hand began to swell, staff did not tend to him until a day later when he flagged an officer and told a nurse his pain was registering as a ten out of ten. He ultimately required hospital treatment outside the prison.

In awarding Lewis qualified immunity, the 11th Circuit made a few distinctions from previous case law. “In [a prior ruling], the plaintiff suffered an injury to his head,” wrote Judge Elizabeth L. Branch, “whereas here, Wade suffered an injury to his hand.” She also noted that “the quantity of blood is different,” because the defendant in a previous case had “blood soaked [on] his clothing [and] pooled on the floor.” Also different is the location of the plaintiff: Wade was in a holding cell, sitting three feet from the infirmary, whereas the plaintiff in the preexisting precedent was in a hospital.

“On the one hand, this seems to be a pretty garden-variety application of qualified immunity,” says Clark Neily, vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute. “On the other hand, it underscores one of the most pernicious aspects of the qualified immunity defense, which is to take cases where reasonable people may plausibly disagree about the culpability of the government defendant and ensure that those disagreements are resolved not by ordinary citizens sitting as a jury—the way the Constitution, the Founders, and centuries of Anglo-American common law provide—but instead by a bunch of government employees who are disproportionately drawn from the ranks of prosecutors and other courtroom advocates for government.”

But whether or not Lewis violated Wade’s rights is still a matter of debate, and it will unfortunately remain that way, as the 11th Circuit chose not to make a ruling on it for subsequent defendants. We’re told that victims of government abuse need to find the perfect court decision to hold the state accountable, yet the federal courts often decline to set those very precedents.

It’s “entirely possible” that damages weren’t appropriate, adds Neily. The story isn’t exactly sympathetic: Wade says he sustained the injuries from cutting open a can of vegetables; others contend it was because he had punched another inmate in the face moments prior. But should such a determination be up to a jury? “The Founders were committed to the proposition that disputes between citizens and government—whether civil or criminal—should generally be resolved by ordinary citizens, not government mandarins,” says Neily. “Qualified immunity represents a repudiation of that ancient wisdom and a blatant act of judicial policy making.”

There are several instances of rogue prison guards receiving qualified immunity. There was the group of correctional officers who received the protection after locking a naked inmate in two cells over the span of several days: one with “massive amounts” of human feces covering the walls, and the other with sewage bubbling up from a clogged floor drain. In another case, a guard pepper-sprayed an prisoner, admittedly for no reason at all.

The Supreme Court, which legislated qualified immunity into existence, has been hesitant to fundamentally reconsider the doctrine as a whole. But in two highly unusual moves, it overturned both of the above cases within the last several months, allowing the victims to plead their cases where the Founders intended: in front of a jury.

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Coast Guard Chaplains’ Memo Includes Invasive Questions for Religious Exemption Requesters

A recent Department of Defense memorandum for chaplains of the Coast Guard includes multiple highly invasive questions about the sincerity of the faith and practice of Guardsmen seeking religious exemptions from the vaccine for COVID-19.

“Have the member describe how they consistently keep the tenets of their faith and demonstrate those in their daily life. Ask them to be as specific as possible,” the memo directs the chaplains to ask of exemption seekers.

“Put the specifics acts (or lack thereof) in the memo,” the chaplains are told, referring to a record they are to create of their interview with the requester. A copy of the questions section of the memo was made available to The Epoch Times, which verified that it is a Department of Defense product authored by “Lee, Amanda M CDR.”

A civil liberties attorney told The Epoch Times such questions are not legal.

“Almost none of the questions in that memo are appropriate, although some are certainly more inflammatory and offensive than others.  The only obligation the service member has is to establish that they have a sincerely held religious belief that is being substantially burdened by the government,” First Liberty Institute General Counsel Mike Berry told The Epoch Times Thursday.

“Once they show that, the burden shifts entirely to the government.  The government has no authority and no legitimate basis to ask the sorts of questions that are in the memo, and it demonstrates overt hostility to religious beliefs,” Berry said.

The Plano, Texas-based First Liberty Institute specializes in First Amendment and religious liberty litigation.

The memo also warns the chaplain conducting an interview to be wary of Guardsmen who may be abusing the exemption process.

“It is important to provide context in the memo discussing the member’s belief. If they come to the meeting and begin by discussing concerns about safety, politics, etc., note that in the memo,” the memo warned.

“Even if the member eventually states that it is a belief based on religion, note their first expression and how they moved from non-religious beliefs to religious ones. Note any comments made by the member that make it appear they are using the religious exemption as a ruse to avoid the vaccine,” the memo continued.

The memo also includes a series of questions to be asked of Guardsmen who express concerns about the use of cells from the tissue of aborted babies in the development of the three vaccines currently approved by the FDA on an experimental basis to combat COVID-19.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, acting on orders from President Joe Biden, announced in August that all members of the U.S. military must receive the vaccine. Those who do not receive a religious or medical exemption are subject to discipline, not excluding discharge.

The Biden administration said Wednesday that it opposes an amendment in the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that specifies military members who refuse the vaccine can only receive an honorable discharge.

The honorable discharge provision “would detract from readiness and limit a commander’s options for enforcing good order and discipline when a Service member fails to obey a lawful order to receive a vaccination,” the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement.

U.S. military “must have the ability to give orders and take appropriate disciplinary measures” in order to have “a uniformed force to fight with discipline,” the OMB statement said.

Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), a medical doctor and military veteran, was the principal author of the honorable discharge amendment. He told The Epoch Times: “This was a bipartisan amendment—not one Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee opposed it. Nothing is more telling of the current political climate than the Biden administration refusing to respect the rights of our military that every House Democrat on the Committee voted for.”

Berry said his organization has been flooded with requests from members of the military who have reservations about the vaccine and who report experiencing a hostile work environment after making their concerns known to commanders.

“I’d estimate we’ve been contacted by somewhere between 200 and 300 service members from across the branches, of varying ranks and duty assignments, and the vast majority report experiencing significant hostility once they inform their commands they will be seeking a religious exemption from the vaccine,” Berry said.

“Many report to me that their commands have been very coercive, and have suggested things such as ‘you can submit a religious exemption request, but the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine Corps is not going to approve it, and then you will be processed for separation or court-martialed,’” Berry continued.

“Others inform me that they have experienced varying degrees of adverse action as a direct result of their religious exemption requests.  These adverse actions include things such as aviators being removed from flight status, and being threatened with removal from command.  All of these actions are unlawful,” Berry said.

Maj. Charlie Dietz, a DOD spokesman, told The Epoch Times Thursday that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “has made it clear that he expects the services to move as energetically as they can on vaccinating our service members because he is concerned about the rise in deaths and the impact that the Delta variant has had on the force.”

Dietz added that “should a service member request a waiver, whether it be administrative or medical, the member should be treated with care and compassion. A key portion of the process is ensuring our members have access to information and resources about the vaccine, including speaking with their doctor about it. If their doctor believes that it is in the service member’s best interests to not get the vaccine, they can write an exemption for them and file it inside their medical records.

“With more than 91 percent of active duty service members having already been given one shot, we are fully confident that the number will continue to increase and are fully aware that the number of exemptions will most likely increase.”

Mark Tapscott

Congressional Correspondent


HillFaith Founding Editor, Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times, FOIA Hall of Fame, Reaganaut, Okie/Texan.

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NIH Funded Iranian Prof Who Allegedly Smuggled US Science Equipment to the Rev. Guard

Fresh off of renewed questions about a grant given to a health organization that worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the National Institutes of Health is in the spotlight for giving grants to a man charged with illegally supplying high-tech medical equipment to Iran.

According to a Justice Department news release, Dr. Mohammad Faghihi was charged Tuesday with conspiracy to commit money laundering, unlawful exports of goods to Iran, smuggling goods out of and into the U.S., wire fraud and making false statements.

Faghihi, a former associate professor at the University of Miami who was born in Iran, was charged in a Miami federal court alongside his wife and sister.

The three operated a company called Express Gene, which, for four years ending in November of 2020, “received numerous wire transfers from accounts in Malaysia, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, totaling almost $3.5 million,” the news release said.

“Those third-country international wires [are] indicative of money laundering designed to conceal that payment originated in Iran,” the federal complaint said, according to The Washington Free Beacon.


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The Department of Justice alleged in the news release that “some of the money received was used by Express Gene and its principals to purchase genetic sequencing equipment from U.S. manufacturers and ship them to Iran without a license from the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to export the machines, despite sanctions on Iran.”

The Miami Herald reported that prosecutors told a judge that one of Express Gene’s clients was the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an Iranian military branch that’s also designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S.

The IRGC allegedly bought several genetic testing machines from Faghihi’s business.

According to the Herald, prosecutors said they caught up with Faghihi just as it seemed he was about to flee.

“He was literally about to board a plane on Monday when he was arrested,” prosecutor Michael Thakur told the court on Wednesday.

Faghihi was also accused of falsely obtaining grants from the NIH. The agency required him to disclose the international wire transfers he received, which he allegedly failed to do. The Herald reported Faghihi was the chief investigator on those grants.

According to the news release, the federal government’s case against Faghihi began after he arrived at Miami International Airport from Iran on Feb. 20. Upon his arrival, Customs and Border Protection officers inspected his luggage and questioned him.

“According to the charging documents, during his inspection by CBP officers, Faghihi made false statements, including that he did not practice his profession in Iran or conduct any type of research in Iran,” the news release read.

“In fact, according to the affidavit, Faghihi was the director of a laboratory within Shiraz University of Medical Science in Iran bearing his name: ‘Dr. Faghihi’s Medical Genetic Center.’”


Report: US Military Equipment Abandoned by Biden Now in Even Worse Hands Than Taliban’s

That’s generally a tip-off, yes.

The charging documents also stated that Faghihi told a professor with an Iranian number on the WhatsApp messaging service that he’d managed to purchase two genetic sequencing devices in the U.S. and had installed them at the university, according to the Free Beacon.

The documents said IP numbers from the genetic sequencing devices confirmed they were at the research university, which is government-run — leading to questions about whether Faghihi has connections with the Iranian regime.

While those questions likely won’t be addressed until the case gets further down the line, another red flag like this is the last thing the NIH needs after documents revealed grants to a U.S. health organization conducting research that’s now at the center of the lab leak hypothesis.

Documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act seem to indicate the NIH funded so-called gain-of-function research into bat coronaviruses conducted with the Wuhan Institute of Virology by a group called EcoHealth Alliance.

Of the $3.1 million provided to EcoHealth Alliance in federal grants, $599,000 went to researching bat coronaviruses that could potentially infect humans. This included changing the viruses to make them more infectious to humans — the very definition of gain-of-function research.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s coronavirus czar, is the head of one of the NIH’s divisions, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Testifying to Congress in May, he said the NIH and NIAID “categorically has not funded gain-of-function research to be conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Lying to Congress is, of course, a crime.

It’s unclear whether Fauci knew about the research being done by EcoHealth Alliance. However, the fact that the NIH was funding that kind of potentially dangerous research — with our chief geopolitical adversary at a lab where biosecurity questions had been raised — isn’t a good sign.

Now, the NIH finds itself linked to a man who allegedly smuggled scientific equipment to another geopolitical adversary, Iran.

It’s unclear whether the agency knew (or, indeed, could have known) anything about the crimes Faghihi is charged with. However, the association with him couldn’t have come at a worse time.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).


Morristown, New Jersey


Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture

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Two decades after 9/11, America’s Sikhs on guard over attacks

Two decades after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by Islamic terrorists, a religious group not at all connected to Islam remains on guard for violence against its members.

A Sikh living in Mesa, Arizona, Balbir Singh Sodhi, is believed to be the first American killed as a reprisal for the 9/11 attacks. He was shot outside the gas station/convenience store he owned on the evening of Sept. 15, 2001, just hours after giving all the money in his pocket — about $70 — to people collecting for victims of the attacks.

Mr. Sodhi, age 52 at the time of his murder, fled anti-Sikh violence in the Punjab region of India and came to the United States, working his way to owning his own small business.

The assailant, disgruntled Boeing aircraft mechanic Frank Roque, had told friends he wanted to “go out and shoot some towel-heads” before the murder. Now 62, Roque is serving a life sentence for the crime. Rana Singh Sodhi, Balbir’s younger brother, told The Washington Times Roque has apologized.

“He understands now,” Mr. Sodhi said in a telephone interview. “He apologized to me and he apologized to my family and my community.”

Mr. Sodhi collaborated with the Sikh Coalition and the Global Sikh Alliance to stage a 20th-anniversary memorial observance at the gas station, which the family still owns and which Balbir’s son operates, on the evening of Sept. 15.

“I think I lost so much these last 20 years,” Mr. Sodhi said of his older brother. “He [was] the person who brought my family together. One night before [the murder] he called me to have dinner with him. Almost every week, we brothers got together and had dinner; he was the key to bringing us together.”

Estimates put the number of Sikhs worldwide at between 25 million and 30 million people. The religion originated in the Punjab region of India and has no connection to Islam, instead being based on the teachings of founder Guru Nanak and nine successors, ending with Guru Gobind Singh, who died early in the 18th century. Sikhs try to avoid what they view as the illusion of worldly attractions and seek to serve others, including giving to the needy.

But because male Sikhs wear a turban and a beard as symbols of religious adherence, they are often mistaken for some Muslims who also wear turbans and have beards, such as the Taliban and followers of al Queda, the group responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Such confusions, Sikh author Simran Jeet Singh said in an interview, are “part of the strange experience post-9/11. Of not being Muslim, but being seen as Muslim and having to figure out how to deal with that.”

Mr. Singh, an academic who teaches Buddhist history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, is a senior fellow at the Sikh Coalition, a group that tries to educate Americans about Sikhism and also advocates for Sikhs in the U.S. 

He said the group was organized in 2001 after the attacks and was “focused on responding to emergency situations” at the time, and has since broadened to “become more proactive in teaching Americans about who we are.”

Although misunderstandings about Sikhs, a community that has been in the U.S. for more than a century, existed before 9/11, Mr. Singh says the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan creates an unwanted and undeserved linkage.

“What’s particularly important for us as a community in this moment is we’re seeing the images come out of Afghanistan, with the collapse of their government, and the rise of the Taliban,” Mr. Singh said.

“I’m getting in many ways hitting flashbacks to 20 years ago where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and the Taliban’s images first came onto my radar,” he said. “And to many of my friends as well. And so we’re seeing these images of extremists who look very much like people in our community, and we’re aware that people will make a one-to-one association as they have done in the past.”

Mr. Singh said that while it was “understandable” that some well-meaning people would suggest Sikhs abandon the turban and beard to assimilate into American culture, such moves wouldn’t work “because there’s no way that we can ever be completely homogeneous and one-dimensional.”

Instead, he suggested, “if someone truly understood what my turban means to me, there wouldn’t be any conversation” about that notion.

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McCarthy Calls for National Guard to Help Cope With Del Rio Illegal Immigrant Surge

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has urged President Joe Biden to deploy the National Guard to help deal with the illegal immigrant surge along the southern border, insisting the situation is a national security crisis and blaming the Biden administration for a “failed response.”

McCarthy made the remarks in a Sept. 17 statement that came as thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly from Haiti, were congregating under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas while they await processing by Border Patrol.

“The Biden Administration must recognize this for what it is: A National Security Crisis. As such he must fully deploy the National Guard to the southern border to help our Border Patrol agents with more resources to control the situation,” the Republican leader said.

“Recently, over 10,000 migrants have surged to the border in Del Rio. It is no coincidence this is happening as Democrats in Congress are moving to pass legislation that would grant immediate citizenship for up to 10 million illegal immigrants. This is a wakeup call to Democrats that their policies are putting American lives in danger and must be abandoned,” McCarthy said.

Thousands of illegal immigrants amassing in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 16, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The number of individuals gathering at the Del Rio bridge has skyrocketed in less a week, from only a couple of hundred on Sept. 9 to around 9,000 by Sept. 16, according to Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez. Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano confirmed that another 20,000 are on their way.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who on Thursday traveled to the border, called the scenes at the Del Rio bridge “the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen.”

“There are right now, as we’re speaking, there are 10,503 people under that bridge. It is packed in as a mass of humanity,” Cruz said. “They take your breath away because it just goes on and on and on—infants, little children, people struggling enormously.”

Cruz, too, blamed the Biden administration for the situation and called for deportation flights to Haiti to resume.

“It’s a political decision that Joe Biden could end tonight by simply following the law and saying we’re going to send people back to Haiti, which is what federal immigration law requires,” Cruz said.

The Biden administration paused deportation flights to Haiti after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated the country on Aug. 14. There has been media speculation that the Biden administration was working on plans to start deporting people back to Haiti, though these reports remain without official confirmation. The Associated Press cited anonymous administration officials as saying that deportation flights were to resume next week, while NBC News cited internal documents to that effect.

Epoch Times Photo
Illegal immigrants board a bus to be transported to a Border Patrol station for processing, under the international bridge, in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 16, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

More than 50 Democrat lawmakers urged Biden in a Sept. 16 letter (pdf) to extend the deportation pause indefinitely “for noncitizens who pose no threats to public safety or national security.”

The mayor of Del Rio said that it’s not clear who the illegal immigrants are and that he is concerned about security.

“I’m deeply frustrated. The thing that I worry about is a stampede. The thing I worry about is terrorism,” Lozano said, adding, “We don’t really know who they are.”

The United States recorded more than 208,000 illegal immigrant arrests at the border in August, one of the highest months on record. Under the Biden administration, the country is on pace to set records for the highest number of fiscal year and calendar year encounters.

Charlotte Cuthbertson and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Tom Ozimek


Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he’s ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: ‘Hit your target’ and ‘leave the best for last.’

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Border Crisis: McCarthy Urges Biden to Deploy National Guard to Texas Migrant Camp

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) speaks to the media during a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 11, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday called on President Biden to deploy the National Guard to Del Rio, Texas, where Border Patrol agents have been overwhelmed by thousands of migrants streaming across the border and camping out under a bridge.

“The Biden Administration must recognize this for what it is: A National Security Crisis,” McCarthy said in a statement. “As such he must fully deploy the National Guard to the southern border to help our Border Patrol agents with more resources to control the situation.”

McCarthy’s call to action comes as new video footage captured by Fox News shows hundreds of migrants illegally streaming into the U.S. across the Rio Grande, joining thousands of migrants who are already camped out under the international bridge.

Fox News captured video of the devastating scene during a ride-along in a Texas Department of Safety helicopter after the Federal Aviation Administration grounded Fox’s drones in the area.

The video showed hundreds of people, apparently mostly from Haiti, walking across a dam to enter the U.S. They then follow a dirt path to join an encampment under the bridge where upwards of 11,000 migrants are waiting to be processed by Border Patrol agents, up from 8,000 as of Thursday morning.

The number of migrants at the camp has nearly tripled since Wednesday, when there were 4,000 migrants there. Border Patrol agents are struggling to process new arrivals.

Fox News reporter Bill Melugin described it as a “nonstop trail of migrants” who are crossing the Rio Grande in multiple areas.

Sources have reportedly told Fox News they believe that tens of thousands more are still on the way.

McCarthy noted that the worsening situation in Del Rio is part of a larger migrant crisis that has been unfolding for months; Border Patrol agents encountered more than 208,000 migrants in August.

“Under the Biden Administration, over 1.2 million migrants have been apprehended entering our country illegally — and that’s just who our over-worked and under-resourced Border Patrol agents caught,” he said.

“It is no coincidence this is happening as Democrats in Congress are moving to pass legislation that would grant immediate citizenship for up to 10 million illegal immigrants,” he said, referring to efforts to pass mass amnesty measures through budget reconciliation for illegal immigrants who are already in the country. “This is a wakeup call to Democrats that their policies are putting American lives in danger and must be abandoned.” 

He also requested that Vice President Kamala Harris brief Congress on the administration’s efforts to get the border crisis under control. Harris had been placed in charge of addressing the “root causes” of the crisis.

“I am inviting the Vice President to brief Members of the Republican Conference next week to provide an update on the Administration’s plan to secure our southern border and our country,” he said.

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National Guard called up for Sept. 18 protest at US Capitol

U.S. Capitol Police will have the backing of the National Guard to secure the nation’s capital for a protest planned on Saturday even as former President Donald Trump warned his supporters to avoid it.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved 100 Guardsmen from the D.C. National Guard to reinforce the security efforts at the Capitol.

The demonstration on Saturday has been characterized by many in the media as another opportunity for violence similar to the rioting on Jan. 6 when some of Trump’s supporters attempted to stop the certification of the 2020 election.

More than 600 people have been arrested and charged for the Jan. 6 rioting.

Others have pointed out that the Saturday protest doesn’t appear to have the same support among Trump fans, many of whom suspect the event is a trap by the FBI to arrest far right firgures.

Trump himself has floated the idea in an interview with the Federalist.

“On Saturday, that’s a setup,” the former president said. “If people don’t show up they’ll say, ‘Oh, it’s a lack of spirit.’ And if people do show up they’ll be harassed.”

Even the organizer of the protest, Matt Braynard, has called on protesters to avoid wearing pro-Trump shirts or bringing pro-Trump flags. The former Trump campaign staffer says the demonstration has nothing to do with any candidate or any election.

“Anyone not honoring this request will be assumed to be an infiltrator and we will take your picture, find out who you are, and make you famous,” he tweeted.

The Capitol Police is not taking any chances.

“We are here to protect everyone’s First Amendment fight to peacefully protest,” said Chief Tom Manger in a statement days ahead of the protest. “I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence.”

The police re-installed a fence around the capitol and said they have improved their technology, training and equipment since Jan. 6.

CNN reported that an intelligence report documented about 500 people who said they would be at the protest Saturday.

Here’s more about the Sept.18 protest:

Police ready for right-wing rally at US Captiol

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U.S. Coast Guard makes contact with four Chinese ships near coast of Alaska

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) released a news statement this week saying it had made contact with four Chinese naval ships near the coast of Alaska. 

“Crews interacted with local, national and international vessels throughout the Arctic. During the deployment, Bertholf and Kimball observed four ships from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) operating as close as 46 miles off the Aleutian Island coast,” USCG said in a statement. “While the ships were within the U.S. exclusive economic zone, they followed international laws and norms and at no point entered U.S. territorial waters.”

“The PLAN task force included a guided missile cruiser, a guided missile destroyer, a general intelligence vessel, and an auxiliary vessel. The Chinese vessels conducted military and surveillance operations during their deployment to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean,” the statement added. “All interactions between the U.S. Coast Guard and PLAN were in accordance with international standards set forth in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium’s Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea and Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.”

Earlier this month, the Congressional Research Service released information about China’s naval expansion, saying it was one of the top issues U.S. officials are concerned about. 

The report said, in part:

In an era of renewed great power competition, China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has become the top focus of U.S. defense planning and budgeting. China’s navy, which China has been steadily modernizing for more than 25 years, since the early to mid-1990s, has become a formidable military force within China’s near-seas region, and it is conducting a growing number of operations in more-distant waters, including the broader waters of the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and waters around Europe.

China’s navy is viewed as posing a major challenge to the U.S. Navy’s ability to achieve and maintain wartime control of blue-water ocean areas in the Western Pacific—the first such challenge the U.S. Navy has faced since the end of the Cold War. China’s navy forms a key element of a Chinese challenge to the long-standing status of the United States as the leading military power in the Western Pacific. Some U.S. observers are expressing concern or alarm regarding the pace of China’s naval shipbuilding effort and resulting trend lines regarding the relative sizes and capabilities of China’s navy and the U.S. Navy.

China’s naval modernization effort encompasses a wide array of ship, aircraft, and weapon acquisition programs, as well as improvements in maintenance and logistics, doctrine, personnel quality, education and training, and exercises. China’s navy currently has certain limitations and weaknesses, and is working to overcome them.

China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is assessed as being aimed at developing capabilities for addressing the situation with Taiwan militarily, if need be; for achieving a greater degree of control or domination over China’s near-seas region, particularly the South China Sea; for enforcing China’s view that it has the right to regulate foreign military activities in its 200-mile maritime exclusive economic zone (EEZ); for defending China’s commercial sea lines of communication (SLOCs), particularly those linking China to the Persian Gulf; for displacing U.S. influence in the Western Pacific; and for asserting China’s status as the leading regional power and a major world power.

Consistent with these goals, observers believe China wants its navy to be capable of acting as part of a Chinese anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) force—a force that can deter U.S. intervention in a conflict in China’s near-seas region over Taiwan or some other issue, or failing that, delay the arrival or reduce the effectiveness of intervening U.S. forces. Additional missions for China’s navy include conducting maritime security (including antipiracy) operations, evacuating Chinese nationals from foreign countries when necessary, and conducting humanitarian assistance/disaster response (HA/DR) operations.

The U.S. Navy in recent years has taken a number of actions to counter China’s naval modernization effort. Among other things, the U.S. Navy has shifted a greater percentage of its fleet to the Pacific; assigned its most-capable new ships and aircraft and its best personnel to the Pacific; maintained or increased general presence operations, training and developmental exercises, and engagement and cooperation with allied and other navies in the Indo-Pacific; increased the planned future size of the Navy; initiated, increased, or accelerated numerous programs for developing new military technologies and acquiring new ships, aircraft, unmanned vehicles, and weapons; begun development of new operational concepts (i.e., new ways to employ Navy and Marine Corps forces) for countering Chinese maritime A2/AD forces; and signaled that the Navy in coming years will shift to a more-distributed fleet architecture that will feature a smaller portion of larger ships, a larger portion of smaller ships, and a substantially greater use of unmanned vehicles. The issue for Congress is whether the U.S. Navy is responding appropriately to China’s naval modernization effort.

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Capitol Police Request National Guard Troops for September 18 Rally

Members of the National Guard patrol near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 19, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Capitol Police have requested a military presence in Washington, D.C., ahead of Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally in support of people who were charged with crimes related to the Capitol riot.

The department told Reuters it had asked the Department of Defense “for the ability to receive National Guard support should the need arise on September 18.”

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Wednesday that the department has “received a request from the Capitol Police for some assistance for this weekend’s scheduled protest.”

He said Pentagon officials are considering the request, and “if it can be validated and supported, we’ll do that.”

Asked how many personnel the Capitol Police requested, Kirby said only that “it is not an exorbitant ask.”

“It’s not of a particularly large size or major capability,” he said. “I think it’s really more in the form of some manpower support.”

The request comes as law enforcement works to being overwhelmed by demonstrators, s was the case when a pro-Trump mob rioted at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Capitol Police had not requested backup from the National Guard on January 6 until after the Capitol had been breached.

Roughly 700 people are expected to attend the rally, according to a prediction by an official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Law-enforcement officials are reportedly preparing for potential unrest at the demonstration as violent rhetoric surrounding the rally has spread online, according to an internal Capitol Police memo obtained by CNN. Capitol Police and law enforcement are preparing for some of the demonstrators to be armed, a source reportedly told the Associated Press.

Officials are preparing for the rally by taking additional security measures around the Capitol. The U.S. Capitol Police board has approved the department’s request to reinstall temporary fencing around the Capitol a day or two before the event.

If “everything goes well,” it will come down “very soon after,” Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told reporters on Monday. The department has also issued an emergency declaration to allow the force to deputize outside law enforcement as “special” Capitol Police officers during the rally.

The Metropolitan Police Department is monitoring and assessing event planning and will increase its presence around Washington, D.C., The Hill reported.

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National Guard Activated in Massachusetts to Take Children to School

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has activated the National Guard to take children to school amid a massive shortage of bus drivers.

Up to 250 Guard troops were activated this week to fill the shortage.

“The Governor’s order makes up to 250 personnel available. Beginning with training on Tuesday, 90 Guard members will prepare for service in Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn,” the governor’s office announced in a statement on Monday. “These Guard personnel will be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans known as 7D vehicles to address staffing shortages in certain districts.”

The statement added that “as with any school transportation worker, all activated Guard personnel will complete vehicle training to ensure the safety of children and families. Drivers will meet all statutory requirements for 7D drivers. Throughout the mission, the Guard will comply with all health and safety measures.”

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The statement said that the “mission” to get kids to will not interfere with the Guard’s ability to respond to and assist in emergencies within the Commonwealth.

On Monday, Baker tweeted that “The safe and reliable transportation to school each day is critical to our children’s safety and education.”

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