Category Archives: Black Ops & Dirty Tricks

Army drill scares residents on Houston’s south side

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abclocal.go.com | Jan 29, 2013

by Jessica Willey

HOUSTON (KTRK) — The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood.

We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.

SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.

With military helicopters flying above her southeast Houston neighborhood, Frances Jerrals didn’t know what to think.

“When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst,” Jerrals said.

And so, she passed along her concern.

“She told me ‘don’t come home it sounds like we’re in a war zone. Guns, shooting, helicopters flying around the house,'” Isaac Robertson Jr. said.

The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds

“I felt like I was in a warzone.” Jerrals said. “It was nonstop. I was terrified.”

Turns out, it was a multi-agency training drill that Jerrals wished would have come with warning.

“They could have done a better job in notifying the neighborhood,” Jerrals said.

The Army did not give any details of what the training is for.

U.S. Army’s special forces set for urban warefare training in Galveston, Texas

The parking garage at the Galveston County courthouse is already blocked off, in preparation for military training exercises Wednesday, which could include helicopters landing on the roof.

chron.com | Jan 30, 2013

By Carol Christian

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The parking garage at the Galveston County courthouse is already blocked off, in preparation for military training exercises Wednesday, which could include helicopters landing on the roof.
Photo: Google Maps

The garage occupies four floors of a seven-story building at 715 19th St., which also houses an empty jail.

The training will involve about 80 soldiers from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command in coordination with local law enforcement, said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Noggle, an Army spokesman based at Fort Bragg, N.C.

No civilians will be involved, he said.

“We were invited by the city of Galveston to conduct joint training exercises to enhance the effectiveness of both services in order to better protect the residents of Galveston,” Noggle said by email.

“The purpose of the realistic urban training is to give our Special Operators an opportunity to hone their skills in a controlled, but unfamiliar, realistic urban environment that cannot be replicated with the bare-boned facades found on military installation ranges,” he wrote.

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said he thought the exercise could involve landing helicopters on top of the seven-story garage and jail facility.

An old antenna, which would have impeded landing on the building’s roof, was removed last week, Henry said.

“It was scheduled for demolition anyway,” the judge said. “We just accelerated the time frame on that. It’s out of their way so they can land there if they want to.”

Although the former county jail is empty, it’s well maintained in case it might be needed for inmate overflow, Henry said.

Noggle declined to specify what the training includes, but he stated that helicopters would be used if weather permits.

Any firing of weapons will involve “simulated ammunition,” Noggle said.

If the training is anything like the maneuvers that happened Monday in southeast Houston near the former Carnegie Vanguard High School and last week in Miami, it will catch the public’s attention.

On Tuesday, the Houston Police Department issued a statement that included an apology for its lack of prior warning about the exercises.

“In terms of the training, HPD is assisting the U.S. Army and Department of Homeland Security at various locations in the city through Friday of this week in which some training involves discharging of weapons and helicopter patrols,” the HPD statement said.

In Miami, the Miami-Dade Police Department issued two statements, one on Jan. 21 to announce the “joint military training exercise in and around the greater city of Miami and Miami-Dade County.”

The Miami training included the use of military helicopters, the statement said.

A second statement issued Jan. 25 thanked residents for their cooperation. “This was routine training conducted by military personnel designed to ensure the military’s ability to operate in urban environments, prepare forces for upcoming overseas deployments and meet mandatory training certification requirements,” the statement said.

Newtown residents join gun control march in Washington

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People walk from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, during a march on Washington for gun control. Susan Walsh / AP

NBC News | Jan 26, 2013

By Becky Bratu

Residents of Newtown, Conn., the scene of a school massacre in which 20 children and six adults were killed last month, joined thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday for a march supporting gun control.

Similar organized demonstrations were planned in support of gun control in about a dozen other places across the United States, according to organizers.

In addition to the 100 people who traveled together from Newtown, organizers told The Associated Press participants from New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia would join the demonstration.

Alongside Mayor Vincent Gray, a crowd that stretched for about two blocks marched down Constitution Avenue toward the Washington Monument, where speakers called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. Some of the demonstrators held signs that read “We Are Sandy Hook.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan addressed the crowd, saying he and President Barack Obama would work to enact gun control policies, the AP reported.

“This is about trying to create a climate in which our children can grow up free of fear,” he said, according to the AP.

“We must act, we must act, we must act,” Duncan said.

According to the AP, demonstrators held signs that read “Ban Assault Weapons Now,” “Stop NRA” and “Gun Control Now.” Other signs carried the names of victims of gun violence.

The silent march is organized by Molly Smith, artistic director of Washington’s Arena Stage, and her partner.

“With the drum roll, the consistency of the mass murders and the shock of it, it is always something that is moving and devastating to me. And then, it’s as if I move on,” Smith told the AP. “And in this moment, I can’t move on. I can’t move on.

“I think it’s because it was children, babies,” she told the AP. “I was horrified by it.”

The event is co-sponsored by One Million Moms for Gun Control, an independent organization that is also responsible for similar demonstrations in cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Austin, Texas.

The Newtown massacre has reignited the debate over firearms in the United States, and last week Obama laid out a series of measures intended to curb gun violence, most significantly proposals to limit the size of ammunition magazines, ban assault weapons and require universal background checks on firearm purchases. That plan won little praise from Republicans.

Earlier this month, New York lawmakers approved the toughest gun control law in the nation, expanding the state’s existing assault weapons ban and addressing gun ownership by those with mental illnesses.

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Propped Up by US Since 2007 Under Bush

landdestroyer.blogspot.com | Jan 24, 2013

by Tony Cartalucci

MuslimBrotherhood-1In 2007, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled, “To Check Syria, U.S. Explores Bond With Muslim Brothers.” And even then, it was noted that the Brotherhood held close links with groups the US recognizes and lists as terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Al Qaeda.

The report gives a disturbing foreshadowing of US support that would eventually see the Muslim Brotherhood rise as both a political and terroristic power across the Arab World, after decades of hard-fought attempts to crush the sectarian extremist organization everywhere from Tunisia to Syria, from Egypt to Libya, to Jordan, and beyond. In fact, the 2007 Wall Street Journal article specifically noted that the US partnership could “destabilize governments in Jordan and Egypt, two US allies where the Brotherhood is a growing opposition force.”

Egypt is now run by a sectarian-extremist Muslim Brotherhood dictatorship, after the US incited unrest there in 2011, while Jordan is seeing increasing unrest led by the Jordanian arm of the Brotherhood.

What is also disturbing about the 2007 report, is that it shows how allegedly “Bush-era” policies transcended the 2000-2008 administration and continued in earnest under President Obama.

The report, written by Jay Solomon, echoes similar foreshadowing of the coming violent sectarian bloodbath now engulfing Syria, found in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker piece titled, “The Redireciton: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?

Full story

. . .

Related

‘CIA favors Brotherhood as Egypt dictatorship benefits US’

Washington City police subject to monthly point system that looks like an awful lot like a quota system

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stgeorgeutah.com | Jan 8, 2013

by Joyce Kuzmanic

WASHINGTON CITY – An internal document outlining a point system for Washington City police officers is being characterized as a management tool that enhances the officers’ career development. But the system looks a lot like a quota requirement.

Point system measurements imposed upon police officers in correlation to the number of tickets they write or arrests they make have long been called “quotas” but agencies tend to decry the name “quotas” and are reluctant to publicize the practice.

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Excerpt from Key Performance Indicators, Washington City Police Department | Screenshot Image by St. George News

Quotas are controversial because they raise public suspicion that law enforcement officers will dole out tickets by compulsion, for career advancement perhaps, and to meet budget needs of their city or state employers.

Both the systems and the names given those systems are subjects of argument and denial.

St. George News obtained a document and Public Information Officer Ed Kantor said by way of authentication that it was produced by Washington City Police Department’s case department management. The document, attached here, sets forth Washington City Police Department Key Performance Indicators.

Washington City P.D.’s Key Performance Indicators policy in summary

The Washington P.D. document sets forth a point system by which officers accrue points for specific actions:

– 25 points for self-initiated department programs / processes / procedures.

– 10 points for DUI arrests.

– 6 points for other arrests.

– 5 points for self-initiated public presentations.

– 3 points for traffic and misdemeanor citations.

– ½ point for written warning citations.

And the list goes on.

The policy sets minimum monthly point accrual requirements for Washington City’s police officers and suggests goals within several of the point-earning items. It enumerates evaluation categories in areas of policy, customer service and leadership. And it defines an accountability process through which officers meet monthly with their sergeants for performance evaluations predicated upon their point accrual and a series of remedial actions that may be taken should an officer flag in logging sufficient number of points. Remedies include discussion and counseling, written documented warning to increase performance and corrective action plan to deal with recurring issues.

Washington P.D.’s comment on its policy

The policy was developed for enhanced employee career development, Kantor said, with two main goals: (1) To measure an employee’s performance fairly and accurately through a process, to be able to be consistent through evaluation period to evaluation period with consistency, and (2) to supply the highest level of customer service possible to the citizens of Washington City.

These measures are ways to help an employee be successful

“And employees have to have a measure,” Kantor said, “it’s hard to do in law enforcement. These measures are ways to help an employee be successful; rather than just say ‘you never do anything, you’re fired,’ there has to be a process whereby supervisors and managers can help improve the career performance of employees.”

The policy provides the employee an opportunity to excel in law enforcement in areas in which they excel most, Kantor said. For example, if they don’t like writing traffic citations but they like making arrests, it helps them focus on where they want to go in their career, do they want to go into investigations? On the other hand, the system might show that an officer excels in writing citations and that might serve to encourage the officer to apply for a position in traffic division.

City of St. George Police Department’s comment on the point system policy

St. George Police Department’s Deputy Chief Richard Farnsworth said that St. George P.D. has nothing in the way of Washington City’s point system, as it was briefly described to him.

“We have an evaluation system but to put a standard of x number of citations, no,” he said.

We have no quota system, no reports system. We do not have a system where we assign points.

St. George has ways to track statistics overall – to keep crime statistics, to rate officers – but, Farnsworth said, “no structure that regulates performance. We have no quota system, no reports system. We do not have a system where we assign points.”

Quota or performance rating systems link to revenues

Point assignment systems suggest quotas and quotas suggest a correlation between the acts and the revenue – whether or not the policymaker calls it a quota.

In 2000, Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources cooperated in a pilot “Performance Informed Budget,” a term the legislative committee decided on after debating other names for the pilot program such as “Performance Based Budget” and “Results Based Budgeting.” The Executive Summary of the report on that program includes the following statement:

“By whatever name, performance budgeting links appropriations to outcomes through the use of performance information in budget decision-making and the inclusion of performance indicators in the budget document.”

The DWR is a state agency that raises revenue through its own state police power and through less offense-oriented measures like application fees for hunting and fishing licenses. The 2000 report is detailed, itemizing, for example, application fees collected for a particular hunt over and above the number of licenses it allots to be issued for that hunt.

Whether it is the citing or arresting or licensing agency itself that draws the connection, or the state or city management under which it serves, traffic tickets, fines, application fees for hunting licenses, and the like all build revenue for the city or state. Is it likely that none of the powers that be are mindful of the connection or the tool that a performance measuring system offers in addressing budget issues?

In the future it is hoped there will be better linkage of budget recommendations to outcome measures, more performance targets

The executive summary of the 2000 DWR pilot Performance Informed Budget spoke directly on what it appraised as an advantage: “In the future it is hoped there will be better linkage of budget recommendations to outcome measures, more performance targets, and more time to focus on outcomes.”

A connection between Washington’s Key Performance Indicators and revenue goals was not something that Kantor would allow. He said, “the fines are levied by the courts, not the police. … To say that it is a budget line item doesn’t make any sense. We have nothing to do with the fines levied, amounts collected or how they are distributed.”

Similarly, St. George P.D.’s Farnsworth said, “Where we use the justice department, the Police Department does not see a return. Any revenue goes to the city. It comes to the city’s general fund. I can say our administration of this Police Department would not encourage enforcement for revenue.”

Both Washington’s Kantor and St. George’s Farnsworth agreed that officers should not be concerned with revenue building:

“The police are there to enforce the law,” Kantor said.

“None of those should be in the equation,” Farnsworth said, law enforcement “should not be based on economic factors; the right thing to do has to be in the interest of justice.”

Will Utah lawmakers intervene?

Concerns about quotas in law enforcement and the potential for negative consequences to the public by virtue of their connection to revenue building have led state representatives to entertain multiple bills over the years.

Introduced in 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2009, each of the separate bills sought essentially “to prohibit state and local governmental entities and law enforcement agencies from requiring or directing that their law enforcement officers issue within any specified time period a specific number of citations, complaints, or warning notices …”

Most of the bills failed in House committee or in the House, but one passed to the Senate in 2008, where it too failed and was returned to the House file. In other words, the bill was dead.

Fiscal notes by the Legislative Fiscal Analyst largely appraised the bills to have no direct, measurable costs to the local governments – which analysis may rebut arguments that quotas drive revenues and budgets drive quotas.

Except that, in 2007, the analysts’ fiscal note stated: “Any local entities currently using a quota system could see a reduction in the number of citations and related revenues.” Same office, why the difference in fiscal note?

a quota system – or “standard” as its then Police Chief Jon Greiner said

It may be because at that time, Ogden Police Department was receiving attention for its implementation of a quota system – or “standard” as its then Police Chief Jon Greiner said he preferred to call it.

According to a report by Cathy McKitrick published in The Salt Lake Tribune July 1, 2006, citation writing was one of several criteria then factored into pay raises for Ogden’s officers, and scoring points on performance evaluations was necessary to receiving pay increases.

Greiner opposed the succession of House Bills introduced by then House representative, Neil Hansen – representing Ogden – as did other police chiefs throughout the state, according to a report by Geoffrey Fattah, Deseret News, January 2007.

No similar bills have been introduced in Utah since the 2009 bill failed.

Bilderberg Group Dominates Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Globalist Report | Jan 4, 2013

by Andrew Puhanic

bilderbergBilderberg Group, an organisation founded in 1954 by the global elite has once again dominated the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

So what is the Bilderberg Group? The Bilderberg Group is a secretive organisation who meets on a yearly basis to discuss political and economic issues that pertain to the Globalist Agenda. Many of the members of the Bilderberg Group are derived from both Government and Private organisations.

All Bilderberg Group meetings are held in secret, with no official record of who attends, the agenda and what deals have been agreed.

Records of Bilderberg Group participant lists are usually smuggled out from within the organisation by insiders and / or are published in their ‘official’ website (Many names are missing from their official list of attendees).

Ever since the Bilderberg Group was founded, very few records of the organisations agenda have ever been publicized. In fact, since 1954, there has been a media blackout on Bilderberg Group reporting.

Only recently have Activists been successful in forcing the main-stream media to report on Bilderberg Group meetings.

The following tables reveal official Bilderberg Group members who have been listed on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

 

Rank Name Estimated Net Worth Bilderberg Group Attendance (Year)
2 Bill Gates $63.4 Billion 2010
4 Warren Buffett $49.8 Billion 2009
8 Larry Ellison $40.7 Billion 1999
9 Bernard Arnault $29.8 Billion 1992
20 Jeff Bezos $24.1 Billion 2011
26 George Soros $21.6 Billion 1999

 

So why should we be worried about the Bilderberg Group? THE primary concern with the activities of the Bilderberg Group is not the fact that the global elite are meeting with heads of states and government officials (That’s never going to end), it’s the fact that they meet in secret, behind closed doors without any record of what was discussed and or agreed.

Full Story

 

Boy Scouts employ aggressive tactics in sex abuse defense

“They will tear you to shreds…”

Associated Press | Dec 25, 2012

boyscoutsLOGOWhen a lawsuit alleged that two young brothers in Michigan had been molested “hundreds of times” by a troop leader, the Boy Scouts denied responsibility and pointed the finger at someone else — the boys’ recently widowed mother.

The Scouts faulted the woman “for her failure to provide adequate parental supervision,” suggesting in court papers that she was responsible for any harm to her sons.

One of the boys’ lawyers called that argument excessive.

“The day their dad died, the perpetrator began to befriend the boys,” Kelly Clark said. “Then the Boy Scouts turn around and file papers saying Mom was the problem?”

The Scouts’ legal tactics in the ongoing lawsuit are part of an aggressive approach that the youth group has long used in defending itself in child sex abuse cases, some victims, their families and lawyers say.

Since 1,247 confidential files were unsealed in October detailing allegations of sexual abuse in its ranks, Scouting has taken a more conciliatory stance.

“We have heard from victims of abuse and are doing our very best to respond to each person with our utmost care and sensitivity,” Scouting spokesman Deron Smith said in October, offering an apology, counseling and other assistance.

But in the years before the files’ release, some who alleged abuse say, their accusations were met with denial, blame and legal hardball.

“The knives are out and you’d better get your knife out because if you don’t, they will tear you to shreds,” said Timothy Hale, who represents a Santa Barbara County, Calif., teenager who was abused in 2007 at the age of 13 by volunteer Scout leader Al Steven Stein.

Stein had a history of inappropriate behavior with children but a local Scout official tried to keep the boy’s mother from reporting the abuse to police, according to the teenager’s lawsuit. She did anyway, and Stein later pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment.

Some plaintiffs’ lawyers, including Clark, say the Scouts deserve credit for the victims it has helped, even when it had no legal obligation. And the Boy Scouts is entitled to defend itself: It’s not unusual for large organizations to employ aggressive legal strategies, including accusing plaintiffs of causing their own injuries.

Hale and others contend, however, that discouraging victims of sexual abuse from reporting crimes, or blaming them when they do, goes too far.

An Oregon man’s lawsuit alleged that Scouting allowed troop leader Timur Dykes to continue in the group after he admitted molesting 17 boys in the early 1980s.

At the trial in 2010, regional Scouts official Eugene Grant faulted parents for letting their sons go to Dykes’ apartment for merit badge work and sleepovers.

“His parents should have known better,” Grant said of one victim. “I think it’s criminal.”

The jury rejected that assertion, finding the Scouts liable for nearly $20 million in damages.

The Scouts’ files made public in October were submitted as evidence in the Portland, Ore., trial and spanned 1965 to 1985. More recent instances of the Scouts’ tactics are detailed in court records across the country.

In 2002, Jerrold Schwartz, a 42-year-old former scoutmaster in New York, admitted abusing a boy in his troop in the 1990s. After being secretly recorded saying he “did something very, very wrong” and apologizing to the boy, Schwartz pleaded guilty to four counts of sodomy and was sent to prison.

Despite the conviction and the victim’s testimony that Schwartz “raped me and forced me to perform oral sex on him,” the Scouts, in a motion to dismiss a subsequent lawsuit, contended that the sex was consensual, records show.

“To argue that an adult scoutmaster in his 30s can have consensual sex with a 13-year-old in his Scout troop is something dreamt up in pedophile heaven,” attorney Michael Dowd told the New York Law Journal in 2006 after a judge rejected the Scouts’ motion. The lawsuit was later settled; terms were not disclosed.

Boy Scouts officials declined to be interviewed or make their lawyers in sex abuse lawsuits available. In a statement, the group stressed its multifaceted child protection efforts, enhanced in recent years to include criminal background checks for all volunteers and mandatory reporting to police of all suspected abuse.

“We deeply regret that there have been times when Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims,” it said.

The Michigan lawsuit, which is pending, alleges that Assistant Scoutmaster Roger E. Young, a 25-year volunteer, had raped or otherwise abused both Scouts repeatedly at their home, his house and the church where the troop met.

The abuse occurred in 2006 and 2007, when both boys were younger than 14, according to the lawsuit. It also says that local Scouting officials knew of Young’s inappropriate behavior, including time he spent alone with the boys — in violation of the Scouts’ child-protection policies — but ignored warnings by police and others.

In 2007, a member of the Big Sister organization found the boys not wearing pants while alone with Young at their home and at a motel where the family was staying, according to court papers and a police affidavit. In at least one instance, Young was in his underwear, the records state.

Local Scouts officials took no action, allowing Young to continue with the troop even after police raised red flags about him, the lawsuit states. In October 2009, he was charged with possessing child pornography and criminal sexual conduct involving one of the boys.

He killed himself the next month.

Two years later, in November 2011, the Scouts filed court papers saying the mother had in effect abdicated her role and delegated “parental authority” to Young after her husband died.

“For the Scouts to say this is her fault, when they have said to single mothers all over the country … ‘We know you’ve got it tough: Give us your boys and we’ll help you raise them’ — to me, this is absolutely astonishing,” said Clark, the boys’ lawyer.

In at least one case, local Scout leaders faulted the victim and defended the perpetrator.

“They threw my son under the bus,” said the father of a Florida Scout who was 12 when a 16-year-old Scout lured him into a tent and molested him in March 2007.

The boy was so traumatized that he told no one for months, he and his father said in an interview. When the boy did speak up, local Scout leaders accused him of lying.

“(He) is quick to make up stories,” the troop’s merit badge counselor, Chuck Janson, wrote in a two-page memo supporting the assailant, who later admitted to the sexual assault in a plea deal.

The abuse occurred on a camping trip when the older Scout, Robert “Robbie” Brehm, who as senior patrol leader was the top elected troop member, invited the Sarasota boy into a tent to play cards, court records show. Instead, Brehm pulled a knife from a duffel bag and put it to the boy’s throat.

“I told him I wanted him to perform oral sex on me,” Brehm later said in a lengthy sworn statement. “I told him that he had to or else I was going to hurt him.”

Brehm testified that he also threatened the younger Scout if he told anyone.

“I was just so freaking scared, like, I didn’t know what the hell to do,” the boy, now 18, told the Los Angeles Times. “I just went back into my tent. … I was in shock. I was so violated.”

Six months later, he revealed his secret to his high school counselor, who notified authorities.

Local Scout leaders including Janson, who had clashed with the boy’s father over troop issues, sided with Brehm and said the boy was lying.

He and at least two other adult leaders planned to testify for the accused, according to interviews and Brehm’s sworn statement.

“The worst thing you can do to a child victim is call him a liar,” said Adam Horowitz, the victim’s lawyer in a pending lawsuit. “The reason so many children don’t come forward in the first place is that they fear adults won’t believe them.”

In a recent interview and a follow-up email, Janson defended his actions.

“I came up with an honest interpretation of what I knew,” he said. “Can you fault someone for having an honest opinion?”

The boy said he felt betrayed by Janson and the other leaders.

His father said their support of Brehm made it nearly impossible for his son to get justice.

For more than three years, he said, he pressed prosecutors to file charges. When they did, and confronted Brehm with the prospect of 15 years in prison, he confessed to the sexual assault and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery.

“Looking back, I was a bully,” Brehm said in statement.

The victim’s father calls the five-year ordeal “beyond a nightmare.” His son’s relationships have been affected, his grades have suffered and he’s had flashbacks, the father said.

At times during the first year after the attack, he said, the boy was in twice-weekly therapy, with only part of its cost covered by his health plan.

Had the Boy Scouts stepped up early on, he said, his son’s lawsuit might never have been filed.

“After we got the conviction, one would have thought they’d say, ‘Oh, my God, we were wrong in our assumptions. What can we do to help this child and his family?’ ” he said. “But it was just more of the same — attack, attack, attack.”