Your morning jolt: Sam Olens on the hidden hand behind left-leaning GSU students

Parents of Georgia State University students beware. Attorney General Sam Olens thinks a hidden hand may be manipulating your children – at least the left-leaning ones.

Attorney General Sam Olens.  Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Attorney General Sam Olens. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Last night, Channel 2 Action News reported on the origins of HB 261, legislation passed this spring to place some law enforcement training records off-limits to the public.

The legislation was motivated by a GSU student’s request for information regarding the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, a GSU program that sends local officers abroad to learn from international officers, including Israelis, about fighting terrorism.

The open records request submitted by Tim Dalton and other members of GSU’s Progressive Student Alliance sought the names of officers, the locales of their training, and information about the techniques of their training.

“I’m not a terrorist. I’m a student. I’m a student that is concerned about programs in my community, which is the Georgia State community,” said Dalton. “”We wanted to know the nature of the program because we want to be able to say whether or not it should be on our campus or not.”

Legislation passed by the General Assembly – drawn up, Olens said, with the help of the Georgia Press Association – immediately closed off the information.

Olens suggested someone was using the students. Who?

“I’m not going to speculate,” replied Olens.

“But do you think it’s somebody bigger?” asked Channel 2’s John Bachman. Said Olens:

“Absolutely. Students don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I wonder where the Dunwoody police officers are receiving training in Israel on terrorism. I wonder where the bus starts from and goes to on day four of the program.’ I don’t think that is something a student group comes up with.”

The report noted that Cox Enterprises, the parent company of WSB-TV and this newspaper, is a sponsor of the GILEE program.

***
U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Savannah, walked a fine line on Tuesday when he addressed Georgia’s new illegal immigration law. From WSAV-TV:

“I’m personally concerned about states trying to go it on their own hook, because if one state’s going to try and do this while surrounding states are not…the people in that state are going to be competing at a disadvantage, vis a vis the employers and businesses in the states surrounding them – that aren’t going to be trying to do the job in the absence of any effective action on the federal level.”

***
Herman Cain’s close-up continues. AJC’s Politifact Georgia today examines the GOP presidential candidate’s claim that the U.S. Constitution promises the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

And the Atlantic has posted a Q&A with Cain that tackles national security. A quick summary:

He expressed uncertainty about whether we should still be in Afghanistan, said he’d be comfortable with intelligence agencies spying on Americans without a warrant for the purposes of counter-terrorism, and insisted that a warrant should be necessary for police to enter an American’s home.

Cain expressed support for the PATRIOT Act, and suggested that if 90 percent of a counter-terrorism law is sound we shouldn’t worry about the other ten percent. Finally, he said that the TSA lacks common sense, and that harsher laws may be the answer in the war on drugs.

***
When Gov. Nathan Deal goes to Washington next week, he’ll chat with the state’s House Republicans about Medicare. Tuesday’s results in New York are likely to come up. From the Associated Press:

Buffalo, N.Y. — Kathy Hochul told her supporters they had picked the right issue to fight a Republican on long-held Republican turf.

The Democrat rode a wave of voter discontent over the national GOP’s plan to change Medicare and overcame decades of GOP dominance here to capture Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District.

Hochul defeated Republican state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin on Tuesday night, capturing 47 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Corwin, to win the seat vacated by disgraced Republican Chris Lee. A wealthy tea party candidate, Jack Davis, took 9 percent.

The special election that became a referendum on the health care plan for the nation’s seniors may serve as a warning shot to further GOP efforts to cut popular entitlement programs.

***
And while the topic of conspiracies is fresh on everyone’s mind, let’s take note that Tiger Woods’ secret effort to overthrow a certain Communist regime in the Caribbean has finally taken root. From the New York Times:

One of Fidel Castro’s first acts upon taking power was to get rid of Cuba’s golf courses, seeking to stamp out a sport he and other socialist revolutionaries saw as the epitome of bourgeois excess.

Now, 50 years later, foreign developers say the Cuban government has swung in nearly the opposite direction, giving preliminary approval in recent weeks for four large luxury golf resorts on the island, the first in an expected wave of more than a dozen that the government anticipates will lure free-spending tourists to a nation hungry for cash.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

62 comments Add your comment

GaBlue

May 25th, 2011
10:44 am

You’ve been warned. Atty Gen Olens is putting the kabash on the right of citizens to question their own government, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “don’t ask, don’t tell.” This year: warnings. Next year: prosecutions. Your government will tell you what you need to know when you need to know it. Freedom is not for everybody. This is what you voted for, so move along now, suckers.

John K

May 25th, 2011
10:54 am

Sounds like Olens is pining for the good ol’ days of McCarthyism.

Ol' Timer

May 25th, 2011
11:11 am

Methinks that Attorney General Sam Olen may just unestimate the intellectual curiosity of our young people and his response is not surprising — and more dreadful than anything the student came up with.

And, ol’ Herman is a likeable guy, but if given enough rope, will expose his ignorance of government and consititutional guarantees — ie. if 90% is okay, we shouldn’t worry about the 10%. Now, that is one more stupid statement coming from a rather bright man.

To my GOP friends, I’m afraid you going to have to keep looking for a viable candidate — these dogs won’t hunt.

no teabagging

May 25th, 2011
11:11 am

Olens and the students seem to presenting two sets of facts regarding what questions were asked. It seems the Open Records Act would allow some of the questions to be answered. I think there are some questions that should remain confidential, but enough information should be given to satisfy the basic claims of the students for clarification of this program.

Aquagirl

May 25th, 2011
11:13 am

Aha! Who did all that Socialist-Marxist-Lefty math that made our patriotic Republican “tax reform” look like a tax increase? GSU leftists!

Coincidence? I think not.

Ga Values

May 25th, 2011
11:14 am

Looks like Olens is setting up to run for Governor, he may be less bad then Deal but not much.

bart

May 25th, 2011
11:16 am

Seems if a lot of Repubs get their way, we’ll be living in a police state.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
11:23 am

A little over the top Bart? The solution is simple. Elect people who have your beliefs. What? You say that is unfair? Well that’s America for you, we have the gall to think majority should rule. I suppose we could change our model more along the line of China. That may not get the GSU students their information either, but it sure would improve our economy!

DannyX

May 25th, 2011
11:24 am

“I suppose we could change our model more along the line of China.”

A lot of people on this blog brag every day about the fact that Georgia is ruled by this very system. Including you.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
11:34 am

DannyX-

Read what I post, How could I be bragging about a system that is not in place. My comment was not serious, soory you couldn’t discern the difference.

DannyX

May 25th, 2011
11:36 am

“…harsher laws may be the answer in the war on drugs.”

We can’t afford to house the current prison population. Herman, how would we pay for an increase in prison population that harsher drug laws would bring? Tax cuts?

Jon

May 25th, 2011
11:40 am

Sounds like Cain loves his “Big Government”, too.

Curiousity Piqued

May 25th, 2011
11:44 am

I really don’t care about this program, but I’m curious as to why the Open Records Act doesn’t apply. What is being hidden? To have a law called the Open Records Act and then close public records seems a bit absurd. Under the Patriot Act, the government can tap our phones without a subpeona, but we aren’t even allowed to ask how our tax money is being used in police officer training. What happened to the land of the free?

DannyX

May 25th, 2011
11:44 am

I read your post Retired Soldier. Georgia currently has one party rule, just like China.

We also have a Governor that wants to control the media, just like China.

Aquagirl

May 25th, 2011
11:46 am

“What happened to the land of the free?”

We elected Republicans.

gsueagle

May 25th, 2011
11:59 am

who cares what john barrow thinks. illegals are a problem.

You Can Tell By The Smell

May 25th, 2011
12:01 pm

DannyX…the reason Georgia has “one party” rule is simple. The Democratic Party went nuts and embraced the way out “one issue” groups. Folks didn’t agree with that direction so they kicked them out and put in Republicans hoping for common sense government. The Republicans supported the very rich who fund their campaigns at the expense of the working poor and the middle class. Hopefully, a third party will arise and kick out both of these losers who put the state and the nation in the toilet. It is time to put independents on the ballot by petition who will put people before politics! But that probably won’t happen as voters are too lazy to do more than complain.

DannyX

May 25th, 2011
12:03 pm

Well said ‘You Can Tell By The Smell.’

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
12:03 pm

DannyX-

I wonder if you were critical of “one party” rule in Georgia prior to 2002? A minor difference between Georgia and China. The citizens in Georgia chose to have republicans control all of the government, in China that isn’t true. I hope you can grasp that small difference.

Light on policy

May 25th, 2011
12:05 pm

“Cain expressed support for the PATRIOT Act, and suggested that if 90 percent of a counter-terrorism law is sound we shouldn’t worry about the other ten percent”

In addition to being a lightweight on foreign policy, by saying this Herman reveals that he has never read the very first sentence of the the U.S. Constitution (Preamble) where it states “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice” It didnt say justice 90% of the time.

What a dweeb but he calls into question the patriotism of our duly-elected President

TruthBe

May 25th, 2011
12:20 pm

Jim, Maybe you should have the same scrutiny with the bias media that you belong to. The mainstreet media is already in democrat campaign mode using ALL of it’s power and influence to get this disgrace of a president (Obama) re-elected. Same olde corrupt bias and full of lies the media spreads around for the less informed liberal idiots and masses. The AJC, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Mothers

DannyX

May 25th, 2011
12:20 pm

“I wonder if you were critical of “one party” rule in Georgia prior to 2002?”

I most certainly was. Ethics in this state was a joke. The 2000 Democratic redistricting effort was anti-democracy. Democrats got what they deserved.

Republicans gained power promising to change things. We quickly became a one party system again. Nothing changed. Ethics in government were no longer important. We still have lobbyists writing law. We had Linda Schrenko stealing from a deaf fund. Richardson sleeping with an Atlanta Gas Lobbyist. Perdue stuffing his pockets. The Public Utilities Commission became a pawn of the utilities. The legislature gave huge giveaways to Georgia Power. The DOT remained incompetent. Water issues ignored. Republican leaders are being sued. I could go on and on.

TruthBe

May 25th, 2011
12:22 pm

Sorry hit the wrong key. What I meant was the meanstreet media is so corrupt and lead by the perverted liberal progressive communist New World Order guys.

Josh

May 25th, 2011
12:29 pm

Sam Olens is right to be concerned. We should be thankful for Israel’s assistance instead of releasing sensitive counter-terror strategies.

Centrist

May 25th, 2011
12:32 pm

Typical AJC quoted criticism of the anti-ILLEGAL immigration law, and from a minority party member. Such minority criticism is a mainstay of the liberal media.

We also have the liberal media ecstatic about a Democrat House Representative win by a plurality vote when another Democrat pretending to be a member of the Tea Party split the vote with the Republican. Trying to make this a bellwether event for next year is more than a stretch.

Lynn

May 25th, 2011
12:35 pm

The Open Records Act makes available all public records with some exceptions. If the information being requested falls under the Department of Homeland Security, for example, the release of said information may be denied. Of course, one could always hire an attorney and appeal such a decision.

GaBlue

May 25th, 2011
12:36 pm

Actually, this country was not supposed to be based solely on “majority rules.” The Bill of Rights was put in place to protect the rights of individuals from an overbearing majority. D’OH! Reading is fundamental, Skippy.

Beth Merkleson

May 25th, 2011
12:37 pm

Thank you, TruthBe, that nasty biased liberal media is still spreading lies about our brave Republican Statesmen. Those men are too dedicated and modest to fight the ugly rumor mill fed by muckrakers like Jim Galloway. He says such slanderous liberal things I crossed him off my Christmas card list. No sparkly Baby Jesus with an American flag for him!

God bless you for taking up my torch, as I am still caring for my sick mum. I guess Jesus is too busy fighting those un-American DEMONcrats to heal her, but I’m sure He will get around to it any day now.

Edward

May 25th, 2011
12:42 pm

It does seem like the GOP, especially in Georgia, is really in love with the Chinese system. One-party rule, near absolute capitalism, tight control over the media and internet, no “welfare state” with inconveniences like OSHA or EPA or SEC or FDA or Medicare, etc. Yep, China is the model the GOP is going for, I guess that’s how they “fix” things.

A dad

May 25th, 2011
12:50 pm

If Olens knows “who” is behind the students, he should identify them. While I’m in favor of free speech, FOIA, etc. (and defended same dueing my military career), I also remember all too well the horros that can ahppen when well-meaning, but still intellectually naive, students, rally behind a thord-party outsider, or am I the only one who remembers SDS’ (”Sudents” for a Democratic Society) involvement and role at Kent State?

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
12:52 pm

DannyX-

We agree on something! The redistricting the Dems did for 2002 was absolutely insane.

Edward-

You are kidding, right? Maybe you ought to read the GOP platform of 2008. Unreal.

Last Man Standing

May 25th, 2011
12:54 pm

Why would this GSU student want the information, and what harm could result from the releasing of such information? Maybe the training received by the officers is not made known to the public in order that would-be terrorists can’t obtain the scope and location of their training? The names of the officers who received the training should remain confidential lest they themselves become targets. Maybe this would more aptly come under the domain of national security?

In short, I see no problem at all with the actions taken to insure that this information does not reach terrorists.

Ol' Timer

May 25th, 2011
1:00 pm

Herman Cain is a nice guy, but a lightweight. He and Newt in an effort to be provocative can’t keep from saying things that are either incorrect or stupid — and sometimes both at the same time.

If Dick Armey and his coharts are able to torpedo the campaign of Mittens, then the GOP is going to be choosing the tallest midget. It was so predictable that the GOP and the Tea Party would self-destruct.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
1:14 pm

Ol’ timer-

With Obama at 42% re-elect I think your suggestion of self-destruction may be premature.

GaBlue

May 25th, 2011
1:19 pm

“Maybe you ought to read the GOP platform of 2008. Unreal.”

What does that have to do with anything? What people write down as their alleged intentions, and what they actually DO are not necessarily the same thing, especially in a land where voters pay attention to selectively broadcast soundbites, and NOT the way their representatives actually vote and with whom they align themselves financially.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
1:28 pm

GaBlue-

My point was that republicans are exactly the opposite of the system of government in China. I agree with you about alleged intentions vs what politicans do in office. Obama was going to sit down and talk face to face with our enemies the first year in office-not. Obama was going to close Gitmo, get immediately out of Iraq, civilian trials, and keep unemployment under 8%-not. Let’s not forget the biggest whopper, reduce the debt-not!

So GaBlue you do have a point.

Aquagirl

May 25th, 2011
1:33 pm

RS, who’s gonna beat Obama? The current Republican leader “Undecided?”

There is a sickness in GA

May 25th, 2011
1:35 pm

@ RetiredSoldier Intrade has Obama’s re-election at 62%.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
1:42 pm

Ga-

Then it is an outlier of all the polls I have seen.

AQ- Most anyone, this is an election about Obama’s 4 year performance. I think he flunks, but just my opinion. If you ask, “are you better off than you were four years ago” I think Obama loses.

If you are asking who is my favorite, not sure yet, except it won’t be Ron Paul.

the original and still the best John Galt

May 25th, 2011
1:45 pm

I’d bet this police training has something to do with local police partnering with the military in periods of civil unrest. The powers that be are well aware that rioting and looting are always only moments away. Any natural disaster or an economic collapse will set the spark off, and the PTB know economic collapse is now virtually inevitable. Olens doesn’t want the planning to become public.

Difference between Demopublicans and Republicrats: not much. I was employed by the State government during the Zell Miller days, and again during part of the Sonny Perdue days. The main difference in the two administrations was that the pudgy rednecks in charge were different rednecks, but otherwise just alike. And the fat hypocrite from Bonaire took the cake when it came to corruption. The tax break his buddies in the Legislature and his alleged “Revenue Commissioner” engineered was unprecedented.

Aquagirl

May 25th, 2011
1:58 pm

RS, the “better off now?” question is awesome…if you have an actual alternative.

Jim posted a poll (I think it was yesterday, can’t keep up with the guy) on Republican potential nominees. “Undecided” came in first. Somebody said “President Undecided” has a nice ring to it, lol.

Booger Fling

May 25th, 2011
1:59 pm

This is no suprise. The police state is being set up all over the country. The “authorities” surely wouldn’t want the public knowing they are being trained to target the law abiding citizens.

Recently TSA was at a highschool prom, putting their hands down pants and groping the kids as they entered. This is not America. The boarder is wide open but a child can’t go to the prom and enjoy themselves without being molested by TSA?

It started with Bush and continues with the vacation king Obama. How much will be enough?

Retired Marine (Korea)

May 25th, 2011
2:13 pm

Well, regarding this Olens character, I would want to know if the gentlement has ever been on a GILEE sponsored “boondoggle” to Israel? If I were the parents of these kids I would file a lawsuit agaisnt the man for defaming my kid. I’m no leftie and probably haven’t got much in common with the GSU students, but I know censorship and government control when I see it. I saw plenty in my time as a marine and then as a citizen in the great nation of ours. If you have to pass a law and call kids terrorists to protect some shadowy group like this GILLEEE thing then I think YOU must be hiding something.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
2:14 pm

AQ-

I heard a good report yesterday about the same time frame in 2007. Hillary was way ahead, Rudy G. was the leader for the republicans and John McCain’s campaign was broke and about to implode. The point is… it is very early.

LoveJesus

May 25th, 2011
2:19 pm

This seems like very irresponsible behavior from Mr. Olen. HE is speculating that some colelge kids are secretly being controlled by….who? Al Queda? Is that a joke? It sounds more to me like he is trying to defame these young people. They may or may not be misguided but they have a right to question things without being labeled terrorists. More big government at work!

FalconFan112

May 25th, 2011
2:21 pm

If you need to pass a law to hide information from some college kids you are either paranoid or hiding something. Ron Paul was right.

Concerned

May 25th, 2011
2:25 pm

I’m disturbed that Olen would suggest something so controversial regarding students at one of our Universities without investigating if they have good cause to make the request to begin with. Surely there was a better way for him to handle this than to insult our students by suggesting that they are terrorist sympathizers. This is very McArthyistic in my book. It also seems like they are exaggerating what the students want. Do they really want to know the details of police travel plans and such or are they really just trying to figure out who this group is? And by the way, who IS this group? Why are they at a University? Do students take classes with Mr. Gilee?

GA-RedDawg

May 25th, 2011
2:30 pm

Either there is an open records act or there isn’t. What are they hiding about this GLLEEI thing that makes it so special it needs its own law??

TeaPartayyyyy

May 25th, 2011
2:33 pm

I think OIen just earned himself two lawsuits. One to challenge this law that seems to supersede the open records act and anther to defend his insinuation that the students are terrorists.

RetiredSoldier

May 25th, 2011
2:39 pm

TP-

Where in the article does it insinuate that Olens thought the students were terrorists? Get the facts correct.