Tag: Illegally

5 Pakistanis And 1 Afghan Caught Illegally Entering Arizona From Mexico

6 Men From Pakistan, Afghanistan Busted Illegally Entering Arizona From Mexico – Big Government

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A highly trusted federal agent working under the umbrella of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has confirmed to Breitbart Texas that a group composed of 5 Pakistani men and 1 man from Afghanistan was captured by U.S. Border Patrol agents after having illegally crossed the porous U.S.-Mexico border in the Tucson Sector of Arizona.

The six men were traveling in a group and were captured roughly 16 miles into the state of Arizona, specifically, near the small picturesque town of Patagonia, Arizona.

The apprehension of the group occurred late on Monday night, November 16, 2015.

Border Patrol agents were unable to do extensive interviews with the six Middle Eastern men because the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took over the matter. The aliens were immediately transferred to Tucson where the FBI took custody.

On Wednesday evening, Breitbart Texas disclosed a report by other federal agents claiming that 8 Syrian illegal aliens were captured while attempting to enter the United States in the Laredo Sector. The Department of Homeland Security has now confirmed our exclusive report.

Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, Breitbart Texas reported that 5 Syrians were arrested in Honduras cutting their travel plans to the U.S. short. Those 5 Syrians entered Honduras by air and were headed towards the Guatemalan border. All five of the Syrians were said to be young males and were all carrying stolen Greek passports.

While the release of information relating to these type of high-profile illegal aliens is usually closely guarded by CBP officials, Breitbart Texas was able to confirm an earlier arrest of a Syrian woman who attempted to enter the U.S. illegally. She was charged with using a passport belonging to someone else. The woman, Walaa Alrehawi was initially charged with misusing a U.S. passport in Hidalgo, Texas. For an unknown reason, the Department of Justice dismissed the charges “with prejudice” (charges cannot be re-filed) against the woman and her brother-in-law Mohammad Ziad Alzalam who she was traveling with. The only explanation given was the dismissal was “in the interest of justice.”

Breitbart Texas has traveled extensively in the Tucson Sector of Arizona and reported extensively from the region.

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*VIDEO* Project Veritas: Hitlery Campaign Using Photos Of Trump To Illegally Register Voters

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Company That Maintained Hitlery’s Server Illegally Accessed Database, Stole Military Advisors’ Phone Numbers

Tech Company Which Maintained Hillary’s Secret Server Was Sued For ‘Illegally Accessing’ Database And ‘Stealing White House Military Advisers’ Phone Numbers’ – Daily Mail

The Internet company used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her private server was sued for stealing dozens of phone lines including some which were used by the White House.

Platte River Networks is said to have illegally accessed the master database for all US phone numbers.

It also seized 390 lines in a move that created chaos across the US government.

Among the phone numbers which the company took – which all suddenly stopped working – were lines for White House military support desks, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, a lawsuit claims.

Others were the main numbers for major financial institutions, hospitals and the help desk number for T2 Communications, the telecom firm which owned them.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of T2 claims that the mess took 11 days to fix and demands that Platte River pay up $360,000 in compensation.

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TROUBLE IN CHAPPAQUA: Hillary Clinton faces new questions and new levels of outrage as messages on her private email server were found to contain top-secret signal intercepts and information from spy satellites

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Platte River Systems was used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her server. Its website boasts that the Denver, Colorado firm, offers to ‘build better networks’

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BOAST: The firm’s website describes it as having ‘connections in all the right places’.

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National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough told members of Congress in writing that two of Clinton’s emails were so sensitive that it would have been illegal to show them to any foreigner

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The claims raise questions about the competence of Platte River, which is based in Denver, Colorado, to handle Mrs Clinton’s highly sensitive personal information while she was Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State’s emails would have been potentially a target for foreign espionage.

Mrs Clinton installed the system at her home in Chappaqua, upstate New York, and did not even have an official email address until the year she left office.

Earlier this week it emerged that she has handed over the server to the FBI which is investigating her and a number of her top aides.

Mrs Clinton acted after the Inspector General for the intelligence community said that he had found four emails that were stored on it were classified and two of those were Top Secret, the highest level of classification.

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DOCUMENTED: The claim made against Platte River Networks and its co-contractors

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KEY SECTION: The passage in the claim which makes clear that the White House’s military support desks and the Department of Defense had their phone numbers allegedly taken

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Until now Mrs Clinton has insisted that none of the emails were classified at the time she sent or received them.

The lawsuit was filed by T2 in November last year and relates to a deal that went through in June.

By that time Mrs Clinton has left her post as Secretary of State; she was in office between 2009 and 2013.

T2 alleges that it had provided 16 phone lines to an insurance broker called Cambridge until they decided to switch providers and signed up with Windstream Communications, who worked with McLeod USA, a local exchange carrier owned by Windstream, and Platte River.

But instead of taking over the 16 lines, T2 claims that the companies asked for 390 more lines in what they called ‘intentional misappropriation’.

T2 alleges that they did this by illegally accessing the database for the Number Portability Administration Centre, the master agency which manages all US phone numbers.

The lawsuit states: ‘Under NPAC regulations, telecommunications providers are only allowed to access the NPAC data base for the exclusive purpose of routing, rating of calls, billing of calls, or performing maintenance in connection with the provision of telecommunications services.

‘Contrary to these NPAC regulations, Defendants accessed the NPAC database to find T2s 390 telephone lines as well as to obtain T2 and its customers’ proprietary network information for use in marketing T2’s lines to their existing and prospective customers.’

The lawsuit describes at length the chaos that resulted when the 390 numbers used by T2 customers suddenly stopped working.

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SAFE FOR NOW? Clinton signed a statement under penalty of perjury, but there’s no indication when or whether her top staffers will follow suit

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EYE IN THE SKY: The classification acronym ‘TK’ stands for ‘Talent Keyhole,’ a kind of taskable satellite that delivers high-resolution imagery like this from 200 miles or more above the earth

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Among the lines which went dead was that for T2’s main number and its help desk, which meant customers were unable to contact the company at a time when they needed it the most.

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THE AGENCY: The CIA’s headquarters campus in Langley, Virginia (shown) is likely buzzing over the former secretary of state’s apparent casual management of sensitive information

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T2 employees’ numbers also stopped working as did lines for: ‘The Department of Defense, Department of Energy; multiple medical emergency facilities as numbers used for general, pre- and post-surgical contact, and obstetric or gynecological emergencies; Federal Contract Support Desks; White House Military Operations support desks, several financial institution’s main telephone numbers, multiple Denver-based Charter schools’ main and backdoor phone numbers, a US-Based telephone number for IBM China, multiple other information technology companies and their support and internal telephone numbers, as well as T2’s main telephone numbers’.

The lawsuit states that the lines were dead for at least 21 hours and that it took the company at least 10 days to ‘unwind’ the mess and get the numbers back.

Among the legal documents filed in the case is a third party complaint filed by Thomas W. Snyder, a lawyer, on behalf of Windstream and McLeod.

It goes into more detail about Platte River’s role in the deal and claims that the company worked as the sales agent for Windstream in connection with the Cambridge account.

It says that Platte River was responsible for ‘spotting any red flags’ and for ‘resolving any inaccuracies’ with the deal.

The document states: ‘Platte River acted negligently and breached this duty by failing to identify that the 390 additional lines were improper.’

The lawsuit adds a new twist to the row about Mrs Clinton’s email server that is refusing to go away amid intense pressure from Republicans.

Mrs Clinton has said that she exchanged about 60,000 emails over the four years in office on the system, of which half were personal and were deleted.

Mrs Clinton turned over the other half to the Department of State in December last year and they are being reviewed and slowly released to the public.

She has until now refused to hand over the server – which she has wiped clean – but changed her mind when it emerged that some of the emails were classified.

Mr Snyder declined to comment.

Daily Mail Online has reached out to Barbara Wells, a Denver lawyer who represents Platte River, Mrs Clinton’s campaign and T2’s lawyers for comment. We have not received any response.

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Obama VA Illegally Spending $6 Billion A Year

Veterans Affairs Improperly Spent $6 Billion Annually, Senior Official Says – Washington Post

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has been spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal contracting rules to pay for medical care and supplies, wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk, according to an internal memo written by the agency’s senior official for procurement.

In a 35-page document addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the official accuses other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws that require competitive bidding and proper contracts.

Jan R. Frye, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, describes a culture of “lawlessness and chaos” at the Veterans Health Administration, the massive health-care system for 8.7 million veterans.

“Doors are swung wide open for fraud, waste and abuse,” he writes in the March memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post. He adds, “I can state without reservation that VA has and continues to waste millions of dollars by paying excessive prices for goods and services due to breaches of Federal laws.”

Frye describes in detail a series of practices that he says run afoul of federal rules, including the widespread use of purchase cards, which are usually meant as a convenience for minor purchases of up to $3,000, to buy billions of dollars worth of medical supplies without contracts. In one example, he says that up to $1.2 billion in prosthetics were bought using purchase cards without contracts during an 18-month period that ended last year.

He also explains how VA has failed to engage in competitive bidding or sign contracts with outside hospital and health-care providers that offer medical care for veterans that the agency cannot provide, such as specialized tests and surgeries and other procedures. Frye says VA has paid at least $5 billion in such fees, in violation of federal rules that the agency’s own general counsel has said since 2009 must be followed.

Frye alleges further violations in the agency’s purchase of billions of dollars worth of prosthetics and in the acquisition of a wide range of daily medical and surgical supplies. He says many products are bought without the competitive bidding and contracts essential to ensure quality care, effective use of tight dollars and proper government oversight.

“These unlawful acts may potentially result in serious harm or death to America’s veterans,” Frye wrote. “Collectively, I believe they serve to decay the entire VA health-care system.”

VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said in a statement that some of the care the agency pays for is not covered by federal acquisition law. She also said that the agency is trying to manage rapid growth in medical care administered by outside providers, with authorizations for outside medical care jumping 46 percent in the first four months of 2015 over the same period last year.

Dillon said VA officials are urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow an “expedited form of purchasing care” for veterans who need to go outside the VA system. She said the bill “would also resolve legal uncertainties that have arisen” regarding the use of purchasing agreements other than those required by federal acquisition regulations.

VA has been under intense pressure to provide adequate care to the surge of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Frye makes clear in his memo that the agency’s violations of purchasing law have been going on for years and that senior leaders have had many opportunities to revamp their practices.

He discloses his repeated efforts to raise his concerns with other senior officials at the agency but says he was consistently ignored. He also accuses top agency officials of deceiving Congress when they were asked about questionable practices.

VA operates one of the largest health-care systems in the country, spanning 150 hospitals and more than 800 outpatient clinics. The agency has been struggling to serve not only the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but also a surge in veterans who served in the 1960s and 1970s.

VA has been rocked since last year by revelations about long wait times for veterans seeking treatment for health issues including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. McDonald’s predecessor, Eric K. Shinseki, resigned as VA secretary last year after a coverup of months-long hospital wait times became public, and Congress has given the system $10 billion in new funding to ramp up private medical care.

On Thursday, Frye will have a chance to explain his concerns directly to lawmakers. He is scheduled to testify before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee about waste and fraud in the purchase card program.

Frye, 64, is a retired Army colonel who has overseen VA’s acquisitions and logistics programs – one of the federal government’s largest – since 2005. In his role as the agency’s senior procurement executive, he is responsible for developing and supervising VA’s practices for acquiring services and supplies, but he is not in charge of making the purchases. A former Army inspector general, he has held senior acquisition positions over 30 years in government.

Some of his concerns were previously flagged by VA’s inspector general, who has reported for years that weak contracting systems put the agency at risk of waste and abuse. Thousands of pharmaceutical purchases were made without competition or contracts in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, often by unqualified employees, investigators found. And according to documents that have not been made public, the inspector general’s office has warned VA repeatedly that its use of purchase cards needs better oversight.

For the most part, Frye does not explain why the rules are so widely flouted. But he suggests, in this discussion of purchase cards, that the reason may be laziness. He calls these payments an “easy button” way of buying things. Frye told McDonald he became aware in 2012 that government purchase cards were being used improperly by VA. About 2,000 cards had been issued to employees who were ordering products and services without contracts, Frye recounts.

He said his concerns grew after learning that a supervisor in New York had recorded more than $50 million in prosthetics purchases in increments of $24,999 – $1 under the charging limit on each card. In a response to a member of Congress who inquired about the purchases, Shinseki had few answers. “No contract files exist” and “there is no evidence of full and open competition,” Shinseki wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Purchase cards, Frye says in his memo, can be a sufficient means of acquiring goods and services for “micro-purchases” up to $3,000. Above that limit, the cards can be used for payment only if there is a certified invoice linked to a properly awarded contract.

Frye’s concerns about payments for outside medical services are rooted in the reality that VA hospitals do not have the resources or specialists to provide all the treatment veterans require, such as obstetrics and joint replacements. For these services, VA normally refers veterans to a list of doctors or labs in their area.

The agency, Frye says, is required to identify providers through a competitive process and contract with them to ensure that the government pays reasonable prices and gets the best value and quality. And contracts help ensure veterans are legally protected if they get poor care or if a medical procedure goes wrong.

But according to Frye’s account, VA spent about $5 billion on outside medical care in both 2013 and 2014 in the absence of contracts, and such practices “extend back many years.” “Based on my inquiry in January 2013, [the Office of the General Counsel] confirmed in writing the fact VHA was violating the law,” Frye says.

Large medical systems similar to VA order many supplies in bulk through a list of approved vendors, identified through a competitive process, to ensure quick delivery for the best price. But VA’s system for these “just-in-time” purchases is deeply flawed, and this is yet another way that the agency wastes money, Frye says.

He writes that there are many types of supplies that are not covered by these arrangements. Instead, they are ordered off the shelf, without competition and for higher prices, from a “shopping list” containing 400,000 items, “indiscriminately and not in accordance” with acquisition laws.

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VA Officials Illegally Accessing Medical Records Of Whistleblowers In Order To Harass And Discredit Them

Shock Testimony: VA Officials Retaliate Against Whistleblowers By Illegally Accessing Their Medical Records – The Blaze

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An official at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Monday that Department of Veterans Affairs officials are known to be retaliating against VA whistleblowers by illegally going through their medical records, in an apparent attempt to harass and discredit these whistleblowers.

This surprising testimony from Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner was delivered at a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee hearing, which was called to discuss the problems whistleblowers face when they try to expose the ongoing failure of the VA to provide medical care to veterans.

In Lerner’s prepared testimony, she explained that many VA officials who try to reveal these problems are veterans themselves who are also seeking care at the VA. She said in some cases, VA officials try to retaliate by examining the medical records of these officials, and said this still happens – she called it an “ongoing concern.”

“In several cases, the medical records of whistleblowers have been accessed and information in those records has apparently been used to attempt to discredit the whistleblowers,” she said.

“We will aggressively pursue relief for whistleblowers in these and other cases where the facts and circumstances support corrective action,” she said.

One example of a veteran who believes his medical records were inappropriately accessed is Brandon Coleman, a Marine Corps veteran who sustained injuries to his right foot while he served. Coleman works at the VA system in Phoenix, and told TheBlaze he became a whistleblower after it became clear that someone illegally went into his medical records.

He said after he started publicizing the failures of his own office to properly treat veterans with suicidal tendencies, his own mental health was questioned by his superiors. As of this year, the VA has threatened to reduce his disability rating.

“I feel strongly that this proposal to reduce my benefits is nothing more than an additional retaliation against me because I came forward as a whistleblower,” he wrote in a March letter he gave to TheBlaze.

Coleman also added that his most recent attempts to ask who else might have gone though his medical records have been met with silence from the VA. Coleman has asked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to look into his case.

The problem of VA officials illegally going into the medical files of their employees is one that has been noted before, but is also one that the VA was supposed to have been on the road to fixing by now. In 2010, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that a VA official was convinced that her superiors illegally went through her medical records, which led to comments at work about her psychological care.

That report found more than 14,000 privacy violations at the Pittsburgh center.

The Monday hearing indicated that the VA’s retaliation against whistleblowers continues, even though these stories have been around for years.

“I reiterate today… that the department has had and continues to have problems ensuring that whistleblower disclosures receive prompt and effective attention, and that whistleblowers themselves are protected from retaliation,” Meghan Flanz, director of the VA’s Office of Accountability Review, told the subcommittee Monday.

Lerner of the OSC said complaints of whistleblower retaliation are on the rise. She said her office hears complaints across the federal government, but said 40 percent of them now come from the VA.

“[T]he number of new whistleblower cases from VA employees remains overwhelming,” she said. “These cases include disclosures to OSC of waste, fraud, abuse, and threats to the health and safety of veterans, and also claims of retaliation for reporting such concerns.”

Both Flanz and Lerner told the committee that it will take a while to change the “culture” of the VA. But lawmakers have routinely dismissed that answer, and have called on VA Secretary Bob McDonald to start holding officials accountable for failing to provide health care service to veterans, or for attempts to retaliate against whistleblowers.

So far, however, McDonald has done little to forcibly remove these officials – just a handful have been fired, and some have been allowed to retire with full benefits.

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Leftist Politicians Beg Obama To Illegally Change Obamacare Rules So Their Constituents Can Avoid New Tax Penalties

Democrats Beg Obama To Bend Obamacare Rules To Avoid Tax Penalties For Millions – Big Government

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Three senior House Democrats are pleading with the Obama administration to bend the Obamacare rules to prevent their constituents and millions of Americans from being hit with Obamacare tax penalties.

Reps. Sander Levin (D-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) have strongly requested a special sign-up for the uninsured who will all be hit with a $325 fine or two percent of their income (whichever is higher) for failure to enroll in 2015. In 2016, the Obamacare tax penalty will be an average $1,100, reports the Associated Press. For 2014, the Obamacare tax was $95 or one percent of income.

“Open enrollment period ended before many Americans filed their taxes,” the three lawmakers said in a statement. “Without a special enrollment period, many people (who will be paying fines) will not have another opportunity to get health coverage this year.”

The lawmakers’ pleas come on the heels of a devastating New York Times article published last week titled, “Insured, but Not Covered,” which revealed that many Obamacare customers are hitting the harsh wall of reality about how expensive and flimsy their Obamacare plans truly are. As the Times notes, “A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that 46 percent of Americans said they had trouble affording health care, up 10 percentage points in just one year.”

Obamacare remains deeply unpopular. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, just 39% of Americans support Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

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Obama “Dreamers” To Get Retroactive IRS Refunds For Money They Earned While Working Illegally

IRS Offers Extra Tax Refunds To Illegal Immigrants Granted Amnesty By Obama – Washington Times

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IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted amnesty from deportation under President Obama’s new policies would be able to get extra refunds from the IRS for money they earned while working illegally, as long as they filed returns during those years.

Illegal immigrants who are granted the amnesty will be given official Social Security numbers, which means they can go back and amend up to three years of previous tax forms to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, potentially claiming billions of dollars in additional payments they were ineligible for before the amnesty.

Mr. Koskinen said they will have to have already filed returns for those back-years, and there’s a statute of limitations that governs how far they can go back, but said the agency’s current interpretation of laws would allow them to claim the EITC credit retroactively.

“This is the problem you get into,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican who demanded a solution to the loophole. “The IRS’s interpretation of the EITC eligibility requirements undermines congressional policy for not rewarding those working illegally in the United States.”

The loophole stems from the way the IRS handles illegal immigrants. While the immigrants are not authorized to work in the U.S. legally, the IRS still wants to be paid taxes on the earnings of those who do work, and so it has issued millions of Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, to illegal immigrants, enabling them to pay up.

Some tax credits are only eligible to those with a valid Social Security number. Those who get valid numbers, however, can go back and claim them.

The IRS website says taxpayers have until April 15 this year to file back to 2011 claiming tax credits they didn’t ask for in their previous returns, and have until April 15, 2016, to claim tax credits from 2012.

Mr. Grassley asked Mr. Koskinen to go back and revisit his agency’s interpretation of the laws.

The Obama administration says up to 4 million illegal immigrants could earn “deferred action,” or a stay of deportation and work permits that would accompany it. It’s uncertain how many of those were paying taxes using ITINs, and thus could be eligible to claim the EITC.

The EITC isn’t the only tax credit to be ensnared in the immigration debate. The IRS already pays out billions of dollars a year to illegal immigrants under a program known as the additional child tax credit.

The IRS says the law is vague on who is eligible for the child credit, so to be on the safe side they pay it out to illegal immigrants.

Backers argue that the children claimed for the child tax credit are likely U.S. citizens, even if their parents are here illegally, and so it would be unfair to strip the money.

In 2010, the government paid out $4.2 billion to illegal immigrants who claimed the child tax credit, the IRS’s inspector general found.

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Democrat Senator Landrieu Illegally Charged Taxpayers For 43 Private Flights

Landrieu Internal Review Reveals 43 Trips Inappropriately Funded – The Hill

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Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) found that over $33,700 in campaign flights were inappropriately charged to her official account in an internal review of her finances released Friday.

The report is sure to draw added scrutiny to her use of charter planes just as her main opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), is set to introduce a resolution meant to highlight such spending, which he calls a “waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.”

The review, which was released four days after her self-imposed deadline of Sept. 8, found that the senator took 43 trips, which amounted to 136 campaign functions, that were paid for by funds meant for official business only. Eleven percent of the total amount Landrieu’s office paid for chartered flights should have been paid out of her campaign funds, the review found.

Landrieu’s office said she fully reimbursed the Treasury with campaign funds and has notified the Senate Ethics Committee of the errors. She also said in a statement that she’s implemented a new bookkeeping system to prevent similar errors from happening again.

“The review I ordered last month found these mistakes stemming from sloppy book keeping. I take full responsibility. They should have never happened, and I apologize for this,” Landrieu said. “A new system has been established that has been successfully used by a number of senate offices to provide a safeguard from this happening in the future.”

Landrieu ordered the internal review after it was reported that she inappropriately used $3,200 in official funds to pay for a flight to and from a campaign event in November. That report sparked criticism from Republicans, and inspired an attack ad that claimed Landrieu “lives like a movie star.”

The release of Landrieu’s internal review again prompted Republicans to hammer Landrieu on the issue.

“With 43 illegal flights and more than 100 campaign events, this was clearly policy of her office to use taxpayer means whenever possible to attend events,” said Louisiana Republican Party Executive Director Jason Dore. “Mary’s staff has changed. The donors have changed. The one thing that has been constant is this is Mary Landrieu’s office. She’s the one responsible for this practice going on in her office.”

Cassidy’s bill would require members of Congress to report any funds used to pay for private chartered planes to the Ethics Committee or the Committee on House Administration within 30 days of the flight.

“Taking charter planes unnecessarily is a waste of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. It makes no sense to fly on a $3,000 private jet if you can get to the same location in a few hours’ drive time and a $50 tank of gas,” he said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “Washington’s spending is out of control and this is one of the reasons why. Ensuring that Washington is transparent and tax dollars are spent wisely is a priority.”

Cassidy’s office said constituents had expressed alarm at Landrieu’s use of chartered planes, which had partially inspired the resolution.

Landrieu remains one of Democrats’ most vulnerable senators, and the most recent poll showed a tight race, with Cassidy leading Landrieu by two points. Many expect the three-way primary fight, between Cassidy, Landrieu and Tea Party-backed Rob Maness, to head to a runoff this fall.

Polling shows a tight race.

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Operation Choke Point: Obama Illegally Seizing Americans’ Bank Accounts

Obama Illegally Seizing Americans’ Bank Accounts – Tell Me Now

Since Obama has been having an issue with actually banning Americans from owning guns he has turned to a sneakier, and more sinister, method of stopping the flow of weapons, through Operation Choke Point. However now it’s being reported that this same scheme is being used to seize the bank accounts of those who are targeted in some cases.

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The Department of Justice launched Operation Choke point to literally “choke” off gun retailers by restricting their ability to do business with banks. Obama and Holder don’t even seem to care that these businesses abide by all the laws and are properly licensed.

According to a report from the House of Representatives issued by Darrel Issa, Choke Point is without question illegal. Unfortunately this isn’t stopping Obama and his cronies within his administration.

Now that thousands of dealer across the nation have been left without a means in which to do banking they’re facing bankruptcy. What are they to do if they can’t make cash deposits or accept checks?

This is entirely wrong and unconstitutional. Unfortunately it’s yet another example of a rogue regime stomping on the rights of law-abiding Americans, which seems to be commonplace with him.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obama Regime Illegally Traded 5 Terrorist Leaders For A Deserter And Possible Traitor (Videos)

Fellow Soldiers Call Bowe Bergdahl A Deserter, Not A Hero – CNN

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The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him, veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then, and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war, and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

A reporter asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday whether Bergdahl had left his post without permission or deserted – and, if so, whether he would be punished. Hagel didn’t answer directly. “Our first priority is assuring his well-being and his health and getting him reunited with his family,” he said. “Other circumstances that may develop and questions, those will be dealt with later.”

After 5 years, what’s next for Bergdahl?

Following his release from five years of captivity in Afghanistan on Saturday, Bergdahl was transferred to a military hospital in Germany.

A senior Defense official said Bergdahl’s “reintegration process” will include “time for him to tell his story, decompress, and to reconnect with his family through telephone calls and video conferences.”

Said Bergdahl’s former squad leader, Greg Leatherman: “I’m pleased to see him returned safely. From experience, I hope that he receives adequate reintegration counseling. I believe that an investigation should take place as soon as health care professionals deem him fit to endure one.”

Another senior Defense official said Bergdahl will not likely face any punishment. “Five years is enough,” he told CNN on condition of anonymity.

Questions surround the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance. Conflicting details have since emerged about how the militants managed to capture Bergdahl. Published accounts have varied widely, from claims that he walked off the post to that he was grabbed from a latrine.

According to firsthand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera and a diary.

At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops – from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad to the larger group that made up the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division – told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.

Idaho hometown prepares for homecoming

Many are flocking to social media, such as the Facebook page “Bowe Bergdahl is NOT a hero,” where they share stories detailing their resentment. A number of comments on his battalion’s Facebook page prompted the moderator to ask for more respect to be shown.

“I challenge any one of you who label him a traitor to spend 5 years in captivity with the Taliban or Haqqani, then come back and accuse him again. Whatever his intent when he walked away or was captured, he has more than paid for it.”

E-mails reported by the late Michael Hastings in Rolling Stone in 2012 reveal what Bergdahl’s fellow infantrymen learned within days of his disappearance: He told people that he no longer supported the U.S. effort in Afghanistan.

“The future is too good to waste on lies,” he wrote to his parents. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American. The horror of the self-righteous arrogance that they thrive in. It is all revolting.”

Bergdahl wrote to them, “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

CNN has not independently verified the authenticity of the e-mails.

A former member of Bergdahl’s squad who has yet to identify his last name publicly but goes by “Cody” tweeted this weekend that before he disappeared, Bergdahl once told him, “If deployment is lame, I’m going to get lost in the Mountains and make my way to China.”

Leatherman told CNN that Bergdahl “always looked at the mountains in the distance and talked of ‘seeing what’s on the other side.’ ”

Cody noted in his Twitter recollections a story that others from Blackfoot Company relay. While soldiers were searching for Bergdahl, a platoon “came upon some children, they asked him have they seen an American. The children said ‘yes, he was crawling on his belly through weeds and acting funny a while ago,’ ” according to Cody.

Bergdahl’s parents: ‘It isn’t over’

The platoon went to the village where the children said the American had gone. “Villagers said an American did come through the area and was wanting water and someone who spoke English,” Cody shared.

Former Pfc. Jose Baggett, 27, of Chicago, was also in Blackfoot Company and said he was close to two men “killed because of his (Bergdahl’s) actions.”

“He walked off,” Baggett told CNN. “He left his guard post. Nobody knows if he defected or he’s a traitor or he was kidnapped. What I do know is, he was there to protect us, and instead he decided to defer from America and go and do his own thing. I don’t know why he decided to do that, but we spend so much of our resources, and some of those resources were soldiers’ lives.”

Many soldiers on the ground at the time said insurgents were able to take advantage of the intense search for Bergdahl.

“A huge thing in-country is not building patterns. Well when you are looking for a person everyday that creates a pattern. While searching for him, ambushes and IEDs picked up tremendously. Enemy knew we would be coming. IEDs started being placed more effectively in the coming weeks. Ambushes were more calculated, cover and concealment was used,” Cody tweeted.

On August 18, 2009, Staff Sgt. Clayton Bowen and Pfc. Morris Walker were killed by an IED in the search for Bergdahl. Staff Sgt. Kurt Curtiss was killed on August 26; 2nd Lt. Darryn Andrews and Pfc. Matthew Michael Martinek were killed after being attacked in Yahya Khail District on September 4; Staff Sgt. Michael Murphrey was killed September 5 by an IED at the Forward Operating Base, Sharana.

Moreover, other operations were put on hold while the search for Bergdahl was made a top priority, according to officers who served in Afghanistan in that time. Manpower and assets — such as scarce surveillance drones and helicopters – were redirected to the hunt. The lack of assets is one reason the closure of a dangerous combat outpost, COP Keating, was delayed. Eight soldiers were killed at COP Keating before it was ultimately closed.

One soldier with the 509th Regiment, a sister unit of the 501st, told CNN that after Bergdahl disappeared, the U.S. Army essentially was told to lock down the entire province of Paktika. He described sitting in the middle of a field with his platoon, vulnerable, with capabilities and personnel mismanaged throughout the region. Different platoons ran out of water, food and ammunition.

Two mortarmen – Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn and Pfc. Justin Casillas – were killed in a July 4, 2009, attack.

“It was unbelievable,” the soldier said. “All because of the selfish act of one person. The amount of animosity (toward him) is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.”

That Bergdahl was freed in an exchange for five detainees at Guantanamo Bay is a further source of consternation.

“I don’t understand why we’re trading prisoners at Gitmo for somebody who deserted during a time of war, which is an act of treason,” Vierkant said.

Who are the Gitmo detainees?

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Did The Obama White House Trade Five Terrorists For A Taliban Sympathizer? – Big Peace

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In 2010, The Taliban claimed U.S. soldier Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had converted to Islam and had taught them bomb-making techniques. Bergdahl had also changed his name to Abdullah, the Taliban claimed, though the mainstream media largely ignored the story, seeing it as comparable to the tale of Sgt. Brody in the fictional Homeland television series on Showtime.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) also dismissed the claims, insinuating that it was jihadist propaganda. But in the aftermath of Sgt. Bergdahl’s release yesterday, more information has come to light, raising further questions as to whether the Taliban had in fact been telling the truth about Sgt. Bergdahl.

The circumstances behind the sergeant’s disappearance and kidnapping remains suspect. Why he seemingly walked off of his forward operating base in 2009, an infringement upon basic standard operating procedures, has not been explained.

Lt. Col Allen West noted that there is no precedent for the Taliban detaining American soldiers: “Our troops are brutally, ritually, and savagely murdered – to include American security contractors (remember the Fallujah bridge) – not held for five years”, he said.

The reports that Bowe has had “trouble speaking English” may seem confusing at the surface, especially since English is his native language and he has been seen on video over the past few years speaking the language without issue.

In his Saturday press conference with President Obama, Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert Bergdahl, initially spoke in Arabic, the language of the Koran, in a message to his son: “In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.”

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The message insinuates that Sgt. Bergdahl decided to learn the language of the Islamic texts. Only a handful of Afghanistan’s 31 million people understand Arabic, and the official languages of the country are Pashto and Dari.

Robert Bergdahl and The Taliban

Robert Bergdahl’s (Bowe’s father) behavior seems to point to the possibility that he also may have converted to Islam and has embraced radical elements.

In May of 2011, Bob Bergdahl released a video that pleaded for his son’s release. He said, “Strangely, to some, we must also thank those (Taliban) who have cared for our son for almost 2 years… We understand the rationale of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) has made through videos.” The reference to the Taliban as the ‘Islamic Emirate’ is, by way of prior evidence, the preserve of sympathisers.

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Bob Bergdahl’s long beard appears to be in accordance with traditional Islamic customs, and its scraggly and unkempt appearance is, while no sure sign of conversion, a noted trait in white converts. CNN reported that he grew his beard to show “solidarity” with his son.

His Twitter page is filled with anti-American and pro-Islamist sentiments. There are many other controversial tweets besides the much-reported instance where he tweeted, “I am still working to free the remaining guantanamo prisoners.”

In April this year following the re-arrest and detention of former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, Bergdahl tweeted his support for the man once called “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban” by Amnesty International’s Gita Saghal.

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Robert Bergdahl
@bobbergdahl

WHO IS MOAZZAM BEGG? #RELEASEMOAZZAM #CagePrisoners http://youtu.be/1ONS13FZc_k @Moazzam_Begg @immusaman
11:10 AM – 16 Apr 2014


YouTube @YouTube

6 Retweets
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– Robert Bergdahl (@bobbergdahl) May 24, 2014

Saghal, who famously quit the organisation following its work with Begg’s “CagePrisoners” group (now “CAGE”) was supported by numerous counter-terrorism experts who noted Begg’s prior signed confession to being a jihadist recruiter. He is now awaiting trial for providing terrorist training in Syria. Bergdahl’s vocal support for him is particularly troubling, though he finds himself in the company of numerous naive Members of the British Parliament.

On November 19th last year, Bergdahl linked to a jihadist website that attributed “the invaders” (US & Coalition forces) as the “main impetus of war” in Afghanistan.

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Robert Bergdahl
@bobbergdahl

ISAF perceive foreign presence as the main impetus of war inside #Afghanistan! – #afg #Emirate http://www.shahamat-english.com/index.php/comm… @zabihmujahid
10:45 AM – 19 Nov 2013

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On May 24th, Bergdahl linked to a movie produced by the Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan, a site that uses the Al Qaeda flag as its banner, saying, “I am still working to free all captives on all sides of this conflict.” Additionally, the website is recognized as the Taliban’s English-language media outlet. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan existed in the country under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

@Moazzam_Begg I am still working to free captives on all sides of this conflict http://t.co/B8zOdl0RMJ

And on May 28, Bergdahl would again link to the radical Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s website, writing, “my son speaks about unjust treatment of Afghan children.”

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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Announces Hearings On Bergdahl Prisoner Swap – Big Government

House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) will hold hearings on the prisoner swap of five Taliban detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, McKeon announced Monday.

“Now my perception is he [Obama] broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before,” McKeon said on MSNBC Monday morning.

McKeon responded to White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s assertion on Sunday that Congress had been consulted on the issue in the past and were “well aware” that this could happen, but that the final decision was “expedited.”

“I have not been a part of this and I am chairman of the committee,” McKeon responded.

Republicans have warned the move could put Americans at risk and, as McKeon noted, expressed outrage at the fact Congress was not given required notice of the prisoner exchange.

“We will be holding hearings. I’m sorry that this is being portrayed as a Republican issue. I think Democrats also voted for this law, it was important for our national security, it’s important for our responsibility for oversight of this administration,” he said, stressing that the issue should not be seen as partisan, but rather an issue of following the law.

An Armed Services Committee spokesperson told Breitbart News that no date or witness list has yet been set for an upcoming hearing but expected it to occur sometime this month.

McKeon added that even 72 hours after the releases the administration has yet to tell Congress ”how they are going to ensure that these five top level Taliban terrorists are not coming back into the fight.”

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Leftists Pelosi And Reid Illegally Screen Anti-Koch Brothers Film In Capitol Visitor Center (Video)

Nancy Pelosi And The Democrat Party Now Resorting To Vile, Anti-Semitic Imagery To Attack Private Citizens – Doug Ross Journal

These people are the lowest of the low.

Pelosi using your tax dollars and the Capitol Building to attack you

Tonight, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are using your tax dollars to host the premiere of a film that attacks conservative groups – in the U.S. Capitol.

This partisan attack in the people’s house cannot stand and we have filed an ethics complaint [PDF] to hold Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid accountable.

Congress expressly prohibits partisan political rallies and fundraisers on the grounds of the Capitol or within its walls. As House Administration Chairman Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) said, the “work in this hallowed building must solely be in the interests of the American people and not in the interests of any political cause.”

Pelosi’s office denied that the event was the premiere screening, despite it being called such by Politico, Fox News, MSNBC, and the film’s own producers in an RSVP now removed from their own site…

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Not only do rules prohibit the use of House rooms for screenings, but they expressly prohibit any events that are campaign or political in nature.

What caught my eye is the octopus imagery: the theme was employed by the Nazis in the mid-20th century and by Islamofascists ever since.

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I would suggest emailing timothy@bravenewfilms.org, calling Brave New Films at 310-204-0448 x 225, or calling Nancy Pelosi at (415) 556-4862. Ask them why they have to resort to anti-semitic imagery to attack private citizens.

Yes, I know it’s a rhetorical question, but they need to know that the lines have been drawn.

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Reid & Pelosi Hold Incoherent Press Conference At Film Screening To Attack Koch Brothers – Saving The Republic

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The two top dem monsters held a screening of an anti-Koch film at the US Capitol tonight which is on our dime!

Can someone explain what this lunatic is ranting about? The Koch brothers have no control over silencing anyones free speech. As a matter of fact it’s really the progressives that are trying to silence people! I want someone with a set in the GOP to explain how the Senate Majority Leader is permitted to slander private US citizens daily on the taxpayers dime! Why has no one challenged Dingy to produce proof the Koch’s want to do away with Social Security, do not want law enforcement (? this must have something to do with US attorney confirmations) along with the myriad of false charges this senile old bastard continually smears them on!

Pelosi of course is full of crap! Our govt is a “government of the money” since she, Reid, obama and countless progressives (democrat & republican) are bought and paid for. Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg, Zuckerberg, Winfrey, Gates, Buffet etc along with countless super rich Hollywood celebs and unions all OWN the progressives in DC. Yet for whatever reason Reid, Pelosi and their ilk target 2 PRIVATE CITIZENS Charles and David Koch who rank 59th on the list of top political donors. The left fears 2 successful brothers just like they fear one cable network (Fox News)!

This govt has become the very thing our Founders fought against, each and every one of them is turning in their graves!

America you know this, you complain about it daily but what have you done to put a stop to it? You have had a simple task of voting out incumbents on both sides over the last few weeks in primary elections but have allowed all of them to win, move forward with re-election this November. You DO NOT have the will to act because you cannot even support a primary challenger or a small website trying to show you how to engage the left!

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Tom Steyer Buys Harry Reid – Washington Free Beacon

Left wing eco-billionaire Tom Steyer has formally purchased Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.). Steyer recently donated $5 million to Senate Majority PAC, the pro-Democratic Super PAC run by former Reid aides, making him the single largest contributor to the group.

The transaction is related to Steyer’s broader effort to buy American democracy for $100 million and block construction of the wildly popular Keystone XL pipeline. In fact, news of Steyer’s donation comes just days after Senate Democrats helped kill a bipartisan energy efficiency bill after Republicans tried to require a vote on Keystone approval.

It also highlights the absurdity of Harry Reid’s senile jihad against the billionaire Koch brothers. Reid has accused the Kochs of “trying to buy America,” while insisting that Steyer is a benign billionaire who is simply “concerned about climate change.”

So far this year, top donors to Senate Majority PAC include:

* Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire
* Fred Eychaner, media magnate/billionaire
* James Simons, hedge fund manager/billionaire
* James Atwood, Jr., hedge fund manager
* Jon Stryker, billionaire heir to medical supply empire
* Anne Bass, wife of billionaire corporate jet tycoon
* Unions
* Trial lawyers

The New York Times reports:

As of last month, Mr. Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, were the top source of super PAC money in the country this election cycle, contributing a total of more than $11 million. But the bulk of their money has so far gone to Mr. Steyer’s own political organization, NextGen Climate.

Mr. Steyer has emerged not only as a top outside ally of Senate Democrats, but also as one of their leading direct supporters. The Senate super PAC’s other big donors include Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, and Fred Eychaner, a Chicago media executive.

These billionaires are ruining our republic. The Koch brothers, on the other hand, are just concerned about hospitals.

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*AUDIO* Mark Levin: Obama’s Political Staff Operating Illegally Within The EPA


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H/T Gateway Pundit

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Federal Judges Slap Down Eric Holder For Illegally Instructing Prosecutors To Ignore Drug Laws

Judges: ‘Law Provides Executive No Authority’ to Cut Drug Sentences As Holder Did – CNS

Two federal judges on the U.S. Sentencing Commission said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder stepped “outside the legal system” and exceeded the authority of the executive branch by sending “improper instruction” to federal prosecutors to reduce drug sentences before they were officially approved by either the commission or Congress.

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“I have been surprised at the attorney general’s steps taken to proceed with this reduction outside of the legal system set up and established by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984,” Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, the commission’s vice chair, said during a public hearing in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building in Washington.

“As you all know, the commission in the act is given the authority to promulgate and amend guidelines on a yearly basis. And in the act itself, Congress has preserved its right to reject any potential promulgation of, or amendment to, any guidelines made by the commission itself after the commission has acted.

“Meaning that if Congress does not reject a guideline amendment, it will not go into effect until November 1st of this year if we vote in favor of this amendment.,” said Hinojosa, who is also the chief judge of the Southern District of Texas.

“When the attorney general testified before us, he failed to mention that the night before, at around 11 pm, the department had ordered all of the assistant U.S. attorneys across the country to (and it’s not clear to me whether it was supposed to be not oppose or to argue for, in fact the U.S. attorneys in front of my court have said they’ve been asked to argue for) the two-level reduction in all drug trafficking cases before the commission has acted and before Congress has had the opportunity to vote its disapproval of the commission’s actions, if Congress is so inclined, which is certainly the right that they have preserved for themselves in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984,” Hinojosa said.

“It would have been nice for us to have known and been told beforehand that this action had been taken, so any of us who would have liked to have asked the attorney general under what basis under Title 18… the courts were being asked by the Justice Department to follow this request.

“If it was because the attorney general had spoken in favor of this proposal ,that is a dangerous precedent because attorney generals in the past have consistently expressed opinions to the commission on guideline promulgation and amendments, many times for an increase, and sometimes for a lowering of the penalties.

“But none have ever then asked the courts to proceed with increases or decreases simply because the attorney general has spoken in support of them before the commission has acted and before the Congress has exercised its statutory right not to act,” the vice-chairman said.

Judge William Pryor, who sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, also rebuked Holder for preempting the commission.

“Like Judge Hinojosa, I regret that, before we voted on the amendment, the attorney general instructed assistant United States attorneys across the nation not to object to defense requests to apply the proposed amendment in sentencing proceedings going forward,” Pryor said.

“That unprecedented instruction disrespected our statutory role ‘as an independent commission in the judicial branch’ to establish sentencing policies and practices under the Sentencing Reform Act and the role of Congress, as the legislative branch, to decide whether to revise, modify, or disapprove our proposed amendment.

“We do not discharge our statutory duty until we vote on a proposed amendment, and Congress, by law, has until November 1st to decide whether our proposed amendment should become effective. The law provides the executive no authority to establish national sentencing policies based on speculation about how we and Congress might vote on a proposed amendment.

“I appreciate the attorney general’s personal appearance before the commission last month, and his helpful comments in support of this amendment,” Pryor added. “But I hope that we can avoid int the future the kind of improper instruction that he sent federal prosecutors before we voted on the amendment.”

Pryor also pointed out that a previous amendment to the Fair Sentencing Act included a “safety valve” that allows low-level offenders to plead guilty and receive reduced sentences. The Justice Department estimates that lowering sentences will reduce the federal prison population by 6,500 inmates over the next five years.

The commission had been deliberating since last summer on recommendations to amend federal sentencing guidelines in an effort “to reduce the costs of incarceration, and reduce prison populations without endangering public safety.”

Commissioners voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the reduced sentences the Justice Department supported, which would shave an average of 11 months off the prison terms of some drug offenders. Both Hinojosa and Pryor voted for the amendment, which Pryor pointed out “maintains all statutorily mandated minimum sentences” and “respects the primary role of Congress in establishing the boundaries for sentencing drug offenders.”

Several other amendments, which were published in the Federal Register on Jan. 17, 2014, were also passed, but the one reducing sentences for drug offenders, who make up nearly half of the federal prison population, elicited more than 20,000 responses from the public, commissioners said.

Holder testified at the commission’s previous hearing on March 13th, telling commissioners that low-level, non-violent offenders should “face sentences appropriate to their individual conduct, rather than strict mandatory minimums.” (See sentencing cmsn.pdf)

“The system was not perfect as it existed before, and it is not perfect as it exists now and under the reforms that I have implemented,” Holder testified. “But what we want to do is to work with the commission,” he said a day after sending his sentencing memo to federal prosecutors.

“For those committed to the rule of law, the question now goes beyond whether reducing sentences for dealers in dangerous drugs is wise. It’s whether the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the United States, is committed to following the law as it exists, or, instead, as he wants and speculates it might become,” said William Otis, adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Under federal law, Congress, has six months to vote the amendments down. In the absence of congressional action, they will become law on November 1st.

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Dem Wants To Ban Importing Legal Firearms Because A Dem Was Busted Trying To Illegally Import Banned Weapons

Democrat Wants To Ban Importing Legal Firearms Because A Democrat Was Busted Trying To Illegally Import Banned Weapons – Downtrend

California State Rep. Jackie Speier, a democrat of course, is calling on President Obama to ban the importation of all foreign-made firearms, and her reason defies logic. Because of Leland Yee’s arrest last week, where her fellow democrat was accused of trying to import illegal machine guns and rocket launchers, Speier thinks we should stop the importation of legal semi-automatic rifles.

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Speier released a statement yesterday, blissfully unaware of her hypocrisy and apples-to-oranges comparison:

“This FBI investigation of Leland Yee reveals how easy it is to import lethal assault weapons that were previously banned. This case should be a warning to us all that even the most trusted appearing among us are ready to do real harm. Since Congress can pass no meaningful gun-control laws, even after the mass killing in Newtown, President Obama should use his pen to slow the import of these weapons, which have no place in our homes.”

The FBI investigation had nothing to do with the import of weapons that were previously banned. Yee is accused of trying to bring in full-auto rifles and shoulder-fire rockets. These things have always been banned.

What she is confusing here is the Clinton-era ban on imported semi-auto rifles. Under George W. Bush that ban was allowed to expire. Military-grade weapons and consumer-level firearms are not the same thing. Speier is purposefully erasing the line to push further gun ownership limitations on the people.

In addition, the FBI investigation does not show how easy it is to import illegal guns. It was a complex criminal organization involved in this scheme. Your average Joe would not be able to get the Chinese Triads to ship him a case of M4 rifles or Javelin missiles. Even the legal importation of semi-auto rifles is beyond an average person’s ability. It requires a license and all kinds of hoops to jump through.

Best line in her rant: This case should be a warning to us all that even the most trusted appearing among us are ready to do real harm.

What she must mean are that democrat gun grabbers can’t be trusted because I can’t think of one Republican that ever tried to raise campaign funds by selling illegal weapons. I fail to see how the dishonesty and hypocrisy of democrats should lead to a further erosion of the 2nd Amendment. Also, she should speak for herself; I never trusted Yee.

There is a subtle little twist in the gun grabber’s rhetoric included as well. Usually, the enemies of freedom like to say these guns don’t belong on our streets. Speier has switched it up and says they “have no place in our homes.” I sense this is a shift in strategy by the anti-gun crowd to convince us that not only don’t we not have a right to protect ourselves in public, but that we no longer enjoy that protection at home.

Lelenad Yee did a bad bad thing. He tried to illegally import weapons that themselves were illegal. Leave it to a democrat to use this situation as a reason to halt the legal importation of legal firearms.

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President Asshat Illegally Delays Yet Another Aspect Of Obamacare

White House To Announce Another Major Obamacare Delay To Help Democrats In The Midterm Elections – Weasel Zippers

Another day, another illegal Obamacare delay.

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Via The Hill:

The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.

As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.

Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.

The cancellations would have created a firestorm for Democratic candidates in the last, crucial weeks before Election Day.

The White House is intent on protecting its allies in the Senate, where Democrats face a battle to keep control of the chamber.

“I don’t see how they could have a bunch of these announcements going out in September,” one consultant in the health insurance industry said. “Not when they’re trying to defend the Senate and keep their losses at a minimum in the House. This is not something to have out there right before the election.”

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Ex-Dem Rep. And Child Sex Offender Busted In Zimbabwe For Staying Illegally And Shooting Porn Vids

Former Dem Lawmaker Arrested In Zimbabwe For Staying Illegally And Shooting 100 Porn Videos – Gateway Pundit

Former Democrat Representative and child sexual predator Mel Reynolds was hoping to run for Jesse Jackson Jr’s seat in Congress.

He told reportersin Novermber, “Nobody’s perfect.”

Then he went to Zimbabwe instead.

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Mel Reynolds was arrested this week for staying illegally in Zimbabwe and shooting 100 porn videos.

Iharare.com reported:

A Former USA Congressman was arrested for staying illegally in Zimbabwe and shooting porn with local girls. Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Francis Mabika has confirmed the arrest of former United States Congressman for Chicago Melvin Jay Reynolds for allegedly violating immigration laws and possessing pornographic material.

Reynolds, was in 1995 convicted on 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography which led him to resign from his seat in the USA, had come to Zimbabwe last year actin as a middleman for foreign investors.

Reynolds had been living large in Zimbabwe and had raked up an incredible bill of US$24500 at the Bronte Garden hotel he had been staying at. Detectives and immigration officials descended on him for the alleged offences.

Officer Mabika said “He has been picked up. Investigations are still underway and revealing information will jeopardise investigations that are underway,” he said.

Reports from the state media are that an aide identified as Sunny,blew the whistle on Reynolds who was in possession of pornographic material he shot on various occasions with a local model (name supplied) and several other girls in his hotel rooms.

“His travel documents were not up to date and he used to bring beautiful women at different times. He employed five of us including a personal assistant and a driver. He currently has unpaid hotel bills of more than US$24 500 accrued at two local hotels,” he said.

Another closely placed source said Reynolds shot more than 100 pornographic videos and a further 2,000 nude pictures while he was in the company of at least 10 women including famous models.

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Impeachable Offenses Update: Obama Illegally Delays Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016

White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate For Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016 – Washington Post

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The Obama administration announced Monday it would give medium-sized employers an extra year, until 2016, before they must offer health insurance to their full-time workers.

Firms with at least 100 employees will have to start offering this coverage in 2015.

By offering an unexpected grace period to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, administration officials are hoping to defuse another potential controversy involving the 2010 health-care law, which has become central to Republicans’ campaign to make political gains in this year’s midterm election.

Even the nation’s largest employers got a significant concession: They can avoid a fine by offering coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95 percent starting in 2016. Under an earlier proposal, employers with at least 50 employees would have been required to offer insurance, beginning 2015, to 95 percent of those who work 30 hours or more a week, along with their dependents.

The regulation finalized by the Treasury Department involves one of the biggest issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act: how the law’s employer mandate plays out in practice. The mandate has enormous ramifications for how businesses classify their employees and how much these men and women work.

Initially, these requirements – which affect firms employing 72 percent of all Americans – were supposed to take effect this year, at the same time that most individuals faced a new obligation to obtain health insurance or risk a tax penalty. Last July, the administration announced it would delay the regulation for a year after many employers and some unions complained about the law’s reporting requirements and classification system for workers.

A senior administration official, who briefed reporters on the proposal on the condition of anonymity because the rule was not yet public, said the Treasury Department decided to allow medium-sized businesses more flexibility because they “need a little more time to adjust to providing coverage.”

Businesses that fail to offer coverage face a fine of up to $2,000 for each employee that is not covered, though workers are not required to sign up for the benefits.

The coverage must encompass a core set of benefits and be affordable – which the law defines as premiums costing no more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s income – and the employer must pay for the equivalent of 60 percent of the cost of coverage for workers but not their dependents.

Until now, the government had not defined exactly which workers should be considered full-time. Nor had it spelled out important details of the insurance benefits that employer-sponsored health plans must cover, given that they are not the same as the “essential benefits” required of health plans that are sold to individuals or small businesses through the new federal insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.

Brian Haile, senior vice president for health care policy at Jackson Hewitt, said the announcement was significant because how the federal government defines a full-time employee will affect hiring decisions across the country.

“This final rule may seem like an obscure accounting matter, but it gets to the heart of whether and how employers hire new workers – and whether these workers will have the opportunity to transition from part-time to full-time or seasonal to permanent employment,” Haile said. “This rule hits on a core question as to how employment is structured in the United States.”

Administration officials said that organizations with a large number of volunteer employees – such as firefighters and first responders – would not have to provide coverage, along with those hiring seasonal employers who work six months or less in a given year.

Teachers will not be considered part-time just because they do not work for three months during the summer, officials added, while the status of adjunct faculty will be calculated on a formula where they would receive credit for 2¼ hours of service per week for each hour they spent teaching or in the classroom.

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Impeachable Offenses Update: Another Obamacare Provision Illegally Delayed

Will It EVER Stop? Another Obamacare Provision For Employers Delayed – Daily Caller

The Obama administration plans to delay enforcement of yet another Obamacare provision, according to a New York Times report.

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This line in the law would ban employers from discriminating “in favor of highly compensated individuals” when it comes to health insurance eligibility or benefits. Effectively, the provision prevents employers from providing their top executives cushy health benefits while low-level employees are given less optimal health insurance options.

The IRS will not enforce the provision in 2014 because they simply haven’t yet gotten around to actually writing the regulations that employers must follow, even though the Affordable Care Act was signed into law almost four years ago.

Obamacare originally required the IRS to enforce the health benefit “discrimination” ban just six months after the law was passed in March 2010. The Obama administration announced in 2010 that officials needed more time to write the rules, but assured Americans that the regulations would be finalized before Obamacare actually launched.

Years later, the IRS appears to still be grappling with the same questions about implementing the provision. IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge denied in a statement that the agency had approved any new delay.

“The IRS has not announced any new or additional information on this issue,” Eldridge said. “The New York Times story refers to IRS Notice 2011-1, which was released to the press on December 22, 2010. That Notice stated that under Public Health Service Act, Section 2716 will not apply until after generally applicable guidance is issued, because the statute requires regulatory detail in order to operate properly.”

IRS officials appear to be stymied by the “regulatory detail” of the provision. For the IRS to mandate non-discrimination in health plans for employees with different compensations, the agency must decide how to quantify the value of employer-provided health benefits, how to define “highly compensated officials” and issue a final determination on what constitutes discrimination.

The tax agency has a series of scenarios made complicated by Obamacare’s structure that it will have to take into consideration before issuing guidance. Some low-earning employees may opt out of employer-sponsored health insurance in favor of increased subsidies via an Obamacare exchange, for example, while higher executives that aren’t privy to taxpayer subsidies for coverage do not. The IRS has yet to determine whether that employer would be discriminating even if the employer health plan has the same value for all employees.

Obamacare’s prescription for violating the ban is a $100 daily excise tax for each individual that was “discriminated” against.

The ongoing delay is just the latest in an increasingly frequent series of administration decisions to put off parts of the health care law.

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Obama Regime Illegally Used DoD Communications Systems To Disseminate Political Message

Illegal Use Of DoD Communications Systems By Obama Administration – American Spectator

The American Spectator has been provided with the text of a political message sent on Saturday evening, using Department of Defense communications systems, on behalf of President Obama and Secretary of Defense Hagel.

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It is addressed to “all US government employees” and further specified by the DoD sender to go to “all subordinate commands,” in compliance with Hagel’s call for “the widest possible distribution.”

The message contains standard presidential lauding of public service, but goes on to attack the current government shutdown by specifically castigating the House of Representatives, saying that the House – which is unsubtle code for Republicans – should “follow the Senate’s lead…without trying to attach…partisan measures in the process.”

I am not an attorney and do not play one on TV, but my assessment is that the sending of this message via government-owned communications systems is a violation of at least one federal law and at least one military regulation.

To wit:

The Secretary of Defense, as a Senate-confirmed presidential appointee falls into a class of federal employees considered “further restricted.”

According to a Department of Defense ethics document (describing the application of the Hatch Act to further restricted employees), “political activity is defined as an activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.”

A message which specifically criticizes part of the government which is under the control of a particular political party of “partisan” activities is, on its face, a partisan message aimed at harming a political party, and therefore fits the Hatch Act definition of “political activity.”

One of the specific prohibitions of the Hatch Act is “participating in political activity while on-duty or in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an individual employed by DoD.” Clearly this message was sent by someone who was “on-duty” and almost certainly while in a building in which Chuck Hagel and the direct sender, the DoD Executive Secretary, perform their official duties.

In short, I believe this message constitutes a violation of the Hatch Act.

Furthermore, a 2012 memo from the Secretary of the Army “remind(s) the Army community that the use of government information systems and websites for partisan political activities is prohibited.” No doubt all military services have similar prohibitions. See these examples of the US Navy and US Air Force prohibitions against the use of their communications systems for partisan political activity.

The Air Force document linked above puts it clearly: “Military and civilian employees of the federal government are absolutely prohibited from using government supplies, equipment, communication systems and facilities in any political activity.”

In short, I believe this message constitutes a violation of multiple military service regulations.

While I hope the existence of this illegal message, and the reprehensible hyper-partisan behavior of the Obama administration will become known, it is difficult to be optimistic that a lawless group such as Team Obama will be curtailed. After all, the Eric Holder-led Department of Justice has become nothing more than a thuggish enforcer of Alinskyite dogma and tactics, and a defender rather than prosecutor of executive branch malfeasance. The fox is guarding the henhouse.

But that doesn’t mean the American public shouldn’t be reminded as often as possible the true nature of our government, and their brazen willingness to ignore and violate black-letter law.

Separately, one has to wonder whether the Obama administration thinks that military recipients of this message will react kindly to being discussed in the same context as employees of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. And one has to wonder whether Obama really wants to remind members of the military about a government which found a way to deny the death gratuity to the families of those who lost children, parents, and spouses in battle, and whose Secretary of Defense Hagel just went for the first time to Dover Air Force base to participate in the returning home of the body of an American soldier killed overseas.

UNCLASSIFIED//
UNCLAS SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
TO ALDODACT
CN=AL ALDODACT(UC)
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
OU=USAITA(UC)
PASSED FOR ACTION REROUTE DETECTED
IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS
QQQQ
SUBJ: MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA TO ALL U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
UNCLASSIFIED/ O 011328Z OCT 13 FM SECDEF WASHINGTON DC TO ALDODACT UNCLAS

SUBJ: MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA TO ALL U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ALDODACT
17/13 ADDRESSEES PASS TO ALL SUBORDINATE COMMANDS

1. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHUCK HAGEL FORWARDS THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA TO ALL U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES. PLEASE ENSURE THE WIDEST DISTRIBUTION:

TO THE DEDICATED AND HARD-WORKING EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT:

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS AMERICA’S LARGEST EMPLOYER, WITH MORE THAN 2 MILLION CIVILIAN WORKERS AND 1.4 MILLION ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY WHO SERVE IN ALL 50 STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD. BUT CONGRESS HAS FAILED TO MEET ITS RESPONSIBILITY TO PASS A BUDGET BEFORE THE FISCAL YEAR THAT BEGINS TODAY. AND THAT MEANS MUCH OF OUR GOVERNMENT MUST SHUT DOWN EFFECTIVE TODAY.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I WILL KEEP WORKING TO GET CONGRESS TO REOPEN THE GOVERNMENT, RESTART VITAL SERVICES THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DEPEND ON, AND ALLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS WHO HAVE BEEN SENT HOME TO RETURN TO WORK. AT MY DIRECTION, YOUR AGENCIES SHOULD HAVE REACHED OUT TO YOU BY NOW ABOUT WHAT A SHUTDOWN MEANS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES.

TODAY, I WANTED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME-AND TO OUR COUNTRY.

THAT BEGINS BY SAYING THANK YOU FOR THE WORK YOU DO EVERY DAY-WORK THAT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO AMERICAN FAMILIES’ ECONOMIC SECURITY. YOU DEFEND OUR COUNTRY OVERSEAS AND ENSURE THAT OUR TROOPS RECEIVE THE BENEFITS THEY DESERVE WHEN THEY COME HOME. YOU GUARD OUR BORDERS AND PROTECT OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. YOU HELP SMALL BUSINESSES EXPAND AND GAIN NEW FOOTHOLDS IN OVERSEAS MARKETS. YOU GUIDE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE EACH DAY THROUGH THE GLORY OF AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS, FROM YOSEMITE TO THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. AND MUCH MORE.

YOU DO ALL THIS IN A POLITICAL CLIMATE THAT, TOO OFTEN IN RECENT YEARS, HAS TREATED YOU LIKE A PUNCHING BAG. YOU HAVE ENDURED THREE YEARS OF A FEDERAL PAY FREEZE, HARMFUL SEQUESTER CUTS, AND NOW, A SHUTDOWN OF OUR GOVERNMENT. AND YET, YOU PERSEVERE, CONTINUING TO SERVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH PASSION, PROFESSIONALISM, AND SKILL.

NONE OF THIS IS FAIR TO YOU. AND SHOULD IT CONTINUE, IT WILL MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO KEEP ATTRACTING THE KIND OF DRIVEN, PATRIOTIC, IDEALISTIC AMERICANS TO PUBLIC SERVICE THAT OUR CITIZENS DESERVE AND THAT OUR SYSTEM OF SELF-GOVERNMENT DEMANDS.

PUBLIC SERVICE IS NOBLE. PUBLIC SERVICE IS IMPORTANT. AND BY CHOOSING PUBLIC SERVICE, YOU CARRY ON A PROUD TRADITION AT THE HEART OF SOME OF THIS COUNTRY’S GREATEST AND MOST LASTING ACHIEVEMENTS. IN FACT, MORE THAN 50 CURRENT OR FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HAVE RECEIVED THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR THEIR EFFORTS. IT WAS GRANTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY THAT HELPED BUSINESSES UNLOCK NEW SOURCES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY, AND FROM THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION THAT HELPED ENTREPRENEURS LIKE THE FOUNDERS OF GOOGLE CHANGE THE WORLD. IT IS YOUR EFFORTS THAT WILL HELP THIS COUNTRY MEET THE GREAT CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME-REBUILDING AN ECONOMY WHERE ALL WHO WORK HARD CAN GET AHEAD.

SO WHILE THE BUDGET FIGHTS IN WASHINGTON ARE TOO OFTEN PARTISAN, YOUR SERVICE TO THE COUNTRY MUST NEVER BE. AS ONE OF MY PREDECESSORS, PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH, ONCE SAID, “THERE IS NOTHING MORE FULFILLING THAN TO SERVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS AND TO DO IT WELL. AND THAT IS WHAT OUR SYSTEM OF SELF-GOVERNMENT DEPENDS ON.”

THIS SHUTDOWN WAS COMPLETELY PREVENTABLE. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CAN END IT AS SOON AS IT FOLLOWS THE SENATE’S LEAD, AND FUNDS YOUR WORK IN THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WITHOUT TRYING TO ATTACH HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND PARTISAN MEASURES IN THE PROCESS.

HOPEFULLY, WE WILL RESOLVE THIS QUICKLY. IN THE MEANTIME, I WANT YOU TO KNOW-WHETHER YOU ARE A YOUNG PERSON WHO JUST JOINED PUBLIC SERVICE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, OR A CAREER EMPLOYEE WHO HAS DEDICATED YOUR LIFE TO THAT PURSUIT-YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES REMAIN AT THE FRONT OF MY MIND. YOUR AGENCY LEADERS AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DEFEND YOUR WORK AT A TIME WHEN THAT WORK HAS RARELY BEEN MORE IMPORTANT. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH YOUR AGENCIES TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES APPRISED AND INFORMED OF WHAT IS HAPPENING. AND I WILL CONTINUE TO DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO GET THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO ALLOW OUR GOVERNMENT TO REOPEN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, AND MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE THE PAY THAT YOU HAVE EARNED.

THANK YOU, AGAIN, FOR YOUR SERVICE, YOUR SACRIFICE, AND EVERYTHING YOU DO EVERY DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WE LOVE SO MUCH.

RELEASED BY: MICHAEL L. BRUHN, DOD EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

BT
#1024
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UNCLASSIFIED//

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ObamaNazis At DEA Directing Agents To Cover Up Program Used To Illegally Investigate Americans

Exclusive: U.S. Directs Agents To Cover Up Program Used To Investigate Americans – Reuters

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

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The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don’t know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence – information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

“I have never heard of anything like this at all,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

“It is one thing to create special rules for national security,” Gertner said. “Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.”

THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVISION

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

Today, much of the SOD’s work is classified, and officials asked that its precise location in Virginia not be revealed. The documents reviewed by Reuters are marked “Law Enforcement Sensitive,” a government categorization that is meant to keep them confidential.

“Remember that the utilization of SOD cannot be revealed or discussed in any investigative function,” a document presented to agents reads. The document specifically directs agents to omit the SOD’s involvement from investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony. Agents are instructed to then use “normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD.”

A spokesman with the Department of Justice, which oversees the DEA, declined to comment.

But two senior DEA officials defended the program, and said trying to “recreate” an investigative trail is not only legal but a technique that is used almost daily.

A former federal agent in the northeastern United States who received such tips from SOD described the process. “You’d be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.’ And so we’d alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it,” the agent said.

“PARALLEL CONSTRUCTION

After an arrest was made, agents then pretended that their investigation began with the traffic stop, not with the SOD tip, the former agent said. The training document reviewed by Reuters refers to this process as “parallel construction.”

The two senior DEA officials, who spoke on behalf of the agency but only on condition of anonymity, said the process is kept secret to protect sources and investigative methods. “Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day,” one official said. “It’s decades old, a bedrock concept.”

A dozen current or former federal agents interviewed by Reuters confirmed they had used parallel construction during their careers. Most defended the practice; some said they understood why those outside law enforcement might be concerned.

“It’s just like laundering money – you work it backwards to make it clean,” said Finn Selander, a DEA agent from 1991 to 2008 and now a member of a group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which advocates legalizing and regulating narcotics.

Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using “parallel construction” may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.

A QUESTION OF CONSTITUTIONALITY

“That’s outrageous,” said Tampa attorney James Felman, a vice chairman of the criminal justice section of the American Bar Association. “It strikes me as indefensible.”

Lawrence Lustberg, a New Jersey defense lawyer, said any systematic government effort to conceal the circumstances under which cases begin “would not only be alarming but pretty blatantly unconstitutional.”

Lustberg and others said the government’s use of the SOD program skirts established court procedures by which judges privately examine sensitive information, such as an informant’s identity or classified evidence, to determine whether the information is relevant to the defense.

“You can’t game the system,” said former federal prosecutor Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. “You can’t create this subterfuge. These are drug crimes, not national security cases. If you don’t draw the line here, where do you draw it?”

Some lawyers say there can be legitimate reasons for not revealing sources. Robert Spelke, a former prosecutor who spent seven years as a senior DEA lawyer, said some sources are classified. But he also said there are few reasons why unclassified evidence should be concealed at trial.

“It’s a balancing act, and they’ve doing it this way for years,” Spelke said. “Do I think it’s a good way to do it? No, because now that I’m a defense lawyer, I see how difficult it is to challenge.”

CONCEALING A TIP

One current federal prosecutor learned how agents were using SOD tips after a drug agent misled him, the prosecutor told Reuters. In a Florida drug case he was handling, the prosecutor said, a DEA agent told him the investigation of a U.S. citizen began with a tip from an informant. When the prosecutor pressed for more information, he said, a DEA supervisor intervened and revealed that the tip had actually come through the SOD and from an NSA intercept.

“I was pissed,” the prosecutor said. “Lying about where the information came from is a bad start if you’re trying to comply with the law because it can lead to all kinds of problems with discovery and candor to the court.” The prosecutor never filed charges in the case because he lost confidence in the investigation, he said.

A senior DEA official said he was not aware of the case but said the agent should not have misled the prosecutor. How often such misdirection occurs is unknown, even to the government; the DEA official said the agency does not track what happens with tips after the SOD sends them to agents in the field.

The SOD’s role providing information to agents isn’t itself a secret. It is briefly mentioned by the DEA in budget documents, albeit without any reference to how that information is used or represented when cases go to court.

The DEA has long publicly touted the SOD’s role in multi-jurisdictional and international investigations, connecting agents in separate cities who may be unwittingly investigating the same target and making sure undercover agents don’t accidentally try to arrest each other.

SOD’S BIG SUCCESSES

The unit also played a major role in a 2008 DEA sting in Thailand against Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout; he was sentenced in 2011 to 25 years in prison on charges of conspiring to sell weapons to the Colombian rebel group FARC. The SOD also recently coordinated Project Synergy, a crackdown against manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of synthetic designer drugs that spanned 35 states and resulted in 227 arrests.

Since its inception, the SOD’s mandate has expanded to include narco-terrorism, organized crime and gangs. A DEA spokesman declined to comment on the unit’s annual budget. A recent LinkedIn posting on the personal page of a senior SOD official estimated it to be $125 million.

Today, the SOD offers at least three services to federal, state and local law enforcement agents: coordinating international investigations such as the Bout case; distributing tips from overseas NSA intercepts, informants, foreign law enforcement partners and domestic wiretaps; and circulating tips from a massive database known as DICE.

The DICE database contains about 1 billion records, the senior DEA officials said. The majority of the records consist of phone log and Internet data gathered legally by the DEA through subpoenas, arrests and search warrants nationwide. Records are kept for about a year and then purged, the DEA officials said.

About 10,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents have access to the DICE database, records show. They can query it to try to link otherwise disparate clues. Recently, one of the DEA officials said, DICE linked a man who tried to smuggle $100,000 over the U.S. southwest border to a major drug case on the East Coast.

“We use it to connect the dots,” the official said.

“AN AMAZING TOOL”

Wiretap tips forwarded by the SOD usually come from foreign governments, U.S. intelligence agencies or court-authorized domestic phone recordings. Because warrantless eavesdropping on Americans is illegal, tips from intelligence agencies are generally not forwarded to the SOD until a caller’s citizenship can be verified, according to one senior law enforcement official and one former U.S. military intelligence analyst.

“They do a pretty good job of screening, but it can be a struggle to know for sure whether the person on a wiretap is American,” the senior law enforcement official said.

Tips from domestic wiretaps typically occur when agents use information gleaned from a court-ordered wiretap in one case to start a second investigation.

As a practical matter, law enforcement agents said they usually don’t worry that SOD’s involvement will be exposed in court. That’s because most drug-trafficking defendants plead guilty before trial and therefore never request to see the evidence against them. If cases did go to trial, current and former agents said, charges were sometimes dropped to avoid the risk of exposing SOD involvement.

Current and former federal agents said SOD tips aren’t always helpful – one estimated their accuracy at 60 percent. But current and former agents said tips have enabled them to catch drug smugglers who might have gotten away.

“It was an amazing tool,” said one recently retired federal agent. “Our big fear was that it wouldn’t stay secret.”

DEA officials said that the SOD process has been reviewed internally. They declined to provide Reuters with a copy of their most recent review.

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