Tag: Officials

Leftist School Officials In Wisconsin Try To Intimidate Parents Into Shutting Down “Jesus Lunch” In Park (Video)

School Goes Ballistic Over ‘Jesus Lunch’ In Park – WorldNetDaily

.

.
School officials in Wisconsin were caught on video trying to intimidate parents into closing down a weekly “Jesus Lunch” for hungry kids in a local park, and now the police are involved.

Mothers in Middleton have been hosting a Jesus Lunch 16 times per year since 2014 in Fireman’s Park. Students from Middleton High School, who may eat at local dining establishments, often choose a free lunch provided by the mothers. The religious message shared with meals was the catalyst for targeting the gathering, which has grown from a small handful of students to hundreds.

“We are asking you to allow our legal counsels to consider this together because this is certainly a question you contend is a First Amendment right,” Donald Johnson, the superintendent of the Middleton-Cross Plains district, recently said to the mothers after blocking the park entrance with hazard cones. “We contend that this is really an issue of our ability to exercise our lease for the city. We think that cooperation is really the way to go.”

Johnson was then presented with a letter from the group’s lawyer, another from the City of Middleton, and a lease agreement to use the park, the education watchdog EAGnews.org reported last Friday.

“[Officials] coned up the parking lot, waited there and confronted my clients and told them to leave,” Phillip Stamman, an attorney representing the moms, told the website. “[The parents] responded how I recommended. They walked right past them. The superintendent repeatedly tried to confront them. He was the first one. But they just moved on.”

The video also shows the Johnson simultaneously lamenting the parents’ lawyers while saying his desired resolution would entail their removal from the park.

“Fireman’s Park – a public park owned by the city of Middleton – remains accessible to everyone in the public for the purposes of assembly and free speech,” lunch organizer Beth Williams said in a statement. “By law, the lease agreement between the city and the school district of Middleton does not privatize the park.”

The school district contends it has jurisdiction over the park because its lease applies to school hours.

“The District has understood over the past 16 years that this is a District responsibility, and that school rules and District policy must apply,” Johnson wrote in an email to Cap Times April 16. “[Middleton-Cross Plains School District] is not interested in litigation, and is committed to working collaboratively to find a solution that meets the needs of all parties. We are interested in thoughtful and respectful dialogue. We do not intend to interfere with the Jesus Lunch, and we will continue to reach out to organizers to find an amicable resolution in the near future in the best interests of all of our students.”

Middleton Police Department will now monitor Tuesday’s Jesus Lunch due to heightened tensions in the town.

“Reasonable people differ over the interpretation of the wording of the lease,” Police Chief Charles Foulke said April 15 on the department’s Facebook page. “I’m not worried about reasonable people, but I am concerned about unreasonable people, people who are using this issue for their own purposes and who are beginning to threaten good people on either side of this issue. Unless something unforeseen happens, the ‘Jesus Lunch’ is going to happen this Tuesday and will probably continue until the end of the school year… Please do not assume that our presence in any way indicates a preference for any side in this issue other than to preserve the peace and allow people to exercise their 1st Amendment rights… I hope it is not the students who teach the adults how to act.”

In addition to citing food-safety concerns, school officials sent an email to parents on April 12 saying, “We believe that religious or political events do not have a place in our school or on our campus, except when sponsored by a student group in accordance with our rules, which require prior approval,” Fox News reported.

Principal Stephen Plank also attempted to denigrate the group by saying the Christians’ message has resulted in some students “sitting in the hallway crying” or leaving school early, the network reported.

Stamman told Fox that no form of harassment will deter the parents from hosting Jesus Lunch in the future.

“These women will not be intimidated,” Stamman said. “They are wholeheartedly committed to serving the students a free meal while sharing a Christian message.”

.

.

Officials In Cologne, Germany Accused Of Covering Up Mass Sexual Assaults By Arab Mob On New Years Eve

German Officials Accused Of Covering Up Mass Sexual Assaults By Arab Mob – Daily Caller

.

.
A group of up to 1,000 men of “Arab background” sexually assaulted dozens of women New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany, according to police. The assaults, however, were not confirmed for days, leading to public accusations of a cover-up.

Cologne Police Chief Wolfgang Albers confirmed Monday as many as 60 reports were filed by women sexually assaulted by a large mob of “Arab or North African men” during celebrations in Cologne New Year’s Eve. Albers stated the claims were in fact true.

“There was a very large number of sexual assaults there – and in a massive way. Women were grabbed and attacked,” said Albers during a press conference Monday.”The crimes were committed by a group of people who, from appearance, were largely from the north African or Arab world.”

As many as 80 women were assaulted and robbed by the mob, according to police reports. Some women reported being encircled by large groups of men who had “fingers on every orifice.” One report claimed a woman was raped.

The several day delay of confirmation of the attacks from officials roused suspicions of a cover-up. Anabel Schunke wrote on Huffington Post’s German language site Monday accusing police officials and public media outlets of covering up the issue entirely.

The attacks appeared to be coordinated, according to a report by German news outlet The Local. One group of men allegedly threw firecrackers into a large gathering of people celebrating near a famous cathedral located in the heart of Cologne, while another group of men allegedly began sexually assaulting and robbing women while the crowds were distracted by the firecrackers. It is not confirmed, however, the two groups were working together.

Five arrests were made in response to the allegations, however it is unclear if anyone was charged.

.

.

Senior U.S. Officials Conclude That Obama’s Nuclear Deal With Iran Violates Federal Law

U.S. Officials Conclude Iran Deal Violates Federal Law – Fox News

.

.
Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.

At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall… license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”

In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.

Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.

What’s more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.

Additional executive orders and statutes signed by President Obama, such as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, have reaffirmed that all prior federal statutes relating to sanctions on Iran shall remain in full effect.

For example, the review act – sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Committee, and signed into law by President Obama in May – stated that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief” afforded to Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal may only be “taken consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action.” The continued presence of Iran on the State Department’s terror list means that “existing statutory requirements” that were set forth in ITRA, in 2012, have not been met for Iran to receive the sanctions relief spelled out in the JCPOA.

As the Iran deal is an “executive agreement” and not a treaty – and has moreover received no vote of ratification from the Congress, explicit or symbolic – legal analysts inside and outside of the Obama administration have concluded that the JCPOA is vulnerable to challenge in the courts, where federal case law had held that U.S. statutes trump executive agreements in force of law.

Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran’s foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the “foreign sub” loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal’s implementation.

But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated – but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran’s removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.

It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department’s deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month “there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo… We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from… engaging in most commercial activities.”

Likewise, in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Adam Szubin, the acting under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran as “the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism” and said existing U.S. sanctions on the regime “will continue to be enforced… U.S. investment in Iran will be prohibited across the board.”

Nominated to succeed his predecessor at Treasury, Szubin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing the day after his speech to the Washington Institute. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the nominee where the Obama administration finds the “legal underpinnings” for using the JCPOA to re-open the “foreign sub” loophole.

Szubin said the foreign subsidiaries licensed to do business with Iran will have to meet “some very difficult conditions,” and he specifically cited ITRA, saying the 2012 law “contains the licensing authority that Treasury would anticipate using… to allow for certain categories of activity for those foreign subsidiaries.”

Elsewhere, in documents obtained by Fox News, Szubin has maintained that a different passage of ITRA, Section 601, contains explicit reference to an earlier law – the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, on the books since 1977 – and states that the president “may exercise all authorities” embedded in IEEPA, which includes licensing authority for the president.

However, Section 601 is also explicit on the point that the president must use his authorities from IEEPA to “carry out” the terms and provisions of ITRA itself, including Section 218 – which mandated that, before this form of sanctions relief can be granted, Iran must be removed from the State Department’s terror list. Nothing in the Congressional Record indicates that, during debate and passage of ITRA, members of Congress intended for the chief executive to use Section 601 to overturn, rather than “carry out,” the key provisions of his own law.

One administration lawyer contacted by Fox News said the re-opening of the loophole reflects circular logic with no valid legal foundation. “It would be Alice-in-Wonderland bootstrapping to say that [Section] 601 gives the president the authority to restore the foreign subsidiary loophole – the exact opposite of what the statute ordered,” said the attorney, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations over implementation of the Iran deal.

At the State Department on Thursday, spokesman John Kirby told reporters Secretary Kerry is “confident” that the administration “has the authority to follow through on” the commitment to re-open the foreign subsidiary loophole.

“Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president has broad authorities, which have been delegated to the secretary of the Treasury, to license activities under our various sanctions regimes, and the Iran sanctions program is no different,” Kirby said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the G.O.P. presidential candidate who is a Harvard-trained lawyer and ardent critic of the Iran deal, said the re-opening of the loophole fits a pattern of the Obama administration enforcing federal laws selectively.

“It’s a problem that the president doesn’t have the ability wave a magic wand and make go away,” Cruz told Fox News in an interview. “Any U.S. company that follows through on this, that allows their foreign-owned subsidiaries to do business with Iran, will very likely face substantial civil liability, litigation and potentially even criminal prosecution. The obligation to follow federal law doesn’t go away simply because we have a lawless president who refuses to acknowledge or follow federal law.”

A spokesman for the Senate Banking Committee could not offer any time frame as to when the committee will vote on Szubin’s nomination.

.

.

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

.

.
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.

.

.

Rep. Issa Claims That More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost Or Destroyed’ E-Mails After House Launched Probes

Issa: More Than 20 Obama Officials ‘Lost Or Destroyed’ E-Mails After House Launched Probes – National Review

.

.
The revelation that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator Marilynn Tavenner did not retain her e-mails means that more than 20 witness in the Obama administration to lose or delete e-mails without notifying Congress, according to the top House investigator.

“The Obama administration has lost or destroyed e-mails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said of Tavenner’s lost e-mails.

“It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal recordkeeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their e-mails,” he continued. “Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s e-mail history. Yet again, we discover that this administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”

From February of 2010 to November of 2013 – one month after the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, as the Daily Caller’s Patrick Howley noted – Tavenner didn’t maintain copies of her e-mails as required.

“During her entire tenure at CMS, Ms. Tavenner’s CMS e-mail address, which is accessible to both colleagues and the public, has been subject to write-in campaigns involving thousands of e-mails from the public,” CMS wrote to the National Archives and Records Administration, per Howley.

“Therefore, she receives an extremely high volume of e-mails that she manages daily. To keep an orderly e-mail box and to stay within the agency’s e-mail system capacity limits, the administrator generally copied or forwarded e-mails to immediate staff for retention and retrieval, and did not maintain her own copies,” CMS said.

Issa subpoenaed the missing e-mails ten months ago. “The evidence is mounting that the website did not go through proper testing, including critical security testing, and that the Administration ignored repeated warnings from contractors about ongoing problems,” he said at the time. “The American people deserve to know why the administration spent significant taxpayer money on a product that is entirely dysfunctional and puts their personal information at risk.”

.

.

Unreal! Army Officials Say Deserter Bergdahl Could Return To Active Duty After Treatment

Bergdahl Could Return To Active Duty After Treatment – New York Post

.

.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could return to active duty after he completes medical treatment for being held captive for five years by the Taliban, Army officials said Friday.

“The goal of reintegration is to return a soldier to duty,” said Colonel Bradley Poppen, a psychologist who will be treating the 28-year-old Idaho native at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

Bergdahl returned to the US early Friday after spending 12 days in Germany as part of his recovery process. He was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and released May 31 in a swap that freed five high-level Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.

The former prisoner of war has chosen not speak to his parents since his release, officials said.

“It is a returnee’s choice to make that determination when, where and who they want to” reconnect with, said Poppen. “ I believe the family understands that process at this time.”

He said the family is not in Texas to welcome his son.

The army officials also said they’re “pleased” with Bergdahl’s physical state and that they’ll be working with him daily during the “reintegration process.”

They said Bergdahl hasn’t had any exposure to the mounting controversy surrounding his release and that they’ll introduce those aspects little by little.

Major General Joseph DiSalvo said he greeted Bergdahl at around 1:40 a.m. Friday as he got off the plane from Germany. Bergdahl was in uniform and saluted the general.

“He appeared just like any sergeant would when they see a two-starred general – a little bit nervous but he looked good and saluted and had good deportment,” said DiSalvo.

.

.

Missouri State University Officials Consider Banning Nerf Guns… Because They’re Freakin’ Idiots

Missouri State Considers Banning Nerf Guns After Campus Lockdown – Gateway Pundit

Missouri State University officials are discussing whether to ban nerf guns after a professor confused the toy for a real gun.

.

.
CBS Local reported:

Missouri State University officials are discussing whether to limit or ban the use of Nerf guns used in a popular weeklong campus game.

About 500 people took part in October’s “Humans vs. Zombies” game, in which players try to tag other people, who then become zombies. The humans can defend themselves by stunning the zombies with Nerf guns or balled-up socks.

During October’s game, a professor called 911 and put a classroom on lockdown after thinking he saw a real gun. And the university’s safety and transportation department got several calls to its non-emergency number while the game was being played, The Springfield News-Leader reported.

The game is not played inside but it does go on at all hours of the day. The Nerf guns can sometimes look like real weapons, particularly in low-light, said Don Clark, director of the university’s Department of Safety and Transportation.

When we get that call, we have to make the initial assessment that it might be a real gun,” he said.

Several colleges across the country have banned Nerf guns.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Top Obama Afghan Officials Can’t Say How Many Americans Have Been Killed In Afghanistan This Year

Top Obama Afghan Officials Asked How Many Americans Have Been Killed This Year In Afghanistan… Not A Single One Can Answer The Question – Weasel Zippers

Nor could they say how much the U.S. is spending in Afghanistan, even far-left Congressman Gerry Connolly called their inability to answer these questions “stunning.”

.

Via WSJ:

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) had a simple question Wednesday for three of the Obama administration’s top Afghanistan specialists: How many American troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year?

None of the witnesses at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Afghanistan had an answer.

How much is the U.S. spending in Afghanistan? Mr. Rohrabacher asked.

No one could say.

“We’re supposed to believe that you fellas have a plan that’s going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan?” Mr. Rohrabacher asked. “Holy cow!”

Mr. Rohrabacher’s incredulous questioning came during a two-hour hearing on U.S. policy in Afghanistan that revealed increasing congressional frustration with U.S. policy as the administration tries to rescue its plan to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan through the end of this decade, if not beyond.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) called the witnesses’ inability to rattle off the facts “a stunning development.”

“How can you come to a congressional oversight hearing on this subject and not know” the answers? He asked. “Like that wouldn’t be a question the tip of one’s tongue.”

Keep reading

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

IRS, White House Officials That Shared Confidential Taxpayer Info Had 155 White House Meetings

IRS, White House Officials That Shared Confidential Taxpayer Info Had 155 White House Meetings – Daily Caller

Embattled IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram made 155 visits to the White House to meet with a top Obama White House official with whom she exchanged confidential taxpayer information over email.

.

Of Ingram’s 165 White House meetings with White House staff, a staggering 155 of them were hosted by deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, according to a June Watchdog.Org analysis of White House visitor records.

Ingram exchanged confidential taxpayer information with Lambrew and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The White House recently took down visitor logs recording details of these meetings, citing the government shutdown.

Ingram headed the scandal-plagued IRS office that oversaw tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012, when she left to take over the IRS office in charge of Obamacare implementation.

Former IRS Exempt Organizations division director Lois Lerner, who apologized for improperly scrutinizing tax-exempt applications of conservative groups between 2010 and 2012, also received an email alongside Ingram, Lambrew and Montz that contained confidential information.

In 2012, Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

The emails provided to Oversight investigators by the IRS had numerous redactions with the signifier “6103.”

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code forbids a federal employee from “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”

The “6103” signifiers were repeatedly added to the emails in instances in which the officials were referring to the names of groups or organizations, according to a reading of the redacted emails.

Federal employees who illegally disclose confidential taxpayer information could face five years in prison.

The IRS does not respond to press inquiries during the government shutdown, citing law.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Traitor John Kerry Re-Instates Officials Suspended After Benghazi Attack

State Dept. Officials Suspended After Benghazi Back At Work – NewsMax

Four State Department officials suspended over the Benghazi terrorist outrage have been re-instated to their jobs just three weeks before the first anniversary of the attack.

.

The move comes as pressure mounts on House Speaker John Boehner to appoint a special committee to investigate the attack that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Secretary of State John Kerry decided the four, who were placed on administrative leave following last September’s massacre should return to work without any disciplinary action, The Daily Beast reported. His action effectively reverses the decision of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to suspend them.

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell told the Daily Beast he had received a memo from the department’s human resources department telling him to report to work Tuesday.

“No explanation, no briefing, just come back to work,” he said.

The Daily Beast quoted an unidentified senior State Department official as saying the four would not face any further action. He said the administrative leave was not punishment but was to give Kerry’s team time to assess the situation following Clinton’s departure from the job in February.

An administrative review board headed by former State Department official Tom Pickering and former Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen determined that termination was not warranted in any of the cases. Kerry agreed and decided that some would be reassigned but not fired.

“The four individuals are not blameless and the fact that they will not be returned to the same positions is relevant,” the Daily Beast reported.

The four officials were put on leave in December. At the time the State Department identified three of them as Maxwell who had responsibility for North Africa, Eric Boswell, assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security and Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary responsible for embassy security. The fourth was not named officially, but numerous reports say it is another diplomatic security officer, Steve Bultrowicz.

The Pickering/-Mullen panel criticized the “lack of proactive leadership” saying security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi was “grossly inadequate.”

Rep. Ed Royce of California, who took over the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee within weeks of the report, praised the decision at the time, “The board severely critiques a handful of individuals and they have been held accountable,” he told The New York Times. “The degree that others bear responsibility warrants Congressional review given the report’s rather sweeping indictment.”

The website Diplopundit said it is not clear what jobs the four would return to – especially as Boswell’s position has already been filled. “Putting these four back to work, of course, does not answer why they were put on paid admin leave in the first place,” the website said, adding, tongue in check, “But don’t worry. We are confident that the State Department’s spokesman will be able to explain this whole circus to the inquiring public by citing issues of employee confidentiality.”

The four men returned to Foggy Bottom on Tuesday morning just as pressure to appoint a special committee was growing.

A group of special forces veterans spent $5,800 to erect three massive billboards pressing home the point in Boehner’s Ohio district, The Hill reports.

Boehner has insisted repeatedly that the standing committees in Congress investigating the matter are sufficient and that there is no need for a special Benghazi committee. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has been leading one of the congressional investigations which began hearings in May.

The billboards, sponsored by Special Operations Speaks, aim to give more steam to a discharge petition circulated by Texas GOP Rep. Steve Stockman that would force Boehner to allow a floor vote on legislation crafted by Virginia GOP Rep. Frank Wolf calling for a select committee to investigate the attacks. The petition has already gathered signatures of 1,000 special-operations veterans .

The billboards feature photos of Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and say, “If 4 Members of Congress were KILLED in Benghazi would we have a Watergate-style Select Committee today? Demand Justice for Benghazi.”

The group is also encouraging supporters to publicly pressure lawmakers during summer town hall meetings about whether they support the petition, according to The Hill.

Another group, Patriots4America is planning a Capitol Hill rally on Sept. 11, the first anniversary of the attack, The Hill reports, with speakers including former Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle,

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Caught On Tape: Obama DOJ Lackey Urges Sanford Officials To Take Action Against Zimmerman

Caught On Tape: Obama Justice Official Urges Action Against George Zimmerman – Gateway Pundit

Earlier this week we found out the Obama Justice Department helped organize the race-based Trayvon Martin rallies in Sanford, Florida.

.

Now this…

Judicial Watch released audio today of an Obama Department of Justice official urging Sanford city officials to take action against George Zimmerman.

.

………………….Click on image above to listen to audio clip.

The Washington Times reported:

The legal watchdog Judicial Watch released an audio recording Thursday of a Department of Justice staffer urging Sanford, Fla., city officials and the minority advocacy group Dream Defenders to seek justice for Trayvon Martin, because “if a community perceives that there’s something wrong in the black community, there’s something wrong.”

“CRS is an arm of the department that we call the Peacemakers,” Thomas Battles, regional director of the DOJ’s Community Relations Service, said at a meeting at the Shiloh Church on April 19, 2012. “We work with communities where there is real or perceived racial tensions.”

“…When Trayvon happened, for many of us, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back,” he continued. “We had grown up in a state and environment where race is a way of life… We’re not from Sanford, but what Sanford represented to us was the very real problems going around this state and this country. We wanted to figure out how could we stand in solidarity, and how could we make this about not just justice for Trayvon, but using this moment and using the opportunity to honor his memory, to honor his spirit by working to bring down the various structures and the various systems that allow something like this to happen.”

Just when we thought this administration could go no lower – we find out they have been actively interfering with a Florida criminal case.

There is absolutely nothing that is off limits to this administration.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Benghazi-gate: Congressman Issa Subpoenas Four State Department Officials

Darrell Issa Subpoenas Four State Department Officials For Benghazi Information – Washington Examiner

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has issued subpoenas for four current and former State Department officials to find out what they know about the fatal terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

.

Issa, in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, said he has been unable to arrange interviews with the four officials, who Issa said, “possess direct knowledge of the event.”

Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks, along with three other Americans.

House and Senate Republicans have been pushing the Obama Administration for additional information on the attacks and the lack of security in Benghazi as well as the decision not to launch a rescue mission during the attacks.

Issa has issued subpoenas for Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Scott Bultrowicz, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Diplomatic Security Service, Elizabeth Dibble, the former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs ad Elizabeth Jones, the acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau Near Eastern Affairs.

It was revealed during a House oversight hearing on the Benghazi attack that Jones had told the Libyan ambassador in the days following the attack that Islamic terrorists were behind it. Jones had sent out that information to nearly all top State Department officials. But just days later, Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the U.N., said on a round of talk shows that the attack was prompted by an anti-muslim video circulating on YouTube.

Issa said he is issuing the subpoenas because he has not been able to interview the four officials.

“These persistent delays create the appearance that the Department is dragging its feet to slow down the Committee’s investigation,” Issa wrote in the letter to Kerry. “It does not require weeks of preparation to answer questions truthfully. These delays also take us further in time away from the dates of the events in question.”

Issa said congressional investigators nearly two months ago sent a list of 13 State Department officials they want to interview, but have been so far provided access to just one official.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

IRS Officials In Washington Targeted Conservatives, California Offices Now Involved

IRS Officials In Washington Were Involved In Targeting Of Conservative Groups – Washington Post

Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea-party-affiliated groups, the documents show.

.

IRS employees in Cincinnati told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.

Lois G. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, told reporters Friday that the “absolutely inappropriate” actions were undertaken by “front-line people” working in Cincinnati to target groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.

In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed a lawyer representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in Washington and California sent conservative groups detailed questionnaires about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.

“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.

Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ­(TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.

Then-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee who stepped down in November, received a briefing from the TIGTA about what was happening in the Cincinnati office in May 2012, the aides said. His deputy and the agency’s current acting commissioner, Steven T. Miller, also learned about the matter that month, the aides said.

The officials did not share details with Republican lawmakers who had been demanding to know whether the IRS was targeting conservative groups, Republicans said.

“I wrote to the IRS three times last year after hearing concerns that conservative groups were being targeted,” Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Monday. “In response to the first letter I sent with some of my colleagues, Steven Miller, the current Acting IRS Commissioner, responded that these groups weren’t being targeted.”

“Knowing what we know now,” he added, “the IRS was at best being far from forth coming, or at worst, being deliberately dishonest with Congress.”

In a news conference Monday, President Obama said he learned of the investigating in media reports on Friday and has “no patience with it.”

“If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on, and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous,” Obama said. “And there’s no place for it. And they have to be held fully accountable.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday that the White House counsel’s office learned of an upcoming IRS inspector general’s report on April 22 as part of a routine notification but had not received access to the report.

On Capitol Hill, two Senate panels – the Finance Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations – announced Monday that they will investigate. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Ways and Means Committee have been looking into reports of IRS attempts to single out organizations on the right for heightened scrutiny. Ways and Means has called IRS officials to testify Friday.

“These actions by the IRS are an outrageous abuse of power and a breach of the public’s trust,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). “The IRS will now be the ones put under additional scrutiny.”

Separately, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) introduced companion bills Monday that would require the IRS to fire any employee found “willfully” violating “the constitutional rights of a taxpayer,” according to statements by both lawmakers. The bills also would make them criminally liable for their actions.

Even as Obama vowed that his administration “will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this,” however, the IRS offered no new information on how it selected which groups to single out for scrutiny.

The White House is legally barred from contacting the IRS about a tax matter, under a prohibition adopted after the Watergate scandal. And although it can contact the Treasury Department about tax issues, neither Treasury nor the IRS can disclose specific taxpayer information. The IRS can release information about a petition for tax-exempt status only after it has been approved.

Obama is not in a position to remove Lerner, a career official who can be terminated for cause only under normal civil service proceedings. The IRS has two political appointees: the commissioner, who serves a five-year term, and the chief counsel.

As the IRS came under broader political attack Monday, more details surfaced on how the exempt-organizations division struggled to determine which nonprofits should receive “social welfare” status after the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. That decision, which allowed corporations and unions to raise and spend un­limited amounts of money on elections, opened the door for groups to accept undisclosed contributions as long as their “primary purpose” was not politics.

In a Jan. 9, 2012, letter to the Richmond Tea Party, IRS specialist Stephen Seok asked questions including “the names of the donors, contributors and grantors,” as well as the size of the contributions and grants, and when they were given.

Richmond Tea Party President Larry Nordvig, whose group applied for tax-exempt status in December 2009 and received it in July 2012, said the extended inquiry had “a very chilling effect” on how much money the group could raise because its donors preferred anonymity.

The Wetumpka Tea Party of Alabama experienced a two-year delay after submitting its initial application.

Becky Gerritson, a 44-year-old stay-at-home mother and the group’s president, said the IRS sent a questionnaire asking for the names of all volunteers, donor identification and contribution amounts, the names of any legislators its members had communicated with directly or indirectly, and the contents of all speeches its members had made, among a long list of other details.

“I was outraged,” Gerritson said. “Being an election year, I felt like it was intimidation.”

The group did not provide the information. Approval came only after the group sought help from the American Center for Law and Justice, which threatened a lawsuit against the IRS, Gerritson said.

Although some of the groups were explicitly labeled “tea party” or “patriot,” others that came under intense scrutiny were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act – known by many as Obamacare – or the integrity of federal elections.

In a June 3, 2011, letter to the IRS, Mitchell questioned the agency’s motivations for delaying recognition of one of her clients who had filed nearly two years earlier, writing, “Is the [group’s] opposition to Obamacare and the takeover of America’s healthcare system by the government the reason that this application has been held up and not approved?”

Catherine Engelbrecht, president of the Houston-based True the Vote, first filed for tax-exempt status in July 2010. At one point, Engelbrecht – who is still awaiting a determination from the IRS regarding her voting rights organization and a separate tea party group, King Street Patriots – said an IRS employee informed her: “I’m just doing what Washington is telling me to do. I’m just asking what they want me to ask.”

The IRS did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

.
Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Democrat Officials Convicted Of Fraud In Getting Obama, Clinton On 2008 Indiana Ballot

Dem Officials Convicted of Fraud In Getting Obama, Clinton On 2008 Ballot – Big Government

In 2008, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton got on the ballot illegally in the presidential primary in Indiana. On Thursday, two Democratic political operatives were convicted on all counts relating to the scheme.

.

Former St. Joseph County Democratic party Chairman Butch Morgan Jr. was found guilty of felony conspiracy counts to commit petition fraud and forgery, and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe was found guilty of felony forgery counts and falsely making a petition. It was apparently a plan hatched by Morgan, who told Democratic officials and workers to fake the names and signatures on petitions so Obama and Clinton would be eligible for the state ballot. Blythe forged scores of names on the petitions.

Former Board of Registration worker Lucas Burkett was originally part of the scheme but then quit; he waited three years before he came clean with the plan. Meanwhile, Obama and Clinton, who both could have been thrown off the ballot if the petitions had been challenged, marched merrily on.

In Indiana, presidential candidates need 500 signatures from each of the state’s nine congressional districts to qualify for the ballot. With the help of the illegal plot, both candidates managed to garner enough signatures in St. Joseph County, which is the 2nd Congressional district; Obama netted 534 signatures, Clinton, 704.

An Indiana State Police investigator said the police perused the Obama petitions and, “selected names at random from each of the petition pages and contacted those people directly. We found at least one person (and often multiple people) from each page who confirmed that they had not signed petitions or given consent for their name and/or signature to appear.” The audacity of the forgers was so great that they even forged the signature of Joe Kernan, a former governor of the state.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Trial Begins For Officials Accused In Obama, Clinton Ballot Petition Fraud

Trial Begins For Officials Accused In Obama, Clinton Ballot Petition Fraud – Fox News

The trial is underway for a former Democratic official and a Board of Elections worker who are accused of being part of a plot that has raised questions over whether President Obama’s campaign – when he was a candidate in 2008 – submitted enough legitimate signatures to have legally qualified for the presidential primary ballot.

.

The two face charges of orchestrating an illegal scheme to fake the petitions that enabled then-candidates Obama, and Hillary Clinton, to qualify for the race in Indiana.

Former longtime St. Joseph County Democratic Party Chairman Butch Morgan Jr. faces multiple felony conspiracy counts to commit petition fraud, and former county Board of Elections worker Dustin Blythe is charged with nine felony forgery counts and one felony count of falsely making a petition of nomination. The proceedings began Monday in South Bend.

Morgan is accused of being the mastermind behind the plot, by allegedly ordering Democratic officials and workers to fake the names and signatures that Obama and Clinton needed to qualify for the presidential race. Blythe, then a Board of Elections employee and Democratic Party volunteer, has been accused of carrying out those orders by forging signatures on Obama’s petitions.

Two former Board of Elections officials have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme and could testify against Morgan and Blythe.

Former board worker Beverly Shelton, who allegedly was assigned the task of forging the petitions for Hillary Clinton, pleaded guilty in March to charges of forgery and falsely making a petition. The board’s former Democratic head of voter registration, Pam Brunette, pleaded guilty in April to felony forgery, official misconduct, and falsifying a petition.

The alleged scheme was hatched in January of 2008, according to affidavits from investigators who cite former Board of Registration worker Lucas Burkett, who told them he was in on the plan at first, but then became uneasy and quit. He waited three years before telling authorities about it, but if revelations about any forgeries were raised during the election, the petitions could have been challenged during the contest. Any candidate who did not qualify with enough legitimate signatures at the time could have been bounced from the ballot.

The Indiana trial has raised questions about whether in 2008, candidate Obama actually submitted enough legitimate signatures to have legally qualified.

Under state law, presidential candidates need to qualify for the primary ballots with 500 signatures from each of the state’s nine congressional districts. Indiana election officials say that in St. Joseph County, which is the 2nd Congressional District, the Obama campaign qualified with 534 signatures; Clinton’s camp had 704.

Prosecutors say that in Obama’s case, nine of the petition pages were apparently forged. Each petition contains up to 10 names, making a possible total of 90 names, which, if faked, could have brought the Obama total below the legal limit required to qualify. Prosecutors say 13 Clinton petitions were apparently forged, meaning up to 130 possibly fake signatures. Even if 130 signatures had been challenged, it would have still left Clinton with enough signatures to meet the 500-person threshold.

An Indiana State Police investigator said in court papers that the agency examined the suspect Obama petitions and “selected names at random from each of the petition pages and contacted those people directly. We found at least one person (and often multiple people) from each page who confirmed that they had not signed” petitions “or given consent for their name and/or signature to appear.” The case was charged citing 20 forgeries – not the total number of possible fake entries – because that was considered a sufficient amount to prosecute.

Numerous voters told Fox News that they never signed the petitions.

“That’s not my signature,” Charity Rorie, a mother of four, told Fox News when showed the Obama petition with her name and signature. She said it “absolutely” was a fake.

Charity told Fox News that her husband’s entry was also a forgery, and that they have not been contacted by investigators or any authorities looking into the scandal.

“It’s scary, it’s shocking. It definitely is illegal. A lot of people have already lost faith in politics and the whole realm of politics, so that just solidifies our worries and concerns.”

Robert Hunter, Jr. said his name was faked, too.

“I did not sign for Barack Obama,” he told us. As he examined the Obama petition in his hands, Hunter pointed out that “I always put ‘Junior’ after my name, every time… there’s no ‘Junior’ there.”

Even a former Democratic Governor of Indiana, Joe Kernan, told Fox News that his name was forged.

The allegations were first uncovered by Indiana native and Yale University senior Ryan Nees, who wrote about the revelations for the political newsletter, Howey Politics Indiana.

“What’s worrisome about this scheme is that it wasn’t a single bad actor going rogue. Rather, four people were charged as co-conspirators, and two of the four have already pleaded guilty,” Nees told Fox News.

Nees believes that had the petitions been challenged during the presidential election, “it’s unlikely either candidate would have qualified for the ballot.”

He said the fraud was clearly evident, “because page after page of signatures are all in the same handwriting.” He noted that no one raised any red flags “because election workers in charge of verifying their validity were the same people faking the signatures.”

Both Morgan and Blythe have pleaded not guilty, and when approached by Fox News in 2011, Blythe refused to talk about the case.

Morgan’s attorney declined our request for an interview, and Blythe’s attorney has not responded to our efforts for comment.

The petition process is vital to candidates’ campaigns.

In the 2012 presidential race, Republican candidate Newt Gingrich was tripped up by that process in Virginia. He failed to qualify for the GOP primary ballot in that state, because authorities said hundreds of signatures on his campaign’s petitions were faked. A Gingrich campaign worker has pleaded guilty, and another still faces charges.

Petition fraud also cost Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter his public office. McCotter, who also ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, has accused former campaign workers of intentionally faking his congressional primary race petition signatures. The result was that McCotter did not submit the legal number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, and that failure forced him to resign his congressional seat last July. While McCotter was not implicated in any wrongdoing, two former campaign aides pleaded no contest to criminal charges, and one pleaded guilty.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.