Tag: Records

Federal Judge: Hitlery’s Email Stories “Constantly Shifting” – Obama Regime Showed “Bad Faith” Providing Records

Hillary Clinton Email Stories ‘Constantly Shifting,’ Judge Says – Washington Times

.

.
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her State Department colleagues have given “constantly shifting” stories about her secret email account, a federal judge said Tuesday, finding there’s evidence the Obama administration showed “bad faith” in how it followed open-records laws.

Judge Royce C. Lamberth said it remains to be seen whether the government did try to obfuscate matters, but said there’s at least enough smoke that Judicial Watch, the conservative interest group suing to get a look at all of Mrs. Clinton’s records, should be allowed to press for more details about how the State Department made its decisions.

“Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the government and the former government officials,” Judge Lamberth said.

Mrs. Clinton declined to use a State.gov email account during her term as secretary, instead using an email account tied to a server she kept at her home in New York.

All of her messages that concerned official business were supposed to be archived by the State Department, but she kept them, only returning them in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office and only at the prompting of the House committee probing the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.

That meant that during her four years in office and nearly two years afterward, the State Department was not searching those documents in response to open-records requests from Congress or the public.

Last month, the State Department finally finished processing more than 30,000 pages of Mrs. Clinton’s emails and made them public on the department’s Freedom of Information Act web page – a mammoth undertaking that has put a treasure trove of information in the public’s eye.

Judicial Watch and others argue that some 30,000 other messages Mrs. Clinton sent from her secret address during her time in office, but which she has deemed private business, should also be reviewed by the government.

The State Department told Judge Lamberth it never misled the public because it never said it was searching Mrs. Clinton’s emails in the first place. The department said that meant it wasn’t acting in bad faith when it responded to open-records requests.

Judge Lamberth, though, said more evidence is needed before those conclusions can be reached.

“The government argues that this does not show a lack of good faith, but that is what remains to be seen, and the factual record must be developed appropriately in order for this court to make that determination,” he said in a brief ruling.

The Justice Department declined to comment on Judge Lamberth’s ruling, which marks the third legal black eye for the Obama administration in recent weeks.

Last week, a federal appeals court said the Justice Department was turning the law on its head to protect the IRS from taxpayers, rather than to protect taxpayers from the IRS.

And another judge issued a “show cause” order demanding to know why the government appeared to conceal documents in an open-records case brought against a top Obama climate adviser. Judge Amit Mehta, who serves on the district court in Washington, D.C., along with Judge Lamberth, raised the possibility of punishing the administration for its actions.

Judge Lamberth’s decision Tuesday joins that of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, also in the district court in Washington, who earlier this year granted discovery in another case brought by Judicial Watch against the State Department.

Judge Sullivan even said he was inclined to order the State Department to demand all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails – including the 30,000 or so messages she said were private business, not public records, that she sent from her secret account during her time in office.

Judge Lamberth said he’ll wait to see what Judge Sullivan decides before moving ahead with discovery in his own case.

.

.

‘Veterans For A Strong America’ Suing State Department Over Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Records (Video)

This Veterans Group Is Suing The State Department Over Clinton’s Benghazi Records – Daily Caller

.

.
The group Veterans for a Strong America plans to sue the State Department over a Freedom of Information Action request it filed for Hillary Clinton’s emails and phone logs from the days before and after the attack at Benghazi.

Joel Arends, the group’s chairman and founder, has brought on Mark Zaid, an attorney who specializes in national security and FOIA litigation cases, to handle the lawsuit.

Arends filed a FOIA request in July 2014 for Clinton’s emails and phone logs for around the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

“We didn’t embark on a fishing expedition,” Arends told The Daily Caller. “All that we want are the records from the night before and the day after [Benghazi].”

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed during that attack.

Arends said his group filed the FOIA request to obtain information to use in a book “What Difference Does It Make?” The title is borrowed from a question Clinton asked during a January 2013 Senate hearing on Benghazi.

Arends set out to write the book for veterans to find out “what it would mean to them if they knew their government or their chain of command was not going to come to their aid or assistance when there’s resources or assets available, similar to what happened in Benghazi.”

“We want to know who she was talking to, what kind of command and control she had, what kind of situational awareness she had,” Arends told TheDC.

Finding out how Clinton immediately reacted to news of the Benghazi is crucial given Clinton’s likely presidential bid, Arends asserted.

“It’s fair game to know what kind of commander-in-chief she’s going to be.”

“Was she talking to President Clinton? Was she talking to a PR crisis team? Because if she making those kind of phone calls it means that that was time wasted or time that she could have been talking to the State Department crisis communications team.”

Clinton turned over 55,000 emails from her personal email account to the State Department in December. Around 300 of those were given to a House committee investigating the Benghazi attack.

That committee, headed by South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, has subpoenaed Clinton’s emails.

Arends said that like everyone at the time, when he filed his FOIA request he had no idea Clinton exclusively sent private emails that were routed through a private server she had set up in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home.

In light of that revelation, “the most prudent thing to do is to seize that server so that we can make sure that we’re getting all of the documents,” Arends said.

Getting control of that server is crucial because the emails Clinton has turned over to State so far were selected by her and her staff.

“It shouldn’t be up to her staff, given the lack of credibility that they have, to determine what gets turned over and what doesn’t,” Arends said.

Zaid, whose most famous case was a successful lawsuit against the Libyan government on behalf of the families killed in the Pan Am 103 flight over Lockerbie, said that the FOIA lawsuit could force a court to confront “grey areas” regarding how federal agencies manage officials’ records.

“The State Department, if they decline to search for telephone records that might reveal what the Secretary did on certain days because she was on her home phone, that explanation may set off a chain reaction elsewhere to Trey Gowdy’s special committee where he subpoenas the phone records,” Zaid told TheDC.

“If we go to court we can certainly dispute what constitutes an agency record,” he added.

With the lawsuit, Veterans for a Strong America joins the government watchdog Judicial Watch and The Associated Press in challenging the State Department over its handling of FOIA request for Clinton documents.

.

.

.

Corruption Update: Obama State Department Won’t Say How Missing Records For $6B Were Stored

State Department Won’t Say How Missing Records For $6 Billion Were Stored – American Thinker

.

.
A spokesperson for the State Department refuses to say if any missing contract files from March 2008 – March 2014 were stored electronically.

The American Thinker began covering the case of the missing records for $6 billion on April 5, 2014, soon after the State Department’s Office of Inspector General released two unclassified memos dated March 20, 2014.

Several news media outlets also covered the missing State Department records in early April, but, to date, there’s been little, if any, follow-up to the story. In short, it’s off the mainstream media radar.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

The fact that Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State for four of the six years covered by the missing files may explain the reluctance of the State Department to answer simple, factual inquiries about the missing records.

On September 14, 2014, the American Thinker followed-up its April 2014 story noting this quote from a Department of State spokesperson who asked to remain anonymous:

“At this time, the Department continues to work on the issues raised by the OIG in its audit and to improve its file management. We are in regular communication with the OIG [Office of Inspector General] to update them on our progress.”

Does “work on the issues” mean trying to locate the missing records? Or just cleaning up the accounting processes per. the OIG’s recommendations?

Below is a subsequent email thread, in sequence from September 16-22, which involved the anonymous spokesperson as well as three officials in the OIG (Office of the Inspector General). Names and email addresses are deleted.

From: Lee Cary
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 2:25 PM
To: Spokesperson, Department of State
Cc: OIC Official #1 @state.gov; OIC Official #2 @state.gov; OIC Official#3 @state.gov
Subject: Media Query 9/16/14

Spokesperson’s name deleted,

Press Officer & Spokesperson

United States Department of State

202.____-____

Re. “Specifically, over the past 6 years, OIG has identified Department of State (Department) contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all.” (Statement in first paragraph of March 20, 2014 document, “Management Alert Contract File Management Deficiencies”)

Name deleted,

I hope this finds you well.

Two questions:

1. Do the incomplete and/or missing files represent paper and/or electronic documents?

2. If one or more of the incomplete or missing files are electronic files, are the electronic back-ups of the original documents equally incomplete and/or missing?

Thank you.

Lee Cary

Writer for the American Thinker website

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: Spokesperson, Department of State

Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 1:29 PM

To: Lee Cary

Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14

Lee – I’ll see what I have for you, Name deleted

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: Lee Cary
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:45 AM
To: State Department spokesperson
Subject: Re: Media Query 9/16/14

Thank you, name deleted. Standing by,

Lee

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: State Department Spokesperson

Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:36 PM

To: Lee Cary

Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14

This is to be attributed on background from a State Department official:

(1) Reports that there is $6 billion that can’t be accounted for are grossly inaccurate. The OIG’s March 2014 management alert noted that there were a number of incomplete files for our contracts, and those contracts’ cumulative value is $6 billion. As highlighted in our response to the OIG, this is an issue of which the Department is aware and IS taking steps to remedy. It is a paperwork issue, not an accounting issue.

Thanks, Name deleted.

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: Lee Cary
Date: Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM
TO: State Department Spokesperson

Cc: Official #1 @state.gov; OIC Official #2 @state.gov; OIC Official#3 @state.gov; Lee Cary

Subject: Re: Media Query 9/16/14

Name deleted – Thank you for your response. It will, as before, be “attributed on background… etc.” when quoted.

The $6 billion was mentioned in the OIG’s March 20, 2014 memo as: “contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all.”

I do not infer from the OIG’s memo that 6 billion dollars are missing, but, clearly, some degree of accounting for monies is missing, per. the OIG memo.

So…

Q.1. In general terms, what is the content of the missing information that is absent partially, and in some cases totally, from the subject contract files?

I don’t understand your response re. “paperwork issue” and “accounting issue.” On its face, the language (paperwork) designates the means of information storage/conveyance, while “accounting” logically pertains to the general content of the subject content – as in an accumulation of numbers. Numbers on paper would mean both the means of information and its general content.

Q.2. With respect, I repeat and expand my previous query: Are there any missing electronic files, in part or in full? If so, how many “contract files” are totally missing, and what is the approximate, total expenditures involved in those electronic files that are totally missing?

Name deleted, if you are unable to answer my queries, please forwarding me to someone who can/will do so.

Thanks, Lee Cary

Writer for the American Thinker website

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: Lee Cary

Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:26 PM
To: OIG Official #1 @state.gov
Cc: AT editor
Subject: Fw: Media Query 9/16/14

Name deleted,

The questions below are simple [previous email was attached], direct and, it would seem, merely a matter of fact.

So why am I having so much trouble getting a straight answer from the Department of State spokesperson?

Can you enlighten me, sir.

Lee Cary

Writer for American Thinker website

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: OIG Official #1

Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 12:34 PM

To: Lee Cary

Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14

Lee:

If you feel the response doesn’t answer your question, you may want to elevate your inquiry over at the Department to the senior press officer or director.

The main number for Press relations is 202-647-2492 (PAPress2@state.gov).

Name deleted

Signature block deleted

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: Lee Cary
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:54 PM
To: PAPress@state.gov
Cc: OIG Official #1
Subject: Fw: Media Query 9/16/14

Senior Press Officer or Director (see referral below):

I am having no success getting responses to what are two simple and, I believe, clear factual questions that don’t require detailed, confidential information.

Perhaps someone there can help me.

The context for these questions is below:

Q.1. In general terms, what is the content of the missing information that is absent partially, and in some cases totally, from the subject contract files?

Q.2. With respect, I repeat and expand my previous query: Are there any missing electronic files, in part or in full? If so, how many “contract files” are totally missing, and what is the approximate, total expenditures involved in those electronic files that are totally missing?

Thank you.

Lee Cary

Writer for the American Thinker website

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

Note: A query to the PAPress2@state.gov yielded only the following response.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

From: State Department Spokesperson

Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:08 PM

To: Lee Cary

Cc: OIG Official #1

Subject: RE: Media Query 9/16/14

Hi Lee – This is not for attribution and please do not print my name:

I have responded to your requests, and we have nothing further for you from the press office. You are welcome to FOIA the State Department for the information you seek. The FOIA process is laid out here: http://foia.state.gov, as it is an office separate from the press office and OIG.

Hope this is helpful and take care,

Name deleted,

This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

The failure of a government agency to answer questions is not an admission of guilt, nor necessarily evidence of any malfeasance or violation of any law(s).

But it is curious when the information requested and denied is, on its face, a matter of a simple, physical fact.

So why the unwillingness to identify the missing contract files as having been stored in part, or in total, electronically?

It raises this question: Is this now the fourth instance of significant electronically stored information having conveniently gone missing inside a major government agency? (1) The Department of Justice’s Fast & Furious operation. (2) The IRS scandal. (3) The Department of State’s Benghazi episode. And now this: (4) “contract files” representing $6,000,000,000 of Department of State expenditures are missing in part, or are completely missing.

The clear emphasis in the Office of Inspector General’s memos (linked above) is on the Department of State’s need to improve its accounting procedures. Is there even an effort underway to track and retrieve the missing information concerning $6 billion of expenditures?

Who is in charge of that effort, if it exists?

Are we to believe that there were/are no back-up copies of the missing contract files?

How far has the searched progressed, if there even is a search underway?

What did those expenditures buy?

And just what did happen to the documentation that’s missing? Any clues after six months?

Sandy Berger probably didn’t stuff paper files or hard drives into his socks and walk out of Foggy Bottom with the missing files.

This story does not deserve to die, but it’s headed in that direction.

.

.

VA Employees Destroyed Veterans’ Medical Records To Cancel Backlogged Exam Requests (Audio)

Department Of Veterans Affairs Employees Destroyed Veterans’ Medical Records To Cancel Backlogged Exam Requests – Daily Caller

Employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) destroyed veterans’ medical files in a systematic attempt to eliminate backlogged veteran medical exam requests, a former VA employee told The Daily Caller.

.

.
Audio of an internal VA meeting obtained by TheDC confirms that VA officials in Los Angeles intentionally canceled backlogged patient exam requests.

“The committee was called System Redesign and the purpose of the meeting was to figure out ways to correct the department’s efficiency. And one of the issues at the time was the backlog,” Oliver Mitchell, a Marine veteran and former patient services assistant in the VA Greater Los Angeles Medical Center, told TheDC.

“We just didn’t have the resources to conduct all of those exams. Basically we would get about 3,000 requests a month for [medical] exams, but in a 30-day period we only had the resources to do about 800. That rolls over to the next month and creates a backlog,” Mitchell said. ”It’s a numbers thing. The waiting list counts against the hospitals efficiency. The longer the veteran waits for an exam that counts against the hospital as far as productivity is concerned.”

By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.

VA Greater Los Angeles Radiology department chief Dr. Suzie El-Saden initiated an “ongoing discussion in the department” to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist, thus reducing the backlog, Mitchell said.

Audio from a November 2008 meeting obtained by TheDC depicts VA Greater Los Angeles officials plotting to cancel backlogged exam requests.

“I’m still canceling orders from 2001,” said a male official in the meeting.

“Anything over a year old should be canceled,” replied a female official.

“Canceled or scheduled?” asked the male official.

“Canceled… Your backlog should start at April ’07,” the female official replied, later adding, ”a lot of those patients either had their studies somewhere else, had their surgery… died, don’t live in the state… It’s ridiculous.”

Listen:

.

.
El-Saden, according to Mitchell, was “the person who said destroy the records.” And her plan was actually carried out during the Obama administration’s management of VA.

“That actually happened,” Mitchell said. “We had that discussion in November 2008 and then in March 2009 they started to delete the exams. Once you cancel or delete an order it automatically cancels out that record” so that no record of the exam requests remained.

Mitchell tried to blow the whistle on the scheme and ended up being transferred out of his department and eventually losing his job.

“I actually filed a complaint with the VA [Inspector General] IG and the office of special counsel. The IG requested if I had any documentation. They wanted names. I gave them [about] a thousand names,” Mitchell said. ”The list I turned into the IG went all the way back to 1997.”

“I filed the initial complaint with the IG… The IG instead of doing their own investigation just gave it to the facility and made them aware of my complaint.”

Mitchell eventually wrote to Congress about the issue in January 2011. Two months later, in March 2011, he was fired.

Mitchell received an April 30, 2013 letter from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel stating that OIG found in November 2009 that “all imaging services across the country were instructed to mass purge all outstanding imaging orders for studies older than six months, where the procedure was no longer needed” and that “patient imaging requests found to still be valid were scheduled… Approval was granted for this process by the MEC [Medical Executive Committee], and in collaboration with the Service Chiefs and/or Careline Directors within the health-care system.”

But Mitchell said that in Los Angeles, exam requests that were found to still be needed were “definitely” destroyed.

“The IG’s report said this was a nationwide issue, but I know when we were having our meeting we weren’t talking nationwide – we were talking about our department,” Mitchell said.

“It is the general policy of OSC not to transmit an allegation of wrongdoing to the head of the agency involved, where the agency’s OIG or its delegate, is currently investigating or has investigated, the same allegations. Consequently, this office will take no further action concerning this allegation,” according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel letter.

“That was an excuse” and part of a “cover-up,” Mitchell said.

“I’ve actually filed a lawsuit against them” for wrongful termination and another complaint, Mitchell said. “I filed it in district court in August of last year. It was accepted in September. The court dismissed it and wants me to amend the complaint with additional facts. I’m turning that in this week.”

VA did not return repeated requests for comment. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System did not return a request for comment and for an interview with Dr. El-Saden.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Records Of Christine O’Donnell Tax Snooping Disappear

Records Of Christine O’Donnell Tax Snooping Disappear – Washington Times

Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

.

The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.

“It is an active investigation now,” Ms. O’Donnell told The Washington Times after meeting with the same Treasury agent who first informed her in January that her tax records were improperly accessed.

She declined to be more specific about what the agent questioned her about in Tuesday’s session.

But Mr. Grassley, an Iowa Republican who serves on the Judiciary and Finance committees, said he was concerned by the information Delaware state officials shared with his investigators.

Specifically, Mr. Grassley’s staff was told that a Delaware state investigator asked for and received permission from his boss on a Saturday to access Ms. O’Donnell’s tax records based on a local newspaper article about a civil lien. The lien, it turned, out was issued erroneously.

Mr. Grassley said he was concerned that a simple newspaper article that alleged no criminal wrongdoing could be used to pierce one of America’s most protected privacies, tax information.

He is pressing for more information on what safeguards the IRS is using to stop such snooping and whether the system used by Delaware state officials may amount to an unmonitored back door into confidential IRS tax records.

“The state says it looked at Ms. O’Donnell’s federal records because of a newspaper article describing a federal tax lien against her,” Mr. Grassley said. “Does the state look at every taxpayer who faces a federal lien or only those who happen to appear in a newspaper article? Is it routine for a state employee to email his boss about looking at a taxpayer’s records on a Saturday, when the article appeared? It’s hard to evaluate what happened in the O’Donnell case without answering these questions, and I’ll continue to work to get more information.”

Mr. Grassley’s staff also was told that Delaware officials do not think they kept any of the computerized records showing when their investigators accessed Ms. O’Donnell’s tax records because such searches are stored for only three months before they are deleted or destroyed.

The access was believed to have occurred in March 2010, the same month Ms. O’Donnell formally launched her Senate campaign that shocked the Delaware establishment by defeating Republican favorite Michael Castle in the primary election.

“So far, it appears the department destroys the access records after a short amount of time,” Mr. Grassley said. “That’s puzzling. Unless the IRS has a back-up, and I hope the IRS does, there’s no way to know how and when Delaware state employees accessed Christine O’Donnell’s federal tax records.”

Mr. Grassley also noted that if records are routinely destroyed, this also would cast doubt on the state explanations.

“If the records were destroyed, it’s also hard for the state to support its statement that its record access occurred only in response to a public report, and not before,” he said.

The timing of when Ms. O’Donnell’s records were accessed remains in dispute. Even though they claim to have no records, Delaware state officials have said they believed the access occurred on March 20, 2010, only after a public story about the IRS lien against Ms. O’Donnell was published.

But Ms. O’Donnell told The Times last week that when investigators alerted her in January that her confidential tax records were breached three years ago, they told her the date was March 9, 2010.

That date was the same day Ms. O’Donnell scheduled a news conference to announce her Senate run. It’s also the same date the IRS admitted the lien against her was mistakenly generated by a computer and sent to Delaware.

The Times reported last week that the Treasury inspector general for tax administration had discovered at least four cases in which a candidate’s or donor’s tax information was inappropriately searched.

In one case, the investigator said the violation was willful and referred it to the Justice Department, which declined to pursue the case.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said last week he was baffled that the Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly pried into tax records of a political candidate or donor, and that there should be a way for victims to know their rights have been violated.

Delaware state officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Patrick Carter, director of the state’s division of revenue, said last week that they believe employee “properly conducted a review of federal tax records.” Mr. Carter identified the employee as David Smith, an auditor.

“A state Division of Revenue investigator accessed records on or after March 20, 2010, following information that came to the attention of the division,” Mr. Carter said in a statement. “The record access led the state revenue investigator to conclude there was no basis for further state investigation of a taxpayer and no action was taken by the state Division of Revenue against the taxpayer.”

He said that his division reviewed the accessing in December and “again found state access of the records of the taxpayer was part of a typical review and was not improper.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

State Department Hired An Alarming Number Of Agents With Criminal Records

State Department Has Hired Agents With Criminal Records, Memo Reveals – New York Post

The State Department has hired an alarming number of law-enforcement agents with criminal or checkered backgrounds because of a flawed hiring process, a stunning memo obtained by The Post reveals.

The background problems are severe enough that many of the roughly 2,000 agents in State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security can play only limited roles in agency efforts to police bad conduct and prosecute wrongdoers.

The problems in the bureau are the latest revelation in an exploding scandal that also involves accusations that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s security detail and those of the US ambassador to Belgium solicited prostitutes overseas.

.

A whistleblower charges that State tried to cover up multiple scandals by removing them from an inspector general’s report.

“Department intakes of new… officers since the hiring surge a decade ago have reportedly been flawed, with ‘mitigation’ of troubling histories including criminal matters,” according to a December 2012 memo to State Deputy Inspector General Harold Geisel from a team leader in the IG’s Office.

The memo goes on to state that the troubling backgrounds can pose a problem if the agents are needed to testify at trials to assist prosecutors.

“Too many people entering the [Diplomatic Security and Information Management] communities end up as subjects of [Special Investigation Division] investigations and HR adjudications, become Giglio-impaired and can play only limited roles thereafter,” according to the memo.

“Giglio” refers to a US Supreme Court case dealing with jury notification that witnesses have made deals with the government to induce testimony.

Some Diplomatic Security field offices “have major problems just waiting to be discovered,” the memo adds.

An IG spokesman said he couldn’t comment on internal documents, but State has said it prosecutes misconduct, and that the internal draft reports contain “unsubstantiated information.”

A 2012 letter to State’s labor-management negotiator from the union for foreign-service agents, also obtained by The Post, asserts a pattern of “questionable tactics and unprofessional conduct” by Diplomatic Security agents.

In one case, aggressive interrogation techniques by Diplomatic Service agents drove an employee to attempt suicide when accused of raping his maid in Bangkok, Thailand, the memo suggests. The employee maintained the sex was consensual.

But after “being told he would end up in a Thai prison, his wife would lose her job and his children would be pulled out of school, [the man] attempted suicide by jumping out of the 16th-story window at a hotel in Bangkok,” said the memo.

“Fortunately, he landed on a tarp on the 10th floor and sustained minor injuries.”“It depends on what team you’re on, whether they like you or not,” he said.

The man was flown back to Washington for in-patient psychiatric care, where the agents continued to harass him, the union charged. The rape charges were ultimately dropped.

The memo sites eight cases involving Diplomatic Security agents who resort to “false, misleading or incomplete statements in reports,” “privacy-act violations” or “lack of objectivity” in investigations.

Cary Schulman, lawyer for former IG investigator-turned-whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, said Diplomatic Security agents are “wrongfully overly pursuing some people” but letting other have a “free pass.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

*VIDEO* Say, Remember When Joe Biden Thought Government Collection Of Phone Records Was A Bad Idea?


.

FBI Requests For Records Under Patriot Act Have Increased 1,000% In Just Four Years

FBI Requests For Records Under Patriot Act Have Increased 1,000% In Just Four Years; Update: Data-Mining Goes Deeper Than Thought? – Hot Air

It’s not just the number of requests, it’s the scope of them. They’re not demanding records related to particular investigations anymore, they’re demanding huge troves of records on random Americans for data-mining purposes, the same thing Patriot Act co-author Jim Sensenbrenner complained about a few days ago but somehow didn’t foresee in 2001.

.

Like I said, you might want to re-poll Bush’s numbers.

“That they were using this (provision) to do mass collection of data is definitely the biggest surprise,” said Robert Chesney, a top national security lawyer at the University of Texas Law School. “Most people who followed this closely were not aware they were doing this. We’ve gone from producing records for a particular investigation to the production of all records for a massive pre-collection database. It’s incredibly sweeping.”…

[I]n the years since [2003], the FBI’s use of Section 215 quietly exploded, with virtually no public notice or debate. In 2009, as part of an annual report to Congress, the Justice Department reported there had been 21 applications for business records to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 215 – all of which were granted, though nine were modified by the court. (The reports do not explain how or why the orders were modified.)

In 2010, the number of requests jumped to 205 (all again granted, with 176 modified.) In the latest report filed on April 30, the department reported there had been 212 such requests in 2012 – all approved by the court, but 200 of them modified.

These sharp increase in the use of Section 215 has drawn little attention until now because the number of national security letters (NSLs) issued by the bureau has been so much greater – 15,229 in 2012. But FBI Director Mueller, in little-noticed written responses to Congress two years ago, explained that the bureau was encountering resistance from telecommunications companies in turning over “electronic communication transaction” records in response to national security letters.

Google, Facebook, and the gang started to resist NSLs on grounds that they were dubious legally, so Mueller shifted to Section 215 and got back to squeezing them for more and more and more data. Hence Google’s new move, announced just this afternoon: To take some of the heat off itself and push it back onto the feds where it belongs, the company’s lawyer is asking the DOJ to let it publish the number – and scope – of FBI requests for records it receives each year. Right now it’s forbidden to say because Section 215 imposes a gag order on the target of the record request. If Google can’t legally resist complying, at least it can soothe its critics by revealing just how much pressure it’s under from the Most Transparent Administration Ever.

Exit question: This WaPo story is nothing more than a textbook pro-Obama leak authorized by the White House to take some heat off of him and maybe show the virtues of aggressive cyberwarfare, right?

Update: What does this mean?

A leading Republican senator on Tuesday described controversial U.S. spy programs as looking far deeper into Americans’ phone records than the Obama administration has been willing to admit, fueling new privacy concerns as Congress sought to defend the surveillance systems.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC., says the U.S. intelligence surveillance of phone records allows analysts to monitor U.S. phone records for a pattern of calls, even if those numbers have no known connection to terrorism.

Graham says the National Security Agency then matches phone numbers against known terrorists. Graham helped draft the surveillance law that governs the surveillance program.

In other words, they’re looking for patterns among the general population that match the phone patterns of people they’ve already identified as terrorists? So they’re not limiting themselves to targeting specific terrorist-linked numbers anymore, but suspicious “patterns” too?

Parting thought:

.
Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

NSA Collecting Phone Records Of Millions Of Verizon Customers Daily

NSA Collecting Phone Records Of Millions Of Verizon Customers Daily – The Guardian

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

The disclosure is likely to reignite longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.

Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.

The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets.

The Guardian approached the National Security Agency, the White House and the Department of Justice for comment in advance of publication on Wednesday. All declined. The agencies were also offered the opportunity to raise specific security concerns regarding the publication of the court order.

The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself.

“We decline comment,” said Ed McFadden, a Washington-based Verizon spokesman.

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compels Verizon to produce to the NSA electronic copies of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls”.

The order directs Verizon to “continue production on an ongoing daily basis thereafter for the duration of this order”. It specifies that the records to be produced include “session identifying information”, such as “originating and terminating number”, the duration of each call, telephone calling card numbers, trunk identifiers, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, and “comprehensive communication routing information”.

The information is classed as “metadata”, or transactional information, rather than communications, and so does not require individual warrants to access. The document also specifies that such “metadata” is not limited to the aforementioned items. A 2005 court ruling judged that cell site location data – the nearest cell tower a phone was connected to – was also transactional data, and so could potentially fall under the scope of the order.

While the order itself does not include either the contents of messages or the personal information of the subscriber of any particular cell number, its collection would allow the NSA to build easily a comprehensive picture of who any individual contacted, how and when, and possibly from where, retrospectively.

It is not known whether Verizon is the only cell-phone provider to be targeted with such an order, although previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks. It is also unclear from the leaked document whether the three-month order was a one-off, or the latest in a series of similar orders.

The court order appears to explain the numerous cryptic public warnings by two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, about the scope of the Obama administration’s surveillance activities.

For roughly two years, the two Democrats have been stridently advising the public that the US government is relying on “secret legal interpretations” to claim surveillance powers so broad that the American public would be “stunned” to learn of the kind of domestic spying being conducted.

Because those activities are classified, the senators, both members of the Senate intelligence committee, have been prevented from specifying which domestic surveillance programs they find so alarming. But the information they have been able to disclose in their public warnings perfectly tracks both the specific law cited by the April 25 court order as well as the vast scope of record-gathering it authorized.

Julian Sanchez, a surveillance expert with the Cato Institute, explained: “We’ve certainly seen the government increasingly strain the bounds of ‘relevance’ to collect large numbers of records at once – everyone at one or two degrees of separation from a target – but vacuuming all metadata up indiscriminately would be an extraordinary repudiation of any pretence of constraint or particularized suspicion.” The April order requested by the FBI and NSA does precisely that.

The law on which the order explicitly relies is the so-called “business records” provision of the Patriot Act, 50 USC section 1861. That is the provision which Wyden and Udall have repeatedly cited when warning the public of what they believe is the Obama administration’s extreme interpretation of the law to engage in excessive domestic surveillance.

In a letter to attorney general Eric Holder last year, they argued that “there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.”

“We believe,” they wrote, “that most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted” the “business records” provision of the Patriot Act.

Privacy advocates have long warned that allowing the government to collect and store unlimited “metadata” is a highly invasive form of surveillance of citizens’ communications activities. Those records enable the government to know the identity of every person with whom an individual communicates electronically, how long they spoke, and their location at the time of the communication.

Such metadata is what the US government has long attempted to obtain in order to discover an individual’s network of associations and communication patterns. The request for the bulk collection of all Verizon domestic telephone records indicates that the agency is continuing some version of the data-mining program begun by the Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attack.

The NSA, as part of a program secretly authorized by President Bush on 4 October 2001, implemented a bulk collection program of domestic telephone, internet and email records. A furore erupted in 2006 when USA Today reported that the NSA had “been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth” and was “using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity.” Until now, there has been no indication that the Obama administration implemented a similar program.

These recent events reflect how profoundly the NSA’s mission has transformed from an agency exclusively devoted to foreign intelligence gathering, into one that focuses increasingly on domestic communications. A 30-year employee of the NSA, William Binney, resigned from the agency shortly after 9/11 in protest at the agency’s focus on domestic activities.

In the mid-1970s, Congress, for the first time, investigated the surveillance activities of the US government. Back then, the mandate of the NSA was that it would never direct its surveillance apparatus domestically.

At the conclusion of that investigation, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho who chaired the investigative committee, warned: “The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.
——————————————————————————————————————————–
.

Related videos:

.
Holder Refuses To Answer If DOJ Monitored Phones From Members Of Congress – Weasel Zippers

.

.
——————————————————————————————————————————–
.

Flashback… Obama: We Will Not Monitor Citizens, Violate Civil Liberties In The Name of National Security – Breitbart

.

.

*VIDEO* AP Phone Records Scandal: Entire House Judiciary Committee Hearing – 05/15/13


……….
…………………….Click on image above to watch video.

.
Via C-SPAN

.

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program For Illegal Aliens

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program For Illegal Aliens – Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch today released documents detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program.

.

The promotion of the food stamp program, now known as “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA with a statement advising Mexicans in the U.S. that they do not need to declare their immigration status in order to receive financial assistance. Emphasized in bold and underlined, the statement reads, “You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to USDA on July 20, 2012. The FOIA request sought: “Any and all records of communication relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals, and migrant communities, including but not limited to, communications with the Mexican government.”

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that USDA officials are working closely with their counterparts at the Mexican Embassy to widely broaden the SNAP program in the Mexican immigrant community, with no effort to restrict aid to, identify, or apprehend illegal immigrants who may be on the food stamp rolls. In an email to Borjon Lopez-Coterilla and Jose Vincente of the Mexican Embassy, dated January 26, 2012, Yibo Wood of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sympathized with the plight of illegal aliens applying for food stamps, saying, “FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable. Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child.”

The email from Wood to Lopez-Coterilla and Vincente came in response to a request from the Mexican Embassy that the USDA FNS step in to prevent the state of Kansas from changing its food stamp policy to restrict the amount of financial assistance provided to illegal aliens. In a January 22, 2012, article, the Kansas City Star had revealed that the state would no longer include illegal aliens in its calculations of the amount of assistance to be provided low-income Hispanic families in order to prevent discrimination against legal recipients.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in August 2012, include the following:

* March 30, 2012 – The USDA seeks approval of the Mexican Embassy in drafting a letter addressed to consulates throughout the United States designed to encourage Mexican embassy staffers to enroll in a webinar learn how to promote increased enrollment among “the needy families that the consulates serve.”

* August 1, 2011 – The USDA FNS initiates contact with the Mexican Embassy in New York to implement programs already underway in DC and Philadelphia for maximizing participation among Mexican citizens. The Mexican Embassy responds that the Consul General is eager to strengthen his ties to the USDA, with specific interest in promoting the food stamp program.

* February 25, 2011 – The USDA and the Mexican Consulate exchange ideas about getting the First Ladies of Mexico and United States to visit a school for purposes of creating a photo opportunity that would promote free school lunches for low-income students in a predominantly Hispanic school. Though a notation in the margin of the email claims that the photo op never took place, UPI reported that it actually did.

* March 3, 2010 – A flyer advertises a webinar to teach Hispanic-focused nonprofits how to get reimbursed by the USDA for serving free lunch over the summer. The course, funded by American taxpayers, is advertised as being “free for all participants.”

* February 9 , 2010 – USDA informs the Mexican Embassy that, based on an agreement reached between the State Department and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now ICE), the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food voucher program does not violate immigration laws prohibiting immigrants from becoming a “public charge.”

As far back as 2006, in its Corruption Chronicles blog, Judicial Watch revealed that the USDA was spending taxpayer money to run Spanish-language television ads encouraging illegal immigrants to apply for government-financed food stamps. The Mexican Consul in Santa Ana, CA, at the time even starred in some of the U.S. Government-financed television commercials, which explained the program and provided a phone number to apply. In the widely viewed commercial the Consul assured that receiving food stamps “won’t affect your immigration status.”

In 2012, Judicial Watch reported that in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions questioned the Obama administration’s partnership with Mexican consulates to encourage foreign nationals, migrant workers and non-citizen immigrants to apply for food stamps and other USDA administered welfare benefits. Sessions wrote, “It defies rational thinking,” Sessions wrote, “for the United States – now dangerously $16 trillion in debt – to partner with foreign governments to help us place more foreign nationals on American welfare and it is contrary to good immigration policy in the United States.”

“The revelation that the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens should have a direct impact on the fate of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These disclosures further confirm the fact that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. And the coordination with a foreign government to attack the policies of an American state is contemptible.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.