The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
Story 1: Obama’s Reckless Endangerment, Human Trafficking and Murder of Illegal Alien Children — Obama’s Response Is $2 Million to Pay For Lawyers — Disease and Virus Spreading To USA — Unbelievable President Obama — Enforce Immigration Laws By Deporting All 30-50 Million Illegal Aliens ! — Videos
‘Kelly File’ Exclusive: Texas Border Patrol on Brink of Collapse
Foreign Children At Mexican Border Creating Humanitarian Crisis For U.S.
Flood of immigrant children strain Arizona holding center
Drug War Refugees Cause Humanitarian Crisis on the Border | Brainwash Update
Number of kids immigrating to U S alone surges Defenders
Illegal Immigrants Face Dangerous Mexican/US Border — One Story
Immigration Enforcement Officials Rip Obama’s Executive Amnesty Order
Latest influx of illegal aliens brings disease
Illegal Immigrant Children Causing Border Crisis
Congressman Henry Cuellar talks about the influx of illegal immigrant children
More illegal immigrants mean budget issues for the U.S.
Judge :DHS Assisting Human Traffickers With Children Smuggled Across Mexican Border
Safe Passage’ Brings Legal Aid to Children Facing Deportation
Illegal Aliens Flood Border Using Same Key Phrase To Seek U S Asylum Wake Up America
Hundreds Of Abandoned Immigrant Children Found In Mexico
Obama To Stop Deporting Young Illegal Immigrants
Obama again over-reaching his authority, granting illegal immigrants a stay in the USA
New Immigration Guidelines: Schools Prohibited From Turning Away Children of The Undocumented
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
Mark Levin Interviews Sen. Sessions On Immigration [FULL]
Immigrant America: The High Cost of Deporting Parents
Crossing Mexico’s Other Border
Living on US-Mexico Border, Native Americans Face Daily Struggles
EXCLUSIVE–SEN. JEFF SESSIONS: OBAMA ‘COMMITTED TO ESCALATING’ LAWLESSNESS AT BORDER
There’s only a few weeks left until the summer recess swallows Congress’ legislative agenda for 2014, but a group of key Republicans haven’t given up immigration quite yet.
by JONATHAN STRONG
Helping guide a secretive effort to informally gauge support for legislative action on the issue before August are two expected names: Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Paul Ryan (R-WI).
But joining them is a young conservative lawmaker whose efforts on the issue have shocked conservative power brokers and prompted a behind-the-scenes backlash.
“Absolutely,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Breitbart News, “I have been talking about immigration with my colleagues for months. Talking about important issues is part of my job.”
Mulvaney was quick to add he isn’t “whipping” support for a bill per se – “I haven’t even seen a bill on immigration reform that I could whip even if I wanted to,” he said – and that he remains firmly opposed to the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill.
“I have absolutely no interest in taking up the Senate bill or going to conference on the Senate bill. Securing our borders is my first priority on any immigration reform, and the Senate bill falls woefully short on that point. Furthermore, I will not support a special pathway to citizenship for those who are here illegally. The Senate bill has always been and remains a non-starter,” Mulvaney said.
Still, his support for House action on the issue this year, and his backing for a separate issue, reauthorization of the Export-Import bank, has prompted new scrutiny on Mulvaney from the right.
“He needs to be called out for this,” one prominent conservative says.
Mulvaney not only has one of the most conservative voting records in the House Republican conference, he has been a leader of a group of conservative dissidents looking to push Speaker John Boehner to the right. In 2013, Mulvaney pointedly took a seat near the front of the House chamber and sat silently as his name was called repeatedly during the Boehner’s reelection as speaker.
His new movement on immigration isn’t his first foray into the issue. In February, he was profiled by a New York Times reporter who traveled to his South Carolina district to witness his first town hall conducted in Spanish.
But then, he said legislative action was out of the question because President Obama is an untrustworthy partner. “We are afraid that if we reach an agreement, he will take the parts he likes and he won’t take the parts that he doesn’t like,” Mulvaney told the audience in Spanish, according to the Times.
Mulvaney’s active involvement on the issue now suggests that calculation may have changed for him, although the sentiment is felt even more deeply by top immigration hawks who note President Obama has continued to aggressively wield his executive action pen in the months since.
At a town hall last week, Mulvaney used rhetoric on the issue similar to that of top amnesty proponents.
“Immigration is not a simple issue. There are at least three major parts of it: there’s border security, legal immigration, and the status of the 11 million, 15 million, 30 million … pick a number – it’s the status of the folks who are here illegally. People say, ‘oh, comprehensive reform is a bad idea.’ Ok? But, unless you deal with all three of those you haven’t dealt with immigration,” Mulvaney said.
“There are jobs that American citizens will not do. There are jobs that American citizens will not do. We can talk about why that is. We can talk about how our welfare state is broken, how we encourage people not to work, but that doesn’t help the farmer pick his peaches this summer. We have businesses that rely on migrant – legal – migrant workers, and a lot of them are in this state,” he added.
The secretive immigration talks by Diaz-Balart, Ryan and Mulvaney still face severe hurdles if they are to successfully bring legislation to the floor in June or July.
Many top GOP aides say the tide has not turned since February, when the House GOP leadership’s immigration principles were unveiled to an outcry that foisting a civil war on the party just ahead of a midterm election was political suicide.
Still, last week, Rep. Mark Amodei told a local newspaper that what he described as a “quiet whip effort” was making progress.
“They started a quiet whip count, trying to gauge what the support was for doing something on immigration within the Republican conference. We want to see where we stand on that whip count because, obviously, the Speaker does not want to get out in front of it and then have the limb sawed off behind him,” Amodei said.
“But I said, you know what? I’m hopeful. My sense — and I could be wrong — but I think there are 165 to 180 people in the Republican conference that will be open minded to this and support it,” he added.
Asked for comment about Ryan’s involvement in the issue, his spokesman, Kevin Seifert, said, “Congressman Ryan has laid out his principles for immigration reform. He’s said that the House should not take up or conference with the Senate bill and that there should be no special pathway to citizenship for those here illegally. Congressman Ryan has also said that any reform effort should begin by securing our border and enforcing our laws.”
TED CRUZ: ‘OBAMA’S LAWLESSNESS’ RESPONSIBLE FOR SPIKE IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
A sharp spike in illegal immigration has caused facilities and resources along the U.S.-Mexico border to become overwhelmed. As a result, U.S. Border Patrol has been releasing thousands of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil each week. Some released immigrants are even criminals–as Breitbart Texas previously reported, more than 36,000 convicted criminal illegal alienswere released by U.S. authorities in 2013 alone.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz told Breitbart Texas that this “humanitarian crisis” is a “direct consequence” of the Obama Administration’s actions and rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration.
“We need a president who is willing to uphold the law,” Cruz said. “On issue after issue the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law. With respect to securing the border, the Obama Administration has handcuffed the courageous men and women who serve in Border Patrol. Morale in ICE is at an all-time low because the political operatives leading this Administration are preventing them from doing their job and upholding the law.”
He continued, “Just a few months before the last election the president illegally and unconstitutionally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people illegally. If the president wants to change federal immigration laws, the Constitution lays out a way to do so–you go and make your case to Congress and you convince Congress to change the laws…unfortunately for President Obama, following the Constitutional structure is apparently too cumbersome. One of the consequences were seeing on the border is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness.”
Cruz argued that by granting amnesty to such large numbers of illegal immigrants, Obama prompted a “change in behavior.” In Cruz’s view, the recent spike in illegal immigration can be attributed to such actions by the Administration.
Earlier this week, Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby released leaked photos of children in U.S. processing cells who entered the U.S. illegally and unaccompanied. The photos encapsulated the humanitarian crisis in relation to young, often unaccompanied, border crossers.
Cruz said of the skyrocketing number of children crossers, “When I was down at the border, Border Patrol agents were telling me with horror that roughly 10 percent of apprehended people were unaccompanied minors.”
He continued, “The people who are bringing men, women, and children in illegally are not pleasant, happy, placid coyotes. These are criminal cartels. These are ruthless, brutal, nasty criminals. The idea that you have parents handing their teenage daughter or son over to a global criminal cartel is a humanitarian crisis. Untold numbers of these teens are facing assault, are facing a life of hell being turned over to drug kingpins.”
“It is a direct consequence of the presidents illegal actions,” he said. “The parents think, ‘If I send my child [to the U.S.], my child will have amnesty.’ That’s what the president of the U.S. has said. It is the exact opposite of a humane approach to immigration or to securing our borders.”
Ultimately, Cruz said there are many areas where the left and right can find common ground.
“There is overwhelming bipartisan support outside of Washington that we need to finally secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stop the problem of illegal immigration,” he concluded. “But that’s not going to happen as long as the president is ordering Border Patrol officers not to enforce the law.”
Border crisis: Why the surge in illegal border-crossers with children? (+video)
US Border Patrol is struggling to cope with throngs of mothers and even unaccompanied children, apparently drawn by rumors that the Obama administration will let undocumented families stay. Critics say Obama’s policies are in fact largely to blame.
A recent wave of migrant mothers with children, as well as unaccompanied children, crossing theUS southern border is, to President Obama, an “urgent humanitarian crisis.” To critics, the surge of humanity on America’s doorstep stems at least in part from Mr. Obama’s own policies that appear to lay out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants.
With the surge in needy immigrant families, makeshift camps are springing up at Arizona bus depots, and the US is opening military barracks in Texas to house the growing number of unaccompanied children.
According to press reports, rumors are flying throughout Central America that parents won’t be detained by the US Border Patrol if a child is by their side. That’s true, for the most part. They are sent to live with relatives, or anywhere else, until their deportation hearings (usually within 15 days).
The Border Patrol, in an internal memo, acknowledges it is having to take its eyes off securing the border and busting human- and drug-trafficking rings in the Rio Grande Valley sector in south Texas to focus instead on a wave of migrants, mostly from strife-torn Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
After Arizona officials complained about the Border Patrol shipping migrants in from Texas and dropping them at bus stations, the Department of Homeland Security on Friday halted that policy. The US has instead begun housing unaccompanied migrant children on military installations in Texas and California, under the supervision of Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Craig Fugate.
The new wave of illegal immigrants may also affect the politicking in Washington over immigration reform, given that the emerging crisis appears to be drawing into question the government’s ability to contain the border. An adequately sealed border is a key sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans over a proposed immigration reform measure that includes a path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants already in the US.
“For those who are friendly to migration, this gets highlighted for the same reason they highlighted DREAM-ers: There’s a very clear moral proposition” around protecting innocent children, says Allert Brown-Gort, an immigration policy expert at the University of Notre Dame, citing a proposed law to give legal status to undocumented young people brought to the US as minors.
“The other side wants to highlight … the idea of migrants on the other side with catapults, just flinging their children across [the border],” because the US has been signaling that it’s become friendlier, under Mr. Obama, to undocumented migrants, Mr. Brown-Gort adds.
Critics say Obama’s 2012 executive order that lets young people brought to the US illegally as children apply for a two-year deferral from deportation, as well as the Bush administration’s 2008 decision to close a major detention facility in Texas, have helped to create conditions for a new wave of illegal immigration.
Some migrants are telling reporters on the border that they’ve heard in their home countries that there’s a “new opportunity” to emigrate to the US illegally and stay indefinitely, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Cindy Carcamo on Friday.
“The word has gotten back that [the Obama administration] is letting people stay – not just unaccompanied minors, but women with children – which is creating an opportunity to sneak in and get while the getting’s good,” says Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, which backs “low migration.”
“What it means is they haven’t locked down the border, and all this talk about how tough the administration is on enforcement is being exposed as false,” he adds.
The border patrol just tripled its projection of how many “unaccompanied alien children” are expected to cross the border. New estimates project 90,000 so-called unaccompanied children will try to cross this year and as many as 165,000 will try in 2015 (up from about 13,000 in 2012 and 24,000 in 2013).
Overall, illegal immigration from Central America is now inching toward 180,000 people a year – about half of the flow at the 2005 peak, but up from 130,000 two years ago.
Children are about 10 percent of that flow, and as many as 70 percent of those children are unaccompanied, Brown-Gort says. Many of the children are 12 and older, and most are boys. At home, boys that age are chief targets of cartels, and rising violence is pushing them to head north.
“It sounds easy to say, ‘Well, they’re being told that all they have to do is show up and everything will be OK,’ but people are balancing that with the really horribly increased dangers of migration,” including shakedowns and sexual violence, he says. “This kind of migration is a big roll of the dice, and not easy.”
Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello raised alarms about the current policy in an unsigned May 30 memo obtained by the Washington Times and reported by the Associated Press. Releasing mothers with kids and reuniting unaccompanied children with relatives in the US are serving as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Mr. Vitiello wrote.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) complained in a recent letter to Obama that the policy has resulted in women and children with few connections in the US lingering in makeshift camps while awaiting deportation hearings, including one at the Phoenix Greyhound station. Meanwhile, churches and nonprofit groups have kicked into overdrive to try to keep susceptible families and children fed and safe in the 110-degree desert heat.
Obama’s two-year ‘amnesty’ for illegal immigrant minors sparks TWELVE-FOLD spike in numbers pouring across border
- A San Antonio Air Force base, a California Navy base, and a makeshift detention center in Nogales, Arizona have become temporary shelters for children and youths caught crossing the border without their parents
- Republicans blame the Obama administration for the problem, citing a 2012 policy that relaxed deportations
- It’s ‘an administration-made disaster,’ says the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
- President Obama now concedes that it’s an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ and is setting aside $2 million to pay lawyers for the children
- The US government expects as many as 80,000 child immigrants to illegally enter the US this year, a twelve-fold jump in just three years
- More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas since October; the Arizona facility has ordered 2,000 mattresses to handle its overload
- ‘Instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them,’ another claimed
- A federal judge castigated the Obama administration in December, saying it was ‘completing the criminal mission’ of human traffickers
President Barack Obama is calling tens of thousands of illegal-immigrant children languishing in temporary U.S. holding pens an ‘urgent humanitarian situation,’ but Republicans are pointing the finger of blame squarely at the White House.
Obama instituted an immigration policy that the GOP says enticed tens of thousands of Central American children to cross America’s southern border illegally without any parents to guide them.
More than 33,000 have been picked up in Texas alone since October. The U.S. border patrol says its forces are overwhelmed, and the courts are bracing for a flood of immigration cases from children held in temporary detention facilities designed to handle a fraction of the numbers. Sanitation problems are beginning to rear their ugly heads.
Obama rolled out a controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, allowing many illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors to escape deportation for two years. The White House gave them another two-year window last week.
As a result, say some GOP leaders, America’s system for handling illegal immigration has been strained to the breaking point and is attracting hundreds of new illegal-immigrant children every day.
Compared to the year before Obama’s policy took effect, twelve times as many kids are coming north illegally this year.
Overflowing: Immigration authorities have opened a shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to house a rising number of unaccompanied minors who have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally
Hundreds of immigrants believed to be in the country illegally from Central America and Mexico being held in crowded concrete rooms similar to a jail cell
Many of the children appear to be teenagers but some clearly are younger
Lackland has become a temporary shelter for youths caught crossing the border illegally and alone
A half-century-old section of a U.S. Air Force base in Texas is now a holding and processing center for thousands of children who managed to enter the U.S. alone. The same is true of a Navy base in California.
And a makeshift detention center in Arizona holding 700 illegal immigrant children has ordered 2,000 mattresses to keep up with an expected influx in the coming months.
Judge: US ‘has simply chosen not to enforce … border security laws’
In a landmark court ruling in December, a federal judge ruled against the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother.
The mom had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’
‘The DHS,’ Hansen added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’
Many of the children there were sleeping on plastic boards.
According to the Associated Press, toothbrushes and toothpaste hadn’t arrived yet and were expected Monday.
Hundreds of children had not bathed in days, and were taking turns using just four showers.
Tony Banegas, Honduras’ honorary consul in Phoenix, told the AP that there were 236 Honduran children there on Saturday, including an 8-year-old.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are beyond angry.
Leaked photos from the base, which were obtained by the Breitbart.com news blog, show hundreds of children holed up in crowded concrete rooms, many of them sleeping on the bare floor without blankets or pillows.
‘The recent surge of children and teenagers from Central America showing up at our southern border is an administration-made disaster,’ Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News last week.
‘Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally,’ Goodlatte said in a statement.
‘Enforcement at the border and in the interior of the U.S.,’ not ‘another bureaucratic task force’ is needed, he claimed.
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Friday that ‘instead of having an application of the immigration law, we are taking mothers and children and dumping them … and violating the rule[s] over and over.’
Policy shift: President Barack Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that the U.S. would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who satisfied a broad set of criteria; the move has enticed tens of thousands of children to sneak across the border even though the policy doesn’t apply to them
Immediately contentious: Neil Munro (C), the White House Correspondent for the Daily Caller, peppered Obama with unexpected questions during the announcement, during which the president hadn’t planned to take questions at all
At the base, children are provided with three hot meals and two snacks a day. They can call home twice a week. They have access to mental health clinicians and on-site medical care
The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala
The Obama administration expects as many as 80,000 of these ‘unaccompanied minors’ to cross the border in 2014, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
That number is twelve times what it was in 2011, the year before Obama announced his deferred-action plan.
The administration now estimates the holding facilities where the youngsters are being held cost taxpayers $252 per child per day, far more than the cost of a hotel and more than the children could expect to earn in two weeks of hard work picking crops, work that many were slated to do.
Facing the question of whether to deport the minors or play a game of catch-and-release, the administration has set aside $2 million to pay for their lawyers.
‘We’re taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society,’ Attorney General Eric Holder said Friday in a statement.
‘How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings – many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking – goes to the core of who we are as a nation.’
Obama’s ‘deferred action’ program for minors, which he announced in a fanfare-laden June 15, 2012 Rose Garden press conference, applies only to children who came to America before mid-2007.
‘It makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans,’ the president said then.
Photos leaked to U.S. and Mexican media outlets on Thursday show unaccompanied children crammed into Border Patrol holding cells elsewhere, sleeping on concrete floors
About 850 that were being housed at the facility have been released to a vetted family member or a sponsor
Republicans blame President Obama for the situation, pointing to his 2012 policy that sent a message of hope to kids yearning to stay in the U.S.
Photos leaked Thursday from a U.S. Border Patrol facility in the Rio Grande Valley show overflowing holding facilities of immigrants, many of whom are children
Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are handed several sheets and towels when they arrive and checked for lice and scabies
But Capitol Hill is rife with fears that the message was garbled by the time it reach Guatemala, Honduras and other countries where poverty runs rampant. Many children traveling north on their own hope the policy will include them.
That’s what ‘coyotes,’ the smugglers who bring them in, are telling them to expect, according to Tania Chavez, a representative with La Union del Pueblo Entero, told KRGV-TV. in southern Texas.
The minors flooding over the border are often teenagers leaving behind poverty or violence in Mexico and other parts of Central America such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
With the president traveling in Europe last week, there have been no press briefings at the White House where questions might be put to outgoing press secretary Jay Carney.
But Obama met privately Monday morning with a group of nurses from across the country ‘to discuss the importance of passing commonsense immigration reform,’ according to the White House.
The Associated Press reported Monday that in a May 30 memo to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello warned that the influx of unexpected illegals has stretched the border patrol beyond reason.
But releasing them or reuniting them with family members in the United States would serve as ‘incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path.’
President Barack Obama said the sharp influx of unaccompanied children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala was an ‘urgent humanitarian situation’
More than 33,000 minors were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas since October last year, it has been reported
Republicans angered about the situation point to a federal judge who castigated the Obama administration for relaxing its immigration policy and encouraging human traffickers.
In a December ruling, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hansen ripped the Department of Homeland Security for releasing a Salvadoran girl to her mother – a woman who had hired a smuggler to transport her daughter into the U.S., and was herself in the country illegally. of \
Hansen wrote that ‘this court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security of completing the criminal mission of those who are violating the border security of the United States.’
‘The DHS,’ he added, ‘should enforce the laws of the United States – not break them.’
In a related case, the El Paso Times reported Monday that a Catholic charity was assisting 130 illegal immigrant children flown to El Paso, Texas.
Many were traveling with their parents when they were apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
One Guatemalan woman named Maria, who enter the United States with her two children, told the Times that she wanted to go to Tennessee to reunite with her sister.
Immigration officials, she said, had released her from custody and let her travel north.
‘Immigration told me, “You are free, you can leave”,’ she said.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2653063/Republicans-claim-Obama-policy-enticed-tens-thousands-homeless-illegal-immigrant-children-cross-border-landing-secret-government-holding-pens.html#ixzz34Ac1wb5I
SURGE IN KIDS CROSSING BORDER ALONE STRAINS PATROL
Border Patrol agents could arrest as many as 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border alone this year, more than three times the number of children apprehended in 2013, according to a draft internal Homeland Security memorandum reviewed by The Associated Press.
In the May 30 memo from Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello to the National Security Council’s transborder security directorate, Vitiello said Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that by 2015 the number of children apprehended while traveling alone could grow to 142,000.
The government has previously estimated that more than 60,000 children could be apprehended along the border this year. All the estimates are for the government’s fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Children apprehended with their parents are not part of this count of illegal border crossings.
Most of the children caught crossing alone are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and have been apprehended in the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas. That sector is the now the Border Patrol’s busiest area along the Mexican border and has seen a significant increase in the number of border crossers from Central America.
Customs and Border Protection said the memo “appears to be an internal, incomplete working document.”
The spike in children trying cross the border alone has forced DHS to divert resources away from other missions, including combating human and drug trafficking, Vitiello wrote in his four-page memo.
The increase in apprehensions has also led the government to fly some migrants who are from countries other than Mexico to other parts of the border, including Arizona, for processing by Border Patrol agents in less-busy sectors. Many families from countries other than Mexico have been released on their own recognizance in the U.S. while they await deportation proceedings in immigration court.
Releasing those people and taking other actions such as reuniting children caught alone at the border with parents or other relatives already in the U.S. serve as “incentives to additional individuals to follow the same path,” Vitiello wrote.
The number of children found trying to cross the Mexican border without parents has spiked in recent years. Between 2008 and 2011, 6,000 to 7,500 children per year ended up in the custody of the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. In 2012 border agents apprehended 13,625 unaccompanied children and that number surged to more than 24,000 last year.
Vitiello’s memo was drafted just days before President Barack Obama declared the situation on the border an “urgent humanitarian situation” and appointed the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Craig Fugate, to manage the government’s response. In a presidential memo issued Monday, Obama said the government would temporarily house some of the children at two military bases.
Last month the Office of Management and Budget said in a two-page letter to the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the increase in the number of children crossing alone would likely cost the government at least $2.28 billion, about $1.4 billion more than the administration had initially asked lawmakers to budget for its “Unaccompanied Alien Children” program.
Rampant crime and poverty across Central America and a desire to reunite with parents or other relatives are thought to be driving many of the young immigrants.
Detained children are supposed to be transferred within 72 hours to HHS to be housed in shelters until they can be reunited with parents or guardians. Officials then begin searching for relatives or other potential guardians in the U.S.
The average stay for a child in a U.S. shelter last year was 45 days. Most are reunited with family to wait for their immigration cases to move forward. Migrant kids remain in removal proceedings even after they’re reunited with their parents here, though many have been able to win permission from a judge to stay in the U.S.
Surge in kids illegally crossing into U.S. alone strains Border Patrol
Numbers far worse than Obama administration had admitted
The flood of young children pouring across the southwestern border is worse than the administration has previously acknowledged, and efforts to deal with unaccompanied minors are overwhelming the Border Patrol, distracting it from going after smugglers and other illegal immigrants, according to an internal draft memo from the agency.
The four-page memo, authored by Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello and dated May 30, contradicts the administration’s argument that the border is secure enough to begin legalizing current illegal aliens already in the U.S.
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Instead, Chief Vitiello paints a picture of a government struggling to cope, leaving the children suffering poor conditions, agents unable to focus on major security threats and little sense that it will get better.
Known within the Homeland Security Department as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), their numbers have skyrocketed this year, forcing the department to siphon manpower and money from its other critical border duties.
“The large quantity of DHS interdiction, intelligence, investigation, processing, detention and removal resources currently being dedicated to address UAC is compromising DHS capabilities to address other transborder criminal areas, such as human smuggling and trafficking and illicit drug, weapons, commercial and financial operations,” Chief Vitiello wrote in the memo, which was viewed by The Washington Times.
“Insufficient attention to these mission areas will have immediate and potentially long-lasting impacts on criminal enterprise operations within the Rio Grande Valley and across the country,” Chief Vitiello wrote.
According to the draft memo’s estimates, agents and officers will apprehend more than 90,000 unaccompanied children on the border this year, rising to 142,000 in 2015. By contrast, there were fewer than 40,000 caught last year.
The numbers represent a stunning percentage of the illegal crossers — and only account for those caught. An unknown number get by the Border Patrol and make their way into the interior of the country.
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Chiefly from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, they are usually fleeing horrendous poverty or gang violence. They brave harsh conditions and, in the case of the girls, often face being raped, during their journey through Mexico and across the U.S. border.
A Customs and Border Protection official said the memo was “an internal, incomplete working document, neither signed nor made official.”
But the official acknowledged the large increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border and the intense steps being taken to combat it.
“The rising flow of unaccompanied children and family units into the Rio Grande Valley present unique operational and resource challenges for CBP and [the Department of Health and Human Services],” the official told The Washington Times on condition of anonymity.
Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress the problem is a top priority for him.
“I have been closely following this emerging issue since coming into office, with a particular focus on the Rio Grande Valley,” he said in testimony to the House Judiciary Committee. “I traveled to McAllen, Texas, to view the situation and saw the children there firsthand — an overwhelming number of whom were under 12 years old.”
Earlier this week he and the White House announced that the government’s emergency management director will coordinate the response to the flood of children.
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The Real Price We Paid! Six Soldiers Died Looking For ‘Deserter’ Bowe Bergdahl!
(EXCLUSIVE) Obama Speech On US Soldier Freed By Taliban In Afghanistan
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Bob Bergdahl, the father of current POW, Sgt Bowe Bergdahl speaks Out!
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THE EXECUTION OF PRIVATE SLOVIK
Is Ransomed U.S. Soldier Bowe Bergdahl a Deserter? UPDATED: Was Release of Taliban Prisoners Illegal?
Two GOP lawmakers charge that the Obama administration violated a law requiring the White House to give Congress a month’s notice before transferring or releasing Gitmo captivies. From the AP via Business Insider:
The White House said it moved as quickly as possible given the opportunity that arose to secure Bergdahl’s release. Citing “these unique and exigent circumstances,” the White House said a decision was made to go ahead with the transfer despite the legal requirement of 30 days advance notice to Congress.
For President Barack Obama (and thus America), foreign policy in every way remains a disaster. The latest incident? In swapping five Taliban leaders for a U.S. soldier who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, Obama may have just exchanged somecertifiably bad guys for…a deserter from the U.S. Army. CNN’s Jake Tapper explains:
The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him—veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.
“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahldeserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”
According to first-hand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera, and a diary.
At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.
This is all completely apart from the question of whether exchanging prisoners for prisoners is a good idea while the U.S. still has over 30,000 troops in Afghanistan (and more than 100 detainees in Gitmo). And once again, yesterday, Susan Rice—she of Benghazi talking points fame—was making spurious claims on Sunday talk shows. She emphasized that Bergdahl had been“captured” on the battlefield, which may not be exactly right. Or even at all right.
I caught a few minutes of MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier today and co-host Mika Brzezinski cautioned that whatever else we know about the five-for-one prisoner deal (which involves the Taliban going to Qatar, where they will be monitored by the government there for at least a year), we don’t know everything. Which is likely accurate and besides the point: Leaving aside the Obama administration’s constant invocations about its super-fantastic dedication to transparency, this White House has managed to make itself toxic to increasing swaths of the public and drive faith in its best intentions and ability to cross the street through the floor.
Here’s hoping that after more than a dozen years of poorly conceived and executed wars—and declining public support for the idea of America as globocop—that official foreign policy will start to appreciate the idea that we cannot undertake large and small-scale military interventions lightly.
The Gitmo detainees swapped for Bergdahl: Who are they?
Together with the announcement that U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released after nearly five years of captivity came the news that five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were being transferred to Qatar.
A plane carrying the detainees left the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba, after the announcement that Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2009, had been exchanged for the five men.
Saturday’s transfer was brokered through the Qatari government, a senior Defense official said. According to senior administration officials, Qatar agreed to take custody of the detainees and provide assurances they would not pose a threat to the United States, including a one-year ban from travel out of Qatar.
Two senior administration officials confirmed the names of the five released detainees as Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Nori, Abdul Haq Wasiq and Mohammad Nabi Omari.
They were mostly mid- to high-level officials in the Taliban regime and had been detained early in the war in Afghanistan, because of their positions within the Taliban, not because of ties to al Qaeda.
CNN profiled them two years ago, when their names first surfaced as candidates for a transfer as part of talks with the Taliban:
Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa
Khairkhwa was an early member of the Taliban in 1994 and was interior minister during the Taliban’s rule. He hails from the same tribe as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was captured in January 2002. Khairkhwa’s most prominent position was as governor of Herat province from 1999 to 2001, and he was alleged to have been “directly associated” with Osama bin Laden. According to a detainee assessment, Khairkhwa also was probably associated with al Qaeda’s now-deceased leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al Zarqawi. He is described as one of the “major opium drug lords in western Afghanistan” and a “friend” of Karzai. He was arrested in Pakistan and was transferred to Guantanamo in May 2002. During questioning, Khairkhwa denied all knowledge of extremist activities.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl
Fazl commanded the main force fighting the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001, and served as chief of army staff under the Taliban regime. He has been accused of war crimes during Afghanistan’s civil war in the 1990s. Fazl was detained after surrendering to Abdul Rashid Dostam, the leader of Afghanistan’s Uzbek community, in November 2001. He was wanted by the United Nations in connection with the massacre of thousands of Afghan Shiites during the Taliban’s rule. “When asked about the murders, he did not express any regret,” according to the detainee assessment. He was alleged to have been associated with several militant Islamist groups, including al Qaeda. He was transferred into U.S. custody in December 2001 and was one of the first arrivals at Guantanamo, where he was assessed as having high intelligence value.
Mullah Norullah Noori
Noori served as governor of Balkh province in the Taliban regime and played some role in coordinating the fight against the Northern Alliance. Like Fazl, Noori was detained after surrendering to Dostam, the Uzbek leader, in 2001. Noori claimed during interrogation that “he never received any weapons or military training.” According to 2008 detainee assessment, Noori “continues to deny his role, importance and level of access to Taliban officials.” That same assessment characterized him as high risk and of high intelligence value.
Abdul Haq Wasiq
Wasiq was the deputy chief of the Taliban regime’s intelligence service. His cousin was head of the service. An administrative review in 2007 cited a source as saying that Wasiq was also “an al Qaeda intelligence member” and had links with members of another militant Islamist group, Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. Wasiq claimed, according to the review, that he was arrested while trying to help the United States locate senior Taliban figures. He denied any links to militant groups.
Mohammad Nabi Omari
Omari was a minor Taliban official in Khost Province. According to the first administrative review in 2004, he was a member of the Taliban and associated with both al Qaeda and another militant group Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was the Taliban’s chief of communications and helped al Qaeda members escape from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Omari acknowledged during hearings that he had worked for the Taliban but denied connections with militant groups. He also said that he had worked with a U.S. operative named Mark to try to track down Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
The bizarre tale of America’s last known POW
For five years, soldiers have been forced to stay silent about the disappearance and search for Bergdahl. Now we can talk about what really happened.
It was June 30, 2009, and I was in the city of Sharana, the capitol of Paktika province in Afghanistan. As I stepped out of a decrepit office building into a perfect sunny day, a member of my team started talking into his radio. “Say that again,” he said. “There’s an American soldier missing?”
There was. His name was Private First Class Bowe Bergdahl, the only prisoner of war in the Afghan theater of operations. His release from Taliban custody on May 31 marks the end of a nearly five-year-old story for the soldiers of his unit, the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I served in the same battalion in Afghanistan and participated in the attempts to retrieve him throughout the summer of 2009. After we redeployed, every member of my brigade combat team received an order that we were not allowed to discuss what happened to Bergdahl for fear of endangering him. He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth.
And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.
On the night prior to his capture, Bergdahl pulled guard duty at OP Mest, a small outpost about two hours south of the provincial capitol. The base resembled a wagon circle of armored vehicles with some razor wire strung around them. A guard tower sat high up on a nearby hill, but the outpost itself was no fortress. Besides the tower, the only hard structure that I saw in July 2009 was a plywood shed filled with bottled water. Soldiers either slept in poncho tents or inside their vehicles.
The next morning, Bergdahl failed to show for the morning roll call. The soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Blackfoot Company discovered his rifle, helmet, body armor and web gear in a neat stack. He had, however, taken his compass. His fellow soldiers later mentioned his stated desire to walk from Afghanistan to India.
The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey later wrote that “[w]hether Bergdahl…just walked away from his base or was lagging behind on a patrol at the time of his capture remains an open and fiercely debated question.” Not to me and the members of my unit. Make no mistake: Bergdahl did not “lag behind on a patrol,” as was cited in news reports at the time. There was no patrol that night. Bergdahl was relieved from guard duty, and instead of going to sleep, he fled the outpost on foot. He deserted. I’ve talked to members of Bergdahl’s platoon—including the last Americans to see him before his capture. I’ve reviewed the relevant documents. That’s what happened.
Our deployment was hectic and intense in the initial months, but no one could have predicted that a soldier would simply wander off. Looking back on those first 12 weeks, our slice of the war in the vicinity of Sharana resembles a perfectly still snow-globe—a diorama in miniature of all the dust-coated outposts, treeless brown mountains and adobe castles in Paktika province—and between June 25 and June 30, all the forces of nature conspired to turn it over and shake it. On June 25, we suffered our battalion’s first fatality, a platoon leader named First Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw. Five days later, Bergdahl walked away.
His disappearance translated into daily search missions across the entire Afghanistan theater of operations, particularly ours. The combat platoons in our battalion spent the next month on daily helicopter-insertion search missions (called “air assaults”) trying to scour villages for signs of him. Each operations would send multiple platoons and every enabler available in pursuit: radio intercept teams, military working dogs, professional anthropologists used as intelligence gathering teams, Afghan sources in disguise. They would be out for at least 24 hours. I know of some who were on mission for 10 days at a stretch. In July, the temperature was well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day.
These cobbled-together units’ task was to search villages one after another. They often took rifle and mortar fire from insurgents, or perhaps just angry locals. They intermittently received resupply from soot-coated Mi-17s piloted by Russian contractors, many of whom were Soviet veterans of Afghanistan. It was hard, dirty and dangerous work. The searches enraged the local civilian population and derailed the counterinsurgency operations taking place at the time. At every juncture I remember the soldiers involved asking why we were burning so much gasoline trying to find a guy who had abandoned his unit in the first place. The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was all the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.
On July 4, 2009, a human wave of insurgents attacked the joint U.S./Afghan outpost at Zerok. It was in east Paktika province, the domain of our sister infantry battalion (3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry). Two Americans died and many more received wounds. Hundreds of insurgents attacked and were only repelled by teams of Apache helicopters. Zerok was very close to the Pakistan border, which put it into the same category as outposts now infamous—places like COP Keating or Wanat, places where insurgents could mass on the Pakistani side and then try to overwhelm the outnumbered defenders.
One of my close friends was the company executive officer for the unit at Zerok. He is a mild-mannered and generous guy, not the kind of person prone to fits of pique or rage. But, in his opinion, the attack would not have happened had his company received its normal complement of intelligence aircraft: drones, planes, and the like. Instead, every intelligence aircraft available in theater had received new instructions: find Bergdahl. My friend blames Bergdahl for his soldiers’ deaths. I know that he is not alone, and that this was not the only instance of it. His soldiers’ names were Private First Class Aaron Fairbairn and Private First Class Justin Casillas.
Though the 2009 Afghan presidential election slowed the search for Bergdahl, it did not stop it. Our battalion suffered six fatalities in a three-week period. On August 18, an IED killed Private First Class Morris Walker and Staff Sergeant Clayton Bowen during a reconnaissance mission. On August 26, while conducting a search for a Taliban shadow sub-governor supposedly affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Kurt Curtiss was shot in the face and killed. On September 4, during a patrol to a village near the area in which Bergdahl vanished, an insurgent ambush killed Second Lieutenant Darryn Andrews and gravely wounded Private First Class Matthew Martinek, who died of his wounds a week later. On September 5, while conducting a foot movement toward a village also thought affiliated with Bergdahl’s captors, Staff Sergeant Michael Murphrey stepped on an improvised land mine. He died the next day.
It is important to name all these names. For the veterans of the units that lost these men, Bergdahl’s capture and the subsequent hunt for him will forever tie to their memories, and to a time in their lives that will define them as people. He has finally returned. Those men will never have the opportunity.
Bergdahl was not the first American soldier in modern history to walk away blindly. As I write this in Seoul, I’m about 40 miles from where an American sergeant defected to North Korea in 1965. Charles Robert Jenkins later admitted that he was terrified of being sent to Vietnam, so he got drunk and wandered off on a patrol. He was finally released in 2004, after almost 40 hellish years of brutal internment. The Army court-martialed him, sentencing him to 30 days’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. He now lives peacefully with his wife in Japan—they met in captivity in North Korea, where they were both forced to teach foreign languages to DPRK agents. His desertion barely warranted a comment, but he was not hailed as a hero. He was met with sympathy and humanity, and he was allowed to live his life, but he had to answer for what he did.
The war was already absurd and quixotic, but the hunt for Bergdahl was even more infuriating because it was the result of some kid doing something unnecessary by his own volition.
I believe that Bergdahl also deserves sympathy, but he has much to answer for, some of which is far more damning than simply having walked off. Many have suffered because of his actions: his fellow soldiers, their families, his family, the Afghan military, the unaffiliated Afghan civilians in Paktika, and none of this suffering was inevitable. None of it had to happen. Therefore, while I’m pleased that he’s safe, I believe there is an explanation due. Reprimanding him might yield horrible press for the Army, making our longest war even less popular than it is today. Retrieving him at least reminds soldiers that we will never abandon them to their fates, right or wrong. In light of the propaganda value, I do not expect the Department of Defense to punish Bergdahl.
He’s lucky to have survived. I once saw an insurgent cellphone video of an Afghan National Police enlistee. They had young boys hold him down, boys between the ages of 10 and 15, all of whom giggled like they were jumping on a trampoline. The prisoner screamed and pleaded for his life. The captors cut this poor man’s head off. That’s what the Taliban and their allies do to their captives who don’t have the bargaining value of an American soldier. That’s what they do to their fellow Afghans on a regular basis. No human being deserves that treatment, or to face the threat of that treatment every day for nearly five years.
But that certainly doesn’t make Bergdahl a hero, and that doesn’t mean that the soldiers he left behind have an obligation to forgive him. I just hope that, with this news, it marks a turning point for the veterans of that mad rescue attempt. It’s done. Many of the soldiers from our unit have left the Army, as I have. Many have struggled greatly with life on the outside, and the implicit threat of prosecution if they spoke about Bergdahl made it much harder to explain the absurdity of it all. Our families and friends wanted to understand what we had experienced, but the Army denied us that.
I forgave Bergdahl because it was the only way to move on. I wouldn’t wish his fate on anyone. I hope that, in time, my comrades can make peace with him, too. That peace will look different for every person. We may have all come home, but learning to leave the war behind is not a quick or easy thing. Some will struggle with it for the rest of their lives. Some will never have the opportunity.
And Bergdahl, all I can say is this: Welcome back. I’m glad it’s over. There was a spot reserved for you on the return flight, but we had to leave without you, man. You’re probably going to have to find your own way home.
3:42 PM, MAY 31, 2014 • BY THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Obama administration announced today that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been held by the Taliban for several years, has been freed from his captors. Reading the stories of his newfound freedom it is impossible not to feel joy for Bergdahl and his family. NBC News reports that Bergdahl held up a sign once he was on board an American helicopter that read, “SF?” The operators quickly confirmed that they were in fact U.S. Special Forces: “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.”
“On behalf of the American people, I was honored to call his parents to express our joy that they can expect his safe return, mindful of their courage and sacrifice throughout this ordeal,” President Obama said in a statement. The president rightly noted: “Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery is a reminder of America’s unwavering commitment to leave no man or woman in uniform behind on the battlefield.”
Unfortunately, America is not the only party in this war that is committed to leaving no man behind. So are the Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked groups. But the president did not say who America exchanged for Bergdahl: five of the most dangerous Taliban commanders in U.S. custody.
The Taliban has long demanded that the “Gitmo 5” be released in order for peace talks to begin in earnest. The Obama administration has desperately sought to engage the Taliban as American forces are drawn down in Afghanistan, but those talks have gone nowhere to this point. At first, the administration set preconditions for the talks, including that the Taliban break its relationship with al Qaeda. When it became clear that this was a non-starter, the administration decided to make the Taliban’s desired break with al Qaeda a goal, and no longer a precondition, for its diplomacy.
There is little hope that the peace talks will be more successful now. But the president seems to believe that Bergdahl’s exchange for the Gitmo 5 (who are reportedly being transferred to Qatar) may break the ice. “While we are mindful of the challenges, it is our hope Sergeant Bergdahl’s recovery could potentially open the door for broader discussions among Afghans about the future of their country by building confidence that it is possible for all sides to find common ground,” Obama said in his statement.
The Obama administration says that security measures have been put into place to make sure that the Gitmo 5 do not pose a threat to American national security. Let’s hope that is true; it certainly has not been the case with many ex-Gitmo detainees in the past.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has profiled these jihadists previously on multiple occasions, and what follows below is culled from these accounts.
There are good reasons why the Taliban has long wanted the five freed from Gitmo. All five are among the Taliban’s top commanders in U.S. custody and are still revered in jihadist circles.
Two of the five have been wanted by the UN for war crimes. And because of their prowess, Joint Task Force-Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) deemed all five of them “high” risks to the U.S. and its allies.
The Obama administration wants to convince the Taliban to abandon its longstanding alliance with al Qaeda. But these men contributed to the formation of that relationship in the first place. All five had close ties to al Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, it is difficult to see how their freedom would help the Obama administration achieve one of its principal goals for the hoped-for talks.
Here are short bios for each of the five Taliban commanders. All quotes are drawn from declassified and leaked documents prepared at Guantanamo.
Mullah Mohammad Fazl (Taliban army chief of staff): Fazl is “wanted by the UN for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiites.” Fazl “was associated with terrorist groups currently opposing U.S. and Coalition forces including al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), and an Anti-Coalition Militia group known as Harakat-i-Inqilab-i-Islami.” In addition to being one of the Taliban’s most experienced military commanders, Fazl worked closely with a top al Qaeda commander named Abdul Hadi al Iraqi, who headed al Qaeda’s main fighting unit in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and is currently detained at Guantanamo.
Mullah Norullah Noori (senior Taliban military commander): Like Fazl, Noori is “wanted by the United Nations (UN) for possible war crimes including the murder of thousands of Shiite Muslims.” Beginning in the mid-1990s, Noori “fought alongside al Qaeda as a Taliban military general, against the Northern alliance.” He continued to work closely with al Qaeda in the years that followed.
Abdul Haq Wasiq (Taliban deputy minister of intelligence): Wasiq arranged for al Qaeda members to provide crucial intelligence training prior to 9/11. The training was headed by Hamza Zubayr, an al Qaeda instructor who was killed during the same September 2002 raid that netted Ramzi Binalshibh, the point man for the 9/11 operation. Wasiq “was central to the Taliban’s efforts to form alliances with other Islamic fundamentalist groups to fight alongside the Taliban against U.S. and Coalition forces after the 11 September 2001 attacks,” according to a leaked JTF-GTMO threat assessment.
Khairullah Khairkhwa (Taliban governor of the Herat province and former interior minister): Khairkhwa was the governor of Afghanistan’s westernmost province prior to 9/11. In that capacity, he executed sensitive missions for Mullah Omar, including helping to broker a secret deal with the Iranians. For much of the pre-9/11 period, Iran and the Taliban were bitter foes. But a Taliban delegation that included Kharikhwa helped secure Iran’s support for the Taliban’s efforts against the American-led coalition in late 2001. JTF-GTMO found that Khairkhwa was likely a major drug trafficker and deeply in bed with al Qaeda. He allegedly oversaw one of Osama bin Laden’s training facilities in Herat.
Mohammed Nabi (senior Taliban figure and security official): Nabi “was a senior Taliban official who served in multiple leadership roles.” Nabi “had strong operational ties to Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) groups including al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, and the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), some of whom remain active in ACM activities.” Intelligence cited in the JTF-GTMO files indicates that Nabi held weekly meetings with al Qaeda operatives to coordinate attacks against U.S.-led forces.
Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
The best biography of George Washington yet
Ron Chernow’s extraordinary new book paints the first president as a man in a struggle to contain his emotions
Two unforgettable images run through Ron Chernow’s great book, “Washington: A Life,” and they have nothing to do with cherry trees or wooden teeth or silver dollars thrown across the Potomac.
The first is the image of a gallows. It appears early in the narrative, when Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Militia, seeking to terrify his untutored, undisciplined, ragamuffin soldiers into obedience, builds a 40-foot-high gibbet. Soon after, he sentences 14 of his men to death for desertion and insubordination. Though he will eventually spare 12 from the noose, he will still punish them with absolutely fierce and shocking floggings, an average of 600 lashes per prisoner. “Washington made a point of hanging people in public,” Ron Chernow writes, “to deter others.” It is an expression of “his blazing temper.” It is also a result of his experience as explorer and soldier in the Virginia wilderness, “which darkened his view of human nature.” His lifelong practice will be to see “people as motivated more by force than kindness.” When he hangs his first man, the year is 1756, Virginia is still a British colony, and Washington is 24 years old.
These gallows will recur. They are what novelists call a “through-line” or motif, a pattern of figures within a story. To a historian they are that and more. They are a kind of portal into Washington’s famously elusive, enigmatic character.
Gallows and nooses were, of course, an ordinary part of Washington’s time and world. To hang a disobedient solider — or rebel — was commonplace in 18th century warfare. The British government routinely punished treason this way, with the additional flourish of disemboweling the offender while he was still alive, and then decapitating him. When Benjamin Franklin cautions the Continental Congress that “we must all hang together, or we will all hang separately,” only the first part of his famous sentence is metaphorical.
FORMER OFFICER: SOLDIERS WERE ‘THREATENED’ IF THEY QUESTIONED BERGDAHL STORY
by CHARLIE SPIERING
A former U.S. officer who served in Afghanistan with Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl claims that soldiers were threatened by U.S. authorities if they questioned his story.
After he was captured, Bergdahl said on a video from his captors that he lagged behind on patrol, although other sources in the military suggested anonymously that he walked away from his post.
“Not only has this nebulous non-story been put out for years but you know these soldiers of 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division were threatened with legal repercussions if they spoke about Bergdahl. Everybody officially mandated silencing of what we saw has been so frustrating,” Bethea explained on BBC World Service Radio today.
Bethea served in Sgt. Bergdahl’s unit, and was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army from 2007 to 2014
CNN’s Jake Tapper also reported that many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him.
Bethea explained that now he was safe, more soldiers would be trying to tell the truth of his disappearance.
BBC interviewed Bethea after he wrote an article for the Daily Beast, asserting that Bergdahl was a deserter.
“He is safe, and now it is time to speak the truth,” he wrote. “And that the truth is: Bergdahl was a deserter, and soldiers from his own unit died trying to track him down.”
Bethea admitted that it would probably be unlikely that Bergdahl would face a court martial, because it would cast doubt on the deal the United States made with the Taliban to secure his release.
“I would at least like to see an official statement on what happened,” he said, referring to the Department of Defense.
Bergdahl is currently at an American military hospital in Germany, where he is being evaluated.
Bethea said that he would reserve judgement whether or not Bergdahl betrayed his country.
“I’m not going to call the guy a traitor just because it sounds like a stronger or harsher word than deserter,” Bethea said, admitting that he didn’t know what happened to him after he was captured.
AWOL and Desertion
By Rod Powers
Many people confuse the terms, AWOL and Desertion. Some people believe that AWOL is when someone is absent for less than 30 days, and someone absent from the military for 30 days or more is a deserter. That’s not quite true.
Unauthorized absence from the military fall under three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): Article 85, Desertion,Article 86, AWOL, and Article 87, Missing Movement. Of the three, Desertion is the most serious offense.
A military member has violated Article 87 if he/she is ordered to be on a ship or an aircraft, or deploy with a unit on a certain date and time, and then fails to show up. It doesn’t matter if the member failed to show up through intention or because of neglect, but it is required that the member knew about the movement. A viable defense would be that the member missed the movement through physical inability (as long as that physical inability wasn’t a result of misconduct or neglect). The possible punishment is more severe if the member missed the movement on purpose. It’s not uncommon for Missing Movement to be charged in conjunction with AWOL or Desertion, depending on the circumstances.
AWOL, or “Absent without Leave,” is usually called “Unauthorized Absence” (or UA) by the Navy and Marine Corps, and AWOL by the Army and Air Force. The use of “UA” by the Navy/Marine Corps and “AWOL” by the Army/Air Force is historical. Prior to enactment of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1951 the services were governed by separate laws. However, its official title under the current UCMJ is “AWOL” (a rose by any other name is still a rose). It simply means not being where you are supposed to be at the time you are supposed to be there. Being late for work is a violation of Article 86. Missing a medical appointment is a violation. So is disappearing for several days (or months, or years). The maximum possible punishments, which I’ll discuss later in this article, depends on the exact circumstances of the absence.
Did you know that desertion can result in the death penalty? It’s true. The maximum punishment for desertion during “time of war” is death. However, since the Civil War, only one American servicemember has ever been executed for desertion — Private Eddie Slovik in 1945.
The offense of desertion, under Article 85 carries a much greater punishment than the offense of AWOL, under Article 86. Many people believe that if one is absent without authority for 30 days or more, the offense changes from AWOL to desertion, but that’s not quite true.
The primary difference between the two offenses is “intent to remain away permanently,” or if the purpose of the absence is to shirk “important duty,” (such as a combat deployment).
If one intends to return to “military control” someday, one is guilty of AWOL, not desertion, even if they were away for 50 years. Conversely, if a person was absent for just one minute, and then captured, he could be convicted of desertion, if the prosecution could prove that the member intended to remain away from the military permanently.
If the intent of the absence was to “shirk important duty,” such as a combat deployment, then the “intent to remain away permanently” to support a charge of desertion is not necessary. However, Such services as drill, target practice, maneuvers, and practice marches are not ordinarily “important duty.” “Important duty” may include such duty as hazardous duty, duty in a combat zone, certain ship deployments, etc. Whether a duty is hazardous or a service is important depends upon the circumstances of the particular case, and is a question of fact for the court-martial to decide.
More About AWOL and Desertion
|Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)
|ART. 85. DESERTION
(a) Any member of the armed forces who–
(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States;
is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
Note: For specific details concerning this offense, including elements of proof, maximum punishments, and detailed explanation, see Punitive Articles of the UCMJ.
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Story 2: Speaker of House Boehner To Establish Select Committee on Benghazi — Oversight Committee Subpoenas Secretary of State John Kerry — Videos
Judge Jeanine Pirro Opening Statement – Benghazi Scandal Biggest Cover-up Since Watergate
Benghazi Scandal – Where Was Obama? – Visitor Logs Show He Had Debate Prep Night – Fox & Friends
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 1 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 2 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 3 of 5
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 4 of 5 – Military Option
Fox News Reporting – Benghazi White House Cover-Up Revealed? – Part 5 of 5 – What We Now Know
Benghazi Scandal – Peters: If There’s 1 Chances In Hell, You Try! – Kerry To Testify – Lt Col Peters
Benghazi Scandal Obama’s Paid Liar New Documents Revealed
Rep. Schiff on Fox News Sunday: Benghazi Select Committee A “Colossal Waste of Time
House To Form Select Committee On Benghazi To Get To The Truth – Special Report 1st Segment
Benghazi Scandal – Uncovering The Truth Speaker Forming Select Committee On Benghazi – Trey Gowdy
Boehner To Appoint Select Benghazi Committee
Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) discusses Benghazi on Fox News
McCarthy: Boehner Not Calling for Select Committee for Benghazi ‘Inexplicable’
Fmr. WH Spox to Baier on Benghazi
Bret Baier: Jay Carney’s Spin On Benghazi Briefing Materials “Surreal”
Chaffetz: Someone should be fired for Benghazi
Special Ops Vets Rally on Capitol Steps for Benghazi Select Committee
Wolf Calls For House Select Committee To Investigate Benghazi Attack
Rep. Frank Wolf on Benghazi – Politicizing the FBI & the CIA
SYRIA Rand Paul “Maybe We Were Facilitating Arms Leaving Libya Going Through Turkey Into Syria”
CNN Benghazi Claims: Report alleges CIA operatives in Libya were sending weapons to Syrian rebels
SYRIA Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Say The US Running Libya Arms To Syrian Rebels
SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria
Unguarded Weapons in Libya
20,000 Surface-to-Air Missiles Stolen in Libya
Thousands of Surface To Air Missiles Are Missing In Libya
FSA Takes Out Helicopter With Surface to Air Missile!
Embedded with Al-Qaeda in Syria
CIA Begins Delivering Weapons To AL-Qaeda In Syria
Al Nusra USA and France Co-ordinate Joint attacks on Syria
Report: Al-Qaeda Missile Manual Found
Obama Considering Secret Order Authorizing Covert Ops in Libya
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi
SOCOM and the Secret Missions of Special Ops (Full Documentary)
CIA Covert Action in Iran, Vietnam, Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and Guatemala: Documentary Film (1965)
A covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is a military, intelligence or law enforcement operation that is carried clandestinely and, often, outside of official channels. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation. It is normally sponsored by taxes from the government.
Under United States law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the sole US Government agency legally allowed to carry out Covert Action. The CIA’s authority to conduct Covert Action comes from the National Security Act of 1947. President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 titled in 1984. This order defined covert action as “special activities”, both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny. The CIA was also designated as the sole authority under the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act and in Title 50 of the United States Code Section 413(e). The CIA must have a “Presidential Finding” issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities under the Hughes-Ryan amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act. These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result of this framework, the CIA “receives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government.” The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, responsible for Covert Action and “Special Activities”. These special activities include covert political influence and paramilitary operations. The division is overseen by the United States Secretary of State.
The following persons are known to have participated in covert operations, as distinct from clandestine intelligence gathering (espionage) either by their own admission or by the accounts of others: Robert Baer Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, Czechoslovak British-trained agents sent to assassinate one of the most important Nazis, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942 as part of Operation Anthropoid. Aaron Franklin, World War II US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) officer who created a fake group of the German Army, made up of POWs, with the mission of killing Hitler. As a colonel, he was the first commander of United States Army Special Forces. Charles Beckwith, US Army colonel who was an early exchange officer with the British Special Air Service (SAS), and created the Delta Force (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta) based on the SAS. Gary Berntsen, CIA field officer and team leader during Operation Enduring Freedom Wendell Fertig, United States Army Reserve officer who organized large Filipino guerrilla forces against the Japanese in World War II Virginia Hall, American who first worked for the British Special Operations Executive, then for the American Office of Strategic Services in German-occupied France. Only U.S. woman to receive the Distinguished Service Cross. Eric Haney, founding member of Delta Force. Michael Harari, Israeli Mossad officer who led assassination operations (Operation Wrath of God) against PLO members accused of the 1972 Munich Massacre. Bruce Rusty Lang, commander of a mixed United States Army Special Forces & Montagnard (Degar/Bru people) commando Recon Team (RT Oklahoma) of Command and Control North, Studies and Observations Group. Previously served on Project 404, U.S. Embassy Laos, Assistant Army Attaché (“Secret War” in Laos 1970). Edward Lansdale, United States Air Force officer (and eventually major general) seconded to the CIA, and noted for his work with Ramon Magsaysay against the Hukbalahap insurgency in Philippines during the early 1950s, and later involved in Operation Mongoose against Cuba. T. E. Lawrence, British “Lawrence of Arabia” who organized Arab forces during World War I. Alain Mafart, French DGSE officer convicted, in New Zealand, for sinking the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior. Richard Meadows, United States Army Special Forces officer known for many operations, including the POW rescue attempt at Son Tay, North Vietnam, and for deep operations in support of Operation Eagle Claw.
America’s Roundtable: Congressman Frank Wolf Calls for Select Committee – Benghazi Terrorist Attack
‘Protestors’ fly Al Qaeda Flag at US embassy on Sept 11, 2012 Cairo, Egypt
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Petraeus Testifies CIA’s Benghazi, Libya Talking Points Were Changed – Megyn Kelly
Boehner to Establish Select Committee on Benghazi
May 2, 2014
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is announcing today that he intends for the House to vote to create a new select committee to investigate the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans. He released the following statement:
“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen. In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.
“The administration’s withholding of documents – emails showing greater White House involvement in misleading the American people – is a flagrant violation of trust and undermines the basic principles of oversight upon which our system of government is built. And it forces us to ask the question, what else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?
“The House committees that have been investigating this attack have done extraordinary work, using their subpoena power, holding dozens of hearings, and conducting hundreds of interviews. Without this work we would not know much that we do today. But it’s clear that questions remain, and the administration still does not respect the authority of Congress to provide proper oversight. This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level. I intend for this select committee to have robust authority, and I will expect it to work quickly to get answers for the American people and the families of the victims.
“Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists nearly 20 months ago, and we are still missing answers, accountability, and justice. It’s time that change.”
Boehner announces special committee on Benghazi, Kerry subpoenaed
House Republicans moved on two fronts Friday to dig for answers on Benghazi, with Speaker John Boehner announcing a special committee to investigate and a key panel subpoenaing Secretary of State John Kerry to testify.
In a significant shift, Boehner announced that the House will vote on establishing a select committee to investigate, on the heels of newly released emails that raised additional questions about the White House’s response.
Top Republicans claimed those emails should have been released to Congress months ago, and Boehner signaled those concerns prompted him to rethink the need for a select committee.
“Americans learned this week that the Obama Administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the People’s House. These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen,” he said in a statement.
“In light of these new developments, the House will vote to establish a new select committee to investigate the attack, provide the necessary accountability, and ensure justice is finally served.”
Boehner has long faced pressure from rank-and-file members to form such a panel to probe the attacks which killed four Americans including a U.S. ambassador, and until now had resisted. Fox News is told the speaker made the decision Thursday to go forward with a vote.
The committee is expected to be bipartisan, and Fox News is told Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is among those being considered to lead it.
House GOP Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the “continued obstruction” made clear that a select committee is needed. Many of the details are still being worked out but Boehner claimed the panel, if approved in a vote by the full House, would have “robust authority.”
He called the alleged “withholding” of documents a “flagrant violation of trust.”
“This dismissiveness and evasion requires us to elevate the investigation to a new level,” Boehner said.
But Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid blasted the decision as an election-year stunt. “There have already been multiple investigations into this issue and an independent Accountability Review Board is mandated under current law,” Reid said in a statement. “For Republicans to waste the American people’s time and money staging a partisan political circus instead of focusing on the middle class is simply a bad decision.”
The movement comes after newly released emails raised questions about the White House role in pushing faulty claims about the attacks.
The emails in question were obtained and published by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, following a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. One email showed White House adviser Ben Rhodes discussing a “prep call” with then-U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, before she went on several Sunday shows and made controversial and flawed statements linking the attack to an anti-Islam Internet video.
The email from Rhodes emphasized the role of the Internet video — leading to GOP charges that this “smoking gun” shows the White House politicized the tragedy.
The White House maintains the “prep call” was in reference to protests elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa.
On the heels of those documents, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also announced Friday that it has issued the subpoena for Kerry to testify at a May 21 hearing. The chairman of that committee has accused the administration of hiding records following an earlier subpoena.
“The State Department’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack has shown a disturbing disregard for the Department’s legal obligations to Congress,” Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to Kerry.
He added: “Compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game. Because your Department is failing to meet its legal obligations, I am issuing a new subpoena to compel you to appear before the Committee to answer questions about your agency’s response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack.”
Before the subpoena was announced, Boehner also called on Kerry to testify before Congress in light of these revelations.
A State Department official voiced surprise at the announcement, telling Fox News that the department has been cooperating with the committee all along.
White House officials have pushed back hard on Republican claims that the Rhodes email was a “smoking gun” that proves the administration politicized the attack.
Former White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told Fox News on Thursday that he wished the documents had been released earlier.
“I bet you every single person in that White House wished that email has been released earlier. I wish it too because it tells us nothing new, It tells us what we said privately was what we said publicly, because that is what we thought had occurred,” Vietor said.
As for the special committee, one of the biggest backers of such a panel, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., commended Boehner for the decision.
He also cited Fox News’ reporting. “In the case of Benghazi, much credit goes to FOX News’ Catherine Herridge and Bret Baier for their tenacious commitment to this story and investigation,” he said in a statement.
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Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)
1. General Introduction
2. “The Tree of Commonwealth”: The Social Order in the Sixteenth Century
3. Households: Structures, Priorities, Strategies, Roles
4. Communities: Key Institutions and Relationships
5. “Countries” and Nation: Social and Economic Networks and the Urban System
6. The Structures of Power
7. Late Medieval Religion and Its Critics
8. Reformation and Division, 1530-1558
9. “Commodity” and “Commonweal”: Economic and Social Problems, 1520-1560
10. The Elizabethan Confessional State: Conformity, Papists and Puritans
11. The Elizabethan “Monarchical Republic”: Political Participation
12. Economic Expansion, 1560-1640
13. A Polarizing Society, 1560-1640
14. Witchcraft and Magic
15. Crime and the Law
16. Popular Protest
17. Education and Literacy
18. Street Wars of Religion: Puritans and Arminians
19. Crown and Political Nation, 1604-1640
20. Constitutional Revolution and Civil War, 1640-1646
21. Regicide and Republic, 1647-1660
22. An Unsettled Settlement: The Restoration Era, 1660-1688
23. England, Britain, and the World: Economic Development, 1660-1720
24. Refashioning the State, 1688-1714
25. Concluding Discussion and Advice on Examination
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Reid says Bundy supporters are nothing but domestic terrorists
Harry Reid accuses Cliven Bundy Nevada Ranch supporters of being ‘domestic terrorists’ – LoneWolf
Nevada Rancher Vs Federal Agents – Judge Andrew Napolitano On O’Reilly Factor
COMPLETE INTERVIEW: Rand Paul On Harry Reid Calling Bundy Supporters Domestic Terrorists
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Story 1: Al Sharpton “Forget About It” — FBI Confidential Informant — CI-7 Snitch — On The Mafia — FBI Flipped Him — Sharpton Admits He Informed But Denies He Was Paid — Obamacare Witness Protection Program — Videos
Johnny Depp explains “Fuggetaboutit”
Al Sharpton: Secret Agent Thug
Morton Downey Jr. – Al Sharpton
Al Sharpton knocked on his ass by Roy Innis
GATES CASE: Ann Coulter Teaches Al Sharpton & All Racists A Lesson pt1 7/30/09
GATES CASE: Ann Coulter Teaches Al Sharpton & All Racists A Lesson pt2 7/30/09
The Rev. Al Sharpton Defends President Barack Obama – Oprah’s Next Chapter – OWN
Sheriff Joe Arpaio Pimp Slaps Infamous Douche Bag Al Sharpton
Cornel West: Sharpton Sold Soul for Obama
AL SHARPTON AND CORNEL WEST GO AT IT OVER OBAMA!
Al Sharpton – “American’s Overwhelmingly Voted for Socialism when they elected President Obama”
Judge Jeanine to Obama: Nobel Peace Prize? Give it Back! – Opening Statement – Fox News -
Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on Election, Why Calling Obama Progressive Ignores His Record 1/2
Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on Election, Why Calling Obama Progressive Ignores His Record 2/2
The men behind Barack Obama part 1
The men behind Barack Obama part 2
Dreams from My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception
Paul Kengor & Glenn Beck “The Communist” on GBTV Frank Marshall Davis Barack Obama’s Mentor
Paul Kengor on Frank Marshall Davis
O’Reilly Talking Point ▶ Obama Misleading The Country? – The End Justifying The Means
Is Obama dragging down the Democratic party?
Top 5 Mafia Rats in Hiding
Donnie Brasco – Forget About It
I’m Glad It Was Him – Donnie Brasco (8/8) Movie CLIP (1997) HD
Donnie Brasco The Undercover FBI Agent NationalCrimeSyndicate com
Donnie Brasco talking to Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggerio (REAL wiretap): Part 1
Joe Pistone aka Donnie Brasco talking to Benjamin Ruggerio talking about the situation with Anthony Mirra. This conversation happened around 1980. This conversation concerns a meeting concerning Anthony Mirra, Lefty Ruggerio, and other members of the Bonanno Family concerning Pistone. Mirra claimed Pistone cut up $250,000 involving junk money. The other person being mentioned is a man named Rocky, who was also an undercover agent. Pistone attempted to protect Rocky throughout this conversation without showing that he was protecting him.
Donnie Brasco talking to Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggerio (REAL wiretap): Part 2
Donnie Brasco (Joseph Pistone) talking to Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggerio Part 2.
Donnie Brasco talking to Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggerio (REAL wiretap): Part 3
Part 3: Donnie Brasco, aka Joseph Pistone, talking to Benjamin Ruggerio about Anthony Mirra and Rocky
The War Against the Mafia
How the FBI Sabotaged Black America
Al Sharpton’s Secret Work As FBI Informant
Untold story of how activist once aided probes of NYC wiseguys
When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.
That same man attended February’s state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande. He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.
The high-profile Obama supporter was also on the dais atop the U.S. Capitol steps last year when the president was sworn in for a second term. He was seated in front of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, two rows behind Beyonce and Jay Z, and about 20 feet from Eric Holder, the country’s top law enforcement officer. As head of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder leads an agency that once reported that Obama’s inauguration guest also had La Cosa Nostra contacts beyond Gotham, and engaged in “conversations with LCN members from other parts of the United States.”
The former mob snitch has become a regular in the White House, where he has met with the 44th president in the East Room, the Roosevelt Room, and the Oval Office. He has also attended Obama Christmas parties, speeches, policy announcements, and even watched a Super Bowl with the First Family (an evening the man has called “one of the highlights of my life”). During these gatherings, he has mingled with cabinet members, top Obama aides, military leaders, business executives, and members of Congress. His former confederates were a decidedly dicier lot: ex-convicts, extortionists, heroin traffickers, and mob henchmen. The man’s surreptitious recordings, FBI records show, aided his government handlers in the successful targeting of powerful Mafia figures with nicknames like Benny Eggs, Chin, Fritzy, Corky, and Baldy Dom.
Later this week, Obama will travel to New York and appear in a Manhattan hotel ballroom at the side of the man whom FBI agents primarily referred to as “CI-7”–short for confidential informant #7–in secret court filings. In those documents, investigators vouched for him as a reliable, productive, and accurate source of information about underworld figures.
The ex-informant has been one of Obama’s most unwavering backers, a cheerleader who has nightly bludgeoned the president’s Republican opponents in televised broadsides. For his part, Obama has sought the man’s counsel, embraced him publicly, and saluted his “commitment to fight injustice and inequality.” The president has even commented favorably on his friend’s svelte figure, the physical manifestation of a rehabilitation effort that coincided with Obama’s ascension to the White House. This radical makeover has brought the man wealth, a daily TV show, bespoke suits, a luxury Upper West Side apartment, and a spot on best seller lists.
Most importantly, he has the ear of the President of the United States, an equally remarkable and perplexing achievement for the former FBI asset known as “CI-7,” the Rev. Al Sharpton.
A lengthy investigation by The Smoking Gun has uncovered remarkable details about Sharpton’s past work as an informant for a joint organized crime task force comprised of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, as well as his dealings with an assortment of wiseguys.
Beginning in the mid-1980s and spanning several years, Sharpton’s cooperation was fraught with danger since the FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family, the country’s largest and most feared Mafia outfit. In addition to aiding the FBI/NYPD task force, which was known as the “Genovese squad,” Sharpton’s cooperation extended to several other investigative agencies.
TSG’s account of Sharpton’s secret life as “CI-7” is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials to whom the activist provided assistance.
Like almost every other FBI informant, Sharpton was solely an information source. The parameters of his cooperation did not include Sharpton ever surfacing publicly or testifying on a witness stand.
Genovese squad investigators–representing both the FBI and NYPD–recalled how Sharpton, now 59, deftly extracted information from wiseguys. In fact, one Gambino crime family figure became so comfortable with the protest leader that he spoke openly–during ten wired face-to-face meetings–about a wide range of mob business, from shylocking and extortions to death threats and the sanity of Vincent “Chin” Gigante, the Genovese boss who long feigned mental illness in a bid to deflect law enforcement scrutiny. As the mafioso expounded on these topics, Sharpton’s briefcase–a specially customized Hartman model–recorded his every word.
Task force members, who were interviewed separately, spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing Sharpton’s work as an informant and the Genovese squad’s activities. Some of these investigators provided internal FBI documents to a reporter.
Records obtained by TSG show that information gathered by Sharpton was used by federal investigators to help secure court authorization to bug two Genovese family social clubs, including Gigante’s Greenwich Village headquarters, three autos used by crime family leaders, and more than a dozen phone lines. These listening devices and wiretaps were approved during the course of a major racketeering investigation targeting the Genovese family’s hierarchy.
A total of eight separate U.S. District Court judges–presiding in four federal jurisdictions–signed interception orders that were based on sworn FBI affidavits including information gathered by Sharpton. The phones bugged as a result of these court orders included two lines in Gigante’s Manhattan townhouse, the home phone of Genovese captain Dominick “Baldy Dom” Canterino, and the office lines of music industry power Morris Levy, a longtime Genovese family associate. The resulting surreptitious recordings were eventually used to help convict an assortment of Mafia members and associates.
Investigators also used Sharpton’s information in an application for a wiretap on the telephone in the Queens residence of Federico “Fritzy” Giovanelli, a Genovese soldier. Giovanelli was sentenced to 20 years in prison for racketeering following a trial during which those recordings were played for jurors. In a recent interview, the 82-year-old Giovanelli–now three years removed from his latest stint in federal custody–said that he was unaware that Sharpton contributed in any fashion to his phone’s bugging. He then jokingly chided a reporter for inquiring about the civil rights leader’s past. “Poor Sharpton, he cleaned up his life and you want to ruin him,” Giovanelli laughed.
While Sharpton’s acrimonious history with law enforcement–especially the NYPD–rankled some Genovese squad investigators, they nonetheless grudgingly acknowledged in interviews that the activist produced for those he would go on to frequently pillory.
Genovese squad members, however, did not share with Sharpton specific details about how they were using the information he was gathering for them. This is standard practice since FBI affidavits in support of wiretap applications are filed under seal by Department of Justice prosecutors. Still, Sharpton was briefed in advance of his undercover sorties, so he was well aware of the squad’s investigative interest in Gigante and his Mafia cronies.
Sharpton vehemently denies having worked as an FBI informant. He has alleged that claims of government cooperation were attempts by dark forces to stunt his aggressive brand of civil rights advocacy or, perhaps, get him killed. In his most recent book, “The Rejected Stone,” which hit best seller lists following its October 2013 publication, Sharpton claimed to have once been “set up by the government,” whose agents later leaked “false information” that “could have gotten me killed.” He added, “So I have been seriously tested in what I believe over the years.”
In an interview Saturday, Sharpton again denied working as a confidential informant, claiming that his prior cooperation with FBI agents was limited to efforts to prompt investigations of drug dealing in minority communities, as well as the swindling of black artists in the recording industry. He also repeatedly denied being “flipped” by federal agents in the course of an undercover operation. When asked specifically about his recording of the Gambino crime family member, Sharpton was noncommittal: “I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no.”
If Sharpton’s account is to be believed, he was simply a concerned citizen who voluntarily (and briefly) joined arm-in-arm with federal agents, perhaps risking peril in the process. The other explanation for Sharpton’s cooperation–one that has uniformly been offered by knowledgeable law enforcement agents–presents the reverend in a less noble light. Worried that he could face criminal charges, Sharpton opted for the path of self-preservation and did what the FBI asked. Which is usually how someone is compelled to repeatedly record a gangster discussing murder, extortion, and loan sharking.
Sharpton spoke for an hour in an office at the House of Justice, his Harlem headquarters, where he had just finished addressing a crowd of about 200 people that included his two adult daughters and his second wife (from whom he hasbeen separated for ten years). A few minutes into the interview, Sharpton asked, “Are you taping this?” A TSG reporter answered that he was not recording their interview, but had a digital recorder and wished to do so. Sharpton declined that request.
In the absence of any real examination/exhumation of Sharpton’s past involvement with the FBI and the Mafia, his denials have served the civil rights leader well. Scores of articles and broadcast reports about the Obama-era “rehabilitation” of Sharpton have mentioned his inflammatory past–Tawana Brawley, Crown Heights, Freddy’s Fashion Mart, and various anti-Semitic and homophobic statements. But his organized crime connections and related informant work have received no such scrutiny.
In a “60 Minutes” profile aired three months before the August 2011 launch of Sharpton’s MSNBC show, correspondent Lesley Stahl reported on the “tame” Sharpton’s metamorphosis from “loud mouth activist” to “trusted White House advisor who’s become the president’s go-to black leader.” As for prior underworld entanglements, those were quickly dispatched: “There were allegations of mob ties, never proved,” Stahl flatly declared.
As host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” Sharpton now reluctantly identifies himself as a member of the media, if not actually a journalist. He spends his time at 30 Rockefeller Plaza surrounded by reporters, editors, and researchers committed to accuracy and the exposure of those who violate the public trust. In fact, Sharpton himself delights in a daily feature that seeks to expose liars, hypocrites, and others engaged in deceit (his targets tend to be Republican opponents of the Obama administration). As he wraps this segment, Sharpton points his finger at the camera and addresses his quarry: “Nice try, but we gotcha!”
In addition to his MSNBC post, Sharpton heads the National Action Network, which describes itself as a “Christian activist organization.” Obama, who refers to Sharpton as “Rev” or “Reverend Al,” is scheduled to deliver a keynote address Friday at the group’s annual convention in New York City. Mayor Bill DeBlasio will preside Wednesday over the convention’s ribbon cutting ceremony, while Holder and three Obama cabinet secretaries will deliver speeches.
Sharpton has been a leading supporter of Holder, who spoke at the National Action Network’s 2012 convention and saluted the reverend for “your partnership, your friendship, and also for your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill.” Last Friday, Sharpton appeared on a panel at a Department of Justice forum led by Tony West, the agency’s third-ranking official. West thanked Sharpton for his “leadership, day in and day out, on issues of reconciliation and community restoration.”
According to its most recent IRS return, which Sharpton signed in mid-November 2013, the National Action Network pays him $241,402 annually for serving as president and CEO. In return for that hefty salary, Sharpton–who hosts a three-hour daily radio show in addition to his nightly cable TV program–reportedly works a 40-hour week for the not-for-profit (which lists unpaid tax liabilities totaling $813,576).
For longtime observers, the “new” Sharpton’s public prominence and West Wing access is bewildering considering that his history, mob ties included, could charitably be described as checkered. In fact, Obama has banished others guilty of lesser transgressions (see: Wright, Jeremiah).
Sharpton now calls himself a “refined agitator,” an activist no longer prone to incendiary language or careless provocations. Indeed, a Google check confirms that it has been years since he labeled a detractor a “faggot,” used the term “homos,” or derisively referred to Jewish diamond merchants.
* * *
As an “informant in development,” as one federal investigator referred to Sharpton, the protest leader was seen as an intriguing prospective source, since he had significant contacts in politics, boxing, and the music industry.
Before he was “flipped” in the course of an FBI sting operation in 1983, Sharpton had established relationships with promoter Don King, various elected officials, and several powerful New York hoodlums involved in concert promotion, record distribution, and talent management. At the time, the music business was “overrun by hustlers, con artists, black and white,” Sharpton recalled in his 1996autobiography. A federal agent who was not part of the Genovese squad–but who also used Sharpton as an informant–recalled that “everyone was trying to mine” his music industry ties.
In fact, by any measure, Sharpton himself was a Mafia “associate,” the law enforcement designation given to mob affiliates who, while not initiated, work with and for crime family members. While occupying the lowest rung on the LCN org chart–which is topped by a boss-underboss-consigliere triumvirate–associates far outnumber “made” men, and play central roles in a crime family’s operation, from money-making pursuits to more violent endeavors.
For more than four years, the fact that Sharpton was working as an informant was known only to members of the Genovese squad and a small number of other law enforcement agents. As with any Mafia informant, protecting Sharpton’s identity was crucial to maintaining the viability of ongoing investigations. Not to mention keeping him alive.
For example, an episode recounted by TSG sources highlighted the sensitive nature of Sharpton’s cooperation with the FBI/NYPD task force.
In advance of seeking court authorization to bug a pair of Genovese family social clubs and a Cadillac used by Gigante and Canterino, a draft version of a wiretap affidavit was circulated for review within the Genovese squad, which operated from the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters. The 53-page document, which detailed the “probable cause” to believe that listening devices would yield incriminatingconversations, concerned some investigators due to the degree to which the activities of Sharpton were described in the document.
While the affidavit prepared by FBI Agent Gerald King and a federal prosecutor only referred to Sharpton as “CI-7,” the document included the name of a Gambino mobster whom Sharpton taped, as well as the dates and details of five of their recorded meetings. Such specificity was problematic since the possibility existed that the affidavit’s finalized version could someday be turned over to defense lawyers in the discovery phase of a criminal trial.
Investigators fretted that Sharpton could easily be unmasked by the Gambino member, who, if ever questioned about his meetings with “CI-7,” would surely realize that Sharpton was the wired informant referred to in the FBI affidavit. That discovery, of course, could have placed Sharpton’s life in grave danger. The Gambino wiseguy, too, likely would have faced trouble, since he was recorded speaking about a wide range of Mafia matters, including Gigante’s illegal operations. The Genovese power–rightly paranoid about bugged phones and listening devices–famously forbid fellow gangsters from even speaking his name. In fact, if a wiseguy had to refer to Gigante during an in-person meeting, a quick stroke of the chin was the acceptable means of identification.
In response to concerns about the King affidavit, the draft, which a source provided to TSG, was rewritten to carefully shroud Sharpton’s work with government agents. The affidavit’s final version–which was submitted to two federal judges–no longer included the disclosure that “CI-7” had “consensually recorded his conversations” with a gangster. The wiseguy’s name was also deleted from the document, as was any reference to the Gambino family or the informant’s sex.
Instead, the revamped affidavit simply noted that “CI-7 reported” to the FBI various details of Genovese family rackets. The actual source of that valuable intelligence about Gigante & Co. had been carefully obscured. As were the details of how that information was obtained via Sharpton’s battery-powered valise.
But despite efforts like this to protect Sharpton, some details of his informant work leaked out in January 1988, when New York Newsday reported that the civil rights activist had cooperated with federal investigations targeting organized crime figures and Don King. Though he reportedly made incriminating admissions to the newspaper, Sharpton quickly issued vehement denials that he had snitched on anyone.
While acknowledging contact with law enforcement officials, Sharpton–then involved in the early stages of the Tawana Brawley hoax–said he sought the help of investigators to combat the crack cocaine epidemic ravaging New York’s poorest communities. Sharpton also claimed to have contacted agents (and pledged his assistance) after a Mafia associate allegedly threatened him over a music industry dispute.
Sharpton asserted that a phone installed in his Brooklyn apartment by federal investigators in mid-1987 was there to serve as a “hotline” for the public to report drug dealing. He flatly denied recording phone conversations at the direction of law enforcement agents. In one radio interview, Sharpton even declared, “We have an ethical thing against wiretapping.”
In fact, Sharpton had been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn as part of an investigation targeting Don King. According to a source involved with that probe, federal agents “ran him for a couple of months,” during which time Sharpton “did some recordings” via his new home telephone. But the nascent Department of Justice operation was abruptly shuttered in the wake of the New York Newsday story.
The Brooklyn investigators were introduced to Sharpton in late-1987 by Joseph Spinelli, one of the reverend’s former FBI handlers (and one of the agents who initially secured his cooperation with the bureau). While Spinelli had left the FBI for another government post, he still helped facilitate Sharpton’s interaction with other investigators. “Joe was shopping him around,” one source recalled.
For example, in July 1987, Spinelli called a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and offered Sharpton’s assistance with a matter the lawyer was handling. The case involved Salvatore Pisello, a mobbed-up music industry figure who had just been indicted for tax evasion (and whom Sharpton had previously accused of threatening his life).
Referring to Sharpton, ex-prosecutor Marvin Rudnick said in an interview, “I didn’t know who he was” when Spinelli called. In subsequent conversations with Rudnick, Sharpton provided information about Pisello and a related music industry matter that was being scrutinized by Justice Department investigators.
While Sharpton would not prove particularly helpful to Rudnick, the attorney clearly recalled his brief, unorthodox dealings with the New York activist. “I remember having to go to a pay phone to take the call because he didn’t want it to be traced,” Rudnick laughed.
* * *
So why did Sharpton agree to become an FBI informant? And why was he willing to risk the dangers inherent in such cooperation?
“He thought he didn’t have a choice,” one Genovese squad agent recalled.
In the course of an investigation being run by Spinelli and his partner John Pritchard, Sharpton was secretly recorded in meetings with an FBI undercover agent posing as a wealthy drug dealer seeking to promote boxing matches.
As previously reported, Colombo crime family captain Michael Franzese, who knew Sharpton, enlisted the activist’s help in connecting with Don King. Franzese and Sharpton were later surreptitiously filmed during one meeting with the undercover, while Sharpton and Daniel Pagano, a Genovese soldier, were recorded at another sit-down. Pagano’s father Joseph was a Genovese power deeply involved in the entertainment industry (and who also managed the crime family’s rackets in counties north of New York City).
During one meeting with Sharpton, the undercover agent offered to get him “pure coke” at $35,000 a kilo. As the phony drug kingpin spoke, Sharpton nodded his head and said, “I hear you.” When the undercover promised Sharpton a 10 percent finder’s fee if he could arrange the purchase of several kilos, the reverend referred to an unnamed buyer and said, “If he’s gonna do it, he’ll do it much more than that.” The FBI agent steered the conversation toward the possible procurement of cocaine, sources said, since investigators believed that Sharpton acquaintance Daniel Pagano–who was not present–was looking to consummate drug deals. Joseph Pagano, an East Harlem native who rose through a Genovese crew notorious for narcotics trafficking, spent nearly seven years in federal prison for heroin distribution.
While Sharpton did not explicitly offer to arrange a drug deal, some investigators thought his interaction with the undercover agent could be construed as a violation of federal conspiracy laws. Though an actual prosecution, an ex-FBI agent acknowledged, would have been “a reach,” agents decided to approach Sharpton and attempt to “flip” the activist, who was then shy of his 30th birthday. In light of Sharpton’s relationship with Don King, FBI agents wanted his help in connection with the bureau’s three-year-old boxing investigation, code named “Crown Royal” and headed by Spinelli and Pritchard.
The FBI agents confronted Sharpton with the undercover videos and warned that he could face criminal charges as a result of the secret recordings. Sharpton, of course, could have walked out and ran to King, Franzese, or Pagano and reported the FBI approach (and the fact that drug dealer “Victor Quintana” was actually a federal agent).
In subsequent denials that he had been “flipped,” Sharpton has contended that he stiffened in the face of the FBI agents, meeting their bluff with bluster and bravado. He claimed to have turned away Spinelli & Co., daring them to “Indict me” and “Prosecute.” Sharpton has complained that the seasoned investigators were “trying to sting me, entrap me…a young minister.”
In fact, Sharpton fell for the FBI ruse and agreed to cooperate, a far-reaching decision he made without input from a lawyer, according to sources. “I think there was some fear [of prosecution] on his part,” recalled a former federal agent. In a TSG interview, Sharpton claimed that he rebuffed the FBI agents, who, he added, threatened to serve him with a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury investigating King. After being confronted by the bureau, Sharpton said he consulted with an attorney (whom he declined to identify).
Following bureau guidelines, agents formally opened a “137” informant file on Sharpton, a move that was approved by FBI supervisors, according to several sources. Agents anticipated using Sharpton in the “Crown Royal” case focusing on King, but during initial debriefings of their new recruit, it became clear that his contacts in the music business were equally appealing.
Sharpton had met James Brown in the mid-70s, and became extremely close to the R&B superstar. He worked for and traveled with the mercurial performer, married one of Brown’s backup singers, and wore the same processed hairdo as the entertainer. Like Brown, Sharpton would sometimes even wear a cowboy hat atop his tribute conk.
It was first through executives at Spring Records, a small Manhattan-based label affiliated with Brown, that Sharpton–who worked from the firm’s office–was introduced to various wiseguys, including Franzese. His circle of mob contacts would grow to include, among others, the Paganos, Carmine DeNoia, an imposing Pagano associate known as “Wassel,” and Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno, a Gambino crime family figure involved in record distribution and production.
At one point before he was “flipped,” Sharpton participated in a mob scheme to create a business front that would seek a share of lucrative Con Edison set-asides intended for minority-owned businesses. That deal, which involved garbage collection contracts, cratered when the power company determined that Sharpton’s silent partner was Genovese captain Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello. Details of the Con Ed plot emerged at a federal criminal trial of Ianniello and his business partner Benjamin Cohen. It was Cohen, who worked across the hall from Spring Records, who recruited Sharpton for the mob garbage gambit.
Meet Al Sharpton, “Confidential Informant No. 7.”
The longtime agitator, civil-rights activist and TV host was exposed Monday as an alleged former key FBI informant whose tips helped take down some of the biggest names in New York Mafia history.
The Rev. Al launched his sensational secret life as a paid mob snitch in the mid-1980s, pressured to cooperate after being ensnared in a developing drug sting, according to a bombshell report bythesmokinggun.com.
As “CI-7,” the then-portly Harlem leader would tote a customized Hartmann briefcase equipped with an FBI bug to hobnob with members of some of the city’s most notorious crime families, the site said.
Sharpton’s main job was to dig dirt on the Genovese crime family, according to sources and court documents.
He was so good at “playing dumb’’ that he wound up helping to bring down such names as Venero “Benny Eggs’’ Mangano, Dominick “Baldy Dom’’ Canterino and even the muttering “oddfather” of Greenwich Village, family boss Vincent “Chin’’ Gigante, the site said.
He was a “very reliable informant, and his information ‘has never been found to be false or inaccurate,’ ” the report said, quoting a 1986 court document.
While it was known that Sharpton had spied for the FBI on music- and sports-promotion figures, the new data said he also extracted juicy information from wiseguys.
The feds later used the dirt to obtain warrants to bug key Genovese spots.
Because of Sharpton’s undercover work, listening devices were surreptitiously installed in two crime-family social clubs, including Gigante’s Village headquarters, three cars used by Mafiosos and more than a dozen phone lines, the site said.
Information gleaned from those bugs then helped nail the mobsters.
One of Sharpton’s main unsuspecting founts of useful information was Joseph “Joe Bana’’ Buonanno.
During 10 face-to-face chats between the pair, “Joe Bana just gave him a whole insight into how ‘Chin’ and [music-industry honcho] Morris [Levy] operated,’’ said an NYPD source with the joint FBI-Police Department “Genovese Squad.”
Before his rapt audience of one, Buonanno expounded on the mob’s past extortions and death threats.
He even allegedly revealed to Sharpton a few not-so-flattering details about his boss, Gigante, who for years pretended he was crazy by shuffling around the West Village in a bathrobe to escape prosecution from the feds.
Buonanno told Sharpton of the godfather’s purported illiteracy and the fact that he “hates everyone not Italian,” the site said.
The mob soldier even detailed how Gigante “was present” at the hit of Genovese captain Thomas “Tommy Ryan’’ Eboli, to “make sure it was done right,” the site said.
Still, while Sharpton had the gift of gab and got Buonanno to unwittingly spill his guts, the mob soldier snottily referred to the preacher as “a nose picker’’ behind his back, an associate told the site.
Both Buonanno and Gigante are now dead.
The revelation of Sharpton’s involvement with the feds couldn’t have come at a more embarrassing time.
Sharpton is set to convene the annual convention of his National Action Network in New York this week — with Mayor de Blasio cutting the opening-ceremony ribbon Wednesday and President Obama flying in to give the keynote address Friday.
Sharpton, in an interview with The Post on Monday, didn’t deny that he cooperated with the FBI — but said the thesmokinggun.com report was the equivalent of a mob hit.
“It’s crazy. If I provided all the information they claimed I provided, I should be given a ticker-tape parade,” said Sharpton, 59, who now regularly rubs elbows with Obama and his wife Michelle, Attorney General Eric Holder and congressmen and other national leaders.
“What did Al Sharpton do wrong? Eliot Spitzer did do something wrong, and he got a TV show,” said the Rev. Al, referring to the hooker-loving former governor.
Sharpton is currently the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.’’ He regularly wraps up one segment by pointing a finger at the camera and yelling, “Nice try, but we gotcha!”
He denied being paid to snitch and said he never carried a brief case with a listening device.
He insisted that if he did cooperate with the feds, it was because he’d been threatened by a mobster while working with black concert promoters.
“The article is embellished. The real story is I told the FBI about being threatened because I was a civil-rights leader helping black concert promoters,” Sharpton said.
He griped that the report was simply an attempt to “muddy’’ him before this week’s NAN convention.
A Sharpton confidante who’s known him for decades was caught off guard by the extent of the activist’s alleged dealings with the FBI.
“Holy s- -t,’’ the source said. “This comes out of left for me. I’m actually driving off the road.’’
But veteran Democratic political consultant George Arzt said the report is more likely to boost Sharpton’s standing with the public rather than hurt it.
“This is just going to add to his luster of being a character,” Arzt said. “It does raise questions about an anti-establishment guy cooperating with the FBI. But now he is establishment.”
Sharpton was considered prime fodder as a mole for the FBI’s Mafia unit because of his already-existing connections to the underworld, the site said.
For example, he knew Genovese soldier Joseph Pagano, who was involved in entertainment-industry schemes for decades, allegedly controlled “Rat Pack’’ singer Sammy Davis Jr. and once even “lost a big roll [of money] to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,’’ FBI sources said.
Sharpton allegedly told the feds he had an in with Pagano because he’d introduced him to boxer Muhammad Ali and his reps.
In trying to nail the Genovese Mafiosos with Sharpton’s help, the feds embarked on their bugging scheme — sometimes producing hilarious results, the report said.
At one point, the Genovese Squad tried to wire mobster Dominick Canterino’s Cadillac in front of his Gravesend, Brooklyn, home.
An agent broke into and hot-wired the car to briefly drive it off to plant the bug before returning it.
“Piece of cake,’’ he radioed to fellow agents down the block.
“You’re burned!” an NYPD detective shouted back a minute later, as he spotted Canterino watching the agent drive away with his car.
“In retrospect, it was like a Keystone comedy,’’ chuckled a former FBI agent who was there that day. “But it wasn’t so funny when it occurred.”
Canterino has since died.
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Story 2: The Benghazi Cover-up and Scandal — Explosive Testimony of CIA – Americans Died — Obama Lied — False Narrative = The Big Lie — Democrat Deceivers — Tyrants Liars Club (TLC) — A Lie is A Lie is A Lie — Videos
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
“Anything is better than lies and deceit!”
~ Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
April 2 Benghazi hearing with Mike Morell
Former CIA deputy director Michael Morrell denies Benghazi cover-up – Lone Wolf
Bachmann Challenges Former Acting CIA Director on Benghazi
Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood
House Intel CMTE Holds Hearing On Benghazi Scandal – Michele Bachmann Heated Exchange
Fox praises Thornberry’s questions at Benghazi hearing
Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi
Rep. Thornberry questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi Part 2
Political Fallout From Michael Morell’s Benghazi Testimony
Ex-CIA Acting Dir. Mike Morell: No Complaints About Susan Rice’s Talking Benghazi Points
Fox praises Thornberry’s questions at Benghazi hearing
Rogers: ‘Some Disagreement’ Between Morrell’s Prior Testimony and CIA Libyan Station Chief
Westmoreland Questions Former CIA Deputy
Director in Benghazi Hearing
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Rep. Thornberry Questions former CIA Deputy Director about Benghazi
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Fox News Benghazi cover up Mike Morell’s testimony comes under fire
Benghazi Scandal Frm CIA Deputy DIR Morrell Accused Of Misleading Lawmakers On Benghazi
Rep. Peter King Reacts To Mike Morell’s Benghazi Testimony
Lying To Congress – Mike Morell’s Benghazi Attack Testimony Coming Under Fire – Dc Scandal
Rand Paul ATTACKS Gov Cover Up
RAND PAUL BRINGS IT!… Tells Hillary Clinton: YOU Are to Blame for Benghazi!
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Things Get Tense When Bachmann Grills Former CIA Deputy Director Over Benghazi Talking Points
The former deputy director of the CIA insisted during a congressional hearing Wednesday that he did not alter the infamous 2012 Benghazi talking points due to political pressure, despite pointed questioning by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).
“The narrative that the attack evolved spontaneously from a protest was a narrative that intelligence community analysts believed,” Mike Morell said. “That turned out to be incorrect. But that is what they believed at the time. So there is no politics there whatsoever.”
“Let me actually give you the facts,” Morell added to Bachmann, before contending the five edits that were made had nothing to do with politics, but instead involved minor stylistic changes and edits to increase accuracy.
Just four days after the attack, the former deputy director of the CIA removed references about threats from extremists tied to Al Qaeda, substituting it by saying that “there are indications extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
Bachmann argued such changes were of importance.
“You made significant, substantive changes for the White House,” she said. “Whether it was on behalf, we don’t know. But we know you are the one that made those changes.”
“Ma’am, if you look at the record, what you will see that the changes were fully consistent with what our analysts believed at the time. Period,” the former deputy director replied.
Bachmann said that those on the ground at the time of the attack were ignored and argued that there was an “intentional misleading of the public.”
Morell maintained that the changes he made to the widely debunked 2012 talking points were not for political reasons.
Michael Morell: No cover-up on Benghazi
By LUCY MCCALMONT
Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell denied Wednesday that there was any cover-up or political influence in messaging after the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
“We did not deliberately downplay the role of terrorists in the Benghazi attack in our analysis or in the talking points,” Morell said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.
“And neither I, nor anyone else at the agency, deliberately misled anyone in Congress about any aspect of the tragedy in Benghazi,” Morell added.
(PHOTOS: 10 slams on Obama and Benghazi)
Morell was deputy director of the agency at the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Both Morell and the agency, as well as the administration, have faced criticism from the right regarding the handling of the attack, including claims that there were political motives behind the framing of the information surrounding the incident.
Many took issue with the talking points following the attack, namely the delay in calling it a terrorist attack carried out by Al Qaeda versus a spontaneous demonstration in protest of an anti-Muslim video.
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the talking points “did not reflect the best information available” and were used by the administration “to perpetrate a false narrative about the attacks.”
Rogers also asked Morell why he did not say during a November 2012 hearing following the attack why references to Al Qaeda had been taken out of the talking points. Morell said that at the time, he did not know who took them out.
(PHOTOS: Clinton’s best Benghazi hearing lines)
“But to be fair, and, in retrospect, what I wish I would have done, was to say to you, ‘Chairman, I do not know who took Al Qaeda out of the talking points, but you should know that I myself made a number of changes to the points.’ That’s what I should have said. I didn’t,” Morell said.
Morell also said there are things that both he and the agency “should have done differently,” but he dismissed political motivations.
“There are areas where the CIA’s performance and my own performance could have been better, but none of our actions were the result of political influence in the intelligence process. None.”
Morell said he did not know that the talking points would be used by Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in her appearances on the Sunday talk shows shortly following the attacks, which were widely criticized and, many say, cost her the secretary of state position, as she later withdrew her consideration for the spot.
“In fact, I didn’t even know she was going to be on the Sunday shows,” Morell said, adding that no one asked him or the agency to prepare Rice.
Morell said he believed that Rice, who is now national security adviser, would have had the talking points, as well as intelligence information from the days prior. However, he acknowledged that she did not have information sent by the CIA’s station chief on the ground, which concluded that the attack was possibly preplanned.
“Don’t you think that was an important document to get in the hands of someone who is going to brief the country on what was actually happening on the ground?” Rogers asked.
Morell said that the information had not been disseminated outside of the CIA and that at the time, he did not find the arguments that it was a preplanned attack “compelling.” Morell said earlier in the hearing that when the information from the station chief was first sent to analysts, they were “sticking to their judgment” that it was a protest.
“So I believed what my analysts said, that there was a protest. I also believed it to be a terrorist attack. You see, we never, we never saw those two things as mutually exclusive, and so I believed both of those at the same time,” Morell said.
Taking issue with Morell’s testimony was Rep. Devin Nunes.
”The problem is that you have all of these conflicting stories, right?” Nunes (R-Calif.) said to Morell, after questioning him on the sequence of dialogue regarding the attack.
“I read your testimony, and you have an excuse for everything,” Nunes later added. “For everything … which is fine, but when the chairman asks you about when you sat next to Director of National Intelligence [James] Clapper in November of 2012, you don’t have an excuse, you only have an apology.”
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has been a vocal critic in the handling of Benghazi, also criticized Morell’s testimony.
“He gave a lot of excuses today and a lot of reasons,” King said Wednesday on Fox News’s “Happening Now.”
“The fact is, to believe him you have to believe, basically, everything is contradictory to the facts,” King said, adding that the administration has not told the truth on Benghazi and that Morell has been part of that process.
“Bottom line is, Susan Rice and the administration told the American people it arose out of a video and demonstration,” King said. “They never mentioned terrorism at all, and that’s the reality. They can’t rewrite history.”
Morell, during his testimony Wednesday, said, “no doubt it was a terrorist attack,” but he said the motivations of those who carried out the attack is unknown, because they have not been caught.
CIA officer confirmed no protests before misleading Benghazi account given
Information on ground rejects protest account
Before the Obama administration gave an inaccurate narrative on national television that the Benghazi attacks grew from an anti-American protest, the CIA’s station chief in Libya pointedly told his superiors in Washington that no such demonstration occurred, documents and interviews with current and former intelligence officials show.
The attack was “not an escalation of protests,” the station chief wrote to then-Deputy CIA Director Michael J. Morell in an email dated Sept. 15, 2012 — a full day before the White House sent Susan E. Rice to several Sunday talk shows to disseminate talking points claiming that the Benghazi attack began as a protest over an anti-Islam video.
PHOTOS: Shocking photos reveal devastation of Benghazi attack
That the talking points used by Mrs. Rice, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, were written by a CIA that ignored the assessment by its own station chief inside Libya, has emerged as one of the major bones of contention in the more than two years of political fireworks and congressional investigations into the Benghazi attack.
What has never been made public is whether Mr. Morell and others at the CIA explicitly shared the station chief’s assessment with the White House or State Department.
Two former intelligence officials have told The Washington Times that this question likely will be answered at a Wednesday hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during which Mr. Morell is scheduled to give his public testimony.
Mr. Morell, who has since left the CIA, declined to comment on the matter Monday. He now works at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington insider strategic communications firm.
One former intelligence official close to Mr. Morell told The Times on the condition of anonymity that “the whole question of communication with the station chief will be addressed in his testimony.”
“We’re confident that it will clarify the situation in the minds of many who are asking,” the former official said.
PHOTOS: Eye-popping excuses in American political scandals
Another former intelligence official told The Times that Mr. Morell did tell the White House and the State Department that the CIA station chief in Libya had concluded that there was no protest but senior Obama administration and CIA officials in Washington ignored the assessment.
Why they ignored it remains a topic of heated debate within the wider intelligence community.
A third source told The Times on Monday that Mr. Morell and other CIA officials in Washington were weighing several pieces of “conflicting information” streaming in about the Benghazi attack as the talking points were being crafted.
“That’s why they ultimately came up with the analysis that they did,” the source said. “The piece that was coming out of Tripoli was important, but it was one piece amid several streams of information.”
One of the former intelligence officials said the Libya station chief’s assessment was being weighed against media reports from the ground in Benghazi that quoted witnesses as saying there had been a protest. Analysts at the CIA, the source said, also were weighing it against reporting by other intelligence divisions, including the National Security Agency.
“The chief of station in Tripoli who was 600 or 700 miles away from the attacks wouldn’t necessarily have the only view of what actually went on in Benghazi,” that former official said.
U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack.
While the testimony is expected to focus on Benghazi, the hearing arrives at a time of growing tensions between Congress and the CIA over such matters as the Bush administration’s interrogation rules and mutual charges of spying and illegality between the Senate intelligence committee and the agency.
Lawmakers are likely to press Mr. Morell for a reaction to reports this week that a classified Senate intelligence report has concluded that harsh interrogation methods used in the years after Sept. 11 provided no key evidence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and that the CIA misled Congress on the matter.
The CIA disputes that conclusion. The Senate panel is expected to vote Thursday on sending the Obama administration a 400-page executive summary of the “enhanced interrogation” report to start a monthslong declassification process.
One of the key issues likely to come up during the House hearing involves what was said during a series of secure teleconferences between CIA officials in Washington and Libya from the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, to the completion of Mrs. Rice’s talking points for dissemination on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16.
Multiple sources confirmed to The Times on Monday that the station chief’s email to Mr. Morell was written after one of the teleconferences during which senior CIA officials in Washington — Mr. Morell among them — made clear to the Tripoli station chief that they were examining alternative information that suggested there was a protest before the attack.
After the exchange, Mr. Morell signed off on the CIA talking points given to Mrs. Rice promoting what turned out to be the false narrative of a protest. The development ultimately triggered an angry reaction from Republicans, who have long claimed that the Obama administration, with an eye on the November elections, was downplaying the role of terrorists in order to protect the president’s record on counterterrorism.
Documents since released by the White House show that administration officials boasted in internal emails at the time about Mr. Morell’s personal role in editing and rewriting the talking points.
“Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them,” an Obama administration official wrote Mrs. Rice on the morning of Sept. 15.
What is not clear is whether the email was in any way referring to the conflicting intelligence streams about a protest in Benghazi.
Alternatively, the email notes that Mr. Morell was uncomfortable with an initial draft of the talking points batted back and forth between White House and CIA officials “because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack” in Benghazi.
During interviews with The Times, several former senior intelligence officials have lamented the whole “talking points” issue, saying the CIA was caught in the middle of the White House, Congress and the reality on the ground in Benghazi while crafting the points.
The reason the CIA ended up taking the lead on the talking points was because, as news of the attack was breaking around the world, lawmakers on the House intelligence committee were seeking guidance from the agency on how to respond to media questions without revealing classified information.
Specifically, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and the committee chairman, and ranking Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland asked for the guidance.
One former senior intelligence official told The Times that as word circulated through the inner circles of the intelligence community that the CIA was working on the talking points, officials within the Obama administration steered the mission toward crafting something Mrs. Rice could say on national talk shows.
“In essence, the talking points got repurposed,” the former official said. “What it turned into — and I don’t think Michael ever knew this, it’s something to watch for in his testimony this week — was, ‘Let’s hand this thing to the U.N. ambassador and make it what she should say.’”
“That’s a big deal,” the former official said. “It’s one thing to prepare something for lawmakers so they don’t make a mistake or say something inaccurate. It’s quite another matter to have that feed the administration’s then-current, definitive account of what had actually happened in Benghazi.”
“There are a lot of twists and turns in this,” added another former intelligence official. “A lot of it hangs on the fact that the agency thought they were crafting these talking points for Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers, not the White House.”
Former CIA official accused of misleading lawmakers on Benghazi
By Catherine Herridge
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell is facing accusations from Republicans that he misled lawmakers about the Obama administration’s role in crafting the bogus storyline that a protest gone awry was to blame for the deadly Benghazi attack.
Among other discrepancies, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee allege Morell insisted the talking points were sent to the White House for informational purposes, and not for their input — but emails, later released by the administration, showed otherwise.
“We found that there was actual coordination which could influence then — and did influence — what CIA conveyed to the committees about what happened [in Benghazi],” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told Fox News.
Burr was one of six Republicans who leveled the allegations against Morell, who also served as acting director, in an addendum to a recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report. According to the claims, in late 2012, Morell testified the so-called Benghazi talking points were sent to the White House “for their awareness, not for their coordination.”
The 16-page addendum continues, “No effort was made to correct the record … the Acting Director’s (Morell) testimony perpetuated the myth that the White House played no part in the drafting or editing of the talking points.”
After Morell’s 2012 testimony, committee Republicans say they insisted on reading the raw email traffic in the days leading up to then-Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial Sunday show appearances, where she linked the attack to a protest. Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told Fox News in a recent interview that they only got the emails between the CIA, State Department and White House because lawmakers threatened to hold up former White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.
Once the emails were released, Republican lawmakers say the conflict with Morell’s testimony was clear. Morell, who at the time was CIA Director David Petraeus’ deputy, was at the heart of the process, cutting some 50 percent of the text — and Republicans say White House coordination began at the earliest stages.
Also in late 2012, Morell and Rice met with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. In a statement released at the time, the senators said Morell blamed the FBI for cutting references to Al Qaeda and did so to prevent compromising an ongoing criminal investigation.
“What I found curious is that he did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI. They went ballistic,” Graham said in a recent interview. “Within 24 hours, his statement was changed where he admitted the CIA had done it.”
Graham’s characterization of the meeting was backed up by Ayotte in a recent interview. “I was in that meeting when Susan Rice was with Director Morell when he blamed the FBI for changing those talking points, and you know then we call the FBI, the FBI goes crazy and said ‘we didn’t change the talking points.’ And so you have to wonder particularly now that we know that he may have received that email the day before what was going on.”
The email Ayotte is referring to was sent by the CIA’s top operative on the ground in Libya to Morell, and others at the CIA, one day before Rice’s Sunday show appearances. In the Sept. 15, 2012 email, first publicly documented in the bipartisan section of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, the CIA chief of station in Tripoli reported the attacks were “not/not an escalation of protests.”
One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, is now urging that Morell be recalled to clear up his testimony.
“I think it’s important for the integrity of the oversight,” Wolf said, adding that congressional oversight would be rendered meaningless if Morell were not recalled given the allegations against him.
Wolf, whose resolution to establish a select committee has the backing of a Republican majority in the House, recently wrote a letter to all House Republicans calling for Morell to testify again, potentially in both chambers, to address possible conflicts with previous testimony.
New details, confirmed by Fox News, suggest a similar scenario played out before the House Intelligence committee, chaired by Republican Mike Rogers.
In mid-November 2012, Morell testified along with James Clapper, the nation’s intelligence chief, and Matt Olsen, a senior counterrorism official.
When asked who was responsible for the talking points, first requested by Rogers’ committee, Clapper said he had no idea, while Morell remained silent, according to sources familiar with the testimony.
“If your silence does create a misleading impression even if you don’t have a strict legal obligation to speak up I think as a public official — somebody entrusted, infused with the public trust — you do have an obligation to speak up to make the truth known,” Tom Dupree, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Bush administration, said.
Once the talking points emails were released, and Morell’s involvement came into sharper focus, in May 2013 he was asked to testify a second time before the House Intelligence Committee. Sources familiar with Morell’s second testimony say he admitted to changing the talking points, and he offered shifting explanations — from classification issues, to not compromising the FBI investigation — and that exposing the failure of Hillary Clinton’s State Department to act on repeated security warnings seemed unprofessional.
While two sources say Morell insisted the talking points were an afterthought at a White House meeting on Sept. 15 where the text was finalized, an email from White House adviser Ben Rhodes suggests otherwise. Late in the evening of Sept. 14, Rhodes wrote to email addresses at the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, State Department, White House and National Security Staff: “There is a ton of wrong information getting out into the public domain from Congress and people who are not particularly informed … we need to have the capability to correct the record, as there are significant policy and messaging ramifications that would flow from a hardened mis-impression. We can take this up tomorrow morning at deputies.”
Dupree said lawmakers face a choice. “If you’re not getting the full truth in those questions, well then you can either abandon your oversight function or you can call those people back and press them and confront them with the facts.”
Since retiring from the CIA, Morell has taken on high-profile assignments for the administration, including the NSA review panel and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. He is now a paid TV commentator for CBS News, has a book deal, and works for Beacon Global Strategies, whose founder Philippe Reines has been described by the New York Times magazine as Clinton’s “principal gatekeeper.”
In an email to Fox News on Feb. 13, Morell said: “I stand behind what I have said to you and testified to Congress about the talking point issue. Neither the Agency, the analysts, nor I cooked the books in any way.”
When asked specific questions about Republican allegations he provided misleading testimony, Morell did not answer the questions, instead referring Fox News to the CIA public affairs office.
Spokesman Dean Boyd provided this statement to Fox News: “As we have said multiple times, the talking points on Benghazi were written, upon a request from Congress, so that members of Congress could say something preliminary and in an unclassified forum about the attacks. As former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has stated publicly time and again, the talking points were never meant to be definitive and, in fact, the points themselves noted that the initial assessment may change. He has addressed his role in the talking points numerous times. We don’t have anything further to add to the large body of detail on the talking points that is already in the public domain.”
Mike Morell: Man in the Middle of Benghazi Talking Points Scandal
Recent reporting has centered on CIA deputy director Mike Morell as a key player in critical and misleading changes made to the Obama Administration’s Benghazi talking points. The CIA talking points were cited by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five different national Sunday talk shows on September 16, five days after the attack. Administration officials from President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on down cited them. The initial draft of the talking points was produced by the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis on September 14 at 11:15 a.m. A demonstration was mentioned, but so was al-Qaeda and Ansar-al-Sharia involvement. It referred to the CIA’s “numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya.” National Security Council (NSC) staff edited the talking points on the 14th. But it was the State Department that had the most reservations. Hillary Clinton’s spokeswoman (and now Assistant Secretary of State for Europe) Victoria Nuland did not like the CIA’s draft—nor did her “building leadership,” as she said in an e-mail on September 14 at 9:24 p.m. She wrote to the NSC staff:
Why do we want Hill to start fingering Ansar Al Sharia, when we aren’t doing that ourselves until we have the investigation results…and the penultimate point could be abused by Members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings so why do we want to feed that?… Concerned.
The next morning, September 15, at 9.45 a.m., Morell produced what became essentially thefinal version of the talking points (Senate report, p. 51), removing references to known terrorist groups and identifying a non-existing demonstration as the cause. Outrageously, the official talking points contradicted the known facts. According to the recent report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (p. 33), on September 15, the CIA’s Chief of Station in Tripoli reported in an e-mail that the Benghazi attacks were “not an escalation of protests.” Morrell completely ignored it. Below are the finalized talking points:
- “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the US Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.”
- “The assessment may change as additional information is collected and analyzed and as currently available information continues to be evaluated.”
- “The investigation is on-going, and the US Government is working with the Libyan authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of US citizens.”
The text was not only misleading but so pathetic that then-CIA director David Petraeus commented, “Frankly, I’d just as soon not use this.” However, it was the State Department and the White House that were calling to shots, and Mike Morell played along.
Michael Joseph Morell (born September 4, 1958) was the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and served as acting director twice in 2011 and from 2012 to 2013. Morell retired from his post on August 9, 2013, to devote more time to his family and to pursue other professional opportunities. As of 2014, Morell is CBS News‘ Senior Security Correspondent.
Early life and education
Morell is a native of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. His formal education includes a B.A. in economics from the University of Akron and an M.A.in economics from Georgetown University. He joined the CIA in 1980. He was chief of the CIA‘s division on Asia, Pacific and Latin America.
Most of Morell’s work in the agency was devoted to Asian projects. He also managed the staff that produced the Presidential Daily Briefings for President George W. Bush. Morell was Bush’s briefer during the September 11, 2001 attacks, and has been quoted as saying, “I would bet every dollar I have that it’s al Qaeda.” Furthermore, Morell was a trusted asset to President Barack H. Obama II in the Osama bin Laden raid on May 2, 2011. Before his 2010 nomination as deputy director, Morell served as director for intelligence, a position he had held since 2008. Before that, he served as the CIA’s first associate deputy director from 2006 to 2008.
In May 2010, Morell was sworn in as the deputy director of the CIA, succeeding Stephen Kappes. From July 1, 2011, to September 6, 2011, he served his first stint as acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, following the appointment of Leon Panetta assecretary of defense. On November 9, 2012, Morell once again became acting director after David Petraeus, following the sex scandal. Obama chose John Brennan, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by 12 to 3 vote on March 5, 2013.
Morell announced his retirement from the CIA on June 12, 2013.
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Sources have confirmed to CBS 11 that this image is that of suspected shooter 34-year-old Ivan Lopez.
Sources have confirmed to CBS 11 that this image is that of suspected shooter 34-year-old Ivan Lopez.
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Soldier Opens Fire At Fort Hood; 4 Dead, Several Injured
A soldier opened fire Wednesday on fellow service members at the Fort Hood military base, killing three people and wounding 16 before committing suicide at the same post where more than a dozen people were slain in a 2009 attack, authorities said.
The shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez who served in Iraq in 2011, had been undergoing an assessment to determine whether he had post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the senior officer on the base. He was also undergoing psychiatric treatment for depression.
FULL COVERAGE OF FORT HOOD SHOOTING
There was no indication the attack was related to terrorism, Milley said “although we are not ruling anything out.”
A Texas congressman said the shooting happened at a medical center. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also identified the suspect as Ivan Lopez. But additional details about the gunman were not immediately available.
The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to “quite critical.” At last check, nine patients had been admitted to Scott and White.
The 2009 assault on Fort Hood was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded.
After the shooting began, the Army’s official Twitter feed said the post had been locked down. Hours later, all-clear sirens sounded.
On Wednesday evening, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.
Meanwhile, relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.
Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
“The last two hours have been the most nerve-racking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he could not even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still did not know how close the incident was to her husband.
“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
President Barack Obama vowed that investigators would get to the bottom of the shooting.
In a hastily arranged statement in Chicago, Obama said he was following the situation closely. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.
Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made – including enduring multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“They serve with valor. They serve with distinction, and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,” Obama said. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.”
The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.
The November 2009 attack happened inside a crowded building where soldiers were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in that mass shooting. He said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression.
According to testimony during Hasan’s trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is great!” – and opened fire with a handgun.
Witnesses said he targeted soldiers as he walked through the building, leaving pools of blood, spent casings and dying soldiers on the floor. Photos of the scene were shown to the 13 officers on the military jury.
The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by Fort Hood police officers outside the building. He was paralyzed from the waist down and is now on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training and strengthening ties to local law enforcement, according to Peter Daly, a vice admiral who retired from the Navy in 2011. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.
3 Victims, Gunman Dead After Second Fort Hood Mass Shooting
Deceased are all military personnel, Fort Hood official says
Four people are dead, including the gunman, and another 16 are injured in a mass shooting at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday. One of the survivors is in grave condition, NBC News reports.
More than four hours after the shooting, all-clear sirens sounded as the lockdown at the post was lifted. Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, many including children who had been kept locked-down in schools since gunshots were first reported at about 4:30 p.m.
A military official told NBC News that the deceased shooter, identified as 34-year-old enlisted Army soldier Ivan Lopez, took his own life and appeared to be the only shooter, despite an earlier report of two possible gunmen.
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, the commanding general at Fort Hood, refused to identify the gunman during a news conference Wednesday night pending notification of family members.
Milley said the sequence of events are not 100 percent clear but that investigators believe the shooting began when a soldier assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) fired shots at individuals in the 1st Medical Brigade. Milley said the shooter then left that building, got into a vehicle and continued firing. He then went to another building at the post, went inside and opened fire. The gunman, when confronted by a military police officer, put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
The gunman was armed with a single weapon, a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he had recently purchased, Milley said.
The gunman had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and was currently under diagnosis for post traumatic stress disorder, but had not been officially diagnosed with PTSD, Milley said. He added the shooter was undergoing behavioral health care for depression and anxiety, had a self-reported traumatic brain injury and was not physically injured in combat.
NBC News learned that Lopez served with the Puerto Rican Army National Guard and was an E4 in the U.S. Army. NBC News reported that the shooter was in uniform and that the shooting rampage may have resulted from an argument with other soldiers in the motor pool and was not related to terrorism.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, though Milley did confirm that all of the victims are military personnel. Officials at Fort Hood said the names of the victims will be released 24 hours after all family have been notified.
Temple Hospital Taking Fort Hood Patients
Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple confirms they have a command center in place and have received nine patients from the post.
All patients are in the intensive care unit; three are critical and five are serious. The ninth patient is en route, as of 10:20 p.m. Wednesday night.
In an update early Wednesday night, Glen Couchman, chief medical officer for Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital, said patients are receiving treatment for wounds to their chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and range from “stable to quite critical.”
“This is another sad day for Central Texas,” Couchman said. He said the hospital planned to offer another update on the conditions of the victims later in the evening.
Officials at Baylor Scott & White said the blood center closed at 8 p.m., but will be open for donations from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.
Officials at Fort Hood said Wednesday that there is no indication the mass shooting is related to terrorism.
The investigation by law enforcement is ongoing and post officials were reluctant to reveal any further information about what may have led to the rampage.
Milley said the investigation into the shooting continues and that nothing is being ruled out as a cause at this point. The investigation is being conducted with the support of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Rangers, The Texas Department of Public Safety, military police, Army CID, the Killeen Police Department and the Harker Heights Police Department.
During the lockdown of the base, officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety were called in to help to secure the perimeter of the largest active duty armored post in the U.S. Armed Services.
Obama, Gov. Perry Respond
President Barack Obama addressed the shooting in brief remarks in Chicago, where he was attending a fundraiser Wednesday night.
“We’re following it closely. The situation is fluid right now … I want to just assure all of us we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he said. “We’re heartbroken something like this might have happened again.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement Wednesday as well. “Today, Fort Hood was once again stricken by tragedy,” he said. “Fort Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again.”
Perry was one of several politicians who tweeted messages following the news of the shooting, many of whom called for prayers for the post and Central Texas.
Mom Stuck at Fort Hood With 4-Year-Old During Shooting
Charlotte Spencer was picking up her 4-year-old son from soccer practice on the Fort Hood post when Wednesday’s shooting occurred.
Spencer said her son had just climbed in the car when a woman came over a loudspeaker telling everyone to shelter in place immediately.
“The siren came over and she was like, ‘This is an emergency. Get in your homes, lock your doors, lock your windows, turn off your AC units and turn off your heaters if you have them running. Just stay in place. This is an active emergency,’” Spencer described.
Spencer said she tried to delicately explain the all too familiar situation to her young son.
“It Sounded Powerful”
Antonio Ortiz, 30, who lives a quarter of a mile from the east gate of Fort Hood, told NBC News he heard a commotion and went outside to hear alarms going off and announcements for people to stay inside. He went back in and turned on the TV news, then soon after heard a barrage of gunshots.
“It sounded powerful,” Ortiz said, adding that while it seemed to be coming from the base, he couldn’t rule out the possibility someone in the civilian neighborhood was shooting.
“I’m scared for my son. He’s 7,” Ortiz said. “But I do have a 12-gauge pump shotgun.”
Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.
“The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.
Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he couldn’t even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.
“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still doesn’t know how close the incident was to her husband.
“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.
Tragic History at Fort Hood
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, opened fire on dozens of people at the post. Hasan was paralyzed during an exchange of gunfire and, in late 2013, was sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution.
In February, officials at the Central Texas Army post said the site of the 2009 massacre, a processing center also known as Building 42003, had been razed.
Hasan’s rampage isn’t the most recent mass shooting at a U.S. military installation. Last September, a lone gunman with ties to North Texas, Aaron Alexis, killed 12 when he opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard.
Largest Active-Duty Military Base
Fort Hood covers a total of 340 square miles and supports multiple units, a corps headquarters and a robust mobilization mission. It is home to two full divisions, the 1st Cavalry Division and 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and 12 additional units.
Around 50,000 soldiers work at Fort Hood, and there are an additional 150,000 civilians who support the base.
The post is about 60 miles north of the capital city of Austin, 50 miles south of Waco, 160 miles south of Dallas and 150 miles north of San Antonio
FBI, military hunt ex-Army recruit suspected of plotting ‘Ft. Hood-inspired jihad’
EXCLUSIVE: The FBI is searching for a recent Army recruit believed to be planning a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soldiers,” FoxNews.com has learned.
The alert, whose legitimacy was confirmed by military and law enforcement officials, stated that a man identified as Booker had told friends of his “intention to commit jihad.” Booker, who is also known as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, was recruited by the U.S. Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for basic training on April 7. But he was discharged last week, apparently after law enforcement authorities learned of his alleged plan.
Both the FBI and the 902d Military Intelligence Group at Fort Leavenworth are involved in the hunt.
The alert, a copy of which was obtained by FoxNews.com, was sent out by the FBI’s Kansas City Division on Friday and distributed through the U.S. Marine Corps. The portion obtained by FoxNews.com did not include Hassan’s photo or age. It was also sent to the Kansas City Police Department, which could indicate authorities believe he may have remained in the area where he was recruited.
The alert is titled, “Planned Fort Hood-inspired Jihad against US Soldiers by Army Recruit” and was issued “to inform and protect officers who may encounter this individual or others exhibiting the same aspirations.” The source of the information contained in the alert was listed as “An FBI agent.”
According to the alert:
“On 20 March 2014, the Kansas City Division FBI became aware of an individual named BOOKER aka Muhammad Abdullah Hassan who had publicly stated his intention to commit jihad, bidding farewell to his friends and making comments indicating his jihad was imminent. BOOKER had been recruited by the US Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for Basic Training on 7 April 2014. Kansas City Division Agents interviewed BOOKER on 20 March 2014.”
Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ty Balzer confirmed the alert’s legitimacy, but referred questions to the FBI. A spokeswoman with the Kansas City Division of the FBI — the same division responsible for sending out the alert and who, according to the alert, spoke with Booker on March 20 — said she did “not have any information to provide in regards to your inquiry.”
Law enforcement sources familiar with the alert said it appeared to suggest that there may be others in addition to Booker who also might have expressed similar intentions to commit jihad against U.S. military installations.
A military source said it appeared the bulletin was provided by the FBI, then distributed by the Marine Corps under the normal protocol of sharing any information relating to a potential threat to U.S. military installations or personnel.
A spokesman for the Kansas City recruiting station where Booker enlisted referred FoxNews.com’s questions to 902d Military Intelligence Group, which did not immediately return requests for comment.
The Fort Hood shooting, referenced in the alert, took place on Nov. 5, 2009. U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, a psychiatrist who had become a radical Muslim while serving in the military, killed 13 people and injured dozens more inside the Texas Army base. Hasan, who represented himself at a military trial after clashing with his appointed attorneys, was sentenced to death in August.
Shooting Confirmed at Fort Hood Army Base
NBC News reports there may be two shooters, one down, one at-large
Multiple people have been injured and the search for the gunman is underway after a shooting at the Fort Hood Army post Wednesday afternoon.
Reports of an active shooter triggered a lockdown at Fort Hood, with local sheriff’s deputies and the FBI immediately responding.
As many as eight people may be injured, and there may have been two shooters, NBC News reported. One of those was believed to be “down,” while the second was believed to be at-large, according to NBC News.
Fort Hood confirmed that a shooting occurred at the base, though the number of people injured and the severity of their injuries has not been confirmed.
Just after 5 p.m. local time, the base tweeted that all personnel were being asked to shelter in place, close doors and stay away from windows.
The shooting is believed to have taken place at the Medical Brigade Building. Local NBC affiliate KCEN-TV reported there were also reports of victims at the Battle Simulation Center.
Central Texas College’ campus was evacuated due to the shooting, with all personnel and students asked to leave and all classes canceled.
Officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Department of Public Safety are helping to secure the perimiter of the base.
In November 2009, 13 people were killed and more than 30 others injured when Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire on dozens of people at the base. Hasan was paralyzed during an exchange of gunfire and, in late 2013, was sentenced to death. He is currently awaiting execution.
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On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 1 of 3
On the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, we take a look at the invisible wounds of war here at home. Since the war began on Oct. 7, 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11th attacks, at least 2,000 U.S. soldiers have died. Some 2.4 million U.S. soldiers have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the psychological toll of the wars is mounting. Last year, the Veterans Administration treated almost 100,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and soldier suicides reached an all-time high this year.
On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 2 of 3
On Afghan War 11th Anniversary, Vets Confront Mental Health Crisis, Suicide, Violence 3 of 3
ALEX JONES INFOWARS – US VETERANS – RECORD SUICIDES DUE TO PTSD
Between Iraq and a Hard Place – PTSD and Suicides in Iraq
Veterans of PTSD PBS NOW
The War Within 1 of 4
The War Within 2 of 4
The War Within 3 of 4
The War Within 4 of 4
Marines PTSD Suicide CPL Anthony Clay Ward, USMC, FOX 2/11 Iraq War
Veterans statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide.
The following veterans statistics are from a major study done by the RAND Corporation (full pdf of study), a study by the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Administration, and the US Surgeon General.
PTSD statistics are a moving target that is fuzzy: do you look only at PTSD diagnosed within one year of return from battle? Do you only count PTSD that limits a soldier’s ability to go back into battle or remain employed, but that may have destroyed a marriage or wrecked a family? Do you look at the PTSD statistics for PTSD that comes up at any time in a person’s life: it is possible to have undiagnosed PTSD for 30 years and not realize it–possibly never or until you find a way to get better and then you realize there is another way to live. When you count the PTSD statistic of “what percentage of a population gets PTSD,” is your overall starting group combat veterans, veterans who served in the target country, or all military personnel for the duration of a war?
And veterans PTSD statistics get revised over time. The findings from the NVVR Study (National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study) commissioned by the government in the 1980s initially found that for “Vietnam theater veterans” 15% of men had PTSD at the time of the study and 30% of men had PTSD at some point in their life. But a 2003 re-analysis found that “contrary to the initial analysis of the NVVRS data, a large majority of Vietnam Veterans struggled with chronic PTSD symptoms, with four out of five reporting recent symptoms when interviewed 20-25 years after Vietnam.” (see also NVVR review)
There is a similar problem with suicide statistics. The DoD and their researchers tend to lose track of military personnel once they retire, and not all suicides will be counted as a military suicide (plus, is a person who drinks themselves to death committing suicide?). A recent study found U.S. veteran suicide rates to be be as high as 5,000 a year. See suicide statistics (bottom of page).
Summary of Veterans Statistics for PTSD, TBI, Depression and Suicide.
- there are over 2.3 million American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (compared to 2.6 million Vietnam veterans who fought in Vietnam; there are 8.2 million “Vietnam Era Veterans” (personnel who served anywhere during any time of the Vietnam War)
- at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD and/or Depression. (Military counselors I have interviewed state that, in their opinion, the percentage of veterans with PTSD is much higher; the number climbs higher when combined with TBI.) Other accepted studies have found a PTSD prevalence of 14%; see a complete review of PTSD prevalence studies, which quotes studies with findings ranging from 4 -17% of Iraq War veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder)
- 50% of those with PTSD do not seek treatment
- out of the half that seek treatment, only half of them get “minimally adequate” treatment (RAND study)
- 19% of veterans may have traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Over 260,000 veterans from OIF and OEF so far have been diagnosed with TBI. Traumatic brain injury is much more common in the general population than previously thought: according to the CDC, over 1,700,000 Americans have a traumatic brain injury each year; in Canada 20% of teens had TBI resulting in hospital admission or that involved over 5 minutes of unconsciousness (VA surgeon reporting in BBC News)
- 7% of veterans have both post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury
- rates of post-traumatic stress are greater for these wars than prior conflicts
- in times of peace, in any given year, about 4% (actually 3.6%) of the general population have PTSD (caused by natural disasters, car accidents, abuse, etc.)
- recent statistical studies show that rates of veteran suicide are much higher than previously thought (see suicide prevention page).
- PTSD distribution between services for OND, OIF, and OEF: Army 67% of cases, Air Force 9%, Navy 11%, and Marines 13%. (Congressional Research Service, Sept. 2010)
- recent sample of 600 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan found: 14% post-traumatic stress disorder; 39% alcohol abuse; 3% drug abuse. Major depression also a problem. “Mental and Physical Health Status and Alcohol and Drug Use Following Return From Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.” Susan V. Eisen, PhD
- Oddly, statistics for veteran tobacco use are never reported alongside PTSD statistics, even though increases in rates of smoking are strongly correlated with the stress of deployment and combat, and smoking statistics show that tobacco use is tremendously damaging and costly for soldiers.
- More active duty personnel die by own hand than combat in 2012 (New York Times)
Other veterans PTSD statistics references and sources:
- Findings from the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study
- http://ajph.aphapublications.org/toc/ajph/102/S1 (about suicide prevention and military)
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47743091/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/does-macho-culture-keep-suicidal-soldiers-seeking-help/#.T-E1NLVYv0c (suicide rates per 100,000–11 civilian; 19 military after these two wars)
- http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57449255/military-suicides-grow-at-sharp-rate/ (same topic; goes into one person’s case; half of military suicides from those who have not gone to war)
- http://www.nationaljournal.com/thenextamerica/culture/black-women-key-to-easing-military-suicides–20120612 (importance of social support)
- Sleep problems outperform depression and hopelessness as cross-sectional and longitudinal predictors of suicidal ideation and behavior in young adults in the military Ribeiro, J D.; Pease, J L.; Gutierrez, P M.; Silva, C ; Bernert, R A. [Stanford]; Rudd, D M.; Jr., TJ E. Journal of Affective Disorders, Feb 2012 , pp 743-50 DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.09.049
- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110614101116.htm (article on above study)
- may be hereditary?www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080612070438.htm
- Prevalence and Characteristics of Suicide Ideation and Attempts Among Active Military and Veteran Participants in a National Health Survey. Robert M. Bossarte, PhD, Kerry L. Knox, PhD, Rebecca Piegari, MS, John Altieri, BS, Janet PDF MILITARY MEDICINE, 175. 10:703, 2010
- Evaluating Evidence of Risk for Suicide Among Veterans
Robert M. Bossarte, PhD; Cynthia A. Claassen, PhD; Kerry L Knox, PhD PDF
- The Invisible Plague of Concussion by Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Senior Neurosurgery Resident Stanford University and Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. BBC Sept 5, 2013
U.S. Suicide Rate Surged Among Veterans
Suicides among United States military veterans ballooned by 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to new statistics released by the Veterans Affairs (VA) department.
“Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, fully 20 percent of them are acts by veterans,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki at a VA-sponsored suicide prevention conference on Monday. “That means on average 18 veterans commit suicide each day. Five of those veterans are under our care at VA.”
The spike in the suicide rate can most clearly be attributed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the high number of veterans returning to the U.S. with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
”We have now nearly two million vets of Iraq and Afghanistan and we still haven’t seen the type of mobilisation of resources necessary to handle an epidemic of veteran suicides,” Aaron Glantz, an editor at New America Media editor and author of “The War Comes Home”, told IPS.
”With [President Barack] Obama surging in Afghanistan coupled with his unwillingness to withdraw speedily from Iraq, it means we have more veterans who have served more and more tours and as a result we have an escalating number of people coming home with PTSD, depression and other mental health issues,” Glantz continued.
Health officials have pointed to the multiple tours of duty served by many U.S. soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as one of the stresses placed on military personnel that differs from previous wars fought by the U.S.
“The unfortunate truth is that the real challenge begins when these service men and women return home and readjust to day-to-day life,” said Rep. Michael McMahon, co-founder of the Congressional Invisible Wounds Caucus.
“The Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs must be prepared with the appropriate staff and funding to conduct post-deployment psychological screenings with a mental health professional for all service men and women,” he said. “Evidently, the paper questionnaires currently in use simply do not suffice. How many more young men and women must die before we provide the necessary mental health care?”
The VA estimated that in 2005, the suicide rate per 100,000 veterans among men ages 18-29 was 44.99, but jumped to 56.77 in 2007.
A Rand Corporation report last year found that as many as 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans exhibited symptoms of PTSD or depression.
”As I’ve often asked, mostly of myself, but also of others from time to time, why do we know so much about suicides but so little about how to prevent them?” said Shinseki.
The VA came under attack by veterans’ groups in April 2008, when internal emails sent by the VA’s head of mental health, Dr. Ira Katz, showed that the VA was attempting to conceal the number of suicides committed by veterans.
Under the Obama administration, the approach to handling the increasing number of suicides appears to have shifted, with a greater focus on transparency – the VA is holding a three-day conference on suicide this week. Last year, Obama announced a 25-billion-dollar increase in the VA’s budget over the next five years.
While the emphasis on greater transparency, particularly with regards to PTSD and mental health issues, and increased funding for the VA has been welcomed, many are still concerned that the troop surge in Afghanistan and the ongoing U.S. role in Iraq will put ever greater strains on the VA and its ability to deal with soldiers returning from multiple tours of duty.
”The first Gulf War was over in a matter of months. This war has gone on for nine years in Afghanistan and seven years in Iraq. There are two million vets, most of whom have served multiple tours,” said Glantz.
”What this means is that the military has never faced the stress it faces now. Not even in Vietnam where we had a draft and most soldiers only served one tour. In Iraq and Afghanistan everyone’s on the frontlines all the time. Even being in a vehicle going from one military base to another is extremely dangerous,” he said.
Shinseki cited the fact that of the 18 veterans who commit suicide each day, five are under the care of the VA, as evidence that both the VA’s efforts to prevent suicides are falling short and that the VA is failing to bring enough veterans under its care.
Suicides among active duty personnel have also risen, with 147 reported suicides in the Army from January through November 2009 – an increase from 127 in the same period of 2008.
Among non-active duty reserve soldiers, 50 suicides were reported in 2008 but the number had risen to 71 during the first 11 months of 2009.
Suicide rates in all four services of the military are significantly higher than in the general population, with 52 Marines, 48 sailors, and 41 members of the Air force committing suicide in 2009.
The final figures for suicides in the Army during 2009 will be released Thursday.
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Avoiding ObamaCare Tax
The Lies That Grew Up To Be Obamacare
WH adviser slams Drudge Report for impact on media
Matt Drudge is right, Estimated Taxes include Obamacare opt-out penalty
eHealth – How Much are the Obamacare Tax Penalties, and When Do They Apply?
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Pay The Obamacare Penalty and Save The Money – Ron Meyer – Stuart Varney – FBN – 8-20-13
Matt Drudge Opts Out of Obamacare ‘For Life’
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ObamaCare Fines, Fees and Expenses Explained pt1
ObamaCare Fines, Fees and Expenses Explained pt2
George Carlin – “I Gave Up On My Species” – We Are Circling The Drain
The Best of George Carlin: Exposing our government and fall of humanity one joke at a time
Circling The Drain (CTD)
‘LIBERTY TAX’: WHITE HOUSE, MEDIA ATTACK AFTER DRUDGE PAYS OBAMACARE OPT-OUT PENALTY
A White House aide set off a stampede of liberal media criticism for Internet news pioneer Matt Drudge over Obamacare – but his critics don’t seem to understand how small businesses pay taxes.
The brouhaha started when Drudge tweeted, “Just paid the Obamacare penalty for not ‘getting covered’… I’M CALLING IT A LIBERTY TAX.”
Jesse Lee, the Director of Progressive Media at Barack Obama’s White House, respondedthat that was a “Flat lie, no fee for previous year,” adding, “Scary how much influence he once had.”
Lee’s response to Drudge set off a firestorm in the liberal media, with many mainstream media and left-wing reporters countering him on Twitter and in their own articles to claim he does not have to pay Obamacare’s Individual Mandate tax until next year. The individual mandate went into effect Jan. 1 of this year, and most people paying their taxes right now are paying taxes for 2013.
“Dude, there’s no penalty until next yr,” Sahil Kapur of the leftwing Talking Points Memotweeted.
Kapur’s colleague at TPM Dylan Scott wrote a full story with a headline alleging Drudge was “probably lying.”
“Americans don’t pay a penalty for not having health insurance until they file their 2014 taxes — in 2015,” Scott wrote. “So either Drudge is lying or he paid a huge penalty a year earlier than he needed to.”
“Penalty isn’t collected until 2015,” Sam Baker of National Journal tweeted at Drudge.
The Huffington Post’s Jeffrey Young wrote a full article in which he described Drudge’s tweet as “weird” and a “little head-scratching” because the Obamacare tax does not kick in until the 2014 tax year.
Drudge indicated in his followup tweets that since he is self-employed as the proprietor of The Drudge Report, he files as a small business. According to the IRS’s website for self-employed individuals, they are required to pay taxes quarterly.
“As a self-employed individual, generally you are required to file an annual return and pay estimated tax quarterly,” the IRS website reads.
So, when they file and pay those 2014 first quarter taxes, such individuals have to pay the Obamacare Individual Mandate tax if they opted to not have health insurance—like Drudge just did.
Additionally, the IRS form (1040-ES) for estimating quarterly taxes specifically recommends adding the mandate penalty to line 12 for “other taxes” — to pay before the first quarterly deadline of April 15.
“It is true that thousands of small businesses will be forced to pay Obamacare taxes quarterly in 2014,” a Senate Budget Committee aide told Breitbart News on Friday afternoon.
Drudge even indicated as much in followup tweets, but the left-wing reporters—and the White House—have left their criticisms of him intact.
“Dazed team Obama media reporters think Opt-Out tax ‘year away’?” Drudge tweeted. “Not for small businesses that file Qtr estimates. We’re there NOW, baby #pay.”
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Noah November — People Payback Purges Presidential Poison Pill — Obamacare — Drown Democrats — Freakout – Videos]
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Malaysia Air Flight MH370: The Transponder Mystery
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Missing airliner may have flown on for 7 hours
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday that a missing passenger jet was steered off course after its communications systems were intentionally disabled and could have potentially flown for seven additional hours.
In the most comprehensive account to date of the plane’s fate, Najib drew an ominous picture of what happened aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying investigators had determined there was “deliberate action by someone on the plane.”
Najib said the investigation had “refocused” to look at the crew and passengers. A Malaysia Airlines representative, speaking to relatives of passengers in Beijing, said the Malaysian government had opened a criminal investigation into the plane’s disappearance.
(See: New map shows possible search corridors for the Malaysia Airlines flight.)
The plane’s whereabouts remain unknown one week after it disappeared from civilian radar shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur. But Najib, citing newly analyzed satellite data, said the plane could have last made contact anywhere along one of two corridors: one stretching from northern Thailand toward the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan border, the other, more southern corridor stretching from Indonesia to the remote Indian Ocean.
U.S. officials previously said they believed the plane could have remained in the air for several extra hours, and Najib said Saturday that the flight was still communicating with satellites until 8:11 a.m. — 7 ½ hours after takeoff, and more than 90 minutes after it was due in Beijing. There was no further communication with the plane after that time, Najib said. If the plane was still in the air, it would have been nearing its fuel limit.
“Due to the type of satellite data,” Najib said, “we are unable to confirm the precise location of the plane when it last made contact with the satellite.”
A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation on Friday said the only thing the satellite can tell is how much it would need to adjust its antenna to get the strongest signal from the plane. It cannot provide the plane’s exact position or which direction it flew, just how far the plane is, roughly, from the last good data-transmission location when the digital datalink system was actually sending data up to the satellite.
The U.S. official said the search area is somewhere along the arc or circumference of a circle with a diameter of thousands of miles.
The new leads about the plane’s end point, though ambiguous, have drastically changed a search operation involving more than a dozen nations. Malaysia on Saturday said that efforts would be terminated in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, the spot where the plane first disappeared from civilian radar.
Malaysian authorities are now likely to look for help from other countries in Southeast and South Asia, seeking mysterious or unidentified readings that their radar systems might have picked up.
The plane, based on one potential end point, could have spent nearly all its flight time over the Indian Ocean as it headed to an area west of Australia. But if the plane traveled in the direction of Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan, it would present a more perplexing scenario in which it would have evaded detection for hours while flying through a volatile region where airspace is heavily monitored: Burma, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan and western China are all in the neighborhood of that path, as is the United States’ Bagram air base, which is in Afghanistan.
U.S. officials in Afghanistan would not comment on the possibility that the plane had flown over that country, but that scenario seems unlikely given the tight western control over Afghan airspace.
Afghan officials said they rely on Americans on such matters. “We do not know what has happened to the plane or if it has overflown Afghan air space. We do not have a radar. Go and ask the Americans,” said a senior Afghan official.
A Pakistani official said his country has not yet been asked by Malaysia to share its radar data, but will provide them if asked.
“Given the strong radar system that we have, and also that India and other countries in the region have, it’s very difficult for a plane to fly undetected for so long,” said Abid Qaimkhan, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Malaysia has confirmed that a previously unknown radar trail picked up by its military was indeed MH370. That blip suggests the plane had cut west, across the Malaysian peninsula, after severing contact with the ground. Malaysia received help in analyzing that radar data from the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration, and the British Air Accident Investigation Branch.
Malaysian investigators now believe that the Boeing-777 airliner, bound for Beijing with 227 passengers, deliberately cut a series of communications systems as it headed toward the boundary of Malaysian airspace. U.S. officials and aviation experts say the plane could have been hijacked by somebody with aviation knowledge or sabotaged by a crew member.
Investigators have not yet presented a clear scenario of what could have happened on board. Reuters reported that Malaysian police on Saturday searched the home of the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who had more than three decades of commercial flight experience. A senior Malaysian police official refused to confirm the search.
Zaharie had a flight simulator at his home, something that appeared in a YouTube video posted from his unconfirmed YouTube account. Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said Friday that “everyone is free to do their own hobby” and that it isn’t unusual for pilots to have home simulators.
U.S. officials have said that the plane, shortly after being diverted, reached an altitude of 45,000 feet and “jumped around a lot.” But the airplane otherwise appeared to operate normally. Significantly, the transponder and a satellite-based communication system did not stop at the same time, as they would if the plane had exploded, disintegrated or crashed into the ocean.
Najib said Saturday that the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, or ACARS, was disabled just as MH370 reached the eastern coast of Malaysia. The transponder was then switched off, Najib said, as the aircraft neared the border between Malaysian and Vietnamese airspace.
According to the Malaysian government, a satellite that tracked the aircraft was located more than 22,000 miles above sea level. Even after the ACARS system was disconnected, the satellite still received some basic signal from the plane — what one U.S. official described as a “handshake.” Though no data was being transmitted, the satellite continued to reach out to the plane on an hourly basis and received confirmation that the plane was still flying.
“There’s no circuit breaker that would allow you to shut off the handshake,” the official said.
That satellite handshake took place on a system operated by Inmarsat, a British satellite company that provides global mobile telecommunications services.
U.S. officials declined to say how closely that handshake allowed them to track the path of the missing plane. But one U.S. official explained that the satellite wasn’t able to read the plane’s exact location or even what direction it flew. Instead, the satellite was able to determine how far the plane had traveled since the last known spot where ACARS was transmitting data. That could explain how Malaysia created two possible arcs where the plane might have traveled.
Najib said Saturday that the search for MH370 had entered a “new phase.” The U.S. Navy, already positioned to the west of the Malaysian peninsula, was planning to meet tonight to discuss whether and how to redeploy its assets, spokesman Cmdr. William Marks said.
Indian officials said Saturday morning that they were still awaiting new orders in response to the Malaysian prime minister’s statement that the official search focus shift from the South China Sea to the two “corridors” west of Malaysia.
“Nothing is certain. These are all probabilities,” said Captain D.K. Sharma, a spokesman for the India Navy. “Let the new orders come. Let’s see how we respond.”
India has now expanded its search from the area around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands — where five vessels and four planes have been deployed — to the north and west, by adding four additional aircraft to scour the massive Bay of Bengal — two P-8I anti-submarine and electronic intelligence planes and three other military aircraft, including a C-130J and two Dorniers. Search teams from the Indian military had spent much of the day Friday searching the jungles on remote islands of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, most of which are uninhabited, but so far have come up empty.
Other nations along the Bay of Bengal are now the expanding search as well. Gowher Rizvi, an adviser to Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina, said that country had deployed two aircraft and two frigates in the Bay of Bengal.
Harlan reported from Kuala Lumpur, and Gowen reported from New Delhi. Liu Liu contributed from Beijing. Tim Craig contributed from Pakistan, Joel Achenbach, Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz contributed from Washington and Rama Lakshmi contributed from New Delhi.
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Russia dismisses U.S. proposals in Ukraine talks
Drifting Towards War
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The Guns of August
The Guns of August is a documentary that follows the book by the same title by author, Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989), an eminent American historian. She received the first of her two Pulitzer prizes for this 1962 masterpiece on World War I. The documentary was made in 1965. Barbara Tuchman was highly respected for her ability to present complex subjects and present them with clarity. Until I read the previous review, I have never heard of anyone accusing her of hating Germany or its people or of her book being anti-German propaganda. But there are pictures of shot civilians and movies of smoldering ruins. Then again, there are people who claim the Holocaust never took place and is just anti-Nazi propaganda… Facts: On August 3 1914, Germany declared war on France. The German invasion plan for France called for an attack through Belgium, instead of through the heavily defended Franco-German border. Belgium was neutral and its neutrality was protected by treaty with Great Britain. The Germans attacked on August 3rd. The next day, August 4th, Great Britain declared war on Germany. Germany warned Belgium that they only wanted to reach France and if Belgium complied, there wouldn’t be any trouble. Despite its small army, Belgium chose to protect its sovereignty and its honor and paid for it. Liège, Aarschot, Andenne, Tamines, Dinant, and Leuven, where the worst of the German depredations occurred.
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$17 Trillion U.S. DEBT – A Visual Perspective
Chart: Total Federal Government Debt Since 1950
How Big Is the U.S. Debt?
US Unfunded Liabilities
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Global Debt Exceeds $100 Trillion as Governments Binge, BIS Says
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By John Glover Mar 9, 2014 6:00 AM CT
The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.
The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.
Borrowing has soared as central banks suppress benchmark interest rates to spur growth after the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy sent the world into its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Yields on all types of bonds, from governments to corporates and mortgages, average about 2 percent, down from more than 4.8 percent in 2007, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.
“Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS. The organization is owned by 60 central banks and hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a group of regulators and central bankers that sets global capital standards.
Marketable U.S. government debt outstanding has surged to a record $12 trillion, up from $4.5 trillion at the end of 2007, according to U.S. Treasury data compiled by Bloomberg. Corporate bond sales globally jumped during the period, with issuance totaling more than $21 trillion, Bloomberg data show.
Concerned that high debt loads would cause international investors to avoid their markets, many nations resorted to austerity measures of reduced spending and increased taxes, reining in their economies in the process as they tried to restore the fiscal order they abandoned to fight the worldwide recession.
Adjusting budgets to ignore interest payments, the International Monetary Fund said late last year that the so-called primary deficit in the Group of Seven countries reached an average 5.1 percent in 2010 when also smoothed to ignore large economic swings. The measure will fall to 1.2 percent this year, the IMF predicted.
The unprecedented retrenchments between 2010 and 2013 amounted to 3.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and 3.3 percent of euro-area GDP, according to Julian Callow, chief international economist at Barclays Plc in London.
The riskiest to the most-creditworthy bonds have returned more than 31 percent since 2007, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data. Treasury and agency debt handed investors gains of 27 percent in the period, while corporate bonds worldwide returned more than 40 percent, the indexes show.
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Senator Paul Extends Lead Fro 2013 Win Over Rubio
Rand Paul wins CPAC 2014 Presidential Straw Poll C-SPAN
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Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them a desire, a dream, a vison.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
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Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
Rubio and Ryan, GOP leaders in Congress all see big drops in support
Sen. Rand Paul demolished his competition in the 2014 Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll on Saturday, winning 31 percent of the vote — nearly three times the total of second-place Sen. Ted Cruz.
The poll also found a strong plurality of attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference believe marijuana should be fully legalized, with 41 percent saying it’s time to change the law and tax it. Another 21 percent said it should be legalized only for medicinal purposes, while just 31 percent said it should remain illegal in all cases.
SEE ALSO: CPAC 2014 straw poll results
In the presidential poll, Mr. Cruz’s 11 percent was a big improvement for the freshman senator, who won just 4 percent in last year’s straw poll. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson was third with 9 percent and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was fourth with 8 percent in results that signal growing discontent with the GOP establishment in Washington.
Indeed, CPAC voters now have an unfavorable view of Republicans in Congress, with 51 percent saying they disapprove of the job the GOP is doing on Capitol Hill. Just last year the GOP had a 54 percent approval rating, and in 2012 they held a 70 percent approval rating.
But a series of tough votes over the last few months that saw Republican leaders work with President Obama to boost spending and raised the government’s debt limit have deepened a rift between the GOP’s leadership on Capitol Hill and conservative activists around the country.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual … more >
That could be one reason why Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who wrote December’s budget deal that boosted spending in 2014 and 2015, saw his standing with CPAC voters cut in half — from 6 percent support in last year’s presidential straw poll to just 3 percent this year.
Sen. Marco Rubio suffered an even bigger drop, falling from 23 percent and second place in 2013 to seventh place, with 6 percent, this year.
“I like Ted Cruz, I like Rand Paul, I like Mike Lee. I like Rubio, but less now than I did a year ago because of immigration,” said David Fitzwilliam, 83.
SEE ALSO: Rand Paul urges conservatives to fight with him for liberty
For Mr. Paul, the victory is his second in a row, and he saw his support climb from 25 percent last year to 31 percent this year.
“He is the only true liberty candidate who focuses on civil liberties more than anybody else,” said Al Seltzinger, 36, from Baltimore. “I think the way the nation is going today with the government and the president going against the Constitution that we need someone who holds strict to the Constitution and whose voting record is pretty solid when it comes to the Constitution.”
Mr. Cruz also jumped from just 4 percent last year — when he was a newly sworn-in senator — to his 11 percent this year.
Mr. Carson, who gained prominence with a 27-minute speech challenging Mr. Obama when the two appeared at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, is also on the rise. In last year’s straw poll, taken just after that speech, he garnered 4 percent of the vote, but jumped to 9 percent this year.
“I love Ted Cruz, I love Rand Paul, but Ben Carson is all of the above,” said Jean Carlton, a 71-year-old CPAC attendee who said the doctor’s lack of Washington experience was a big plus.
For his part Mr. Christie, who has faced political troubles back home in New Jersey after his staffers caused a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge to punish a town mayor, seems to be holding steady among activists. He rose from 7 percent last year to 8 percent support this year.
In his speech to the conference on Thursday, Mr. Christie argued that the GOP needs to not only pick a conservative champion, but pick a candidate who can get elected.
“We can’t govern if we can’t win,” he said.
That resonated with some CPAC straw poll voters.
“I think he has the best chance in the general election. I am less optimistic about his chances in the primary, but he seems to be more palatable to Independents and Democrats. I think electability is the main concern,” said Matthew Smith, a 19-year-old student at Yale University.
This year’s straw poll listed 25 potential candidates, which is far more than usual. The high number signals just how wide open the GOP’s presidential contest is with two years to go before the first caucuses and primaries.
On the Democratic side, meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton easily leads the rest of her party’s field in national and state polling.
Previous versions of The Washington Times/CPAC poll showed that the audience that gathers in Washington leans younger and more libertarian than the conservative movement throughout the country, which likely gives Mr. Paul a boost with this crowd here.
Indeed, his father, then-Rep. Ron Paul, won the straw poll twice on a similar libertarian-minded message, though he struggled to translate that support into votes when it came to primaries and caucuses.
The straw poll was conducted between Thursday and Saturday afternoon, and 2,459 votes were cast.
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Story 3: Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos
On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:
President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.
—Office of the Press Secretary
Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994
Published December 5, 1994
The Presidents of Ukraine, Russian Federation and United States of America, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed three memorandums (UN Document A/49/765) on December 5, 1994, with the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Through this agreement, these countries (later to include China and France in individual statements) gave national security assurances to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Joint Declaration by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of December 4, 2009 confirmed their commitment.
“Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,
Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,
Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,
Confirm the following:
1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;
2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or
political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;
3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;
4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear
weapons are used;
5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclearweapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,
except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;
6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.
This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.
Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.
(Signed) Leonid D. KUCHMA
For the Russian Federation:
(Signed) Boris N. YELTSIN
For the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland:
(Signed) John MAJOR
For the United States of America:
(Signed) William J. CLINTON
On 5 March 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a meeting in Paris with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and the Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andriy Deshchytsia.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the urgent question of the Budapest Memorandum, the agreement signed by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Russia in 1994. The United States had conveyed an invitation to the Russian Federation to the meeting. We deeply regret that the Russian Federation declined to attend.
The Budapest Memorandum sets out the obligations of signatories in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Under its terms, the three parties commit to refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The Memorandum also obliges the UK, US and Russia to consult in the event of a situation arising where the memorandum commitments are questioned.
Ukraine voluntarily surrendered the world’s third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for these assurances. The three Governments treat these assurances with utmost seriousness, and expect Russia to as well. Russia has chosen to act unilaterally and militarily. The United Kingdom and United States will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we commend the new Ukrainian government for not taking actions that might escalate the situation. Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can only degrade Russia’s international standing and lead to greater political and economic consequences.
In the meeting, the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine discussed steps needed to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called on Russia to engage in consultations with Ukraine as they have committed to in the Budapest memorandum.
The United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine agreed that direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, facilitated as needed by members of the international community, are crucial to resolving the current situation. They also agreed that international observers should be deployed immediately in Ukraine, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The three governments reaffirmed the importance of protecting the rights of all Ukrainian citizens, and believed that international observers would help address any concerns regarding irregular forces, military activity and the treatment of all Ukrainians irrespective of their ethnicity or spoken language.
The Budapest Memorandum and Crimea
With tensions rising in Crimea and pro-Russian forces controlling the peninsula’s main airports, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Russia to “not violate the Budapest Memorandum.” So what is the “Budapest Memorandum” and what does it have to do with Crimea?
What exactly is the “Budapest Memorandum”?
The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” is a diplomatic memorandum that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.
In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act — a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union — to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.
Which principles in the Helsinki Final Act, reiterated in the “Budapest Memorandum,” are relevant to the current situation in the Crimea?
In the “Budapest Memorandum,” Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged that none of them would ever use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.
They specifically pledged they would refrain from making each other’s territory the object of military occupation or engage in other uses of force in violation of international law.
All sides agreed that no such occupation or acquisition will be recognized as legal and that the signatories would “consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.”
Is there anything legally binding about the “Budapest Memorandum” regarding Russia’s obligations to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity?
“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” says Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law.
“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere.”
Kellman concludes that there are a host of other sources of international law that oblige Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity — including the provisions of the CSCE treaty and the UN Charter.
: The forgotten treaty which could drag the US and UK into WAR with Russia if Putin’s troops intervene in Ukraine
- The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine’s borders
- It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994
- Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty
- Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country
- President Obama says he is ‘deeply concerned’ by the news
- The US and Britain have both made ‘crisis calls’ to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries
By JILL REILLY and LIZZIE EDMONDS
A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.
Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.
The revelation comes as reports suggest the Kremlin was moving up to 2,000 troops across the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to their fleet base at Sevastopol.
At least 20 men wearing the uniform of the Russian fleet and carrying automatic rifles surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post in a standoff near the port yesterday.
Last night it was still unclear the exact scale of Russian boots on the ground in Crimea or the identity of gunmen who have taken over airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol – though reports suggest they are Russian marines or Moscow- controlled militias.
The action came as President Obama delivered blunt warnings to Moscow.
‘We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,’ he told reporters at the White House.
‘Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,’ he said in a brief appearance.
‘The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.’
U.S. officials also said the President could scrap plans to attend an international summit in Russia and take negotiations on deepening trade ties with the country off the table in response to Russian involvement in the Ukraine.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added: “This could be a very dangerous situation if this continues in a provocative way.”
Asked about options in a CBS News interview, he said that “We’re trying to deal with a diplomatic focus, that’s the appropriate, responsible approach.”
Both the U.S. and the UK are advising against all non-essential trips to Ukraine – especially Crimea.
former British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said in an interview that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’
NATO also asked Russia not to take action that could escalate tension. However Moscow responded by telling the organization to ‘refrain’ from provocative statements on Ukraine and respect its ‘non-bloc’ status.
Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’
It promises to protect Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.
Kiev has demanded the agreement is activated after insisting their borders had been violated.
In response Mr Brenton said in a BBC radio interview: ‘If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia’.
Ukraine accused Russia of a ‘military invasion and occupation’, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula.
Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe’s largest countries.
Any Russian military incursion in Crimea would dramatically raise the stakes in Ukraine’s conflict, which saw pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych flee last weekend after three months of anti-government protests. Yanukovych vowed Friday at a news conference in Russia to ‘keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ though he called any military action ‘unacceptable.’
Moscow has vowed to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Crimea, where it has a major naval base, and Ukraine and the West have warned Russia to stay away.
Russia did not confirm its troops were involved in Friday’s action in Crimea, which would be a major escalation.
In Kiev, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a resolution demanding that Russia halt steps it says are aimed against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis.
THE BUDAPEST REFERENDUM
Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was a international treaty signed on February, 5, 1994, in Budapest.
The diplomatic document saw signatories make promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine.
The agreement promises to protest Ukraine’s borders in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.
It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document.
It was an unprecedented case in contemporary international life and international law.
Whether is it legally binding in complex.
‘It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,’ says Barry Kellman is a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law told Radio Free Europe.
‘I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation,’ Ukraine’s newly named interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote in a Facebook post.
The chief of Ukraine’s security council, Andriy Parubiy, seemed to strike a less strident tone later in the day, saying gunmen had tried to ‘seize’ the airports in the Crimean cities of Simferopol and Sevastopol but insisting in comments to the Interfax news agency that ‘de-facto the airports are controlled by the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine.’
Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service also said about 30 Russian marines from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – which is based in Sevastopol – had taken up position outside the Ukrainian Coast Guard base in the area. It said the marines said they were there to prevent any weapons at the base from being seized by extremists.
Russia’s defense ministry had no comment.
Yanukovych made his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, not far from the Ukrainian border. It was the first confirmation that he had left the country, and he said he was ‘forced’ to do so only after his family received threats.
‘I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ he said.
Yanukovych said he supports Crimea’s residents who are worried about ‘nationalists’ in Kiev and added that Russia cannot stand by while events in Ukraine unfold. He denied, however, that this amounts to a call for military intervention.
‘Any military action in this situation is unacceptable,’ he said.
Tensions rising: A Russian soldier on an armoured personnel carrier halted on a road in Ukraine around 20 miles from Sebastapol, where there is a large Russian military presence
The prosecutor-general’s office in Kiev said it would seek Yanukovych’s extradition to Ukraine, where he is wanted on suspicion of mass murder in last week’s violent clashes between protesters and police, during which over 80 people were killed.
At the airport serving Simferopol, commercial flights were landing and taking off despite dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings patrolling with assault rifles. They didn’t stop or search people leaving or entering the airport, and refused to talk to journalists.
One man who identified himself only as Vladimir said the men were part of the Crimean People’s Brigade, which he described as a self-defense unit ensuring that no ‘radicals and fascists’ arrive from other parts of Ukraine. There was no way to verify his account.
The airport deployments came a day after masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles seized the parliament and government offices in Simferopol and raised the Russian flag. Ukrainian police cordoned off the area but didn’t confront the gunmen. They remained in control of the buildings Friday.
The Russian foreign and defense ministries had no comment. Russia’s state RIA Novosti and Interfax cited an unnamed official from the Russian Black Sea Fleet denying involvement, saying Russian servicemen stationed in Crimea have not moved into the airports and denying that the Russian military was in control there.
Tensions between the two countries were high, however. Russia continued with massive combat readiness exercises involving most of its troops in western and southern Russia that it said were unrelated to the Ukraine conflict. The moves were reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.
Russian military forces are blockading an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, an act Ukraine’s new interior minister has announced branded an ‘armed invasion’
As events in the Crimea region heighten tensions with neighboring Russia, this morning armed men also took over the other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, according to a Facebook post by Mr Avakov
Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea
The move came as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukraine’s new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country’s new government
The Kremlin, in a statement published late Thursday, said President Vladimir Putin had instructed the government to ‘maintain contacts with the counterparts in Kiev in what concerns trade and economic ties between Russia and Ukraine.’
Moscow has been sending mixed signals about Ukraine but pledged to respect its territorial integrity. Putin has long dreamed of pulling Ukraine, a country of 46 million people considered the cradle of Russian civilization, closer into Moscow’s orbit.
Meanwhile, Swiss prosecutors announced they had launched a criminal investigation against Yanukovych and his son Aleksander over ‘aggravated money laundering.’
They said police and Geneva’s chief prosecutor conducted a search and seized documents Thursday at the premises of a company owned by Aleksander Yanukovych.
Ukraine’s ex-President Yanukovych has made his first public appearance since being ousted, telling a news conference that he was going to fight for his country’s future
Switzerland and Austria both said they would freeze any assets Yanukovych and his entourage might have in those countries.
Ukraine’s population is divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support.
Crimea, a southeastern peninsula of Ukraine that has semi-autonomous status, was seized by Russian forces in the 18th century under Catherine the Great, and was once the crown jewel in Russian and then Soviet empires.
It became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality until the 1991 Soviet collapse meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.
In a bid to shore up Ukraine’s fledgling administration, the International Monetary Fund has said it is ‘ready to respond’ to Ukraine’s bid for financial assistance; Ukraine’s finance ministry has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to avoid default.
The European Union is also considering emergency loans for a country that is the chief conduit of Russian natural gas to western Europe.
And Putin, in his statement, asked his government to ‘hold consultations with foreign partners including the IMF and the G8 nations to provide financial aid to Ukraine.’
Associated Press journalists approaching the Sevastopol airport found the road leading up to it blocked by two military trucks and a handful of gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms and carrying assault rifles.
A car with Russian military plates was stopped at the roadblock. A man wearing a military uniform with a Russian flag on his sleeve got out of the car and was allowed to enter on foot after a brief discussion with the gunmen.
Fact Check: Could a Little-Known International Agreement With Ukraine Force U.S., Britain Into War With Russia?
The United States and Britain “reaffirmed” their commitment to protect Ukraine’s borders in exchange for the nation giving up its nuclear weapons in a little-known agreement known as the “Budapest Memorandum signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994.
The Daily Mail notes reports “if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.”
Sir Tony Brenton, who served as a British ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said war is certainly on the table if it’s determined that the Budapest Memorandum is “legally binding.”
According to the Daily Mail, Kiev has asked that the agreement be honored as it claims its borders have been violated.
“If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia,” Brenton told BBC radio.
Ukraine has accused Russia of a “military invasion,” though details are still coming in.
The unsettling news comes after President Barack Obama warned Russia about military action in Ukraine on Friday.
But a closer look at the Budapest Memorandum shows the specifics might be more complex than some are assuming. Article one of the agreement states:
The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine … to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.
Reaffirming a “commitment” to Ukraine’s borders and being legally required to go to war are two very different ideas.
There will surely be much debate over whether the Budapest Memorandum is a legally binding agreement requiring action. The U.S. going to war with Russia is likely a last resort for the Obama administration.
According to rferl.org, the Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic memorandum, not an official treaty.
Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law, told the website that the answers to questions about whether the agreement is binding are “complex.”
“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” he said.
“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere,” the professor added.
Armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports in Crimea on Friday and Russian transport planes flew into the strategic region, Ukrainian officials said, an ominous sign of the Kremlin’s iron hand in Ukraine. President Barack Obama bluntly warned Moscow “there will be costs” if it intervenes militarily.
The sudden arrival of men in military uniforms patrolling key strategic facilities prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” – a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.
Unidentified armed men patrol outside of Simferopol airport, on February 28, 2014. Ukraine accused today Russia of staging an ‘armed invasion’ of Crimea and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula’s main airport. (Source: AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Obama urged Russia to respect the independence and territory of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor, which is undergoing political upheaval.
“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,” Obama said.
“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, that would invite the condemnation of nations around the world,” he continued. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”
He did not say what those costs might be.
Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances
The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international treaty signed on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine‘s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France later gave individual statements of assurance as well.[clarification needed]
The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996.
Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, the US stated that Russian involvement is in breach of its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, and in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
- Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
- Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
- Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
- Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
- Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.
Under the treaty, the signatories offered Ukraine “security assurances” in exchange for its adhesion to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum bundled together a set of assurances that Ukraine already held from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Final Act, United Nations Charter and Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Ukrainian government nevertheless found it politically valuable to have these assurances in a Ukraine-specific document.  
The Budapest Memorandum was negotiated as a political agreement. It refers to assurances, not defined, but less than a military guarantee of intervention. According to Stephen MacFarlane, a professor of international relations “It gives signatories justification if they take action, but it does not force anyone to act in Ukraine.”
Tuzla Island crisis
Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996 in return for “security assurances” from five nuclear powers, including Russia who was seen by Ukraine as the main threat to its territorial integrity. In 2003, Russian construction efforts were seen as an attempt to annex Tuzla Island off the Crimean coast of Ukraine. The Russian threat to Tuzla led to the Ukrainian leadership appealing to NATO for consultations on security, as outlined in the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter, without result. The dispute led to negotiations over delimitation of the maritime borders. In a 2012 preliminary agreement, Ukraine and Russia agreed that Tuzla Island would be considered Ukraine’s territory.[needs update]
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia after hosting the Budapest Memorandum Ministerial on the Ukraine crisis in Paris, France, on March 5, 2014.
2014 Crimean crisis
In February 2014, unidentified troops seized or blockaded various airports, as well as other strategic sites throughout Crimea. Official Ukrainian sources have said that the troops are Russian, attached to the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Crimea, likely placing Russia in violation of the Budapest Memorandum. The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the movement of armoured units attached to the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, but asserts that they are acting within the scope of the various agreements between the two countries. Other official Russian sources deny that the units in the area of Sevastopol International Airport, specifically, are attached to the Black Sea Fleet.
On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:
President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.
—Office of the Press Secretary
In response to the crisis, the Ukrainian parliament has requested that the Memorandum’s signatories reaffirm their commitment to the principles enshrined in the treaty, and further asked that they hold consultations with Ukraine to ease tensions.
- Jump up^ “Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994″. Council on Foreign Relations. December 5, 1994. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d The Crimea:Europe’s Next Flashpoint, By Taras Kuzio, November 2010
- Jump up^ 
- ^ Jump up to:a b Office of the Press Secretary. “Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin”. whitehouse.gov.
- ^ Jump up to:a b Washington Post Editorial Board. “Condemnation isn’t enough for Russian actions in Crimea”. Washington Post.
- Jump up^ Memorandum on Security Assurances 
- ^ Jump up to:a b Are the US and the UK bound to intervene in Ukraine?, france24, 03-03-2014
- ^ Jump up to:a b Ukraine crisis’ impact on nuclear weapons, 4-March-2014
- Jump up^ http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120713/174576071.html
- Jump up^ Higgins, Andrew; Reevell, Patrick (28 February 2014). “Armed, masked men appear at airports in Crimea”. The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Jump up^ Booth, William; DeYoung, Karen (28 February 2014). “Reports of Russian military activity in Crimea prompts stern warning from Obama”. The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Jump up^ “Movement of Russian armored vehicles in Crimea fully complies with agreements – Foreign Ministry”. RT. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Jump up^ “Ukrainian parliament appeals to Budapest Memorandum signatories”. Interfax Ukraine. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 1 of 4. From Rus to Ukraine
Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 2 of 4. Ukraine or Little Russia?
Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 3 of 4. Together Forever
Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 4 of 4. Independence
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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio
Story 1: Warning You Are Being Tracked — The Secret Surveillance Security State — Vidoes
RFID Blocker Sleeves
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 1
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 2
Katherine Albrecht interview with Campaign for Liberty Part 3
WARNING RFID FOR EVERYONE
Katherine Albrecht, RFID expert , Genesis Communications Network Radio Host, and Author of the Book Spychips sat down with Steve Vasquez on April 20th to discuss Real Id and the Enhanced Drivers license.
What does it all mean? Legislation for total control and tracking.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106A-117 of the U.S. Copyright Law
Katherine Albrecht – Spychips THREAT! Resist RFID & Electronic Surveillance!
The Enhanced Driver License: A Dream Realized
Texas Schools Track Students with RFID Chips! (Nanny of the Month, Nov ’12)
TEXAS Students to be TRACKED With MICROCHIPS. PUNISHMENTS For NON COMPLIANCE
RFID Chip Required in Obama’s Health Care Bill
Police State IBM VeriChip RFID Implant + Edible RFID Tracking Chips
The Fight Against the Total Surveillance State in Our Schools
Students in San Antonio are now being required to carry identification cards containing an RFID chip which allows school administrators to track their movements throughout the school day. While some are passively accepting the program, one brave student, Andrea Hernandez, is asserting her right to privacy. As John Whitehead explains in this week’s vodcast, the battle playing out in San Antonio could be the turning point in the resistance to the total surveillance state.
Students Required to Wear MicroChips on School Campus
Advanced RFID Student ID Card Identification System-Student Safety
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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts
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Story 1: Who Will Be Obama’s Chief of News Police? News Czar — Creepy Tyranny! — Videos
Greta Van Interviews FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai – ” Government Doesn’t Have a Place in the Newsroom “
FCC newsroom study
Krauthammer’s Take: FCC Newsroom Study Latest Effort ‘to Trample on What Rights are Remaining’
FCC Plan For Newsroom Monitors Sparks Constitutional Concern – Wake Up America – America’
Obama’s News Police – WH Pushes FCC To Install Newsroom Spies – Attack On First Amendment
U.S. Plunges in Global Press Freedom Rankings As Obama Wages War on Whistleblowers
The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom
Why is the agency studying ‘perceived station bias’ and asking about coverage choices?
News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.
But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.
Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.
The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.
The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: “Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?” Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.
Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.
This is not the first time the agency has meddled in news coverage. Before Critical Information Needs, there was the FCC’s now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, which began in 1949 and required equal time for contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues. Though the Fairness Doctrine ostensibly aimed to increase the diversity of thought on the airwaves, many stations simply chose to ignore controversial topics altogether, rather than air unwanted content that might cause listeners to change the channel.
The Fairness Doctrine was controversial and led to lawsuits throughout the 1960s and ’70s that argued it infringed upon the freedom of the press. The FCC finally stopped enforcing the policy in 1987, acknowledging that it did not serve the public interest. In 2011 the agency officially took it off the books. But the demise of the Fairness Doctrine has not deterred proponents of newsroom policing, and the CIN study is a first step down the same dangerous path.
The FCC says the study is merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.
This claim is peculiar. How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?
Should all stations follow MSNBC’s example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber‘s bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn’t matter more than anyone else’s merely because I happen to work at the FCC.
Mr. Pai is a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
Why the FCC should keep its nose out of TV newsrooms
By Howard Kurtz
What on earth is the FCC thinking?
The last thing we need is the government mucking around with news content.
The title of this Big Brother-ish effort by the Federal Communications Commission sounds innocuous enough: “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs.” But it’s a Trojan horse that puts federal officials in the newsroom, precisely where they shouldn’t be.
Don’t take my word for it. The FCC says it wants to examine “the process by which stories are selected,” as well as “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
Perceived station bias? Are you kidding me? Government bureaucrats are going to decide whether a newsroom is being fair?
Keep in mind that the commission has the power to renew or reject broadcast television licenses. During Watergate, Richard Nixon’s FCC challenged two TV licenses of stations owned by the Washington Post. So mere information gathering can become a little more serious, given that enormous clout.
As FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai notes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the commission “plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their ‘news philosophy’ and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.” The first test is slated for this spring in Columbia, S.C.
I know that television stations are licensed in the public interest. It’s fair for the FCC to examine how much news a station offers, as opposed to lucrative game shows and syndicated reruns. But the content of that news ought to be off-limits.
The Fairness Doctrine, which once required TV and radio stations to offer equal time for opposing points of view, is no more, and good riddance (since it discouraged stations from taking a stand on much of anything). The Obama administration swears it’s not coming back.
How, then, to explain this incursion into the substance of journalism, which seems utterly at odds with the notion of a free and unfettered press?
Now some of the commentary about this is overheated, with talk of an FCC “thought police” and so on. The effort is beginning in a single city. But already there are signs that the commission is backing off.
Adweek reports that “controversial” sections of the study will be “revisited” under new chairman Tom Wheeler. An FCC official told the publication that the agency “has no intention of interfering in the coverage and editorial choices that journalists make. We’re closely reviewing the proposed research design to determine if an alternative approach is merited.”
The FCC should keep its alternative approaches to itself, as even the posing of these questions carries an intimidation factor. The government has no business meddling in how journalism is practiced. And if George W. Bush’s FCC had tried this, it would be a front-page story.
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