Archive for May, 2013

Amnesty Before Enforcement — Congressional Gangsters’ Comprehensive Immigration “Reform” Bill Targets American Citizens For Unemployment — American Citizens Want All Illegal Aliens Deported Not Rewarded With Legal Status — Target The Amnesty Illegal Alien Gangsters For Defeat — Videos

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: Airplanes, American History, Autos, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Demographics, Drug Cartels, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Psychology, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Raves, Reviews, Tax Policy, Transportation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Defeat The Gang of 8 Amensty For Illegal Immigation Bill

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Gang Of Eight Senators Kill Amendment Requiring Border Fence

Rep. Steve King: Immigration Legislation is ‘Breathtaking, Outrageous Form of Amnesty’

Heritage Foundation Report on the cost of legalizing 11 mn illegal immigrants

Legalizing Illegals Will Cost $6.3 Trillion!

Wood Says Immigration Amnesty to Cost $6.3 Trillion

Schumer Refuses To Estimate Future Immigration Flow Under Gang Of Eight Proposal

 Cruz Offers Amendments to ‘Gang of Eight’ Bill

Congressman Steve King leads House opposition to Senate’s Gang of Eight immigration bill

Law Officers Plead With Congress To Hear Their Concerns Over Proposed Amnesty Bill

Sessions: Gang Of Eight Sticking Together To Defeat Improvements To Their Bill

Top ICE Agent: ‘Zero Confidence In This Administration’ To Deliver On Immigration Enforcement

The Gang Of 8’s Opposition Cost $6.3 Trillion – Sessions: 35 million Illegals New Citizen – Dobbs

Sessions: Gang Of Eight Bill Would Surge Low-Skill Immigration, Hurt Working Americans

Sessions: Senate Rushing Immigration Bill Lawmakers Haven’t Read

US. & Mexican Government Working Together To Provide Legal & illegal Aliens Food Stamp – O’Reilly

Border Patrol Official: Illegal Immigrants To Get ‘A Free Pass’ Under President’s New Policy

Sen. Sessions: Senate immigration bill will ‘hammer working Americans’

By Bernie Becker

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Friday that the Senate immigration reform bill would “hammer working Americans.”

Sessions, one of the immigration overhaul’s most strident critics, suggested the measure would prioritize foreign-born workers over people already in the U.S. struggling to find a job.

“This is far, far too many low-skilled workers that are going to take jobs and pull down wages of people unemployed and underemployed right now,” Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Fox Business. “It’s really, really dangerous.”

The Senate Judiciary panel cleared the immigration bill crafted by the so-called “Gang of Eight” this week by a bipartisan 13-5 vote, and its supporters hope to rack up 70 votes in the chamber.

But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), one of the Gang of Eight, said Friday that the vote doesn’t yet have 60 votes in the chamber. Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), another senior Republican on the Judiciary panel, voted for the measure in committee, but has said he might not back it on the Senate floor.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/301979-sessions-immigration-bill-will-hammer-working-americans#ixzz2ULNbxOq3
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Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

NSC’s PRISM Political Payoff: 40 Million Plus Foreigners Are In USA As Illegal Aliens! — 75% Plus Lean Towards Democratic Party — Pathway To One Party Rule By 2025 If Senate Bill Becomes Law Giving Illegal Aliens Legal Status — 25 Million American Citizens Looking For Full Time Jobs! — Videos

No Such Agency — NSA — National Security Agency — Threat To The Liberty and Privacy of The American People — None Of Their Damn Business — Still Trust The Federal Government? — Videos

Big Brother Barack Targets All The American People As Enemies of The State and Democratic Party — National Security Agency’s PRISM Is The Secret Security Surveillance State (S4) Means of Invading Privacy and Limiting Liberty — Outrageous Overreach — Videos

U.S. Hacking China and Hong Kong — Videos

Digital Campaigns Using Microtargeting and Data Mining To Target Voters — Videos

Sasha Issenberg — The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns — Videos

Related Posts on Pronk Pops

Pronk Pops Show 112, June 7, 2013, Segment 0: Marxist-Leninists Go To The Wall With Holder — The Man Who Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried Enjoys President Obama’s Full Confidence Says Political Fixer Valerie Jarrett — Wall Street Wants Holder To Hang On — American People Say Hit The Road Jack — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 112, June 7, 2013: Segment 1: U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product Growth Still Stagnating At 2.4% in First Quarter of 2013 As Institute for Supply Management Factory Index Sinks to 49.0 Lowest Since June 2009 — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 112, June 7, 2013, Segment 2: Federal Advisory Council (FAC) May 17, 2013 Report — No Exit To A Bridge Over Troubled Waters — Keyboarding Money — We’re screwed! — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 112, June 7, 2013, Segment 3: Official Unemployment Rate Rises To 7.6% with 11.8 Million Americans Unemployed and Only 175,000 Jobs Created in May — Videos

Pronk Pops Show 112, June 7, 2013, Segment 4: No Such Agency — NSA — National Security Agency — Threat To The Liberty and Privacy of The American People — None Of Their Damn Business — Still Trust The Federal Government? — Videos

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The Dirty Dozen aka Soros, Obama, Jarrett, Shulman, Kelley, Hull, Hall, Lerner, Paz, Thomas, Seok IRS Agents: White House–IRS Collectivist Conspiracy Targets Pro Israel, Pro Life, Tea Party and Conservative Movement Groups To Suppress Voter Turnout! — Violation of Civil Rights — Videos

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Culture, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Press, Radio, Religion, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UPDATED June 7, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 111: May 31, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 110: May 24, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 109: May 17, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 108: May 10, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 107: May 3, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 106: April 26, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 105: April 19, 2013

Pronk Pops Show 104: April 12, 2013

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Segment 0: The Dirty Dozen aka Soros, Obama, Jarrett, Shulman, Kelley, Hall, Lerner, Paz, Thomas, Seck, IRS Agents: White House–IRS Collectivist Conspiracy Targets Pro Israel, Pro Life, Tea Party and Conservative Movement Groups To Suppress Voter Turnout! — Videos

George-Soros

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IRS Subject Matter Expert
Holly Paz Holly Paz
Manager
Exempt Organizations Guidance

Holly is a manager in Exempt Organizations’ Guidance office, which is responsible for drafting notices, announcements, revenue procedures, and other guidance on exempt organization matters. Holly’s work often involves coordination with the Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury Department on legislative and technical issues, as well as providing information to the tax writing committees of Congress.

Before coming to Exempt Organizations, Holly served as an attorney-advisor in the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the Internal Revenue Service that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS. She also worked for eight years as an attorney in private practice focusing on exempt organizations issues. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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The Dirty Dozen Movie Trailer

Dirty Dozen (1967) – General Inspection

Movie of the Week: Dirty Dozen – Lee Marvin Review by Best Movies By Farr

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 George Soros Exposed – Puppet master Glenn Beck

Obama Admin Evolution Of A Scandal – IRS Enemies List – Hannity

Targeted By The Taxman – He Made Us Do It! RPT: IRS Worker Names ATT”Y Carter Hull

Reality Check: IRS Scandal Exclusive

Heads are starting to roll at the IRS. Ben is following a story that is going in many directions. With many who are distancing themselves. In fact, He first told

you on March 1, 2012 that Tea Party and Liberty Groups in seven states claimed they were being targeted by the IRS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Sit-….

In this Reality Check compilation, Ben goes in-depth on the IRS vs. Tea Party, Liberty groups, and religious organizations.

The IRS apologized. The white House decries the unacceptable actions and any connection to the current administration.

Ben has tracked the chain of command through the Cincinnati office and is going to show you how this situation transitions into the Washington D.C. office, and possibly beyond.

Obama Admin IRS Scandal & Congress Dealing With Scandals – Krauthammer On O’Reilly

IRS Worker At Center Of Targeting Scandal Gets Promoted -RPT – Cavuto – Wake Up America

Goldberg on IRS Scandal on IRS

Stein on IRS Scandal

IRS – May 6th Letter To Conservative Group Suggest Targeting Is Not Over Cavuto

Tea Party Groups Protests The IRS

The Blaze TV “The IRS Tax Scandal” Matt Kibbe & Adam Brandon 5/29/13

Part II – The Blaze TV “The IRS Tax Scandal” Matt Kibbe & Adam Brandon 5/29/13

Tea Party Groups To Sue IRS Over Targeting Of Conservatives – Megyn Kelly -Wake Up America

Katie Pavlich on Shulman’s 159 Visits to WH – IRS Scandal with Neil Cavuto – Fox Business – 5-30-13

IRS Scandal, How High Does It Go? Catastrophic Failure! – Greta On The Record

FreedomWorks VP: IRS Scandal Just Beginning [The Christian Broadcasting Network]

IRS Scandal – New Information On IRS Chain Of Command – Missing Link Cindy Thomas? – Megyn Kelly

IRS Targeting Scandal Sarah Hall Inram Now Running Obamacare Office & Benghazi Update

Glenn Beck » IRS, ObamaCare, And The White House

You are a conspiracy theorist if you blame Obama

Peakaboo Politics: The IRS Scandal — A Timeline of Confusing Statements

IRS Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth, Dismissed From Scandal Hearing

IRS 5-22-2013 House Oversight Committee 4

TRIFECTA — Targeting Tea: Obama’s IRS Singles Out Conservative Groups

Mark Levin on Hannity: Obama Said Only Learned About IRS Story on Friday

The IRS and Sarah Hall Ingram

The IRS And ObamaCare

Former IRS Commish Shulman cites Easter Egg Roll for visiting White House 118 times

U.S. Treasury Knew About I.R.S. Partisanship

Why IRS Scandal Could Haunt Obama

FTN: NTEU urges political contributions

Why I Serve: Colleen Kelley, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)

Myth About Federal Workers

2013 NTEU Legislative Conference – Press Conference

Glenn Beck – IRS targeted conservatives

Obama to “rule” as president

Who is Valerie Jarret?

Fall of America: G. Edward Griffin on Conspiracy Theories

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

PJTV: Obama IRS Scandal Uncovers the Ugly Side of Income Taxes

IRS scandal: GOP looks to seize election opportunity, CBS News Video 5-30-2013

FreedomWorks On Tap “The IRS Tax Terror” 5-16-13

Another 30 Mins w/ Glenn Beck & Richard Poe @ GBTV Regarding “The ShadowParty” Book, George Soros

Former IRS Chief’s Wife Works for Leftist Campaign Finance Reform Group

On Friday, reports broke that Former IRS chief Doug Shulman’s wife works with a liberal lobbying group, Public Campaign, where she is the senior program advisor. Public Campaign is an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”

The goal of Public Campaign is to target political groups like the conservative non-profits at issue in the IRS scandal. The Campaign says it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”

CEO of Public Campaign Nick Nyhart has offered words of support for the IRS’ targeting: “There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status. It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”

Public Campaign gets its cash from labor unions like AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and Move On.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/31/former-IRS-chief-Public-Campiagn

George Soros Gives $1 Million To Barack Obama Super PAC

The Huffington Post | By Paul Blumenthal

The Democrats heavy-hitters are finally coming out of the dugout to play ball in the brave new world of unlimited contributions and super PACs.

A spokesperson for Priorities USA Action, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama’s reelection, confirmed to The Huffington Post Thursday that billionaire investor George Soros has committed $1 million to the PAC. A spokesman for House Majority PAC also confirmed to HuffPost that Soros had given a combined $500,000 to House Majority PAC and the Senate Majority PAC in September.

The New York Times’ Nick Confessore was first to publish the news about the Soros donations. According to Confessore, Soros’ political adviser Michael Vachon announced the contributions at a meeting of the liberal donor group, Democracy Alliance where former President Bill Clinton, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were urging donors — most of whom have refused until now — to give to super PACs. Aside from the Soros donations, another $10 million was promised by donors attending the meeting.

Confessore writes that Soros, who did not attend the meeting, sent an email to Democracy Alliance members explaining his contributions:

“I fully support the re-election of President Obama,” Mr. Soros said in the email. He had not contributed until now, he wrote, because he opposed the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, which paved the way for super PACs and unlimited money in politics. But since then, Mr. Soros wrote, he had become “appalled by the Romney campaign which is openly soliciting the money of the rich to starve the state of the money it needs to provide social services.”

It’s a sharp contrast to where Soros stood shortly after the 2010 midterm elections, when he expressed criticism of the Obama administration before a group of donors at a private meeting and suggested they pledge their money elsewhere.

Soros already has given $1.275 million to super PACs, the majority of which went to the Democratic opposition research hub American Bridge. His announced contributions this election still come nowhere near the amount that he gave to try to unseat President George W. Bush in 2004. Soros donated more than $30 million in that election — a record sum until international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson dropped more than $70 million this year into a host of super PACs and non-disclosing non-profits.

George Soros: His Influence on the Media and the IRS Scandal

Soros’ Hand in the IRS Scandal

By Russ Jones

New details regarding the IRS scandal that found the nation’s top tax office intentionally targeting conservative groups are surfacing. Like, for example, the fact that George Soros-funded organizations sent letters encouraging the IRS to investigate conservative organizations.

According to findings reported by the Media Research Center (MRC), Soros gave $6.1 million to liberal groups who urged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate conservative non-profit organizations, including various tea party and Christian groups.

Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for MRC, says the scandal could be traced to a series of letters that two liberal groups — Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 — sent to the IRS in 2010 and 2011 asking for an “investigation” of political consultant Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.

“What they need to focus on is this timeline,” Gainor suggests. “We actually carry the timeline here, and the timeline is when these lefty operations sent their letters to the IRS and what the IRS did soon after.”

Pro Publica, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones were just a few of the accomplices that helped instigate IRS investigations. But as of 2010, Pro Publica received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

“It is a who’s who of far-left organizations,” the MRC spokesman offers. “Remember — this is George Soros, who has given $8.5 billion to charity. Of that … that we could track, $550 million has gone to liberal operations here in the United States.”

Applications of nine organizations applying for tax-exempt status that had yet to be approved were sent to Pro Publica. Unapproved applications are not supposed to be made public.

SOURCE: http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2013/05/20/soros-hand-in-the-irs-scandal

Soros Gave $6.1 Million to Groups Linked to Pressure on IRS to Target Conservative Nonprofits

By Mike Ciandella (CNS News), May 15, 2013 •

As IRS efforts targeting politically-conservative groups gained momentum, George Soros-funded liberal groups repeatedly called on the IRS to investigate conservative nonprofit organizations.

While the first reported instances of extra IRS scrutiny for conservative groups began in Cincinnati in March of 2010, the attacks began to pick up steam on a national level soon after Soros-funded groups began firing off letters to the IRS in October of that year – following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

The talking points of these groups then bounced around a carefully created progressive “echo chamber,” until they eventually made their way into established media outlets. Key IRS policy changes about how it investigated conservative groups took place soon after it received three separate letters sent by Soros-funded liberal organizations.

Several Soros-funded groups including the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, the Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones and Alternet have worked to pressure the IRS to target conservative nonprofit groups. The subsequent IRS investigation flagged more than 100 tea party-related applications for higher scrutiny, including applications that included the words “Tea Party” and “patriot.”

The IRS scandal can be traced back to a series of letters that the liberal groups Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and Democracy 21 sent to the IRS back in 2010 and 2011. Both groups were funded by George’s Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The CLC received $677,000 and Democracy 21 got $365,000 from the Soros-backed foundation, according to the Foundation’s 990 tax forms.

The letters specifically targeted conservative Super PACs like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, asking the IRS to scrutinize them more thoroughly to determine whether or not they should retain their tax-exempt status.

On Oct. 5, 2010, when the first letter was sent to the IRS, calling specifically for the agency to “investigate” Crossroads GPS. The letter claimed Crossroads was “impermissibly using its tax status to spend tens of millions of dollars in the 2010 congressional races while hiding the donors funding these expenditures from the American people.” Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer wrote a blog post for the liberal Huffington Post to promote it, and the effort to get the media to notice the anti-conservative campaign began.

On June 27, 2011, a second letter by the CLC and Democracy 21 complained about enforcement of 501(c)(4) tax regulations, asking “that the IRS issue new regulations that better enforce the law.” Two days later, an IRS senior agency official was briefed on a new policy targeting groups which “criticize how the country is being run,” according to a Washington Post story. According to the Post, this policy was later revised.

A third letter by the CLC and Democracy 21, on Sept 28, 2011, got media traction. The letter showed the escalation of the left’s complaint about 501(c)(4) groups. It challenged “the eligibility of four organizations engaged in campaign activity to be treated as 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations.” The four organizations included Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA, American Action Network and Americans Elect.

The Soros-funded Center for Public Integrity ($2,716,328) published a “study” on 501(c)(4) groups, on October 31, which drew heavily from, and referenced, the CLC and Democracy 21. The Center for Public Integrity has strong media connections and boasts an advisory board that includes Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, and Michele Norris, an NPR host, as well as a board of directors with such prominent names as Huffington Post CEO Arianna Huffington, Steve Kroft of CBS News’s 60 Minutes and Craig Newmark (founder of Craigslist).

This study then led to a Mother Jones article about a month later, on November 18, which was reposted on the left-wing blog Alternet on November 21. By December of 2011, the topic had been picked up in a New York Times editorial, and then began receiving other media coverage. That editorial called for “the Internal Revenue Service to crack down on the secret political money already flooding the 2012 campaign from partisan operatives ludicrously claiming to be ‘social welfare’ activists.”

On Jan. 15, 2012, the IRS targeted groups focused on limiting government or educating people about the Constitution and Bill of Rights

Alternet and Mother Jones are both members of The Media Consortium, which is designed to do exactly what happened here. The Media Consortium was created to be a progressive “echo chamber,” where 63 separate left-wing media outlets can network and share ideas, as well as cross-promote stories. Other members of the Consortium include such liberal outlets as The Nation, Democracy Now! and The American Prospect. The consortium has also received $675,000 in Soros funds since 2000. Alternet ($285,000) and Mother Jones ($485,000) have both also received individual funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

This isn’t the only time the IRS has targeted conservative groups recently, nor is it the only connection between the IRS and Soros-funded groups. The IRS gave the left-wing journalism site ProPublica the applications for nine conservative groups pending tax-exempt status.

The IRS also released the confidential donor lists of the National Organization for Marriage to the liberal Human Rights Campaign. Both the Human Rights Campaign ($2,716,328) and ProPublica ($300,000) are also Soros-funded. Despite its blatant liberal leanings, ProPublica boasts a staff of well-known journalists, including veterans of The New York Times and The Wall Street journal, as well as of liberal operations like the Center for American Progress and The Nation, and has even won two Pulitzer Prizes.

Timeline Shows Influence of Soros-Funded Groups:

March 1-17, 2010: First ten reported cases of targeting by the IRS against groups that had ties to the “tea party or similar organizations.”

Sept. 16, 2010: TIME article “The New GOP Money Stampede” quotes Wertheimer;

Sept. 23, 2010: DISCLOSE act, a campaign finance disclosure act specifically targeting a Tea Party group, in the writing of which the CLC participated, fails in the Senate;

Sept. 28, 2010: Democrat Senator Max Baucus writes a letter to the IRS, citing the TIME article;

Oct. 5, 2010: Democracy 21 and Campaign Legal Center petition IRS, Wertheimer writes HuffPo article;

Oct. 7, 2010: Legal brief from HoltzmanVogel PLLC against the Democracy 21 petition;

Oct. 14, 2010: Dick Durbin asks IRS to investigate American Crossroads, HuffPo coverage;

June 27, 2011: Second petition to the IRS by CLC and Democracy 21;

June 29, 2011: IRS senior agency official Lois Lerner briefed on efforts to target groups which “criticize how the country is being run”;

Sept. 28, 2011: CLC and Democracy 21 petition IRS again, this time about four conservative groups;

Oct. 31, 2011: CPI “investigation”;

Nov. 18, 2011: Mother Jones article;

Nov. 21, 2011: Alternet repost of Mother Jones Article;

Dec. 29, 2011: New York Times oped;

Jan. 15, 2012: IRS targeted groups focusing on limiting government or educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights;

February 2012: First articles promoting this issue appear in New York Times, Washington Post and LA Times.

$6.1 Million in Soros Funding Since 2000

  • Center for Public Integrity: $2,716,328
  • Campaign Legal Center: $677,000
  • Media Consortium: $675,000
  • Mother Jones: $485,000
  • Democracy 21: $365,000
  • ProPublica: $300,000
  • Alternet: $285,000
  • Human Rights Campaign: $600,000

SOURCE: http://cnsnews.com/blog/mike-ciandella/soros-gave-61-million-groups-linked-pressure-irs-target-conservative-nonprofits

IRS Chain of Command Suggests Scandal Not Limited to ‘Low-Level Employees’

By MARK HEMINGWAY

After the IRS revealed it had wrongly targeted hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups, the agency claimed that the misconduct was limited to “low-level employees” in its Cincinnati office. Yesterday, the attorney for Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, told the House Oversight Committee she would invoke her Fifth Amendment rights, making that explanation much less credible.

Now the local Cincinnati Fox affiliate, FOX19, has done some digging and uncovered information suggesting that top officials at the IRS weren’t too far removed from the six low-level employees identified as making unjustified inquiries. Fox19 has not only identified all six IRS agents in question, it turns out that they all have only one supervisor in common:

When an application for tax exempt status comes into the IRS, agents have 270 days to work through that application. If the application is not processed within those 270 days it automatically triggers flags in the system. When that happens, individual agents are required to input a status update on that individual case once a month, every month until the case is resolved. …

So who in the chain of command would have received all these flags? The answer, according to the IRS directory, one woman in Cincinnati, Cindy Thomas, the Program Manager of the Tax Exempt Division. Because all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common.

Cindy Thomas’s name is significant, because Thomas is the woman who leaked nine tax documents to the journalism outlet ProPublica last year. The leaking of pending tax documents is a clear violation of the law. After having uncovered the nature of Thomas’s involvement, FOX19 looks at her place in the IRS chain of command:

Former Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller… retires

Joseph Grant, Commissioner of Tax Exempt and Government Entities… retires.

Lois Lerner, Head of Exempt Organization…says she will invoke her 5th amendment right to not incriminate herself when called before Congress on Wednesday.

Holly Paz, Director of Exempt Organizations, subpoenaed to Washington to be interviewed by members of Congress.

All of this IRS leadership, in Washington D.C.

Then one level down is Cindy Thomas, the highest ranking employee in Cincinnati in this Tax Exempt and Government Entities Department that no one in Congress is talking to… yet.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/irs-chain-command-suggests-scandal-not-limited-low-level-employees_728777.html

Cracks Widen In The IRS Scandal Stonewall

Scandal Watch: New evidence makes it clear that the Internal Revenue Service campaign against conservatives wasn’t the result of two “rogue” agents, but was directed from higher up. The question is, how high up?

The claim that a couple of workers in the bowels of an IRS office in Cincinnati managed to block tax-exempt applications from conservative groups for more than two years, while subjecting them to outrageous, intrusive and improper requests for information, started falling apart days ago.

Last weekend, the Washington Post quoted a staffer saying that “everything comes from the top” at the IRS.

As Colleen Kelley, president of the union that represents IRS agents, told the Associated Press, “No processes or procedures or anything like that would ever be done just by frontline employees without any management involvement.”

And the New York Times reported that IRS accountants got a “directive from their manager” in early 2010 to “be on the lookout” for Tea Party-type groups.

This week, NBC News quoted a former manager of that Cincinnati office who explained how various internal checks and balances would have prevented workers from carrying out such a scheme on their own.

And Cincinnati’s Fox 19 News, which has done more solid reporting on this story than most of the major news outlets, looks to have put the final nail in the “rogue agent” story.

The local news station found that there were six agents — not two as former IRS head Steven Miller insisted just last week — who worked on these tax-exempt applications. These agents, Fox 19 learned, all had different direct managers, who in turn had different territory managers.

That means any directive applying to all these workers would had to have come from at least three levels up the management chain.

That manager turns out to be Cindy Thomas — who the IRS says oversees “exempt organization determinations” nationwide. She also happens to be the same person who ProPublica said signed off on releasing nine confidential tax-exempt applications from conservative groups to that liberal-leaning news website.

So if Thomas ordered the targeting, why? And if someone told her to get it done, who was that?

Fox 19 also learned all these managers would have known that Tea Party applications were being blocked long ago. IRS agents must handle tax-exempt applications within 270 days, after which the system automatically sends out an alert, making the agent provide a status update each month until the case is resolved.

Since the IRS started blocking Tea Party-type applications in April 2010 and didn’t approve a single one for more than two years, “thousands of red flags would have been generated.” Given the 270-day schedule, the first alerts would have hit back in December 2010.

Given all this, it’s not surprising that one top IRS official is now pleading the Fifth, and that the IRS is stonewalling congressional requests for communications relating to the targeting, including crucial emails.

Every new tidbit of information only makes the scandal look worse.

IRS Union Chief Stonewalls

By Jeffrey Lord

Yesterday I asked in this space, among other questions about the IRS scandal, this:

What was the subject of the Obama-Kelley March 31, 2010 meeting?

I received the following response to my question from the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) — the union for IRS employees headed by ex-14 year agent Colleen Kelley. The response came from union spokesperson Dina Long. It reads, in its entirety, this:

Statement of NTEU

On March 31, 2010, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley attended the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility at the Old Executive Office Building. The forum was attended by approximately 200 attendees including business leaders, workers, policy experts and labor representatives discussing telework and worklife balance issues. Attendees were broken into five groups to discuss workplace issues. The president made opening remarks. President Kelley did not have any direct contact with the president or the first lady. President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

Below is a description of the March 2010 forum from the White House web site:

On March 31, 2010, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Council on Women and Girls hosted the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. The Forum brought together small business owners, corporate leaders, workers, policy experts, and labor leaders to explore the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs without sacrificing the needs of their families. Building on the momentum coming out of that forum, the Administration is hosting follow-up forums around the country and encourages others to convene events in their communities to engage in dialogue and take action on this important issue.”

Sounds reasonable, yes?

Read again. Let’s see how the Washington game is played.

Over here, in a story by the Daily Caller’s Caroline May, the NTEU responded to Ms. May with the exact same statement that was sent to me.

With one difference. This interesting sentence:

President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

The folks over at the Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson’s site, are no dummies. If that sentence had been included in the otherwise identical response they received from the NTEU, they would have reported it.

So why was that one particular sentence tacked on to the otherwise identical statement from the NTEU? In a response to me?

Because in fact it is an answer — a disturbingly partial answer — to but one question of eight questions that I asked of Ms. Kelley. Let me share with you the exact email I sent to the NTEU for Colleen Kelley:

Hi…

This is Jeff Lord from the American Spectator.

I am the author of today’s article Obama and the IRS: The Smoking Gun? http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/20/obama-and-the-irs-the-smoking which mentions NTEU president Colleen Kelley.

US News reports today the March 31, 2010 meeting mentioned in the article was a ” ‘Workplace Flexibility Forum,’ a March 2010 event that was about the state of flexible work arrangements.” I realize there are a number of questions here, but under the circumstances of this IRS controversy I want to make sure that Ms. Kelley has the opportunity to answer. I will be happy to publish her answers verbatim in The American Spectator.

Thanks,
Jeff Lord
The American Spectator

US News mentions that it has received no comment from Ms. Kelley. I would like to get a response from Ms. Kelley to the following questions:

• Did the President himself ever, at any time, discuss the Tea Party with Ms. Kelley?

• Did the President ever communicate his thoughts on the Tea Party to Kelley – in any fashion other than a face-to-face conversation such as e-mail, text or by phone?

• Was the Tea Party or any other group opposing the President’s agenda discussed at the March 31st meeting, or before or after that meeting?

• Will Ms. Kelley be asking the White House to release any e-mails, text or phone records that detail Kelley’s contacts with not only Mr. Obama but his staff? Will Ms. Kelley release any of these communications that are in the files of NTEU?

• Will Ms. Kelley ask the IRS to release all e-mail, text or phone records between Kelley or any other leader of the NTEU with IRS employees? With the Oversight Board? IRS employees are federal employees paid with taxpayer dollars.

• Has Ms. Kelley ever been given access to IRS records of Tea Party cases? Has she ever discussed the Tea Party or any conservative organization with IRS employees at any level?

• What did Ms. Kelley discuss with the President or any White House or government official at the December 3, 2009 White House Christmas Party that she attended?

• What role did Executive Order 13522 play in the IRS investigations of the Tea Party and all these other conservative groups?

That would be eight questions for “President Kelley,” as she was called in the NTEU response.

The very first question was:

Did the President himself ever, at any time, discuss the Tea Party with Ms. Kelley?

To which the NTEU responded by simply tacking on the following single sentence to their boilerplate reply to the media:

President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.

But the rest of it? The answers to questions two through eight?

Silence.

Silence from the official NTEU spokesperson Dina Long. Silence from Colleen Kelley herself.

There was no “I’ll get back to you further.” There was no “Give us some time, what’s your deadline?” There was just….silence.

Note as well that when contacted by the Washington Post last week, the NTEU’s Kelley was, in the words of the Post headline, “mum.” Wrote the Post:

So far, the National Treasury Employees Union, which generally is not shy with public comment, has next to nothing to say about that or anything else.

NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time. Moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said via e-mail.

A call to the NTEU office in Cincinnati resulted in a similar response: “We’ve been directed by national office. We have no comment.”

So what do we have here?

This.

A powerful labor union — the union that represents IRS employees — is displaying a pattern of refusing to answer questions. Other than the solitary statement to The American Spectator that “President Kelley has never discussed the tea party with the president.”

Beyond a generic, boilerplate answer to media inquiries, there is silence.

No answers about releasing union e-mails or phone records to or from the White House, the IRS or the IRS Oversight Board (on which board sits a former NTEU president) and no answers on all the rest.

But over here at the Washington Post, we have, buried in a story about the Cincinnati office of the IRS, this key phrase:

“Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”

Got that?

“Everything comes from the top.”

The top is where Colleen Kelley, the head of all those unionized IRS workers in Cincinnati, operates.

The top is the White House, the IRS offices in Washington, D.C., and the IRS Oversight Board.

The top is what makes it possible for the IRS union to have the run of the IRS, to get an Executive Order (# 13522) from the President to “allow employee and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….”

The top is where Colleen Kelley goes to a White House Christmas party as the guest of President and Mrs. Obama — six days before that Executive Order 13522 is issued.

The top is where Colleen Kelley can be the head of the IRS union that gets its dues, its very survival money, from employees being paid by taxpayer dollars — and not have to answer questions about the details of her “collaboration” with the White House, the Obama-run IRS and the IRS Oversight Board.

And being at the top is what gives Ms. Kelley the belief that she can head an IRS public employees union — and do the old Nixon stonewall.

She isn’t the only one at the top busy stonewalling right now.

And as with Watergate, the place to get to the bottom of the top is Congress.

Where a new version of an old question should be asked:

What did the IRS union president know — and when did she know it?

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/21/irs-union-chief-stonewalls/

The Liberal Union Behind the IRSBy Jeffrey Lord

“My question is who is going to jail?”
House Speaker John Boehner on the IRS Scandal

The President couldn’t even bring himself to breathe a word of the truth.

He could fire some hapless Acting Commissioner, but last night Mr. Obama never came close to discussing that which must never be discussed.

The IRS?

It’s about a union: the National Treasury Employees Union. The NTEU. A left-wing union representing 150,000 employees in 31 separate government agencies, including the IRS. A union that not only endorsed President Obama for election and re-election, but a union whose current president, Colleen Kelly, was a 14-year IRS agent and now is both union president and Obama administration appointee (of which more in a moment).

It’s about 94% of NTEU union contributions going to Democrats in the Senate and House in 2012 — candidates who campaigned as vociferous opponents of the Tea Party.

And the recently released report from the Treasury Inspector General? You will not find a single reference to the NTEU. Whose members are both player and referee in the exploding controversy over the IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Which raises the obvious question: how many NTEU members were involved in the writing of the Inspector General’s report?

Even more to the point, what contact — what coordination — has the Obama White House had with their allies in the NTEU leadership as both the White House and the NTEU race to get on top of a scandal that is rapidly engulfing both?

Did I mention that the NTEU has no comment on all of this? And that when President Obama went in front of cameras to make his statement on the IRS scandal — he never once mentioned his very powerful union buddies that have the run of the IRS? Right down to the control of who gets a Blackberry? Literally.

Let’s first see how the IRS/NTEU game with the Tea Party and conservatives is played, shall we?

In the 2012 election cycle, the IRS union gave its money this way:

For the U.S. Senate:
Total to Democrats: $156,750
Total to Republicans: $1,000

For the U.S. House:
Total to Democrats: $391,062
Total to Republicans: $23,000

And the candidates on the receiving end of those IRS employee dollars? Yes indeed. They were candidates who were running flat out against the Tea Party, depicting Tea Party-supported candidates as dangerous, extremists, and crazies. Exhibiting exactly the anti-Tea Party antipathy on the campaign trail that has been revealed to be permeating the IRS.

No wonder. These Senate and House races were fueled in part by money donated by IRS employees.

Let’s take a look at specific races where the IRS employee money was involved.

Wisconsin: One of those IRS employee-backed Senate candidates was Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who in fact won her Senate race over ex-Republican Governor Tommy Thompson.

The NTEU, the union representing IRS employees, gave Baldwin $8,500. And what was Baldwin’s view of the Tea Party? If you check over here at the Midwest Values PAC, a left-wing political action committee set up by liberal Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, you will find this headline:

National Memo: Tammy Baldwin Runs Straight At The Tea Party

The story begins this way, and I have put the key sentence in bold print:

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin wants to be the first openly gay candidate elected to the United States Senate. In an exclusive interview with The National Memo over the weekend, she made clear how she means to go about doing it: running straight at the Tea Party.

Indiana: In the Indiana Senate race, the Democrats’ candidate was Joe Donnelly, who used his $5,000 contribution to run a winning anti-Tea Party race against Republican Richard Mourdock. Donnelly’s campaign website, presumably financed in part with the money contributed by IRS employees, has this headline attacking the Tea Party:

FACT CHECK: Mourdock Trying to Change Subject from Extreme TEA Party Views

The text of the Donnelly press release begins this way, with a direct attack on the Tea Party:

Indianapolis, Ind.—Today, Joe Donnelly’s campaign responded to Richard Mourdock’s latest ad trying to change the subject from his pattern of extreme TEA Party views.

“Hoosier voters are rejecting Richard Mourdock’s pattern of TEA Party extreme positions, so he is desperate to change the subject,” said Paul Tencher, campaign manager. “In fact, Indiana voters are responding to Joe’s message of working with both parties to get things done for middle class families. The only person playing politics in this race is Mr. Mourdock, as he tries to distract voters from his extreme views that are out of the mainstream.”

Missouri: Over in the Missouri Senate race between Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Todd Akin, the IRS employee money — in the form of a $10,000 contribution to McCaskill — was used by the McCaskill campaign to help send this e-mail to supporters that bluntly attacked the Tea Party as “dangerous”:

Akin’s Rap Sheet Makes It Clear: Tea Party Congressman’s Outside Of The Mainstream Views, Dangerous Policies Are Wrong for Missouri, From his record to his rhetoric, everything about Todd Akin’s Tea Party policies are outside of the mainstream and dangerous for Missouri families.

When Missouri Republicans nominated him last night, they pinned their Senate hopes on a far right, Tea Party Congressman whose candidacy diminishes the party’s prospects for November.

And over in House races? At the very top of the high dollar list were two vividly anti-Tea Party candidates who each received a $10,000 contribution of IRS employee dollars.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: Pelosi’s strategy was made plain in this interview with liberal columnist Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast:

Stung by the debt-deal loss, the minority leader plans to get Democrats back on their jobs message and hammer Tea Party lawmakers as extremists who want to destroy government.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer: Hoyer famously attacked the Tea Party this way, as seen with this headline:

Hoyer: Tea Party People Come From Unhappy Families

There are a whole lot of people in the Tea Party that I see in these polls who don’t want any compromise. My presumption is they have unhappy families.

Understanding all of this — that IRS employees themselves are paying, through their union the NTEU, for the election of anti-Tea Party candidates — the absence of any mention whatsoever of the connection between the IRS and the NTEU puts the IG report in a very different light.

For example.

The IG report says — and I will bold print the key phrases — the following:

The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management: 1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months, 2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and 3) allowed unnecessary potentially involving information requests to be issued.

Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign

intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these

applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Organizations function Headquarters office. For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications TIGTA reviewed as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles).

More than 20 months after the initial case was identified, processing the cases began in earnest. ….IRS officials stated that any donor information received in response to a request from its Determinations Unit was later destroyed.

Just in these opening statements of the IG report there is one very significant and glaring omission.

Where is the NTEU?

Note the phrases in bold print:

“The IRS”
“identified for review Tea Party and other organizations”
“Ineffective management”
“the processing”
“delays in receiving assistance from”
“approved”
“IRS officials stated”
“request from its Determinations Unit”

In each and every case these phrases identify actions taken by people — by IRS employees. IRS employees are members of the NTEU. The NTEU that is using money from these very same IRS employees to fund the campaigns of anti-Tea Party candidates like Baldwin, Donnelly, McCaskill, Pelosi and Hoyer. Not to mention all the rest of the Democrats who got a piece of the IRS employee money action.

As one would suspect, given the enormous clout of the liberal IRS union, it’s all about the politics. Liberal politics and the financing of the liberal welfare state. A federal version, if you will, of the recent famous struggle between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and state employee unions.

How powerful is the NTEU within the IRS?

Look no further than this IG report from back in January of this year that discusses the role the union has inside the IRS bureaucracy in the minutia of which IRS employees get to carry a Blackberry. The report notes:

In June 2010, the IRS and the NTEU signed an agreement to standardize IRS policy regarding which IRS employees would be allowed (referred to as a “profiled” position in the agreement) to receive certain information technology equipment, including aircards and BlackBerry® smartphones.

Notice: the NTEU, which gave 94% of its campaign money to anti-Tea Party candidates, has the clout within the IRS to demand a say in who can and cannot carry a Blackberry and receive other high tech communications equipment. The report goes on to say:

Initially, IRS policy limited the assignment of BlackBerry® smartphones to executives and senior/departmental managers. However, the agreement between the IRS and the NTEU expanded availability to employees below the executive and senior/departmental level.

This doesn’t even mention the power the NTEU has inside the IRS to decide everything from promotion rules to size of employee workspaces and on and on.

So the obvious.

If you are working in the IRS, and you are an NTEU member, and you know your union leadership is funneling your union dues to anti-Tea Party candidates, and your union has so much raw power within the IRS that they even control whether you, an IRS employee, can get even such mundane tech gear as a Blackberry — what attitude are you going to display as you review Tea Party applications that must, by law, come in to the IRS for approval?

You already know what to do. And inside the IRS, that’s exactly what was done. The Tea Party, in the vernacular, was screwed. By IRS bureaucrats whose union money is being used to attack the Tea Party. Of course these IRS employees know what to do — most probably without even being asked. There is no need to ask. And if they don’t follow the union program — and want a Blackberry — tough luck.

And what of the NTEU president, Ms. Kelly? The one-time IRS agent also doubles as an Obama appointee (announced here by the Obama White House) to the Federal Salary Council. Identified in the Washington Post as:

…a panel obscure to most Washingtonians but one that performs a vital role in recommending raises for most federal employees.

Got that? The President of the NTEU — a union that has gone out of its way to use IRS employee money to defeat the Tea Party — has a “vital role in recommending raises for most federal employees” — which includes, of course, IRS employees.

As if IRS employees don’t have enough incentive to go after the Tea Party, their anti-Tea Party president has a say in whether they get not just a Blackberry but a raise as well.

Can you say: “conflict of interest”?

Let’s stop here and take a look at a famous incident with the IRS that has made news in the last few days: the Articles of Impeachment filed against President Richard Nixon.

By now, all manner of people have been reminded that President Nixon’s resignation was prompted by the House Judiciary Committee passing Articles of Impeachment, with Article 2, Section One specifically saying:

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

But there’s something missing in this recall of the tale of Nixon and the IRS.

In the early 1970s, President Nixon bypassed Congress and postponed salary increases for General Schedule federal employees. This included, of course, the IRS. The NTEU was furious with Nixon and took the President to court in a case called NTEU v. Nixon. The union won, and the federal government was forced to pay $533 million in back pay to federal employees.

So far, so normal in the world of Washington and relationships between a president and federal employees. Right?

Wrong.

Two years later, in 1974, the year the Watergate scandal reached high tide and Nixon was forced to resign, his abuse of the IRS cited in Article 2 as one of the reasons, there was another story out there involving the IRS and Richard Nixon.

As the liberal drive to get Nixon increased to the force of a political hurricane, reporter Jack White of Rhode Island’s Providence Journal-Evening Bulletin received an illegal leak — from the IRS. Specifically, an illegal leak from someone inside the IRS — an IRS employee — that leaked Richard Nixon’s 1970 and 1971 taxes. There was an immediate uproar — not about the leak or the identity of the leaker — but over the accusation that Nixon had underpaid his taxes. The House Judiciary Committee took the information and ran with it, opening an entire line of inquiry about Nixon’s tax deductions. So public was this it resulted in Nixon famously answering a question at a press conference this way:

People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.

And while people are remembering Nixon in the current furor over the IRS because of his own abuse of the IRS and Article 2, there was another Article —Article 4 — that was based on the leaked information from the still-unknown IRS employee to reporter Jack White. Read Article 4:

He knowingly and fraudulently failed to report certain income and claimed deductions in the year 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972 on his Federal income tax returns which were not authorized by law, including deductions for a gift of papers to the United States valued at approximately $576,000.

Nixon vigorously disputed this, of course. But it didn’t matter. He was out the door, forced to resign. A leak from the IRS to the media about Nixon’s taxes one big no-never-mind.

And what happened to reporter Jack White? The man who received the illegal leak of Nixon’s tax returns — a violation of law — and published them?

Jack White was rewarded by his liberal media peers with the 1974 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for National Reporting.

So.

What’s really going on with the IRS?

The Internal Revenue Service , with all of its mighty taxing and police powers, is in the hands of anti-Tea Party, anti-conservative, political activists. Liberal political activists from the NTEU masquerading as neutral career bureaucrats. The money of IRS employees used to fuel the National Treasury Employees Union’s open and expensive assault on the Tea Party and conservatives.

And comment on all this from the NTEU? Here’s this from the Washington Post:

So far, the National Treasury Employees Union, which generally is not shy with public comment, has next to nothing to say about that or anything else.

“NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time. Moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said via e-mail.

A call to the NTEU office in Cincinnati resulted in a similar response: “We’ve been directed by national office. We have no comment.”

No comment? No wonder.

IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases”??!! What a joke.

Here in the Wall Street Journal is author James Bovard with a short history of the political manipulation of the IRS by various presidents, and Bovard notes that: “With the current IRS scandal, we may have seen only the tip of the iceberg.”

Aside from Nixon they include FDR, JFK, and Bill Clinton. The difference is the latter three weren’t forced to resign because of it — and Clinton’s abuse of the IRS was not include in the Articles of Impeachment that focused on his lying to a grand jury over that liberal favorite — sexual harassment.

The real question now?

With the IRS assuming serious police powers of Obamacare, in effect the members of one left-wing labor union will have access to the private health care records of every single American.

And notes the Wall Street Journal, again the bold print for emphasis:

This March the IRS Inspector General reiterated that ObamaCare’s 47 major changes to the revenue code “represent the largest set of tax law changes the IRS has had to implement in more than 20 years.” Thus the IRS is playing Thelma to the Health and Human Service Department’s Louise. The tax agency has requested funding for 1,954 full-time equivalent employees for its Affordable Care Act office in 2014.

Got that? The real meaning here is that the NTEU is asking for 1,954 more union members whose union dues will be put to use to “hammer the Tea Party” in the words of Nancy Pelosi.

As James Taranto also noted over in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

The Internal Revenue Service last year supplied a left-leaning nonprofit charity with confidential information about conservative organizations, which the charity disseminated to the public, ProPublica reported yesterday.

Once again, IRS employees — they of the anti-Tea Party union NTEU — were caught leaking private information.

Did I mention they were targeting Billy Graham — 95 year old Billy Graham??!!! Why? Because the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was urging “voters to back ‘candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles….’”

You know what terrifies every liberal in America right now? You want to know the real reason President Obama abruptly felt the need to go on national television last night and fire the Acting Commissioner of the IRS last night as Americans were having their dinner?

The distinct possibility that the IRS and the whole confection of Big Government liberalism built around the federal taxing power is about to implode in scandal.

Big scandal. The kind of scandal that will make Watergate look like a piker.

And the irony?

That in seeking to destroy the credibility of the Tea Party, the Obama administration and its allies have destroyed not just the credibility of the IRS and one very seriously powerful union.

They have destroyed their own credibility.

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/05/16/the-liberal-union-behind-the-i

IRS’s Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member

Publicly released records show that embattled former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet.

Obama-admin-visitors

Obama officials who’ve visited the White House (As prepared by The Daily Caller)

Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications.

By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — which strongly suggests coordination by White House officials in the campaign against the president’s political opponents — is even more striking in comparison to the publicly recorded access of Cabinet members.

An analysis by The Daily Caller of the White House’s public “visitor access records” showed that every current and former member of President Obama’s Cabinet would have had to rack up at least 60 more public visits to the president’s home to catch up with “Douglas Shulman.”

The visitor logs do not give a complete picture of White House access. Some high-level officials get cleared for access and do not have to sign in during visits. A Washington Post database of visitor log records cautions, “The log may include some scheduled visits that did not take place and exclude visits by members of Congress, top officials and others who are not required to sign in at security gates.”

The White House press office declined to comment on which visits by high-ranking officials do and do not get recorded in the visitor log, but it is probable that the vast majority of visits by major Cabinet members do not end up in the public record.

Nevertheless, many visits by current and former Cabinet members are in the logs, and the record depicts an IRS chief uniquely at home in the White House.

Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama’s friend and loyal lieutenant, logged 62 publicly known White House visits, not even half as many as Shulman’s 157.

Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, to whom Shulman reported, clocked in at just 48 publicly known visits.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earned a cool 43 public visits, and current Secretary of State John Kerry logged 49 known White House visits in the same timeframe, when he was still a U.S. senator.

Shulman has more recorded visits to the White House than HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (48), DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (34), Education Secretary Arne Duncan (31), former Energy Secretary Steven Chu (22) and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates (17) combined.

The Daily Caller’s analysis includes current, former and presently-nominated members of Obama’s Cabinet.

After Shulman, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank (86), Asst. Attorney General Thomas Perez (83) and Penny Pritzker (76) — Obama’s nominee for Commerce Secretary — have the most publicly known White House visits.

IRS Crosses Green Line

Pro-Israel groups felt wrath of Obama IRS, WFB investigation reveals

BY: Alana Goodman

A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010.

These organizations, some of which are too afraid of government reprisals to speak publicly, say in interviews with the Free Beacon that they now believe the IRS actions may have been coordinated by the Obama administration.

Many of the charities openly clashed with the Obama administration’s policy of opposing Israeli settlement construction over the so-called “Green Line,” which marks the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and West and East Jerusalem.

After the Obama administration took up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as one of its most prominent foreign policy priorities in early 2009, and made a cessation of Israeli settlement construction the cornerstone of its approach, the nonprofits were subjected to a string of unflattering media reports.

White House-allied lobbying groups joined the media criticism by challenged the nonprofits’ tax-exempt status, arguing that they undercut President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies.

“Our concern at that time was that these articles weren’t just appearing by happenstance, but may have reflected an evolving policy shift in the Obama administration to scrutinize charitable giving by organizations on behalf of Jewish communities and institutions over the Green Line,” said Jerusalem-based attorney Marc Zell, who convened a private meeting of pro-Israel groups in August 2009 to discuss these concerns.

Tax-exempt charities that support Israeli settlements have been the subject of controversy for years. But the issue came to a head after Obama made opposition to settlement construction a focus of his Middle East policy in 2009 and demanded Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu halt all construction beyond the Green Line, including in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.

While it is not illegal for these charities to contribute to groups and individuals across the Green Line, critics say that they should not receive tax-exempt status because they support communities the administration views as antagonistic to administration policy.

The media scrutiny began as early as March 26, 2009, when the Washington Post’s David Ignatius published a column questioning the groups’ tax-exempt status.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announced the next day that it would begin a campaign of filing legal complaints with the IRS and the Treasury Department to investigate groups “allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.”

ADC is closely tied to the Obama White House. The president recorded a video greeting to the group’s annual conference and sent two senior administration officials to attend.

The ADC announced in October 2009 that it had expanded its legal campaign against pro-Israel charities and was “working with a number of coalition partners, both nationally and internationally, in conducting this ongoing campaign.”

The chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority raised the issue two days later during a meeting with U.S. Consul General Daniel Rubenstein, according to a State Department cable revealed by Wikileaks.

“[Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Quraya] gave the Consul General a copy of an article by Uri Blau and Nir Hasson, published in Israeli daily Haaretz newspaper on August 17, entitled ‘American Non-profit Organization Raises Funds for Settlement,’ and asked the USG to review the situation with an eye toward eliminating organizations’ tax exempt status if they are funding settlement activity,” said the cable.

On July 5, 2010, the New York Times published its 5,000-word cover story on the groups, following up with a Room for Debate series two days later. The article quoted an unnamed senior State Department administration official calling such groups “a problem” and “unhelpful to the efforts that we’re trying to make.”
The story also quoted a senior Obama Middle East adviser, Daniel Kurtzer, saying the groups “drove us crazy.”

J Street, a pro-Palestinian lobbying group that was closely aligned with the White House in 2009 and 2010, called the following week for an investigation into U.S. charities that contribute to settlements.

One pro-Israel targets was HaYovel, which was featured prominently in the New York Times article. Six months after the article was published, the IRS audited the Nashville-based charity, which sends volunteers to work in vineyards across the Green Line.

“We bookend that [New York Times] story. We were the first [group mentioned]. They really kind of focused on us,” said HaYovel’s founder Tommy Waller. “Then six months later we had an audit.”

Shari Waller, who cofounded HaYovel with her husband, said the couple received a phone call from the IRS in December 2010. She said she was not aware of anything in their tax documents that may have prompted the audit, and added that the additional scrutiny came during the group’s first five years of existence when audits tend to be rare.

“They contacted us the week of Christmas and told us they wanted to audit us, right now,” she said. “The most unusual thing to me was they contacted us at a time [that] for most people is a very hectic time, and we had just returned from Israel. To think about taking calls for an audit on the telephone—official business is usually conducted through the mail.”

Tommy Waller said he found the timing of the audit “suspicious” and believes it may have been politically motivated.

“We 100-percent support Judea and Samaria, and Jewish sovereignty in that area, and the current administration is 100 percent opposed to Jewish sovereignty in that area of Israel,” he said. “That’s why we suspected that we would have to deal with [an audit].”

Two other organizations—the American arm of an educational institution that operates across the Green Line and the American arm of a well-known Israeli charity that was mentioned in the New York Times article—say they were also audited.

Another organization that was criticized in multiple articles during 2009 and 2010 was audited last year. The organization, like many of the groups with whom the Free Beacon spoke, asked to remain anonymous out of fear of political retaliation and concern that exposure would harm fundraising efforts.

“The IRS carried out an examination of our organization, reviewing all of our accounting records, tax returns, bylaws, bank records, grant awards, etc, for the relevant period,” said a senior official of this organization.

“There was no vindictiveness in the audit itself and it was completed within a matter of months. Our feeling at the time was that this order must have come from above. The IRS seemed to be responding to a request or a complaint from higher up.”

Concerns that the IRS was targeting pro-Israel groups were first raised publicly by Z Street, a pro-Israel organization run by Lori Lowenthal Marcus.

Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in 2010, alleging its application for tax-exempt status was delayed because it disagreed with the Obama administration’s Israel policy.

According to the suit, Marcus’s attorney was informed by IRS official Diane Gentry that Z Street’s “application for tax-exempt status has been at least delayed, and may be denied because of a special IRS policy in place regarding organizations in any way connected with Israel, and further that the applications of many such Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office.”

Neither the IRS nor Gentry responded to a request for comment.

Marcus said Z Street has not funded anyone or any groups in the settlements. But, she added, the problems her organization faced could be related to the administration’s concerns over settlement-supporting groups.

Z Street’s application for tax-exempt status first ran into trouble with the IRS on July 19, 2010, two weeks after the lengthy New York Times article was published.

“Even if that is the case, that’s an explanation, but it’s not an answer. It’s not an adequate reason,” said Marcus. “It’s totally inappropriate.”

Zell told the Free Beacon he has not personally witnessed a shift in IRS policy since the 2009 meeting suggesting settlement-supporting nonprofits have been targeted.

However, he said it is a “yellow flag” that at least five of these organizations have been audited since 2009, considering the recent finding by the IRS inspector general that the agency targeted conservative groups.

“Now with the revelations of the IRS abuses vis-a-vis U.S. right-wing organizations, that have been published of late, there is renewed concerned that these kinds of policies, same kinds of policies and procedures, may have been targeted at these organizations [that support settlements],” he said.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop

Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she was the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company. She also served as Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

Ms. Jarrett has held positions in both the public and private sector, including the Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the City of Chicago, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also practiced law with two private law firms.

Jarrett also served as a director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/staff/valerie-jarrett

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‘There is no justification to Gitmo’: Barack Obama’s speech on counter-terrorism

President Barack Obama has given a speech – justifying and outlining changes to the national defence policies of the United States. The address is seen as an opening up of America’s security policies. Obama has discussed the legality of drone strikes and the future of the Guantanamo prison.

Document: Text of Obama speech on counterterrorism, May 23, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech on the fight against terrorism at the National Defense University, as provided by the White House:

It’s an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791– standing guard in the early days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.

For over two centuries, the United States has been bound together by founding documents that defined who we are as Americans, and served as our compass through every type of change. Matters of war and peace are no different. Americans are deeply ambivalent about war, but having fought for our independence, we know that a price must be paid for freedom. From the Civil War, to our struggle against fascism, and through the long, twilight struggle of the Cold War, battlefields have changed, and technology has evolved. But our commitment to constitutional principles has weathered every war, and every war has come to an end.

With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a new dawn of democracy took hold abroad, and a decade of peace and prosperity arrived at home. For a moment, it seemed the 21st century would be a tranquil time. Then, on September 11th, 2001, we were shaken out of complacency. Thousands were taken from us, as clouds of fire, metal and ash descended upon a sun-filled morning. This was a different kind of war. No armies came to our hores, and our military was not the principal target. Instead, a group of terrorists came to kill as many civilians as they could.

And so our nation went to war. We have now been at war for well over a decade. I won’t review the full history. What’s clear is that we quickly drove al-Qaida out of Afghanistan, but then shifted our focus and began a new war in Iraq. This carried grave consequences for our fight against al-Qaida, our standing in the world, and — to this day — our interests in a vital region.

Meanwhile, we strengthened our defenses — hardening targets, tightening transportation security, and giving law enforcement new tools to prevent terror. Most of these changes were sound. Some caused inconvenience. But some, like expanded surveillance, raised difficult questions about the balance we strike between our interests in security and our values of privacy. And in some cases, I believe we compromised our basic values — by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.

After I took office, we stepped up the war against al-Qaida, but also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted al-Qaida’s leadership. We ended the war in Iraq, and brought nearly 150,000 troops home. We pursued a new strategy in Afghanistan, and increased our training of Afghan forces. We unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked to align our policies with the rule of law, and expanded our consultations with Congress.

Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.

Now make no mistake: our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. We must recognize, however, that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience to draw from, now is the time to ask ourselves hard questions — about the nature of today’s threats, and how we should confront them.

These questions matter to every American. For over the last decade, our nation has spent well over a trillion dollars on war, exploding our deficits and constraining our ability to nation build here at home. Our service-members and their families have sacrificed far more on our behalf. Nearly 7,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice. Many more have left a part of themselves on the battlefield, or brought the shadows of battle back home. From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making will define the type of nation — and world — that we leave to our children.

So America is at a crossroads. We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror. We will never erase the evil that lies in the hearts of some human beings, nor stamp out every danger to our open society. What we can do — what we must do — is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger, and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. To define that strategy, we must make decisions based not on fear, but hard-earned wisdom. And that begins with understanding the threat we face.

Today, the core of al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan is on a path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us. They did not direct the attacks in Benghazi or Boston. They have not carried out a successful attack on our homeland since 9/11. Instead, what we’ve seen is the emergence of various al-Qaida affiliates. From Yemen to Iraq, from Somalia to North Africa, the threat today is more diffuse, with al-Qaida’s affiliate in the Arabian Peninsula — AQAP — the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.

Unrest in the Arab World has also allowed extremists to gain a foothold in countries like Libya and Syria. Here, too, there are differences from 9/11. In some cases, we confront state-sponsored networks like Hezbollah that engage in acts of terror to achieve political goals. Others are simply collections of local militias or extremists interested in seizing territory. While we are vigilant for signs that these groups may pose a transnational threat, most are focused on operating in the countries and regions where they are based. That means we will face more localized threats like those we saw in Benghazi, or at the BP oil facility in Algeria, in which local operatives — in loose affiliation with regional networks — launch periodic attacks against Western diplomats, companies, and other soft targets, or resort to kidnapping and other criminal enterprises to fund their operations.

Finally, we face a real threat from radicalized individuals here in the United States. Whether it’s a shooter at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin; a plane flying into a building in Texas; or the extremists who killed 168 people at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City — America has confronted many forms of violent extremism in our time. Deranged or alienated individuals — often U.S. citizens or legal residents – can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Lethal yet less capable al-Qaida affiliates. Threats to diplomatic facilities and businesses abroad. Homegrown extremists. This is the future of terrorism. We must take these threats seriously, and do all that we can to confront them. But as we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11. In the 1980s, we lost Americans to terrorism at our Embassy in Beirut; at our Marine Barracks in Lebanon; on a cruise ship at sea; at a disco in Berlin; and on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. In the 1990s, we lost Americans to terrorism at the World Trade Center; at our military facilities in Saudi Arabia; and at our Embassy in Kenya. These attacks were all deadly, and we learned that left unchecked, these threats can grow. But if dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.

Moreover, we must recognize that these threats don’t arise in a vacuum. Most, though not all, of the terrorism we face is fueled by a common ideology — a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West, and that violence against Western targets, including civilians, is justified in pursuit of a larger cause. Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam; and this ideology is rejected by the vast majority of Muslims, who are the most frequent victims of terrorist acts.

Nevertheless, this ideology persists, and in an age in which ideas and images can travel the globe in an instant, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills and ideas. So let me discuss the components of such a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.

First, we must finish the work of defeating al-Qaida and its associated forces.

In Afghanistan, we will complete our transition to Afghan responsibility for security. Our troops will come home. Our combat mission will come to an end. And we will work with the Afghan government to train security forces, and sustain a counter-terrorism force which ensures that al-Qaida can never again establish a safe-haven to launch attacks against us or our allies.

Beyond Afghanistan, we must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ — but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America. In many cases, this will involve partnerships with other countries. Thousands of Pakistani soldiers have lost their lives fighting extremists. In Yemen, we are supporting security forces that have reclaimed territory from AQAP. In Somalia, we helped a coalition of African nations push al Shabaab out of its strongholds. In Mali, we are providing military aid to a French-led intervention to push back al-Qaida in the Maghreb, and help the people of Mali reclaim their future.

Much of our best counter-terrorism cooperation results in the gathering and sharing of intelligence; the arrest and prosecution of terrorists. That’s how a Somali terrorist apprehended off the coast of Yemen is now in prison in New York. That’s how we worked with European allies to disrupt plots from Denmark to Germany to the United Kingdom. That’s how intelligence collected with Saudi Arabia helped us stop a cargo plane from being blown up over the Atlantic.

But despite our strong preference for the detention and prosecution of terrorists, sometimes this approach is foreclosed. Al-Qaida and its affiliates try to gain a foothold in some of the most distant and unforgiving places on earth. They take refuge in remote tribal regions. They hide in caves and walled compounds. They train in empty deserts and rugged mountains.

In some of these places — such as parts of Somalia and Yemen — the state has only the most tenuous reach into the territory. In other cases, the state lacks the capacity or will to take action. It is also not possible for America to simply deploy a team of Special Forces to capture every terrorist. And even when such an approach may be possible, there are places where it would pose profound risks to our troops and local civilians– where a terrorist compound cannot be breached without triggering a firefight with surrounding tribal communities that pose no threat to us, or when putting U.S. boots on the ground may trigger a major international crisis.

To put it another way, our operation in Pakistan against Osama bin Laden cannot be the norm. The risks in that case were immense; the likelihood of capture, although our preference, was remote given the certainty of resistance; the fact that we did not find ourselves confronted with civilian casualties, or embroiled in an extended firefight, was a testament to the meticulous planning and professionalism of our Special Forces — but also depended on some luck. And even then, the cost to our relationship with Pakistan — and the backlash among the Pakistani public over encroachment on their territory — was so severe that we are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership.

It is in this context that the United States has taken lethal, targeted action against al-Qaida and its associated forces, including with remotely piloted aircraft commonly referred to as drones. As was true in previous armed conflicts, this new technology raises profound questions — about who is targeted, and why; about civilian casualties, and the risk of creating new enemies; about the legality of such strikes under U.S. and international law; about accountability and morality.

Let me address these questions. To begin with, our actions are effective. Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, “we could lose the reserves to the enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.” Other communications from al-Qaida operatives confirm this as well. Dozens of highly skilled al-Qaida commanders, trainers, bomb makers, and operatives have been taken off the battlefield. Plots have been disrupted that would have targeted international aviation, U.S. transit systems, European cities and our troops in Afghanistan. Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.

Moreover, America’s actions are legal. We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. Under domestic law, and international law, the United States is at war with al-Qaida, the Taliban, and their associated forces. We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war — a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.

And yet as our fight enters a new phase, America’s legitimate claim of self-defense cannot be the end of the discussion. To say a military tactic is legal, or even effective, is not to say it is wise or moral in every instance. For the same human progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power — or risk abusing it. That’s why, over the last four years, my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists — insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight and accountability that is now codified in Presidential Policy Guidance that I signed yesterday.

In the Afghan war theater, we must support our troops until the transition is complete at the end of 2014. That means we will continue to take strikes against high value al-Qaida targets, but also against forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces. However, by the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection, and the progress we have made against core al-Qaida will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.

Beyond the Afghan theater, we only target al-Qaida and its associated forces. Even then, the use of drones is heavily constrained. America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists — our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them. America cannot take strikes wherever we choose — our actions are bound by consultations with partners, and respect for state sovereignty. America does not take strikes to punish individuals — we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, and when there are no other governments capable of effectively addressing the threat. And before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set.

This last point is critical, because much of the criticism about drone strikes — at home and abroad — understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties. There is a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties, and non-governmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But as Commander-in-Chief, I must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. To do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more civilian casualties — not just in our cities at home and facilities abroad, but also in the very places — like Sana’a and Kabul and Mogadishu — where terrorists seek a foothold. Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes.

Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted, lethal action is the use of conventional military options. As I’ve said, even small Special Operations carry enormous risks. Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage. And invasions of these territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies; unleash a torrent of unintended consequences; are difficult to contain; and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict. So it is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths, or to create enemies in the Muslim world. The result would be more U.S. deaths, more Blackhawks down, more confrontations with local populations, and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.

So yes, the conflict with al-Qaida, like all armed conflict, invites tragedy. But by narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us, and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life. Indeed, our efforts must also be measured against the history of putting American troops in distant lands among hostile populations. In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred. In Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the courage and discipline of our troops, thousands of civilians have been killed. So neither conventional military action, nor waiting for attacks to occur, offers moral safe-harbor. Neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services — and indeed, have no functioning law.

This is not to say that the risks are not real. Any U.S. military action in foreign lands risks creating more enemies, and impacts public opinion overseas. Our laws constrain the power of the president, even during wartime, and I have taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. The very precision of drones strikes, and the necessary secrecy involved in such actions can end up shielding our government from the public scrutiny that a troop deployment invites. It can also lead a president and his team to view drone strikes as a cure-all for terrorism.

For this reason, I’ve insisted on strong oversight of all lethal action. After I took office, my administration began briefing all strikes outside of Iraq and Afghanistan to the appropriate committees of Congress. Let me repeat that — not only did Congress authorize the use of force, it is briefed on every strike that America takes. That includes the one instance when we targeted an American citizen: Anwar Awlaki, the chief of external operations for AQAP.

This week, I authorized the declassification of this action, and the deaths of three other Americans in drone strikes, to facilitate transparency and debate on this issue, and to dismiss some of the more outlandish claims. For the record, I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone, or a shotgun — without due process. Nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.

But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America — and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens; and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot — his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a swat team

That’s who Anwar Awlaki was — he was continuously trying to kill people. He helped oversee the 2010 plot to detonate explosive devices on two U.S. bound cargo planes. He was involved in planning to blow up an airliner in 2009. When Farouk Abdulmutallab — the Christmas Day bomber — went to Yemen in 2009, Awlaki hosted him, approved his suicide operation, and helped him tape a martyrdom video to be shown after the attack. His last instructions were to blow up the airplane when it was over American soil. I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn’t. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki.

Of course, the targeting of any Americans raises constitutional issues that are not present in other strikes — which is why my Administration submitted information about Awlaki to the Department of Justice months before Awlaki was killed, and briefed the Congress before this strike as well. But the high threshold that we have set for taking lethal action applies to all potential terrorist targets, regardless of whether or not they are American citizens. This threshold respects the inherent dignity of every human life. Alongside the decision to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way, the decision to use force against individuals or groups — even against a sworn enemy of the United States — is the hardest thing I do as president. But these decisions must be made, given my responsibility to protect the American people.

Going forward, I have asked my administration to review proposals to extend oversight of lethal actions outside of warzones that go beyond our reporting to Congress. Each option has virtues in theory, but poses difficulties in practice. For example, the establishment of a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process, but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority. Another idea that’s been suggested — the establishment of an independent oversight board in the executive branch — avoids those problems, but may introduce a layer of bureaucracy into national-security decision-making, without inspiring additional public confidence in the process. Despite these challenges, I look forward to actively engaging Congress to explore these — and other — options for increased oversight.

I believe, however, that the use of force must be seen as part of a larger discussion about a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. Because for all the focus on the use of force, force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.

So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism, from North Africa to South Asia. As we’ve learned this past decade, this is a vast and complex undertaking. We must be humble in our expectation that we can quickly resolve deep rooted problems like poverty and sectarian hatred. Moreover, no two countries are alike, and some will undergo chaotic change before things get better. But our security and values demand that we make the effort.

This means patiently supporting transitions to democracy in places like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya — because the peaceful realization of individual aspirations will serve as a rebuke to violent extremists. We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements — because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism. We are working to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians – because it is right, and because such a peace could help reshape attitudes in the region. And we must help countries modernize economies, upgrade education, and encourage entrepreneurship — because American leadership has always been elevated by our ability to connect with peoples’ hopes, and not simply their fears.

Success on these fronts requires sustained engagement, but it will also require resources. I know that foreign aid is one of the least popular expenditures — even though it amounts to less than one percent of the federal budget. But foreign assistance cannot be viewed as charity. It is fundamental to our national security, and any sensible long-term strategy to battle extremism. Moreover, foreign assistance is a tiny fraction of what we spend fighting wars that our assistance might ultimately prevent. For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be training security forces in Libya, maintaining peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors, feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists.

America cannot carry out this work if we do not have diplomats serving in dangerous places. Over the past decade, we have strengthened security at our Embassies, and I am implementing every recommendation of the Accountability Review Board which found unacceptable failures in Benghazi. I have called on Congress to fully fund these efforts to bolster security, harden facilities, improve intelligence, and facilitate a quicker response time from our military if a crisis emerges.

But even after we take these steps, some irreducible risks to our diplomats will remain. This is the price of being the world’s most powerful nation, particularly as a wave of change washes over the Arab World. And in balancing the trade-offs between security and active diplomacy, I firmly believe that any retreat from challenging regions will only increase the dangers we face in the long run.

Targeted action against terrorists. Effective partnerships. Diplomatic engagement and assistance. Through such a comprehensive strategy we can significantly reduce the chances of large scale attacks on the homeland and mitigate threats to Americans overseas. As we guard against dangers from abroad, however, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders.

As I said earlier, this threat is not new. But technology and the Internet increase its frequency and lethality. Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home. To address this threat, two years ago my administration did a comprehensive review, and engaged with law enforcement. The best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim American community — which has consistently rejected terrorism — to identify signs of radicalization, and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence. And these partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are a fundamental part of the American family. Indeed, the success of American Muslims, and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties, is the ultimate rebuke to those who say we are at war with Islam.

Indeed, thwarting homegrown plots presents particular challenges in part because of our proud commitment to civil liberties for all who call America home. That’s why, in the years to come, we will have to keep working hard to strike the appropriate balance between our need for security and preserving those freedoms that make us who we are. That means reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, and build in privacy protections to prevent abuse. That means that — even after Boston — we do not deport someone or throw someone in prison in the absence of evidence. That means putting careful constraints on the tools the government uses to protect sensitive information, such as the State Secrets doctrine. And that means finally having a strong Privacy and Civil Liberties Board to review those issues where our counter-terrorism efforts and our values may come into tension.

The Justice Department’s investigation of national security leaks offers a recent example of the challenges involved in striking the right balance between our security and our open society. As Commander-in Chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field. To do so, we must enforce consequences for those who break the law and breach their commitment to protect classified information. But a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.

Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government over-reach. I have raised these issues with the Attorney General, who shares my concern. So he has agreed to review existing Department of Justice guidelines governing investigations that involve reporters, and will convene a group of media organizations to hear their concerns as part of that review. And I have directed the Attorney General to report back to me by July 12th.

All these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact — in sometimes unintended ways — the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorists without keeping America on a perpetual war-time footing.

The AUMF is now nearly twelve years old. The Afghan War is coming to an end. Core al-Qaida is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al-Qaida will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.

And that brings me to my final topic: the detention of terrorist suspects.

To repeat, as a matter of policy, the preference of the United States is to capture terrorist suspects. When we do detain a suspect, we interrogate them. And if the suspect can be prosecuted, we decide whether to try him in a civilian court or a Military Commission. During the past decade, the vast majority of those detained by our military were captured on the battlefield. In Iraq, we turned over thousands of prisoners as we ended the war. In Afghanistan, we have transitioned detention facilities to the Afghans, as part of the process of restoring Afghan sovereignty. So we bring law of war detention to an end, and we are committed to prosecuting terrorists whenever we can.

The glaring exception to this time-tested approach is the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The original premise for opening GTMO — that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention — was found unconstitutional five years ago. In the meantime, GTMO has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at GTMO. During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people — almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep GTMO open at a time when we are cutting investments in education and research here at home.

As president, I have tried to close GTMO. I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries, or imprisoning them in the United States. These restrictions make no sense. After all, under President Bush, some 530 detainees were transferred from GTMO with Congress’s support. When I ran for president the first time, John McCain supported closing GTMO. No person has ever escaped from one of our super-max or military prisons in the United States. Our courts have convicted hundreds of people for terrorism-related offenses, including some who are more dangerous than most GTMO detainees. Given my administration’s relentless pursuit of al-Qaida’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened.

Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case by case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.

Even after we take these steps, one issue will remain: how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks, but who cannot be prosecuted — for example because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.

I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism, and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future — 10 years from now, or 20 years from now — when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not a part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are holding a hunger strike. Is that who we are? Is that something that our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children?

Our sense of justice is stronger than that. We have prosecuted scores of terrorists in our courts. That includes Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit; and Faisal Shahzad, who put a car bomb in Times Square. It is in a court of law that we will try Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of bombing the Boston Marathon. Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, is as we speak serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison here, in the United States. In sentencing Reid, Judge William Young told him, “the way we treat you.is the measure of our own liberties.” He went on to point to the American flag that flew in the courtroom — “That flag,” he said, “will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom.”

America, we have faced down dangers far greater than al-Qaida. By staying true to the values of our founding, and by using our constitutional compass, we have overcome slavery and Civil War; fascism and communism. In just these last few years as president, I have watched the American people bounce back from painful recession, mass shootings, and natural disasters like the recent tornados that devastated Oklahoma. These events were heartbreaking; they shook our communities to the core. But because of the resilience of the American people, these events could not come close to breaking us.

I think of Lauren Manning, the 9/11 survivor who had severe burns over 80 percent of her body, who said, “That’s my reality. I put a Band-Aid on it, literally, and I move on.”

I think of the New Yorkers who filled Times Square the day after an attempted car bomb as if nothing had happened.

I think of the proud Pakistani parents who, after their daughter was invited to the White House, wrote to us, “we have raised an American Muslim daughter to dream big and never give up because it does pay off.”

I think of the wounded warriors rebuilding their lives, and helping other vets to find jobs.

I think of the runner planning to do the 2014 Boston Marathon, who said, “Next year, you are going to have more people than ever. Determination is not something to be messed with.”

That’s who the American people are. Determined, and not to be messed with.

Now, we need a strategy — and a politics — that reflects this resilient spirit. Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony on a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street. The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear — that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world’s memory, alongside the brutal despots, deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history — the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries, to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad. And that flag will still stand for freedom.

Thank you. God Bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Obama reframes counterterrorism policy with new rules on drones

By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

In a major address Thursday President Barack Obama sought to reframe the nation’s counterterrorism strategy, saying, “Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.”

He said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington, “America is at a crossroads. We must define our effort not as a boundless ‘global war on terror’ – but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.”

In an attempt to define a new post-Sept. 11 era, Obama outlined new guidelines for the use of drones to kill terrorists overseas and pledged a renewed effort to close the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay.  In the speech, Obama argued that, “In the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States.” He warned that “unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight.”

With efforts under way in Congress to redefine the 2001 authorization to use military force (AUMF) against al Qaida, Obama said he would work with Congress “in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further.”

Toward the end of Obama’s address as he discussed the Guantanamo detainees, he was repeatedly interrupted by heckling from Medea Benjamin, founder of the antiwar Code Pink, whose members have frequently been arrested for disrupting hearings on Capitol Hill – but Obama patiently said that Benjamin’s concerns are “something to be passionate about.”

“We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us, mindful of James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’ Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror,” he declared.

As part of his redefinition of counterterrorism, the president announced several initiatives:

  • Setting narrower parameters for the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, to kill terrorists overseas and to limit collateral casualties;
  • Renewing efforts to persuade Congress to agree to close the Guantanamo detention site in Cuba where 110 terrorist suspects are being held;
  • Appointing a new envoy at the State Department and an official at the Defense Department who will attempt to negotiate transfers of Guantanamo detainees to other countries.
  • Lifting the moratorium he imposed in 2010 on transferring some detainees at Guantanamo to Yemen. Obama imposed that moratorium after it was revealed that Detroit “underwear bomber” Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab was trained in Yemen.

Obama argued that when compared to the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers, “the threat today is more diffuse, with Al Qaeda’s affiliates in the

Arabian Peninsula – AQAP – the most active in plotting against our homeland. While none of AQAP’s efforts approach the scale of 9/11 they have continued to plot acts of terror, like the attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.”

So he said, “As we shape our response, we have to recognize that the scale of this threat closely resembles the types of attacks we faced before 9/11.”

He said that the current threat is often from “deranged or alienated individuals – often U.S. citizens or legal residents – (who) can do enormous damage, particularly when inspired by larger notions of violent jihad. That pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood, and the bombing of the Boston Marathon.”

In discussing his drone strategy he indicated his remorse over the innocent people who had been killed: “it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

There remains considerable doubt about Obama’s ability to persuade a majority in Congress to change the current law on releasing detainees held there.

The defense spending bill which Obama signed into law last year prohibits any transfers to the United States of any detainee at Guantanamo who was held there on or before Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama became president.

And the law sets a very high legal bar for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to transfer a detainee to his country of origin, or to any other foreign country.

Hagel would need to certify to Congress that the detainee will not be transferred to a country that is a designated state sponsor of terrorism. The country must have agreed to take steps to ensure that the detainee cannot take action to threaten the United States, U.S. citizens, or its allies in the future.

The law allows Hagel to use waivers in some cases to transfer detainees.

Speaking a day before Obama’s speech, Ben Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-founder of the Lawfare blog which covers detainee news, said, “I don’t see any significant change in congressional sentiment right now” on closing the Guantanamo site.

“He’s got a lot of domestic pressure from his base to be seen to be doing something and he’s also got a hunger strike there (at Guantanamo) — and I think there’s a lot of genuine sentiment in the administration that they want to do something (about Guantanamo) so they’re committed to another push and trying again – but the question of what they actually could get done is a difficult question. There’s very limited latitude.”

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Radical Islamic Jihadist Terrorists Kill British Soldier In “Gun Free” United Kingdom — Police With Guns Take 14 Plus Minutes Plus To Respond — Photos and Videos

Posted on May 23, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Communications, Crime, Culture, Education, Immigration, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Religion, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Truth of Islam- Three Stages of Jihad – MUST WATCH!!!

Islam for Leftists – Robert Spencer

British soldier killed in London by a Muslim

British soldier savagely killed in London machete attack

A British soldier was savagely killed in an attack in South London in an attack that may have been the work of terrorists. CBS News’ Charlie D’Agata reports.

Malkin Explodes On Hannity Over UK Terrorist Attack

British Soldier Killed in Machete Attack in London

British soldier hacked to death in London, witness who filmed attackers speaks out (May 22, 2013)

British SOLDIER BEHEADED on busy London street in Act of TERRORISM

London TERROR ATTACKED: British Soldier BEHEADED by two Islamic TERRORISTS in Woolwich

Sunrise – UK soldier killed near army base

UK PM David Cameron condemns terror attack which saw British soldier killed in London

Woolwich Terrorist Atttack Police statement

Eyewitness Describes Encounter with London Attacker

Woolwich Attack’ Eyewitness “Killers Wanted To Get Caught’ Wednesday 22 May 2013

Far-right Clash with Police After a Killing of British Soldier

Deporting Millions Of Muslims May Be Necessary – Geert Wilders

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POLICE HIT BACK AT CLAIMS THEY TOOK 20 MINS TO REACH SCENE

Police today defended their response to the killing after eyewitnesses claimed they took up to 20 minutes to arrive at the scene.

Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne, said: ‘One point I would like to address is around some of the speculation as to how long it took the Met to respond yesterday as this incident started to unfold.

‘We first received a 999 call from the public at  2.20pm stating a man was being attacked, further 999 calls stated that the attackers were in possession of a gun.

‘We had officers at the scene within nine minutes of receiving that first 999 call.

‘Once that information about a gun or guns being present was known firearms officers were assigned at 2.24pm.

‘Firearms officers were there and dealing with the incident 10 minutes after they were assigned, 14 minutes after the first call to the Met.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2329458/The-Angels-Woolwich-Three-womens-outstanding-courage-confront-killers-pray-slaughtered-soldier.html#ixzz2U8zxz44p
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You and your children will be next’: Islamic fanatics wielding meat cleavers butcher and try to behead a British soldier, taking their war on the West to a new level of horror

  • One of the men arrested is believed to be Michael Adebolajo
  • Two men repeatedly stab and tried to behead off-duty soldier in SE London
  • They shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ attack and told witnesses to film them
  • Charged at police officers with rusty revolver, knives and meat cleavers
  • Killing took place 200 yards from barracks and close to primary school
  • Both men placed under arrest after being treated for gunshot wounds
  • PM: Killing is ‘sickening’ and Britain will ‘never buckle’ in face of terror

Clutching a bloodied meat cleaver, the man suspected of executing a soldier on a crowded street declared: ‘you and your kids will be next’.

In a chilling rant captured on camera, the knife-wielding man declared: ‘The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.’

The man who launched the terrifying diatribe in Woolwich, south-east London, is believed to be Michael Adebolajo, who has been identified on Twitter and web forums as one of the two people arrested.

In the video obtained by ITV News he added: ‘Remove your governments – they don’t care about you. You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bursting our guns? You think politicians are going to die?

‘No, it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them – tell them to bring our troops back so we can… so you can all live in peace.’

Police are today believed to be searching addresses that Adebolajo, known by the Muslim name Mujahid, is linked to in Romford, Essex.

They also carried out raids in Lincolnshire and Greenwich, south east London.

Yesterday the serviceman, wearing a Help for Heroes top, was run down by a car before being brutally attacked in Woolwich, just 200 yards from the barracks.

In broad daylight, an attacker and an accomplice repeatedly stabbed and tried to behead the man in front of dozens of passers-by.

After the attack, speaking in a clear south London accent, the man named as Adebolajo said: ‘You people will never be safe. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’

Throughout the frenzied attack the two killers shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ – Arabic for ‘God is great’ – then demanded horrified witnesses film them as they ranted over the  crumpled body.

The two black men in their 20s, waited calmly for armed police to arrive before charging at officers brandishing a rusty revolver, knives and meat cleavers.

When the old pistol was shot towards police it backfired and blew the thumb off one of the men.

Moments later they were cut down in a hail of bullets believed to be fired by a woman marksman. Last night both men were being treated in hospital for their wounds and will face questioning.

Mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett bravely remonstrated with one of the killers in the aftermath of the terror attack.

After pleading with them to hand her the weapons, one told her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.

She replied: ‘Right now it is only you versus many people, you are going to lose’.

Ms Loyau-Kennett said she was not trained in any way to deal with the situation – she used to be a teacher.

Yesterday’s slaughter took place close to a primary school at 2.20pm. Witnesses told how the men drove a dark blue Vauxhall Tigra on to the pavement.

The soldier was wearing a t-shirt with the army charity Help for Heroes logo on it and was carrying a military issue rucksack. The men then leapt out of their car and ‘hacked and chopped’ at their victim before dragging his bloodied body into the middle of the road.

Last night both men were placed under arrest after being treated for gunshot wounds under armed guard in separate hospitals.

Today Prime Minister David Cameron said the murder of a ‘brave soldier’ on the streets of London will bring the UK together and ‘make us stronger’.

Speaking outside Downing Street after chairing a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee, the Prime Minister said the attack ‘sickens us all’ and was a ‘betrayal of Islam’.

‘The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger,’ he said.

‘This country will be absolutely resolute in its stand against violent extremism and terror. We will never give in to terror or terrorism in any of its forms.

‘This view is shared by every community in our country. This was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life; it was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.’

Last night Mr Cameron cut short his trip to Paris and described the assassination as ‘absolutely sickening’, insisting Britain will ‘never buckle’ in the face of terrorist attacks.

Security was tightened at dozens of other Army barracks across the country amid fears of copycat attacks and Home Secretary Theresa May called a meeting of Cobra, Whitehall’s emergency committee, after being briefed by MI5 and counter-terrorism police.

Experts believe the pair were using Muslim names and could be of Somali or Nigerian heritage.

It is thought the two fundamentalists had spent weeks watching the barracks, which the Queen is due to visit next week, prior to the attack.

The ambush and stabbing of a soldier close to an army barracks is an unprecedented Islamic attack on mainland Britain.

A group of military wives who laid flowers today said they were ‘numb’.

One of the women, in her 20s, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We are all just very numb at the moment – shaken up and very shocked. It could have been any one of our husbands.

‘He was a young guy who cared very much about his job, like they all do. I think he was in training.’

The killing immediately prompted widespread revulsion. David Cameron said Britain ‘will not be cowed, will never buckle’ in the face of terrorism last night as he urged people to go about their lives as normal in defiance of the ‘absolutely sickening’ killing in London.

London Mayor Mr Johnson said: ‘Londoners from all communities, from across this city have been here before.

I know that this is a city of incredible resilience and courage and we have to protect ourselves with the best security services, the most professional police service, in the world.’

Relations between British Muslims in the armed forces and their colleagues will not be strained following the murder of a British soldier in Woolwich, a retired army captain has said.

Captain Afzal Amin, former chairman of the Armed Forces Muslim Association, said: ‘I send my condolences to the poor victim, not just as a former army officer but as a British Muslim.

‘We’re not accustomed to this kind of completely inexplicable attack.’

‘There are a wide range of racial backgrounds in the armed forces which have formed a good, solid integrated body. I’m sure relations are already well established.’

‘Remember the context of all of this,’ he added. ‘This was an attack on an innocent soldier, an abhorrent crime in a normally cohesive society.’

Last night the Muslim Council of Britain said it was a ‘truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam’. ‘We condemn this unreservedly,’ a spokesman said. ‘Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.

‘We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.

‘This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom.’

The Angels of Woolwich: How three extraordinarily brave women confronted the Islamic fanatics who butchered and tried to behead a soldier on London street – and prayed next to his mutilated body

  • ‘Religious’ woman in her 50s ‘walked straight up to suspects with no fear’
  • Sat next to victim in middle of the road and put her hands on his chest
  • Witness: ‘She saw everything and wanted to comfort him. The poor man’s head was beside her’
  • Second woman talks to one killer as he wandered around with bloodied weapons and hands
  • Female Cub Scout leader tells other attacker: ‘Right now, it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose’
  • David Cameron praises her bravery, saying: ‘She speaks for us all’

By Richard Hartley-parkinson and Simon Tomlinson

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of a soldier, the remarkable courage of three women stands out.

They selflessly confronted the two killers and went to the aid of the victim, praying for him and preventing further carnage.

The first heroine, described as a religious woman in her 50s, bravely approaches the attackers as they roam the streets covered in blood and demands they let her sit next to the dead man.

As she comforts him in the middle of the road, a second woman stands over her and appears to talk to one of the killers in an apparent attempt to placate him.

Meanwhile, a third lady, a Cub Scout leader, remonstrates with the other alleged murderer who rants at her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.

Standing firm, mother-of-two Ingrid Loyau-Kennett replies: ‘Right now it is only you versus many people. You are going to lose’.

Describing the scene, a witness said he saw the first woman approach the men and ask to go to the soldier’s side moments after the horrific attack in which they nearly behead the soldier.

Joe Tallant told the Daily Mirror: ‘She is a very religious woman. She saw everything and wanted to comfort the man. She just walked straight up to them with no fear.

‘She put her hands on his chest and I think she prayed for him. The poor man’s head was beside her.’

Footage from ITV News shows the woman sat on the road next to the soldier’s body while another image shows her putting her hand on his back as she prays.

A second woman stands over her and appears to talk to one of the killers as he wanders around with bloodied weapons and hands.

Meanwhile, Ms Loyau-Kennett, 48, jumped off her bus when she saw the soldier’s body lying in the south-east London street, checked his pulse and then tried to talk to the men who hacked him to death.

One told her: ‘We want to start a war in London tonight’.

e added: ‘We will defeat violent extremism by standing together, by backing our police and security services and, above all, by challenging the poisonous narrative of extremism on which this violence feeds.’

Mr Cameron refused to say if the suspected killers were known to police and security services but said it was something the Independent Police Complaints Commission and intelligence committees would look into.

‘She put her hands on his chest and I think she prayed for him. The poor man’s head was beside her.’
Witness, Joe Talllant

After the attack, one of the alleged killers was filmed launching into a diatribe as he pledged the fight would go on.

Speaking in a clear south London accent, he said: ‘You people will never be safe. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.’

The two suspects apparently shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, which means ‘God is great’ in Arabic as they hacked the soldier to death.

They waited calmly for the police to arrive before charging at officers brandishing a rusty revolver, knives and meat cleavers.

They were then shot by armed officers, and both suspects are under guard in separate hospitals today.

But it was a brave female Cub Scout leader who confronted the armed men.

‘I saw a man on the road, obviously injured and a car badly crashed I assumed it was a road accident, although the car was funny on the pavement, it was not coming on the road,’ she told ITV’s Daybreak.

‘When I approached the body there was a lady cradling him and then the guy, the most excited one of the two said, don’t go too close to the body.

‘I could see a butcher’s knife and you know these axes butchers have to cut -that’s what he had and blood all over him. I thought what the heck happened here?

‘Okay I thought obviously he was a bit excited, so I thought the thing was just to talk to him.

Ms Loyau-Kennett said she was not trained in any way to deal with the situation – she used to be a teacher.

‘I know it’s big today, for me he was just a regular guy, just a bit upset. He was not on drugs, he was not drunk.’

She said the man told her ‘Don’t touch, I killed him.’

When she questioned him, he said ‘He is a British soldier, he killed people, he killed Muslim people, in Muslim countries. ‘

Mrs Loyau-Kennett explained the man holding the knife told her it was for ‘all the bomb droppings and killings, blindly, women.’

When asked if she feared for her life she replied: ‘Better me than the children.

‘There were mothers with children. It was important.’

Mrs Loyau-Kennett’s son said her bravery was motivated by her ‘incredible maternal instinct’.

The 48-year-old was in London celebrating her son Basil Baradaran’s 23rd birthday when she came across the horrific scene.

Basil, an animation graduate who lives close to the murder scene with sister Pawony, 24, said: ‘Mum came up to visit for my birthday and we’d had a lovely celebration.

‘I was meeting her at the train station when she walked up and started telling me had happened.

‘My first thought was for her safety but I could see she was completely intact. I couldn’t believe what she was telling me.

‘I don’t know what was going through her mind or how she found the strength to do what she did but I’m totally awestruck. I’m about as proud as a son could be.’

Mrs Loyau-Kennett, who is half-French, brought up her two children alone after their father returned to France when they were very young.

She lives in Helston, Cornwall, works as a language teacher and translator, and has recently completed a further qualification with the Open University.

She previously lived in Ipswich and New Zealand, where she worked with cubs, scouts, beavers and brownies.

Background Articles and Videos

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (1 of 6)

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (2 of 6)

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (3 of 6)

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (4 of 6)

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (5 of 6)

Robert Spencer: Stealth Jihad (6 of 6)

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Tyrant Rex Obama Assaults Freedom of The Press and Targets — AP — Fox News Reporters Rosen and Others — Videos

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Crime, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Public Sector, Rants, Raves, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

usa-media-justice

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foxnews_logo

Megyn Kelly And Guest Blast Holder’s ‘Embarrasing’ Media Meeting ‘Farce’

Chris Hedges: Monitoring of AP Phones a “Terrifying” Step in State Assault on Press Freedom

Obama Worse Than Nixon? Pentagon Papers Attorney Decries AP Phone Probe, Julian Assange Persecution

Bernstein Unloads on White House for AP Scandal

DOJ Probes AP Phone Records – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.05.14

Eric Holder On AP Phone Records Seizure The Leak Put The American People At Risk

AP Reporter Questions Carney on DOJ AP Scandal: ‘Doesn’t Responsibility Rest With The President?

Judge Andrew Napolitano on the DOJ vs AP

Fox News On James Rosen Targeting

Fox News Targeted By DOJ FNC Reporter Effectively Accused Of A Crime Megyn Kelly

Brit Hume: Chilling Search Of Fox Reporter Shows DOJ Treats News Gathering As Crime

DOJ Targeted Fox Reporter for Espionage

Fox News Targeted By DOJ – Free Press Is Now Under Attack By The Obama Admin – Wake Up America

Judge Napolitano To Shep: Rosen Committed ‘No Crime,’ ‘Absolutely Protected By 1st Amendment’

Report: DOJ seized multiple White House, Fox News records in Rosen ‘investigation’

Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department’s secretive and sketchy gathering of two months’ worth of Associated Press editors and journalists’ phone records is unfortunately a far cry from a the only freedom-of-the-press-stifling incident coming out of this administration. In 2010, the DOJ also spied on Fox News’ Washington correspondent James Rosen as a supposed co-conspirator in an espionage case for the oh-so-heinous crime of cultivating a State Department source — a.k.a., doing what D.C. journalists regularly and rightly do.

A new report from the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, however, reveals more details on the case, and it appears that their specific targeting of James Rosen does not quite cover the extent of the DOJ’s lack of scrupulousness:

The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed on October 13, 2011, in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking classified information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number (the last four numbers are redacted).

In all, Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, has seized records associated with over thirty different phone numbers. In the filing that included the new information, the last four digits of each telephone line targeted by the Obama Administration are redacted. Two of the numbers begin with area code 202 and the exchange 456, which, according to current and former Administration officials, are used exclusively by the White House. (The phone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414.)

At least five other numbers targeted by the government include the area code 202 and the exchange 824. The phone number for the Fox News Washington bureau, which is publicly available, is (202) 824-0001. Rosen’s work phone number at Fox News begins with the same area code and exchange.

So, it looks like the DOJ had not ‘merely’ been sticking their big, fat nose into Rosen’s personal and professional e-mails/calls/comings and goings, but just higgledy-piggledy been nabbing up records that may-or-may-not have been associated with the ‘case’ — including five separate Fox News phone numbers — all in the attempt to somehow involve investigative reporting in a probe of potentially criminal behavior? Wow, guys. Really crack team you got there. Bang-up job on protecting and respecting the First Amendment, and all that.

The White House Correspondents’ Association, as you might imagine, is getting somewhat concerned about all of the targeting of the press coming out of this administration, because this is quickly turning into a dangerous-looking pattern:

The White House Correspondents’ Association said Tuesday that two recent cases in which the Obama administration went after reporters’ phone and email records show the government may be getting “far too aggressive” in tracking journalists. …

Though no charges were brought against Rosen, the White House Correspondents’ Association said no journalist should even face that threat for doing their jobs.

“Reporters should never be threatened with prosecution for the simple act of doing their jobs,” the WHCA said in a statement Tuesday. “The problem is that in two recent cases, one involving Fox News’ James Rosen and the other focused on the Associated Press, serious questions have been raised about whether our government has gotten far too aggressive in its monitoring of reporters’ movements, phone records, and even personal email.”

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/05/21/report-doj-seized-multiple-white-house-fox-news-records-in-rosen-investigation/

Washington Times Writer: Fox News Scandal Goes ‘Much Deeper,’ W.H. Sitting on Something Top Obama Aides ‘Terrified’ About

Jason Howerton

Washington Times columnist and Drudge Report editor Joseph Curl on Monday said the Obama administration’s developing scandal involving the monitoring of Fox News reporter James Rosen’s email accounts goes “much deeper.”

Citing a “CIA source,” Curl claimed via his official Twitter account that the Fox News scandal was the “4th Shoe” and the White House is sitting on “something” that has top White House aides “terrified.”

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501 (c) (4) Non-profit Social Welfare Organizations — Tea Party, Conservatives, Religious, Pro Life, Constitutionalists, Libertarians Targeted By IRS — Videos

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NRO-IRS

39557__taxes-irs-building

IRS official refuses to answer questions at scandal hearing

Tea Party Targeted by IRS Who Was Responsible-

Rand Paul Discusses IRS Targetting Scandal w/ Neil Cavuto on FOX (5-21-13)

The IRS Scandal – Who Knew What When?

Norquist: Obama responsible for IRS targeting

Glenn Beck – IRS targeted conservatives

Glenn Beck – Lois Lerner, IRS dodge questions

IRS Commissioner: “It Is Absolutely Not” Illegal For IRS To Target Conservatives

Using the IRS Issues as a Political Weapon  Jenny Beth Martin Fox & Friends 051313

Who’s pulling the 501(c)(4)s’ strings?

What exactly is a 501(c)(4)?

IRS’s Tea-Party AUDIT: Explaining a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)

NBC Owner Part Of Group Pushing New Obama 501c(4)

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

IRS Tea Party Scandal GOP Calling for Full Investigation

The Colbert Report 5/20/13 in :60 Seconds

Senator Menendez Speaks about 501(c)(4)s

The GOP has a “Liberal” Interpretation of IRS Law

Ex IRS agent Tells It all

Don’t Focus on Super Pacs.  Focus on 501(c)(4)’s — Dwyer /

Rep. Mike Kelley Destroys IRS Comm. Steven Miller

Types of Organizations Exempt under Section 501(c)(4)

Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) provides for the exemption of two very different types of organizations with their own distinct qualification requirements. They are:

  • Social welfare organizations: Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, and
  • Local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of designated person(s) in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

Homeowners associations and volunteer fire companies may be recognized as exempt as social welfare organizations if they meet the requirements for exemption. Organizations that engage in substantial lobbying activities sometimes also are classified as social welfare organizations.

Additional information

Social welfare organization – Examples

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Types-of-Organizations-Exempt-under-Section-501(c)(4)

Social Welfare Organizations

To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. The earnings of a section 501(c)(4) organization may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any managers agreeing to the transaction. See Introduction to IRC 4958 for more information about this excise tax. For a more detailed discussion of the exemption requirements for section 501(c)(4) organizations, see IRC 501(c)(4) Organizations. For more information about applying for exemption, see Application for Recognition of Exemption.

To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements). For example, an organization that restricts the use of its facilities to employees of selected corporations and their guests is primarily benefiting a private group rather than the community and, therefore, does not qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. Similarly, an organization formed to represent member-tenants of an apartment complex does not qualify, because its activities benefit the member-tenants and not all tenants in the community, while an organization formed to promote the legal rights of all tenants in a particular community may qualify under section 501(c)(4) as a social welfare organization. An organization is not operated primarily for the promotion of social welfare if its primary activity is operating a social club for the benefit, pleasure or recreation of its members, or is carrying on a business with the general public in a manner similar to organizations operated for profit link].

Seeking legislation germane to the organization’s programs is a permissible means of attaining social welfare purposes. Thus, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status. An organization that has lost its section 501(c)(3) status due to substantial attempts to influence legislation may not thereafter qualify as a section 501(c)(4) organization. In addition, a section 501(c)(4) organization that engages in lobbying may be required to either provide notice to its members regarding the percentage of dues paid that are applicable to lobbying activities or pay a proxy tax. For more information, see Lobbying Issues .

The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f). For further information regarding political and lobbying activities of section 501(c) organizations, see Election Year Issues, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities of IRC 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) Organizations, and Revenue Ruling 2004-6.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Other-Non-Profits/Social-Welfare-Organizations

Application for recognition of exemption

To apply for recognition by the IRS of exempt status under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, most organizations use Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption and the related instructions. (Organizations applying for recognition of exemption under a provision other than section 501(c)(3) generally use Form 1024.) The application must be complete and accompanied by the appropriate user fee. See Application Process for a step-by-step review of what an organization needs to know and to do in order to apply for recognition by the IRS of tax-exempt status. Frequently asked questions about applying for exemption are also available.

The organization should also request an employer identification number, even if it does not have any employees. See Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, and its instructions to learn how to obtain an EIN. You may also obtain an EIN via telephone, by calling 1-800-829-4933, or by applying online.

A tax-exempt organization must make available for public inspection its approved application for recognition of exemption with all supporting documents available and its last three annual information returns. The organization must provide copies of these documents upon request without charge (other than a reasonable fee for reproduction and copying costs). Penalties are provided for failure to comply with these requirements.

Additional information:

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Application-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-1

Exempt Organization Public Disclosure and Availability Requirements

Tax-exempt organizations must make annual returns and exemption applications filed with the IRS available for public inspection and copying upon request. In addition, the IRS makes these documents available. The questions below relate to the public disclosure and availability of documents filed by tax-exempt organizations with the IRS.

A. Questions about Requirements for Exempt Organizations to Disclose IRS Filings to the General Public

  1. In general, what public disclosure requirements apply to tax-exempt organizations?
  2. tax-exempt organizations for purposes of the law requiring that certain tax documents be disclosed and copies of those documents be provided to persons requesting them?”>What organizations are tax-exempt organizations for purposes of the law requiring that certain tax documents be disclosed and copies of those documents be provided to persons requesting them?
  3. What tax documents must an exempt organization make available for public inspection and copying?
  4. What does the disclosure law require a tax-exempt organization to do?
  5. What does the IRS consider to be a reasonable charge for copying costs, which an exempt organization may charge for copies of tax documents covered by public disclosure requirements?
  6. What are our organization’s public disclosure obligations for the Form 990?
  7. Are organizations that are not required to provide copies of their exemption applications also exempt from the requirement to provide copies of annual returns to requesters?
  8. What disclosure laws apply to private foundations?
  9. Is a tax-exempt organization required to disclose the names or addresses of its contributors?
  10. Is there an exception to the requirement that an exempt organization provide copies of its exemption application and annual returns?
  11. widely available must it make the documents available for public inspection?”>If an organization makes it documents widely available must it make the documents available for public inspection?
  12. What are the penalties for failure to comply with the disclosure requirements, and who must pay them?
  13. If a request for copies of exempt organizations documents is not fulfilled, to whom may the requester complain?
  14. What disclosures is a charitable organization required to make to its donors?
  15. What disclosures must an exempt organization, other than a charity, make to its donors?
  16. Is personal identifying information provided on an exempt organization return subject to public disclosure?
  17. How can I obtain a copy of an organization’s annual return or exemption application?
  18. What should I do if an exempt organization will not let me see its Form 990 or 990-T returns or exemption application materials?
  19. e-Postcard?”>How will the public get access to information on the e-Postcard?

B. Questions about Requirements that the IRS Make Exempt Organizations Filings Available for Public Inspection and Copying

  1. How can one get a copy of an organization’s exemption application or annual information return from the IRS?
  2. Is personal identifying information provided on an exempt organization return subject to public disclosure?
  3. e-Postcard?”>How will the public get access to information on the e-Postcard?

View and print all FAQs (Adobe).

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organization-Public-Disclosure-and-Availability-Requirements

What is a 501(c)(4), anyway?

The news that the Internal Revenue Service flagged conservative groups for extra scrutiny has drawn renewed public attention to 501(c)(4) organizations, which play a very influential role in politics. So, what the heck is a 501(c)(4), and why do such groups matter in electoral politics? If you’re curious, keep reading.

Typically referred to as “social welfare” groups, these are nonprofit organizations including civic leagues or local volunteer fire departments, for example, that in theory are designed to promote, well, social welfare causes. “501(c)” is just the IRS’s designation in the tax code for nonprofit groups, and (4) is the subsection of groups we are concerned with here. There are other types of nonprofits that fall under the “501(c)” umbrella, but they are subject to different requirements.

Here’s the official IRS definition, if you’re interested in reading more.

So where is the connection to electoral politics? Aren’t we talking about social welfare advocacy?

These groups are allowed to to participate in politics, so long as politics do not become their primary focus. What that means in practice is that they must spend less than 50 percent of their money on politics. So long as they don’t run afoul of that threshold, the groups can influence elections, which they typically do through advertising. The above “Colbert Report” segment sheds some more light on the nature 501(c)(4)s.

Give me some examples of 501(c)(4)s.

Crossroads GPS, the conservative group co-founded by Karl Rove is one well-known example. On the other end of the political spectrum is Organizing for Action, which is what President Obama’s campaign operation turned into after the 2012 election. Often, organizations will have multiple arms, including a nonprofit and a super PAC. American Crossroads, for example, is a super PAC affiliated with Crossroads GPS.

How much money are they spending?

A lot. And much of is being dished out by conservative groups. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, conservative nonprofits spent more than $263 million during the 2012 campaign, while liberal counterparts spent close to $35 million. A separate Center For Responsive Politics/Center for Public Integrity study found that in 2010, the social welfare nonprofits outspent super PACs by a 3-2 margin.

You mentioned super PACs? What’s the difference?

Here’s the key difference: Super PACs must disclose their donors while 501(c)(4)s do not. If you are a donor looking to influence election but do not want to reveal your identity, the 501(c)(4) is an attractive option through which to send your cash.

Why has the IRS gotten so many 501(c)(4) applications in recent years?

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s landmark “Citizens United” decision cleared the way for corporations and labor unions to raise and spend unlimited sums of money, and register for tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4). So what happened next is not surprising. The IRS was flooded with applications from groups seeking the special 501(c)(4) designation. Applications more than doubled following the High Court’s ruling.

So which groups did the IRS single out?

In short, conservative ones. The IRS says it flagged groups with “tea party” and “patriot” in their names for extra scrutiny. The agency apologized and said partisanship did not motivate the tactics; rather, it was a misguided effort to come up with an efficient way to deal with the influx of applications. In addition, an inspector general’s report set to be released this week says the agency also gave extra scrutiny to groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution.

What’s next?

A lot more questions are going to be asked. Two congressional committees — the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee — are planning further investigations. The IG’s report will be released on Wednesday, which will shed more light on who in the IRS knew what and when they knew it.

Congressional Republicans and even some Democrats are up in arms. President Obama called it ”outrageous.” After a lot of review, look for officials and lawmakers to propose remedies to prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/05/13/what-is-a-501c4-anyway/

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Citizens United Supreme Court Decision Increases Freedom of Speech and Stops Government From Censoring Speech — Videos

Posted on May 22, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Federal Government, government spending, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Unions, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

free_speech

ObamaHypocrisy-big

“If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

~George Washington

Obama Criticizes Supreme Court in State of the Union Address, Justice Alito Shakes His Head in

The Other IRS Scandal

Campaign Cash: The Independent Fundraising Gold Rush Since Citizens United Ruling

Political Fundraising Post-Citizens United

Bill Moyers Essay: The High Price of ‘Free’ Speech

Are Super PACs Living Up to Supreme Court’s Intentions?

Citizens United (Hillary: the Movie) v. Federal Election Commission

What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United

What Citizens United Didn’t Say

3 Reasons Not To Sweat The “Citizens United” SCOTUS Ruling

Citizens United and Free Speech

Judge Napolitano on State of the Union Address – Obama Should Apologize to Supreme Court

Is It Just Corporate Free Speech?

Free Speech? Citizens United v FEC Revisited

Obama’s SOTU Citizens United LIE explained

Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission- With Credits

Citizens United vs. FEC: How Did It Happen?

On Anniversary of Citizens United Ruling, Common Cause Calls for Investigation of Scalia and Thomas

Justice Scalia on Citizens United (C-SPAN)

Campaign Finance: Lawyers’ Citizens United v. FEC U.S. Supreme Court Arguments (2009)

Citizens United and the role of the Supreme Court

Obama Alleged IRS Political Targeting Outrageous

Background Articles and Videos

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 1 of 3

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 2 of 3

A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission – Part 3 of 3

Citizens United; Hillary the Movie Trailer

Hillary the Movie Trailer 2

Citizens United and Campaign Finance Reform

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Lois Lerner –Top IRS Official — Took The Fifth Amendment — House and Senate Hearings On IRS Targeting Conservative Groups — Videos

Posted on May 21, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, history, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Politics, Raves, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

lois+lerner

irs_logo
irs-scandal-timeline

Treasury Inspector General

for Tax Administration

Office of Audit

Original Inspector general’s report on the IRS

http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/700665/treasury-inspector-general-report.pdf

http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf

Inspector general’s report on the IRS

http://documents.latimes.com/inspector-general-report-irs/

IRS Official Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth, Dismissed From Scandal Hearing

Glenn Beck – Lois Lerner, IRS dodge questions

Mad at the IRS? Blame It on the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

The Other IRS Scandal”: David Cay Johnston on Dark Money Political Groups Seeking Tax-Exemption

How Republicans Have Abused 501(c)(4) Applications Since Citizens United

Dan Pfeiffer on IRS Scandal During ‘This Week’ Interview

IRS’s Tea-Party AUDIT: Explaining a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

Glenn Beck » IRS, ObamaCare, And The White House

Dobson–I Was Targeted By IRS – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.05.20

Rand Paul Suggests IRS Has ‘Written Policy’ About Targeting People ‘Opposed To The President’

Rand Paul on Benghazi and IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups – State of the Union 5/19/2013

Paul Ryan Angry Over IRS, Benghazi on Fox News

Obama Has Declared WAR on American Values in IRS Scandal – Fox News Lou Dobbs

Jay Sekulow on Fox News: IRS Hearings Arrogant & Embarrassing

Heller Questions Secretary of the Treasury About IRS Scandal

Senate Finance Committee Hearing On IRS Scandal

C-SPAN Senator Hatch Opening Statement – IRS Hearing

A opening statement at the IRS scandal hearing by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Hatch questions IRS during hearing

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, questions Douglas Shulman, former Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and Steven Miller, outgoing acting IRS Commissioner Tuesday, May 21, 2013, during the IRS scandal hearing.

Thune at Finance on IRS Scandal

Crapo questions the IG for tax administration on the IRS scandal

Senator Roberts’ Remarks at Today’s IRS Scandal Hearing in the Senate Finance Committee

IRS Commissioner: I Orchestrated Planted Q&A On IRS Scandal

House Hearing On IRS Scandal

House hearing on IRS scandal 

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 1

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 2

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 3

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 4

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 5

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 6

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 7

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 8

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 9

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 10

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 12

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 13

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 14

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 15

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 16

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 17

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 18

HOUSE HEARING ON IRS TARGETING CONSERVATIVE GROUPS PT 19

NOT REALLY FIRED YET Steven Miller Outgoing Acting IRS Commissioner

May 17 2013 House Ways and Means Hearing – Steven Miller testifying

IRS HEATED on Capitol Hill: IS THIS STILL AMERICA? Government Threatens average Americans?

IRS Commissioner: Targeting Conservatives is “Absolutely Not Illegal”

News Reports

Luke Russert: IRS Official ‘Winging This’ In Testimony, Saying ‘Hey, I’m The Fall Guy For This’

Jay Sekulow on Fox News: IRS Knew About Tageting Conservative Groups

Background Articles and Videos

How to Assert Your Rights with the Police

David Allen – Does the Fifth Amendment Apply to Tax Preparation Records

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 1

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 2

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 3

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 4

In Praise of the 5th Amendment – part 5

Top IRS official will invoke the Fifth Amendment in congressional hearing about  tea party targeting program

By David Martosko

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday  afternoon that Lois Lerner, who heads up the Internal Revenue Service’s  tax-exempt division, plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution in a hearing Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and  Government Affairs.

The Fifth Amendment provides that U.S.  citizens may not be compelled to offer testimony if telling the truth would  incriminate them.

Lerner’s defense lawyer, William W. Taylor  III, wrote to the committee on Tuesday that his client would refuse to answer  questions related to what she knew about the extra levels of scrutiny applied to  conservative nonprofit organizations that applied for tax-exempt status  beginning in 2010.

She also will decline to say why she didn’t  disclose what she knew to Congress, according to the LA  Times.

Lerner ‘has not committed any crime or made  any misrepresentation,’ Taylor’s  letter read, ‘but under the circumstances she  has no choice but to take  this course.’

He is asking the oversight committee to  excuse Lerner from testifying, claiming that calling her in a congressional  hearing would ‘have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her’ since  members would not expect her to answer questions.

Ahmad Ali, a committee spokesman, told  MailOnline that ‘Ms. Lerner remains under subpoena from Chairman Issa to appear  at tomorrow’s hearing – the Committee has a Constitutional obligation to conduct  oversight.’

‘Chairman [Darrel] Issa remains hopeful that  she will ultimately decide to testify tomorrow about her knowledge of outrageous  IRS targeting of Americans for their political beliefs.’

The IRS applied special criteria to  conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status, putting them on a ‘Be On  The Lookout’ (BOLO) list, based on the groups’ names and political  philosophies.

President Barack Obama has said he was  unaware of the program until May 10, when excerpts of an IRS Inspector General  Report on the practice were leaked to reporters.

But Jay Carney, the president’s chief  spokesman, confirmed Monday that senior White House staff, including White House  Counsel Kathy Ruemmler and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, knew about the IRS’s  habits as early as April 24, and chose not to tell Obama.

The Inspector General report found that  Lerner and other IRS were notified in or before June 2011 that some staff in the  agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio office were using ‘tea party,’ ‘patriots’ and other  key words to add applicants to the BOLO list.

Once on that list, the groups were subjected  to additional auditing of their financial practices, their membership and their  political activities.

Despite knowing about the program, Lerner and  other senior IRS staffers withheld the information from Congress despite  receiving several requests from House committees whose members heard from  constituents that their tea party groups’ tax-exempt approvals were taking as  long as two years to be resolved.

The House Oversight and Government Affairs  Committee was among those that specifically asked the IRS whether it was  inspecting tea party groups more closely than other applicants, including those  on the political left.

Lerner herself launched her agency’s scandal  with a planted question-and-answer exchange during a May 10 American Bar  Association conference.

Asked the pre-arranged question, Lerner  responded by conceding that her employees had acted inappropriately.

‘Instead of referring to the cases as  advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list,’ she told the  assembled tax lawyers.

‘They used names like “tea party” or  “Patriots,” and they selected cases simply because the applications had those  names in the title.That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, insensitive,  and inappropriate — that’s not how we go about selecting cases for further  review.’

She later claimed that the increase in  scrutiny of tea party groups was due to an influx of new applications from  right-wing organizations, following the Supreme Court’s ‘Citizens United’  ruling, which opened the floodgates to greater political participation by  nonprofit advocacy groups.

The Washington Post called that claim bogus,  however, with the newspaper’s fact checker awarding it a ‘four Pinocchios’  rating for dishonesty.

Read more:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328696/Lois-Lerner-Top-IRS-official-invoke-Fifth-Amendment-congressional-hearing-tea-party-targeting-program.html

Top IRS official will invoke 5th Amendment

By Richard Simon and Joseph Tanfani May 21, 2013, 1:17 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.

Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.

DOCUMENT: The Inspector General’s report on the IRS

Taylor, a criminal defense attorney from the Washington firm Zuckerman Spaeder, said that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation, and that the House committee has asked Lerner to explain why she provided “false or misleading information” to the committee four times last year.

Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.

According to an inspector general’s report, Lerner found out in June 2011 that some staff in the nonprofits division in Cincinnati had used terms such as “Tea Party” and “Patriots” to select some applications for additional screening of their political activities. She ordered changes.

But neither Lerner nor anyone else at the IRS told Congress, even after repeated queries from several committees, including the House Oversight panel, about whether some groups had been singled out unfairly.

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-top-irs-official-fifth-amendment-20130521,0,6645565.story

IRS’s Lois Lerner to take the Fifth

By LAUREN FRENCH and GINGER GIBSON

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her Fifth Amendment right not  to incriminate herself when she appears before the House Oversight Committee on  Wednesday.

In a letter to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Lerner’s attorney  William W. Taylor III cites the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into  the issue of whether the IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups  for extra scrutiny.

Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her Fifth Amendment right not  to incriminate herself when she appears before the House Oversight Committee on  Wednesday.

In a letter to Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Lerner’s attorney  William W. Taylor III cites the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into  the issue of whether the IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups  for extra scrutiny.

“Just when you think things can’t get any stranger around here, they take a  twist,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told POLITICO, adding, “this is a very  serious matter.”

Taylor’s letter requests that Lerner be excused from testifying, but Issa has  issued a subpoena to compel her appearance.

“Requiring her to appear at the hearing merely to assert her Fifth Amendment  privilege would have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her,” Taylor  wrote.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Lerner’s decision shows she is “afraid” to  face Congress and account for her actions.

The decision to take the fifth is a “slap in the face” to Americans, said  Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.).

“What’s she hiding?” Buchanan asked. “The American people demand and deserve  answers. Pleading the Fifth is a direct slap in the face of every American  taxpayer betrayed by the IRS’s gross abuse of power.”

Issa has accused Lerner of lying to Congress on four separate occasions last  year. He and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote a letter to Lerner last week asking  her to brief the Oversight Committee on the disparities in her comments before  the scandal broke on the criteria used to flag conservative applications for  tax-exempt status.

“It appears that you provided false or misleading information on four  separate occasions last year in response to the Committee’s oversight of the  IRS’s treatment of conservative groups applying for tax exempt status,” Issa and  Jordan wrote.

The California Republican has cast himself as the chief investigator of the  administration and had demanded Lerner’s presence to better understand when the  IRS learned of the extent of the targeting program.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said  he expects Lerner to appear before the panel Wednesday, but had suggested she  may invoke her Fifth Amendment right.

“She might, she very well may,” Cummings told reporters Tuesday afternoon  when asked if she could invoke the Fifth Amendment. “We’ll see when she comes.  She will be there.”

The question was prompted by Cummings correcting himself after saying she  would be testifying on Wednesday.

“She should be testifying. She should be there tomorrow,” Cummings said,  correcting himself. “I expected her to be there.”

Asked whether she could show up and not testify, he said, “I can’t answer  that right now.”

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman  and J. Russell George, the IRS inspector general who conducted the  investigation, are scheduled to testify.

Taylor has been involved in several high-profile cases in recent years,  including the defense of former IMF President Dominique Strauss-Kahn against  criminal assault charges and leading the team that obtained dismissal of claims  against former NYSE official and Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone,  according to the website  of his firm, Zuckerman Spaeder.

He has given over $100,000 to Democratic candidates and causes over the  years, according to Federal Election Commission records. Taylor donated $57,000  to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 and $10,000 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012  last year.

The Los Angeles Times first reported Lerner’s intention to invoke the Fifth  Amendment.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/lois-lerner-could-plead-the-fifth-rep-cummings-says-91686.html#ixzz2TyFY25U8

How the IRS seeded the clouds in 2010 for a political deluge three years later

By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Kimberly Kindy,

In early 2010, an Internal Revenue Service team in Cincinnati began noticing a stream of applications from groups with ­political-sounding names, setting in motion a dragnet aimed at ­separating legitimate tax-exempt groups from those working to get candidates elected.

The IRS officials decided to single out one type of political group for particular scrutiny. “These cases involve various local organizations in the Tea Party movement,” read one internal IRS e-mail sent at the time.

A few hours north in Fremont, Ohio, the owners of a drainage supply shop, Tom and Marion Bower, were wondering why it was taking so long to get a tax exemption for their new tea party group.“I didn’t think any of us thought we’d be targeted,” said Marion Bower, of American Patriots Against Government Excess. “We started the group because we wanted to learn about our country and educate people. Now I’m becoming a little paranoid. If they can do this, what else can they do?”Groups such as the Bowers’ were among more than a hundred conservative organizations singled out for extra screening by the IRS, part of an attempt to identify politically active groups not eligible for tax exemptions. The revelations, described in detail last week by the IRS watchdog, have caused a political earthquake — prompting the resignations of two top IRS officials, a criminal investigation and multiple congressional probes, including hearings scheduled for this week.The story of the IRS’s policy of targeting right-leaning groups, which played out over several years in Cincinnati, Washington, and dozens of other cities and towns, was one of a bureaucracy caught in a morass of uncertainty and outside pressure. The actions also confirmed the suspicions of many conservatives after they had complained for years of harassment by the tax agency.According to the inspector general’s report, as IRS officials in Cincinnati tried to decide what to do about the groups — political advocacy organizations seeking what is known as 501 (c)(4) status — they sent out intrusive questionnaires seeking donor lists, copies of meeting minutes and reams of other documents. Applications sat around for months, sometimes years; some organizations ended up folding while awaiting answers that never came.

IRS officials in Cincinnati were ignorant of the law and did not recognize that they should not scrutinize groups solely based on terms such as “tea party,” “patriots” and other conservative-sounding descriptions in their names, the inspector general’s report said. Many liberal-leaning and nonpolitical groups were also caught up in the effort.

At the same time, the IRS faced growing criticism from the outside that it was not doing enough to examine an increasing number of politically active groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“You had a lot of pressure on the IRS to figure out who and what should be a (c)(4) and complaints being filed by groups saying they had erred in granting (c)(4) status,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center and a former Federal Elections Commission chairman. “You had (c)(4)s on both the Democratic and Republican side spending a lot on politics. That’s the background of how we got here.”

Rise of the tea party

On July 4, 2009, the Bowers threw a tea party event in a strip mall by their home in Fremont, about 40 miles from Toledo. The speakers’ stage was a flatbed trailer. The pair worried about how big of a crowd they could possibly draw in a town with fewer than 17,000 residents. Then 500 people showed up.

The Bowers decided there was enough interest to start their own nonprofit group and applied to the IRS in December 2009 as a 501(c)(4). The couple held weekly meetings at their shop, inviting local politicians to speak, showing films and discussing books. A woven basket was put out for cash donations, which usually amounted to no more than $15.“We saw we weren’t the only ones worried about things,” Tom Bower said. “Others thought our country was going in the wrong direction.”The desire by the Bowers to form a nonprofit group reflected two broader trends in American politics. First was the rise of the tea party movement — hundreds of local organizations, frustrated by spending in Washington and the growing national debt, whose power would soon be seen in local, state and, in 2010, congressional elections.Second, campaign finance laws were changing. In January 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission that corporations and unions could spend unlimited funds on elections, setting off a tidal wave of political spending that would wash over the next two election cycles.Nonprofit groups that do not have to pay taxes are supposed to ensure that political activity is not their primary purpose, so evidence that some of the new organizations seeking tax-exempt status were fronts for campaign organizations drew bipartisan interest. Good-government groups started pressuring the IRS to more closely scrutinize applicants. One such group, Democracy 21, wrote a series of letters to the IRS arguing that many of the groups should not receive favored tax status.

“In all of these cases, the groups were claiming (c)(4) status basically for the purpose of hiding their donors,” said Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer.

The IRS is not well equipped to make political judgements. Its accountants and lawyers are sticklers and technocrats, trying to enforce the letter of the law. When the law is left vague — as it is for 501(c)(4)s and political advocacy groups — it could take years to come up with clear guidelines.

“Unless there is a higher-up push to get something done and get guidance done, it doesn’t happen,” said Louisiana State University law professor Philip Hackney, who worked in the chief counsel’s office of the IRS from 2006 to 2011.

By late summer 2010, the IRS officials in Cincinnati, part of what was called a “determinations unit,” decided they needed a better way to track the influx of advocacy groups. It had been an informal process before — just e-mails sent out among the team highlighting groups that might need closer scrutiny.

They created a spreadsheet of group names and activities to watch, called a “be on the lookout” list, or BOLO, borrowing jargon used by police. The list soon included 40 groups, including 22 with “tea party” in their names.

The determinations unit wanted to send additional questions to the groups to determine whether they were too involved in political campaigns to receive tax-exempt status. They requested help from headquarters officials in Washington to draft the language of such letters.

But no definitive help was forthcoming, according to the inspector general’s report. Months passed without agreement on what should be asked, frustrating the team in Cincinnati.

Questions, more questionsThe Bowers were frustrated, too. In 2010, they had called the IRS to see what was happening with their application. “They said they were behind but they were getting to it,” Marion Bower said. The same thing happened in the spring of 2011.It took two years from when they applied to get a response. In a letter, the IRS said it wanted copies and recordings of all speeches given at their group’s meetings. They wanted notes and copies of every handout or brochure distributed at all events they organized or participated in. It took three weeks to gather the materials, which amounted to about 80 pages, the Bowers said.Marion Bower told them about films they showed, including the “American Heritage Series,” consisting of 10 DVDs about the early history of the United States recounted by evangelical minister David Barton, and a book the group read about the Founding Fathers, “The 5000 Year Leap.”“They wanted a lot of information, and they wanted it quickly,” Bower said. “Each set of questions had a subset of questions. And none of them were yes or no. But the questions themselves did not seem that outrageous with the first letter.”

A second letter came with dozens of additional questions. The IRS wanted a synopsis of films the group may have shown or books the group may have read. Bower was outraged.

“I’m a 68-year-old woman. I don’t do book reports anymore, and I certainly don’t do them for the IRS,” she said. “I sent them copies of everything, including the book. It’s not a very thick book, and it’s not ‘Mein Kampf,’ for Pete’s sake. They can read it if they want.”

In early March 2012, the group mailed off its second package of documents to the IRS and waited.

As the Bowers’ case dragged on, the IRS determinations unit was stuck in bureaucratic sludge. In June 2011, the Washington official who oversees the unit, Lois G. Lerner, organized a meeting to discuss its work on political advocacy groups. She expressed concerns about the broad reach of the BOLO list.

About 100 groups had made it on the list simply because their names included reference to the “tea party,” “patriots” or “9/12,” a term associated with conservative commentator Glenn Beck. Other criteria included a focus on government spending, debt or taxes; a focus on how to “make America a better place”; or critical comments about how the country is being run.

Lerner asked that the criteria be changed to a more neutral theme — organizations involved in politics, lobbying or advocacy. A “triage” was also conducted, trying to determine which groups actually required scrutiny.

But as Lerner pressed to broaden the criteria, the Cincinnati unit began to send letters out to conservative groups. Some asked for donor information.

Still, the determinations unit was having trouble using the general criteria advocated by Lerner. It decided on an alternative phrasing: “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.”

At the end of February 2012, Lerner stopped the letters. But it was too late. Conservative groups began complaining, sparking media interest. Lawmakers lodged complaints. In March, eight months before Election Day, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee contacted the IRS inspector general to ask what was going on.

Throughout 2012, Lerner and other officials were quietly trying to come up with new policies for examining nonprofits. Higher-level officials, including then-IRS Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee, and his deputy, career employee Steven T. Miller, became aware of the problems. They instituted new internal rules in an effort to make sure the issues did not recur.

But the IRS did not tell the public or Congress about what was going on. On May 9 of this year, knowing that the inspector general’s report was imminent, Lerner called a member of the IRS’s tax-exempt advisory council. Lerner requested that the council member ask her at a conference the next day about the status of tax-exempt organizations that were facing additional scrutiny.

The next morning, Lerner responded to the planted question, acknowledging that the IRS had improperly scrutinized conservative groups. She apologized. She held a conference call later that day in which she struggled to answer a fusillade of questions from reporters, at one point exclaiming in response to a query about the specific number of groups targeted, “I’m not good at math.”

By Wednesday, Obama had demanded and received Miller’s resignation and appointed a new acting IRS commissioner, Daniel Werfel, a budget adviser who has served in Republican and Democrat administrations.

On Friday, Miller was testifying on Capitol Hill, at the first in a series of hearings scheduled for coming weeks. Miller said that the IRS was guilty of “horrible customer service” but that its motives were not political.↓

Marion Bower was in the audience. “I really didn’t want to come,” she said. “But what they did was wrong. I felt it was time for me to speak up so this doesn’t happen again to someone else.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-the-irs-seeded-the-clouds-in-2010-for-a-political-deluge-three-years-later/2013/05/19/b707d940-bf10-11e2-97d4-a479289a31f9_story.html

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Who Benefited From Delaying The Disclosure of the Benghazi and IRS Scandals? President Barack Obama — Who Lost? American People — Videos

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

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Donna Tartt — The Secret History — Videos

Posted on May 18, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Fiction, Language, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Religion, Talk Radio, Video | Tags: , , , , , |

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The Secret History by Donna Tartt

‘The Secret History’ prologue

Donna Tartt (born December 23, 1963) is an American writer and author of the novels The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013).[1] She won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003.

Early life

The daughter of Don and Taylor Tartt, she was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and raised in the nearby town of Grenada. At age five, she wrote her first poem, and she was first published in a Mississippi literary review when she was 13.

Enrolling in the University of Mississippi in 1981, she pledged to the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. Her writing caught the attention of Willie Morris while she was a freshman. Following a recommendation from Morris, Barry Hannah, then an Ole Miss Writer-in-Residence, admitted Tartt into his graduate short story course. Following the suggestion of Morris and others, she transferred to Bennington College in 1982, meeting then-students Bret Easton Ellis and Jill Eisenstadt and studying classics with Claude Fredericks.

The Secret History

Tartt began writing her first novel, originally titled “The God of Illusions”[2] and later published as The Secret History, during her second year at Bennington. She graduated from Bennington in 1986. After Ellis recommended her work to literary agent Amanda Urban, The Secret History was published in 1992, and sold out its original print-run of 75,000 copies, becoming a bestseller. It has been translated into 24 languages.

The Secret History is set at a fictional college and concerns a close-knit group of six students and their professor of classics. The students embark upon a secretive plan to stage a bacchanal. The narrator reflects on a variety of circumstances that lead ultimately to murder within the group.

The murder, the location and the perpetrators are revealed in the opening pages, upending the familiar framework and accepted conventions of the murder mystery genre. Critic A.O. Scott labelled it “a murder mystery in reverse.”[3]

The book was wrapped in a transparent acetate book jacket, a retro design by Barbara De Wilde and Chip Kidd. According to Kidd, “The following season acetate jackets sprang up in bookstores like mushrooms on a murdered tree.”[4]

The Little Friend

The Little Friend, Tartt’s second novel, was published in October 2002. It is a mystery centered on a young girl living in the American South in the late 20th century. Her implicit anxieties about the long-unexplained death of her brother and the dynamics of her extended family are a strong focus, as are the contrasting lifestyles and customs of small-town Southerners.

The Goldfinch

In February 2013, the New York Observer announced that Tartt’s long-awaited third novel, titled The Goldfinch, was set for publication on October 22, 2013 after originally being slated for publication in September 2008.[5] The plot is described thus: ““A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and determined to avoid being taken in by the city as an orphan, Theo scrambles between nights in friends’ apartments and on the city streets,” Amazon’s description reads. “He becomes entranced by the one thing that reminds him of his mother: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that soon draws Theo into the art underworld. Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America. It is a story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the enormous power of art”[6]

Other writing

In 2002, it was reported that Tartt was working on a retelling of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus for the Canongate Myth Series, a series of novellas in which ancient myths are reimagined and rewritten by contemporary authors.[7]

Audio

Tartt has recorded several audiobooks:

  • The Secret History
  • The Little Friend (abridgment)
  • True Grit (with afterword expressing her love of the novel)
  • Winesburg, Ohio (selection)

Bibliography

Novels

Short stories

  • “Tam-O’-Shanter”. The New Yorker April 19, 1993, p. 90.[8]
  • “A Christmas Pageant”. Harper’s 287.1723. December 1993, p. 45+.
  • “A Garter Snake”. GQ 65.5, May 1995, p. 89+.
  • “The Ambush”. The Guardian, June 25, 2005.

Nonfiction

  • “Sleepytown: A Southern Gothic Childhood, with Codeine.” Harper’s 286, July 1992, p. 60-66.
  • “Basketball Season.” The Best American Sports Writing, edited and with an introduction by Frank Deford. Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
  • “Team Spirit: Memories of Being a Freshman Cheerleader for the Basketball Team.” Harper’s 288, April 1994, p. 37-40.

Awards

References

  1. ^ http://observer.com/2013/02/donna-tartts-long-awaited-thir-novel-will-be-published-this-year/
  2. ^ Fein, Esther B. (1992-11-16). “”The Marketing of a Cause Celebre” – The New York Times”. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  3. ^ Scott, A.O. “Harriet the Spy,” New York Times, November 3, 2002.
  4. ^ “Jacobs, Alexandra. “Kidd Keeps Knopf Cool, Wrapping Books Gorgeously” New York Observer, Nov. 6, 2005″. Observer.com. 2005-11-06. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  5. ^ http://observer.com/2013/02/donna-tartts-long-awaited-thir-novel-will-be-published-this-year/
  6. ^ http://observer.com/2013/02/donna-tartts-long-awaited-thir-novel-will-be-published-this-year/
  7. ^ “”Independent”: “Whatever happened to Donna Tartt?””. Arlindo-correia.org. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  8. ^ Tartt, Donna (1993-04-19). “Fiction: Tam-O’-Shanter” (abstract). The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  9. ^ The Little Friend (Reference for both awards)

Sources

Listen to

External links

The Secret History

The Secret History, the first novel by Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1992. A 75,000 print order was made for the first edition (as opposed to the usual 10,000 order for a debut novel), and the book became a bestseller.

Set in New England, The Secret History tells the story of a closely knit group of six classics students at a small, elite Vermont college, Hampden College, similar in many respects to Bennington College (in Bennington, Vermont) where Tartt was a student from 1982 to 1986.

The story is an inverted detective story, not a Whodunit but a Whydunit.

One of the six students is the story’s narrator, Richard Papen, who reflects, years later, on the situation that led to a murder within the group, the murder being confessed at the outset of the novel but the events otherwise revealed sequentially. In the opening chapter, as the reader is introduced to Papen, we are told of the death of student Edmund “Bunny” Corcoran, although few details are given initially. The novel explores the circumstances and lasting effects of Bunny’s death on the academically and socially isolated group of Classics students of which he was a part.

The impact on the students is ultimately destructive, and the potential promise of many young lives is lost to circumstance. The story parallels, in many ways, a Greek tragedy with fate dictating the very circumstances that lead to an escalation of already fermenting issues.

Synopsis

As the story opens, Richard leaves Plano, California, where he is generally unhappy, for Hampden College in Vermont. His approach to his background is in keeping with the contrast of aestheticism and literary beauty, as opposed to harsh reality, that continues throughout the novel. He misleads others about his background as necessary, replacing his mediocre working-class childhood with a fabricated and more glamorous one of boarding schools and wealth.

After moving to Vermont, Richard attempts to continue his study of Ancient Greek, only to be denied admittance to the Greek class, as Classics professor Julian Morrow limits his enrollment to a tiny hand-picked coterie of students. Richard becomes obsessed with the small group, after observing them around campus, and eventually manages to ingratiate himself with the group by helping them solve a Greek grammar problem as they study in the college library. Soon after, armed with advice from the students on how to impress Julian, he meets with him once more and is finally admitted to the select Classics tutorial.

The group includes fraternal twins Charles and Camilla Macaulay, who are charming but secretive, as well as Francis Abernathy, whose secluded country home becomes a sanctuary for the group. Two students become the central focus of the story: the linguistic genius Henry Winter, an intellectual with a passion for the Pali canon and Plato, and the back-slapping Bunny Corcoran, a slightly bigoted jokester more comfortable reading Sax Rohmer‘s Fu Manchu, particularly if someone else has bought him a copy.

Their relationship, already considered odd by Richard, becomes even more mystifying when Bunny announces that he and Henry will be spending the winter break together in Italy. This, despite the fact that Henry appears barely tolerant of Bunny and that Bunny is unable to afford such a lavish holiday himself. In fact, it is Henry who is footing the bill for the trip. To avoid unraveling his fabricated past, Richard takes a low-paying job on the college campus and spends the winter break in an unheated warehouse. He nearly dies from exposure and pneumonia but is rescued and taken to the hospital by Henry, who has returned early from the trip to Italy.

When the rest of the group returns from winter break, Richard notes that the relationships between them and Bunny have become even more strained. Ultimately, Richard learns the truth from Henry and Francis: during a Bacchanal that both Richard and Bunny were excluded from, Henry had inadvertently killed a local farmer. Bunny, having been suspicious for some time, uncovers the truth during the trip to Italy after reading some of Henry’s private notes, and has blackmailed the group ever since. The group, led by Henry, begin to view Bunny as the weak link who threatens to reveal their secret, and Bunny’s penchant for playing on his friends’ fears and insecurities does little to assuage their concern.

No longer able to meet Bunny’s demands and fearing that Bunny will report the matter to the police, the group resolves to kill Bunny. Henry forms several plots to accomplish such, and one of the plans is finally put into motion after Bunny tells Richard of the killing of the farmer in a drunken rant. The group confronts Bunny while he is hiking, with Henry pushing him into a ravine to his death.

The remainder of the novel focuses on the aftermath of Bunny’s death, especially the collapse of the group, the psychological strains of remorse borne by the individual members and their efforts to maintain secrecy as investigators and other students develop theories about Bunny’s disappearance. The supporting cast of other students includes loquacious drug user Judy Poovey, a reader of “those paranoia books by Philip K. Dick.”

Charles develops a drinking problem and becomes increasingly abusive towards his sister. Francis begins to suffer panic attacks. Julian discovers the evidence in the form of a pleading letter sent to him by Bunny, imploring him to help: “You’re the only one who can.” Julian never reports the crime but instead leaves the college.

With the group splintered, the members deal with their crime, to a large extent, in isolation. Henry begins living and sleeping with Camilla, which drives Charles further into the grip of his barely controlled alcoholism. Henry is deeply upset by Julian’s departure, seeing it as an act of cowardice and hypocrisy. The plot reaches a climax when Charles, jealous of Henry and now a full-blown alcoholic, barges into Camilla and Henry’s hotel room and tries to kill Henry with Francis’ Beretta. In the struggle that follows, Henry gets hold of the gun as the inn-keeper pounds on the door. Aghast, the others are not sure whom he intends to kill. Instead, Henry kisses Camilla for a final time, and shoots himself. It seems that Henry wants to uphold the principles that he feels Julian has betrayed. With Henry’s suicide, the group disintegrates: Francis, a homosexual, is forced by his rich grandfather to marry a woman; Camilla takes care of her grandmother and ends up isolated; Charles runs from rehab with a married woman; Richard, the narrator, becomes a lonely academic whose love for Camilla is unrequited. Henry’s death is described as having cut the cord between them and set them all adrift. The book ends with Richard recounting a strange dream where he meets Henry in a tall atrium, and doesn’t know how to voice everything he feels about what has happened. Finally, he settles on asking him “Are you happy here?”; Henry replies, “Not particularly. But you’re not very happy where you are, either”, and walks away, leaving Richard as aimless as ever.

Themes

Michiko Kakutani (New York Times) commented, “In The Secret History, Ms. Tartt managed to make… melodramatic and bizarre events (involving Dionysian rites and intimations of satanic power) seem entirely plausible.” Because the author introduces the murder and those responsible at the outset, critic A.O. Scott labeled it “a murder mystery in reverse.” [2]

On a deeper level, highlighted by many literary references and allusions, the novel undertakes a complex analysis of truth versus beauty, aesthetics versus justice, social constraints compared to the desire for liberation, and an examination of the relationships that exist behind social structure, particularly relationships of power and control. Early on, the question arises: “Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.” This theme continues throughout the novel as Richard is repeatedly confronted with the separation of literary and artistic beauty as he would capture and report it, compared to reality as it unfolds.

Cross-references

Bret Easton Ellis‘s novel The Rules of Attraction is set at Camden College, a fictional liberal arts college in northeastern New Hampshire. In many ways, Camden mirrors Ellis’ alma mater, Bennington College, and Hampden College, the setting of Tartt’s The Secret History. Both books contain cross-references to each other’s storylines and characters. Tartt mentions the suicide of a freshman girl in passing, while Ellis repeatedly mentions a group of classics majors who “dress like undertakers” and are suspected of staging pagan rituals and slaying farmers in the countryside.

References

  1. ^ “The Marketing of a Cause Celebre” – The New York Times
  2. ^ Scott, A.O. “Harriet the Spy,” New York Times, November 3, 2002.

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Sarah Hall Ingram Deputy Commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division (TE/GE) Targeted Tea Party — Now In Charge of IRS Health Care Office — Mission Accomplished Got $100,000 bonuses between 2009 and 2012 — Got Obama Elected President! — Videos

Posted on May 16, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Constitution, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Security, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

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NAACP’s Leader Calls The Tea Party The Taliban Wing Of American Politics

Rand Paul Discusses IRS Scandal & Enemies List on Hannity – 5/13/13

Sarah Hall Ingram promoted to Obamacare boss!

Paul Ryan Rips The IRS On Fox News Sunday

Krauthammer Reacts To Trio Of Political Scandals Surrounding Obama Administration

May 16 Press Conference, Question on IRS scandal asked of the president, not answered

The I.R.S. Takes Aim at the Tea Party (David Keating)

The I.R.S. Abusing Americans Is Nothing New

The I.R.S. targeting of tea party groups in the United States is par for the course. It’s not the first time the agency has been used for partisan political ends. Whether or not the targeting was undertaken as a directive from the White House, the agency’s broad latitude in determining what constitutes partisan political activity is very problematic. The solutions offered by campaign finance reformers would unfortunately only give the agency more power.

Scarborough, Willie Geist Tear Into Obama Admin Over IRS Scandal ‘This Is Tyranny…’

Jon Stewart Destroys Obama Over IRS Scandal & Lack Of ‘Managerial Competence’

IRS chief: Disclosure of targeting was intentional 

Lois Lerner, IRS Official: I’m Not Good At Math

IRS Scandal: Lois Lerner In her own words 

Who knew what and when at the IRS?

Obama’s Enemies List 2.0 

PAUL RYAN Destroys IRS Commissioner Steven Miller at House Hearing

You are a conspiracy theorist if you blame Obama.

Obama’s 3 Major Scandals Explained

White House aide: ‘Nothing that suggests’ IRS official at center of scandal ‘did anything wrong’

By Ben Wolfgang

The Washington Times

A besieged White House dug in its heels Sunday and defended figures at the center of the unfolding Internal Revenue Service scandal while reiterating that President Obama knew nothing of the misdeeds inside the agency.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, appearing on four Sunday morning political talk shows, offered strong support for Sarah Hall Ingram, who led the agency’s tax-exempt division as it admittedly targeted conservative groups. She recently was promoted to chief of the health care reform office, tasked with implementing “Obamacare.”

Critics of the administration expect many more heads to roll as the true scope and intent of the IRS actions come to light, but Mr. Pfeiffer on Sunday strongly defended Ms. Ingram.

“No one has suggested that she did anything wrong yet,” Mr. Pfeiffer said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Before everyone in this town convicts this person in the court of public opinion with no evidence, let’s actually get the facts and make decisions after that. There’s nothing that suggests she did anything wrong,” he said.

Mr. Pfeiffer added that a top-down investigation of the IRS will examine Ms. Ingram’s 2009 to 2012 tenure as head of the tax-exempt division.

Other IRS authorities have paid the price for what officials on both sides of the aisle, along with a host of others, have described as outrageous behavior. Steven Miller, former acting IRS commissioner questioned by Congress last week, was pushed out by the president.

Ms. Ingram’s replacement, Joseph Grant, has announced his retirement despite taking the job only a few weeks ago.

By keeping Ms. Ingram in place — and giving her the controls of something as complex and controversial as Obamacare — the administration is adding fuel to an already raging fire.

Republicans and many others were skeptical of the federal government and its competence to implement health care reform, and Ms. Ingram’s involvement only generates more questions.

Many Republicans also say that when the smoke clears, the American public will learn that it was not merely rogue IRS employees who targeted tea party and other conservative groups. Rather, they argue, there was a policy directive to silence critics of the president, and some higher-level figure, whether it was Ms. Ingram or someone else, had to have been involved.

“I think we’re going to find that there’s a written policy that says we were targeting people who were opposed to the president. I can’t believe that one rogue agent started this. It seems to be too widespread,” said Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate.

His Republican colleague Sen. John Cornyn of Texas agreed that there must be more to the story.

“Bureaucrats don’t take risks unless they have a signal, either explicit or implicit, from their higher-ups that what you’re doing is exactly what we expect you to do,” he said during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I have a very hard time believing that this was something cooked up in Cincinnati by midlevel employees.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, called the situation “rotten to the core” and said the IRS ordeal gives the American people a chance to truly see “big government in practice.”

Many of the president’s fellow Democrats are fighting back on a different front. There is no defending the targeting of Americans based on political belief, but lawmakers increasingly are raising the broader issue of whether so many groups should be granted tax-exempt status.

“There’s a second scandal here, and that is that hundreds of millions have been used [by tax-exempt groups] that are supposed to be used as nonprofit social welfare entities for political purposes” said Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat, speaking on ABC’s “This Week.”

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, argued that IRS employees couldn’t have understood the complex laws governing which groups can be considered tax-exempt or how politically active they can be before they cross the line.

“This law lends itself to abuse,” he said, also appearing on ABC. “I don’t think that gang in Cincinnati had the slightest clue as to find out whether or not people making contributions were involved in politics or whether they were involved in social welfare.”

IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office

By John Parkinson and Steven Portnoy

The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.

Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.

Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.

As the House voted to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, House Speaker John Boehner expressed “serious concerns” that the IRS is empowered as the law’s chief enforcer.

“Fully repealing ObamaCare will help us build a stronger, healthier economy, and will clear the way for patient-centered reforms that lower health care costs and protect jobs,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

“Obamacare empowers the agency that just violated the public’s trust by secretly targeting conservative groups,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “Even by Washington’s standards, that’s unacceptable.”

Sen. John Cornyn even introduced a bill, the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013,” which would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, or any delegate, including the IRS, from enforcing the Affordable Care Act.

“Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans’ health care,” Cornyn, R-Texas, stated. “I do not support Obamacare, and after the events of last week, I cannot support giving the IRS any more responsibility or taxpayer dollars to implement a broken law.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also reacted to the revelation late Thursday, stating the news was “stunning, just stunning.”

ABC News’ Abby D. Phillip contributed to this report.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/irs-official-in-charge-during-tea-party-targeting-now-runs-health-care-office/

Who Is Sarah Hall Ingram?

IRS Commissioner Ingram on Nonprofit Governance

June, 2009 –Sarah Hall Ingram, the new commissioner of the IRS TE/GE (Tax-exempt and Government Entities) division of the IRS, spoke on June 23 at Georgetown’s Continuing Legal Education program about the IRS role in nonprofit governance. In the speech, Ingram identified four general principles that she believes are essential to good nonprofit governance:

A foundational principle is that the organization should clearly understand and publicly express its mission. This helps assure that the organization provides a public benefit and does not drift away from a charitable purpose. It helps an organization avoid practices that are inconsistent with tax-exempt status.
Equally important is the principle that the organization’s board should be engaged, informed and independent. The board should have real responsibility and authority. It must, for example, be able to implement, in the life of the organization, the rules against inurement and self-dealing.
Another set of key good governance principles are those relating to the proper use and safeguarding of assets. These principles are supported by policies and practices that address executive compensation, that protect against conflicts of interest, and that support independent financial reviews.
Transparency is another key principle. I believe that board decisions should be reflected in minutes, that records supporting decisions should be retained for reasonable periods, that whistleblowers should be protected, and that each year’s Form 990 should be complete, accurate and prepared in good faith.

Ingram insisted that the IRS would not create a “one size fits all” definition of governance, but strongly reaffirmed the IRS’s role in governance issues: “Another principle I will follow is that the IRS has a clear, unambiguous role to play in governance.”   While I have some doubts about the extent to which the IRS should be active in governance matters, it is hard to argue with Ingram’s view that certain core exemption issues (executive pay, other private inurement, political activity, etc.) do involve governance processes.  It will be interesting to see how the IRS’s role in governance evolves under Ingram’s leadership.

To read Commissioner Ingram’s full address go to http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/ingram__gtown__governance_062309.pdf

http://www.mapfornonprofits.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={136E71A8-5197-4841-B935-541944239E23}

IRS Announces Appointment of Sarah Hall Ingram as Chief, Appeals

IR-2006-59, April 11, 2006

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced that Sarah Hall Ingram has been appointed to the position of Chief, Appeals. Ingram will replace David Robison, effective May 7.

As the head of the agency’s Appeals division, Ingram will be responsible for overseeing the operations of an administrative forum for taxpayers contesting an IRS compliance action. The Appeals mission is to resolve tax disputes without litigation; it provides an independent administrative appeal process for all taxpayers.

“I’m pleased Sarah Hall Ingram will be stepping into the position of Chief, Appeals,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “Her broad legal and technical experience will serve the IRS well as she assumes this important post.”

Since July 2004, Ingram has been serving as Deputy Commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division (TE/GE). Ingram began her career with the IRS in the former Tax Litigation Division in 1982. She became Employee Plans Litigation Counsel in 1987, providing litigation coordination nationwide for employee benefit cases. In 1992, Ingram became Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, Employee Benefits and Exempt Organizations (EBEO), where she served until her 1994 appointment as Associate Chief Counsel, EBEO. As part of the IRS Modernization program, Ingram was appointed in 1999 to the new position of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel, TE/GE, where she was responsible for providing legal services to the TE/GE Division and its customers as well as other parts of the IRS.

Ingram received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1979 and her J.D. in 1982 from Georgetown University Law School. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

Everson also expressed his thanks to Robison, who will retire May 6, after serving 35 years with the IRS.

“David’s service as the Chief, Appeals, for the past four years has been exemplary,” Everson said. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Previously, Robison served in numerous positions involving corporate and international taxation. Last year Robison was selected by Everson to coordinate IRS support for President Bush’s Tax Reform Panel.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/IRS-Announces-Appointment-of-Sarah-Hall-Ingram-as-Chief,-Appeals

IRS targets conservative groups

By Dan Keating and Darla Cameron, Published: May 15, 2013

The IRS grants tax-exempt status to 40,000 nonprofit groups per year. When the IRS began targeting conservative groups’ applications in 2011, nonprofit approvals for groups with tea party or 9-12 in their name stopped entirely. Five groups with those names had been approved in 2009 and 2010, but zero were approved in 2011. After policy reconsideration in 2012, the backlog was broken and 27 groups were approved, mostly in the second half of the year.

The slowdown was evident with other conservative-sounding groups, as well. Thirty-seven groups with the words patriot or constitution had been approved in 2009 and 2010, but only 10 were approved in 2011. Once again, the backlog was relieved in 2012 with 29 approvals.

On the other hand, groups with the word progressive in their names suffered no similar slowdown pattern. The number of approvals increased each year from 17 in 2009 to 20 in 2012. Read related article.

Republicans Expand I.R.S. Inquiry, With Eye on White House

Congressional Republicans, not resting with the Internal Revenue Service scandal, are moving to broaden the matter to an array of tax malfeasances and “intimidation tactics” they hope will ensnare the White House.

Republican charges range from clearly questionable actions to seemingly specious allegations, and they grow by the day. On Friday, lawmakers sought to tie the I.R.S. matter to the carrying out of President Obama’s health care law, which will rely heavily on the agency. Whether they succeed holds significant ramifications for Mr. Obama, who will soon know if he is dealing with a late spring thunderstorm that may soon blow over or a consuming squall that will leave lasting damage.

Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan, the usually mild-mannered chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, set the tone Friday at Congress’s first hearing on the targeting of conservative groups by the I.R.S., laying out details, from the alleged threatening of donors to conservative nonprofit groups to the leaking of confidential I.R.S. documents.

In that context, he said, the screening of Tea Party groups for special scrutiny was not the scandal itself but “just the latest example of a culture of cover-ups — and political intimidation — in this administration.”

“It seems like the truth is hidden from the American people just long enough to make it through an election,” Mr. Camp said.

Taken aback, the ranking Democrat on the committee, Representative Sander M. Levin of Michigan, modified his prepared remarks to warn, “If this hearing becomes essentially a bootstrap to continue the campaign of 2012 and to prepare for 2014, we will be making a very, very serious mistake.”

Republicans raised a long list of issues. Mr. Camp contended, for instance, that a White House official’s divulging of a private company’s tax status constituted “a clear intimidation tactic.” The 2010 incident involved an offhand comment by the White House economist Austan Goolsbee that Koch Industries had not paid corporate income taxes because it pays taxes through the personal income tax code. As it turned out, that was not true, but the assertion was made in a discussion of tax reform ideas, not politics.

The Republicans also criticized the publication of donors to the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage. That donors list surfaced mysteriously in March 2012 from a whistle-blower whose identity is still unknown. The whistle-blower apparently obtained it by simply requesting it from the I.R.S.

Linkage to the health care law came through Sarah Hall Ingram, a longtime I.R.S. official who has headed the agency’s program to carry out the Affordable Care Act since December 2010. Before that, she led the I.R.S.’s tax-exempt and government-entities division, which contained the political targeting effort.

“This is an audit, and it’s helpful,” Representative Tim Griffin, Republican of Arkansas, said of the investigation of I.R.S. targeting by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, “but it’s the tip of the iceberg.”

But the inspector general made clear that effort did not reach the attention of high-level I.R.S. officials until 2011 at the earliest.

The inspector general gave Republicans some fodder Friday when he divulged that he informed the Treasury’s general counsel he was auditing the I.R.S.’s screening of politically active groups seeking tax exemptions on June 4, 2012. He told Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin “shortly after,” he said. That meant Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

The disclosure last summer came as part of a routine briefing of the investigations that the inspector general would be conducting in the coming year, and he did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper, he said.

Treasury officials stressed they did not know the results until March 2013, when the inspector presented a draft.

“Treasury strongly supports the independent oversight of its three inspectors general, and it does not interfere in ongoing I.G. audits,” the department said in a statement Friday evening.

Still, Inspector General J. Russell George’s testimony fueled efforts by Congressional Republicans to ensnare Mr. Obama in the scandals suddenly swirling over the White House. Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who joined the national ticket as the vice-presidential nominee last year, said of the revelation, “That raises a big question.”

Republicans hit hard on the divulging of confidential tax information, hinting of intimidation not only by the I.R.S. but also by the White House.

In March 2012, the Human Rights Campaign and The Huffington Post made public confidential tax documents from the National Organization for Marriage. The Human Rights Campaign said it obtained the documents from a “whistle-blower” who mailed them to the gay rights group’s Washington headquarters.

In a similar incident, ProPublica, an investigative journalism Web site, asked the I.R.S.’s Cincinnati office for the applications of 67 nonprofits, both liberal and conservative. When the I.R.S. responded, it inadvertently included applications for nine conservative groups that had not yet been granted tax-exempt status, a violation of confidentiality law.

When ProPublica realized what it had — including the application from Crossroads GPS, the conservative group founded by Karl Rove and other Republican strategists — it alerted the I.R.S., which warned the journalists that “publishing unauthorized returns or return information was a felony” punishable by up to five years in prison. ProPublica ProPublica redacted certain details and published the documents anyway.

Representative Peter Roskam, Republican of Illinois, hit on a different explanation. “On the one hand, you’re arguing today that the I.R.S. is not corrupt, but the subtext of that is you’re saying, ‘Look, we’re just incompetent,’ ” Mr. Roskam said. “It is a perilous pathway to go down.”

One release that turned out to be advertent was last Friday’s disclosure of the agency’s conservative targeting. Steven Miller, the ousted acting commissioner of the I.R.S., confessed that the agency’s apology was prompted by a question planted by the agency at an American Bar Association meeting. At that meeting, Lois Lerner, the head of the I.R.S.’s division overseeing tax-exempt organizations, was asked about an inquiry into the targeting issue, eliciting an apology that quickly leaked out of the closed-door session. The I.R.S. then scrambled to issue a formal release on the issue.

Mr. Miller divulged that the exchange was not an impromptu apology but a planned exchange between Ms. Lerner and Celia Roady, a tax lawyer at the Washington office of the Morgan Lewis law firm. That revelation only underscored the ham-handed way the scandal has burst into view.

Under fire, Mr. Miller called the agency’s targeting of conservative groups “obnoxious,” but he told the House Ways and Means Committee it was not motivated by partisanship. And in testy exchanges, he said he had not misled Congress, even though he did not divulge the targeting efforts of a Cincinnati unit examining 70,000 applications for tax exemption.

He called the group’s centralization of applications from groups with names that included the words “Tea Party” or “patriots” simply “foolish mistakes” that “were made by people trying to be more efficient in their workload selection.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/us/politics/irs-scandal-congressional-hearings.html?pagewanted=2&_r=3&hp

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Obama’s CIA Covert Action Operations Provides Arms and Death Squads From Benghazi, Libya to Syria — Graphic Video of Executions — The Consequences of Obama’s Responsibility To Protect Foreign Policy — Sharia Law At Work — World War III? — Video

Posted on May 16, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Rants, Raves, Religion, Strategy, Talk Radio, Terrorism, Video, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Syrian_Reblels_Execution

First They Killed Four Americans In Benghazi, Libya–Now They Are Killing Syrians

 The Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda At Work

FSA Alqaeda Terrorists execute 28 Syrian prisoners

Syrian Rebels Burning Whole Village in Daraa | Syria War

Ron Paul Stop Giving Weapons To Terrorist Rebels In Syria

SYRIA CNBC: Benghazi Is Not About Libya But An Operation To Put Arms & Men In Syria

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

SYRIA Geraldo Rivera: My Sources Say The US Running Libya Arms To Syrian Rebels

SYRIA Rand Paul “Maybe We Were Facilitating Arms Leaving Libya Going Through Turkey Into Syria”

Rand Paul asks Hillary Clinton About Involvement in Transferring Weapons to Turkey out of Libya

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

FMR CIA Chief on ‘Benghazi-Gate’: “The Democrats Are Very Good At Watching People Die”

‘Benghazi: The Definitive Report’ 02/19/13

Special Report investigates: DEATH AND DECEIT IN BENGHAZI w/Bret Baier 10/19/2012

 

The Project parts 1-2, FULL video

(1/2) Glenn Beck – Muslim Brotherhood

(2/2) Glenn Beck – Muslim Brotherhood

Glenn Beck: Shariah, the Muslim Brotherhood & the Threat to America

Frank Gaffney and Gen. Jerry Boykin join Erick Stakelbeck and Glenn Beck on GBTV to discuss the rise of the new caliphate and creeping shariah. Boykin and Gaffney are authors of Shariah: The Threat to America, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Shariah-America…

Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood

Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front Now Dominant Partner in “Free Syrian Army”

Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front Now Dominant Partner in “Free Syrian Army”; Kerry Sends Death Squad Expert Ambassador Ford to Support Gen. Idriss, CIA’s New Golden Boy

The Middle East ‘CIA death squads behind Syria bloodbath’

SYRIAN CRISIS: 95% of REBEL fighters NOT Syrian! FM accuses WEST of supporting TERRORISM! [WW3]

SYRIAN WAR OUTCOME [CrossTalk]

BBC HARDtalk – Joseph Nye – Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense (13/5/13)

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.

By C. J. CHIVERS and ERIC SCHMITT

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

As it evolved, the airlift correlated with shifts in the war within Syria, as rebels drove Syria’s army from territory by the middle of last year. And even as the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels, the involvement of the C.I.A. in the arms shipments — albeit mostly in a consultative role, American officials say — has shown that the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.

From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. The C.I.A. declined to comment on the shipments or its role in them.

The shipments also highlight the competition for Syria’s future between Sunni Muslim states and Iran, the Shiite theocracy that remains Mr. Assad’s main ally. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraq on Sunday to do more to halt Iranian arms shipments through its airspace; he did so even as the most recent military cargo flight from Qatar for the rebels landed at Esenboga early Sunday night.

Syrian opposition figures and some American lawmakers and officials have argued that Russian and Iranian arms shipments to support Mr. Assad’s government have made arming the rebels more necessary.

Most of the cargo flights have occurred since November, after the presidential election in the United States and as the Turkish and Arab governments grew more frustrated by the rebels’ slow progress against Mr. Assad’s well-equipped military. The flights also became more frequent as the humanitarian crisis inside Syria deepened in the winter and cascades of refugees crossed into neighboring countries.

The Turkish government has had oversight over much of the program, down to affixing transponders to trucks ferrying the military goods through Turkey so it might monitor shipments as they move by land into Syria, officials said. The scale of shipments was very large, according to officials familiar with the pipeline and to an arms-trafficking investigator who assembled data on the cargo planes involved.

“A conservative estimate of the payload of these flights would be 3,500 tons of military equipment,” said Hugh Griffiths, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, who monitors illicit arms transfers.

“The intensity and frequency of these flights,” he added, are “suggestive of a well-planned and coordinated clandestine military logistics operation.”

Although rebel commanders and the data indicate that Qatar and Saudi Arabia had been shipping military materials via Turkey to the opposition since early and late 2012, respectively, a major hurdle was removed late last fall after the Turkish government agreed to allow the pace of air shipments to accelerate, officials said.

Simultaneously, arms and equipment were being purchased by Saudi Arabia in Croatia and flown to Jordan on Jordanian cargo planes for rebels working in southern Syria and for retransfer to Turkey for rebels groups operating from there, several officials said.

These multiple logistics streams throughout the winter formed what one former American official who was briefed on the program called “a cataract of weaponry.”

American officials, rebel commanders and a Turkish opposition politician have described the Arab roles as an open secret, but have also said the program is freighted with risk, including the possibility of drawing Turkey or Jordan actively into the war and of provoking military action by Iran.

Still, rebel commanders have criticized the shipments as insufficient, saying the quantities of weapons they receive are too small and the types too light to fight Mr. Assad’s military effectively. They also accused those distributing the weapons of being parsimonious or corrupt.

“The outside countries give us weapons and bullets little by little,” said Abdel Rahman Ayachi, a commander in Soquor al-Sham, an Islamist fighting group in northern Syria.

He made a gesture as if switching on and off a tap. “They open and they close the way to the bullets like water,” he said.

Two other commanders, Hassan Aboud of Soquor al-Sham and Abu Ayman of Ahrar al-Sham, another Islamist group, said that whoever was vetting which groups receive the weapons was doing an inadequate job.

“There are fake Free Syrian Army brigades claiming to be revolutionaries, and when they get the weapons they sell them in trade,” Mr. Aboud said.

The former American official noted that the size of the shipments and the degree of distributions are voluminous.

“People hear the amounts flowing in, and it is huge,” he said. “But they burn through a million rounds of ammo in two weeks.”

A Tentative Start

The airlift to Syrian rebels began slowly. On Jan. 3, 2012, months after the crackdown by the Alawite-led government against antigovernment demonstrators had morphed into a military campaign, a pair of Qatar Emiri Air Force C-130 transport aircraft touched down in Istanbul, according to air traffic data.

They were a vanguard.

Weeks later, the Syrian Army besieged Homs, Syria’s third largest city. Artillery and tanks pounded neighborhoods. Ground forces moved in.

Across the country, the army and loyalist militias were trying to stamp out the rebellion with force — further infuriating Syria’s Sunni Arab majority, which was severely outgunned. The rebels called for international help, and more weapons.

By late midspring the first stream of cargo flights from an Arab state began, according to air traffic data and information from plane spotters.

On a string of nights from April 26 through May 4, a Qatari Air Force C-17 — a huge American-made cargo plane — made six landings in Turkey, at Esenboga Airport. By Aug. 8 the Qataris had made 14 more cargo flights. All came from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, a hub for American military logistics in the Middle East.

Qatar has denied providing any arms to the rebels. A Qatari official, who requested anonymity, said Qatar has shipped in only what he called nonlethal aid. He declined to answer further questions. It is not clear whether Qatar has purchased and supplied the arms alone or is also providing air transportation service for other donors. But American and other Western officials, and rebel commanders, have said Qatar has been an active arms supplier — so much so that the United States became concerned about some of the Islamist groups that Qatar has armed.

The Qatari flights aligned with the tide-turning military campaign by rebel forces in the northern province of Idlib, as their campaign of ambushes, roadside bombs and attacks on isolated outposts began driving Mr. Assad’s military and supporting militias from parts of the countryside.

As flights continued into the summer, the rebels also opened an offensive in that city — a battle that soon bogged down.

The former American official said David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director until November, had been instrumental in helping to get this aviation network moving and had prodded various countries to work together on it. Mr. Petraeus did not return multiple e-mails asking for comment.

The American government became involved, the former American official said, in part because there was a sense that other states would arm the rebels anyhow. The C.I.A. role in facilitating the shipments, he said, gave the United States a degree of influence over the process, including trying to steer weapons away from Islamist groups and persuading donors to withhold portable antiaircraft missiles that might be used in future terrorist attacks on civilian aircraft.

American officials have confirmed that senior White House officials were regularly briefed on the shipments. “These countries were going to do it one way or another,” the former official said. “They weren’t asking for a ‘Mother, may I?’ from us. But if we could help them in certain ways, they’d appreciate that.”

Through the fall, the Qatari Air Force cargo fleet became even more busy, running flights almost every other day in October. But the rebels were clamoring for even more weapons, continuing to assert that they lacked the firepower to fight a military armed with tanks, artillery, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft.

Many were also complaining, saying they were hearing from arms donors that the Obama administration was limiting their supplies and blocking the distribution of the antiaircraft and anti-armor weapons they most sought. These complaints continue.

“Arming or not arming, lethal or nonlethal — it all depends on what America says,” said Mohammed Abu Ahmed, who leads a band of anti-Assad fighters in Idlib Province.

The Breakout

Soon, other players joined the airlift: In November, three Royal Jordanian Air Force C-130s landed in Esenboga, in a hint at what would become a stepped-up Jordanian and Saudi role.

Within three weeks, two other Jordanian cargo planes began making a round-trip run between Amman, the capital of Jordan, and Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, where, officials from several countries said, the aircraft were picking up a large Saudi purchase of infantry arms from a Croatian-controlled stockpile.

The first flight returned to Amman on Dec. 15, according to intercepts of a transponder from one of the aircraft recorded by a plane spotter in Cyprus and air traffic control data from an aviation official in the region.

In all, records show that two Jordanian Ilyushins bearing the logo of the Jordanian International Air Cargo firm but flying under Jordanian military call signs made a combined 36 round-trip flights between Amman and Croatia from December through February. The same two planes made five flights between Amman and Turkey this January.

As the Jordanian flights were under way, the Qatari flights continued and the Royal Saudi Air Force began a busy schedule, too — making at least 30 C-130 flights into Esenboga from mid-February to early March this year, according to flight data provided by a regional air traffic control official.

Several of the Saudi flights were spotted coming and going at Ankara by civilians, who alerted opposition politicians in Turkey.

“The use of Turkish airspace at such a critical time, with the conflict in Syria across our borders, and by foreign planes from countries that are known to be central to the conflict, defines Turkey as a party in the conflict,” said Attilla Kart, a member of the Turkish Parliament from the C.H.P. opposition party, who confirmed details about several Saudi shipments. “The government has the responsibility to respond to these claims.”

Turkish and Saudi Arabian officials declined to discuss the flights or any arms transfers. The Turkish government has not officially approved military aid to Syrian rebels.

Croatia and Jordan both denied any role in moving arms to the Syrian rebels. Jordanian aviation officials went so far as to insist that no cargo flights occurred.

The director of cargo for Jordanian International Air Cargo, Muhammad Jubour, insisted on March 7 that his firm had no knowledge of any flights to or from Croatia.

“This is all lies,” he said. “We never did any such thing.”

A regional air traffic official who has been researching the flights confirmed the flight data, and offered an explanation. “Jordanian International Air Cargo,” the official said, “is a front company for Jordan’s air force.”

After being informed of the air-traffic control and transponder data that showed the plane’s routes, Mr. Jubour, from the cargo company, claimed that his firm did not own any Ilyushin cargo planes.

Asked why his employer’s Web site still displayed images of two Ilyushin-76MFs and text claiming they were part of the company fleet, Mr. Jubour had no immediate reply. That night the company’s Web site was taken down.

Reporting was contributed by Robert F. Worth from Washington and Istanbul; Dan Bilefsky from Paris; and Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey.

A version of this article appeared in print on March 25, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Airlift To Rebels In Syria Expands With C.I.A.’S Help.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Muslim Brotherhood

The Society of the Muslim Brothers  (Arabic: جماعة الإخوان المسلمين‎, often simply: الإخوان المسلمون, the Muslim Brotherhood, transliterated: al-ʾIkḫwān al-Muslimūn) is the Arab world’s most influential and one of the largest Islamic movements, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states.[1][2] Founded in Egypt in 1928[3] as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna,[4][5][6][7] by the end of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had an estimated two million members.[8] Its ideas had gained supporters throughout the Arab world and influenced other Islamist groups with its “model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work”.[9]

The Brotherhood’s stated goal is to instill the Qur’an and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for …ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community … and state.” The organization seeks to make Muslim countries become Islamic caliphates and to isolate women and non-Muslims from public life.[10] The movement is also known for engaging in political violence. They were responsible for creating Hamas, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, who grew to infamy for its suicide bombings of Israelis during the first and second intifada.[10] Muslim brotherhood members are suspected to have assasinated political opponents like Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha.[9][10][11]

The Muslim Brotherhood started as a religious social organization; preaching Islam, teaching the illiterate, setting up hospitals and even launching commercial enterprises. As it continued to rise in influence, starting in 1936, it began to oppose British rule in Egypt.[12] Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of violent killings during this period.[13] After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organisation and arrested its members.[12] It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt’s president it was once again banned and repressed.[14] The Muslim Brotherhood has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre.[15]

The Muslim Brotherhood is financed by contributions from its members, who are required to allocate a portion of their income to the movement. Some of these contributions are from members who work in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich countries.[16]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_brotherhood

Al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda (pron.: /ælˈkaɪdə/ al-KY-də; Arabic: القاعدة‎ al-qāʿidah, Arabic: [ælqɑːʕɪdɐ], translation: “The Base” and alternatively spelled al-Qaida and sometimes al-Qa’ida) is a global militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden at some point between August 1988[21] and late 1989,[22] with its origins being traceable to the Soviet War in Afghanistan.[23] It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army[24] and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad and a strict interpretation of sharia law. It has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and various other countries (see below). Al-Qaeda has carried out several attacks on non-Muslims,[25][26] and other targets it considers kafir.[27]

Al-Qaeda has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, including the September 11 attacks, 1998 U.S. embassy bombings and the 2002 Bali bombings. The U.S. government responded to the September 11 attacks by launching the War on Terror. With the loss of key leaders, culminating in the death of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s operations have devolved from actions that were controlled from the top-down, to actions by franchise associated groups, to actions of lone wolf operators.

Characteristic techniques employed by al-Qaeda include suicide attacks and simultaneous bombings of different targets.[28] Activities ascribed to it may involve members of the movement, who have taken a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, or the much more numerous “al-Qaeda-linked” individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan, but who have not taken any pledge.[29] Al-Qaeda ideologues envision a complete break from all foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new world-wide Islamic caliphate.[3][30][31] Among the beliefs ascribed to Al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam.[32] As Salafist jihadists, they believe that the killing of civilians is religiously sanctioned, and they ignore any aspect of religious scripture which might be interpreted as forbidding the murder of civilians and internecine fighting.[9][33] Al-Qaeda also opposes man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.[34]

Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims.[35] Al-Qaeda is intolerant of non-Sunni branches of Islam and denounces them by means of excommunications called “takfir”. Al-Qaeda leaders regard liberal Muslims, Shias, Sufis and other sects as heretics and have attacked their mosques and gatherings.[36] Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura Massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.[37]

Alawites

The Alawites, also known as Alawis, Nusayris and Ansaris (ʿAlawīyyah (Arabic: علوية‎), Nuṣayrī (Arabic: نصيريون‎), and al-Anṣāriyyah) are a prominent mystical[8] religious group centred in Syria who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam.[9][10][11] They were long persecuted for their beliefs by the various rulers of Syria, until Hafez al-Assad took power there in 1970.

Today they represent 12% of the Syrian population and for the past 50 years the political system has been dominated by an elite led by the Alawite Assad family. During the Syrian civil war, this rule has come under significant pressure.

Etymology

The Alawites take their name from Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin of Muḥammad,[12] who was considered the first Shi’a Imam and the fourth “Rightly Guided Caliph” of Sunni Islam.

Until fairly recently, Alawites were referred to as “Nusairis”, after Abu Shu’ayb Muhammad ibn Nusayr (d. ca 270 h, 863 AD) who is reported to have attended the circles of the last three Imams of the prophet Muhammad’s line. This name is considered offensive, and they refer to themselves as Alawites.[page needed][13] They have allegedly “generally preferred” to be called Alawites, because of the association of the name with Ali ibn Abi Talib, rather than commemorating Abu Shu’ayb Muhammad Ibn Nusayr. In September 1920 French occupational forces instituted the policy of referring to them by the term Alaouites.

In official sources they are often referred to as Ansaris, as this is how they referred to themselves, according to the Reverend Samuel Lyde, who lived among Alawites in the mid-19th century. Other sources state that “Ansari”, as referring to Alawites, is simply a Western mis-transliteration of “Nosairi”.[page needed][14][15]

Alawites are separate from the Alevi religious sect in Turkey, but the terms share similar etymologies, and are often confused by outsiders.[16][17]

History

he origin of the Alawites is disputed. The Alawites themselves trace their origins to the followers of the eleventh Imām, Hassan al-‘Askarī (d. 873), and his pupil ibn Nuṣayr (d. 868).[18] The sect seems to have been organised by a follower of Muḥammad ibn Nuṣayr known as al-Khasibi, who died in Aleppo about 969. In 1032 Al-Khaṣībī’s grandson and pupil al-Tabarani moved to Latakia, which was then controlled by the Byzantine Empire. Al-Tabarani became the perfector of the Alawite faith through his numerous writings. He and his pupils converted the rural population of the Syrian Coastal Mountain Range to the Alawite faith.[19]

In the 19th century and early 20th century, some Western scholars believed Alawites to be descended from ancient Middle Eastern peoples such as Canaanites and Hittites.[page needed][20][21]

Under the Ottoman Empire

Under the Ottoman Empire they were often ill treated,[22] and they resisted an attempt to convert them to Sunni Islam.[23] The Alawites were traditionally good fighters, revolted against the Ottomans on several occasions, and maintained virtual autonomy in their mountains.[24] In his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T. E. Lawrence wrote:

“The sect, vital in itself, was clannish in feeling and politics. One Nosairi would not betray another, and would hardly not betray an unbeliever. Their villages lay in patches down the main hills to the Tripoli gap. They spoke Arabic, but had lived there since the beginning of Greek letters in Syria. Usually they stood aside from affairs, and left the Turkish Government alone in hope of reciprocity.”[25]

On the other hand, throughout the 18th century a number of Alawite notables were engaged as local Ottoman tax farmers (multazim). In the 19th century, some Alawites also supported the Ottomans against the Egyptian occupation (1831–1840),[26] while individual Alawites made careers in the Ottoman army or as Ottoman governors.[27] In the early part of the 20th century, the mainly Sunni notables sat on wealth and dominated politics, while Alawites lived as poor peasants.[28][29] Alawites were not allowed to testify in court until after World War I.[30]

French Mandate period

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Syria and Lebanon came under a French mandate. On December 15, 1918, prominent Alawite leader Saleh al-Ali called for a meeting of Alawite notables in the town of Sheikh Badr, and urged them to revolt and expel the French from Syria. When the French authorities heard of the meeting, they sent a force in order to arrest Saleh al-Ali. Al-Ali and his men ambushed them, and the French forces were defeated and suffered more than 35 casualties.[31] After the initial victory, al-Ali started to organize his Alawite rebels into a disciplined force, with its own general command and military ranks, which resulted in the Syrian Revolt of 1919.[31][32]

In 1919, Al-Ali retaliated to French attacks against rebel positions by attacking and occupying al-Qadmus, from which the French conducted their military operations against him.[31] In November, General Henri Gouraud mounted a full-fledged campaign against Saleh al-Ali’s forces in the An-Nusayriyah Mountains. They entered al-Ali’s village of al-Shaykh Badr and arrested many Alawi notables. Al-Ali fled to the north, but a large French force overran his positions and al-Ali went underground.[31]

Alawite State

When the French finally occupied Syria in 1920, they recognized the term Alaouites, i.e. “Alawites”, gave autonomy to them and other minority groups, and accepted them into their colonial troops.[33] On 2 September 1920 an Alawite State was created in the coastal and mountain country comprising Alawite villages; the French justified this separation with the “backwardness” of the mountain-dwelling people, religiously distinct from the surrounding Sunni population. It was a division meant to protect the Alawite people from more powerful majorities.[34] Under the mandate, many Alawite chieftains supported the notion of a separate Alawite nation and tried to convert their autonomy into independence. The French encouraged Alawites to join their military force, in part to provide a counterweight to the Sunni majority, which was more hostile to their rule. According to a 1935 letter by the French minister of war, the French considered the Alawites, along with the Druze, as the only “warlike races” in the mandate territories, as excellent soldiers, and the communities from where they could recruit their best troops.[35]

The region was both coastal and mountainous, and home to a mostly rural, highly heterogeneous population. During the French Mandate period, society was divided by religion and geography: the landowning families of the port city of Latakia, and 80% of the population of the city, were Sunni Muslim. However, more than 90% of the population of the province was rural, 62% being Alawite peasantry.[36] In May 1930, the Alawite State was renamed “the Government of Latakia”, the only concession the French made to Arab nationalists until 1936.[36] There was a great deal of Alawite separatist sentiment in the region,[36] as evidenced by a letter dating to 1936 and signed by 80 Alawi notables and was addressed to the French Prime Minister stating that “Alawite people rejected attachment to Syria and wished to stay under French protection.” Among the signatories was Sulayman Ali al-Assad, the father of Hafez al-Assad who would later become president of the country, and grandfather of Bashar al-Assad, the current president.[37] However, these political views could not be coordinated into a unified voice. This was attributed to the majority of Alawites being peasants “exploited by a predominantly Sunni landowning class resident in Latakia and Hama”.[36] Nevertheless, on 3 December 1936 (effective in 1937), the Alawite State was re-incorporated into Syria as a concession by the French to the Nationalist Bloc, the party in power of the semi-autonomous Syrian government.[38]

In 1939 a portion of northwest Syria, the Sanjak of Alexandretta, now Hatay, that contained a large number of Alawites, was given to Turkey by the French following a plebiscite carried out in the province under the guidance of League of Nations which favored joining Turkey. However, this development greatly angered the Alawite community and Syrians in general. In 1938, the Turkish military had gone into Alexandretta and expelled most of its Arab and Armenian inhabitants.[39] Before this, Alawite Arabs and Armenians were the majority of the province’s population.[39] Zaki al-Arsuzi, the young Alawite leader from Iskandarun province in the Sanjak of Alexandretta, who led the resistance to the annexation of his province to the Turks, later became a co-founder of the Ba’ath Party along with the Eastern Orthodox Christian schoolteacher Michel Aflaq and Sunni politician Salah al-Din al-Bitar when his Arab Ba’ath merged with their Arab Ba’ath Movement . After World War II, Salman Al Murshid played a major role in uniting the Alawite province with Syria. He was executed by the newly independent Syrian government in Damascus on December 12, 1946 only three days after a hasty political trial.

After Syrian independence

Syria became independent on April 17, 1946. In 1949, following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Syria endured a succession of military coups and the rise of the Ba’ath Party. In 1958, Syria and Egypt were united through a political agreement into the United Arab Republic. The UAR lasted for three years. In 1961, it broke apart when a group of army officers seized power and declared Syria independent anew.

A further succession of coups ensued until, in 1963, a secretive military committee, which included a number of disgruntled Alawite officers, including Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid, helped the Ba’ath Party seize power. In 1966, Alawite-affiliated military officers successfully rebelled and expelled the old Ba’ath that had looked to the founders of the Ba’ath Party, the Greek Orthodox Christian Michel Aflaq and the Sunni Muslim Salah al-Din al-Bitar, for leadership. They promoted Zaki al-Arsuzi as the “Socrates” of their reconstituted Ba’ath Party.

The al-Assad family

In 1970, then Air Force General, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, took power and instigated a “Correctionist Movement” in the Ba’ath Party. The coup of 1970 ended the political instability that had lasted since the arrival of independence.[40] Robert D. Kaplan has compared Hafez al-Assad’s coming to power to “an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia—an unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries.”[33] In 1971, al-Assad declared himself president of Syria, a position the constitution at the time allowed only for Sunni Muslims to hold. In 1973, a new constitution was adopted that omitted the old requirement that the religion of the state be Islam and replaced it with the statement that the religion of the republic’s president is Islam. Protests erupted when this was known.[41] In 1974, in order to satisfy this constitutional requirement, Musa Sadr, a leader of the Twelvers of Lebanon and founder of the Amal Movement who had earlier sought to unite Lebanese Alawites and Shi’ites under the Supreme Islamic Shi’ite Council without success,[42] issued a fatwa stating that Alawites were a community of Twelver Shi’ite Muslims.[43][44] Under the authoritarian but secular Assad government, religious minorities were tolerated more than before, but political dissidents were not. In 1982 when the Muslim Brotherhood mounted an anti-government Islamist insurgency, Hafez Assad staged a military offensive against them which has since been referred to as the Hama massacre.

Beliefs

Alawites celebrating a festival in Banyas, Syria, during World War II

The Alawites derive their beliefs from the Prophets of Islam, from the Quran, and from the books of the Imams from the Ahlulbayt such as the Nahj al-Balagha by Ali ibn Abu Talib. Alawites are self-described Shi’ite Muslims, and have been recognised as such by Shi’ite authorities such as Ayatollah Khomeini and the influential Lebanese Shi’ite cleric Musa al-Sadr of Lebanon.[43][45] The prominent Sunni Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni also issued a fatwah recognizing them as part of the Muslim community in the interest of Arab nationalism.[46][47] Some Sunni scholars such as Ibn Kathir, on the other hand, have categorized Alawites as pagans in their religious works[48] and documents.[22] At least one source has compared them to Baha’is, Babis, Bektashis, Ahmadis, and “similar groups that have arisen within the Muslim community”.[49]

Heterodox

Alawite man in Latakia, early 20th century

Some tenets of the faith may be secret and known only to a select few Alawis. [22][50] Alawis may have integrated doctrines from other religions (syncretism), in particular from Ismaili Islam and Christianity.[8][22][44] Alawis are reported to celebrate certain Christian festivals, “in their own way”,[44] including Christmas, Easter, and Palm Sunday.[33] The claim that Alawis believe Ali is a deity has been contested by scholars.[51] By some accounts, Alawis believe in reincarnation.[52]

Orthodox

Alawi women in Syria, early 20th century

Some sources have suggested that the non-Muslim nature of some of the historical Alawite beliefs, notwithstanding, Alawite beliefs may have changed in recent decades. In the early 1970s a booklet entitled “al-`Alawiyyun Shi’atu Ahl al-Bait” (“The Alawites are Followers of the Household of the Prophet”), was issued in which doctrines of the Imami Shi’ah were described as Alawite, and which was “signed by numerous `Alawi` men of religion”.[53]

A scholar suggests that factors such as the high profile of Alawites in Syria, the strong aversion of the Muslim majority to apostasy, and the relative lack of importance of religious doctrine to Alawite identity may have induced Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad and his successor son to press their fellow Alawites “to behave like ‘regular Muslims’, shedding or at least concealing their distinctive aspects”.[54]

Alawites have their own scholars, referred to as shaikhs, although more recently there has been a movement to bring Alawism and the other branches of Twelver Islam together through educational exchange programs in Syria and Qom.[55]

Some sources have talked about “Sunnification” of Alawites under Baathist Syrian leader and Alawite Hafiz al-Assad.[56] Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, writes that Hafiz al-Assad “tried to turn Alawites into ‘good’ (read Sunnified) Muslims in exchange for preserving a modicum of secularism and tolerance in society.” On the other hand Al-Assad “declared the Alawites to be nothing but Twelver Shiites”.[56] In a paper on “Islamic Education in Syria”, Landis wrote that “no mention” is made in Syrian textbooks controlled by the Al-Assad regime, of Alawites, Druze, and Ismailis or even Shi`a Islam. Islam was presented as a monolithic religion.[57] Ali Sulayman al-Ahmad, chief judge of the Baathist Syrian state, has stated: “We are Alawi Muslims. Our book is the Quran. Our prophet is Muhammad. The Ka`ba is our qibla, and our religion is Islam.”[58]

Population

Map showing the current distribution of Alawites in the Levant

Syria

Traditionally Alawites have lived in the Alawite Mountains along the Mediterranean coast of Syria. Latakia and Tartous are the region’s principal cities. Today Alawites are also concentrated in the plains around Hama and Homs. Alawites also live in all major cities of Syria. They have been estimated to constitute about 12% of Syria’s population[59][60][61]—2.6 million people of Syria’s 22 million population.[2]

There are four Alawite confederations—Kalbiyya, Khaiyatin, Haddadin, and Matawirah—each divided into tribes.[22] Alawites are concentrated in the Latakia region of Syria, extending north to Antioch (Antakya), Turkey, and in and around Homs and Hama.[62]

Before 1953, Alawites held specifically reserved seats in the Syrian Parliament like all other religious communities. After that, including for the 1960 census, there were only general Muslim and Christian categories, without mention of subgroups in order to reduce “communalism” (taïfiyya).

Lebanon

There are an estimated 100,000 to 120,000[4][63] Alawites in Lebanon, where they have lived since at least the 16th century.[64] They are recognized as one of the 18 official Lebanese sects, and due to the efforts of their leader Ali Eid, the Taif Agreement of 1989 gave them two reserved seats in the Parliament. Lebanese Alawites live mostly in the Jabal Mohsen neighbourhood of Tripoli, where they number 40,000–60,000, and in 15 villages in the Akkar region, and are mainly represented by the Arab Democratic Party.[65][66][67] Their Mufti is Sheikh Assad Assi.[68] The Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen clashes between pro-Syrian Alawites and anti-Syrian Sunnis have haunted Tripoli for decades.[69]

There are also about 2000 Alawites living in the village of Ghajar, split between Lebanon and the Golan Heights.[70] In 1932, the residents of Ghajar were given the option of choosing their nationality and overwhelmingly chose to be a part of Syria, which has a sizable Alawite minority.[71] Prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the residents of Ghajar were counted in the 1960 Syrian census.[72] When Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, Ghajar remained a no-man’s land for two and a half months.

Turkey

In order to avoid confusion with Alevis, Alawites prefer the self-appellation Arap Alevileri (“Arab Alevis”) in Turkish. The term Nusayrī, which used to exist in (often polemical) theological texts is also revived in recent studies. In Çukurova, they are named as Fellah and Arabuşağı, the latter considered highly offensive by Alawites, by the Sunni population. A quasi-official name used particularly in 1930s by Turkish authorities was Eti Türkleri (“Hittite Turks”), in order to conceal their Arab origins. Today, this term is almost obsolete but it is still used by some people of older generations as a euphemism.

The exact number of Alawites in Turkey is unknown, but there were 185,000 in 1970[73] (this number suggests circa 400,000 in 2009). As Muslims, they are not recorded separately from Sunnis in ID registration. In the 1965 census (the last Turkish census where informants were asked their mother tongue), 180,000 people in the three provinces declared their mother tongue as Arabic. However, Arabic-speaking Sunni and Christian people are also included in this figure. Alawites traditionally speak the same dialect of Levantine Arabic with Syrian Alawites. Arabic is best preserved in rural communities and Samandağ. Younger people in Çukurova cities and (to a lesser extent) in İskenderun tend to speak Turkish. Turkish spoken by Alawites is distinguished by Alawites and non-Alawites alike by its particular accents and vocabulary. Knowledge of the Arabic alphabet is confined to religious leaders and men who have worked or studied in Arab countries.

Alawites show a considerable pattern of social mobility. Until 1960s, they used to work bound to Sunni aghas around Antakya and were among the poorest folk in Çukurova. Today, Alawites are prominent in economic sectors such as transportation and commerce. A large professional middle-class had also emerged. In recent years, there has been a tendency of exogamy, particularly among males who had attended universities and/or had lived in other parts of Turkey. These marriages are highly tolerated but exogamy of women, as in other patrilineal groups, is usually disfavoured.

Alawites, like Alevis, mainly have strong leftist political preferences. However, some people in rural areas (usually members of notable Alawite families) may be found supporting secularist conservative parties such as True Path Party. Most Alawites feel discriminated by the policies of the Presidency of Religious Affairs in Turkey (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı).[74][75]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawite

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Obama Fires Acting IRS Commissioner — Obama The Liar — When Will Congress Impeach Obama? — Videos

Posted on May 15, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, People, Philosophy, Rants, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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President Obama Announces Resignation of Acting IRS Commissioner: I Am Angry About It

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Who Controls America — George Carlin — Videos

Posted on May 15, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, High School, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Religion, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

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ProPublica — IRS Scandal — Targeted Enemies List Includes Tea Party, Patriots, Religious and Conservative Groups — Obama’s Tyranny –Videos

Posted on May 14, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Constitution, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, government spending, history, Inflation, IRS, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/TIGTA-201310053fr-revised-redacted-1.pdf

Glenn Beck Ties Together Benghazi, IRS, & AP Scandals ‘Fundamental Transformation’

Glenn Beck – IRS targeted conservatives

IRS Admits Targeting Conservatives – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Radio Program – 2013.05.10

Lou Dobbs Rips ‘Nixonian’ Obama For Lying ‘Through His Teeth’ About IRS ‘President Who Has Lost His

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story

ProPublica founder and CEO, Paul Steiger, on the creation of this foundation-funded investigative newsroom, the challenges they faced and their plans for the future. ProPublica is the first online-only organization to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 2

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 3

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 4 Q&A

Paul Steiger: The ProPublica Story part 5 Q&A

Jon Stewart Totally DESTROYS Obama Administration Over IRS Scandal | A MUST WATCH

IRS scandal widens

Ex-commissioner on tea party scandal: IRS did “the wrong thing”

Tea Party IRS Investigations Not Politically Motivated? ‘How Stupid Do They Think We Are’

IRS in the spotlight: What’s a 501(c)(4)? By Martina Stewart, CNN

Deceptive Dollars Tied To 501(c)(4) Groups

Mark Levin Dissects Obama, The IRS & The Republican Party in Scandal – Sean Hannity – 5-13-13

Mark Levin Attacks Obama & ‘Impotent’ House GOP Over IRS Scandal ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’

Glenn Beck: Failure to Impeach Over IRS Scandal Means America ‘Already Operating Under Tyranny’

CU President David Bossie on Fox News (02/19/2013)

President Obama Calls IRS Targeting of Conservative, Tea Party Groups ‘Outrageous’

Obama Administration – The I.R.S. Targets Teaparty and Patriot Groups for Review

IRS Gave Higher Scruity to Tea Party, Conservatives According to Document Draft

Political Firestorm Erupts in IRS ‘Tea Party’ Scandal

Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin Talks ‘IRS Scandal’ with Lou Dobbs – 5-13-13

IRS Caught in the Act – Jenny Beth Martin CBS This Morning 051113

Senator Rand Paul Discusses IRS Scandal & Enemies List with Sean Hannity – 5-13-13

IRS Issues Apology For Targeting Tea Party & PATRIOT Groups! “Definitely 1st Amendment Concerns Here

IRS Targets Tea Party Groups During 2012 Election

Rep. Issa Rips Obama Over IRS Scandal: ‘How Dare The Admin Imply’ They’ll ‘Get To The Bottom Of It’

Progressive Group: IRS Gave Us Conservative Groups’ Confidential Docs

by Wynton Hall

The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.

The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.

ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:

The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year… In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

The group says that “no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”

According to Media Research Center Vice President for Business and Culture Dan Gainor, ProPublica’s financial backers include top progressive donors:

ProPublica, which recently won its second Pulitzer Prize, initially was given millions of dollars from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure”–“progressive” being the code word for very liberal. In 2010, it also received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from the Open Society Foundations. In case you wonder where that money comes from, the OSF website is http://www.soros.org. It is a network of more than 30 international foundations, mostly funded by Soros, who has contributed more than $8 billion to those efforts.

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to hold a formal hearing on the IRS conservative targeting scandal. IRS Commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George are slated to testify.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Progressive-Group-Says-IRS-Gave-Them-Confidential-Docs-On-Conservative-Groups

IRS Also Leaked Info About Conservative Groups

Targeting scandal widens

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

More trouble for the IRS: The same office that singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status also leaked confidential information about conservative groups last year, ProPublica reports. How does ProPublica know? Well, because the nine pending applications were leaked to ProPublica in the first place. The investigative site had asked to see the applications for 67 nonprofits and the IRS’ Cincinnati office sent over 31, nine of which had not been approved yet, meaning they were supposed to be confidential.

ProPublica was interested in the applications because it was revealing how social-welfare nonprofits, which don’t have to identify their donors and can spend money on elections as long as social welfare is their primary goal, misled the IRS when applying for tax-exempt status. Among the applications released to ProPublica: Karl Rove’s Crossroads group, which had promised to spend only “limited” money on 2012 elections and ended up spending more than $70 million. Also included were five other groups that all claimed they would not spend any money to sway the elections and spent more than $5 million. ProPublica reported on all six (here and here). Interestingly, the New York Times reported today that Crossroads and other larger groups were not subjected to the same intense scrutiny the IRS applied to small Tea Party groups; click for more on that.

http://www.newser.com/story/167882/irs-also-leaked-info-about-conservative-groups.html

ProPublica

ProPublica is a non-profit corporation based in New York City. It describes itself as an independent non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.[2] In 2010 it became the first online news source to win a Pulitzer Prize, for a piece[3] written by one of its journalists[4][5] and published in The New York Times Magazine[6] as well as on ProPublica.org.[7] ProPublica’s investigations are conducted by its staff of full-time investigative reporters and the resulting stories are given away to news ‘partners’ for publication or broadcast. In some cases, reporters from both ProPublica and the news partners work together on a story. ProPublica has partnered with more than 90 different news organizations, including 60 Minutes, ABC World News, Business Week, CNN, Frontline, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, MSN Money, MSNBC.com, Politico, Reader’s Digest, Salon.com, Slate, This American Life, and NPR, among many others.

History

ProPublica is the brainchild of Herbert and Marion Sandler, the former chief executives of the Golden West Financial Corporation, who have committed $10 million a year to the project.[8] The Sandlers hired Paul Steiger, former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, to create and run the organization as editor in chief. At the time ProPublica was set up, Steiger responded to concerns about the role of the Sandlers’ political views, saying on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer:

Coming into this, when I talked to Herb and Marion Sandler, one of my concerns was precisely this question of independence and nonpartisanship… My history has been doing ‘down the middle’ reporting. And so when I talked to Herb and Marion I said ‘are you comfortable with that?’ They said ‘absolutely’. I said ‘well suppose we did an expose of some of the left leaning organizations that you have supported or that are friendly to what you’ve supported in the past’. They said ‘no problem’. And when we set up our organizational structure, the board of directors, on which I sit and which Herb is the chairman, does not know in advance what we’re going to report on.[9]

ProPublica had an initial news staff of 28 reporters and editors, including Pulitzer Prize winners, Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber, Jeff Gerth, and Marcus Stern, but has since grown to 34 full-time working journalists. Steiger claimed that he received as many as 850 applications upon ProPublica’s start. The organization also appointed a 12-member journalism advisory board consisting of professional journalists.

The newsgroup shares its work under the Creative Commons no-derivative, non-commercial license.

Funding

While the Sandler Foundation provided ProPublica with significant financial support, it has also received funding from the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and others. ProPublica and the Knight Foundation have various connections. For example, Paul Steiger, President of ProPublica, is a trustee of the Knight Foundation.[10] In like manner, Alberto Ibarguen, the President and CEO of the Knight Foundation is on the board of ProPublica.[11] In 2010, it received a two-year contribution of $125,000 each year from George SorosOpen Society Foundations.

ProPublica has attracted attention for the salaries it pays its top executives.[12][13] The head of ProPublica, Paul Steiger, was paid $571,687 in 2008, according to the company’s tax filings.[14] The managing editor, Stephen Engelberg, was paid $343,463.[15][16] The large salaries have been widely criticized by other journalists and even some in the non-profit world as excessive.[17][17][18] Steiger is the former managing editor at the Wall Street Journal. Engelberg is a former New York Times editor who co-wrote the non-fiction book Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War, with Times reporter Judith Miller. He was recently elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Awards

In 2010, ProPublica jointly won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting (it was also awarded to another new organization for a different story), for “a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.”[19] It was written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in the New York Times Magazine[6] as well as on ProPublica.org.[7] This was the first Pulitzer awarded to an online news source.[4][5] That investigation also won a National Magazine Award for reporting.

In 2011, ProPublica won its second Pulitzer Prize.[20] Reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein won the Pulitzer for National Reporting for their series, The Wall Street Money Machine. This was the first time a Pulitzer was awarded to a group of stories not published in print.

ProPublica’s reporters have also received the Selden Ring, George Polk, National Magazine, Society of Professional Journalists, James Aronson, ABA Silver Gavel, Overseas Press Club, Online Journalism, Investigative Editors and Reporters, Society of News Design, Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and Dart Center awards (among others) for their work.

Reception

Praise

ProPublica is also renowned for conducting a large-scale, circumscribed investigation on Psychiatric Solutions, a company based in Tennessee that buys failing hospitals, cuts staff, and accumulates profit.[21] The report covered patient deaths at numerous Psychiatric Solutions facilities, the failing physical plant at many of their facilities, and covered the State of Florida‘s first closure of Manatee Palms Youth Services, which has since been shut down[22] by Florida officials once again.[23] Their report was published in conjunction with The Los Angeles Times.

Criticism

Dave Kopel, a policy analyst for the libertarian Cato Institute and a former columnist for the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, criticized a ProPublica report on hydraulic fracturing as a “one-sided series of facts arrayed to support a point of view”. He argued that a common theme in ProPublica’s work is that “the government is not doing a good enough job in controlling things, particularly things involving big business”.[24] ProPublica later responded to his article, countering those claims and saying quote, “using carefully culled quotations and selected statistics, Kopel asserts ‘indisputably false facts’ in ProPublica’s reporting.” [25]

After fallout from the IRS publicly admitting to targeting conservative tax exempt groups for added scrutiny, ProPublica broke the news that it had requested and received confidential pending applications for groups requesting tax exempt status.

Board members

Investigations

References

This article uses bare URLs for citations. Please consider adding full citations so that the article remains verifiable. Several templates and the Reflinks tool are available to assist in formatting. (Reflinks documentation) (December 2011)
  1. ^ “ProPublicaSite Info”. Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  2. ^ “About Us”. Retrieved 2009-01-11. ProPublica is a Dog Latin term literally meaning “for the public woman”; cf. publica.
  3. ^ “a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.” – Pulitzer.org The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting, accessed 13 April 2010
  4. ^ a b The Guardian, 13 April 2010, Pulitzer progress for non-profit news
  5. ^ a b ProPublica, Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting: Deadly Choices at Memorial
  6. ^ a b Sheri Fink, New York Times Magazine, 25 August 2009, THE DEADLY CHOICES AT MEMORIAL
  7. ^ a b ProPublica, 27 August 2009, The Deadly Choices at Memorial
  8. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2007-10-15). “Group Plans to Provide Investigative Journalism”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  9. ^ PBS Newshour, 24 June 2008, “Financing Independent Journalism”
  10. ^ Board of Trustees, Knight Foundation
  11. ^ Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO, Knight Foundation
  12. ^ Turner, Zeke. “Shelling Out the Big Bucks at ProPublica | The New York Observer”. Observer.com. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  13. ^ Taylor, Mike (2010-08-10). “ProPublica’s Top-Paid Employees All Made Six Figures in 2009 – FishbowlNY”. Mediabistro.com. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  14. ^ Salmon, Felix Philanthrocrat of the day, ProPublica edition, Reuters Blogs, Sept. 30, 2009
  15. ^ Turner, Zeke. “Shelling Out the Big Bucks at ProPublica”. Observer. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  16. ^ “ProPublica’s Top-Paid Employees All Made Six Figures in 2009 – FishbowlNY”. Mediabistro.com. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  17. ^ a b “Philanthrocrat of the day, ProPublica edition”. Reuters. 30 September 2009.
  18. ^ “Diamonds in the Rough”. CJR. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  19. ^ Pulitzer.org The 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting, accessed 13 April 2010
  20. ^ “A Note on ProPublica’s Second Pulitzer Prize”. ProPublica. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  21. ^ LA Times – November 2008- Psychiatric care’s perils and profits
  22. ^ Bradenton Herald – May 2010 – Manatee Palms hospital Slammed
  23. ^ “MANATEE PALMS YOUTH SERVICES Facility Profile”. FloridaHealthFinder.gov. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  24. ^ Kopel, Dave (2008-12-27). “Opinion pays its own way”. Rocky Mountain News. Unknown parameter |curly= ignored (help)
  25. ^ response

Claim: Obama Campaign Co-Chair Attacked Romney with Leaked IRS Docs

One of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign co-chairmen used a leaked document from the IRS to attack GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the 2012 election, according to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).

NOM, a pro-traditional marriage organization, claims the IRS leaked their 2008 confidential financial documents to the rival Human Rights Campaign. Those NOM documents were published on the Huffington Post on March 30, 2012. At that time, Joe Solmonese, a left-wing activist and Huffington Post contributor, was the president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Solmonese was also a 2012 Obama campaign co-chairman.

Both the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and HRC described the leak as coming from a “whistleblower.” The Huffington Post used the document to write a story questioning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s support for traditional marriage. The document showed Romney donated $10,000 to NOM. HRC went a step further than the Huffington Post in its criticism of Romney and accused him of using “racially divisive tactics” in a press release.

Solmonese, then still the HRC’s president, said in the release he felt Romney’s “funding of a hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable.”

“Not only has Romney signed NOM’s radical marriage pledge, now we know he’s one of the donors that NOM has been so desperate to keep secret all these years,” Solmonese added.

Solmonese resigned his position at HRC the next day and took up a position as an Obama campaign co-chair. He had announced the then-pending resignation from HRC the previous autumn.

NOM announced Tuesday that it will sue the IRS for this alleged leak. Under immense political pressure, Attorney General Eric Holder launched a criminal investigation into the IRS’s actions. Congress will conduct ts own investigation.

In early April 2012, NOM published documents which it said showed this leaked confidential information did not come from a “whistleblower” but “came directly from the Internal Revenue Service and was provided to NOM’s political opponents, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).”

NOM discovered that when HRC published its confidential financial documents, it failed to conceal the source of the documents. “After software removed the layers obscuring the document, it is shown that the document came from the Internal Revenue Service,” NOM asserted in its April 2012 release.

“The top of each page says, ‘THIS IS A COPY OF A LIVE RETURN FROM SMIPS. OFFICIAL USE ONLY,’” the statement continues. “On each page of the return is stamped a document ID of ‘100560209.’ Only the IRS would have the Form 990 with ‘Official Use’ information.”

NOM president Brian Brown argued in that April 2012 release that the leak was made to benefit President Obama’s re-election campaign against Romney, his GOP challenger. “The American people are entitled to know how a confidential tax return containing private donor information filed exclusively with the Internal Revenue Service has been given to our political opponents whose leader also happens to be co-chairing President Obama’s reelection committee,” Brown said.

“It is shocking that a political ally of President Obama’s would come to possess and then publicly release a confidential tax return that came directly from the Internal Revenue Service,” he declared. “We demand to know who is responsible for this criminal act and what the Administration is going to do to get to the bottom of it.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Obama-campaign-co-chair-attacked-Romney-conservative-group-in-2012-with-leaked-IRS-scandal-documents

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Robert Littell — The Company: A Novel of the CIA — Videos

Posted on May 13, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, History of Economic Thought, Inflation, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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The Company [2007] 1/3

THE COMPANY [2007] 2/3

THE COMPANY [2007] 3/3

Background Articles and Videos

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 1 – Return To The Circus

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 2 – Tarr Tells His Story

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 3 – Smiley Tracks The Mole

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 5 – Tinker Tailor

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 6 – Smiley Sets A Trap

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: 7 – Flushing Out The Mole

Cambridge Spies | Sub. ITA Episodio 1 di 4

Cambridge Spies | Sub. ITA Episodio 2 di 4

Cambridge Spies | Sub. ITA Episodio 3 di 4

Cambridge Spies | Sub. ITA Episodio 4 di 4

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Fast and Syrious: Obama’s Gun-Running Benghazi CIA “Title 50” Covert Action Operation With Syrian Rebels Strawmen for Al-Qaeda — Videos

Posted on May 11, 2013. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Bomb, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Natural Gas, People, Philosophy, Pistols, Politics, Reviews, Rifles, Strategy, Talk Radio, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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CIA Special Operator

Covert Action

“The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.

What roles Turkey play in Syria’s insurgency?

WW3 in ACTION: US LAUNCH covert OPERATION to ARM militants in Syria with HEAVY WEAPONS!

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin—who is the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and who, in the 1990s, worked with the CIA—told CNSNews.com in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the U.S. was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, Libya.

“The CIA Is Nothing More Than A Front For Global Gansters!” CIA’s Role In The Syrian Conflict

BREAKING! Pres Obama Authorizes COVERT Support To Syrian Rebels “Could Have Been Going On For Months

English News Today – CIA: from intelligence agency to killing machine

English News Today – ‘CIA-armed Syria militants will turn against US’

The United States government assists militants across the world, only to one day fight against them, a prominent political activist tells Press TV. In the background to this, Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011, with the Syrian government and experts saying an anti-Syria plot was hatched by the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center, from New York, to further discuss the issue. Flounders is joined by Scott Rickard, a former US intelligence linguist from Florida, and George Lambraski, a former US diplomat, from London.

Ron Paul on Covert U.S. Support of Terrorist Insurrection in Syria

June 27, 2012 – Ron Paul warns of the ongoing U.S. government’s covert support of the terrorist insurrection against the Syrian government and offers a short history of the quagmires and blowback that U.S. interventions abroad have brought about.

Pul – Interview with Charlie Wilson, 2009

Charlie Wilson’s War – Trailer(HD) Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts

Charlie Wilson’s War (8/9) Movie CLIP – Anti-Helicopter Light Missile (2007) HD

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: Truth coming out

Soros, Obama & ‘Responsibility to Protect’

END WAR: Scheuer On CIA In Libya To Arm Islamist And May Be US Ground Invasion In Another Arab State

The truth about SYRIA by Westerns

Syrian Rebels Capture City Near Jordanian Border – Libya Vs Syria Where’s The Obama Admin?

Gaffney on Benghazi » Not Just About Cover Up « About Administration Embracing Muslim Brotherhood

ADM Lyons, “Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every government agency”

ADM “Ace” Lyons, Former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest single military command in the world, states, “The Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every level of the US government.”

End the Coverup: Rep. Frank Wolf Urges New Benghazi Investigation

Rep. Frank Wolf called a press conference outside the capitol to discuss his sponsorship of H. Res. 36, which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the failures that contributed to the deadly jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya last year. He was joined by Family Research Council’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and former member of Delta Force. Boykin represented Special Operations Speaks, a group of ex-special forces operators who came together to write a letter to Members of Congress, urging them to commit to getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and to end the administration’s cover-up. Finally, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke about the implications of the attack in Libya on America’s national security and foreign policy in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Write a letter to your congressman at Http://www.endthecoverup.com

Gen. Jerry Boykin: “Get accountability and get the truth out” on Benghazi

Rand Paul: I Believe Part of Cause for Benghazi Attack Was Gun-Running Operation Going

Syrian rebel group Al-Nusra allies itself to al-Qaeda

Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq are joining forces to bring back the Caliphate.

A Caliphate Is Coming – GBTV

George Galloway In Syria Rebels are funded & operated by Americans & NATO Forces

Obama Hiding Arms Shipments To Syrian Jihadists

Lebanon seizes 150 tons of Libyan arms en route to Syrian rebels

Treason: Benghazi Revelations Could Sink Obama

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Syrian Rebel Group Joins Branch Of Al Qaeda

West Intervenes to Stop Islamist Rebels in Mali but Supports Them to Destroy Syria

Presidential Finding

A presidential finding is an executive directive issued by the head of the executive branch of a government, similar to the more well-known executive order. The term is mostly used by the United States Government, and in other countries may be identified by different terms. Such findings and other executive decrees are usually protocols which have evolved through the course of government and not typically established by law.

Use and history in the United States

“US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order allowing the CIA and other American agencies to support rebels seeking to overthrow the Assad regime, a US government source told Reuters. Obama reportedly gave the order, known as an intelligence “finding”, earlier this year. The presidential finding also provides for US collaboration with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies. The full extent of the assistance the “finding” allows the CIA to give the Syrian rebels is unclear. It is also unknown precisely when Obama signed the order.” The report of Obama’s authorization for covert rebel support comes amidst continued fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels over control of Aleppo, the country’s economic capital. Thousands of people have fled the city, while the government and rebels continue to release conflicting reports on the extent of their control over the city. Asia Times Online correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that the leak’s timing was intended to distort the true nature of Washington’s covert operations on the ground in Syria.

“This intelligence finding signed by Obama – that’s the code for a secret order – this was signed six months ago. So the fact that Reuters has only been allowed now to report about it proves that there have been high deliberations in Washington: ‘should we let people know about what they already know?’”

“In fact, the Washington Post two weeks ago had already reported about it, and when the CIA wants to leak something in the US, they usually go to the Washington Post. The CIA and Mossad, on the ground [in Syria], side by side working with the Qataris, the Turks, the Saudis and a swarm of jihadis coming from everywhere, but especially from across the border in Iraq,” he argues.

Escobar says the leak was intended to make it look as though Washington was leading the Syrian campaign from behind the scenes, when in fact the US is “leading from the front lines alongside al-Qaeda-style Jihadists, Qatari intelligence, and Turkish logistics.” [1]

The first specific use of presidential findings was precipitated by the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, in which the findings indicated that certain conditions of that act had be satisfied and, therefore, sales of agricultural commodities could proceed. In their use under this act, such findings were published in the Federal Register and the CFR Title 3 compilations. In contrast, presidential findings in their modern use are not published in these or other governmental publications.

Current use of the presidential finding stems from the so-called Hughes-Ryan amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibited the expenditure of appropriated funds by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency for intelligence activities “unless and until the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States and reports, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of Congress” (section 662). This was intended to ensure that clear responsibility for such action was attributable to the President and that Congress was always made aware of such activities. Due to the sensitivity of their content, presidential findings are almost always classified.

The most recent change to exercise of findings occurred in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, which introduced increased flexibility in the reporting requirement: findings are to be “reported to the intelligence committees as soon as possible” after being approved “and before the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding.” As such, presidential findings are one of the primary means through which the intelligence committees exercise their oversight of the government’s intelligence operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_finding

Covert Action: Title 10, Title 50, and the Chain of Command

By Joseph B. Berger III

Abstract

America champions the rule of law and must maintain that moral stance in its international dealings and retain the clarity of an unambiguous chain of command. The Abbottabad raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound highlighted the dangers and vagaries of departing from the traditional military chain of command. The Secretary of Defense was taken out of the chain and the CID Director was inserted. In contrast, the rescue of a U.S. citizen in Somalia was carried out secretively but not covertly by joint forces under military command, maintaining individual Servicemember protections that may be forfeit in the gray zone of questionable legality. National authorities should reconsider the rejection of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that DOD be responsible for paramilitary covert actions, and when DOD acts in that capacity, the operation should be carried out as a traditional military operation with a military chain of command.

Recent media reports have Pentagon officials considering “putting elite special operations troops under CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] control in Afghanistan after 2014, just as they were during last year’s raid on [Osama bin Laden’s] compound.”1 This shell game would allow Afghan and U.S. officials to deny the presence of American troops in Afghanistan because once “assigned to CIA control, even temporarily, they become spies.”2 Nearly simultaneously, Department of Defense (DOD) leaders were warned to “be vigilant in ensuring military personnel are not inappropriately utilized” in performing “new, expanding, or existing missions,” ensuring the force is aligned against strategic choices “supported by rigorous analysis.”3 Placing Servicemembers—uniformed members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force—under CIA control demands such rigorous analysis. The raid on bin Laden’s compound provides a framework.

n his May 1, 2011, televised address, President Barack Obama reported “to the American people and to the world that the United States ha[d] conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”4 President Obama initially detailed little beyond noting that he had directed “the[n] Director of the CIA [Leon Panetta], to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda” and that the operation, carried out by a “small team of Americans” was done “at [his] direction [as President].” In the following days, senior executive branch officials garrulously provided explicit details, from the now-iconic White House Situation Room photograph to intricate diagrams of the Abbottabad compound and the assault force’s composition. Most noteworthy was Panetta’s unequivocal assertion the raid was a covert action:

Since this was what’s called a “Title 50” operation, which is a covert operation, and it comes directly from the president of the United States who made the decision to conduct this operation in a covert way, that direction goes to me. And then, I am, you know, the person who then commands the mission. But having said that, I have to tell you that the real commander was Admiral [William] McRaven because he was on site, and he was actually in charge of the military operation that went in and got bin Laden.5

Despite his self-effacing trumpeting of Vice Admiral McRaven’s role, Panetta’s comment highlights that critical confusion exists among even the most senior U.S. leaders about the chain of command and the appropriate classification of such operations.

Openly describing the raid as both a “covert operation” and “military operation,” Panetta asserted he was the “commander,” describing a chain of “command” that went from the President to Panetta to McRaven. Panetta’s public comments are problematic, as is describing a chain of command that excludes the Secretary of Defense and purports to route command authority through the CIA director. Title 50 is clear:

The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.6

The administration did the opposite, making patently clear the raid’s nature and, in exhaustive detail, the precise role of the United States. Instead of categorizing it as a covert action under the director’s “command,” the President could have conducted the raid as a covert action under the Secretary of Defense instead of the CIA director, or under his own constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and the Secretary’s statutory authorities, classifying it as a traditional military activity and excepting it from the statute’s coverage. As a traditional military activity, there would have been no legal limits on subsequent public discussion. Alternatively, conducting the raid as a covert action within a military chain of command removes the issues the director raised in asserting command authority over Servicemembers. The decisionmaking process remains shrouded, but conducting a raid into a sovereign country targeting a nonstate actor using military personnel and equipment under the “command” of the CIA director and classifying it as a covert action raises significant legal and policy questions. Such decisions threaten the legitimacy and moral authority of future U.S. actions and demand a rigorous examination of those associated risks.

The Abbottabad raid illustrates the post-9/11 security environment convergence of DOD military and CIA intelligence operations.7 While dead terrorists attest to this arrangement’s efficacy, many directly challenge the legal and policy framework behind current DOD-CIA cooperation. The discourse focuses largely on distinctions between Title 10 and Title 50 and the legal basis for conducting apparently overlapping military and intelligence operations beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Notwithstanding the potentially misleadingly simple labels of Title 10 and Title 50, these complex issues lack clear answers. Many argue the legacy structure ill equips the President to effectively combat the threat. But tweaking that structure carries risk. Thus, correctly classifying and structuring our actions within that framework are critical. The law of war is designed to protect our nation’s military forces when they are engaged in traditional military activities under a military chain of command; spies conducting intelligence activities under executive authority have no such protections. This distinction rests on a constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal framework underpinning the military concept of command authority.

U.S. power relies on moral and legal legitimacy. Exclusive state control over the legitimate use of armed force remains viable domestically and internationally only where exercised within an accepted framework. Thus, employing DOD forces in a nontraditional manner entails significant risk. The policy implications of classification and structure are neither semantic nor inconsequential, and must be understood by senior decisionmakers; likewise, individual Servicemembers must understand the practical effects. A rigorous risk analysis should therefore inform any deviation, however permissible under domestic law.

This article focuses on the risks associated with both using military personnel to conduct kinetic covert action and using them without a military chain of command. Those risks inform the recommendation to change practice, but not the law. Specifically, the author rejects melding distinct operational military (Title 10) and intelligence (Title 50) authorities into the often mentioned Title 60. Properly classifying actions—either under the statute as a covert action or exempted from the statute as a traditional military activity—ensures the correct command structure is in place.8 Ultimately, the analysis argues for revisiting the previously rejected 9/11 Commission recommendation to place paramilitary covert action under DOD control.9

This article first outlines current and likely future threats and then explains the critical terms of art related to covert action and, against that lingua franca, examines why kinetic military operations should be either classified as traditional military activities or kept under a military chain of command. Analyzing the relevant constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal elements of command, this article illustrates that a raid conducted like the Abbottabad raid, while legally permissible, is best conducted as a traditional military activity.

Changed Character of the Battlefield and Enemy

In the decade since 9/11, DOD and CIA elements have become “operationally synthesi[zed].”10 A senior intelligence official recently noted that “the two proud groups of American secret warriors had been ‘deconflicted and basically integrated’—finally—10 years after 9/11.”11 The direct outgrowth is the increased reliance on special operations forces (SOF) to achieve national objectives against a “nimble and determined” enemy who “cannot be underestimated.”12 While the United States fought wars on geographically defined battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond, the underlying legal structure remained constant. In the wars’ background, leaders, advisors, academics, and others argued about the structure of the appropriate legal and policy framework. Post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan, the United States must still address other threats, including those that al Qaeda and their associated forces present.

The threats have migrated beyond a battlefield defined by sovereign nations’ borders. When asked recently in “how many countries we are currently engaged in a shooting war,” Secretary of Defense Panetta laughed, responding, “That’s a good question. I have to stop and think about that . . . we’re going after al Qaeda wherever they’re at. . . clearly, we’re confronting al Qaeda in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, [and] North Africa.”13 The unresolved legal and policy challenges will likely increase in complexity on this geographically unconstrained battlefield. Remaining rooted in enduring principles is critical. DOD conduct of kinetic operations beyond traditionally recognized battlefields raises significant legal and policy concerns, especially where the U.S. Government conducts them without knowledge or consent of the host nation, as apparently happened with the Abbottabad operation.14 Properly categorizing and structuring these operations, while vexing for policymakers and their lawyers, carries much greater stakes for the Servicemembers executing them.

The Need for a Lingua Franca

Colloquial usage refers to DOD authorities as Title 10, and the CIA’s as Title 50. That is technically inaccurate and misleading since DOD routinely operates under both Titles 10 and 50.15 Instead of Title 10, this article uses the term military operations; instead of Title 50, it uses CIA operations or the more specific covert action. All three terms require clarification.

CIA operations are all CIA activities except covert action. Covert action is the narrow, statutory subset of Presidentially approved, CIA-led activities.16 Unfortunately, colloquially, covert action “is frequently used to describe any activity the government wants concealed from the public.”17 That common usage ignores the fact that a traditional military activity, notwithstanding how “secretly” it is executed, is by statute not a covert action. DOD defines a covert operation as one “planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor,” where “emphasis is placed on concealment of the identity of the sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.”18 While not in conflict with the statutory definition, the DOD definition is incomplete; it fails to recognize the President’s role and ignores the exception of traditional military activities.19 Practitioners should use the statutory definition.

The concept of clandestine operations further blurs colloquial and doctrinal imprecision.20 DOD activities “may be both covert and clandestine . . . focus[ing] equally on operational considerations and intelligencerelated activities.”21 Appropriately, DOD officials assert that, absent a Presidential covert action finding, they “conduct only ‘clandestine activities.’” 22 They characterize clandestine activities as those “conducted in secret but which constitute ‘passive’ intelligence information gathering.”23 Interchanging the terms and mixing them with intelligence functions is inaccurate and dangerous; practitioners must draw clear distinctions. The sponsorship of a covert action is hidden, not the act itself. The specific acts of the U.S. Government in influencing a foreign election (for example, posters, marches, election results, and so forth) would be visible, but not the covert sponsorship of those acts. For clandestine acts, the act itself (for example, intercepting a phone call) must remain hidden. The CIA and DOD can conduct clandestine operations without Presidential approval, whereas covert action triggers statutory requirements for a Presidential finding and congressional notification. Some have argued DOD’s “activities should be limited to clandestine” activities, as this would ensure military personnel are protected by the law of war,24 a critical point examined in detail later.

Military operations are DOD activities conducted under Title 10, including activities intended or likely to involve kinetic action. Pursuant to an order issued by the Secretary of Defense, they are conducted by military personnel under DOD command and in accordance with the law of war. They specifically exclude DOD’s intelligence activities (for example, the Joint Military Intelligence Program); like the CIA’s, those intelligence activities are conducted pursuant to Title 50.

Statutorily assigned responsibility helps distinguish between CIA operations and military operations. Although the President can designate which department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government will participate in the covert action, the statute implicitly tasks the CIA as the default lead agency: “Any employee . . . of the [U.S.] Government other than the [CIA] directed to participate in any way in a covert action shall be subject either to the policies and regulations of the [CIA], or to written policies or regulations adopted . . . to govern such participation.25

Executive order 12333 (EO 12333) makes that default tasking explicit:

The Director of the [CIA] shall . . . conduct covert action activities approved by the President. No agency except the [CIA] (or the Armed Forces of the United States in time of war declared by the Congress or during any period covered by a report from the President to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution. . . .) may conduct any covert action activity unless the President determines that another agency is more likely to achieve a particular objective.26

The statute, coupled with EO 12333, unequivocally places all covert action squarely under the CIA’s control; the narrow exception for DOD is currently inapplicable. While the Executive order expressly tasks
the director with conducting covert action, it does not task the Secretary of Defense.27
Default CIA primacy and the absence of statutory specificity in defining traditional military activities create risk when DOD conducts kinetic covert action.

The Unique Nature of Traditional Military Activities

One practitioner described traditional military activities’ exclusion from covert action’s definition as “the exception that swallows the rule.”28 But while DOD-CIA operational convergence blurs the issue, the exception need not swallow the rule. Functionally, anything done by a uniformed member of a nation’s armed forces is a “military” activity; the nuanced requirement is to understand which are traditional military activities. That definition can be consequential, functional, or historical—or a combination of some or all three approaches. The statute’s legislative history provides the best clarification, noting the conferees intended that:

“Traditional military activities” include activities by military personnel under the direction and control of a United States military commander (whether or not the U.S. sponsorship of such activities is apparent or later to be acknowledged) . . . where the fact of the U.S. role in the overall operation is apparent or to be acknowledged publicly.

In this regard, the conferees intend to draw a line between activities that are and are not under the direction and control of the military commander. Activities that are not under the direction and control of a military commander should not be considered as “traditional military activities.”29

That nonstatutory definition frames the follow-on analysis. That functional and historical definition turns on who is in charge.

Activities under the “direction and control of a military commander” meet the requirement to be excepted from the statute; those with a different command and control arrangement are not traditional military activities. “Command” is unique to the military and the definition appears to draw a bright line rule; but the CIA director blurred the line by asserting “command” over a DOD element.30 The confusion questions the necessary nature and scope of leadership by a “military commander.” What level or rank of command is required? Must the chain of command from that military commander run directly back to the Commander in Chief solely through military channels? Must it run through the Secretary of Defense? Can it run through the director if there is a military commander below him? Given Goldwater-Nichols,31 what about the geographic combatant commander? In short, what does the wiring diagram look like? These questions highlight three baseline possibilities as depicted in the figure below.

Chain of Command Possibilities

chani_of_command_possibilites

Part 1A of the figure reflects DOD’s Title 10 chain of command, illustrating the broadest historical, functional, and consequential definition of traditional military activity. The clear chain is rooted in the uniquely military concept of command and the President’s constitutionally defined role as Commander in Chief. It clarifies congressional oversight responsibility, results in unquestioned jurisdiction, and forms the basis of the strongest legal argument for combatant immunity. Part 1B represents the President as chief executive, exercising oversight and control of the CIA under Title 50. This hierarchy lacks the legal command authority exercised over military personnel in 1A. Finally, part 1C represents the paradox created by the covert action statute’s attempts to overlap the parallel structures of 1A and 1B; it is often described as Title 60.

The current Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force allows the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force” to prevent “future acts of international terrorism against the United States.”32 This statutory grant of power creates the paradox: here, where the Senate vote was 98 to 0 and the House vote was 420 to 1, the President’s executive authority (as Commander in Chief and chief executive) is greatest,33 the exercise of those powers blurs the clear lines of parts 1A and 1B of the illustration. Merging the two, although permissible under the covert action statute, creates risk.

Consequently, questions about the nature and structure of the chain of command demand rigorous scrutiny and cannot be left to ad hoc arrangements. Defining military command determines whether or not the activity is a traditional military activity and therefore not under the ambit of the statute. The criticality of this categorization is twofold: it is the core of the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force and cloaks Servicemembers in the legal armor of combatant immunity.

Chain of Command, or Control?

Since George Washington’s Presidency, the Secretary of War (later Defense) has served without interruption as a Cabinet member. The President’s role, enshrined in the Constitution, is clear: “The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”34 With the Secretary of Defense, this embodies the Founders’ vision of civilian control of the military. The Secretary of Defense’s appointment requires the “Advice and Consent of the Senate.”35 While the President can relieve him and replace him with an inferior officer (that is, the Deputy Secretary of Defense), Senateconfirmed executive branch officials are not fungible. He cannot interchange officials individually confirmed to fulfill separate and unique duties—something James Madison warned about in Federalist 51.36

Longstanding U.S. practice is an unbroken chain of command from the President, through his Secretary of Defense, to a subordinate uniformed commander. Even GoldwaterNichols’s37 streamlining the military warfighting chain of command to run from the President through the Secretary and directly to the unified combatant commanders did not alter that fundamental practice.38 Combatant commanders simply replace Service chiefs. The civilian leader between the Commander in Chief and his senior uniformed commander remains unchanged—a specific individual confirmed by the Senate to execute statutory duties. The inviolate concept of civilian control of the military and the Senate’s Advice and Consent requirement make assertion of any executive authority to “trade out” duties between Cabinet officials implausible. The President can place military personnel under CIA control, but control is not command.

Command is the inherently military “privilege” that is “exercised by virtue of office and the special assignment of members of the US Armed Forces holding military grade.”39 In fact, under the Army regulation, “A civilian, other than the President as Commander-in-Chief . . . may not exercise command.”40 Goldwater-Nichols allows the President to exercise command through his Secretary of Defense. Command rests on constitutional and statutory authority (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and the customs and practices of the Service. Removing military personnel from that hierarchy— illustrated in part 1C of the figure—changes their fundamental nature. This is Panetta’s assertion: he was in “command” 41 of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

itles 10 and 50 define the specific duties of the Secretary of Defense42 and Title 50 the CIA director’s.43 The duties are neither identical nor interchangeable. In Title 50, Congress explicitly states that DOD shall function “under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense” in order to “provide for their unified direction under civilian control.”44 Placing the Services under the Secretary of Defense is necessary to “provide for the establishment of [a] clear and direct line of command.”45 Congress is equally clear in Title 10, granting the Secretary complete authority over DOD: “there shall be a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the [Department], appointed . . . by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”46 The statute allows the Secretary to “perform any of his functions or duties, or [to] exercise any of his powers through” other persons, but only persons from within DOD.47

Two caveats exist to the Secretary of Defense’s “authority, direction, and control”: the Secretary’s authority is “subject to the direction of the President” and the 1947 National Security Act.48 The latter covers DOD personnel within the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP). The former appears to be an exception that swallows the rule. But even in empowering the President to limit his Secretary’s authority, Congress did not specifically authorize any change to the fundamental command of military forces. Likewise, in defining the director’s limited authorities over military personnel, Congress maintained the military command structure over military operations.

Congress neither allows the director command nor control of DOD operational assets, nor did it grant the President a caveat like that with the Secretary of Defense’s authority.49 Although the director’s duties include the transfer of “personnel within the NFIP,” which includes DOD personnel, such transfers are limited to personnel within DOD’s Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP).50 SOF are not part of the JMIP. When DOD does transfer any JMIP personnel to the CIA, the director must “promptly” report that transfer to both the intelligence oversight and Armed Services Committees of both houses.51 Transfers between other executive branch elements trigger no such requirements. Congress only intended CIA control over DOD intelligence assets and was clearly concerned about even that. Goldwater-Nichols reinforces this analysis.

Goldwater-Nichols codifies geographic combatant commanders’ nearly inviolable command authority: “all forces operating within the geographic area assigned to a unified combatant command shall be assigned to, and under” his command.52 Two exceptions supplant that authority. Servicemembers assigned to U.S. Embassies (for example, the Defense Attaché) are under the Ambassador’s control and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s command. For those Servicemembers, diplomatic protections have replaced law of war protections, but the Secretary of Defense remains in the chain of command. The second exception, carved from GoldwaterNichols’s “unless otherwise directed by the President” language, covers DOD participation in covert action.53 Goldwater-Nichols’s silence on the Secretary of Defense remaining in the chain of command indicates Congress did not intend to change the default hierarchy. DOD recognized that point by defining combatant command as being “under a single commander” and running “through the Secretary of Defense.”54 All these say nothing about covert action.

The statute and EO 12333 put the director “in charge” of the conduct of covert actions.55 CIA “ownership” means any non-CIA employee supporting a covert action “belongs” to the CIA. However, the CIA lacks DOD’s legal command structure and no CIA official possesses the command authority inherent in an officer’s commission.56 The CIA can only be in charge, not in command. The director cannot give a lawful order that would be legally binding on Servicemembers. The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the authority to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”57 Those rules, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, never contemplated CIA personnel exercising command authority over Servicemembers. The CIA’s ownership of covert action is limited. Exclusive CIA control fails elsewhere; the statute authorizes the President to task “departments, agencies, or entities”58 to conduct covert action. The implication is that DOD can conduct a covert action exclusively. EO 12333 specifically envisions that.59 Placing DOD elements under CIA control to conduct a kinetic operation is arguably unnecessary.

This chain of command is constitutionally enshrined, codified, and ratified through longstanding practice; even if Congress had explicitly authorized the President to reroute it, doing so creates risk. First, it removes the law of war’s protections upon which Servicemembers conducting kinetic operations rely. In such an event, Servicemembers must be made aware they are no longer protected. Second, as a state practice, realigning military personnel under a nonmilitary framework to conduct kinetic activities creates precedential risk for U.S. allies. Such a decision must be fully informed at all levels.

Chain of Command: International Law Context

National armies engaged against each other have, throughout modern history, been cloaked in the law of war’s combatant
immunity. Absent that immunity, a captured individual is subject to criminal prosecution for his wartime conduct. His deliberately targeting and killing others become nonmilitary and therefore criminal. In World War II’s aftermath, widespread acceptance of what constituted an “army” rendered a definition unnecessary: “Individuals composing the national forces” automatically enjoyed combatant immunity.60 However, for those outside their nation’s military hierarchy, specificity was necessary. The Third Geneva Convention grants prisoner of war status—which confers combatant immunity—to those who are subordinate to a responsible commander, wear a fixed, distinctive insignia recognizable at a distance, carry their arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.61

The command requirement stems from the “dual principle of responsible command and its corollary command responsibility.”62 The Hague Convention required that a commander be “responsible for his subordinates.”63 The Geneva Convention recognized “no part of [an] army . . . is not subordinated to a military commander,” applying this “from the Commander-in-Chief down to the common soldier.”64 The later protocols “could not conceive” of a hierarchy “without the persons who make up the command structure being familiar with the law applicable in armed conflict.”65 This is DOD’s unchallenged area of expertise.66 Like Congress’s definition of traditional military activity,67 the commentary’s definition, when coupled with the requirements for those not considered part of the Nation’s army, is the parallel to Servicemembers conducting kinetic covert action under CIA control. Combatant immunity necessitates prisoner of war status; for those not acting as part of the army, that status requires a military chain of command. Replacing the Secretary of Defense with the CIA director eviscerates this.

U.S. history records a fundamental belief in the rules for combatant immunity.68 First, to codify these requirements, the 1863 Lieber Code defined prisoner of war as including “all soldiers.”69 The code noted noncompliance with the rules meant no combatant immunity: spies were “punishable with death by hanging by the neck.”70 “Armed prowlers . . . who steal within the lines of the hostile army for the purpose of . . . killing . . . are not entitled to the privileges of the prisoner of war.”71 The code’s noteworthy purpose was not to regulate conduct between nations, but for application in a non-international armed conflict and maintaining the moral high ground necessary to facilitate reconciliation with and reintegration of the confederate states.

The law of war’s efficacy rests on the principle of reciprocity. One party provides the protections to its prisoners believing and hoping its enemies will respond in kind. Commendable German and U.S. treatment of each other’s prisoners during World War II exemplifies this principle; Japanese treatment of U.S prisoners at Bataan proves its imperfections. Regardless, maintaining the moral high ground is critical. Had Abbottabad gone poorly, the United States would have asserted that U.S. personnel in Pakistani custody were entitled to the high standards of prisoner of war treatment. That would have required those Soldiers and Sailors to be in compliance with the law of war. The nonmilitary chain of command may have been problematic in making that assertion.

Conclusion

“From its inception . . . America has venerated the rule of law.”72 Traditional military activities occur against a rich fabric of domestic and international law. Covert action, while uniquely codified, presents multiple dilemmas. Although permissible under U.S. domestic law, covert action is generally illegal in the target country.73 Again, maintaining the moral high ground is critical.

Although inimical to covert action’s fundamental premise, overt executive branch commentary following the Abbottabad raid highlighted the legal risk associated with policy decisions. Placing Servicemembers under CIA command threatens to undermine the protections they rely on when conducting kinetic military operations, especially where the activity is more accurately classified as a traditional military activity.

The risk can—and should—be mitigated by first properly classifying the activity. Classifying a traditional military activity as anything else undermines the very categorization and its inherent law of war protections. DOD can undoubtedly conduct secretive (that is, clandestine and/or unacknowledged) actions as traditional military activities and enjoy the full body of the law of war’s protections. The current framework neither envisions nor facilitates placing Servicemembers under CIA control and preserving the command relationships necessary to cloak them in combatant immunity. The Abbottabad raid utilized this risk-laden approach.

This is not to assert that conducting the raid as a covert action was illegal. There were three likely outcomes: success, failure,
or something in between (that is, aborting the mission). Neither success nor failure required covert action’s plausible deniability. The United States immediately publicly acknowledged killing of “public enemy number one”; regardless, the crashed helicopter disclosed the U.S. role. A noncatastrophic driven decision to abort (for example, Pakistani detection of violation of their sovereign airspace) provides the sole outcome where the United States would likely have hidden behind the statute’s shield, disavowing all. The covert action classification provided an insurance policy, yet the cost of allowing that policy to “lapse” through post-success disclosures undermines the plausibility of such “insurance” in the future.

Compare the Abbottabad covert action with the recent rescue of a U.S. citizen in Somalia, conducted secretively, but not covertly, by “a small number of joint combatequipped U.S. forces.”74 This comparison illustrates that such activities can be conducted as traditional military activities, maintaining secrecy and preserving individual Servicemember protections. The need for continued distinction between covert action and traditional military activities and, where covert, the need for DOD-conducted operations to maintain a military chain of command, drive these recommendations. The United States should revisit the rejection of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that DOD assume responsibility for paramilitary covert operations.75

Where DOD participation is necessary and primary, the operation should be conducted as an unacknowledged traditional military activity. If the risk analysis drives a decision to conduct the operation as a covert action, the President should maintain the military chain of command. This ensures Servicemembers going in harm’s way have every protection the Nation they serve can provide them—or a clearer understanding of the additional risks they are assuming on behalf
of their Nation. JFQ

http://www.ndu.edu/press/covert-action.html

The Largest Covert Operation in CIA History
By Chalmers Johnson
The History News Network

Monday 09 June 2003

The Central Intelligence Agency has an almost unblemished record of screwing up every “secret” armed intervention it ever undertook. From the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953 through the Bay of Pigs, the failed attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba and Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of Congo, the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, the “secret war” in Laos, aid to the Greek colonels who seized power in 1967, the 1973 killing of Salvador Allende in Chile and Ronald Reagan’s Iran-contra war against Nicaragua, there is not a single instance in which the agency’s activities did not prove acutely embarrassing to the United States. The CIA continues to get away with this primarily because its budget and operations have always been secret and Congress is normally too indifferent to its constitutional functions to rein in a rogue bureaucracy. Therefore the tale of a purported CIA success story should be of some interest.

According to the author of the newly released Charlie Wilson’s War, the exception to CIA incompetence was the arming between 1979 and 1988 of thousands of Afghan moujahedeen (“freedom fighters”). The agency flooded Afghanistan with an astonishing array of extremely dangerous weapons and “unapologetically mov[ed] to equip and train cadres of high tech holy warriors in the art of waging a war of urban terror against a modern superpower,” in this case, the USSR.

The author of this glowing account, George Crile, is a veteran producer for the CBS television news show “60 Minutes” and an exuberant Tom Clancy-type enthusiast for the Afghan caper. He argues that the U.S. clandestine involvement in Afghanistan was “the largest and most successful CIA operation in history” and “the one morally unambiguous crusade of our time.” He adds that “there was nothing so romantic and exciting as this war against the Evil Empire.” Crile’s sole measure of success is the number of Soviet soldiers killed (about 15,000), which undermined Soviet morale and contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the period from 1989 to 1991. That’s the successful part.

However, he never mentions that the “tens of thousands of fanatical Muslim fundamentalists” the CIA armed are some of the same people who in 1996 killed 19 American airmen at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998; blew a hole in the side of the U.S. destroyer Cole in Aden harbor in 2000; and on Sept. 11, 2001, flew hijacked airliners into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Today, the world awaits what is almost certain to happen soon at some airport — a terrorist firing a U.S. Stinger low-level surface-to-air missile (manufactured at one time by General Dynamics in Rancho Cucamonga) into an American jumbo jet. The CIA supplied thousands of them to the moujahedeen and trained them to be experts in their use. If the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan are a “success story,” then Enron should be considered a model of corporate behavior.

Nonetheless, Crile’s account is important, if appalling, precisely because it details how a ruthless ignoramus congressman and a high-ranking CIA thug managed to hijack American foreign policy. From 1973 to 1996, Charlie Wilson represented the 2nd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. His constituency was in the heart of the East Texas Bible Belt and was the long-held fiefdom of his fellow Democrat, Martin Dies, the first chairman of the House Un-American Affairs Committee. Wilson is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and “handsome, with one of those classic outdoor faces that tobacco companies bet millions on.” He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1956, eighth from the bottom of his class and with more demerits than any other cadet in Annapolis history.

After serving in the Texas Legislature, he arrived in Washington in 1973 and quickly became known as “Good Time Charlie,” “the biggest playboy in Congress.” He hired only good-looking women for his staff and escorted “a parade of beauty queens to White House parties.” Even Crile, who featured Wilson many times on “60 Minutes” and obviously admires him, describes him as “a seemingly corrupt, cocaine snorting, scandal prone womanizer who the CIA was convinced could only get the Agency into terrible trouble if it permitted him to become involved in any way in its operations.”

Wilson’s partner in getting the CIA to arm the moujahedeen was Gust Avrakotos, the son of working-class Greek immigrants from the steel workers’ town of Aliquippa, Pa. Only in 1960 did the CIA begin to recruit officers for the Directorate of Operations from among what it called “new Americans,” meaning such ethnic groups as Chinese, Japanese, Latinos and Greek Americans. Until then, it had followed its British model and taken only Ivy League sons of the Eastern Establishment. Avrakotos joined the CIA in 1961 and came to nurture a hatred of the bluebloods, or “cake eaters,” as he called them, who discriminated against him. After “spook school” at Camp Peary, next door to Jamestown, Va., he was posted to Athens, where, as a Greek speaker, he remained until 1978.

During Avrakotos’s time in Greece, the CIA was instrumental in destroying Greek freedom and helping to turn the country into probably the single most anti-American democracy on Earth today. Incredibly, Crile describes this as follows: “On April 21, 1967, he [Avrakotos] got one of those breaks that can make a career. A military junta seized power in Athens that day and suspended democratic and constitutional government.” Avrakotos became the CIA’s chief liaison with the Greek colonels. After the fall of the colonels’ brutally fascist regime, the 17 November terrorist organization assassinated the CIA’s Athens station chief, Richard Welch, on Dec. 23, 1975, and “Gust came to be vilified in the Greek radical press as the sinister force responsible for most of the country’s many ills.” He left the country in 1978 but could not get another decent assignment — he tried for Helsinki — because the head of the European Division regarded him as simply too uncouth to send to any of its capitals. He sat around Langley for several years without work until he was recruited by John McGaffin, head of the Afghan program. “If it’s really true that you have nothing to do,” McGaffin said, “why not come upstairs? We’re killing Russians.”

Wilson was the moneybags and sparkplug of this pair; Avrakotos was a street fighter who relished giving Kalashnikovs and Stingers to the tribesmen in Afghanistan. Wilson was the more complex of the two, and Crile argues that his “Good Time Charlie” image was actually a cover for a Barry Goldwater kind of hyper-patriotism. But Wilson was also a liberal on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and a close friend of the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), and his sister Sharon became chairwoman of the board of Planned Parenthood.

As a boy, Wilson was fascinated by World War II and developed an almost childlike belief that he possessed a “special destiny” to “kill bad guys” and help underdogs prevail over their enemies. When he entered Congress, just at the time of the Yom Kippur War, he became a passionate supporter of Israel. After he traveled to Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee began to steer large amounts of money from all over the country to him and to cultivate him as “one of Israel’s most important Congressional champions: a non-Jew with no Jewish constituents.” Jewish members of Congress also rallied to put Wilson on the all-powerful Appropriations Committee in order to guarantee Israel’s annual $3-billion subsidy. His own Texas delegation opposed his appointment.

Wilson was not discriminating in his largess. He also became a supporter of Anastasio “Tacho” Somoza, the West Point graduate and dictator of Nicaragua who in 1979 was swept away by popular fury. Before that happened, President Carter tried to cut the $3.1-million annual U.S. aid package to Nicaragua, but Wilson, declaring Somoza to be “America’s oldest anti-Communist ally in Central America,” opposed the president and prevailed.
During Wilson’s long tenure on the House Appropriations Committee, one of its subcommittee chairmen, Clarence D. “Doc” Long, used to have a sign mounted over his desk: “Them that has the gold makes the rules.” Wilson advanced rapidly on this most powerful of congressional committees. He was first appointed to the foreign operations subcommittee, which doles out foreign aid. He then did a big favor for then-Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.). The chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee at the time, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), had been caught in the FBI’s ABSCAM sting operation in which an agent disguised as a Saudi sheik offered members of Congress large cash bribes. O’Neill put Wilson on the Ethics Committee to save Murtha, which he did. In return, O’Neill assigned Wilson to the defense appropriations subcommittee and made him a life member of the governing board of the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, where he delighted in taking his young dates. Wilson soon discovered that all of the CIA’s budget and 40 percent of the Pentagon’s budget is “black,” hidden from the public and even from Congress. As a member of the defense subcommittee, he could arrange to have virtually any amount of money added to whatever black project he supported. So long as Wilson did favors for other members on the subcommittee, such as supporting defense projects in their districts, they would never object to his private obsessions.

About this time, Wilson came under the influence of a remarkable, rabidly conservative Houston woman in her mid-40s, Joanne Herring. They later fell in love, although they never married. She had a reputation among the rich of the River Oaks section of Houston as a collector of powerful men, a social lioness and hostess to her fellow members of the John Birch Society. She counted among her friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, dictator and first lady of the Philippines, and Yaqub Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, D.C., who got Herring named as Pakistan’s honorary consul for Houston.

In July 1977, the head of Pakistan’s army, Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, seized power and declared martial law, and in 1979, he hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the president who had promoted him. In retaliation, Carter cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan. In 1980, Herring went to Islamabad and was so entranced by Zia and his support for the Afghan freedom fighters that on her return to the United States, she encouraged Wilson to go to Pakistan. There he met Zia, learned about the Afghan moujahedeen and became a convert to the cause. Once Reagan replaced Carter, Wilson was able to restore Zia’s aid money and added several millions to the CIA’s funds for secretly arming the Afghan guerrillas, each dollar of which the Saudi government secretly matched.

Although Wilson romanticized the mountain warriors of Afghanistan, the struggle was never as uneven as it seemed. Pakistan provided the fighters with sanctuary, training and arms and even sent its own officers into Afghanistan as advisors on military operations. Saudi Arabia served as the fighters’ banker, providing hundred of millions with no strings attached. Several governments, including those of Egypt, China and Israel, secretly supplied arms. And the insurgency enjoyed the backing of the United States through the CIA.

Wilson’s and the CIA’s greatest preoccupation was supplying the Afghans with something effective against the Soviets’ most feared weapon, the Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship. The Red Army used it to slaughter innumerable moujahedeen as well as to shoot up Afghan villages. Wilson favored the Oerlikon antiaircraft gun made in Switzerland (it was later charged that he was on the take from the Zurich-based arms manufacturer). Avrakotos opposed it because it was too heavy for guerrillas to move easily, but he could not openly stand in Wilson’s way. After months of controversy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff finally dropped their objections to supplying the American Stinger, President Reagan signed off on it, and the “silver bullet” was on its way. The Stinger had never before been used in combat. It proved to be murderous against the Hinds, and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev decided to cut his losses and get out altogether. In Wilson’s postwar tour of Afghanistan, moujahedeen fighters surrounded him and triumphantly fired their missiles for his benefit. They also gave him as a souvenir the stock from the first Stinger to shoot down a Hind gunship.

The CIA “bluebloods” fired Avrakotos in the summer of 1986, and he retired to Rome. Wilson became chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, at which time he wrote to his CIA friends, “Well, gentlemen, the fox is in the hen house. Do whatever you like.” After retiring from Congress in 1996, he became a lobbyist for Pakistan under a contract that paid him $30,000 a month. Meanwhile, the United States lost interest in Afghanistan, which descended into a civil war that the Taliban ultimately won. In the autumn of 2001, the United States returned in force after Al Qaeda retaliated against its former weapon supplier by attacking New York and Washington. The president of the United States went around asking, “Why do they hate us?”

Crile knows a lot about these matters and presents them in a dramatic manner. There are, however, one or two items that he appears unaware of or is suppressing. For the CIA legally to carry out a covert action, the president must authorize a document called a finding. Crile repeatedly says that Carter signed such a finding ordering the CIA to provide covert backing to the moujahedeen after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979. The truth of the matter is that Carter signed the finding on July 3, 1979, six months before the Soviet invasion, and he did so on the advice of his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in order to try to provoke a Russian incursion. Brzezinski has confirmed this sequence of events in an interview with a French newspaper, and former CIA Director Robert M. Gates says so explicitly in his 1996 memoirs. It may surprise Charlie Wilson to learn that his heroic moujahedeen were manipulated by Washington like so much cannon fodder in order to give the USSR its own Vietnam. The moujahedeen did the job, but as subsequent events have made clear, they may not be grateful to the United States.

Mr. Johnson is the author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic, to be published in January by Metropolitan Books.

http://archive.truthout.org/article/the-largest-covert-operation-cia-history

Background Articles and Videos

Covert Action – Operation Field Goal

A CIA special operations officer pursues a tip from an intercepted al-Qaeda transmission and ventures alone into enemy territory – where he’ll need all his training to survive.

CIA Covert Operations and U.S. Interventions Since World War II Full documentary

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: Secret Team – The Formation & Purpose of The NSC – PT 1 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team – The CIA’s Origins Of Covert Operations – PT 2 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team – Covert Operations & Their Consequences – PT 3 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: Secret Team – Conclusion – PT 4 of 4

Muslim Brotherhood Subversion: 12 Key Players in Obama/Bush Administrations

C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels

By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.

In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

American officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — including the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots and the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks.

In addition, the American spies are meeting with rebels to try to fill in gaps in understanding who their leaders are and the allegiances of the groups opposed to Colonel Qaddafi, said United States government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the activities.  American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives were not directing the actions of rebel forces.

A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.

The United States and its allies have been scrambling to gather detailed information on the location and abilities of Libyan infantry and armored forces that normally takes months of painstaking analysis.

“We didn’t have great data,” Gen. Carter F. Ham, who handed over control of the Libya mission to NATO on Wednesday, said in an e-mail last week.   “Libya hasn’t been a country we focused on a lot over past few years.”

Several weeks ago, President Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the C.I.A. to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels, American officials said Wednesday. But weapons have not yet been shipped into Libya, as Obama administration officials debate the effects of giving them to the rebel groups. The presidential finding was first reported by Reuters.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, declined to comment “on intelligence matters,” but he said that no decision had yet been made to provide arms to the rebels.

Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that he opposed arming the rebels. “We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement.

Because the publicly stated goal of the Libyan campaign is not explicitly to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi’s government, the clandestine war now going on is significantly different from the Afghan campaign to drive the Taliban from power in 2001. Back then, American C.I.A. and Special Forces troops worked alongside Afghan militias, armed them and called in airstrikes that paved the rebel advances on strategically important cities like Kabul and Kandahar.

In recent weeks, the American military has been monitoring Libyan troops with U-2 spy planes and a high-altitude Global Hawk drone, as well as a special aircraft, JSTARS, that tracks the movements of large groups of troops.  Military officials said that the Air Force also has Predator drones, similar to those now operating in Afghanistan, in reserve.

Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint eavesdropping planes intercept communications from Libyan commanders and troops and relay that information to the Global Hawk, which zooms in on the location of armored forces and determines rough coordinates. The Global Hawk sends the coordinates to analysts at a ground station, who pass the information to command centers for targeting. The command center beams the coordinates to an E-3 Sentry Awacs command-and-control plane, which in turn directs warplanes to their targets.

Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who recently retired as the Air Force’s top intelligence official, said that Libya’s flat desert terrain and clear weather have allowed warplanes with advanced sensors to hunt Libyan armored columns with relative ease, day or night, without the need for extensive direction from American troops on the ground.

But if government troops advance into or near cities in along the country’s eastern coast, which so far have been off-limits to coalition aircraft for fear of causing civilian casualties, General Deptula said that ground operatives would be particularly helpful in providing target coordinates or pointing them out to pilots with hand-held laser designators.

The C.I.A. and British intelligence services were intensely focused on Libya eight years ago, before and during the successful effort to get Colonel Qaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to do so in the fall of 2003, and allowed C.I.A. and other American nuclear experts into the country to assess Libya’s equipment and bomb designs and to arrange for their transfer out of the country.

Once the weapons program was eliminated, a former American official said, intelligence agencies shifted their focus away from Libya. But as Colonel Qaddafi began his recent crackdown on the rebel groups, the American spy agencies have worked to rekindle ties to Libyan informants and to learn more about the country’s military leaders.

A former British government official who is briefed on current operations confirmed media reports that dozens of British Special Forces soldiers, from the elite Special Air Service and Special Boat Service units, are on the ground across Libya. The British soldiers have been particularly focused on finding the locations of Colonel Qaddafi’s Russian-made surface-to-air missiles.

A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense declined to comment, citing a policy not to discuss the operations of British Special Forces.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/africa/31intel.html?_r=3&hp&

Military, CIA shun 9/11 panel on covert operations

Special-ops lead urged in report

By Bill Gertz The Washington Times

The U.S. military and the CIA failed to agree on implementing a key recommendation of the commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Give special-operations commandos the lead for all covert military action.

The 9/11 Commission ordered the shift in response to concerns that CIA covert action — a mainstay of the agency’s World War II predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services — had “atrophied.” The agency also had a “risk averse” approach to spying and semisecret military activities.

Former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman, a member of the panel, said a report card made public last week by the Bipartisan Policy Center didn’t address the failure to implement the covert action change because of the secrecy surrounding the issue.

“The situation has evolved far beyond where it was at the time of our report,” Mr. Lehman said, adding that the raid to kill Osama bin Laden “shows that they are now doing something right.”

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Gerry” Boykin, a former Delta Force commando and Pentagon intelligence policymaker during the George W. Bush administration, said that after the commission issued its recommendation in 2004, disagreements arose over bureaucratic turf, and the CIA and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SoCom) could not agree on how to implement it.

The military has expanded special operations forces in recent years. But critics complain that the Pentagon official in charge of the policies for their use is Michael G. Vickers, a former CIA official who comes from the agency’s risk-averse, anti-covert-action culture.

Military covert action involves training and equipping foreign military or paramilitary forces in semisecret activities where the U.S. role is hidden. Past programs included arming Cuban rebels for the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, deploying direct-action hit teams in Vietnam, and the arming and training of anti-communist rebels in Latin America and anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan.

Since 2004, the CIA’s most successful covert military operation was the hunt for bin Laden and the raid to kill him in Pakistan on May 2 with Navy SEALs.

The CIA’s other successful covert military action is the war against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups using drone missile strikes in the Middle East and South Asia.

One setback was the suicide bombing by a double agent in December 2009 at a CIA covert base in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven agency officers.

The military’s most secret units and those involved in covert warfare are the Army’s Delta Force and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, formerly SEAL Team 6.

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf said the agency and the Pentagon have worked closely in the fight against al Qaeda, notably in the Abbottabad, Pakistan, operation against bin Laden.

“Our capabilities are complementary, not duplicative, and the success of those capabilities should speak for itself,” she said.

Gen. Boykin said a task force was set up to study the 9/11 recommendation, but it failed to define paramilitary covert action. “This was a fundamental question that no one could answer,” Gen. Boykin said.

If the commission meant training, SoCom already had the mission of working with surrogates. But “paramilitary” operations — activities that are militarylike but carried out by groups other than the military — automatically would become military if the function is passed to the Pentagon.

Gen. Boykin said that if the commission wanted to give responsibility for covert action to the Pentagon, the CIA was opposed, arguing that the change would hinder intelligence collection. The agency said its facilities and equipment were “dual-use” — for spying and paramilitary — and could not be transferred.

Gen. Boykin said the command was against duplicating the CIA’s training facilities, methods and equipment, because of high costs needed to “age” equipment and weapons for operations.

“Working from the assumption that the commission was not really sure what they were recommending, the study group determined that the capabilities already in SoCom were competent to train indigenous forces including using clandestine methodology,” he said.

“The agreement was that the CIA would support [special operations] as needed with facilities and other resources.”

Bureaucratic turf also played a role.

CIA did not want to lose anything since that would result in a reduction of resources as well as a loss of authority,” Gen. Boykin said.

However, special operations forces also “did not want the covert action mission because they saw it as something that would absorb huge amounts of time and resources and would be a distraction,” he said.

Former CIA officer Robert Baer, who was investigated by the Clinton administration during a covert action in northern Iraq, said he favors giving the mission to the military. “No matter what the bosses say, the CIA hates covert and paramilitary operations,” he said.

“The place is managed by liberal-arts majors who do a lot better operating on intuition and big-horizon stuff — like whether we’re winning or losing in Afghanistan,” Mr. Baer said. “But never ask it to run a bunch of Hmong tribesmen or disaffected Pashtuns and ever hope to win a war with them.”

Mr. Baer said the Pentagon is better tactically at making things work and has a larger pool of recruits with foreign-language skills.

“The problem is that presidents always reach for the CIA when they think they need a ‘silver bullet,’ like the Bay of Pigs,” he said. “The CIA inevitably fails, and then it gets blamed for the mess.”

Every covert action requires a presidential directive stating that the proposed action is in the country’s national interest. The procedure is often cumbersome and prone to public disclosure. Supporters of the change say military-led covert action would be more flexible and easier to approve.

Hiring former special operations forces at the CIA will not help the agency’s covert military capabilities, Mr. Baer said. “Outside military discipline, they just don’t perform up to their capabilities,” he said.

Mr. Baer said the covert program to supply Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Afghan rebels in the 1980s was less a covert action success than a “logistics” plan to ship arms to the fighters in the field. “It was not a proper paramilitary campaign,” he said.

A Harvard University study several years ago quoted anti-covert-action officials at the CIA as opposing the Stinger operation because of fears it would trigger a war with the Soviet Union.

The 9/11 Commission report describes the CIA in 2001 as “institutionally averse to risk, with its capacity for covert action atrophied.”

It also says the CIA did not invest in developing “robust” paramilitary operations with U.S. personnel but instead relied on proxies trained and organized by CIA officers without military experience. “The results were unsatisfactory,” it says.

The 9/11 Commission said the CIA could continue clandestine and nonmilitary covert action, including propaganda and nonmilitary disruption.

“We believe, however, that one important area of responsibility should change,” the commission’s report says. “Lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department.”

There, covert military action programs should be consolidated and placed under Special Operations Command, it says.

“Whether the price is measured in either money or people, the United States cannot afford to build two separate capabilities for carrying out secret military operations, secretly operating standoff missiles, and secretly training foreign military or paramilitary forces,” the report says.

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James Grant Interviewed by James Turk–Federal Reserve, National Debt, Money, Gold — Videos

Posted on May 11, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, government spending, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Radio, Raves, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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James Grant and James Turk discuss gold, the Fed and the fiscal situation of the USA

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Who Wrote The Benghazi Cover-up Story of The Anti-Islamic YouTube Video for Rice, Clinton, and Obama? Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication–Propagandist Speech Writer? — Videos

Posted on May 8, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Comedy, Communications, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Obama-lol

President Barack Obama jokes with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication, aboard Air Force One

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Cover-up

A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up deception is used.

The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority who abuse their power to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty or a crime.

While the terms are often used interchangeably, cover-up involves withholding incriminatory evidence, while whitewash involves releasing misleading evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover-up

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: Truth coming out

Glenn Beck Ties Together Benghazi, IRS, & AP Scandals ‘Fundamental Transformation’

Treason: Benghazi Revelations Could Sink Obama

Obama Hiding Arms Shipments To Syrian Jihadists

Benghazi–Stand Down – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Program

Who wrote the video Benghazi coverup story or lie for Rice, Clinton and Obama? Ben Rhodes?

Benghazi – TheBlazeTV – The Glenn Beck Program – 2013.05.06

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: How did we get here?

Glenn Beck – The Benghazi Hearings

Lt Gen Mclnemey Is Ashamed Our Military Responded Benghazi Libya & Blames Obama Admin – Lou Dobbs

FOX News Confirms US Was Holding Prisoners at Benghazi Annex

From Rice to the White House: An Alumnus’ Journey

The Anti-Anti-Islam Film TV Ad By US in Pakistan Repudiating Film

Innocence of Muslims Full Movie HD 1080P Trailer

Press Briefing with Jay Carney and Ben Rhodes

Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communication

Twitter Interviews White House Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Adviser Part 1

Twitter Interviews White House Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Adviser Part 2

Twitter Interviews White House Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Adviser Part 3

Twitter Interviews White House Ben Rhodes Deputy National Security Adviser Part 4

From the Rhodes — The President in Mexico

President Obama gets ready to leave Israel

President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo

White House denies changing story on Benghazi

4/30/13 former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer on the Benghazi cover-up

Benjamin J. Rhodes (b. 1977) is the current deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for U.S. President Barack Obama, for whom he has been a foreign policy speechwriter since 2007. He is a graduate of the Collegiate School,[1] Rice University, and New York University. He has been described as a realist by The Washington Post,[2] and was mentioned by Time on the “40 Under 40” list of powerful and prominent young professionals in 2011.[3] His brother, David, is president of CBS News.

Rhodes wrote Pres. Barack Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech A New Beginning.[4]

Rhodes was the one who advised Pres. Barack Obama to withdraw support from Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, becoming a key adviser during the Arab Spring.[5]

Rhodes euphemistically described the United States’ military involvement in Libya as “kinetic military action.”[6] In a March 16, 2013 feature story appearing in The New York Times, Rhodes declined to comment on his role in Obama administration policy decisions, saying, “My main job, which has always been my job, is to be the person who represents the president’s view on these issues.”[5]

During the Benghazi Hearings in Washington, D.C. May 8, 2013, an article was published in an online magazine The Patriot Newswire suggesting that Ben Rhodes may be responsible for a Benghazi cover up. Is This Man The Mastermind Behind The Benghazi Cover Up? http://patriot-newswire.com/2013/05/is-this-man-the-mastermind-behind-the-benghazi-cover-up/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Rhodes_%28speechwriter%29

White House denies changing story on Benghazi

The White House continued to fend off suggestions it misled the public about the attack on the US mission in Libya in September, a day after ex-CIA chief David Petraeus told Congress that mentions of al-Qaeda were edited out of public talking points.

The White House insisted on Saturday that it did not make significant changes to its talking points about the September attack on a US diplomatic building in the Libyan city of Benghazi, as it continued to fend off accusations by Republicans that the Obama administration had misled the American public about the terrorist nature of the attack.

“The only edit that was made by the White House and also by the State Department was to change the word ‘consulate’ to the word ‘diplomatic facility,’ since the facility in Benghazi was not formally a consulate,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday.

“Other than that, we were guided by the points that were provided by the intelligence community. So I can’t speak to any other edits that may have been made,” Rhodes said about notes that were used by UN Ambassador Susan Rice to speak to the press about the attack that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.

On Friday, former CIA chief David Petraeus revealed that the original taking points about the attack had mentioned groups linked to al-Qaeda, but those mentions were removed from the texts used by Rice, according to US lawmakers who heard Petraeus’ testimony to Congress.

Petraeus –who is caught up in a career-ending sex scandal– appeared before House and Senate intelligence panels that were closed off to reporters. The respected ex-spy chief also said the changes to talking points were not made for political reasons during President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, as some Republicans have suggested.

After his testimony to Congress, Petraeus was escorted through a back exit to avoid contact with journalists. His testimony to Congress was later relayed by Republican and Democratic lawmakers who attended the closed-door hearings.

‘Changes made to protect classified information’

On Saturday, Rhodes deflected responsibility for removing the Al Qaeda references onto the CIA and other members of the US intelligence community. “If there were adjustments made to them [the talking points] within the intelligence community, that’s common, and that’s something they would have done themselves,” the deputy national security advisor told reporters.

Democratic lawmakers said that Petraeus was adamant that there had been no White House interference. The recently resigned four-star general explained that references to terrorist groups suspected of carrying out the violence were removed from the public statement by Rice and others so as not to tip off those groups that US intelligence was on their trail.

“There was an interagency process to draft it, not a political process,” Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California said. “They came up with the best assessment without compromising classified information or source or methods. So changes were made to protect classified information.”

Republicans remain skeptical

However, Republicans remained skeptical over the White House and Petraeus’ explanation, maintaining that the Obama administration may have watered down information to cover up for poor intelligence or inadequate security of US personnel in Libya.

Ambassador Rice has been floated as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is stepping down early next year, but some Republicans are threatening to block Rice’s nomination.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, said Petraeus’ testimony showed that security measures were inadequate “despite an overwhelming and growing amount of information that showed the area in Benghazi was dangerous, particularly on the night of September 11.”

Peter King, a Congressman from New York and the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Friday he saw a contradiction between the account Petraeus had given to an earlier House hearing and the one given during his most recent appearence.

“His testimony was he told us that from the start it was a terrorist attack. I told him that was not my direct recollection. The clear impression we were given was that the overwhelming amount of evidence was that it arose out of a spontaneous demonstration and [not] that it was a terrorist attack.”

On Saturday King told Fox News television that it remained unclear who had made the edits concerning al Qaeda involvement in Benghazi, and did not rule out the White House.

“That’s why it’s important to find out why it was done. It could be anywhere in the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, the White House,” King told the right-wing news channel. “[We need] to find out why it was done, what the purpose of it was.

http://www.france24.com/en/20121118-usa-white-house-obama-no-edited-talking-points-benghazi-mission-al-qaeda-rice-king-rubio

The Benghazi Talking Points

And how they were changed to obscure the truth

May 13, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 33 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES

Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults. The Weekly Standard has obtained a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA’s talking points, just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and additional information about why the changes were made and by whom.

As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, sought to obscure the emerging picture and downplay the significance of attacks that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. The frantic process that produced the changes to the talking points took place over a 24-hour period just one day before Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made her now-famous appearances on the Sunday television talk shows. The discussions involved senior officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the White House.

The exchange of emails is laid out in a 43-page report from the chairmen of five committees in the House of Representatives. Although the investigation was conducted by Republicans, leading some reporters and commentators to dismiss it, the report quotes directly from emails between top administration and intelligence officials, and it includes footnotes indicating the times the messages were sent. In some cases, the report did not provide the names of the senders, but The Weekly Standard has confirmed the identities of the authors of two critical emails—one indicating the main reason for the changes and the other announcing that the talking points would receive their final substantive rewrite at a meeting of top administration officials on Saturday, September 15.

The White House provided the emails to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees for a limited time and with the stipulation that the documents were available for review only and would not be turned over to the committees. The White House and committee leadership agreed to that arrangement as part of a deal that would keep Republican senators from blocking the confirmation of John Brennan, the president’s choice to run the CIA. If the House report provides an accurate and complete depiction of the emails, it is clear that senior administration officials engaged in a wholesale rewriting of intelligence assessments about Benghazi in order to mislead the public. The Weekly Standard sought comment  from officials at the White House, the State Department, and the CIA, but received none by press time. Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack. It was this fact, along with several others, that top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure.

After a briefing on Capitol Hill by CIA director David Petraeus, Democrat Dutch Ruppersburger, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, asked the intelligence community for unclassified guidance on what members of Congress could say in their public comments on the attacks. The CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis prepared the first draft of a response to the congressman, which was distributed internally for comment at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, September 14 (Version 1 at right). This initial CIA draft included the assertion that the U.S. government “know[s] that Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda participated in the attack.” That draft also noted that press reports “linked the attack to Ansar al Sharia. The group has since released a statement that its leadership did not order the attacks, but did not deny that some of its members were involved.” Ansar al Sharia, the CIA draft continued, aims to spread sharia law in Libya and “emphasizes the need for jihad.” The agency draft also raised the prospect that the facilities had been the subject of jihadist surveillance and offered a reminder that in the previous six months there had been “at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants, including the June attack against the British Ambassador’s convoy.”

After the internal distribution, CIA officials amended that draft to include more information about the jihadist threat in both Egypt and Libya. “On 10 September we warned of social media reports calling for a demonstration in front of the [Cairo] Embassy and that jihadists were threatening to break into the Embassy,” the agency had added by late afternoon. And: “The Agency has produced numerous pieces on the threat of extremists linked to al Qaeda in Benghazi and Libya.” But elsewhere, CIA officials pulled back. The reference to “Islamic extremists” no longer specified “Islamic extremists with ties to al Qaeda,” and the initial reference to “attacks” in Benghazi was changed to “demonstrations.”

The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.

There is little information about what happened at that meeting of the Deputies Committee. But according to two officials with knowledge of the process, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, made broad changes to the draft afterwards. Morrell cut all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words (see Version 2 above). Gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.

What remained—and would be included in the final version of the talking points—was mostly boilerplate about ongoing investigations and working with the Libyan government, together with bland language suggesting that the “violent demonstrations”—no longer “attacks”—were spontaneous responses to protests in Egypt and may have included generic “extremists” (see Version 3 above).

If the story of what happened in Benghazi was dramatically stripped down from the first draft of the CIA’s talking points to the version that emerged after the Deputies Committee meeting, the narrative would soon be built up again. In ensuing days, administration officials emphasized a “demonstration” in front of the U.S. facility in Benghazi and claimed that the demonstrators were provoked by a YouTube video. The CIA had softened “attack” to “demonstration.” But as soon became clear, there had been no demonstration in Benghazi.

More troubling was the YouTube video. Rice would spend much time on the Sunday talk shows pointing to this video as the trigger of the chaos in Benghazi. “What sparked the violence was a very hateful video on the Internet. It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.” There is no mention of any “video” in any of the many drafts of the talking points.

Still, top Obama officials would point to the video to explain Benghazi. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even denounced the video in a sort of diplomatic public service announcement in Pakistan. In a speech at the United Nations on September 25, the president mentioned the video several times in connection with Benghazi.

On September 17, the day after Rice appeared on the Sunday shows, Nuland defended Rice’s performance during the daily briefing at the State Department. “What I will say, though, is that Ambassador Rice, in her comments on every network over the weekend, was very clear, very precise, about what our initial assessment of what happened is. And this was not just her assessment, it was also an assessment you’ve heard in comments coming from the intelligence community, in comments coming from the White House.”

“Innocence of Muslims” FULL MOVIE HD Anti-Muslim Anti-Islam Prophet Muhammad

Is Ben Rhodes the Mastermind Behind the Benghazi Cover Up?

wrote yesterday about how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knew that the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda operatives. We know the Obama White House put out the story for nearly a week that it was just Muslims upset over a benign YouTube video. In spite of knowing what was going on and having the ability to intervene, the Obama administration did nothing to stop or assist Americans who they knew were being attacked by Al-Qaeda. Instead, they chose to cover it up and intimidate witnesses. Stephen F. Hayes has an excellent piece at the Weekly Standard titled The Benghazi Talking Points, in which he fingers the man he believes is the main person behind the Benghazi cover up, Ben Rhodes.

Of course, one would immediately have to wonder about those who would be around a man who has vowed to stand with the Muslims instead of America. If you recall, Barack Obama made a speech in Cairo, Egypt to an audience which included the Muslim Brotherhood, in which he distorted the Qur’an to put it in a good light and then attempted to make out like Islam had made great contributions to both America and the world. That speech was written by Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter and now a part of a his National Security Council.

Hayes writes in his article about the talking points that were first put out to officials. He writes:

The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”

In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.

hayestp.img_assist_custom-497x1400

There is little information about what happened at that meeting of the Deputies Committee. But according to two officials with knowledge of the process, Mike Morrell, deputy director of the CIA, made broad changes to the draft afterwards. Morrell cut all or parts of four paragraphs of the six-paragraph talking points—148 of its 248 words (see Version 2 above). Gone were the reference to “Islamic extremists,” the reminders of agency warnings about al Qaeda in Libya, the reference to “jihadists” in Cairo, the mention of possible surveillance of the facility in Benghazi, and the report of five previous attacks on foreign interests.

Ed Lasky writes concerning Rhodes, “Ben Rhodes should be called to account for trying to divert blame away from Islamic terrorists and the Obama team members whose feckless negligence led to the Benghazi massacre.”

“I have previously written about Ben Rhodes and his role in the Obama White House,” writes Lasky. “It is shameful that this ‘kid’ (he is all of 35) has been given any responsibility at all in our government. In ‘Does it bother anyone that this person is the Deputy National Security Adviser?’ I noted his problematic background for someone given so much power by Obama. But then again he does specialize in fiction-writing. He earned a master’s degree in fiction-writing from New York University just a few years ago . He did not have a degree in government, diplomacy, national security; nor has he served in the CIA, or the military. He was toiling away not that long ago on a novel called ‘The Oasis of Love’ about a mega church in Houston, a dog track, and a failed romance. ”

Lasky concludes that Ben Rhodes is the man that attempted to whitewash Islamists and the Obama administration, not only in the Cairo speech, but in the talking points promoted by the Obama White House in the days following the attack on Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

I guess we’ll wait and see if he is even called as a witness this by the House in this week’s hearings.

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.

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Source: http://dcclothesline.com/2013/05/08/is-ben-rhodes-the-mastermind-behind-the-benghazi-

Ben Rhodes

dek
Charles Dharapak / AP

Rhodes grew up in New York City and moved to Washington in 2002, eventually taking a job writing speeches for Barack Obama, then a freshman Senator. Now, as Obama’s principal communications aide on national security, he reads the top-secret President’s Daily Brief, advises the President on key decisions and runs meetings with advisers much older than he is. “It was awkward for the first few weeks,” says Rhodes, 32, “but you get used to it.”

Who is your political hero/inspiration?
Robert F. Kennedy.

What’s your go-to political blog?
andrewsullivan.com

If you weren’t working in politics, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be living in New York trying to write novels but making a living off of non-fiction.

What’s the most overlooked issue facing America these days?
We need a broad and sustainable consensus about the politics of national security and America’s role in the world, which we have not had in the 21st century

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
Transitioning out of the second Obama Administration to live in California (per my wife), trying to write novels but making a living off of non-fiction.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2023831_2023829_2025191,00.html #ixzz2Sklg6IQX

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Cover-up

A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up deception is used.

The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority who abuse their power to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty or a crime.

While the terms are often used interchangeably, cover-up involves withholding incriminatory evidence, while whitewash involves releasing misleading evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover-up

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