Story 1: Obama The Tyrant Races To Have The United Nations Security Council Pass The Traitorous Terrorist Treaty Before Congress Votes It Down — Congress and President Betray The United States Constitution — Just Walk Way From Both Political Parties — Never Again Fasicism — Videos
Incredible! New George S Patton speech! Iran & modern warfare
The Iran nuclear deal. Good deal or bad deal?
George Pataki: Iran deal is bad for civilized world
White House, Democrats divided over Iran nuclear deal
KEY POINTS OF HISTORIC IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Bolton: Nuke Deal ‘Paves the Way’ for Iran to Get Nuclear Weapons
Mitch McConnell Fox News Sunday. McConnell On Iran Deal, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump
July 14, 2015 Fiorina on nuclear deal with Iran: Bad behavior pays
Trump reacts to Obama’s Iran deal presser, El Chapo’s escape
Key Republican Senator Corker Angry Over Iran Nuclear Deal
Blackburn: Iran Nuclear Deal is Bad for the United States
Levin: ‘U.S. Senate Just Capitulated To Obama,’ And Rewrote The Constitution’s Treaty Provision
Just Walk Way From Both Political Parties
Discusses Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act on FOX News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor”
“TREATY” – The Word Congress Won’t Use
Judge Napolitano : Obama pushes World Government by signing U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (Sep 26, 2013)
Obama Bringing Iran Deal to UN, Bypassing Congress
The Four Tops Walk Away Renee
Four Tops – It’s The Same Old Song (1966)
UN ENDORSES IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL WITH 6 WORLD POWERS
The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously endorsed the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and authorized a series of measures leading to the end of U.N. sanctions that have hurt Iran’s economy.
But the measure also provides a mechanism for U.N. sanctions to “snap back” in place if Iran fails to meet its obligations.
Both U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo called the agreement an important achievement for diplomacy, the Iranian promising to be “resolute in fulfilling its obligations” and the American pledging to be vigilant in ensuring they are carried out.
The resolution had been agreed to by the five veto-wielding council members, who along with Germany negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. It was co-sponsored by all 15 members of the Security Council. The European Union’s foreign ministers endorsed the agreement later Monday in Brussels and pledged to implement it.
Under the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program will be curbed for a decade in exchange for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of relief from international sanctions. Many key penalties on the Iranian economy, such as those related to the energy and financial sectors, could be lifted by the end of the year.
Iran insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, aimed at producing nuclear energy and medical isotopes, but the United States and its Western allies believe Tehran’s real goal is to build atomic weapons. U.S. President Barack Obama has stressed that all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon are cut off for the duration of the agreement and Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and get rid of 98 percent of its stockpile of uranium.
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said “the world is now a safer place in the knowledge that Iran cannot now build a nuclear bomb.” But Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told reporters immediately after the vote that the Security Council had “awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world,” calling it “a very sad day” not only for Israel but the entire world.
The document specifies that seven resolutions related to U.N. sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of major steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that “all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities.”
All provisions of the U.N. resolution will terminate in 10 years, including the “snap back” provision on sanctions.
But last week the six major powers – the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – and the European Union sent a letter, seen by The Associated Press, informing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they have agreed to extend the snap back mechanism for an additional five years. They asked Ban to send the letter to the Security Council.
Obama told reporters the vote will send a strong message of international support for the agreement as the best way to ensure “that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.” He faces strong opposition in the Republican-controlled Congress and expressed hope that members will pay attention to the vote.
Power, the U.S. ambassador, said the nuclear deal doesn’t change the United States’ “profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region.”
She urged Iran to release three “unjustly imprisoned” Americans and to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in Iran in 2007.
The message that diplomacy can work ran through many speeches from council members.
Iran’s Khoshroo stressed that only if commitments are fully honored “can diplomacy prevail over conflict and war in a world that is replete with violence, suffering and oppression.”
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the agreement “clearly demonstrates that where there’s a political will based on realism and respect for legitimate mutual interests of the international community, the most complex tasks can be resolved.”
“Today, the Security Council has confirmed the inalienable right of Iran to develop its peaceful nuclear program, including to enrich uranium, while ensuring the comprehensive control by the IAEA,” Churkin said.
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…
One of three types of international accord
In the United States, the term “treaty” is used in a more restricted legal sense than in international law. U.S. law distinguishes what it calls treaties from congressional-executive agreements and sole-executive agreements. All three classes are considered treaties under international law; they are distinct only from the perspective of internal United States law. Distinctions among the three concern their method of ratification: by two-thirds of the Senate, by normal legislative process, or by the President alone, respectively. The Treaty Clause  empowers the President to make or enter into treaties with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of theSenate. In contrast, normal legislation becomes law after approval by simple majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Throughout U.S. history, the President has also made international “agreements” through congressional-executive agreements (CEAs) that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreements made by the President alone. Though the Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution does distinguish between treaties (which states are forbidden to make) and agreements (which states may make with the consent of Congress). The Supreme Court of the United States has considered congressional-executive and sole-executive agreements to be valid, and they have been common throughout American history. Thomas Jefferson explained that the Article II treaty procedure is not necessary when there is no long-term commitment:
It is desirable, in many instances, to exchange mutual advantages by Legislative Acts rather than by treaty: because the former, though understood to be in consideration of each other, and therefore greatly respected, yet when they become too inconvenient, can be dropped at the will of either party: whereas stipulations by treaty are forever irrevocable but by joint consent….
A further distinction embodied in U.S. law is between self-executing treaties, which do not require additional legislative action, and non-self-executing treaties which do require the enactment of new laws. These various distinctions of procedure and terminology do not affect the binding status of accords under international law. Nevertheless, they do have major implications under U.S. domestic law. In Missouri v. Holland, the Supreme Court ruled that the power to make treaties under the U.S. Constitution is a power separate from the other enumerated powers of the federal government, and hence the federal government can use treaties to legislate in areas which would otherwise fall within the exclusive authority of the states. By contrast, a congressional-executive agreement can only cover matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President. Likewise, a sole-executive agreement can only cover matters within the President’s authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President. For example, a treaty may prohibit states from imposing capital punishment on foreign nationals, but a congressional-executive agreement or sole-executive agreement cannot.
In general, arms control agreements are often ratified by the treaty mechanism. At the same time, trade agreements (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and United States accession to the World Trade Organization) are generally voted on as a CEA, and such agreements typically include an explicit right to withdraw after giving sufficient written notice to the other parties. If an international commercial accord contains binding “treaty” commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.
Between 1946 and 1999, the United States completed nearly 16,000 international agreements. Only 912 of those agreements were treaties, submitted to the Senate for approval as outlined in Article II of the United States Constitution. Since the Franklin Roosevelt presidency, only 6% of international accords have been completed as Article II treaties. Most of these executive agreements consist of congressional-executive agreements.
American law is that international accords become part of the body of U.S. federal law. Consequently, Congress can modify or repeal treaties by subsequent legislative action, even if this amounts to a violation of the treaty under international law. This was held, for instance, in the Head Money Cases. The most recent changes will be enforced by U.S. courts entirely independent of whether the international community still considers the old treaty obligations binding upon the U.S.
Additionally, an international accord that is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution is void under domestic U.S. law, the same as any other federal law in conflict with the Constitution. This principle was most clearly established in the case of Reid v. Covert. The Supreme Court could rule an Article II treaty provision to be unconstitutional and void under domestic law, although it has not yet done so.
In Goldwater v. Carter, Congress challenged the constitutionality of then-president Jimmy Carter‘s unilateral termination of a defense treaty. The case went before the Supreme Court and was never heard; a majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument, holding that “The issue at hand … was essentially a political question and could not be reviewed by the court, as Congress had not issued a formal opposition.” In his opinion, Justice Brennan dissented, “The issue of decision making authority must be resolved as a matter of constitutional law, not political discretion; accordingly, it falls within the competence of the courts”. Presently, there is no official ruling on whether the President has the power to break a treaty without the approval of Congress, and the courts also declined to interfere when President George W. Bush unilaterally withdrew the United States from the ABM Treaty in 2002, six months after giving the required notice of intent.
Scope of presidential powers
Presidents have regarded the Article II treaty process as necessary where an international accord would bind a future president. For example, Theodore Roosevelt explained:
The Constitution did not explicitly give me power to bring about the necessary agreement with Santo Domingo. But the Constitution did not forbid my doing what I did. I put the agreement into effect, and I continued its execution for two years before the Senate acted; and I would have continued it until the end of my term, if necessary, without any action by Congress. But it was far preferable that there should be action by Congress, so that we might be proceeding under a treaty which was the law of the land and not merely by a direction of the Chief Executive which would lapse when that particular executive left office. I therefore did my best to get the Senate to ratify what I had done.
A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president’s authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty. Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties).
In 1972, Congress passed legislation requiring the president to notify Congress of any executive agreements that are formed.
Although the nondelegation doctrine prevents Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch, Congress has allowed the executive to act as Congress’s “agent” in trade negotiations, such as by setting tariffs, and, in the case of Trade Promotion Authority, by solely authoring the implementing legislation for trade agreements. The constitutionality of this delegation was upheld by the Supreme Court in Field v. Clark (1892).
HAMILTON’S WARNING AGAINST OBAMA AND THE IRAN DEAL – FEDERALIST NO. 75
“An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents.” Thus did Alexander Hamilton warn the American people, in Federalist No. 75, against allowing the president to make treaties alone.
Hamilton, while a supporter of executive power, nevertheless argued for the Senate’s treaty role, because “it would be utterly unsafe and improper to intrust that power to an elective magistrate of four years’ duration.”
It would be unsafe, he said, because even the most virtuous individuals, with the best of intentions, would fall prey to the temptations that negotiations with foreign powers would certainly provide.
How much more so does his advice apply to a president of lesser virtue, such as Barack Obama, who intends to decrease the power of the United States as a matter of ideological conviction, and who seeks narcissistic satisfaction in the attention a deal with Iran would temporarily provide!
Hamilton also anticipated the greed allegedly displayed by Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, whose perambulations around the globe in service of the president’s dubious foreign policy agenda coincided with generous donations from foreign governments to her family’s personal foundation.
“An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth,” Hamilton warns, prescribing the review powers of the Senate as the remedy.
And lest apologists for Obama argue that the nuclear deal with Iran is not actually a “treaty,” but merely an “executive agreement,” Hamilton leaves no doubt as to the scope of arrangements to which the Senate’s review power applies.
“The power of making treaties,” he says, concerns “CONTRACTS with foreign nations, which have the force of law, but derive it from the obligations of good faith” (original emphasis).
Congress should heed Hamilton’s warning before it is too late.
The Treaty Clause has a number of striking features. It gives the Senate, in James Madison’s terms, a “partial agency” in the President’s foreign-relations power. The clause requires a supermajority (two-thirds) of the Senate for approval of a treaty, but it gives the House of Representatives, representing the “people,” no role in the process.
Midway through the Constitutional Convention, a working draft had assigned the treaty-making power to the Senate, but the Framers, apparently considering the traditional role of a nation-state’s executive in making treaties, changed direction and gave the power to the President, but with the proviso of the Senate’s “Advice and Consent.” In a formal sense, then, treaty-making became a mixture of executive and legislative power. Most people of the time recognized the actual conduct of diplomacy as an executive function, but under Article VI treaties were, like statutes, part of the “supreme Law of the Land.” Thus, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 75, the two branches were appropriately combined:
The qualities elsewhere detailed as indispensable in the management of foreign relations point out the executive as the most fit in those transactions; while the vast importance of the trust and the operation of treaties as laws plead strongly for the participation of the whole or a portion of the legislative body in the office of making them.
Another reason for involving both President and Senate was that the Framers thought American interests might be undermined by treaties entered into without proper reflection. The Framers believed that treaties should be strictly honored, both as a matter of the law of nations and as a practical matter, because the United States could not afford to give the great powers any cause for war. But this meant that the nation should be doubly cautious in accepting treaty obligations. As James Wilson said, “Neither the President nor the Senate, solely, can complete a treaty; they are checks upon each other, and are so balanced as to produce security to the people.”
The fear of disadvantageous treaties also underlay the Framers’ insistence on approval by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. In particular, the Framers worried that one region or interest within the nation, constituting a bare majority, would make a treaty advantageous to it but prejudicial to other parts of the country and to the national interest. An episode just a year before the start of the Convention had highlighted the problem. The United States desired a trade treaty with Spain, and sought free access to the Mississippi River through Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Spain offered favorable trade terms, but only if the United States would give up its demands on the Mississippi. The Northern states, which would have benefited most from the trade treaty and cared little about New Orleans, had a majority, but not a supermajority, in the Continental Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, treaties required assent of a supermajority (nine out of thirteen) of the states, and the South was able to block the treaty. It was undoubtedly that experience that impelled the Framers to carry over the supermajority principle from the Articles of Confederation.
At the Convention, several prominent Framers argued unsuccessfully to have the House of Representatives included. But most delegates thought that the House had substantial disadvantages when it came to treaty-making. For example, as a large body, the House would have difficulty keeping secrets or acting quickly. The small states, wary of being disadvantaged, also preferred to keep the treaty-making power in the Senate, where they had proportionally greater power.
The ultimate purpose, then, of the Treaty Clause was to ensure that treaties would not be adopted unless most of the country stood to gain. True, treaties would be more difficult to adopt than statutes, but the Framers realized that an unwise statute could simply be repealed, but an unwise treaty remained a binding international commitment, which would not be so easy to unwind.
Other questions, however, remained. First, are the provisions of the clause exclusive—that is, does it provide the only way that the United States may enter into international obligations?
While the clause does not say, in so many words, that it is exclusive, its very purpose—not to have any treaty disadvantage one part of the nation—suggests that no other route was possible, whether it be the President acting alone, or the popularly elected House having a role. On the other hand, while the Treaty Clause was, in the original understanding, the exclusive way to make treaties, the Framers also apparently recognized a class of less-important international agreements, not rising to the level of “treaties,” which could be approved in some other way. Article I, Section 10, in describing restrictions upon the states, speaks of “Treat[ies]” and “Agreement[s]…with a foreign Power” as two distinct categories. Some scholars believe this shows that not all international agreements are treaties, and that these other agreements would not need to go through the procedures of the Treaty Clause. Instead, the President, in the exercise of his executive power, could conclude such agreements on his own. Still, this exception for lesser agreements would have to be limited to “agreements” of minor importance, or else it would provide too great an avenue for evasion of the protections the Framers placed in the Treaty Clause.
A second question is how the President and Senate should interact in their joint exercise of the treaty power. Many Framers apparently thought that the President would oversee the actual conduct of diplomacy, but that the Senate would be involved from the outset as a sort of executive council advising the President. This was likely a reason that the Framers thought the smaller Senate was more suited than the House to play a key role in treaty-making. In the first effort at treaty-making under the Constitution, President George Washington attempted to operate in just this fashion. He went to the Senate in person to discuss a proposed treaty before he began negotiations. What is less clear, however, is whether the Constitution actually requires this process, or whether it is only what the Framers assumed would happen. The Senate, of course, is constitutionally authorized to offer “advice” to the President at any stage of the treaty-making process, but the President is not directed (in so many words) as to when advice must be solicited. As we shall see, this uncertainty has led, in modern practice, to a very different procedure than some Framers envisioned. It seems clear, however, that the Framers expected that the Senate’s “advice and consent” would be a close review and not a mere formality, as they thought of it as an important check upon presidential power.
A third difficult question is whether the Treaty Clause implies a Senate power or role in treaty termination. Scholarly opinion is divided, and few Framers appear to have discussed the question directly. One view sees the power to make a treaty as distinct from the power of termination, with the latter being more akin to a power of implementation. Since the Constitution does not directly address the termination power, this view would give it to the President as part of the President’s executive powers to conduct foreign affairs and to execute the laws. When the termination question first arose in 1793, Washington and his Cabinet, which included Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, embraced this view. All of them thought Washington could, on his own authority, terminate the treaty with France if necessary to keep the United States neutral.
A second view holds that, as a matter of the general eighteenth-century understanding of the legal process, the power to take an action (such as passing a statute or making a treaty) implies the power to undo the action. This view would require the consent of the President and a supermajority of the Senate to undo a treaty. There is, however, not much historical evidence that many Framers actually held this view of treaty termination, and it is inconsistent with the common interpretation of the Appointments Clause (under which Senate approval is required to appoint but not to remove executive officers).
The third view is that the Congress as a whole has the power to terminate treaties, based on an analogy between treaties and federal laws. When the United States first terminated a treaty in 1798 under John Adams, this procedure was adopted, but there was little discussion of the constitutional ramifications.
Finally, there is a question of the limits of the treaty power. A treaty presumably cannot alter the constitutional structure of government, and the Supreme Court has said that executive agreements—and so apparently treaties—are subject to the limits of the Bill of Rights just as ordinary laws are. Reid v. Covert (1957). InGeofroy v. Riggs (1890), the Supreme Court also declared that the treaty power extends only to topics that are “properly the subject of negotiation with a foreign country.” However, at least in the modern world, one would think that few topics are so local that they could not, under some circumstances, be reached as part of the foreign-affairs interests of the nation. Some have argued that treaties are limited by the federalism interests of the states. The Supreme Court rejected a version of that argument in State of Missouri v. Holland (1920), holding that the subject matter of treaties is not limited to the enumerated powers of Congress. The revival of interest in federalism limits on Congress in such areas as state sovereign immunity, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), and the Tenth Amendment, see Printz v. United States (1997), raises the question whether these limits also apply to the treaty power, but the Court has not yet taken up these matters.
Turning to modern practice, the Framers’ vision of treaty-making has in some ways prevailed and in some ways been altered. First, it is not true—and has not been true since George Washington’s administration—that the Senate serves as an executive council to advise the President in all stages of treaty-making. Rather, the usual modern course is that the President negotiates and signs treaties independently and then presents the proposed treaty to the Senate for its approval or disapproval. Washington himself found personal consultation with the Senate to be so awkward and unproductive that he abandoned it, and subsequent Presidents have followed his example.
Moreover, the Senate frequently approves treaties with conditions and has done so since the Washington administration. If the President makes clear to foreign nations that his signature on a treaty is only a preliminary commitment subject to serious Senate scrutiny, and if the Senate takes seriously its constitutional role of reviewing treaties (rather than merely deferring to the President), the check that the Framers sought to create remains in place. By going beyond a simple “up-or-down” vote, the Senate retains some of its power of “advice”: the Senate not only disapproves the treaty proposed by the President but suggests how the President might craft a better treaty. As a practical matter, there is often much consultation between the executive and members of the Senate before treaties are crafted and signed. Thus modern practice captures the essence of the Framers’ vision that the Senate would have some form of a participatory role in treaty-making.
A more substantial departure from the Framers’ vision may arise from the practice of “executive agreements.” According to the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law of the United States, the President may validly conclude executive agreements that (1) cover matters that are solely within his executive power, or (2) are made pursuant to a treaty, or (3) are made pursuant to a legitimate act of Congress. Examples of important executive agreements include the Potsdam and Yalta agreements of World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which regulated international trade for decades, and the numerous status-of-forces agreements the United States has concluded with foreign governments.
Where the President acts pursuant to a prior treaty, there seems little tension with the Framers’ vision, as Senate approval has, in effect, been secured in advance. Somewhat more troublesome is the modern practice of so-called congressional–executive agreements, by which some international agreements have been made by the President and approved (either in advance or after the fact) by a simple majority of both houses of Congress, rather than two-thirds of the Senate. Many of these agreements deal particularly with trade-related matters, which Congress has clear constitutional authority to regulate. Congressional–executive agreements, at least with respect to trade matters, are now well established, and recent court challenges have been unsuccessful. Made in the USA Foundation v. United States (2001). On the other hand, arguments for “complete interchangeability”—that is, claims that anything that can be done by treaty can be done by congressional–executive agreement—seem counter to the Framers’ intent. The Framers carefully considered the supermajority rule for treaties and adopted it in response to specific threats to the Union; finding a complete alternative to the Treaty Clause would in effect eliminate the supermajority rule and make important international agreements easier to adopt than the Framers wished.
The third type of executive agreement is one adopted by the President without explicit approval of either the Senate or the Congress as a whole. The Supreme Court and modern practice embrace the idea that the President may under some circumstances make these so-called sole executive agreements. United States v. Belmont (1937); United States v. Pink (1942). But the scope of this independent presidential power remains a serious question. The Pink and Belmont cases involved agreements relating to the recognition of a foreign government, a power closely tied to the President’s textual power to receive ambassadors (Article II, Section 3). The courts have consistently permitted the President to settle foreign claims by sole executive agreement, but at the same time have emphasized that the Congress has acquiesced in the practice. Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981);American Insurance Ass’n v. Garamendi (2003). Beyond this, the modern limits of the President’s ability to act independently in making international agreements have not been explored. With respect to treaty termination, modern practice allows the President to terminate treaties on his own. In recent times, President James Earl Carter terminated the U.S.–Taiwan Mutual Defense Treaty in 1977, and President George W. Bush terminated the ABM Treaty with Russia in 2001. The Senate objected sharply to President Carter’s actions, but the Supreme Court rebuffed the Senate in Goldwater v. Carter (1979). President Bush’s action was criticized in some academic quarters but received general acquiescence. In light of the consensus early in Washington’s administration, it is probably fair to say that presidential termination does not obviously depart from the original understanding, inasmuch as the Framers were much more concerned about checks upon entering into treaties than they were about checks upon terminating them.
Story 1: “doveryai no proveryai” (trust, but verify) — Who Do You Trust? President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, and/or Islamic Republic of Iran Led By Terrorist Mullahs? None of The Above — No Trust — Eliminate All Iranian Nuclear Weapon Facilities — Overthrow The Terrorist Mullahs with Crippling Sanctions — Support The Iranian People! — What Do The Iranian People Think? — Death To The Dictator and Mullahs — Videos
Amid nuke talks, Ayatollah says ‘death to America’
Iran Supreme Leader “Ali Khamenei” Chants “Dead to America”
funny iranian mullah lost his mind
Iranian Mullah (Haeri Shirazi): Kill the Protestersاظهارات
Iranian Mullah (Haeri Shirazi): Kill the Protesters
In a television appearance shocking in its candidness, a leading Iranian ayatollah says that it would be far better for the Islamic Republic to simply murder those protesting against the regime, rather than arrest and beat them. Meanwhile, an unknown group claiming to represent Iranian soldiers threatens to take up arms against the regime.
Killing the opposition protesters, the ayatollah insists, ‘is sanctioned by obedience to Allah.’
In a live interview broadcast on the Islamic Republic’s national television station sometime within the last two weeks, Ayatollah Mehyaddin Haeri Shirazi described a Communist protest movement from the early years of the Islamic Republic, noting how it was effectively crushed by the authorities. The government targeted opposition activists, he said, “arrested them in the afternoon and the same night announced the names of 30 people killed or executed by the government forces.”
In reaction to the arrests and killings, Shirazi continued, “nothing happened. Why? Because they killed them.”
Expanding on what he sees as the lesson from those events, the ayatollah said,”The more of them [the opposition] are killed, the more beneficial [to the people]. If the armed forces kill some of them, it is to our benefit.”
On the other hand, Shirazi continued, “When they are arrested, it is bad [for public opinion], when they are captured [it is bad for public opinion]. Do not make victims out of them.”
Killing the opposition protesters, the ayatollah insists, “is sanctioned by obedience to Allah and the prophet and is handed down to the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei]. When it is sanctioned by such a power, there is no need to go through the government powers.”
Shirazi warned the opposition forces, “Do not look upon the Supreme Leader [simply] as a person with a soft turban on his head, and that you can beat him. His support comes from the Hidden Imam Mahdi, he [Khamenei] is made of iron. It will come back down to break your own heads.”
doveryai no proveryai
“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”
~President Ronald Reagan
“While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan. In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.”
~Hassan Rouhani, was a lead nuclear negotiator years ago
Trust but verify
Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me
In Trust but Verify, Suzanne Massie shares her interactions with President Reagan during the days that were to transform America’s relationship with its most dangerous adversary. She was to become “Reagan’s window on the Soviet Union” at a critical time in his efforts to reduce, if not end, the threat of nuclear weapons. The President called and wrote to her often and invited her back to the White House sixteen times to help him better understand the Russian spirit that lay behind the mask of Communist power. It was she who introduced the President to the now famous Russian proverb — “doveryai no proveryai” (trust, but verify) — that became his signature phrase when addressing U.S. and Soviet Union relations.
Iranium – The Islamic Republic’s Race to Obtain Nuclear Weapons
A timely and powerful documentary presenting the danger posed to the free world by a nuclear Iran. The film exposes the radical Islamic ideology guiding Iran’s leaders, and the destruction it causes.
Benjamin Netanyahu: Iran “the greatest terrorist regime in the world”
Obama UN Speech On Iran: We Are Not Seeking Regime Change
NUCLEAR IRAN: FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT SAYS IRAN WILL DECEIVE US AGAIN
As a possible nuclear deal with Iran draws near, Dr. Behzad Tabatabaei addressed a crowded room at the Westlake Village Inn on behalf of the Thousand Oaks Republican Women Federation, where he provided a comprehensive history as to why the regime cannot be trusted.
“80% of our problems right now would be solved if there was a regime change in Iran,” said Dr. Tabatabaei. “The single most destructive regime on the planet is the clerical regime of Iran. And they have no incentive to come to a negotiated deal with the United States.”
Tabatabaei is an international business and political economist who has advised several foreign governments in strategic and intergovernmental affairs. He also was an advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team during the last presidential election. His area of expertise is in international economic development and the state sponsorship of terrorism.
Tabatabaei noted that “the majority of people want the change. Only the people who have political power at the top want the regime to stay the same.”
He recounted how Iran’s 2009 “Green Revolution” was a missed opportunity for America to help Iranians overthrow the regime. The revolution began after reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi lost to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in what is believed to have been a rigged election.
“People were chanting, ‘Obama are you with us or are you with them?’ He chose the wrong side. He clearly chose the wrong side of history,” by not providing U.S. support to the masses.”
As for why Iran is so unstoppable, Tabatabaei said: “Because it is a learned behavior. This clerical Iranian Regime was never truly punished for its inequities and bad behavior,” he said, referring to the hostage crisis of 1979-1981.
Iran was deceitful again during the Iran-Contra affair (1985-1987) when they released three U.S. hostages in Lebanon only to kidnap three more almost directly afterwards.
But it was in 1986, he said, that the Iranians realized Reagan was a force to be reckoned with. It was on April 18 of that year when, according to the New York Times, “six American ships destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in what the Reagan Administration said was retaliation for the mining that damaged a Navy vessel” the week before.
After Reagan, however, the Iranians continued down their path of deceit, Tabatabaei said, which has enabled them to increase their power.
Tabatabaei noted to Breitbart News that Iran’s current, Hassan Rouhani, was a lead nuclear negotiator years ago, In a 2004 speech to his colleagues, which was only made public in 2013, Rouhani admitted flat-out that the regime had been lying and buying time with Europeans in order to advance its nuclear program right under their noses: “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan. In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.”
“That’s the kind of regime you’re dealing with,” Tabatabaei told Breitbart News.
Rouhani speaks with French, British, Russian leaders as nuclear talks resume
BY JOHN IRISH AND LOUIS CHARBONNEAU
Iran’s president spoke with the leaders of France, Britain, China and Russia on Thursday in an apparent effort to break an impasse holding up a nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers.
He also raised the Saudi-led military operation against Iranian-backed Houthi fighters in Yemen, a divisive issue. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also brought Yemen up ahead of nuclear negotiations in Switzerland with Tehran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The United States is pushing for a nuclear deal between Iran and major powers before a March 31 deadline, and officials close to the talks said some kind of preliminary agreement was possible.
Western powers fear Iran wants to build nuclear bombs, though Tehran says its atomic research is for peaceful purposes. The powers hope to persuade Iran to scale back its nuclear activity in return for the removal of sanctions.
France, Britain and Russia announced the phone calls, which were confirmed on Rouhani’s Twitter feed. Rouhani also said he spoke with his Chinese counterpart and sent a letter outlining Tehran’s position to the leaders of all six countries negotiating with Tehran — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
In the rare direct exchange between Paris and Tehran, French President Francois Hollande said Iran had a right to civilian nuclear power but insisted on a “lasting, robust and verifiable Iranian nuclear program that guarantees Iran will not get an atomic weapon”, a statement from the French presidency said.
Last week officials close to the negotiations said France was demanding more stringent conditions than its Western allies for any future agreement.
Rouhani reiterated Tehran’s principal demand — that the most crippling sanctions be lifted immediately.
“All unjust sanctions against the Iranian nation should be lifted,” he said on Twitter.
“Lifting all sanctions is the main issue that can help us reaching the final solution … This is a unique opportunity which is in the benefit of the region and the world and should be seized.”
Western powers insist that sanctions relief must come gradually, though European and U.S. measures against Iranian energy and financial sectors and some U.N. sanctions could be suspended quickly, officials close to the talks said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokeswoman told reporters after the call that the two sides agreed it was possible to conclude a framework nuclear deal by end-March.
Rouhani also spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said.
Rouhani said on his Twitter feed that he had raised military operations in Yemen launched by Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia with all four leaders.
KERRY MEETS ZARIF
Meanwhile, Kerry and Zarif met twice on Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland after resuming negotiations aimed at clinching a nuclear deal before a March 31 deadline.
Kerry raised the Yemen crisis before those conversations began, a State Department spokesman said, though a senior U.S. official told Reuters the issue did not have any impact on the nuclear negotiations.
Washington and Tehran take opposing stands on Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen against Shi’ite Houthi rebels allied to Iran who are fighting to oust Yemen’s president.
Earlier, Iranian media quoted Zarif as condemning the Saudi-led military operation against the Shi’ite Muslim Houthi fighters in Yemen, and demanding that it stop.
By contrast, Kerry spoke to the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Cooperation Council members on Thursday and welcomed their decision to take action against the Houthis, a senior U.S. official said.
Iran and the six powers are seeking a political framework accord by the end of this month that would lay the foundations for a full nuclear deal by June 30.
Under a final settlement, Tehran would halt sensitive nuclear work for at least a decade and in exchange, international sanctions would be lifted.
Speaking to reporters traveling with Kerry from Washington on Wednesday, a senior State Department official said the six powers would not rush to complete a framework agreement just because there was a March 31 deadline.
But the official said the parties had made progress at last week’s inconclusive round of negotiations in Lausanne.
“We very much believe we can get this done by the 31st,” the official said. “We see a path to do that.” The official added, however, that there was no guarantee of success.
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, also said a deal was possible but not certain. “It is difficult to forecast whether we can reach a result at this round of talks but we are moving toward reaching a mutual understanding in all technical issues,” he told Iranian state television.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, France and the U.S. Congress have all raised concerns that the administration of President Barack Obama might be willing to conclude a deal that would allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability in the future.
AP EXCLUSIVE: IRAN MAY RUN CENTRIFUGES AT FORTIFIED SITE
BY GEORGE JAHN AND MATTHEW LEE
The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.
The trade-off would allow Iran to run several hundred of the devices at its Fordo facility, although the Iranians would not be allowed to do work that could lead to an atomic bomb and the site would be subject to international inspections, according to Western officials familiar with details of negotiations now underway. In return, Iran would be required to scale back the number of centrifuges it runs at its Natanz facility and accept other restrictions on nuclear-related work.
Instead of uranium, which can be enriched to be the fissile core of a nuclear weapon, any centrifuges permitted at Fordo would be fed elements such as zinc, xenon or germanium for separating out isotopes used in medicine, industry or science, the officials said. The number of centrifuges would not be enough to produce the amount of uranium needed to produce a weapon within a year – the minimum time-frame that Washington and its negotiating partners demand.
The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the sensitive negotiations as the latest round of talks began between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. The negotiators are racing to meet an end-of-March deadline to reach an outline of an agreement that would grant Iran relief from international sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. The deadline for a final agreement is June 30.
One senior U.S. official declined to comment on the specific proposal but said the goal since the beginning of the talks has been “to have Fordo converted so it’s not being used to enrich uranium.” That official would not say more.
The officials stressed that the potential compromise on Fordo is just one of several options on a menu of highly technical equations being discussed in the talks. All of the options are designed to keep Iran at least a year away from producing an atomic weapon for the life of the agreement, which will run for at least 10 years. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has joined the last several rounds as the negotiations have gotten more technical.
Experts say the compromise for Fordo could still be problematic. They note it would allow Iran to keep intact technology that could be quickly repurposed for uranium enrichment at a sensitive facility that the U.S. and its allies originally wanted stripped of all such machines – centrifuges that can spin uranium gas into uses ranging from reactor fuel to weapons-grade material.
And the issue of inspector access and verification is key. Iran has resisted “snap inspections” in the past. Even as the nuclear talks have made progress, Iran has yet to satisfy questions about its past possible nuclear-related military activity. The fact that questions about such activity, known as Possible Military Dimensions, or PMDs, remain unresolved is a serious concern for the U.N. atomic watchdog.
In addition, the site at Fordo is a particular concern because it is hardened and dug deeply into a mountainside making it resistant – possibly impervious – to air attack. Such an attack is an option that neither Israel nor the U.S. has ruled out in case the talks fail.
And while too few to be used for proliferation by themselves, even a few hundred extra centrifuges at Fordo would be a concern when looked at in the context of total numbers.
As negotiations stand, the number of centrifuges would grow to more than 6,000, when the other site is included. Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran nuclear file as a deputy director general of the U.N’s International Atomic Energy Agency until 2010, says even 6,000 operating centrifuges would be “a big number.”
Asked of the significance of hundreds more at Fordo, he said, “Every machine counts.”
Iran reported the site to the IAEA six years ago in what Washington says was an attempt to pre-empt President Barack Obama and the prime ministers of Britain and France going public with its existence a few days later. Tehran later used the site to enrich uranium to a level just a technical step away from weapons-grade until late 2013, when it froze its nuclear program under a temporary arrangement that remains in effect as the sides negotiate.
Twice extended, the negotiations have turned into a U.S.-Iran tug-of-war over how many of the machines Iran would be allowed to operate since the talks resumed over two years ago. Tehran denies nuclear weapons ambitions, saying it wants to enrich only for energy, scientific and medical purposes.
Washington has taken the main negotiating role with Tehran in talks that formally remain between Iran and six world powers, and officials told the AP at last week’s round that the two sides were zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges at Natanz, Iran’s main enrichment site.
That’s fewer than the nearly 10,000 Tehran now runs at Natanz, yet substantially more than the 500 to 1,500 that Washington originally wanted as a ceiling. Only a year ago, U.S. officials floated 4,000 as a possible compromise.
One of the officials said discussions focus on an extra 480 centrifuges at Fordo. That would potentially bring the total number of machines to close to 6,500.
David Albright of Washington’s Institute for Security and International Security says a few hundred centrifuges operated by the Iranians would not be a huge threat – if they were anywhere else but the sensitive Fordo site.
Beyond its symbolic significance, “it keeps the infrastructure in place and keeps a leg up, if they want to restart (uranium) enrichment operations,” said Albright, who is a go-to person on the Iran nuclear issue for the U.S. government.
Suzanne Massie is an American author and played an important role in the relations between Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union in the final years of the Cold War.
Massie is the daughter of a Swiss diplomat. She was born in New York and graduated from Vassar College, but also studied at the Sorbonne and the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris.
In 1975, Suzanne Massie and her then-husband Robert K. Massie chronicled their experiences as the parents of a hemophiliac child, Robert Kinloch Massie IV, and the significant differences between the American and French health-care systems in their jointly-written book, Journey. She subsequently married Seymour Papert.
Reagan first became interested in Massie when he read her book Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia. She eventually visited the White House where she became an informal messenger between the President and Mikhail Gorbachev and his administration. She also asked Reagan to learn the now famous Russian phrase “doveryai, no proveryai”, which means “Trust, but verify”. Her importance in contributing to Reagan’s understanding of the Russian people, assisting in reaching a peaceful end to the Cold War, was described in detail in a number of documentary films. She applied for the job of Soviet ambassador via a letter to Reagan but was rejected, as the post had already been filled.
A fellow of the Harvard Russian Research Center (now the Davis Center) from 1985-97, Massie has also served on the Board of the International League for Human Rights. In 1991 she was appointed as the only lay member of the Permanent Episcopal-Orthodox Coordinating Committee which has involved bi-annual discussions in Russia and the United States with hierarchs of the church, including Patriarch Aleksy II.
Massie currently resides in Maine, but travels regularly to Russia and is writing a book about her experiences and her interpretation of the years of dramatic change in American-Russian relations.
Books by Suzanne Massie
Massie, Suzanne, Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and me, Maine Authors Publishing, 2013: Paperback and Hardcover
Massie, Suzanne, Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia, Simon & Schuster 1980: Paperback; Touchstone 1982
Massie, Suzanne, Pavlovsk: The Life of a Russian Palace, Little Brown & Co. 1990: Paperback; HeartTree Press 1999
Massie, Suzanne, The Living Mirror, Doubleday & Co. Garden City New York 1972: Paperback: Anchor 1972
Massie, Suzanne & Robert Massie, Journey, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1975: Paperback: Warner’s 1976; Ballantine Books 1984
Jump up^Mann, James – The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan:a history of the end of the cold war, Penguin Group 2009, p. 67
Bombshell: CBO’s Impact of Obamacare On Economy Devastating — Time To Repeal Obamacare and Replace It Affordable, Portable, Individual Health Insurance With Health Saving Accounts! — Videos
Analysis of CBO report on ObamaCare impact
CBO On Obamacare’s Impact 2.5 Million Fewer Full Time Workers Cavuto
CBO: Obamacare Will Reduce Jobs By 2.3 Million Workers – Stuart Varney On The Real Story
CBO Predicts Obamacare Will Reduce The Number Of Full Time Workers Brit Hume The Kelly File
ObamaCare Forcing Companies To Reduce Hours And Not Hire Full-Time Workers
Obamacare Will Cost 2,3 Million Full Time Jobs Obama Admin Says People Don’t Want To Work
Conservatives Push Misreading Of CBO Report To Claim Obamacare Is A Job-Killer
White House Pushing Back Against CBO Report On Obamacare Job Losses – America’s Newsroom
CBO: Actually, ObamaCare is kinda’ like a tax, and it’s going to result in 2 million…
Health Savings Account Breakdown
Health Savings Accounts
Deductibles and Coinsurances
Health Savings Account Safety Net
The CBO’s Obamacare Scorecard
Obamacare by the numbers, according to the Congressional Budget Office — labor lost: equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs over the next decade; insurance enrollment: down 1 million from earlier first-year estimate; cost: $1.2 trillion over the next decade; number of Americans uninsured: 30 million.
Which is to say: We are spending $1.2 trillion and taking a blowtorch to the work force in order to fund a semi-public insurance system that still leaves tens of millions uncovered. And that’s assuming that CBO has not taken too rosy a view of Obamacare, which it may well have.
There is more wrong with Obamacare than a bumble-thumbed website.
The White House has tried, with hilarious results, to spin the labor-force data, emphasizing the CBO’s estimate that the so-called Affordable Care Act will cost the economy the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs not because there will be a pink-slip bloodbath at Walmart but because fewer people will choose to work, or will choose to work fewer hours, once their federally subsidized health insurance makes the prospect of quitting their jobs less enticing. In the considered view of the Obama administration, that is good news. We are happy to see that the White House seems finally to have stumbled upon the concept of economic incentives — give people less reason to work and they will work less. But the administration still does not seem to be able to get its collective head around the fact that American workers are not just hungry mouths that have to be filled with paychecks: They are people who provide economically valuable goods and services. Those 2.5 million out of the work force may be happier at their leisure, but the economy as a whole will be substantially worse off without their contributions. We could, in theory, simply have the federal government deliver checks to every household and allow each and every one to follow his bliss as he sees fit, but the shelves of the grocery stores soon would be empty. The depth of the Obamacare crater in the labor force isn’t some abstract unemployment rate, but the lost value of the work those Americans would have done.
The spending largely speaks for itself: $1.2 trillion is a great deal of money. The CBO still holds out the possibility that the expenses associated with the program may yet outweigh the cost of its benefits, meaning merely that that $1.2 trillion in spending will be accompanied by approximately $1.2 trillion in taxes, or slightly more. “Revenue-neutral” is not a synonym for “free.” We are still to spend $1.2 trillion, regardless of the combined ledger impact on our bloated deficit.
Spending $1.2 trillion on what? That is the most galling bit. Obamacare was sold as a response to the alleged emergency presented by 40-odd million Americans’ lacking insurance. That number was hotly disputed at the time, but even if we were to take it at face value, getting the figure down to 30 million at a cost of more than $1 trillion is hardly a bargain.
We are familiar with the phrase “money for nothing,” but had always understood it to denote a positive cash flow rather than a negative one.
We already have begun to experience the effects of Obamacare as they relate to health insurance specifically: canceled policies, chaos in the insurance markets, insecurity for consumers. But the more significant cost may in the long run prove to be its structural hobbling of our economy, reducing the work force and redirecting trillions of dollars away from the productive economy into a system of rewards and subsidies for cronies and political constituencies. The CBO’s increasingly bleak economic forecasts suggest that it has begun to take the measure of the long-term costs of the Obama administration’s economic misgovernance, of which Obamacare is one, but only one, significant part. But detailed as those estimates are, they can only begin to suggest the damage.
Republicans erupted in applause today when the Congressional Budget Office released a new report on projected deficits and on the impact of the Affordable Care Act. They widely claimed the CBO report had found that Obamacare will cause the loss of over two million jobs.
That isn’t what the report found at all. And there’s a very simple way to prove it. But more on that in a moment.
Here is a sample of GOP reactions to the report. Mitch McConnell’s spokesman claimedthat CBO had projected “a loss of at least two million jobs.” A spokesman for the NRCCinsisted that “because of Obamacare, there will be 2 million less [sic] jobs in the economy.”
A statement from Senator Chuck Grassley claimed that the CBO had found that the law will “cause the loss of 2.5 million jobs.” Former Romney policy adviser Lanhee Chenclaimed the CBO had estimated that Obamacare “will result in 2.5 million jobs lost.”
That’s not what the report says. Here is the key passage, on page 117:
Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the aCA. The decline in full-time-equivalent employment stemming from the ACA will consist of some people not being employed at all and other people working fewer hours; however, CBO has not tried to quantify those two components of the overall effect. The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is, more workers seeking, but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).
The CBO report actually says that the impact of the ACA will be “almost entirely” due to a decline in labor that “workers choose to supply.” It says explicitly that the ACA’s impact will not be felt as an “increase in unemployment” or “underemployment.”
Now, a few conservatives on twitter did seize on the report to make an argument about how the CBO report shows that the safety net act as a disincentive to work. Whether or not you agree with that argument, it at least exists within the parameters of what the CBO report actually said. The suggestion that Obamacare will cause over two million jobs to be lost does not. This is not a small distinction. It goes directly to the heart of one of the Republican arguments against the law — that it is a job killer, i.e., that its regulations strangle jobs.
Indeed, the response from many Republicans to the report suggests they are so wedded to their “Obamacare is a job killer” talking point that they will misrepresent what it actually says in order to continue making it. That’s not surprising, in a way. After all, the larger political context here is that claiming the safety net is a disincentive to work — again, whatever you think of the substance of that argument — is politically a hard case to make. Remember how Republicans moved away from arguing that unemployment benefits lull people into a state of dependency — Paul Ryan’s Hammock Theory of Poverty — and began arguing instead that the UI extension needed to be paid for?
As for the CBO report, there is a simple way to settle this argument. CBO director Douglas Elmendorf is set to testify before the House Budget Committee tomorrow. One committee lawmaker can ask him the following question: Is it true that your report found that Obamacare will result in over two million lost jobs?
And so, this doesn’t have to be a partisan argument. Tomorrow we can find out what the CBO’s own director has to say about it. There shouldn’t be any need for this to be represented by neutral news orgs as an unresolvable he-said-she-said standoff.
Sessions Warns House GOP: Immigration Bill Is Bad Politics, Bad Policy
Offers a better way forward.
By DANIEL HALPER
Yesterday afternoon, before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Senator Jeff Sessions’ staff hand-delivered to each Republican member of the House an important memo on the so-called immigration reform bill being debated on Capital Hill. The 3-page document, written by Sessions, argues that pushing the current immigration legislation forward is bad politics, bad policy, and that there’s a better way for Republicans.
Sessions believes House Republicans are at risk of falling into President Obama’s trap. “[A]ccording to news reports, House Republican leaders are instead turning 2014 into a headlong rush towards Gang-of-Eight style ‘immigration reform,'” writes Sessions. “They are reportedly drafting an immigration plan that is uncomfortably similar to a ‘piecemeal’ repackaging of the disastrous Senate plan—and even privately negotiating a final package with Democrat activists before consulting with their own members.”
It’s bad politics, Sessions writes. “In the rush to pass an immigration bill, there has been a near absence of any serious thought about the conditions facing American workers. The last 40 years has been a period of record immigration to the U.S., with the last 10 years seeing more new arrivals than any prior 10- year period in history. This trend has coincided with wage stagnation, enormous growth in welfare programs, and a shrinking workforce participation rate. A sensible, conservative approach would focus on lifting those living here today, both immigrant and native-born, out of poverty and into the middle class—before doubling or tripling the level of immigration into the U.S.
A sensible immigration policy would also listen to the opinion of the American people. Not the opinions of the paid-for consultants trotted out with their agenda-driven polls to GOP member meetings—but the actual, honest opinion of the people who sent us here. There is a reason why none of the corporate-funded ads for amnesty breathe a word about doubling immigration levels. According to Rasmussen Reports, working and middle class Americans strongly oppose large expansions of our already generous immigration system. Those earning under $30,000 prefer a reduction to an increase by an overwhelming 3-1 margin.
And bad policy, the senator from Alabama details. “Coordinating with a small group of the nation’s most powerful special interests, last year President Obama and Senate Democrats forced through an immigration bill which can only be described as a hammer blow to the American middle class. Not only would it grant work permits to millions of illegal immigrants at a time of record joblessness, it would also double the annual flow of new immigrant workers and provide green cards to more than 30 million permanent residents over the next decade. These new workers, mostly lesser-skilled, will compete for jobs in every sector, industry, and occupation in the U.S. economy.”
He adds, “House Republicans, in crafting immigration principles, should reply to the President’s immigration campaign with a simple message: our focus is to help unemployed Americans get back to work—not to grant amnesty or to answer the whims of immigration activists and CEOs. In turn, that message could be joined with a detailed and unifying policy agenda for accomplishing that moral and social objective.”
As for Sessions’ “Better Agenda,” he lays it out very precisely:
The GOP’s 2014 agenda should not be to assist the President in passing his immigration plan. Rather, it should be a consuming focus on restoring hope and opportunity to millions of discouraged workers. The GOP’s 2014 agenda should be a national effort—announced proudly and boldly—to reduce the welfare rolls and get America back to work, including:
More American energy that creates good-paying jobs right here in the U.S.
A more competitive tax and regulatory code that allows U.S. businesses and workers tocompete on a level global playing field
A trade policy that increases U.S. exports and expands domestic manufacturing
An immigration policy that serves the interests of the American people
Converting the welfare office into a job training center
Making government leaner and more accountable to U.S. taxpayers
Restoring economic confidence by continuing our effort to balance the federal budget
An all-out immigration push is inimical to these goals.
Rep. Ryan: GOP Looking at Legal Status, Chance for Citizenship
Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), a leading GOP advocate for tackling immigration, confirmed Wednesday that Republicans are looking to give illegal immigrants legal status right away, with the chance for a green card—and citizenship—down the line.
Officials familiar with the planning had said as much before. But Mr. Ryan is the first member of the GOP leadership to lay out the Republican vision publicly.
At issue is how to handle more than 11 million people already in the U.S. illegally. Most House Republicans oppose the Senate approach, whereby all qualified illegal immigrants would first win legal status, then have the chance to apply for legal permanent residence (also known as a green card), and then for citizenship. House Republicans call that a “special path to citizenship” that is unavailable to those who followed the law.
First, illegal immigrants would be offered a “probationary” status, allowing them to work while the government tightened border security and interior enforcement. Officials have explained that this would allow people to work legally while they wait for permanent legal status. (Officials have explained that this group could revert to illegal status if enforcement benchmarks are not met.)
Mr. Ryan said it would make sure that the Obama administration went ahead with the enforcement provisions. “We want to make sure that we write a law that he can’t avoid,” Mr. Ryan said.
After that, they would be eligible for a “regular work permit,” he said.
“If those things are met, you satisfy the terms of your probation, you’re not on welfare, you pay a fine, you learn English and civics, and the border’s been secured and interior enforcement independently verified, then you can get a regular work permit,” he said.
At that point, this group could apply for green cards using the same system available to any newcomer.
“That’s the kind of process we envision,” he said. “Which is not a special pathway to citizenship and it’s not going to automatically in any way give an undocumented immigrant citizenship.”
Some Democrats and immigration advocates have signaled that they could accept this approach, depending on the details. It’s unclear whether enough Republicans would feel the same. The idea will get its first full airing on Thursday afternoon, when House Republicans are scheduled to discuss immigration at their retreat in Cambridge, Md.
Story 1: The Stupid Republican Party Leadership About To Commit Political Suicide By Supporting Legal Status For 40 Million Plus Illegal Aliens — The Party Will Split and Their Base Will Stay Home On Election Day 4 November 2014 — Videos
Immigration Reform Bill May Offer Protections For Illegal Aliens Convicted Of Certain Crimes!
John Boehner’s Sad Excuses On Immigration Reform
Backing in G.O.P. for Legal Status for Immigrants
The House Republican leadership’s broad framework for overhauling the nation’s immigration laws will call this week for a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million adult immigrants who are in the country illegally, according to aides who have seen the party’s statement of principles. For immigrants brought to the United States illegally as young children, the Republicans would offer a path to citizenship.
But even before the document is unveiled later, some of the party’s leading strategists and conservative voices are urging that the immigration push be abandoned, or delayed until next year, to avoid an internal party rupture before the midterm elections.
“It’s one of the few things that could actually disrupt what looks like a strong Republican year,” said William Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, calling an immigration push “a recipe for disaster.”
At the same time, Republicans have seen their support from Latinos plummet precisely because of their stance on immigration, and the “statement of principles,” barely more than a page, is intended to try to reverse that trajectory.
The statement of principles criticizes the American higher education system for educating some of the world’s best and brightest students only to lose them to their home countries because they cannot obtain green cards; insists that Republicans demand that current immigration laws be enforced before illegal immigrants are granted legal status; and mentions that some kind of triggers must be included in an immigration overhaul to ensure that borders are secured first, said Republican officials who have seen the principles.
With concern already brewing among conservatives who call any form of legal status “amnesty,” the document has the feel more of an attempt to test the waters than a blueprint for action. House Republican leaders will circulate it at a three-day retreat for their members that begins Wednesday on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Several pro-immigration organizations that have been briefed on the guidelines say they are not intended to serve as a conservative starting point for future negotiations, but as a gauge of how far to the left House Republicans are willing to move.
The principles say that Republicans do not support a “special path to citizenship,” but make an exception for the “Dreamers,” the immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, quoting a 2013 speech by Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader. “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents,” Mr. Cantor said at the time. “It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children and who know no other home.”
Even ardent proponents of an immigration-law overhaul are, at best, cautiously optimistic. In June, a broad immigration overhaul — with a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants now in the country illegally, and stricter border security provisions that would have to be in place before the immigrants could gain legal status — passed the Senate with bipartisan support. But that legislation has largely stalled in the Republican-controlled House, where Mr. Boehner has rejected any negotiations with the Senate over its comprehensive bill.
“This is obviously a long, hard road,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat, who helped negotiate the Senate bill, “but I think since August, the number on the other side vehemently opposed has stayed the same, the number who think it should go forward has grown, and numbers in the wide middle are less opposed than they used to be. But that doesn’t guarantee an outcome one way or another.”
Republican Party leaders, backed strongly by business groups, have said an overhaul is critical if they are to repair their political position with Latino and other immigrant voters.
Barry Jackson, Mr. Boehner’s former chief of staff, is consulting for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports an overhaul that expands high-technology visas and guest worker programs.
But immigration is less of an issue during midterm elections, when immigrants are not as likely to vote and House members in safe districts are insulated somewhat from the wrath of more moderate swing voters. Often the biggest threats to Republicans are primary challenges from more conservative candidates who say that changing the immigration status of someone who is in the country illegally amounts to amnesty for a lawbreaker.
Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don’t lie, amen
Remember a smile is just
A frown turned upside down
My friend let me tell you
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth, uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I’m telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back
I tell you, you can’t see behind smiling faces
Smiling faces sometimes they don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
I’m telling you beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
Listen to me now, beware
Beware of that pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don’t tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Your enemy won’t do you no harm
Cause you’ll know where he’s coming from
Don’t let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I’m only try’ to school ya
Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy
Obama Knew Millions Would Not Keep Their Private Health Insurance, Get Ready To Pay Much More!
President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obama-care, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC News that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
Obama knew millions would lose their health insurance
Obama administration knew millions would lose health insurance
How Cronyism is Hurting the Economy
If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can’t Keep It!
Uploaded on Jun 16, 2010
Fox News report highlighting how empty Obama’s promise “If you like your health care plan you can keep it” really is. A new government report reveals that 51% of employers may have to relinquish their current health care coverage by 2013 due to ObamaCare. That numbers soars to 66% for small-business employers.
With new restrictions on health insurance being issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services millions of Americans will shortly be forced to accept government insurance. Exempted from these new rules will be labor unions.
Remember that Obama in a September 2009 speech to congress said: “If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.”
O.K. Obama misrepresented what was in his plan. It’s time to CALL HIM OUT. Then THROW him out in 2012!
UnitedHealth Group Overview Video
UnitedHealth Group’s Simon Stevens
United Health Group Pressuring Employees To Campaign Against Health Care Reform (With Audio)
Wealth Strategies: Obamacare to benefit HCA, UnitedHealth
Obamacare Fallout – Critics Ask If White House Was Misleading Americans – Brit Humes – Kelly File
A tech firm linked to a campaign-donor crony of President Obama not only got the job to help build the federal health-insurance Web site — but also is getting paid to fix it.
Anthony Welters, a top campaign bundler for Obama and frequent White House guest, is the executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, which owns the software company now at the center of the ObamaCare Web-site fiasco.
UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), which built the data hub for the ObamaCare system, has been named the new general contractor in charge of repairing the glitch-plagued HealthCare.gov.
Welters and his wife, Beatrice, have shoveled piles of cash into Obama’s campaign coffers and apparently reaped the rewards.
Beatrice Welters bundled donations totaling between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama’s campaign during the 2008 election cycle, according to campaign- finance data compiled by Center for Responsive Politics.
SICK CALL: Obama bundler Anthony Welters’ firm owns the company picked to repair the health Web site.
The couple then became top donors for Obama’s inauguration festivities, kicking in $100,000 out of their own pockets and bundling another $300,000 from friends and business associates, according to the center.
The investments quickly paid off for Beatrice Welters. The Obama administration tapped her in 2009 for the plum job of US ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, which she held through last November.
The couple have been frequent guests at the White House.
Visitors logs show at least a dozen visits between the two by the end of 2012, the most recent information available.
The entire Welters family has gotten into the donation game.
The Welters, along with their sons, Andrew and Bryant, have contributed more than $258,000 to mostly Democratic candidates and committees since 2007.
What’s more, UnitedHealth Group is one of the largest health-insurance companies in the country and spent millions lobbying for ObamaCare.
The insurance giant’s purchase of QSSI in 2012 raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill, but the tech firm nevertheless kept the job of building the data hub for the ObamaCare Web site where consumers buy the new mandatory health- insurance plans.
QSSI has been paid an estimated $150 million so far, but officials couldn’t say how much more the company might collect on the repair contract.
By all accounts, the data hub has run smoothly while many other components of the Web site have failed.
Meanwhile, tempers flared among Obama’s Democratic allies over the disastrous rollout of the president’s signature initiative.
“I’m extraordinarily frustrated,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) after top Obama-administration officials gave Senate Democrats a private briefing on the state of the Web-site repairs.
He said they were losing confidence the site could be quickly fixed.
“I don’t think there’s confidence by anyone in the room. This is more of a show-me moment,” said Merkley.
Anthony Welters is the Executive Vice President of United Health Group, which serves more than 70 million Americans through its health and well-being companies. In January 2011, Mr. Welters was appointed a Member of the Office of the CEO.
Mr. Anthony Welters served as an Executive Vice President at Unitedhealth Group Inc. since December, 2006. Mr. Welters served as the President of Public and Senior Markets Group at UnitedHealth Group Inc. since September 2007. He served as the Chief Executive Officer of AmeriChoice Health Services, Inc. He served as Head of Public & Social Markets Group of UnitedHealth Group since August 2007. He co-founded AmeriChoice Corporation (AmeriChoice) in 1989 and served as its Chief Executive Officer and President from 1989 to December 2006. He served a number of senior positions in the federal government and in private industry. He served as an Attorney for the securities and exchange commission and an Executive Assistant of U.S. Senator Jacob Javits. He served as Director of Federal Affairs and as Assistant Vice President of corporate development of AMTRAK. He served as an Associate Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. He serves as the Chairman of the Board of Morehouse School of Medicine Inc. He served as Chairman of AmeriChoice Corporation from 1989 to September 2002. He serves as Vice Chairman of New York University, Morehouse School of Medicine the NYU Hospitals Center and the Library of Congress. He serves as Vice Chairman at the Board of Trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He serves as a Trustee of Morehouse School Of Medicine Inc., The. He has been an Independent Director of Qwest Communications International Inc. since July 25, 2006, CR Bard Inc. (formerly known as Bard C R Inc.) since February 1999, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. since March 1997 and AmeriChoice Corporation since 1989. He has been a Director of Loews Corporation since October 8, 2013. He serves as a Director of Horatio Alger Association, The Congressional Black Caucus foundation Inc., The An-bryce Foundation and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. He serves as Council Member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He serves as Trustee of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He serves as Trustee of the Healthcare leadership Council, New York University Law School and Medical Center and the National board of the Smithsonian Institution and is a Member of the Young President’ organization. He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award in recognition of his achievements and contributions to society and serves on the board of that charitable organization. Mr. Welters holds a JD from New York University of Law and a BA from Manhattanville College. He is admitted to the bars of New York and DC.
On August 13, 2013, the registrants Board of Directors elect Anthony Welters as a director of the registrant, with both such actions to become effective on October 8, 2013. Mr. Welters is Executive Vice President and a member of the Office of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. He is also Chairman of the Boards of the Morehouse School of Medicine and of New York University School of Law.
UnitedHealth Group Inc
Compensation for 2011
Restricted stock awards
All other compensation
Non-equity incentive plan compensation
Options Exercised for 2011
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Government shutdown, debt ceiling: Who will blink first?
Full Program | Friday, October 11, 2013
HEATED President Obama VS House Speaker Boehner over US Government Shutdown
Shutdown Talks “Constructive”, But No Deal – Full White House Press Briefing
Senate Rejects Democratic Debt Limit Extension
Obama Rejects Latest House GOP Offer
President Obama used his weekly radio address to reject the latest offer from House Republicans to end the fiscal stalemate. The outline of their proposal was released Friday and would have reopened government through December and lifted the debt ceiling for six weeks.
“It wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season,” Obama said in his address.
“Because damage to America’s sterling credit rating wouldn’t just cause global markets to go haywire; it would become more expensive for everyone in America to borrow money,” Obama continued. “Students paying for college. Newlyweds buying a home,”
On Friday, Senate Republicans floated the outlines of their own plan to end the standoff. Their proposal would lift the debt ceiling through the end of January and reopen the government for six months. The dueling proposals put Obama in the enviable position of choosing between his opponents. He can reject one proposal and still look Presidential by negotiating on a competing offer. Obama said Friday he would look for the “best deal.”
On Saturday, the House Republicans are meeting to finalize the details of the plan they released Friday. Obama’s rejection of even the outlines of that plan make the next moves by the House uncertain. The Senate, meanwhile, moves back to center-stage of the debate with a vote Saturday afternoon on a one-year increase in the debt ceiling.
Obamacare Crippling Job Creation – Unable To Hire Full-Time Where’s My Job?- Huckabee Special
Fight For America: ObamaCare
Obamacare – Reid: More Funding Needed To Prevent Health Care Law From Becoming “Train Wreck”
Harry Reid and Tom Coburn Agree: Obamacare Was Designed to Fail, Pave Way for Single-Payer
In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges.
But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.
Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.
And so we have a rare moment of bipartisan agreement in the United States Senate. Reid now appears to concur with Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who has has been warning for quite some time that Obamacare was “rigged to fail” in order to pave the way for a total government takeover of the health insurance industry.
“More than two years after the passage of Obamacare, the data overwhelming show the law will fail to achieve its core objectives of lowering costs and improving access,” Coburn wrote in 2012. “That, ironically, may have been the design. By making private insurance unaffordable for everyone, it will become available to no one. All that will be left is government-centered, government-run, single-payer health care.”
As liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein said in 2008, organizations on the left pushing for health care reform were pursuing a “sneaky strategy” to “put in place something that over time the natural incentives … move it to single payer.”
So the big question on the left and right isn’t really whether or not Obamacare will eventually fail, but what comes after it fails.
When Obamacare starts to unravel, will the American people really trust the Democrats who designed it to fix it by giving the government more power and more control? Or will Obamacare’s failure provide an opportunity to repeal it and replace it with a more conservative, free-market reform?
In just about seven weeks, people will be able to start buying Obamacare-approved insurance plans through the new health care exchanges.
But already, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is predicting those plans, and the whole system of distributing them, will eventually be moot.
Reid said he thinks the country has to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during a Friday night appearance on Vegas PBS’ program “Nevada Week in Review.”
“What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,” Reid said.
When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
The idea of introducing a single-payer national health care system to the United States, or even just a public option, sent lawmakers into a tizzy back in 2009, when Reid was negotiating the health care bill.
“We had a real good run at the public option … don’t think we didn’t have a tremendous number of people who wanted a single-payer system,” Reid said on the PBS program, recalling how then-Sen. Joe Lieberman’s opposition to the idea of a public option made them abandon the notion and start from scratch.
Eventually, Reid decided the public option was unworkable.
“We had to get a majority of votes,” Reid said. “In fact, we had to get a little extra in the Senate, we have to get 60.”
Reid cited the post-WWII auto industry labor negotiations that made employer-backed health insurance the norm, remarking that “we’ve never been able to work our way out of that” before predicting that Congress would someday end the insurance-based health care system.
Reid also had some strong words for Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval and Sen. Dean Heller concerning their ongoing dispute with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz over shipments of low-level nuclear waste from Oak Ridge, Tenn., to Nevada.
Sandoval disputes the existence of “many memos” that Moniz said were signed between state and federal officials, permitting the import of the spent fuel rods. Heller has asked Moniz to clarify the existence of the memos, which Moniz first referred to in testimony before the Senate Energy Committee on July 30.
Reid suggested that Sandoval and Heller were “flailing away” with their complaints, before establishing the facts, which Reid said he “just do[es]n’t think we have.”
“If there are these memos flying around then somebody should be able to find them someplace, but this is not the point,” Reid said. “Gov. Sandoval knows his powers are limited. This is interstate commerce … you can’t just say ‘we’re not going to take it.’ It doesn’t work that way.”
We can prevent the train wreck if we defund Obamacare now
Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks in Support of his Amendment to Defund Obamacare and Stop the Amnesty Tax
Tea party senator Mike Lee would rather shut down the government than implement Obamacare
Mike Lee vows to defund Obamacare; Law not ready to be implemented & will harm average Americans
Rubio Pushes Senate To Defund ObamaCare
Rand Paul stands with Mike Lee on defunding Obamacare
Obamacare Outrage! – Congress Scores Exemption For Themselves – On The Record
Special Treatment for Congress- Obamacare Exemption
Obamacare Exemption For Congress Staff Where Did They Get Authority To Do This
Congress Members & Hill Staff Fear They Can’t Afford Health Care Under Obamacare! Can America?
Health Care Pass RPT Congress Tried To Exempt Itself From Law – Obamacare -Lou Dobbs – Megyn Kelly
Obamacare requirement is delayed
Administration will fix huge increase in health care premiums for Congress
The Obama administration detailed Wednesday how the government can keep contributing to health care premiums of members of Congress and their staffers even as they purchase coverage through state exchanges tied to the president’s health care law.
Guidance from the Office of Personnel Management follows up an announcement last week that Congress and its staffers won’t face massive increases in their health care premiums next year, as many feared, because of a clause in the Affordable Care Act that compels them to buy insurance through the exchanges.
The decision stirred relief on Capitol Hill and controversy among the public. Republican opponents of the law could argue that Congress excused itself from a deleterious aspect of legislation it passed in 2010.
OPM’s new rule says congressional members and staff should buy coverage through the exchanges in the states where they reside. For staffers, that likely will mean enrolling through the District, Maryland or Virginia.
The rule also says members of Congress should designate, by October each year, which staff members work in their official offices and “therefore, must choose health plans from the Exchanges.”
The administrative fix was made because Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, put a provision into the original legislation saying members of Congress and their aides have to be covered by plans “created” by the Affordable Care Act or “offered through an exchange.”
Even though it may have been symbolic or a political ploy, the provision was approved.
Under the old system, the federal government contributed to about 75 percent of premiums; members and staffers are covered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, but it was unclear whether the program could subsidize premiums of plans in the exchanges.
The OPM makes clear that members and staff still can receive the contribution, although they are not eligible for tax credits or subsidies on the exchanges.
Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican and a vocal critic of the administration’s decision, complained about the developments in a letter to congressional leaders Wednesday. When Congress reconvenes next month, the senator will introduce legislation that forces the president, vice president, political appointees and certain exempted congressional staffers to buy their health coverage through the exchanges.
“The Obamacare statute states very clearly that all Members of Congress and their staffs are to procure their health insurance through the Obamacare Exchange,” his letter said. “Just as clearly, it does not reconstitute government support of their present coverage under the separate Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) as payment toward the Exchange. … Until Obamacare is fully repealed, those elected by the public must abide by the same law Americans are being forced to live with.”
He said the provision that allows members of Congress “to define what staff is even covered at all is particularly offensive and obnoxious.”
“It’s obviously intended to allow for a significant portion of congressional staff, like leadership staff, to be exempted from even having to deal with the Exchange at all, notwithstanding the whopping subsidy that the rule creates,” he said in his letter.
Enrollment in the exchanges — marketplaces where consumers can shop for and buy insurance — is scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Democrats and Republicans are planning significant public relations campaigns on the law during the congressional summer recess.
Members, staff will keep health-care subsidies under Obamacare
Members of Congress and Hill staffers will not lose their health-care subsidies from the government when Obamacare is implemented because of an exception proposed Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.
Under the current system, the government covers most of the cost of health-care premiums for members and their staffers. But an amendment to the Affordable Care Act — proposed by Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley — threw those subsidies into question, saying that members and staff must enter into the exchanges or be covered by insurance “created” by law.
The potential for staff losing the subsidies led to concerns of “brain drain” from the Hill if staffers left as a result of the increased costs.
Last week, when President Barack Obama came to the Hill to meet with Senate Democrats, he informed them that he would personally get involved to sort out the confusion, and the White House said that OPM would issue guidelines this week.
The guidelines, released Wednesday, allow for members and staff to retain their subsidies from the government, an exception in exchange for giving up “premium tax credits” that they would otherwise be eligible for under Obamacare.
“The amount of the employer contribution toward their Exchange premiums is no more than would otherwise be made toward coverage under the [Federal Employee Health Benefits] Program,” the OPM release notes.
“These proposed regulations implement the administrative aspects of switching Members of Congress and congressional staff to their new insurance plans — the same plans available to millions of Americans through the new Exchanges,” said Jon Foley, OPM Director of Planning and Policy, in a statement.
Q: Is it true that there are bills in Congress that would exempt members and their staffs and families from buying into “Obamacare”?
A: No. Congress members and staffers will be required to buy insurance through the exchanges on Jan. 1.
Is it true that there are bills in the House and Senate that will exempt members and their staff and families from buying into Obamacare?
Several readers have asked us about Congress attempting to exempt itself from the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. A few said that a Facebook post claimed that President Barack Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Democrats in Congress were trying to “get themselves exempted from Obamacare,” in the words of one reader.
But there is no bill in Congress calling for an exemption from the health care law. In fact, members of Congress and their staffs face additional requirements that most Americans don’t have to meet.
Under the health care law, their insurance coverage will have to switch from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the group of private insurance plans that cover 8 million federal employees and retirees, to the exchanges created by the law. Those exchanges are meant for those who buy coverage on their own, the currently uninsured and small businesses. Members of Congress and their staffs would be the only employees of a large employer in the exchanges, which are set to begin offering insurance in January.
So, why is the false “exempt” claim making the Facebook rounds? There is reportedly concern on Capitol Hill that the Office of Personnel Management, which administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, won’t be able to smoothly transition members and their staffs into an exchange. The concern, as a Roll Call story explained, was that the government wouldn’t be able to make contributions toward the federal employees’ premiums, at least at the beginning of 2014. That would mean employees would pick up the whole tab for their insurance policies. Right now, the government pays 72 percent of premiums on average.
The “exempt” claims were sparked by a Politico report on April 24 that said secret talks were being held by lawmakers to change the requirement to get insurance through the exchanges because of this concern. The headline on the story said “Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.”
After the story was published, a spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid said there hadn’t been any discussions to exempt Congress from “provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care.” And Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman of California told Politico that lawmakers and their staffs will indeed get insurance through the exchanges. “[T]he federal government will offer them health insurance coverage that they obtained through the exchanges because we want to get the same health care coverage everybody else has available to them,” he said.
We contacted the Office of Personnel Management and received this statement from an administration official: “Members of Congress will not receive anything that is not available to the public. The law doesn’t allow them to get insurance from FEHB, they are going to get insurance on the market place, just like uninsured individuals and small businesses.”
We can’t say what did or didn’t happen in any secret meetings. But we can say that no bill has been introduced to exempt members of Congress from the Affordable Care Act — and they were never exempt in the first place. Even if, hypothetically, Congress were to nullify the provision requiring members and their staffs to get insurance on the exchanges, it still wouldn’t amount to an exemption from the law. Lawmakers and staffers would be subject to the mandate to have health insurance or pay a fine, just as everyone else is.
The law provides a few exemptions from the requirement to have insurance, but only for those who earn too little to file taxes, those with financial hardships, those who can’t find affordable coverage, and some religious groups that qualify for Social Security exemptions, mainly Mennonite or Amish.
An Old Falsehood
Bogus claims about Congress being “exempt” date back to early 2010, when different health care bills were still being debated. Some Republicans claimed that Americans, except for members of Congress, would be forced into the government-run “public option” (which wasn’t part of the final bill that became law) or state-based exchanges (which are part of the law).
As we said previously, members of Congress get private health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which actually served as a model for the exchanges. Federal workers pick from among many health plans. The exchanges would operate in the same way — like a marketplace for those shopping for private insurance.
But some Republicans pushed the idea that if the exchanges were good enough for other Americans, they should be good enough for Congress. So, an amendment by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa was added to the Senate bill requiring that the federal government offer only health plans that were part of an exchange to members of Congress and their staffs. The law’s final language on this, written by Sen. Tom Coburn, says that: “the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act.”
Congressional “staff” is defined as “all full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.” As we reported before, Coburn said the provision wouldn’t apply to those working for committees or leadership staff, and a Congressional Research Service report agreed that could be the case.
In other words, the Affordable Care Act places on lawmakers and their staffs additional requirements that don’t pertain to other Americans with work-based insurance.
Update, Aug. 7, 2013: The Office of Personnel Management issued a proposed rule on Aug. 7 explaining that members of Congress and applicable congressional staff will be required to purchase health insurance coverage through the exchanges created by the law. However, according to the proposed rule, the federal government, as the employer, will still be able to make a contribution to health insurance premiums as it currently does. The contribution will be no greater than that now offered to members and their staffs under the FEHB program, and members and their staffs will not be eligible for premium tax credits made available to other persons purchasing health insurance through the exchanges.
UPDATE 1-U.S. Congress wins relief on Obamacare health plan subsidies
Congress, staff, to keep federal health premium payments
* Ruling aimed at avoiding “brain drain” on Capitol Hill (Adds comments from Republicans, Pelosi, edits)
By David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the “Obamacare” health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago.
In a ruling issued on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.
When Congress passed the health reform law known as Obamacare in 2010, an amendment required that lawmakers and their staff members purchase health insurance through the online exchanges that the law created. They would lose generous coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
The amendment’s author, Republican Senator Charles Grassley, argued that if Obamacare plans were good enough for the American public, they were good enough for Congress. Democrats, eager to pass the reforms, went along with it.
But it soon became apparent the provision contained no language that allowed federal contributions toward their health plans that cover about 75 percent of the premium costs.
This caused fears that staff would suddenly face sharply higher healthcare costs and leave federal service, causing a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill.
But Wednesday’s proposed rule from the OPM, the federal government’s human resources agency, means that Congress will escape the most onerous impact of law as it was written.
The OPM said the federal contributions will be allowed to continue for exchange-purchased plans for lawmakers and their staffs, ensuring that those working on Capitol Hill will effectively get the same health contributions as millions of other federal workers who keep their current plan.
The problem surrounding the Obamacare language for Capitol Hill staff was the subject of intense negotiations in recent weeks between House and Senate leaders and the Obama administration.
Some Republicans immediately slammed the OPM decision, using it as fuel for their campaign to turn public opinion against Obamacare just as its core provisions are due to go into effect.
“While the administration has handed out waiver after waiver and exemption after exemption for the well-connected in Washington, they have done nothing to lower health care costs for families in Michigan,” said Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.
Camp said the OPM ruling is the “latest proof” of impending failure for the reforms and pledged that Republicans would keep trying to repeal them.
Last week, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the language problem would have caused unintended “collateral damage” on congressional staff, causing many to leave for the private sector.
“They are a tremendous intellectual resource, people who could, shall we say, be better compensated financially outside” of government, said Pelosi, who spearheaded passage of the health care law in 2010 as House Speaker.
STILL MUST PURCHASE PLANS
Lawmakers and staff still must purchase plans on the exchanges for coverage that starts in January, OPM said, and they will not be eligible for tax credits to offset premium payments. These credits are the main federal subsidy mechanism for all other health plans purchased through Obamacare exchanges due to open in October. These tax subsidies fall off quickly as income rises.
Tim Jost, a healthcare law expert at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, said it was probably never Congress’ intention to take away federal benefit contributions from Capitol Hill employees, just to push them into them into the exchanges.
“This clarifies what they really intended to do all along,” Jost said. “Congress had subjected itself to a requirement that applied to nobody else in the country.”
Republican Senator David Vitter vowed to reverse the OPM ruling to ensure that no members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff nor Obama administration appointees get any federal subsidies for health insurance purchased on Obamacare health exchanges.
“These recent maneuverings inside the beltway are precisely why the American people rightly despise Congress,” said Vitter, of Louisiana. “Perhaps if White House appointees and Congress have to live under these same Obamacare rules, things would be changed quickly for the better.” (Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Bill Trott and Cynthia Osterman)
Trayvon Martin Hit George Zimmerman Repeatedly — Deadly Force was justified — that is why the jury acquitted Zimmerman of all charges
Alan Dershowitz Slams Special Prosecutor Angela Corey
Zimmerman Post-Trial – Harvard Law Big Shot: Angela Corey Should Be Prosecuted; Fired; Disbarred
Zimmerman / Martin – Alan Dershowitz On NewsMax: Angela Corey, Other Legal Insights
Zimmerman / Martin – Alan Dershowitz “Prosecutor Better Get A Lawyer” – Fox News Interview
Zimmerman / Martin – Alan Dershowitz Commenting MSNBC News About Angela Corey-Nifong
Fox Analyst Blasts Media’s Race Obsession: ‘Wants To Pretend U.S. Is Still Mississippi In 1950s’
Watch Prosecutor Corey Announce Charges Against Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin Death
Obama’s Influences – Frank Marshall Davis
Michael Savage on Obama’s REAL Father; Dreams From My Real Father DVD; Savage Nation
Obama’s Mentor: Frank Marshall Davis—The Communist—Book: Mark Levin
Frank Marshall Davis Interview
Dreams from My Real Father: Director Joel Gilbert at National Press Club, Washington DC
Paul Kengor & Glenn Beck “The Communist” on GBTV Frank Marshall Davis Barack Obama’s Mentor
The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor
Paul Kengor on Frank Marshall Davis
Jurors to learn about Martin’s alleged drug use
Truth: Why Little Wayne Has Seizures (May 2013)
sippin on that lean
Preliminary 2012 Crime Statistics
Violent Crime Up, Property Crime Down
The new preliminary Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) statistics for 2012 indicate that when compared to data for 2011, the number of violent crimes reported by law enforcement agencies around the country increased 1.2 percent during 2012, while the number of property crimes decreased 0.8 percent.
The final UCR statistics—submitted by approximately 18,000 local, state, campus, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies from around the nation—will be released later this year in the Crime in the United States, 2012 report.
Among the highlights of the preliminary report:
Overall, when compared to 2011 figures, the West experienced the largest increase in reported violent crime (up 3.3 percent), and the Northeast experienced the only decrease (down 0.6 percent).
The Northeast was the only part of the country where the four violent crime categories saw decreases across the board—murder (down 4.4 percent), forcible rapes (down 0.2 percent), robberies (down 1.4 percent), and aggravated assaults (down 0.1 percent).
The largest rise in reported violent crime (up 3.7 percent) was in cities with populations of 500,000-999,999.
The West experienced the only increase in reported property crime (up 5.2 percent), while the number of property crimes dropped 1.6 percent in the Northeast, 2.1 percent in the Midwest, and 3.5 percent in the South.
The number of reported motor vehicle thefts grew by 10.6 percent in the West while showing declines in the Northeast (down 7.9 percent), the Midwest (down 3.1 percent), and the South (down 2.9 percent).
The number of arson incidents—tallied separately from other property crimes because of various levels of participation by reporting agencies—fell 1.2 percent.
Crime in the United States
The FBI compiles the volume and rate of violent and property crime offenses for the nation and by state in an annual report. Below are stories and final reports from previous years.
The UCR Program is a nationwide cooperative statistical effort of law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention.
The idea for the program began in the 1920s, when the International Association of Chiefs of Police—recognizing a need for national crime statistics—formed the Committee on Uniform Crime Records to develop a system. After studying state criminal codes and evaluating the recordkeeping practices in use, the committee completed a plan for crime reporting that became the foundation of the UCR Program in 1929. In January 1930, 400 cities in 43 states began participating in the program. That same year, Congress authorized the attorney general to gather crime data; the FBI was designated to serve as the national clearinghouse for the collected information.
The UCR Program’s primary objective is to generate reliable statistics for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management. Over the years, however, these statistics have become one of the country’s leading social indicators and are used by criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, the media, and other students of criminal justice for research and planning purposes.
A word of warning, though—don’t draw conclusions from the data by making direct comparisons between cities or individual agencies. Valid assessments are only possible with careful study and analysis of the unique conditions that affect each law enforcement jurisdiction.
Once again, the final Crime in the United States, 2012 report will be available later this year.
George Zimmerman is innocent. The evidence clearly shows this. Yet the liberal media have already convicted him in the court of public opinion. The result is not only that a man’s life — regardless of the verdict — has been shattered. Race relations have been poisoned, paving the way for possible deadly riots if Mr. Zimmerman is acquitted.
From the outset, liberal media outlets — CNN, MSNBC, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, the Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Washington Post — put forth one seminal narrative: The shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was a flagrant example of white racism against blacks. Modern-day Sanford, Fla., was transformed into 1960s Selma, Ala. Mr. Zimmerman has been turned into the poster child of a more subtle and polished, but revived Ku Klux Klan. For example, the audiotape of Mr. Zimmerman’s call to a 911 dispatcher on the night of the shooting was deliberately edited by NBC in a pathetic attempt to portray him as a vile racist bent on violence.
The entire mainstream media narrative, however, is based on lies. Trayvon was not killed because he was black. He was shot in self-defense because he repeatedly punched and smashed Mr. Zimmerman’s head on the pavement. The neighborhood-watch captain was trained by police to notice nonresidents, especially those who looked out of place and behaved suspiciously. The Sanford community had suffered a rash of burglaries and other crimes. According to residents (both white and black), the town-house complex has become increasingly unsafe. Hence, the reason — and need — for a neighborhood-watch team.
After spotting Trayvon, who did not live in the neighborhood, Mr. Zimmerman did what any good citizen should do: He called the police. The dispatcher asked for the location of Trayvon’s whereabouts. Mr. Zimmerman followed the teenager, gave the approximate address and street, and attempted to return to his car — until confronted by Trayvon. He then began to savagely beat Mr. Zimmerman, who suffered two black eyes, a broken nose and lacerations in the back of his head. If he had not used his gun, Mr. Zimmerman would likely be dead today.
All of these facts have been corroborated during the trial. A key witness, John Hood, saw Trayvon on top of Mr. Zimmerman hitting him “mixed martial arts-style.” Also, toxicology reports prove that Trayvon had marijuana in his blood and urine that night. Mr. Zimmerman told the dispatcher that the suspect acted like he was “on drugs.” Mr. Zimmerman’s wounds — and the grass stains on his back — were consistent with his story of being on the ground and repeatedly punched by Trayvon.
In other words, rather than the constant media image and picture of an angelic 12-year-old baby-faced boy, Trayvon was the opposite. He was a 6-foot-3 man-child with a history of drug use, who had been suspended several times from school. He even had images of himself on his cellphone smoking marijuana and wielding a gun. He was a wannabe thug, who triggered a deadly altercation. Had Trayvon gone straight back to the home of his father’s girlfriend, he’d be alive today. Instead, he chose to confront and attack Mr. Zimmerman. Ultimately, Trayvon — not Mr. Zimmerman — is to blame for the fatal shooting.
Yet, for the left, none of this matters. Liberals have turned Trayvon into a saint and celebrity cause. He is the alleged victim of racist white America. Here is another gross lie: Mr. Zimmerman is not even white. He is clearly a Hispanic — his skin is brown. He comes from a multiracial — including part-black — family. Hence, to twist reality to conform to their whites-are-racist narrative, the mainstream media manufactured a new racial category: white Hispanic. Only the twisted liberal mind could blame whites for a brown guy fatally shooting a black teen.
Ironically, it is Mr. Zimmerman who is the victim of a racist witch hunt. He never would have been charged with a crime had it not been for vile race-baiters, such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Aided and abetted by President Obama, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the Congressional Black Caucus, these race-arsonists have fueled the flames of racial hatred. Encouraged by media coverage that has played to the most primitive racial sensibilities, many blacks have become passionately convinced Mr. Zimmerman is guilty — not only of murder, but of hating young black men. Law enforcement authorities in Sanford are preparing for bloody race riots should he be acquitted. Pro-Trayvon supporters on social media have already called for mass civil unrest in the wake of a not-guilty verdict.
If — and I stress if — there are race riots following the Zimmerman trial, then Mr. Obama and his media allies will have blood on their hands. They have smeared an innocent man, fanned the dangerous fires of racial division and hijacked a police investigation in order to pursue a political agenda of black victimology. This represents the ominous corruption of our justice system. Trayvon is dead, but his ghost may haunt us for years to come.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator on WRKO AM-680 in Boston
Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between the years 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (8,197) come to 18,515, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home.It’s a tragic commentary to be able to say that young black males have a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.A much larger issue is how might we interpret the deafening silence about the day-to-day murder in black communities compared with the national uproar over the killing of Trayvon Martin. Such a response by politicians, civil rights organizations and the mainstream news media could easily be interpreted as “blacks killing other blacks is of little concern, but it’s unacceptable for a white to kill a black person.”There are a few civil rights leaders with a different vision. When President Barack Obama commented about the Trayvon Martin case, T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami, told The Daily Caller that “the outrage should be about us killing each other, about black-on-black crime.” He asked rhetorically, “Wouldn’t you think to have 41 people shot (in Chicago) between Friday morning and Monday morning would be much more newsworthy and deserve much more outrage?”
Former NAACP leader Pastor C.L. Bryant said the rallies organized by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson suggest there is an epidemic of “white men killing black young men,” adding: “The epidemic is truly black-on-black crime. The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men.”
Not only is there silence about black-on-black crime; there’s silence and concealment about black racist attacks on whites — for example, the recent attacks on two Virginian-Pilot newspaper reporters set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks. The story wasn’t even covered by their own newspaper.
In March, a black mob assaulted, knocked unconscious, disrobed and robbed a white tourist in downtown Baltimore. Black mobs have roamed the streets of Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities, making unprovoked attacks on whites and running off with their belongings.
Racist attacks have been against not only whites but also Asians. Such attacks include the San Francisco beating death of an 83-year-old Chinese man, the pushing of a 57-year-old woman off a train platform and the knocking of a 59-year-old Chinese man to the ground, which killed him.
For years, Asian school students in New York and Philadelphia have been beaten up by their black classmates and called racist epithets — for example, “Hey, Chinese!” and “Yo, dragon ball!” But that kind of bullying, unlike the bullying of homosexuals, goes unreported and unpunished.
Racial demagoguery from the president on down is not in our nation’s best interests, plus it’s dangerous. As my colleague Thomas Sowell recently put it, “if there is anything worse than a one-sided race war, it is a two-sided race war, especially when one of the races outnumbers the other several times over.” – See more at:
Unnerved by an unspoken mix of political bias and racial queasiness, the major media have chosen to know as little about Trayvon Martin as they know about Barack Obama.
As a case in point, consider this boy vs. man fable spun by the New York Times‘ Charles Blow:
A boy’s blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy.
Blow was writing seven weeks after Trayvon’s death. He had no excuse for missing the actual story. Worse, since he is a writer for the Times, his reporting has helped set the media tone worldwide
The media’s willful ignorance was on display again this past week. In reporting this news of George Zimmerman’s return to jail, more than a few media outlets showed the dangerously deceptive image of Trayvon as 11-year-old cherub. They did so in the assumption that the narrative was still theirs to control. It is not. The blogs, which have been doing the real detective work on this case, have long since taken control away from them.
The sites I have found most useful are the Daily Caller and theconservativetreehouse.com. What follows is largely culled from those sites and their independent contributors. By probing Trayon’s background and parsing his social media chatter, they have put together a picture of a disturbed young man that begins to makes sense of the events that unfolded on that fateful rainy night of February 26.
Trayvon Martin is seen on the security video through the 7-11 window approaching the store from the direction of the Retreat at Twin Lakes. He had been staying there at the townhouse of his father’s girlfriend, Brandy Green. In major media accounts, the helpful Trayvon ventured out in the rain in a mile-plus round trip to buy Brandy’s 14-year-old son, Chad, some Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. Not likely.
Trayvon, with his hoodie up, grabs two items from the shelves of 7-11. One is the Skittles. The other is Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail. The media avoid the name of the real drink — possibly because of the racial implications of the word “watermelon,” but possibly to avoid probing the real reason for Trayon’s trip.
Trayvon, in fact, had become a devotee of the druggy concoction known as “Lean,” also known in southern hip-hop culture as “Sizzurp” and “Purple Drank.” Lean consists of three basic ingredients — codeine, a soft drink, and candy. If his Facebook postings are to be believed, Trayvon had been using Lean since at least June 2011.
On June 27, 2011, Trayvon asks a friend online, “unow a connect for codien?” He tells the friend that “robitussin nd soda” could make “some fire ass lean.” He says, “I had it before” and that he wants “to make some more.” On the night of February 26, if Brandy had some Robitussin at home, Trayvon had just bought the mixings for one “fire ass lean” cocktail.
Trayvon pays for his purchases. He then appears to point to an item behind the counter, but the clerk seems to reject that option. Trayvon turns from the counter with a couple of dollar bills still in his hand.
Trayvon leaves the 7-11, but we do not see him walk in front of the store window back towards Brandy’s home.
Three squirrely young men enter the 7-11, all of them with their faces concealed in part or in full. The clerk had to have been nervous. One of the three (Curly) takes off his hat and shakes out his long, curly dark hair. He is likely either white or Hispanic, or, like Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic.”
Curly appears to be holding the two bills Trayvon walked out with. He approaches the clerk and buys two cheap cigars from behind the counter and then a third one as an afterthought.
Curly is the first of three to exit. The others will follow in a minute.
Trayvon, turning as he walks, can be seen through the window heading back towards the Retreat at Twin Lakes and Brandy’s house.
Zimmerman calls police while watching Trayvon near the gated community’s clubhouse, less than a half-mile from the 7-11. According to “Dee-Dee,” the girl Trayvon was periodically talking to on his cell phone, he was ducking in out of the rain. She also said he put his hoodie up for the same reason. In fact, though, Trayvon had his hoodie up inside the 7-11, and he was walking in the rain when Zimmerman spotted him. The walk to this point should have taken 10 minutes.
It took 40 minutes. Some background may help explain why. Earlier that same month, Trayvon had been caught at school holding a bag with marijuana residue and a marijuana pipe. He was suspended for the third time that school year, this time for ten days. Trayvon may have been dealing as well. As one online friend had communicated earlier, “Damn were u at a nigger need a plant.”
Trayvon was partial to “blunts,” street slang for cannabis rolled with the tobacco-leaf wrapper from an inexpensive cigar called a “blunt.” As a tribute after his death, one friend posted online a photo of a homemade badge honoring Trayvon positioned next to a blunt.
It seems altogether possible that Curly bought at least one of those cigars for the under-aged Trayvon and took those visible dollar bills as payment. Trayvon waited five minutes outside the 7-11 and did not leave until after Curly came out. In the 40 minutes before Zimmerman spotted him, Trayvon could have scraped the tobacco out of the cigar, replaced it with marijuana, and smoked his blunt.
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman tells the police. “Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” Trayvon was on drugs or had been recently. His autopsy showed the presence of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in both his blood and his urine.
It is possible too that Trayvon was up to no good. “He’s just staring, looking at all the houses,” says Zimmerman. Trayvon had a history. On October 21, 2011, he received his second suspension that school year. A security guard at his school saw Trayvon writing “WTF” on a hallway locker. In looking through his bag for the marker, the guard found 12 pieces of jewelry, a watch, and a “burglary tool.”
Zimmerman did the prudent thing by reporting Trayvon to the police. Ever since the Florida real estate bust, the Retreat at Twin Lakes had been troubled by vacancies, foreclosures, and renters of dubious repute. The community had suffered numerous break-ins and home invasions, the perpetrators of which were all young men, most of them black. “We report all suspicious persons & activities to the Sanford Police Department,” reads the standard neighborhood watch sign at the community’s gated entrance. If Trayvon did not fit the bill, no one did.
“He’s coming towards me,” Zimmerman tells the police about Trayvon, who is now walking towards his truck. He makes his first firm identification of Trayvon as “a black male.” Adds Zimmerman, “He’s coming to check me out. He’s got something in his hands.” Zimmerman sounds a little anxious: “Please, get an officer over here.”
After Trayvon passes his truck, Zimmerman says, “Shit, he’s running.” He is heading towards “the back entrance,” says Zimmerman. That entrance is in the same general direction as Brandy’s townhouse. A question that goes unasked is why Trayvon was running.
When asked by the dispatcher, Zimmerman agrees not to follow Trayvon, and his heavy breathing ends. “He ran,” says Zimmerman. Even if running slowly, Trayvon could have made it to Brandy’s house in a half a minute. It was only 100 yards from the truck.
Zimmerman is hesitant to give out his address.“I don’t know where this kid is.” He looks around to see where Trayvon has gone, fails to spot him, terminates his call, and heads back to the truck.
7:14 – 7:16
These are the missing two minutes. After receiving a call from Dee-Dee, Trayvon has come back to confront Zimmerman. Their final confrontation takes place 70 yards from Brandy’s townhouse and only 30 yards from Zimmerman’s truck. No one hunted Trayvon down. Although he has kept the drink and candy on his person, Trayvon does not have a blunt with him.
According to the autopsy report, Trayvon was 5’11” tall and weighed 158 pounds, the “ideal healthy weight” at that height being 160 pounds. He was not the skinny little boy with the Skittles that half of America still believes him to be. Hewas at least three inches taller than Zimmerman and only about 20 pounds lighter.
His home life a wreck, his school life in disarray, Trayvon had fallen victim to urban America’s lost boy culture.
This culture, which the media also choose not to see, has been shockingly destructive. Citing Bureau of Justice statistics, black economist Walter Williams in a recent column notes that “between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims.” Of these, Williams estimates that roughly “262,621 were murdered by other blacks.”
Trayvon had “statistic” written all over him. In the past year or so, his social media sites showed a growing interest in drugs, in mixed martial arts-style street fighting, in a profoundly vulgar exploitation of “bitches.”
Trayvon posed for one photo with raised middle fingers, another with wads of cash held in an out-stretched arm. One YouTube video shows him refereeing a fight club-style street fight. A cousin had recently tweeted him, “Yu ain’t tell me yu swung on a bus driver,” meaning, if true, that Trayvon had punched out a bus driver.
Zimmerman never saw the cute little boy that the TV audience did. He saw a full-grown man, a druggy, a wannabe street fighter, the tattooed, gold-grilled, self-dubbed “No_Limit_Nigga.”
Media obfuscation may still work in the court of public opinion — it got Obama elected in 2008 — but it will not work in a court of law. The truth will out. When it does, the major media will lose a good chunk of whatever credibility they have left, and our nation may lose a good chunk of its urban real estate.
This is a very interesting part of the TRAYVON MARTIN story that is not getting a lot of press. But it was widely reported that the young lad was simply buying “Arizona Ice Tea and Skittles” from the 7-Eleven store.
Turns out that we parents are unaware that there is a drug drink made from Arizona Watermelon drink and Skittles candy and then mixed with OVER THE COUNTER cough medicine (Robitussen and similar brands) that makes a very potent drug.
Not only is there now all sorts of evidence popping up that Trayvon Martin was abusing drugs, but it also is a warning to parents all over America that simple combinations of commonly available goods can be some serious drugs in the hands of our kids.
The drug is called LEAN or PURPLE LEAN or PURPLE DRANK. It is very likely that Trayvon Martin was on his way to make some more LEAN the night he was shot, the coroner’s report shows that his liver was damaged in a way that is consistent with the use of LEAN/PURPLE LEAN. Martin also may have bought a blunt at the convenience store, they empty the tobacco out of the cigar and fill it with marijuana, and he may have smoked it before his encounter with Zimmerman. Marijuana and Purple Lean are a popular combination with rappers and thugs.
Keep an eye on your kids and grandkids. Those seemingly innocent items such as Arizona watermelon drink and Skittles the young people are toting around or buying at the store may be a lot more dangerous to them than you think.
You should have to be over 18 years old, and you should have to show ID, to be able to buy cough syrup, to prevent our kids from making Lean/Purple Lean/Purple Drank. You cannot prevent the kids from buying Arizona watermelon drink and Skittles.
We will see if it comes out during the trial about Trayvon and Purple Lean, this information needs to get out there. The people who do drugs have known this information all along, now all of the good people need to learn about it, this must not be kept secret, parents need to know.
Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine. Cough syrup is typically mixed with ingredients such as Sprite soft drink or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy. The purplish hue of purple drank comes from dyes in the cough syrup.
There are numerous slang terms for purple drank, including sizzurp,lean,syrup,drank,barre,purple jelly,Texas tea, and Tsikuni.
Houston, Texas producer DJ Screw popularized the concoction, which is widely attributed as a source of inspiration for the “chopped and screwed” style of hip hop music. Originally, the active ingredient of “syrup” was cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine. The concoction first gained popularity in the underground rap scene in Houston, where musician Big Hawk said it was consumed as early as the 1960s and 1970s, becoming more widespread in the early 1990s. Its use later spread to other southern states. Because of usage by rap artists in Houston, it became more popular in the 1990s.
In June 2000, Three 6 Mafia’s single “Sippin’ on Some Syrup,” featuring UGK, brought the term “purple drank” to a nationwide audience. Three 6 Mafia’s single “Rainbow Colors” featuring Lil’ Flip pertains to the consumption of purple drank; the addition of a Jolly Rancher candy to a cup of purple drank creates a spectrum of colors, hence the name.
In 2004, the University of Texas found that 8.3% of secondary school students in Texas had taken codeine syrup to get high. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports “busts” involving syrup across the southern United States, particularly in Texas and Florida.
As of 2011, the price of purple drank in Houston is twice the price in Los Angeles.
Notable deaths from use
Purple drank is confirmed or suspected to have caused the deaths of several prominent users. Respiratory depression is a potentially serious or fatal adverse drug reaction associated with the use of codeine, but mainly the danger lies in the much more potent and CNS-depressing phenothiazine-related antihistamine promethazine. This depression is dose-related and is the mechanism for the potentially fatal consequences of overdose: respiratory or cardiac arrest. As with most CNS depressants, mixing with alcohol greatly increases the risk of respiratory failure and other complications.
DJ Screw, who popularized the codeine-based drink, died of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose on November 16, 2000, several months after the video to Three 6 Mafia’s single debuted.
Big Moe, a DJ Screw protégé whose albums City of Syrup and Purple World were based on the drink and who has been described as having “rapped obsessively about the drug,” died at age 33 on October 14, 2007, after suffering a heart attack one week earlier that left him in a coma. There was speculation that purple drank may have contributed to his death.
Pimp C, widely influential Port Arthur, Texas rapper and a member of rap duo UGK, was found dead on December 4, 2007, at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported that the rapper’s death was “due to promethazine/codeine effects and other unestablished factors.” Ed Winter, assistant chief of the Coroner’s Office, said the levels of the medication were elevated, but not enough to deem the death an overdose. However, Pimp C had a history of sleep apnea, a condition that causes one to stop breathing for short periods during sleep. A spokesman for the coroner’s office said that the combination of sleep apnea and cough medication probably suppressed Pimp C’s breathing long enough to bring on his death.
Other notable incidents
In September 2006, Terrence Kiel, a San Diego Chargers player, was arrested during practice for the possession with intent to sell prescription cough syrup for use in making the drink. Kiel was caught trying to ship a case of syrup to a friend via FedEx. Kiel was charged with two felony counts of transporting a controlled substance and three counts of possession for sale of a controlled substance.
On July 8, 2008, Johnny Jolly, a Green Bay Packers player, was pulled over in his car for excessive music. The officers found a Dr Pepper bottle in a holder next to two Styrofoam cups containing soda and ice. The officers said the cups and the bottle all emitted “strong odors of codeine.” The case was dismissed at first, but charges were refiled in December 2009 after the Houston Police Department’s acquired new equipment that allowed the police to test the evidence again. Jolly faced a possible maximum sentence of up to 20 years in jail, but as a first time offender he would be eligible for probation.
On July 5, 2010, former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell was arrested at his home in Mobile, Alabama, for possession of codeine syrup without a prescription. He was arrested as part of an undercover narcotics investigation. Russell was booked into city jail and released soon afterwards after making his bail.
On June 11, 2013, just days after being robbed at gunpoint in San Francisco, rapper 2 Chainz was arrested at Los Angeles international airport on charges of possessing marijuana and promethazine and codeine, the primary ingredients of purple drank.
The most popular type of codeine syrup is promethazine-codeine, a prescription cough syrup. The active ingredients are codeine, a narcotic, and promethazine, an antihistamine. When taken in large quantities, both medications can lead to sedation and altered levels of consciousness. The inclusion of the antihistamine is intended to deter abuse, as doses higher-than-recommended can produce extreme somnolence, clinical weakness, and ultimately, fatal hypoventilation (inadequate breathing to sustain life). In lower doses, the antihistamine targets cold symptoms through reducing both swelling and vasodilation; it also acts to potentiate the opiate codeine.
Prescription cough syrups containing hydrocodone are also used to make the drink, though they are less popular. Songs like “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia refer to Tussionex, a yellow cough syrup containing extended-release hydrocodone and chlorpheniramine (another antihistamine). Other hydrocodone-containing syrups such as Histinex HC, Hycotuss, and Hycodan may also be used, but Hycodan has added homatropine to deter abuse. Syrup also is made with over-the-counter cough syrups such as Robitussin DM, which contain dextromethorphan as the cough suppressant. Although dextromethorphan is used recreationally, it has dissociative effects as opposed to narcotic. Dextromethorphan is a synthetic morphine analog that has been on the market in the United States since the 1950s. It is a cough suppressant in small doses, but in large doses it can result in a disassociative state, with hallucinations, similar to that produced by PCP or ketamine.
Promethazine-codeine contains 10 mg of codeine and 6.25 mg of promethazine per 5 mL.
Some users report that the large amount of sugar in drank causes them to experience weight gain, tooth decay, and other medical symptoms.
Mentions in hip hop
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2010)
In addition to its popularization in the music of DJ Screw and Three 6 Mafia, the mixture has been referenced in lyrics of other rappers. It is the subject of UGK’s “Sippin and Spinnin” and “Purple Drank”, as well as tracks by D12, Eminem, Lil’ Wyte, Big Moe, Lil Boosie, Far East Movement, Paul Wall, Esham, Mike Jones, Kanye West, T.I., Rick Ross, Birdman, Future, Lil’ Flip, Lil’ Wayne, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Playaz Circle, Fat Joe, Beanie Sigel, Project Pat, Chamillionaire, Lou Bega, French Montana, Kirko Bangz, Jim Jones, The Game, Slim Thug, Fat Pat, Frayser Boy, Gorilla Zoe, YC (rapper), Z-RO, Youngbloodz, 8Ball, Papoose, Drake, Jae Millz, Meek Mill, Mack Maine, Ace Hood, Juicy J, Gucci Mane, Plies, ASAP Rocky, Tech N9ne, Trae, Young Buck, E-40, Yelawolf, Schoolboy Q, Mac Miller and Ab-Soul, the latter of whom has crafted an ode to lean titled, “Mixed Emotions”.
New Orleans rapper Lil’ Wayne has publicly acknowledged his use of purple drank, and his lyrics frequently mentions drinking purple drank. In the Duffle Bag Boy music video he can be seen holding a Styrofoam cup with “RIP DJ Screw” written on it. In his freestyle to “Throw Some D’s” on his mixtape Da Drought 3 he claims “I’m not a rookie, I’m a pro..methazine fiend” as well as stating “You know what’s in my Styrofoam…what? S-Y-R-UP.” He also mentions the substance in the track “Barry Bonds” from Kanye West’s Graduation album, saying “My drink is still pinker than the Easter Rabbit,” an overt reference to the color of the beverage. Wayne makes a similar reference in DJ Khaled’s song “We Takin’ Over.” On March 15, 2013, it was reported that Wayne had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being discovered “shaking uncontrollably” and “unconscious”. Doctors found a high amount of codeine in his system and his stomach had to be pumped three times. He was said to be in critical condition. The rapper’s associates were quick to deny rumors that he was near death, and he was released on March 18.
Advertising for one commercial product based on purple drank.
Several legal commercial products loosely based on “purple drank” are marketed in the United States. In June 2008 Innovative Beverage Group, a Houston, Texas-based company, released a beverage called “Drank.” The commercial product contains no codeine or promethazine, but claims to “Slow Your Roll” with a combination of herbal ingredients such as valerian root and rose hips as well as the hormone melatonin. Similar “relaxation” or “anti-energy” drinks on the commercial market use the names “Purple Stuff”, “Sippin Syrup”, and “Lean”.
These commercial products have been criticized for their potential to serve as gateways to the dangerous illegal concoction. At a mental health conference in February 2010, Dr. Ronald Peters, Jr., of the University of Texas Health Science Center said of “Drank”: “They’re taking the name, and they’re trying to market it to young people.” He described the beverage as “the worst thing I’ve ever seen on the street since the making of candy cigarettes.”
Hip hop portal
^ abc Peters Ronald J. Jr.; Steven H. Kelder, Christine M. Markham, George S. Yacoubian, Jr., Lecresha A. Peters and Artist Ellis (2003). “Beliefs and social norms about codeine and promethazine hydrochloride cough syrup (CPHCS) onset and perceived addiction among urban Houstonian adolescents: an addiction trend in the city of lean.”. Journal of drug education33 (4): 415–25. doi:10.2190/NXJ6-U60J-XTY0-09MP. PMID 15237866.
^ ab Walker, Yolanda (2006-10-20). “Drug-laced cough syrup tempts Texas teens”. WFAA. Archived from the original on 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
^ abcdefgh Leinwand, Donna (2006-10-18). “DEA warns of soft drink-cough syrup mix”. USA Today. Retrieved 2006-10-23.
^ abcde Bryan Robinson, Cough Syrup Abuse in Texas Takes Center Stage, ABC News, August 17, 2005
^ The Daily Fix The Wall Street Journal, David Roth. July 9, 2010
^ Richard Klemme, USE OF PROMETHAZINE WITH CODEINE SYRUP: COUGH/COLD EPIDEMIC OR SIGNIFICANT ABUSE?, Texas State Board of Pharmacy Newsletter, Volume XXV , Number 2, Spring 2001. The name “lean” refers to “abusers’ propensity of having difficulty in standing up straight.”
^ ab Demby, Eric (2001-01-11). “Codeine Overdose Killed DJ Screw, Medical Examiner Says”. MTV.com. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
^ abcd Shaheem Reid, Lil Wayne On Syrup: ‘Everybody Wants Me To Stop … It Ain’t That Easy’, MTV.com, February 28, 2008
^ Arizona Officer Safety Bulletin, , Public Intelligence, June 24, 2011
^ ab Corcoran, Michael Joseph (2005). “The Geto Boys and DJ Screw: Where the Dirty South Began”. All Over the Map: True Heroes of Texas Music (1st ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 23–26. ISBN 0-292-70976-5.
^ Joseph Patel, Chopped & Screwed: A History, page 2, MTV.com. Accessed January 7, 2010.
^ ab Schiller, Dane. “Purple Drank scheme allegedly made millions for smuggling ring.” Houston Chronicle. Wednesday October 19, 2011. Retrieved on October 23, 2011.
^ “Alcohol Interactions with Other Drugs”. Alcohol and Other Drugs Program Public Health Division, Health Department of Western Australia. 1999.
^ ab Kristie Rieken, Cough syrup found in Pimp C’s hotel had no label, Associated Press, February 5, 2008
^ DJs – Rapper Big Moe Dies, contactmusic.com, 15/10/2007
^ ab Leslie Casimir, Rapper’s death leads teens to re-evaluate lifestyle; Fans and friends wonder whether drug was a factor in his heart attack, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 20, 2007
^ Houston rappers remember Big Moe, by Eyder Peralta, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 16, 2007
^ Chargers safety Kiel arrested on drug charges, USA Today, September 28, 2006
^ Jolly faces unclear future – Trial on felony charge of drug possession awaits Packers defensive lineman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 11, 2009. The credibility of this statement is questionable. Codeine is odorless, according to Codeine Product Data Sheet, Chemkoo.com, accessed December 12, 2011.
^ Case against Jolly dismissed, “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel”, July 16, 2009
^ abc Maxim W. Furek, “Lean” Abuse Creates Strange Musical Genre, Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals, 20 November 2008
^ “Tussionex (Hydrocodone and Chlorpheniramine) drug description – FDA approved labeling for prescription drugs and medications at RxList”. Rxlist.com. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
^ Papich, Mark G. (2010-11-03). Saunders Handbook of Veterinary Drugs: Small and Large Animal. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781437701920. Retrieved 2013-04-04.
^ Mason, Robert J.; V. Courtney Broaddus, Thomas Martin, Talmadge King Jr, Dean Schraufnagel, John F. Murray, Jay A. Nadel (2010-06-09). Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 9781437735536.
^ Miller, Richard Lawrence (2002). “Dextromethorphan”. The encyclopedia of addictive drugs. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. pp. 110‒113. ISBN 0313318077.
^ “Phenergan with Codeine medical facts from Drugs.com”. Drugs.com
^ Soren Baker, DJ Screw Protege Big Moe Spills ‘Purple Stuff’, MTV.com, April 19, 2002
^ Jason Birchmeier, Big Moe Biography, Yahoo! Music, accessed January 8, 2010. “The [title of] the big man’s debut album, City of Syrup (2000), … nodding to Houston’s reputation for drinking codeine-laced syrup, which Moe pours from a Styrofoam cup on the album’s cover.”
^ Lyrics for “Wasted” by Gucci Mane. The lyrics say “Sippin on purple stuff rolling up stanked” and “Purple codeine sprite paint don’t wasted, Mix it up grandma drank it than tasted, Now grandma sippin syrup leanin wasted…”
IRS Official Lois Lerner Pleads The Fifth, Dismissed From Scandal Hearing
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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.
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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
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IRS Commissioner: Targeting Conservatives is “Absolutely Not Illegal”
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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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.
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.
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. Founded in Egypt in 1928 as a Pan-Islamic, religious, political, and social movement by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna, by the end of World War II the Muslim Brotherhood had an estimated two million members. 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”.
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. 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. Muslim brotherhood members are suspected to have assasinated political opponents like Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud an-Nukrashi Pasha.
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. Many Egyptian nationalists accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of violent killings during this period. After the Arab defeat in the First Arab-Israeli war, the Egyptian government dissolved the organisation and arrested its members. It supported the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, but after an attempted assassination of Egypt’s president it was once again banned and repressed. The Muslim Brotherhood has been suppressed in other countries as well, most notably in Syria in 1982 during the Hama massacre.
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.
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 and late 1989, with its origins being traceable to the Soviet War in Afghanistan. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army 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, and other targets it considers kafir.
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. 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. Al-Qaeda ideologues envision a complete break from all foreign influences in Muslim countries, and the creation of a new world-wide Islamic caliphate. Among the beliefs ascribed to Al-Qaeda members is the conviction that a Christian–Jewish alliance is conspiring to destroy Islam. 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. Al-Qaeda also opposes man-made laws, and wants to replace them with a strict form of sharia law.
Al-Qaeda is also responsible for instigating sectarian violence among Muslims. 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. Examples of sectarian attacks include the Yazidi community bombings, the Sadr City bombings, the Ashoura Massacre and the April 2007 Baghdad bombings.
The Alawites, also known as Alawis, Nusayris and Ansaris (ʿAlawīyyah (Arabic: علوية), Nuṣayrī (Arabic: نصيريون), and al-Anṣāriyyah) are a prominent mystical religious group centred in Syria who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam. 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.
The Alawites take their name from Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin of Muḥammad, 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] 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]
Alawites are separate from the Alevi religious sect in Turkey, but the terms share similar etymologies, and are often confused by outsiders.
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). 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.
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]
Under the Ottoman Empire
Under the Ottoman Empire they were often ill treated, and they resisted an attempt to convert them to Sunni Islam. The Alawites were traditionally good fighters, revolted against the Ottomans on several occasions, and maintained virtual autonomy in their mountains. 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.”
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), while individual Alawites made careers in the Ottoman army or as Ottoman governors. In the early part of the 20th century, the mainly Sunni notables sat on wealth and dominated politics, while Alawites lived as poor peasants. Alawites were not allowed to testify in court until after World War I.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. In May 1930, the Alawite State was renamed “the Government of Latakia”, the only concession the French made to Arab nationalists until 1936. There was a great deal of Alawite separatist sentiment in the region, 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. 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”. 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.
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. Before this, Alawite Arabs and Armenians were the majority of the province’s population. 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. 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.” 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. 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, issued a fatwa stating that Alawites were a community of Twelver Shi’ite Muslims. 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.
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. 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. Some Sunni scholars such as Ibn Kathir, on the other hand, have categorized Alawites as pagans in their religious works and documents. At least one source has compared them to Baha’is, Babis, Bektashis, Ahmadis, and “similar groups that have arisen within the Muslim community”.
Alawite man in Latakia, early 20th century
Some tenets of the faith may be secret and known only to a select few Alawis.  Alawis may have integrated doctrines from other religions (syncretism), in particular from Ismaili Islam and Christianity. Alawis are reported to celebrate certain Christian festivals, “in their own way”, including Christmas, Easter, and Palm Sunday. The claim that Alawis believe Ali is a deity has been contested by scholars. By some accounts, Alawis believe in reincarnation.
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”.
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”.
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.
Some sources have talked about “Sunnification” of Alawites under Baathist Syrian leader and Alawite Hafiz al-Assad. 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”. 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. 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.”
Map showing the current distribution of Alawites in the Levant
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—2.6 million people of Syria’s 22 million population.
There are four Alawite confederations—Kalbiyya, Khaiyatin, Haddadin, and Matawirah—each divided into tribes. Alawites are concentrated in the Latakia region of Syria, extending north to Antioch (Antakya), Turkey, and in and around Homs and Hama.
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).
There are an estimated 100,000 to 120,000 Alawites in Lebanon, where they have lived since at least the 16th century. 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. Their Mufti is Sheikh Assad Assi. The Bab al-Tabbaneh, Jabal Mohsen clashes between pro-Syrian Alawites and anti-Syrian Sunnis have haunted Tripoli for decades.
There are also about 2000 Alawites living in the village of Ghajar, split between Lebanon and the Golan Heights. 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. Prior to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, the residents of Ghajar were counted in the 1960 Syrian census. When Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967, Ghajar remained a no-man’s land for two and a half months.
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 (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).
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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
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 sixof 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.
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.
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.
ProPublica has attracted attention for the salaries it pays its top executives. The head of ProPublica, Paul Steiger, was paid $571,687 in 2008, according to the company’s tax filings. The managing editor, Stephen Engelberg, was paid $343,463. The large salaries have been widely criticized by other journalists and even some in the non-profit world as excessive. 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.
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.” It was written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in the New York Times Magazine as well as on ProPublica.org. This was the first Pulitzer awarded to an online news source. That investigation also won a National Magazine Award for reporting.
In 2011, ProPublica won its second Pulitzer Prize. 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.
Dave Kopel, a policy analyst for the libertarianCato 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”. 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.” 
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.
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.
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.”
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2012 (second estimate)
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012
(that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP declined 0.1 percent. The
upward revision to the percent change in real GDP is smaller than the average revision from the advance
to second estimate of 0.5 percentage point. While today’s release has revised the direction of change in
real GDP, the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains largely the same as what
was presented last month (for more information, see "Revisions" on page 3).
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed
investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal
government spending, exports, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in private
inventory investment, in federal government spending, in exports, and in state and local government
spending that were partly offset by an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in
imports, and an acceleration in PCE.
FOOTNOTE. Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified. Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates. Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized. "Real" estimates are in chained (2005)
dollars. Price indexes are chain-type measures.
This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with the Technical Note and Highlights
related to this release. For information on revisions, see "Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major
Final sales of computers added 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP
after adding 0.11 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Motor vehicle output added 0.19
percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.25 percentage point from
the third-quarter change.
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, 0.2 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent in the third.
Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.6 percent in the third. Durable goods increased 13.8 percent, compared with an
increase of 8.9 percent. Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent. Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.
Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 1.8 percent in the third. Nonresidential structures increased 5.8 percent; it was unchanged in
the third quarter. Equipment and software increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 2.6 percent in the third. Real residential fixed investment increased 17.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 13.5 percent.
Real exports of goods and services decreased 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 1.9 percent in the third. Real imports of goods and services decreased 4.5 percent, compared
with a decrease of 0.6 percent.
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 14.8 percent
in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the third. National defense decreased
22.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 12.9 percent. Nondefense increased 1.8 percent, compared
with an increase of 3.0 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 1.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.3 percent.
The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.55 percentage points from the fourth-quarter
change in real GDP, after adding 0.73 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Private businesses
increased inventories $12.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $60.3 billion in the third
and $41.4 billion in the second.
Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.7
percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the third.
Gross domestic purchases
Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6 percent in the
Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
1.0 percent, or $40.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $15,851.2 billion. In the third quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 5.9 percent, or $225.4 billion.
The "second" estimate of the fourth-quarter percent change in GDP is 0.2 percentage point, or
$9.2 billion, more than the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting an upward revision
to exports, a downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment
that were partly offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.
Advance Estimate Second Estimate
(Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP....................................... -0.1 0.1
Current-dollar GDP............................. 0.5 1.0
Gross domestic purchases price index........... 1.3 1.5
Real GDP increased 2.2 percent in 2012 (that is, from the 2011 annual level to the 2012 annual
level), compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in 2011.
The increase in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected positive contributions from personal
consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment,
and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal
government spending and from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in
the calculation of GDP, increased.
The acceleration in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected a deceleration in imports, upturns in
residential fixed investment and in private inventory investment and smaller decreases in state and local
government spending and in federal government spending that were partly offset by decelerations in
PCE, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.
The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in 2012, compared with an
increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.
Current-dollar GDP increased 4.0 percent, or $605.8 billion, in 2012 to a level of $15,681.5
billion, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent, or $576.8 billion, in 2011.
During 2012 (that is, measured from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012),
real GDP increased 1.6 percent. Real GDP increased 2.0 percent during 2011. The price index for gross
domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent during 2012, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during
* * *
BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.
* * *
Next release -- March 28, 2013 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
Gross Domestic Product: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012 (Third Estimate)
Corporate Profits: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012
Former National Security Adiviser Bud McFarlane: For Obama to Do Nothing is Dereliction of Duty
Know The TRUTH ~ Step By Step ~ Bret Baier’s ~ ‘Death and Deceit in Benghazi’
Obama Confronted on Benghazi – Stutters Through Response!
Mark Levin – Obama’s “Dereliction of Duty”
Rush military caller says that Obama ordered no response to Benghazi attack
BREAKING OBAMA MAY GO TO PRISON AND BE IMPEACHED KILLING OUR OWN
Father Of Murdered Navy Seal in Benghazi, Recounts Days After Attack – Judge Jeanine
Graham Questions Military Leaders on Response to Benghazi Attack
Part II: Graham Questions Military Leaders on Benghazi
Sen. Chambliss at Benghazi SASC Hearing
Panetta: Benghazi was a ‘problem of distance and time’.
No Word from Hillary During Benghazi Attack Panetta, Dempsey did not speak to Clinton
Panetta Defends Pentagon’s Benghazi Response
Senator Blunt Questions Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey About Benghazi Attacks
Rand Paul’s Reaction To Defense Secretary Panetta’s Benghazi Testimony – Fox News
Obama vs Panetta on Attacks in Benghazi – Obama Could have saved American Lives
Senators challenge military leaders on Benghazi attack response
“…The top two Defense Department officials were sharply challenged by lawmakers Thursday on their insistent claims that nothing more could have been done to save the four Americans who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack in Benghazi.
Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey were peppered with questions from Republican senators during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The officials claimed military aircraft and other assets were too far away to get to the scene in time, and suggested armed aircraft like F16s could have done more harm than good in a chaotic situation. The senators, though, pressed the officials for a fuller explanation on why military assets were not deployed to rescue Americans under attack that night — in what will likely be their last chance to question the outgoing Defense secretary.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., disputed testimony that the difficulty in dispatching assets to the scene was “a problem of distance and time.” He suggested the “light footprint” in the region and a failure to respond to threats left the military ill-prepared.
“For you to testify that our posture would not allow a rapid response — our posture was not there because we didn’t take into account the threats to that consulate, and that’s why four Americans died,” he said. “We could have placed forces there. We could have had aircraft and other capacity a short distance away.”
He continued: “No forces arrived there until well after these murders took place.”
Dempsey acknowledged having gotten word of a warning from the U.S. consulate about being unable to withstand a sustained attack, but said the military never got a request for support from the State Department.
“So it’s the State Department’s fault?” McCain asked, curtly.
“I’m not blaming the State Department,” Dempsey said.
McCain responded: “Who would you blame?”
Dempsey went on to claim that several U.S. posts were facing significant threats, though McCain said none so much as Benghazi.
Shortly afterward, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pressed Panetta again on why no forces were deployed until after the attack was over. Dempsey and Panetta said they talked to President Obama one time that night, but Graham questioned why there weren’t subsequent follow-up conversations.
“It lasted almost eight hours … did the president show any curiosity?” Graham asked.
Panetta said there was “no question” Obama “was concerned about American lives.”
“With all due respect,” Graham responded, “I don’t believe that’s a credible statement if he never called and asked you, ‘are we helping these people?'”
The secretary’s testimony on Benghazi was long-sought by Republican lawmakers. After then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified last month, Graham had demanded that Panetta be brought before the Senate — threatening to hold up the nomination of his prospective replacement Chuck Hagel over the issue.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced last week that Panetta would testify.
Responding to long-running questions about whether more military assets could have been dispatched to protect those under fire in Libya on Sept. 11, Panetta in his opening statement claimed there simply wasn’t enough time to do more.
“There was not enough time given the speed of the attack for armed military assets to respond,” he said before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We were not dealing with a prolonged or continuous assault which could have been brought to an end by a U.S. military response. … Time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”
Still, he said the Pentagon “spared no effort … to save American lives.”
Panetta was testifying in what may be his final public appearance on Capitol Hill as he prepares to leave the department.
Panetta, in his testimony, detailed the military response on the day and night of the attack.
As Fox News has previously reported, he said an unarmed, unmanned drone was positioned overhead the Benghazi compound.
But he said armed aircraft like AC-130 gunships would have taken too long to get there — “at least nine to 12 hours if not more to deploy.”
“This was, pure and simple … a problem of distance and time,” he said.
Panetta said he also directed that a Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team stationed in Spain prepare to deploy in addition to a second FAST platoon; a special operations force in Central Europe prepare to deploy to a staging base in Southern Europe; and a special ops force in the U.S. similarly prepare to deploy to Southern Europe.
As for what was happening in Libya, he claimed the “quickest response” was the Tripoli-based team of six people which was sent to Benghazi.
“Members of this team, along with others at the annex facility, provided emergency medical assistance and supported the evacuation of all personnel. Only 12 hours after the attacks had begun, all remaining U.S. government personnel had been safely evacuated from Benghazi,” he said.
Since the September assault, some have questioned whether enough was done to protect those at the consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed that night.
There have been questions about the perceived delays CIA officials — stationed in Benghazi — encountered that night and their frustration that air support was not sent from nearby Sigonella air base. In recent weeks, Fox News has learned that the rescue unit that left Tripoli was told that air support would be above when they landed in Benghazi, but it wasn’t. …”
FULL SPEECH – US President Obama Immigration Reform from LAS VEGAS 1/29/2013
1984 – Ronald Reagan on Amnesty
Sessions Warns Washington Elites Against Rush To Amnesty
Amnesty – Not the Solution: Talk Border
Immigration: The real Third Rail of politics on TalkBorder
Talk Border: Safe Borders, Not Racism
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010
David Meir-Levi on Talk Border
Martin Sieff on TalkBorder.com
Lou Barletta on Talk Border
Michael Cutler, INS Special Agent
Charles Faddis, CIA (Ret), speaks with Michael Cutler, INS (Ret) on National Security and more in one part of a three-part interview for The United States of Common Sense, hosted by Charles Faddis..
Michael Cutler, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advisor to the 911 Families for a Secure America, and a consultant, retired in 2002 after a distinguished career with the INS of over 30 years, including 26 as a Special Agent. In 1991, he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and worked with members of other federal and state law enforcement agencies as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries. The task force’s investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations ultimately resulted in the seizure of their assets and prosecutions for a wide variety of criminal violations.
Mr. Cutler has testified as an expert witness at nine Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws having been called by members of both political parties. Mr. Cutler also furnished testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11. Mr. Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including the OReilly Radio Factor, OReillys No Spin Zone, Fox News and the Lou Dobbs Tonight Program on CNN to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws and has participated in various public debates and panel discussions on issues involving the enforcement and administration of immigration laws. Among the areas of concern that he is able to speak about authoritatively are the nexus between immigration and national security, the impact of immigration on the criminal justice system, strategies to combat illegal immigration, and why amnesty for illegal aliens is wrong.
Roy talks about ICE lawsuit with FNC’s Neil Cavuto
The Dangers of Unlimited Legal & Illegal Immigration
Stop Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants – Expert Reveals the True Cost of Amnesty
Path to illegal citizenship: The high cost of Illegal and legal lImmigration for U.S. Citizens
Why Oppose the DREAM Act?
The E-Verify Solution for Illegal Hiring
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 2.
Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.
America’s dilemma: citizenship or deportation?
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
President Barack Obama flew to Las Vegas last week to give a speech at a local school outlining his views and principles for comprehensive immigration reform. “Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. Yes, they broke the rules. They crossed the border illegally. Maybe they overstayed their visas. Those are facts. Nobody disputes them. But these 11 million men and women are now here,” Obama said.
Why are there more than 11 million illegal aliens in the United States? Simply, the federal government under both Democratic and Republican progressive presidents has refused to vigorously enforce existing immigration law as set forth in federal statutes and regulations and failed to control and secure U.S. borders against a massive invasion of illegal aliens. These presidents betrayed their oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution.
In a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale in 1984, President Ronald Reagan said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally.”
On Nov. 6, 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, to reform immigration law and control the number of illegal immigrants entering the country. Reagan signed the bill.
Under this law approximately three million illegal aliens who had continuously resided in the U.S. before Jan.1, 1982 were granted legal status and eventually citizenship — amnesty for illegal aliens.
Since then the federal government has failed to control and secure the borders and by so doing, the 1986 law by granting amnesty created a strong magnet or incentive for future illegal aliens. Both Reagan and the American people were double-crossed by progressive Democrats and Republicans in Congress who really wanted open borders and unlimited illegal immigration.
The American people are asking for immigration law enforcement and secure borders and not Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Americans favor limited controlled legal immigration but oppose open borders with unlimited illegal immigration. So-called “undocumented workers” or more accurately illegal aliens should, as required by federal law, be removed from their place of work and deported to their country of origin.
Why? First, aliens broke into the country illegally when they entered the U.S. without a valid visa or over stayed their visas and did not return to the country of origin. Second, aliens broke the law when they either stole identities of U.S. citizens or purchased fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards in order to obtain employment in the U.S. Third, aliens broke the law when they worked in the U.S. without having the legal status to do so. Fourth, many employers broke the law when they knowingly hired illegal aliens. You do not reward criminal behavior by granting a pathway to citizenship. The rule of law requires federal government enforcement of immigration law by deporting illegal aliens.
When you multiple these crimes by millions, you are dealing with a crime wave and mass invasion that has been sanctioned by the progressive ruling elites in Washington D.C. from both the Democratic and Republican parties who favor open borders and token enforcement of existing federal immigration law.
Why did these ruling elites ignore the will of the American people? The Democratic Party favors open borders and a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens because they believe the overwhelming majority of these illegal aliens will, when they become citizens, vote for Democratic candidates.
Progressive Republicans likewise favored open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens because many of the businesses that employ illegal aliens also contribute to the campaigns of Republican candidates.
Both political parties could care less that millions of American citizens are unemployed as a direct result of policies that encouraged massive illegal immigration. Staying in power, not the welfare of the American people, was and is the top priority of these politicians.
The 11 million illegal aliens and their dependents should be given the choice to either voluntarily return to their country of origin by a certain date or face deportation under existing federal immigration law. With over 25 million American citizens seeking permanent full time jobs, this would immediately reduce the number of unemployed citizens by millions.
Most Americans would agree with two of Obama’s principles of comprehensive immigration reform namely “to stay focused on enforcement” and “to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century.” However, most Americans would not agree with Obama to first give the 11 million plus illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens before first controlling and securing the borders and enforcing existing immigration law.
There is a saying in Texas, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln
Numbers USA – Immigration By the Numbers – Part 2 of 2
E-Verify: Employment Verification
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 2.
Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary ______________________
For Immediate Release January 29, 2013REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORMDel Sol High School
Las Vegas, Nevada
11:40 A.M. PST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you! Thank you so much. (Applause.) It is good to be back in Las Vegas! (Applause.) And it is good to be among so many good friends.
Let me start off by thanking everybody at Del Sol High School for hosting us. (Applause.) Go Dragons! Let me especially thank your outstanding principal, Lisa Primas. (Applause.)
There are all kinds of notable guests here, but I just want to mention a few. First of all, our outstanding Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is here. (Applause.) Our wonderful Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. (Applause.) Former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. (Applause.) Two of the outstanding members of the congressional delegation from Nevada, Steve Horsford and Dina Titus. (Applause.) Your own mayor, Carolyn Goodman. (Applause.)
But we also have some mayors that flew in because they know how important the issue we’re going to talk about today is. Marie Lopez Rogers from Avondale, Arizona. (Applause.) Kasim Reed from Atlanta, Georgia. (Applause.) Greg Stanton from Phoenix, Arizona. (Applause.) And Ashley Swearengin from Fresno, California. (Applause.)
And all of you are here, as well as some of the top labor leaders in the country. And we are just so grateful. Some outstanding business leaders are here as well. And of course, we’ve got wonderful students here, so I could not be prouder of our students. (Applause.)
Now, those of you have a seat, feel free to take a seat. I don’t mind.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Mr. President!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)
Now, last week, I had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. (Applause.) And during my inaugural address, I talked about how making progress on the defining challenges of our time doesn’t require us to settle every debate or ignore every difference that we may have, but it does require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose. It requires us to act.
I know that some issues will be harder to lift than others. Some debates will be more contentious. That’s to be expected. But the reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling; where a broad consensus is emerging; and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America. I’m here today because the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.) The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time.
AUDIENCE: Sí se puede! Sí se puede!
THE PRESIDENT: Now is the time.
I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long. I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity. Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future.
Think about it — we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are — in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.
After all, immigrants helped start businesses like Google and Yahoo!. They created entire new industries that, in turn, created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens. In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. One in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in Nevada — folks who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with other Americans.
But we all know that today, we have an immigration system that’s out of date and badly broken; a system that’s holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class.
Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. Yes, they broke the rules. They crossed the border illegally. Maybe they overstayed their visas. Those are facts. Nobody disputes them. But these 11 million men and women are now here. Many of them have been here for years. And the overwhelming majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble. They’re contributing members of the community. They’re looking out for their families. They’re looking out for their neighbors. They’re woven into the fabric of our lives.
Every day, like the rest of us, they go out and try to earn a living. Often they do that in a shadow economy — a place where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage or make them work overtime without extra pay. And when that happens, it’s not just bad for them, it’s bad for the entire economy. Because all the businesses that are trying to do the right thing — that are hiring people legally, paying a decent wage, following the rules — they’re the ones who suffer. They’ve got to compete against companies that are breaking the rules. And the wages and working conditions of American workers are threatened, too.
So if we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system.
We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.)
There’s another economic reason why we need reform. It’s not just about the folks who come here illegally and have the effect they have on our economy. It’s also about the folks who try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so, and the effect that has on our economy.
Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities. They’re earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science. But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country. Think about that.
Intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Right now in one of those classrooms, there’s a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea — their Intel or Instagram — into a big business. We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out, but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else? That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.)
Now, during my first term, we took steps to try and patch up some of the worst cracks in the system.
First, we strengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants. We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history. And today, illegal crossings are down nearly 80 percent from their peak in 2000. (Applause.)
Second, we focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who endanger our communities. And today, deportations of criminals is at its highest level ever. (Applause.)
And third, we took up the cause of the DREAMers — (applause) — the young people who were brought to this country as children, young people who have grown up here, built their lives here, have futures here. We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria like pursuing an education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so that you can live here and work here legally, so that you can finally have the dignity of knowing you belong.
But because this change isn’t permanent, we need Congress to act — and not just on the DREAM Act. We need Congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now. That’s what we need. (Applause.)
Now, the good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. (Applause.) Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years. So at this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon, and that’s very encouraging.
But this time, action must follow. (Applause.) We can’t allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate. We’ve been debating this a very long time. So it’s not as if we don’t know technically what needs to get done. As a consequence, to help move this process along, today I’m laying out my ideas for immigration reform. And my hope is that this provides some key markers to members of Congress as they craft a bill, because the ideas I’m proposing have traditionally been supported by both Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Republicans like President George W. Bush. You don’t get that matchup very often. (Laughter.) So we know where the consensus should be.
Now, of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real give and take in the process. But it’s important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place. And if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. (Applause.)
So the principles are pretty straightforward. There are a lot of details behind it. We’re going to hand out a bunch of paper so that everybody will know exactly what we’re talking about. But the principles are pretty straightforward.
First, I believe we need to stay focused on enforcement. That means continuing to strengthen security at our borders. It means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. To be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing, but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who’s here legally, who’s not. So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status. And if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.
Second, we have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally. We all agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship. But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship. (Applause.)
We’ve got to lay out a path — a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally. That’s only fair, right? (Applause.)
So that means it won’t be a quick process but it will be a fair process. And it will lift these individuals out of the shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually to citizenship. (Applause.)
And the third principle is we’ve got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer reflects the realities of our time. (Applause.) For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America. You shouldn’t have to wait years. (Applause.)
If you’re a foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology, or a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the backing of American investors, we should help you do that here. Because if you succeed, you’ll create American businesses and American jobs. You’ll help us grow our economy. You’ll help us strengthen our middle class.
So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like: smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest all around the world. It’s pretty straightforward.
The question now is simple: Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do. I believe that we do. (Applause.) I believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.
But I promise you this: The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become. Immigration has always been an issue that enflames passions. That’s not surprising. There are few things that are more important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country home; who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the United States of America. That’s a big deal.
When we talk about that in the abstract, it’s easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of “us” versus “them.” And when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of “us” used to be “them.” We forget that. (Applause.)
It’s really important for us to remember our history. Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you. (Applause.)
Ken Salazar, he’s of Mexican American descent, but he points that his family has been living where he lives for 400 years, so he didn’t immigrate anywhere. (Laughter.)
The Irish who left behind a land of famine. The Germans who fled persecution. The Scandinavians who arrived eager to pioneer out west. The Polish. The Russians. The Italians. The Chinese. The Japanese. The West Indians. The huddled masses who came through Ellis Island on one coast and Angel Island on the other. (Applause.) All those folks, before they were “us,” they were “them.”
And when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here. They faced hardship. They faced racism. They faced ridicule. But over time, as they went about their daily lives, as they earned a living, as they raised a family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did their part to build a nation.
They were the Einsteins and the Carnegies. But they were also the millions of women and men whose names history may not remember, but whose actions helped make us who we are; who built this country hand by hand, brick by brick. (Applause.) They all came here knowing that what makes somebody an American is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our story.
And that’s still true today. Just ask Alan Aleman. Alan is here this afternoon — where is Alan? He’s around here — there he is right here. (Applause.) Alan was born in Mexico. (Applause.) He was brought to this country by his parents when he was a child. Growing up, Alan went to an American school, pledged allegiance to the American flag, felt American in every way — and he was, except for one: on paper.
In high school, Alan watched his friends come of age — driving around town with their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall. He knew he couldn’t do those things. But it didn’t matter that much. What mattered to Alan was earning an education so that he could live up to his God-given potential.
Last year, when Alan heard the news that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows — even if it’s just for two years at a time — he was one of the first to sign up. And a few months ago he was one of the first people in Nevada to get approved. (Applause.) In that moment, Alan said, “I felt the fear vanish. I felt accepted.”
So today, Alan is in his second year at the College of Southern Nevada. (Applause.) Alan is studying to become a doctor. (Applause.) He hopes to join the Air Force. He’s working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family. And all he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better America. (Applause.)
So in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real and the debate becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing apart, remember Alan and all those who share the same hopes and the same dreams. Remember that this is not just a debate about policy. It’s about people. It’s about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the American story.
Throughout our history, that has only made our nation stronger. And it’s how we will make sure that this century is the same as the last: an American century welcoming of everybody who aspires to do something more, and who is willing to work hard to do it, and is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
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Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse-tung, Kim Il-sung, Castro, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Qaddafi all confiscated the guns owned by their country’s people. Once they were disarmed of their pistols, rifles and other weapons, the people became defenseless against the tyranny of these political leaders.
This enabled democide—death by government. R.J. Rummel defines democide as “the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide and mass murder.” There have been several dozen democides in the 20th century with deaths totaling more than 262 million from 1900 to 1999, according to Rummel’s estimates.
The big three democides of the 20th century were the People’ Republic of China from 1949-1987 when more than 76 million were killed, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1917-1987 when more than 61 million were murdered, and the German Third Reich from 1938 to 1945 when nearly 21 million were slaughtered, according to Rummel’s estimates on his website, http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM.
The American colonists formed local militias to defend themselves from American Indian attacks. The American Revolution started when King George III’s army, the Redcoats, garrisoned in Boston, attempted to confiscate the guns, ammunition and military stores of the American colonists in nearby Concord, Mass., and attempted to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought on April 19, 1775 against a British army of about 700 soldiers. The Redcoats retreated from Concord to Boston, when they were outnumbered by about 1,700 first responders—the militia minutemen.
The Minute Man, dedicated in 1885 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Concord, features an inscription from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” reading, “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, here once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard ‘round the world.”
The ratification of the United States Constitution by the states required the addition of 10 amendments, the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment as ratified reads as follows: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” During the ratification convention in Virginia on June 5, 1788, Patrick Henry said this about the right to keep and bear arms to protect against political oppression:
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”
Progressive elements of the Democratic and Republican Parties are using the recent mass murder in Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook Elementary School of 20 students and six adults to advance their political agendas and careers by infringing upon the rights of the American people to keep and bear arms.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address called for the “toughest assault weapons ban in the nation” including the limiting of magazine capacities to 10 cartridges. Cuomo emotionally said, “No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness.” Many Americans who own guns use them not for hunting but for self-defense against well-armed attacks by criminals, gangs, drug users and cartels, home invaders, illegal aliens, the mentally disturbed, rapists, corrupt politicians, terrorists or tyrants.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced that she will introduce legislation this month that would require gun owners to register and be fingerprinted, outlaw a number of semi-automatic rifles, handguns and shotguns, and any weapon that can accept a magazine or large-capacity ammunition feeding device capable of accepting more than 10 rounds. Feinstein said, “It will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.”
When the assault weapons ban ended after 10 years on Sept. 13, 2004, advocates of the ban such as the ban’s author Feinstein and Sarah Brady were predicting a surge in murders and crime. Instead violent crimes and murder rates have fallen to 41-year and 48-year lows, respectively, according to the FBI’s “Crime in the United States” annual volumes.
The Center of American Progress (CAP), an influential Democratic progressive think tank, also supports the Feinstein bill and is recommending 13 gun policies to the White House. The CAP wish list is a progressive’s dream for it includes the requirement of universal criminal background checks for all gun sales, modernizing data systems to track gun sales, banning military-grade assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, closing loopholes that currently enable about 40 percent of sales by private sellers to occur without any questions being asked and the adding of convicted stalkers and suspected terrorists to the list of those barred from purchasing firearms.
On Jan. 16 Obama announced that he was implementing 23 executive actions and orders pertaining to the banning of guns and control of gun sales and ownership. Obama’s plan would reinstate and strengthen the Federal Assaults Weapon ban passed in 1994 that outlawed military style semiautomatic weapons that fire one round per trigger pull and automatically eject the shell casing and reload the chamber. The plan would also reinstate the ban on magazines that held more than ten rounds. After ten years, Congress allowed both bans to expire in 2004.
The highlights of Obama’s plan includes the following: (1) Require criminal background checks for all gun sales, (2) Take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system, (3) Reinstate and strengthen the assault weapons ban, (4) Restore the 10-round limit on ammunition magazines, (4) Protect police by finishing the job of getting rid of armor-piercing bullets, (5) Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime, (6) End the freeze on gun violence research, (7) Make our schools safer with more school resource officers and school counselors, safer climates and better emergency response plans, (8) Help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need and (9) Ensure health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.
With 288 members of Congress having the National Rifle Association’s pro-gun A rating based on their voting records on gun-related issues and promoting and protecting the Second Amendment, only a few, if any, items in Obama’s plan will actually be enacted into law by Congress. Neither Cuomo’s nor Feinstein’s nor Obama’s proposed legislation would have prevented or stopped the Newtown school mass murderer who stole the guns from his mother before killing her.
The use of four children and their letters by the president as propaganda props and pawns to gain support for his plan, illustrates the length a progressive president will go to disarm law-abiding Americans who want to protect their own children and families from harm. No American favors more gun violence; however, attempts by progressive politicians to make it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to purchase the firearms, magazines and ammunition they want for self-defense clearly violates and infringes upon their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Gov. Rick Perry said, “The piling on by the political left and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is a basic right and cannot nor will not be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.” Texas Republican Rep. John Otto introduced a bill, H.B. No. 553, The Second Amendment Protection Act, co-sponsored by fellow Republican representative Jim Pitts and Drew Darby, that would make Obama’s 23 executive actions invalid and his gun control mandates null and void in Texas.
The Supreme Court ruled in the District of Columbia v. Heller landmark decision that the Second Amendment protects the right to handguns for self-defense. The court pointed out that handguns are the type of firearms that are “overwhelmingly chosen by American society for that lawful purpose.” The most popular handguns today for self-defense are semi-automatic pistols. These pistols are designed to have detachable magazines and typically hold between seven to 15 rounds depending upon whether the magazine has a single or double stack and the caliber of the gun.
Progressive gun grabbers of both political parties in the U.S. are using the mass murder tragedy in Newtown to infringe upon the right of law-abiding Americans to bear and hold arms. The American people are responding by the massive purchase of firearms and ammunition that are setting sales records across the nation. The progressive ruling elites fear the people, as they rightly should. Thomas Jefferson said, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny,” and “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
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By Catherine Herridge
“…The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is demanding an immediate explanation from the nation’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, for what the chairman says were inconsistent statements to Congress and to the public on who was behind changes to the CIA talking points on the Libya consulate attack in September.
Critics say the Obama administration initially minimized the role of terrorism despite evidence of a coordinated attack on the consulate in Benghazi. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the assault.
Testimony last week on Capitol Hill raised additional questions about the administration’s changing story on the attack, putting new pressure on Clapper, the director of national intelligence.
Rep. Mike Rogers, the Intelligence Committee chairman, “looks forward to discussing this new explanation with Director Clapper as soon as possible to understand how (his office) reached this conclusion and why leaders of the intelligence community testified late last week that they were unaware of who changed the talking points,” Rogers spokeswoman Susan Phalen told Fox News.
Fox News was told by one source that Clapper, in a classified session on Thursday, was “unequivocal, and without hesitation insisted the changes were made outside the Intelligence community. He didn’t know who but was emphatic he would find out.”
A day later, former CIA Director David Petraeus also stated changes were made after his agency drafted the talking points, adding no one imagined how changing the language would end up being such a big deal.
But late Monday night, Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner said in a series of briefings for reporters that the intelligence community was solely responsible for “substantive” changes to the talking points, which were finalized on Sept. 15 – four days after the attack and one day before U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s controversial appearance on five Sunday talk shows, when she described the attack as spontaneous violence that grew out of protests of an anti-Islam film.
Along with changing “al Qaeda” to “extremists,” the new talking points timeline stated the FBI apparently wanted a change in the language from the U.S. “knew” Islamic extremists were involved to “there are indications.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News the timeline reinforces his view the changes were driven by security considerations, not politics.
“To anyone who was listening, it was clear from General Petraeus and other intelligence officials who testified last week that the talking points were amended to protect classified sources of information and were not subject to any political spin by the White House or ambassador to the U.N.,” Schiff said.
John Bolton, a U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in the George W. Bush administration, said Clapper must now explain the genesis of the administration’s initial statements, which blamed a video for sparking a demonstration that was hijacked by terrorists, when the available and immediate raw intelligence strongly supported a pre-meditated terrorist attack.
“I think Clapper has to say publicly whether he advocated the YouTube video theory, whether he pressed it on the White House and others in the intelligence community,” Bolton told Fox News. “And if so, did he do that at the direction of the White House?”
The new timeline on the talking points – released by Clapper’s office – does not address another inconsistency, first reported by the Daily Beast. After the Sept. 11 attack, diplomatic security agents were evacuated from the Benghazi consulate to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. By Sept. 14, two days before Rice’s Sunday show appearances and one day before the talking points were finalized, the FBI had learned from consulate agents that there was no demonstration when the attack unfolded. This single data point appeared to gut the administration’s anti-video protest theory.
Fox News asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for specifics on the timeline, as well as for comment on Rep. Rogers’ claims, but calls and emails were not immediately returned.
A Capitol Hill source who asked not to be identified, given the sensitive nature of the topic, noted this seemed to be the second time Clapper’s office had “fallen on its sword” in the Benghazi matter. On Sept. 28, in a statement released late in the day, spokesman Turner explained their “evolving” understand of the assault. Turner said the initial view, that the attack spontaneously grew out of a protest of the anti-Islam video, was now abandoned, and the evidence supported a “deliberate and organized terrorist assault.” …”
“…CBS reports that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence removed references to terrorism from the CIA talking points before distribution:
CBS News has learned that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) cut specific references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from the unclassified talking points given to Ambassador Susan Rice on the Benghazi consulate attack – with the agreement of the CIA and FBI. The White House or State Department did not make those changes. …
However, an intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the links to al Qaeda were deemed too “tenuous” to make public, because there was not strong confidence in the person providing the intelligence. CIA Director David Petraeus, however, told Congress he agreed to release the information — the reference to al Qaeda — in an early draft of the talking points, which were also distributed to select lawmakers. …
The head of the DNI is James Clapper, an Obama appointee. He ultimately did review the points, before they were given to Ambassador Rice and members of the House intelligence committee on Sept. 14. They were compiled the day before.
Brennan says her source wouldn’t confirm who in the agency suggested the final edits which were signed off on by all intelligence agencies.
First, the CIA answers to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so the whole notion that the CIA “agreed” to the changes is moot. They “agreed” to the changes because they were told to by the ODNI. Second, Clapper is clearly sprinting from this — the responsibility for the changes is pinned vaguely on the “Office of the Director of National Intelligence,” without much mention of him. The article actually leaves open the possibility that somebody else within the ODNI changed the talking points without running the changes by Clapper first, as if that’s believable. …”
Scapegoating James Clapper Won’t End Benghazi Scandal
“…Cover-Up: Intel chief James Clapper taking blame for dishonest talking points won’t cauterize the Benghazi scandal. The country was still lied to about terrorists killing four Americans for the sake of Obama’s re-election.
As Benghazigate became a major pre-election embarrassment for the president, a number of commentators quipped to Obama defenders who minimized its significance that, unlike in Libya on Sept. 11, “nobody died in Watergate.”
Watergate is an apt comparison in some ways. The whole underlying purpose of the 1972 attempted bugging of the Democratic National Committee headquarters was to get President Nixon re-elected. The whole underlying purpose of lying about the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and ex-Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, was to get President Obama re-elected.
In Watergate, the objective was to collect information that could persuade people not to vote for the Democratic nominee for president.
In Benghazigate, the objective was to suppress the truth that al-Qaida had organized a Sept. 11 attack with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades on a vulnerable diplomatic post in Libya so that the president’s convention speech claim that “al-Qaida is on the path to defeat” would not be exposed as false.
In Watergate, the fiction was that, as Nixon put it, “no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.”
In Benghazigate, the fiction was, as America’s United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice claimed on Fox News two months ago (and in four similar TV appearances), that “the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack, that what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction . .. as a consequence of the video” insulting Mohammad.
CBS News last week reported that it was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, headed by Clapper, that “cut specific references to ‘al-Qaida’ and ‘terrorism’ from the unclassified talking points given” to Rice “with the agreement of the CIA and FBI.”
CBS assures us that “the White House or State Department did not make those changes.” But the DNI was established in 2005 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to centralize authority over intelligence, to “manage the national intelligence program and oversee the agencies that contribute to it.”
Clapper is the president’s man . For all practical purposes, he is White House staff, as much as the national security adviser. He attends Oval Office meetings and discerns the wishes of the president and senior staff.
As the DNI told CBS News, “The intelligence community assessed from the very beginning that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.” And as CBS noted, “That information was shared at a classified level — which Rice, as a member of President Obama’s Cabinet, would have been privy to.”
The upshot: Clapper being the fall guy shortly after Obama’s re-election ends Benghazigate about as much as G. Gordon Liddy going down shortly after Nixon’s re-election ended Watergate.
“…In his interview with MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Obama claimed to take offense at, “The suggestion that in any way, we haven’t tried to make sure that the American people knew as the information was coming in what we believed.”
That sentence is not only incredibly convoluted, shifting the blame not just to the intel, but to the perception of that intel held by some vague group of “We’s” who may include anyone in the administration. But it’s a ridiculous finger wagging moment from a man who repeatedly blamed the video for a heavily armed assault on an American consulate.
The man who only told the American people about the Libyan War several days after it began, who has lied about Fast and Furious, who even in the language of his own media supporters runs the least transparent administration since King George III has no right to act offended when he is challenged for putting out gross misinformation and locking up a filmmaker based on that misinformation.
The feigned self-righteousness is Obama’s version of Clinton’s “finger-wagging” moment over accusations of improprieties.
Libya is to Obama as Monica was to Clinton.
1. Obama lied about the cause of the war in the form of a supposed massacre of 70,000 people that threatened Benghazi.
2. Obama lied about the purpose of the war, claiming that the goal was not regime change. He lied about this to the UN and to the American people.
3. Obama lied about our level of collaboration with the rebels, which was not supposed to exist at all, but involved coordinating their movements and attack plans
4. Obama lied about the duration of the war and about ending American participation in the war shortly after it began
5. Obama lied about having American personnel on the ground during the war, as reported by the New York Times
With all those lies, his show of self-righteousness is pathetically misplaced.
The official fallback story is that Obama had “bad intel” on what happened in Benghazi. This “bad intel” somehow caused Obama and his officials to continue spouting nonsense about a video and a protest, at a time when even those of us in the cheap seats were accurately reporting that this had been a planned attack. So either our “intel” is better than the CIA’s, or the problem wasn’t with the intel. Not when one of the first reports had already nailed Ansar Al-Sharia as the perpetrators and everyone knew that heavy weaponry, completely inconsistent with a spontaneous protest, had been used against the consulate.
But reporters are now carefully phrasing leading questions for Obama and his cronies, complete with “bad intel”. These questions wouldn’t be allowed in court, but they’re fine for the professional class of journalists who include the alibi as a premise in their questions.
A classic example of this travesty took place on Morning Joe. “Scarborough aided and abetted him by asking, “Was it the intel community giving you bad information early on because the stories keep changing?”
The real question here is why the stories have kept changing. Scarborough tries to cover for Obama by blaming the bad intel for the obvious problem of the changing stories. But there is no evidence of bad intel. There is evidence of changing stories. And changing stories mean either incompetence or deceit.
Former National Security Adviser Bud McFarlane has said, “To have known what he had available, to have known that Americans were under fire, and to have done nothing, is dereliction of duty that I have never seen in a Commander in Chief from a president of any party. ” …”
McClatchy: Obama admin changed story on Benghazi to blame video 3 days after attack
posted at 8:41 am on October 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
“…Barack Obama insisted in the presidential debate on Tuesday night that he had called the Benghazi attack an “act of terror” in his Rose Garden address the next day. Fact-checkers called shenanigans on that claim, but McClatchy notes that Obama did call it an “act of terror” the next day at campaign stops in Colorado and Nevada on September 13th. On the same day, the State Department refused to link the Benghazi attack to the YouTube video that media outlets like the New York Times and AFP had. Hillary Clinton called it a terrorist attack that evening.
However, the next day, things began to change, as McClatchy’s Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay report in their in-depth look at how the narrative shifted toward the YouTube video instead of an al-Qaeda attack:
With images of besieged U.S. missions in the Middle East still leading the evening news, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney became the first official to back away from the earlier declaration that the Benghazi assault was a “complex attack” by extremists. Instead, Carney told reporters, authorities “have no information to suggest that it was a preplanned attack.” He added that there was no reason to think that the Benghazi attack wasn’t related to the video, given that the clip had sparked protests in many Muslim cities.
“The unrest that we’ve seen around the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims, many Muslims, find offensive,” Carney said.
When pressed by reporters who pointed out evidence that the violence in Benghazi was preplanned, Carney said that “news reports” had speculated about the motive. He noted again that “the unrest around the region has been in response to this video.”
Carney then launched into remarks that read like talking points in defense of the U.S. decision to intervene in last year’s uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi: that post-Gadhafi Libya, he said, is “one of the more pro-American countries in the region,” that it’s led by a new government “that has just come out of a revolution,” and that the lack of security capabilities there “is not necessarily reflective of anything except for the remarkable transformation that’s been going on in the region.”
By that Sunday, Sept. 16, the evolution of the narrative was complete when Rice, the U.N. ambassador, showed up on all five major morning talk shows to make the most direct public connection yet between the Benghazi assault and the incendiary video.
While she couched her remarks in caveats – “based on the information we have at present,” for example – Rice clearly intended to make the link before a large American audience.
Why did the story change? State had watched the attack unfold in real time at Foggy Bottom through its security video system, a fact that got revealed at the House Oversight Committee hearings. That’s why State insisted that they had never considered this a “spontaneous demonstration” that “spun out of control,” as Rice insisted on five Sunday talk shows and as Carney tried to claim two days earlier. Similarly, the intel community has leaked on more than one occasion that while the data they had was conflicting, they didn’t conclude it was a demonstration that got out of hand — and several days later, that should have been even more clear.
Allam and Landy hit the nail on the head in their connection of this to Obama’s intervention to decapitate the Qaddafi regime. The rise of radical Islamist terrorist groups in eastern Libya, including al-Qaeda, comes as a direct result of that intervention. The central government in Tripoli has no control now over the Benghazi region. Furthermore, everyone knew before the intervention that AQ and other radicals operated in the eastern part of the country, and a regime decapitation would set those elements free.
The cover story was designed to mislead the American public so that they would not connect those dots. That intervention in Libya, coming with no effort at all to control the outcome on the ground, has made us much less safe, especially in that part of the world.
By the way, as a measure of how little control Tripoli now has over AQ’s new stomping grounds in the east, the New York Times reports that the prime “suspect” in the Benghazi terrorist attack doesn’t even plan to go into hiding. In fact, he’s doing media sessions:
Witnesses and the authorities have called Ahmed Abu Khattala one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission here. But just days after President Obama reasserted his vow to bring those responsible to justice, Mr. Abu Khattala spent two leisurely hours on Thursday evening at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping a strawberry frappe on a patio and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.
Libya’s fledgling national army is a “national chicken,” Mr. Abu Khattala said, using an Arabic rhyme. Asked who should take responsibility for apprehending the mission’s attackers, he smirked at the idea that the weak Libyan government could possibly do it. And he accused the leaders of the United States of “playing with the emotions of the American people” and “using the consulate attack just to gather votes for their elections.”
Mr. Abu Khattala’s defiance — no authority has even questioned him about the attack, he said, and he has no plans to go into hiding — offered insight into the shadowy landscape of the self-formed militias that have come to constitute the only source of social order in Libya since the fall of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
A few, like the militia group Ansar al-Shariah that is linked to Mr. Abu Khattala and that officials in Washington and Tripoli agree was behind the attack, have embraced an extremist ideology hostile to the West and nursed ambitions to extend it over Libya. But also troubling to the United States is the evident tolerance shown by other militias allied with the government, which have so far declined to take any action against suspects in the Benghazi attack. …”
‘…On September 11, 2012 in Libya, a heavily armed group executed an attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, also referred to as the Battle of Benghazi. The attack began at night in a U.S. diplomatic compound for the consulate, and ended early the next day at another diplomatic compound nearby where the U.S. intelligence was posted. Those killed included U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of his diplomatic mission, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Two other Americans and seven Libyans were also injured. The Benghazi attack was strongly condemned by the governments of Libya, the United States and other countries around the world.
There were peaceful demonstrations on September 12 in Benghazi and Tripoli condemning the attack; people held such signs as “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans,” “Benghazi is against terrorism,” and other signs apologizing to Americans for the actions in their name and in the name of Muslims. On September 21, about 30,000 Libyans protested against armed militias in their country including Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamist militia alleged to have played a role in the attack, and stormed several militia headquarters, forcing the occupants to flee. On September 23, the Libyan president ordered that all unauthorized militias either disband or come under government control. Militias across the country began surrendering to the government and submitting to its authority. Hundreds of Libyans gathered in Tripoli and Benghazi to hand over their weapons to the government.
Almost immediately after the attack ended various news, government, and intelligence sources were reporting on what the state of security was at the consulate before and at the time of the attack, suspected perpetrators and their motives, how the assault on both compounds was executed, and how U.S. military forces might have (or should have) intervened during the engagements. Questions about whether Obama administration officials — and President Obama himself — should have stated or did state that this was a terrorist attack created a controversy in the U.S., where the U.S. 2012 Presidential election was underway. The U.S. investigation of the attack is being conducted separately by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
In an October 2, 2012 letter to Secretary of State Clinton, Darrell Issa (R-CA, chairman of the Committee) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, chairman of the subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations) compiled a list of more than a dozen attacks and events in the 6 months prior to the September 11 attack—including car jackings, kidnappings, assassination attempts, and gun battles—all of which indicated “a clear pattern of security threats that could only be reasonably interpreted to justify increased security for U.S. personnel and facilities in Benghazi.”
In April 2012, two former security guards for the consulate threw a homemade “fish bomb” IED over the consulate fence; the incident did not cause any casualties. Just 4 days later, a similar bomb was thrown at a four vehicle convoy carrying the United Nations Special Envoy to Libya, exploding just 12 feet from the UN envoy’s vehicle without injuring anyone.
In May 2012 an Al-Qaida affiliate calling itself the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades claimed responsibility for an attack on the International Red Cross (ICRC) office in Benghazi. On August 6 the ICRC suspended operations in Benghazi. The head of the ICRC’s delegation in Libya said the aid group was “appalled” by the attack and “extremely concerned” about escalating violence in Libya.
The Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades released a video of what it said was its detonation of an explosive device outside the gates of the U.S. consulate on June 5, which caused no casualties but damaged the consulate’s perimeter wall, described by one individual as “big enough for forty men to go through.” The Brigades claimed that the attack was in response to the killing of Abu Yahya al Libi, a Libyan al-Qaeda leader who had just died in an American drone attack, and was also timed to coincide with the imminent arrival of a U.S. diplomat. There were no injuries, but the group left behind leaflets promising more attacks against the U.S.
British ambassador to Libya Dominic Asquith survived an assassination attempt in Benghazi on June 10. Two British protection officers were injured in the attack when their convoy was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade 300 yards from their consulate office. The British Foreign Office withdrew all consular staff from Benghazi in late June.
On the day of the attack:
Al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri declared that al Libi’s death still needed to be avenged.
In Egypt, 2000 Salafist activists protested against the film at 5pm EET (11am EDT) at the US embassy in Cairo.
President Obama was attending a 9/11 ceremony in the morning, and in the afternoon he visited with wounded veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for two-and-a-half hours about the time the Benghazi attack began.
After the attack, CNN reported that a Benghazi security official and a battalion commander had met with U.S. diplomats three days before the attack and had warned the Americans about deteriorating security in the area. The official told CNN that the diplomats had been advised, “The situation is frightening, it scares us.”
On September 14, CNN correspondent Arwa Damon found Ambassador Stevens’ diary at the unsecured site of the attack. In it, Stevens expressed his concern about the growing al-Qaeda presence in the area and his worry about being on an al-Qaeda hit list. The U.S. State Department later accused CNN of violating privacy and breaking its promise to Stevens’ family that it would not report on the diary.
The Benghazi attack consisted of military assaults on two separate U.S. diplomatic compounds. The first assault occurred at the main compound, approximately 300 yards long and 100 yards wide, at about 9:40 pm local time (3:40 pm EDT, Washington DC). The second assault took place at a CIA annex 1.2 miles away at about 4 am the following morning.
Assault on the Consulate
Between 125 and 150 gunmen, “some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants,” are reported to have participated in the assault. Some had their faces covered and wore flak jackets. Weapons they used during the attack included rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, AK-47 and FN F2000 NATO assault rifles, diesel canisters, mortars, and heavy machine guns and artillery mounted on gun trucks.
The assault began at nightfall, with the attackers sealing off streets leading to the main compound with gun trucks. The trucks bore the logo of Ansar al-Shariah, a group of Islamist militants working with the local government to manage security in Benghazi.
The area outside the compound before the assault was quiet; one Libyan guard who was wounded in the attack was quoted as saying “there wasn’t a single ant outside.” One witness said he saw the militants before the assault “gathering around 20 youths from nearby to chant against the film.” No more than seven Americans were in the compound, including Ambassador Stevens, who was visiting Benghazi at the time to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. Ambassador Stevens had his last meeting of the day with a Turkish diplomat and escorted him to the main gate at about 8:30 pm (local time). The street outside the compound was calm; the State Department reported no unusual activity during the day outside. Ambassador Stevens retired to his room about 9 pm; he was alone in the building, according to guards interviewed later.[3