Judicial Watch announced today the release of more than 200 conflict-of-interest reviews by State Department ethics advisers of proposed Bill Clinton speaking and consulting engagements during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The documents were obtained as result of a federal court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department on May 28, 2013 (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-00772)). The lawsuit is ongoing.
June 2011 documents show that the State Department approved a consulting arrangement with a company, Teneo Strategy, led by controversial Clinton Foundation adviser Doug Band. The Clintons ended the deal after only eight months, as criticism mounted over Teneo’s ties to the failed investment firm, MF Global.
Mr. Clinton’s office proposed 215 speeches around the globe. And 215 times, the State Department stated that it had “no objection.”
Mr. Clinton’s speeches included appearances in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Central America, Europe, Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, India and the Cayman Islands. Sponsors of the speeches included some of the world’s largest financial institutions – Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, American Express and others – as well as major players in technology, energy, health care and media. Other speech sponsors included a car dealership, casino groups, hotel operators, retailers, real estate brokers, a Panamanian air cargo company and a sushi restaurant.
“These documents are a bombshell and show how the Clintons turned the State Department into a racket to line their own pockets,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “How the Obama State Department waived hundreds of ethical conflicts that allowed the Clintons and their businesses to accept money from foreign entities and corporations seeking influence boggles the mind. That former President Clinton trotted the globe collecting huge speaking fees while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy is an outrage. No wonder it took a court order to get these documents. One can’t imagine what foreign policy issues were mishandled as top State Department officials spent so much time facilitating the Clinton money machine.”
Under established protocols of the State Department, and supplemented by a December 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between the Clinton Foundation and Obama Presidential Transition Team, a designated ethics official from the State Department’s legal office was assigned to review any “potential or actual conflict of interest” for Mrs. Clinton while she served as secretary of state. Copies of all decisions were sent to a top adviser to Secretary Clinton, Cheryl Mills, who served as counselor and chief of staff at the Department of State.
The Washington Examiner published a report today on the documents by Judicial Watch Chief Investigative Reporter Micah Morrison and Examiner Senior Watchdog Reporter Luke Rosiak. Morrison and Rosiak note that Mr. Clinton “earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.”
According to the State Department documents:
* Mr. Clinton spoke before a UBS Wealth Management audience in Chicago in April, 2012. The State Department document notes that attendees would be “approximately 300-400 ultra-high net worth clients, prospective clients, and UBS Financial Advisers.”
* Mr. Clinton spoke to an event hosted by Wells Fargo in San Francisco in October, 2011. The State Department document notes that the event is “being held for Wells Fargo Private Bank and Wells Fargo Family Wealth Group clients, which are clients that have at least $5 million and $50 million in assets respectively.”
* At a “mutually agreeable date” in April 2010, Mr. Clinton was due to speak at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. “This would be a private speech of up to 350 friends and patrons on Mohegan Sun,” the State Department document noted. “The event will not be open to the public. The event will not be publicly advertised.”
* For a speech in Moscow in June 2010 sponsored by the investment bank Renaissance Capital, Mr. Clinton would address the theme of “Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Going Global.” The document notes that “Renaissance Capital is an investment bank focused on the emerging markets of Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and sub-Saharan Africa.”
* At the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Mr. Clinton spoke at a March 2011 ticketed event targeting “the business community in Grand Cayman.”
The potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an AP wire story, “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman…” CNN at the time warned that Clinton’s “complicated global business interests could present future conflicts of interest that result in unneeded headaches for the incoming commander-in-chief.”
The controversy deepened further when it was revealed that among those vetting Mrs. Clinton for the job of Secretary of State was Bill Clinton’s former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton family confidant, who, the Washington Post wrote in 1999 “endeared herself to the Clintons with her never-back-down, share-nothing, don’t-give-an-inch approach…” After clearing Mrs. Clinton for the DOS job, Mills was named the incoming Secretary’s Chief of Staff. Ms. Mills was a featured speaker at Bill Clinton’s 2012 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.
In an April 28, 2008, ruling relating to Ms. Mills conduct as a White House official in responding to concerns about lost White House email records, Judge Royce C. Lamberth called Cheryl Mills’ participation in the matter “loathsome.” He further stated Mills was responsible for “the most critical error made in this entire fiasco… Mills’ actions were totally inadequate to address the problem.” Ms. Mills is currently on the Board of Directors of BlackRock, a leading investment firm. BlackRock is run by Larry Fink who reportedly wanted to be Treasury Secretary for Barack Obama and now, according to another report, is “angling for the job” in a Hillary Clinton administration.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.
As CNSNews.com reported last week, Qatar is a strong supporter and funder of Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal operates from Qatar, and has so far rejected ceasefire proposals put forward by Egypt and promoted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
The U.S government designated Hamas as a “foreign terrorist organization” in 1997. Its founding charter calls for Jews to be killed and says all Muslims are duty-bound to join a jihad to destroy Israel.
In an interview aired on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, Hamas leader Meshaal said Hamas does not fight the Jews just because they are Jews. “We fight the occupiers,” he said. Asked if he wants to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Meshaal said “No.”
“War is a deadly thing,” Pelosi said on Sunday, speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“And I have many Palestinians who live in my district, and I am hearing them regularly about how their families are affected who live in the region. It’s a terrible thing. But let me just say that any missile that comes from someplace has a return address. And if Israel is responding to that address, then that’s a shame that the Palestinians are… rumored to be using children and families as shields for their missiles.”
Pelosi said the first thing to do is to “avoid conflict” that “Hamas initiated.”
“[T]his has to be something where we try to have the two-state solution, that we have to support… (Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud) Abbas and his role as a leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians and what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization, maybe they could use their influence to -“
Crowley interrupted her to ask: “The U.S. thinks they’re a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?”
Pelosi responded: “Mmm hmm.”
Crowley said: “Yeah.”
And Pelosi said: “And we’ve had that discussion.”
‘Obama’s leadership has been strong'; Putin ‘is insecure’
In that same interview with CNN, Pelosi defended President Barack Obama’s “strong” leadership, dismissing a suggestion that Russian President Vladimir Putin considers him to be weak.
Compared with Cold War days, “It’s a much more complicated situation now, and the president’s leadership has been strong,” Pelosi told Crowley, pointing to Obama’s support for Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield; his request for humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people; and his sanctions on Russia.
“Putin is going to do what Putin is going to do,” she said. “Some of what we see comes from insecurity. Putin, for all of his – is insecure about Russia’s role in the world now.”
Pelosi noted that the Obama administration was early in saying that the rockets used to shoot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine “had a provenance in Russia.”
“So nobody is missing in action in all of this.”
“And as far as Putin is concerned, he’s a KGB guy who happens to be the president of Russia and he’s going to do what he’s going to do no matter who else is in charge any other place in the world. So, I would not judge his actions or his motivations by anything other than he is rooted in the KGB, insecure about Russia’s diminished role in the world.”
The IRS has stuck by its story that tax-exempt applications by conservatives got slow-rolled because of bureaucratic bungling not because the groups opposed President Obama’s policies. Now the slow drip of email evidence to congressional investigators is casting further doubt on that tale.
In 2009 the Pennsylvania group Z Street applied for tax-exempt status for its mission of educating people about Israel-related issues. In 2010 an IRS agent told Z Street that its application was delayed because the tax agency’s Washington, D.C. office was giving special scrutiny to groups whose missions might conflict with Administration policies. The IRS’s “Be On the Lookout” list that November also included red flags for groups referring to “disputed territories.”
Z Street sued in August 2010 for viewpoint discrimination and its case is headed for discovery in federal court. Now emails uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee show that the IRS and State Department were conferring in 2009 about pro-Israel groups like Z Street and considering arguments to deny their tax-exempt applications.
In an April 16, 2009 email, Treasury attache to the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem Katherine Bauer sent IRS and Treasury colleagues a 1997 JTA News article sent to her by State Department foreign service officer Breeann McCusker. The subject was whether 501(c) groups buying land in Israel’s disputed territories were engaged in “possible violations of U.S. tax laws.” The article chronicles the controversy and whether “ideological activity” can “legally be financed with the help of U.S. [tax] dollars.”
“Thought you might find the below article of interest – looks like we’ve been down this road before,” Ms. Bauer wrote. “Although I believe you’ve said you can’t speak to on-going investigations, I thought it was worth flagging the 1997 investigation mentioned below for you if it can be of any use internally when looking for precedence [sic] for the current cases.” A Treasury spokesman declined comment on Ms. Bauer’s behalf.
The “current cases” would have been applications like Z Street’s in which Israel-related activity was apparently being scrutinized for its ideological and policy content. The government says Z Street got special scrutiny because it was focused in a region with a higher risk of terrorism, which is hard to believe and in any case doesn’t explain all of the IRS’s behavior.
It doesn’t cover, for instance, why one questionnaire we’ve seen from the IRS to another Jewish group applying for tax-exempt status asked, “Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” and “Describe your organization’s religious belief system toward the land of Israel.” No matter the answers, they should not affect the processing of an application for 501(c) status. The State-IRS emails reveal a political motivation for IRS scrutiny that gives Z Street powerful evidence for its suit charging IRS bias.
On Monday the IRS filed an appeal of the judge’s decision denying its motion to dismiss Z Street’s case. The government says the action stops all discovery while the appeal is pending, a process that could take months or even years. By filing the appeal on the last possible day, the Justice Department is running out the clock on discovery during the remainder of the Administration.
This is a whole lot of effort to prevent discovery in a case that is not even seeking damages. Ways and Means uncovered the email exchange between State and the IRS only after Treasury was forced to turn over documents it had previously withheld. What else did it lose in the ether?
ISIS PERSECUTES CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ
MUSLIMS RALLY AGAINST ISRAEL IN LONDON, ENGLAND
BOKO HARAM KIDNAPS WIFE OF CAMEROON’S VICE PRIME MINISTER
HAMAS SUPPORTERS ATTACK JEWISH CAMERAMAN IN MIAMI, FLORIDA
SON OF HAMAS FOUNDER EXPLAINS TERRORIST GROUP’S TRUE INTENT
JEWS FIGHT BACK AGAINST MUSLIM HOOLIGANS IN PARIS, FRANCE
MUSLIM MOUTHPIECE REFUSES TO CALL HAMAS TERRORISTS
ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTERS ATTACK PEDESTRIANS IN GOTTINGEN, GERMANY
U.S. EMBASSY IN TRIPOLI, LIBYA EVACUATED AS MUSLIM VIOLENCE ESCALATES
POLICE USE TEAR GAS ON ISLAMIC MOB IN CAIRO, EGYPT
PAKISTANI MUSLIMS KILL WOMAN, GRANDDAUGHTERS OVER FACEBOOK POST
IRANIANS PROTEST ISRAELI RETALIATION AGAINST HAMAS TERRORISTS
TURKISH PRIME MINISTER CALLS ISRAEL A TERRORIST STATE
A police chief in Wisconsin pleaded no contest Friday to a charge that he signed a local tea party leader up on gay dating, pornography and federal health care websites.
Prosecutors charged Town of Campbell Police Chief Tim Kelemen earlier this month with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a computerized communication system. The La Crosse Tribune reported Kelemen entered the plea in a deal that calls for the charge to be dismissed in two years if he doesn’t commit any new crimes, continues counseling and completes 40 hours of community service.
The charge stems from a feud between Kelemen and tea party leader Greg Luce. It began last fall when the tea party began holding protests on an interstate overpass in Campbell. Concerned the protests were distracting drivers, Kelemen persuaded the town board to ban signs on the bridge.
Kelemen told investigators Luce urged tea party supporters across the U.S. to bombard his department with harassing phone calls and threats in retaliation for the ordinance.
Kelemen told investigators he tried to get back at Luce this winter by using his name, address, phone number and email address to create accounts for Luce on homosexual dating, pornography and federal health care websites. He told investigators he didn’t think what he was doing was a big deal.
La Crosse police turned the case over to Monroe County authorities.
Luce told Monroe County Circuit Judge David Rice on Friday that Kelemen is getting away with a “slap on the wrist.” He said he thinks Kelemen has suffered a psychological breakdown and shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun or wear a badge again.
Kelemen didn’t address the court.
Luce has filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the sign ordinance violates his free speech rights and demanding damages from Kelemen for stealing his identity. The town board has placed Kelemen on paid leave.
H/T Weasel Zippers
While Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has brushed aside a video of himself arguing that Obamacare subsidies are only allowable in state-run exchanges as a “speak-o” – or verbal typo – a second audio tape has now emerged of Gruber making the very same comments yet again.
“That is really the ultimate threat – will people understand that gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens,” Gruber says in the audio clip, resurfaced by Morgan Richmond and John Sexton. “So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to do to set it up.”
Gruber made the comments in a public appearance at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in January 2012. Gruber’s argument in the clip is even stronger that only state-run exchanges will be given premium tax credit subsidies.
At issue is a phrase written repeatedly in the Affordable Care Act that allows premium tax credit subsidies only for exchanges “established by the state.” Two appeals courts split earlier this week on whether the phrase makes subsidies in the 36 states that didn’t create their own exchanges illegal. Gruber, a chief author of the law, has repeatedly called the cases “nutty.”
But the audio recording is the second to emerge this week that shows that before the lawsuits were brought against the federal exchanges subsidies, Gruber appeared to believe that only states that ran their own exchanges would receive the payments.
In response, Gruber said his comments were a “just a speak-o – you know, like a typo.”
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was arrested today as a result of a 13-count indictment which claims the powerful Texas Democrat took $950,000 in bribes. Wiley’s attorney, Billy Ravkind, confirmed that he was arrested early Friday morning and is in Federal custody. The indictment indicates Wiley received the bribes in the form of cash, cars and property and that he and his political operatives used the ill-gotten gains to commit tax and mail fraud. For the full indictment, please access the following link.
The indictment charges that, among other things, Price and his accomplices used his office and stature in a conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, deprivation of honest services by mail fraud and aiding and abetting, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service as well as subscribing to a false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax returns.
“The indictment unsealed today alleges that for more than a decade, in a shocking betrayal of public trust, Commissioner Price sold his office on the Dallas County Commissioners Court in exchange for a steady stream of bribes,” U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña said.
John Wiley Price has been a lightning-rod for controversy for much of his political career for his bombastic and often racist statements. In 2013 he made headlines for getting into a very public battle with Dallas Country Sheriff Lupe Valdez over the promotion of a white man for a position previously held by a black woman. Perry argued that it would leave the seven-person command staff with only one African-American.
In February 2011 Price got into a a heated verbal exchange with Dallas lawyer Jeff Turner at a Dallas county commissioner’s meeting. Turner repeatedly called Price a ‘Chief Mullah’ and ‘tribal’, terms which Price took offense to and prompted him to ask Turner to speak to him in private. Price later stated that he interpreted “Mullah” as “Moolah”, similar to the racial epithet “Moulie.” The public confrontation resulted in a shouting match before Price asked out loud why all the speakers were white. When an audience member shouted, “You’ve asked respect of us. We demand respect from you,” Price said “All of you are white. Go to hell.” Price then exited the meeting and challenged the protesters to follow him outside. At this point security personnel ordered the court to be cleared.
John Wiley Price spent much of the 1980′s & 90′s as an “Al Sharpton of the Lone Star State,” leading numerous protests on racial-related issues. In 1991 during a protest, Price was accused of breaking the ankle of a white construction worker. In May 1992, Price was found not guilty of felony assault charges from the incident.
For twelve years, Price hosted a nightly radio show on KKDA’s “Talk Back, Liberation Radio.” According to his website, John Wiley Price continued in his crusade to educate the community by serving as host of Liberation Nation KNON 89.3 for more than six years thereafter.
Price’s colleagues indicted in the case include longtime executive assistant Dapheny Elaine Fain, political consultant Kathy Louise Nealy, and Nealy’s account manager Christian Lloyd Campbell. The face he showed to his constituents is one of a champion of the people, dubbing himself “our man downtown” on his web site. He also produced a promotional video as the investigations started, hitting on many standard Democratic Party themes.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Fain is expected to surrender to authorities Friday and that Nealy has been arrested. Campbell’s current status is not yet known.
“It erodes public confidence,” Diego Rodriguez, the lead agent in the FBI’s Dallas office, said of Price’s alleged activity. “The majority of public servants who work at the local, state and federal governments are honest.” Rodriguez added, “A small number have the agenda to “line their own pockets or those of friends and family and business partners.”
In June of this year the Dallas Democrat demanded that Texas taxpayers pay him “substantial monetary slavery reparations” to help him pay his legal bills while the FBI investigation ensued, which led to his arrest today on 13 counts of fraud.
On Thursday the IRS released a slew of draft 2014 tax forms. The new draft Form 1040 shows a new surtax line has been created for the payment of the individual mandate surtax – see line 61 of the 1040:
President Obama has repeatedly denied that the surtax is in fact actually a tax. The most prominent example was a heated exchange on ABC’s This Week in Sept. 2009, when George Stephanopoulos confronted Obama with a dictionary:
STEPHANOPOULOS: I – I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax – “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…
OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that.
Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion. [Transcript]
It was always obvious that the penalty for not complying with Obamacare’s individual mandate was just another surtax:
* The surtax is collected by, and enforced by, the IRS.
* As shown by the newly released draft Form 1040, the surtax is paid as part of normal income tax filing by taxpayers.
* The individual mandate surtax was written into tax law itself by the Obamacare statute.
* Revenues derived from the individual mandate surtax have always been scored by the Congressional Budget Office as tax revenue.
Famously, Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out that the individual mandate surtax is in fact a tax. However, that does not compel conservatives to agree that Obamacare’s individual mandate is Constitutional. The same decision declared the individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause. Conservatives can accept that this surtax is a tax increase without accepting the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
The Obamacare individual mandate non-compliance surtax is one of at least seven Obamacare taxes that violate the President’s “firm pledge” not to raise any tax on any American making less than $250,000 per year. Thorough documentation of Obama’s promise can be found here.
Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.
On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.
But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
Senator John Walsh, Democrat of Montana, second from left, at a Senate National Guard Caucus breakfast in Washington. He was appointed last month to the seat vacated by Max Baucus and is running for election in November, hoping that his career in uniform remains an asset.
Mr. Walsh completed the paper, what the War College calls a “strategy research project,” to earn his degree in 2007, when he was 46. The sources of the material he presents as his own include academic papers, policy journal essays and books that are almost all available online.
Interactive Graphic: How Senator John Walsh Plagiarized a Final Paper
Most strikingly, each of the six recommendations Mr. Walsh laid out at the conclusion of his 14-page paper, titled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy,” is taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic.
In his third recommendation, for example, Mr. Walsh writes: “Democracy promoters need to engage as much as possible in a dialogue with a wide cross section of influential elites: mainstream academics, journalists, moderate Islamists, and members of the professional associations who play a political role in some Arab countries, rather than only the narrow world of westernized democracy and human rights advocates.”
The same exact sentence appears on the sixth page of a 2002 Carnegie paper written by four scholars at the research institute. In all, Mr. Walsh’s recommendations section runs to more than 800 words, nearly all of it taken verbatim from the Carnegie paper, without any footnote or reference to it. In addition, significant portions of the language in Mr. Walsh’s paper can be found in a 1998 essay by a scholar at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a research institute at Harvard.
For example, Mr. Walsh writes: “The United States will have an interest in promoting democracy because further democratization enhances the lives of citizens of other countries and contributes to a more peaceful international system. To the extent that Americans care about citizens of other countries and international peace, they will see benefits from the continued spread of democracy.”
The Harvard paper, written in 1998 by Sean M. Lynn-Jones, a scholar at the Belfer Center, includes the same two sentences.
Mr. Walsh does not footnote or cite Mr. Lynn-Jones’s essay, titled “Why the United States Should Spread Democracy,” anywhere in his paper.
Both the Carnegie and Harvard papers are easily accessible on the Internet.
In an interview outside his Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, after he was presented with multiple examples of identical passages from his paper and the Carnegie and Harvard essays, Mr. Walsh said he did not believe he had done anything wrong.
“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he said, adding that he did not recall using the Carnegie and Harvard sources.
Asked directly if he had plagiarized, he responded: “I don’t believe I did, no.”
On Wednesday, a campaign aide for Mr. Walsh did not contest the plagiarism but suggested that it be viewed in the context of the senator’s long career. She said Mr. Walsh was going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before it was due.
The aide said Mr. Walsh, who served in Iraq from November 2004 to November 2005, “dealt with the experience of post-deployment,” but acknowledged he had not sought treatment.
The master’s degree in strategic studies from the War College has benefited Mr. Walsh’s career: In a military evaluation the year after Mr. Walsh received it, his commander praised him for it, writing that he “leads his peers and sets example in maintaining continuous military education and training subjects pertinent to today’s leadership challenges.”
In September 2008, Mr. Walsh, a recipient of the Bronze Star, was appointed adjutant general of Montana’s National Guard by the governor. A subsequent military evaluation said his prospects for the post had been “bolstered” in part by his degree from the War College.
Located in Carlisle, Pa., the Army War College is a coveted career stop for ambitious officers, and its graduates since its 1901 founding include Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and Norman Schwarzkopf. As with most military institutes, the War College emphasizes honor and integrity: Its current student handbook states that plagiarism will result in disenrollment and that discoveries of academic violations have led to degrees being rescinded and names being scraped off the bronze plaques honoring graduates on campus.
“Sooner or later, academic dishonesty will be discovered,” the handbook, known as the Communicative Arts Directive, warns.In 2012, Mr. Walsh stepped down as the head of the state’s National Guard after winning his first bid for elected office to become Montana’s lieutenant governor. From that position, he was appointed to the Senate this year by Gov. Steve Bullock.
The Senate vacancy arose after President Obama nominated Max Baucus, the veteran Democrat who planned to retire from Congress, to be ambassador to China. Democrats hoped that installing Mr. Walsh in February would strengthen the party’s position and efforts to retain the seat.
Mr. Walsh’s military record and centrist politics were seen as assets in the independent-minded state, and, as an incumbent senator, he would be better positioned to raise money for this fall’s election. Still, Mr. Walsh is trailing Representative Steve Daines, his Republican opponent, strategists on both sides say, and has trailed Mr. Daines in fund-raising.
Questions have previously been raised about Mr. Walsh’s résumé and conduct, though they were comparatively minor.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that he was reprimanded in 2010 for using his role as adjutant general to urge other guardsmen to join a private advocacy group, the National Guard Association of the United States, in which he was seeking a leadership role.
As a result he was denied a promotion from colonel to general, he acknowledged in January. In response to the matter, Mr. Walsh released about 400 pages of his military records, which detailed his service awards and was full of effusive praise from his commanding officers.
There has also been a discrepancy about where Mr. Walsh earned his undergraduate degree. He was listed in the biographical directory of Congress as having graduated in 1990 from the University at Albany, State University of New York, but actually earned his bachelor of science from what was then known as Regents College, an adult learning institute that issued degrees under the umbrella of the University of the State of New York.
Mr. Walsh changed the listing after the newspaper Roll Call ran an article about the matter, but did not offer an explanation publicly.The breadth of Mr. Walsh’s apparent plagiarism, however, is startling – and rivaled by few other examples in recent political history. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, was found last year to have presented the work of others as his own in a newspaper opinion article, a book and speeches. And Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. dropped his 1988 presidential bid when it was revealed that in campaign speeches he had used language similar to that of the British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock without attributing the remarks.
Mr. Walsh appears to have gone considerably further.
About a third of his paper consists of material either identical to or extremely similar to passages in other sources, such as the Carnegie or Harvard papers, and is presented without attribution. Another third is attributed to sources through footnotes, but uses other authors’ exact – or almost exact – language without quotation marks.
The senator included 96 footnotes in his paper, but many of them only illustrate this troubling pattern. In repeated instances, Mr. Walsh uses the language of others with no quotation marks, but footnotes the source from which the material came. In other cases, the passages appear in his paper with a word or two changed, but are otherwise identical to the authors’ language.
For example, in the first paragraph of his paper, Mr. Walsh writes of President George W. Bush: “During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisors made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion.”
At the end of this sentence, which Mr. Walsh included without quotation marks, he footnoted a reference to a 2003 article in Foreign Affairs by Thomas Carothers, a prominent and highly credentialed foreign policy expert. Mr. Carothers’ essay read: “During the 2000 presidential campaign Bush and his advisers had made it clear that they favored great-power realism over idealistic notions such as nation building or democracy promotion.”
The only difference is that Mr. Walsh wrote “advisors” rather than “advisers” and did not use “had,” as Mr. Carothers did in his article.
In other instances, Mr. Walsh swaps a synonym for a word in the original document, and condenses sentences.
He writes on his second page: “There are deep disagreements about the appropriate theoretical framework, about whether democracy is simply an institutional arrangement for choosing rulers or an end in itself, about how to measure and evaluate democracy, and about the importance of prerequisites for democracy.
The footnote at the end of this sentence, presented without quotation marks in Mr. Walsh’s paper, is to a chapter by Robert L. Rothstein in a 1995 book of essays, “Democracy, War, and Peace in the Middle East.”
Mr. Rothstein’s sentence is slightly longer and uses “profound” rather than “deep,” but is otherwise identical.
Such copying of a footnoted source without quotation marks is specifically prohibited in the War College’s handbook.
“Copying a segment of another’s work word for word, then conveniently ‘forgetting’ to include quotation marks, but ‘remembering’ to cite the source,” is described as the second example of academic fraud in the handbook.
The first is: “Directly quoting another author’s work without giving proper credit to the author.”
“Plagiarism,” the handbook notes, “is a serious form of cheating that carries serious consequences.”
A Mississippi man who took off following a traffic stop in Biloxi forgot that it’s important to look before you leap, and he ended up running into a police academy.
To make matters even worse for Roger Beasley Jr., there was an active training session taking place at the Harrison County Law Enforcement Training Academy when he dashed through the doors.
The 30-year-old apparently didn’t notice, or disregarded, the marked police cars that were parked outside the training facility.
After unknowingly running into the academy, Beasley was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, resisting arrest, no driver’s license, careless driving, improper lane change, resisting arrest and failure to comply.
Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.
The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.
Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.
The loss of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive also raised broader questions about why the tax agency never reported the missing records to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by the Federal Records Act.
While those questions remained unresolved, IRS officials signaled plans to destroy tens of thousands of additional electronic records.
“After all media are destroyed, they must not be capable of any reuse or information retrieval,” IRS officials stated in the contract papers.
Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which is investigating the IRS scandal, said the committee has broad concerns about the agency’s record-retention practices.
Dan Epstein, executive director of the watchdog group Cause of Action, said rules require the archivist to sign off on the destruction of federal records.
“This solicitation, combined with the failure of the IRS to consult the Archivist about Louis Lerner’s hard drive, should put hesitation into any assumption that consultation with the Archivist is happening and prompt a thorough assessment of record retention at the IRS,” Mr. Epstein said Monday.
IRS officials did not respond to emails and phone calls about the solicitation, including whether the agency’s nonprofit division ever used the computers being destroyed.
Officials also declined to discuss how the IRS preserves records on computers targeted for destruction.
The agency estimates the need to destroy at least 65,464 magnetic tapes, 3,225 hard drives, 5,856 floppy disks and 708 reels, according to procurement records.
About 500,000 pieces of electronic data – including cassette tapes, reels, CDs, hard drives and USB media – have been collected since 2008, according to the IRS solicitation.
“Due to system changes, a significant amount of electronic portable media containing [personally identifiable information] and potentially sensitive but unclassified data such as taxpayer return information is being collected at IRS facilities and locked in secure storage areas awaiting destruction,” officials wrote in a statement of work attached to the solicitation.
The IRS disclosed last week that it relies on contractors to recycle computer equipment. The revelation was made in an affidavit filed in a federal lawsuit in Washington by True the Vote, a conservative group that says it has been scrutinized by the IRS.
Stephen Manning, IRS deputy chief information officer, said in federal court in Washington that officials tried but failed to retrieve Ms. Lerner’s records. He said the agency’s internal computer “help desk” received word on June 13, 2011, that the hard drive on Ms. Lerner’s laptop wasn’t working properly and subsequent efforts to preserve data “were unsuccessful.”
The computer has been wiped clean and recycled, he said, and officials have lost track of it because they don’t keep track of hard drives by serial number.
Ms. Lerner’s computer isn’t the only crash of a hard drive that congressional investigators have encountered in their attempt to reconstruct record trails.
Last week, Republican senators sent a letter to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero after receiving reports that an Environmental Protection Agency official’s hard drive had crashed just as congressional investigators began looking into questions about the EPA’s review of an Alaska mining project.
Investigators sought computer records of a former EPA official, Phillip North, who later fled the country. More than a year after his retirement, senators said, EPA officials belatedly told the National Archives and Records Administration that they failed to preserve Mr. North’s computer records.
“First the IRS, and now the EPA – these hard-drive crashes seem to be a growing epidemic throughout the administration,” Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, said in a statement. “This ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse is getting ridiculous.”
The U.S. is sending $47 million in humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip to help tens of thousands of Palestinians there who have been forced from their homes since war broke out two weeks ago.
A State Department breakdown of the aid that was released Monday said nearly a third of the money – $15 million – will go to the United Nations’ refugee mission in Gaza.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to discuss the aid with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a meeting late Monday in Cairo.
Kerry arrived in the Egyptian capital only hours earlier in a U.S. push to help broker a truce between Israel and the militant group Hamas that controls Gaza.
A Justice Department fraud prevention program came under fire Thursday for allegedly morphing into actively pressuring banks to deny financial services to businesses for political reasons.
Operation Choke Point functions as a partnership between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and various other federal agencies which deal with bank regulations, specifically the Treasury and the SEC. The objective of the project is to choke-off fraudulent businesses from accessing financial services, in an effort to protect consumers.
The controversy, however, is over allegations that the DOJ is pressuring financial institutions to decline doing business with so-called “high risk” industries which line up squarely against the political leanings of the current administration. These businesses include ammunition sales, payday loans, pornography, fireworks companies, and others – 24 industries in total, as listed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services…to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them,” said William M. Isaac, former chairman of the FDIC.
Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the legality of DOJ overreach. Letters have poured in from company owners in support of these suspicions, noting startling cases where the DOJ reportedly has directly strong-armed banks into dropping clients not engaging in fraud.
Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Goodlatte revealed that one of the more egregious examples sent in to the committee was a meeting between the DOJ and a bank regarding the continued provision of financial services to a payday loan company.
The DOJ official reportedly told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it should have a place in our financial system. And if you don’t agree, there will be an immediate, unplanned audit of your entire bank.”
The Justice Department has now served over 50 subpoenas on banks, and Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus expressed considerable concern that dragging banks into a long and expensive process is just an underhanded way of encouraging banks to drop clients as an easy-out.
“Subpoenas are expensive to comply with and can bring unwanted scrutiny. The natural reaction from a financial institution might be to sever relations with the merchant and be done with it,” Bachus said Thursday in a hearing at the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
Missouri Republican Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer brought forward the End Operation Choke Point Act Tuesday to curb the DOJ’s activities in this area. The act would provide financial institutions with safe harbor to serve customers engaged in legal activities, so as to cut out politically motivated attacks on businesses deemed undesirable by the Justice Department.
No wonder MSNBC’s ratings are horrible. Its producers obviously do a very poor job vetting “experts” and its hosts do a very poor job actually listening to the poorly-vetted “experts.”
MSNBC host Krystal Ball gazed into the camera to tell the world she had someone in the American embassy and he told Ball he saw “a projectile flying through the sky and it would appear the plane was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s ass.”
Ball, without missing a beat, responded, “so it would appear the plane was shot down, can you tell us anything more from your military training, of what sort of missile system, uh, that may have been coming from?”
“You’re a dumb ass, aren’t ya,” the “expert” responded.
After a long pause, Ball said, “I’m sorry sir?” apparently still not realizing what was going on.
She then cut to a commercial.
Ukraine’s security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that they said showed rebels were responsible for shooting down a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people over Ukraine.
In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.
In the second, two rebel fighters – nicknamed “Major” and “Greek” – say the rocket attack was carried out by a unit of insurgents about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the crash site.
“It’s 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft,” Major reportedly says in the recording, revealing there were no weapons at the crash site. “Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.”Neither recording could be independently verified.
Read the entire unverified transcript via Kyiv Post:
Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).
Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?
IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. Its smoking.
VG: How many minutes ago?
IB: About 30 minutes ago.
SBU comment: After examining the site of the plane the terrorists come to the conclusion that they have shot down a civilian plane. The next part of the conversation took place about 40 minutes later.
“Major”: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.
“Grek”: Yes, Major.
“Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.
“Greek”: Well, what do you have there?
“Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.
“Greek”: Are many people there?
“Major”: Holy sh__t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).
“Greek”: What kind of aircraft?
“Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.
“Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?
“Major”: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.
“Greek”: Are there documents?
“Major”: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.
“Welcome to America,” Border Patrol agent Albert Spratte says.
As politicians in Washington debate how to best deal with the influx of illegal immigrants from Central America along the southwest border, smugglers continue to transport women, children, and entire families into the country.
The Daily Signal went on a tour of the border near McAllen, Texas, with Spratte, sergeant at arms of Union 3307 of the National Border Patrol Council, to capture raw footage of the precise location of many border crossings.
In the three videos below, Spratte breaks down the illegal immigrants’ access points, revealing how easy it remains to break into America.
Along the banks of the Rio Grande Valley, illegal immigrants navigate tall sugarcane to make it onto American shore. The path is difficult and dangerous for Border Patrol agents to access, says Spratte, and easy for smugglers to direct immigrants onto U.S. soil.
Spratte describes how smugglers transport children and families from one side of the Anzalduas Dam to the other. Once in the U.S., many of them willingly give themselves up. Within the last several months, the Border Patrol agent says, the Department of Homeland Security, or “whoever controls press access” to the U.S. side of the dam, has made it more difficult for the news media to get to that spot.
“It’s really restricted the ability of the American press to report what’s going on to the public,” Spratte said. “We believe the public has a right to know what’s going on, and it’s difficult when the press is being controlled and not allowed to go to those areas.”
In a highly visible part of Anzalduas Park in the Rio Grande Valley, Spratte describes how human smugglers use jet skis to transport men, women, and children from parkland on the Mexico side of the river to the Texas side. “We don’t have a checkpoint at the park,” he said, making it “impossible” to tell whether people arrived illegally.
Eyewitnesses at dozens of points across the United States have begun working together to track down where the tens of thousands of illegal alien children from Central America are ending up, because the federal government won’t disclose many details of its handling of the immigration crisis.
Even top government leaders have been caught off guard.
Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, said he did not know the locations of children being held in Illinois, Fox News reported.
He believes the White House does not want such information to be made public.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman recently said he discovered that 200 of the children were sent to his state without warning or notice to his office.
Federal agency managers refused to give him the names and locations of the children, he said.
“We need to know who they are,” Heineman insisted. “And so far, they are saying they’re not going to give us that information.”
NumbersUSA’s map, which derives its information from members of Congress, eyewitnesses, reliable sources and news reports, shows children are being taken to many states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
NumbersUSA Executive Director Roy Beck told WND it’s clear that the Obama administration’s dispersal of the children across the nation conflicts with its promise that many will be returned to their home countries.
“[They want to keep this] as secret as possible for as long as possible,” Beck told WND.
“We’ve been told by advocates of amnesty that you can never get the people here illegally to go back home… Actually, there are ways to get them back home.”
He argued that if the government intended to return them, it “wouldn’t disperse them, because it’s harder to find them.”
The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Beck noted, has said “the answer has to be that nearly all these people have to be moved back to Central America.”
But the administration’s actions don’t match its words, he said.
William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, told WND that Obama’s plan to handle the flood of incoming children is “to lie to us as long as possible.”
Gheen said the nation’s existing laws, if enforced, would do a great deal to resolve some of the most critical problems. But many citizens feel the need to take immediate action, including stopping buses transporting illegal aliens, a reference to protests in Murrieta, California.
One of many places where the immigration battle is coming to a head is Prince William County, Virginia.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart said he’s asking county staff members to investigate how many children are being brought to Virginia and left there.
Stewart said federal officials had not informed county officials of plans to relocate some of the children to his county.
“The crisis at the border has again reached Prince William County. Without providing the county any notice, the federal government is now placing illegal immigrant children at private and perhaps federal facilities in our county,” he said in a statement at the time.
“Although no county facilities are being used to house the children, I will ask the board tomorrow to direct the county executive to attempt to find out more about the location(s) where these children are being held and whether there is anything that the board can do to stop it. While it may seem cold hearted, it is important that these children be sent back home since letting them stay simply entices even more children to attempt the long and dangerous journey to the United States.”
The crisis is being blamed on Obama’s announcement that he would bend federal law and defer prosecutions and deportations of children who have come to the U.S. illegally. That message apparently is being heard in Central America as an invitation for children to come and obtain housing, schooling, health and even legal benefits as soon as they arrive.
But experts have noted that among the illegal aliens are gang members and carriers of contagious diseases, including tuberculosis.
Officials in Central America say they want “immigration reform” in the United States to make access easier, or they’ll continue sending children illegally to the nation’s border.
A recent Reuters report quoted Jorge Ramon Hernandez, a representative of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, saying as long as immigration reform is not approved, “the exodus of children to the United States will continue.”
But regarding the flood of illegals, estimated at more than 50,000 unaccompanied children already this year and forecast for more next year, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad simply told Washington he doesn’t want them delivered to his state.
“The first thing we need to do is secure the border. I do have empathy for these kids,” Branstad said. “But I also don’t want to send the signal that (you) send your kids to America illegally. That’s not the right message.”
National Review confirmed the secrecy surrounding the handling of the children.
“Across agency lines, officials have ignored questions from the press. ICE officials referred National Review Online’s questions on to Kenneth Wolfe, deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs in HHS’ Administration for Children and Families. Wolfe did not respond to repeated requests for an interview, but did email links to the Administration for Children and Families’ website,” the publication said of its attempts to get information.
“The Army Public Affairs office in Washington also referred Judicial Watch’s questions about Fort Bliss to Wolfe. And a spokesperson for BCFS Health and Human Services, a San Antonio-based network of non-profit organizations, declined comment to the Brownsville Herald about its plans to open a shelter for illegal immigrant children in Weslaco, referring the Herald to Wolfe as well,” the report said. “Federal officials have instructed caseworkers, who identify and verify the sponsors of the illegal immigrant children, not to speak to the media under any circumstance.”
The NumbersUSA map notes that 1,200 illegals were being held at Fort Lewis, Washington, and 1,400 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Its list documents where the illegals are being housed, where more are to be placed and other details.
“NumbersUSA is daily updating this interactive map to show which communities are under threat of the federal government moving large numbers of illegal aliens there from the border,” the report said. “NumbersUSA is providing its members actions they can take to help stop the government’s dispersal of illegal aliens in a way that usually means they never go back home.”
As the Obama administration tries to warn Central American parents about the dangers of exporting their children to the United States, it appears that some of those parents already know the risks.
Some parents are giving their daughters birth control before they head to the United States — “in case they’re raped along the way,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress last week.
“I’ve met with enough of these kids now, including a 15-year old in Nogales (Ariz.) two weeks ago, who was three months pregnant, to have a real sense for what these kids go through,” Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 10.
“We’ve heard about how before they leave Central America, some of these kids’ parents actually will give them birth control in case they’re raped along the way.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told the committee that he’d just received a report from an immigration advocacy group at the University of Chicago Law School describing the ordeal of two unaccompanied children:
“Samuel and Emily are siblings; amazingly, ages 3 and 6 — 3 and 6. They got here from Honduras. I don’t know how,” Durbin said.
“When they initially arrived in the United States, they were very quiet and they didn’t open up. They were clearly victims of trauma. After two months of care and custody of these 3- and 6-year-old children by HHS, Emily revealed that both children had been raped by members of a local drug cartel.
“I think about those children when I think about this debate. Are they the exception? God, I pray they are. But I’m afraid there are many more with similar stories.”
Durbin told the panel that President Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency spending request to deal with the flood of children coming to the U.S. illegally does not include enough money “to provide the kind of representation and advocacy to protect these kids.”
Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Mikulski said border agents are finding the children “dehydrated, malnourished, scared. Many have been abused. They come here relying on smugglers’ false promises, smugglers that are part of dangerous gangs and cartels who see women and children like commodities to be able to buy and sell them across the borders. Children leave home based on lies, endure dangerous journeys and the threat of being trafficked along the way.”
As of mid-June of the current fiscal year, the U.S. Border Patrol had apprehended more than 52,000 children at the U.S.-Mexico border. Approximately three-quarters of them originated from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras after traveling for weeks through Mexico.
Some die along the way, including a 15-year-old boy who was buried in Guatemala on Saturday.
The Associated Press reported that the decomposed body of Gilberto Francisco Ramos Juarez was discovered on June 15 in the Rio Grande Valley, just over the Texas border with Mexico. He apparently got lost on his way north and likely died from exposure in hot, dry brush country of South Texas.
“Around his neck was a rosary he had received as a gift for his first communion as a Roman Catholic. Scribbled inside his belt buckle was the phone number of an older brother in Chicago he had hoped to reach,” the report said.
At last week’s hearing, Sen. Susan Collins noted that the influx of Central American children began in 2012. “So we need to look at what happened that year,” she said.
“Well, on June 15th of 2012, President Obama took unilateral action and announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
“Now let me make clear that I think the president’s action was motivated by compassion. But it seems clear to me that it sent the wrong message to those parents in Central America. And it demonstrates what happens when the president unilaterally decides to issue an executive order affecting immigration without securing the border.”
Collins noted that the number of children coming to the U.S. from Central America more than doubled between Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2013. “Yet until just recently, the president did not even speak out to warn their parents and to tell them that the journey would be horrendously dangerous for their children and that they would be sent home.
“We know that many of these children have been abused or harmed on their way here. And when the wave became evident two years ago, the president took no action at that time to try to stem the tide,” Collins said.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) recently traveled to Central America, where she met with the presidents and first ladies of Guatemala and Honduras. They “want their children back,” she said.
“And they’re willing to cooperate with us to send the children back as quickly as possible,” Granger told Fox & Friends on Tuesday.
“Did they indicate that President Obama had reached out to them? And if so, what did he say?” Elizabeth Hasselbeck asked Granger.
“No, they didn’t. They didn’t say anything about that,” Granger replied.
“I did ask them how helpful it would be if the president of the United States spoke out clearly and strongly and said, don’t send your children to the United States illegally, because we will send them back; they will not complete their journey. And they said that could be – could be very helpful. They did not indicate that that was happening.”
Nothing to see here, move along…
Dr. Michael Vickers and Chris Burgard learn a few phrases of Urdu, from an Urdu dictionary, that was dropped by a coyote on the Vickers’ ranch in Texas. Urdu is spoken in Pakistan.
Training Mexico to secure their southern border.
The United States is quietly expanding its training of Mexico’s armed forces, helping to reverse decades of mistrust that made Mexico’s military reluctant to cooperate with its northern neighbor.
The amount the Pentagon spent on training Mexico’s armed forces, though small, increased to more than $15 million last year, up from about $3 million in 2009, according to U.S. Northern Command, which oversees U.S. military contacts with Mexico.
The training comes as Mexico’s armed forces have been drawn deeper into the country’s war on drugs and organized crime.
“For decades, Mexico’s military tried to remain autonomous from the U.S. military,” said David Shirk, a fellow at the Wilson Center.
U.S. military officials are reluctant to discuss the relationship openly because of sensitivities in Mexico about appearing dependent on American help. In a statement, the Pentagon said the U.S. military participated in 150 “engagements” with Mexican troops on both sides of the border, “sharing training opportunities with more than 3,000 Mexican soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.”
The statement said the Pentagon’s “interactions” with Mexico’s military have expanded over the past three years. Mexican government officials declined to speak on the record about the training.
The Mexican navy and marine corps have been particularly receptive, allowing the United States to expand its training with Mexico’s armed forces and build trust.
“Our security agencies have focused heavily on cooperation with the navy and marines,” said George Grayson, a professor at William and Mary who has written a book about Mexican drug cartels.
By contrast, the army is a more “insular” institution less willing to cooperate with foreign military forces, Shirk said.
“The navy has earned a tremendous amount of trust from American authorities,” Shirk said.
The army is more susceptible to corruption, since its soldiers have been deployed throughout the country in fixed locations, where there are more opportunities to be bribed. They have direct contact with drugs through eradication efforts.
Democrat Maryland Governor (and potential 2016 Presidential candidate) Martin O’Malley’s words and actions don’t line up regarding what to do with the thousands of unaccompanied illegal alien children showing up at the border.
Just last week, at a National Governors Association meeting in Nashville, O’Malley said:
“We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death… Through all of the great world religions we are told that hospitality to strangers is an essential human dignity.”
Hours later, O’Malley was singing a different tune about a proposal to convert a former Army Reserve Center into housing for the children.
“He privately said ‘please don’t send these kids to Western Maryland,’” a Democratic source told CNN. The heated discussion between O’Malley and White House domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz occurred during a phone call late Friday evening, sources familiar with the conversation added.
HHS has since scuttled the plan for the Western Maryland site, an O’Malley official said.
Don’t send the children back to certain death, but don’t send them to my state either. Oh, and about that “hospitality to strangers” you referenced, Governor, have you been a part of any private relief efforts that religious organizations have been organizing to help these children, regardless of their legal status? Or is that just something somebody else should do as well?
Touting hospitality to strangers and then hours later begging the government to not send the children to Maryland sounds pretty hypocritical, Governor.