Obama Regime To Taliban: Okay, You Can Keep Supporting Al-Qaeda… Now PLEASE Talk To Us

U.S. Drops Demand Taliban Renounce Al-Qaeda To Allow Talks To Progress – London Telegraph

The U.S. will engage in its first formal direct talks with the Taliban on Thursday, according to officials, in a milestone on the road to peace after more than a decade of war.

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The first meeting will take place in Doha, the Qatari capital, after the Taliban opened their first official overseas office and Washington dropped its long-standing demand that the movement renounce ties with al-Qaeda as a precondition for the talks.

“The U.S. will have its first formal meeting with the Taliban, and indeed first meeting with the Taliban for several years, in a couple of days in Doha,” a senior official with Obama administration said.

Afghan peace negotiators will also travel to Qatar for talks, according to President Hamid Karzai, speaking as Nato officially transferred authority to Afghan national forces on the ground in Afghanistan.

The challenges ahead were underlined however by a suicide attack only a few miles from where Mr Karzai was speaking. The Taliban has repeatedly refused to meet Afghan peace envoys.

After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations however, including some in Norway according to Espen Barth Eide, the country’s foreign minister, the movement has now agreed to open the Doha office to facilitate talks.

“The office is to open dialogue between the Taliban and the world,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said, although he made no reference to peace talks or the Afghan government. “The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan [the group’s formal name] doesn’t want any threats from Afghanistan soil to other countries, and neither permits anyone to threaten other countries using Afghanistan soil.

“We support a political and peaceful solution that ends Afghanistan’s occupation, and guarantees the Islamic system and nationwide security.”

None of the parties are expecting any imminent breakthrough, but US officials described the opening of negotiations with the Taliban as an “important development” on the road to reconciliation.

They were at pains to be realistic about the road ahead, conceding that levels of trust between parties were “extremely low”.

Officials said the first meeting would simply be an “exchange of agendas” in which both sides laid out what issues they wanted to address. It could be followed by a second meeting in coming weeks.

Recalling the Northern Ireland peace process took years to complete, senior Obama administration officials said the Taliban office was “the first step on what – if it is successful – will be a very long road”, adding that there was “no guarantee that this process will happen quickly, if at all.”

One official significantly added that a requirement for the Taliban to drop relations with al Qaeda – something which had stymied previous attempts at direct talks – was no longer necessary in order for them to progress.

“We’ve long had a demand on the Taliban that they make a statement that distances themselves from the movement from international terrorism, but made clear that we didn’t expect immediately for them to break ties with al Qaeda, because that’s an outcome of the negotiation process,” the official said.

President Barack Obama, speaking at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, called the opening of the Taliban’s political office an important step toward reconciliation between the group and the Afghan government, although he predicted the road ahead will be long and complicated.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, gave his backing to the talks.

“We need to match the security response in Afghanistan… with a political process to try to make sure as many people as possible give up violence, give up an armed struggle and join the political process,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do – of course it involves all sorts of difficulties.”

Graeme Smith, of the International Crisis Group, said members of the High Peace Council themselves do not expect much progress.

“The main forces that were killing a lot of insurgents in recent years are leaving,” he said. “The insurgents don’t have a whole load of incentive to negotiate until they find out where the military balance lies after the withdrawal.”

Speaking at a heavily defended army academy just outside Kabul, Mr Karzai told Nato officials that the handover would help cement support for the Afghan security forces.

“From tomorrow, our security and defence forces will now be in the lead,” he said. “From here, all security responsibility and all security leadership will be taken by our brave forces.”

Some 97,000 international troops remain in the country. From now until the end of next year their role will be largely to train and advise local forces.

The transfer of the last 95 districts from Nato to Afghan control include some of the areas still affected by Taliban attacks, including Kandahar – the spiritual home of the movement – and territories that border Pakistan.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato secretary-general, was in Kabul for the handover. He said the coalition will help militarily if and when needed but will no longer plan, execute or lead operations.

“Ten years ago, there were no Afghan national security forces. Five years ago, Afghan forces were a fraction of what they are today,” he said.

“Now you have 350,000 Afghan troops and police. A formidable force. And time and again, we have seen them dealing quickly and competently with complex attacks. Defeating the enemies of Afghanistan, and defending and protecting the Afghan people.”

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The IRS Immigration Fraud Scandal

The IRS Immigration Fraud Scandal – American Spectator

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Marco Rubio.

Paul Ryan.

The IRS.

Illegal immigration.

And fraud to the tune of billions..

Now there’s a combustible mix.

Let’s start with the IRS, illegal immigration and fraud. We’ll come back in a minute to Senator Rubio and Congressman Ryan.

For those who came in late, a year before the IRS scandals burst onto the scene in early May of 2013, an alert investigative reporter for WTHR-Indianapolis (Channel 13), Bob Segall by name, produced a stunning piece of journalism. Segall’s video report is found here and we will quote from his story for the basics. The tale begins when an Indiana tax preparer, who requests anonymity, comes to Segall to alert the investigative reporter to a major league tax fraud.

“We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that’s taking place and no one is talking about it,” he (the tax preparer) said.

The scheme involves illegal immigrants – illegal immigrants who are filing tax returns.

How it works

The Internal Revenue Service says everyone who is employed in the United States – even those who are working here illegally – must report income and pay taxes. Of course, undocumented workers are not supposed to have a social security number. So for them to pay taxes, the IRS created what’s called an ITIN, an individual taxpayer identification number. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident and nonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to file tax returns.

While that may have seemed like a good idea, it’s now backfiring in a big way.

Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS.

The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It’s a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it’s meant to help working families who have children living at home.

But 13 Investigates has found many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kids who live in Mexico – lots of kids in Mexico.

“We’ve seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms,” the whistleblower told Eyewitness News. “The more you put on there, the more you get back.”

The whistleblower has thousands of examples, and he brought some of them to 13 Investigates. While identifying information such as names and addresses on the tax returns was redacted, it was still clear that the tax filers had received large tax refunds after claiming additional child tax credits for many dependents.

“Here’s a return right here: we’ve got a $10,300 refund for nine nieces and nephews,” he said, pointing to the words “niece” and “nephew” listed on the tax forms nine separate times.

“We’re getting an $11,000 refund on this tax return. There’s seven nieces and nephews,” he said, pointing to another set of documents. “I can bring out stacks and stacks. It’s just so easy it’s ridiculous.”

20 kids = $30,000
WTHR spoke to several undocumented workers who confirmed it is easy.

They all agreed to talk with WTHR investigative reporter Bob Segall and a translator as long as WTHR agreed not to reveal their identity.

One of the workers, who was interviewed at his home in southern Indiana, admitted his address was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers who don’t even live there. Those four workers claimed 20 children live inside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling $29,608.

13 Investigates saw only one little girl who lives at that address (a small mobile home). We wondered about the 20 kids claimed as tax deductions?

“They don’t live here,” said the undocumented worker. “The other kids are in their country of origin, which is Mexico.”

He later explained none of the 20 children have ever visited the United States – let alone lived here.

So why should undocumented workers receive tax credits for children living in a foreign country, which is a violation of IRS tax rules?

“If the opportunity is there and they can give it to me, why not take advantage of it?” the worker said.

Other undocumented workers in Indiana told 13 Investigates the same thing. Their families are collecting tax refunds for children who do not live in this country. Several of the workers told WTHR they were told it was legal for them to claim the tax credit for a child who does not live in the United States.

Stop here.

So what Segall uncovered is massive tax fraud by illegal immigrants through the use of the Additional Child Tax Credit.

Segall then goes to a man who, barely a year later, would become a familiar face to Americans. The Inspector General of the Treasury Department, Russell George. George, on camera, says this of his repeated warnings to the IRS about this problem:

“The magnitude of the problem has grown exponentially,” said Russell George, the United States Department of Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

And he says the IRS has known about the problem for years.

George has repeatedly warned the IRS that additional child tax credits are being abused by undocumented workers. In 2009, his office released an audit report that showed ITIN tax filers received about $1 billion in additional child tax credits. Last year, the inspector general released a new report showing the problem now costs American taxpayers more than $4.2 billion.

“Keep in mind, we’re talking $4 billion per year,” he said. “It’s very troubling.”

What George finds even more troubling is the IRS has not taken action despite multiple warnings from the inspector general.

“Millions of people are seeking this tax credit who, we believe, are not entitled to it,” said the inspector general. “We have made recommendations to [IRS] as to how they could address this, and they have not taken sufficient action in our view to solve the problem.”

Stop again.

After noting that filings for the ACTC have soared since 2001, the cost skyrocketing from $161 million in 2001 to $4.2 billion – say again, billion – in 2010, Segall goes to the IRS for comment.

What he gets is this:

The law has been clear for over a decade that eligibility for these credits does not depend on work authorization status or the type of taxpayer identification number used. Any suggestion that the IRS shouldn’t be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN holders is simply incorrect. The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as it is written.

That was all. Repeated requests for on camera interviews with IRS officials were denied. Period.

Inspector General George, however, took immediate issue with that statement issued by the IRS. Reports Segall:

George disagrees with that position and believes the IRS should be doing more to prevent undocumented workers from getting billions in U.S. tax dollars.

“The IRS is not doing something as simple as requesting sufficient documentation from people seeking this credit,” he said. “Once the money goes out the door, it’s nearly impossible for the IRS to get it back.’”

End of story.

What does this one snapshot of massive tax fraud captured so vividly by reporter Segall have to do with Senator Rubio and Congressman Ryan?

Everything.

Senator Rubio is in fact aware of the problem and has introduced legislation to stop the fraud. For this he has been attacked by Hispanic left-wing activists as reported here in the Miami Herald in May of 2012. So too is Congressman Ryan aware of the problem and, in this May 2012 story from WTHR Bob Segall reports:

“This is where our taxpayer money is going, to the [additional] child tax credit,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Thursday morning during Congressional debate. “One investigation in Indiana said illegal immigrants in Indiana are getting $29,608 for 20 children they claimed for the tax credit who live in Mexico and have never visited the United States before!”

Rep. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, wants tax credits for illegal immigrants stopped, and so do many other lawmakers who saw WTHR’s investigation. They debated it Thursday morning on the floor of the House after being bombarded by phone calls and e-mails from constituents who watched the Eyewitness News report online.

Now.

Here’s the problem – and it’s potentially a very big problem for Rubio and Ryan.

The two men, Rubio in the Senate as a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, and Ryan in the House, have aggressively gone out front on the issue of immigration.

Ryan has even declared that “I will debate anybody who tries to suggest that these ideas that are moving through Congress are amnesty. They’re not. Amnesty is wiping the slate clean and not paying any penalty for having done something wrong.”

Over at National Review Mark Krikorian calls the Florida Senator’s Gang of Eight bill “Rubio’s Amnesty” in this piece and says this of the Rubio Senate bill:

The result of all this is S.744, a sprawling, 844-page measure legalizes most of the illegal population (plus many who were deported and are currently living abroad), promises tougher enforcement in the future, and hugely increases all forms of legal immigration, low- and high-skilled, temporary and permanent…

Then we got to see the actual text of the legislation. Rubio’s promised provisions are absent. Regarding back taxes, for instance, the bill requires only that applicants “satisfy any applicable federal tax liability” that has previously been “assessed” by the IRS. But a tax is “assessed” only after a tax return has been submitted or after the IRS has conducted an audit. Since neither of those things happens with illegal immigrants working off the books, there aren’t any back taxes to be paid.

The fine for legalization is small – just $500 up front and $500 paid in installments, in return for lifetime legal access to the U.S. labor market. And while $500 can be a lot for an illegal immigrant, in a certain sense it isn’t a fine, since the money would go into a slush fund for DHS to dole out to groups such as La Raza, which are in turn to provide services for the very amnesty beneficiaries who paid the fines. (Conservative writer John Fonte has called this the Alinsky Fund.) Even such a modest penalty is absent for crooked employers. They get amnesty for free – amnesty from prosecution for knowing employment of illegal aliens, non-payment of wages, non-payment of payroll taxes, and facilitation of identity theft.

As for learning English, the language requirement applies only to already-amnestied immigrants seeking the upgrade to full green card, and even then, requires only enrollment in a class, not demonstration of actual proficiency (which is what is required for citizenship).

Moreover, the bill provides for a huge increase in legal immigration – and not just increased numbers but increased complexity, in a system already excessively complex. It has special provisions for guest workers, farm laborers, and foreign technology workers, doctors, and nurses, as well as retirees, entrepreneurs, and foreign students graduating with technical degrees. The Schumer-Rubio bill simply seeks to placate every interest group at the table by handing out more visas. Numbers USA has estimated the number of green cards that would be issued during the first decade of the bill’s operation at 33 million. About one-third of those would be illegal aliens receiving amnesty, so new immigration would go from about 1 million per year to 2 million.

…Finally, securing the Mexican border. The benchmark given in the bill is called “effective control” and means surveillance of 100 percent of the border and apprehension of 90 percent of attempted infiltrators. This is absurdity many times over.

So.

What does the reality of the Rubio bill, and the aggressive defense of Ryan have to do with that year-old investigative piece out of Indiana?

Everything. And while we like both Senator Rubio and Congressman Ryan, their actions raise troubling red flags both on the immigration bill and their respective potential runs for president in 2016.

Why?

At the core of the Indiana story about tax fraud by illegal immigrants is yet again the realization that Big Government has gone off the rails. It is so far from the original vision of the Founders as expressed in the Constitution as to be hell-and-gone.

What the Indiana story of massive IRS fraud by illegal immigrants vividly illustrates is yet another story of corruption and government gone wild. It is the same story as the IRS – Tea Party scandal. It is the same story as the NSA-Edward Snowden issue. It is the same story as Benghazi. It is the same story as State Department cover-ups of tales of State Department employees involvement with prostitutes, sexual assaults, and illegal drugs.

Time and time and time again this always comes back to the incompetence and/or corruption of a government that is seen as being run by arrogant mandarins of the ruling class elite.

Knowing all of this, both Rubio and Ryan are out there actively selling the idea that this time government will get it right. That this time their solutions to an out-of-control illegal immigration problem – which relies 100% on a Big Government that has failed over and over and over again and can’t even manage to control the border – are going to work. Really. Honest.

In truth? This is nonsense on stilts.

Both men are in the process of developing the immigration reform issue into a serious credibility problem with their own conservative base.

Nor is the immigration issue helped when Senator Lindsey Graham says the whole point of the exercise is to “get back in the good graces” of Hispanics. (Note: this is the same Senator Graham who went after Pennsylvania conservatives – Pat Toomey in particular – for allegedly driving then-GOP Senator Arlen Specter from the party. Graham’s candidate: liberal ex-Governor Tom Ridge. Suffice to say, Toomey won. Graham’s notion that a conservative was a loser in Pennsylvania was flat dead wrong.)

When Congressman Ryan hotly declares that the “bipartisan” immigration bill is not amnesty – and the bill is revealed to be more of the same of the 1986 Reagan immigration bill – which Reagan himself considered to be amnesty – his credibility plunges.

The other day in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove tried to pass off a version of this same idea and was instantly challenged in the WSJ by former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Wrote Meese, bold print for emphasis mine:

Karl Rove’s recollection of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (“Immigration Reform and the Hispanic Vote,” op-ed, June 6) is, shall we say, highly selective. That law, he writes, “essentially told those here illegally that if they had arrived in the U.S. prior to 1982 and wanted to become citizens, simply raise your right hand.” He asserts that the Gang of Eight bill is different because it “has plenty of penalties and hurdles for those here illegally who seek citizenship.”

Well, I was there in ‘86. I read that bill carefully. (We did that back then.) And I can tell you that Mr. Rove’s blithe description of the bill is way off the mark.

The 1986 act didn’t turn illegal immigrants into citizens on the spot. It granted temporary resident status only to those who could prove they had resided continuously in America for five years. After 18 months, their status could be upgraded to permanent residency, and only after another five years could they become U.S. citizens.

But advancement to citizenship was not automatic. Immigrants had to satisfy various requirements along the way. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.

Sound familiar? It’s pretty much the same “penalties and hurdles” set forth by the Gang of Eight. Today they call it a “roadmap to citizenship.” Ronald Reagan called it “amnesty.”

The ‘86 reform bill also had supposedly “rigorous” border security and immigration law enforcement provisions. So how did that pan out? On the day Reagan signed “comprehensive” reform into law, only one thing changed: Millions of unlawful immigrants gained “legal” status. The promised crackdowns on security and enforcement never happened. Only amnesty prevailed.

Since the ‘86 amnesty, the number of illegal immigrants has quadrupled. That should teach Congress a very important lesson: Amnesty “bends” the rule of law. And bending the rule of law to reach a “comprehensive” deal winds up provoking wholesale breaking of the law. Ultimately, it encourages millions more to risk entering the country illegally in the hope that one day they, too, might receive amnesty.

In other words, what Meese is saying here is that what he sees ahead is a government that refuses to learn from experience when dealing with immigration – and learning from experience is basic to conservatism.

Increasingly and dangerously Rubio and Ryan are being seen as sons of the Republican Establishment who, if they ever were elected president, would spend their time in Bush-like tinkerings at the margin of Big Government when not expanding it outright. Their inability to learn from the Reagan immigration experience is a startling admission that perhaps neither man is as conservative as once thought.

Are they good men? Yes. Talented and conservative in many respects. But alas, what is on display right this minute from both is the same old Republican Establishment flirtation with Big Government.

Trust the government, say Rubio and Ryan. Really. This time it will work. Honest.

The problem?

After an endless series of stories about incompetence or outright corruption in one government scandal after another, not to mention the massive failure of the 1986 Reagan immigration law, there are conservatives aplenty who listen to Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan and simply don’t believe a word they say on immigration.

Not good.

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Obama Lies America Into Another War (Daniel Greenfield)

Obama Lies America Into Another War – Daniel Greenfield

Around this time two years ago, Barack Obama delivered a prime time speech in which he told viewers waiting for him to shut up and make way for American Idol, “We have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times… America, it is time to focus on nation-building here at home.”

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Even while he was delivering a speech promising to begin nation-building at home, the warplanes he had dispatched to Libya were bombing government targets in support of the Islamist uprising.

A month earlier, Obama had told Americans that he had a duty to protect “Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte”. Given a choice between nation-building in Charlotte and Benghazi; Obama chose Benghazi.

In September 2012, Obama gave yet another speech calling for a withdrawal from Afghanistan and nation-building at home. Ten days later, the diplomatic mission in Benghazi came under attack by militias and terrorists who had been allowed to take over the city by Obama’s Libyan intervention.

At the presidential debate, despite the broken promises on Libya, Obama once again brought out his “nation-building at home” card.

In response to a question about the challenges of the Middle East and the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Obama speechified, “The other thing that we have to do is recognize that we can’t continue to do nation building in these regions. Part of American leadership is making sure that we’re doing nation building here at home.”

The response should have come with a laugh track. Eight months later, the Nobel Peace Prize winner is preparing to lead America into his second Arab Spring war.

The script has already been written and it’s the same script that saw airtime in Libya. Claim an imminent threat to civilians that is actually a threat to the terrorists. Carve out a No Fly Zone. Arm the terrorists. And then sit back and wait for the next Benghazi.

To invade Libya, Obama lied and told the American people that the residents of Benghazi were about to suffer a massacre that would stain “the conscience of the world.” No such massacre had taken place or was ever going to take place. The only innocent people who wound up massacred in Benghazi were the Americans sent there by Hillary Clinton.

This time, swap out Aleppo or Homs for Benghazi as the cities badly in need of American protection. Never mind that the Christians of Aleppo and Homs, the only innocent parties in a religious war between a Shiite government and Sunni terrorist groups, are in far more danger from the Islamist Sunni terrorists that Obama is proposing to arm.

The Free Syrian Army’s Farouq Brigades went door to door expelling Christians in Homs. Of the 160,000 Christians in the city, there are now barely a 1,000. Christians in Aleppo have faced kidnappings and car bombings. Some have chosen to arm themselves against the rebels.

“We see on TV armed young men with beards shouting, ‘Allah is great!’ and calling for jihad. We have the right to defend ourselves,” one Christian in Aleppo said. But Obama won’t be supplying the Christians with any weapons. Those are reserved for the bearded young Allah-shouters.

In Qseir, the city recently recaptured by the Syrian Army from the Sunni militias, whose loss partly triggered the rush to war by the Western allies of the Muslim Brotherhood, most of the Christians had fled a place where they were once 10 percent of the population following Sunni Muslim persecution.

The 10,000 Christians of Qseir were ordered to leave the city by loudspeakers on mosques. If Obama’s intervention helps the Islamist militias retake Qseir; there will soon be no Christians left in the city at all. And the same goes for Homs and Aleppo.

Intervention in support of the Islamist militias in Syria is nothing more than a Christian ethnic cleansing project. And those supporting it should be treated like any other advocates of ethnic cleansing.

Obama’s intervention in Libya turned Benghazi over to Islamist militias who have persecuted Christians. His intervention in Syria will ethnically cleanse Christians while rewarding the Muslim Brotherhood with another building block for their caliphate plans.

The Syrian War, like the Libyan War, is built on a pyramid of lies. There are no good options in Syria and nothing we do will help anyone there.

Despite the belated declaration that the Syrian government had breached a Red Line by using chemical weapons, the evidence points to chemical weapons use by both sides.

Obama is choosing to hold only one side accountable for actions that both sides have taken. While the Sunni rebels who used chemical weapons will be armed and aided, the Shiite government which used chemical weapons will get bombed. That’s not human rights; it’s cynical hypocrisy.

The vaunted “Red Line” was and is irrelevant. The White House delayed taking a position when the evidence of a breach first came in and dispatched its media allies to make excuses for not taking an immediate stand because the line was never the issue. The determining factor was whether the Sunni rebels could win on their own or not.

The Libyan intervention had nothing to do with protecting the people of Benghazi and everything to do with protecting the Islamist militias in Benghazi which were in danger of losing the city. The Syrian intervention has nothing to do with whether Assad used chemical weapons, but the worry that the Sunni militias will lose Aleppo and Homs the way that they appear to have lost Qseir.

It was only when it became clear that the Sunni rebels were being rolled back by government forces, that the Red Line began flashing in the White House. And if there is any doubt of that, Politico quoted an administration official as saying, “The decision was ultimately driven by the discovery Assad used [chemical weapons], but there were a number of other factors in place that were also important… “Would we have made [the determination Assad had breached the red line] even if we didn’t have the evidence? Probably.”

Had an official of the previous administration made such a statement around the Iraq War, there would have been talk of impeachment, but the media has long since gotten used to swallowing the bizarre lies put out by an administration that ended the Iraq War twice and kept insisting that Al Qaeda was on the run even as it was expanding across North Africa.

Obama lied the country into war in Libya. Now no one even blinks as an official admits that he was prepared to lie the country into war in Syria.

Before the campaign, Obama yammered about nation-building at home. Libya isn’t home. Neither is Syria.

While Obama botched Afghanistan, he has insisted on committing the United States to intervening in every nation-building war that the Arab Spring can throw up. Despite slashing the military to the bone, he hasn’t slaked his appetite for new wars. Even though he has dismantled the ability of the FBI to track Islamic terrorists at home, he has busily devoted government resources to helping them win abroad.

Syria is not America’s war. It is the Muslim Brotherhood’s war. Instead of nation-building at home, Obama is caliphate-building abroad.

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Yet Another Reason Why States Need To Begin Ignoring The Federal Government

Supreme Court: Arizona Law Requiring Citizenship Proof For Voters Is Illegal – Fox News

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot on their own require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.

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The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration law.

Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.

The court was considering the legality of Arizona’s requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition 200 passed in 2004.

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and lead counsel for the voters who challenged Proposition 200.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed that all U.S. citizens have the right to register to vote using the national postcard, regardless of the state in which they live,” she said.

The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating such legislation.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court’s ruling.

The Constitution “authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine whether those qualifications are satisfied,” Thomas said in his dissent.

Opponents of Arizona’s law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they’ve counted more than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were Latino.

Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, called the decision a victory. “The court has reaffirmed the essential American right to register to vote for federal election without the burdens of state voter suppression measures,” she said.

But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting.

The federal “motor voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration, requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a driver’s license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200, Arizona officials require an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will reject the federal registration application form.

While the court was clear in stating that states cannot add additional identification requirements to the federal forms on their own, it was also clear that the same actions can be taken by state governments if they get the approval of the federal government and the federal courts.

Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the government on that request back to court. Other states have already done so, Scalia said.

The Election Assistance Commission “recently approved a state-specific instruction for Louisiana requiring applicants who lack a Louisiana driver’s license, ID card or Social Security number to attach additional documentation to the completed federal form,” Scalia said.

The case is 12-71, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.

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Obama’s IRS Targeted, Infiltrated And Harassed Christian Churches

Confirmed: Obama IRS Targeted, Infiltrated And Harassed Christian Churches – Gateway Pundit

The Obama Internal Revenue Service targeted several Christian groups including a 180 year-old Baptist paper.

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The Obama IRS targeted Christian groups including Franklin Graham and the 180 year-old Biblical Recorder.

The Obama IRS implemented a program to infiltrate and target conservative, evangelical Christian churches.

The Examiner reported:

On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.

That program involved infiltration – sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.

But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.

The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.

But pastors have long maintained that there are a myriad of areas where political and moral/spiritual issues overlap, and thus, the pastors feel obligated as the guardians of spiritual truth to speak out concerning these issues.

Abortion, for example, is both a political and a spiritual issue. Most conservative, evangelical Christians believe that Biblical principles are abundantly clear concerning the sanctity of human life. And many pastors thus feel constrained by their calling to condemn abortion as a hideous and barbaric assault on the sacredness of human life.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization, were both targeted by the Obama IRS.

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IRS Supervisor Admits Personally Handling Dozens Of Tea Party Cases – Big Government

An IRS supervisor who oversaw over 200 agents in the Cincinnati office admitted that she personally reviewed applications from conservative and Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status. Her statements contradict assertions by other IRS officials that “rogue” agents were solely responsible for the targeting.

The Associated Press reports that Holly Paz, “a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status,” told congressional investigators that she personally reviewed “20 to 30 applications.”

According to ABC affiliate WCPO, Paz worked at the Cincinnati office as a manager while the “systematic scrutiny of conservative groups” occurred but now serves as “the director of the office rulings and agreements for the IRS in Washington, D.C.”

Paz is a registered Democrat who donated $4,000 to the Obama campaign in 2008 and is currently on administrative leave, according to her lawyer.

IRS officials have insisted that “rogue” agents in the Cincinnati office were responsible for the targeting, even though workers in the office like Elizabeth Hofacre have insisted there were so many checks in place that it was virtually impossible for them to “go off the reservation.”

Paz seems to have confirmed Hofacre’s objections, telling investigators that “Tea Party” applications were forwarded to her from Cincinnati, and she then sent those applications to legal experts in D.C. She also admitted “dozens of tea party applications sat untouched for more than a year while field agents waited for guidance from Washington on how to handle them.”

Paz reportedly told investigators last month that she thought “Tea Party” was shorthand for all political groups, since the first case she reviewed in D.C. in 2010 happened to be a Tea Party case. According to USA Today, Paz told investigators that she thought “Tea Party” could refer to a liberal or conservative organization, just like “‘Coke’ is used as a generic term for soda” and people “refer to tissues as ‘Kleenex.’”

Yet Hofacre, the paper notes, “told investigators that she kicked out any progressive groups that other agents tried to put in with the Tea Party cases” and “understood the term to mean conservative or Republican groups.”

“I was tasked to do Tea Parties, and I wasn’t – I wasn’t equipped or set up to do anything else,” she reportedly told investigators. USA Today also found that IRS data showed “dozens of liberal groups received tax-exempt approval in the 27 months that Tea Party groups sat in limbo, even though the liberal groups were engaging in similar kids of activity.”

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The IRS Vs. Pro-Israel Groups – National Review

Applications of pro-Israel groups for tax-exempt status are routinely routed to an antiterrorism unit within the Internal Revenue Service for additional screening, according to the testimony of a Cincinnati-based IRS agent.

Asked whether Jewish or pro-Israel applications are treated differently from other applications, Gary Muthert told House Oversight Committee investigators that they are considered “specialty cases” and that “probably” all are sent to an IRS unit that examines groups for potential terrorist ties.

Muthert, who served as an application screener before transferring to the agency’s antiterrorism unit, was interviewed in connection with the committee’s investigation into the IRS’s discrimination against conservative groups. As a screener, Muthert flagged tea-party applications and passed them along to specialists for further scrutiny.

Asked by investigators whether “all pro-Israel applicants went to the terrorism unit,” Muthert responded, “Probably… foreign activity, pro-Israel – if it is any type of foreign activity, it will go to the antiterrorism area.” Screeners like Muthert must consult the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Treasury Department office that enforces economic and trade sanctions, and “the terrorist list… because a lot of organizations will create charities to funnel the money to terrorist countries.” In further questioning, Muthert was more categorical, saying that pro-Israel groups get “not so much additional scrutiny, just more procedures.”

“More review?” an investigator asked.

“Clearly, correct,” Muthert responded.

The IRS’s practices as described by Muthert touch on a political debate that has been raging in the United States and Israel since 2009. That’s when Washington Post columnist David Ignatius noted that opponents of Israeli settlements were fighting against tax exemption for groups that raise charitable contributions for organizations that support Israeli settlements. “Critics of Israeli settlements question why American taxpayers are supporting indirectly, through the exempt contributions, a process that the government condemns,” Ignatius wrote.

On March 27, 2009, the day after Ignatius’s article appeared, the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) filed a spate of administrative complaints with the Treasury Department and the IRS, alleging that pro-Israel groups raising funds for settlements in the West Bank were supporting “illegal and terrorist activities abroad.” Later that year, in October, the ADC said that it was waging an ongoing legal campaign against the IRS for what the ADC regarded as violations of the tax code by some pro-Israel groups.

The following year, in 2010, a New York Times report observed that “donations to the settler movement stand out because of the centrality of the settlement issue in the current [American-Israeli] talks and the fact that Washington has consistently refused to allow Israel to spend American government aid in the settlements.” The article quoted State Department officials complaining about the American dollars flowing to Israeli settlers. “It’s a problem,” a senior State Department official told the Times. The implication was that it may be wrong to grant tax-exempt status to groups devoted to causes that undermine administration policy. Relying on information in the Times article, the left-leaning advocacy group J Street called on the Treasury Department to investigate whether pro-Israel organizations collecting tax-deductible gifts for schools, synagogues, and recreation centers in the West Bank had broken the law by supporting certain Israeli settlements.

Throughout this debate, whether pro-Israel groups have been receiving additional scrutiny from the IRS has remained unclear. But in 2010, after the pro-Israel organization Z Street applied for tax-exempt status, the IRS sent it requests for further information. Z Street sued the IRS in October 2010, claiming it was targeted merely for being connected to Israel. According to court documents, an IRS official told the group that its application was delayed because it was assigned to a “special unit” to determine “whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

Certainly, charities based in the United States have funneled money to Israeli charities that are controlled by terrorist groups in Israel. But those charities have not been of a pro-Israel bent. The most-high profile case is that of the Holy Land Foundation, the Texas-based charity whose employees were indicted in 2004 for using the group as a front to provide material support to Hamas.

The policy that the applications of pro-Israel groups be examined by the IRS’s antiterrorism unit was instituted “probably years ago,” according to Muthert in his testimony. That testimony leaves unclear whether the news coverage in 2009 and 2010 prompted the scrutiny to which groups like Z Street say they have been subjected, or whether every nonprofit group whose application indicates it may engage in foreign activity, regardless of the country, is put under the microscope.

According to Muthert, it’s the latter, and he denies that pro-Israel applications are treated differently from those of other groups that claim they plan to engage with foreign countries. “It has to do with money laundering and things, because a lot of organizations will create charities to funnel the money to terrorist countries,” he explained. “So it is not so much Israel. It is just foreign countries.”

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*AUDIO* Mark Levin Eviscerates The RINO Establishment


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Your Daley Gator Saturday Op-Ed Roundup Featuring John Hawkins, Mark Steyn, Stephen Hayes, Thomas Sowell, Michelle Malkin, Walter E. Williams And Jonah Goldberg

Everything You Need To Know About The Rubio/McCain Amnesty Catastrophe In 15 Quotes – John Hawkins

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1) This is President Obama’s number one political agenda item because he knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands. – Michele Bachmann

2) The bill is worse than universal healthcare. Listen to me, it is worse than universal healthcare, and in the coming days as we get closer, we will explain why it’s worse than universal healthcare. It is the death knell of the country, there is no recovery from this one. None. No recovery. – Glenn Beck

3) If Republicans are opposed to what mass immigration is doing to the country demographically, ethnically, socially and politically, there are, as Reagan used to say, “simple answers, just no easy answers.”

Those answers: No amnesty, secure the border, enforce laws against businesses that hire illegals, and impose a moratorium on new immigration so wages can rise and immigrants enter the middle class and start voting as did the children and grandchildren of the immigrants of 1890-1920 by 1972.

So what are the Republicans doing?

Going back on their word, dishonoring their platform, and enraging their loyal supporters, who gave Mitt 90 percent of his votes, to pander to a segment of the electorate that gave Mitt less than 5 percent of his total votes.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. – Pat Buchanan

4) The nation’s plutocrats are lined up with the Democratic Party in a short-term bid to get themselves cheap labor (subsidized by the rest of us), which will give the Democratic Party a permanent majority. If Rubio’s amnesty goes through, the Republican Party is finished. It will be the “Nancy Pelosi Democratic Party” versus the “Chuck Schumer Republican Party.” – Ann Coulter

5) Instead of cracking down on the Administration’s abuse of power, S. 744 places unprecedented new restrictions on interior enforcement – making the current situation much worse and much more hazardous. It is as if S. 744 were explicitly written to handcuff law enforcement officials – binding their hands while giving virtually unchecked authority to executive branch officials to prevent future removals, including removals of criminal aliens. – ICE Council president Chris Crane

6) It doesn’t stop illegal immigration. If anything it makes the problem worse by not securing the border and by incentivizing future illegal immigration. – Ted Cruz

7) Creating more than 30 million new immigrants, including 11 million former illegals, and supplanting their numbers with another 20-odd million guest workers is from a sociological and demographic point of view quite radical: 30 million is roughly a tenth of the current population of the United States. How we handle immigration is of fundamental importance to questions ranging from national security to economic growth to the character of our nation itself. That we cannot get a couple of small-time performance benchmarks written into the bill suggests that this issue is not being treated with the intelligence and the prudence it deserves. – The Editors at National Review

8) This is the administration that has refused to enforce the law… they have created new law out of nothing. They’ve violated the law in a number of ways. And our guys are counting on the administration to all of a sudden actually keep their word on something like securing the border when they’ve never done it before and they believe it’s in their political interest to continue not to secure the border even if there’s a deal? I mean that’s crazy to think they’re going to start securing the border and until we secure the border everything else is completely meaningless. – Louie Gohmert

9) Should this be grounds to primary challenge every Republican who voted for this bill, and I mean every single one? I don’t care if they just got re-elected. Next time they’re up for re-election. Ann Coulter’s right. This is a single issue – this is a single-issue primary challenge. You know why? Because this is it. As Bill Kristol said on this show, as he said on this show, once you give this pathway to citizenship all these benefits, all this discretion to [Janet] Napolitano, it’s over. It’s too late to complain about it. It’s over. – Laura Ingraham

10) The federal judge in Crane v. Napolitano has ruled that the ICE agents are likely to prevail in their argument that the Obama administration is ordering them to violate federal law. Think about that: This administration is ordering career law enforcement personnel to break the law. Now, the administration is pushing for an amnesty bill that contains almost nothing to improve immigration enforcement. All that the American citizens will get in return for the amnesty is the promise from the Obama administration that they will try harder to enforce the law. The administration has already shattered that promise, doing exactly the opposite. This is a stark warning to Congress. I sincerely hope that they hear it. – Kris Kobach

11) Almost every requirement in this bill can be waived by Janet Napolitano: for instance, the time limits on when people can be legalized, the requirements on criminal activity or even the enforcement triggers. Those basically don’t mean anything if any of them is held up in court, still. …The litigation over the 1986 bill didn’t end until just a few years ago. The ACLU has been quite clear that it intends to sue to stop mandatory e-verify and probably sue to stop a bunch of other things. If, for instance, mandatory use of electronic verification is still in the courts 10 years after the bill passes, it’s entirely possible the Secretary of Homeland Security can just give everybody Green Cards on her own – and there are hundreds of other examples of that kind of discretion. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that this 1,000 page bill after all of the amendments could be boiled down to, “We trust you, Obama; just do the right thing.” – Mark Krikorian

12) The ‘Gang of Eight’ bill is not immigration reform. It is big government dysfunction. It is an immigration Obamacare. All advocates of true immigration reform – on the left and the right – should oppose it. – Mike Lee

13) Okay. So what does that mean, the republic is at stake? This is the ball game. I remember people saying that about Obamacare. Now they’re saying it about immigration reform. And they’re both right. In the case of immigration reform, it effectively wipes out the Republican Party. – Rush Limbaugh

14) Will they listen? Suicidal Republicans have supported illegal alien amnesties dating back to the Reagan era. They have paid a steep, lasting price. As bankrupt, multiculti-wracked California goes, so goes the nation. The progs’ plan has always been to exploit the massive population of illegal aliens to redraw the political map and secure a permanent ruling majority.

Now, in the wake of nonstop D.C. corruption eruptions, SchMcGRubio and Company want us to trust them with a thousand new pages of phony triggers, left-wing slush-fund spending and make-believe assimilation gestures. Trust them? Hell, no. There’s only one course for citizens who believe in upholding the Constitution and protecting the American dream: Stop them. – Michelle Malkin

15) On every major front, this legislation fails to deliver on its core promises. It delivers only for the special interest groups who helped write it. Should it pass, it would represent the ultimate triumph of the Washington elite over the everyday citizen to whom Congress properly owes its loyalty. – Jeff Sessions

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Big Politically Correct Brother – Mark Steyn

Excerpt – Every time I go on his show, my radio pal Hugh Hewitt asks me why congressional Republicans aren’t doing more to insist that the GOP suicide note known as “the immigration deal” include a requirement for a border fence. I don’t like to tell Hugh that, if they ever get around to building the fence, it won’t be to keep the foreigners out but to keep you guys in.

I jest, but only very slightly and only because the government doesn’t build much of anything these days – except for that vast complex five times the size of the Capitol the NSA is throwing up in Utah to house everybody’s data on everything everyone’s ever done with anyone ever.

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Our Disappearing President – Stephen Hayes

Excerpt – One might expect Keith Alexander to advocate on behalf of the two programs at the center of our national debate about terrorism and surveillance. He is, after all, the head of the National Security Agency, which runs them. “It’s dozens of terrorist events that these have helped prevent—both here and abroad-in disrupting or contributing to the disruption of terrorist attacks,” Alexander testified last week.

And it’s not entirely surprising that the four leading members of Congress on intelligence matters would argue on behalf of these programs, known as “215″ and “702,” for the sections of the laws that authorize them.

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Who ‘Needs’ Immigrant Labor? – Thomas Sowell

Excerpt – One of the most common arguments for allowing more immigration is that there is a “need” for foreign workers to do “jobs that Americans won’t do,” especially in agriculture.

One of my most vivid memories of the late Armen Alchian, an internationally renowned economist at UCLA, involved a lunch at which one of the younger members of the economics department got up to go get some more coffee. Being a considerate sort, the young man asked, “Does anyone else need more coffee?”

“Need?” Alchian said loudly, in a cutting tone that clearly conveyed his dismay and disgust at hearing an economist using such a word.

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Barack Onama’s “Social Innovation” Slush Fund – Michelle Malkin

Excerpt – We all know now what the vengeful Obama IRS has been doing to conservative nonprofits the past four years: strangling them in the crib. But do you know how much pampering and largesse far-left welfare-state charities have received while limited-government groups suffered? You don’t know the half of it.

Before President Obama took office, I warned that Democrats planned to steer untold amounts of taxpayer dollars to his shady community-organizing pals. The Dems’ 2008 party platform proposed the creation of a “Social Investment Fund Network” to subsidize “social entrepreneurs and leading nonprofit organizations (that) are assisting schools, lifting families out of poverty, filling health care gaps and inspiring others to lead change in their own communities.”

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Unasked And Unanswered Questions – Walter E. Williams

Excerpt – Grutter v. Bollinger was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s racial admissions policy. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, writing for the majority, said the U.S. Constitution “does not prohibit the Law School’s narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” But what are the educational benefits of a diverse student body?

Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what’s the evidence? For example, Japan is a nation bereft of diversity in any activity. Close to 99 percent of its population is of one race. Whose students do you think have higher academic achievement – theirs or ours?

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Freedom: The Unfolding Revolution – Jonah Goldberg

Excerpt – “Why are there no libertarian countries?”

In a much-discussed essay for Salon, Michael Lind asks: “If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?”

Such is the philosophical poverty of liberalism today that this stands as a profound question.

Definitions vary, but broadly speaking, libertarianism is the idea that people should be as free as possible from state coercion so long as they don’t harm anyone.

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*VIDEO* Funny Or Die – Public Service Announcement: How To Fight Back Against NSA Snooping


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H/T Independent Journal Review

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Obama Decides To Arm Al Qaeda-Loving “Rebels” In Syria After Concluding Assad Used Chemical Weapons

U.S.: Syria Used Chemical Weapons, Crossing “Red Line” – CBS News

The Obama administration has concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him and, in a major policy shift, President Obama has decided to supply military support to the rebels, the White House announced Thursday.

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“The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition that will involve providing direct support to the [Supreme Military Council]. That includes military support,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes told reporters.

President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” that, if crossed, would be a “game changer” for more U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war.

“The President has been clear that the use of chemical weapons – or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States,” said Rhodes in a separate written statement.

“The President has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has,” he continued.

In terms of further response, Rhodes said, “we will make decisions on our own timeline” and that Congress and the international community would be consulted. Mr. Obama is heading to Northern Ireland Sunday for a meeting of the G8 group of nations; Rhodes indicated the president will consult with leaders of those countries.

“Any future action we take will be consistent with our national interest, and must advance our objectives, which include achieving a negotiated political settlement to establish an authority that can provide basic stability and administer state institutions; protecting the rights of all Syrians; securing unconventional and advanced conventional weapons; and countering terrorist activity,” Rhodes said.

To date, the U.S. policy on Syria has primarily focused on offering the rebels nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who met with the rebels last month and has been a vocal critic of the president’s Syria policy said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: “We appreciate the President’s finding that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on several occasions. We also agree with the President that this fact must affect U.S. policy toward Syria. The President’s red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions.”

“A decision to provide lethal assistance, especially ammunition and heavy weapons, to opposition forces in Syria is long overdue, and we hope the President will take this urgently needed step” they added. Former President Bill Clinton this week, at a private event with McCain, also ratcheted up pressure for the White House to increase its support to the rebels.

However, Rhodes would not detail the type of military support the administration intends on providing. He said helping the opposition improve their effectiveness as a fighting force means helping with “nonlethal assistance” such as communications equipment and transportation. “These are things that allow them to cohere as a unit,” he said.

He added, meanwhile, that no decision has been made about enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria. “A no-fly zone… would carry with it open-ended costs for the international community,” Rhodes said. “Furthermore, there’s not even a clear guarantee that it would dramatically improve the situation on the ground.”

Rhodes laid out the intelligence assessment that led to the president’s decision saying the U.S. intelligence community determined “that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

Rhodes added that “the intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete.”

Although that is a small fraction of the more than 90,000 who have died in the civil war, Rhodes said “the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades.”

“We believe that the Assad regime maintains control of these weapons,” Rhodes continued. “We have no reliable, corroborated reporting to indicate that the opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons.”

The conflict in Syria has raged on since March 2011 when Assad began cracking down on protesters inspired by the Arab Spring. The war has fallen along ethnic lines, between the Sunni rebels and Assad’s Alawite-dominated regime. Rhodes said today that the use of chemical weapons adds an element of urgency to the situation, as does the influx of foreign pro-Assad fighters from Hezbollah and Iran.

While Mr. Obama has said unequivocally that Assad must go, the administration has said it’s still aiming for his regime to engage with the opposition to reach a political settlement. In the absence of a political settlement, Rhodes said Syria would be left with “for all intents and purposes, a civil war” that Hezbollah and Iran would jump into. Syria’s position in the heart of the Middle East makes the scenario particularly unpredictable.

Rhodes further added that the end of the Assad regime should not have to necessitate the disillusionment in all elements of the state. “There is a future for those in the Assad regime who are willing to accept the end of Bashar Assad’s reign but are willing to work for a better future for Syria,” he said.

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Syrian Rebels Pledge Loyalty To Al-Qaeda – USA Today

A Syrian rebel group’s pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well.

Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri, a Salafist who says states must be governed by Muslim religious law, says al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.

“They provided them early on with technical, military and financial support , especially when it came to setting up networks of foreign jihadis who were brought into Syria,” Bakri says. “There will certainly be greater coordination between the two groups.”

The United States, which supports the overthrow of Assad, designated al Nusra a terrorist entity in December. The Obama administration has said it wants to support only those insurgent groups that are not terrorist organizations.

Al Nusra and groups like it have seen some of the most significant victories against Syrian government forces in the course of the 2-year-old uprising in which Assad’s forces have killed about 80,000 people. Rebels not affiliated with al-Qaeda have pressed Washington for months to send weaponry that will allow them to match the heavy weapons of the Syrian army. They’ve urged the West to mount an air campaign against Assad’s mechanized forces.

President Obama refuses to provide any direct military aid. Foreign radical Islamists streaming into the fight from the Middle East and Europe are making headway with the Syrian population by providing services and gaining ground in battles.

Tamer Mouhieddine, spokesman for the Syrian Free Army, a force made up of Syrian soldiers who have defected, said the recent announcements would not change his group’s attitude toward al Nusra.

“The rebels in Syria have one common enemy – Bashar Assad – and they will collaborate with any faction allowing them to topple his regime,” he said.

He confirmed that al Nusra is generating loyalty in Aleppo, a region battling for months with Assad, by providing financial support as well as setting up charities.

Aaron Zelin at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington says al Nusra’s ability to provide security and basic needs such as bread and fuel to Syrian civilians, as well as to reopen shops and restart bus services, has won gratitude from people who would not usually adhere to its strict ideology.

Zelin says some Syrian people have criticized al Nusra for banning alcohol, forcing women to wear a full veil and whipping men who are seen with women in public.

“This illustrates the need for American leadership in the Syrian conflict, particularly with regard to helping non-Qaeda-aligned rebels contain the growth of (al Nusra) and similar groups,” he said. “Washington should also try to take advantage of cleavages within the rebellion and civilian population, since al Nusra is outside the mainstream and more concerned with establishing a transnational caliphate than maintaining the Syrian state.”

Groups such as the Islamic Liwaa al Tawhid, which collaborates with al Nusra on military operations, worried that Assad would use the announcement from al Nusra as evidence for his claim that he is fighting terrorists, not Syrian citizens who wish an end to his dictatorship, Mouhieddine said.

“We are willing to fight alongside any faction targeting the Assad regime, as long as it does not have a foreign agenda, which seems now the case” of al Nusra, he said.

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Panic Hits D.C. As Lawmakers And Their Aides Realize That ObamaCare Is Going To Screw Them Too

Obamacare? We Were Just Leaving… – Politico

Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.

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Democratic and Republican leaders are taking the issue seriously, but first they need more specifics from the Office of Personnel Management on how the new rule should take effect – a decision that Capitol Hill sources expect by fall, at the latest. The administration has clammed up in advance of a ruling, sources on both sides of the aisle said.

If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues – like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform.

The problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy. Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare. Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant.

Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat in leadership when the law passed, said he thinks the problem will be resolved.

“If not, I think we should begin an immediate amicus brief to say, ‘Listen this is simply not fair to these employees,’” Larson told POLITICO. “They are federal employees.”

Republicans, never a fan of Democratic health care reform, are more vocal about the potential adverse effects of the provision.

“It’s a reality,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). “This is the law… It’s going to hinder our ability with retention of members, it’s going to hinder our ability for members to take care of their families.” He said his fellow lawmakers are having “quiet conversations” about the threat.

Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner said the threat is already real, especially for veteran lawmakers and staff. If they leave this year, they think they can continue to be covered under the current health care plan.

“I’ve lost one staffer who told me in confidence that he had been here for a number of years and the thought of losing the opportunity to keep his health insurance on Dec. 31 [forced him to leave]. He could keep what he had and on Jan. 1 he would go into that big black hole,” said Bonner, who had already planned his resignation from Congress. “And then I’ve got another staff member that I think it will be a factor as she’s contemplating her future.”

Lawmakers and aides on both sides of the aisle are acutely aware of the problems with the provision. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have discussed fixes to the provision. Boehner, according to House GOP sources, believes that Reid must take the lead on crafting a solution. Since Republicans opposed the bill, Boehner does not feel responsible to lead the effort to make changes.

The Affordable Care Act – signed into law in 2010 – contained a provision known as the Grassley Amendment, which said the government can only offer members of Congress and their staff plans that are “created” in the bill or “offered through an exchange” – unless the bill is amended.

Currently, aides and lawmakers receive their health care under the generous Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. The government subsidizes upward of 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans. In 2014, most Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are expected to be put onto the exchanges, and there has been no guidance whether the government will subsidize those premiums. This is expected to cause a steep spike in health insurance costs.

There have been many options for fixing the problem discussed throughout the year, including administrative fixes and legislative tweaks. One scenario seen as likely on Capitol Hill would have OPM simply decide that the government could still subsidize insurance on the exchanges.

House Democratic leadership says the issue must be resolved.

“The leadership has assured members that fixing this issue is a top priority,” said one Democratic leadership aide. “This issue must be fixed by administrative action in order that the flawed Grassley Amendment’s spirit is honored and all staff and members are treated the same.”

It could be politically difficult to change this provision. The provision was put in the bill in the first place on the theory that if Congress was going to make the country live under the provisions of Obamacare, the members and staff should have to as well.

The uncertainty has created a growing furor on Capitol Hill with aides young and old worried about skyrocketing health care premiums cutting deeply into their already small paychecks. Some longtime aides and members of Congress, who previously had government subsidized health care for life, are concerned that their premiums will now come out of their pension.

If their fears are borne out, the results could be twofold. Some junior staff will head for the private sector early while more seasoned aides and lawmakers could leave before the end of the year so they can continue under the old plan.

Several lawmakers said departures could run the gamut from low-level staff to legislative aides, to senior aides and lawmakers. Capitol Hill is an attractive workplace for politically ambitious college graduates, but a core of Capitol Hill aides stick around for decades, serving as institutional knowledge, and earning prized retirement packages.

OPM, which administers benefits for federal employees, is expected to rule in the coming months on how congressional health care is to be administered.

OPM did not respond to a request for comment.

More than a dozen senior aides interviewed by POLITICO about the issue declined to be named out of fear for future job prospects. The problem is most acutely felt at the staff level, where aides make between $35,000 and roughly $170,000 and budgetary problems have all but stopped pay increases and bonuses. Lawmakers have questioned leadership aides about the future of their health care.

“Between the constant uncertainty surrounding sequestration, and the likelihood aides will soon be paying for the subsidy portion of their health care coverage, congressional office budgets are being squeezed once again, and it’s causing a lot of concern amongst chiefs of staff regarding how to best handle the situation,” said one chief of staff to a senior Democratic member of the House. “Do we give raises to junior level aides so they can afford to pay for their higher health care costs, and if so, where do we find the funds to do so? Additionally, leadership has been relatively silent in terms of providing guidance to offices, which is frustrating.”

There are other ways that aides can fully avoid this problem. If they’re married, they can join their spouse’s health care plan. If they are 65, they can go on Medicare.

But the focus right now is centered on lawmakers trying to figure out how to offset potential increases in premiums.

“I know other members are doing the same thing in terms of what we can do to offset [premiums],” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said. “You are particularly limited now because of course we’ve had the cuts in the [member office allowances] on top of this. You just don’t have a lot of options.”

Cole added, “A lot of the staff stays on largely because of the benefit levels and particularly if you’ve got people with families and it’s extraordinarily important to them… it’s just not right.”

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*VIDEO* FBI Director Mueller On IRS Scandal Investigation: I Know Nothing… NOTHING!


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Dumber Than Dirt: Senators Heller And Reid Push To Define Nevada As A ‘Border State’

Heller, Reid Push To Define Nevada As A ‘Border State’ – Big Government

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) offered an amendment to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill that would define Nevada as a “border state” despite the fact that no part of Nevada’s state borders touch Mexico.

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“Nevada is a top destination for travelers all over the world and is an international hub through which tens of millions of people pass each year, our state benefits from the cultural diversity of Filipino, Chinese and Armenian communities to name a few and we are couched between two states that border the country of Mexico,” Heller said on the Senate floor when he introduced the amendment.

“Las Vegas is known for McCarran International Airport which sees tens of millions of tourists each year and is merely a short drive away from Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix. Nevada’s unique location leaves it highly vulnerable to our flawed immigration system, and open to this exact same problem faced by other southwestern border states like Arizona, Texas, California, and New Mexico. But, despite the fact that Nevada is in many respects a border state that copes with the exact same immigration problems facing states like California, this bill in its current form excludes Nevada from the list of states that are eligible to join the Southern Border Security Commission, so my Amendment, Heller 1227, would include Nevada with other southwestern border states whose governors would comprise the Southern Border Security Commission.”

Heller noted his amendment would include Nevada as a border state. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat who also hails from Nevada, confirmed to Breitbart News that Reid is a cosponsor on the amendment as well.

“This amendment ensures the commission created in the underlying bill is fully representative of issues affecting southern border and southwestern states,” Heller said. “Although Nevada does not touch the southern border, its current demographics and state issues are reflective of other southern border states and Nevada should have a voice on this commission.”

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Benghazi: Did Obama Order A Hit??? (Craig Andresen)

Benghazi: Did Obama Order A Hit??? – Craig Andresen

Benghazi.

There’s not a chance in the world that we’re forgetting about Benghazi amid all the other revelations of abuses of power swirling around this corrupt administration like dirty water going down the toilet.

Not a CHANCE.

Yesterday, an important hearing that didn’t draw much attention drew mine.

While most are centered on the talking points, I have always insisted there are other, VERY important questions which need to be asked and answered.

Among them… WHO ISSUED THE STAND DOWN ORDERS???

Yesterday, we may well have drawn too close for Obama’s comfort to that answer.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, was in the hot seat yesterday and when the topic of the stand down orders reared its head, Dempsey’s response was telling.

First, he said there were NO stand down orders.

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What he stated was, “They weren’t told to stand down. A ‘stand down’ means don’t do anything. They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.”

Dempsey stated that the Special Forces Unit, tasked with a standing order to rescue the Ambassador in the event of trouble and then to rescue all personnel of the Libyan Mission had been instructed, by their command in Stuttgart, Germany, to…

STAY IN TRIPOLI… AT THE AIRPORT… BECAUSE THE PERSONNEL FROM BENGHAZI WERE, “ON THEIR WAY AND THEY WOULD BE BETTER USED AT THE TRIPOLI AIRPORT BECAUSE ONE OF THEM WAS A MEDIC.”

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Clearly, the best… THE BEST use of a SPECIAL FORCES UNIT… TRAINED TO RESCUE THOSE UNDER FIRE AND EXTRACT THEM FROM HARM’S WAY… is NOT as AIRPORT MEDICS and only because ONE of them was a medic.

The notion is SO absurd it defies ANY sense of logic whatsoever.

What makes this even MORE astonishing is that the order, their task of rescue and extraction, was a STANDING ORDER.

That means that NO further orders would have been necessary for that Special Forces Unit to swing into action.

NONE!!!

However… there WOULD be a need to supersede that STANDING order to keep them at the Tripoli airport as medics.

So… Whether you refer to it as a STAND DOWN order or as a CHANGE of ORDERS…

One thing is CLEAR…

Their standing orders WERE changed.

Now then…WHO gave that change of orders?

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WHO COULD give that change of orders???

Only one person.

Only ONE can alter such a standing order and that ONE would have been…

OBAMA.

Nobody else has the authority to supersede the standing rescue and extract orders.

NOBODY.

Why am I so sure it HAD to be Obama?

Simple.

Dempsey stated, “THEY WERE TOLD…” not “I told them…” and the ONLY heads to roll after Benghazi were those of General Carter Ham and Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette… BOTH OF WHOM WANTED TO SEND MILITARY ASSETS TO ASSIST IN RESCUING OUR PEOPLE IN BENGHAZI.

HAD SOMEONE ELSE, OTHER THAN OBAMA, CHANGED THOSE ORDERS RESULTING IN THE DEATHS OF 4 AMERICANS, SOMEONE ELSE’S HEAD WOULD HAVE ROLLED OUT OF THE WEST WING AND INTO THE ROSE GARDEN!!!

Let me spell this out as clearly as possible.

Within the first minutes of the attack on the Consulate, while Obama was still in the situation room at the white house, HE had to communicate with the Special Forces Command in Stuttgard and order the Special Forces unit IN Tripoli to STAY in Tripoli and shortly thereafter, Obama walked out of the room, never to return that night and never to check in for updates on the situation.

HE HAD TO KNOW DAMN WELL THAT STEVENS AND OTHERS WOULD NOT, BECAUSE OF HIS ORDERS, HAVE A CHANCE TO SURVIVE!!!!!

HE… OBAMA…DIDN’T JUST LEAVE THEM THERE TO DIE… HE ORDERED THEM TO BE LEFT THERE TO DIE!!!

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So now, we have the why?

WHY would Obama issue the change of orders? Why NOT go in and attempt the rescue and extraction of diplomatic personnel?

ESPECIALLY when you have 2 former Navy SEALS painting enemy targets with lasers?

The only obvious answer is startling.

That being… Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith and whoever else might lose their lives that night, September 11th, 2012… were preordained NOT to come back alive.

There was no telling, at the time OF the first attack, the one on the Benghazi Consulate, how long it was going to be in progress. 10 minutes? 30? An hour? 2 or 3 hours?

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NOBODY knew. Those Special Forces should have been in the air within MINUTES of the revelation that the Ambassador and the Consulate was under attack.

Remember too, that Tyrone Woods was NOT supposed to have led a small team the mile or so from the CIA annex to the Consulate to offer assistance either.

REMEMBER that because, THAT means, perhaps, NOBODY was supposed to have gotten out of that Consulate alive.

That TOO sheds a new light on why the CIA annex was later attacked.

Could THAT attack, the one on the annex, been meant to have been an attempt to erase any knowledge or witnesses from the attack on the CONSULATE???

Is this why we have yet to hear from ANY of the survivors of either attack?

Where ARE they?

WHO are they and WHY have we not heard a word from them in 9 months???

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Perhaps even more importantly…

WHAT, EXACTLY, DID AMBASSADOR STEVENS KNOW THAT MADE HIM EXPENDABLE?????

Now… Add to this the FACT that our FBI was kept OUT of Benghazi, cooling their heels in Tripoli for 3 weeks after the attacks.

Why?

Why? When JOURNALISTS had free run of the place and the very terrorists did too?

What was scrubbed from that Consulate before the FBI was allowed in and WHO ordered them NOT to go to Benghazi?

CNN discovered the Ambassador’s personal journal and IMMEDIATELY, the State Department demanded its return.

WHY???

Why, when the NYT could walk right up and talk to the terrorist, supposedly in charge of the attacks, while he sipped a frappe at a sidewalk café, can WE not find the rat bastard to this very day?

WHY????

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When you take the revelation from Dempsey’s testimony, under oath yesterday, and add it to all that preceded the Benghazi attacks… The drawing down of OUR security teams in Benghazi, ignoring prior attacks on our Consulate, the British Ambassador and the Red Cross, the warnings issued by what was left of our security teams and Ambassador Stevens himself of al Qaeda blanketing Benghazi and THE HIRING OF ANSAR AL-SHARIA TO PROVIDE “SECURITY” AT THE CONSULATE IN BENGHAZI…

More and more, this is looking like a planned execution of our Ambassador from the INSIDE.

A coordinated HIT JOB and COVER UP planned in the oval office and carried out by Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi.

So… Why didn’t anybody on that congressional committee PRESS Dempsey as to who gave the order to turn a Special Forces team into airport medics?

Because, I suspect, there was nobody there who had the wherewithal to ask such a question.

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Oh… There COULD have been such a Congressman there but… coincidentally, he was defeated in November when St. Lucie County had a 141% voter turnout, the recount was stalled by democrats in positions of power past the deadline for counting ballots and, to this day, thousands of MILITARY ballots remain… UNCOUNTED.

That’s right… I suspect that were LT. COL. ALLEN WEST still on that committee… THE most important question NOT asked yesterday… WOULD have been asked.

WHO CHANGED THE STANDING ORDER TO RESCUE THE AMBASSADOR TO… STAY IN TRIPOLI IN CASE SOMEBODY NEEDS A BANDAID?????

Obama, like O.J. Simpson… Just keeps looking in all the wrong places for the killers.

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Long-Time Clinton Aide Involved In Cover-Up Of Benghazi And Ambassador/Underage Hooker Scandal

Long-Time Clinton Aide Involved In Cover-Up Of Benghazi And Ambassador/Underage Hooker Scandal – Yid With Lid

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One of the closest members of the Hillary Clinton team and a long-time aid of both Hilary and Bill Clinton , Cheryl Mills is named in the internal memo from State Department Office of Inspector General about the coverup of Ambassador wrong-doing.

The memo, believed to have been based on anonymous complaints from rank-and-file agents in the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security that arose during a 2012 inspector general’s review of the bureau, has sent shock waves through Foggy Bottom since becoming public Monday.

At its core, the document outlines a variety of cases in which high-ranking department officials quashed internal investigations into accusations of sexual assault, drug dealing, solicitation of sexual favors from prostitutes and minors, and other improper activity against American diplomatic personnel overseas.

The State Department has vigorously criticized the memo. Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters repeatedly this week that the accusations are “unsubstantiated.”

A spokesman for the inspector general’s office has called the memo a “preliminary” document that triggered investigations into suspected criminal activity and claims that earlier probes were blocked by State Department higher-ups. Outside law enforcement specialists have been called in to conduct the investigations.

With bipartisan pressure mounting from lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ensure such claims are investigated and resolved, Secretary of State John F. Kerry weighed in Wednesday, saying he takes the investigative process “very seriously” and that “all employees of this department are held to the highest standards, now and always.”

Mills, who served as chief of staff to Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state, was accused in a recent congressional hearing of attempting to stifle congressional access to Gregory Hicks, who held a senior post in Libya at the time of the attack. At least she is consistent. Ms Mills was the State Dept. Staffer who Hicks said ordered him not to talk to Rep. Jason Chaffetz alone.

She has worked as a Clinton loyalist for more than two decades, first as a lawyer who helped facilitate Mr. Clinton’s transition into the White House after the 1992 election. She was named White House counsel in the Clinton administration and became a key litigator and public face of the defense team during his 1999 impeachment and trial on perjury and obstruction of justice charges related to a sexual-harassment lawsuit.

The IG memo does not only talk about Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to Belgium, and the charge “that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.” It talks about how Mrs. Mills may have attempted to block an investigation last year into suspected misconduct by Brett McGurk, whom President Obama had nominated to become ambassador to Iraq.

The memo outlines how agents from the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s special investigations division had opened an probe into Mr. McGurk, who was working at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad at the time, on suspicion that had been improperly emailing government information with his girlfriend, a Wall Street Journal reporter.

“Some of the information may have been cleared for release, but other information reportedly was not,” states the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times after it was first reported by CBS News.

Investigators “never interviewed McGurk, allegedly because Cheryl Mills from the Secretary’s office interceded,” the memo states. “Email from Mills reportedly shows her agreeing to a particular course of action for the case, but then reneging and advising McGurk to withdraw his name from consideration for the ambassadorship.”

Mr. McGurk withdrew his name from consideration for the post last June.

Initial bad behavior by an Ambassador, potential Ambassador or any federal official is usually not the fault of that person’s supervisor or the head of the department, office, agency, etc. It only becomes the fault of the supervisor when that bad behavior is not corrected and/or is covered up from the American people.

Both in the case of these State Department scandals and Benghazi the evidence seems to show that Cheryl Mills, one of Ms. Clinton’s key aids was in charge of cover-up and clean-up for her boss Hilary Clinton.

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State Department Hired An Alarming Number Of Agents With Criminal Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques… Is Anyone Surprised?

Obama’s Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers – Investors Business Daily

Homeland Insecurity: The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

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That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists – inside mosques – and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?

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*VIDEO* Leftist Douchebag Barbara Mikulski Halts Cybersecurity Hearing To Respond To Tweet


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Your Daley Gator Obamaconomy Update For Thursday

The One Chart That Shows Just How Stuck Our Economy Is – National Journal

The U.S. jobs picture is bleaker than the most recent jobs reports may make you think. The economy added 175,000 jobs last month, but at the rate things are going, it would take almost a decade to get back to prerecession employment levels. A Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics digs in on the bad news: The number of job openings in the U.S. actually fell by 118,000 in April to 3.8 million.

How bad can 3.8 million job openings be? The Economic Policy Institute looks at the number and sees that “the main problem in the labor market is a broad-based lack of demand for workers—and not, as is often claimed, available workers lacking the skills needed for the sectors with job openings.” To bolster this point, they put forward this chart:

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In every industry, the number of unemployed workers outpaces the number of job openings. To state the obvious: To get that disparity to dramatically shrink, we’ve got a long way to go.

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70 Conservative House Members Risk Careers in Planned Showdown With RINO Leadership Over Amnesty Bill

Revolt Among Republicans On Immigration Bill: 70 House Members Risk Careers In Planned Showdown With Leadership – The Blaze

Seventy House Republicans are planning a politically risky showdown with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to try to force additional debate on an immigration bill they say will mean amnesty for illegal immigrants and have dire consequences for the country.

The 70 members are petitioning for a special Republican conference meeting on the bill, a “highly unusual” move to go head-to-head with the speaker, according to Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (Texas), who are serving as spokespersons for the group.

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Bachmann, King and Gohmert told TheBlaze the group is invoking the Hastert Rule: requiring support from a majority of the majority to bring a bill forward.

The petition is expected to go to the House leadership on Friday, but it’s possible some signatories might remove their names due to political risk, or that Boehner could head off the challenge by striking a deal. Going against leadership in such a way could have harsh political consequences for the signatories, including retaliation such as permanently getting passed over for chairmanship positions.

A Boehner spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Boehner is on a tight schedule for getting immigration reform passed in the House, predicting this week that Congress could finalize a bill for President Barack Obama’s signature by the end of the year. Any major challenge could ignite pushback from the American public that could force lawmakers to scrap the bill, as happened in the 2007 immigration effort.

The three representatives told TheBlaze that more than half of the Republicans in the House were elected after 2007, and have no concept of how strongly the public opposed the bill.

In an interview with World Net Daily this week, Bachmann predicted that if the immigration bill becomes law, “the whole political system will change.”

“This is President Obama’s number one political agenda item because he knows we will never again have a Republican president, ever, if amnesty goes into effect. We will perpetually have a progressive, liberal president, probably a Democrat, and we will probably see the House of Representatives go into Democrat hands and the Senate will stay in Democrat hands,” Bachmann said.

She also said that if it passes, the bill will create a permanent progressive class.

“That’s what’s at risk right now. It may sound melodramatic, I don’t mean it that way, but this is that big and that important,” Bachmann said.

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ObamaNazis Threaten State Department Whistleblower… And Her Kids

Obama Administration Thugs Threaten State Department Whistleblower… And Her Kids – Gateway Pundit

State Department whistleblower Aurelia Fedenisn, who accused the Obama State Department of covering up eight investigations including accusations of child prostitution, says she is being threatened and so are her kids.

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Fedenisn released documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks.

Now her kids are being threatened.

The PJ Tatler reported, via Free Republic:

The State Department whistleblower is Aurelia Fedenisn. She worked in the department’s inspector general’s office until her retirement in December 2012. According to USA Today, she has sought protection as an official whistleblower after the State Department directly threatened her, once at her home. It threatened her with criminal charges when she turned over documents to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) showing evidence that the department had watered down her report, in which she alleged that the department at the highest levels had scuttled eight investigations into a range of criminal wrongdoing.

Dallas lawyer Damon Mathias, who represents Fedenisn, said Fedenisn hired him after two diplomatic security agents spoke in a threatening manner to her teenage children at her home in a Virginia suburb of Washington. The agents arrived at the home to talk to Fedenisn about documents Fedenisn had given to Cruz and told the teens that they demanded to speak to their mom immediately, Mathias said…

…Mathias says Fedenisn’s claim is that agents from State’s Diplomatic Security and other divisions engaged in very questionable and possibly criminal conduct; the Inspector General has been hampered in performing its oversight role; “and the findings they wanted to put in the report end up being left out,” Mathias said. “So you have a coverup of the coverup.”

When Fedenisn and her lawyers met with lawyers for the Office of the Inspector General, the government lawyers demanded she hand over the documents or they would refer the matter to the Department of Justice and Fedenisn would face criminal prosecution, Mathias said.

“They made it clear that they would go after her criminally,” he said.

“We refused to turn over the documents” and Fedenisn is now seeking whistle-blower protection, he said.

Can’t wait to see how the Obama-media lapdogs spin this.

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