A California college student who stabbed four people before being killed by police last year was inspired by the Islamic State group – also known as ISIS – the FBI said late Thursday. Faisal Mohammad was probably “self-radicalized” and was not in direct contact with the militant group, authorities reportedly said.
The FBI released a statement saying a review of the attacker’s electronic devices found that he was motivated by terrorist propaganda he found online before launching the Nov. 4 attack at the University of California, Merced. The agency reportedly said Mohammad visited ISIS and other extremist websites just weeks before the attack.
“Every indication is that Mohammad acted on his own,” Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento field office, said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “It may never be possible to definitively determine why he chose to attack people on the U.C. Merced Campus.”
Daniel Mayfield, an attorney representing Mohammad’s family, told The Los Angeles Times that the FBI’s discovery of ISIS propaganda “was new information.” He also said that the nature of the pro-ISIS propaganda on Mohammad’s computer was unclear from the FBI’s brief statement.
“It could be anything from a 17-year-old trolling the Internet to a class assignment to something nefarious,” Mayfield told the Times. “What can you say… until we get the computers back?”
The news of the ISIS links comes nearly four months after the San Bernardino attack that was carried out by a couple, who, like Mohammad, did not raise any red flags that put them on a watch list, and are also believed to be self-radicalized but inspired by ISIS. On Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a staff training event, killing 14 people.
We need machete control.
Via Columbus Dispatch:
Columbus police have shot and killed a man after they say he went into a Mediterranean restaurant on the Northeast Side this evening and attacked several patrons with a machete.
According to a dispatcher, police were called just after 6 p.m. to the Nazareth Restaurant, 5239 N. Hamilton Road. The dispatcher said that six people were transported to area hospitals from the restaurant, though their names and the extent of their injuries aren’t known at this time.
The suspect then reportedly fled and was stopped by police about 5 miles away, off Stelzer Road and just south of Montclair Drive.
He was shot by police, the dispatcher said, and died at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center at 6:24 p.m.
Further information and the name of the suspect aren’t available at this time.
HT: Breaking 911
UPDATE: Religion of Peace
CBS News has identified the suspect as Mohamed Barry, however neither 10TV nor Columbus Police have confirmed the suspect’s name. CBS News also reports Barry has a Somali background and may have traveled to Dubai in 2012.
Law enforcement tells them the incident appears to be the type of “lone wolf terrorist attacks they’re trying to stop.”
The FBI is assisting in the investigation.
The FBI refused to cooperate Monday with a court-ordered inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email server, telling the State Department that they won’t even confirm they are investigating the matter themselves, much less willing to tell the rest of the government what’s going on.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan had ordered the State Department to talk with the FBI and see what sort of information could be recovered from Mrs. Clinton’s email server, which her lawyer has said she turned over to the Justice Department over the summer.
The FBI’s refusal, however, leaves things muddled.
“At this time, consistent with long-standing Department of Justice and FBI policy, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any ongoing investigation, nor are we in a position to provide additional information at this time,” FBI General Counsel James A. Baker wrote in a letter dated Monday – a week after the deadline the Justice Department had set for the FBI to reply.
Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that is pursuing at least 16 open records cases seeking emails from Mrs. Clinton and her top aides, said at this point it’s not even clear what Mrs. Clinton provided, since all that’s been made public at this point are the former secretary of state’s public comments and some assertions, made through her lawyer, to the State Department.
Judicial Watch is prodding the courts to try to delve more deeply into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the group said a number of questions persevere about both Mrs. Clinton and top aides such as Huma Abedin, who did public business on an account tied to the server Mrs. Clinton maintained.
“We still do not know whether the FBI – or any other government agency for that matter – has possession of the email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department,” Judicial Watch said.
“We also do not know whether the server purportedly in the possession of the FBI – an assumption based on unsworn statements by third parties – is the actual email server that was used by Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to conduct official government business during their four years of employment at the State Department or whether it is a copy of such an email server. Nor do we know whether any copies of the email server or copies of the records from the email server exist,” the group said in its own court filing Monday afternoon.
Judicial Watch did release more than 50 pages Monday of emails it obtained from Ms. Abedin’s account on Mrs. Clinton’s server, and said it was clear she was talking about “sensitive” topics that shouldn’t have been discussed on an insecure account.
Many of those were details of Mrs. Clinton’s movements overseas, such as hotels she was staying at.
“These emails Judicial Watch forced out through a federal lawsuit show that Huma Abedin used her separate clintonemail.com account to conduct the most sensitive government business, endangering not only her safety but the safety of Hillary Clinton and countless others,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
He questioned what reason Ms. Abedin – who did maintain an account, firstname.lastname@example.org, on State.gov servers – would have for using the other account for important business. Mrs. Clinton said she kept only one account, the one on the clintonemail.com server, because it was more convenient, but that reasoning does not appear to apply to Ms. Abedin.
The State Department is making all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails public under order of Judge Rudolph Contreras. But the department has said it won’t make all of the emails public from Ms. Abedin or other top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills or Philippe Reines. Instead the department only plans to release those messages specifically requested in open records demands.
Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 email messages in December, while her aides turned over more than 100,000 pages between them, with the final set only being returned, by Ms. Abedin, earlier this month, the department said in court filings.
Without those documents in hand, the State Department has been unable to do full and complete searches in response to subpoenas, congressional inquiries or Freedom of Information Act requests.
The State Department has asked for dozens of cases to be put on hold while it tries to get a single judge to coordinate all of its searches in more than two dozen cases. But the people requesting the records have objected, and say the State Department has nobody to blame but itself.
“The State Department acts as if Ms. Abedin’s and Ms. Mills’ documents fell from the sky on the eve of the State Department’s production deadline, but that is not remotely the case,” Citizens United, one of the plaintiffs who has sued under the FOIA, said in a filing late last week.
Citizens United says the State Department missed its own deadline for producing Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Abedin’s documents.
The Obama administration countered that it went above and beyond its duties under the law by asking Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills to return their records and then to search them in response to open records requests. The State Department says it’s moving as quickly as possible, but says the sheer number of documents – and the number of requests for them – calls for a stay in most cases.
But of the 26 requests where the State Department has sought to halt proceedings, six have already been denied. Only one has been granted, one was granted in part and denied in part by the same judge, and another is being held in abeyance.
The State Department told one of the federal judges Monday that it’s facing nearly 100 different open records lawsuits – not all of them related to Mrs. Clinton’s email server – that have stretched officials to their limit.
Monday’s FBI letter underscores the tangled situation Mrs. Clinton’s emails have produced. The letter was addressed to Mary McLeod, a lawyer at the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI – and which means, in effect, that the FBI is refusing to talk to its own parent department about the matter.
Mr. Baker pointedly noted in his letter that he was aware the response would be submitted to the court, which would presumably make it public.
Earlier this month the Justice Department, in another pleading, insisted Mrs. Clinton didn’t do anything wrong in being the one who decided which of her messages were official business records that must be returned to the government and which were purely personal and able to be expunged.
Judicial Watch said that raises thorny questions for a department that is supposedly investigating Mrs. Clinton.
Last week Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, called for Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch to name a special counsel to oversee the investigation, citing too many potential conflicts of interest.
An FBI “A-team” is leading the “extremely serious” investigation into Hillary Clinton’s server and the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to “gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,” an intelligence source told Fox News.
The section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793.
A separate source, who also was not authorized to speak on the record, said the FBI will further determine whether Clinton should have known, based on the quality and detail of the material, that emails passing through her server contained classified information regardless of the markings. The campaign’s standard defense and that of Clinton is that she “never sent nor received any email that was marked classified” at the time.
It is not clear how the FBI team’s findings will impact the probe itself. But the details offer a window into what investigators are looking for – as the Clinton campaign itself downplays the controversy.
The FBI offered no comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
A leading national security attorney, who recently defended former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in a leak investigation, told Fox News that violating the Espionage Act provision in question is a felony and pointed to a particular sub-section.
“Under [sub-section] F, the documents relate to the national defense, meaning very closely held information,” attorney Edward MacMahon Jr. explained. “Somebody in the government, with a clearance and need to know, then delivered the information to someone not entitled to receive it, or otherwise moved it from where it was supposed to be lawfully held.”
Additional federal regulations, reviewed by Fox News, also bring fresh scrutiny to Clinton’s defense.
The Code of Federal Regulations, or “CFR,” states: “Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person(s) shall immediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose.”
A government legal source confirmed the regulations apply to all government employees holding a clearance, and the rules do not make the “send” or “receive” distinction.
Rather, all clearances holders have an affirmative obligation to report the possible compromise of classified information or use of unsecured data systems.
Current and former intelligence officers say the application of these federal regulations is very straightforward.
“Regardless of whether Mrs. Clinton sent or received this information, the obligations under the law are that she had to report any questions concerning this material being classified,” said Chris Farrell, a former Army counterintelligence officer who is now an investigator with Judicial Watch. “There is no wiggle room. There is no ability to go around it and say I passively received something – that’s not an excuse.”
The regulations also state there is an obligation to meet “safeguarding requirements prescribed by the agency.” Based on the regulations, the decision to use a personal email network and server for government business – and provide copies to Clinton attorney David Kendall – appear to be violations. According to a letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Kendall and his associate did not have sufficient security clearances to hold TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information) contained in two emails. Earlier this month, the FBI took physical custody of the server and thumb drives.
The regulations also require a damage assessment once a possible compromise has been identified “to conduct an inquiry/investigation of a loss, possible compromise or unauthorized disclosure of classified information.”
Farrell said, “There is no evidence there has been any assessment of Mrs. Clinton and our outlaw server.”
Citing the ongoing investigation, a State Department spokesman had no comment, but did confirm that Clinton’s immediate staff received regular training on classification issues.
Clinton told reporters Friday that she remains confident no violations were committed.
“I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material and I’m very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone,” she said. “It will prove what I have been saying and it’s not possible for people to look back now some years in the past and draw different conclusions than the ones that were at work at the time. You can make different decisions because things have changed, circumstances have changed, but it doesn’t change the fact that I did not send or receive material marked classified.”
The Clinton campaign did not provide an on-the-record comment on the matter when given questions by Fox News.
Eventually it was bound to happen. The ever increasing ambiguous laws that allow the government to prosecute, or worse, simply negate all Constitutional protections of its citizens would come back to hang them. In an unusual circumstance, what is essentially one party in D.C. when it comes to matters of covering up governmental criminality, has split into a two party system. Specifically, a sect of the Republican party known as Tea Partiers pushed unrelentingly to expose the criminality acted upon members of its own tribe by various government agencies.
The Tea Party was formed by a group of individuals around the country who wanted to get back to the ideals of the Constitution i.e freedom. But the Constitution is kryptonite to the system. And so those who organize to promote the Constitution were targeted by the highest levels of government. What better weapon to attack those whose intention is to defend the Constitution than an unconstitutional agency that has essentially unquestioned authority. After all it is always unclear who watches the watchman. Well in this particular case, the FBI and DOJ would seem to have jurisdiction over actions consistent with those of the IRS.
Under the FBI’s own definition of a ‘Domestic Terrorist’ one MUST consider the IRS to be a terrorist organization as evidenced by the very recent discoveries surrounding the IRS’s own actions.
“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
* Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
* Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
* Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S….”
While the first characteristic seems to imply violence is necessary it should be noted that under the FBI’s definition of ‘International Terrorism’ they explicitly include ‘Violent acts’ within the definition.
“International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
* Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
* Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
* Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*
The distinction of violence within the international but not domestic definition is surely not an oversight. But by doing so it leaves open the opportunity to define a non violent act to be construed as indirectly dangerous to human life (e.g. Snowden’s actions). But certainly wrongfully putting someone inside a federal prison for tax evasion would be considered dangerous to human life. According to the following revelations through emails obtained via court orders by Judicial Watch (a nonpartisan government watchdog), that is exactly what the IRS, DOJ and FBI were conspiring to do.
“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”
On April 16, 2014, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to release documents revealing for the first time that Lerner communicated with the DOJ in May 2013 about whether it was possible to launch criminal prosecutions against targeted tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained due to court order in an October 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the IRS.
Those documents contained an email exchange between Lerner and Nikole C. Flax, then-chief of staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller discussing plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute nonprofit groups that “lied” (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities…”
But it begs the question then again, if the DOJ and FBI are also implicated in the domestic terrorism (according to the FBI’s own definition) who is left to prosecute?
Well it is we the people. It shouldn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican. We have a clear and identifiable gross abuse of government at the highest levels. The abuse falls under the FBI’s own definition of domestic terrorism, a definition they would not hesitate to use against you or your family if it suited their objectives. And so call it the Golden Rule or Kantian Categorical Imperatives or simple justice, but it is imperative to the people’s rule over its representative governing body to prosecute all involved to the highest levels and to the maximum penalty of the law.
The abuse by those who have been granted incredible powers under the trust of the nation need to be dealt the most severe consequences. Our very response to this matter will underpin the relationship between the people and its government for generations. If we allow such astonishing government abuses, which have now been overtly evidenced and confessed by at least some of the guilty parties, to be lightly dealt with then we blatantly fail to defend every subsequent generation of Americans from ever worse abuses. We fail as Americans. The result of this investigation over the coming months will likely show that we the people have lost all sense of what it means to be an American. That said, I remain doubtingly hopeful that I am proven wrong.
The FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s unsecured e-mail account is not just a fact-finding venture – it’s a criminal probe, sources told The Post on Wednesday.
The feds are investigating to what extent Clinton relied on her home server and other private devices to send and store classified documents, according to a federal source with knowledge of the inquiry.
“It’s definitely a criminal probe,” said the source. “I’m not sure why they’re not calling it a criminal probe.
“The DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI can conduct civil investigations in very limited circumstances,” but that’s not what this is, the source stressed. “In this case, a security violation would lead to criminal charges. Maybe DOJ is trying to protect her campaign.”
Clinton’s camp has downplayed the inquiry as civil and fact-finding in nature. Clinton herself has said she is “confident” that she never knowingly sent or received anything that was classified.
The inspector general for the intelligence community has told Congress that of 40 Clinton e-mails randomly reviewed as a sample of her correspondence as secretary of state, four contained classified information.
If Clinton is proven to have knowingly sent, received or stored classified information in an unauthorized location, she risks prosecution under the same misdemeanor federal security statute used to prosecute former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, said former federal prosecutor Bradley Simon.
The statute – which was also used to prosecute Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, in 2005, is rarely used and would be subject to the discretion of the attorney general.
Still, “They didn’t hesitate to charge Gen. Petraeus with doing the same thing, downloading documents that are classified,” Simon said. “The threshold under the statute is not high – they only need to prove there was an unauthorized removal and retention” of classified material, he said.
Clinton’s lawyer in the e-mail probe is longtime Bill Clinton attorney David Kendall, who also repped Petraeus, who pled guilty earlier this year to providing classified documents to his mistress biographer.
“My guess is they’re looking to see if there’s been either any breach of that data that’s gone into the wrong hands [in Clinton’s case], through their counter-intelligence group, or they are looking to see if a crime has been committed,” said Makin Delrahim, former chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, who served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Bush DOJ.
“They’re not in the business of providing advisory security services,” Delrahim said of the FBI. “This is real.”
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Internal Revenue Service may have been caught violating federal tax law: In October 2010, the agency sent a database on 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups containing confidential taxpayer information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to documents obtained by a House panel.
The information was transmitted in advance of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s meeting the same month with Justice Department officials about the possibility of using campaign-finance laws to prosecute certain nonprofit groups. E-mails between Lerner and Richard Pilger, the director of the Justice Department’s election-crimes branch, obtained through a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder, show Lerner asking about the format in which the FBI preferred the data to be sent.
“This revelation that the IRS sent 1.1 million pages of nonprofit tax-return data – including confidential taxpayer information – to the FBI confirms suspicions that the IRS worked with the Justice Department to facilitate the potential investigation of nonprofit groups engaged in lawful political speech,” Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, a California Republican, and subcommittee chairman Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to IRS commissioner John Koskinen. The two lawmakers also raise questions about the timing of the meeting, just weeks before the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans recaptured a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Justice Department never prosecuted social-welfare groups, and e-mails from IRS officials show their awareness that, as a result of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case, which allowed unlimited amounts of money from nonprofit groups and labor unions to flow into the political process, the law did not favor a crackdown on anonymous donations to politically orientated nonprofits, which sprouted up on all sides in the wake of the ruling. “We don’t have the law to do something,” an IRS official responsible for tax-exempt organizations said in a September 2010 e-mail.
The documents were subpoenaed as a part of the Oversight Committee’s ongoing investigation into the IRS’ targeting of right-leaning groups, which took place against the backdrop of the Citizens United ruling. E-mails cited in a committee report released in March show that the decision caused a lot of angst for Lerner and her colleagues in the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division, and she noted in public remarks that the agency was under pressure to “fix the problem” created by the decision.
Though the Justice Department never took nonprofit groups to court, the committee has argued that Lerner attempted engaged in a politicized witch hunt against conservative groups by implementing a system where applications for tax exemption were inappropriately scrutinized and by jump-starting efforts to rewrite the rules by which 501(c)(4) social-welfare groups can qualify for tax exemption. Those rules prompted an outcry from groups on both sides of the political spectrum and the agency is currently rewriting them.
Issa and Jordan have requested from the IRS all documents relating to the transmittal of the database. “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Department of Justice in 2010,” they said.
An FBI raid in San Francisco at a radical leftists apartment has turned up a massive stash of ricin and explosives. Now a manhunt is underway for Ryan Chamberlain, who lived at the apartment.
According to the FBI, Chamberlain is to be considered armed and dangerous and they’re advising anyone who sees him to stay away from him and call police immediately. They also believe that his car may be rigged with explosives.
The FBI searched his home after obtaining a search warrant for a federal investigation. Upon arriving there at 9 a.m. on Saturday nobody was at the residence, however authorities remained at the scene for hours and waited to see if he would return.
At one point in the evening witnesses said they heard a loud bang come from the apartment, and sources said that authorities were able to safely disrupt and improvised explosive device. Hazmat crews also were able to safely recover a massive amount of what appears to be ricin, however it still need to be tested and confirmed as such.
Tweets from Chamberlain’s Twitter account show him to be a rabid liberal, and fox News has reported that he was very political in nature. Check out his tweets below.
Wonder how long it will be before he’s labeled a “domestic terrorist” by the mainstream media? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you, even though we know who the real terrorists are in America.
Ever noticed that the Climate-Change-Deniers and the End-of-the-World-Prophesiers are the same people? http://fb.me/1qsro0KDZ
4:49 PM – 13 May 2014
Melting Of Antarctic Ice Sheet Might Be Unstoppable
A new study examined 40 years of data collected by ground, air and satellite stations and found that sea level could rise by more than 10 feet in coming centuries.
NPR News @nprnews
The Foxification of America… uninformed yet highly opinionated… http://fb.me/1mJJURaYD
10:00 AM – 8 Apr 2014
President Obama and Democrats have been at great pains to insist they knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofits before the 2012 election. They’ve been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.
That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.
And now back to our previously scheduled outrage over the Chris Christie administration’s abuse of traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge.
Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.
That’s a lot to sacrifice for a rule that the administration has barely noted in public, and that then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel claimed last fall when it was introduced is simply about providing “clarity” to nonprofits. It only makes sense in a purely political context. The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, the economy is in idle, the ObamaCare debate rages on, and the White House has a Senate majority to preserve. With one little IRS rule it can shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs. And it gets away with it by positioning this new targeting as a fix for the first round.
This week’s Democratic rally-round further highlights the intensely political nature of their IRS rule. It was quietly dropped in the runup to the holiday season, to minimize the likelihood of an organized protest during its comment period. That 90-day comment period meantime ends on Feb. 27, positioning the administration to shut down conservative groups early in this election cycle.
The IRS Scandal involved:
At least 292 conservative groups targeted
At least 5 pro-Israel groups targeted
Constitutional groups targeted
Groups that criticized Obama administration were targeted
At least two pro-life groups targeted
A Texas voting-rights group was targeted
Conservative activists and businesses were targeted
At least one conservative Hispanic group was targeted
IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
The Obama FBI will not file charges against the IRS for targeting conservative groups. The agency never once interviewed a single Tea Party group.
The WSJ.com reported:
The Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to file any criminal charges in the targeting of conservative political organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents many of the targets, says that the FBI has never contacted any of her clients to discuss their treatment at the hands of the IRS. “Shouldn’t law enforcement talk to the victims in an investigation?,” she asks in an email. “That’s like investigating a burglary without interviewing the burgled,” notes a Journal editorial…
…Beyond the harassment of Tea Party groups and the leaking of confidential taxpayer data to political opponents, the IRS case also involved senior government officials falsely assuring Congress for a year that there was no targeting. IRS brass then falsely and publicly claimed that the targeting was the work of low-level employees. Yet when it comes to allegations of misleading Congress, the Obama Justice Department was more interested in trying to prosecute baseball pitcher Roger Clemens for comments about steroids than it was in pursuing a case involving the use of the nation’s tax-collecting authority against the President’s opponents.
One of the subcontractors working on the Obamacare website is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Client Network Services Incorporated (CNSI) became a sub-contractor on the Obamacare website in 2012, working hand in hand with QSSI, according to its website. QSSI was one of several contractors hauled before Congress to address the sites troubled rollout in October.
According to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “war room” notes released in October, CNSI was responsible for assisting with electronic data interchange (EDI) – defined as a system to transfer data between computer systems without human interaction.
Among the plethora of problems with the website rollout, insurance companies have complained that data received on their computers has often been inaccurate, suggesting a problem with the EDI.
CNSI is currently under investigation by the FBI, which has alleged that then-Louisiana Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein, a former CNSI employee, exerted undue influence in steering the Medicaid contract to Louisiana.
According to a story in the New Orleans Times Picayne, the FBI also acccused CNSI of witness tampering in another case.
“According to the FBI report in this Court’s possession, one of CNSI’s owners, in front of the other three owners, said if the employee ‘ever disclosed the misconduct at the company they would have him killed.’”
In 2011, the State of South Dakota accused CNSI of overbilling for a state Medicaid website, according to a story by the Aberdeen News:
The South Dakota Department of Social Services has paid $49.7 million so far for a new Medicaid processing system that at this point remains inoperable.
The original contract was for $62.7 million, but the new system is now expected to cost far in excess of $80 million to complete and will take two to three more years to get running, according to court documents filed as part of a lawsuit between the contractor and the department.
The company that eventually won the contract, Client Network Services Inc. of Maryland, submitted a proposal in 2007, later participated in another final-and-best offer round, and was awarded the contract in June 2008.
The cost of the Obamacare website – which has reportedly run “north of $600 million” – has also become a scandalous issue.
In Michigan, The Southeast Michigan Health Care Exchange – which set up a state Obamacare exchange – pursued a suit initially valued at $7 million for breach of contract involving services provided by CNSI for IT services with that website.
In 2006, CNSI was the subject of a lengthy expose in the IT trade journal, CIO Magazine, which detailed allegations that CNSI produced a low ball bid in order to win a contract, only to have the final cost balloon exponentially.
In August 2013, Fox News ran a story detailing how CNSI was involved in a scheme to subvert the normal contractual process in Illinois in another IT contract involving the States of Michigan and Illinois:
A company from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Client Network Services Incorporated or CNSI, already has a contract in Michigan to perform similar services.
By forming an alliance with Michigan, Illinois was able to bypass a drawn-out, expensive bidding process because the state procurement code says HFS doesn’t need one if there is an intergovernmental agreement.
According to the war room notes, CNSI was in constant communications with staffers at HHS on the Obamacare website.
“CNSI is working on items to be able to provide to us management reports. It probably won’t be a daily email update; it will likely be a portal log-in to view the information, which would be cumulative and provide trending analysis.”
CNSI, QSSI, HHS and CMS did not return TheDC’s requests for comment.
When it comes to nailing major criminals, the FBI doesn’t have a problem turning a blind eye to the law. The FBI caught major criticism for doing this over ten years ago, when it admitted to overlooking James “Whitey” Bulger’s brutal Boston crime ring in exchange for information on the Mafia. Since then, it has had to submit a record of overlooked crimes to the Justice Department every year.
In 2011 alone, the Bureau gave its undercover informants permission to break the law over 5,658 times.
Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants – who are often criminals themselves – to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations.
“It sounds like a lot, but you have to keep it in context,” said Shawn Henry, who supervised criminal investigations for the FBI until he retired last year. “This is not done in a vacuum. It’s not done randomly. It’s not taken lightly.”
The scariest part? Those revealed in the 2011 report only make up about 10% of the total number of authorized crimes committed by informants that year. Countless more crimes are allowed by state and local authorities, as well as federal agencies like the ATF and DEA; none of these organizations are required to report the excused crimes of their informants.
“The million-dollar question is: How much crime is the government tolerating from its informants?” said Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles who has studied such issues. “I’m sure that if we really knew that number, we would all be shocked.”
I guess the big question here is, “Do the ends justify the means?” Should we allow criminals to go unpunished just because they help us catch bigger fish? In one case it’s a huge double standard, but then again, if it helps us stop mobster murderers and dangerous drug rings, it can’t be the worst thing in the world.
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigators working on the federal government’s probe into the IRS targeting scandal have not contacted any of the conservative groups involved in a class-action lawsuit against the tax agency.
“No one from the FBI or the IRS investigative team has contacted any of the 41 conservative groups we represent or any of our attorneys,” American Center for Law and Justice spokesman Gene Kapp told The Daily Caller. ACLJ is representing tea party and other conservative groups in the lawsuit.
At least five different IRS offices in Cincinnati, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Laguna Niguel and El Monte, California; improperly demanded extensive information from conservative groups applying for tax-exempt nonprofit status between 2010 and 2012. The IRS demanded copies of training materials distributed by conservative groups, as well as personal information on college interns and even the contents of a religious group’s prayers.
FBI director Robert Mueller and acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel have both launched investigations into the matter, but have not contacted any of the conservative groups involved in the ACLJ’s class-action suit.
The IRS targeting scandal broke in the media in early May. Mueller was excoriated by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio at a June 13 hearing for knowing very little about his own bureau’s investigation into IRS conduct.
“You’ve had a month now to investigate. This has been the biggest story in the country and you can’t even tell me who the lead investigator is. You can’t tell me the actions the inspector general took which are not typically how investigations are done. You can’t tell me if that’s appropriate or not. This is not speculation. This is what happened,” Jordan said to Mueller.
Acting IRS commissioner Werfel also garnered criticism from congressional investigators at a June 6 hearing for knowing little about the scandal he is investigating.
“I have been here for two weeks. There is a lot to cover. I am not ready to make assurances because I have not completed the review,” Werfel said at the hearing in response to a tough line of questioning from North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows.
Dear God, is everyone in power in this nation a complete buffoon?
Less than a week after Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott wrote a letter to the FBI about the “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad he found to be racist, the ad is being taken down, the Seattle Times reports.
McDermott had written that the Puget Sound Joint Terrorism Task Force’s “ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”
The congressman, as well Jeff Siddiqui, the founder of American Muslims of Puget Sound, are concerned that all sixteen terrorists featured have connections to Islam.
“When you start saying that this is the face of terrorism, you are really stigmatizing a whole group of people,” McDermott said.
Siddiqui added that the ad “is affecting all kinds of people who have no experience with Muslims, who look at it and say, ‘Oh, Muslims are the face of global terrorism.’”
Only two of the FBI’s 32 “Most Wanted Terrorists” do not have connections to Islam according to the FBI.
Good Freaking Grief. The people on the ad are TERRORISTS! Are we so deep in the “sensitivity” game that we are going to NOT show photos of evil people now? We have lost it folks, we have lost our grip on reality, and common sense? Nowhere to be found
It’s not just the number of requests, it’s the scope of them. They’re not demanding records related to particular investigations anymore, they’re demanding huge troves of records on random Americans for data-mining purposes, the same thing Patriot Act co-author Jim Sensenbrenner complained about a few days ago but somehow didn’t foresee in 2001.
Like I said, you might want to re-poll Bush’s numbers.
“That they were using this (provision) to do mass collection of data is definitely the biggest surprise,” said Robert Chesney, a top national security lawyer at the University of Texas Law School. “Most people who followed this closely were not aware they were doing this. We’ve gone from producing records for a particular investigation to the production of all records for a massive pre-collection database. It’s incredibly sweeping.”…
[I]n the years since , the FBI’s use of Section 215 quietly exploded, with virtually no public notice or debate. In 2009, as part of an annual report to Congress, the Justice Department reported there had been 21 applications for business records to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 215 – all of which were granted, though nine were modified by the court. (The reports do not explain how or why the orders were modified.)
In 2010, the number of requests jumped to 205 (all again granted, with 176 modified.) In the latest report filed on April 30, the department reported there had been 212 such requests in 2012 – all approved by the court, but 200 of them modified.
These sharp increase in the use of Section 215 has drawn little attention until now because the number of national security letters (NSLs) issued by the bureau has been so much greater – 15,229 in 2012. But FBI Director Mueller, in little-noticed written responses to Congress two years ago, explained that the bureau was encountering resistance from telecommunications companies in turning over “electronic communication transaction” records in response to national security letters.
Google, Facebook, and the gang started to resist NSLs on grounds that they were dubious legally, so Mueller shifted to Section 215 and got back to squeezing them for more and more and more data. Hence Google’s new move, announced just this afternoon: To take some of the heat off itself and push it back onto the feds where it belongs, the company’s lawyer is asking the DOJ to let it publish the number – and scope – of FBI requests for records it receives each year. Right now it’s forbidden to say because Section 215 imposes a gag order on the target of the record request. If Google can’t legally resist complying, at least it can soothe its critics by revealing just how much pressure it’s under from the Most Transparent Administration Ever.
Exit question: This WaPo story is nothing more than a textbook pro-Obama leak authorized by the White House to take some heat off of him and maybe show the virtues of aggressive cyberwarfare, right?
Update: What does this mean?
A leading Republican senator on Tuesday described controversial U.S. spy programs as looking far deeper into Americans’ phone records than the Obama administration has been willing to admit, fueling new privacy concerns as Congress sought to defend the surveillance systems.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC., says the U.S. intelligence surveillance of phone records allows analysts to monitor U.S. phone records for a pattern of calls, even if those numbers have no known connection to terrorism.
Graham says the National Security Agency then matches phone numbers against known terrorists. Graham helped draft the surveillance law that governs the surveillance program.
In other words, they’re looking for patterns among the general population that match the phone patterns of people they’ve already identified as terrorists? So they’re not limiting themselves to targeting specific terrorist-linked numbers anymore, but suspicious “patterns” too?
Wow is Lindsey Graham a traitor for revealing this??? http://t.co/Af1eFvevhb
— Andy Levy (@andylevy) June 11, 2013
Shannon Richardson had been married to her husband less than two years when she went to authorities and told them her suspicions: He was the one who had mailed ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg threatening violence against gun-control advocates.
When investigators looked closer, they reached a different conclusion: It was the 35-year-old pregnant actress who had sent the letters, and she tried to frame her estranged husband in a bizarre case of marital conflict crossing with bioterrorism.
Those allegations are detailed in court documents filed Friday as Richardson was arrested and charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president. The federal charge carries up to 10 years in prison, U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Davilyn Walston said.
Richardson, a mother of five who has played bit roles on television and in movies, is accused of mailing the ricin-laced letters to the White House, to Bloomberg and to the mayor’s Washington gun-control group last month.
Richardson’s court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, said there was no intention to harm anyone and noted that it’s common knowledge that mail is checked before it reaches the person to whom these letters were addressed.
“From what I can say, based on what evidence I’ve seen, whoever did this crime never intended for ricin to reach the people to which the letters were addressed,” Curry said.
According to an FBI affidavit, Richardson contacted authorities on May 30 and implicated her husband, Nathaniel Richardson. She described finding small, brown beans with white speckles – a description matching the key ingredient in ricin, castor beans – at the couple’s home in New Boston, Texas. She also told investigators that she had found a sticky note on her husband’s desk with addresses for Bloomberg and Obama, the affidavit said.
But she later failed a polygraph test, the document said, and investigators looking into her story found numerous inconsistencies. Among them: Nathaniel Richardson would have been at work when Internet searches tied to the letters were made on the couple’s laptop and when the envelopes containing the letters were postmarked.
Finally, the affidavit says, in an interview with authorities on Thursday, Shannon Richardson admitted that she had received syringes and lye – a caustic chemical used in making ricin – in the mail; that she had printed the labels for the letters; and that she mailed them. However, she insisted her husband typed them and “made her” print and send them, the affidavit says.
No charges have been filed against her husband. His attorney, John Delk, told The Associated Press on Friday that his client was pleased with his wife’s arrest and was working with authorities to prove his innocence.
Delk previously told the AP that the couple is going through a divorce and that the 33-year-old Army veteran may have been “set up” by his wife. In divorce papers filed Thursday, Nathanial Richardson said the marriage had become “insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities.”
FBI agents wearing hazardous material suits were seen going in and out of the Richardsons’ house on Wednesday in nearby New Boston, about 150 miles northeast of Dallas near the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders. Authorities conducted a similar search on May 31.
The house is now under quarantine for “environmental or toxic agents,” according to a posting at the residence. Multiple samples taken from the couples’ home tested positive for ricin, according to the affidavit. Federal agents also found castor beans along with syringes and other items that could be used to extract the lethal poison, the affidavit says.
Bloomberg issued a statement Friday thanking local and federal law enforcement agencies “for their outstanding work in apprehending a suspect,” saying they worked collaboratively from the outset “and will continue to do so as the investigation continues.”
Shannon Richardson appears in movies and on TV under the name Shannon Guess. Her resume on the Internet movie database IMDb said she has had small television roles in “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Walking Dead.” She had a minor role in the movie “The Blind Side” and appeared in an Avis commercial, according to the resume.
Delk said the Richardsons were expecting their first child in October. Shannon Richardson also has five children ranging in age from 4 to 19 from other relationships, four of whom had been living with the couple in the New Boston home, the attorney said.
Nathaniel Richardson works as a mechanic at the Red River Army Depot near Texarkana, Texas, a facility that repairs tanks, Humvees and other mobile military equipment. He and Shannon were married in October 2011.
A detention hearing for Shannon Richardson is scheduled for next Friday, court records show, and the government is requesting that she be held without bond.
The FBI is investigating at least three cases over the past two months in which ricin was mailed to Obama and other public figures. Ricin has been sent to officials sporadically over the years, but experts say that there seems to be a recent uptick and that copycat attacks – made possible by the relative ease of extracting the poison – may be the reason.
If inhaled, ricin can cause respiratory failure, among other symptoms. If swallowed, it can shut down the liver and other organs, resulting in death. The amount of ricin that can fit on the head of a pin is said to be enough to kill an adult if properly prepared. No antidote is available, though researchers are trying to develop one.
During the recent quest for more gun control the left has repeatedly say they want background checks for firearm purchases. That line of talking points, of course, makes it sound to the uninformed that there are currently no background checks for people buying handguns. Well, that is untrue, earlier this year I purchased a new gun, and yes, I underwent a background check, I also underwent background checks when buying handguns in 1998, 1999, and in 1991 back in Florida. In fact, there have been under Obama, millions of background checks for gun purchases 73,442,399 to be exact, and that is just in the last five years
There have been 73,441,399 background checks for gun purchases since President Obama took office, according to data released by the FBI.
In 2009, the FBI conducted 14,033,824 background checks. If we subtract the month of January (Obama did not assume office until the end of the month) we get 12,819,939.
The FBI conducted 14,409,616 background checks in 2010, 16,454,951 in 2011, and 19,592,303 in 2012.
Add to that the first five months of 2013 (2,495,440, 2,309,393, 2,209,407, 1,714,433 and 1,435,917 respectively) and the total number of background checks under President Obama comes to 73,441,399.
Remember that number the next time some Leftist tells you there are no background checks. Then confront them. Ask them why they have to lie.