‘Thousands of NSA Analysts Can Listen to Domestic Phone Calls,’ Read Emails, Texts, IMs – Tea Party Nation

‘Thousands of NSA Analysts Can Listen to Domestic Phone Calls,’ Read Emails, Texts, IMs – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley

Note: This first appeared in Red State.

UPDATES: Aplenty – from late last night – below.  Please, indulge us and read from top to bottom – for clarity’s sake.

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That’s some good news right there.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls….

Hold the phone.  (Get it?)  The NSA claims “it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.”  The Fourth Amendment begs to differ.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

How unreasonable are all of these probable-cause-and-warrant-free listening expeditions?

(T)he Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls….

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required….

More legal flights of fancy from Held-in-Bipartisan-Contempt-of-Congress-Once-and-Counting Attorney General Eric Holder.

Edward Snowden – the guy who first alerted us to this NSA-PRISM-NUCLEON mess – has had his veracity (and mental stability) challenged for claiming Little-Old-He could unilaterally “wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to ev….”

Edward Snowden Is Completely Wrong

Not so wrong after all.

When some of us responded to all of this with alarm, we too were summarily dismissed.

‘Nobody is Listening to Your Telephone Calls,’ Obama Says

NSA Data Mining

The paranoid imagine that government eavesdroppers are listening in on their phone conversations and reading their intimate emails.

Someone is listening.  Thousands of someones (at least), in fact.  (And reading – please stay tuned.)  Not so paranoid after all.

(President Barack) Obama Calls Surveillance Programs Legal and Limited

“Legal” is highly dubious.  How about “limited?”

NSA Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily

That’s a fairly expansive definition of “limited.”

By now, the following claim – now just nine days old – seems quaint and antiquated.  Not to mention fundamentally untrue.

President Insists Americans Not Target of Records Sweep

Again, we’re all James Rosens now.

What about our fantasies of the government reading our emails (and text messages, and instant m…?

(NSA phone call self-)authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too….

Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, being able to listen to phone calls would mean the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications too without going before a court and seeking approval.

Again, we’re all James Rosens now.  And then some.

But wait – we were told it was just the email and Internet metadata – not the content.

Again, not so much.

We have throughout this nightmare awakening had Big Government proponents and officials aplenty – up to and repeatedly including the President – lying their faces off about what is actually happening with our phone calls, emails and all things Internet.

Preemptively listening to, peeking at and harvesting the data of hundreds of millions of innocent Americans is not a “national security” prerogative.  It is, however, a Big Brother imperative.

So when we have warned you about things like:

Forget the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine – Net Neutrality is the Future of Ce…

Obama Official-Network Neutrality Deviser Says First Amendment Does…

And the Left’s response is:

Right-Wing Delusion: Net Neutrality is Government Plot to Control I…

We can all be forgiven for being more than a little skeptical.  On Net Neutrality – and just about everything else.

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UPDATE #1: Obama Administration Director of National Intelligence James Clapper late last night released a statement denying most or all of the above.  Which in part reads:

“The statement that a single analyst can eavesdrop on domestic communications without proper legal authorization is incorrect and was not briefed to Congress.”

This is the same James Clapper that in a March 12 Congressional hearing lied to Oregon Democrat Senator Ron … – denying that trillions of Verizon domestic phone call sweeps were occurring.

Fire James Clapper

The Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress about NSA surveillance. What else will he lie about?

Good question.  Is it possible (probable?) that Clapper is lying again here?  Indeed it is.

Which makes the following even more pathetic.


UPDATE #2: New York Democrat Congressman Jerry Nadler was a key original source for this eavesdropping story.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee….

In prostrating response to the statement from proven liar James Clapper – a member of the proven-lying Obama Administration – Congressman Nadler has retreated into being a good Democrat, but a troublingly bad representative of We the People and our Constitutio….

James Owens, a spokesman for Nadler, provided a statement on Sunday morning, a day after this (original) article was published, saying:

“I am pleased that the administration has reiterated that, as I have always believed, the NSA cannot listen to the content of Americans’ phone calls without a specific warrant.”

Owens said he couldn’t comment on what assurances from the Obama administration Nadler was referring to, and said Nadler was unavailable for an interview.

Congressman Nadler was thus also unavailable to explain why or how this latest Obama Administration assertion, after all of these lies, is any more believable.

And is Congressman Nadler addled?  Was the briefing he (and obviously, ostensibly other Members) attended merely a figment of his imagination?

Hard to think so.  Especially since he – and Snowdon – aren’t the only people to make similar Administration snooping claims:

Senate Intelligence committee chairperson Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) confirmed on Thursday, according to the report, that a court order is not necessary for the NSA to search its call data database that it collects under secret orders from major U.S. telecom firms….

(F)ormer FBI counter-terrorism agent Tim Clemente disclosed to CNN that under certain investigations relating to the protection of national security, his former employer could access call records and contents of those calls.

“All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not,” he claimed.

It is difficult under these circumstances – with all of these corroborating statements – to not think that what best represents the truth is what Congressman Nadler said first.

Given that the serially untruthful Obama Administration are the only ones denying it.

 

BURTON: Fast and Furious stonewalling looks like guilt – Washington Times

BURTON: Fast and Furious stonewalling looks like guilt – Washington Times.

Congress will persist until truth is uncovered

By Rep. Dan Burton

The Fast and Furious investigation has reached its 17th month, and it’s obvious it has taken on a life of its own. Stonewalling and misdirection from the executive branch in response to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation not only raise suspicions and make a mockery of the idea of due process but also minimize the death of a patriot who served his country valiantly.

I wish I could say the actions of Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., his Justice Department and the president were unprecedented, but history proves otherwise. In 1998, while serving as chairman of the House oversight committee, I held a vote recommending contempt for then-Attorney General Janet Reno for her failure to comply with a subpoena issued in connection with the committee’s investigation into campaign finance law violations. Although the committee voted to hold Ms. Reno in contempt, a resolution of contempt of Congress was never voted on by the full House of Representatives. Despite the different outcomes, the parallels between then and now are very similar. In both instances, the accused misled the committee and feigned ignorance throughout the entire investigation. These are not actions commonly attributed to persons with nothing to hide.

Unfortunately, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department and the administration chose a course of action that forced Congress‘ hand. The inability to find closure regarding this congressional investigation rests solely on the executive branch’s determination to obstruct it. This kind of disregard for congressional oversight and the duties of his office must not stand. I am a firm believer in the relevance of the old detective’s query, “What did he know and when did he know it?” Unfortunately, the answers to these simple questions remain unknown to the American people. But when one takes into account the facts that the committee has brought to light, it becomes very clear that the executive branch looks guilty of hiding the truth.

In 2009, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) implemented an operation that allowed criminal suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns. The purpose was to wait and watch in the hope law enforcement could identify members of a trafficking network and build a large, complex conspiracy case. Tragically, about 2,000 weapons were not tracked, forcing Mr. Holder to formally retract previous claims that he had made to Congress.

Six wiretap applications dating back to 2010 prove this to be true. Those wiretap applications reveal that ATF agents were monitoring suspected gun traffickers for Mexican drug cartels but making no arrests or interdictions. Wiretap applications do not happen on their own — they require authorization at the highest levels. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco, three of Mr. Holder’s most senior aides, authorized those wiretap applications. It defies reason that not one of Mr. Holder’s most senior aides was made aware of the highly controversial and perilous tactics being employed in the Fast and Furious operation.

Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa’s handling of this investigation has been meticulous. He has been dogged in his pursuit of the truth while also exercising professional courtesy and restraint in his dealings with Mr. Holder and the Justice Department. His professionalism and fortitude were met with the handing over of about 7,600 of the requested 100,000 documents (about 13 percent) of overly redacted material no doubt strategically vetted and hand-selected by senior officials within the department for their lack of detail. Justice’s level of cooperation to this point has been severely lacking. In fact, the evidence is inescapable that the executive branch is going out of its way to ensure that this investigation does not come to an impartial conclusion. We owe it to the American and Mexican people to see this investigation come to its rightful and truthful conclusion.

We must not allow ourselves to become bogged down by the political firestorm that has engulfed the Fast and Furious investigation. Whether one chooses to discuss the contempt of Mr. Holder or whether Mr. Obama has misused executive privilege, the political theater threatens to overshadow the true purpose of this investigation. The heart of the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious is to seek answers about the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry as well as hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens, all killed by guns supplied to Mexican drug warlords by our own federal government.

No one is above the law. It is the fundamental duty of Congress to find out why this happened and to ensure that this kind of reckless behavior is not tolerated or allowed ever to happen again. We must get to the bottom of this.

Rep. Dan Burton, Indiana Republican, is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Dead dogs for Obama – wnd.com

Dead dogs for Obama – wnd.com.

Exclusive: Roger Hedgecock exposes voter registration of animals, deceased, illegals

by Roger Hedgecock

Voter fraud is the big issue that may decide the outcome of this election

In Seattle, Wash., last month, Brenda Charlston received a voter registration form in the mail from the Voter Participation Center with all the blanks filled in for “Rosie Charlston,” her black Labrador who died in 1998.

The Obama supporting center says it has mailed some 5 million forms using commercially available databases to target Democratic-leaning groups such as unmarried women. What did they use in the Brenda/Rosie mailing? The dead dog mailing list?

In June, in Buford County, Va., Tim Morris received a filled-out voter registration form for “Mozart Morris” addressed to “Mo,” his dog that passed away two years before. Again, the form came in the mail from the Voter Participation Center.

In Bernalillo County, N.M., an anonymous Republican registered his dog as a voter at a voter registration booth at the University of New Mexico to show how easy it would be to defraud the system. Election officials claim they followed the law and referred the case to state prosecutors for criminal investigation of the dog owner!

Election officials throughout the country report a surge of voter registrations from animals, dead people and noncitizens.

Republicans believe Obama is depending on these registrations to win the election and want laws requiring voter ID at the polls. Democrats charge that Republicans are trying to suppress the vote to increase the odds of a Romney win.

This Democrat charge formed the basis of a lawsuit by Obama’s Department of Justice to block a Texas law that requires voter photo ID to vote. Texas is one of 26 states with such laws.

The DOJ claimed the requirement would bar eligible voters from voting and that the cost of getting the proper ID amounted to a “poll tax.” The Texas law provides for a free state ID to anyone lacking a driver’s license or other photo ID.

A study by a DOJ expert produced a long list of Texans who lacked government-issued photo ID and, it was alleged, were thereby disenfranchised. The list and the study were a fraud.

The list turned out to contain the names of 50,000 dead people, 330,377 seniors who can vote by mail without ID, 261,887 voters who included a driver’s license number on their voter registration form, 800,000 Texans who were, in fact, registered to vote and who did have a government issued photo ID.

The list also contained the names of Texans with U.S. military ID (acceptable for photo ID to vote), former Texas residents who had moved to other states, disabled voters who were exempt from the Texas photo ID law and noncitizens.

Strangely, the list of those who “lacked government issued ID” included former President George W. Bush, two state legislators and the wife of another, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, current U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and even the Texas director of elections, Keith Ingram – who was listed not once but twice!

However, even the Texas attorney general has yet to find the names of any dogs, living or dead, on the list.

Obama’s DOJ also went after Florida for passing a similar law. It seems that Obama voters who were dead, felons or noncitizens would not get to vote.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered county election officials to examine the integrity of the voting rolls. In the first review, the names of 83,000 dead people were discovered still registered to vote.

The dead deserve representation given the estate-tax debate, but the law does not yet allow them to vote.

DOJ also objected to Florida’s insistence that felons be barred from voting.

Noncitizens were also found on the voter rolls, and Gov. Scott fought to get access to the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, database. SAVE will allow Florida to purge the voter roll of noncitizens.

In a strange, parallel world, the Obama Agriculture Department requires ID on every cow, and now on every chicken, on every American farm.

Obama wants to trace the movement of farm animals but not illegal aliens; he wants to ID every farm animal to protect the public health but does not want to ID voters to protect the integrity of elections.

With the memory still fresh that the 2000 presidential election was decided by a handful of voters in Florida, the determination of who gets to vote in 2012 could decide who will be the next president.

KEENE: Fast and furious cover-up at Holder’s Justice – Washington Times

KEENE: Fast and furious cover-up at Holder’s Justice – Washington Times.

Team Obama resorts to default excuse: Blame Bush

By David Keene – The Washington Times

Obama administration officials must remind each other daily that they will never have to accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong on their watch as long as they can find some way to blame their troubles on George W. Bush.

So it should surprise no one that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the administration’s surrogates are vociferously claiming that Operation Fast and Furious, the gun-walking scandal run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is all Mr. Bush’s fault. Fast and Furious was a program that resulted in Congress holding Mr. Holder in contempt for lying, put a couple thousand guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs and led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and as many as 200 Mexicans.

Obama spokesmen claim it all began under Mr. Bush and a little-known operation also run out of Phoenix, dubbed Operation Wide Receiver. The Bush-era program involved a few hundred guns and was designed and run by U.S. and Mexican agents who planted electronic tracking devices in the guns so the agents could follow the guns on both sides of the border. The idea was to compile evidence that could be used to prosecute gang kingpins.

A few of the guns vanished, however, as some of the batteries powering the implanted tracking devices failed, and in a few cases, gang members discovered and destroyed the devices. As soon as this was reported to Washington, the whole operation was canceled to prevent more guns from falling into the wrong hands. A vast majority of the guns involved were traced and retrieved; no one was killed; and the project was shelved as a bad idea.

Two years later, many of the same ATF and Justice Department officials in Phoenix came up with and launched a very different program they called Fast and Furious. Straw purchasers were allowed to buy more than 2,000 guns from dealers along our southern border who were pressured by government officials to look the other way. There was no attempt to trace or follow the guns; the Mexican government was not informed of the operation; and even ATF’s own agents in Mexico were kept in the dark.

No actionable criminal evidence against anyone was obtained, and agents who wanted to arrest middlemen before the guns walked were ordered to stand down. The program turned into a pipeline that provided arms to the Sinola drug cartel for use by the gang’s enforcers and drug smugglers.

The media continually refer to Fast and Furious as a botched operation, but the law enforcement purpose of the scheme never made much sense. It was never designed to enable anyone on either side of the border to trace firearms. Guns simply were handed over to criminal gangs so U.S. officials later could see how many of them turned up at crime scenes. For this to happen, they had to hope the guns would actually be used by the cartels. Gang members don’t throw away their guns for no reason, but when they use them in a crime, they discard them so authorities can’t tie them to the crime.

The American guns began showing up all over Mexico as civilians and criminals alike were gunned down. When one was found at the site of a fatal gunbattle that left U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead, the agent running the show reportedly dismissed his colleague’s horror at what had happened by observing, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

Whether someone at the Justice Department or deep in the bowels of the ATF dreamed up Fast and Furious is less important than what happened when higher-ups at Justice and the White House learned about it. Among the inquiries congressional investigators have spent 18 months conducting is whether administration officials attempted to use the fact that the guns were showing up at crime scenes as a means of building support for new gun-control laws.

The scheme might have worked but for a few honest agents who went to CBS News and to Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican. The Obama administration tried first to deny everything and discredit the whistleblowers; officials blamed it on out-of-control career bureaucrats and criminal gun dealers, and finally, they blamed Mr. Bush as part of a cover-up that continues to this day.

On Nov. 8, 2011, however, when it still looked as if stonewalling alone might work, the attorney general admitted before the Senate Judiciary Committee that there was no relationship between Wide Receiver and Fast and Furious, and he claimed he would never try to equate the two programs. That, of course, was then – before all else had failed and it was time once again to blame Mr. Bush for an Obama administration scheme that went bad.

David A. Keene is president of the NRA,former chairman of the American Conservative Union and a member of the board of the ACU, the Constitution Project and the Center for the National Interest.

Holder’s contempt for House now affirmed – Washington Times

Holder’s contempt for House now affirmed – Washington Times.

Fast and Furious stonewall a result of Team Obama arrogance

By Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman – The Washington Times

When the House of Representatives voted 255-67 to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, Mr. Holder and his Justice Department, surprisingly, wasted no time proving that they have nothing but contempt for the lawmakers who undertook that historic measure.

Justice Department officials quickly announced that there would be no prosecution and that as far as they were concerned, no crime had been committed. Mr. Holder, his agency and by proxy, the Obama White House, thumbed its collective nose at Congress, and particularly at the family of a slain Border Patrol agent, who are still waiting for answers about his murder.

How ironic that an administration that rode into office talking about openness and accountability would slam the door of secrecy on the House investigation of Operation Fast and Furious and – at least, so far – not hold anyone accountable for that disastrous misadventure. By invoking executive privilege rather than release an estimated 1,300 subpoenaed documents to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder have claimed full ownership of a scandal for which previously, they had plausibly denied any direct responsibility.

Can it be anything but 100-proof arrogance that now has the attorney general – the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the nation – hiding behind the president’s executive shield and his own department’s indifference to place himself essentially above the law? The Justice Department has treated House Oversight Committee members like lepers, while not removing a single individual responsible for Fast and Furious from the government payroll. Justice took a quick glance at the House vote and blew it off. All these things taken in total reflect a contemptuous indifference toward an equal branch of government that has a job to do.

At the heart of this scandal is an inconvenient truth: Agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) embraced an investigative technique that was disastrous, and they knew it. Had this been a completely private enterprise that was uncovered, those responsible might have already gone before a grand jury, with possible indictments and convictions. Instead, the people most closely associated with Fast and Furious are still receiving paychecks.

Back in 2009, Mr. Holder and others in the Obama administration were sharply critical of “weak” gun laws that they blamed for contributing to Mexico’s mayhem. Gun dealers, gun shows and private citizens making perfectly legal transactions got the blame.

Revelations from the investigation – conducted primarily by online journalists, CBS and Fox News – have vindicated these traditional whipping boys. But gun owners deserve to know who approved this fiasco and then let them take the rap.

When Operation Fast and Furious began disintegrating following the December 2010 slaying of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in the Arizona desert, it was revealed that law-abiding gun dealers had raised red flags. They had been told to complete transactions they believed to be linked to gun smuggling. ATF agents were allegedly told to “stand down” rather than interdict weapons.

When Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley began inquiries, the Justice Department lied to him in a letter that has since been retracted because of “inaccuracies.” When the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation, they were stonewalled. Now, after the House contempt vote, Mr. Holder and the Justice Department are telling Capitol Hill and the American people that we have no right to know what has been done in our name, using our tax money.

The people do have a right to know, especially from an administration touting itself as the “most transparent” in our history, and we need to know now, not after the November election.

Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. Dave Workman is communications director of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Eric Holder’s Tangled Web of Deception – Lurita Doan – Townhall.com

Eric Holder’s Tangled Web of Deception – Lurita Doan – Townhall.com.

How disheartening to watch U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder maneuver, spin, duck, dodge and dissemble.  Perhaps Holder still clings to the notion that he is serving the country and protecting the President, but his actions have pushed him well beyond that high ground.  Even Democrat leaders in congress, long-time Holder allies who long ago stopped thinking for themselves and who now resemble crazed wildebeests lost in their blind stampede against Republicans, are having doubts.  

During three years at Justice, Attorney General Holder has told too many tales, ducked accountability too many times and has too-often clung to the tattered banner of racist assertions.  

Americans have watched this recent Team Obama drama unfold over the past two years as the Attorney General initially claimed no knowledge of the Fast & Furious operation, then admitted limited knowledge but no direct involvement, to his recent assertion of Executive Privilege, implying that not only is Holder involved, but that the President is also.  

Holder’s Fast & Furious story has changed so often, and usually after additional scrutiny is applied, that the Justice Department’s credibility and Holder’s has been shredded.  The credibility of the Justice Department to is further eroded by the latest round of comical maneuvering by the President to assert Executive Privilege  to protect deliberations between the Attorney General and the President regarding an operation about which they both claim they knew nothing.  That Holder and Obama expect Americans to believe such contradictory posturings boggle the mind.  

Now, right on cue, the Democrat leadership wildebeests stampede to the next waterhole by crying GOP anti-Holder “racism”, when explaining congress’ motive in finding Eric Holder guilty of contempt of congress.    Haven’t Americans had enough of that old saw?  And doesn’t a 258 vote for with only 95 against disprove the “racism” claims?

Let’s look at some facts.

AG Holder has testified that he cannot provide the documents requested by Congress regarding Fast & Furious and the death of Border Agent, Brian Terry, because they are considered too “sensitive” to share with Congress.  

How ironic that the White House and DoJ see no commensurate sensitivity preventing them from revealing the identity of an informer who aided the United States, providing data that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Eric Holder, the Department of Justice and the White House, are awfully quick to release sensitive information that might imprison and ultimately kill a potential ally if the politics suggest a small bump in the polls might be gained.

Nor is that all.  We have seen details of secret operations leaked by the White House, methods and sources coughed up that our intelligence experts say will set back our nation’s ability for the next ten years.  And yet, Holder urges Americans to look away; nothing untoward is happening here he says, as he urges all Americans to join the unthinking, Democrat wildebeests and keep moving along.  

AG Holder also tells Americans that the House Oversight Committee’s inquiry into Fast & Furious is a waste of time, a waste of taxpayer money, and that there is more important work that the Department of Justice needs to be doing.

Right.  Consider this: assisting congress’ investigation into the Fast & Furious debacle, which led to the death of an American border agent and the placement of thousands of assault weapons in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, is a waste of the government’s time?  However, spending three and a half year and almost $100 million taxpayer dollars building a twice-failed case against baseball legend, Roger Clemens, was a better use of DoJ time, energy and tax payer dollars?  Go figure.

The Department of Justice doesn’t have time to investigate and to prosecute with rigor social security disability fraud either, even though it costs our nation almost $200 billion dollars annually in wrongful payments.

Then there is the special case of Scott Bloch, former head of the Office of Special Counsel.   Americans may have forgotten Scott Bloch; the Department of Justice certainly hopes they have.  Bloch was the fellow that unscrupulous Democrat leaders in congress once depended upon to serve up juicy morsels of scandal and alleged misdeeds within the Bush Administration.  Democrats quoted him often, the New York Times and Washington Post rushed editorials.  Then, the FBI raided his office and discovered that he had lied to Congress and had constructed an elaborate disinformation campaign to falsely discredit others.

To cover his tracks, Bloch paid ‘Geeks on Call’ to erase government computers and asked his chums to post blog reports, masquerading as wounded warriors to try and settle scores and sway public opinion.   Bloch was, quite frankly, a real piece of work, who was finally caught after a long run and was forced to plead guilty to lying to Congress back in 2008.   For the past several years, Holder’s Justice Department has helped Bloch escape all responsibility for lying to Congress and falsifying government reports, accepting stall after stall, as Bloch attempts to avoid the mandatory jail term and fine associated with his misdeeds.  

Seemingly, under AG Holder, the Department of Justice is not so much interested in facts and justice, but rather is wholly consumed with political tradeoffs and calculations.  

Justice for those that help the political fortunes of Mr. Holder, and his allies, is far different from the justice others can expect.    

Of course, no description of just how Mr. Holder’s DoJ carefully selects investigations to coincide with the political benefits derived can be complete without a mention of the two Black Panthers swinging night sticks at potential voters at a voting precinct in Philadelphia in 2008.   

Holder’s Justice Department doesn’t have time to investigate that that kind of voter intimidation, but, instead, is now mobilizing huge resources and millions of taxpayer funds to prevent states such as Florida from updating voter lists by removing the people that have died, Mickey Mouse, and countless others that had been added to the voter rolls by fraudsters like ACORN.   

Perhaps Americans should admit that Justice, under Eric Holder’s leadership, is both arbitrary and dangerous, and is neither fair nor swift.  Democrat party leaders crying “racism” is demeaning and shameful and is nothing but a poor attempt to intimidate Congressman Darryl Issa and the House Oversight Committee into silence.

Americans should also understand that holding Holder in contempt of congress is important for what it represents.  First, the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch are supposed to work for the same goal—the good of the American people.  There should be truth between the two branches. So the contempt charge proves that our Founding Father’s system of checks and balances does work.

Second, in voting 258 – 95, Congress seems to be saying that under Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, the law is not being applied fairly or equally, and that the decisions, at the highest level, of what Department of Justice and Team Obama considers “transparent” and time-worthy is capricious, vindictive and politically motivated.  Congress seems to be saying that Americans deserve better—and we do.

It’s about time. – Tea Party Nation

It’s about time. – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

After months of dithering, the House is finally taking action against Eric Holder.  Holder has simply stonewalled Congress, refusing to turn over documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee and refusing to take legal actions to prevent the disclosure, such as claiming the documents are protected by privilege. 

 From CBS News:

 CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.

 This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.

 The Justice Department has maintained it has cooperated fully with the congressional investigation, turning over tens of thousands of documents and having Holder testify to Congress on the topic at least eight times.

 However, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., says the Justice Department has refused to turn over tens of thousands of pages of documents. Those include materials created after Feb. 4, 2011, when the Justice Department wrote a letter to Congress saying no gunwalking had occurred. The Justice Department later retracted the denial.

 “The Obama Administration has not asserted Executive Privilege or any other valid privilege over these materials and it is unacceptable that the Department of Justice refuses to produce them. These documents pertain to Operation Fast and Furious, the claims of whistleblowers, and why it took the Department nearly a year to retract false denials of reckless tactics,” Issa wrote in an announcement of the vote to be released shortly. It will reveal the vote is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20.

 There is even better news.  Perhaps it is simply an election year or perhaps John Boehner is finally getting the message.  It looks like he is hauling down his freshly laundered white flag of surrender and is supporting this move.

 From the Hill:

 The action has been contemplated for weeks, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threw his support behind the politically-sensitive move in a statement on Monday.

  “The Justice Department is out of excuses,” Boehner said. “Either the Justice Department turns over the information requested, or Congress will have no choice but to move forward with holding the Attorney General in contempt for obstructing an ongoing investigation.”

 Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also weighed in with his support.

 “Assuming Attorney General Holder continues to stonewall, we will have no choice but to hold him in contempt for his failure to provide the documents necessary to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again,” Cantor said.

  Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Republicans on his panel argue Holder has failed to hand over documents related to the gun-tracking operation.

  In Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel operations in the hope of tracking them to wanted criminals and them making big arrests.

 If there is no other reason to make certain the House stays in Republican hands this fall, it would be to make certain this investigation continues.  If Nancy Pelosi were to ascend back to the Speaker’s chair, you can be certain this investigation would die an immediate death.

 The Obama Regime believes it is above the law.  It needs a reality check quickly and the House of Representatives is the only body today that can deliver that check.

HANDRAHAN: Eric Holder’s sizzling summer – Washington Times

HANDRAHAN: Eric Holder’s sizzling summer – Washington Times.

Attorney general on hot seat for probes on gun-running, child exploitation funds

By Lori Handrahan

What a week it was in Washington. Summer heat has not yet hit, but steam already is rising from Republicans on the Hill as they express outrage over U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s conduct.

Mr. Holder was up on the Hill last week testifying before Congress, again, about the Department of Justice’s gun-tracking Fast and Furious operation. There are allegations of lies and obstruction of justice committed by department employees and claims that the attorney general himself is covering for his staff rather than upholding the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Holder’s recent testimony caused Rep. Paul A. Gosar, Arizona Republican, to declare Mr. Holder is unfit to be America’s attorney general.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, hopes to hold Mr. Holder in congressional contempt over his alleged refusal to share information with the American people and Congress about which department officials were involved in this botched program.

Just a mile or so downtown from the Hill, another shoe quietly dropped this week for the attorney general. On Tuesday, Cause of Action, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to government accountability, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for extensive records of Justice’s federal funds provided to states – specifically Maine – with the intention of prosecuting child porn perpetrators and keeping America’s children safe.

Cause of Action’s FOIA states, “Internet crimes against children are the fastest-growing crime in the United States. We therefore write seeking information about the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal DivisionsChild Exploitation and Obscenity Section and its funding of Internet Crimes Against Children investigations, specifically as they concern the State of Maine.”

After noting the large amount, perhaps millions of dollars, of the department’s federal funds going to Maine compared with just seven referrals in one year, Cause of Action’s FOIA request states that “one is left to wonder what Maine is doing with the federal money it receives.”

Anyone who follows Maine may have a theory about these missing funds. The state of Maine is, by all accounts, a failed state. Maine received an F for overall corruption risk, 46th out of 50 states in preventive measures. It received an F and ranked the absolute worst in the country for judicial oversight, with zero accountability for judges. Maine received an F on child-trafficking prevention. Trafficking of women and children is one of organized crime’s signature businesses.

Maine indeed it is a miserable state, particularly if you are a child hoping to be kept safe from pedophiles. So it is little surprise to Maine-watchers that millions of Department of Justice federal funds might have gone missing north of Boston.

The real question is: Will Mr. Holder withhold the documents that Cause of Action has just requested related to the potential misuse of funds meant to protect our children? Congressional Republicans allege Mr. Holder has done just that with documents related to Fast and Furious. Will he cover for his staff rather than uphold the Constitution and protect America’s children?

If so, Mr. Holder could be back on the Hill soon facing more Republican heat, this time for obstruction-of-justice allegations related to federal funds meant to protect our children from sexual abuse and exploitation. It just may be that Cause of Action’s quiet little Freedom of Information Act request could result in a very hot summer for Eric Holder and the Department of Justice.

Lori Handrahan is a professor at American University’s School of International Service in Washington and serves on the United Nations’ Interagency Standing Committee Child Protection Working Group.

Top GSA official tried to hide report on Vegas bash – Washington Times

Logo of the United States General Services Adm...

Logo of the United States General Services Administration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Top GSA official tried to hide report on Vegas bash – Washington Times.

By Jim McElhatton – The Washington Times

A top administrator at the General Services Administration who worked on President Obama’s presidential transition team sought to keep secret the agency report that uncovered massive waste at a lavish taxpayer-funded GSA conference in Las Vegas, records show.

The 2010 conference, which cost $823,000 and featured a mind-reader, clowns, magicians and a red-carpet party, forced the ouster of several top GSA officials after the agency’s Office of Inspector General released its findings in April.

But months earlier, as word of the report was circulating among GSA officials, Ruth F. Cox, the agency’s regional administrator for several Western states, contacted a colleague in Washington asking what could be done to shield the report from public view.

READ MORE: Click here for an inside look at the Las Vegas conference.

“Is there something we can do to prevent another potential embarrassing episode from unfolding and keep this report from being made public?” she asked in an email obtained by The Washington Times.

Ms. Cox also expressed concern that the inspector general’s report was not entirely correct, though officials now say her comments were made before she saw the final report.

“We don’t need another $16 muffin public allegation that is eventually proven wrong and the damage is already done (and exacerbated by making a false allegation),” she wrote in an email she deemed “highly confidential.”

Ms. Cox was referring to a report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, which reviewed conference expenditures and later retracted one widely publicized finding concerning muffins initially reported to have cost $16 each.

Adam Elkington, an agency spokesman, said Tuesday that Ms. Cox made the comments in the email before the release of the inspector general’s report and before “having any knowledge of the findings.”

GSA, including Ms. Cox, is appalled by the missteps highlighted in the IG’s report and have taken disciplinary action against those responsible, accepted all of the IG’s recommendations and continue to take steps to ensure this never happens again,” Mr. Elkington wrote in an email to The Times.

“We welcome oversight and will continue to be guided by the highest level of transparency. GSA’s new Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini initiated a top-to-bottom review of our agency’s operations. GSA remains committed to eliminating excessive federal spending and promoting government efficiency.”

In the email, Ms. Cox also referred to Jeffrey Neely, former acting administrator for the region, who played a key role in organizing the conference and was seen on video boasting about how much fun the federal workers were having in Las Vegas.

“I know Susan is not happy that Jeff received a relatively high performance evaluation and bonus given what transpired with the Western Regional Conference, but my concern at this point is not Jeff but the agency and the administration,” Ms. Cox wrote. “Making this public to punish Jeff with a side effect of unnecessarily exposing the agency doesn’t make sense to me.”

In her email, Ms. Cox also said she shared concerns within the agency about Mr. Neely, who was facing scrutiny because of his agency-funded trips to Hawaii and other Pacific destinations.

The correspondence reflects early recognition within GSA about the potential impact of public disclosure and embarrassment for the administration. Officials were right to be concerned. Among those forced out in the wake of the scandal were former GSA Commissioner Martha Johnson; a top adviser, Stephen Leeds; and Robert Peck, chief of GSA’s Public Buildings Service.

Soon after the audit was released, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew issued a statement condemning the expenditures and noting that Mr. Obama was outraged.

Ms. Cox was named regional administrator for the Pacific Rim in August, overseeing more than 1,000 employees and 1,200 government-owned and -leased buildings in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as in overseas posts in Guam, Japan and American Samoa.

According to an agency biography, she was executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association before joining GSA. She also has worked as executive director of the 21st Century Democrats and in the Obama-Biden transition team’s office of intergovernmental affairs.

Meanwhile, Congress has held several hearings on the conference, including one where Mr. Neely, no longer employed by the agency, refused to testify and invoked his rights under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.

The agency came under renewed scrutiny this week after members of Congress questioned more than $1 million in bonuses handed out to GSA employees who were being investigated for wrongdoing or misconduct.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, released information about the bonuses Monday and said the review would be broadened to include other federal agencies.

Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has called on GSA to detail hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses paid out to “virtual” employees, including supervisors, who worked out of the office.

Holder’s Chutzpah – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Holder’s Chutzpah – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently told a group of black clergymen that the right to vote was being threatened by people who are seeking to block access to the ballot box by blacks and other minorities.

This is truly world-class chutzpah, by an Attorney General who stopped attorneys in his own Department of Justice from completing the prosecution of black thugs who stationed themselves outside a Philadelphia voting site to harass and intimidate white voters.

This may have seemed like a small episode to some at the time, but it was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The U.S. Attorney who was prosecuting that case — J. Christian Adams — resigned from the Department of Justice in protest, and wrote a book about a whole array of similar race-based decisions on voting rights by Eric Holder and his subordinates at the Department of Justice.

The book is titled “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.” It names names, dates and places around the country where the Department of Justice stopped its own attorneys from pursuing cases of voter fraud and intimidation, when it was blacks who were accused of these crimes.

If Mr. Adams is lying, he has taken a huge risk in citing individuals by name and quoting them directly. Yet, despite the fact that most of those he accuses are lawyers, apparently no one has sued him. Moreover, Adams has also testified under oath before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, on the racial double standard at the Department of Justice, when it comes to voting rights.

What Attorney General Holder has been complaining loudly about, and launching federal lawsuits about, are states that require photo identification to vote. Holder calls this blocking minority “access” to the voting booths.

Since millions of black Americans — like millions of white Americans — are confronted with demands for photo identification at airports, banks and innumerable other institutions, it is a little much to claim that requiring the same thing to vote is denying the right to vote. But Holder’s chutzpah is up to the task.

Attorney General Holder claims that the states’ requirement of photo identification for voting, in order to prevent voter fraud, is just a pretext for discriminating against blacks and other minorities. He apparently sees no voter fraud, hears no voter fraud and speaks no voter fraud.

Despite Holder’s claim, a little experiment in his own home voting district showed how easy it is to commit voter fraud. An actor — a white actor, at that — went to a voting place where Eric Holder is registered to vote, and told them that he was Eric Holder.

The actor had no identification at all with him, either with or without a photo. He told the voting official that he had forgotten and left his identification in his car. Instead of telling him to go back to the car and get some identification, the official said that that was all right, and offered him the ballot.

The actor had the good sense not to actually take the ballot, which would have made him guilty of voter fraud — and, being white, he would undoubtedly have been prosecuted by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

But the actor had made his point. When a white man with no identification can go to a voting site, impersonate a black man who lives in that district, and get his ballot offered to him, then it is far too easy to commit voter fraud.

Does not Attorney General Eric Holder understand that? Of course he understands it! The man is not stupid, despite his other failings.

Holder’s pooh-poohing of voter fraud dangers, and hyping the “threat” of denying minorities “access” to the voting booth, are completely consistent with his drive to (1) maximize the number of votes by black Democrats and (2) spread as much fear as possible among minorities that they are under siege, and that the Democrats are their only protection and salvation.

It is a political protection racket, with payoffs in votes.

Nor can Holder’s boss, Barack Obama, be unaware of voter fraud. After all, he comes from Chicago, where voting officials refuse to discriminate against dead people.