Thursday, October 27, 2016

Judicial Watch

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Years before Pennsylvania’s first Democrat and first female Attorney General got convicted of crimes, Judicial Watch helped expose the corrupt way in which she ran her public office. The state’s disgraced top prosecutor, Kathleen Kane, was hauled away from a courtroom in handcuffs this week after getting sentenced to 10 to 23 month in jail. In August, a jury found Kane guilty perjury and obstruction for illegally disclosing details from a grand jury investigation to retaliate against a political rival then lying about it under oath.

Philadelphia’s largest newspaper described Kane’s sentencing this week as “capping a spectacular downfall for a woman once seen as one of the state’s fastest-rising stars.” Kane’s first year in office was marked by political and public relations successes, the paper states, but it went downhill from there.

After “her star began to dim in 2014, she leaked confidential grand jury material to a newspaper in a bid to embarrass a political enemy, then lied about her actions under oath,” the story says. At this week’s five-hour sentencing hearing in Montgomery County the judge blasted Kane and rejected calls for leniency. The former prosecutor used and exploited her position to battle perceived enemies instead of focusing on the business of fighting crime, the judge, Wendy Demchick-Alley, said during the hearing.

The leak stems from a feud that Kane had with a former prosecutor in her office named Frank Fina, who Kane accused of planting a damaging media story. Before Kane got elected the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran a years-long, undercover sting operation that busted leading state Democrats embroiled in a bribery scheme. At the time the Attorney General was Republican Tom Corbett.

When Kane took office in 2013, she shut the operation down. Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case, a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.

Back In 2014 Judicial Watch testified before a Pennsylvania House State Government Committee investigating Kane for refusing to uphold Commonwealth laws that she didn’t agree with. Judicial Watch Attorney Michael Bekesha explained to the panel that Kane had consistently failed to honor her sworn oath to uphold the state’s constitution by, among other things, refusing to defend the state’s marriage laws and failing to prosecute elected officials for accepting cash and other gifts in exchange for political favors. Bekesha also pointed out to the committee that the State Ethics Commission concluded that the promotion of Kane’s sister to Chief Deputy Attorney General in the child predator section created a perception that the promotion was not free from Kane’s influence. “Attorney General Kane is lawless,” Bekesha testified, adding that just the appearance of impropriety or misbehavior damages the office.

Kane has close ties to the Clintons and she worked on Hillary’s 2008 failed presidential campaign. In 2012 Bill Clinton endorsed Kane for Attorney General over former Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy. At the time the former president said “Kathleen is a great Democrat who understands that an Attorney General’s job is to stand up for consumers and people,” according to a press release dug up by a news outlet this week. After winning the election and making history as the first woman and first Democrat to hold the office, Kane was considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. Some believed she had a bright future in the U.S. Senate. Instead, the disgraced Attorney General is going to jail and her license to practice law has been suspended.

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climate change

Climate change poses significant national security challenges for the United States and will create large-scale political instability, social disruption and food shortages, according to the nation’s intelligence agency.

It marks the latest of many dire government warnings under President Obama about the ills of global warming and this one comes from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), though the agency concedes it’s based on information provided by the famously corrupt United Nations (UN).

That the nation’s intelligence agency has blindly adopted the information as fact is almost more alarming than the warnings outlined in its 13-page report. The ODNI is the broad agency that serves as an umbrella for the intelligence community and advises the president so its assessments carry a lot of weight.

The ODNI is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the CIA and FBI. This gives it tremendous credibility, which is probably why the UN-created Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is having the ODNI promote its seemingly outlandish findings. Like a good lapdog the ODNI obliged, promoting the questionable information of radical leftwing groups in the process.

The report even suggests that climate change can fuel terrorism by including these nuggets: “In 2015, insurgent groups in northern Mali exploited deepening desertification, worsened by persistent drought, to enlist locals in a “food for jihad” arrangement.”

Here’s another example that illustrates how terrorists benefit from climate change, according to the new intel report. “The terrorist group Al-Shabaab exploited the 2011-13 famine in Somalia to coerce and tax international aid agencies, and it withheld food from those it deemed uncooperative, according to Human Rights Watch.”

For the record, Human Rights Watch is a leftist group with questionable credibility when it comes to security matters so citing it as a source tying terrorism to global warming is almost comical.

As if the assertion that climate change enables terrorists wasn’t far-fetched enough, the ODNI also claims it will destabilize the entire world by risking human health, putting stress on military operations and negatively impacting investments and economic competitiveness.

Meat and dairy lovers beware; “Heatwaves threaten livestock directly and also reduce fertility, decrease milk production, and make them more vulnerable to disease,” the ODNI writes, citing UN science.

“Droughts, wildfires, and extended periods of reduced precipitation threaten pasture and food supplies, indirectly threatening livestock.”

As for health, extreme heat will contribute directly to deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory disease across the globe, particularly among the elderly, the report states.

Military operations worldwide will be negatively impacted because more frequent and intense natural disasters will strain the capacity of U.S. and allied armed forces to deliver humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, according to the ODNI.

As is the case in all global matters, the U.S. will carry most of the burden. “The US military may be called upon more frequently to respond to foreign crises if its counterparts in affected countries are overstretched, unable to handle their own crises or those in their neighborhood,” the report says.

Investments will be affected because “extreme weather events” will discourage investment in regions deemed vulnerable. “Infrastructure will be increasingly threatened by more extreme conditions in the near future, and freshwater from aquifers will be increasingly jeopardized by saltwater intrusion,” the ODNI writes.

“Expectations of future losses will almost certainly increase insurance premiums and payouts, and insurance rates may increase well before real effects are felt in regions deemed vulnerable.”

Additionally, the financial burden of responding to emergent climate trends and severe weather events, including the cost of efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, will reduce financing available for other investments. “Increasing heat stress is likely to adversely affect agriculture, manufacturing, and other sectors requiring physical labor and could significantly contribute to GDP loss.” The Grim Reaper has come to town!

In the last few years President Obama has committed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to combat climate change—especially in developing countries—through programs operated by the World Bank, the UN and a global initiative called Green Growth Action Alliance headed by a former Mexican president.

To justify the investment, the administration has created hysteria with a number of government-funded studies warning about the dangers of climate change. Among them are reports claiming that global warming will make food and water dangerous, cause mental illness, cancer and threaten national security. In fact, a consortium of Obama administration scientists from several government agencies—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Department and National Institute of Environmental Health Science—have confirmed that global warming is one of the “most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century.”

One publicly-funded study claimed that the Washington D.C. area and surrounding government infrastructure will be virtually destroyed by global warming over the next century.

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A federal appellate court has ruled against the Obama administration’s claims that firing a black woman for wearing dreadlocks constitutes racial discrimination and the government agency representing the employee poses an interesting question: Would a woman wearing a hijab face the same fate? The answer is no.

Muslims have more rights in the U.S. workplace than African Americans, it seems.

In the aftermath of several rulings protecting Muslim rights to wear religious head covers on the job, a black woman is being prohibited from sporting a hairstyle that is physiologically and culturally associated with people of African descent.

That constitutes racial discrimination, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the nation’s workplace discrimination laws. The agency filed the case in 2013 on behalf of an Alabama woman, Chastity Jones, who was told by an insurance claims processing company to cut her dreadlocks—long clumps of ungroomed hair, symbolizing the mane of the Lion of Judah—as part of its grooming policy. The EEOC argued that the company, Catastrophe Management Solutions, committed racial discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In announcing the lawsuit, the agency’s regional attorney in Birmingham said the litigation didn’t seek to attack policies requiring employees to maintain hair in a professional, neat or conservative manner but rather focus “on the racial bias that may occur when specific hair constructs and styles are singled out for different treatment because they do not conform to normative standers for other races.”

The EEOC’s district director pointed out that “generally, there are racial distinctions in the natural texture of black and non-black hair. The EEOC will not tolerate employment discrimination against African-American employees because they choose to wear and display the natural texture of their hair, manage and style their hair in a manner amenable to it, or manage and style their hair in a manner differently from non-blacks.”

A federal judge in Alabama didn’t buy the government’s seemingly far-fetched argument and in 2014 dismissed the race discrimination suit, finding that the company’s hairstyle policy did not violate federal anti-discrimination law. In his ruling the judge, Charles R. Butler, wrote that since Title VII of the Civil Rights Act only prohibits discrimination based on unchangeable characteristics, like sex and race, the company didn’t violate the law by banning the hairstyle.

The Obama administration appealed and this month the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Alabama judge’s decision, rejecting Jones’s right to keep the dreadlocks. The appellate court found that Catastrophe Management Solutions has a “race-neutral grooming policy” and that hairstyles are not “immutable physical characteristics,” though the court acknowledged they could be “culturally associated with race.”

On the EEOC’s twitter account, which is embedded in the agency’s official website, an official comments on the Jones case: “I wonder if a woman who wore a hijab would have been asked to not wear that when coming to work?” The EEOC post was written by a black official named Michelle Adams, who also includes a clip from a 1990s television comedy sitcom because it reminds her of Jones’s “choice to fight” the dreadlock ban (the reality is that taxpayers funded the fight because a federal agency represented Jones). In the TV clip a black male employee tells white managers that his hair is not just for fashion. “It’s part of my heritage,” the actor says. “It’s a statement of pride.”

The question comparing dreadlocks to hijabs was rhetorical because the EEOC employee knows Muslims have a legal right to wear religious head covers at work thanks to litigation initiated by her agency. Judicial Watch has reported on some of the cases, including a 2013 federal court ruling that a Muslim woman’s civil rights were violated by an American clothing retailer that didn’t allow her to wear a hijab at work. As it has in other instances, the EEOC accused the retailer of religious discrimination under the Civil Rights Act and a federal judge agreed.

In the ruling the judge wrote that the retailer acted with malice and reckless indifference by forcing the Muslim woman to remove her hijab, even though it had a company-wide policy prohibiting all types head cover.

The religious rights argument has also been used by the EEOC on behalf of dreadlocks. Over the summer the EEOC sued a private business for religious discrimination after it ordered a male employee to cut his dreadlocks. The man, a prep cook in central Florida, is Rastafari and the “Afrocentric” religion born in the slums of Jamaica requires followers to have long, matted and knotted hair. Judicial Watch will monitor the outcome of the case, which was filed in July. There is no formal, organized leadership in Rastafarianism which makes it difficult to accept as an official religion protected by federal law.

Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie, the former emperor of Ethiopia, is God and that he’ll help blacks living in exile as a result of the slave trade return to Africa. Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley, who died in Miami in 1981, was among the best known Rastafarians and more recently a famous rapper known as Snoop Dogg became Rastafari and changed his name to Snoop Lion, according to a mainstream news report. “A key belief for Rastas is the notion of death to all white and black oppressors,” the story says, adding that “the most common outward expressions of Rastafari are Rastas’ dreadlocks, penchant for smoking marijuana and vegetarian diets.”

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As President Obama scrambles to release captives from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba his own intelligence advisers reveal that a growing number of inmates freed from the compound reengage in terrorism.

This is nothing new and in fact, has been documented over the years in various government assessments but this latest information comes in the midst of a frenzy to clear out the maximum security facility in order to realize the president’s longtime dream of closing it.

A new report released this month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) shows that of the 161 Gitmo detainees released by the Obama administration, nine are confirmed to be “directly involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.”

The ODNI, the broad agency that serve as an umbrella for the intelligence community and advises the president, also writes that 113 of the 532 Gitmo captives released during the George W. Bush administration have engaged in terrorist activities. This demonstrates that recidivism among this demographic is hardly earth-shattering news yet the administration keeps releasing more and more captives from the facility at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba.

The ODNI further reveals that at least two prisoners released from Gitmo by Obama and two others released by Bush have returned to “terrorist activities” during the first half of this year alone. “Based on trends identified during the past eleven years, we assess that some detainees currently at GTMO will seek to reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities after they are transferred,” according to the ODNI, which is composed of more than a dozen spy agencies, including Air Force, Army, Navy, Treasury and Coast Guard intelligence as well as the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The agency also stated in its report that “former GTMO detainees routinely communicate with each other, families of other former detainees, and previous associates who are members of terrorist organizations. The reasons for communication span from the mundane (reminiscing about shared experiences) to the nefarious (planning terrorist operations). We assess that some GTMO detainees transferred in the future also will communicate with other former GTMO detainees and persons in terrorist organizations.”

Various government agencies have been documenting this for years. Back in 2009 the Department of Defense (DOD) reported a rise in the number of Gitmo detainees who rejoined terrorist missions after being released. At the time the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency, which gathers foreign military intelligence, disclosed that the number of Gitmo prisoners that returned to “the fight” since their release from custody nearly doubled in a short time from 37 to 61.

The agency used data such as fingerprints, pictures and other intelligence reports to confirm the high rate of recidivism among released prisoners. By then around 500 had been transferred to other countries though defense officials maintained that most should never have been released because they pose a serious threat to the United States.

A perfect example is an Al Qaeda operative who was put on a global terrorist list a few years after the U.S. released him from Gitmo. Embarrassingly enough, the U.S. government even offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts. The Saudi national, Ibrahim al-Rubaysh, was repatriated back home under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead has served as a training camp for future terrorists.

In fact, in 2008 counterterrorism officials confirmed that many of the terrorists who return to “the fight” after being released from U.S. custody actually graduated from the laughable Saudi rehab program, which started under Bush and continued under Obama.

In an effort to stop Obama from releasing more terrorists, a congresswoman from Indiana recently introduced legislation that would temporarily halt the transfer of Gitmo detainees. The House passed the measure last week by a 244-174 vote but it’s highly unlikely to get approved by the Senate, and even if it does, Obama will most certainly veto it. The lawmaker behind the bill, Jackie Walorski, said the president’s plan to close Gitmo is “reckless” and “puts American lives at risk.”

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The recent murder committed by a twice-deported illegal immigrant gangbanger in a Maryland sanctuary county makes the following information both enraging and unbelievable; nearly 12,000 illegal immigrants with criminal histories were protected from federal authorities by sanctuary jurisdictions in the U.S. during a 19-month period, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) figures obtained by the Washington D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

A few weeks ago CIS published a map identifying about 300 jurisdictions that have official policies shielding illegal aliens from federal authorities. During a 19-month stretch from January 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, more than 17,000 federal detainers were rejected by these sanctuary jurisdictions, CIS found.

Around 11,800 of the detainers, or 68%, were issued for individuals with a prior criminal history. “According to ICE statistics, since the Obama administration implemented the new Priority Enforcement Program in July 2015 restricting ICE use of detainers, the number of rejected detainers has declined,” CIS writes in a report accompanying the map. “However, the number of detainers issued by ICE also has declined in 2016, so it is not clear if the new policies are a factor.”

The bottom line is that hundreds of local governments across the nation shield illegal immigrants from the feds, even when they have engaged in criminal activity. In some cases they go on to commit heinous crimes that receive widespread media attention. Judicial Watch has reported many of them and launched investigations, obtaining public records from the jurisdictions that protected the criminal aliens.

Back in 2008 Judicial Watch obtained records from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department—an agency long renowned for offering sanctuary—related to Edwin Ramos, an illegal alien from El Salvador who murdered three innocent American citizens. Ramos was a member of a famously violent street gang and had been convicted of two felonies as a juvenile (a gang-related assault on a bus passenger and the attempted robbery of a pregnant woman) yet he was allowed to remain in the country.

Judicial Watch also investigated the 2010 case of a drunken illegal alien who killed a nun in Virginia and we sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to obtain records. The Bolivian national, Carlos Montano, had a substantial criminal history but federal authorities released him on his own recognizance after two previous arrests. Virginia doesn’t have a statewide sanctuary policy, but Arlington and Chesterfield County do, according to the CIS database.

Judicial Watch’s probe determined that Montano had a revoked license and had previously been arrested on drunk-driving charges when his car crossed a median and slammed into a vehicle carrying three nuns. The two survivors were critically injured. The number of serious crimes committed by illegal aliens who have benefitted from sanctuary policies is undoubtedly on the rise.

Just last summer a case in a small sanctuary town of 40,000 received global media attention over the gruesome nature of the crime. A Haitian illegal immigrant who had spent 17 years in prison for attempted murder, savagely stabbed a young woman in Norwich, Connecticut then stuffed her body in a closet.

At least three deportation orders had been issued for the killer, Jean Jacques, dating back to 2002. Connecticut has long protected illegal immigrants with sanctuary policies and even offers them special drivers’ licenses, known as Drive Only. The state also gives illegal aliens discounted tuition at public colleges and universities and authorities work hard to restrict the feds from deporting illegal immigrants.

In fact, despite President Obama’s amnesty and open-borders policies, Connecticut is always a step ahead when it comes to protecting illegal immigrants and granting them rights. Undoubtedly, this attracts a large population of undocumented aliens like the murderer in this case.

Last week an illegal immigrant member of the notoriously violent MS-13 street gang murdered a teenager in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The 28-year-old gangbanger from El Salvador, Oscar Delgado-Perez, had been deported twice in the last two years, according to a mainstream newspaper.

Nevertheless Delgado-Perez was never removed and, along with two fellow gangbangers, he brutally stabbed an 18-year-old more than 40 times in a Gaithersburg park as the teen begged for his life. Gaithersburg is in Montgomery County, which proudly offers illegal aliens sanctuary. In fact, earlier this year Montgomery County officials publicly reassured illegal aliens that police would play no role in a federal government operation to deport recent undocumented aliens from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

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Days before the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history Obama’s Homeland Security secretary became the highest ranking government official—and first sitting cabinet member—to highlight a convention held annually by a radical Muslim group with extremist origins.

The Indiana-based nonprofit is called Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and it was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas and Al Qaeda. ISNA was a co-conspirator in a huge case involving an Islamic charity (Holy Land Foundation) that provided support to a foreign terrorist organization, mainly Hamas.

ISNA conferences often feature contentious speakers, including renowned Islamists and advocates of terrorism. Among them is Imam Warth Deen Umar, who referred to the 9/11 hijackers as martyrs that were secretly admired by Muslims and has called for violent jihad.

At one ISNA convention Umar portrayed the Holocaust as punishment of Jews for being “serially disobedient to Allah,” according to a research conglomerate recognized as the world’s most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups.

The nonprofit, Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), published a disturbing report on ISNA that documents its radical ideology and conference speakers throughout the years that include “some of the world famous Islamists and advocates of Jihad.”

About a week before the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Obama deployed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to ISNA’s annual powwow in Chicago. The appearance likely amounted to a slap in the face to many Americans, especially survivors of the 2001 attacks.

Johnson’s speech lasted about 22 minutes and he basically said ISIS/ISIL isn’t Islamic, that Islam is a religion of peace and that Islamophobia is the same as McCarthyism. In a press release announcing the appearance, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) writes that Johnson will discuss the Obama administration’s “continued commitment to build bridges to Muslim American communities, and encourage Muslim Americans—particularly youth—to continue to fully participate in American society.”

Johnson didn’t exactly receive a warm reception and was booed repeatedly, especially as he exited the stage. He told the crowd that a group of terrorists is attempting to hijack their religion and that he and Obama “refuse to bend to the political pressure to call terrorism Islamic extremism.”

He went on to say that “we know that ISIL, though it claims the banner of Islam, occupies no part of your religion, a religion founded on peace.” Then Johnson proceeded to compare the discrimination and vilification suffered by Muslims to the plight of African Americans, in particular to “tar you with a broad brush of suspicion.”

Johnson proclaimed that the bullying and physical attacks experienced by Muslims nationwide are familiar to him as a black man. “I look out at this room of American Muslims and I see myself,” he said, adding that theirs is a similar struggle to the one his African American ancestors fought to win acceptance in the U.S.

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The Obama administration’s failure to protect the southern border has allowed Mexican cartels to smuggle record amounts of drugs into the United States, especially heroin, which is increasingly popular in the U.S.

Once the drugs get smuggled north Mexican traffickers use street, prison and outlaw motorcycle gangs to distribute them throughout the country much like a legitimate business enterprise.This has been going on for years and there seems to be no end in sight, according to a disturbing new report published by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the nonpartisan agency that provides Congress with policy and legal analysis.

“Mexican transnational criminal organizations are the major suppliers and key producers of most illegal drugs smuggled into the United States,” the CRS states in its new report.

“They have been increasing their share of the U.S. drug market—particularly with respect to heroin.” The bulk of the heroin smuggled into the United States transits across the Southwest border, the CRS writes, revealing that “from 2010 to 2015 heroin seizures in this area more than doubled from 1,016 kg to 2,524 kg.”

The trend mirrors the increase in overall seizures throughout the U.S., the CRS figures show. For instance, federal arrests and prosecutions of heroin traffickers have skyrocketed with 6,353 heroin-related arrests in 2015. Additionally, the number of individuals sentenced for heroin trafficking offenses in federal courts has increased by almost 50%, the report says.

There are at least eight major Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating in the United States with the Sinaloa Cartel being the most active, the CRS reveals. “Mexican transnational criminal organizations (MTCOs) remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group can challenge them in the near term.”

They operate sophisticated enterprises, using nearly 100 U.S. gangs in their cross-border crimes, government figures show.

Because the Mexican cartels move their drugs through the Southwest border, western states have become part of what’s known as the “heroin transit zone,” the CRS report says. “In addition, as the Mexican traffickers take on a larger role in the U.S. heroin market, and expand their operations to the East Coast, authorities have seen black tar heroin emerge in the Northeastern United States, where it had rarely been seen,” the report states.

Large quantities of a synthetic opioid known as Fentanyl are also entering the U.S. primarily via the Mexican border, though the drug also comes from China. Fentanyl is 25-40 times more potent than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

Undoubtedly, there’s an epidemic of drug abuse in the U.S. but cutting off the source would obviously improve the crisis. This may seem like common sense, but the CRS gently reminds legislators to consider it. “Policymakers may examine U.S. efforts to combat heroin trafficking as a means of combatting opioid abuse in the United States,” the CRS writes in its report.

“Policymakers may also look at existing federal strategies on drug control, transnational crime, and Southwest border crime to evaluate whether they are able to target the current heroin trafficking threat.”

Among the common-sense suggestions listed in the document is “securing U.S. borders.” It comes from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which has made disrupting drug trafficking and production a priority.

The impact of Mexican drug cartels has been well documented for some time in a number of government audits, even as the Obama administration insists the southern border is secure.

Less than a year ago the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a report confirming that the majority of illegal drugs in the United States come from Mexico and Mexican traffickers remain the greatest criminal threat to the United States.

They’re classified as Transitional Criminal Organizations (TCOs) by the government and for years they’ve smuggled in enormous quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

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Judicial Watch is investigating why the U.S. Treasury Department rushed to give a major American hotel company special permission to operate in Cuba for the first time in nearly three decades, possibly with behind-the-scenes collaboration from the State Department.

Under the U.S. economic embargo such deals would be prohibited by law, even after President Obama’s efforts to restore relations with the island’s communist regime. Congressional action is required to lift the embargo against Cuba, though the executive branch has latitude in enforcing the law and Obama has reestablished diplomatic ties with Cuba as well as direct air service and mail between the two countries.

A few days before Obama’s historic March trip to Cuba, U.S. hospitality firm Starwood, which operates Sheraton, Westin and other prominent hotel brands, received authorization from the U.S. Treasury Department to run several hotels on the island in apparent violation of U.S. laws.

All of the hotels are properties that were confiscated by Cuba’s communist regime without compensating private owners and are currently owned by the Cuban military, which means all profits generated by any commercial venture will finance the regime’s repressive apparatus. Furthermore, the Cuban government will assign hotel workers their jobs and employees will have no labor rights. U.S. law prohibits American companies from operating under these conditions in other countries.

In an announcement celebrating the unusually swift Treasury authorization to do business in Cuba, Starwood Chief Executive Officer Thomas B. Mangas said “with Cuba’s rich history, natural beauty and strong culture, there is no question the entire U.S. hospitality industry has watched Cuba with great interest, and we are thrilled to lead the charge and bring our sophisticated, high-end brands into the market at this inflection point.” Somehow, Starwood beat out several other American companies that have been trying to obtain U.S. government approval to do business in Cuba, according to a mainstream newspaper. Among them is Marriott International whose CEO actually accompanied Obama on his trip to Cuba earlier this year.

To secure the authorization Starwood hired a bigtime Washington D.C. lobbying firm, DLA Piper, to advocate on its behalf. Records show that Starwood has paid DLA Piper $560,000 in lobbying fees since Obama announced he would normalize relations with Cuba in 2014.

Judicial Watch has learned that DLA Piper attorney and partner Evan Migdail handled the negotiations between Starwood and the Obama administration. In Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the State Department and U.S. Treasury, Judicial Watch is among other things seeking all records of communication between any official, employee or representative of the respective agencies and Migdail, who is a registered lobbyist representing Starwood.

The FOIAs also seek risk assessments, analysis or documents produced or reviewed during the approval process and records of communications—including any foreign policy guidance—between the two agencies related to the authorization.

Cuba’s government is a renowned human rights violator that represses and incarcerates individuals and groups that criticize it. “Officials employ a range of tactics to punish dissent and instill fear in the public, including beatings, public acts of shaming, termination of employment, and threats of long-term imprisonment,” according to a report published by the international group Human Rights Watch. “Short-term arbitrary arrests have increased dramatically in recent years and routinely prevent human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others from gathering or moving about freely.”

A few years before the Obama administration removed Cuba from the government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, Judicial Watch reported, based on records gathered from Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, that Hezbollah established an operational base on the communist island.

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Again with the damn emails… but this time Hillary could be in big trouble for a “pay-to-play” scheme with the Clinton Foundation. See the judge lay down the law.

When the State Department released previously un-released emails to Judicial Watch over a FOIA request, they uncovered high-level officials for the Clinton Foundation asked favors from Hillary at the State Department.

The best way to explain the “pay-for-play” scandal is to let Judge Andrew Napolitano break it down. Watch him lay down the law and expose Hillary’s most vulnerable subject, the Clinton Foundation.

The fact that her top aide, Huma Abedin was the person on Hillary’s end that coordinated the response from the State Department, this scandal could reach all the way to the top.

We don’t know yet.

Since the State Department redacted the name of the person that was a big donor to the Clinton Foundation and wanted to work with the power makers in an African country, we don’t know the depth of this potential crime, but it does look like a crime.

America has always known that this is how politics work, but we never had any proof that could actually stop a politician from doing it again.

This scandal is breaking now, but it will take months to figure out who the donor was or for any investigation to reach any level tp really take off.

If the FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation since they have been working on the other email scandal, then we might here something before the election.

Investigations take a long time. The last email investigation by the FBI came to no result except about four points in the polls for the next few weeks.

There is a legitimate possibility that the FBI is investigating Hillary and she could become the president before they can conclude their results.

There are people in the FBI that want to get this information out, and we can only hope that the FBI can officially come to some type of an answer before the election.

Do you think this FBI investigation will bring down Hillary before the election? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The upcoming Hollywood movie, Snowden, about traitor Edward Snowden—criminally charged by the U.S. government under the Espionage Act—portrays the National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor who leaked top secret information as a courageous patriot. Nothing surprising there considering the film’s Academy award-winning director, Oliver Stone, referred to Snowden as a “hero” back in 2013 when he fled to Moscow to avoid prosecution after betraying his country. Snowden’s illegal disclosures have helped terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and led to the death of innocent people. Last year Snowden began openly engaging with ISIS and Al Qaeda members and supporters via social media.

“Snowden has done incalculable damage to the NSA and, in the process, to American national security,” according to University of Virginia Law School Professor Robert F. Turner, who specializes in national security issues and served as Counsel to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board at the White House.

“Officials in position to know said good people have already lost their lives thanks to Snowden. Countless more are likely to lose theirs now that our enemies know our most closely guarded sources and methods of communications intelligence collection.” Turner adds that Snowden is hailed as a hero and “whistleblower” by those who are clueless to the devastation he’s done. “When all of the smoke clears, it may very well be proven that Snowden is the most injurious traitor in American history.”

This would make it illegal to profit from his crimes and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should confiscate all money made by the violators. Snowden is no whistleblower. In fact he violated his secrecy agreement, which means he and his conspirators can’t materially profit from his fugitive status, violation of law, aiding and abetting of a crime and providing material support to terrorism.

It’s bad enough that people are profiting from Snowden’s treason, but adding salt to the wound, the Obama administration is doing nothing about it. Judicial Watch has launched an investigation and is using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain records. True whistleblowers and law-abiding intelligence officers such as Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, FBI Special Agent Robert G. Wright and Valerie Plame got release authority in accordance with their secrecy agreement and did not seek money or flee to Russia.

A federal appellate court has ruled that government employees, such as Snowden, who signed privacy agreements can’t profit from disclosing information without first obtaining agency approval. The case involved a CIA agent (Frank Snepp) who violated his agreement with the agency by publishing a book. A federal court denied Snepp royalties from his book and an appellate court upheld the ruling, reiterating that the disgraced agent breached the “constructive trust” between him and the government.

Furthermore, Snowden, Stone and the producers of a 2014 Oscar-winning Snowden film titled “Citizenfour” may be in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which forbids providing material support or resources for acts of international terrorism. Many deep-pocketed institutions have been sued under the law for providing terrorist organizations or affiliates resources that assisted in the commission of terrorist acts.

Just last month the families of victims killed and injured by Hamas filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook under ATA for providing the terrorist group with material support by letting it use its services to help carry out attacks. A number of banks have also been sued under the law for financing terrorist activities, albeit unknowingly.

Both Stone and “Citizenfour” director Laura Poitras had clandestine meetings abroad with Snowden. Stone told a Hollywood trade publication he met Snowden in Russia and that he moved production overseas because filming in the U.S. was too risky. “We didn’t know what the NSA might do, so we ended up in Munich, which was a beautiful experience,” Stone said. Poitras actually collaborated with Snowden’s defection to China then Russia and had email communication with him before he committed his crimes so she had foreknowledge.

This is all included in her documentary. On May 20, 2013 Snowden flew to Hong Kong to meet with British journalists and Poitras. He gave them thousands of classified documents and Poitras became known as the woman who helped Snowden spill his secrets, or rather commit treason. When Citizenfour won the 2015 Academy Award, Poitras was joined by Snowden’s girlfriend during her acceptance speech at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. “The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” Poitras said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you to Edward Snowden for his courage and for the many other whistleblowers.”

Snowden remains a fugitive from U.S. law protected by Russia. On June 14, 2013, federal prosecutors charged him with “theft of government Property,” “unauthorized communication of national defense information” and “willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person.” Al Qaeda keeps using information leaked by Snowden to help its fighters evade surveillance technology, according to a British newspaper report. “The terrorist group has issued new video guidance based on what they have learnt about Western spying methods from the Snowden disclosures which have been made public on the internet,” the article states. “The move confirms the worst fears of British and American intelligence chiefs who warned that Snowden’s betrayal would play into the hands of the terrorists. The video even uses footage of news reports of the Snowden leak, highlighting how ‘NSA is tracking millions of phones.’”

In Other Edward Snowden News – “Snowden Missing And Feared Dead”

Watch the trailer for Snowden below.



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