Tag Archives: eric holder

Ex-AG Eric Holder: Pot ‘Ought to Be Rescheduled’

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said that he believes that the federal government should end marijuana’s classification alongside heroin as a hardcore Schedule 1 narcotic with no medical use.

When asked during a comprehensive Tuesday PBS interview on criminal justice reform if marijuana should be decriminalized, Holder replied, “I certainly think it ought to be rescheduled. You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate. So at a minimum, I think Congress needs to do that. Then I think we need to look at what happens in Colorado and what happens in Washington.

He also said of decriminalization, “That conversation I think ought to be had with regard to marijuana.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis Oil Activist Shona Banda, Now Facing Felony Charges, Speaks Out]

Holder credited Tea Party Republicans with helping to create the right timing for his push for criminal justice reforms while in office and said, “That was a surprising thing. As much as the country was, or at least the federal government were drifting to the right, you were hearing things from people on the right that was supportive of this notion of the need for criminal justice reform. Now, coming at it from perhaps from a different angle, in some ways, people on the right were talking about bankrupting the government, making sure that we didn’t spend as much money as we were on prisons — you know, $80 billion a year or so. … So although on the federal side, there was a drift to the right, a rise of the Tea Party caucus, even among them there was this notion that yeah, we need to do something about our criminal justice system. So the timing was right.

The drug war I think is over. Certainly calling it the drug war should be over. But the battle against the narcotics problem in this country has to go on. But we need to take some different approaches, and it should not all be seen as just a criminal justice problem. It ought to be seen as a public health issue,” Holder said.

[RELATED: Shona Banda’s Attorney Plans to Fight Cannabis’ Classification As Schedule 1 Narcotic]

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition executive director and retired Baltimore Police Department and Maryland State Police Maj. Neill Franklin said in a press release on Holder’s comments, “I believe Holder’s statements will inspire more high-ranking officials to speak publicly about the injustices they see in our failed marijuana policies. Ultimately, his support will move us closer to ending marijuana prohibition for good.

Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell raised questions about Holder’s sincerity in comments with The Chicago Sun-Times and said, “It would have been a lot better if he’d exercised the power to get marijuana rescheduling done while he was still in office. … There’s absolutely no reason marijuana should be in Schedule I, and it would be absurd to keep passing the buck to Congress when federal law clearly gives the administration the power to act.

In September of 2014, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode tackling the federal government’s mixed messages on medical cannabis. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


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ATF Finds ‘Fast and Furious’ Rifle at El Chapo Hideout

Fox News has reported that federal officials found a .50-caliber rifle linked to the failed gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious at Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s hideout in Mexico.

The drug lord escaped from prison last year before being found on January 8th at a hideout in Los Mochis, Mexico. The ensuing shootout killed five men and wounded one Mexican marine. A number of weapons, including the .50-caliber rifle, were found at the scene.

Fox reports:

“When agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives checked serial numbers of the eight weapons found in his possession, they found one of the two .50-caliber weapons traced back to the ATF program, sources said. 

Federal officials told Fox News they are not sure how many of the weapons seized from Guzman’s house actually originated in the U.S. and where they were purchased, but are investigating.

Out of the roughly 2,000 weapons sold through Fast and Furious, 34 were .50-caliber rifles that can take down a helicopter, according to officials.”

Operation Fast and Furious was a program in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) knowingly sold guns to Mexican drug cartels.

According to a report in the LA Times:

“The term ‘gun walking’ is central to the failure of Fast and Furious. Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives purposely allowed licensed firearms dealers to sell weapons to illegal straw buyers, hoping to track the guns to Mexican drug cartel leaders and arrest them. But they lost track of more than 2,000 weapons, and the Mexican government says some of them have turned up at about 170 crime scenes there.”

The program led to arrests of smaller criminals, but up to this point no cartel leaders have been arrested. Instead, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry lost his life, along with hundreds of Mexican citizens on the border. These deaths can be traced directly to weapons sold under Fast and Furious.

It should also be noted that as recently as January 2014 El Chapo was reported to have some sort of partnership with the U.S. government. Business Insider reported:

“An investigation by El Universal found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels.

There have long been allegations that Guzman, considered to be “the world’s most powerful drug trafficker,” coordinates with American authorities.”

Despite attempts by the Obama Administration and former Attorney General Eric Holder to silence the truth about Fast and Furious, details have emerged. Before leaving office, Holder was found in contempt by the House of Representatives for his refusal to hand over documents related to the operation. These documents likely indicate that Attorney General Eric Holder knew more than he admitted while under oath.

On June 20, 2012 President Obama used executive privilege to keep the documents from the public. Just last week, a federal judge ruled that Obama cannot use executive privilege to keep those records secret from Congress.

According to heavily redacted emails, Holder was told about Fast and Furious in memos in July, October and November 2010. However, on March 10th, 2011, Holder testified before a Senate subcommittee that he had just learned about the Fast and Furious gun-walking allegations.

According to documents obtained by N4T, the ATF was not accurate in its assessment that the Fast and Furious program was only active in Phoenix, Arizona. N4T reports that weapons from a gunstore used by the ATF have been found in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Hermosillo, Mexico.  The weapons were stolen in October 2010, two months before Fast and Furious weapons were found at the death of Brian Terry, from the Lone Wolf Trading Company gun store in Glendale, Arizona.

Lawyer: Edward Snowden “Ready To Return” To US If Provided Fair Trial

Anatoly Kucherena, one of Edward Snowden’s lawyers, told Russian media outlet TASS that he and other lawyers are working on the “legal aspect” of Snowden’s possible return to the United States. Snowden, who has been in Russia since 2013 after exposing the NSA’s data collection practices, is reportedly open to returning to the United States if he is assured a fair trial.

“Edward Snowden is ready to return to the US, but on the condition that he will be given guarantees on receiving a fair and impartial trial,” Kucherena said. A letter sent to Kucherena by Attorney General Eric Holder in 2013 had included a promise that Snowden wouldn’t face the death penalty upon his return to the United States. Kucherena said, “That is, they guarantee that Snowden will not be executed, not that he will receive a fair trial. And it is guaranteed by attorney [general] who cannot even influence court decisions according to law.”

Snowden told Brian Williams last year that he wanted to go home. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden had said, but also acknowledged there was no guarantee of amnesty or clemency. Snowden told Williams that he didn’t want to return home to a jail cell to serve as a “bad example for other people in government who see something happening, some violation of the Constitution, and think they need to say something about it.”

If Snowden was to return to the United States, he would face charges under the Espionage Act. He has been provided a 3-year residency permit in Russia after his temporary asylum expired last August.

AG Nominee Loretta Lynch Opposes Legal Pot, Ducks Question on Drone Strikes on US Soil

On January 28, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee as a part of her confirmation hearing. She has been tapped by President Obama to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Though the Republican-controlled Senate has the power to confirm or deny her nomination, senators typically show extraordinary leniency in approving presidential appointees. Politico notes that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has threatened to block her nomination, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will go forward with the vote to confirm Lynch. During her testimony, she gave answers that seemed to contradict the Obama administration’s positions on marijuana legalization and also dodged a question on whether the president has the power to carry out a lethal drone strike on American soil against a US citizen that poses no imminent threat.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who is set to step down as soon as his replacement has been confirmed by the Senate, has taken a decidedly hands-off approach to enforcing marijuana prohibition on states that have taken steps to legalize it for recreational or medical use. NPR notes that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch if she shares President Obama’s views on marijuana, characterizing his position with a quote from the President in which he said to the The New Yorker, “I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Lynch, a prosecutor, took a hardcore prohibitionist’s stance in contrast with President Obama and Eric Holder, signaling that she might crack down on pot as attorney general. Said Lynch, “Well, Senator, I certainly don’t hold that view, and don’t agree with that view of marijuana as a substance. I certainly think that the president was speaking from his personal experience and personal opinion — neither of which I am able to share.” She continued, “Not only do I not support legalization of marijuana — it is not the position of the Department of Justice, currently, to support the legalization, nor would it be the position should I become confirmed as attorney general.” According to The Los Angeles Times, she said, “I will continue to enforce the marijuana laws, particularly with respect to the money-laundering aspect to it.”

Breitbart highlighted an exchange that took place between Senator Ted Cruz and Loretta Lynch in which the two clashed over the use of drone strikes on US soil against American citizens. Said Cruz, “In your legal judgment, is it constitutional for the federal government to utilize a drone strike against an American citizen on US soil if that individual does not pose an imminent threat?”

Despite the fact that Cruz qualified the question by pointing out the fact that the hypothetical drone strike target does not pose an imminent threat, Lynch replied that she would need more information to determine whether the use of lethal force would be constitutional. Said Lynch, “Well, Senator, I think with respect to the use of lethal force by any means one would always want to look at the law enforcement issues involved there, and, certainly, if you could provide more context there, I could place it in the scope of either a case or an issue that I might have familiarity with.”

After Senator Cruz made several failed attempts to get Lynch’s legal opinion on lethal drone strikes on US soil by rephrasing his question, he said, “I am disappointed that, like Attorney General Holder, you are declining to give a simple, straight-forward answer and, in fact, what I think is the obvious answer of no — the federal government can not use lethal force from a drone to kill an American citizen on American soil if that individual doesn’t pose an imminent threat. I don’t view that as a difficult legal question.”

On the subject of marijuana legalization, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode last September which took on the federal government’s mixed messages on cannabis prohibition. Watch it in the embedded player below.

DOUBLE STANDARD: Will Petraeus Face Charges? Senators Say He Has “Suffered Enough”

Washington DC- Two prosecutors for the Department of Justice have recommended that an indictment be brought against David Petraeus. Petraeus reportedly shared his email account and classified information with a lover who also happened to be his biographer.

As you might remember Petraeus, the four-star general who led the surge in Afghanistan and in Iraq under President’s Bush and Obama also became for a short time the director of the CIA. While head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Petraeus is suspected of illegally sharing classified materials with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer with whom he was having an affair. Federal agents found classified documents on Broadwell’s computer and at her home, raising the question of how she obtained those materials.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to say Sunday whether he would indict Petraeus despite reports saying charges were imminent.

Most interesting, however is the parade of U.S. Senators who have come to the defense of Petraeus including Sen. John McCain and Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein tells CNN’s State of the Union that she not only supports Petraeus but that she believes he has “suffered enough”. In the video above, Feinstein explains that Petraeus has “lost his job already”.

It is important to note however that Feinstein, believes that Julian Assange, “Should be vigorously prosecuted for espionage”. The Senator also believes that Edward Snowden “violated his oath and violated the law”, calling the exposure of the NSA spying program “treason”.

It is worth nothing that in Snowden’s case he revealed the NSA program to the American public, on whom the program was illegally spying. Snowden’s revelations whether you agree with them or not, was not for personal gain. On the other hand, Petraeus’ sharing of information was not a revelation to the person with whom it was shared. Rather it was allowing classified information to be handed over to a girlfriend for the sake of scoring points.

Even so, Feinstein doesn’t feel that Petraeus needs to suffer anymore.

The Intercept has pointed out that Petraeus isn’t actually suffering at all after having compromised classified information. “David Petraeus, the person who Feinstein said has “suffered enough,” was hired last year by the $73 billion investment fund KKR to be Chairman of its newly created KKR Global Institute, on top of the $220,000/year pension he receives from the U.S. Army and the teaching position he holds at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Let us all pause for a moment to lament the deep suffering of this man, and the grave injustice of inflicting any further deprivation upon him.”

Obama Extends NSA Spying Powers Yet Again

Nine Months Later, Promises of Reform Still Unmet

by Jason Ditz, December 08, 2014
Back in March, Attorney General Eric Holder was promising that the Justice Department was on track to reform the NSA surveillance powers by the deadline of March 28, less than two weeks later. It didn’t happen.
A 90-day extension came and went, and then another 90-day extension was tacked on to that, pushing the deadline for the reform of the mass surveillance to December 5.This time, when the deadline rolled around there was so little expectation of actual reform that its approach was barely even covered. Even the administration seemingly gave it a miss over the weekend Unsurprisingly, it was extended yet again with no real hint of reforms coming.

Other than a brief, failed attempt to pass a toothless version of a reform bill in the Senate, the notion that NSA mass surveillance is ever going to get altered in a meaningful way is looking more dubious all the time.

The statement expressed support for working with the new, more pro-surveillance Congress on “reforms,” which will be even weaker than the last failed bill. Though there are still some in Congress pushing against the wholesale data mining to the American public, for now it seems that extending the deadline indefinitely is simply the new normal.

JP Morgan Chase Whistleblower Reveals Bank and Fed Cover-Up of Fraud

Securities Lawyer, and former employee of JP Morgan Chase, Alayne Fleischmann, recently spoke out about her experience with the bank, in an interview with Rolling Stone, and revealed the government’s involvement with the “biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history.

Fleischmann began working for JP Morgan Chase as a deal manager in 2006. She first noticed problems when a new “manager for diligence” was hired to review loans, and he insisted that the employees stop sending him emails. Fleischmann noted that he was “wary of putting anything in writing when it came to its mortgage deals.

The whole point of having a compliance and diligence group is to have policies that are set out clearly in writing,” said Fleischmann. “So to have exactly the opposite of that – that was very worrisome.”

The errors continued, and Fleischmann told Rolling Stone that when she raised concerns about “toxic loans,” she found the number crunchers who had also been complaining about the loans “suddenly began changing their reports.

Fleischmann explained the changes by saying that the head diligence manager started “yelling at his team, berating them, making them do reports over and over, keeping them late at night,” in the same way an interrogator “verbally abuses the target until he starts producing the desired answers.”

Everything that I thought was bad at the time turned out to be a million times worse,” Fleischmann said.

In 2007, Fleischmann sent a letter to William Buell, a managing director at JP Morgan Chase. According to Rolling Stone, Fleischmann’s letter “warned Buell of the consequences of reselling bad loans as securities and gave detailed descriptions of breakdowns in Chase’s diligence process.

It used to be if you wrote a memo, they had to stop, because now there’s proof that they knew what they were doing,” said Fleischmann. “But when the Justice Department doesn’t do anything, that stops being a deterrent. I just didn’t know that at the time.

Fleischmann was terminated from the company in the midst of a round of lay-offs in 2008. An investigator from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contacted her in 2012, regarding her knowledge of the events that occurred during her time at JP Morgan Chase. While the investigators were interested in certain parts of her story, it was not until 2013 that she was able to relay her full knowledge. This included “the edict against e-mails, the sabotaging of the diligence process, the bullying, the written warnings that were ignored, all of it.”

However, rather than taking JP Morgan Chase to court, Rolling Stone noted that the government “decided to help Chase bury the evidence,” which began when a press conference to announce the civil-fraud charges against the bank, scheduled by Attorney General Eric Holder for September 24, 2013, was “suddenly canceled, and no complaint was filed.”

Every time I had a chance to talk, something always got in the way,” said Fleischmann. She explained that while it originally seemed like the U.S. government was interested in her testimony, and in brining justice to the crimes committed by JP Morgan Chase, she learned that it was the opposite.

The Justice Department’s political wing, led by Eric Holder, “appeared to be using her, and her evidence, as a bargaining chip to extract more hush money” from JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The Department succeeded in doing this, and they were paid $9 billion by Dimon in a settlement that released JP Morgan Chase from civil liability.

Fleischman admitted that telling her story, and taking both JP Morgan Chase and the Justice Department to task could have serious ramifications.

I could be sued into bankruptcy. I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything,” said Fleischmann. “But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.

Breaking: Eric Holder Resigns

Washington- Attorney General Eric Holder, the first African-American to hold the nation’s top law enforcement position, plans to announce on Thursday that he will resign the post he’s held for nearly six years as soon as a successor can be confirmed. The announcement was first shared with NPR on Thursday.

Holder, who has been heavily criticized by Republicans in Congress for his role in Operation Fast and Furious, as well as criticisms that his AG Department was deeply involved in racial politics.

The House in June 2012 found Mr. Holder in contempt of Congress in a historic vote weighted with political significance — though it did little to break the stalemate over his decision to withhold documents regarding the Justice Department’s actions in a botched gunwalking operation.

The House voted 255-67 to hold Mr. Holder in criminal contempt in a vote that amounted to a political spanking for the attorney general and President Obama, underscored by the 17 Democrats who joined Republicans.

Holder already is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama Cabinet and ranks as the fourth-longest tenured AG in history.

Department Of Justice Report Reveals “Rampant Use Of Unnecessary And Excessive Force” On Teen Inmates

New York- A report released by the Department Of Justice on Monday detailed the results of an investigation surrounding the practices of corrections officers regarding treatment of adolescent inmates at Rikers Island. The report, focused on events between 2011 and 2013, concluded that corrections officers regularly violated the constitutional rights of teenage prisoners by consistently and swiftly resorting to violence in their handlings with them. New York and North Carolina are the only two states that automatically charge teens 16 and older as adults.

Not only did the report criticize the liberal use of force on the teens- nearly 44% of the youth were subjected to use of force by the officers- it also exposed the fact that many investigations into such incidents were corrupted or inadequate. It was found that corrections officers often used a phrase- “hold it down”- to warn inmates against reporting abuse.

In addition to excessive violence from the corrections officers, it was found that the they were also using “punitive segregation”- solitary confinement as punishment- far too often and for long periods of time, sometimes subjecting inmates to months of segregation.

Many of the teen inmates at Rikers suffer from mental health issues; according to the report, in the year of 2013 51% of the incarcerated youth were diagnosed with mental illnesses.

The report also showed a startling number of incidents of inmates fighting one another; in 2013, there were 845 reports of inmate-on-inmate fights within two facilities that hold most of the youth inmates. In 2012, there were 795 reports.

In a press release, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara pointed out that many of the inmates are awaiting trial and have not yet been proven guilty of committing crimes. “As our investigation has shown, for adolescents, Rikers Island is a broken institution. It is a place where brute force is the first impulse rather than the last resort; where verbal insults are repaid with physical injuries; where beatings are routine while accountability is rare; and where a culture of violence endures even while a code of silence prevails. The adolescents in Rikers are walled off from the public, but they are not walled off from the Constitution. Indeed most of these young men are pre-trial detainees who are innocent until proven guilty, but whether they are pre-trial or convicted, they are entitled to be detained safely and in accordance with their Constitutional rights – not consigned to a corrections crucible that seems more inspired by Lord of the Flies than any legitimate philosophy of humane detention,” read the release.

The report showed multiple examples of brutal and unnecessary force on the inmates used by New York City’s Department of Corrections, and also pointed out failures to report instances of excessive force, resulting “in a culture in which staff feel empowered to use force inappropriately, in ways that go outside the bounds of written policies, because they know they are unlikely to face any meaningful consequences.” In one detailed incident:

“The inmates and one officer were working in the trailer and got into a verbal confrontation. The officer grabbed Inmate M by his neck, slammed his face into a concrete wall, and then began to repeatedly punch him. The officer reported that he had been jumped and called for backup. Soon thereafter, several other officers, including probe team members, arrived and brutally assaulted the four inmates, punching and kicking them and striking them with radios, batons, and broomsticks. This continued for several minutes after the inmates had been subdued and handcuffed. The probe team then took the inmates to holding pens in the clinic intake area where they were handcuffed and beaten again by several DOC Gang Intelligence Unit members, who repeatedly punched and kicked them while they were handcuffed and slammed them against cell walls.”

This incident was one of several detailed in the investigation.

The report outlined several measures considered necessary to remedy the violations, including a call for more surveillance cameras, separating the teens from Rikers Island, revising the use of force policy, and implementing an environment where violence is not tolerated and the staff is held accountable for abuse. Bharara said the city has been allowed 49 days to respond.

The report is available in full here.

Group That Sued IRS For Targeting Claims It Has Not Been Interviewed By FBI

True The Vote, a conservative vote-monitoring organization that sued the IRS last year for unfairly delaying their application for tax-exempt status, has revealed that neither the FBI or Department of Justice has interviewed the group, refuting what Attorney General Eric Holder had asserted to ABC News over this past weekend.

Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True The Vote, was interviewed on the Washington, DC radio station WMAL by Larry O’Connor to discuss the lawsuit. O’Connor asked Engelbrecht about Eric Holder’s recent dismissal of needing a special prosecutor for the IRS scandal, declaring that the Justice Department and FBI are doing a “doing a good, professional job” in their investigation.

“You have been at the center of this IRS scandal, I think many would say your group was specifically targeted, and over the weekend Attorney General Eric Holder was asked about the IRS scandal and the calls for an independent investigation. And he said ‘no need for it, because the professionals at the Department of Justice and the FBI are doing a great job investigating this’,” said O’Connor.

“What has your experience been with the Department of Justice and the FBI in this? Have they talked to you quite a bit? Has there been extensive investigation?” O’Connor asked Engelbrecht

Engelbrecht responded, “Yeah, that would be exactly no. Zero. No time have they approached us. Only when they are investigating us, only when they are being adversarial towards us do we ever hear anything from the Department of Justice.”

“The attorney general says the FBI and the career attorneys at the Department Of Justice are doing a great job investigating this. And they haven’t talked to you at all yet? After over a year?” O’Connor asked.

“No,” said Engelbrecht.

Speaking at a lawsuit hearing last Friday between True The Vote and the IRS, District Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered the IRS to provide information about former IRS official Lois Lerner’s destroyed hard drive. Walton’s order came one day after District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered the IRS to explain how it lost thousands of emails in a separate hearing from a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch.

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces “Homegrown” Terrorist Task Force

Washington, D.C.– On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the formation of a Department of Justice task force to combat “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists in the United States.

In a video statement posted on the DOJ website, Holder claimed it was time to focus on terrorism here in the U.S. The video has since been removed.

“We face an escalating danger from self-radicalized individuals within our own borders,” said Holder.

He went on to cite the Fort Hood shootings in 2009 and the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as examples of “the danger we face from these homegrown threats.”

This newly minted task force, the “Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee,” is in essence a reconstituted version of a now defunct task force created by former Atty. Gen. Janet Reno after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The task force will consist of leaders from the FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division and U.S. attorneys.

The task force under Reno focused mainly on right-wing extremism, while Holder’s version will reportedly focus on Internet radicalization.

“As the nature of the threat we face evolves to include the possibility of individual radicalization via the Internet, it is critical that we return our focus to potential extremists here at home,” said Holder.

With the recent characterization of the Bundy supporters as “domestic terrorists,” by Senator Harry Reid, and the revelation that President Obama considered using military force against those that stood in support of the Bundy Ranch under a Department of Defense directive, it begs the question as to who will actually be targeted by this task force.

As previously reported here at BenSwann.com, last month the FBI began an investigation into the militia and supporters that stood with Cliven Bundy during the standoff at his ranch.

Could this task force simply be the continuation and culmination of a narrative that has been forwarded by the government for a number of years?

First there was the MIAC report, which claimed that potential terrorists include people who own gold, Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, and even people who fly the U.S. flag.

Then in 2012, there was a leaked Homeland Security study that claimed Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty,” and “suspicious of centralized federal authority” are possible “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

More recently, there is a Department of Defense training manual, obtained by Judicial Watch, using a FOIA request, which lists people who embrace “individual liberties” and honor “states’ rights,” among other characteristics, as potential “extremists” who are likely to be members of “hate groups.”

This document goes on to call the Founding Fathers extremists, stating, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements, “ including, “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule.”

With the continual militarization of executive agencies and local law enforcement, and the refocusing on “domestic threats,” it seems that the nebulous term of “extremist” can be applied to virtually anyone that questions the status quo or stands up against authoritarian systems of power.


Follow Jay on Facebook and on Twitter @SirMetropolis

AG Holder Wants Gun-Tracking Bracelets


Speaking before a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations committee on Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice wants to explore gun-tracking bracelets as part of its gun control efforts.

With a hat tip and a wink to the Second Amendment, he acknowledged that the Second Amendment provides the unqualified right to own and carry weapons.

Well, sort of.

When speaking about gun control, Holder said the DOJ is turning to technology advances, reported the Washington Free Beacon.

“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and we talked about how guns can be made more safe,” he said.

Wait. What?  You mean the Joe Biden that recommended women to shoot a doubled barrel shot gun into the air to scare off robbers?

Yes. That Joe Biden.

Holder explained further.

“By making them either through fingerprint identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon,” he said.

“It’s those kinds of things that I think we want to try to explore so that we can make sure that people have the ability to enjoy their Second Amendment rights, but at the same time decreasing the misuse of weapons that lead to the kinds of things that we see on a daily basis,” Holder said.

The DOJ is asking for  $382.1 million in increased spending for its fiscal year 2014 budget for gun safety.

Included in that hefty number are technology grants that would award prizes for innovation in gun safety.

A recent innovation allows a gun owner to only unlock a safe with a fingerprint scan and an “RFID-equipped bracelet.” Another idea is manufacturing GPS tracking and RFID chips into every gun. The chips would transmit location data and could be used by law enforcement to send automatic alerts if a weapon moves away from the tracker, indicating that the gun is lost or stolen.

So, you’re constitutionally allowed to carry a weapon, but as long as you give us all of your private data and let the government track you.


BREAKING: Did The Federal Government Just Legalize Marijuana?


As states continue to nullify federal laws against marijuana and hemp, the federal government has been faced with an important question. It’s been more than 75 years, and marijuana and hemp  still remain illegal. Never mind the total lack of reasoning  behind the federal government’s ban. Is it time to end the law?

Less than 24 hours ago, it all came crashing down. According to the Associated Press, the justice department said that states can allow citizens to use the drug, license people to grow it and allow them to purchase it in stores. As long as the drug is kept away from the black market, children and federal property– It’s a go!

According to Mike Maharrey, national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center:

The genie is out of the bottle and she won’t ever go back in. The feds have lost and they know it. No matter how Holder and the DEA couch their words in an attempt to maintain an illusion of control, state actions continue to effectively nullify these unconstitutional marijuana laws.

When asked if the federal government just essentially legalized marijuana Maharrey responded:

The announcement makes it clear the feds have no will to fight the states on weed. They can call it an “illegal drug” all they want, but if they can’t, or won’t, stop people from using marijuana, their “law” means nothing.

The recent surge in nullification has sent states fighting against the federal government on pot use. It would seem that the federal government just gave up. A major victory for the states- no doubt.

Holder Announces Significant Changes To Drug Sentencing Policies

On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced major changes in federal drug sentencing practices.

Holder has proposed that federal prosecutors stop charging low-level, non-violent drug users with offenses that carry severe mandatory sentences.

During his San Francisco speech, Holder said black males receive sentences 20 percent longer than whites who are convicted of the same crime. He asserted that his proposed changes would stop the justice system from unfairly targeting minorities and the poor.

Holder said, “This isn’t just unacceptable, it is shameful.”

Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Changes In Prosecution Of Low Level Drug Offenders

Although Holder is a sometimes-controversial figure, his proposed drug sentencing policies have generally received positive feedback from both sides of the political aisle. Republicans who support the changes point out that millions would be saved in prison costs each year.

As reported by The Washington Post:

“In Congress, both Republican and Democratic leaders have introduced legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimums to certain drug offenders.

Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, said the ACLU is “thrilled” by Holder’s actions.

‘These policies will make it more likely that wasteful and harmful federal prison overcrowding will end,’ Murphy said.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he was heartened by the Obama administration’s willingness to review mandatory minimum sentencing. But Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), said the law should be changed only in conjunction with Congress.”

Holder pointed out that similar steps have worked on the state level.

In Kentucky, over $400 million is projected to be saved in the next ten years by focusing resources on support groups and community supervision. In Kentucky, jail cells are only reseved for very serious offenders.

And in Texas, drug treatment programs for lower-level, non-violent drug users has lowered the prison population by 5,000 in just one year.

Holder wants to use these states as a model for the nation. During his speech, he pointed out that America’s prison population has increased 800 percent since 1980. The statistic is shocking and highlights a real problem in our justice system. Holder said, “With an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate, not merely to warehouse and forget.”

Although the proposed changes have generally been viewed positively, it is unclear at this time exactly how they will be implemented on such a large scale.

What are your thoughts on Holder’s assertions? Do you think using alternatives to jail cells for non-violent drug users is a good idea? Let us know in the comments section below.