Tag Archives: obama administration

FBI Informant: Russia Directed Millions to US to Ensure “Affirmative Decisions” on Uranium One

Washington, D.C. — According to a written statement to three congressional committees, an FBI informant associated with the Uranium One deal alleged that the Russian government sent millions of dollars to the United States with the expectation the funds would bolster former president Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would oversee a “reset” in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

The Hill reports that FBI informant Douglas Campbell told the committees that he had been informed by Russian nuclear executives that Russia had hired US lobbying firm APCO Worldwide due to their “position to influence the Obama administration, and more specifically Hillary Clinton.”

Campbell said in the statement, which was obtained by The Hill, that Russian nuclear officials “told me at various times that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons’ Global Initiative.”

“The contract called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months. APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement.”

An APCO official denied that there was any connection between its work for Russia and the Clinton Global Initiative, claiming that any assertions of misconduct were “false and unfounded.”

“APCO Worldwide’s activities involving client work on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way,” APCO told The Hill in a statement. “All actions on these two unconnected activities were appropriate, publicly documented from the outset and consistent with regulations and the law. Any assertion otherwise is false and unfounded.”

[RELATED: Senate Memo Claims Clinton Allies Were “Feeding” Info to State Dept., Christopher Steele]

Democrats have turned Campbell’s testimony into a partisan affair, calling the FBI informant’s credibility into question, despite the bureau paying him $50,000 for his work with the agency.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, dismissed Campbell’s testimony as a distraction from the special prosecutor’s “Russian collusion” investigation, which some have claimed began as a strategy formed by the Clinton campaign staff to explain Clinton’s stunning election loss to Trump.

“Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade. Along with the widely debunked text-message-gate and Nunes’ embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President’s problems and the threat to democracy he poses,” Merrill said.

A Clinton campaign post-election tell-all, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaignclaimed that Clinton blamed Russian interference for her election loss to Donald Trump “within twenty-four hours of her concession speech”:

“That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

Despite attempts from Democrats to call Campbell’s credibility into question, Republicans are now looking at expanding the investigation into Russian corruption, in relation to the Obama administration and the Uranium One deal, based partially on Campbell’s testimony.

“My FBI handlers praised my work. They told me on various occasions that details from the undercover probe had been briefed directly to FBI top officials. On two occasions my handlers were particularly excited, claiming that my undercover work had been briefed to President Obama as part of his daily presidential briefing,” Campbell wrote.

According to reporting from The Hill:

“Campbell, whose work as an informant was first disclosed in a series of stories published last fall by The Hill, helped the FBI gather evidence as early as 2009 that the Russian nuclear industry was engaged in a kickback, bribery and racketeering scheme on U.S. soil. The criminal scheme, among other things, compromised the U.S. trucking firm that had the sensitive job of transporting uranium around America, Campbell testified.

Campbell says he provided the FBI the evidence of wrongdoing months before the Obama administration approved a series of favorable decisions that enriched Rosatom, including the CFIUS decision. 

The Hill’s stories last fall prompted the Justice Department to take the rare step of freeing Campbell from his nondisclosure agreement as an intelligence asset so he could testify to Congress about what he witnessed inside Russia’s nuclear industry.

Campbell gave the congressional committees documents he said he provided to his FBI handlers in 2010 showing that the Russian and American executives implicated in the Tenex bribery scheme specifically asked him to try to help get the Uranium One deal approved by the Obama administration.”

Campbell’s testimony is of interest to congressional Republicans focused on potential indiscretion in the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal. The agreement gave Russian mining giant Rosatom control of nearly 20 percent of America’s uranium mining capacity, despite the fact that the United States imports more than 90 percent of the uranium used in its nuclear reactors, according to U.S. government figures from 2016.

President Obama to Announce Executive Action for Gun Control

Washington D.C. – President Obama is starting off 2016 with a strong call for gun control measures through the use of presidential executive orders. In 2015, Obama made several promises and appeals to lawmakers and the American people regarding the need for tighter restrictions on purchasing firearms.

US News reports that White House aides stated that Obama will exercise his executive authority later this week and possibly change the background check policy for small-scale gun dealers. This is known as the “gun show loophole” because small arms dealers often able to sell at gun shows without conducting background checks on prospective buyers.

Although Congress would still need to change the current laws before background checks become universal, the Obama administration is attempting to find a provision in the law that could allow unilateral action.

Republican presidential candidates were quick to criticize the potential executive order. Presidential candidate and Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, told Fox News Sunday: “The president is a petulant child. Whenever he doesn’t get what he wants… this president acts like a king.” Fellow presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, also told Fox News, “The president has a pattern of taking away rights of citizens.”

In addition to anticipated action on guns, CNN reported that the news station would host a town hall meeting on Thursday to discuss gun control action. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will host a one-hour live town hall meeting with Obama at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. The event, titled “Guns in America”, is scheduled for 8 p.m. Eastern Thursday night.

CNN also reported that although plans for the executive orders are not complete, President Obama is attempting to reveal the plans before his annual State of the Union address on January 12.

In President Obama’s weekly radio address he said he has received “too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing” about the issue.

“Change, as always, is going to take all of us,” Obama said in his address. “The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone. The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in our defense of our kids. That’s the work of citizenship — to stand up and fight for the change that we seek.”

Democratic Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders told “State of the Union” that he wishes there was another way but supports President Obama.

“I would prefer that we could have bipartisan support, but the truth is Republicans aren’t interested in doing anything on gun safety,” Sanders said.

Former Secretary of State and current front-runner in the Democratic presidential race Hillary Clinton said she worries that a Republican president would repeal executive actions, “including one that we expect (Obama) to make in the next weeks to try to do more to have background checks for more gun buyers by requiring more sellers to do them.”

Conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch told Reuters on Sunday that the group will “sue to block any executive order on gun control.”

President Obama could take action that does not require executive order. As Reuters recently reported, Obama “could direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to redefine its guidance on who is considered a dealer under federal gun law.” However, this would only be advisory and not strong enough to enforce the law.

“The guidance could be used as evidence that prosecutors made a reasonable interpretation that a dealer needed a license, but it’s not binding,” James Jacobs, law professor at New York University and author of the 2004 book Can Gun Control Work?, told Reuters.

The outcome of such an attempt could be that Republican lawmakers attempt to defund the ATF in order to combat such a guidance change.

However, Stanford University law professor John Donohue told Reuters that he does not think requiring background checks would be great enough to warrant a legal challenge. “There are very few things I’d say with 100 percent certainty about what the Supreme Court and other courts would do, but I’m 100 percent certain that no court would say requiring more background checks violates the Second Amendment,” said Donohue.

According to the latest CNN/ORC poll, “fifty-one percent of Americans oppose more stringent gun-control laws and 48 percent favor them. Thirty-nine percent say Obama has gone too far in changing gun laws; 38 percent say he hasn’t gone far enough, and 20 percent say he has done about the right amount.”

Focusing on whether or not requiring background checks is illegal seems to ignore the larger question: is President Obama’s unilateral action legal or constitutional?

Activists, media, and political pundits were quick to call out President George W. Bush’s unilateral action on war-making, surveillance and torture, but seem less inclined to call out a Democratic president for unilateral actions, especially when the actions favor their causes, like gun control. Lovers of liberation should do their part to remain principled in the face of government oppression and media lies.

Stay tuned to Truth In Media for more on this developing situation.

U.S. Will Respond To FOIA Requests Online With Trial Of ‘Release To One, Release To All’ Policy

Seven federal agencies have announced that they are participating in the trial of a new “Release-to-One is Release-to-All” policy for Freedom of Information Act requests, which would let the public submit, and give the public access to FOIA request responses online.

A statement was released on several agency websites regarding the series of pilot programs that will be tested over the next six months, and it claimed that the agencies participating include the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Melanie Pustay, the director of the Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice, told the Huffington Post that the program is an effort to increase both transparency and efficiency by “encouraging agencies to make records available proactively.”

Pustay said that the new trial is different than the existing FOIA policy, because rather than using a “rule of three,” and only publishing records that are frequently requested, the agencies would post records when just one request is made.

“What the pilot is doing is taking that to the point of when, with one request, agencies would post the records,” Pustay said. “We think this is a strong step forward. At the same time, we realize there are challenges in cost and time to implement it.”

The Reports Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) noted that the trial of the new program has received “little public fanfare,” and that the agencies have not clarified as to whether there will be a delay between “sending responsive documents to the requester and posting them for the general public,” or whether individuals who request documents will be “sent a link to a public website that already hosts the documents.”

The program’s announcement claims that while the pilots will seek to answer questions about “costs associated with such a policy, effect on staff time required to process requests, effect on interactions with government stakeholders, and the justification for exceptions to such a policy, such as for personal privacy,” participating agencies “will not post online responses to requests in which individuals seek access to information about themselves” for privacy concerns.

RCFP noted that although President Obama promised to have the “most transparent administration in history,” a series of “FOIA denials, delays, and excessive redactions” have been a major obstacle for both reporters and the public, and there were “over 159,000 FOIA requests backlogged” in 2014, compared with “around 75,000” in 2009.

The Associated Press reported that the Obama Administration set a new record once again for denying access to, and censoring government files from the public under the Freedom of Information Act in 2014, acknowledging in “nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law.”

Journalist: Media is Protecting Obama Admin and CIA Brass on Bin Laden Death Story

“The media is protecting the Obama Administration and the CIA brass in regard to the integrity of their account” says investigative journalist Gareth Porter while taking about a story that is creating a lot of controversy.  That story by journalist Seymour Hersh is scathing report which aims to debunk the entire official story of how the Obama Administration killed Osama bin Laden.

Remember this famous image from the White House Situation Room as high level members of the Obama Administration watched in “real time” the killing of bin Laden?  Of course, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta later admitted that the feed being watched here wasn’t actually a live feed at all.  That there were no live images actually fed from inside the bin Laden compound.


1280px-Obama_and_Biden_await_updates_on_bin_Laden Hillary Clinton later went on record saying that she wasn’t gasping in the photo, rather she was holding back a cough.

Now, the Hersh report, provided by anonymous sources claims that more than just that photo was embellished.  The main takeaways from Hersh’s story which ran in the London Review of Books:

1.  US officials say they found bin Laden by tracking his trusted courier, Hersh says they discovered his whereabouts from a former Pakistani intelligence officer who wanted the $25 million reward the US was offering.

2.  The U.S. government claimed bin Laden was hiding out, but Hersh says the Pakistani intelligence agency had actually been holding him captive since 2006 to use him as leverage against Taliban and Al Qaeda activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

3.  While the White House has said it would have taken bin Laden alive if it could have and that he was killed in a firefight, Hersh says that wasn’t the case. “There was no firefight as they moved into the compound; the ISI guards had gone,”

4.  As for the claim that bin Laden was secretly buried at sea, Hersh claims “The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during a helicopter flight some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains.”

To see RT America’s full interview with Seymour Hersh, watch here:

Of course the biggest problem with Hersh’s story is that there is no smoking gun.  No direct evidence that his claims provided by several sources are true.  As for the White House, they are as you would expect calling the report “baseless and inaccurate”.

White House national security spokesman Ned Price said that Hersh’s report contained “too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions” to fact check.  It is worth mentioning that he doesn’t bother to fact check ANY of them.

VOX’S  Max Fisher critiques Hersh’s report, commenting on the “tissue-thin sourcing, its leaps of logic, and its internal contradictions.”

CNN’S  Peter Bergen reports on how the account is easily contradicted by “a multitude of eyewitness accounts, inconvenient facts and simple common sense.”

Jack Shafer also criticizes Hersh’s piece, noting that it offers “little of substance” for those who may wish to corroborate the claims.

Of course, for media to attack a reporter like Hersh is nothing new and that may be the biggest problem.  In contrast to these criticisms, The Intercept reports that “R.J. Hillhouse, a former professor, Fulbright fellow and novelist whose writing on intelligence and military outsourcing has appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times, made the same main assertions in 2011 about the death of Osama bin Laden as Seymour Hersh’s new story in the London Review of Books — apparently based on different sources than those used by Hersh.”

But as investigative journalist Gareth Porter tells Ben Swann that he believes the Hersh story is correct on some points but incorrect on others.  Porter has himself investigated the killing of bin Laden says that while some of the details of the Hersh report may be incorrect “the essential point that (the Obama Administration) told a massive lie about how they arrived at the Abbottabad compound and focused on it, that is absolutely true that that was a lie” says Porter.

You can view the full interview with Gareth Porter here:




US Releases Six Guantánamo Detainees Accepted By Uruguay

The Defense Department announced that six Guantánamo Bay detainees who had been cleared for release several years ago were transferred to Uruguay over the weekend.

The detainees released were 32-year-old Ali Husain Shaaban, 37-year-old Ahmed Adnan Ajuri, 39-year-old Abdelahdi Faraj, 35-year-old Mohammed Abdullah Taha Mattan, 49-year-old Adel bin Muhammad El Ouerghi, and 43-year-old Abu Wa’el Dhiab.

Dhiab’s story, previously covered by Benswann.com, attracted significant national attention surrounding the prison’s treatment of detainees due to a lawsuit he had filed with help from human rights organization Reprieve challenging force-feeding practices at the prison.

Dhiab had been imprisoned at Guantánamo since 2002 despite the fact that no charges were brought against him and he was cleared for release in 2009.

Dhiab protested his time spent at Guantánamo by declaring a hunger strike that resulted in repeated forced feedings. Attorneys for Dhiab claimed that the feedings were causing substantial suffering, and a press release from Reprieve stated that he was denied access to his wheelchair and “brutally dragged from his cell and force-fed against his will every day.” A Navy nurse who had been force-feeding Dhiab revolted against the procedure and refused to continue, calling it a “criminal act”.

The legal battle challenging his treatment resulted in over a dozen media outlets including the New York Times and Associated Press pressing for the release of videotapes documenting Dhiab’s forced feedings.

In October, United States District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered those tapes to be unsealed, dismissing the federal government’s argument that publicizing the videos would compromise national security. The Obama administration appealed Kessler’s ruling on December 2nd.

An agreement between the United States and Uruguayan President Jose Mujica regarding transfer of the detainees was reached early this year, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel received criticism from Obama administration officials for allowing the agreement to remain on his desk for months without signing it and waiting until July to inform Congress that he was approving it.

“We are very grateful to Uruguay for this important humanitarian action, and to President Mujica for his strong leadership in providing a home for individuals who cannot return to their own countries,”said State Department envoy Cliff Sloan. “The support we are receiving from our friends and allies is critical to achieving our shared goal of closing Guantánamo.”

According to the New York Times, the Obama administration expects that if Guantánamo’s prison population is reduced to under 100 detainees Congress may overturn a law that prohibits them from being held on American soil, signaling a potential initiative to actually close Guantánamo.

Pressured by Obama Administration, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Quits

President Obama described Chuck Hagel as “a young Army sergeant from Vietnam who rose to serve as America’s 24th secretary of defense” at a press conference today announcing Hagel’s resignation. Hagel will continue to serve as Secretary of Defense until a replacement has been confirmed by the Senate. According to The New York Times, the former Republican Senator Hagel had been asked to step down from his post by officials within the Obama administration after he made comments in August that contradicted the President’s messaging on the conflict with ISIS.

MSNBC quoted an anonymous Obama administration official who said, “He wasn’t up to the job.” Another anonymous White House insider told The New York Times, “The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus.” Hagel reportedly struggled to make allies within Obama’s inner circle and failed to provide consistent, clear statements articulating the President’s national security agenda. Critics claimed that he was too passive in his leadership, quiet during staff meetings, and too quick to let General Martin E. Dempsey do most of the talking on behalf of the Pentagon.

At one point, Chuck Hagel called ISIS an “imminent threat to every interest we have… beyond anything that we’ve seen” at a time when the Obama administration was trying to downplay the threat, offending administration officials. According to PJ Media, Hagel spoke at the Reagan Library last week and suggested that America’s military capability is in decline under Obama’s leadership. “I am worried about it, I am concerned about it, Chairman Dempsey is, the chiefs are, every leader of this institution,” said Hagel, notably omitting President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden from the list of officials worried about the nation’s military prowess.

Slate notes that many reports suggest that Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter or former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy may be on the administration’s radar as a replacement for Hagel. Democrat Senator Jack Reed has also been mentioned as a possible replacement, but a spokesperson for his office told The New York Times, “Senator Reed loves his job and does not wish to be considered for secretary of defense or any other cabinet post.”

President Obama said that Hagel had not been fired and that the Secretary of Defense had himself opened talks two weeks ago in an effort to iron out a resignation that has been characterized by both sides as “mutual.”

“It’s been the greatest privilege of my life to serve with the men and women of the defense department and defend their families,” said Hagel as he announced his resignation.

Republican-Led Committee Finds No Interference from Obama Administration in Benghazi Attacks

On Friday, the United States House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee released a report, regarding its investigation of the terrorist attacks that occurred on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

The report stated that it was meant to “serve as the definitive House statement on the Intelligence Community’s activities before, during and after the tragic events” that led to the death of four Americans: U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, and CIA Contractors: Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

According to the report, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “conducted a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation into the tragic attacks against two U.S. facilities on Benghazi, Libya, on September 11-12, 2012.”

The report, which came as a result of a nearly two-year investigation, found that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) “ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi,” and that there was “no intelligence failure prior to the attacks.

It also claimed that after the attacks, the “early intelligence assessments and the Administration’s initial public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attacks were not fully accurate,” and that the attackers seemed to come from a range of backgrounds:

The Committee finds that a mixed group of individuals, including those affiliated with Al-Qa’ida, participated in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, although the Committee finds that the intelligence was and remains conflicting about the identities, affiliations, and motivations of the attackers.”

The report concluded that the Committee found no evidence that the CIA “conducted unauthorized activities in Benghazi,” that the Intelligence Community “shipped arms to Syria,” or that any of the officers were intimidated to destroy information or change their accounts of the events:

The Committee found no evidence that any officer was intimidated, wrongly forced to sign a nondisclosure agreement or otherwise kept from speaking to Congress, or polygraphed because of their presence in Benghazi.”

While this report states that there was no interference, Benswann.com reported claims from former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, in September 2014, which stated, “Allies of Hillary Clinton removed potentially damaging documents before handing over files to the Accountability Review Board.

The Endless War: War with ISIS Could Take 30 Years

In a recent article for The Intercept, Journalist Glenn Greenwald called attention to the latest installment of what appears to be a never-ending cycle that involves the United States going to war in the Middle East.

At this point, it is literally inconceivable to imagine the U.S. not at war. It would be shocking if that happened in our lifetime.

Greenwald explained that the U.S. government has changed the meaning of the term “Endless War” from a “dramatic rhetorical license” to a “precise description of America’s foreign policy.”

Long before Americans were introduced to the new 9/11 era super-villains called ISIS and Khorasan, senior Obama officials were openly and explicitly stating that America’s ‘war on terror,’ already 12 years old, would last at least another decade,” wrote Greenwald.

Greenwald referenced a 2012 article from the Washington Post, which stated that some U.S. officials say “no clear end is in sight,” and that the United States has reached “only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.”

Pentagon Official, Michael Sheehan, confirmed this when he was asked how long the war on terror would last, at a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, in 2013, and he said it would be “at least 10 to 20 years” from that date.

After a hearing in 2010, in which members of the Obama administration admitted that in their eyes, the war on terror has “no geographic limit,” Maine’s Independent U.S. Senator, Angus King, said it was the “most astoundingly disturbing hearing,” he had been to. 

“You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today,” said King, following the hearing.

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made,” wrote Jack Goldsmith, a former Department of Justice lawyer, on the blog Lawfare.

Only in America are new 30-year wars spoken of so casually, the way other countries speak of weather changes,” commented Greenwald.

According to Greenwald, “All of that received remarkably little attention given its obvious significance.” He claimed that any doubts as to whether this “Endless War” was official “American doctrine,” should be eliminated after recent comments from two leading Democrats, both “former top national security officials in the Obama administration.”

Greenwald’s first example was Obama’s former Defense Secretary and CIA Director, Leon Panetta. In an interview with USA Today, Panetta addressed Obama’s new operation, saying, “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.

Panetta said that this war “will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats,” and he went on to criticize President Obama for being insufficiently militaristic, even though, Greenwald mentioned, Obama officials are the ones who have told the public to think of The New War “in terms of years.

Panetta referred to possible emerging threats coming from “Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.” Greenwald pointed out that the use of the word “elsewhere,” meant that this war not only has no time constraints, it also has no geographic constraints

Greenwald’s second example of a Democrat, who removed all doubt that an endless war was just another part of U.S. foreign policy, was Hillary Clinton. At a recent event in Ottawa, Ontario, Clinton called the battle against Islamic State militants “essential,” and claimed that it would be a “long-term struggle.”

Greenwald concluded that this “endless war” would entail a “massive transfer of public wealth to the ‘homeland security’ and weapons industry.”

A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights.

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.

The Intercept: Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction

Not only did the Obama administration know that the U.K. government was going to force The Guardian newspaper to destroy their computers used to report the Edward Snowden leaks, but they overtly celebrated it.

Emails just obtained by Associated Press pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) show senior Obama national security officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-NSA chief Keith Alexander.

According to Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, one email, dated July 19 (the day prior to the destruction) has the subject line “Guardian data being destroyed” and is from NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett to Alexander. He wrote: “Good news, at least on this front.” The next day, almost immediately after the computers were destroyed, Alexander emailed Ledgett: ”Can you confirm this actually occurred?” Hours later, under the same subject line, Clapper emailed Alexander, saying: “Thanks Keith … appreciate the conversation today.”

In a statement to the Associated Press, the Guardian said it was disappointed to learn that “cross-Atlantic conversations were taking place at the very highest levels of government ahead of the bizarre destruction of journalistic material that took place in the Guardian’s basement last July.”

“What’s perhaps most concerning is that the disclosure of these emails appears to contradict the White House’s comments about these events last year, when they questioned the appropriateness of the U.K. government’s intervention,” the newspaper said.

Responding to threats from the British government in July 2013, The Guardian newspaper destroyed the data approximately a month after it and other media first published leaked documents from Snowden.

After news of the Guardian incident broke the following month, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it would be “very difficult to imagine a scenario in which that would be appropriate.” He had been asked whether the U.S. would ever order the destruction of a U.S. media company’s computer data.

White House Requests $3.7 Billion To Address Surge Of Young Immigrants Crossing US Border

The White House requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding Tuesday, which would be divided among several government agencies, to address the surge of tens of thousands of children who have crossed the United States border.

The $3.7 figure is considerably higher than President Obama’s original expected request, which was $2 billion back in June.

A large portion of those funds, $1.8 billion, would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to provide better housing and care to the children and parents accompanying them. Housing for the immigrants has become unsurprisingly scarce, and HHS has been utilizing Department of Defense buildings in California, Texas and Oklahoma.

The Department of Justice would receive $64 million to hire more immigration judges and provide legal counsel to children undergoing removal procedures. Officials say that the White House will also seek a change in federal law that will accelerate deportation proceedings.

The Department of Homeland Security would get $1.1 billion to boost immigration and customs enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection would receive $433 million. $300 million would go to the Department of State to assist Central American countries in repatriating the deported civilians.

The White House has asserted that the funds are needed to cover costs like increased man hours from border patrol agents, increased surveillance, and temporary care and legal services for the inpouring of immigrants.

“The law will be enforced,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday. “And what that means is it means that these children who have been apprehended will go through the immigration court process and if they are found to not have a legal basis for remaining in this country, they’ll be returned.” Earnest also said that the majority of the immigrating children would be unqualified for humanitarian relief.

Over 52,000 immigrants have crossed the border since last October. Obama has criticized Republicans for stalling immigration reform, while Republicans have accused Obama of willful ignorance surrounding the influx, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, who said last month, “I’ve known about this for two years. The president has known about this.” Obama and Perry plan to discuss the issue on Wednesday.

The request of funding will go to a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Obama’s Plan To Use Military Against U.S. Citizens Domestically Outlined In DoD Directive

Washington, D.C.– A Pentagon directive that details military support to civilian authorities has potentially troubling aspects that involve the use of federal military force against American citizens on U.S. soil.

The directive, which outlines the Obama administrations policy regarding military support, was issued on Dec. 29, 2010.

While there are noncontroversial provisions, such as support to civilian fire and emergency services and domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers, the more troubling aspects of the directive are in regards to the domestic use of military arms and forces.

“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive, according to the Washington Times.

The directive, No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.

“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,” under two conditions.

The two conditions set forth to utilize the military in a domestic situation are: “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order,” and when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.

This can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive goes on to state clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest.

If there was any question about how this directive is potentially going to be utilized, it was answered when a U.S official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters, according to a report in the Washington Times.

Bundy has been engaged in a legal battle with the federal Bureau of Land Management over unpaid grazing fees. In April, Bundy and his supporters stood their ground against federal authorities in a standoff that ended when the BLM backed down, this coming after the BLM had brought in over 200 armed agents and sniper teams to confiscate Bundy’s cattle.

The Pentagon directive authorizes the secretary of defense to approve the use of unarmed drones in domestic unrest, but bans the use of missile-firing unmanned aircraft. “Use of armed [unmanned aircraft systems] is not authorized,” the directive says. The directive was signed by then-Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn.

As reported on previously by BenSwann.com, there has been a buildup of military arms and units within non-security-related federal agencies.

The buildup of executive military has raised questions about whether the Obama administration is undermining civil liberties utilizing the façade of counternarcotic and counterterrorism efforts.

The White House has consistently attacked private citizens’ ownership of firearms and their exercising of Second Amendment rights, despite the fact that most gun owners are law abiding citizens, while consistently militarizing and arming federal agencies using obscure statues that allow for deputization of security officials.

During a speech at the National Defense University a year ago, President Obama stated: “I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen — with a drone or with a shotgun — without due process, nor should any president deploy armed drones over U.S. soil.”

The president’s own words certainly don’t to seem to reconcile with this directive.


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(VIDEO) VP of White Castle says, “$15 minimum wage means layoffs”

President Obama is now shifting his attention to advocate for an increased federal minimum wage. According to the Guardian,

“The federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 an hour, or about $15,000 a year. Obama renewed his call for it to be increased, and has already indicated he will back a Senate measure to increase the minimum statutory pay to $10.10. Republicans in the House oppose the measure, which they say would be harmful to business.”

“To more than double the federally mandated starting wage wouldn’t be bad for White Castle, it would be absolutely catastrophic,” Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle, told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Wednesday.

Economist Paul Krugman, disagrees with Richardson and is pushing for increased minimum wages.

But most classical economists disagree with Krugman. When the government increases the minimum wage artificially above the market price for unskilled labor, it causes an increase in unemployment and hurts low-skilled job seekers.

Economist Thomas Sowell states in Basic Economics, “Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government mandated minimum wage, because they either lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force.”

Those who are fighting against a minimum wage hike believes that a federal minimum wage law is misguided, and only helps one group of people: politicians.

Classical economists agree that increasing the minimum wage is a bad idea because it increases unemployment. An increase to the minimum wage decreases the demand for labor and increases the supply of labor which causes low-skilled workers to lose jobs and prevents others from finding new ones.

Economists like Sowell notes that Switzerland, one of the wealthiest nations, does not have a minimum wage and has a very low unemployment rate. So why do politicians, and some economists, advocate a minimum wage increase?

Sowell believes that it’s simply politics. The fact that the economic data indicates the minimum wage actually hurts low-skilled workers is not politically feasible juxtaposed with the idea of a social “safety net” for low-skilled workers.

Despite the economic data, the debate on increasing the minimum wage lives on. Princeton economist Alan Krueger told CNBC that he supports the President’s proposal to increase the minimum wage.

“I think our country will do a lot better if we have more shared prosperity,” Krueger said.

“I think we’re hurting opportunities for the next generation because the bottom half of the country has struggled so much over the past couple of decades,” the former chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers added. “Raising the minimum wage a modest amount, like the president proposed, helps lower-wage workers and I think that will be good for our economy.”



Obama Creates “Nudge Squad” To Influence Behavior

Barack Obama has has expanded the size and scope of the federal government far more than any of his predecessors.

Now, he’s spending our tax dollars to “nudge” us into accepting his big-government ideas.

On Tuesday, Fox News revealed that Obama is planning to use mind tricks and “behavioral insights” to cajole us into accepting his beliefs and ultimately control our behavior. He is doing this through a “nudge squad.”

As reported by Fox, “The federal government is hiring what it calls a ‘Behavioral Insights Team’ that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior.”

There are already teams of “insights” agents that are dispersed across a number of government bureaus. Their job? To carefully construct each agency’s message to convince Americans that Obama’s government knows what the nation needs. You know, to fix all those problems that Obama certainly had nothing to do with starting…


A government document has surfaced, detailing the program and urging people to apply for positions on the team. It reads, “Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals.”

Maya Shankar initially released the document. She is a White House adviser and made the document public in an effort to try and generate interest in applying for the team.

“The idea is that the team would ‘experiment’ with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs,” reports Fox News.

While many Obama supporters have been tight-lipped about the program, some have spoken out against it. Michael Thomas is an economist at Utah State University. He said, “I am very skeptical of a team promoting nudge policies. Ultimately, nudging … assumes a small group of people in government know better about choices than the individuals making them.”

Thomas is right.

The nudge squad doesn’t aim to make government better — rather, it tries to trick us into thinking government knows what’s best for us. Not only that, but we’re paying to brainwash ourselves; of course, the nudge squad is 100% funded by our tax dollars.

Your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.