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Illegal Immigrant Child Rapist Released from Jail by Maryland Sanctuary County Remains at Large

A Maryland county that offers illegal immigrants sanctuary keeps releasing dangerous criminals from jail to shield them from federal authorities, most recently a man from El Salvador who raped a seven-year-old girl multiple times. Rather than honor a detainer issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials in Montgomery County freed the child rapist on bond recently and he remains at large. Court documents obtained by a local media outlet say the 56-year-old, Rene Ramos-Hernandez, who reportedly lives illegally in Brentwood “forced unwanted sexual intercourse” with the girl “at least ten times.”

In a statement issued this week, ICE blasts Montgomery County officials for protecting illegal aliens who commit state crimes. “Montgomery County continues the practice of not honoring lawful ICE detainers and release potential public safety threats back into the community,” said acting Baltimore Field Office Director Francisco Madrigal. “When they refuse to give adequate notification of an impending release to allow a safe transfer of custody, it shows their actions are insincere. ICE believes the best way to protect public safety is for law enforcement to work together.” The agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodged a detainer with the Montgomery County Detention Center on June 19 and authorities blew it off, instead discharging Ramos-Hernandez on June 23. ICE was notified that the illegal immigrant rapist was let go, but officers at the Montgomery County jail refused to hold Ramos-Hernandez until ERO officers arrived at the facility, according to the agency.

Ramos-Hernandez has lived in the U.S. illegally for years. In fact, the rapes occurred from 2002 to 2003, when he was in his late 30s and the girl was just seven. The victim reported the crimes to Montgomery County Police in 2017 and it took almost two years for local authorities to track down the illegal alien. On June 18 he was booked at the Montgomery County Detention Center (MCDC) in Rockville on two counts of second-degree rape and one count of sexual abuse of a minor. The next day ICE lodged the detainer.  A Montgomery County judge granted Ramos-Hernandez a $30,000 bond and now the feds cannot find him even though bail conditions include electronic monitoring and curfew. Ramos-Hernandez was also ordered to have no contact with minors, which is a joke considering authorities do not even know where he is. He provided the court with a Brentwood address and claims to work as a “remodeler,” according to court records cited in the news story. He faces up to 70 years in prison if authorities ever find him.

This case is part of a national crisis generated by local governments around the country that offer violent illegal immigrants sanctuary. Under a local-federal partnership known as 287(g), ICE is notified of jail inmates in the country illegally so that they can be deported after serving time for state crimes or making bail like Ramos-Hernandez. Unfortunately, a growing number of city and county law enforcement agencies are instead releasing the illegal aliens—many with serious convictions such as child sex offenses, rape and murder—rather than turn them over to federal authorities for removal. The lack of cooperation has led ICE to resort to desperate measures, like striking preemptively by publicly disclosing convicts, complete with mug shots, scheduled to be released before they are actually let go by police in municipalities that offer illegal aliens sanctuary. A few months ago, ICE targeted six offenders incarcerated in two Maryland counties—Montgomery and Prince George’s—notorious for shielding illegal immigrants from the feds. Most were incarcerated for sexual crimes involving children, including rape and serious physical abuse that resulted in death. A couple of the offenders were jailed for murder and assault.

Besides Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, two other large Maryland jurisdictions—Baltimore County and the city of Baltimore—shield illegal immigrants from the feds and deportation. Maryland’s Attorney General, the state’s chief law enforcement official, issued a legal memo in late 2018 defending the practice. Complying with ICE detainers for criminal illegal aliens is voluntary, the Attorney General writes in the document, and state and local law enforcement officials are potentially exposed to liability if they hold someone beyond the release date determined by state law. In 2017, Baltimore’s Chief Deputy State’s Attorney instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes to shield them from Trump administration deportation efforts. This summer Montgomery County took an extra step to help illegal immigrants by launching a $10 million COVID-19 relief fund. Judicial Watch sued on behalf of two county residents and a federal court ruled that the payments likely violate federal law and irreparably harm county taxpayers.

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

3 Out of 4 Convicted Terrorists Came to U.S. Legally Via Current Immigration System

Illustrating the national security threats created by the nation’s immigration system, the overwhelming majority of individuals convicted of terrorism are foreigners who entered the United States legally through various federal programs. Three out of every four convicted terrorists between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016 are foreign born and came to the United States through our immigration system, according to a new report issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

At least 549 individuals were convicted of terrorism-related charges in American federal courts since 2001 and 402 of them—approximately 73%–were foreign-born, the report says. Here’s the breakdown by citizenship at the time of their convictions; 254 were not U.S. citizens, 148 were naturalized and received American citizenship and 147 were U.S. born. Additionally, 1,716 foreigners with national security concerns were removed from the United States. The Trump administration stresses that figures include only those aliens who were convicted or removed and therefore do not represent the total measure of foreign terrorist infiltration of the United States. Statistics on individuals facing terrorism charges who have not yet been convicted will be provided in follow-up reports that will be made available to the public.

This DHS/DOJ report, issued this month, is disturbing enough and reveals that a significant number of terrorists entered the country through immigration programs that use family ties and extended-family chain migration as a basis for entry. Among them is Mufid Elfgeeh, a national of Yemen who benefitted from chain migration in 1997 and was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for attempting to recruit fighters for ISIS. Sudanese Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan came to the U.S. in 2012 as a relative of a lawful permanent resident and eventually pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Pakistani Uzair Paracha was admitted to the U.S. in 1980 as a family member of a lawful permanent resident and in 2006 was sentenced to more than three decades in prison for providing material support to Al Qaeda. Khaleel Ahmed, a national of India, was admitted to the United States in 1998 as a family member of a naturalized United States citizen. Ahmed eventually became an American citizen and in 2010 was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.

Other convicted terrorists came to the U.S. through the controversial visa lottery program, the multi-agency probe found. Among them is Abdurasaul Hasanovich Juraboev, a national of Uzbekistan who was admitted into the country as a diversity visa lottery recipient in 2011. In 2015, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to support ISIS and in 2017 Juraboev was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Sudanese Ali Shukri Amin was admitted to the U.S. in 1999 as the child of a diversity visa lottery recipient and subsequently obtained American citizenship through naturalization. In 2015, he was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support and resources to ISIS. Amin admitted to using social media to provide advice and encouragement to ISIS and its supporters and facilitated ISIS supporters seeking to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group. Amin also helped a Virginia teen named Reza Niknejad get to Syria to join ISIS in 2015.

“The United States faces a serious and persistent terror threat, and individuals with ties to terror can and will use any pathway to enter our country,” the new DHS/DOJ report states. “Accordingly, DHS has taken significant steps to improve the security of all potential routes used by known or suspected terrorists (KST) to travel to the United States to ensure that individuals who would do harm to Americans are identified and detected, and their plots are disrupted. These figures reflect the challenges faced by the United States and demonstrate the necessity to remain vigilant and proactive in our counterterrorism posture.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Americans are OUTRAGED over #Obamagate & Biden Corruption–WHERE IS CONGRESS?

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton appeared on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to discuss Judicial Watch obtaining the secret service records showing extensive travel by Hunter Biden during the Obama years; Burisma Holdings landing a deal with a USAID program while under a corruption investigation; the FBI refusing to release documents to the Daily Caller relating to the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele; mail-in ballots in New Jersey destroyed in a mail truck fire; AG Barr denying pattern of upholding President Trump’s interests while blaming the “media narrative”; and more!

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Benghazi Cover-Up and Biden Corruption Scandal—Here’s What We Know”

Understanding #ObamaGate Means Questioning Obama Directly!

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Sun City Cell – Investigative Documentary by Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch presents “The Sun City Cell” – a stunning investigative documentary detailing the Narco-Terrorist Cell operating out of El Paso, Texas!

Featuring Judicial Watch’s Director of Investigations, Chris Farrell, “The Sun City Cell” exposes a chilling narco-terror plot that government officials deny.

In this 40-minute expose, you follow the trail of corruption. You see the actual court documentation. You listen up close and personal to the confidential informants. And with Chris Farrell as your guide, you follow the four-year investigation and meet the sources inside the law enforcement and government who risk their lives to get the truth to the American people.

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch documentary with images and video is republished with permission.

Judicial Watchdog on Corruption in Washington, D.C.

benghazi-libya-_teccOn December 8, 2015, Judicial Watch (JW) issued a press release about a long sought Pentagon email sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and aide, Jake Sullivan, by Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, a deputy to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, on the evening of September 11th, 2012. The Bash Pentagon email was sent just after the attack by Ansar al-Sharia and others at the Benghazi Special Mission Compound. The JW release noted:

Judicial Watch today released a new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.

Bash’s email seems to directly contradict testimony given by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013. Defending the Obama administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Panetta claimed that “time, distance, the lack of adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

The first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 pm local time – 3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC.  The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 am local time the following morning – 6 p.m. ET.

Due to the leadership of President Tom Fitton, Director of Investigations Christopher “Chris” Farrell,  and Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes and the team of investigators and lawyers at Washington, DC-based JW, we now know that U.S. special operations assets were “spinning up” to go to the aid of besieged U.S. personnel in Benghazi within hours of the attack on the evening of September 11, 2012. If launched that operation might have spared the lives of former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who were killed in a mortar attack of suspicious origins on the morning of September 12. Did Former Secretary of State Clinton, currently 2016 Democrat Presidential front runner deny the release of those special operator assets?

Ken Timmerman, veteran investigative journalist in a Daily Caller column declared, “Benghazi “smoking gun” email unmasks Hillary Clinton.”

Judicial Watch, Inc. (JW) is a conservative non-partisan foundation whose objective is to assure “integrity, transparency and accountability in government” often unearthing official corruption, regardless of which party is in power. Founded in the mid-1990’s it has become the watchdog of record pursuing high profile issues using the power of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and when required, filing cases in the federal courts to force open government files to produce evidence of official wrongdoing. Currently, JW has over 3,400 outstanding pending FOIA requests.

JW has been in the forefront of a series of high profile investigations. There was the Fast and Furious Justice Department Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) “gun walking” probe by the House Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings with former Attorney General Eric Holder. They were triggered by the killing of US Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry in a 2010 Arizona border shoot out by two Mexican “rip gang” members. The Two Mexican nationals, who perpetrated Agent Terry’s murder, using weapons sold under the controversial BATF program, were extradited and convicted of the crime in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2015.

There is the continuing House Select Benghazi Committee investigation that divulged the alleged Pentagon “smoking gun” email and former Secretary Clinton’s State Department’s dereliction in preventing special operator aid to the embattled CIA annex team in Benghazi, Libya. Currently JW is heavily engaged in more than 16 lawsuits in connection with its investigations of the alleged abuse of private email servers by Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton that prompted FBI seizure of four email servers and investigation into possible national security law violations by Clinton and aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.

JW was instrumental in bringing a suit against the IRS that forced the federal revenue agency to recover over 1,800 disputed emails of former Federal Elections Commission executive and IRS official Lois Lerner regarding complaints over delays in processing non-profit applications of Tea Party groups. In July 2015, the IRS released the emails under a court order by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.

JW raised denials from the Texas Department of Public Safety and US Department Homeland Security when in the spring of 2015; it revealed the possibility, based on informed sources, that ISIS may have established possible training camps just across the US border at El Paso in the adjacent area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. JW’s further investigation into the porous southern border influx of illegal immigrants from Central America has revealed an underground network of camps in Mexico radiating out of the port of Tampico enabling the transformation of Islamic terrorists from “Mohammed into Manuel” replete with authentic Mexican identification documents, linguistic and cultural training.

Evidence of JW’s non-partisan investigations into official Washington corruption is exemplified by its examination of Hillary Clinton’s role in the unauthorized development of Health Care national programs under a semi-secret task force in the mid-1990’s versus that of former Vice President Cheney’s unauthorized energy task force a decade later in the Bush Administration. In the later case, JW went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court that remanded a decision to a lower Federal court that forced open the files of the illegal Bush Administration energy task force led by Vice President Cheney.

The interview by my colleague Mike Bates with Chris Farrell was triggered by an encounter we had with him when he appeared at a Pensacola, Florida Tiger Bay presentation on December 11, 2015 on the heels of the Pentagon ‘smoking gun” email news. Farrell was interviewed by Bates about JW and its activities unearthing corruption and fascinating historical information that aired on 1330amWEBY on December 28, 2015. We published an earlier New English Review interview with Farrell in September 2014 on “Insecure Borders and Broken Immigration Laws.”

Christopher ”Chris” Farrell is Director of Investigations at JW. Farrell is a long term member of the staff and board of JW in Washington D.C.  He is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Fordham University with a Bachelor in History after which he accepted a regular Army commission and served as a Military Intelligence Officer specializing in counter-terror intelligence and human intelligence. He has appeared frequently on cable news TV programs, Fox News channel and others.

(READ MORE)

RELATED VIDEO: 13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – Official Trailer

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Pentagon “smoking gun” email implicates Hillary Clinton

On December 8, 2015, Judicial Watch (JW) issued a press release about a long sought Pentagon email sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and aide, Jake Sullivan, from Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash  to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on the evening of September 11th, 2012. The Bash Pentagon email was sent just after the attack by Ansar al-Sharia and others at the Benghazi Special Missions Compound. The JW release noted:

Judicial Watch today released a new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.

Bash’s email seems to directly contradict testimony given by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013. Defending the Obama administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.  Panetta claimed that “time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

The first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 pm local time – 3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC.  The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 am local time the following morning – 6 p.m. ET.

Thanks to Tom Fitton and Chris Farrell at Washington, DC-based JW, we now know that U.S. special operations assets were “spinning up” to go to the aid of beseiged U.S. personnel in Benghazi within hours of the attack on the evening of September 11, 2012. If launched that operation might also have spared the lives of former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who were killed in a mortar attack of suspicious origins on the morning of September 12.  Did Former Secretary of State Clinton, currently 2016 Democrat Presidential front runner deny release of those special operator assets?

Ken Timmerman, veteran investigative journalist  discusses the background in a Daily Caller op-ed published  today, “Benghazi “smoking gun” email unmasks Hillary Clinton”.  Chris Farrell of JW will be speaking at the Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, Florida on Friday, December 11, 2015. Doubtless we and others in attendance will ask questions about the Pentagon and other Clinton private server classified emails.

The House Special Benghazi Committee under Chairman, Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has acquired the alleged  “smoking gun” email  prior to Mrs. Clinton’s October 22, 2015 testimony, but was missing key evidence they needed to be able to question her effectively about it. Since the Committee member Rep. Lynn Westmoreland went to Africom headquarters in early December to interview top officials and line officials, hopefully they now have that evidence. The Pentagon email raises questions that need answers, if the American public is to assess the integrity and truthfulness of both Ms. Clinton and former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta.

Watch this FoxNews Special Report segment on the Pentagon email obtained by JW.

Over the period July through October 2014, we ran a multiple part series called “Death in Benghazi” in the New English Review.  Northwest Florida Talk Radio station, 1330amWEBY  conducted two major interviews with Ken Timmerman, author of Dark Forces: The Truth about What Happened in Benghazi. In “Death in Benghazi: Part 1 The Attack,” NER July 2014 , we asked about whether resources could have been deployed in time to spare Ambassador Stevens and communications aide, Stan Smith and  possibly prevent the mortar attack at the CIA annex on the morning of September 12, 2012 that took the lives of Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Here is Timmerman’s assessment of why the Pentagon email released by JW is significant.

Benghazi “smoking gun” email unmasks Hillary Clinton

By Kenneth R. Timmerman

It shows Mrs. Clinton gave the “stand-down” order

Touted by FoxNews as a “possible smoking gun,” the email from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s chief of staff shows that special operations teams within a few hours flight from Benghazi were preparing to deploy as early as 7 PM Washington time on the night of the attacks, well within the time needed to get to Benghazi before the deadly mortar strike that killed U.S. Navy Seals Glen Doherty and Ty Woods.

You would think such a key piece of evidence would have been the first thing the State Department turned over to Congressional investigators. After all, it establishes that help was “on the way” to our diplomats and special operators and intelligence officers under siege.

Panetta aide Jeremy Bash emailed Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at 7:09 PM, to let them know that quick reaction forces, then stationed in Europe, were “spinning up as we speak” to deploy to Benghazi.

“Assuming Principals agree to deploy these elements, we will ask State to secure the approval from host nation,” Bash wrote. Please advise how you wish to convey that approval to us.”

Bash said he had just tried to call them at State, but that they were all in a meeting with Secretary Clinton, hence the email.

We know from the timeline submitted to Congress by the Defense Department exactly which forces Bash was referring to. They included a Delta Force hostage rescue team based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina that was on call 24/7, two Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) platoons based in Rota, Spain, and the Commander’s In Extremis Force (CIF) for European Command, also known as C-110.

C-110 was a fifty-man team of Special Operations troops with their own airlift, specially composed to be able to respond to precisely the type of emergency that was then occurring in Benghazi.

They were trained in hostage rescue operations and “hot” extractions. This was the Unit most suitable for Benghazi. When they got word to start “spinning up,” they were in Croatia on a training mission, just a two-to-three hour flight from Benghazi.

As Bash sent his email, General Carter Ham, commander of Africa Command (Africom), initiated the process to transfer them from Eucom to Africom, temporarily placing them under his direct orders. The Unit commander ordered his men to begin loading their gear into their C-130s. All they needed was the go-ahead from State.

And that’s where it died. Hillary Clinton did not want U.S. Special Operations forces coming into Libya with “guns ablazing.” Instead of flying directly to Benghazi, C-110 was told to “stage” in Sigonella, Italy. Meanwhile, Panetta counter-manded General Ham’s order, and returned C-110 to the authority of EUCOM.

This is the key piece of information Mrs. Clinton and her protectors have fought tooth and nail to keep from Congress and the U.S. public until now. Why? Because it contradicts all the earlier timelines presented by the State Department, the CIA, and the Department of Defense, and shows that U.S. forces could have rescued our men in Benghazi before the fateful 5 AM mortar strike, if only Mrs. Clinton had given the go-ahead. Only a lawsuit by Judicial Watch forced its release.

I investigated this timeline and Mrs. Clinton’s role in blocking military assets from reaching Benghazi in my book Dark Forces: the Truth About What Happened in Benghazi. I interviewed senior Africom commanders, unit commanders, spec-ops officers and others with direct knowledge of the U.S. Forces available for deployment that night.

In the redacted version of his testimony that was ultimately released by the House Armed Services Committee, General Ham said the main reason he didn’t go balls to the wall to get forces to Benghazi was simple. “We were never asked,” he said.

Pathetic, but true.

The Bash email shows that the Pentagon was asking – two hours earlier than previous timelines have revealed. So far, the State Department has not released the response that Mrs. Clinton’s minions sent back to Bash. But we know what it was: stand down.

Glen Doherty and Ty Woods soon found out what it was as well.

Timmerman’s accusation begs the question of was there a stand down order issued by Clinton?

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

OUCH! CDC Official Reportedly Calls Obama a ‘Marxist’ and that’s not all!

The Blaze Reports:

An official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called President Barack Obama an “amateur,” a “Marxist” and “the worst president we’ve ever had,” according to emails released by Judicial Watch.

The emails were written amid the surge of illegal immigrants at America’s southern border last year, and were uncovered amid an investigation into the CDC’s usage of an Emergency Operations Center, something Judicial Watch describes as “a major and costly operation that can stick American taxpayers with a huge tab.”

The emails were written by CDC Logistics Management Specialist George Roark to CDC Public Health Advisor William Adams on June 9, 2014.

FULL STORY CONTINUES:

CDC Official Reportedly Calls Obama a ‘Marxist’ and the ‘Worst President We’ve Ever Had’ | TheBlaze.com

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Allen West Republic.

Obama knew jihadis were planning Benghazi attack 10 days in advance

This makes his blaming of the freedom of speech — his attribution of the attack to a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video — frankly insidious. What anti-free speech initiative was he hoping to implement in the wake of the attack?

“JW: Obama Admin Knew About Benghazi Before It Happened,” Judicial Watch, May 18, 2015:

Administration knew three months before the November 2012 presidential election of ISIS plans to establish a caliphate in Iraq 

Administration knew of arms being shipped from Benghazi to Syria

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts.  The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.  The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi.”

Spelling and punctuation is duplicated in this release without corrections.

Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.”  The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council.  The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).”  The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”

The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.

“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.”  The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons.  Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock.  They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”

The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”

(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)

The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:

Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.

During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.

The DIA document further details:

The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.  The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”…

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Will Marc Rich rise from the grave to topple Hillary?

On the very day that  tax evader and renegade oil speculator Marc Rich died  on June 26, 2013 in Lucerne, Switzerland, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act  (FOIA) request. Rich was pardoned on the very last day of former President Clinton’s second term in January 2001 in a series of pardons shepherded  by current US Attorney General Eric Holder. President Clinton had been entreated by Rich’s, ex-wife, Denise, a major Democrat fundraiser, aided by representations from ADL director, Abe Foxman, who was reported to have earned a large fee for facilitating the pardon. Despite Marc Rich engaging in back door oil deals with the late Saddam Hussein, the apartheid South African government and the Palestinian Authority, President Clinton had signed off. He has subsequently rued granting Rich’s pardon.

Judicial Watch finally received the results of the FOIA request and published the redacted copy on its website, yesterday.  Reading it, one can only surmise whether this  might prove to be a problem for several people; former US Ambassador to Israel during the Clinton era, Martin Indyk and then Israeli Foreign Minister, now President , Shimon Peres.and possibly ex-Mossad head, Efraim Halevy.

Peres assumed  the Israeli Premiership after PM Rabin’s tragic assassination by an Israeli extremist in November 1995.The period referenced in the Judicial Watch post followed  the arrival back of the PLO-Fatah under the late Yassir Arafat  in furtherance of the ill-fated Oslo Accords signed in September 1993 at the  White House under Clinton’s auspices. Arafat became the first President of the PA and, in 1996 began a series of attacks on Israeli joint patrols in the disputed territories the period of a near decade long  Palestinian violence against Israel. Indyk is currently  Secretary Kerry’s Special Envoy facilitating negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a purported final status agreement. This redacted cable could be problematic for Hillary Clinton’s possible candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016?

Here is the Judicial Watch report:

Clinton’s Marc Rich Pardon – the Tell-Tale Cable

For years, there has been conjecture as to why Bill Clinton, in the waning moments of his presidency, suddenly and unexpectedly granted a full pardon to fugitive financier Marc Rich. Even the New York Times, normally a shameless cheerleader for the Clintons, excoriated the president, saying “Bill Clinton’s last-minute pardon of Marc Rich … was a shocking abuse of presidential power … Mr. Clinton’s irresponsible use of his pardoning authority has undermined the pursuit of justice.” And Clinton himself later described the pardon as “terrible politics. It wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation.”

Questions about the scandal are resurfacing in light of Judicial Watch’s obtaining a confidential cable from the U.S. Department of State that had been under tight wraps since 1995. The cable – from Clinton’s ambassador to Israel to his high-ups at State – reveals high-level Israeli efforts to persuade State Department officials to intercede with Department of Justice (DOJ) to enable Rich to conduct Israeli business affairs worldwide directly relating to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Specifically, the cable, obtained through a Judicial Watch June 2013 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, provides details of 1995 efforts by apparently top Israeli officials to pressure their counterparts at the State Department to intervene with the DOJ to withdraw outstanding arrest warrants against Rich on charges he had violated America’s 1981 domestic oil-price along with 64 other crimes, including racketeering and “trading with the enemy.” Israel, it turns out, had recruited Rich, then living in Switzerland, to travel internationally in order to raise funds to finance economic deals between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority. Rich died on June, 26, 2013, and Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about him with the Department of State on the same day.

While the Israeli official who interceded on Rich’s behalf is not identified in the cable obtained by Judicial Watch, he or she was in a sufficiently high-level position to confer directly with then-U.S. Ambassador Martin Indyk and Clinton administration Middle East envoy Dennis Ross. The official was also able to persuade Indyk to meet with Rich’s lawyer, Isaac Herzog, just three days after requesting that he do so. The confidential classification of the cable was extended by the State Department on February 10, 2014 for an additional 15 years, following the Judicial Watch FOIA request, in an apparent effort by the State Department to keep the names of the Israeli official confidential. Ambassador Indyk is now President Obama’s Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

In the cable, entitled “[REDACTED] REQUEST FOR INTERVENTION WITH DOJ ON BEHALF OF MARK [SIC] RICH,” Indyk writes:

•    During August 29 [1995] meeting with Dennis Ross and I, [REDACTED] raised the issue of Mark Rich, a wealthy businessman now resident in Switzerland, whom [REDACTED] has recruited to head up an effort to promote private sector involvement in Palestinian economic development. [REDACTED] asked me to see Rich’s lawyer, Isaac Herzog, to be briefed on the subject. He further requested that Dennis and I follow up in Washington to try to resolve the problem.

•    Rich paid a large fine and according to Herzog, DOJ is no longer pursuing the matter … Nevertheless, there are still international warrants outstanding for Rich’s arrest. This severely restricts his travel … [REDACTED] request is that State consider the project and, if it is regarded as worthwhile, contact DOJ and communicate its interests in enabling Rich to engage in these activities – specifically that:  … The GOI [Government of Israel] has notified State that it is in the GOI’s interest to facilitate the travel on behalf of Marc Rich to advance the ‘Economic Solution’ … The U.S. has a legitimate interest in fostering these objectives.

Interestingly, the Indyk confidential memo claims that the U.S. ambassador, who at the time had been a key figure in American-Israeli affairs for more than a decade, had no knowledge of Rich or the activities that had led to the commodities trader’s 1983 indictment. According to Indyk’s confidential memo, “We have never heard of Mark [sic] Rich and have no way of evaluating his ability to contribute to this effort by bringing in foreign investors.” The ambassador added, “However, [REDACTED] is pushing him hard.”

On January 20, 2001, just hours before leaving office, President Clinton granted Rich a highly controversial presidential pardon. It was widely alleged at the time that Rich’s pardon had been the result of Denise Rich having given more than $1 million to the Democratic Party, including more than $100,000 to the Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton and $450,000 to the Clinton Library foundation. As far back as 2009, journalist Joe Conason, writing in Salon had conjectured, “Winning the pardon was a top priority for Israeli officials because Rich had long been a financial and intelligence asset of the Jewish state …” But the confidential cable obtained by Judicial Watch is the first solid evidence of close ties between the Israeli government and the fugitive financier.

The bottom line is that the cable raises salient new questions about the depth and breadth of the relationship between Marc Rich and the Israeli government. And they suggest possible new insights into the motivations behind the scandalous last-minute pardon granted by Bill Clinton. Ambassador Indyk should now disclose what he knows about the Rich pardon. As should John Podesta, Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton – all high-level Obama appointees embroiled in the Rich pardon scandal.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review. The featured photo is courtesy of Ionel141. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2013

Judicial Watch today released its 2013 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

Dishonorable Mentions for 2013 include:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):

House Speaker John Boehner has apparently become a master at what Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls the “Tollbooth Strategy.” As Schweizer explains in his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets: “You pay money at a tollbooth in order to use a road or bridge. The methodology in Washington is similar: if someone wants a bill passed, charge them money to allow the bill to move down the legislative highway.”  According to Schweizer, Boehner apparently used the Tollbooth Strategy to collect more than $200,000 in political donations from executives just days before holding votes on bills critically important to their industries.

The first bill was the Wireless Tax Fairness Act. Strongly supported by big phone companies like AT&T and Verizon, it sailed through the House Judiciary Committee, and was expected to immediately come to the floor for a full House vote. Instead of scheduling the bill for a vote, however, Boehner allowed it to languish on the calendar for the next three months. What finally prompted Boehner to bring the bill to a vote? As Schweizer explains it: “The day before the vote, Boehner’s campaign collected the toll: thirty-three checks from wireless industry executives, totaling almost $40,000.”

According to Schweizer, two more bills on which Boehner employed the Tollbooth Strategy were the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act and the Small Company Capital Formation Act. Brokers and venture capitalists and investment firms strongly supported the proposed law. Explains Schweizer in Extortion: “The Speaker of the House took in $91,000 in the forty-eight hours of October 30 and 31 from investment banks and private equity firms, two days before the vote.  During the same time period, he took in $46,500 from self-described ‘investors’ and another $32,450 from bank holding companies. With the tolls paid, the votes took place on the full House floor. Both passed easily.”

CIA Director John Brennan:

In mid-December 2013, Judicial Watch obtained and released the full transcript of a May 7, 2012, teleconference between then-White House top counterterror adviser (now CIA Director) John Brennan and various TV terrorism consultants in which Brennen revealed that the U.S. and its allies had “inside control over any plot” in its efforts to thwart a May 2012 terrorism bomb plot, thus blowing the cover on undercover agents within al Qaeda.

The Brennan revelation of “inside control” – an intelligence community euphemism for spies within an enemy operation – reportedly helped lead to the disclosure of a previously well-kept secret at the heart of a joint U.S.-British-Saudi undercover terrorism operation inside Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to a Reuters May 18, 2012, report:

The next day’s headlines were filled with news of a U.S. spy planted inside Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who had acquired the latest, non-metallic model of the underwear bomb and handed it over to U.S. authorities.

At stake was an operation that could not have been more sensitive — the successful penetration by Western spies of AQAP, al Qaeda’s most creative and lethal affiliate. As a result of leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.

In the transcript obtained by Judicial Watch, Brennan led the teleconference where he addressed the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS including Caitlin Hayden, Frances Townsend, Richard Clarke, Roger Cressey, and Juan Zarate. In an apparent attempt to soft-peddle the thwarted terrorist attack, Brennan twice exposed the covert operation; first at the outset of the call, then as the conference drew to a close:

BRENNAN: The device itself, as I think the FBI statement said quite clearly, never posed a threat to the American public or the public … Well, as we, well know, Al Qaeda has tried to carry out simultaneous types of attacks, and so we were confident that we had inside control over the – any plot that might have been associated with this device.

CLARKE: If it gets asked. There was no active threat because we had insider control …

BRENNAN: I would not disagree with the way you put that, at all.

It should also be noted that records obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2012, through a Freedom of Information lawsuit, indicate that Brennan helped orchestrate the administration’s attempt to influence the storyline of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” A transcript of a July 14, 2011, meeting between Defense Department officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, and filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reveals that Boal met directly with White House officials on at least two occasions regarding the film: “I took your guidance and spoke to the WH and had a good meeting with Brennan and McDonough and I plan to follow up with them; and they were forward leaning and interested in sharing their point of view; command and control; so that was great, thank you,” Boal said according to the transcript. During Brennan’s February 2013 CIA confirmation hearings, he confirmed he had met with Boal “on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden.”

Brennan, of course, was not the only Obama administration official who attempted to curry favor with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers. In early December Judicial Watch released more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including a previously unreleased CIA internal report, confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by filmmaker Mark Boal. Significantly, the entire transcript of the Panetta speech provided to Judicial Watch by the CIA was classified “Top Secret.”  More than 90 lines are redacted for security reasons, further confirming that significant portions of the speech should not have been made in front of the filmmaker who lacked top security clearance.

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA):

Sen. Saxby Chambliss makes the “Ten Worst” list for what he actually did in 2012, but which was finally exposed in 2013. Just as with House Speaker Boehner, Chambliss’s misdeeds were revealed in Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In fact, Chambliss is highlighted as one of the key abusers who used leadership PAC loopholes to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members.

As the New York Times reported:

The book details the extravagant expenses of Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, for instance, whose leadership PAC spent $10,000 on golf at Pebble Beach, nearly $27,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and $107,752 at the exclusive Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The amount Mr. Chambliss spent at the Breakers in the 2012 election cycle, the book reports, is three times what the senator gave to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the same period.

When Chambliss’s campaign was asked about the flagrantly lavish spending, they responded that all spending was reported according to the law. Though it may be legal, it is a clear abuse. And one has to wonder if the hardworking Georgians who sacrificed their scarce funds to support Chambliss’ re-election would be comfortable knowing their campaign contributions were used to support the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

On January 23, 2013, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to congressional committees regarding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which led to the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American citizens. At times evasive, at other times defensive and aggressive, Clinton delivered her version of events in the days before and after the murders in Benghazi. And, in the end, the Secretary of State pretended to take “responsibility,” but gave a predictable response regarding who is to blame: “…the level of responsibility for the failures…was set at the Assistant Secretary of State level and below,” Clinton said, referring to an investigation of the incident. In other words, this was not my fault.

At one point in her testimony, in what is, perhaps, the epitome of Obama-era contempt for accountability, Clinton yelled“What difference does it make?” in response to a reasonable question about why the attack transpired and why the administration told an obvious lie about an obscure Internet video as the cause of the attack.

If the mere mention of the contrived video scenario triggered Clinton’s emotional outburst, it is certainly understandable. Remember, it was Clinton herself who was instrumental in advancing the false narrative that the video sparked the attacks. For example, at a September 14, 2012, event honoring the victims, Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful video that we had nothing to do with.” To this day, she has not set the record straight.

In addition to Hillary Clinton’s apparent cover-up of the role she played in the Benghazi tragedy and its aftermath, she left office in another ethical cloud about conflicts of interest in the activities of her longtime top aide Huma Abedin. Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico broke the story that, since June 2012, she had been working as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consultant position allowing her to represent outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. While working as an SGE, Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation.

And compounding the corruption scenario were the potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures, which grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an Associated Press wire story,   “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman …”

Attorney General Eric Holder:

Attorney General Holder has become a regular on the Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list.

In May 2013, Holder may well have committed perjury when he was involved in a back-and-forth with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act for publishing classified material. In response to Johnson’s interrogatories Holder made the following statement: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Since Holder made that statement, NBC news reported that the attorney general had approved a search warrant for the email account and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen.  As Hotair.com said at the time: “There is no other way to view this except as a lie.  Even if Holder wasn’t under oath, that would constitute a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.  It certainly should produce at least a resignation, and almost assuredly would require the appointment of a special prosecutor ….”

Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has had to take legal action to prevent Holder’s DOJ from bludgeoning states over taking steps to prevent voter fraud. After a June Supreme Court ruling striking down a Voting Rights Act requirement requiring certain states and local jurisdictions to get permission from the DOJ or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes, Holder announced his intention to skirt the law. In a speech in September at a convention of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Holder vowed that the DOJ would find ways to try to accomplish the goals of the section of the law that was struck down.

As a result, Judicial Watch went to court in North Carolina in early December to defend the State of North Carolina against a DOJ lawsuit to prevent enforcement of the state’s recently passed law HB 589, which simply requires that voters present a photo ID before casting their ballots. As PJ Media explains it:

Judicial Watch uncovered collusion between radical leftist groups and the administration to attack voter integrity laws around the nation. Indeed, the [Judicial Watch] brief notes:

On July 29, 2013, a group of political activists attended a meeting at the White House with Attorney General Holder, Labor Secretary (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Tom Perez, and President Obama. Those attending included representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton told an interviewer for MSNBC that, based on what he heard at that meeting, he expected action regarding North Carolina ‘when this governor signs the bill.’

The DOJ is similarly assaulting Texas in federal court as part of this ideological effort to suppress efforts to protect election integrity.

More than a dozen states—including Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin—have similar laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, and Obama’s attorney general has launched a campaign to challenge them all.

The Holder DOJ is clearly hostile to the idea of one person, one vote, one time.

Yet, even with all of that, Holder’s malfeasance doesn’t stop there.  In August Judicial Watch released DOJ documents highlighting over $4.2 million in accrued travel expenses by Mr. Holder from March 2008 until August 2012; of which $697,525.20 were personal travel expenses. All, of course, at taxpayer expense. Add to this Holder’s continued stonewalling on the “Fast & Furious” gun-running scandal and it is all too obvious that Eric Holder’s corruption knows no limits.

Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner:

Steve Miller, then head of the IRS, resigned in May 2013, after admitting to the targeting of anti-Obama Tea Party groups during the 2012 presidential election, which he offhandedly tossed off as “horrible customer service.” Under Miller, the IRS purposely stonewalledthe approval of nonprofit applications from “Tea Party” and other conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. According to a report by the agency’s inspector general released in May 2013, for more than 18 months beginning in early 2010: “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

As reported by CNN:

Among the criteria used by IRS officials to flag applications was a “Be On the Look Out” list, or a BOLO, which was discontinued in 2012 according to the report. The criteria on the BOLO included:

  • Whether “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” was referenced in the case file.
  • Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.
  • Whether there was advocating or lobbying to “make America a better place to live.”
  • Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.
  • Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Miller was eagerly aided in his suppression of conservative groups by former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. Subpoenaed to testify before Congress in May 2013, Lerner disdainfully refused to answer inquiries, demanding full immunity concerning her role in the targeting scandal. Eventually, the IRS acknowledged that while she was in charge, IRS agents improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010-2012. Lerner retired from the IRS on September 23 with full benefits, even after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her firing, according to news reports.

Subsequent to Lerner’s lavish retirement, Judicial Watch, in October 2013, obtained email exchanges between her and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that under Lerner’s direction, the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC – in violation of federal law.

Not only did Miller and Lerner deliberately target conservative organizations for IRS harassment, they both lied about it in separate appearances before Congress. In July 2012, Miller was asked at a congressional hearing, “What kind of … action is taking place at this time that you are aware of” to address complaints that groups seeking nonprofit status were being harassed. Claiming that an overload of applications had caused the problem, Miller covered up the fact that he had learned two months earlier that conservative groups were being inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny. In May 2013, Lerner told a congressional committee that she found out about the harassment when she read about it “in the press” in early 2012. But, according to the IG report timeline, she was informed in June 2011 about the IRS’s BOLO criteria that included words such as “Tea Party” or “patriots.”

The true damage wrought by the Miller/Lerner witch-hunt may never be fully known. One can certainly speculate as to impact the Tea Party movement could have made had Miller and Lerner not cowed much of it into silence with their ruthless, reckless assault on Barack Obama’s political opponents. In short, the Obama IRS duo may have perfected the formula for stealing an election in plain sight.

Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano:

In August 2013 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down from her post expressing both “pride and regret” – the regret stemming from her failure to help push through the so-called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The truth is, however, that Napolitano actually played a major role in doing an end run around existing immigration law by helping President Obama implement his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive in lieu of DREAM Act passage.

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in June 2013 revealed that Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications resulting from the DACA directive.

The documents also revealed that, contrary to Napolitano’s claim that DACA applied only to minors who came to this country illegally “through no fault of their own,” the directive actually created a new avenue of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty. As a result, according to an agency memo from District 15 Director David Douglas, “some of the districts closer to the U.S./Mexico border have been inundated.”

The Obama/Napolitano stealth amnesty policy received a setback in July 2013 when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas left DACA hanging by a string as he dismissed a challenge strictly due to jurisdictional issues. While the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, Judge Reed O’Connor agreed that program is likely unconstitutional, saying, “[T]he Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim challenging the Directive and Morton Memorandum as contrary to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

In an earlier ruling handed down in April, Judge O’Connor stated clearly that, “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings when the requirements of Section 1225(b)(2)(A) are satisfied.” That section requires the agents to place aliens who are not “clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted” to the United States into removal proceedings.

DHS malfeasance did not stop there. And, in fact, according to a court order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 13, DHS has actually enabled cartel trafficking of minors, delivering those minors to illegals living inside the United States and completing criminal transactions for illegal immigrants. The court document details a guilty plea from Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez for being paid to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran female into the United States. Nava-Martinez was hired by Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, the mother of the 10-year-old, who was living illegally in Virginia after being denied legal entry into the U.S. in 2001. According to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who wrote the court order: “The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron-Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron-Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivers the child to her – thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.”

Napolitano’s legacy is one that has gutted, for political reasons, the very immigration laws she swore to uphold.

President Barack Obama:

President Barack Obama actually tops this “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for 2013 as the driving force behind so many of the misdeeds. This is Obama’s seventh straight year on the list, dating back all the way to 2007 (in 2006, he earned a “Dishonorable Mention”). He is a master at catch-me-if-you-can, corrupt politics.  This year, he has again acted as a one-man Congress, rewriting entire sections of federal law on his own.  Not only is his administration secretive and dishonest; its callous disregard for the rule of law undermines our constitutional republic. Examples include:

  • Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous actions over the past year were his continual lies about the ability of Americans to keep their own health insurance under Obamacare. According the Free Beacon, Obama misled the American people a total of 36 times between 2008 and 2013 with his promise, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And according to NBC News, Obama knew, even as he repeated his lie, that “more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them:”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date – the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example – the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

  • Throughout 2013, the Obama family continued to use the White House as its own personal travel bureau and the taxpayers as their personal expense account.
  • Though Obama quickly disavowed any knowledge of the IRS assault on Tea Party and other conservative groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election, the fact is that it was the president himself who fingered the groups for what might be called “special handling.” Consider Obama’s own hostile and aggressive statements, made just as his IRS officials were gearing up their assault:

August 9, 2010: During his weekly radio address, Obama warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names.” The President said:  We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them . . . you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation. … The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

September 20, 2010:  Speaking in Philadelphia, Obama once again warned that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.

September 22, 2010: Speaking in New York, Obama warned against groups opposing his policies “[posing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”

October 14, 2010: Obama attacked organizations with “benign sounding” names as “a problem for democracy.”

Little wonder that after their boss sounded the call to attack, Obama’s IRS appointees obeyed the command. And even less wonder that, caught red-handed, Obama first claimed total ignorance and, when the ploy failed, simply labeled it all a “phony scandal.”

  • According to the Galen Institute, Obama has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law as passed by Congress 14 times by executive fiat, with the majority of those changes coming in 2013. Those changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate. The latest Obama fix came on December 20, when he suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. As National Reviewobserved, “Of course, like every other exemption from Obamacare the latest fix is supposed to last only a year, raising the prospect that people will be kicked off their catastrophic coverage as soon as the 2014 election is safely in the political rear-view mirror.”

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV):

Last year, Harry Reid made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list for his influence-peddling scandal involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” company for which Reid “applied his political muscle” – and which just happened to be a major client of the Nevada law firm in which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.

This year Reid makes the Ten Worst list again.  His “friends” list is examined by Frontpage.com:

On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007 …

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.

None of which is surprising, since Reid has long-since made funneling money to his family’s enterprises his stock-in-trade. According to Peter Schweizer, writing for Fox News, “Sen. Reid has sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations that one of his sons, Key Reid, [RW1] either lobbies for or is affiliated with.”

While not teaming up with family members to fleece taxpayers, Reid was teaming up with President Obama to use executive authority to skirt the law. Obama and Reid have long opposed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has already cost U.S. taxpayers an astounding $15 billion, according to various federal audits. So, Obama simply instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) to decline to conduct the statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process, essentially destroying the project.

In mid-August, a federal appellate court ruled that Obama “is simply flouting the law.” According to the court, “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

Topping off the year, on November 21, 2013, – a day which should live in congressional infamy – Reid gutted the long-standing filibuster rules of the U.S. Senate in order to grease the path for Barack Obama’s court appointees. The new Reid rule prevents the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than nods to the Supreme Court. And to effect the change, Reid first triggered the “nuclear option,” which allows a change to Senate rules by majority vote (and which he had adamantly opposed in 2005, calling it “illegal” and “unAmerican”). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Reid of attempting “break the rules of the Senate … in order to change the rules of the Senate.” Not surprisingly, as the Wall Street Journal editorialized, an ancillary benefit of the rule change is that it will get judges on the DC Court of Appeals who are more friendly to Reid’s agenda.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

It’s a wonder Secretary Sebelius was still around to do damage in 2013 after last year’s fiasco for which she appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The Obama administration’s own lawyers determined Sebelius could be fired for violating federal law when reports surfaced that she had campaigned for Obama while acting in her official capacity as an executive branch official during the last presidential campaign. This made Kathleen Sebelius the first member ever of a president’s cabinet to be found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.

In 2013, rather than solicit votes, Sebelius solicited financial support for President Obama’s huge health care disaster. In May, Secretary Sebelius was caught hitting health care companies up for cash to fund Obamacare after Congress rejected all of the administration’s requests.

But, that was just for openers – because in October Sebelius redefined the term “incompetence” when she oversaw the disastrous launch of the Obamacare website. As Mercedes Schlapp wrote in US News:

She refused to listen to the IT experts who expressed serious concerns about the launch as early as March of 2013. Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer said in a meeting that he was “pretty nervous” about the exchanges being ready for October 1. Prior to the launch, one insurance executive also stated, “the extent of the problems was pretty enormous.”

Yet the American people are forced to settle for mediocrity from their leaders who play political games rather than deliver effective products.

Pressed by Congress to explain the disastrous, costly website rollout, Sebelius rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and caustically replied, “Whatever” blithely dismissing the lies and the fraud that have become part and parcel of Obamacare. The fact is, were Sebelius in the private sector, she would probably be prosecuted for fraud.

Dishonorable Mentions

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

In late December, documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently used his top mayoral staff to work on Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) – of which Bloomberg is a co-founder – at taxpayer expense. Included in the documents were emails revealing that Bloomberg aid John Feinblatt worked closely with MAIG executive Mark Glaze on the following:

  • On December 14, 2013, Glaze and Feinblatt discussed MAIG lobbying efforts in the state of Colorado.
  • On the day following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Glaze and Feinblatt conferred on how they could “”keep the mayor ahead of congress, the white house, the press.”
  • On December 17 and 18 and email exchange makes it clear that Feinblatt was involved in the day-to-day operations of MAIG, including media buys by the organization.
  • On December 19, an email from Glaze to Feinblatt indicates that Feinblatt was directly involved in MAIG finances.

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D):

The citizens of Virginia got a dubious “twofer” in 2013, as both their outgoing and incoming governors were revealed as having been embroiled in apparently shady dealings, to put it mildly.

In April 2013, outgoing Governor McDonnell became the subject of an FBI probe because of his possible quid-pro-quodealings with Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the chief executive of Star Scientific, a company that makes a tobacco-derived dietary supplement. Williams allegedly paid $15,000 to cover catering expenses at the June 2011 wedding of McDonnell’s daughter at the time the McDonnell family was actively promoting the supplement. And that’s just the beginning. According to The Washington Post report on the relationship, “Williams’s company donated $28,500 worth of flights to McDonnell’s successful 2009 campaign for governor and $80,000 worth of air travel to his political action committee after the election, the Post reported. Williams also allowed the governor’s family to borrow a Ferrari and stay at a western Virginia vacation home he owns in July 2011.”

In mid-December, federal prosecutors told McDonnell that he and his wife would be charged in connection with the scandal. Senior Justice Department officials delayed the decision, however, reportedly to wait until after McDonnell leaves office.

For his part, incoming Governor Terry McAuliffe is preparing for his inauguration with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation hanging over his head. Perhaps Mother Jones magazine best explains the latest McAuliffe scandal:

When McAuliffe in 2009 created GreenTech, a now-troubled electric-car company, he turned to an old pal for assistance in courting foreign investors: Tony Rodham, who is best known as one of Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing brothers. A former repo man, prison guard, and private eye, Rodham by then had a long history of trying to cash in on his famous sister’s connections and generally causing problems for her…

But McAuliffe somehow thought Rodham was just the guy to help him with his electric-car venture. Rodham owns a company that solicits foreign investors for American projects (deals that allow these foreign investors secure US visas). GreenTech relied heavily on foreign investors.

According to The Washington Post: “In May, the SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and bank records from a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean. The investigation is focused, at least in part, on alleged claims that the company ‘guarantees returns’ to the investors, according to government documents.”

Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ):

Former three-term Republican Congressman Rick Renzi first made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list back in 2008, when was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. At the time, we said, “He allegedly used his influence on a House Natural Resources Committee to orchestrate a land swap with the federal government that financially benefited himself and his associates. The 49-year-old lawmaker, who owns an insurance business, is also charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from insurance clients to fund his congressional campaign.” Well, now we can drop the “allegedly” – because in June, 2013, Renzi was convicted on 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges. And in October, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice:

Last year, Susan Rice shared Ten Worst dishonors with Hillary Clinton for their dual roles in the high-profile campaign toportray the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as solely related to a privately produced YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims. On the Sunday following the attack, Rice repeatedly stated on five different network TV news programs that the Benghazi assault had been a spontaneous reaction to an obscure online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack.

This year, Rice makes the Ten Worst list all on her own by joining with Barack Obama to add insult to injury by pulling an end-run around the United States Congress. Realizing that after her campaign of deception involving Benghazi, she could not be approved by the Senate for the job of Secretary of State she so clearly coveted, Rice accepted the position of National Security Advisor, which requires no Senate approval. Thus, her duplicity could be rewarded – without the American people having any say whatsoever in the matter.

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program for Illegal Aliens

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released documents detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program.

The promotion of the food stamp program, now known as “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA with a statement advising Mexicans in the U.S. that they do not need to declare their immigration status in order to receive financial assistance.  Emphasized in bold and underlined, the statement reads, “You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to USDA on July 20, 2012.  The FOIA request sought: “Any and all records of communication relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals, and migrant communities, including but not limited to, communications with the Mexican government.”

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that USDA officials are working closely with their counterparts at the Mexican Embassy to widely broaden the SNAP program in the Mexican immigrant community, with no effort to restrict aid to, identify, or apprehend illegal immigrants who may be on the food stamp rolls. In an email to Borjon Lopez-Coterilla and Jose Vincente of the Mexican Embassy, dated January 26, 2012, Yibo Wood of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sympathized with the plight of illegal aliens applying for food stamps, saying, “FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable.  Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child.”

The email from Wood to Lopez-Coterilla and Vincente came in response to a request from the Mexican Embassy that the USDA FNS step in to prevent the state of Kansas from changing its food stamp policy to restrict the amount of financial assistance provided to illegal aliens.  In a January 22, 2012, article, the Kansas City Star had revealed that the state would no longer include illegal aliens in its calculations of the amount of assistance to be provided low-income Hispanic families in order to prevent discrimination against legal recipients.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in August 2012, include the following:

  • March 30, 2012 – The USDA seeks approval of the Mexican Embassy in drafting a letter addressed to consulates throughout the United States designed to encourage Mexican embassy staffers to enroll in a webinar learn how to promote increased enrollment among “the needy families that the consulates serve.”
  • August 1, 2011 – The USDA FNS initiates contact with the Mexican Embassy in New York to implement programs already underway in DC and Philadelphia for maximizing participation among Mexican citizens. The Mexican Embassy responds that the Consul General is eager to strengthen his ties to the USDA, with specific interest in promoting the food stamp program.
  • February 25, 2011 – The USDA and the Mexican Consulate exchange ideas about getting the First Ladies of Mexico and United States to visit a school for purposes of creating a photo opportunity that would promote free school lunches for low-income students in a predominantly Hispanic school. Though a notation in the margin of the email claims that the photo op never took place, UPI reported that it actually did.
  • March 3, 2010 – A flyer advertises a webinar to teach Hispanic-focused nonprofits how to get reimbursed by the USDA for serving free lunch over the summer. The course, funded by American taxpayers, is advertised as being “free for all participants.”
  • February 9 , 2010 – USDA informs the Mexican Embassy that, based on an agreement reached between the State Department and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now ICE), the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food voucher program does not violate immigration laws prohibiting immigrants from becoming a “public charge.”

As far back as 2006, in its Corruption Chronicles blog, Judicial Watch revealed that the USDA was spending taxpayer money to run Spanish-language television ads encouraging illegal immigrants to apply for government-financed food stamps. The Mexican Consul in Santa Ana, CA, at the time even starred in some of the U.S. Government-financed television commercials, which explained the program and provided a phone number to apply. In the widely viewed commercial the Consul assured that receiving food stamps “won’t affect your immigration status.”

In 2012, Judicial Watch reported that in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions questioned the Obama administration’s partnership with Mexican consulates to encourage foreign nationals, migrant workers and non-citizen immigrants to apply for food stamps and other USDA administered welfare benefits. Sessions wrote, “It defies rational thinking,” Sessions wrote, “for the United States – now dangerously $16 trillion in debt – to partner with foreign governments to help us place more foreign nationals on American welfare and it is contrary to good immigration policy in the United States.”

“The revelation that the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens should have a direct impact on the fate of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These disclosures further confirm the fact that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. And the coordination with a foreign government to attack the policies of an American state is contemptible.”

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