» September 19th, 2014
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The federal government refuses to say whether prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona, have scaled back a years-old program that guarantees jail time for most immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and which law enforcement officials say is crucial to public safety.
Reports that federal prosecutors have stopped some prosecutions under Operation Streamline surfaced nearly two weeks ago when Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking information on the status of the zero-tolerance program that circumvents the civil immigration system and lumps together months’ worth of criminal proceedings into one day for immigrants caught crossing the border illegally.
Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said in a letter to the senators that he had been informed that federal prosecutors in Yuma are no longer going after first offenders.
But the government has been completely silent on the issue. Public affairs officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all refused to answer questions about whether the program has been scaled back.
Brett Worsencroft, president of the Border Patrol union for Yuma Sector border agents, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office has in fact ended prosecutions of first-time offenders.
“Operation Streamline is like one of the last strongholds we have as a deterrent. Our manpower is dwindling on a daily basis,” Worsencroft said. “The fence can only do so much.”
Worsencroft said the program was a large factor in the steep decline in border-crossers in Yuma because it sent a message that even first-time offenders would serve jail time and because it allowed agents to focus their attention on drug smugglers and other dangerous criminals.
Getting rid of prosecutions for first-time offenders is a “free ticket into the U.S.” for those who cross the border without legal status, he said.
Operation Streamline is used as a deterrent. Federal judges sentence large groups of immigrants within days of their arrival into the U.S. in fast court proceedings that include an arraignment, plea and sentencing in the span of one day. Most immigrants who participate in the program plead guilty to entering the country illegally and receive sentences of 30 to 120 days. Many get credit for time served.
In Yuma, all immigrants who are caught crossing the border illegally went through the program. That differs from the Border Patrol’s Tucson sector, where the much higher volume of border crossers means that mostly immigrants with prior deportations are prosecuted under Operation Streamline. Prosecutors in Del Rio, Texas, also use the program, but those in California do not do so.
The Yuma Sector made 6,106 apprehensions in fiscal year 2013. The Tucson Sector, which includes most of southern Arizona, made more than 120,000 in that timeframe.
But the low numbers haven’t always been the case for Yuma, which in 2004 and 2005 saw upward of 140,000 immigrant apprehended. Many attribute that drop to the implementation of Operation Streamline.
“This new guidance is of great concern because it undermines the mission of local law enforcement agencies throughout Yuma County for 100 percent prosecution of those entering the United States illegally in order to curb reentries,” Wilmot wrote.
McCain and Flake in a letter also said that the program contributed to decreased immigration in that area.
“Achieving these gains in border security is no doubt a result of a combination of factors including increased manpower, technology implementation, and appropriate consequences,” the senators wrote. “The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office cites 100 percent prosecution as a shared goal of a partnership including federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and cites Operation Streamline as an element in the recent success in reducing illegal crossings.”
Holder has not responded to the senators, a spokeswoman for Flake said.
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» September 16th, 2014
The Christian values upon which this Nation was founded are under attack. The ACLU and like-minded organizations are using sympathetic courts to destroy the religious and moral foundations of our great nation. Using the metaphor, “a wall of separation between church and state,” which is found nowhere in our Constitution, they attack crosses, Ten Commandment monuments, Nativity displays, Christmas celebrations in public schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, our national motto, “In God We Trust” and prayers at public meetings. The main battleground in this culture war is the courtroom and that is where the Thomas More Law Center is defending the religious freedom of Christians.
» September 16th, 2014
Published September 15, 2014
A former State Department official has told lawmakers that Hillary Clinton allies privately removed politically damaging documents before turning over files to the supposedly independent board investigating the Benghazi terror attack.
The account from Raymond Maxwell, former head of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), was first published in The Daily Signal. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, confirmed to FoxNews.com on Monday that Maxwell told him and other lawmakers the same story when they privately interviewed him last year about the attacks and their aftermath.
Chaffetz said that Maxwell claimed Clinton’s chief of staff and deputy chief of staff were overseeing the document operation, which allegedly took place on a weekend in a basement office of the State Department.
“What they were looking for is anything that made them look bad. That’s the way it was described to us,” Chaffetz said.
According to Chaffetz’ account of his interview with Maxwell, as well as the Daily Signal report by Sharyl Attkisson, Maxwell said those scrubbing the documents were looking for information that would cast Clinton and senior leaders in a “bad light.”
Chaffetz said such documents were said to be removed, so that Congress and the Accountability Review Board — the board probing security lapses as well as the attack’s aftermath — would not see them.
Chaffetz described Maxwell’s account as “consistent” all this time. The congressman said he is speaking publicly about Maxwell’s allegations because Maxwell himself has gone public with them.
State Department spokesman Alec Gerlach denied the allegations in a statement to FoxNews.com.
“That allegation is totally without merit. It doesn’t remotely reflect the way the ARB actually obtained information,” he said in an email. He explained that an “all-points bulletin”-type request went out department-wide instructing “full and prompt cooperation” for anyone contacted by the ARB, and urging anyone with “relevant information” to contact the board.
“So individuals with information were reaching out proactively to the Board. And, the ARB was also directly engaged with individuals and the Department’s bureaus and offices to request information and pull on whichever threads it chose to. The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information,” Gerlach said. He further noted that the leaders of the ARB have claimed they had unfettered access to information and people.
Maxwell was one of four State Department officials disciplined in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack, in which four Americans were killed. He was put on administrative leave, and has spoken out before about how he felt he was scapegoated.
Maxwell was eventually cleared, but retired last year.
According to The Daily Signal report, Maxwell walked in on the weekend session on a Sunday afternoon after hearing about it. He reportedly claims he saw stacks of documents when he arrived as well as an office director who worked for him — but who hadn’t told him about the assignment.
Maxwell reportedly claimed she told him they were instructed to go through the stacks and pull out items that could put anybody in the NEA “front office” or seventh floor — where the secretary’s office is — in a “bad light.”
Maxwell said he “didn’t feel good about it” and left a short time later.
Chaffetz said that he was told then-Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan were there and overseeing the operation.
“For Hillary Clinton’s personal chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to be making a concerted effort to hide documents, make sure that the Accountability Review Board and Congress did not see those documents is unbelievable and absolutely wrong,” Chaffetz said.
Requests for comment to representatives for Clinton, Sullivan and Mills have not yet been returned.
The new allegations have surfaced as the House select committee on Benghazi prepares to hold its first open hearing on Wednesday.
Scheduled to testify are Greg Starr, the department’s assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security, and Mark Sullivan and Todd Keil, members of the Independent Panel on Best Practices, created to review the accountability board’s efforts.
The board was led by former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Michael Mullen, who have already testified before Congress and are expected to be called before the select committee.
Maxwell told Attkisson that the ARB probe was “at best, a shoddily executed attempt at damage control.”
FoxNews.com’s Judson Berger contributed to this report.
» September 16th, 2014
They have been here for years………..
The fact is these training camps are not a new item that have popped up on the Homeland Security radar. These training camps are being operated by an extremely militant group of international terrorists, an organization called Jamaat ul-Fuqra. In order to live in these camps, you must pledge to support a Pakastani Cleric on the International Wanted list. As early as 2012, the media confirmed 19 Jihad camps on United States soil.
» September 16th, 2014
September 16, 2014
In the beginning of his speech last week on the threat of ISIS (or ISIL), President Obama told Americans:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents…”
He is wrong on both counts. And he knows it. He is doing a disservice to the American public and our “war” effort. If our Commander-in-Chief refuses to honestly identify the enemy, we are not going to win this war in the long run. That’s because even if we destroy ISIS there will be other Islamic organizations to take its place.
The reason: Islam is a religion of violence.
I can only conjecture that the President’s comments were meant to pander to American Muslims and anesthetize the American people to the true internal threat posed by Muslims within our gates.
But British Imam Anjem Choudary set the President and the American public straight in this short video clip.
In the clip from a recent interview on RT’s (formerly Russia Today) Worlds Apart, Choudary, told the world the truth about Islam that so called “moderate” Muslims in America have been trying to hide.
When asked if the beheading of American journalist James Foley was justified under Sharia law, Choudary said:
“Every action for a Muslim must be based on the Koran, the word of Allah and the teachings of the messenger Mohammad … But those who are already Muslim must know that Allah mentions in the Koran, in fact if you look at Chapter 8 Verse 60, he said prepare as much as you can the steeds of war to terrorize the enemy. So, terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam. I mean, this is something that we must embrace and understand as far as the jurisprudence of jihad is concerned.”
Regarding “innocents” there are none.
The Imam explains:
“The thing that people need to appreciate is that in war the Muslims are not distinguishing in general between civilians and military because those very civilians are those who put the people in charge and those people in charge like Obama and others are sending the troops to Muslim countries so they don’t making (sic) that distinction; let alone between people who are journalists, who are considered to the right hand in fact and the propaganda machine of the Obama Administration.”
The Koran commands Muslims to engage in a holy war (Jihad) in order to impose Islam and Shariah Law on the entire world.
“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” (Koran 9:5)
Interestingly, the President’s counter terrorism advisor, John Brennan (now Director of the CIA), during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argued that the terms “jihadist” or “jihad” should not be used to describe America’s enemies. His reason: jihad is a holy struggle and a legitimate tenet of Islam. It sure is. And jihadists are America’s enemy.
» September 15th, 2014
Sharyl Attkisson / @SharylAttkisson / September 15, 2014
@SharylAttkisson Sharyl Attkisson Sharyl Attkisson, an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal. She is the author of the forthcoming book, “Stonewalled.” Learn more at SharylAttkisson.com. http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/15/benghazi-bombshell-clinton-state-department-official-reveals-alleged-details-document-review/ j
» September 15th, 2014
Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.
When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.
‘Basement operation’: The Department of State in Washington. (Photo: Wayan Vota/Creative Commons)
“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.
“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”
Did Hillary Clinton aides withhold damaging Benghazi documents?
A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who allegedly were present: One was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and a former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. The other, Chaffetz said, was Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
“When Cheryl saw me, she snapped, ‘Who are you?’” Maxwell says. “Jake explained, ‘That’s Ray Maxwell, an NEA deputy assistant secretary.’ She conceded, ‘Well, OK.’”
Maxwell says the two officials, close confidants of Clinton, appeared to check in on the operation and soon left.
Maxwell says after Mills and Sullivan arrived, he, the office director and an intern moved into a small office where they looked through some papers. Maxwell says his stack included pre-attack telegrams and cables between the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and State Department headquarters. After a short time, Maxwell says he decided to leave.
“I didn’t feel good about it,” he says.
We contacted Mills and Sullivan to ask about the allegations and the purpose of the described separation of documents, but they did not return calls or emails. We reached out to Clinton, who declined an interview request and offered no comment. A State Department spokesman told us it would have been impossible for anybody outside the Accountability Review Board (ARB) to control the flow of information because the board cultivated so many sources.
When the ARB issued its call for documents in early October 2012, just weeks after the Benghazi attacks, the executive directorate of the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs was put in charge of collecting all emails and relevant material. It was gathered, boxed and—Maxwell says—ended up in the basement room prior to being turned over.
In May 2013, when critics questioned the ARB’s investigation as not thorough enough, co-chairmen Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen responded that “we had unfettered access to everyone and everything including all the documentation we needed.”
Maxwell says when he heard that statement, he couldn’t help but wonder if the ARB—perhaps unknowingly—had received from his bureau a scrubbed set of documents with the most damaging material missing.
Maxwell also criticizes the ARB as “anything but independent,” pointing to Mullen’s admission in congressional testimony that he called Mills to give her inside advice after the ARB interviewed a potential congressional witness.
In an interview in September 2013, Pickering told me that he would not have done what Mullen did. But both co-chairmen strongly defend their probe as “fiercely independent.”
Maxwell also criticizes the ARB for failing to interview key people at the White House, State Department and the CIA, including not only Clinton but Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who managed department resources in Libya; Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro; and White House National Security Council Director for Libya Ben Fishman.
“The ARB inquiry was, at best, a shoddily executed attempt at damage control, both in Foggy Bottom and on Capitol Hill,” Maxwell says. He views the after-hours operation he witnessed in the State Department basement as “an exercise in misdirection.”
Sullivan did not respond to emails or to messages sent to him through his current teaching job at Yale Law School. Mills did not respond to a message passed to her through Black Rock, a major global investment firm where she is on the board of directors. Clinton’s press officer ultimately referred us to the State Department, though none of the three currently works there.
State Department Response
A State Department spokesman, Alec Gerlach, calls the implication that documents were withheld “totally without merit.” Gerlach says: “The range of sources that the ARB’s investigation drew on would have made it impossible for anyone outside of the ARB to control its access to information.”
“The allegations are as serious as it gets,” says one lawmaker of the alleged Benghazi document review.
Gerlach says the State Department instructed all employees to cooperate “fully and promptly” with the ARB, which invited anyone with relevant information to contact the board directly.
“So individuals with information were reaching out proactively to the board. And, the ARB was also directly engaged with individuals and the [State] Department’s bureaus and offices to request information and pull on whichever threads it chose to,” Gerlach says.
Fox News: Hillary Clinton Aides Allegedly Witnessed Benghazi Document Review at State Department
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/
Fox News’ Doug McKelway credits investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson and The Daily Signal for breaking news on the State Department’s alleged after-hours review of Benghazi documents.
Benghazi Select Committee
Maxwell says he has been interviewed privately by several members of Congress in recent months, including Chaffetz, a member of the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
When reached for comment, Chaffetz told me that Maxwell’s allegations “go to the heart of the integrity of the State Department.”
“The allegations are as serious as it gets, and it’s something we have obviously followed up and pursued,” Chaffetz says. “I’m 100 percent confident the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep on that issue.”
Former Obama Supporter
Maxwell, 58, strongly supported President Barack Obama and personally contributed to his presidential campaign. But post-Benghazi, he has soured on both Obama and Clinton, saying he had nothing to do with security and was sacrificed as a scapegoat while higher-up officials directly responsible escaped discipline.
Maxwell spent a year on paid administrative leave with no official charge ever levied against him. Ultimately, the State Department cleared Maxwell of wrongdoing and reinstated him. He retired a short time later, in November 2013.
Maxwell worked in foreign service for 21 years as the well-respected deputy assistant secretary for Maghreb Affairs in the Near East Bureau and is a former chief of staff to the ambassador in Baghdad. Fluent in Portuguese, Maxwell is a Navy “mustanger,” which means he successfully made the leap from the enlisted ranks to commissioned officer.
Maxwell also is a prolific poet. While on administrative leave, he published poems online: allegories hinting at his post-Benghazi observations and experiences.
A poem entitled “Invitation” refers to his placement on leave in December 2012: “The Queen’s Henchmen / request the pleasure of your company / at a Lynching — / to be held / at 23rd and C Streets NW [State Dept. building] / on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 / just past sunset. / Dress: Formal, Masks and Hoods — / the four being lynched / must never know the identities/ of their executioners, or what/ whose sin required their sacrifice./ A blood sacrifice — / to divert the hounds- / to appease the gods — / to cleanse our filth and /satisfy our guilty consciences…”
In another poem called “Trapped in a purgatory of their own deceit,” Maxwell wrote: “The web of lies they weave / gets tighter and tighter / in its deceit / until it bottoms out — / at a very low frequency — / and implodes…Yet all the while, / the more they talk, / the more they lie, / and the deeper down the hole they go… Just wait…/ just wait and feed them the rope.”
Several weeks after he was placed on leave with no formal accusations, Maxwell made an appointment to address his status with a State Department ombudsman.
“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls.
“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’ ”
Since retiring from the State Department, Maxwell has obtained a master’s degree in library information science.
This is a Daily Signal special feature.
Sharyl Attkisson, an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal. She is the author of the forthcoming book, “Stonewalled.” Learn more at SharylAttkisson.com.
x News: Hillary Clinton Aides Allegedly Witnessed Benghazi Document Review at State Departme
» September 14th, 2014
A Fox News Reporting special, hosted by Bret Baier, uncovered the smoking gun of Benghazi and offered an inside look into the harrowing and tragic 2012 attacks that killed four Americans.
“13 Hours at Benghazi: The Inside Story” is told by members of the Annex Security Team. The special is based off a new book, “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi” by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team.
What the security contractors described as initially a “pretty routine day” became a 13-hour battle.
Five minutes after the attack on the consulate, the team said they were ready to go – but they were delayed by a top CIA officer who told them to stand down.
“We were told to wait, stand down. We were delayed three times,” security contractor and co-author Kris (“Tanto”) Paronto told Bret Baier in tonight’s special.
If the team had not been delayed, they believe things would have turned out differently.
“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut is yes,” Paronto said.
Watch parts 1 and 2 of the special below, or catch the hour-long special when it re-airs Saturday at 10p, or Sunday at 1a.
» September 14th, 2014
» September 14th, 2014