OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
THE LEGAL LIMIT: THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S ATTEMPTS TO EXPAND FEDERAL POWER
Report No. 4:
The Obama Administration’s Abuse of Power
By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights
Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat.
The President’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.
Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”
Rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying, and waiving portions of the laws that he is charged to enforce. When President Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking others to do the same.
For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.
That would be wrong—and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.
Governing by Executive Fiat
1. Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).1
2. Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.2
3. Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.3
4. Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.
5. Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
6. Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same- sex marriages performed before the stay.
7. Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.
8. Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
9. Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.
1 Caroline May, Obama administration ‘guts’ welfare reform with new HHS rule, Daily Caller, Jul. 13, 2012.
2 Mark Krikorian, Today is A-Day, National Review Online, Aug. 15, 2012.
3 Reid J. Epstein, Obama administration ends some terror asylum restrictions, Politico, Feb. 5, 2014.
4 Julia Preston, Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve, N.Y. Times, Nov. 15, 2013.
5 Matt Apuzzo, More Federal Privileges to Extend to Same-Sex Couples, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2014.
6 Charlie Savagejan, U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriage Despite State Stance, N.Y. Times, Jan. 10, 2014.
7 Pete Williams & Michael O’Brien, Holder: ‘New Approach’ to reduce mandatory drug sentences, NBC News, Aug. 12, 2013.
8 Charlie Savage, Obama Takes New Route to Opposing Parts of Laws, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2010.
9 Joel B. Pollak, Nuclear fallout: Yucca decision would affect immigration, obamacare, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2013.
Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti- Muslim YouTube video,10 and then lied about the White House’s involvement.11
Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.12
Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.13
Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.14
Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.15
10 Bill Flax, Benghazi: Four Americans Died, Obama Lied, and the Press Complied, Forbes, Oct. 18, 2012.
11 Michael D. Shear, Email Suggests White House Strategy on Benghazi, N.Y. Times, Apr. 30, 2014.
12 Mike Levine, President Obama’s Surprise Revelation of Sealed Benghazi Indictment, ABC News, Aug. 9, 2013.
13 Obama’s Magnitsky Walkback, Wall St. J., Jan. 5, 2014.
14 Karen DeYoung & Peter Finn, U.S. acknowledges killing of four U.S. citizens in counterterrorism operations, Wash. Post, May 22, 2013.
15 White House says U.S. has not cut off aid to Egypt, Reuters, Aug. 20, 2013.
Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.16
Delayed the individual mandate for two years.17
Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare.18 Extended this delay until 2016—past the mid-term elections.19
Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.20
Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate.21 Twice.22
Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.23
Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.24
Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.25
Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.26
As of May 2011, over 50% of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12% of the American work force).27
16 Margaret Talev & Alex Wayne, Obama Lifts Health Mandate for Those With Canceled Plans, Bloomberg.com, Dec. 20, 2013.
17 ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption, Wall St. J., Mar. 11, 2014.
18 Stephanie Condon, Obama letting people keep canceled health plans for another year, CBSNews.com, Nov. 14, 2013.
19 Louise Radnofsky, Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve, Wall St. J., Mar. 5, 2014.
20 David Martosko, Busted! After promising ‘no delay’ in final Obamacare sign-up deadline, Obama administration unveils new ‘honor system’ extension through mid-April, Daily Mail, March 25, 2014.
21 Sarah Kliff, White House delays employer mandate requirement until 2015, Wash. Post, July 2, 2013.
22 Juliet Eilperin & Amy Goldstein, White House delays health insurance mandate for medium-seized employers until 2016, Wash. Post, Feb. 10, 2014.
23 Ezra Klein, In 2014, Congress gets Obamacare. Here’s how they’ll pay for it., Wash. Post, Aug. 1, 2013.
24 Avik Roy, Yet Another White House Obamacare Delay: Out-Of-Pocket Caps Waived Until 2015, Forbes, Aug. 13, 2013.
25 Avik Roy, Not Qualified for Obamacare’s Subsidies? Just lie – Govt. To Use ‘Honor System’ Without Verifying Your Eligibility, Forbes, July 6, 2013.
26 Joel Gehrke, Little Sisters of the Poor sue over Obamacare fines, contraception requirement, Wash. Examiner, Sept. 24, 2013.
27 Milton Wolf, Obamacare waiver corruption must stop, Wash. Times, May 20, 2011.
Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.28
Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.29
Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.30
Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.31
Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws—but no charges were filed.32
Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like—such as “ammunition sales.”33
28 Steven Greenhouse, Labor Board Tells Boeing New Factory Breaks Law, N.Y. Times, Apr. 20, 2011.
29 Frederic Frommer, Government takes third attempt at drilling moratorium, Associated Press, Jul. 13, 2010.
30 An offer you can’t refuse, The Economist, May 7, 2009.
31 Emails: Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff of nonunion Delphi workers’ pensions, Daily Caller, Aug. 7, 2012; Report: Obama administration played key role in GM Bankruptcy as pensions cut for salaried workers, not unionized ones, Associated Press, Aug 16, 2013.
32 Deborah Zabarenko, Gibson Guitar CEO slams U.S. raids as “overreach”, Reuters, Oct. 12, 2011.
33 Frank Keating, Justice Puts Banks in a Choke Hold, Wall St. J., Apr. 24, 2014.
Executive Nominees and Personnel
- Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd35 and Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold.36
- As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.37
- Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess.34 Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
- As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.38
34 Timothy Noah, Cordray’s Recess Appointment Sure Doesn’t Look Constitutional to Me, New Republic, Jan. 4, 2012.
35 John Bresnahan, Byrd: Obama in power grab, Politico, Feb. 25, 2009.
36 Jordan Fabian, Feingold questions Obama ‘czars’, The Hill, Sept. 16, 2009.37 Andrew Malcolm, 36 Obama aides owe $833,000 in back taxes, Investors Business Daily, Jan. 26, 2012.38 Richard Rubin, Number of Tax-Delinquent Government Workers Up 11.5%, Bloomberg, Mar. 8, 2013.
Free Speech and Privacy
- Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review of all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities”—and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.40
- Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.41
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80% of U.S. credit card transactions.42
- Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co- conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.43
- Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.39
- Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.44
- Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.45
39 Greg Sargent, Conservatives have themselves a real scandal on their hands, Wash. Post, May 10, 2013.
40 Mark Tapscott, ‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs, Wash. Examiner, Mar. 18, 2014.
41 Ellen Nakashima, Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2013.
42 Richard Pollock, CFPB’s data-mining on consumer credit cards challenged in heated House hearing, Sept. 13, 2013.
43 Another Chilling Leak Investigation, N.Y. Times, May 21, 2013.
44 Mark Sherman, Gov’t obtains wide AP phone records in probe, Yahoo News, May 13, 2013.
45 Eric Lichtblau, Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists, N.Y. Times, June 24, 2010.
Other Lawless Acts
Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws—as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”46
Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious,47 and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.48
Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.49
Argued for expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously 9 times since January 2012.50
Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.51
Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.52
Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.53
Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.54
Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.55
46 Stephen Dinan, Border Patrol helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the United States, Wash. Times, Dec. 19, 2013.
47 DOJ Inspector General, A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters, Sept. 2012.
48 Jerry Seper & Stephen Dinan, GOP sues to force Obama, Holder compliance on Fast and Furious, Wash. Times, Aug. 13, 2012.
49 Kevin Bohn, Justice Department drops charges in voter intimidation case, CNN.com, May 28, 2009.
50 Senator Ted Cruz, The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts to Expand Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power; Senator Ted Cruz, Addendum 2 – More Cases on Obama DOJ’s Expansive View of Federal Power.
51 Obama, Holder Stand in Louisiana Schoolhouse Door, Investors Business Daily, Aug. 30, 2013.
52 Alex Pappas, Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown, Daily Caller, Oct. 4, 2013.
53 George Neumayr, Muzzling Military Chaplains, The American Spectator, Jan. 9, 2013.
54 Editorial: Firehouse flunkies, Wash. Times, Mar. 7, 2011.
Other Abuses of Power
Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee,56 who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.57
Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.58
President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world.”59
Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.60
Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives,61 and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.62
Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.63
Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.64
Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.65
Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.66
Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.67
55 Terence Jeffrey, IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address, CNSNews.com, June 21, 2013.
56 U.S. judge orders release of mentally ill Guantanamo prisoner, Yahoo News, Oct. 4, 2013.
57 The Guantanamo Docket: Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, N.Y. Times.
58 Jason Allardyce & Tony Allen-Mills, White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, The Australian, July 26, 2010.
59 Alex Pepper, White House, NASA, Defend Comments About NASA Outreach to Muslim World Criticized by Conservatives, ABCNews.com, July 6, 2010.
60 Aaron Goldstein, Obama Still Doesn’t Get 9/11, American Spectator, Sept. 11, 2012.
61 Dana Bash & Ted Barrett, Bonuses allowed by stimulus bill, CNN.com, Mar. 18, 2009.
62 Helene Cooper, Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses, N.Y Times, Mar. 16, 2009.
63 Bankrupt solar company with fed backing has cozy ties to Obama admin, Daily Caller, Sept. 1, 2011.
64 Josh Gerstein, 5 unmet promises of President Obama, Politico, Oct. 16, 2012.
65 Mark Knoller, National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush, CBSNews.com, Mar. 19, 2012.
66 Prashant Gopal, Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid: Mortgages, Bloomberg, Mar. 5, 2012.
67 Washington Elitists Want to Take Over the Family Farm, Investors Business Daily, Apr. 26, 2012; Dave Jamieson, Child Labor Farm Rules Scrapped by White House Under Political Pressure, Huffington Post, Apr. 27, 2012.
Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.68
Nominated Timothy Geithner—who had significant tax issues69—to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.
Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.70
Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).71
Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.72
Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration—purportedly saving $18,000 per week—even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.73
Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.74
Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.75
Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.76
Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.77
Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up Let’s Move website, during the partial government shutdown.78
Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.79
68 Maxim Lott, Critics Assail Obama’s ‘Safe Schools’ Czar, Say He’s Wrong Man For the Job, FoxNews.com, Sept. 23, 2009.
69 Jonathan Weisman, Geithner’s Tax History Muddles Confirmation, Wall St. J., Jan. 14, 2009.
70 Chip Reid, Obama Reneges on Health Care Transparency, CBSNews.com, Jan. 7, 2010.
71 Jim Harper, The Promise That Keeps on Breaking, The Cato Institute, Apr. 13, 2009.
72 Ed Henry, Obama to sign executive order raising minimum wage for federal contractors, FoxNews.com, Jan. 28, 2014.
73 Tom Blumer, Our Petty, Country-Be-Damned President, PJ Media, Mar. 8, 2013.
74 Senator John Thune, NLRB’s ambush elections would hurt local businesses, The Hill, Apr. 19, 2012.
75 Daniel Howes, WH Pressures Ford to Pull Bailout Ad, FoxNews.com, Sept. 27, 2011.
76 Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests, Judicial Watch, July 10, 2013.
77 George Will, When the looter is the government, Wash. Post, May 18, 2012.
78 Update: Let’s Move Website Works Fine – Obama plays Politics with Lost Children, shuts down Amber Alert website, The Right Scoop, Oct. 6, 2013.
Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.80
Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.81
Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.82
Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).83
79 JW Forces Release of DHS Report on Illegal Alien Charged with Killing Virginia Nun in August 2010 Drunk Driving Incident, Judicial Watch, Mar. 4, 2011.
80 Stephen Dinan, Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk, Wash. Times, Feb. 13, 2012.
81 Nick Schulz, How Effective Was The 2009 Stimulus Program?, Forbes, July 5, 2011.
82 Thomas Cloud, Shovel Ready in San Fran: $205,075 to ‘Translocate’ One Shrub from Path of Stimulus Project, CNSNews.com, Apr. 12, 2012.
83 Susan Crabtree, Allies of official fired by Obama mount defense, The Hill, June 24, 2009.
OFFICE OF SENATOR TED CRUZ
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Why it is easy for President Obama to lie to the American people
Published November 18, 2013
There are at least these two differences this time: First, the admission of the lie does not come at a moment when this president is facing impeachment (which would almost certainly have been true for President Nixon had he not resigned).
Second, this president still shows, in my opinion, even after his most recent mea culpa, far less remorse than President Nixon showed in the speech he made upon announcing he would leave office and in his choice to leave office.
I do not believe the president sees most Americans as competent. I believe he sees them as children.
In this case, the president lied to Americans about the Affordable Care Act, promising that passing the legislation meant they could keep their health plans and doctors, when the truth is that tens of millions of people will likely lose their health care plans and be forced to switch doctors.
That’s a really big lie, however you measure it — whether in the tens of millions of people affected, or the hundreds of thousands of doctors, or the dozens of insurance companies, or the thousands and thousands of employers or the rerouting of billions of dollars.
Yet, the president only said he was “sorry that people are finding themselves in this situation based on reassurances they got from me.”
He didn’t say that he had profoundly violated the trust of the American people.
He didn’t say that he would search his soul for the reason he could have been so intent on passing his legislation that he promised very important things he knew he could not deliver.
He didn’t say that the rage people feel toward him is justified.
Why does it seem so easy for the president to tell such a gargantuan lie?
– In order to feel guilty about deceiving someone, an individual must have respect for that person.
– He must consider the other man or woman his equal.
– He must believe that depriving the other man or woman of the truth would be a sin because it deprives that person of free will. Because without the facts, competent people can’t make informed decisions.
But I do not believe the president sees most Americans as competent. I believe he sees them as children, who cannot think for themselves, nor support themselves, nor defend themselves.
And because he believes this is a nation of children who are powerless to truly decide anything knowledgably, withholding certain facts from them “for their own good,” is no different than telling the kids a few harmless lies to keep them safe and settle them down and calm their anxieties.
“This doesn’t taste bad,” a father might say to his daughter before giving her medicine, even when he knows it will. The lie is forgivable. It’s meant to keep his little girl from being too anxious and refusing what she needs.
But tell a competent adult something tastes good when it will make him gag, and you’ll be, rightfully, seen as having deprived the person of information he deserved.
This president was lied to by his father who abandoned him, by his mother who abandoned him and by the grandmother who hugged him, but also revealed that she distrusted men of color.
Now, he wants to be the only adult in town. He needs that much power to feel safe, because he was that disempowered and unsafe in the past. So, to him, we’re incompetents.
To him, we’re just kids who need to take our medicine. And lying is the easy and justifiable way to get the job done.
Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team. Dr. Ablow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home » 2012 presidential campaign » ‘It Gives Me Chills’: Bret Baier Reads Emails Proving Obama Negligence Responsible For Amb. Stevens Murder
Oct 25, 2012 Dinah Tellya
BENGHAZI: Names of ‘whistleblower’ witnesses revealed
Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.
U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
Hicks was at the time of the highest-ranking American diplomat in the country.
Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. Of the three witnesses, he is the only one who does not consider himself a whistleblower. At last fall’s hearing, however, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others had made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in the period preceding the attacks, requests mostly rejected by State Department superiors.
“For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building,” Nordstrom testified, angry over inadequate staffing at a time when the threat environment in Benghazi was deteriorating,
The other two witnesses have not been heard from publicly before.
Hicks is a veteran Foreign Service officer whose overseas postings have also included Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and committee member, said Hicks was in Tripoli at 9:40 p.m. local time when he received one of Stevens’ earliest phone calls amid the crisis.
“We’re under attack! We’re under attack!” the ambassador reportedly shouted into his cell phone at Hicks.
Chaffetz, who subsequently debriefed Hicks, also said the deputy “immediately called into Washington to trigger all the mechanisms” for an inter-agency response.
“The real-life trauma that [Hicks] went through,” Chaffetz recalled to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, “I mean, I really felt it in his voice. It was hard to listen to. He’s gone through a lot, but he did a great job.”
According to the State Department website, Thompson “advises senior leadership on operational counterterrorism matters, and ensures that the United States can rapidly respond to global terrorism crises.”
Five years before the Benghazi attacks, he lectured at a symposium hosted by the University of Central Florida and titled “The Global Terrorism Challenge: Answers to Key Questions.”
Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, and wife Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee — Republicans — disclosed this week that in their private practice in the nation’s capital, they now represent pro bono two career State Department employees who regard themselves as “whistleblowers” and would be testifying before Issa’s committee at its next Benghazi hearing, on May 8.
The lawyers said their clients believe their accounts of Benghazi were spurned by the Accountability Review board (ARB), the official investigative body convened by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the terrorist attacks, and that the two employees have faced threats and intimidation from as-yet-unnamed superiors.
“I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi — that people have been threatened,” Toensing told Fox News on Wednesday. “And not just the State Department; people have been threatened at the CIA….It’s frightening….They’re taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over.”
DiGenova told Fox News on Thursday, by way of describing his and Toensing’s respective clients: “There were people who were material witnesses, who wanted to talk to [the ARB], and they were not allowed to talk to them.
“The people that we are representing are career civil servants…people who have served the country overseas…in dangerous positions all over the world, have risked their lives and only want to tell the truth.”
· Exclusive: Benghazi Whistleblowers’ Lawyer Says Obama, Kerry Aware that State Department Is Obstructing the Investigation (pjmedia.com)
· Benghazi May Turn Out to be Obama’s Watergate (joemiller.us)
· Keeping Up With the Latest Benghazi Conspiracy Theories (motherjones.com)
· Benghazi whistleblowers still waiting to tell their story (cbsnews.com)
· Benghazi Boils Over (freebeacon.com)
Explosive Report Contradicts the Obama Administration’s Benghazi Story in a Big Way
Apr. 29, 2013 9:07pm
A man walks near a charred vehicle at the entrance of the U.S. Conulate, in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. The deadly Sept. 11 attack on the consulate killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Credit: AP
The U.S. government had the ability to “react and respond” to the Benghazi terrorist attack and could have had forces on the ground before the second wave of the assault began, a special operator with knowledge of the response told Fox News in an exclusive interview. Due to the explosive nature of his allegations, the special ops member asked to remain anonymous.
“I know for a fact that C 110, the EUCOM CIF, was doing a training exercise, not in the region of northern Africa, but in Europe. And they had the ability to react and respond,” he told Fox News.
The C 110 is a 40-man Special Ops force capable of rapid response and deployment, a group trained specifically for an event like the Benghazi attack, Fox News reports. The unit was training in Croatia on Sept. 11, 2012, just 3.5 hours away from Benghazi.
“They would have been there before the second attack,” the anonymous special operator said. “They would have been there at a minimum to provide a quick reaction force that could facilitate their exfil out of the problem situation.”
He continued: “Nobody knew how it was going to develop, and you hear a whole bunch of people and a whole bunch of advisors say, ‘Hey, we wouldn’t have sent them there because the security was unknown situation.’ If it’s an unknown situation, at a minimum you send forces there to facilitate the exfil or medical injuries. We could have sent a C 130 to Benghazi to provide medical evacuation for the injured.”
The special operator said there are members of special ops and other officials who are still active and involved in the situation. “They would be decapitated if they came forward with information that could affect high-level commanders,” he added.
While he says he doesn’t “blame them for not coming forward,” the special operator said members of the community feel betrayed and believe the betrayal goes all the way to the top. Further, the Special Ops community feels like the Americans in Benghazi were left to fend for themselves.
The White House has said from the beginning that there were no forces available to assist Americans in Benghazi on Sept. 11. Four Americans were killed in the attack on the U.S. compound, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, State Department worker Sean Smith and former U.S. Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.
Watch the exclusive segment via Fox News/WFB below:
This story has been updated.
December 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm
Steven Crowder Releases Unedited Union Assault Footage
(Content Warning: Extreme Language)
This is further documentation of the violent acts committed against Conservative Writer Stephen Crowder on behalf of union members in Lansing, MI. A police report has been filed.
1. The media has been complicit in supporting the unions violating the 1st amendment, by intimidating/assaulting those practicing free speech.
2. Lansing was an overwhelmingly violent/disruptive protest. Period.
3. The mainstream media has LIED in an attempt to slander me as a fight-starter. This video removes any and all doubt, making those who accused the accuser, look very stupid and dishonest.
Read more: http://conservativevideos.com/2012/12/steven-crowder-releases-unedited-union-assault-footage/#ixzz2FdXOIkED
Christmas 2003: The Nativity (Photo credit: DUCKMARX)
Tree Nativity (Photo credit: Uriel 1998)
Bill O’Reilly Unleashes on ‘Secular Clown Posse,’ Lectures Media About the Nativity & the Founding Fathers
Photo Credit: Fox News
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly isn’t backing away from his claims surrounding the annual War on Christmas. In fact, on Thursday night, he doubled down, dismissing a “secular clown posse” comprised of media figures who purportedly have little knowledge about the nation’s founding.
While he noted that conservatives have won some of the battles in the the annual debate over Nativity displays, crosses and “holiday trees,” O’Reilly warned that the War on Christmas is far from over and that it is, in fact, ”symbolic of the entire culture war.”
During the segment, the popular host called out Newsweek Magazine’s recent claim that the battle has concluded and that the issue has been won in favor of conservatives. In addition to noting Newsweek’s take, the host also target Associated Press TV writer Frazier Moore, who recently lambasted O’Reilly for his stance on the War on Christmas.
“Moore is one of the legions of media who have formed a secular clown posse, a bunch of people who have no blanking idea what this country was founded on,” O’Reilly proclaimed.
“The O’Reilly Factor” host went on to clarify his stance on Christianity, describing the differences between the religious construct as a faith and a philosophy.
“Christianity is a religion for those who believe Jesus is God and for those who join a specific church to celebrate that belief,” he explained. “But Christianity is a philosophy to people like Thomas Jefferson who did not believe that Jesus was a deity — and Mr. Jefferson as well as many of the Founding Fathers incorporated the Judeo-Christian philosophy into the Constitution.”
O’Reilly also noted that Nativity scenes merely honor the life of Jesus and that no one is being forced to accept, based on the imagery, that Christ is a deity. These displays simple depict his birth — something that can be celebrated regardless of faith views.
“At Christmas, Jesus is honored as a man who helped humanity,” O’Reilly explained.
‘War on Christmas’: Bill O’Reilly Engages Rhode Island Governor Over ‘Holiday Tree’
Bill O’Reilly Credit: Getty Images for The Rumble 2012)
Following his contentious Christmas debate with Atheists for America President David Silverman on Wednesday night, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly confronted Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee on Thursday over his decision to rename the state’s Christmas Tree a “holiday tree” as a gesture of political correctness in “changing times.”
While Chafee accused O’Reilly of trying to start a controversy where there wasn’t one, the Fox News host said he was the one starting controversy by trying to “impose his will” on the residents of his state.
“I just want our traditions to be respected that’s all,” O’Reilly said.
Chafee also told O’Reilly that everyone on Fox News is “too angry” before wishing him a Merry Christmas.
Watch the segment via Fox News/Mediaite below:
IT’S EASY TO SEE THAT CHAFEE’S MOTHER HAD A RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL SOUL AS SHE NAMED HER SON “LINCOLN!” SHE MUST BE ASHAMED OF HIM (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A “First Amendment Area” at Muir Woods. English text reads : “First Amendment Area: This area has been set aside for individuals or groups exercising their constitutional first amendment rights. The National Park Service neither encourages nor discourages, or otherwise endorses, these activities and receives no funds in relation to these activities.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
School Orders Child to Remove God From Poem
Posted in Top Stories
Petraeus testifies CIA’s Libya talking points were changed, lawmaker says
Published November 16, 2012
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified in a closed-door hearing Friday morning that his agency determined immediately after the Sept. 11 Libya attack that “Al Qaeda involvement” was suspected — but the line was taken out in the final version circulated to administration officials, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who spoke to reporters after Petraeus testified before the House Intelligence Committee, indicated he and other lawmakers still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the attack.
“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” he said.
Petraeus was heading next to the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify. At the same time, lawmakers unexpectedly convened a briefing with top members of various committees to examine a Sept. 25 letter to President Obama that asked a series of classified questions on Benghazi.
Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control.
“His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection.”
Still, the claim that the CIA’s original talking points were changed is sure to stoke controversy on the Hill.
“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.”
Further, King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.”
Lawmakers are focusing on the talking points issue because of concern over the account U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice gave on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16, when she repeatedly claimed the attack was spontaneous — Rice’s defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.
The suggestion that the intelligence was altered raised questions about who altered it, with King asking if “the White House changed the talking points.”
One source told Fox News that Petraeus “has no idea what was provided” to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used.
“He had no idea she was going on talk shows” until the White House announced it one or two days before, the source said.
While Petraeus resigned last Friday over an extra-marital affair, his testimony Friday was expected to focus on Libya as opposed to personal matters. King said it barely came up, and only when Petraeus was asked if the affair and investigation had any impact on his testimony on Libya. “He said no,” King said.
The pressure was on Petraeus to set the record straight, after other top intelligence officials struggled a day earlier to explain why their initial talking points after the Libya attack minimized the role of militant groups.
Lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committees heard testimony Thursday in private meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell. But Fox News was told there were heated exchanges on the House side, particularly over the talking points that administration officials relied on in the days after the Sept. 11 strike.
Fox News was told that neither Clapper nor Morell knew for sure who finalized that information. And they could not explain why they minimized the role of a regional Al Qaeda branch as well as the militant Ansar al-Sharia despite evidence of their involvement.
Further, Fox News was told Morell was pushed to explain why, during a Sept. 14 briefing, Petraeus seemed wedded to the explanation that the attack was in response to an anti-Islam video. Morell apparently said he wasn’t at that briefing and had nothing further to add.
Lawmakers continue to express concerns on several fronts — on whether warnings in the months preceding Sept. 11 were ignored, and on why the administration first insisted the attack was a “spontaneous” act.
Rice has been the focal point of that criticism. Obama, though, in his first post-election press conference Wednesday, called the criticism “outrageous” and told those lawmakers to “go after me” instead.
California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also came to Rice’s defense Thursday, saying after the House intelligence committee hearing that Rice was given the intelligence community’s “best assessment” at the time.
“Those who have suggested that Ambassador Rice was politicizing the intelligence or misrepresenting what the intelligence community was putting forward as its best assessment are either unfamiliar with the facts, or willfully disregarding them,” he said.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge contributed to this report.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/16/petraeus-to-testify-knew-libya-was-terrorism-from-start-source-says/#ixzz2CPKHYhHT
Gingrich: Senator told me networks may have White House emails commanding counterterrorism group to stand down on Benghazi rescue
1:07 AM 10/31/2012
On Tuesday night’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on the Fox News Channel, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said that major news networks might have secret emails proving that the White House canceled plans to assist the besieged U.S. Embassy in Benghazi.
Gingrich said that the bombshell emails could be revealed within the next two days.
“There is a rumor — I want to be clear, it’s a rumor — that at least two networks have emails from the National Security Adviser’s office telling a counterterrorism group to stand down,” Gingrich said. “But they were a group in real-time trying to mobilize marines and C-130s and the fighter aircraft, and they were told explicitly by the White House stand down and do nothing. This is not a terrorist action. If that is true, and I’ve been told this by a fairly reliable U.S. senator, if that is true and comes out, I think it raises enormous questions about the president’s role, and Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser’s role, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who has taken it on his own shoulders, that he said don’t go. And that is, I think, very dubious, given that the president said he had instructions they are supposed to do everything they could to secure American personnel.”
After noting that the rumor, if true, would have a substantial impact on the presidential election, Gingrich pointed to another possible “October surprise” in the coming days.
“The other big story, I think, that is going to break is on corruption and extraordinary waste in the solar power grants and direct involvement by the Obama White House, including the president, in the solar panel grants involving billions of dollars, and I suspect that’s going to break Wednesday and Thursday of this week,” Gingrich added.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/31/gingrich-rumor-says-networks-have-white-house-emails-telling-counterterrorism-group-to-stand-down-on-benghazi-rescue/#ixzz2AtHk0e5x