IG Tells Congress DOJ Broke The Law, Blocked Investigation Into Sexual Misconduct

The Inspector General for the Department of Justice (OIG) reported to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Monday that the FBI and the DEA (both part of the Department of Justice) broke the law by not cooperating with its investigation.

Congress passed a law last year seeking to address the ongoing problems the OIG has experienced in its oversight of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the last several years.The law prohibits the Justice Department from using “appropriated funds to deny, prevent, or impede the OIG’s timely access to records, documents, and other materials in the Department’s possession.”

Michael Horowitz testified before the Oversight Committee on Monday that DOJ agencies actively impeded his office’s investigation into sexual misconduct by agents operating overseas. The OIG released a report last month finding that government agents engaged in “sex parties” thrown by drug cartels in Catagena, Colombia. The conduct went on for several years involving agents with top secret clearance, potentially opening those agents up to blackmail by the drug lords.

Horowitz told the committee, despite the severity of the matter, that the FBI and DEA hampered the OIG’s investigation by withholding requested information (despite multiple requests) or only turning over information after the inspectors found discrepancies or gaps in the materials. The inspector added, based on this ongoing conduct, that he could not be confident the OIG has all the relevant information needed to make recommendations on how to address these problems going forward. He said regarding the DEA:

We also determined that the DEA initially withheld from us relevant information regarding an open case involving overseas prostitution. During a round of initial interviews, only one interviewee provided us information on this case. We later learned that several interviewees were directly involved in the [internal] investigation and adjudication of this matter, and in follow-up interviews they each told us that they were given the impression by the DEA that they were not to talk to the OIG about this case while the case was still open.

The OIG reported that this is a common pattern with the DOJ, which his office has seen in investigations including such high profile instances as Fast and Furious, the Boston Marathon Bombing, and the FBI’s use of National Security Letters. These letters require companies to turn over information about their customers to the federal government.

In response to Horowitz’s allegations, DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart told the committee: “It is against DEA’s best interests to obfuscate personnel issues, and I can assure you there was no effort to do so in this case nor would I tolerate any effort to do so.” She also testified that she could not fire the agents involved with sexual misconduct and only adopt better guidelines for the future, due to discipline procedures established at the agency.

Her response caused Rep. Trey Gowdy. R-S.C., to erupt: “Honestly — what power do you have? You have to work with agents over whom you can’t discipline and have no control; and you have no control over the security clearance. What the hell do you get to do?!”

After hearing Leonhart’s testimony, the committee issued a bipartisan letter Tuesday expressing “no confidence” in her ability to lead the agency.

After over a decade of serving in top leadership positions at DEA, Administrator Leonhart has been woefully unable to change or positively influence the pervasive “good old boy” culture that exists throughout the agency. From her testimony, it is clear that she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their position . Ms. Leonhart has lost the confidence of this Committee to initiate the necessary reforms to restore the reputation of a vital agency.

Horowitz summed up his frustration investigating the DEA and other DOJ agencies by saying: “The American public deserves and expects an OIG that is able to conduct rigorous oversight of the Department’s activities. Unfortunately, our ability to conduct that oversight is being undercut every day that goes by without a resolution of this dispute.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

No Matter Who Wins The White House, The New Boss Will Be The Same As The Old Boss

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“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms, and killing people. It’s not good at much else.”—Author Tom Clancy

The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the old boss; and we—the permanent underclass in America—will continue to be forced to march in lockstep with the police state in all matters, public and private.

Indeed, as I point out in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it really doesn’t matter what you call them—the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter which party occupies the White House in 2017, the unelected bureaucracy that actually calls the shots will continue to do so.

Consider the following a much-needed reality check, an antidote if you will, against an overdose of overhyped campaign announcements, lofty electoral promises and meaningless patriotic sentiments that land us right back in the same prison cell.

FACT: For the first time in history, Congress is dominated by a majority of millionaires who are, on average, fourteen times wealthier than the average American. According to a scientific study by Princeton researchers, the United States of America is not the democracy that it purports to be, but rather an oligarchy, in which “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy.”

FACT: “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles,” reports Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. “Some have tanks.”

FACT: Thanks to an overabundance of 4,500-plus federal crimes and 400,000-plus rules and regulations, it is estimated that the average American actually commits three felonies a day without knowing it. In fact, according to law professor John Baker, “There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.”

FACT: The number of violent crimes in the country is down substantially, the lowest rate in forty years, while the number of Americans being jailed for nonviolent crimes such as driving with a suspended license is skyrocketing.

FACT: Despite the fact that women only make up 8 percent of the prison population, they are more likely to be strip searched, though not more likely to carry contraband.

FACT: Despite the fact that we have 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line, 16 million children living in households without adequate access to food, and at least 900,000 veterans relying on food stamps, enormous sums continue to be doled out for presidential vacations ($16 million for trips to Africa and Hawaii), overtime fraud at the Department of Homeland Security (nearly $9 million in improper overtime claims, and that’s just in six of the DHS’ many offices), and Hollywood movie productions ($10 million was spent by the Army National Guard on Superman movie tie-ins aimed at increasing awareness about the National Guard).

FACT: Since 2001, Americans have spent $10.5 million every hour for numerous foreign military occupations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. There’s also the $2.2 million spent every hour on maintaining the United States’ nuclear stockpile, and the $35,000 spent every hour to produce and maintain our collection of Tomahawk missiles. And then there’s the money the government exports to other countries to support their arsenals, at the cost of $1.61 million every hour for the American taxpayers.

FACT: It is estimated that 2.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent in prison, whether it be a local jail or a state or federal penitentiary, due to a wide range of factors ranging from overcriminalization and surprise raids at family homes to roadside traffic stops.

FACT: At least 400 to 500 innocent people are killed by police officers every year. Indeed, Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist. Americans are 110 times more likely to die of foodborne illness than in a terrorist attack.

FACT: Police officers are more likely to be struck by lightning than be made financially liable for their wrongdoing.

FACT: On an average day in America, over 100 Americans have their homes raided by SWAT teams.There has been a notable buildup in recent years of SWAT teams within non-security-related federal agencies such as the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Office of Personnel Management, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Education Department.

FACT: The FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) facial recognition system, which is set to hold data on millions of Americans, will include a variety of biometric data, including palm prints, iris scans, and face recognition data. The FBI hopes to have 52 million images by 2015. NGI will be capable of uploading 55,000 images a day, and conducting tens of thousands of photo searches a day.

FACT: Comprising an $82 billion industry, at least 30,000 drones are expected to occupy U.S. airspace by 2020.

FACT: Devices are now being developed that would allow police to stop a car remotely, ostensibly to end police chases.

FACT: Everything we do will eventually be connected to the Internet. By 2030, it is estimated there will be 100 trillion sensor devices connecting human electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) to the Internet. Much, if not all, of our electronic devices will be connected to Google, which openly works with government intelligence agencies.

FACT: In 2015, mega-food corporations will begin rolling out high-tech shelving outfitted with cameras in order to track the shopping behavior of customers, as well as information like the age and sex of shoppers.

FACT: If knowledge is power, it’s no wonder Americans are in hot water. According to a study by the National Constitution Center, 41 percent of Americans “are not aware that there are three branches of government, and 62 percent couldn’t name them; 33 percent couldn’t even name one.”

FACT: The United States is one of the highest TV viewing nations. According to a Nielsen report, the average American over the age of two “spends more than thirty-four hours a week watching live television . . . plus another three to six hours watching taped programs.”

FACT: Only six out of every one hundred Americans know that they actually have a constitutional right to hold the government accountable for wrongdoing, as guaranteed by the right to petition clause of the First Amendment.

FACT: According to a Gallup poll, Americans place greater faith in the military and the police than in any of the three branches of government. However, when asked to name the greatest problem facing the nation, Americans of all political stripes ranked the government as the number one concern. In fact, almost eight out of ten Americans believe that government corruption is widespread.

Perhaps the most troubling fact of all is this: we have handed over control of our government and our lives to faceless bureaucrats who view us as little more than cattle to be bred, branded, butchered, and sold for profit.

If there is to be any hope of restoring our freedoms and reclaiming control over our government, it will rest not with the politicians but with the people themselves. When all is said and done, each American will have to decide for themselves whether they prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Kansas Man, In The Name Of ISIS, Tries To Detonate Truck Bomb At Army’s Fort Riley

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Image for representational purposes only. 

A 20 year old former Army enlistee sought to carry out a truck bomb attack against soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas, on Friday.

John T. Booker of Topeka, Kansas, also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, was arrested by the FBI near the gate of the Army installation as he was making final preparations to conduct a truck bomb attack. Federal informants had notified authorities of Booker’s plans and had also rendered his bomb inert.

The criminal complaint states that authorities were alerted to Booker by Facebook posts he made in March 2014, such as, “Getting ready to be killed in jihad is a HUGE adrenaline rush. I am so nervous. NOT because I’m scare to die but I am eager to meet my lord.”

In another post that same month, he wrote, “I will soon be leaving you forever so goodbye! I am going to wage jihad and hopes [sic.] that i die. I want to be with my lord so bad that I cry but I will miss you guys I am not going to lie..”

Booker enlisted in the Army in the spring of 2014, but never made it to basic training. According to the complaint:

On March 24, 2014, Booker was interviewed by FBI agents related to his Facebook postings. After being advised of and waiving his Miranda rights, Booker admitted that he enlisted in the United States Army with the intent to commit an insider attack against American soldiers like Major Nidal Hassan had done at Fort Hood, Texas.

The Army terminated Booker’s enlistment that day, two weeks before he was to start basic training. The FBI kept Booker under surveillance, which led to his arrest on Friday.

CNN reports:

He was charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

On Thursday, federal authorities also charged a Wisconsin man with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Joshua Van Haften, 34, flew to Turkey last year with the intent of joining ISIS in Syria; but he was unable to successfully cross the border. He was detained by Turkish authorities and returned to the United States earlier this week.

Heffen’s next hearing is set for April 24.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Expert Refutes FBI Data On ‘Active Shooter Incidents’

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A study conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documenting “active shooter incidents” is “politically biased,” says an expert in the field of firearms and crime.

Last fall, the FBI released a document entitled “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013.” The study argues there have been 160 active shooter incidents recorded in that time.

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These are some of the key facts from the report:

  • An average of 11.4 incidents occurred annually.
  • An average of 6.4 incidents occurred in the first 7 years studied, and an average of 16.4 occurred in the last 7 years.
  • 70 percent of the incidents occurred in either a commerce/business or educational environment
  • Shootings occurred in 40 of 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • 60 percent of the incidents ended before police arrived.

But John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, disagreed with the FBI’s data. “The FBI put out a clearly incorrect set of numbers on public shootings shortly before the November election last year,” Lott told Fox News.

I have been reading FBI reports for 30 years and I have never seen anything like this.It is one thing for the Bureau of Justice Statistics or the National Institute of Justice to put out politically biased studies, but there has always been a Chinese wall separating the FBI raw data collection from political pressures.

Lott released a paper of his own the following month countering the FBI’s findings entitled “The FBI’s Misrepresentation of the Change in Mass Public Shootings.” In the abstract, Lott challenges the annual growth rate of mass shootings, which the report says is 16 percent.

“When a longer period of time is examined (1977 through the first half of 2014),” he writes, “deaths from Mass Public Shootings show only a slight, statistically insignificant, increase – an annual increase of less than one percent.”

The FBI’s misleadingly includes cases that aren’t mass shootings – cases where no one or only one person was killed in a public place. While the FBI assures people that it ‘captured the vast majority of incidents falling within the search criteria,’ their report missed 20 shootings where at least two people were killed in a public place.

“Most of these missing cases took place early on, biasing their results towards showing an increase,” Lott added.

h/t: Fox News

Share this if you are skeptical about law enforcement and all of the federal government.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Sharyl Attkisson To Sue Federal Government For $35 Million

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Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has done groundbreaking work on the Fast and Furious scandal, is suing the United States Department of Justice for $35 million in damages, alleging the government hacked into her computer between 2011 and 2013.

Attkisson detailed the hacking in a new book entitled Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against The Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. She writes in the book that a source who is “connected to government three-letter agencies told her that her computer was hacked into by a ‘sophisticated entity that used commercial, non-attributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency.’”

Howard Kurtz of Fox News noted that three separate forensic exams showed that this happened between 2011 and 2013.

Attkisson told The Washington Examiner Friday she hopes “to get information that sheds light on a number of problems I’ve been dealing with.”

“One of the items the FBI is withholding is information surrounding a case they opened on my computer intrusions, which lists me as the victim.

“Yet they never told me they opened the case, never interviewed me, and won’t produce material relevant to the case or the case file. The case has to progress through court and, historically, the government drags it out (at taxpayer expense). So it’s unclear when, if ever, we might receive the documents to which we are entitled.”

The 2012 recipient of the Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative reporting is partnering with conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch for the lawsuit. The suit asks for, in part:

“Any and all records concerned, regarding or relating to Sharyl Attkisson. Such records include, but are not limited to, records of background checks of Sharyl Attkisson, records of communications, contacts, or correspondence between Sharyl Attkisson and employees, officials or agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and records of investigations concerning or regarding Sharyl Attkisson as a victim…”

The lawsuit was filed in November. Attkisson said at the time, “That I’ve had to sue to get my own FBI file is concerning. This administration has a terrible record in respecting the First Amendment rights of journalists.”

h/t: Hot Air

Image Credit: Twitter

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom