Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Supreme Court ruling could prompt pro-gun lawsuits

A groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling on Monday that extends the right to own a gun could usher in a new chapter in the battle over gun control — and has opened up a fresh line of potential questions for opponents of Elena Kagan, President Barack Obama’s latest nominee to the nation’s highest court.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments, based on cases challenging laws in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, Ill., that effectively banned the possession of handguns.

In its written opinion, the majority suggested Monday’s ruling is a logical extension of a 2008 decision declaring that the right to bear arms is an individual one. But the justices did not offer precise guidance on how broadly that right applies and whether any particular kind of gun regulations might be unconstitutional.

Gun-control advocates warn the decision could lead to new outbreaks of violence, particularly in crime-ravaged poor and minority communities. Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, argued it would actually help increase the safety of those residents.

“If, as petitioners believe, their safety and the safety of other law-abiding members of the community would be enhanced by the possession of handguns in the home for self-defense, then the Second Amendment right protects the rights of minorities and other residents of high-crime areas whose needs are not being met by elected public officials,” Alito wrote.

Experts anticipate the ruling will unleash a wave of lawsuits challenging gun possession ordinances in cities and states across the country, placing it near the top of the Supreme Court’s agenda.

“Today’s decision completes the shift of the gun rights battle from the legislatures to the courts, mirroring the seismic shift in the abortion rights battleground following Roe v. Wade,” said Curt Levey of the conservative Committee for Justice, which supports the rights of gun owners.

The court split along its usual ideological lines: The court’s more conservative justices — John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — voted to extend gun rights, while Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor voted to hold the line against such arguments.

But pro-gun activists are crying foul because they believe Sotomayor — Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee and a former prosecutor — reneged on pro-Second Amendment statements she made during her confirmation hearings last year. They warned to expect the same thing from Kagan, whose Senate confirmation hearings began Monday.

Asked about gun control last year, Sotomayor said, “One of my godchildren is a member of the NRA. And I have friends who hunt. I understand the individual right fully that the Supreme Court recognized” in previous rulings upholding the amendment. “I understand that how important the right to bear arms is to many, many Americans.”

Supreme Court says you can 'keep and bear arms' Striking Chicago handgun ban clears way to challenge long list of restrictions, rules

Posted: June 28, 2010
4:34 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

The Supreme Court ruling in a Chicago gun ban case that found individuals across the nation do, under the Constitution, have a right to bear arms has opened the door for a long list of legal challenges to city, county and other rules and regulations that now may infringe of the 2nd Amendment, according to several civil rights organizations.

"This kind of flips the burden onto the government and legislatures to show why they need to restrict what the court has already said is an individual right," John Velleco, the director of federal affairs for Gun Owners of America, told WND today after the high court's decision was released.

In the Supreme Court's second major ruling on gun rights in just a few years, the justices used the 14th Amendment to extend the federally protected right to "keep and bear arms" from the U.S. Constitution to residents of all 50 states.

Here's everything you need to know about firearms and ammunition

In the 2008 Heller case, the court ruled that the 2nd Amendment's right to be armed was an individual right, but that case pertained only to the District of Columbia. With today's decision in the case brought by Otis McDonald of Chicago, the high court applied that definition to all the states as well.

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"The right to keep and bear arms must be regarded as a substantive guarantee, not a prohibition that could be ignored so long as the States legislated in an evenhanded manner," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority.

"This is a tremendous victory for the 2nd Amendment," Velleco said. "It opens the door of the courtroom for us to look at laws in many other jurisdictions where there are highly restrictive gun laws."

He noted it once was accepted as an individual right to bear arms – in all states. But the "social climate" of the 1960s with the assassinations of two Kennedy brothers as well as Martin Luther King Jr. launched "gun control activists" on their way.

The 1970s followed with "a lot of hype about a total ban on handguns with the media on board," he said. Assault weapon bans came up shortly later.

"Through the constant barrage of media, … a whole generation grew up thinking guns were bad," he said. "Now that's completely turned around. Maybe the ideological 22-year-old college students, 10-15 years later, have a family, have something to protect, and they realize if I'm ever attacked, police cannot be there immediately."

He said the decision aligns with the sentiment in the country where more and more people are rejecting the concept of a total big government control over or responsibility for individuals' lives.

"We've seen that throughout this election cycle," he said. "That's why voters are turning out in record numbers and throwing out of office … incumbents.

"[These are] people who are fed up with this Congress and this president shoving things down our throats."

According to Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president for the Second Amendment Foundation, his organization views the decision now as a "call to action."

"This morning's high court ruling clearly shows that the right of the individual citizen to have a gun is constitutionally protected in every corner of the United States," Gottlieb said. "We are already preparing to challenge other highly restrictive anti-gun laws across the country. Our objective is to win back our firearms freedoms one lawsuit at a time."

"Thanks to the Supreme Court," Gottlieb observed, "average Chicago residents like Mr. McDonald will now enjoy the same right of self-defense as a squad of bodyguards provides to Mayor Richard Daley. Now we can work to lower the deplorable violent crime rate in Chicago, something that the anti-gun mayor's policies have been unable to accomplish."

U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it was just a matter of common sense.

"It would remind us that the job of the Supreme Court is enforcing and protecting our rights and the clear meaning of our Constitution – not inventing new ways to advance liberal public policy goals by legislating from the bench and straining to discern previously undiscovered partisan advantage in the 'penumbras' of our laws," he said.

He cited the hearings in the Senate, which also began today, on strict anti-military activist Elena Kagan, who has been nominated by President Obama for the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The American people deserve an advocate for the Constitution on the highest court in the land – not an advocate for liberal ideology or the Democrat Party," he said.

The sentiment also is being reflected by what is going on at the state level. Already, eight states have adopted laws that specifically exempts guns made, sold and kept inside the states from any federal gun regulations.

A court case already has developed over that effort in Montana – the first state to take the step of ordering federal regulators to stay out of the state's business of regulating its own citizenry's weapons.

In one state, Wyoming, lawmakers even adopted a $2,000 penalty for federal agents trying to enforce federal regulations against an exempted weapon.

WND columnist John Stossel also noted just days ago how "more guns means – hold onto your seat – less crime."

"How can that be, when guns kill almost 30,000 Americans a year? Because while we hear about the murders and accidents, we don't often hear about the crimes stopped because would-be victims showed a gun and scared criminals away. Those thwarted crimes and lives saved usually aren't reported to police (sometimes for fear the gun will be confiscated), and when they are reported, the media tend to ignore them. No bang, no news," he said.

"If guns save lives, it logically follows that gun laws cost lives," he continued.

"Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at Luby's cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a man began shooting diners with his handgun, even stopping to reload. Suzanna's parents were two of the 23 people killed. (Twenty more were wounded.) Suzanna owned a handgun, but because Texas law at the time did not permit her to carry it with her, she left it in her car. She's confident that she could have stopped the shooting spree if she had her gun. (Texas has since changed its law.)"

The McDonald case was brought by Illinois State Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation.

The case, McDonald v. Chicago, challenged a 7th Circuit court ruling that said the 2nd Amendment applies only to federal regulation of an individual's right to guns and not in cases of restrictions by states and municipalities like Chicago and Oak Park, Ill.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Furthermore, Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, or the Privileges or Immunities Clause, states:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The plaintiffs argued "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" in the Second Amendment is "incorporated" into the 14th Amendment and applies to both states and localities.

As WND reported, even the historically liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California has ruled the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms is "deeply rooted in this nation's history and tradition" and long has been regarded as the "true palladium of liberty," so it therefore must be applied against state and local government weapon restrictions as well as federal gun limits.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Turkish Rally for Flotilla Raises Flag with Nazi Symbol

Turkish supporters for flotillas aimed at breaking Israel’s maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza recently raised the Nazi flag with an expression of gratitude. The Turkish language slogan on the flag is a common expression of gratitude, according to the [Islam] Religion for Peace.com website.

Turkey was not allied with the Nazi regime but retained important trade agreements that allowed Nazi Germany to import key materials until the pact was broken one year before the end of World War II.

The web site states that Muslim jihadists have committed 15,533 attacks around the world since the September 11, 2001 aerial suicide bombings on the United States.

Turkey and the terrorist-linked IHH organization organized the last flotilla May 31, when IHH members, many of them with training by terrorist groups, attacked Israeli Navy commandos who prevented the Mavi Mamara ship from continuing on course to Gaza.

The clash sparked another crisis in Turkish Israeli relations, which have rapidly deteriorated since last year’s three-week Operation Cast Lead war against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure.

“For a sovereign state, giving up on a matter like this requires giving up on its statehood,” a senior government official told journalists, as reported by Turkey’s Today’s Zayman. “Turkish-Israeli ties appeared headed for a collapse if Israel refuses, as it does now, to offer a formal apology,” for the clash.

The official also alleged that the Mavi Mamara was headed for Egypt’s El-Arish port and not to Gaza. (IsraelNationalNews.com)

Robert Byrd, Longest-Serving U.S. Senator, Dies at 92

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the longest-serving senator in American history, died Monday at the age of 92, a spokesman for the family said.

Byrd, a Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate since 1959, had been plagued by health problems in recent years and was confined to a wheelchair. He had skipped several votes in Congress in the past months.

Jesse Jacobs, a family spokesman, said Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va.

He was the oldest member of the 111th Congress.

The passing of Sen. Byrd will not affect the balance of power in the Senate. West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, a Democrat, will appoint a replacement senator to serve out the remainder of Byrd's term, which ends in 2012.

Statements from his longtime colleagues poured out Monday morning, as fellow senators remembered Byrd as a steadfast presence in the chamber and a veritable tome of knowledge on how the Senate works.

"The people of West Virginia have lost a dedicated public servant, and America has lost a great defender of its most precious traditions," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a written statement. "He was the foremost guardian of the Senate's complex rules, procedures and customs, and as leader of both the majority and the minority caucuses in the Senate he knew better than most that legislation is the art of compromise. By virtue of his endurance, Robert Byrd knew and worked with many of the greats of the United States Senate."

Byrd held a number of leadership roles during his tenure in the Senate, including conference secretary, majority whip and majority leader -- twice.

Prior to his death, Byrd worked as the president pro tempore -- the second highest ranking official in the Senate and the highest ranking senator in the majority party, putting Byrd third in line to the presidency.

He also served as the senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. Other committees on which Byrd served were the Senate Budget, Armed Services and Rules and Administration Committees.

Byrd, who never lost an election, cast more than 18,540 roll call votes -- more than any other senator in U.S. history. He had a 98 percent attendance record in his more than five decades of service in the Senate, according to his Web site.

Byrd was born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr. in North Wilkesboro, N.C., in 1917. When his mother died in the 1918 flu pandemic, he was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, who renamed him Robert Carlyle Byrd and raised him in the coal-mining region of southern West Virginia.

He received his law degree from American University in 1963, and his undergraduate degree from Marshall University in 1994 -- at age 76.

Byrd was widely regarded as a pre-eminent expert on constitutional law and legislative procedures. Because of his intimate knowledge of Senate rules, he was both feared and respected by his political opponents.

He helped win ratification of the Panama Canal Treaty and was well known for steering federal dollars to his home state. He was also a strong opponent to the Iraq war and vehemently defended minority party rights in the Senate.

He was elected to Congress in 1952, representing West Virginia's 6th Congressional District. Six years later, he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Byrd threw his support behind Barack Obama a week after the then-senator lost the West Virginia Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign -- an endorsement that symbolized the shift in his views on race.

Once a member of the Klu Klux Klan, it was the defining moment in his lifelong effort to convince the American public of his changed views on race.

"I have done my best to do the right thing," Byrd said during a March 2005 interview with Fox News, during which he was questioned about his KKK membership in the early 1940s.

"The people of West Virginia know that. They know the history. And they put it aside. They continue to return me. I was wrong, as many young men are wrong today, even when they join groups. That's all in the past," Byrd said.

Byrd characterized himself as a "born-again" Christian whose views on race were changed by "time, reflection and the teachings of the Bible."

Former KKK Grand Wizard Dies - 92 evil years on this earth

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia Dies at age 92.

Senator Robert Byrd (D) Democrat was a Kleagle, a Klan recruiter, in his 20s and 30s. .... He was founder and Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in WV.

A fiery orator versed in the classics and a hard-charging power broker who steered billions of federal dollars to the state of his Depression-era upbringing, died Monday. He was 92.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. He had been in the hospital since late last week.

At first Byrd was believed to be suffering from heat exhaustion and severe dehydration, but other medical conditions developed. He had been in frail health for several years.

Byrd, a Democrat, was the longest-serving senator in history, holding his seat for more than 50 years. He was the Senate's majority leader for six of those years and was third in the line of succession to the presidency, behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"It has been my greatest privilege to serve with Robert C. Byrd in the United States Senate. I looked up to him, I fought next to him, and I am deeply saddened that he is gone," fellow West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller said in a statement. "He leaves a void that simply can never be filled. But I am lifted by the knowledge of his deep and abiding faith in God, I have joy in the thought of him reunited with his dear [late wife] Erma."

Mitch McConnell, the Senate's top Republican, also recognized Byrd's service in Congress.

"We will remember him for his fighter's spirit, his abiding faith, and for the many times he recalled the Senate to its purposes," he said in a statement. "Generations of Americans will read the masterful history of the Senate he leaves behind, and they will also read about the remarkable life of Robert Carlyle Byrd."

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Truth Still Matters In America

Shame On You Move On!

The Truth Still Matters In America!

MoveOn.org Attempts to Rewrite History, Removes Petraeus Criticism from Website

Shame on you Moveon.org

The Truth Still Matters In America!

How times have changed for General Petraeus

After MoveOn.org ran an ad in Monday's New York Times depicting General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us," Republicans pounded the ad during hearings this week. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, whose campaign MoveOn spent millions on in 2004, called it "over the top" and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on "Good Morning America," "I would have preferred that they won't do such an ad."

MoveOn is, well, moving on to its next plea to end the Iraq War, planning an ad for later this week that will slam Bush but also criticize congressional Democrats for not pushing hard enough to end the war. And the liberal group isn't at all apologetic about its fiery tone in attacking Petraeus.

Eli Pariser, the executive director of Moveon.org, said the goal of the ad was to take on Petraeus's credibility before he spoke and that was achieved, even with the backlash.

"Our whole goal was to open up this conversation about these numbers," he said, referring to the statistics Petraeus offered in his testimony to suggest progress was being made in Iraq, which MoveOn called "at war with the facts" in its ad.

The GOP presidential candidates jumped on the MoveOn ad to attack the Democrats, with Arizona Senator John McCain putting out a statement saying "I remain deeply disappointed by the failure of leading Democrat presidential candidates to personally and publicly denounce the smear tactics used against General Petraeus by MoveOn.org. There is no greater slander to a soldier than an accusation of betrayal to his nation. I do not understand why those seeking to be commander-in-chief have yet to forcefully denounce, in their own words, this McCarthyite attack on our commander. I hope they would reconsider their silence and not let this slander of an exceptional American stand."

Pariser said he doesn't mind attacks from McCain or even the Democrats.
"We're not accountable ultimately to the Democrats," Pariser said. "We're accountable to people who want a swift end to the war and that's the end goal here." Tellingly, the 2008 Democratic campaigns all issued statements that emphasized their desire to end the war, but stayed away from criticizing MoveOn, a group that is increasingly powerful in the party.

The ad was the latest example of the complicated relationship that MoveOn has with the Democrats. Founded back in 1998 for Congress to "move on," from trying to impeach President Clinton, MoveOn has long asserted itself in liberal causes, vocally opposing the Iraq War and spending millions to get Democrats elected in 2004 and 2006. The group has an e-mail of list of several million that helps raise money for Democratic candidates, and as it has become increasingly influential, the Democratic establishment has in many ways accepted MoveOn into the fold. Democratic leaders meet with Pariser and top MoveOn leaders and ask the group to raise money for particular candidates in tough races.

At the same time, MoveOn acts independently, such as in 2006 when it backed Ned Lamont, because the group thought Lamont's opponent, sitting Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman, was too pro-war. Earlier this year, after MoveOn argued that FOX News was biased against Democrats, the party's 2008 candidates dropped out of a debate that would have been aired on FOX. Democrats backed out even though it meant irking another powerful part of the party, the Congressional Black Caucus, which was hosting the debate.

Why the Left loves tyrants and terrorists It seems crazy, but author Jamie Glazov explains the unexplainable

Posted: June 23, 2010
7:15 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Why do leftists always seem to sympathize with, and even support, tyrants, dictators and even terrorists?

The answer is in the brilliantly insightful book "United in Hate" by Jamie Glazov, which exposes America’s internal enemies as never before. And today only, WND readers can get “United in Hate” for only $4.95 – a $21 discount off the retail price, but only from WorldNetDaily.

In this critically acclaimed book published by WND Books, Glazov describes the unholy alliance between murderous jihadists and people like Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Ted Turner and Noam Chomsky. He uses the Leftists' own words to reveal their agenda of death, and now a flood of praise is pouring in.
# President Reagan's national security adviser, Robert C. McFarlane, calls "United in Hate" a "must-read" and "the redefining work for 21st century readers of an eternal message."

# Reagan's assistant secretary of defense, Richard Perle, says, "Jamie Glazov rolls over left-wing intellectual pretensions with a Mack truck that handles like a Porsche. He rounds them up – and when he's finished, there's nothing left."

# And Ben Furman, the FBI's former counterterrorism chief, says: "What draws leftists moth-like toward the annihilating fires of unbridled totalitarianism, or drives them to slavishly worship at the feet of dictators that kick them to the curb when they are considered no longer useful? Why does the Left cleave to a radical Islamic terrorism that vows to destroy all non-believers, including them? Dr. Glazov answers these and other 'head scratching' questions in a court-ready presentation of the Left’s mindset that will make forensic psychologists proud.

(Story continues below)

Although history allows no doubt Leftist beliefs have spawned mass carnage and misery, and the deaths of millions of people, until now it has been extremely difficult for rational people who value personal freedom to understand the motivation of those who live in comfort, yet embrace monstrous dictators, ideologies and policies that leave only death in their wake.

Rising to the call, Glazov uses the astonishing words of well-known Leftists to explain their love for and deification of totalitarian ideologies with clarity and candor.

R. James Woolsey, former CIA chief, says Glazov's "courageous and illuminating book" calls out the "Nazis and Stalinists' of today."

Glazov holds a Ph.D. in history with specialities in U.S., Russian and Canadian foreign policy, and is editor of FrontPage Magazine.

Within hours of its release, "United in Hate" was No. 1 among books relating to communism on Amazon.com.

In “United in Hate,” Glazov concludes: "This is where the Western Left and militant Islam (like the Western Left and Communism) intersect: human life must be sacrificed for the sake of the idea. Like Islamists, leftists have a Manichean vision that rigidly distinguishes good from evil. They see themselves as personifications of the former and their opponents as personifications of the latter, who must be slated for ruthless elimination."

Sounds crazy, but how else can one explain the views of famed moviemaker Francis Ford Coppola, who said of one of the world's most notorious dictators: "Fidel, I love you. We both have the same initials. We both have beards. We both have power and want to use it for good purposes."

Or Harry Belafonte, who said: "If you believe in freedom, if you believe in justice, if you believe in democracy, you have no choice but to support Fidel Castro."

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How 'moderate' Muslims are Islamizing America Investigation exposes 'terrorists with neckties' in nation's capital

Posted: June 23, 2010
7:29 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Follow co-author Dave Gaubatz’s son Chris as he courageously gains the trust of CAIR’s inner sanctum, working undercover as a converted and devoted follower of the Muslim religion.

The trail of information reveals the insidious and well-funded efforts of the seditious Muslim Brotherhood under the nonprofit guise of CAIR to fully support the international jihad against the United States, with the goal of transforming American society from within. They hope to accomplish this through terrorist activities, fraud, and infiltration of our political and intelligence systems, which these documents clearly reveal.

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Please note: If you like your three free Whistleblower issues and renew, when your Whistleblower subscription eventually expires, you'll receive another renewal notice from us. To keep Whistleblower coming, do nothing and we'll renew your subscription automatically at the low prevailing rate by charging your credit or debit card. As always, there's never any risk, as you may cancel at any time for a full refund of the unused portion of your subscription.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Obama suggested border security tradeoff years ago 2004 radio interview surfaces in wake of controversial claim by Arizona senator

Obama suggested border security tradeoff years ago
2004 radio interview surfaces in wake of controversial claim by Arizona senator
Posted: June 22, 2010
8:46 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

President Obama has wanted to trade secure borders for a form of amnesty for illegal aliens for at least six years, an apparent recording of an interview on Chicago Public Radio reveals.

The issue erupted last week when Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said to a town hall meeting in Arizona that Obama personally told him he would not secure the border because Republicans then would have no reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

Today, the blog Naked Emperor News posted on YouTube.com an audio recording apparently of Obama making a similar statement in 2004:

Obama comments that the "system" is "unfair" for a lot of people and says there would need to be a way to secure the borders, track individuals coming into the U.S. "who may be engaged in terrorist activity" and "provide a pathway" for citizenship.

"That's going to be a difficult conversation to have and it's going to have to be bipartisan," he said. "The tradeoff is going to have to be improved security of our borders at the same allowing those who are already here to reach out for that American dream," he said.

Kyl told the Arizona audience he had a one-on-one conversation with Obama about the issue:

"I met with the president in the Oval Office … just the two of us," Kyl said. "We had a discussion. Here's what the president said. The problem is, the president said, if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

"It other words, they're holding it hostage," Kyl said, prompting gasps of surprise or possibly outrage in the room. "They don't want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with comprehensive immigration reform."

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer issued a statement to Fox News stating, "The president didn't say that and Sen. Kyl knows it.

"There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the president has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration," he said.

But Ryan Patmintra, a spokesman for Kyl, said the senator was not backing down.
WASHINGTON - JULY 13: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) makes his opening statement during the confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee July 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. Sotomayor, now an appeals court judge and U.S. President Barack Obama�s first Supreme Court nominee, will become the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court if confirmed. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

"There were two people in that meeting, and Dan Pfeiffer was not one of them," he told Fox. "Sen. Kyl stands by his remarks, and the White House spokesman's pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Sen. Kyl's account."

At Right Pundits, a commentary asserted Obama's alleged stance on the border follows a pattern.

"If Obama is holding the border hostage, it's the greatest example of Chicago style, thug politics to date. Well except for maybe the health-care debacle or the BP shakedown," the site said. "Okay, he's adding to his list daily. If the Jon Kyl Obama meeting took place and Obama did say this, then he's just effectively sealed the fate of Democrats where immigration is a huge issue."

The accusations also are not dissimilar from claims made in requests to the Office of Special Counsel for an investigation of the White House over alleged job offers to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, another Democrat.

The letters to the Office of Special Counsel allege White House officials offered the politicians jobs in return for not opposing White House favorites Sens. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Kyle Wingfield at the Atlanta Journal Constitution concluded the charge against Obama is "very serious."

"It seems unlikely to me that a senator with his experience would be dumb enough to invent such a statement out of thin air and attribute it directly to the president."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

1ST AMENDMENT UNDER FIRE Dems' speech-limit plan hits rocky road in House Pelosi delays floor vote amidst fracas over carve-out for NRA

Posted: June 18, 2010
8:55 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

An effort by Democrats to close down speech critical of their actions before it can impact the November elections is running into a rocky road in the U.S. House, where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed action on the proposal while the party regroups and tries to assemble support.

The DISCLOSE Act, pending as HR 5175 in the U.S House and as S. 3295 in the Senate, targets the freedom of speech of companies and groups acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court in its "Citizens United" ruling last winter.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the House and Sen. Charles Schumer in the Senate, has 114 co-sponsors with Van Hollden and 49 with Schumer.

Pelosi, however, pulled the proposal from a floor vote and sent members home for the weekend because of turbulence over the plan to impose a new set of reporting and other requirements on a long list of organizations, according to a report in Human Events.

According to the Connie's Congress column, "Democrats have been scrambling to shut down conservative political speech before the November elections this year since the January U.S. Supreme Court decision in 'Citizens United v. FEC' that found freedom of speech applies to everyone: individuals, corporations and unions.

"Discontented with a more level playing field, Democrats threw together the DISCLOSE Act, a very lengthy and complicated piece of legislation designed solely to undo the court's decision."

(Story continues below)

While moving forward, it still needed additional support, and in recent days a "carve-out" was created that would have exempted the National Rifle Association from its demands, allegedly in exchange for the NRA dropping its opposition.

But analysts say the move backfired, since the Internet ignited with criticism of the organization's "deal with the devil" and other less-complimentary descriptions.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.com said, "Congress' attempt to repair their attack on the First Amendment, overturned in the 'Citizens United' decision earlier this year, has run off the rails thanks to the machination of its Democratic backers.

"Nancy Pelosi pulled the DISCLOSE Act from the House floor last night after the news of sleazy deals to exempt powerful organizations from the law started leaking to the media. Ironically, it was a rare partnership between the NRA and the Democrats that sealed the bill's fate."

Morrissey reported the vote scheduled today would have been to require special interest groups to disclose their top donors if they run television ads or mail out information during the run-up to an election.

"What does this say about leadership in the House? Pelosi should have already known how this would have played with her various factions. Cutting a deal with the NRA, who will spend millions fighting progressives in the midterms, is like deliberately winning a battle in order to lose a war from their perspective. It's a caucus in disarray, although unfortunately, Pelosi will probably have the DISCLOSE Act back in some form soon enough," he wrote.

He suggested Congress "should just read the First Amendment and get someone to explain the big words."

In Washington's bureaucratic language, the bill would require "corporations, labor organizations, tax-exempt charitable organizations, and political organizations other than political committees (covered organizations) to include specified additional information in reports on independent expenditures of at least $10,000, including certain actual or deemed transfers of money to other persons, but excluding amounts paid from separate segregated funds as well as amounts designated for specified campaign-related activities."

It also would create "restrictions on the use of donated funds" and "requires any electioneering communication transmitted through radio or television which is paid for by a political committee (including a political committee of a political party), other than a political committee which makes only electioneering communications or independent expenditures consisting of public communications, to include an audio statement identifying the name of the political committee responsible."

That means donors would have to be made public and leaders of such organizations identified in ads.

The National Right to Life Committee said in a letter to Congress the effort was an "attack on the First Amendment rights of your constituents and the private organizations with which they choose to associate."

It accused members of Congress of attempting "to discourage, as much as possible, disfavored groups (such as NRLC) from communicating about officeholders, by exposing citizens who support such efforts to harassment and intimidation, and by smothering organizations in layer on layer of record keeping and reporting requirements, all backed by the threat of civil and criminal sanctions."

"The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects the right of incorporated groups of citizens to communicate with the public to express opinions about the actions of those who hold or seek federal office. The authors of the DISCLOSE Act have demonstrated that their overriding intent is to impede and deter the exercise of that constitutional right," the organization said. "The justifications offered for such legislation rest on the unspoken premise that the American people lack the capacity to properly evaluate advertising or other forms of mass communication, so the incumbent lawmakers will take it upon themselves to protect their hapless constituents from such troublesome communications, in order to prevent them from being 'unduly influenced' – and all of this is being deemed necessary to 'protect democracy.'"

The bottom line?

"We strongly urge you to oppose this pernicious, unprincipled and unconstitutional legislation," the NRLC said.

Even some whose groups would have been favored were outraged.

Cleta Mitchell, a member of the board of directors for NRA, which would have fallen into the bill's exempting language, wrote in a newspaper column the true purpose of the DISCLOSE Act is to "silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections."

"Since the court's January decision in 'Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission' that corporations cannot be constitutionally prohibited from making independent candidate-related expenditures, Democrats have been hyperventilating at the notion that corporations might spend millions of dollars criticizing them," she wrote. "To foreclose that possibility, the DISCLOSE Act would impose onerous and complicated 'disclosure' restrictions on organizations that dare to engage in constitutionally protected political speech and on corporations that dare to contribute to such organizations.

"The DISCLOSE Act isn't really intended to elicit information not currently required by law. The act serves notice on certain speakers that their involvement in the political process will exact a high price of regulation, penalty and notoriety, using disclosure and reporting as a subterfuge to chill their political speech and association," she wrote.

"It is only disclosure, say the authors. And box-cutters are only handy household tools . . . until they are used by terrorists to crash airplanes," she wrote.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Radical Islamist Group Is Returning to Chicago for Major Recruitment Drive

They're back. A radical Islamist group critics say has links to Al Qaeda is gearing up to host its second annual U.S. recruiting event.

The group, Hizb ut-Tahrir America, which is committed to establishing a caliphate, or international Islamic empire, kicked up controversy in Chicago last year with its first U.S. conference, “Fall of Capitalism & Rise of Islam.”

Speakers at the conference blamed capitalism for everything from two World Wars to Michael Jackson's decision "to shed his black skin." It drew more than 500 attendees, dozens of protesters and a heavy police presence.

Now the group is coming back to the Windy City with its second conference, “Emerging World Order: How the Khilafah Will Shape the World," scheduled to begin July 11 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook. According to a video promoting the event, the goal is to persuade attendees to “answer the call” to "join the campaign" for a Khilafah, or global Islamic empire.

Despite the charged message, the group insists that it advocates change only through nonviolent means.

Terrorism "is not in our dictionary," spokesman Mohammad Malkawi told reporters last year. "We condemn it by all means … From our perspective, our records are clean on this issue."

But some experts say the group's rhetoric masks its true role: preparing the infantry for groups like Al Qaeda by indoctrinating young jihadists.

“Hizb ut-Tahrir realized that U.S. laws, in this stage, allow them to work undetected as long as they use a narrative that fools the public and law enforcement,” Walid Phares, director of the Future of Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told FoxNews.com.

He said the group’s vision of a worldwide caliphate is "is identical to the Taliban regime but spanning on three continents, as a first stage."

Former Hizb ut-Tahrir member Ishtiaq Hussain agreed.

"They don’t believe Israel should exist, some of their leaders have denied the Holocaust, and they believe homosexuals should be thrown off the highest building," Hussain, now a trainer for the Quilliam Foundation, told FoxNews.com. "... It's actually a very dangerous group."

Phares said Hizb ut-Tahrir's list of alumni -- including confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Al Qaeda in Iraq's onetime leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- speaks for itself.

“The bottom line here," he said, "is that we are witnessing the emergence and the expansion of a jihadist recruitment factory in our midst, openly calling for jihad and for the establishment of a caliphate instead of many governments... and in its last stage to what they call jihadism against America and its allies, that is, technically speaking, terrorism and massacre."

Hizb ut-Tahrir America did not respond to requests for comment sent by e-mail. The group's website lists neither a phone number nor a mailing address.

At a recent conference in the United Kingdom, Hizb ut-Tahrir spoke directly against the U.S., mocking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's warning of severe consequences if a Pakistani connection to the Times Square bomber was discovered, and contending that the U.S. was behind terror attacks in Pakistan.

Whether there will be similar rhetoric at next month's conference in Chicago is unclear. Unlike last year, the group has no itinerary laid out on its website for this year's conference.

The Chicago Marriott Oak Brook confirmed that it would be hosting the conference, but it would not comment on whether it had reviewed the group or was aware of its specific plans for the conference.

But news of the hotel chain's hospitality came as a surprise to the Florida Security Council, which said the Marriott of Delray Beach, Fla., backed out of hosting one of its events last year when it planned to honor an anti-jihadism advocate.

The group, which aims to raise awareness of security threats facing Florida and the U.S. by "radical, supremist, Muslims," and "Latin American totalitarianism," is now suing the Marriott for breach of contract.

“You let lunatics come into your hotel, and then you have people trying to defend the United States of America and you throw them out … the double standard is glaring and obvious and absurd,” Florida Security Council Director Tom Trento told FoxNews.com.

Marriott's Corporate Office did not respond to requests for comment on the Hizb ut-Tahrir conference or the Florida case.

But Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, President of American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said he thinks the decision of whether or not to host an event like this should be left to the hotel.

"It [Hizb ut-Tahrir] is a conveyor belt to terror, there’s no doubt about it, but the issue is if we’re going to change these hearts and minds and we’re going to prevent the future Nidal Hassans of the world, we’re not going to do it by making these types of things illegal,” Jasser told FoxNews.com.

Instead, Jasser said, the U.S. needs to “start to provide Muslim youth an alternative to where America is not demonized but where we change the narrative and start to promote groups that are reformist.”

“I’d like us to debate them publicly in order to prove how invalid their ideas are rather than shut them down and make them into victims,” he said. “…I think it’s the type of thing we need to expose.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir America, meanwhile, is seeking some exposure of its own.

A YouTube video advertising the conference has more 13,000 views, a Facebook page promoting the event has more than 2,400 fans, and countless supporters in the U.S. and abroad have "Tweeted" and "ReTweeted," news of the upcoming conference, extending Hizb ut-Tahrir America's reach far beyond its known followers.

With an 11,000-square-foot ballroom reserved at the Marriott, it apparently expects to acquire many more in Chicago next month.

Terror EXCLUSIVE: Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base

A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members of the Afghan military who have gone AWOL from an Air Force base in Texas where foreign military officers who are training to become pilots are taught English, FoxNews.com has learned.

The Afghan officers and enlisted men have security badges that give them access to secure U.S. defense installations, according to the lookout bulletin, "Afghan Military Deserters in CONUS [Continental U.S.]," written by Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Dallas and obtained by FoxNews.com.

The Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) bulletin was distributed to local and federal law enforcement officials on Wednesday night.

The Afghans were attending the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. The DLI program teaches English to military pilot candidates and other air force prospects from foreign countries allied with the U.S.

"I can confirm that 17 have gone missing from the Defense Language Institute," said Gary Emery, Chief of Public Affairs, 37th Training Wing, at Lackland AFB. "They disappeared over the course of the last two years, and none in the last three months."

The most recent Afghan to disappear from Lackland was First Lt. Javed Aryan, who went AWOL in January 2010, Emery told FoxNews.com. The others listed in the NCIS report disappeared at various times last year.

Each of the missing Afghans was issued a Department of Defense Common Access Card, an identification card used to gain access to secure military installations, with which they "could attempt to enter DOD installations," according to the bulletin. Base security officers were encouraged to disseminate the bulletin to their personnel.

"The visas issued to these personnel have been revoked, or are in the process of being revoked. Lookouts have been placed in TECS," it reads.

Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS), which is shared by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is a computer-based database used to identify people suspected of violating federal law.

Afghans are not the only foreign military who have gone AWOL from Lackland, Emery said.

"In 2009, the Defense Language Institute English Language Center reported two other students from countries other than Afghanistan went missing," he told FoxNews.com. "They include one Iraqi who requested asylum in Houston and one Djiboutian whose status is unknown. To date in 2010, one student from Tunisia and one from Guinea Bissau have gone AWOL in addition to the Afghani student [Aryan] who went AWOL in January.

"To put these numbers in perspective," Emery said, "more than 3,400 international students entered training at DLI in 2009, including 228 from Afghanistan."

A senior law enforcement official said Friday that the Afghans' disappearance was more of an immigration violation than a security threat, saying there are no "strong indications to any terrorism nexus or impending threat."

The official further said that an unspecified number of the 17 have been caught. "A number of these guys have already been located or accounted for by now," the official said. "Some are in removal proceedings to be deported already. (Authorities) still need to locate the others, and that is why the bulletin went out."

The official said the information is "kind of old" -- up to two years -- but added, "It is important in the sense that some people look to come to the U.S. and will take advantage of invitations to train or attend a conference or to study, etc. But their real intention is to get to the U.S. and start a new life. It is not completely rare for this to happen....

"Although we are vigilant and need to work toward not allowing this to happen," the official said, this alert should "not necessarily" be described as "a national security threat, more of a 'hey these guys violated our laws and we need to find them.'"

Included in the bulletin are photos of the 17 men, accompanied by their dates of birth and their TECS Lookout numbers.

Click here for the names of the 17 Afghan military members named in the alert.

The bulletin requests, "If any Afghan pictured herein is encountered, detain the subject and contact your local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, the FBI or NCIS."

"When a DLI student goes missing," Emery said, "officials report the incident to the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement as well as the sponsoring service branch. Invitational Travel Orders, passports, driver licenses, and airline tickets are revoked in order to hamper travel opportunities for the missing students."

The FBI and NCIS did not respond to requests for comment. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman referred FoxNews.com to the FBI.

Fact check! Arizona still in American hands – for now Report claims Obama made 'massive stretch' of state 'off limits to Americans'

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

A Fox News report has sent shockwaves across the blogosphere – declaring "Obama gives major strip of AZ to Mexico," but law-enforcement officials in the area are saying the state still belongs to the U.S. and is not closed off to Americans.

On the June 15 show, "America Live" guest host Shannon Bream said, "A massive stretch of Arizona now off limits to Americans. Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico. U.S. Fish and Wildlife have closed a portion of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge all along the border, warning visitors to beware of heavily armed drug smugglers and traffickers."

The following is a video recording of the show posted on YouTube:

Then Bream introduces Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, saying, "Sheriff, this is a family show, so I'm going to put it like this: What the heck is going on down there?"

Fox News simultaneously showed this picture of illegal immigrants climbing a border fence along with Babeu's photo:

Babeu explains, "It's literally out of control, and violence has increased just in the last four months. All of our police chiefs and Pinal County, we stood with Sen. McCain and literally demanded support for 3,000 soldiers to be deployed to Arizona to get this under control and finally secure our border with Mexico."

Refuge strip closed during Bush administration

However, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jose Viramontes told WND that the Obama administration did not close that section of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge on the border. That closure happened during the George W. Bush administration in 2006 and only involved a strip of land along the border that extended about 1 mile into Arizona.

Red portion of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (along U.S.-Mexico border) closed in 2006.

"In 2006, we closed 3,500 acres to public access on Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge due to public-safety concerns," he said. "At that time, there was an escalation of violence, and we also had contractors down there who were working on building vehicle barriers and pedestrian fencing in compliance with the Secure Fence Act."

Viramontes said in 2006 "there was a high volume of drug trafficking and human trafficking going on right there at the border, right before a lot of the border-security enforcement measures were put in place."

He added, "Since that point, we have not closed any further lands, nor have we reopened that section of land. We still don't feel that it's safe enough at this point, though violence has been decreasing – in large part due to our coordination with Border Patrol to improve access and to provide access to build a pedestrian barrier and vehicle barriers. Violence is on the decline, but not to the point that we've reopened the area yet."

In the broadcast, Bream also fails to make a clear distinction between Pinal County and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge on the border. Instead, she begins immediately interviewing Pinal County Sheriff Babeu about the border closure – an issue hours away from his jurisdiction.

"Pinal County is 80-120 miles north of the refuge," Viramontes said. "The refuge is not in Pinal County."

(Story continues below)

Arizona lands not closed to the public

Bream told Pinal County Sheriff Babeu she received an e-mail stating that the government has been erecting signs that said "Don't go past this point," "Stay away" and "This is not safe."

But Viramontes explained that Bream was talking about signs erected by the Bureau of Land Management in the Sonoran Desert.

"One of our sister agencies, the Bureau of Land Management, recently erected signs in Pinal County that warn visitors on their public lands just to be aware that things may be out in the desert," he said. "Most of the signs you see on the news programs are that sign. That recently happened within the past week or two."

WND called the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management to inquire about the recently posted signs.

Dennis Godfrey, spokesman for the bureau in Arizona, explained, "We have posted some advisory signs, but we have not closed any areas."

He said, "The signs went up with the recommendation of our law-enforcement personnel because of increased illegal activity in portions of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, which is a very large area. It's actually divided by Interstate 8 that runs through there. It's the southern portion of that where we've put up signs advising people of the danger and recommending that they use public land north of the interstate."

Contrary to the report, the bureau signs do not state, "Don't go past this point" and "This is not safe." Rather than "Stay away," as Bream claimed, one portion of a sign reads: "Stay Away From Trash, Clothing, Backpacks, and Abandoned Vehicles".

Godfrey said he's been in contact with Fox News and hopes the organization will correct its report. WND's messages left with "America Live" and the Fox Nation were not returned at the time of this report.

The bureau's chief law-enforcement officer, Tom Lister, told WND the agency has had the following permanent signs up since last year:

Bureau of Land Management posted this permanent sign as an advisory to travelers in 2009.

However, the bureau has recently posted the following temporary sign with a stronger advisory:

Bureau of Land Management posted this "temporary" sign in June as an advisory to travelers.

"With the activity we've seen – an increased level in both human and drug smuggling along with the shootings and homicides – the local district felt like we should have some stronger signs in there until we see a change in the activity level," Lister said. "So these temporary signs were put up, and they're a brighter sign that gets people's attention."

He said law-enforcement officers have been seeing smugglers traveling at high speed late at night without headlights. Also, he said the bureau is advising American travelers to refrain from approaching material that appears to be trash because it could be a supply cache for smugglers.

"Our advisory is that you visit the lands north of the interstate rather than south of the interstate," he said.

However, Lister said the U.S. government has not given the land to Mexico, the area is not closed to Americans and the bureau is not prohibiting U.S. citizens from traveling there.

"We have people who have gone down there for years and know what's going on," he said. "They're comfortable with their ability to stay out of trouble. We're not going to close the area to the American public, but we felt like that we owe the users there – especially people who aren't as familiar with the area – a stronger advisory."

All of the officials whom WND interviewed agreed that the current levels of violence and human and drug trafficking are issues of great concern that must be addressed.

Increase in illegal activity in Pinal County

Asked why there has been an uptick in illegal activity in the Pinal County area, Lister said, "With the things that are going on in Mexico – the various drug cartels and fighting over smuggling routes – my thought is that this is probably one of the areas that they haven't had a lot of fighting over. I don't know. For whatever reason, we've definitely seen that increase."

He noted that officers are seeing an increase in evidence of weapons in the area as well.

"We've recently had reports of 11 or 12 shootings," Lister said. "Most of them, when you track it back, most of the individuals and victims involved appear to be involved in trafficking in one way or another."

But Lister said one American visitor in the area had shots fired at him.

"He had tried to follow the vehicle to get a better description of it to try and call," he explained. "He engaged them. We're saying, if you see something out there, avoid it. Get out of the area and call 911."

In the meantime, Lister said his office has been working with Border Patrol, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, sheriff's offices, local Indian reservations, local police departments and other agencies to stop the illegal traffic and violence.

"Besides our normal day-to-day work that each of us do out there, we also do coordinated operations out there targeting the drugs and human trafficking," he said. "It's been pretty successful."

However, Babeu warned that the problem is out of control, and he said posting advisory signs is not the answer.

"We're talking three counties deep into the heart of Arizona where the answer from our government is to put up signs warning our citizens in our sovereign nation to beware of foreigners who are there who are heavily armed," he told Bream. "We have squad-size paramilitary elements that are working deep in our country that are escorting drugs and human illegals."

He added, "Quite frankly, I'm telling you as a sheriff that I don't control that part of the county. My county is larger than the state of Connecticut. We need support from the federal government. It's their job to secure the border, and they haven't done it. In fact, President Obama suspended the construction of the fence. It's just simply outrageous."

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, ranking Republican on the House Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee, told Fox News today that federal laws protecting the environment are forcing Border Patrol agents to patrol parklands on horseback – making the areas prime locations for drug gangs, human smugglers and illegal aliens.

"They're not allowing the Border Patrol to do the job that they know they need to do," he said.

As for the advisory signs in Pinal County, Lister said, "We're looking at this as a temporary thing. We're not trying to close this to the public. We're hoping we'll see the effects of our targeted enforcement efforts out there, and hopefully be able to take the signs down completely and just go back to the caution signs that we've had up there."

Two soldiers from the Tennessee National Guard on duty along U.S.-Mexico border, near Yuma, Ariz.

Obama administration efforts fall short

As WND reported, the Obama administration announced its decision to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S. southern border to counter cross-border drug and weapons trafficking. However, many lawmakers have warned that 1,200 will not be enough.

Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain said Obama's decision to send an "insufficient number of National Guard troops" is a "weak start and does not demonstrate an understanding of the current situation in the region."

"Our children are living in fear, but the Obama White House is living in denial," said Sen. John Cornyn. "The president must make border security a priority, not an afterthought or an empty talking point."

However, the State Department announced the National Guard troops will not be used to stop illegal immigration.

As WND recently reported, thousands of illegal aliens apprehended along the 2,000-mile border stretching through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas aren't even from Mexico. Many are citizens of countries that are known sponsors of terrorism, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Syria and Iran.

Former Rep. Tom Tancredo told WND he doesn't believe Obama's decision to send troops is intended to improve the situation.

"I don't think anybody thinks this matters," he said. "Obama certainly doesn't."

He added, "The desire is not to fix the problem. The desire is to have amnesty. All of this is in anticipation of amnesty."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interpol chief: Air travel 'scares me' Warns of lax security globally as more and more fly

Posted: June 16, 2010
11:09 pm Eastern

By Stewart Stogel
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

"It is at best ironic and at worst dangerous that Interpol officials sometimes have a more difficult time crossing borders than the criminals we're pursuing."

This comes despite increased security at U.S. airports where activities directed by the Transportation Security Administration are not always coordinated with Interpol.

U.S. air traffic, it was explained, is a small portion of the still largely unregulated international air transportation system.

The industry trade group Airports Council International puts North American traffic just above 12 percent of worldwide activity.

A major hindrance to effective international police "cooperation" is the fact that Interpol officials, unlike their United Nations counterparts, do not enjoy unfettered diplomatic transit.

In most instances, Interpol officers must await clearances by local authorities before they can enter a country.

Noble says a pilot program, now under way at the World Cup in South Africa, would provide his personnel with a special "visa identity card" to allow quick and timely transit.

Four nations have accepted the visa card, with 23 more considering it.

Noble declined to say whether the U.S. is one of those considering the program.

Interpol, with 188 member nations, is second only to the U.N., which has 192 members.

Another program Noble is experimenting with is what he called "virtual borders."

The system is currently being used to check attendees at the World Cup.

The checks are being expanded to hotels and banks.

"If we don't get you at the airport or the border crossings we can still screen you at a venue or hotel," said Noble.

A less sophisticated system has been used by the Secret Service at the Super Bowl and World Series.

While some may liken the Interpol system to a modern day version of "Big Brother," the secretary-general insists that his organization has vastly improved security, especially inside the United States:

"Just in 2002, the U.S. searches of our database was 2000 hits. ... Last year, U.S. searches numbered 79 million hits. ...We need to able to quickly identify those who could pose a threat to our safety and conversely, we need to be able to identify those who pose no risk to our safety."

One case in particular was the recent arrest of Johan van der Sloot. The Aruban fugitive and onetime suspect in the disappearance of American Natalie Holloway was apprehended in Chile and returned to Peru with Interpol assistance, said Noble.

Another incident occured off the Israeli coast. During the controversial Turkish flotilla attempt to reach Gaza, three Pakistani journalists went missing.

Interpol agents, together with Israeli and Jordanian police, were able to respond to Pakistani requests to track them down, he said. He added that cooperation among all the police authorities was "excellent."

Interpol, he added, is often able to bridge certain gulfs the U.N. cannot, because his organization is "professional rather than political."

"We are the world's most democratic institution...We have a one country, one vote system...We have no Security Council and no right to veto. ...We are able to achieve police-to-police cooperation even on occasions when governments do not or can't (cooperate)."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Obamacare's control plan? 'Behavior modification' Expert opinion: 'Ultimately everything will be governed by federal authorities'

The online Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders says "behavior modification," a controversial psychological treatment, can be accomplished through positive reinforcement or "punishment" – and now President Obama has signed an executive order specifying the treatment for all Americans, to be prescribed by government bureaucrats.

Obama's order appoints members to a new government committee set up by the Democrats' new health law that will evaluate, make recommendations about and establish rules for everything from how people exercise to whether they smoke to the food they eat and the medicines they use. And it specifically requires the committee list the priorities for "lifestyle behavior modification" that the government will pursue.

The encyclopedia report describes "punishment" as "the application of an aversive or unpleasant stimulus in reaction to a particular behavior." Two experts who reviewed the president's June 10 executive order establishing the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council say the plan easily could encompass exactly that.

Herb Titus, a veteran constitutional expert and lawyer, told WND, "The council is designed to basically implement future policy that ultimately everything will be governed by federal authorities, from food to dietary supplements to vitamins."

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Deborah Stockton, executive director of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association, which deals regularly with natural foods such as raw milk, agreed with the Titus analysis.

"They say, 'We're going to centralize power and control. We're going to be in control,'" she told WND. "It's [going to be] another epic confrontation between those who will and those who won't."

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The council's membership, including the chiefs of the Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Education and Homeland Security departments as well as the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Trade Commission, National Drug Control Police, Domestic Policy Council, Corporation for National and Community Service and others, also is alarming, Titus noted.

Most of those positions have no qualifications for making decisions about health care, so what would be their involvement, wondered Titus.

Could it be that non-compliance will bring down the wrath of those agencies?

"It'll be criminalized … if you don't follow federal guidelines on nutrition, exercise," he said. "That's what this is designed to do. Ultimately bring everything under the federal umbrella. The only way they can accomplish that is through force.

"Ultimately that's where it's headed," Titus said. "This is what people have been warning about. Here you have it."

The executive order requires the council to "provide coordination … with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices, the public health system, and integrative health care in the United States."

It further must develop a "health-care strategy that incorporates the most effective and achievable means of improving the health status of Americans" and also must "carry out such other activities as are determined appropriate by the president."

It will "set specific goals and objectives for improving the health of the United States" and "establish specific and measurable actions and timelines to carry out the strategy."

"Citizen, stop and show your papers and certify under oath you have properly exercised and ingested the proper amount of nutrition today!" scoffed one blogger.

The council then will have to report to the president on what it has done, what progress has been made and provide a "list of national priorities on health promotion and disease prevention to address lifestyle behavior modification (including smoking cessation, proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, mental health, behavioral health, substance-use disorder, and domestic violence screenings) and the prevention measures."

That paragraph alone raised eyebrows for those wondering what the government would do to demand "lifestyle behavior modification." It also raised concerns over its reference to "domestic violence screenings" as well as "mental health."

The order also targets most of the products that are promoted as natural supplements or remedies, demanding that all "prevention programs" be based on the "science" guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, virtually eliminating anything that is not put through the multi-million dollar tests required of the federal agency.

Asked a blogger at Techimo.com, "Is this something we need to worry about? Is (sic) Obama and his 'advisers' attempting to modify our behavior through legislation?"

"It's a done deal," said Titus.

The White House declined a WND request to comment on the action.

But the initial blog comments were no more favorable to the details of Obamacare that are being unveiled now than they were to the overall idea of a nationalized health care with mandatory payments by taxpayers.

"If any government perverted junkie tries to tell me or my family what to do there is going to be a lot of unhealthy issues," wrote a forum participant at Conservative's Forum.

Added another on the same page, "Karl Marx would be proud."

Another forum page posted the headline "Obama creates behavior modification commission," and a writer called the council a "stepping stone to what the Soviets did to dissidents."

Added the YourWebApps site, "What do we take for prevention? Herbs and vitamins. Herbs that you grow in your backyard and vitamins that are not approved by your doctor do not fall under these 'science-based' guidelines and are not allowed. Therefore, this will effectively open the door to outlawing ALL disease prevention practices that use herbs and vitamins."

Columnist David Limbaugh put it this way: "Lifestyle behavior modification is none of the government's business, but it is even less the prerogative of a renegade, unaccountable executive acting outside the law through unconstitutional executive orders."

Stockton said she already sees people in revolt – "waking up to see what really does create health." Her group has monitored several raw milk fights of late in which farmers are selling unpasteurized milk to consumers who demand it.

The process has enraged state and other food regulators.

And she cited the reference to behavior.

"How are you going to address that? Put everyone into drills?" she said.

She said there's a huge failure to see that what the government is trying to impose has been done before – unsuccessfully.

But it will result in confrontation, she forecast.

"It's a conflict that has to be resolved."

WND previously reported when the federal government argued in a case in Iowa that individuals have no "fundamental right" to obtain what food they choose.

The brief was filed April 26 in support of a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ban on the interstate sale of raw milk.

"There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds," states the document signed by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, assistant Martha Fagg and Roger Gural, trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families' is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish," the government has argued.

WND also reported on a bill pending in the U.S. Senate that critics say would do for Americans' food supply what Obamacare is doing to the nation's supply of health-care resources.

"S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, may be the most dangerous bill in the history of the U.S.," writes Steve Green on the Food Freedom blog. "It is to our food what the bailout was to our economy, only we can live without money."

The plan is sponsored by U.S. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who explains the legislation "is a critical step toward equipping the FDA with the authorities and funding it needs to regulate what is now a global marketplace for food, drugs, devices and cosmetics."

His website explains, "The legislation requires foreign and domestic food facilities to have safety plans in place to prevent food hazards before they occur, increases the frequency of inspections. Additionally, it provides strong, flexible enforcement tools, including mandatory recall. Most importantly, this bill generates the resources to support FDA food-safety activities."

The proposal cleared the U.S. House last year but has been languishing in the Senate because of a full calendar of projects. It creates a long list of new requirements for food-producing entities to meet the demands of the secretary of agriculture. It is expected to be the subject of discussion in coming days.