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Tag Archive: Justice Department


U.S. Spies On Millions Of Cars

 

 

 

 

” The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

  The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

  Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn’t been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database “throughout the United States,’’ according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations, according to people familiar with the program, putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.

  The database raises new questions about privacy and the scope of government surveillance. The existence of the program and its expansion were described in interviews with current and former government officials, and in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear if any court oversees or approves the intelligence-gathering.”

 

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Sharyl Attkisson Sues Administration Over Computer Hacking

 

 

 

 

” Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has sued the Justice Department over the hacking of her computers, officially accusing the Obama administration of illegal surveillance while she was reporting on administration scandals. 

  In a series of legal filings that seek $35 million in damages, Attkisson alleges that three separate computer forensic exams showed that hackers used sophisticated methods to surreptitiously monitor her work between 2011 and 2013. 

” I just think it’s important to send a message that people shouldn’t be victimized and throw up their hands and think there’s nothing they can do and they’re powerless,” Attkisson said in an interview. 

  The department has steadfastly denied any involvement in the hacking, saying in a 2013 statement: “To our knowledge, the Justice Department has never compromised Ms. Attkisson’s computers, or otherwise sought any information from or concerning any telephone, computer, or other media device she may own or use.” “

 

Fox News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lerner Met With DOJ Month Before 2010 Elections

 

 

 

 

” Judicial Watch, a constitutionally conservative, non-profit educational foundation, has new evidence against Lois Lerner in the IRS Tea Party targeting case.   
    
  Documents they’ve just obtained from the Department of Justice show that the former IRS official met with Department of Justice’s Election Crimes Division one month before the 2010 elections.
      
  The Justice Department has withheld more than 800 pages of documents in the Lerner investigation, citing “taxpayer privacy” and “deliberative privilege.”
   
These new documents dramatically show how the Justice Department is up to its neck in the IRS scandal and can’t be trusted to investigate crimes associated with the IRS abuses that targeted Obama’s critics. And it is of particular concern that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which would ordinarily investigate the IRS abuses, is now implicated in the IRS crimes,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

  Chris Farrell, director of research and investigations for Judicial Watch, talked more about the significance of these newly discovered DOJ meetings, on CBN News Today, Dec. 9. “

Thanks to CBN News

Feds Censure Local Police, Yet Give Lethal Weapons

 

 

 

 

 

” A Pentagon program that distributes military surplus gear to local law enforcement allows even departments that the Justice Department has censured for civil rights violations to apply for and get lethal weaponry.

  That lack of communication between two Cabinet agencies adds to questions about a program under review in the aftermath of the militarized police response to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

  The Pentagon, which provides the free surplus military equipment, says its consultation with the Justice Department will be looked at as the government reviews how to prevent high-powered weaponry from flowing to the untrustworthy.

  The Justice Department has opened civil rights investigations into the practices of some 20 police departments in the past five years, with the Ferguson force the latest. The investigations sometimes end in negotiated settlements known as consent decrees that mandate reforms. Yet being flagged as problematic by Washington does not bar a police department from participating in the program.”

” One arm of the federal government is restricting the departments based on a history of constitutional violations, and the other arm is feeding them heavy weapons. That’s absurd,” he said.”

 

 

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EPA Ignores Congressional Law, Gives Wyoming Town To Indian Tribes

 

 

 

Ignoring congressionally-mandated boundaries set in 1905, the Environmental Protection Agency has turned the Wyoming town of Riverton over to two Indian tribes.

  In a surprising decision, officials at the EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department, designated the land the property of the Wind River Tribes, according to The Daily Caller.

  Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead petitioned the EPA to reverse the decision, and vowing not to abide by the order, and pledging to fight it in court if necessary.

“ My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law,” Mead said in a statement. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?” “

 

    The precedent has been set . Through the auspices of the Obama administration Congress has been ruled of no consequence . Now we have State appointed bureaucrats ignoring settled law and the legitimate authority of the legislative branch in pursuit of their own agenda . Rule of law ? What’s that ?

 

Read more here and here

 

 

 

 

ATF Misplaced 420 Million Cigarettes In Stings

 

 

” Government agents acting without authorization conducted dozens of undercover investigations of illegal tobacco sales, misused some of $162 million in profits from the stings and lost track of at least 420 million cigarettes, the Justice Department’s inspector general said Wednesday.

In one case, ATF agents sold $15 million in cigarettes and later turned over $4.9 million in profits from the sales to a confidential informant — even though the agency did not properly account for the transaction.

The ATF’s newly-appointed director, B. Todd Jones, said the audit covered only selected, “historical” ATF investigations between 2006 and 2011, and said the agency had tightened its internal guidelines since then.

The audit described widespread lack of ATF oversight and inadequate paperwork in the agency’s “churning investigations,” undercover operations that use proceeds from illicit cigarette sales to pay for the ATF’s costs. The audit came as a new blow to a beleaguered agency still reeling from congressional inquiries into the ATF’s flawed handling of the Operation Fast and Furious weapons tracking probes in Mexico.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposed Bill Will Prohibit ‘Stand Your Ground’, Require Neighborhood Watch To Register With Local And Federal Authorities

 

” Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee reintroduced a bill on the House floor Wednesday that will prohibit states from having “Stand Your Ground” laws, and require neighborhood watch programs to register with local law enforcement and the Department of Justice. States that fail to follow these guidelines will be penalized by a 20 percent cut in federal funding.

According to Jackson Lee, “We will … decrease the incidence of gun violence resulting from vigilantes by reducing by 20 percent the funds that would otherwise be allocated … to any state that does not require local neighborhood watch programs to be registered with a local [law] enforcement agency.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEA Agents Raid Multiple Medical Dispensaries In A State Where The Drug Has Been Declared Legal For Both Medicinal And Recreational Purposes

 

 

 

 

” When Bayside Collective owner Casey Lee saw seven vehicles speed into the parking lot of his Olympia, Washington medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday morning, he thought he was being robbed, and told his employees to take cover.

“When I came outside, there were guns drawn on me,” Lee said Wednesday night. “And then I saw the badges.”

As DEA agents cleaned out the shelves of his dispensary, confiscating an estimated $2,500 worth of medical marijuana and 17 small marijuana plants,  Lee says an agent asked him why he continued to remain in the business of providing medical marijuana.

“One of the DEA agents said: ‘This is your second raid and your third robbery. Why do you keep doing this?’” Lee said.  ”I just told him it’s because we just enjoy helping people, and he told us that he wasn’t expecting that answer.  They don’t get to see the cancer patients.”

Lee’s Bayside Collective was one of several medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington raided by federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency Wednesday, in a sweep that stretched the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Tacoma to Olympia.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Why the Obama Administration Wanted the NSA Data-Mining Program Kept Secret

 

 

 

” I was reading up on the National Security Agency’s data-mining program when I came across this tweet by Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press:

If the programs needed secrecy to succeed, will NSA shut them down now? If not, did they ever need be secret? Or did I just blow your mind?

— Matt Apuzzo (@mattapuzzo) June 7, 2013

Why does this program have to be kept secret? It’s not like American consumers will just stop using cell phones, or wireless networks, or social networks. (A person could do that, but who’s actually willing to? Much as I loathe government surveillance, I’m not giving up Facebook or Gmail or my account with Verizon. I doubt many people are.) It’s also not like Americans didn’t know something like this was going on. So why keep it secret that the government is mining data when Americans will continue to provide data regardless?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A On Scandals And Eric Holder

 

 

 

” Attorney General Eric Holder is head of the Department of Justice—in charge of enforcing the nation’s laws. So what happens when the head law enforcer gets caught up in questionable conduct?

 The Obama Administration is under scrutiny for the scandals of the IRS targeting conservative groups and the Justice Department investigating journalists, and Holder’s role is the focus of a lot of speculation. We sat down with Heritage senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky to get some context.

 A number of news organizations including the Associated Press, CNN, and The New York Times just refused to meet with Eric Holder “off the record” about guidelines for investigating journalists. Have we even begun to get to the bottom of this?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Overlooked Lessons From The AP Subpoena Controversy And Other Leak Investigations

 

 

 

” The journalism world has been rightly outraged by the Justice Department dragging the Associated Press (and now a Fox News reporter) into one of its sprawling leak investigations. As we wrote last week, by obtaining the call records of twenty AP phone lines, “the Justice Department has struck a terrible blow against the freedom of the press and the ability of reporters to investigate and report the news.”

But there are several other important lessons that this scandal can teach us besides how important free and uninhibited newsgathering is to the public’s right to know.

For example, according to information released by the phone companies to Rep. Ed Markey, Sprint alone received a staggering 500,000 subpoenas for call records data last year.”

 

 

 

Illustration by Jim Margulies

 

 

 

 

 

DOJ Sought To Surveil Several Thousand U.S. Citizens In 2012

 

 

” The Justice Department sought the authority to spy on several thousand “United States persons” in 2012, according to a letter the department recently sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“These sought information pertaining to 6,233 different United States persons,” wrote Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik in the letter.

The report does not specify how many of these National Security Letter requests were granted. The requests differ from typical subpoenas, because they seek only non-content information (such as phone numbers, instead of the content of phone conversations) and do not require approval from the judicial branch. “

(RELATED: Read the report)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Obtains Wide Set Of Associated Press Phone records In Investigation, Using Subpoena

 

 

 

 

 

” The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

In a letter of protest sent to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.

The government would not say why it sought the records. Officials have previously said in public testimony that the U.S. attorney in Washington is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have provided information contained in a May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot. The story disclosed details of a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida plot in the spring of 2012 to detonate a bomb on an airplane bound for the United States.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Holder’s Schedule: Frequent Meetings With Race-Based Groups

 

 

 

” Attorney General Eric Holder began his tenure by calling Americans cowards regarding racial issues. Newly released documents reveal that Holder’s schedule shows a preoccupation with racial issues: he spends an inordinate amount of time meeting with race-centered organizations.

Recently, the Department of Justice began making Holder’s daily schedules available online. Although the schedules are far from complete and heavily redacted, the compiled summary below (links to documents provided) shows how much time and access the office of the attorney general allocates to ethnocentric lobbyists and race-based associations.

For 2009, Holder’s first year as AG, over just a nine-month period (the only months available for that year) nearly 50 entries mention meetings with such groups. For the entire 17-month period provided, there are almost a dozen entries showing meetings with “black” professional associations and trade groups.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HOUSE GOP NOT BACKING OFF FAST & FURIOUS LAWSUIT DESPITE MEDIA CLAIMS

 

 

 

 

” House Republicans are standing strong in their pursuit of Operation Fast and Furious documents, The Hill’s Jordy Yager reports, undercutting a narrative the Department of Justice has tried to seep into the media.

President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents minutes before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted Attorney General Eric Holder into both civil and criminal contempt of Congress last summer. The full House followed up voting on a bipartisan basis to hold Holder in contempt shortly thereafter, spurning the current lawsuit against the administration for the documents. The DOJ has declined to pursue criminal charges against Holder.

“A fight over President Obama’s use of executive privilege on the documents that led to Attorney General Eric Holder’s contempt charges is increasingly likely to be decided in court,” Yager wrote on Tuesday. “The way the court decides could drastically limit congressional subpoena powers — or curb the extent to which the president can claim executive privilege.” ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Swartz Lawyers Accuse Prosecutor Stephen Heymann Of Misconduct

 

 

 

” WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutor Stephen Heymann engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by withholding key evidence from the defense team of Aaron Swartz, the late Internet activist’s legal team alleged in a letter to an internal Justice Department ethics unit.

Heymann took the lead in the much-criticized effort to imprison Swartz, who committed suicide in January, and was the attorney who handled the case on a day-to-day basis, reporting to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. Swartz’ attorney Eliot Peters has filed a complaint with the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility, a step that indicates just how egregious the defense team considers Heymann’s professional behavior. A redacted version of the letter was obtained by The Huffington Post.

In the document, Peters argues that Heymann withheld exculpatory evidence. At issue was whether the federal government had properly obtained a warrant to search Swartz’ computer and thumb drive. Peters argued that the government failed by waiting more than a month to obtain the warrant. Heymann countered that he couldn’t get a warrant because he didn’t have access to the equipment. But an email in Heymann’s possession, which was written to Heymann himself, showed that assertion to be untrue.”

 

 

 

Attorney General Eric Holder: Prosecutors In Aaron Swartz Case Did A Great Job

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspector General Report On Racialist Dysfunction Inside DOJ

 

 

 

 

 

” Today the Department of Justice inspector general released a report on potential Labor secretary nominee Tom Perez’s DOJ Civil Rights Division. The timing of the release to coincide with his nomination was certainly accidental, because the report paints a damning portrait of the DOJ unit he managed.

The full report is here.

The 250-page report offers an inside glimpse of systemic racialist dysfunction inside one of the most powerful federal government agencies.

Today’s report paints a disgusting portrait, confirming our accounts.”

 

Looks like Justice Scalia was on to something

 

” Indeed, two career Voting Section attorneys told us that, even if the Department had infinite resources, they still would not have supported the filing of the Noxubee case because it was contrary to the purpose of the Voting Rights Act, which was to ensure that minorities who had historically been the victims of discrimination could exercise the right to vote.” ”

 

Additionally, some of these individuals, including one current manager, admitted to us that, while they believed that the text of the Voting Rights Act is race-neutral and applied to all races, they did not believe the Voting Section should pursue cases on behalf of White victims.” ”

 

 

    As with virtually everything that government does , the Voting Rights Act, while race-neutral and necessary at the time , has ceased to function as designed an has been perverted to more sinister ends even as the need for it has dissipated .

 This demonstrates very clearly the need to reform the way Congress does business . EVERY BILL they pass should have a “sunset clause” . The politicians create one legislative monster after another , each of which generates it’s own unique class of bureaucratic overseers . And each new creation , in just a few short years of existence , whether effective at their assigned task or not , morphs into another head on the Hydra that is seemingly invincible .

 

” – Attorney General Eric Holder was approached by Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King: King complained about cases that Voting Section Chief Chris Coates was bringing. King didn’t like that Coates was willing to use civil rights laws to protect white voters.  Coates had brought and managed the New Black Panther voter intimidation case.

Holder greenlighted King: do what was necessary to take care of Coates.

– Attorney General Holder told us that he understood from what others told him that Coates was a divisive and controversial person in the Voting Section and that one concern about Coates was that he “wanted to expand the use of the power of the Civil Rights Division in such a way that it would take us into areas that, though justified, would come at a cost of that which the Department traditionally had done, at the cost of people [that the] Civil Rights Division had traditionally protected. ” ”

 

 

  The mask slips … ” the people it had traditionally protected ” … this is no longer about EQUAL rights , oh no , we have entered the realm of preferential treatment now . It should be glaringly obvious to the thinking observer that rather than existing to ensure the equal rights of ALL citizens , the Civil Rights Division of Eric Holder’s Justice department has become a punitive , racist tool of the left with which to punish their political foes and provide cover for all manner of felonious behavior on the part of their fellow travelers .

 

 

” – The Report: “We found other postings by career Voting Section employees that contained intimidating comments and statements that arguably raised the potential threat of physical violence. For instance, one of the employees wrote the following comment to an article concerning an internal Department investigation of potential misconduct by a Section manager: “Geez, reading this just makes me want to go out and choke somebody. At this point, I’d seriously consider going in tomorrow and hanging a noose in someone’s office to get myself fired, but they’d probably applaud the gesture and give me a promotion for doing it….” ”

 

 

   “threats of violence” … from our “civil servants”  …ponder that and read the whole thing …

 

 

 

Secret Service Accused Of Misconduct In Aaron Swartz Case

 

 

 

” The former girlfriend of computer hacker Aaron Swartz is lashing out at the US Justice Department after Attorney General Eric Holder defended the prosecution that some say drove the prodigy into committing suicide.

Swartz took his own life in January while waiting to stand trial in a federal computer fraud case that could have ended with him serving upwards of 35 years in prison. Earlier this week, Attorney General Holder said the suicide was a“tragedy” but that the prosecution was indeed by the books.

 

“Eric Holder and the Department of Justice are clearly trying to mislead the Senate and the public,” she says. “Holder claims that Aaron was only facing months in prison while [Assistant US Attorney Stephen] Heymann and [US Attorney Carmen] Ortiz were actively pursuing a penalty of seven years if the case went to trial. If you believe you’re innocent, you should not be coerced into accepting a plea bargain that marks you as a felon for life, just because prosecutors want to boast about taking a scalp.” “

 

 

 

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Eric Holder Sounds the Sequester Alarm

 

This is Holder's idea of protecting us .

 

 

 

” The looming budget sequestration will make Americans less safe, Eric Holder says—and anyone who says otherwise isn’t telling the truth.

“This is something that is going to have an impact on the safety of this country,” the U.S. attorney general told ABC’s Pierre Thomas on Wednesday in a wide-ranging, exclusive interview.

“And anybody that says otherwise is either lying or saying something that runs contrary to the facts,” Holder said.

The Justice Department is going to lose nine percent of its budget between now and September 30th. We’re going to lose $1.6 billion. There are not going to be as many FBI agents, ATF agents, DEA agents, prosecutors who are going to be able to do their jobs,” Holder said. “They’re going to be furloughed. They’re going to spend time out of their offices, not doing their jobs.” ”

 

How does 2%  budget-wide transfer to 9% of Justice’s budget … It’s not like Holder has made us safer anyway … Fast & Furious anyone ?

5 Disturbing Aspects of the DOJ White Paper on the President’s License to Kill

 

 

 

 

” ” The main conclusion of the paper, which was obtained by NBC News, is that “it would be lawful for the United States to conduct a lethal operation outside the United States against a U.S. citizen who is a senior, operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force of al-Qa’ ida without violating the Constitution or…federal statutes…under the following conditions: (1) an informed, high-level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible, and the United States continues to monitor whether capture becomes feasible; and (3) the operation is conducted in a manner consistent with the four fundamental principles of the laws of war governing the use of force”—i.e., “necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity.” Here are five points worth highlighting:

 

1. There may be other situations in which the president believes he has the authority to order the death of someone he perceives as an enemy. As the Justice Department repeatedly warns, “This paper does not attempt to determine the minimum requirements necessary to render such an operation lawful, nor does it assess what might be required to render a lethal operation against a U.S. citizen lawful in other circumstances.”

2. The determination of whether someone is in fact “a senior, operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force” is made entirely within the executive branch, presumably by the same “informed, high-level official” who decides whether the target is an imminent threat.”

 

 

Can You Say Star Chamber boys And Girls ?

 

MORE ON THE TIMING OF PETRAEUS’S RESIGNATION

Wow , what an operator … In one fell swoop Obama nailed 3 , nay , 4 birds with one stone. How , You ask  ? Well think about it for a minute. 

1) He kept the lid on a serious embarrassment to preserve his re-election efforts .

2) He has forced out of office a central player in any Benghazi investigation and with that , denied the General access to pertinent records.

(A caveat : We here are not lawyers and do not know whether General Patraeus poses a greater threat to the Obama administration before congressional investigators as a government employee or as a private citizen . Perhaps a reader could enlighten us on that point .)

  3) He destroyed any possibility of a future run for the presidency by General Patraeus and in the process deprived the Republicans ( presumably) of the prestige afforded the General by an appreciative nation .

   On further reflection we see a possible 4th bird … Might the good General’s reputation be so badly damaged by these sordid revelations that it tarnished once and for all anything the man might choose to do or say … Such as congressional testimony ?

   Why not a quiet , ” I want to spend more time with my family” retirement ? Administrations quietly change personnel all the time , so why the public humiliation ?

   On it’s face , one would think that any administration would be interested in limiting the drama in the personnel changes out of a desire to avoid taint by association .Therefore , knowing this administration , that would lead one to surmise that the administration sees something to be gained by the very public destruction of two accomplished American families .

  On generating the graphics for this post we were reminded of a very pertinent fact … Read the top of the FBI seal below … Yes that’s right …The FBI is a part of the “Justice” Department . Ponder that as you recall which knave is in charge over there .

image

FBI agents on the case were aware
that such a decision had been made
to hold off on forcing him out until
after the election and were.outraged.

“The decision was made to delay the
resignation apparently to avoid
potential embarrassment to the
president before the election,” an
FBI source says. “To leave him in
such a sensitive position where he
was vulnerable to potential
blackmail for months compromised
our security and is inexcusable.” “

P**** = Politics

Daily Video 10/18

 … “Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in an email to TheDC. “The WH also ‘invited’ us over because they had concerns about ‘inaccuracies’ in a press release attacking visitor log secrecy – told us we should say nice things about them and they would say nice things about us.” “

” Feds Drop Criminal Case Against
Sheriff Joe Arpaio

” Federal authorities announced Friday that they’re closing their
abuse-of-power investigation into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona without filing charges against him.

  Authorities were investigating America’s self-proclaimed toughest sheriff for his part in failed public corruption cases against officials who were odds with him. Arpaio
brought cases against a judge and two county officials in 2009.

  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel released a statement saying her office
“is closing its investigation into allegations of criminal conduct” by current and former members of the sheriff‘s and county attorney’s offices.”