Tag Archive: Secrecy


US Sets New Record For Denying, Censoring Government Files

 

 

 

For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

  The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

  It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

  Its backlog of unanswered requests at year’s end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000.

  The government’s new figures, published Tuesday, covered all requests to 100 federal agencies during fiscal 2014 under the Freedom of Information law, which is heralded globally as a model for transparent government. They showed that despite disappointments and failed promises by the White House to make meaningful improvements in the way it releases records, the law was more popular than ever. Citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. The U.S. spent a record $434 million trying to keep up.

  The government responded to 647,142 requests, a 4 percent decrease over the previous year. The government more than ever censored materials it turned over or fully denied access to them, in 250,581 cases or 39 percent of all requests. Sometimes, the government censored only a few words or an employee’s phone number, but other times it completely marked out nearly every paragraph on pages.”

 

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Benghazibabeatclintonemaildotcom

 

 

 

” You can say this about the Clintons; they fill our desire for drama in the annual breaks between episodes of TV serials. “Downton Abbey” ends for the season and Clinton Follies is on tap again as the New York Times reports as old news, something known for at least two years: Hillary never used the Department of State’s official email account 

  If you’ve been busy leading a full and rich life and missed this week’s excitement here it is in a nutshell: on the day of her confirmation hearing for the position of secretary of state, Hillary Clinton set up an internet server in her home (purchased under an apparent pseudonym “Eric Hoteham”). Perhaps the domain was even run out of two commercial web hosting firms, instead of the home server: 

  For her entire term at the department she exclusively used this unprotected email server, utilizing at last count about 9 different email addresses for all her Internet communications. These entire addresses end in clintonemail@com, which signaled to anyone reading the message that this was not, sent on a government server.

This tactic allowed her to avoid disclosure of her correspondence to Freedom of Information Act and other document production requests, including Congressional inquiries.

  Can she claim she didn’t know this violated Federal laws and regulations requiring this correspondence be kept where it can be archived and, if required, disclosed? Hardly. All officials are routinely warned about such things. In fact, she ordered our ambassador to Kenya fired for failing to use a government server for his communications.

  In connection with Congressional hearings the department was asked to provide her email correspondence and, so the story goes, they had none, so Hillary had her staff go through her records and late last year provided 50,000 emails, and claimed others might be found in the recipients’ files.

  There is also little doubt, given this functional definition, that e-mail has been covered by the Federal Records Act since its adoption by the federal government during the Clinton administration. As Ian Tuttle correctly notes, the State Department’s own manual has plainly provided, since 1995, that e-mail records must be preserved under the Federal Records Act.”

 

 

Read the rest from Clarice Feldman at The American Thinker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Steyn

Will The Real Hillary Diane Rodham Please Stand Up?

 

A F Branco

 

 

 

” Yesterday I kept my regular Thursday date with Hugh Hewitt. Wracked by laryngitis, Hugh’s voice had been relocated to a private server and he was reduced to a husky whisper as he brought me up to speed on the news of the day:

  HUGH HEWITT: I want to begin by telling you that ISIS attacked the archaeological site at Nimrod today, and Libya says their oil fields are in the hands of the militants, and ISIS is believed to have 46,000 Twitter accounts. These are all front page stories. But we’re going to talk about email instead, if you don’t mind, because that is the biggest story of the day. And I want to know what you make first from 30,000 feet of Hillary’s intentionality from the beginning of her tenure at State of avoiding scrutiny.

  MARK STEYN: Yes, I think there’s no doubt that it was deliberate. This is why the usual spin isn’t going to work – because she essentially set up a shadow operation to supplant the normal exchange of information within a cabinet department. At midnight last night, I posted a story that a friend of mine, a diplomat, tipped me off – not an American diplomat, interestingly enough, but a non-U.S. diplomat – about how the American ambassador to Kenya was fired just three years ago during Hillary’s term for precisely this, for using commercial email systems instead of secure government ones for official business. Hillary Clinton’s State Department fired the U.S. ambassador for Kenya for doing that in 2012. The story’s now been picked up by the Weekly Standard and Drudge and people, and I’m glad, I’m very glad of that, because I think it actually gets to the heart of the matter here – that this country is decaying from a republic into a banana republic, where if you’re an inconsequential person the rules apply to you, but if you’re a select few, at the Hillary Clinton level, then the laws and the rules don’t apply. This should be a disqualifier. She essentially freelanced – and presumably with the knowledge of the President and other people – she essentially, in defiance of the law, she essentially freelanced an entire cabinet department to Clinton HQ for four years.”

 

Saturday’s must read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email Eruption: Hillary Hidden Emails Multiply By Ten

 

 

 

 

”  When Hillary Clinton tweeted yesterday in the midst of her latest scandal “I want the public to see my email,” did she mean all ten hidden accounts, or just hdr22@clintonmail.com, the only account to be outed before that tweet?  Now, thanks to a hacker, who seems not to have done anything illegal but use a piece of software, things have gone, shall we say, a little haywire:

 

  A prominent hacker tells Fox News’ James Rosen that Hillary Clinton appears to have established multiple email addresses for private use.

  Aides to the former secretary of state say she only used one private email while in office — hdr22@clintonemail.com. That domain name has been traced to a private Internet server in Clinton’s hometown of Chappaqua, N.Y. The server was registered in the name of Clinton’s former aide Eric Hothem a week before the Obama administration assumed office.

  Rosen’s hacker source employed a tool called “The Harvester” to search a number of data sources to look for references to the domain name Clintonemail.com. The source says it appears Clinton established multiple email addresses, including hdr@clintonemail.com, hdr18@clintonemail.com, hdr19@clintonemail.com, hdr20@clintonemail.com, and hrd21@clintonemail.com.

  Other email addresses include h.clinton@clintonemail.com, Hillary@clintonemail.com, contact@clintonemail.com, and mau_suit@clintonemail.com.

  It’s not clear whether Clinton used any or all of these email addresses. It’s also unclear whether her aides used them. “

 

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Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email At State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

 

 

 

 

 

” Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

  Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

  It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

  Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.”

  How could this secretive practice in any way be acceptable in a public official ? We fail to understand how this could be conceived as anything other than a blatant attempt to control what parts of her “official” business are made available for public view .

I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal email account for the transaction of government business,” said Mr. Baron, who worked at the agency from 2000 to 2013.

  Regulations from the National Archives and Records Administration at the time required that any emails sent or received from personal accounts be preserved as part of the agency’s records.

  But Mrs. Clinton and her aides failed to do so.

  How many emails were in Mrs. Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over.”

   No matter how one looks at it , EVERY correspondence of EVERY government official , making allowances for certain matters of national security , are PUBLIC property , generated in the public interest and paid for with public funds and thus are required to be archived and saved for future investigation . 

   How is Hillary’s staff picking and choosing exactly what correspondence the taxpayers , historians , reporters and regulators have access to any different than shredding documents or Nixon’s missing Watergate tapes ? And this woman thinks she deserves to be president . Shame , shame , shame …

   It’s not like Mrs Clinton has a stellar record of forthrightness to fall back on . As a matter of fact her past history belies exactly the opposite what with her being fired from the Watergate investigation , Travelgate , Whitewater , Rose Law firm billing records etc. On the contrary the woman is the picture of obfuscation and secrecy , much like her old boss .

Read it all at the NY Times 

Republicans Fear Net Neutrality Plan Could Lead To UN Internet Powers

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government’s plan to enact strong net neutrality regulations could embolden authoritarian regimes like China and Russia to seize more power over the Internet through the United Nations, a key Senate Republican warned Wednesday.

  Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota argued that by claiming more authority over Internet access for net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission will undermine the ability of the U.S. to push back against international plots to control the Internet and censor content.

  Countries like Russia already have made it clear that they want the International Telecommunications Union or another United Nations body to have more power over the Internet, Thune said.

” It seems like reclassifying broadband, as the administration is doing, is losing a valuable argument,” Thune said at his panel’s hearing on Internet governance. “How do you prevent ITU involvement when you’re pushing to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and is everyone aware of that inherent contradiction?”

  On Thursday, the FCC is set to vote on net neutrality regulations that would declare Internet access a “telecommunications service” under Title II. Advocates, including President Obama, argue that the move is the only way the FCC can enact rules that will hold up to legal challenges in court. The rules aim to prevent Internet providers from acting as “gatekeepers” and controlling what content users can access online. 

  David Gross, a partner at the law firm Riley Wein who advises tech and telecom companies, agreed with Thune’s warning.

  The U.S. has consistently argued that the Internet is not a “telecommunication service” and therefore outside of the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, he explained. “If they were to find that Internet service is a telecommunications service, that would undoubtedly make the job of my successors much more complicated,” Gross, a former ambassador to the ITU during the George W. Bush administration, said.

  A top Obama administration official dismissed the comparison between net neutrality and UN control of the Internet.”

   Read the rest at National Journal and see how confident in the Obama administration’s assurances you are . It’s not like they’ve ever lied to us .

FCC Chief Pressed To Release Net Neutrality Rules

 

 

 

 

” A key Republican lawmaker in Congress called for Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make proposed net neutrality regulations public before a planned Thursday vote on the measure.

  In the latest wrinkle in the Republicans’ battle to quash Wheeler’s proposals, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who’s also the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter today to Wheeler, questioning whether the FCC has been “independent, fair and transparent” in crafting the rules to protect content on the Internet.

” Although arguably one of the most sweeping new rules in the commission’s history, the process was conducted without using many of the tools at the chairman’s disposal to ensure transparency and public review,” he said.

  Chaffetz urged Wheeler to publicly release the 332-page draft order that was given to the other four commissioners nearly three weeks ago and appear at a House Oversight hearing Wednesday before a vote at the FCC’s monthly meeting Thursday.

  Also today, FCC commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly too asked for Wheeler to release the proposal to the public and postpone the Thursday vote to allow for 30 days of public comment.”

 

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Why Can’t The Public See Obama’s Proposed Internet Regulations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Republican senators Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, and Rand Paul have all been high profile opponents of the Obama administrations current plan to regulate the internet — in particular, Lee has called the regulation a government “takeover” of the internet and says it amounts to a “a massive tax increase on the middle class, being passed in the dead of night without the American public really being made aware of what is going on.”

  And when Lee says that the American public isn’t aware of what’s going on, that is in no way hyperbole. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has emerged as a hero for those opposed to the regulation because Pai has been taking to the airwaves decrying the fact that the public is not allowed to see 332 pages of proposed internet regulation before they are potentially passed. Pai’s crusade to make the proposed regulations public is the theme of the the latest ad from Protect Internet Freedom: ” (see above)

 

 

Thanks to Mark Hemingway and the Weekly Standard . Whatever happened to Obama’s promise of “all laws will be published on web for five days before a vote” ?

 

 

Promise Broken

 

    Like every other promise from the most “honest , open and transparent” administration ever , it’s bull***t . For those with selective memory the video below contains all the promises on transparency and openness in one convenient location:

 

 

 

All we seem to get from this wondrous administration is lies , lies and more lies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican FCC Commissioner Slams ‘Obama’s 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet’

 

 

Net Neutrality Plan

Click the pic for Mr Pai’s Twitter post and read the comments

 

 

” Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on Friday raised the first of many criticisms to come about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s aggressive net neutrality plan distributed to commissioners Thursday, which Pai described as “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet.”

  In a statement released Friday, Pai lamented the fact that the 332-page plan, which he tweeted a picture of himself holding next to a picture of Obama, won’t be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.

President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.

  In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.” “

 

Daily Caller has more on the secret plans for State control of the internet 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The US Government Doesn’t Want You To Know There’s A Run On Silver Bullion

 

 

Gold Coin Demand US Mint

 

 

 

” It looks like the entire world is spitting out gold and silver as an investment or hedge, as the prices of both precious metals were tumbling in the past few weeks. Well, at least the demand for gold and silver ‘paper’ isn’t anymore what it used to be, but the demand for physical silver is really booming.

  Reports have reached us from Germany that the demand for silver is really surging, and this is an interesting sentiment meter because Germany usually acts as one of the main distribution centers for the European Union. Several large bullion dealers have seen the demand for silver increase, and in just the next few days after last week’s crash, almost all dealers sold as many silver coins in just three days as they usually do in an entire month.

  Now you can try to dismiss this easily by saying that the Germans and the rest of the European Union are simply preparing for an upcoming implosion of the Eurozone, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The US Mint recently had to announce that there were no more silver Eagles in inventory, and that it would have to suspend deliveries for new orders. This announcement hasn’t been made public (why not, US Mint? Are you trying to keep the people dumb?) but was only sent to larger bullion dealers in the USA. “

 

Zero Hedge has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feds Mum On Prosecution Of Illegal Border Crossers

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The federal government refuses to say whether prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona, have scaled back a years-old program that guarantees jail time for most immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and which law enforcement officials say is crucial to public safety.

  Reports that federal prosecutors have stopped some prosecutions under Operation Streamline surfaced nearly two weeks ago when Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking information on the status of the zero-tolerance program that circumvents the civil immigration system and lumps together months’ worth of criminal proceedings into one day for immigrants caught crossing the border illegally.

  Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said in a letter to the senators that he had been informed that federal prosecutors in Yuma are no longer going after first offenders.

  But the government has been completely silent on the issue. Public affairs officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all refused to answer questions about whether the program has been scaled back.

  Brett Worsencroft, president of the Border Patrol union for Yuma Sector border agents, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office has in fact ended prosecutions of first-time offenders. “

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Army Quits Tests After Competing Rifle Outperforms M4A1 Carbine

 

 

 

 

” A competing rifle outperformed the Army’s favored M4A1 carbine in key firings during a competition last year before the service abruptly called off the tests and stuck with its gun, according to a new confidential report.

  The report also says the Army changed the ammunition midstream to a round “tailored” for the M4A1 rifle. It quoted competing companies as saying the switch was unfair because they did not have enough time to fire the new ammo and redesign their rifles before the tests began.

  Exactly how the eight challengers — and the M4 — performed in a shootout to replace the M4, a soldier’s most important personal defense, has been shrouded in secrecy.

  But an “official use only report” by the Center for Naval Analyses shows that one of the eight unidentified weapons outperformed the M4 on reliability and on the number of rounds fired before the most common type of failures, or stoppages, occurred, according to data obtained by The Washington Times. “

 

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Eleanor Holmes Norton: Congress Has ‘No Right To Know’ Executive Branch’s Business

 

 

 

 

 

” Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.

“ You don’t have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government,” Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

  It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must[s] to prevent abuses of power by government officials. Instead the leading advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia literally argued that even the congressional committee charged with oversight shouldn’t be asking questions in the first place.”

 

 

LibertyUnyielding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White House Fights To Keep Shirley Sherrod Emails Secret

 

 

 

” The Obama administration is trying to keep reams of White House emails regarding the 2010 firing of former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod secret.

  Justice Department lawyers argued in U.S. District Court last week that documents filed recently in Sherrod’s libel lawsuit against the late Andrew Breitbart—who published edited video clips that led the White House to fire Sherrod over accusations of racism—should be sealed and not released to the public.

Josh Gerstein of Politico reports:

  Court filings are normally public, but the Justice Department said the e-mails from the accounts of nine White House staffers and an additional number of Agriculture Department officials should be kept under wraps in part because the public already has enough information through official statements about Sherrod’s forced resignation and the ensuing events. “

 

    Tyranny is what we have when the administration and their bureaucratic flunkies decide exactly when the public has received “enough information” about our elected /appointed officials and their doings …

 

 

Free Beacon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloggers, Surveillance And Obama’s Orwellian State

 

 

 

 

 

 After resigning as the press secretary for President Obama on June 20, Carney gave insight into the Obama administration’s handling of classified documents, and responded to criticism that this administration has been the most Orwellian in recent history.

“ I know — because I covered them — that this was said of Clinton and Bush, and it will probably be said of the next White House,” said Carney in a recent New York Times Magazine interview. “I think a little perspective is useful…It is a serious, serious matter to leak classified information. Some of the debate around this kind of forgets how serious that is.”

 

 

Even in retiring Carney can’t help but pull out the old “Bush did it” card …

 

 

” But, it could also be the changing nature of the relationship between the media and the White House. At a recent event at the New America Foundation, journalists and historians challenged Carney, arguing that this White House has been more secret than previous occupants.

“Increasingly, the Obama White House has become so brittle, and so controlling of the message, that people are afraid to respond to me,” said Kimberly Dozier, a former Associated Press reporter. She was one of the journalists whose phone records were obtained by the Department of Justice last spring during its investigation into a leak of classified information about a failed Al-Qaeda plot. The scope of that investigation, some critics said, was unprecedented overreach.

  According to ProPublica, the Obama administration has filed eight cases under the Espionage Act, which criminalizes disclosing information harmful to national security. Before the Obama administration, only three known cases had ever been charged under the act.”

 

    In the end Time reverts to it’s roots and blames bloggers in justifying the administration crack-down on journalistic freedom , comparing bloggers to “pamphleteers” and calling for them to uphold “the same standards as 20th century journalists” … LOL , not exactly setting a very high bar now are they ?  … Read the rest at Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Censorship: 38 Journalism Groups Slam Obama’s ‘Politically-Driven Suppression Of News’

 

 

 

 

” In unprecedented criticism of the White House, 38 journalism groups have assailed the president’s team for censoring media coverage, limiting access to top officials and overall “politically-driven suppression of the news.”

  In a letter to President Obama, the 38, led by the Society of Professional Journalists, said efforts by government officials to stifle or block coverage has grown for years and reached a high-point under his administration despite Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to provide transparency.”

 

 

   Among the “journalist’s” complaints , which we would color a fine example of “too little , too late” and for which the media have only themselves to blame are :

 

 

” • Officials blocking reporters’ requests to talk to specific staff people.

• Excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretch past reporters’ deadlines.

• Officials conveying information “on background” — refusing to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who is speaking.

• Federal agencies blackballing reporters who write critically of them.”

 

 

This might really have mattered if the entire mainstream media collective hadn’t spent the past six years making the current administration into the hive of secrecy and lies that it is and we find it exceedingly difficult to dredge up any sympathy for those responsible for foisting the most corrupt and inept presidential administration EVER on us through their clear dereliction .

    Read the rest of Paul Bedard’s piece here and try to hold back your tears for the lowly media hacks that have allowed themselves to be trivialized into a position of nothing more than whiny spectators . Boo Hoo Hoo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Employees Using Government Aircraft For Hundreds Of Non-Official Missions, GAO Says

 

Federal Flight Fraud

 

 

” Senior federal officials use government airplanes for many non-official purposes, but agencies don’t track the trips, according to the Government Accountability Office.

  More than 1,700 aircraft are owned or leased by the federal government and are used to “accomplish a wide variety of missions,” including firefighting and law enforcement, according to GAO.

  From fiscals years 2009 through 2011, for example, the FBI didn’t report to GSA 395 unclassified non-mission trips that cost around $7.8 million, according to GAO. “

 

 

    This report comes just two weeks after another GAO report that documented the outrageous abuse of Federal employees flying first class instead of coach at an additional cost to taxpayer of millions of dollars per year . We the taxpayers are being taken for fools .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Most Transparent” White House Ever Rewrote FOIA To Exclude Its Docs

 

 

 

” That’s right, the Obama White House has quietly rewritten a portion of the Freedom Of Information Act to exclude what it calls “White House equities” from being released without a White House review.  The rewrite was inspired by a 2009 memo by then White House counsel, Greg Craig:

  The Greg memo is described in detail in a new study made public today by Cause of Action, a Washington-based nonprofit watchdog group that monitors government transparency and accountability.

  How serious an attack on the public’s right to know is the Obama administration’s invention of the “White House equities” exception?

“ FOIA is designed to inform the public on government behavior; White House equities allow the government to withhold information from the media, and therefore the public, by having media requests forwarded for review. This not only politicizes federal agencies, it impairs fundamental First Amendment liberties,” Cause of Action explains in its report.

  The equities exception is breathtaking in its breadth. As the Greg memo put it, any document request is covered, including “congressional committee requests, GAO requests, judicial subpoenas and FOIA requests.”

  And it doesn’t matter what format the documents happen to be in because, according to Greg, the equities exception “applies to all documents and records, whether in oral, paper, or electronic form, that relate to communications to and from the White House, including preparations for such communications.”

  What this effectively does is stop federal agencies from answering FOIA requests which might include “White House equities” within the 20 days required by law.  There is no apparent limit to the review time the White House can take with its “review” of such requests.  Since the White House gets to decide what are “White House equities” and how long it will take to review requests which include them, the change effectively neuters the intent of the FOIA law. “

 

Hot Air has more on this gutting of the Freedom Of Information Act

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Denies Freedom Of Information Requests At Record Rates

 

 

 

” President Obama was swept to office amidst his pledge that he’d run the “most transparent administration in history.” A new report out finds that he hasn’t even run the most transparent administration since the previous one.

  The Associated Press analyzed the federal government’s own Freedom of Information Act data and found that federal agencies under President Obama have been as uncooperative as ever:

  The government’s own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that halfway through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records. In category after category — except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees — the government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.”

Townhall has more

Congress Secretly Approves U.S. Weapons Flow To ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels

 

 

 

” Light arms supplied by the United States are flowing to “moderate” Syrian rebel factions in the south of the country and U.S. funding for months of further deliveries has been approved by Congress, according U.S. and European security officials.

  The weapons, most of which are moving to non-Islamist Syrian rebels via Jordan, include a variety of small arms, as well as some more powerful weapons, such as anti-tank rockets.

  The deliveries do not include weapons such as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, known as MANPADs, which could shoot down military or civilian aircraft, the officials said.

  The weapons deliveries have been funded by the U.S. Congress, in votes behind closed doors, through the end of government fiscal year 2014, which ends on September 30, two officials said.”

 

 

Story continues at Haaretz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s Coming Coup D’état Of America

 

 

Published on Jan 24, 2014

” Video produced by http://www.westernjournalism.com Produced, written, and edited by Kris Zane. Narrated by Tom Hinchey”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Obama’s Birthday Party Is Representative Of The Entire Administration

 

 

 

 

” If anyone still clings to some charitable notion that there is more to Michelle Obama than a celebrity wanna-be opportunist, let her 50th birthday celebration be the proof that does away with any remaining delusions.

  The FLOTUS’ birthday bash invitees included such moneyed stars as Gladys Knight, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jordan, Stevie Wonder, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashley Judd, and, of course, power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z (the latter of whom sings a little ditty that says, among many other vile words it’d be indecent to print here: “Uh, she love different kinds of sex now, Uh, black girl sippin’ white wine, Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign”).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” And this is just the stuff we know about.

  The event was so top secret, the NSA had to find out about it by reading Sasha and Malia’s text messages. No cell phones were permitted for the 500 people who attended, and those who disobeyed were told to check their devices at the door.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Force’s Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Nears One Year In Orbit

 

 

 

 

” The unmanned X-37B spacecraft — flying a mission known as Orbital Test Vehicle 3 (OTV-3) — launched into space atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 11, 2012. What payloads the space plane is toting and the overall mission goals on its confidential cruise are classified.

  But it is known that the OTV-3 mission signals a milestone for the X-37B program. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WikiLeaks Presents The Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

 

TPP

 

” Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China.

Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.

The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013.”

 

 

    This has NWO/Statism written all over it . The fact that Obama is trying to skirt the necessary Congressional approval of trade agreements says all we need to know about his administration’s efforts “on our behalf” . It would appear after a very brief , cursory reading that many of the provisions in the latest piece of sovereign renunciation are blatantly unconstitutional , which helps to explain the imperative of secrecy and subterfuge from our “most open , honest and transparent” administration .

    This whole treaty , conceived in the smoke-filled back rooms of some old boys network private club , far from the prying eyes of the peons people and their representatives by the Masters of Industry and State is nothing more than a two-fisted power grab enriching the global corporate entity and the transnationalist political figures they bankroll .

 

 

” The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter’s subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design.

The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.”

 

 

    In order for Obama to skirt the Constitutional requirement of senatorial “advise & consent” the proposed TPP and TTIP have to be Executive Agreements and not , strictly speaking , treaties . This ploy allows him to avoid the necessary 2/3 vote of approval from the full Senate . Executive agreements have a long and controversial history in the hands of US presidents .

Having been unfamiliar with the distinction between the agreement and treaty we thought we would educate ourselves a bit and pass along our research for the benefit of readers such as ourselves . Here is how the Oxford Companion To The Supreme Court describes the differences between the two types of agreements :

 

 

” Under the Constitution, treaties with other countries require consent of two‐thirds of the Senate. The framers clearly intended joint action of the national executive and the representatives of states in Congress to make binding international obligations. 

Executive agreements, unmentioned in the text, are practical alternatives made under presidential authority. They are so ubiquitous in American foreign relations—and sometimes so controversial—that one should distinguish various forms. The vast bulk have some form of legislative approval by statute, treaty, or joint resolution of Congress. For example, the North American and general trade agreements of 1993–1994 were approved by joint resolution. If the subject is within Congress’s broad powers, the Supreme Court accepts the delegation of legislative power and the Senate bypass. “

 

    Franklin Roosevelt , Obama’s presidential idol , was the undisputed master of usurpation through the use of executive agreements , which coming from the man who’s very reign inspired the need for presidential term limits , who attempted to change the very nature of the Supreme Court and who issued orders for nationwide gold confiscation should come as no surprise .

 

 

” President Franklin D. “Roosevelt converted executive agreements into primary instruments of foreign relations. He approved the Litvinov Agreement recognizing the Soviet Union in 1933, and the destroyer bases deal of 1940. During World War II, Roosevelt and Truman made secret agreements with allies at Cairo, Yalta, and Potsdam affecting most of the world.”

 

Some history on executive agreements

 

 

” … presidents have had the power to enter into executive agreements with other nations since George Washington’s administration. Treaties are binding on future presidents unless modified with Senate consent; executive agreements are not.

The State Department explains:

As explained in greater detail in 11 FAM 721.2, there are two procedures under domestic law through which the United States becomes a party to an international agreement. First, international agreements (regardless of their title, designation, or form) whose entry into force with respect to the United States takes place only after two thirds of the U.S. Senate has given its advice and consent under Article II, section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution are “treaties.” Second, international agreements brought into force with respect to the United States on a constitutional basis other than with the advice and consent of the Senate are “international agreements other than treaties” and are often referred to as “executive agreements.”

Let’s look, then, at 11 FAM 721.2 to see on what “constitutional basis” a president might enter into such an agreement.

(3) Agreements Pursuant to the Constitutional Authority of the President

The President may conclude an international agreement on any subject within his constitutional authority so long as the agreement is not inconsistent with legislation enacted by the Congress in the exercise of its constitutional authority. The constitutional sources of authority for the President to conclude international agreements include:

(a) The President’s authority as Chief Executive to represent the nation in foreign affairs;

(b) The President’s authority to receive ambassadors and other public ministers;

(c) The President’s authority as “Commander-in-Chief”; and

(d) The President’s authority to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” “

 

 

Findlaw offers even more on the executive agreement , it’s limitations and it’s consequences :

 

 

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS WITHOUT SENATE APPROVAL

” The capacity of the United States to enter into agreements with other nations is not exhausted in the treaty-making power. The Constitution recognizes a distinction between ”treaties” and ”agreements” or ”compacts” but does not indicate what the difference is. 388 The differences, which once may have been clearer, have been seriously blurred in practice within recent decades. Once a stepchild in the family in which treaties were the preferred offspring, the executive agreement has surpassed in number and perhaps in international influence the treaty formally signed, submitted for ratification to the Senate, and proclaimed upon ratification.

During the first half-century of its independence, the United States was party to sixty treaties but to only twenty-seven published executive agreements. By the beginning of World War II, there had been concluded approximately 800 treaties and 1,200 executive agreements. In the period 1940-1989, the Nation entered into 759 treaties and into 13,016 published executive agreements. Cumulatively, in 1989, the United states was a party to 890 treaties and 5,117 executive agreements. To phrase it comparatively, in the first 50 years of its history, the United States concluded twice as many treaties as executive agreements. In the 50-year period from 1839 to 1889, a few more executive agreements than treaties were entered into. From 1889 to 1939, almost twice as many executive agreements as treaties were concluded. In the period since 1939, executive agreements have comprised more than 90% of the international agreements concluded. 389

 

 

 

     In the interests of “equal time” , sort of , you can view TPP “news” , what little there is at the Office of The US Trade Representative’s website . Good luck with that . 

 In closing , and admittedly not knowing as much as we should about this looming shadow of globalism , we are of the opinion that any agreement or treaty related to business and commerce promulgated by the most economically illiterate leader this country has ever had can only be intended to accomplish one , the other or both of two things … most likely both : 1)  further pad the already bloated bank accounts of his corporate cronies through regulation and protectionism and 2) advance the Statist/NWO agenda that drives his trans-nationalist puppet masters through gaining control of the creative process … meaning control of the lines of communication ( internet freedom) and control of property rights (patents , trade marks , etc).

    There is surely nothing in this secretive effort that can be described as advancing the cause of the individual and human rights and that is not acceptable from any US president .