Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Justice Department’s list of withheld Fast and Furious documents: 1,323 pages long

From intrepid journalist Sharyl Attkisson, the latest on the Obama administration’s operation to run guns to Mexican drug cartels in order to motivate stricter gun regulations here in the USA.

Excerpt:

For the first time, the Department of Justice has provided a detailed description of 15,662 Fast and Furious-related documents it is withholding from Congress, the public and the press under executive privilege exerted by President Obama.

The description comes in the form of a so-called Vaughn index ordered by a federal court in a lawsuit filed against the Justice Department by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. The Justice Department waited to provide the index, due yesterday, until 8:34 p.m.

The number of withheld documents is so extensive, that the list describing them is 1,323 pages long.

[…]Among the withheld communications is a March 8, 2011 email from a Mexico-based Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) official less than one week after federal agent John Dodson blew the whistle on Fast and Furious in an interview with me for CBS News. The email is described as “discussing response to [Mexico].”

Another withheld email sent in the same time period is from then-White House official Kevin O’Reilly. Dated March 10, 2011, it was sent to more than a dozen federal officials and is described as, “discussing draft press statement.”

More withheld emails “forwarding and discussing news items” have Attorney General Holder’s name on them. One series of such exchanges is dated July 26, 2011, the same day I reported the revelation that ATF had shared information about Fast and Furious with the White House.

[…]Other withheld documents are concerning Freedom of Information (FOI) requests I made in May of 2011. It’s unclear as to why the president would exert executive privilege to keep from turning over documents discussing “which office will respond” to my FOI requests. The Justice Department never properly responded to my requests.

Please see below for more on what Fast and Furious was all about. The mid-term elections are coming up. Don’t let Democrats shake this off!

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Federal bulletin: U.S. facing imminent terrorist attack via southern border

Judicial Watch, those guys who are always filing those useful FOIA requests, found something scary.

Excerpt:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source.  “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Recall that ISIS was able to seize a lot of weapons from their victories in Iraq, including U.S.-made weapons. What kind of weapons am I talking about?

This kind:

U.S. officials with access to the latest U.S. intelligence on Iraq told Fox News it “appears likely/probable” that U.S.-made Stinger missiles have fallen into the hands of Sunni insurgents.

It is possible that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters acquired them from army bases they have taken over in recent days, the sources said.

The Stinger missile is a shoulder-fired surface-to-air weapon that is used against aircraft.

As ISIS forces have advanced through Iraq, concerns have increased that more U.S.-made weaponry could fall into the hands of the radical group.

Iraqi intelligence officials said ISIS fighters managed to take control of two big weapons depots late last week holding some 400,000 items, including AK-47 rifles, rockets and rocket-propelled grenades, artillery shells and mortars. A quarter of the stockpiles were quickly sent to Syria in order to help the group’s comrades there, they said.

Also last week, according to a report from the West Point Combating Terrorism Center, the ISIS “now possesses scores of Iraqi military equipment originally provided by the United States, from Humvees and cargo vehicles to small arms.”

And then there is this news:

A laptop reportedly recovered from an Islamic State jihadist contained a hidden trove of secret plans, including weaponizing the bubonic plague, and lessons on disguise, bomb-making and stealing cars.

A man identified by ForeignPolicy.com as Abu Ali, a commander of a moderate Syrian rebel group in northern Syria, told the publication the black laptop was seized earlier this year in a raid on an ISIS hideout in the Syrian province of Idlib, close to the border with Turkey, and belonged to a Tunisian jihadist.

“We found the laptop and the power cord in a room,” Ali told ForeignPolicy.com. “I took it with me.”

Initially, it appeared the computer had been scrubbed, but on closer inspection, thousands of secret files were discovered on the hard drive, which was not password protected, Ali said.

[…]ForeignPolicy.com was permitted to copy of thousands of files, which were in French, English, and Arabic. The information included videos of Usama bin Laden, ideological justifications for jihad and tutorials on how to carry out the Islamic State’s deadly campaigns.

[…]Foreign Policy verified that the computer’s owner had indeed attended a Tunisian university and studied chemistry and physics there until some time in 2011.

This is serious stuff, and pulling out of the war zone where this ISIS group is now ascendent was Obama’s decision. You can’t just “end” a war with Islamic terrorists by retreating, you have to stay and finish the job.

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Judge orders DOJ to release Fast and Furious documents blocked by Obama

Katie Pavlich reports on it for Townhall.com.

Excerpt:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

“This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal,” Judicial Watch released in a statement.

The FOIA lawsuit has been ongoing for 16-months and is now proceeding after a lengthy delay. The Justice Department originally asked the court for an indefinite hold on a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, citing executive privilege and an ongoing investigation. That indefinite hold request was shot down more than a year ago.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

Unfortunately, this is coming too late for Obama’s 2012 re-election contest, and the mainstream media is unlikely to report it, just like they failed to report the IRS scandal. But if we all share this story, it will help people to realize how lawless and corrupt this administration really is. It’s gangster government, as Michele Bachmann said. The crooks are in charge.

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Democrats try to block whistleblower’s Fast and Furious expose

Fox News reports on the latest Democrat cover-up scandal. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting “because it would have a negative impact on morale,” according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.

After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010. Two guns found at the murder scene were sold through the ATF operation.

Dodson’s book, titled “The Unarmed Truth,” provides the first inside account of how the federal government permitted and helped sell some 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels, despite evidence the guns killed innocent people.

Dodson, who is working with publisher Simon & Schuster, submitted his manuscript to the department for review, per federal rules. However, it was denied.

Greg Serres, an ATF ethics official, told Dodson that any of his supervisors at any level could disapprove outside employment “for any reason.”

[…]Dodson says “The Unarmed Truth” will come out in January, with or without the ATF’s permission.

I hope this book sells a lot of copies.

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19 facts about illegal immigration

From Doug Ross’ blog.

Excerpt: (links to mainstream sources removed)

The following are 19 very disturbing facts about illegal immigration that every American should know…

#157 percent of all households that are led by an immigrant (legal or illegal) are enrolled in at least one welfare program.

#2 According to one study, the cost to U.S. taxpayers of legalizing current illegal immigrants would be approximately 6.3 trillion dollars over the next 50 years.

#3 The Obama administration has distributed flyers that tell illegal immigrants that their immigration status will not be checked when they apply for food stamps.

#4 The Department of Homeland Security says that it has lost track of a million people that have entered this country but that appear never to have left.

#5One out of every five children living in Los Angeles County has a parent that is in the country illegally.

#6 In one recent year, taxpayers in Los Angeles County spent 600 million dollars on welfare for children of illegal immigrants.

#7 Thanks to illegal immigration, California’s overstretched health care system is on the verge of collapse. Dozens of California hospitals and emergency rooms have shut down over the past decade because they could not afford to stay open after being endlessly swamped by illegal immigrants who were simply not able to pay for the services that they were receiving. As a result, the remainder of the health care system in the state of California is now beyond overloaded. This had led to brutally long waits, diverted ambulances and even unnecessary patient deaths. At this point, the state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

#8 It has been estimated that U.S. taxpayers spend $12,000,000,000 a year on primary and secondary school education for the children of illegal immigrants.

#9 It is estimated that illegal aliens make up approximately 30 percent of the population in federal, state and local prisons and that the total cost of incarcerating them is more than $1.6 billion annually.

#10 The federal government actually has a website that teaches immigrants how to sign up for welfare programsonce they arrive in the United States.

#11 The Obama administration recently introduced the very first “unmanned” border station along the Texas-Mexico border.

#12 The Obama administration has sued individual states such as Arizona that have tried to crack down on illegal immigration.

#13 According to the FBI, there are approximately 1.4 million gang members living in our cities. Illegal immigration has been one of the primary factors that has fueled the growth of these gangs.

#14 As I have written about previously, there are only about 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit to handle the estimated 100,000 gang members living in the city.

#15 Mexican drug cartels make approximately 6.6 billion dollars a year “exporting” illegal drugs to the United States.

#16 It is an open secret that Mexican drug cartels are openly conducting military operations inside the United States. The handful of border patrol agents that we have guarding the border are massively outgunned and outmanned.

#17 According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican drug cartels were actively operating in 50 different U.S. cities in 2006. By 2010, that number had skyrocketed to 1,286.

#18 Overall, more than 55,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006. That same level of violence will eventually show up in major U.S. cities unless something dramatic is done about illegal immigration.

#19 It is being projected that the Senate immigration bill will bring 33 million more people to the United States over the next decade.

Please click through to Doug’s blog post to get the links if any of these surprise you. They shouldn’t.

As always, I am in favor of increasing legal immigration by skilled immigrants. But illegal immigration is something else entirely. It is infuriating to me that the costs for all of this Democrat “generosity” to law-breaking illegal immigrants is going to be paid for by our children, who are on the hook for a $17 trillion national debt. Not only that, but it’s the poorest of the poor who have to face the problem of the drug cartels and pay the costs for the schools, hospitals and social programs that support illegal immigration.

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