Russia ‘moves troops, helicopters and armoured vehicles’ to its border with North Korea
‘New weapons’ displayed during military parade in North Korea to celebrate Kim Il SungA symphony orchestra played as one of Kim’s missiles hurtled into the US and revealed a smouldering Stars and Stripes flag.
Military figures watched on gleefully as uniformed troops from the Korean State Merited Chorus belted out a series of tuneless numbers.
And in a verse unlikely to make its way onto Broadway any time soon, one warbled: “Our proud Hwasong rocket blasts off” and “it flies as quickly as a flash of lightning to challenge imperialism”.
Others played trumpets as the 90s-style film saw a ballistic missile roar into America.
Accompanying it are the words: “If US imperialists move an inch toward us, we will immediately hit them with nukes.”
The bizarre video was played at the 105th birthday celebration of Kim’s late grandfather Kim Il-Sung at the weekend.
His regime had earlier that day put on a huge military procession to show off the country’s ballistic missile arsenal.
North Korea propaganda video shows US aircraft carrier being blown up
Story 2: Obama’s Iran Nuclear Agreement Legacy Heading Towards The Wastebasket? No. Certification Granted and Sanctions Suspended — All Talk–No Action — Bad Appeasement Deal Stands — Videos —
The Iran Nuclear Deal
How the Iran nuclear deal works, explained in 3 minutes
Iran and the Bomb
Published on May 12, 2014
Many countries have nuclear weapons, and many more want them. Only one, though, has its neighbors and the world terrified. That country is Iran. Why is everyone so concerned? Because the Islamic theocracy has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel, sponsors global terrorism, and would leverage the deterrence effect of a nuclear weapon to advance their anti-Western and anti-American interests. Bret Stephens, foreign affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal explains the one thing you really need to know in order to understand why we can’t let Iran get the bomb–they may actually use it.
The Iran Nuclear Deal Explained
The Iran Nuclear Deal Explained
Donald Trump on Iran Nuclear Agreement (C-SPAN)
Trump on Iran: ‘They will know I am not playing games’
Donald Trump on nuke deal: They are laughing at us in Iran
Sec. Rex Tillerson Warns ‘Unchecked’ Iran Could Follow Path Of North Korea | NBC Nightly News
Trump administration certifies Iran compliant with nuclear deal – donald trump news
Tillerson announces NSC will review the Iran nuclear deal
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Iran could be the next North Korea
Tillerson Threatens Iran: ‘The Great Destabilizer’?
Trump Shies Away From Striking Down Obama Era Iran Deal: Why It Doesn’t Matter
What’s In The Iran Nuclear Deal?
Implementation of the JCPOA: Is It Working?
Tillerson Toughens Tone on Iran After U.S. Confirms Nuclear Deal Compliance
By GARDINER HARRIS APRIL 19, 2017
President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. During the 2016 campaign, he denounced the nuclear agreement with Iran as “the worst deal ever.”CreditAl Drago/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson described a landmark Iran nuclear deal as a failure on Wednesday, only hours after the State Department said Tehran was complying with its terms. But the top United States diplomat stopped short of threatening to jettison the 2015 agreement that was brokered by world powers, or saying whether the Trump administration would punish Iran with new sanctions.
The whiplash left Republicans on Capitol Hill, who had universally excoriated the agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program and voted against its implementation, uncertain of how to respond. Its architects, however, said they were cautiously optimistic that the deal would stay in place.
The nuclear deal “fails to achieve the objective of a non-nuclear Iran,” Mr. Tillerson said. “It only delays their goal of becoming a nuclear state.”
He said that Iran continued to threaten the United States and the rest of the world, and he announced that the Trump administration was reviewing ways to counter challenges posed by Tehran.
It was an attempt to clarify a State Department certification, issued shortly before a midnight deadline on Tuesday, that said Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement that also eased crippling international sanctions against the Islamic republic’s economy. During the 2016 campaign, President Trump denounced the agreement as “the worst deal ever,” and Vice President Pence promised to rip it up.
In a hastily called news conference at the State Department on Wednesday, Mr. Tillerson likened Iran to North Korea, whose nuclear weaponry and burgeoning missile technology is what the administration now believes is the gravest risk to world peace and security. Mr. Pence visited Seoul, South Korea, this week to declare that the United States was united with its allies to stem North Korea’s threat.
The Iran deal “represents the same failed approach to the past that brought us to the current imminent threat that we face from North Korea,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters. “The Trump administration has no intention of passing the buck to a future administration on Iran. The evidence is clear: Iran’s provocative actions threaten the United States, the region and the world.”
Once the National Security Council completes a review of the nuclear deal, Mr. Tillerson said, “we will meet the challenges Iran poses with clarity and conviction.”
Hours earlier, late on Tuesday night, Mr. Tillerson sent a terse letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan pledging to evaluate whether earlier suspension of sanctions against Iran, as required under the terms of the nuclear agreement, “is vital to the national security interests of the United States.”
A man of few words, Mr. Tillerson has sometimes found that his cryptic remarks create more confusion than clarity among allies, friends and even adversaries. Earlier on Wednesday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, offered little additional information about the Iran certification. He refused to say whether the Trump administration would add the Iran deal to a series of other stunning foreign policy reversals it has made by deciding to retain it instead of ripping it up or renegotiating the agreement as promised.
“I think part of the review, the interagency process, is to determine where Iran is in compliance with the deal and to make recommendations to the president on the path forward,” Mr. Spicer said.
The enigmatic remarks left top Republicans on Capitol Hill nonplused. Senator Tom Cotton, the Arkansas Republican who led congressional opposition to the Iran deal, said in a statement that the administration’s “certification is shaky, and it doesn’t mean that the intentions behind Iran’s nuclear program are benign.”
Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the Trump administration appeared to be preparing a tougher line against Iran.
“Secretary Tillerson made clear that regardless of Iran’s technical compliance with the nuclear deal, the administration is under no illusion about the continued threat from Tehran and is prepared to work closely with Congress to push back,” Mr. Corker said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s certification extends sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for continued constraints on its nuclear program. American sanctions, as approved by Congress, were suspended instead of revoked; they can be reimposed with the stroke of a presidential pen.
The Trump administration has given itself 90 days to complete its review, but it will need to make a series of decisions in coming weeks about whether to continue its support of the deal, which was also brokered with Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. Those governments, along with representatives of the United States and Iran, will meet next week in Vienna to review the pact’s progress.
Mr. Trump faces a mid-May deadline, as imposed by Congress, to decide whether to continue the suspension of sanctions.
Backing away from the agreement would spur enormous consternation across Europe and in Moscow.
In their first congratulatory phone calls to Mr. Trump after his electoral victory, both President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany emphasized the need to keep the Iran deal in place. And after her first meeting with Mr. Tillerson in February, Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign minister, said the Trump administration pledged “to stick to the full strict implementation of the agreement in all its parts.”
Analysts and former government officials said it was unlikely the Trump administration would renounce the Iran agreement.
“I’m glad this deal has held up to this point, and I hope it continues to hold up,” said Wendy Sherman, a former under secretary of state who was deeply involved in negotiating terms of the deal during the Obama administration.
Robert Einhorn, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was involved in Iran policy under President Barack Obama, said it was “pretty much a foregone conclusion” that Mr. Trump would keep the nuclear agreement in place.
Still, the administration has sought since its first days in office to ratchet up pressure on Iran. In January, before he resigned, Michael T. Flynn, then the national security adviser, walked into the White House briefing room and declared that the administration was “officially putting Iran on notice” after it launched a ballistic missile.
The Trump administration has returned the United States to closer ties with its traditional Arab friends in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Part of those ties means supporting those nations, which are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, in their intense rivalry with Iran, a Shiite power.
By contrast, by the end of his second term, Mr. Obama had begun to view those sectarian tensions with a jaundiced eye, believing the United States should not intervene in a millennium-old religious struggle.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Tillerson attended a United States-Saudi Arabia chief executive summit meeting where he declared that he was “pleased to be here today to reaffirm the very strong partnership that exists between the United States and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a group that sought to defeat the Iran deal, said the administration may still walk away from the agreement or renegotiate it. He contended that the administration “should not be bound by arms control agreements that are deeply flawed.”
And even Ms. Sherman shied away from predicting it will remain in place. “I’m taking this one day at a time,” she said.
Formal negotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program began with the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in November 2013. For the next twenty months, Iran and the P5+1 countries engaged in negotiations, and in April 2015 agreed on an Iran nuclear deal framework for the final agreement and in July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 agreed on the plan.
Under the agreement, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its gas centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time. Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks. To monitor and verify Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities. The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related economic sanctions.
In 1979, the Iranian Revolution took place, and Iran’s nuclear program, which had developed some baseline capacity, fell to disarray as “much of Iran’s nuclear talent fled the country in the wake of the Revolution.” Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was initially opposed to nuclear technology; and Iran engaged in a costly war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988.
Starting in the later 1980s, Iran restarted its nuclear program, with assistance from Pakistan (which entered into a bilateral agreement with Iran in 1992), China (which did the same in 1990), and Russia (which did the same in 1992 and 1995), and from the A.Q. Khan network. Iran “began pursuing an indigenous nuclear fuel cycle capability by developing a uranium mining infrastructure and experimenting with uranium conversion and enrichment.” According to the nonpartisan Nuclear Threat Initiative, “U.S. intelligence agencies have long suspected Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover for clandestine weapons development.” Iran, in contrast, “has always insisted that its nuclear work is peaceful”.
In August 2002, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran, an Iranian dissident group, publicly revealed the existence of two undeclared nuclear facilities, the Arak heavy-water production facility and the Natanz enrichment facility. In February 2003, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami acknowledged the existence of the facilities and asserted that Iran had undertaken “small-scale enrichment experiments” to produce low-enriched uranium for nuclear power plants. In late February, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors visited Natanz. In May 2003, Iran allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the Kalaye Electric Company, but refused to allow them to take samples, and an IAEA report the following month concluded that Iran had failed to meet its obligations under the previous agreement.
In June 2003, Iran—faced with the prospect of being referred to the UN Security Council—entered into diplomatic negotiations with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (the EU 3). The United States refused to be involved in these negotiations. In October 2003, the Tehran Declaration was reached between Iran and the EU 3; under this declaration Iran agreed to cooperate fully with the IAEA, sign the Additional Protocol, and temporarily suspend all uranium enrichment. In September and October 2003, the IAEA conducted several facility inspections. This was followed by the Paris Agreement in November 2004, in which Iran agreed to temporarily suspend enrichment and conversion activities, “including the manufacture, installation, testing, and operation of centrifuges, and committed to working with the EU-3 to find a mutually beneficial long-term diplomatic solution”.
In August 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-liner, was elected president of Iran. He accused Iranian negotiators who had negotiated the Paris Accords of treason. Over the next two months, the EU 3 agreement fell apart as talks over the EU 3’s proposed Long Term Agreement broke down; the Iranian government “felt that the proposal was heavy on demands, light on incentives, did not incorporate Iran’s proposals, and violated the Paris Agreement”. Iran notified the IAEA that it would resume uranium conversion at Esfahan.
In February 2006, Iran ended its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol and resumed enrichment at Natanz, prompting the IAEA Board of Governors to refer Iran to the UN Security Council. After the vote, Iran announced it would resume enrichment of uranium. In April 2006, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had nuclear technology, but stated that it was purely for power generation and not for producing weapons. In June 2006, the EU 3 joined China, Russia, and the United States, to form the P5+1. The following month, July 2006, the UN Security Council passed its first resolution demanding Iran stop uranium enrichment and processing.Altogether, from 2006 to 2010, the UN Security Council subsequently adopted six resolutions concerning Iran’s nuclear program: 1696 (July 2006), 1737 (December 2006), 1747 (March 2007), 1803 (March 2008), 1835 (September 2008), and 1929 (June 2010). The legal authority for the IAEA Board of Governors referral and the Security Council resolutions was derived from the IAEA Statute and the United Nations Charter. The resolutions demanded that Iran cease enrichment activities and imposed sanctions on Iran, including bans on the transfer of nuclear and missile technology to the country and freezes on the assets of certain Iranian individuals and entities, in order to pressure the country. However, in Resolution 1803 and elsewhere the Security Council also acknowledged Iran’s rights under Article IV of the NPT, which provides for “the inalienable right … to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes”.[b]
In July 2006, Iran opened the Arak heavy water production plant, which led to one of the Security Council resolutions. In September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama, revealed the existence of an underground enrichment facility in Fordow, near Qom saying, “Iran’s decision to build yet another nuclear facility without notifying the IAEA represents a direct challenge to the basic compact at the center of the non-proliferation regime.” Israel threatened to take military action against Iran.
In a February 2007 interview with the Financial Times, IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei said that military action against Iran “would be catastrophic, counterproductive” and called for negotiations between the international community and Iran over the Iranian nuclear program. ElBaradei specifically proposed a “double, simultaneous suspension, a time out” as “a confidence-building measure”, under which the international sanctions would be suspended and Iran would suspend enrichment. ElBaradei also said, “if I look at it from a weapons perspective there are much more important issues to me than the suspension of [enrichment],” naming his top priorities as preventing Iran from “go[ing] to industrial capacity until the issues are settled”; building confidence, with “full inspection” involving Iranian adoption of the Additional Protocol; and “at all costs” preventing Iran from “moving out of the [treaty-based non-proliferation] system”.
A November 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Iran “halted its nuclear weapons program” in 2003; that estimate and subsequent U.S. Intelligence Community statements also assessed that the Iranian government at the time had was “keeping open the ‘option’ to develop nuclear weapons” in the future. A July 2015 Congressional Research Service report said, “statements from the U.S. intelligence community indicate that Iran has the technological and industrial capacity to produce nuclear weapons at some point, but the U.S. government assesses that Tehran has not mastered all of the necessary technologies for building a nuclear weapon.”
In March 2013, the United States began a series of secret bilateral talks with Iranian officials in Oman, led by William Joseph Burns and Jake Sullivan on the American side and Ali Asghar Khaji on the Iranian side. In June 2013, Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran. Rouhani has been described as “more moderate, pragmatic and willing to negotiate than Ahmadinejad”. However, in a 2006 nuclear negotiation with European powers, Rouhani said that Iran had used the negotiations to dupe the Europeans, saying that during the negotiations, Iran managed to master the conversion of uranium yellowcake at Isfahan. The conversion of yellowcake is an important step in the nuclear fuel process. In August 2013, three days after his inauguration, Rouhani called for a resumption of serious negotiations with the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear program. In September 2013, Obama and Rouhani had a telephone conversation, the first high-level contact between U.S. and Iranian leaders since 1979, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, signaling that the two countries had an opening to cooperation.
After several rounds of negotiations, on 24 November 2013, the Joint Plan of Action, an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, was signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in Geneva, Switzerland. It consisted of a short-term freeze of portions of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for decreased economic sanctions on Iran, as the countries work towards a long-term agreement. The IAEA began “more intrusive and frequent inspections” under this interim agreement. The agreement was formally activated on 20 January 2014. On that day, the IAEA issued a report stating that Iran was adhering to the terms of the interim agreement, including stopping enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, beginning the dilution process (to reduce half of the stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to 3.5 percent), and halting work on the Arak heavy-water reactor.
The agreement between the P5+1+EU and Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the culmination of 20 months of “arduous” negotiations.
The agreement followed the Joint Plan of Action (JPA), an interim agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran that was agreed to on 24 November 2013 at Geneva. The Geneva agreement was an interim deal, in which Iran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some sanctions. This went into effect on 20 January 2014. The parties agreed to extend their talks with a first extension deadline on 24 November 2014 and a second extension deadline set to 1 July 2015.
An Iran nuclear deal framework was reached on 2 April 2015. Under this framework Iran agreed tentatively to accept restrictions on its nuclear program, all of which would last for at least a decade and some longer, and to submit to an increased intensity of international inspections under a framework deal. These details were to be negotiated by the end of June 2015. The negotiations toward a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action were extended several times until the final agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was finally reached on 14 July 2015. The JCPOA is based on the framework agreement from three months earlier.
Subsequently the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 continued. In April 2014, a framework deal was reached at Lausanne. Intense marathon negotiations then continued, with the last session in Vienna at the Palais Coburg lasting for seventeen days. At several points, negotiations appeared to be at risk of breaking down, but negotiators managed to come to agreement. As the negotiators neared a deal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry directly asked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to confirm that he was “authorized to actually make a deal, not just by the [Iranian] president, but by the supreme leader?” Zarif gave assurances that he was.
Ultimately, on 14 July 2015, all parties agreed to a landmark comprehensive nuclear agreement. At the time of the announcement, shortly before 11:00 GMT, the agreement was released to the public.
The final agreement’s complexity shows the impact of a public letter written by a bipartisan group of 19 U.S. diplomats, experts, and others in June 2015, written when negotiations were still going on. That letter outlined concerns about the several provisions in the then-unfinished agreement and called for a number of improvements to strengthen the prospective agreement and win their support for it. After the final agreement was reached, one of the signatories, Robert J. Einhorn, a former U.S. Department of State official now at the Brookings Institution, said of the agreement: “Analysts will be pleasantly surprised. The more things are agreed to, the less opportunity there is for implementation difficulties later on.”
The final agreement is based upon (and buttresses) “the rules-based nonproliferation regime created by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and including especially the IAEA safeguards system.”
Souvenir signatures of lead negotiators on the cover page of the JCPOA document. The Persian handwriting on top left side is a homage by Javad Zarif to his counterparts’ efforts in the negotiations: “[I am] Sincere to Mr. Abbas [Araghchi] and Mr. Majid [Takht-Ravanchi].”
Iran’s current stockpile of low-enriched uranium will be reduced by 98 percent, from 10,000 kg to 300 kg. This reduction will be maintained for fifteen years. For the same fifteen-year period, Iran will be limited to enriching uranium to 3.67%, a percentage sufficient for civilian nuclear power and research, but not for building a nuclear weapon.However, the number of centrifuges is sufficient for a nuclear weapon, but not for nuclear power. This is a “major decline” in Iran’s previous nuclear activity; prior to watering down its stockpile pursuant to the Joint Plan of Action interim agreement, Iran had enriched uranium to near 20% (medium-enriched uranium). These enriched uranium in excess of 300 kg of up to 3.67% will be down blended to natural uranium level or be sold in return for natural uranium, and the uranium enriched to between 5% and 20% will be fabricated into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor or sold or diluted to an enrichment level of 3.67%. The implementation of the commercial contracts will be facilitated by P5+1. After fifteen years, all physical limits on enrichment will be removed, including limits on the type and number of centrifuges, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, and where Iran may have enrichment facilities. According to Belfer, at this point Iran could “expand its nuclear program to create more practical overt and covert nuclear weapons options”.
For ten years, Iran will place over two-thirds of its centrifuges in storage, from its current stockpile of 19,000 centrifuges (of which 10,000 were operational) to no more than 6,104 operational centrifuges, with only 5,060 allowed to enrich uranium, with the enrichment capacity being limited to the Natanz plant. The centrifuges there must be IR-1 centrifuges, the first-generation centrifuge type which is Iran’s oldest and least efficient; Iran will give up its advanced IR-2M centrifuges in this period. The non-operating centrifuges will be stored in Natanz and monitored by IAEA, but may be used to replace failed centrifuges. Iran will not build any new uranium-enrichment facilities for fifteen years.
Iran may continue research and development work on enrichment, but that work will take place only at the Natanz facility and include certain limitations for the first eight years. This is intended to keep the country to a breakout time of one year.
Iran, with cooperation from the “Working Group” (the P5+1 and possibly other countries), will modernise and rebuild the Arak heavy water research reactor based on an agreed design to support its peaceful nuclear research and production needs and purposes, but in such a way to minimise the production of plutonium and not to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The power of the redesigned reactor will not exceed 20 MWth. The P5+1 parties will support and facilitate the timely and safe construction of the Arak complex. All spent fuel will be sent out of the country. All excess heavy water which is beyond Iran’s needs for the redesigned reactor will be made available for export to the international market based on international prices. In exchange, Iran received 130 tons of uranium in 2015 and in late 2016 was approved to receive 130 tons in 2017. For 15 years, Iran will not engage in, or research on, spent fuel reprocessing. Iran will also not build any additional heavy-water reactors or accumulate heavy water for fifteen years.
Iran’s Fordow facility will stop enriching uranium and researching uranium enrichment for at least fifteen years; the facility will be converted into a nuclear physics and technology center. For 15 years, Fordow will maintain no more than 1,044 IR-1 centrifuges in six cascades in one wing of Fordow. “Two of those six cascades will spin without uranium and will be transitioned, including through appropriate infrastructure modification,” for stable radioisotope production for medical, agricultural, industrial, and scientific use. “The other four cascades with all associated infrastructure will remain idle.” Iran will not be permitted to have any fissile material in Fordow.
Iran will implement an Additional Protocol agreement which will continue in perpetuity for as long as Iran remains a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The signing of the Additional Protocol represents a continuation of the monitoring and verification provisions “long after the comprehensive agreement between the P5+1 and Iran is implemented”.
A comprehensive inspections regime will be implemented in order to monitor and confirm that Iran is complying with its obligations and is not diverting any fissile material.[c]
The IAEA will have multilayered oversight “over Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, from uranium mills to its procurement of nuclear-related technologies“. For declared nuclear sites such as Fordow and Natanz, the IAEA will have “round-the-clock access” to nuclear facilities and will be entitled to maintain continuous monitoring (including via surveillance equipment) at such sites. The agreement authorizes the IAEA to make use of sophisticated monitoring technology, such as fiber-optic seals on equipment that can electronically send information to the IAEA; infrared satellite imagery to detect covert sites, “environmental sensors that can detect minute signs of nuclear particles”; tamper-resistant, radiation-resistant cameras. Other tools include computerized accounting programs to gather information and detect anomalies, and big data sets on Iranian imports, to monitor dual-use items.
The number of IAEA inspectors assigned to Iran will triple, from 50 to 150 inspectors.
If IAEA inspectors have concerns that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities at any non-declared sites, they may request access “to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with” the agreement, informing Iran of the basis for their concerns. The inspectors would only come from countries with which Iran has diplomatic relations. Iran may admit the inspectors to such site or propose alternatives to inspection that might satisfy the IAEA’s concerns. If such an agreement cannot be reached, a process running to a maximum of 24 days is triggered. Under this process, Iran and the IAEA have 14 days to resolve disagreements among themselves. If they fail to, the Joint Commission (including all eight parties) would have one week in which to consider the intelligence which initiated the IAEA request. A majority of the Commission (at least five of the eight members) could then inform Iran of the action that it would be required to take within three more days. The majority rule provision “means the United States and its European allies—Britain, France, Germany and the EU—could insist on access or any other steps and that Iran, Russia or China could not veto them”. If Iran did not comply with the decision within three days, sanctions would be automatically reimposed under the snapback provision (see below).
As a result of the above, the “breakout time”—the time in which it would be possible for Iran to make enough material for a single nuclear weapon—will increase from two to three months to one year, according to U.S. officials and U.S. intelligence.[d] An August 2015 report published by a group of experts at Harvard University‘s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs concurs in these estimates, writing that under the JCPOA, “over the next decade would be extended to roughly a year, from the current estimated breakout time of 2 to 3 months”. The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation also accepts these estimates. By contrast, Alan J. Kuperman, coordinator of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas at Austin, disputed the one-year assessment, arguing that under the agreement, Iran’s breakout time “would be only about three months, not much longer than it is today”.
The longer breakout time would be in place for at least ten years; after that point, the breakout time would gradually decrease. By the fifteenth year, U.S. officials state that the breakout time would return to the pre-JCPOA status quo of a few months. The Belfer Center report states: “Some contributors to this report believe that breakout time by year 15 could be comparable to what it is today—a few months—while others believe it could be reduced to a few weeks.”
Reuters reported that exemptions were granted to Iran prior to January 16, 2016. The reported purpose of the exemptions was so that sanctions relief and other benefits could start by that date, instead of Iran being in violation. The exemptions included: (a) Iran able to exceed the 300 Kg of 3.5% LEU limit in the agreement; (b) Iran able to exceed the zero Kg of 20% LEU limit in the agreement; (c) Iran to keep operating 19 “hot cells” that exceed the size limit in the agreement; (d) Iran to maintain control of 50 tonnes of heavy water that exceed the 130 tonne limit in the agreement by storing the excess at an Iran-controlled facility in Oman. In December 2016, the IAEA published decisions of the Joint Commission that spell out these clarifications of the JCPOA.
Eight years into the agreement, EU sanctions against a number of Iranian companies, individuals and institutions (such as the Revolutionary Guards) will be lifted.
The United States will “cease” application of its nuclear-related secondary sanctions by presidential action or executive waiver.Secondary sanctions are those that sanction other countries for doing business with Iran. Primary U.S. sanctions, which prohibit U.S. firms from conducting commercial transactions with few exceptions, are not altered by the JCPOA.
This step is not tied to any specific date, but is expected to occur “roughly in the first half of 2016”.
However, all U.S. sanctions against Iran related to alleged human rights abuses, missiles, and support for terrorism are not affected by the agreement and will remain in place. U.S. sanctions are viewed as more stringent, since many have extraterritorial effect (i.e., they apply worldwide). EU sanctions, by contrast, apply only in Europe.
No new UN or EU nuclear-related sanctions or restrictive measures will be imposed.
If Iran violates the agreement, any of the P5+1 can invoke a “snap back” provision, under which the sanctions “snap back” into place (i.e., are reimplemented).
Specifically, the JCPOA establishes the following dispute resolution process: if a party to the JCPOA has reason to believe that another party is not upholding its commitments under the agreement, then the complaining party may refer its complaint to the Joint Commission, a body created under the JCPOA to monitor implementation. If a complaint made by a non-Iran party is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complaining party within thirty-five days of referral, then that party could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under the JCPOA, notify the United Nations Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance, or both. The Security Council would then have thirty days to adopt a resolution to continue the lifting of sanctions. If such a resolution is not adopted within those thirty days, then the sanctions of all of the pre-JCPOA nuclear-related UN Security Council resolutions would automatically be re-imposed. Iran has stated that in such a case, it would cease performing its nuclear obligations under the deal. The effect of this rule is that any permanent member of the Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France) can veto any ongoing sanctions relief, but no member can veto the re-imposition of sanctions.
Snapback sanctions “would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application, provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with this JCPOA and the previous and current UN Security Council resolutions”.
Ankit Panda of The Diplomat states that this will make impossible any scenario where Iran is non-compliant with the JCPOA yet escapes re-imposition of sanctions. Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (which opposes the agreement) argues, however, that because the JCPOA provides that Iran could treat reinstatement of sanctions (in part or entirely) as grounds for leaving the agreement, the United States would be reluctant to impose a “snapback” for smaller violations: “The only thing you’ll take to the Security Council are massive Iranian violations, because you’re certainly not going to risk the Iranians walking away from the deal and engaging in nuclear escalation over smaller violations.”
Pictured here, Iranian foreign affairs minister and U.S. secretary of state shaking hands at the end of negotiations on 14 July 2015, Vienna. They shook hands on 26 September 2013 in the United Nations Headquarters for the first time.
Story 3: Radical Islamic Terrorist Attack In Paris, France Target Police One Officer Killed and One Wounded and One Shooter Killed and One Escaped — Videos —
One Officer Killed, One Wounded In Paris Shooting | NBC News
Trump Says Paris Shooting Looks Like Terror Attack
BREAKING Paris ISLAMIC Terrorist with Machine Gun kills police officer 2nd hurt April 20 2017 News
BREAKING!!! TERROR ATTACK IN PARIS!!!
Paris shooting ‘looks like another terrorist attack’ Trump says: ‘It just never ends’
The U.S. president addressed the assault on two police officers at a news conference Thursday afternoon in the White House’s East Room
French police say the incident involving at least two gunman was probably a ‘terrorist act’
‘We have to be strong, and we have to be vigilant, and I’ve been saying it for a long time,’ Trump said
By Francesca Chambers, White House Correspondent For Dailymail.com
PUBLISHED: 16:23 EDT, 20 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:26 EDT, 20 April 2017
President Donald Trump says a shooting in Paris today ‘looks like another terrorist attack.’
The U.S. president addressed the assault on two police officers at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
‘It just never ends,’ he said of the terror threat from the White House’s East Room.
French police say the incident involving at least two gunman was probably a ‘terrorist act.’
President Donald Trump says a shooting in Paris today ‘looks like another terrorist attack.’
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said just before the news conference began that Trump had been briefed on the shooting that happened while he was meeting with the Italian prime minister.
‘Condolences from our country to the people for France again. It’s happening it seems,’ Trump said from the podium. ‘I just saw it as I was walking in, so it’s a terrible thing and it’s a very, very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today.’
Trump did not comment on the assault at the top of his remarks but said after he was asked for a reaction, ‘It looks like another terrorist attack, and what can you say? It just never ends.
‘We have to be strong, and we have to be vigilant, and I’ve been saying it for a long time,’ Trump told Fox News’ John Roberts.
France is in the process of holding a national election. The first round of voting begins on April 23.
A gunman wielding an AK-47 killed one police officer and wounded another today on the Champs-Elysees. The assailant was killed in the showdown with police, Paris police have said. Another suspect is believed to have been involved, as well.
Police just two days ago arrested two men in southern Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the first-round of the presidential election on Sunday.
France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015 and have killed over 230 people.
Thousands of troops and armed police have been deployed to guard tourist hotspots such as the Champs Elysees or other potential targets like government buildings and religious sites.
‘Stay back, stay back!’ Police warn after shooting in Paris
Police closed off the popular avenue (pictured) after a policeman was killed during a shooting incident in the French capital
A French police officer was tonight shot dead on the Champs Elysees in Paris (pictured) – just as presidential candidates took part in a TV debate nearby
Up until now, polls showed voters more concerned about unemployment and their spending power than terrorism or security, though analysts warned this would change in the event of further bloodshed.
For weeks, centrist Emanuel Macron and National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen have been out in front.
Scandal-plagued conservative Francois Fillon and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon have closed the gap substantially in the last two weeks.
Opinion polls now show there is a chance that any of the four leading candidates could reach the second-round run-off on May 7 if none of them reach a majority in this weekend’s election.
Footage potentially show s the moments after the Paris shootingPolice say the suspect was from an eastern Paris in suburb, despite ISIS naming him as a Belgian national on their Amaq news agency.
He is thought to have been known to security services for “extremist links”.
The shooter’s house in an eastern Paris suburb and other addresses are being searched by officers, a source told Reuters.
Inside the horrifying Belarus orphanages where starving kids look like ‘Nazi camp victims’
Cops have said they are hunting a second suspect who may or may not be involved in the incident.
Local police advised people to avoid the area after shots were fired at around 9pm local time.
Witnesses said the attacker pulled up beside a stationery police car and fired through the window.
“He parked just behind the van and he got out with a Kalashnikov and I heard six gunshots,” a witness named Chelloug said.
“I thought they were firecrackers, because we all looked around the road and there was no one.
“In fact, he was hidden behind the van and shooting at the police.
Eyewitness of the Paris shooting says he heard six gun shots between police and the gunman
Two French police officers killed by gunman in Paris ‘terror’ attack”I think he hit a policeman. As soon as the policeman opened the door of the van, he fell, I think.
“As soon as we saw that, we all ran back inside (a building). We hid and I went up to the first floor and we saw them (the policeman) shoot him (the perpetrator).”
He added: ” I was afraid. I have a two year-old girl and I thought I was going to die… He shot straight at the police officer.”
President Francois Hollande said officials are “convinced” the incident is a terror attack.
Paris Prosecutor’s anti-terror office has opened an inquiry.
Eyewitness of the Paris shooting says he heard six gun shots between police and the gunman
ISIS claims it was behind Paris police shootingYvan Assioma of the police union Alliance said: “The exact circumstances are still unclear but I can confirm the tragic death of one of our colleagues. Our thoughts are very much with the family.
“One or several attackers have been shot dead by the police. Some officers were hit but the bullets were stopped by their bulletproof vests, but two were hit.
“Nothing is being ruled out for the time being, terrorism or a criminal act.”
Champs-Elysees in Paris evacuated after two police officers shot dead
French police closes traffic on Champs Elysees after shootingA Government spokesperson said: “An automatic weapon was used against police, a weapon of war.
“The shooting started shortly after 9pm, when a car stopped alongside a stationary police car.
“A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding a police officer. He also wounded a second one, it would seem very seriously.”
The shooting happened near the Métro station Franklin D Roosevelt and the Marks and Spencer store on the Champs-Elysées.
It is one of the most famous streets in the world and a busy tourist hub.
Armed police and emergency services have been spotted at the scene.
Armed officers tak e position behind a kiosk on the Champs ElyséesFrance’s President Francois Hollande has scheduled an emergency meeting following the shootings.
French Presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Francois Fill0n have cancelled their trips tomorrow.
The shooting comes just just days ahead of France’s presidential election.
On Tuesday, days after police arrested two men in southern Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the first-round of the presidential election on Sunday.
Policeman shot dead and ‘two seriously injured’ on Champs-Élysé, Paris
Police officers evacuate people off the Champs Elysees after ‘terror attack’France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed over 230 people.
The UK Foreign Office said: “The British Embassy is in contact with local authorities and urgently seeking further information following reports of a shooting incident on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
“You should remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local security authorities and/or your tour operator.
“If you’re in the area and it is safe to do so, contact your friends and family to tell them you are safe.”
Story 4: Republicans Return Repeal Replace Obamacare — Compromise Should Pass House by April 28, 2017 Videos —
House Republicans Close To Obamacare Repeal
Published on Apr 20, 2017
House Freedom Caucus and moderate Republicans are edging closer to a deal on repealing Obamacare. The agreement, brokered by House Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), would allow states to eliminate Obamacare’s community rating system, a rule that prohibits health insurers from pricing health care plans based on age, gender, or health status. States that repeal Obamacare’s community rating rules would have to join a federal high-risk pool or establish a local high-risk pool to obtain the waiver.
Ryan Claims GOP Healthcare Bill Still Alive
Reviving Obamacare repeal and replace efforts an uphill battle for GOP?
Andy Puzder on Trump’s renewed push to repeal, replace ObamaCare
It’s going to be nearly impossible for Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare next week
The developing plan from House Republicans to push forward their overhaul of the US healthcare system has one big problem: timing.
A new amendment leaked Wednesday night appears to be a compromise between the leaders of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and moderate Tuesday Group that could produce some movement on the bill in that timeframe.
But Congress faces another looming deadline by April 28: funding the federal government. If no new funding bill is passed by next Friday, parts of the federal government will shut down.
Washington is not known for multitasking, and it could be difficult to get a funding bill passed as the White House and lawmakers push to add policy proposals to the funding bill. Given the political ramifications of the issue, the shutdown fight could consume the calendar.
According to Politico, the White House and Congress are considering passage of a one-week extension on funding in order to hash out a more considered funding bill and possibly give the House time to take up the AHCA, which became colloquially known as “Trumpcare.”
Barring such an extension, however, it would be highly unlikely that the American Health Care Act moves forward before Trump’s 100th day in the Oval Office.
The full text of the proposed amendment, obtained by Politico’s Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, states that the waiver would be granted by the federal government if the state can prove that it has an alternative to “reduce premium costs, increase the number of persons with healthcare coverage, or advance another benefit to the public interest in the state.”
Essential health benefits require insurers to cover a baseline of health procedures such as prenatal care and emergency room visits. Community rating means that insurers must charge people living in the same area the same price for insurance regardless of things such as age, gender, or preexisting conditions.
“The gist of this is that federal protections for pre-existing conditions and required benefits remain…unless a state doesn’t want them to,” tweeted Larry Levitt, senior vice president at health policy think thank The Kaiser Family Foundation on Thursday.
However, this means that the Trump administration, most likely Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, would have final say on whether or not a waiver is granted.
While the deal was reportedly reached by conservative House Freedom Caucus chair Rep. Mark Meadows and moderate Tuesday Group chair Rep. Tom MacArthur, it also bears similarities to a previous deal that drew the ire of moderates for going too far in pulling back protections.
Additionally, it does not address the concerns of moderates such as the defunding of Medicaid expansion or the estimates that the Affordable Health Care Act could leave up to 24 million fewer people without health coverage over the next 10 years.
The Washington Post’s Robert Costa reported after the amendment’s outline was leaked that the GOP leadership is planning to release the exact language for the amendment later on Thursday and are targeting Wednesday for a vote on the revised bill, but that could change.
The amendment comes the day after reports that the White House was pushing for a deal to be completed by the end of next week in order to show progress during Trump’s first 100 days as president. Additionally, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in London on Wednesday that the GOP was putting the “finishing touches” on an Obamacare deal.
Passing the AHCA, even with the proposed changes, would be difficult in the short-term as Congress must also pass a bill to fund the federal government before parts of it shut down on April 28.
Mnuchin: Most significant tax code change since Reagan 9 Hours Ago | 01:19
The Trump administration is close to bringing forward “major tax reform,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday, days after he tempered expectations for how quickly it will pass.
Mnuchin, who this week backed off of his earlier goal of passing tax reform by August, said the White House will unveil a plan “very soon.” However, the Trump administration previously missed several of its deadlines for releasing its tax plan.
In terms of timing, he said he hoped passing a tax overhaul will not “take till the end of the year.”
Mnuchin spoke at the Institute of International Finance Washington Policy Summit, where White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn was set to appear later Thursday.
In a Financial Times interview published Monday, Mnuchin said getting a bill to President Donald Trump‘s desk before August is “highly aggressive to not realistic at this point.” He said in February that he wanted to see “very significant” tax reform passed by Congress’ August recess.
The business community has hoped Republicans can move quickly on overhauling the American tax system, a prospect that partly fueled stock market gains in the months following Trump’s election. However, political realities have tempered expectations for changes to the tax system.
Republicans attempted to pass legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act before moving to a tax reform bill. That effort failed late last month, and Mnuchin said the setback contributed to his assessment that passing a tax overhaul by August could be difficult.
Trump put the pressure back on Tuesday after Mnuchin and Cohn appeared to walk back expectations for how quickly tax reform will happen. He called out Mnuchin by name during a speech at Snap-on headquarters in Wisconsin.
“So we’re in very good shape on tax reform. We have the concept of the plan. We’re going to be announcing it very soon,” Trump said at that time. “But health care, we have to get the health care taken care of, and as soon as health care takes care of we are going to march very quickly. You’re going to watch. We’re going to surprise you. Right, Steve Mnuchin? Right?”
Even though the president sounded optimistic Tuesday, the Trump administration has set deadlines for tax policy before that have not come to pass. In late February, Trump said the tax plan was “very well finalized,” only a day after press secretary Sean Spicer said it would be released “in the next couple weeks.
Republicans have refocused on resurrecting the effort to repeal the ACA, better known as Obamacare, as they get set to return from a recess next week. House GOP leaders are trying to balance the concerns of the both the party’s conservative and moderate wings as they try to follow through on a major campaign pledge.
Mnuchin said Thursday that “whether health care gets done or health care doesn’t get done, we’re going to get tax reform done.”
Story 1: Amazing Grace and Forgiving Hearts of Robert Godwin Family — Breaking– Facebook Killer/Suicide of Steven Stephens — Amazing Grace — Rest In Peace — Videos —
Amazing Grace: The children of Robert Godwin with Anderson Cooper
Cleveland Police Chief and Mayor react to news of Steve Stephens death
Family of Robert Godwin Sr. remembers their father
Emotions flow at vigil for Robert Godwin
Rumors circulate about Facebook killer, Tara Molina reports
Debunking the rumors about Facebook live shooting, News 5’s Tara Molina takes you into our newsroom
Users call for Facebook to address “safety risk”
FBI: Massive Police hunt for Cleveland live stream Facebook killer Steve Stephens – LoneWolf
Manhunt in Cleveland for alleged gunman Steve Stephens in Facebook Live shooting of elderly man
BREAKING NEWS: Crazed Suspect Loose in Cleveland: 5 Things You Need to Know about Steve Stephens
Timeline of Facebook killer’s posts
Air Tracker 5: Jon Rudder reports
JUDY COLLINS – “Amazing Grace” with Boys’ Choir Of Harlem 1993
Amazing Grace (without choir) by Judy Collins
Celtic Woman – Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace (original version)
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be for ever mine.
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
A Clip from Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace – full movie
Amazing Grace, Ending
‘We just want him to know that God loves him’: Children of Cleveland man who was gunned down on Facebook say they FORGIVE his killer
Robert Godwin’s family spoke out about their father’s shocking death on Sunday
The 74-year-old father-of-ten was filmed as he was gunned down in Cleveland
‘Each of us forgives the killer, the murderer,’ his daughter, Tonya, said Monday
Police said the killer, Steve Stephens, 37, shot himself on Tuesday
By Dailymail.com Reporter
PUBLISHED: 12:03 EDT, 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:09 EDT, 18 April 2017
The children of the man who was shot dead in a Facebook video has incredibly forgiven his murder – just hours before it was announced the killer had been found dead.
Steve Stephens, 37, gunned down 74-year-old Robert Godwin – a father-of-ten and retired manufacturing worker – in Cleveland on Sunday. Police said on Tuesday morning the 37-year-old shot himself after a brief officer pursuit.
Godwin’s family spoke to WJW on Monday prior to Stephens’ death, saying they forgave him and called on him to turn himself in before hurting anyone else.
‘Each one of us forgives the killer, the murderer,’ his daughter, Tonya, said.
The family of 74-year-old Robert Godwin (pictured with his daughter, Tonya) has said they forgive the man who murdered their father in Cleveland on Sunday
‘We want to wrap our arms around him.
‘We just want him to know that God loves him, we love him. Yes we’re hurt, but we have to forgive him because the Bible says if we don’t then the heavenly father won’t forgive us.’
Godwin’s son, Robert Jr,echoed the sentiment.
‘One thing I do want to say is I forgive him. Because we are all sinners,’ he told CNN.
‘Steve, I forgive you man. I’m not happy with what you did, but I forgive you.’
Police had been searching for Stephens since the video of the shooting emerged on Sunday afternoon.
Police presser on Facebook murder suspect who killed himself
Stephens (pictured) had been on the run since posting the video on Facebook on Sunday. Police said he shot himself on Tuesday morning
Godwin’s son, Robert Jr (left), and his daughter, Tonya (right), both said they have forgiven their father’s killer
It showed him driving in his car, before getting out and walking up to a man – who was later identified as Godwin.
The two spoke briefly in the clip, before Stephens pulled the trigger and got back in his car to drive away.
In the video Stephens posted on social media, he was heard saying: ‘I snapped, I just snapped.’
He then addressed a woman, Joy Lane, by saying: ‘She’s the reason that this is about to happen.’
Robert Godwin’s (pictured) son said he just wanted Stephens to turn himself in before hurting anyone else
Stephens had been wanted on aggravated murder charges for killing 74-year-old Robert Godwin and then posting video of the shooting (above) to Facebook
Lane said in a text message to CBS News: ‘We had been in a relationship for several years. I am sorry that all of this has happened.’
Stephens filed for bankruptcy two years ago despite holding down a job as a counselor helping young people develop job skills and find employment.
The behavioral health agency where he worked said an extensive background check before he was hired turned up nothing worrisome.
In another video posted on Facebook, Stephens said he gambled away everything and that he and his girlfriend had planned to marry but did not, without saying why.
Pennsylvania State Police say they will hold a news conference on the Steve Stephens case at 3:30 p.m. at Troop E barracks in Lawrence Park.
Steve Stephens’ taste for McDonald’s helped the Pennsylvania State Police catch the accused Facebook killer in Erie.
Employees at the McDonald’s on Buffalo Road, in Harborcreek Township, said a drive-through attendant alerted state police when Stephens stopped at the restaurant’s drive-through window shortly after 11 a.m.
The McDonald’s is about five miles east of where state police stopped Stephens in Erie.
Thomas DuCharme Jr., owner and operator of the McDonald’s, said the attendant thought she recognized Stephens. DuCharme said the attendant then called state police.
DuCharme said Stephens ordered 20 chicken nuggets and a basket of fries, but that the workers held off on delivering the fries to delay Stephens. He said Stephens got the nuggets.
“We told him his fries were going to be a minute,” said Henry Sayers, the restaurant’s manager.
Said DuCharme: “I am pretty sure he figured out that we were on to him. He didn’t want to wait for his fries.”
He said Stephens then drove away without the fries.
Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook pronounced Stephens dead at the scene at 11:35 a.m. Investigators are getting search warrants for the car and are waiting on the arrival of a state police accident reconstruction team later this afternoon.
Cook said his office would conduct an autopsy at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Three state police cruisers involved in the stop of Stephens’ car remained at the scene, along with Stephens’ car.
Warren Harris, 64, of Erie, who is on the scene of the investigation, said he had lived near Steve Stephens and his family in Beachwood, Ohio.
Harris, who said he has lived in Erie for 12 years, said the family is “good, churchgoing family.” He said that today’s events did not surprise him because “incidents like this happen where I’m from.”
A spokeswoman at Stephens’ employer told the Erie Times-News in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon that employees there learned quickly of Stephens’ death in Erie via news reports.
“It’s just been a tragic situation, on every front, with this story,” said Nancy Kortemeyer, senior director of marketing and public relations at Beech Brook, located in northeast Ohio.
Beech Brook is a behavioral health organization serving children, teenagers and families.
According to a statement Beech Brook officials posted on its website, Stephens worked there since 2008, most recently as a vocational specialist for youth and young adults. Prior to that, Stephens had been a youth mentor.
Stephens had no major disciplinary actions at Beech Brook, Kortemeyer said, and there was nothing in his work history “that would have been a red flag.”
The manhunt for Stephens has been “very much a strain and a worry” for the Beech Brook staff, Kortemeyer said.
“We’ve been worried about the safety of our staff and our clients,” Kortemeyer said. “We are just relieved the situation has been resolved without any further harm to anyone else.
Kortemeyer added, “It’s so sad that Steve Stephens took his own life. We don’t know what would have caused him to do this.”
Beech Brook issued a statement regarding Stephens’ death later Tuesday on its website:
“It was with a mixture of sadness and relief that Beech Brook learned of the suicide of Steve Stephens. Every suicide is a tragedy, but we also share a sense of relief with the rest of our community because we are no longer fearful that Mr. Stephens will take more lives.
“We are deeply grateful to the law enforcement officials who vigorously pursued this case. Our thoughts are with all of those impacted by these senseless acts of violence.”
From Pennsylvania State Police, or PSP, in a news release:
” ‘Facebook Killer’ Steve Stephens was spotted just after 11 a.m. by an alert citizen near the intersection of Buffalo Road and Downing Avenue in Erie County, Pennsylvania, which is less than two miles from PSP Troop E headquarters.
“PSP troopers immediately began to canvas the area for Stephens and located him in his vehicle a short time later. Troopers in marked patrol units initiated a pursuit that lasted approximately two miles.
“The troopers attempted a PIT maneuver to disable Stephens’ vehicle, a white Ford Fusion. As the vehicle was spinning out of control from the PIT maneuver, Stephens pulled a pistol and shot himself in the head.”
Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have arrived on scene. The FBI arrived earlier and agents are still on scene.
From a news conference in Cleveland at about 12:15 p.m.
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said he had no information on why Steven Stephens was in Erie.
“We are taking a cautious approach,” he said. “There may be connections we don’t know about. There is still a lot we don’t know.”
Chief acknowledged that their federal partners had spent time searching Erie and the surrounding area.
Anyone who knows that area, he said, knows “there are a lot of places to hide.”
The press conference was held less than an hour after Stephens took his own life. At that early point, “We have spoken with all the families involved. They had all been notified,” Williams said.
Williams said at the news conference that he had few details: “Our investigators are on their way now,” he said.
Another officer who spokes at the news conference, but whose name was not available, said: “We had hoped to bring Steve in peacefully and talk to him about what happened.”
The same police officials said: “Kudos to Pennsylvania State Police for doing an outstanding job.”
Asked if he was worried about potential copycats who might commit their own crimes and post them to social media, Chief Williams shook his head no.
“We’re not putting that energy out there,” he said. “We’ve talked about people not living their lives on social media. This is something that should never have been shared on social media, period.”
Chief Williams said police followed up on about 400 leads across the country, but it was one particular tip that led police to Stephens.
“We are grateful to the people who gave this tip to Pennsylvania State Police,” he said.
State police commanders have left the scene. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook had been examining the body of Steve Stephens inside the white Ford Fusion, where police said he fatally shot himself after state police pulled him over at around 11:10 a.m.
Spectators at the scene of an investigation of Steve Stephens’ apparent suicide in Erie, many streaming video of the scene from their smartphones, were glad the manhunt for the accused Cleveland Facebook killer was over. They said they’d been worried about the safety of local children after first hearing Stephens might be in Erie.
Others were not afraid at all.
“Everyone was scared of this dude for no reason,” Melvon Heidelberg said.
Heidelberg, 21, of Erie, traveled to the scene from East Lake Road after his friend told him Stephens had been found.
“People get shot out here everyday,” he said. “In Erie, that’s how it is. It’s real out here. You gotta be careful.”
Another spectator, Lisa Jenkins, of Erie, said the city has enough problems already.
“We don’t need Cleveland’s,” said Jenkins, 47.
Erie police have confirmed the suicide in Erie on Tuesday of Steve Stephens, the Cleveland resident suspected of fatally shooting a Cleveland man on Sunday and posting video of the slaying on Facebook.
Stephens died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while driving a white Ford Fusion near Buffalo Road and Downing Avenue around 11:10 a.m., police said.
State police were following the car as it headed west into Erie after leaving a nearby McDonald’s, police said.
The car, pointed west, is stopped in the westbound lane of Buffalo Road, across from the former Burton Elementary School, 1660 Buffalo Road. Police are blocking off the entire school grounds.
Erie police are also at the scene, with Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook and the FBI and Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri.
Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott said early Tuesday afternoon that he did not have much information about the incident, but he expected to be briefed later in the day by Police Chief Don Dacus.
“Obviously when you’ve got a fugitive out there, you’re pleased to see it come to some quick resolution,” Sinnott said.
Increase in Violent Crime, Decrease in Property Crime
Today, the FBI released its annual compilation of crimes reported to its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program by law enforcement agencies from around the nation. Crime in the United States, 2015 reveals a 3.9 percent increase in the estimated number of violent crimes and a 2.6 percent decrease in the estimated number of property crimes last year when compared to 2014 data.
According to the report, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes committed around the nation. While that was an increase from 2014 figures, the 2015 violent crime total was 0.7 percent lower than the 2011 level and 16.5 percent below the 2006 level.
Among some of the other statistics contained in Crime in the United States, 2015:
The estimated number of murders in the nation was 15,696.
During the year, there were an estimated 90,185 rapes. (This figure currently reflects UCR’s legacy definition. Learn more about the revised rape definition.)
There were an estimated 327,374 robberies nationwide, which accounted for an estimated $390 million in losses (average dollar value of stolen property per reported robbery was $1,190).
Firearms were used in 71.5 percent of the nation’s murders, 40.8 percent of robberies, and 24.2 percent of aggravated assaults.
Property crimes resulted in losses estimated at $14.3 billion. The total value of reported stolen property (i.e., currency, jewelry, motor vehicles, electronics, firearms) was $12,420,364,454.
In addition to national crime data, the publication also contains agency-level data, regional data, state totals, data from cities and counties grouped by populations, and statistics from certain metropolitan areas.
Crime in the United States, 2015 also features several smaller reports:
Federal Crime Data, the second report from UCR looking at crime reporting from federal agencies, includes 2015 data from FBI and ATF cases as well as traditional offense information from other federal agencies.
Human Trafficking, the third report from UCR’s Human Trafficking data collection, includes general content about human trafficking as well as data provided by agencies that reported human trafficking offenses in 2015.
Cargo Theft, the third report from UCR’s Cargo Theft data collection, contains general information about cargo theft and data provided by agencies that reported cargo theft violations during 2015.
Also included in Crime in the United States, 2015 is a message from Director James Comey on FBI efforts to improve the collection, analysis, and uses of crime statistics and data about law enforcement’s use of force, primarily through its ongoing shift to the more detailed National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and a use-of-force database. Both, he said, will “give us a more complete, richer picture of crime in our communities, and a national and detailed picture of the ways we in law enforcement are using force.”
According to Comey, who cited the need for more transparency and accountability in law enforcement, “Information that is accurate, reliable, complete, and timely will help all of us learn where we have problems and how to get better.”
Expanded offense data are the details of the various offenses that the Uniform Crime Reporting Program collects beyond the count of how many crimes law enforcement agencies report. These details may include the type of weapon used in a crime, type or value of items stolen, and so forth. For example, expanded homicide data provide supplemental details about murders, such as the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of both the victim and the offender, the weapon used in the homicide, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and the relationship of the victim to the offender. In addition to these types of details, expanded data include trends (for example, 2-year comparisons) and crime rates per 100,000 inhabitants.
Expanded offense data, including expanded homicide data, are details collected in addition to the reports of the number of crimes known. As a result, law enforcement agencies can report an offense without providing the supplemental information about that offense.
Story 2: Breaking — Racist Black Muslim Kori Ali Muhammad,39, aka Black Jesus Kills Three Shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic) — Pop, Bang, Boom — Camera Moves — Shot Spotter — Red Dot — Digital Justice — Videos —
Fresno shooting 4-18-17 Kori Ali Muhammad screaming Ali Akbar!
Fresno Shooting Suspect Identified – Kori Ali Muhammad AKA Black Jesus
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At Issue In Brief #140102 “Shot Spotter — How It Works”
SST – ShotSpotter Overview
Uploaded on Oct 27, 2011
ShotSpotter is a family of acoustic gunshot detection, alert and analysis solutions developed by SST Inc. Gunshot data has a trickle-down effect that can provide immense value. Watch the video to learn how our real-time data helps law enforcement respond more intelligently and make communities safer. It is our mission and honor to serve our communities and their respective law enforcement agencies.
Published on Apr 18, 2017
Three people were shot to death in less than a minute at separate locations Tuesday in Fresno, California, authorities said. A fugitive wanted in a previous homicide was arrested at the scene.
The man, identified as Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, who investigators said used the alias “Black Jesus,” was arrested and was being held awaiting at least four counts of murder, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters.In addition to the three people who were killed Tuesday, Muhammad had been wanted in connection with the shooting death of a security guard at a Motel 6 last Thursday, Dyer said.
At least 16 rounds were fired in less than a minute at four locations, including a Catholic Charities facility, where the gunman killed a man in the parking lot, Dyer said. None of the victims worked at the charity, he said.
While police said the gunman yelled “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic) during the incident, it was too early to say whether terrorism was a factor, Dyer said.
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John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime
John Lott: More Guns, Less Crime
Hate crime is suspected after a gunman kills 3 white men in downtown Fresno
Veronica Rocha , Joseph Serna, Diana Marcum and Hailey Branson-PottsContact Reporters
Kori Ali Muhammad told his family there was a war going on between blacks and whites in America.
On social media, he referred to white people as “devils.” Earlier in the year, he posted a rap album on YouTube replete with violent, explicit, racially-charged lyrics, including referring to himself in one song as a “black soldier.”
On Tuesday morning, police say Muhammad stalked the streets of downtown Fresno, fatally shooting three white men with a .357 revolver. Before surrendering to police, he allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar” and expressed hatred toward white people and the government, according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Local authorities said they don’t believe the attack was an act of terrorism but are investigating it as a hate crime.
“If in fact he’s lashing out at white people — white males in this case — that would constitute a hate crime,” Dyer said. “We believe it is a hate crime, definitely a hate crime.”
The chief said investigators don’t believe Muhammad worked with anyone else in the attack, calling him “an individual that is filled with hate, filled with anger.”
The attack occurred over less than two minutes with Muhammad firing a total of 16 shots. Dyer said he surrendered to a responding officer without incident and later apologized to the chief.
In addition to Tuesday’s killings, police said Muhammad was suspected in the fatal shooting of a security guard, also a white male, last week.
Muhammad’s father, Vincent Taylor, told The Times on Tuesday that his son believed that he was part of an ongoing war between whites and blacks, and that “a battle was about to take place.”
The attack began at around 10:45 a.m. in the 300 block of North Van Ness Avenue. Within a few seconds, a second burst of gunfire was heard, then a third and a fourth. Sixteen rounds were fired in four locations, Dyer said.
After the shots were heard, Dyer said the driver of a PG&E truck arrived at the city’s police headquarters to report that a passenger had been shot by a gunman who had approached them on foot.
After firing at the truck passenger, Muhammad walked west on East Mildreda Avenue, where he came across a resident and opened fire, Dyer said, but missed his target.
Muhammad then continued walking on Mildreda and approached Fulton Street, where he fatally shot another man before reloading his weapon, Dyer said.
He then headed toward Catholic Charities in the 100 block of North Fulton Street and fired a second fatal volley of gunfire, killing a man in the parking lot.
An officer in the area spotted the gunman running south on Fulton. He then “dove onto the ground” and was taken into custody, the chief said.
“As he was taken into custody, he yelled out, ‘Allahu akbar,’ ” Dyer said.
“Allahu akbar” roughly translates to “God is great” in Arabic and is a common positive refrain uttered by Muslims in prayer or in celebration. But the phrase has also been linked to terrorist attacks. The gunman who killed 13 people in a terror attack at Fort Hood, Texas, screamed “Allahu akbar” as he opened fire in 2009, and the phrase is often tweeted by social media accounts sympathetic to Islamic State and other terror groups.
The victims in Tuesday’s attack were not immediately identified. In a statement released last week, Fresno police said Muhammad was believed to have shot and killed Carl Williams, an unarmed 25-year-old security guard, outside of a Motel 6 on North Blackstone Avenue on Thursday.
Muhammad did not make any references to race during last week’s attack, according to Dyer, who said investigators will need time to determine the exact motive in the shootings.
“There was no statement made on Thursday night when he shot the security guard and killed him,” Dyer said. “There was no comments or no statements made at that time, so I am not certain why he said what he said today.”
Muhammad legally changed his name from Kori Taylor when he was a teenager, according to his grandmother, Glenestene Taylor, who said Muhammad was acting strangely when he visited her Sunday. He was crying, but she believed he was simply going out of town.
“I thought that’s why he’s upset, because he thinks of me as a mother,” said Taylor, 81. “He’s always telling me, ‘I’ll take care of it. I’ll protect you. Don’t you worry about it.’ He really didn’t want to go but he was going.”
A Facebook profile page for a Kori Ali Muhammad from Fresno paid homage to black pride and black nationalism, with images of the red, green and black Pan-African flag and a raised fist.
The rambling profile includes militant and apocalyptic language and repeated demands to “let black people go.” He referenced “white devils” and praised melanoma skin cancer.
On Saturday afternoon, Muhammad posted a photo of himself in a colorful garment, with his head covered, and the words: “LET BLACK PEOPLE GO OR THE DOOM INCREASES REPARATIONS & SEPARATION NOW.”
On Monday he wrote: “MY KILL RATE INCRESASES TREMENDOUSLY ON THE OTHER SIDE ASÈ ALLAH U AKBAR.”
Brian Levin, director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, said many of Muhammad’s social media postings make reference to terms used by the Nation of Islam, which has been labeled a racist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Pointing to Muhammad’s repeated references to “white devils” and “Yakub” — the villainous figure responsible for creating white people, according to Nation of Islam lore — Levin said it is likely Muhammad thought he was taking part in a race war against whites.
“We’re living in an era of violent reciprocal prejudice, and there are references on his website to Fard Muhammad, the founder of Nation of Islam, and Nation of Islam uses the term white devils quite prolifically, as did this shooter,” Levin said.
Muhammad also repeatedly used the phrase “Black Dragon Lion Hawk” in his Facebook posts, and Levin said such nods to warrior culture are also common in black separatist circles.
But Glenestene Taylor said she didn’t remember her grandson showing a racial bias, toward whites or anyone else, in all his years staying with her or during countless visits to her predominately white Fresno neighborhood.
“He would say something derogatory about anybody, didn’t matter about the color,” she said. “If he didn’t like what they did, he didn’t like what they did no matter the color.”
Muhammad had run afoul of Fresno police before. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2005 for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm for drug trafficking and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, after a Fresno police officer searched his car and found two large bags of cocaine, a loaded handgun and two rifles, court records show. A federal judge later declared Muhammad mentally incompetent to stand trial.
He was deemed competent in August 2006 and pleaded guilty to the charges of cocaine possession with intent to distribute and a weapons charge. He ultimately served 92 months in federal prison, records show.
Hours after the shootings Tuesday, two shaken workers at the Catholic charity said they had ducked under yellow police tape to get out.
They said they were told not to talk to the news media. But one, a Vietnam veteran, said a person never forgets the sound of guns. He said that the charity gives away food every day and that families are allowed to come only once a week.
“We feed a lot of children, so we have to make sure that the food gets spread around,” he said.
“This is a sad day for us all. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said in a statement. “None of us can imagine what they must be going through.”
Vincent Taylor said he hopes his son’s capture headed off any future bloodshed.
“I’m happy he was arrested,” he said. “I would hope that whatever Kori tells [police,] they take him seriously and they start following up.”
Dr John Lott, “More Guns Less Crime” Northwest Business Club 6-12-2013
John Lott Presentation: Do Gun-Free Zones Make us Safer?
Three dead in central Fresno shooting spree; suspect caught, linked to Motel 6 slaying
BY JIM GUY
Three people were shot and killed after a man went on a shooting spree Tuesday in Fresno, randomly shooting at four white men, killing three, before he was taken into custody, police Chief Jerry Dyer said.
Two of the people shot outside Catholic Charities, on Fulton Street just north of downtown, may have been clients of the social service agency, not employees, Dyer said. The third victim was a passenger in a Pacific Gas & Electric truck. A fourth man was shot at but not injured.
Dyer said the gunman walked up to a PG&E truck in the 300 block of North Van Ness Avenue about 10:45 a.m. and shot the passenger repeatedly. The driver of the pickup then sped to Fresno police headquarters on M Street. The second shooting was only a few seconds later and was at Van Ness and Mildreda Street, where the gunman shot at but missed a resident. The gunman then turned onto Fulton Street and fired several rounds at another man, striking and killing him, Dyer said. After reloading at a bus stop, the gunman then shot and killed a man in the parking lot of Catholic Charities in the 100 block of North Fulton Street, he said.
Officers responding to the initial shotspotter reports found Muhammad running south on Fulton. Muhammad dove to the ground and yelled “Ali Akbar” before he was taken into custody, Dyer said. Although police found rounds of .357 caliber bullets and speed loaders for a revolver when Muhammad was taken into custody, no weapon was found, Dyer said.
Dyer said that it’s too soon to determine if the shootings involved terrorism.
Kori Ali Muhammad. FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT
However, a review of Muhammad’s social media shows he quoted the phrase “Allahu Akbar” in a tweet. The Arabic phrase translates to “God is the greatest.”
The FBI and ATF have both been notified about Tuesday’s shootings, Dyer said. But Dyer noted that in Thursday’s shooting at Motel 6, which was caught on surveillance video, Muhammad did not make any similar statements. “What we know is that this was a random act of violence,” Dyer said. “There is every reason to believe he acted alone.”
Muhammad was identified early in the Motel 6 murder, based on the surveillance cameras, and officers had sought him in Madera and other locations in subsequent days. His Facebook page at one point indicated that he was in Atlanta, which was untrue, Dyer said. His Facebook posts indicated that “he does not like white people, and he has anti-government sentiments,” the chief said.
Witnesses reported the gunman sprayed rounds while reloading and cursing. One man was reportedly shot to death at the scene near Catholic Charities.
A second gunshot victim was reported outside of the the Fresno Police Department station at Mariposa Mall and M Street at 10:51 a.m. The victim also was taken to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Dyer said.
Police are investigating at four separate crime scenes on Van Ness, Mildreda and Fulton, and those areas will remain closed for at least a few hours, Dyer said. At least one shooting victim remained on the scene, and officers with K-9 are searching for the murder weapon.
At 10:54 a.m., a report of a man down was reported at 215 N. Fulton St., about a block from Catholic Charities. That victim died at the scene, county Emergency Medical Services officials confirmed.
Fresno County government offices are on a lockdown alert. People have been urged to shelter in place. Homicide detectives were called to the shooting scenes. At least one agent from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was at the Fulton Street shooting scene, and agents from Homeland Security were outside Fresno police headquarters.
A witness who lives close to Catholic Charities who did not want to be identified, said he watched the chaos unfold from his front yard as the suspect, carrying a large-caliber revolver, shot a man repeatedly in a front yard on the west side Fulton Street north of Nevada Avenue. Then, he stopped and calmly ejected spent shell casings from the weapon and reloaded near a bus stop south of Nevada.
“The shells are still there,” the witness said, pointing them out.
The suspect then walked south on Fulton, where he opened fire on a man in the Catholic Charities parking lot, the witness said.A witness said the suspect carried a large-caliber handgun and shot a man repeatedly in a front yard on Fulton Street north of Nevada Avenue, then reloaded at a bus stop south of Nevada.
The suspect then shot a man in the Catholic Charities parking lot, the witness said.
“He didn’t look like a gang-banger or anything,” the witness said.
At Catholic Charities, about a dozen distraught people cried, moaned and hugged one another as several undercover police officers worked furiously to keep the shooting victim alive by pumping on his chest. Blood from the gunshot wounds flooded the ground nearby.
“It could have been me,” moaned one man. “I ran. He couldn’t get away,” he added, pointing to the victim as an ambulance sped toward the shooting, driving the wrong way up Fulton with siren blaring.
“Give us some room! Move back,” shouted a woman, apparently a worker at the charity, where people line up daily to seek food and necessities. It’s an area where misery and petty crime happen every day, but nothing like this.
Arriving police officers jumped from their cars, pushing everyone back and throwing up crime scene tape.
A witness describes the shooting near Fulton Street on Tuesday, April 18.
Jim GuyThe Fresno Bee
Teresa Dominguez, chancellor for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, said the diocese is providing support for those who witnessed the shooting.
“The diocese will be present to the needs of all those serving as witnesses to this violent and traumatic event,” Dominguez said, “such as counseling and pastoral care, and Bishop Ochoa asks for the prayer of all the faithful for the victims of this violent crime and their families, and that law enforcement will be successful in the their investigation in identifying the perpetrator.”
Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno said this attack is against the Muslim faith.
“We denounce and reject in the strongest words possible this kind of violence and attack,” Ghazvini said, “and we request law enforcement agencies investigate the reasons and motivations about the person himself. He’s not known in our community, and we are in touch with other communities to see if he was a member or not. At this time, we are collecting information to see who is this person.…We have a very active relationship with all branches of state and federal law enforcement agencies in the Valley to make them aware of possible extremism within our area.”
Ghazvini said the literal translation of “Allahu Akbar” means “God is the greatest.” It is used during prayers and “unfortunately the same term is being used in an evil manner by extremists and terrorists trying to give some kind of religious legitimacy to their acts – we strongly denounce this.
“We do use this term during our prayer and calls for prayer, and we use it to pray to God and ask for healing people and bringing peace…the way it is being used by extremist and violent people is actually against our faith and is a misrepresentation of the word.”
FRESNO, Calif. — A man shot and killed three people on the streets of downtown Fresno on Tuesday, authorities said.
Suspect Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, shouted “Allahu Akbar” — meaning “God is great” in Arabic — as police tackled him to the ground after the shootings, which were spread over four locations, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, CBS affiliate KGPE-TV reports.
He later told police that he hates white people, according to authorities.
All three victims were white, police said, and the victims appeared to be random, according to Dyer.
The suspect had been wanted in connection to a killing last week, the Fresno Police Department said.
Shot Spotter detected the first gunshots around 10:45 a.m., according to KGPE. The suspect shot into a Pacific Gas & Energy vehicle, killing the passenger, the station reports, and Muhammad continued walking and opened fire at a local resident but missed.
KGPE said the suspect approached another resident and shot and killed that person.
Ashlee Wolf of Catholic Charities told the Fresno Bee newspaper that the final shooting took place at a bus stop near the charity.
Wolf said the charity doesn’t believe the shooter was tied to Catholic Charities. She says the charity is working with police to provide information.
Sayed Ali Ghazvini, imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, said Muhammad was not a member of his congregation and he did not recognize him. The imam said he is consulting with other faith leaders.
“We’re kind of shocked and surprised for what happened,” Ghazvini said. “We are very sorry for this to happen. We offer condolences for the victims, we pray for the victims and their families.”
Following the shooting, Fresno city spokesman Mark Standriff said county offices were placed on lockdown, and people were urged to shelter in place.
For years the city of Dallas has toyed with the idea of using ShotSpotter to pinpoint exactly where a gun was fired inside the city limits. But in 2009 the deal with the California company got hung up because of Oncor, which didn’t want ShotSpotter hanging its sensors on electrical poles. In 2011, SpotShotter went ahead and axed the pilot. And now, the council discovered Monday, it’s just too danged expensive.That’s what Dallas assistant police chiefs Catrina Shead and Mike Genovesi told the Dallas City Council’s Quality of Life Committee yesterday, as in: SpotShooter wants $50,000 per square mile of equipment, with a three-square-mile minimum. The city could try to lease it from SpotShooter, said Shead, but the price would remain about the same. At which point the council more or less dropped the subject.
Ralph A. Clark, the company’s chief executive, tells The Dallas Morning News today that it’s actually a little more than that — anywhere from $60,000 to $90,000 per square mile, depending on the terrain and the amount of sensors needed for deployment. ShotSpotter installs and maintains the sensors — which, he says, are “specialized computers with microphones that record, triangulate and time-stamp an impulse of noise” — which are monitored by police. Officers can be dispatched to a gunshot site in real time.
New York City started piloting ShotSpotter back in March, around Brooklyn and the Bronx, joining the likes of Boston, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other big and small cities willing to cough up the dough. Clark says his company’s had no “substantive” contact with Dallas officials during his tenure, which began in 2010. But “I do recall from the company oral history there were discussions with Dallas at one point” — but those died after Oncor took its firm pole position.
Dallas officials had hoped to use ShotSpotter all over town — not merely to track down violent crimes, but to cut down on so-called “celebratory noise violations” that occur, oh, every major holiday in some parts of town and every single night in others.
Outgoing council member Dwaine Caraway wants ShotSpotter no matter the price. He made that very, very clear yesterday.
“Even if we engage ourselves in a lease program for a minimum period of time, the idea is to change the behavior,” he told the chiefs and his colleagues. “I’d like to think we’d like to take a look at this program.” He proposed several locations: Audelia and LBJ Freeway, in Highland Hills, near Paul Quinn College. No doubt anyone reading this could suggest several other hot spots.
“I think it’s well worth trying to minimize that activity and let folks know the tech is there to prevent this,” he said. “Sometimes spending a few dollars to make sure people are aware would begin to minimize that behavior.”
But for now, at least, Dallas isn’t going to spot the shot, even if most of the gunfire in Dallas goes unreported. Instead, per the briefing materials, Dallas police will launch an “enhanced public awareness campaign against gunfire during celebrations.” Because that always works.
Story 1: Downsizing Not Streamlining of The Federal Government Is What Is Required — Videos –
Sean Spicer announces new office for Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner’s New Job
Jared Kushner Will Oversee Federal Overhaul
Jared Kushner gets new White House role amid Russia questions
Trump taps Jared Kushner to lead WH Office on Government innovation
Jared Kushner gets new White House role
Milton Friedman on Libertarianism (Part 4 of 4)
TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism
John Stossel – Downsizing Government
Dan Mitchell Explaining How Government Screws Up Everything
Dan Mitchell Discussing Austerity, Keynesianism, the IMF, Fiscal Policy, and Capitol Hill Squabbles
Here are the federal agencies Trump plans to cut as President
Jared Kushner is President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law but he’s also one of his key confidants. Here’s a closer look at the man who is expected to be a senior adviser to the president in Trump’s White House. (Video: Deirdra O’Regan/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
President Trump plans to unveil a new White House office on Monday with sweeping authority to overhaul the federal bureaucracy and fulfill key campaign promises — such as reforming care for veterans and fighting opioid addiction — by harvesting ideas from the business world and, potentially, privatizing some government functions.The White House Office of American Innovation, to be led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will operate as its own nimble power center within the West Wing and will report directly to Trump. Viewed internally as a SWAT team of strategic consultants, the office will be staffed by former business executives and is designed to infuse fresh thinking into Washington, float above the daily political grind and create a lasting legacy for a president still searching for signature achievements.“All Americans, regardless of their political views, can recognize that government stagnation has hindered our ability to properly function, often creating widespread congestion and leading to cost overruns and delays,” Trump said in a statement to The Washington Post. “I promised the American people I would produce results, and apply my ‘ahead of schedule, under budget’ mentality to the government.”In a White House riven at times by disorder and competing factions, the innovation office represents an expansion of Kushner’s already far-reaching influence. The 36-year-old former real estate and media executive will continue to wear many hats, driving foreign and domestic policy as well as decisions on presidential personnel. He also is a shadow diplomat, serving as Trump’s lead adviser on relations with China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, center, arrives for a Feb. 15 event at the White House with wife, Ivanka, left, and Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, right. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
The work of White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon has drawn considerable attention, especially after his call for the “deconstruction of the administrative state.” But Bannon will have no formal role in the innovation office, which Trump advisers described as an incubator of sleek transformation as opposed to deconstruction.
The announcement of the new office comes at a humbling moment for the president, following Friday’s collapse of his first major legislative push — an overhaul of the health-care system, which Trump had championed as a candidate.
Kushner is positioning the new office as “an offensive team” — an aggressive, nonideological ideas factory capable of attracting top talent from both inside and outside of government, and serving as a conduit with the business, philanthropic and academic communities.
“We should have excellence in government,” Kushner said Sunday in an interview in his West Wing office. “The government should be run like a great American company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers, who are the citizens.”
The innovation office has a particular focus on technology and data, and it is working with such titans as Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk. The group has already hosted sessions with more than 100 such leaders and government officials.
“There is a need to figure out what policies are adding friction to the system without accompanying it with significant benefits,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, chief executive of the investment firm Blackstone Group. “It’s easy for the private sector to at least see where the friction is, and to do that very quickly and succinctly.”
Some of the executives involved have criticized some of Trump’s policies, such as his travel ban, but said they are eager to help the administration address chronic problems.
See what President Trump has been doing since taking office
The beginning of his term has featured controversial executive orders and frequent conflicts with the media.
“Obviously it has to be done with corresponding values and principles. We don’t agree on everything,” said Benioff, a Silicon Valley billionaire who raised money for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
But, Benioff added, “I’m hopeful that Jared will be collaborative with our industry in moving this forward. When I talk to him, he does remind me of a lot of the young, scrappy entrepreneurs that I invest in in their 30s.”
Kushner’s ambitions for what the new office can achieve are grand. At least to start, the team plans to focus its attention on reimagining Veterans Affairs; modernizing the technology and data infrastructure of every federal department and agency; remodeling workforce-training programs; and developing “transformative projects” under the banner of Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, such as providing broadband Internet service to every American.
In some cases, the office could direct that government functions be privatized, or that existing contracts be awarded to new bidders.
The office will also focus on combating opioid abuse, a regular emphasis for Trump on the campaign trail. The president later this week plans to announce an official drug commission devoted to the problem that will be chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R). He has been working informally on the issue for several weeks with Kushner, despite reported tension between the two.
Under President Barack Obama, Trump advisers said scornfully, some business leaders privately dismissed their White House interactions as “NATO” meetings — “No action, talk only” — in which they were “lectured,” without much follow-up.
Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical, who has had meetings with the two previous administrations, said the environment under Trump is markedly different.
After he left a recent meeting of manufacturing chief executives with Trump, Liveris said, “Rather than entering a vacuum, I’m getting emails from the president’s team, if not every day, then every other day — ‘Here’s what we’re working on.’ ‘We need another meeting.’ ‘Can you get us more input on this?’ ”
Kushner proudly notes that most of the members of his team have little-to-no political experience, hailing instead from the world of business. They include Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council; Chris Liddell, assistant to the president for strategic initiatives; Reed Cordish, assistant to the president for intergovernmental and technology initiatives; Dina Powell, senior counselor to the president for economic initiatives and deputy national security adviser; and Andrew Bremberg, director of the Domestic Policy Council.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter and Kushner’s wife, who now does her advocacy work from a West Wing office, will collaborate with the innovation office on issues such as workforce development but will not have an official role, aides said.
Powell, a former Goldman Sachs executive who spent a decade at the firm managing public-private job creation programs, also boasts a government pedigree as a veteran of George W. Bush’s White House and State Department. Bremberg also worked in the Bush administration. But others are political neophytes.
Liddell, who speaks with an accent from his native New Zealand, served as chief financial officer for General Motors, Microsoft and International Paper, as well as in Hollywood for William Morris Endeavor.
“We are part of the White House team, connected with everyone here, but we are not subject to the day-to-day issues, so we can take a more strategic approach to projects,” Liddell said.
Like Kushner, Cordish is the scion of a real estate family — a Baltimore-based conglomerate known for developing casinos and shopping malls. And Cohn, a Democrat who has recently amassed significant clout in the White House, is the hard-charging former president of Goldman Sachs.
Trump’s White House is closely scrutinized for its always-evolving power matrix, and the innovation office represents a victory for Wall Street figures such as Cohn who have sought to moderate Trump’s agenda and project a friendly front to businesses, sometimes in conflict with the more hard-line conservatism championed by Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
The innovation group has been meeting twice a week in Kushner’s office, just a few feet from the Oval Office, largely barren but for a black-and-white photo of his paternal grandparents — both Holocaust survivors — and a marked-up whiteboard more typical of tech start-ups. Kushner takes projects and decisions directly to the president for sign-off, though Trump also directly suggests areas of personal interest.
There could be friction as the group interacts with myriad federal agencies, though the advisers said they did not see themselves as an imperious force dictating changes but rather as a “service organization” offering solutions.
The big stories and commentary shaping the day.
Kushner’s team is being formalized just as the Trump administration is proposing sweeping budget cuts across many departments, and members said they would help find efficiencies.
“The president’s doing what is necessary to have a prudent budget, and that makes an office like this even more vital as we need to get more out of less dollars by doing things smarter, doing things better, and by leaning on the private sector,” Cordish said.
Ginni Rometty, the chairman and chief executive of IBM, said she is encouraged: “Jared is reaching out and listening to leaders from across the business community — not just on day-to-day issues, but on long-term challenges like how to train a modern workforce and how to apply the latest innovations to government operations.”
Trump sees the innovation office as a way to institutionalize what he sometimes did in business, such as helping New York City’s government renovate the floundering Wollman Rink in Central Park, said Hope Hicks, the president’s longtime spokeswoman.
“He recognized where the government has struggled with certain projects and he was someone in the private sector who was able to come in and bring the resources and creativity needed and ultimately execute in an efficient, cost-effective, way,” Hicks said. “In some respects, this is an extension of some of the highlights of the president’s career.”
Story 2: Attorney General Sessions Moves To Enforce Federal Law in Sanctuary Cities —
WATCH: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Announces Action AGAINST Sanctuary Cities
WATCH: Jeff Sessions, Sean Spicer Press Briefing Conference (3/27/2017)
President Trump signs order to strip sanctuary cities of federal funding
Trump Will END Sanctuary Cities & The Democrats Hate How He’ll Do It
TRUMP JUST GOT EPIC REVENGE AGAINST SANCTUARY CITIES, MAYORS ARE HORRIFIED AND ILLEGALS FREAKING OUT
Tucker Carlson Grills Hartford Mayor on Sanctuary Cities – 24.02.17
Sanctuary Cities May Lose Federal Funds
Immigration Policy Under Jeff Sessions: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment)
What is a Sanctuary City? It’s Not What They’ve Been Telling You
Robert Rector – Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrants
Stop Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants – Expert Reveals the True Cost of Amnesty
Immigration Hearing 5/10/2007 — Robert Rector (Heritage)
Roy Beck on Glenn Beck
(Roy Beck) American Jobs in Peril: The Impact of Uncontrolled Immigration
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 1.
Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million.
On October 3, 2007, a press conference and panel discussion was hosted by Californians for Population Stabilization (http://www.CAPSweb.org) and The Social Contract (http://www.TheSocialContract.com) to discuss alternative methodologies for estimating the true numbers of illegal aliens residing in the United States.
This is a presentation of five panelists presenting at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2007. The presentations are broken into a series of video segments:
How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2
How Will Trump Handle Sanctuary Cites? Roy Beck Interview Founder of Numbers USA
Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts
Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – NumbersUSA.com
AG Sessions says he’ll punish sanctuaries, cities could lose billions of dollars
By Stephen Dinan and Dave Boyer – The Washington Times – Monday, March 27, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday he’ll begin punishing sanctuary cities, withholding potentially billions of dollars in federal money — and even clawing back funds that had been doled out in the past.
Speaking at the White House, Mr. Sessions said his department is preparing to dole out more than $4 billion in funds this year, but will try prevent any of it from going to sanctuaries.
“Countless Americans would be alive today … if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended,” Mr. Sessions said.
He said he’s carrying out a policy laid out by the Obama administration last year, which identified three grant programs — the COPS grants, Byrne grants and State Criminal Alien Assistance Program money — that already require sanctuary certification.
The Obama administration didn’t end up enforcing that policy, but Mr. Sessions said he’ll begin.
Sanctuaries are jurisdictions that thwart federal immigration agents’ efforts to deport illegal immigrants, usually be refusing to comply with detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Keywords: illegal alien population numbers; Census Bureau;
No exact head count exists for the ghost population of illegal aliens residing in the United States. Data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) and by national surveys, governmental agencies, nongovernment statistics-keeping agencies, philanthropic organizations, religious charities, and immigrant advocates are used in estimates ranging from 7 million to 20 million. This article demonstrates that this number is closer to 2 times 20 million.
Qui vult decipi, decipiatur.
(Let him who wishes to be deceived, be deceived.)
– Latin proverb
No exact head count exists for the ghost population of illegal aliens residing in the United States. Data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) and by national surveys, governmental agencies, nongovernment statistics-keeping agencies, philanthropic organizations, religious charities, and immigrant advocates are used in estimates ranging from 7 million to 20 million. I believe that number is closer to 2 times 20, and here is why.
Guessing the number of illegal aliens in the United States is like playing the lottery––more than a million to one that you will be right on. Government agencies each have their own methodology and thus their own estimate. Leading the list are the Census Bureau and the post-9/11 Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—an amalgamation of 22 federal agencies, including the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transferred from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the former Customs Service (USC) transferred from the U.S. Treasury Department. The INS and USC had the distinction of being among the most dysfunctional agencies in the U.S. Government. Added to these are other public and private prestidigitators (listed here in alphabetical order): academics, demographers, economists, environmentalists, geographers, historians, immigration advocates, journalists, labor specialists, political scientists, religious charities, sociologists, statisticians, and welfare administrators.
Not one of these “experts” has a clue as to the exact number of illegal aliens, but this does not keep them from crafting estimates to fit their own agenda. Few have ever been to the U.S.–Mexican border, where the majority of illegal aliens cross into the United States. My high-ball estimate, at least, is based on first-hand data compiled on site. During eleven years as a renegade INS Associate General Counsel, I regularly traveled the Southern Border, as it meanders 2,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. My duties took me as well to the then even less secure Northern Border with Canada, which extends through often heavily wooded wilderness.
The INS, in its stormy heyday, had a chronic problem with numbers, be it the number of illegal aliens crossing U.S. borders each year, the number of visa overstays, the number of actual, in-the-flesh deportations, or the number of criminal illegal aliens (those convicted of crimes committed in the United States, after their illegal entry).
In 1994, the INS Statistics Division published a seminal statistical work on illegal aliens. Emphasizing that the figures were estimates, the report acknowledged the assistance of the Urban Institute, the Center for Social Demographic Analysis, the State University of New York, Albany, and the New York City Planning Department. The Urban Institute contributor also worked as an INS consultant, and now is with the Pew Foundation. The major players in immigration statistics do tend to quote each other. Although the report cited the INS Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS), it failed to mention that the 1990 NIIS records were lost during a processing error. Nevertheless, the report concluded that the actual illegal alien population residing in the United States in October 1992 was “not likely to have been higher than the estimated total of 3.4 million, because the assumption used to construct the estimates was selected deliberately to avoid underestimating the population.”
At the same time, an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General found INS statistics suspect and cited deliberate deception by senior INS officials tampering with immigration statistics. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one, false in all).
The DOJ investigation agreed with audits by the Government Accounting Office (now Government Accountability Office, GAO) that an “aura of incompetence and incestuous mismanagement” permeated the INS. Over the years, GAO auditors voiced their concerns to the INS Office of the General Counsel, which was plagued by a swinging door of political appointee General Counsels. Those who pushed for accurate counts were stilled by bureaucratic estoppel, dead-end rewrites, and persistently convoluted and distorted statistics.
U.S. Border Patrol agents confided that they were told to cap apprehensions and deportations to conform to the desires of various Administrations to create at least a public perception of border control. One method was to move deportation cases from the Border States to inland districts with fewer alien cases; thus deportations would better match depressed apprehension figures. Another method was to send illegal aliens back across the border without recording the apprehensions. That strategy failed on occasions when Mexican officials refused to accept non-Mexican deportees. Not all illegal aliens crossing the Southern Border are Mexican. These “others” have their own acronym, OTM (other than Mexican), and it is among the OTMs, that the risk of terrorism is greatest. For instance, Arabs are said to be training in South America to pass as Hispanics at the Southern Border.
Unfortunately, under DHS, things have not greatly changed, other than to rename former INS and USC units and positions. The same bureaucrats, at the behest of political appointees, still supply Congress and the White House with illegal alien numbers. Just as with the old INS, the new DHS bureaucrats are adept at rationalizing their methodology and head counts.
In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau routinely undercounts and then adjusts upward total census numbers of Hispanics and other foreign nationals residing in the United States––counting only, of course, those willing to be counted. For the year 2000, the Census Bureau reported a total U.S. population count of “about 275 million” men, women, and children. When the states and local governments challenged that number as an undercount, the total was corrected upward to 281.4 million, with no clear count of illegal aliens. The Hispanic 2000 census count was 32.8 million, but on re-count the Census Bureau adjusted this number upward to 35.3 million, a 13 percent increase.
In 2001, Northeastern University, in an independent study, estimated a total of about 13 million illegal aliens in the United States, at the same time that the INS was estimating 4 million to 6 million illegal aliens. Unquestionably, the INS had a policy of underestimating the illegal alien count in keeping with its agenda traceable back to the Immigration Act of 1965, which opened the doors to Third World immigrants.
The average number of recorded apprehensions of illegal aliens in the United States now hovers at 1.2 million a year. A DHS report, Border Apprehensions: 2005, documented 1.3 million apprehensions in 2005. For the 10-year period (1996–2005), the highest number of apprehensions, 1.8 million, occurred in 2000, and the lowest, 1 million, in 2003. These DHS statistics contradict persistent statements by other government agencies that only 400,000 to 500,000 illegal aliens enter the country each year.
Journeymen Border Patrol agents (on the job five years or more) estimate that a minimum of five illegal aliens enter the United States for each apprehension, and more likely seven. That informed estimate would raise the total number of illegal aliens entering the United States in 2003 to 8 million men, women, and children.
Immigrant apologists argue that the number of illegal aliens in the United States fluctuates: many die; many return to their homeland part of each year or after many years of work; others are granted amnesty or refugee status; and others become (LPRs) and then citizens. Logic questions some of these arguments. Why would those who pay $1,500 to $15,000 to be smuggled into the United States, risking their life, return in a matter of months or years? Why would they suffer long trips confined to over-crowded boats, trucks, or other containers to stay for a few months or years? Why would people suffer possible assaults, rape, or murder to stay a few months or years? Why would Chinese illegal aliens suffer decades of indentured servitude for a few years in the United States? Most of those illegal aliens who risk their lives sneaking into the United States are here to stay.
My estimate of 38 million illegal aliens residing in the United States is calculated, however, using a conservative annual rate of entry (allowing for deaths and returns to their homelands) of three illegal aliens entering the United States for each one apprehended. My estimate includes apprehensions at the Southern Border (by far, the majority), at the Northern Border, along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and at seaports and airports. Taking the DHS average of 1.2 million apprehensions per year and multiplying it by 3 comes to 3.6 million illegal entries per year; then multiplying that number by 10 for the 1996–2005 period, my calculations come to 36 million illegal entries into the United States. Add to this the approximately 2 million visa overstays during the same period, and the total is 38 million illegal aliens currently in the United States.
In contrast to my estimate, the head of the U.S. Border Patrol Union Local in Tucson was quoted in a May 16, 2006, Christian Science Monitor article, as estimating the total number of “illegal immigrants” (illegal aliens) in the United States, as of that date, at between 12 million and 15 million. At the same time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in DHS put the number at 7 million; the Census Bureau estimated 8.7 million; and The Pew Hispanic Center estimate was 11.5 million to 12 million “unauthorized migrants” (illegal aliens) living in the United States. Depending on the source, the Christian Science Monitor concluded, illegal aliens in the United States in May 2006 numbered from “about 7 million up to 20 million or more.” At least the reporter was on the right track.
The current confusion of laws, regulations, DHS operating procedures, judicial decisions, and political agenda wreaks havoc on border enforcement. It is hardly reassuring that DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, on February 16, 2007, stated that immigration reform would let U.S. law enforcement focus on catching criminals instead of “future housekeepers and landscapers.” The Secretary opined that security alone is not enough to permanently stop “illegal border jumpers” (illegal aliens). With internecine fighting reported on the rise between and among alien and drug smuggling Hispanic gangs, the Secretary noted that alien smugglers are in disarray, but he expects “flows to go up again as smugglers regroup.”
A Closer Look at the Numbers
Thus far in 2007, the U.S. population has passed 301 million. DHS statistics indicate that illegal aliens are the fastest growing segment, followed by their anchor babies. In addition, the number of Mexican illegal aliens apprehended is nine times the combined numbers of all other illegal aliens.
Still the number of illegal aliens is downplayed by the immigration lobby, which is a coalition of liberal-radical academics, liberal politicians, federal and state bureaucrats, labor unions, La Raza (“The Race,” the leading immigrant activist group), other immigrant activists, and religious organizations.
Aiding and abetting the immigrant coalition is the news media, which is committed to not identifying persons as illegal aliens, especially those who commit crimes. Only when forced to do so does the news media refer to illegal aliens, and then only as “undocumented persons” or “unauthorized immigrants.” The latest newspeak introduced the term “migrants” with the blessing of the New York Times, when the coalition realized that U.S. citizens were beginning to catch on that “undocumented immigrant” actually meant illegal alien. Finally U.S. taxpayers are becoming alarmed by the numbers of illegal aliens in their states, cities, and communities. Finally they are sensing that the actual numbers exceed the official estimates.
Illegal alien apologists must downplay the numbers because the actual costs to federal and state taxpayers are rising drastically each year. By undercounting illegal aliens, the costs to taxpayers for increased school enrollment and hospital treatment are never fully explained. Texas school officials are recruiting in Mexico for bilingual persons to teach in Texas public schools. The 2005–06 Texas school data showed at least 711,237 students had “limited” English-speaking skills. U.S. school districts are recruiting foreign nationals to come and teach in U.S. schools to accommodate illegal aliens.
Arizona will spend $1.2 billion to educate non-English-speaking children in 2007. The pro-immigrant rights Pew Hispanic Center estimates that one in nine Arizona students is an “illegal immigrant or the child of an illegal immigrant.” Others in Arizona suggest the number is more like one in four.
On Capitol Hill, Congressional staffers are quick to rely on governmental studies as accurate; the acceptance of flawed data is routine in immigration circles. The Pew Hispanic Center published a report on June 14, 2005, entitled,Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics by Jeffrey S. Passel, formerly with the Urban Institute and a former INS consultant. His report, illustrated with charts and diagrams, included a footnote in which he stated his preference for the term “unauthorized migrants”:
Various labels have been applied to this group of unauthorized migrants, including “undocumented immigrants,” “illegals,” “illegal aliens,” and “illegal immigrants.” The term “unauthorized migrant” best encompasses the population in our data, because many migrants now enter the country or work using counterfeit documents, and thus are not really “undocumented,” in the sense that they have documents, but not completely legal documents.
Perhaps in place of “illegal aliens,” Passel would prefer “not completely legal aliens.” His report, largely advo-babble (immigrant advocate babble) under the guise of research and statistical analysis, rehashes disingenuous data in an attempt to cloud illegal alien numbers and their impact. In a chapter on “Methods: Residual Estimates of Unauthorized Migrants,” he states that the “residual method has been used for several decades to measure unauthorized migration to the U.S.” and that “some of the first sound empirical estimates came from residual methodology applied to the 1980 Census. Variants of the method were used or discussed by the Census Bureau, the Panel on Immigration Statistics, the Bi-National (U.S.-Mexico) Study, and the Commission on Immigration Reform, INS, and a number of other organizations and researchers.” If incest is a crime, then these researchers are guilty––at least of quoting themselves and cross-referencing their colleagues.
A GAO report (May 9, 2005) on criminal illegal aliens compared a 2000 INS estimate of the total “unauthorized immigrant” (illegal alien) population residing in the United States at 7 million to a 2005 estimate of “about 10 million illegal aliens living in the United States.” Of the 55,322 criminal illegal aliens studied by the GAO, each averaged eight arrests––without deportation.
The new DHS has yet to correct the multitude of problems inherited from the INS and Customs. A GAO report (May 27, 2005) described the memorandum of understanding on respective duties and intelligence sharing signed by the newly formed Immigration and Customs Enforcement component (ICE) and the Customs and Border Protection component (CBP). As of May 2005, however, no mechanism was in place to track numbers and results of referrals between the two. Little has changed.
Recently experts at liberal think-tanks, such as the Brookings Institution, are commenting on the extraordinary explosion across the United States of diversity and immigration. These experts are just learning that “immigrants” (illegal aliens) are showing up in many more communities than the experts ever believed, such as Loudoun County, Virginia (an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C.), Palm Beach County, Florida; and Plainfield, Illinois. They had accepted as fact the under-reporting of illegal aliens by immigrant special interest groups, including Democrats in Congress and federal agencies. Finally the ghost population of illegal aliens is becoming visible, through its sheer numbers at the state and local level. Not only are U.S. citizens beginning to see the reality of unfettered illegal immigration in their own communities; they are beginning to feel the pinch.
Although no exact numbers exist on illegal aliens residing in the United States, the following snapshots support my contention that the actual numbers far exceed the “official” estimates of the federal government.
On an inspection tour of the El Paso Border Patrol Sector, while interviewing an agent, I observed in the distance twelve illegal aliens dash through a split in a fence, and three Border Patrol agents give chase. The aliens spread out like a fireworks starburst; the agents apprehended three of them; and thus nine illegal aliens were on their way to mingle in El Paso or parts unknown. This snapshot, remember, was a 20-foot stretch of a 2,000-mile border.
In an immigration/civil rights case, a federal judge asked attorneys, “Do we really know how many undocumented immigrants we are talking about, in the United States?” School Board attorneys hemmed and hawed; finally one replied, “One expert told me 1,300 “undocumented students” were in the school district, and another said 7,000.” When the judge later asked the question again, attorneys answered that privacy laws and federal laws prohibited questions about citizenship.
The Hispanic population is skyrocketing in such diverse areas as Fort Myers, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Seattle, Washington. Illegal aliens make up an estimated 80 percent of the new population. In Nebraska, the number of illegal aliens is estimated at more than 50,000. Nationally, Hispanics, now the largest minority, have a higher fertility rate than other ethnic groups.
In early 2007, more than 1.6 million Hispanics were reported living in the greater Chicago area, the majority of them Mexicans and 80 percent of them illegal aliens. One of them, Elvira Arellaño, is being granted “sanctuary” in a Chicago store-front church. DHS officers have not breached this “sanctuary” to deport Arellaño once again. Having lived in Chicago for nine years, she can still not speak English. As one of the few people actually deported by the U.S. Government, she re-entered the United States without inspection and thus is subject to felony charges. The radical immigration advocates who support her “sanctuary” mean to make a mockery of U.S. laws.
In January 2007, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman estimated that 600,000 “illegal immigrants” (illegal aliens) are currently ignoring deportation orders. Illegal aliens call the written notice of a deportation order a “run letter,” and that is what they do.
Southern states have the fastest growing populations in the country. Brookings Institution demographer William Frey opined in 2006, “Immigrants are finally catching up to the fact that the South is a magnet for jobs and quality of life. They are rag-tag migrants, taking jobs created by people who come from other parts of the U.S.” Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina are among the ten most popular states with illegal aliens.
In 2005, a total of 11,400 migrants on their way to the United States took refuge in the Jesuit shelter, Casa del Migrante, in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas; this figure was up from 4,647 in 1999.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, in 2006, according to an immigration advocate, the Hispanic population was undercounted by 3–4 to 1, with 90 percent of them illegal aliens. Thus when the 2005 Census recorded 50,000 Hispanic residents among the population of 1.2 million, the actual count was closer to 200,000, most of them illegal.
Among illegal aliens in the United States, most are of child-bearing age. The fertility rate of immigrants, legal and illegal, compared to that of U.S. citizens is 3–4:1.
In January 2007, U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral stated that remittances to Mexico from the United States are a driving force of Mexico’s economic growth. In 2006, these remittances were US$23 billion, an increase of 15 percent from remittances in 2005. Some of these remittances are coming from the estimated 5,000 to 30,000 Mexicans working in New Orleans to rebuild the city.
Illegal Aliens and “Comprehensive” Immigration Reform
A history of legislative chicanery and out-right misrepresentation has fed the illegal alien crisis now being felt at federal, state, and local levels in the United States. To Congress must go the majority of blame for the some 38 million illegal aliens now residing in the United States––threatening public safety and public health, stressing school and hospital budgets, damaging the environment, and draining taxpayer pocketbooks.
The new Democrat-controlled Congress is poised to repeat past legislative mistakes. The Immigration Act of 1965 (Hart-Celler Act), as part of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, served as an open invitation to those wishing to flee Third World countries; and the 1986 Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), which promised amnesty and employer sanctions, delivered little of either. Only an estimated 2.7 million illegal aliens took advantage of the IRCA (Reagan) amnesty. This low participation rate can be traced to the reluctance of illegal aliens to believe any country would be so naive as to wave in persons who had committed a crime in crossing the border. At that time, the total illegal alien population in the United States was estimated at 4 million to 6 million. The tsunami of “border jumpers” began once word spread around the world that the United States, with the passage of IRCA, was opening its borders.
In a 2005 Pew Hispanic Center report, Jeffrey Passel did make a coherent summation: “The unauthorized population [illegal aliens] has been steadily increasing in size (and possibly by large increments since the last half of the 1990s).”
Amnesty and employer sanction provisions failed to curb the flow of illegal aliens; IRCA proved to be a legislative mistake, and the present Democrat-controlled Congress is falling into the same trap, with the support of the President. As illegal alien counts rise daily, employer sanction provisions in any 2007 immigration legislation promise to be as unenforceable as those in IRCA. Just as the Reagan amnesty was followed by a new wave of emboldened illegal aliens, the same aftermath awaits “comprehensive” immigration legislation in 2007.
U.S. citizens (for the most part, we presume) elected the current Congress to pass legislation to “form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” (Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, 1789).
Immigration is not the problem; the burgeoning ghost population of illegal aliens now becoming visible across the United States is. Conflicting counts of illegal aliens reflect muddled immigration policies––purposeful or not. Such policies render the nation less capable of apprehending and deporting illegal aliens (among them violent criminals and terrorists) than ever before. ■
About the author
James H. Walsh, formerly an Associate General Counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the United States Department of Justice, writes immigration commentary. During his INS tenure, Walsh was selected as a German Marshall Fund Scholar, traveled through Europe interviewing immigration officials, and published articles based on his findings. At INS, he worked with other federal agencies and with congressional committees on immigration matters. His assignments included consultations with foreign governments and international business concerns. He chaired a task force on Transit without Visa (TWOV), whose report identified weaknesses in pre-9/11 airport security.
Walsh has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Middle District of Florida) and as a Special Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Section. He chaired the Constitutional Rights Committee, General Law Section, of the American Bar Association, and served on the Editorial Board of The Florida Bar Journal. His articles on immigration have appeared inMigrationWorld, Social Contract, The Florida Bar Journal, and Newsmax.com.
Walsh has a B.A. in history from Spring Hill College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Part 2 — Story 1: House Freedom Caucus Is Right: First Complete Clean Repeal and Then Replace Obamacare — No Three Phases/Prongs Bull — Change Your Rules or American People Will Replace You — Restore Free Market Competition In Health Insurance Sector So That Companies and Consumers Are Free of Government Mandates and Dictates Thereby Lowering Premiums and Deductibles — Freedom Works — Repeal and Replace Obamacare Now! — Videos
What Is Budget Reconciliation?
Led by President Donald Trump, Republicans have promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have control of both houses of Congress and the White House, but they still have one big obstacle in that effort.
In the Senate, opponents could stage a filibuster — the right of the minority to try to talk a bill to death and keep senators from voting. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster. Republicans have a majority but only 52 seats. And Democrats say they won’t help take apart the health law they voted to pass seven years ago.
Instead, Republicans are vowing to use a budget procedure called “reconciliation.” It comes from a 1974 law called the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act. Lots of major health laws have been passed using reconciliation, including those guaranteeing the right to emergency room care, creating the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, and allowing private plans as an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage.
Here’s how reconciliation would work. First, Congress has to pass a budget resolution.
That budget document has to be agreed on by the House and Senate, but it doesn’t go to the president for his signature.
The budget resolution does two main things. First, it sets spending targets for federal programs Congress funds every year. Those are known as appropriations.
But there are also programs funded by the federal government that don’t need annual approvals from Congress. These include tax cuts or increases and so-called entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
So the budget resolution also instructs the congressional committees in charge of those programs to propose changes in the law that would “reconcile” how much those programs cost with the targets set by the budget. This is what Republicans would use to order changes to the Affordable Care Act.
When the committees report back their proposed changes, they are assembled into a budget reconciliation bill.
In the Senate, budget reconciliation has its own special rules that make it easier to pass. Debate is strictly limited, and the bill only needs a simple majority to pass.
But there are limits, too. Budget reconciliation bills can only change things that directly impact the federal budget — either adding to or reducing federal spending.
For the Affordable Care Act, that means Congress could use budget reconciliation to eliminate spending, like the help people get to pay their premiums or funding to states to expand the Medicaid program for the poor. It can also repeal the taxes that help pay for those benefits, including the tax penalties for individuals who fail to have insurance.
But Congress can’t use reconciliation to change parts of the health law like provisions requiring insurance companies to provide certain benefits or sell coverage to people with preexisting conditions. Those don’t directly affect federal spending.
That has led insurance companies to complain that they will go broke if they still have to sell to sick people, but healthy people won’t have any incentive to get covered. In that case, they say, only sick people will buy insurance, and premiums will skyrocket.
And the new Republican Congress seems set on using the technique to take apart the health law. Whether that’s a good idea may depend on whether you favor or oppose the Affordable Care Act.
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Reconciliation in Congress
Exclusive — Rand Paul: ‘Easily 35 No Votes’ Against Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0, ‘I Would Predict They Pull Bill, Start Over’
by MATTHEW BOYLE
21 Mar 2017Washington, D.C.2,723
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News exclusively on Tuesday afternoon that he expects House Speaker Paul Ryan will be forced to pull the American Health Care Act (AHCA) before a scheduled Thursday vote because Ryan will not get the votes to pass the legislation.
The AHCA has been dubbed “Obamacare Lite” by Paul — a leading conservative critic of the plan — and by other conservatives as “RyanCare,” “RINO-Care,” and “Obamacare 2.0,” since the bill does not actually fully repeal Obamacare and keeps many of the main structures that the now-former President Barack Obama installed in the healthcare system. It has come under intense scrutiny from both sides of the Republican Party — moderates and conservatives are lining up against the bill — and Ryan, despite publicly projecting confidence, cannot find the necessary 216 votes to pass the legislation.
Paul, one of the leading senators out of more than a dozen Republicans in the upper chamber criticizing the bill there, told Breitbart News in this exclusive interview he believes there are at least 35 House Republicans ready to vote against the bill in its current form. And he predicted that, unless some major changes come to the legislation between now and the scheduled vote on Thursday, Ryan will need to withdraw the bill and Republicans will have to start from scratch with a new bill and a new strategy on Obamacare.
Paul said in the in-person interview at his U.S. Senate office in the Russell Senate Office Building:
I think there’s easily 35 no votes right now so unless something happens in the next 24 hours, I would predict they pull the bill and start over. I think if conservatives stick together, they will have earned a seat at the table where real negotiation to make this bill an acceptable bill will happen. But it’s interesting what conservatives are doing to change the debate. We went from keeping the Obamacare taxes for a year—hundreds of billions of dollars—but they’re coming towards us because we’re standing firm. So we have to stick together, and if we do stick together there will be a real negotiation on this. The main goal I have is not to pass something that does not fix the situation. If a year from now, insurance rates and premiums are still going through the roof and it’s now a Republican plan it will be a disservice to the president and all of us if we pass something that doesn’t work.
There is plenty of reason to believe that Paul is correct in predicting Ryan does not have the votes to pass this legislation and will need to pull the bill to start over. Despite overtures from President Donald Trump, the House Freedom Caucus members — and particularly its chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) — remain steadfastly opposed to the bill.
NBC News has confirmed at least 26 Republicans who are opposed:
But Breitbart News can confirm several more than that are definitely opposed to the legislation. To kill the bill, Republicans need just 21 Republicans opposed—and some are talking about holding a press conference on Wednesday or Thursday with the necessary number of House Republicans to crush RyanCare, appearing arm-in-arm in public opposition before a vote.
House GOP leadership made some last minute changes, too, which Paul — in his interview with Breitbart News — flatly said “no,” were not enough to get the bill passed. Regarding those changed, Paul said:
If you keep all the insurance mandates, and you keep subsidizing insurance, basically it’s Obamacare Lite. So I think it’s still Obamacare Lite. The modifications, some are going in the right direction, but they actually expanded some of the subsidies. So one of the new things about it is it’s actually $75 billion more in subsidies. So, I think they’re stuck trying to split the baby. They’re trying to give conservatives a few token changes. And they’re trying to give the moderates more subsidies.
Paul added that Ryan would not have dragged President Trump into this awful position if he had been more open and inclusive in the process from the beginning. In effect, Paul argued as he has done before, that Ryan is hurting President Trump by doing this the way he is doing it. Paul said:
I’m still unclear as to why they completely ignored conservatives early on in the process and then they had the audacity to look at conservatives and say ‘this is what you all campaigned on.’ That just, frankly, was never true. I was elected in 2010 in the big Tea Party wave that was for repealing Obamacare root and branch, rip the whole thing out. We were for repealing it. I still think that our grassroots conservative supporters are for repealing it. But somewhere along the line, Paul Ryan decided that it wasn’t so much about repealing it but about replacing it with Obamacare Lite. And I think that was a tactical error on their part to think ‘oh, we’ll just be for this and everybody will be for this’ when in reality no conservatives are really for the Ryan plan.
Paul would not say if Ryan will lose the confidence necessary to run the House of Representatives if this bill fails, as some have suggested. When asked if Ryan can still run the House if the bill goes down, Paul told Breitbart News that instead he thinks the bill going down would lead to real negotiations on healthcare reform. He said:
I think what it will be is the real negotiations will begin the moment his bill fails, and when his bill fails conservatives will have a seat at the table. As long as conservatives stay unified and don’t start negotiating one person at a time — what’s a really bad part of negotiations is if everybody starts saying individually ‘oh if you give me this, give me this, give me this’ because then you won’t really fix the main thrust of the bill and the main outcome is that insurance premiums continue to rise and we continue to bail out insurance companies that’s not repeal of Obamacare—that’s Obamacare Lite.
More from Sen. Rand Paul’s latest exclusive interview with Breitbart News is forthcoming.
Many members are also part of the Republican Study Committee, another conservative House group. The caucus is sympathetic to the Tea Party movement. According to its mission statement, it “gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.”
The origins of the caucus lie at the mid-January 2015 Republican congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Nine conservative active Republican members of the House began planning a new Congressional caucus separate from the Republican Study Committee and apart from the House Republican Conference. The group ultimately became the nine founding members and the first board of directors for the new caucus consisting of Republican Representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Justin Amash of Michigan, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mark Meadows of North Carolina. The group debated over a name for their new caucus eventually settling on “House Freedom Caucus” (HFC) because, according to founding member Mick Mulvaney, “it was so generic and universally awful that we had no reason to be against it.” The group of nine founding members in Hershey set as a criterion for new members that they had to be willing to vote against Speaker of the United States House of RepresentativesJohn Boehner on legislation that the group opposed.
During the crisis over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security in early 2015, the Caucus offered four plans for resolution, but all were rejected by the Republican leadership. One of the caucus leaders, Labrador of Idaho, said the Caucus will offer an alternative that the most conservative Republican members could support.[needs update]
The House Freedom Caucus was involved in the resignation of Boehner on September 25, 2015, and the ensuing leadership battle for the new Speaker. Members of the Caucus who had voted against Boehner for Speaker felt unfairly punished, accusing him of cutting them off from positions in the Republican Study Committee and depriving them of key committee assignments.[not in citation given] Boehner found it increasingly difficult to manage House Republicans with the fierce opposition of the Freedom Caucus, and he sparred with House Republican members (who later created and became members of the Freedom Caucus when it was created in 2015) in 2013 over their willingness to shut down the government in order to accomplish goals such as repealing the Affordable Care Act.[not in citation given]
Initially, Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, was the lead contender, but the Freedom Caucus withheld its support. However, McCarthy withdrew from the race on September 28, 2015. On the same day as McCarthy’s withdrawal, Reid Ribble resigned from the Freedom Caucus saying he had joined to promote certain policies and could not support the role that it was playing in the leadership race.
On October 20, 2015, Paul Ryan announced that his bid for the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives was contingent on an official endorsement by the Freedom Caucus. While the group could not reach the 80% approval that was needed to give an official endorsement, on October 21, 2015, it announced that it had reached a supermajority support for Ryan. On October 29, 2015, Ryan succeeded John Boehner as the Speaker of the House.
The group has faced backlash from the Republican Party establishment during the 2016 election cycle. One of its members, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Tea Party Republican representing Kansas’s First District, was defeated during a primary election on August 2, 2016, by Roger Marshall. GOP Establishment PACs, many of whom also opposed Donald Trump, spent nearly $2 million to defeat Huelskamp.
Congressional District map for Freedom Caucus membership of the 114th Congress. Former members in light color.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus as of March 2017 include:
It’s Rand Paul vs Paul Ryan in the battle over Obamacare — and the future of the GOP
Brandon Morse Mar 17, 2017 8:52 am
A protester wears a Repeal Obamacare button on his jacket during a Freedom Works rally Wednesday against the proposed GOP health care plan across from the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The in-house Republican battle over the repeal of Obamacare is about to boil over as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are engaged in an increasingly sharp war over words over their disagreements on how to proceed forward with the promised repeal and replace of former President Obama’s signature legislation.
Paul has been waging a war against the House GOP Obamacare repeal and replace plan since before it was given to the public. Calling it “Obamacare Lite,” Paul has lambasted not only the bill, but his fellow Republicans for their less-than-diligent attempts at getting rid of the unpopular health care law. This time, he turned his attention toward Ryan, who has been the bill’s primary spokesman.
“I think that Paul Ryan’s selling [Donald Trump] a bill of goods that he didn’t explain to the president, and the grassroots doesn’t want what Paul Ryan is selling,” Paul told CNN.
Paul Ryan, during an segment on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” fired back at the Kentucky senator, claiming that his remarks were a jab at President Donald Trump.
“Frankly, I think that’s kind of an insulting remark to the president — as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Ryan said.
“We think this is a smarter way to go,” Ryan said to Tapper. “The alternative is the status quo, and the status quo is in the middle of a collapse.”
Ryan has made the case that this version of the Obamacare repeal bill is the “closest we will ever get” to repealing it.
Paul, however, believes that Trump is open to changing his mind on the health care bill, despite his prior statements of broad approval, and that it’s Republican leadership who have “dug in their heels.”
“They are not going to compromise. So the only way that we are going to get to a compromise where they listen to the grassroots that wants complete repeal, the only way we got to that compromise is that we have to demonstrate to the House leadership that we have the votes to stop them.”
As the battle continues between the conservatives and GOP leadership, the faith of the voters hangs in the balance, according to the conservatives. Paul believes that should the GOP pass “Obamacare Lite,” Republicans will pay for it come election time. Duncan wrote in the Daily Signal that should the bill pass, voters “will feel betrayed.”
If that is true, then winner of the struggle between Paul and Ryan may determine the GOP’s future momentum.
Rand Paul Unveils His Brilliant Obamacare Replacement Plan
WASHINGTON (AP) — Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year’s elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would overhaul Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The countdown quickened toward an expected vote Thursday on legislation undoing much of the law that provided health coverage to some 20 million Americans. Trump huddled behind closed doors with rank-and-file Republicans just hours after GOP leaders unveiled changes intended to pick up votes by doling out concessions to centrists and hardliners alike.
“If we fail to get it done, fail to (meet) the promises made by all of us, including the president, then it could have a very detrimental effect to Republicans in ’18 who are running for re-election,” said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. “If it fails, then there will be a lot of people looking for work in 2018.”
Trump’s message to Republicans: “If you don’t pass the bill there could be political costs,” said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.
The outlook for House passage remains dicey even with the revisions.
The GOP bill would scale back the role of government in the private health insurance market, and limit future federal financing for Medicaid. It would also repeal tax cuts on the wealthy that Democrats used to pay for Obama’s coverage expansion. Fines enforcing the Obama-era requirement that virtually all Americans have coverage would be eliminated.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million fewer people will have health insurance in 2026 under the GOP bill.
Trump warned House Republicans they’d seal their political doom if they waver, with the party potentially losing majority control of the House. Still, several conservatives were steadfast in their opposition even after the session with Trump and the leadership’s changes.
“The president wouldn’t have been here this morning if they have the votes,” said Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, a member of the Freedom Caucus who complained that the GOP bill leaves too much government regulation in place.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said he was convinced to back the bill in part by Trump’s urging and the changes.
“I think a vote ‘no’ is a vote for Obamacare,” Bacon said. “We can vote for this, and continue to make it better. I intend to vote ‘yes’ Thursday.”
Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters that if Republicans pass the legislation, “people will reward us. If we don’t keep our promise, it will be very hard to manage this.”
If the bill advances, prospects are uncertain in the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority. Six GOP senators have expressed deep misgivings including Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who said Tuesday he cannot support the House bill.
In an Associated Press interview, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., signaled he’d use Trump’s clout to pressure unhappy Republicans in his chamber. McConnell said he’s optimistic that in the end no Republican senator will want to be held responsible for “Obamacare’s” survival.
“I would hate to be a Republican whose vote prevented us from keeping the commitment we’ve made to the American people for almost 10 years now,” McConnell said.
The House GOP bill would dismantle Obama’s requirements that most people buy policies and that larger companies cover workers. Federal subsidies based on peoples’ incomes and the cost of insurance would end, and a Medicaid expansion to 11 million more low-income people would disappear.
Instead, the bill would provide tax credits based chiefly on age to help people pay premiums. Open-ended federal payments to help states cover Medicaid costs would be cut. Insurers could charge older consumers five times the premiums they charge younger people instead of Obama’s 3-1 limit, and would boost premiums 30 percent for those who let coverage lapse.
The latest changes to the bill by GOP leaders were largely aimed at addressing dissent that the measure would leave many older people with higher costs.
Included was an unusual approach: language paving the way for the Senate, if it chooses, to make the bill’s tax credit more generous for people age 50-64. Republicans said the plan sets aside $85 billion over 10 years for that purpose. The income tax threshold for deducting medical expenses would be lowered to 5.8 percent, from the current 10 percent.
The leaders’ proposals would accelerate the repeal of tax increases Obama imposed on higher earners, the medical industry and others.
On Medicaid, the changes would provide higher federal payments to help states care for older and disabled beneficiaries. States would be able to impose work requirements for able-bodied adults. But the bill would still limit future federal financing for Medicaid, seen by many state officials as a cost shift. Obama’s Medicaid expansion would be repealed.
In a bid to cement support from upstate New Yorkers, the revisions would also stop that state from passing on over $2 billion a year in Medicaid costs to upstate counties, though it exempts Democratic-run New York City from that protection. Local officials have complained the practice overburdens their budgets.
Democrats remain solidly opposed to the GOP repeal effort.
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., said Trump told Republicans he would campaign for them if they backed the bill.
Associated Press reporters Matthew Daly, Kevin Freking, Richard Lardner, Stephen Ohlemacher in Washington and Thomas Beaumont in Iowa contributed to this report.
Far from dead, he was positively exuberant. His performance at a marathon press conference was a must-see-tv spectacle as he mixed serious policy talk with stand-up comedy and took repeated pleasure in whacking his favorite pinata, the “dishonest media.”
“Russia is a ruse,” he insisted, before finally saying under questioning he was not aware of anyone on his campaign having contact with Russian officials.
Trump’s detractors immediately panned the show as madness, but they missed the method behind it and proved they still don’t understand his appeal. Facing his first crisis in the Oval Office, he was unbowed in demonstrating his bare-knuckled intention to fight back.
He did it his way. Certainly no other president, and few politicians at any level in any time, would dare put on a show like that.
In front of cameras, and using the assembled press corps as props, he conducted a televised revival meeting to remind his supporters that he is still the man they elected. Ticking off a lengthy list of executive orders and other actions he has taken, he displayed serious fealty to his campaign promises.
Trump goes on marathon rant against the media
Sure, sentences didn’t always end on the same topic they started with, and his claim to have won the election by the largest electoral college margin since Ronald Reagan wasn’t close to true.
Fair points, but so what? Fact-checkers didn’t elect him, nor did voters who were happy with the status quo.
Trump, first, last and always, matches the mood of the discontented. Like them, he is a bull looking for a china shop. That’s his ace in the hole and he played it almost to perfection.
The immediate impact of his performance is likely to calm some of the jitters among Republicans in congress and supporters elsewhere, especially after the beating he took in the last few days.
On Monday night, Trump suddenly removed Gen. Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, over circumstances that still are not entirely clear. And on Wednesday, his nominee for Secretary of Labor, Andrew Puzder, withdrew after Republicans said he didn’t have the votes to be confirmed.
Combined with courts blocking his immigration and refugee order, unflattering leaks of confidential material from intelligence agencies and numerous demands for investigations into any Russian connections, Trump’s fast start suddenly hit a wall.
Just three weeks into his term, Democrats, in and out of the media, smelled blood. Many already were going for the kill.
They won’t get it, at least now. Trump bought himself time yesterday.
Yet those determined to bring him down won’t give up, and the insidious leaks of secret material suggest some opponents are members of the permanent government who are willing to use their position and the media to undermine him.
Indeed, the most serious leaks seem to vindicate a warning that Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer made in early January after Trump criticized leaders of the spook agencies.
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told an interviewer. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”
That incredible statement reflects what a dangerous game rogue agents are playing. The world is on fire yet the president is the target of partisan revenge in his own government. It’s a scandal and it’s outrageous, but it’s a fact that Trump must confront.
Finding the leakers and prosecuting them, which he promises to do, is part of the solution.
rAnother part comes Saturday, when Trump takes his solo act to Florida for a massive public rally. It’s smart for him to get out of Washington and soak in the enthusiasm of the populist movement he leads.
He should do it regularly, and also hold smaller, town-hall style forums where ordinary citizens can ask him questions in more intimate settings. Any way he can speak directly to the American people and hear from them democratizes his presidency and reduces the power of big biased media and the Washington establishment.
Yet the only sure and lasting way to keep ahead of the lynch mob is by producing results. Success will be Trump’s savior.
And nothing says success like jobs, jobs, jobs. Getting the economy to reach lift-off speed is essential so it can deliver the good-paying jobs and prosperity that he promised and the nation needs.
While Republican honchos in congress say they’re getting ready to move on tax cuts and replacing ObamaCare, nothing will happen without presidential leadership. That means Trump’s fate is in his own hands and he must keep himself and his White House team focused on delivering an economic revival.
If he does that, the lynch mob will be left holding an empty rope.
At Boeing, Trump returns to an economic message after a week of controversy
By Abby Phillip and Max EhrenfreundFebruary 17 at 2:35 PM
President Trump promised to work to keep manufacturing companies in the U.S., and to lower taxes for businesses, speaking at the unveiling of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on Feb. 17 in North Charleston, S.C. (The Washington Post)
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — When President Trump took the stage here Friday to mark the launch of Boeing’s newest aircraft, it was a scene reminiscent of his airplane hangar rallies during the presidential campaign.
Except, instead of his “Trump” branded Boeing 757 parked in the background, Boeing’s newest product, the Dreamliner 787-10, glittered in the sun behind him, and off to the side stood Trump’s new ride, Air Force One.
Trump’s somewhat unusual appearance at the launch event for the company’s highly anticipated version 10 of the Dreamliner wasn’t to roll out new economic policy or even push a specific economic agenda item. Instead, it seemed that Trump was there to boost the company with a presidential endorsement for its American-made fleet, and he in turn would be the face of a major milestone for one of the country’s largest job creators.
“We’re here today to celebrate American engineering and American manufacturing,” Trump said. “We’re also here today to celebrate jobs. Jobs!”
“Jobs is one of the primary reasons I’m standing here as president, and I will never ever disappoint you. Believe me,” he added.
Trump’s visit to the Boeing plant also comes at a time when the Trump administration is struggling to establish a greater sense of order and focus after weeks of distractions and negative headlines.
The White House has aimed to structure his daily schedule with at least one jobs-focused meeting each day. But much of that has been overshadowed by several all-consuming stories, the most damaging of which was the ouster of Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Monday.
Questions about the Trump administration and campaign’s ties to Russia have only intensified after multiple media reports revealed that Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, despite Flynn’s statements to the contrary.
Friday’s event on the manufacturing floor of Boeing’s South Carolina plant offered Trump a much-needed opportunity to reset his administration and refocus an economic-based message.
“You look at what’s happening with jobs. You look at what’s happening with plants moving back to this country. All of a sudden they’re coming back,” Trump said. “As your president, I’m going to do everything that I can to unleash the power of the American spirit and put our great people back to work.
“This is our mantra, buy American and hire American.”
A few months ago, it seemed that Trump’s relationship with Boeing was on the rocks before it even really began.
As president-elect, Trump launched into a Twitter fight with the company and its chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, over the cost of a new fleet of presidential airplanes that would be used as Air Force One. Quickly, Boeing relented, promising to bring down the plane’s costs after meetings with Trump.
Less than a month into his presidency, Trump is back to Boeing on a decidedly more positive note.
“That plane, as beautiful as it looks, is 30 years old,” Trump said, pointing to the Boeing 747 that serves as Air Force One. “What can look so beautiful at 30?”
President Trump has been doing since taking office
The new president’s tumultuous first weeks have been marked by controversial executive orders and conflicts with the media.
The turnabout is emblematic of Trump’s preferred mode of dealing with America’s largest and most powerful businesses. It reflects the degree to which Trump has already changed the terms of engagement with the business community, quickly creating an incentive structure where businesses are rewarded with praise from the highest office in the land when they roll out jobs or cost savings for taxpayers — and credit him for influencing their decision-making.
Over the past several weeks, chief executives including Intel’s Brian Krzanich traveled to the White House to announce new American jobs, thanks to fresh “confidence” in the economy spurred by the new administration.
“They’re keeping and bringing thousands of jobs back to our country because the business climate, they know, has already changed,” Trump said, highlighting jobs announcements from automakers Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. “We will see more and more of that across the country as we continue to work on reducing regulations, cutting taxes — including for the middle class, including for everyone, and including for businesses.”
In this setting, Trump seems at his most comfortable.
Here, Trump reveled in his electoral victory and the adulation of a supportive crowd in a state that he won in both the Republican primary and the general election.
“This was going to be a place that was tough to win, and we won in a landslide,” Trump declared.
As the restive crowd of Boeing employees waited for hours for Trump to arrive, some cheered when his name was mentioned in the preshow. “Make America Great Again” hats and T-shirts dotted the sea of people on the plant’s manufacturing floor where more than 5,000 employees were gathered.
He toured the new Dreamliner with Boeing executives and could be seen sitting in the plane’s cockpit after his speech.
On Saturday, Trump plans something of a repeat performance in what the White House is dubbing the first “campaign” event of his presidency, at an airplane hangar rally in Melbourne, Fla.
Among some Boeing employees, the reception to Trump was reserved, but optimistic.
Leif Anderson, who started working at the factory six years ago after leaving the Air Force, sat Thursday night at the bar at Domino Lounge, a pool hall three miles from the Boeing plant, smoking cigarillos and sipping a shot of Crown Royal apple whiskey alongside a glass of Bud Lite.
Anderson said he voted for Trump more out of loyalty to the Republican Party, but is “not jumping to conclusions” about the president as a leader.
The big stories and commentary shaping the day.
“I’m really curious to see what he does,” said Anderson, who leads a group of workers at the Boeing plant installing the planes’ interiors. He hopes that Trump’s economic policies succeed, which he said would help his own career along with the country as a whole.
“If he does good, then I’m going to do good,” Anderson said.
Elliott Slater, a Boeing mechanic, took the day off Friday and did not attend Trump’s speech, saying he wanted to avoid the traffic.
“I didn’t vote for him, either.” said Slater, a veteran of the Navy. “He’s not my president. He’s got to earn my respect.”
Slater, who supported the union’s unsuccessful vote to organize the plant in Wednesday’s election, said that Trump would support companies over workers. “He’s definitely pro businesses, being a business man himself. … That’s fine, but you know, how does the business treat its workers?”
President Trump on Thursday signed legislation ending a key Obama administration coal mining rule.
The bill quashes the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule, a regulation to protect waterways from coal mining waste that officials finalized in December.
The legislation is the second Trump has signed into law ending an Obama-era environmental regulation. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution undoing a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.
Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are the tip of a GOP push to undo a slate of regulations instituted in the closing days of the Obama administration. The House has passed several CRA resolutions, and the Senate has so far sent three of them to President Trump for his signature.
Regulators finalized the stream protection rule in December, but they spent most of Obama’s tenure writing it.The rule is among the most controversial environment regulations the former administration put together. The coal mining industry said it would be costly to implement and lead to job losses across the sector, which is already suffering from a market-driven downturn in demand for its product.
At the signing, Trump called the regulation “another terrible job killing rule” and said ending it would save “many thousands American jobs, especially in the mines, which, I have been promising you — the mines are a big deal.”
“This is a major threat to your jobs and we’re going to get rid of this threat,” he added. “We’re going to fight for you.”
Republicans on Congress, especially from Appalachia, supported that argument and sought to block the rule several times before finally passing the CRA resolution this month.
“In my home state of Kentucky and others across the nation, the stream buffer rule will cause major damage to communities and threaten coal jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the bill passed. “We should heed their call now and begin bringing relief to coal country.”
Environmentalists supported the administration rule, saying it would protect waterways from pollution and preserve public health. They have criticized the GOP for repealing environmental rules in the name of supporting coal mining jobs, but doing little else to help displaced workers in mining areas.
“If you want to help miners, then come address their health and safety and their pension program,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said during floor debate on the measure.
“You can protect the coal industry here with special interests and the amount of lobbying they do, or you can step up in a process and have a regulation that works for the United States of America so the outdoor industry and sportsman and fishermen can continue to thrive.”
The Senate this week sent Trump a CRA resolution blocking a gun sales regulation. Members could soon take up a measure undoing a methane rule for natural gas drilling operations on public land.
Dan Coats Announced as Trump’s Pick for Director of National Intelligence
President-Elect Trump Goes on Tweetstorm for Better Russia Relations 1:38
President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats to serve as national intelligence director, his transition team announced Saturday.
Coats, would need to be confirmed by Senate for the role, served eight years in the House of Representatives and two years in the Senate. During the George W. Bush administration, he served as U.S. ambassador to Germany.
“I’m very confident that Senator Dan Coats is the right choice to serve as Director of National Intelligence,” President-elect Trump said in a statement. “Dan has clearly demonstrated the deep subject matter expertise and sound judgment required to lead our intelligence community.”
As director of national intelligence, Coats would serve as the head of the United States’ intelligence community and be the president’s principal adviser on the issue.
Coats will succeed James Clapper, who recently testified in front of Congress that Russia had stepped up its cyber espionage operation in an attempt to undermine the election. A redacted report about the hack and its goals was released on Friday.
First elected to the Senate in 1990 in a special election that filled the seat vacated by Dan Quayle — who departed the Senate to serve as George H. W. Bush’s vice president — Coats won reelection in 1992 before retiring from the Senate in 1998. He then was nominated to serve as U.S. ambassador to Germany in 2001, arriving there mere days before the Sept. 11 terrorism attack.
After departing as ambassador four years later, Coats worked as a prominent lobbyist in Washington D.C. and then decided to run for his former Senate seat in 2010 — an election he won.
Coats again announced his retirement from government in November 2015.
Most recently while in the Senate, Coats served as the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
“If confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, he will provide unwavering leadership that the entire intelligence community can respect, and will spearhead my administration’s ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm,” Trump added in his statement.
“I’m pleased to hear the President-elect has nominated my colleague and friend Dan Coats to be the next head of our Intelligence Community,” said Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “Dan’s experience as a valued member of the Senate Intelligence Committee will help to guide him as the next Director of National Intelligence.”
In the past year as a senator, Coats has introduced six bills. Only two simple resolutions passed: The first recognized the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race and the other commemorated the bicentennial of the state of Indiana.
Coats will lead an intelligence community that already has a rocky relationship with the president-elect, as Trump has continued to float doubts about the community’s findings in the Russia hacking investigation.
While testifying before the Armed Services Committee, Clapper stopped short of calling Russia’s interference in the election an act of war, saying that was something for lawmakers to discern.
However, the committee’s chairman, John McCain (R-AZ), maintained that the attack was alarming.
“Every American should be alarmed by Russia’s attacks on our nation. There is no national security interest more vital to the United States of America than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference,” McCain said in his opening statement during the hearing. “That is why Congress must set partisanship aside, follow the facts, and work together to devise comprehensive solutions to deter, defend against, and, when necessary, respond to foreign cyberattacks.”
On Twitter, Donald Trump seemed more concerned with the intelligence community’s findings that pertained to the legitimacy of his election rather than Russia’s involvement.
The president-elect has maintained a belief that the United States should “move on” from the attack, adding on Saturday that the country will have a good relationship and will work together with Russia under his administration.
CNN’s Jeff Zucker on Covering Donald Trump — Past, Present, and Future
By Gabriel Sherman
At his press conference last week, President-elect Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, denouncing the network as a purveyor of “fake news.” Trump’s ire was in response to CNN’s explosive report that U.S. intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump on claims that the Kremlin had collected compromising information on him. In the wake of CNN’s report, BuzzFeed published the unedited, and unverified, opposition-research dossier referenced in the intel briefing, which included lurid allegations about Trump’s behavior and his campaign’s ties to Russia.
On Tuesday morning, I sat down with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker for a wide-ranging discussion about that controversial scoop, Trump’s threat to press freedom, and why he’s not worried about losing access to the White House.
After Trump attacked CNN for reporting on the intelligence chiefs’ briefing on the Russian dossier, you issued a strongly worded statement defending your story. What made CNN decide to publish reporting on the existence of the dossier? I actually think this was a pretty easy call in terms of its news value. The fact is, the top four intelligence chiefs of the United States decided to include in their briefing to the president and president-elect a two-page summary of allegations involving the president-elect. That is newsworthy by any definition.
Even if the allegations themselves weren’t verified? We didn’t pass judgment on the allegations. We reported we had not been able to corroborate them. But the news was that the two most powerful people in the world had been briefed on the existence of these allegations.
I was at the press conference at Trump Tower, where Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump himself denounced CNN and BuzzFeed as fake news. What do you think of BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the complete dossier? They made a decision for themselves, and they have to live with it. I’m not going to pass judgment on their decision. We did not think it was appropriate for us given that we had not been able to corroborate the allegations.
It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimizejournalism.
When you have the president-elect saying, “Don’t trust CNN, it’s fake news,” is that harmful? It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy. I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Trump is considering moving reporters out of the West Wing. How worried are you about Trump’s attacks on the press? As Tim Russert said, the role of the media is the accountability of government. I think the press plays a much more important role in this administration. Their willingness and inclination to cherry-pick facts, conflate and inflate things, will make covering this administration very challenging. That means our role is more important than ever. We think that CNN has a job to do, which is to hold their feet to the fire. They may not like it, but they should respect it.
Acosta didn’t get to ask a question at last week’s press conference. The first question went to Fox News, and Breitbart got to ask a question. Are you concerned about getting access to Trump? I think the era of access journalism as we’ve known it is over. It doesn’t worry me that Donald Trump hasn’t done an interview with CNN in eight months. I think our credibility is higher than ever, and our viewership is higher than ever, and our reporting is as strong as ever. One of the things I think this administration hasn’t figured out yet is that there’s only one television network that is seen in Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, Pyongyang, Baghdad, Tehran, and Damascus — and that’s CNN. The perception of Donald Trump in capitals around the world is shaped, in many ways, by CNN. Continuing to have an adversarial relationship with that network is a mistake.
Wouldn’t Trump say that’s what Twitter is for? He can shape his own perception. If he’s relying on Twitter to shape his own perception in the capitals of the world then I think he’s making a big mistake.
How does CNN plan to cover Trump’s tweets? I think we should look at his tweets on a case-by-case basis, just like we’d look at the comments of any president, and make an editorial decision on which ones to report, discuss, and cover. So I don’t think we should knee-jerk-cover every tweet just as we didn’t knee-jerk-cover every comment Barack Obama made. We should use our editorial judgment.
I noticed that Trump is sitting down with Fox & Friends. And in recent days, he’s given interviews to The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, both Murdoch papers. What do you think of Trump’s alliance with Murdoch? I think you’re trying to goad me here. But you’ve made the right observation. Look, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that friendly outlets have been the ones that have ended up with the interviews with Donald Trump. Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London — the fact that they’re all Rupert’s publications — I don’t think it’s any coincidence those are the outlets that ended up with the interviews.
It was reported that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve. They said it was because they were trying to get an interview with Trump. Was it appropriate for journalists to attend the president-elect’s private party? I think in that case, optically, it would have been a lot better to have just made a phone call and ask for the interview.
Trump’s feud with CNN is ironic, in a way, because you have perhaps more history with him than any media executive. Some people say you made Trump’s presidential run possible with The Apprentice. Did you? It’s true I put him on television with The Apprentice in 2004. I’ve never run away from that. But in no way do I think that’s why he’s the president. You have to give the guy credit. He ran a campaign that worked.
So you don’t ever regret that the Trump phenomenon arguably started with you? No. Listen, I don’t regret putting The Apprentice on television.
Another irony of the current antagonism is that CNN has sometimes been perceived as being too close to Trump. You got a lot of flak for covering his speeches in full during the primaries and for hiring his former campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski. What do you think of the criticism? We didn’t bend over backward for Trump; we did what we felt was in the best interest of our viewers and readers to understand the story. The reason we hired a number of voices to reflect the Trump point of view was to help the audience understand who he was, where he was coming from, and what he was thinking. Given the results of the election, it turns out we were exactly right to do so. We had a much better sense on our air what the Trump point of view was than most others.
Were you in touch with Trump regularly throughout the campaign? Obviously we’ve known each other for a long time. Just because I’ve known somebody for more than 15 years doesn’t mean they get a pass.
So how often did you talk to him? Probably once a month?
Do you still talk to him? I haven’t talked to him in more than a month.
Some criticized the Ivanka Trump special that aired on CNN as an effort to curry favor with the White House. Was it? I don’t think we’re the only news organization that did a profile of Ivanka Trump. That’s silly. Let’s remember the stories we’ve broken in the last week: the original story on the intelligence briefing; the fact that Monica Crowley was a plagiarist; the fact that Congressman Price may have broken the law on his stocks; the fact that Trump’s pick for Labor was having second thoughts … All those stories were broken by CNN. Tell me another news organization that’s broken more news on Donald Trump in the last week? Please.
Your corporate owner Time Warner is currently going through an $85 billion merger with telecom giant AT&T. Trump has suggested he may try to block the deal because it would concentrate too much media power in one company. Have you spoken with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes about that? No. It’s one of the things I respect about Time Warner and Turner: their understanding of CNN’s independence. There’s been absolutely no conversations or anything of the sort between us and Time Warner.
Some have suggested that CNN might have to be spun off in order to have the deal approved by Trump’s Justice Department. Are you worried about that? No.
You had the biggest night in cable-news history on Election Night, 13 million viewers. What’s your plan to maintain ratings in 2017?
Our viewership continues to be significantly higher than it was a year ago and frankly much higher than we expected it to be. There’s been no evidence of any falloff at all. I think people are coming to us because they know we’ll report both sides of the story. We expected we’d be down 25 percent from last year because you had all the election nights, debates, and conventions, but if the first three weeks of this year are any indication, I’m not so sure it will be down that much.
In December, the Drudge Report reported you were wooing Megyn Kelly. Did you try to hire her? I had one conversation with Megyn about coming to CNN in prime time. It never got serious, it never got real.
What do you think of her move to NBC? I wish her nothing but success. I think NBC News is a great fit for her and she’ll be a big star there.
During the Bush years, MSNBC saw its ratings skyrocket by being the voice of opposition. Since Election Day, MSNBC has held on to much of its election-year audience, suggesting the network might enjoy similar success during the Trump years. What’s your assessment of MSNBC? I think all of the cable-news networks are healthy and vibrant and at a good place in the history of cable news. In terms of audience, there’s a clear No. 1, a clear No. 2, and a clear No. 3. In terms of reporting and breaking news, there’s only one true cable-news network.
So, what would be the best scoop now? If CNN got Trump’s tax returns would you report them? If we could verify they were real and legitimate, just like any other news organization, we would report on them. Sure.
* This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
James R. Clapper, center, the director of national intelligence, with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, right, director of the National Security Agency, during a Senate hearing last week.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.
Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.
Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.
“This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”
But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.
“Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”
The N.S.A. has been required to apply similar privacy protections to foreigners’ information since early 2014, an unprecedented step that President Obama took after the disclosures of N.S.A. documents by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden. The other intelligence agencies will now have to follow those rules, too.
Under the new system, agencies will ask the N.S.A. for access to specific surveillance feeds, making the case that they contain information relevant and useful to their missions. The N.S.A. will grant requests it deems reasonable after considering factors like whether large amounts of Americans’ private information might be included and, if so, how damaging or embarrassing it would be if that information were “improperly used or disclosed.”
The move is part of a broader trend of tearing down bureaucratic barriers to sharing intelligence between agencies that dates back to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2002, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly began permitting the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share raw intercepts gathered domestically under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
After Congress enacted the FISA Amendments Act — which legalized warrantless surveillance on domestic soil so long as the target is a foreigner abroad, even when the target is communicating with an American — the court permitted raw sharing of emails acquired under that program, too.
In July 2008, the same month Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act, President George W. Bush modified Executive Order 12333, which sets rules for surveillance that domestic wiretapping statutes do not address, including techniques that vacuum up vast amounts of content without targeting anybody.
After the revision, Executive Order 12333 said the N.S.A. could share the raw fruits of such surveillance after the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, coordinating with the defense secretary, agreed on procedures. It took another eight years to develop those rules.
Among the most important questions left unanswered in February was when analysts would be permitted to use Americans’ names, email addresses or other identifying information to search a 12333 database and pull up any messages to, from or about them that had been collected without a warrant.
There is a parallel debate about the FISA Amendments Act’s warrantless surveillance program. National security analysts sometimes search that act’s repository for Americans’ information, as do F.B.I. agents working on ordinary criminal cases. Critics call this the “backdoor search loophole,” and some lawmakers want to require a warrant for such searches.
By contrast, the 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American’s identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations, not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.
However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.
The limits on using Americans’ information gathered under Order 12333 do not apply to metadata: logs showing who contacted whom, but not what they said. Analysts at the intelligence agencies may study social links between people, in search of hidden associates of known suspects, “without regard to the location or nationality of the communicants.”
Obama Administration Set to Expand Sharing of Data That N.S.A. Intercepts
By CHARLIE SAVAGE FEB. 25, 2016
President Obama, meeting Thursday with his National Security Council, wants more intelligence experts to see information intercepted by the National Security Agency.CreditZach Gibson/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies.
The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information, increasing the chances that they will recognize any possible nuggets of value. That also means more officials will be looking at private messages — not only foreigners’ phone calls and emails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but also communications to, from, or about Americans that the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.
Civil liberties advocates criticized the change, arguing that it will weaken privacy protections. They said the government should disclose how much American content the N.S.A. collects incidentally — which agency officials have said is hard to measure — and let the public debate what the rules should be for handling that information.
“Before we allow them to spread that information further in the government, we need to have a serious conversation about how to protect Americans’ information,” said Alexander Abdo, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer.
Robert S. Litt, the general counsel in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that the administration had developed and was fine-tuning what is now a 21-page draft set of procedures to permit the sharing.
The goal for the final rules, Brian P. Hale, a spokesman for the office, said in a statement, is “to ensure that they protect privacy, civil liberties and constitutional rights while enabling the sharing of information that is important to protect national security.”
Until now, National Security Agency analysts have filtered the surveillance information for the rest of the government. They search and evaluate the information and pass only the portions of phone calls or email that they decide is pertinent on to colleagues at the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. And before doing so, the N.S.A. takes steps to mask the names and any irrelevant information about innocent Americans.
The new system would permit analysts at other intelligence agencies to obtain direct access to raw information from the N.S.A.’s surveillance to evaluate for themselves. If they pull out phone calls or email to use for their own agency’s work, they would apply the privacy protections masking innocent Americans’ information — a process known as “minimization” — at that stage, Mr. Litt said.
Executive branch officials have been developing the new framework and system for years. President George W. Bush set the change in motion through a little-noticed line in a 2008 executive order, and the Obama administration has been quietly developing a framework for how to carry it out since taking office in 2009.
The executive branch can change its own rules without going to Congress or a judge for permission because the data comes from surveillance methods that lawmakers did not include in the main law that governs national security wiretapping, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.
FISA covers a narrow band of surveillance: the collection of domestic or international communications from a wire on American soil, leaving most of what the N.S.A. does uncovered. In the absence of statutory regulation, the agency’s other surveillance programs are governed by rules the White House sets under a Reagan-era directive called Executive Order 12333.
Mr. Litt declined to make available a copy of the current draft of the proposed procedures.
“Once these procedures are final and approved, they will be made public to the extent consistent with national security,” Mr. Hale said. “It would be premature to draw conclusions about what the procedures will provide or authorize until they are finalized.”
Among the things they would not address is what the draft rules say about searching the raw data using names or keywords intended to bring up Americans’ phone calls or email that the security agency gathered “incidentally” under the 12333 surveillance programs — including whether F.B.I. agents may do so when working on ordinary criminal investigations.
Under current rules for data gathered under a parallel program — the no-warrant surveillance program governed by the FISA Amendments Act — N.S.A. and C.I.A. officials may search for Americans’ information only if their purpose is to find foreign intelligence, but F.B.I. agents may conduct such a search for intelligence or law enforcement purposes. Some lawmakers have proposed requiring the government to obtain a warrant before conducting such a search.
In 2013, The Washington Post reported, based on documents leaked by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden, that the N.S.A. and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, had tapped into links connecting Google’s and Yahoo’s data centers overseas and that the American spy agency had collected millions of records a day from them. The companies have since taken steps to encrypt those links.
That collection occurred under 12333 rules, which had long prohibited the N.S.A. from sharing raw information gathered from the surveillance it governed with other members of the intelligence community before minimization. The same rule had also long applied to sharing information gathered with FISA wiretaps.
But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration began an effort to tear down barriers that impeded different parts of the government from working closely and sharing information, especially about terrorism.
In 2002, for example, it won permission, then secret, from the intelligence court permitting the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the N.S.A. to share raw FISA wiretap information. The government did not disclose that change, which was first reported in a 2014 New York Times article based on documents disclosed by Mr. Snowden.
In August 2008, Mr. Bush changed 12333 to permit the N.S.A. to share unevaluated surveillance information with other intelligence agencies once procedures were developed.
Intelligence officials began working in 2009 on how the technical system and rules would work, Mr. Litt said, eventually consulting the Defense and Justice Departments. This month, the administration briefed the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent five-member watchdog panel, seeking input. Before they go into effect, they must be approved by James R. Clapper, the intelligence director; Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general; and Ashton B. Carter, the defense secretary.
“We would like it to be completed sooner rather than later,” Mr. Litt said. “Our expectation is months rather than weeks or years.”
Story 1: CIA Rank and File Give President Trump A Standing Ovation — Videos —
Donald Trump to CIA “I love you, I respect you” – BBC News
400 CIA OFFICIALS CHEER ON PRESIDENT TRUMP: VISITS AGENCY TO SHOW HIS SUPPORT AS A PRIORITY
Published on Jan 21, 2017
January 21, 2017
President Donald Trump stops in to meet with 400+ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Officials as his FIRST order of business after being sworn in as the 45th Commander-In-Chief yesterday. Despite what the mainstream media has been portraying as a long-winded battle between Donald Trump and the Intelligence Community, Trump dropped in to meet and greet with some of the Country’s Finest in a show of solidarity. Many may view this as some type of publicity stunt by Trump, however, he has little to gain from falsifying a trip such as this… he’s already won the election, and is already sworn into office. At this point, I will take him at his word that he simply chose to make National Security, which has been a Campaign Promise all along, as Priority #1. By visiting the CIA in person just over 24 hours into being POTUS, it does send a strong message that either the media got the story wrong all along, or, President Trump is smarter than he is generally given credit for, and knows he will need the CIA to help him accomplish or attain his Campaign Promises. Either way, its a win-win scenario.
Trump Receives Standing Ovation After CIA Speech (FULL SPEECH)
The Covert Origins of ISIS
Special Activities Division – Special Operations Group | SAD SOG
Published on Jun 30, 2015
The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as “special activities”. Within SAD there are two separate groups, SAD/SOG for tactical paramilitary operations and SAD/PAG for covert political action. The Special Activities Division reports directly to the Deputy Director of the National Clandestine Service.
Special Operations Group (SOG) is the department within SAD responsible for operations that include the collection of intelligence in hostile countries and regions, and all high threat military or intelligence operations with which the U.S. government does not wish to be overtly associated. As such, members of the unit (called Paramilitary Operations Officers and Specialized Skills Officers) normally do not carry any objects or clothing (e.g., military uniforms) that would associate them with the United States government. If they are compromised during a mission, the United States government may deny all knowledge.
SOG is generally considered the most secretive special operations force in the United States. The group selects operatives from other tier one special mission units such as Delta Force, DEVGRU and ISA, as well as other United States special operations forces, such as USNSWC, MARSOC, Special Forces, SEALs and 24th STS.
SOG Paramilitary Operations Officers account for a majority of Distinguished Intelligence Cross and Intelligence Star recipients during any given conflict or incident which elicits CIA involvement. An award bestowing either of these citations represents the highest honors awarded within the CIA organization in recognition of distinguished valor and excellence in the line of duty. SAD/SOG operatives also account for the majority of the names displayed on the Memorial Wall at CIA headquarters indicating that the agent died while on active duty.
Inside America’s New Covert Wars: Navy SEALs, Delta Force, Blackwater, Security Contractors (2013)
Published on Dec 29, 2014
The United States Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and United States Special Operations Command. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/156…
The SEALs duty is to conduct small-unit maritime military operations which originate from, and return to a river, ocean, swamp, delta or coastline. SEALs can negotiate shallow water areas such as the Persian Gulf coastline, where large ships and submarines are limited due to depth.
1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D), popularly known as Delta Force, is a U.S. Army component of Joint Special Operations Command. It was formerly listed as the Combat Applications Group (CAG) by the Department of Defense but some claim it has been re-designated the Army Compartmented Elements (ACE). While 1st SFOD-D is administratively supported by USASOC, it falls under the operational control of the Joint Special Operations Command. Delta Force and its Navy counterpart, the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, are the United States military’s primary counter-terrorism units. It is often referred to in the U.S. media as a Special Mission Unit.
Delta Force’s primary tasks are counter-terrorism, direct action, and national intervention operations, although it is an extremely versatile group capable of conducting many types of clandestine missions, including, but not limited to, hostage rescues and raids.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its elite Special Operations Group (SOG) often works with – and recruits – operators from Delta Force.
The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) National Clandestine Service (NCS) responsible for covert operations known as “special activities”. Within SAD there are two separate groups, SAD/SOG for tactical paramilitary operations and SAD/PAG for covert political action.
Special Operations Group (SOG) is the department within SAD responsible for operations that include the collection of intelligence in hostile countries and regions, and all high threat military or intelligence operations with which the U.S. government does not wish to be overtly associated. As such, members of the unit (called Paramilitary Operations Officers and Specialized Skills Officers) normally do not carry any objects or clothing (e.g., military uniforms) that would associate them with the United States government. If they are compromised during a mission, the government of the United States may deny all knowledge.
SOG is generally considered the most secretive special operations force in the United States. The group selects operatives from other tier one special mission units such as Delta Force, DEVGRU and ISA, as well as other United States special operations forces, such as USNSWC, MARSOC, USASF and 24th STS.
SOG Paramilitary Operations Officers account for a majority of Distinguished Intelligence Cross and Intelligence Star recipients during any given conflict or incident which elicits CIA involvement. An award bestowing either of these citations represents the highest honors awarded within the CIA organization in recognition of distinguished valor and excellence in the line of duty. SAD/SOG operatives also account for the majority of the names displayed on the Memorial Wall at CIA headquarters indicating that the agent died while on active duty.
The Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, develop joint special operations tactics and execute special operations missions worldwide. It was established in 1980 on recommendation of Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw. It is located at Pope Field (Fort Bragg) in North Carolina, USA.
The Secret Deaths of CIA Operatives: A Fascinating History of Espionage (2000)
Published on Feb 15, 2015
The Memorial Wall is a memorial at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It honors CIA employees who died in the line of service. About the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038…
The Memorial Wall is located in the Original Headquarters Building lobby on the north wall. There are 111 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall, each one representing an employee who died in the line of service. Paramilitary officers of the CIA’s Special Activities Division comprise the majority of those memorialized.
A black Moroccan goatskin-bound book, called the “Book of Honor,” sits in a steel frame beneath the stars, its “slender case jutting out from the wall just below the field of stars,” and is “framed in stainless steel and topped by an inch-thick plate of glass.” Inside it shows the stars, arranged by year of death and, when possible, lists the names of employees who died in CIA service alongside them. The identities of the unnamed stars remain secret, even in death. In 1997, there were 70 stars, 29 of which had names. There were 79 stars in 2002, 83 in 2004, 90 in 2009, 107 in 2013, and 111 in 2014. 80 of the 111 entries in the book contain names, while the other employees are represented only by a gold star followed by a blank space. Douglas Mackiernan – The first CIA employee to be killed in the line of duty and the first star on the wall. Mackiernan had worked for the State Department in China since 1947. When the People’s Republic of China was established at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the State Department ordered that the Tihwa (Ürümqi) consulate where Mackiernan was stationed as vice consul be closed, and personnel were to leave the country immediately. Mackiernan, however, was ordered to stay behind, destroy cryptographic equipment, monitor the situation, and aid anti-communist Nationalists. Mackiernan fled south toward India after most escape routes were cut off, along with Frank Bessac, an American Fulbright Scholar who was in Tihwa, and three White Russians. Although Mackiernan and his party survived the Taklamakan Desert and Himalayas, Mackiernan was shot by Tibetan border guards, probably because they mistook them as Communist infiltrators. Although Mackiernan’s death was reported on the front cover of the New York Times at the time of his death and his name appears on a plaque in the State Department lobby, the CIA did not reveal his service, because he was operating under diplomatic cover. His star was acknowledged to family members in a secret memorial ceremony at the Wall in 2000 but remained officially undisclosed until 2006, when his name was placed into the CIA’s Book of Honor. Jerome P. Ginley – Killed in 1951, during a clandestine mission in East Germany along with Joseph Schussler, a US Army Intelligence Officer.
Benghazi Report Leaves Weapon Trafficking A Question Mark
3 hours Benghazi – Operators Full Interview
The Truth About Benghazi
The Truth About ISIS Beheadings: 9/11 Continued…
The Fall of Rome and Modern Parallels
The Truth About The Fall of Rome: Modern Parallels
Chalmers Johnson on American Hegemony
Uploaded on Jan 8, 2011
Volume 4 of 5 in the ‘speaking freely’ series. (52 minutes)
Chalmers argues that the age of the “American Empire” is nearing its end.
Author of Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers Johnson has literally written the book on the concept of American hegemony. A former naval officer and consultant to the C.I.A., he now serves as professor emeritus of UC San Diego. As co-founder and president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, Mr. Johnson also continues to promote public education about Asia’s role in the international community. In this exclusive interview, you will find out why the practice of empire building is, by no means, a thing of the past. As the United States continues to expand its military force around the globe, the consequences are being suffered by each and every one of us. (Written by Richard Castro)
Chalmers Johnson † November 20, 2010.
The BLOWBACK SYNDROME: Oil Wars and Overreach
Uploaded on Jan 22, 2008
Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the U.S. ‘military-petroleum complex,’ the overextension of the American military, nuclear proliferation, and the decline of Washington’s credibility abroad.
Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific. http://www.jpri.org/
DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay
Uploaded on Jan 22, 2008
Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback, Sorrows of Empire and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic , talks about the similarities in the decline of the Roman and Soviet empires and the signs that the U.S. empire is exhibiting the same symptoms: overextension, corruption and the inability to reform.
Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific. http://www.jpri.org/
How Does the CIA Gather Intelligence? Robert Baer on Information Sharing, Agents (2003)
Rude CIA director HATES Trump and says “WATCH YOUR MOUTH”
Hillary Clinton ADMITS The CIA Started & Funded Al Qaeda
BOOM: DONALD TRUMP JUST ASKED CIA CHIEF THE 1 QUESTION HE’LL NEVER WANT TO ANSWER
President Trump Gets a 5 Minute Standing Ovation at CIA Headquarters
By S. Noble
January 21, 2017
The media and the left in general are not happy that President Trump received a very warm welcome with cheers and whistles at CIA headquarters Saturday. The president criticized the media during his speech and that too was cheered.
Trump said he decided to visit the CIA on his first full day in office because of the “media war”. The media made it look as if he was opposed to the men and women of the CIA.
“They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community,” Trump said of the media. “The reason you’re my number one stop, it is exactly the opposite.”
“I am so behind you,” Trump told the more than 300 CIA officials who had gathered at the agency’s Virginia headquarters. “And I know sometimes you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted. And you’re going to get so much backing.”
“I am with you a thousand percent,” he told them.
When he said the media is among the most dishonest people on earth, he received a round of loud applause.
He claimed the media lied about the numbers at this Inaugural. If true, it wouldn’t be the first time. I went to cover one tea party event, the first one in D.C. and there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps more but NBC News reported that there were 3,000.
Zeke Miller from Time Magazine said Donald Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King which wasn’t true. Trump addressed it during this speech.
Miller has since apologized and said it was a mistake. He has tweeted several apologies in fact.
So, he made a mistake. Why not check before writing something like that?
The day after his inauguration, President Donald Trump addressed CIA employees at the Agency’s headquarters. Video of his remarks is available below courtesy of The Washington Post, along with a transcript courtesy of CSPAN. We have also included notable responses to Trump’s speech at the bottom of this post.
Well. I want to thank everybody. Very, very special people. And it is true: this is my first stop. Officially. We’re not talking about the balls, and we’re not talking about even the speeches. Although, they did treat me nicely on that speech yesterday [laughter].
I always call them “the dishonest media”, but they treated me nicely.
But, I want to say that there is nobody that feels stronger about the Intelligence Community and the CIA than Donald Trump. [applause]. There’s Nobody. Nobody.
And the wall behind me is very very special. We’ve been touring for quite a while. And I’ll tell you what: twenty … nine? I can’t believe it.. No. Twenty eight. We’ve got to reduce it. That’s amazing. And we really appreciate it what you ‘ve done in terms of showing us something very special. And your whole group. These are really special, amazing people. Very. very few people could do the job you people do.
And I want to just let you know: I am so behind you. And I know, maybe sometimes, you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted. And you’re going to get so much backing. Maybe you’re going to say “please don’t give us so much backing”. [laughter] “Mr President, please, we don’t need that much backing”.
But you’re going to have that. And I think everybody in this room knows it.
You know, the military, and the law-enforcement generally speaking, — but, all of it — but the military, gave us tremendous percentages of votes. We were unbelievably successful in the election with getting the vote of the military and probably almost everybody in this room voted for me, but I will not ask you to raise your hands if you did. [laughter]
But I would guarantee a big portion. Because we’re all on the same wavelength, folks. We’re all on the same wavelength. [applause] Alight? [pointing to the crowd] He knows. Took Brian about 30 seconds to figure that one out, right? Because we know. We’re on the same wavelength.
We’re going to do great things. We’re going to do great things. We’ve been fighting these wars for longer than any wars we’ve ever fought. We have not used the real abilities that we have. We’ve been restrained.
We have to get rid of ISIS. We have to get rid of ISIS. We have no choice [applause]
Radical Islamic terrorism – and I said it yesterday – has to be eradicated. Just off the face of the Earth. This is evil. This is evil.
And you know, I can understand the other side. We can all understand the other side. There can be wars between countries. There can be wars. You can understand what happened. This is something nobody could even understand. This is a level of evil that we haven’t seen.
You’re going to go to it, and you’re going to do a phenomenal job. But we’re going to end it. It’s time. It’s time right now to end it.
You have somebody coming on who is extraordinary. You know for the different positions, of secretary of this and secretary of that and all of these great positions, I’d see five, six, seven, eight people.
And we had a great transition. We had an amazing team of talent.
And by the way, General Flynn is right over here. Put up your hand, Mike. What a good guy [applause]
And Reince, and my whole group. Reince. You know Reince? They don’t care about Reince. He’s like, this political guy that turned out to be a superstar, right? We don’t have to talk about Reince.
But, we did. We had just such a tremendous, tremendous success.
So when I’m interviewing all of these candidates that Reince and his whole group is putting in front, it went very, very quickly, and in this case went so quickly. Because I would see six or seven or eight for secretary of agriculture, who we just named the other day. Sunny Perdue. Former Governor of Georgia. Fantastic guy. But I’d see six, seven, eight people for a certain position. Everybody wanted it.
But I met Mike Pompeo, and he was the only guy I met. I didn’t want to meet anybody else. I said “cancel everybody else”. Cancel. Now he was approved, essentially. But they’re doing a little political games with me. You know, he was one of the three.
Now, last night, as you know, General Mattis – fantastic guy – and General Kelly got approved [applause]
And Mike Pompeo was supposed to be in that group; it was going to be the three of them. Can you imagine? All of these guys. People respect … they respect that military sense. All my political people? They’re not doing so well. The political people aren’t doing so well… but you … We’re going to get them all through. But some will take a little bit longer than others.
But Mike was literally — I had a group of, what, we had nine different people? — Now. I must say, I didn’t mind cancelling eight appointments. That wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
But I met him, and I said “he is so good”. Number one in his class at West Point. Now, I know a lot about West Point. I’m a person that very strongly believes in academics. In fact, every time I say, I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT for 35 years, who did a fantastic job in so many different ways academically. He was an academic genius.
And then they say: “is Donald Trump an intellectual?” Trust me. I’m like a smart person. [laughter] [pointing at Mike Pompeo] And I recognized immediately,
So he was Number 1 at West Point. And he was also essentially number 1 at Harvard Law School. And then he decided to go into the military. And he ran for Congress. And everything he’s done has been a home run.
People like him. But much more importantly to me, everybody respects him.
When I told Paul Ryan that I want to do this, I would say, he may be the only person that was not totally thrilled, right, Mike? Because he said “I don’t want to lose this guy.”
You will be getting a total star. You going to be getting a total gem. He is a gem. And I just …. [applause] You’ll see. You’ll see. And many of you know him anyway. But you’re going to see.
And again: we have some great people going, but this one is something, going to be very special, because this is one of — if I had to name the most important, this would certainly be, perhaps, you know, in certain ways, you could even say my most important.
You do the job like everybody in this room is capable of doing.
And the generals are wonderful and the fighting is wonderful. But if you give them the right direction? Boy does the fighting become easier. And boy do we lose so fewer lives, and win so … quickly.
And that’s what we have to do. We have to start winning again.
You know what? When I was young, And when I was … of course, I feel young. I feel like I’m 30. 35. 39. [laughter]. Somebody said “are you young?” I said “I think I’m young.”
You know, I was stopping when we were in the final month of that campaign. Four stops, five stops. Seven stops. Speeches — speeches — in front of twenty five, thirty thousand people. Fifteen thousand, nineteen thousand, from stop to stop.
I feel young.
But when I was young — and I think we’re all sort of young — when I was young, we were always winning things in this country. We’d win with trade. We’d win with wars.
At a certain age I remember hearing from one of my instructors “The United States has never lost a war”.
And then, after that, it’s like, we haven’t won anything. We don’t win anymore.
The old expression: “to the victor belong the spoils” – you remember? You always used to say “keep the oil”. I wasn’t a fan of Iraq. I didn’t want to go into Iraq. But I will tell you. When we were in, we got out wrong.
And I always said: “In addition to that, keep the oil”.
Now I said it for economic reasons, but if you think about, Mike, if we kept the oil we would probably wouldn’t have ISIS, because that’s where they made their money in the first place. So we should have kept the oil.
But okay. [laughter] Maybe we’ll have another chance.
But the fact is: we should’ve kept the oil. I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country towards making us safe, towards making us winners again. Towards ending all of the problems — we have so many problems that are interrelated that we don’t even think of, but interrelated — to the kind of havoc and fear that this sick group of people has caused.
So I can only say that I am with you 1000%. And the reason you’re my first stop is that as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth. [laughter, applause]
And they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the Intelligence Community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you’re the number 1 stop is exactly the opposite. Exactly. And they understand that too.
And I was explaining about the numbers. We did a thing yesterday, the speech, and everybody really liked the speech, you had to right? [applause]
We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.
I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: “wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was…. It looked like a million, a million and a half people.” They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said “Donald Trump did not draw well”. And I said “well it was almost raining”. The rain should have scared them away. But God looked down and he said “we’re not going to let it rain on your speech”.
In fact, when I first started I said “oh no”. First line, I got hit by a couple of drops. And i said “oh, this is too bad, but we’ll go right through it”. But the truth is: that it stopped immediately. It was amazing. And then it became really sudden, and then I walked off and it poured right after I left – it poured.
But you know, we have something that’s amazing because, we had, it looked honestly, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.
And I turn on, with my steak … and I get this network shows an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.
Now that’s not bad. But it’s a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around, you know, the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20 block area all the way back to the Washington Monument was packed.
So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.
They had another one yesterday which was interesting. In the Oval Office there’s a beautiful statue of Dr Martin Luther King. And I also happen to like Churchill. Winston Churchill. I think most of us like Churchill. He doesn’t come from our country. But he had lot to do with it. He helped us. A real ally.
And as you know, the Churchill statue was taken out. The bust. And as you probably also have read, the Prime Minister is coming over to our country very shortly, and they wanted to know whether or not I’d like it back. And I said “absolutely, but in the meantime we have a bust of Churchill”.
So a reporter for Time magazine. And I have been on their cover like 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all time record in the history of Time magazine. Like it Tom Brady is on the cover of Time magazine, it’s one time, because he won the Superbowl or something, right? [laughter]. I’ve been on for 15 times this year.
I don’t think that’s a record, Mike, that they can ever be broken, do you agree with that? What do you think?
But I will say that, he said something that was very interesting: that “Donald Trump took down the bust, the statue, of Dr Martin Luther King”. It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it.
So Zeke – Zeke – from Time magazine writes a story about how I took it down. But I would never do that, because I have great respect for Dr Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is: a big story. And the retraction was like — was it a line? Or did they even bother putting it in?
So I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you the final time: although I will say it, when you let in your thousands of other people that had been trying to come in, because I am coming back.
We may have to get you a larger room. [laughter, applause] We may have to get you a larger room.
And maybe – maybe – it’ll be built by somebody that knows how to build and we won’t have columns [laughter] You understand that? We’d get rid of the columns.
I just wanted to really say that I love you. I respect you. There’s nobody that I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again. And you’re going to be leading the charge.
So thank you all very much. Thank you, beautiful. Thank you all very much.
Have a good day.
I’ll be back. I’ll be back. Thank you.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lauded the speech, which drew sharp criticism from Trump’s opponents on both the left and right. In a brief press conference in which he took no questions, Spicer stated:
As you know, the President was at the Central Intelligence Agency today, and was greeted by a raucous overflowing crowd of some 400-plus CIA employees. There were over a thousand requests to attend, prompting the President to note that he would have to come back to greet the rest. The employees were ecstatic to see the Commander-in-Chief, and he delivered them a powerful and important message. He told them he has their back and they were grateful for that. They gave him a five-minute standing ovation at the end in a display of their patriotism and their enthusiasm for his presidency.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the following statement in response to Trump’s speech:
I had hoped that President Trump’s visit to the CIA today would mark the beginning of a new relationship between him and the Intelligence Community. The nation cannot afford to have a dysfunctional relationship between its commander-in-chief and those charged with providing him unbiased insight into the range of threats we face.
But while standing in front of the stars representing CIA personnel who lost their lives in the service of their country—hallowed ground—Trump gave little more than a perfunctory acknowledgement of their service and sacrifice. Instead he argued at length about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, set out his favorites in the media, meandered through a variety of other topics unrelated to intelligence, and made the astounding claim so belied by the evidence—”I love honesty.”
As President, he will have to rely on the assessments of the intelligence community and he will find himself asking others to rely on them as well. He will need to trust them to do their vital job, and to provide impartial assessments based on the best available intelligence. In short, he will need to do more than use the agency memorial as a backdrop if he wants to earn the respect of the men and women who provide the best intelligence in the world.
The Democratic National Committee released the following:
WASHINGTON – DNC Senior Advisor Zac Petkanas issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s visit to the CIA:
“After he finished ranting about crowd sizes on the National Mall, I hope President Trump sat down for an interview with the CIA to help with their investigation into his team’s possible collusion with the Kremlin to win the election. Next, he can sit down with the FBI who have sought warrants to monitor his team for the same reason.”
Anti-Trump conservative Evan McMullin, who is himself a former CIA employee, wrote:
Via former CIA deputy chief of staff Nick Shapiro, former CIA Director John Brennan stated (in twotweets):
Former CIA Dir Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes. Brennan says that Trump should be ashamed of himself.
UPDATE: Regarding Spicer’s comments on the enthusiasm of the CIA employees attending the speech, CBS reports:
Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign.
An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering
The Memorial Wall is located in the Original Headquarters Building lobby on the north wall. There are 117 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall, each one representing an employee who died in the line of service. Paramilitary officers of the CIA’s Special Activities Division comprise the majority of those memorialized.
A black Moroccan goatskin-bound book, called the “Book of Honor,” sits in a steel frame beneath the stars, its “slender case jutting out from the wall just below the field of stars,” and is “framed in stainless steel and topped by an inch-thick plate of glass.” Inside it shows the stars, arranged by year of death and, when possible, lists the names of employees who died in CIA service alongside them. The identities of the unnamed stars remain secret, even in death. In 1997, there were 70 stars, 29 of which had names. There were 79 stars in 2002,  83 in 2004, 90 in 2009, 107 in 2013, 111 in 2014 and 117 in 2016. 84 of the 117 entries in the book contain names, while the other employees are represented only by a gold star followed by a blank space.
The Wall bears the inscription IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY in gold block letters. The Wall is flanked by the flag of the United States on the left and a flag bearing the CIA seal on the right.
Adding new stars
When new names are added to the Book of Honor, stone carver Tim Johnston of the Carving and Restoration Team in Manassas, Virginia adds a new star to the Wall if that person’s star is not already present. Johnston learned the process of creating the stars from the original sculptor of the Wall, Harold Vogel, who created the first 31 stars and the Memorial Wall inscription when the Wall was created in July 1974. The wall was “first conceived as a small plaque to recognize those from the CIA who died in Southeast Asia, the idea quickly grew to a memorial for Agency employees who died in the line of duty.” The process used by Johnston to add a new star is as follows:
Johnston creates a star by first tracing the new star on the wall using a template. Each star measures 2¼ inches tall by 2¼ inches wide and half an inch deep; all the stars are six inches apart from each other, as are all the rows. Johnston uses both a pneumatic air hammer and a chisel to carve out the traced pattern. After he finishes carving the star, he cleans the dust and sprays the star black, which as the star ages, fades to gray.
The Honor and Merit Awards Board (HMAB) recommends approval of candidates to be listed on the wall to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA states that “Inclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of an inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee’s Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards.” After approval by the director, the Office of Protocol arranges for a new star to be placed on the Wall.
Jerome P. Ginley – Killed in 1951, during a clandestine mission in East Germany along with Joseph Schussler, a US Army Intelligence Officer.
Norman A. Schwartz and Robert C. Snoddy – Both were pilots of a C-47 aircraft on a mission to extract a CIA operative from China. Their plane took off on November 29, 1952, from South Korea for Jilin province, China. They were preparing to pick up the agent with an airborne extraction system when the operative was compromised by Chinese forces on the ground and their plane was shot down. Both Schwarts and Snoddy were killed, while two other CIA crewmembers, Richard G. Fecteau and John T. Downey, were captured by the Chinese and held until 1971 and 1973, respectively. Schwartz’s and Snoddy’s remains were returned in 2005.
James “Pete” McCarthy Jr. – A paramilitary operations officer who died in 1954, on a training flight in Southeast Asia.
Four CIA Lockheed U-2pilots who died in plane crashes – Wilburn S. Rose (d. May 15, 1956), Frank G. Grace (d. August 31, 1956), Howard Carey (d. September 17, 1956), and Eugene “Buster” Edens (d. April 1965). Rose, Grace, Carey, and Edens were honored with stars in 1974.
William P. Boteler – Boteler was killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Cyprus that was frequented by CIA operatives; the group EOKA committed the attack on June 16, 1956.
James J. McGrath – A native of Middletown, Connecticut, McGrath died following an accident while working on a high-power German transmitter in January 1957. His star was placed on the wall in 2007.
Nels L. Benson – Killed on April 13, 1961, in a training accident while instructing members of Brigade 2506 on the use of C-4 explosives in Retalhuleu, Guatemala.
Four CIA pilots were killed on April 19, 1961, while supporting the failed Bay of Pigs invasion on Cuba – Leo F. Baker, Wade C. Gray, Thomas W. Ray and Riley W. Shamburger. One more American was killed during the invasion, paratrooper Herman Koch Gene, but he was not part of the CIA.
John J. Merriman – A CIA pilot, he was shot down on July 26, 1964, while attacking a convoy of Simba rebels near Kabalo, Congo, with his T-28 counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft.
Barbara Robbins – Killed in a Vietcong car bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, on March 30, 1965.She was honored with one of the original 31 stars in 1974, but her name was not included in the Book of Honor until May 2011.
John W. Waltz – Died on June 6, 1965, in Baghdad, Iraq, while working as an Aide at the U.S. embassy. He became ill and died from medical complications following emergency surgery.
Edward Johnson and Louis O’Jibway – Both were members of the CIA front company called Air America who were working as intelligence officers. They were killed when their helicopter crashed into the Mekong River in Southeast Asia on August 20, 1965.
Michael M. Deuel and Michael A. Maloney – Both were members of the CIA front company called Air America who were working as intelligence officers. They were killed, along with one more Air America pilot and a mechanic, when their helicopter crashed near Saravane, Laos, on October 12, 1965.
Marcell Rene Gough – A maritime specialist who died in a vehicle accident in November 1965, in today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, while on assignment to maintain equipment for operations designed to defeat communist-backed rebels.
Nine officers were killed in action during the Vietnam War in South Vietnam or Laos from 1965 to 1975 – Unknown (d. 1965), Billy J. Johnson (d. 1968), Wayne J. McNulty (d. 1968), Richard M. Sisk (d. 1968), David L. Konzelman (d. 1971), Raymond L. Seaborg (d. 1972), John Peterson (d. 1972), John W. Kearns (d. 1972), William E. Bennett (d. 1975).
Ksawery “Bill” Wyrozemski – An air operations officer who died in a vehicle accident in 1967, in today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Two CIA A-12 pilots who died in plane crashes – Walter L. Ray (d. January 5, 1967) and Jack W. Weeks (d. June 4, 1968).
Charles Mayer – An engineer in the Directorate of Science and Technology, who died in an airplane crash in Iran in 1968. His duties at the CIA were to monitor the Soviet Union’s missile capabilities.
Wilbur M. Greene – Greene was serving in the Vietnam War when he died during a gall bladder operation in April 1972.
Raymond C. Rayner – Rayner was killed by an unknown intruder who broke into his home on the night of November 23, 1974, on Bushrod Island, near Monrovia, Liberia.
James A. Rawlings – Killed in a cargo plane crash in South Vietnam in January 1975. He was declared missing and, a year later, the CIA issued a “presumptive determination” of death.
Tucker Gougelmann – Gougelmann was a Paramilitary Operations Officer from the CIA’s Special Activities Division who worked in the CIA from 1949 to 1972, serving in Europe, Afghanistan, Korea, and Vietnam. Gougelmann returned to Saigon in spring 1975 in an attempt to secure exit visas for loved ones after North Vietnam had launched a major offensive. He missed his final flight out of Saigon, and was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him for 11 months before he died. Gougelmann was honored with a Memorial Star after the criteria for inclusion on the Wall was broadened and after “It was determined that although Gougelmann did not die in the line of duty while employed by CIA, his past affiliation with the Agency led to his death.”
Denny Gabriel and Berl King – Former members of the CIA’s Air America, they were killed, along with a member of the U.S. Special Forces, when their plane crashed in North Carolina on July 13, 1978, during a training exercise for a top-secret mission.
Matthew Gannon – Gannon was the CIA’s deputy station chief in Beirut, Lebanon; on December 21, 1988, he was one of at least four American intelligence officers aboard Pan Am Flight 103 (he was assigned Clipper Class seat 14J), when a bomb detonated and destroyed the plane high over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Robert W. Woods – Killed in a plane crash (along with with U.S. Representative Mickey Leland) on August 7, 1989, while on a humanitarian mission in Ethiopia.
Nathan Chapman – He was the first U.S. soldier to be killed in combat in the American war in Afghanistan. At the time of his death, he was detailed to the CIA as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist. He was killed on January 4, 2002, while investigating an Al-Qaeda safe house in Khost.
Helge P. Boes – Killed by a grenade during a training accident in Afghanistan on February 7, 2003.
Christopher Glenn Mueller and William “Chief” Carlson – Two paramilitary contractors from Special Activities Division, killed in an ambush in Afghanistan on October 25, 2003. On May 21, 2004, these officers’ stars were dedicated at a memorial ceremony. “The bravery of these two men cannot be overstated,” then-Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet told a gathering of several hundred Agency employees and family members of those killed in the line of duty. “Chris and Chief put the lives of others ahead of their own. That is heroism defined.” Mueller, a former US Navy SEAL and Carlson, a former Army Ranger, Green Beret and Delta Force soldier, died while tracking high level terrorists near Shkin, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2003. Both officers saved the lives of others, including Afghan soldiers, during the ambush.
Gregg Wenzel – An operations officer who was killed in Ethiopia in 2003, also was honored with a star on the CIA’s memorial wall. A former defense attorney in Florida, Wenzel grew up in Monroe, New York, and was a member of the first clandestine service training class to graduate after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. His Agency affiliation was withheld for six years. Overseas, Wenzel gathered intelligence on a wide range of national security priorities. In Director Leon Panetta’s words: “At age 33, a promising young officer—a leader and friend to so many—was taken from us. We find some measure of solace in knowing that Gregg achieved what he set out to do: He lived for a purpose greater than himself. Like his star on this Wall, that lesson remains with us always.”
Gregory R. Wright, Jr. – Killed in Iraq on December 7, 2005, while working on a Protective Service Detail. His team was returning from an asset meeting when they were ambushed by unknown attackers.
Rachel A. Dean – Dean was a native of Stanardsville, Virginia, who joined the CIA as a young support officer in January 2005. She died in a car accident in September 2006, while on temporary duty in Kazakhstan.
Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec – Known as the “Lion of Fallujah” for his deployment there with the US Marine Corps, he was serving with the CIA’s Special Activities Division when he was killed in a gun battle in Baghdad in May 2007 while leading Iraqis on a “snatch-and-grab” operation against insurgents. Officially, his star is anonymous; the CIA refuses to comment on Zembiec’s employment with the Agency. However, former U.S. intelligence officials have stated in interviews with The Washington Post that Zembiec was indeed serving with the SAD Ground Branch at the time of his death.
Jeffrey R. Patneau – Died in a car accident on September 29, 2008, while posing as a State Department employee in Yemen.
Harold Brown, Elizabeth Hanson, Darren LaBonte, Jennifer Matthews, Dane Paresi, Scott Roberson, Jeremy Wise – Killed in the Camp Chapman attack in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009.
Unknown CIA employee – Shot and killed by a rogue Afghan, who was working for the U.S. government, at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 25, 2011.
Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – Killed during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11–12, 2012. Both were former Navy SEALs and worked as CIA security contractors. In addition, the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and one other American diplomat, Sean Smith, were also killed in the attack.
Staff Sgts. Matthew C. Lewellen, Kevin J. McEnroe and James F. Moriarty, of the 5th Special Forces Group – were working for the CIA, training moderate Syrian rebels in Jordan, when they were shot and killed on November 4, 2016. Although Jordan initially claimed that security forces at King Feisal Air Base had fired upon the Americans for failing to stop at the base’s gate, U.S. officials stated that the soldiers were killed by a deliberate terrorist attack. Video shows that after the Americans had been cleared to enter the base, one of the Jordanian guards opened fire on the men. The Jordanian attacker was wounded in the shootout.
The identities of sixteen of the officers, and the circumstances of their deaths, are undisclosed. Of the sixteen, there was one death in each of the years 1978, 1984 and 1989; six died in 2008; and the dates of the other deaths are undisclosed.
There were more than 30 pilots and other crew members of the CIA’s Air America company that were killed during the Vietnam War that were not counted as part of the agency even though they worked for it.
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
This article is about a particular use of the term connected with military and political organizations. For covert operations in intelligence gathering, organized crime and religious or minor political groups, see Front organization.
“Covert operative” redirects here. For the legal definition of covert agents or operatives, see covert agent.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2009)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)
According to the U.S. Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation (also as CoveOps or covert ops) is “an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.” It is intended to create a political effect which can have implications in the military, intelligence or law enforcement arenas affecting either the internal population of a country or individuals outside of it. Covert operations aim to secretly fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation.
Under United States law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) must lead covert operations unless the president finds that another agency should do so and properly informs the Congress. Normally, the CIA is the US Government agency legally allowed to carry out covert action. The CIA’s authority to conduct covert action comes from the National Security Act of 1947. President Ronald Reagan issued Executive Order 12333 titled United States Intelligence Activities in 1984. This order defined covert action as “special activities”, both political and military, that the US Government could legally deny. The CIA was also designated as the sole authority under the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act and in Title 50 of the United States Code Section 413(e). The CIA must have a “Presidential Finding” issued by the President of the United States in order to conduct these activities under the Hughes-Ryan amendment to the 1991 Intelligence Authorization Act. These findings are then monitored by the oversight committees in both the US Senate and the House of Representatives. As a result of this framework, the CIA “receives more oversight from the Congress than any other agency in the federal government”. The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, responsible for Covert Action and “Special Activities”. These special activities include covert political influence and paramilitary operations. The division is overseen by the United States Secretary of State.
In a covert operation, the identity of the sponsor is concealed, while in a clandestine operation the operation itself is concealed. Put differently, clandestine means “hidden,” while covert means “deniable.” The term stealth refers both to a broad set of tactics aimed at providing and preserving the element of surprise and reducing enemy resistance and to a set of technologies (stealth technology) to aid in those tactics. While secrecy and stealthiness are often desired in clandestine and covert operations, the terms secret and stealthy are not used to formally describe types of missions.
Covert operations are employed in situations where openly operating against a target would be disadvantageous. These operations are generally illegal in the target state and are frequently in violation of the laws of the sponsoring country. Operations may be directed at or conducted with allies and friends to secure their support for controversial components of foreign policy throughout the world. Covert operations may include sabotage, assassinations, support for coups d’état, or support for subversion. Tactics include the use of a false flag or front group.
The activity of organizations engaged in covert operations is in some instances similar to, or overlaps with, the activity of front organizations. While covert organizations are generally of a more official military or paramilitary nature, like the DVS German Air Transport School in the Nazi era, the line between both becomes muddled in the case of front organizations engaged in terrorist activities and organized crime.
Richard Quirin, German World War II saboteur landed by German submarine in the US, as part of Operation Pastorius. Captured and executed. Ex parte Quirin was a Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of execution of unlawful combatants.
^ Jump up to:abExecutive Secrets: Coved the Presidency, William J. Daugherty, University of Kentucky Press, 2004, page 25.
^ Jump up to:abcExecutive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency, William J. Daugherty, University of Kentucky Press, 2004.
Jump up^All Necessary Means: Employing CIA operatives in a Warfighting Role Alongside Special Operations Forces, Colonel Kathryn Stone, Professor Anthony R. Williams (Project Advisor), United States Army War College (USAWC), 7 April 2003, page 7
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On his first day in office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to minimize the burden of his predecessor’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, pending congressional repeal.
He was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff Priebus and son-in-law Jared Kushner in the Oval Office.
The executive order addressing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seeks to allow relevant agency heads to waive or defer provisions that “impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan obtained talking points given by the White House to congressional sources for explaining the ACA executive order. “President Trump’s executive order is intended to stop the bleeding – trying to help prevent more catastrophic rate hikes such as those that took place on the first of this month, and to help get the mandates and penalties off the backs of the poorest and sickest Americans,” it reads.
The “mandates and penalties” suggest Mr. Trump’s order tackles the ACA’s individual mandate, which requires that Americans purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty. However, this provision was already somewhat weakened by the fact that the law gave the IRS no real ability to enforce the payment of the penalty, known in IRS-speak as an “individual shared responsibility payment.”
“The law prohibits the IRS from using liens or levies to collect any individual shared responsibility payment,” the IRS website discloses. The only recourse the tax collecting agency has is to subtract the penalty from your refund. And if you aren’t entitled to a refund, the IRS can carry the penalty over to the following year’s refund.
President Trump earlier Friday signed paperwork commissioning James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.
White House chief of staff Reince Priebus sent a memo to federal agencies instructing the bureaucracy to cease issuing new regulations.
Obamacare individual mandate isn’t so much of a mandate
One of the central planks of Obamacare was the individual mandate — the requirement for every American to buy health insurance. Those who didn’t would be required to pay a fine, ostensibly to cut down on free riders who’d refuse to pay for insurance and then stick taxpayers with the emergency room bill when they got sick.
But thanks to a series of exemptions that have pushed wide swaths of Americans out of the reach of the individual mandate, almost 90 percent of uninsured Americans won’t be forced to pay a fine in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.
President Obama’s administration has detailed 14 exemptions that allow people to avoid the fine. Most of them deal with hardship like domestic violence, property damage from a fire or flood, or the cancellation of an insurance plan. And those exemptions come on top of the groups that were carved out of the law when it was written in 2010, including illegal immigrants, Native Americans, and certain religious groups.
Moreover, in the 21 states that decided not to expand Medicaid under the health care law, many of the lower-income families that would have qualified for the government insurance program could also be excused from having to buy insurance.
“The Affordable Care Act requires people who can afford insurance to buy it, so that their medical bills are not passed onto the rest of us, which drives up health care costs for everyone,” explained a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has overseen the law’s implementation. “The law allows individuals who are facing hardship to apply for an exception. These applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This process also allows these individuals to access catastrophic-level plans.”
Some have said the exemptions are too broad, though. “If your pajamas don’t fit well, you don’t need health insurance,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a conservative economist and former director of the CBO, joked to the Journal. “It basically waives the individual mandate.”
A pending court case offers the possibility that the exemptions could expand further. In July, a federal appeals court struck down the federal exchange’s ability to issue tax credits to subsidize the cost of insurance, arguing that the law only permits exchanges run at the state level to issue subsidies. A different federal court upheld the subsidies, though, and the case is likely headed for the Supreme Court.
If the federal exchange’s subsidies are ultimately struck down, millions of Americans in the 36 states that use the federal system could be unable to afford their insurance. Many would qualify for an exemption as a result.
President Trump signed three executive orders on trade Monday morning — one withdraws the U.S. from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), another reinstates the Mexico City Policy dealing with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and abortion access, and a third freezes federal workforce hiring.
Asked about the ethics lawsuit filed against him, Mr. Trump said only, “Without merit. Totally without merit.”
TPP was an enormous trade deal that would have aligned the U.S. and 11 nations in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico under an agreement that would have eliminated thousands of tariffs and streamlined regulations. The countries involved in the deal collectively conduct 40 percent of global trade.
“Everyone knows what that means, right? We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Mr. Trump said as he signed the order withdrawing the U.S. from the TPP. “Great thing for the American worker, what we just did.”
As he signed the federal workforce hiring freeze, Mr. Trump noted that the military was exempted from the hiring freeze.
TPP also would have required ratification by Congress, and President Obama had hoped to see it ratified before he left office.
The Mexico City Policy was originally announced by President Reagan in 1984 and required nongovernmental organizations to agree as a condition of receiving any federal funding that they “would neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
In one of his first official actions, President Trump signed an executive order late Friday that directed federal agencies to use their authority to relieve individual Americans, businesses, state governments and others from “burdens” placed on them by the Affordable Care Act.
The Trump administration and its Republican allies in Congress billed the order as a first step in their push to repeal Obamacare.
So, does this mean the new president has scrapped the 2010 healthcare law “on Day One,” as he once promised he would do? Or is this just more talk from the new president?
As with everything about Obamacare, it’s complicated.
Here’s what Trump’s order did, and what it didn’t do.