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The Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018, Story 1: Investigate, Indict, Arrest, and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspirators To Subvert Trump Presidency: Clinton, Obama, Jarrett, Rice, Rhodes, Power, Clapper, Brennan, Lynch, Yates, Carlin, Comey, McCabe, Preistap, Strzok, Page and Accomplices — Betrayed Their Oath of Office To Preserve, Protect and Defend The United States Constitution, The American People and Election Process — Videos — Story 2: Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) Abolishes Fourth Amendment With  National Security Agency and National Security Letters — Congress Does Nothing Fearing Secret Surveillance Spying Security State Disclosures By United States Intelligence Community (IC) — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Attacks MS-13 As Animals — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Defend MS -13 — All Humans Are Animals — MS-16 Members Are Violent Thugs — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1068, April 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1067, April 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1065, April 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1064, April 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1063, April 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1062, April 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

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Story 1: Investigate, Indict, Arrest, and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspirators To Subvert Trump Presidency: Clinton, Obama, Jarrett, Rice, Rhodes, Power, Clapper, Brennan, Holder, Lynch, Yates, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page and Accomplices — Betrayed Their Oath of Office To Preserve, Protect and Defend The United States Constitution, The American People and Election Process — Videos —

CIA Director Brennan set up Trump

FBI and DOJ in turmoil over handling of Clinton emails

Did John Brennan lie about the Trump-Russia dossier?

Brennan’s own people contradict his “galactically stupid” statements about the dossier

DiGenova: John Brennan should get a good lawyer

John Brennan: ‘A Lot The Public Doesn’t Know’ About Trump Tower Meeting | MTP Daily | MSNBC

Tucker Carlson & Kim Strassel Destroy Lies & Spies Of The Deep Dark State

Joe DiGenova – John Brennan Headed to Grand Jury, 2229

CONFIRMED!! Rosenstein is a SELL OUT, He’s UNDER a HUGE HEAT

FBI and DOJ in turmoil over handling of Clinton emails

DOJ watchdog completes draft report on Clinton probe

Corey Lewandowski on allegations Obama FBI spied on Trump campaign

Drive-By Media At DEFCON 1 Hysteria

DiGenova on Obama’s FBI Placing a Spy Inside Trump Campaign

Rush Limbaugh Podcast Thursday – May 17, 2018

NYT: Russia probe code name inspired by Rolling Stones song

The New York Times reports that FBI agents started an investigation into Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign called “Crossfire Hurricane” just 100 days before Election Day.

NYT: How FBI’s Russia probe began

FBI Kept 2016 Investigation Into President Donald Trump Campaign Secret | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Roger Stone Exposes The FBI Mole Inside Trump Campaign

More Details Emerge On Deep State Mole Secretly Spying on President Trump Campaign

BREAKING: New York Times CONFIRMS FBI Conducted SPY OPERATION On President Trump! SPREAD THIS!

Former acting CIA director on Russia hacking report, Trump’s reaction

BREAKING: EX-OBAMA CIA DIR. JUST WENT ROGUE, SAYS THE 1 THING OBAMA DIDN’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

#Trump Will Strike Down With Great Vengeance and Furious Anger Those Who Seek to Poison Our Republic

Why Mueller’s Witch Hunt Is Illegal, Unconstitutional and Crosses the Line

 

Trump: Report that Obama FBI spied on campaign could be ‘bigger than Watergate’

President Trump on Thursday touted a report saying the FBI under former President Obama spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race, saying that the revelation could be “bigger than Watergate.”

“Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN IMBEDDED INFORMANT,'” the president tweeted in reference to a National Review report published last week.

“Andrew McCarthy says, ‘There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.’ If so, this is bigger than Watergate!”

The report alleges that Obama-led agencies used their surveillance powers to monitor the Trump campaign.

This is not the first time that the Obama administration has been accused of spying on the Trump campaign.

Last year, Trump accused the former president of wiretapping Trump Tower shortly before the 2016 election.

“Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped,’ in Trump Tower just before victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” the president tweeted in March 2017.

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer later walked back the president’s claim, saying he did not mean that Obama literally wiretapped Trump Tower.

“The president used the word ‘wiretap’ in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that,” Spicer said. “There is no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 elections.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/388101-trump-report-that-obama-fbi-spied-on-campaign-could-be-bigger-than

10 Key Takeaways From The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense Of FBI Spying On Trump Campaign

It’s reasonable to assume that much of the new information in the New York Times report relates to leakers’ fears about information that will be coming out in the inspector general report.
Mollie Hemingway

By 

The New York Times published an article yesterday confirming the United States’ intelligence apparatus was used to spy on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Here are a few quick takeaways.

1. FBI Officials Admit They Spied On Trump Campaign

The New York Times‘ story, headlined “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is a dry and gentle account of the FBI’s launch of extensive surveillance of affiliates of the Trump campaign. Whereas FBI officials and media enablers had previously downplayed claims that the Trump campaign had been surveiled, in this story we learn that it was more widespread than previously acknowledged:

The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.

This is a stunning admission for those Americans worried that federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies might use their powers to surveil, leak against, and target Americans simply for their political views or affiliations. As Sean Davis wrote, “The most amazing aspect about this article is how blasé it is about the fact that the Obama admin was actively spying on four affiliates of a rival political campaign weeks before an election.”

The story says the FBI was worried that if it came out they were spying on Trump campaign it would “only reinforce his claims that the election was being rigged against him.” It is easy to understand how learning that the FBI was spying on one’s presidential campaign might reinforce claims of election-rigging.

2. Terrified About Looming Inspector General Report

People leak for a variety of reasons, including to inoculate themselves as much as they can. For example, only when the secret funders of Fusion GPS’s Russia-Trump-collusion dossier were about to be revealed was their identity leaked to friendly reporters in the Washington Post. In October of 2017 it was finally reported that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee secretly paid for the Russia dossier, hiding the arrangement by funneling the money through a law firm.

The friendly reporters at the Washington Postwrote the story gently, full of reassuring quotes to downplay its significance. The information only came about because House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes subpoenaed the bank records of Fusion GPS, over the objections of Democrats on the committee. Even in this Times story, Clinton’s secret funding was not mentioned.

Likewise, the admissions in this New York Times story are coming out now, years after selective leaks to compliant reporters, just before an inspector general report detailing some of these actions is slated to be released this month. In fact, the Wall Street Journalreported that people mentioned in the report are beginning to get previews of what it alleges. It’s reasonable to assume that much of the new information in the New York Times report relates to information that will be coming out in the inspector general report.

By working with friendly reporters, these leaking FBI officials can ensure the first story about their unprecedented spying on political opponents will downplay that spying and even attempt to justify it. Of note is the story’s claim that very few people even knew about the spying on the Trump campaign in 2016, which means the leakers for this story come from a relatively small pool of people.

3. Still No Evidence of Collusion With Russia

In paragraph 69 of the lengthy story, The New York Times takes itself to task for burying the lede in its October 31, 2016, story about the FBI not finding any proof of involvement with Russian election meddling.

The key fact of the article — that the F.B.I. had opened a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign — was published in the 10th paragraph.

It is somewhat funny, then, to read what The New York Times buries in paragraph 70 of the story:

A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts.

No evidence of collusion after two years of investigation with unlimited resources? You don’t say! What could that mean?

4. Four Trump Affiliates Spied On

Thanks to the work of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Judiciary Committee, Americans already learned that the FBI had secured a wiretap on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official. That wiretap, which was renewed three times, was already controversial because it was secured in part through using the secretly funded opposition research document created by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The secret court that grants the wiretap was not told about Hillary Clinton or the DNC when the government applied for the wiretap or its renewals.

Now we learn that it wasn’t just Page, but that the government was going after four campaign affiliates including the former campaign manager, the top foreign policy advisor, and a low-level advisor whose drunken claim supposedly launched the investigation into the campaign. The bureau says Trump’s top foreign policy advisor and future national security advisor — a published critic of Russia — was surveiled because he spoke at an event in Russia sponsored by Russia Today, a government-sponsored media outlet.

5. Wiretaps, National Security Letters, and At Least One Spy

The surveillance didn’t just include wiretaps, but also national security letters and at least one government informant to spy on the campaign.:

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.

This paragraph is noteworthy for the way it describes spying on the campaign — “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos” — before suggesting that might not be spying. The definition of spying is to secretly collect information, so it’s not really in dispute whether a government informant fits the bill.

Despite two years of investigation and surveillance, none of these men have been charged with anything even approaching treasonous collusion with Russia to steal a U.S. election.

6. More Leaks About a Top-Secret Government Informant

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence recently subpoenaed information from the FBI and Department of Justice. They did not publicly reveal what information they sought, but the Department of Justice responded by claiming that they were being extorted by congressional oversight. Then they leaked that they couldn’t share the information because it would jeopardize the life of a government informant. They also waged a public relations battle against HPSCI Chairman Nunes and committee staff.

But far from holding the information close to the vest, the government has repeatedly leaked information about this informant, and even that it was information about an informant that was being sought by Congress. From leaks of personally identifying information to the Washington Post, we’ve learned that this source works with the FBI and CIA, and is a U.S. citizen.

In The New York Times, additional information about a government informant leaked, including that the source met with Papadopoulos and Page to collect information. The information on an alleged source in the Trump campaign is so sensitive they can’t give it to Congress, but they can leak it to friendly press outlets like the Post and Times. It’s an odd posture for the Justice Department to take.

It is unknown at this point whether the informants were specifically sent by a U.S. agency or global partner, or whether the sources voluntarily provided information to the U.S. government.

7. Ignorance of Basic Facts

One thing that is surprising about the story is how many errors it contains. The problems begin in the second sentence, which claims Peter Strzok and another FBI agent were sent to London. The New York Times reports that “[t]heir assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling.”

Of course, it was previously reported that Strzok had a meeting with the Australian ambassador. He describes the embassy where the meeting took place as the longest continually staffed embassy in London. The ambassador was previously reported to have had some information about a Trump advisor saying he’d heard that Russia had Clinton’s emails.

Another New York Times error was the claim, repeated twice, that Page ‘had previously been recruited by Russian spies.’

It’s also inaccurate to say this was “election meddling,” necessarily. Clinton had deleted 30,000 emails that were housed on her private server even though she was being investigated for mishandling classified information. This could be viewed as destruction of evidence. She claimed the emails had to do with yoga.

FBI Director James Comey specifically downplayed for the public the bureau’s belief that foreign countries had access to these emails. There is no evidence that Russia or any other country had these emails, and they were not released during the campaign. To describe this legitimate national security threat as “election meddling” is insufficient to the very problem for which Clinton was being investigated.

The story claims, “News organizations did not publish Mr. Steele’s reports or reveal the F.B.I.’s interest in them until after Election Day.” That’s demonstrably untrue. Here’s an October 31, 2016, story headlined “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump.” It is sourced entirely to Steele. In September, Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff took a meeting with Steele then published “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin” on September 23, 2016. That story was even used in the Foreign Intelligence Service Act application against Page.

The New York Times writes, “Crossfire Hurricane began exactly 100 days before the presidential election, but if agents were eager to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign, as the president has suggested, the messages do not reveal it. ‘I cannot believe we are seriously looking at these allegations and the pervasive connections,’ Mr. Strzok wrote soon after returning from London.”

There are multiple problems with this claim. For one, Strzok wrote that text in all caps with obvious eagerness. As the Wall Street Journal noted months ago, “Mr. Strzok emphasized the seriousness with which he viewed the allegations in a message to Ms. Page on Aug. 11, just a few days before the ‘insurance’ text. ‘OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE WE ARE SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT THESE ALLEGATIONS AND THE PERVASIVE CONNECTIONS,’ he texted.”

For another, Strzok repeatedly talked about how important and time-sensitive he felt the investigation was. As Andrew McCarthy highlighted in his deep look at some of these texts, as Strzok prepared for his morning flight to London, he compared the investigations of Clinton and Trump by writing, “And damn this feels momentous. Because this matters. The other one did, too, but that was to ensure that we didn’t F something up. This matters because this MATTERS.”

Another New York Times error was the claim, repeated twice, that Page “had previously been recruited by Russian spies.” In fact, while Russian agents had tried to recruit him, they failed to do so, and Page spoke at length with the FBI about the attempt before the agents were arrested or kicked out of the country.

The New York Times falsely reported that “Mr. Comey met with Mr. Trump privately, revealing the Steele reports and warning that journalists had obtained them.” Comey has told multiple journalists that he specifically did not brief Trump on the Steele reports. He didn’t tell Trump there were reports, or who funded them. He didn’t tell him about the claims in the reports that the campaign was compromised. He only told him that there was a rumor Trump had paid prostitutes to urinate on a Moscow hotel bed that the Obamas had once slept in.

The story also repeats long-debunked claims about the Republican platform and Ukraine.

8. Insurance: How Does It Work?

The story reminds readers that Strzok once texted Page “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected, but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” The article says Trump thought this “insurance policy” referred to a plan to respond to the unlikely event of a Trump victory. It goes on:

But officials have told the inspector general something quite different. They said Ms. Page and others advocated a slower, circumspect pace, especially because polls predicted Mr. Trump’s defeat. They said that anything the F.B.I. did publicly would only give fodder to Mr. Trump’s claims on the campaign trail that the election was rigged.

Mr. Strzok countered that even if Mr. Trump’s chances of victory were low — like dying before 40 — the stakes were too high to justify inaction.

It’s worth asking whether reporters understand how insurance works. As reader Matt noted, “The fundament intent of Insurance is ‘Indemnification.’ Restoring back to original condition prior to loss. Trump was the peril, MSM the adjuster & his impeachment, the policy limits.”

The article’s repeated claims that the FBI didn’t think Trump would win do not counter the notion that an “insurance policy” investigation was in the extremely rare case he might win. People don’t insure their property against fire damage because they expect it to happen so much as they can’t afford to fix things if it does happen.

9. Eavesdropping, Not Spying, And Other Friendly Claims

The story could not be friendlier to the FBI sources who are admitting what they did against the Trump campaign. A few examples:

“[P]rosecutors obtained court approval to eavesdrop on Mr. Page,” The New York Timeswrites, making the wiretapped spying on an American citizen sound almost downright pleasant. When Comey briefs Trump only on the rumor about the prostitutes and urination, we’re told “he feared making this conversation a ‘J. Edgar Hoover-type situation,’ with the F.B.I. presenting embarrassing information to lord over a president-elect.” Reporters don’t ask, much less answer, why someone fearing a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation would go out of his way to create an extreme caricature of a J. Edgar Hoover situation.

The story also claimed, “they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department,” before using controversial political appointee Sally Yates to claim that there was nothing worrisome. In fact, the subtext of the entire story is that the FBI showed good judgment in its handling of the spying in 2016. Unfortunately, the on-the-record source used to substantiate this claim is Yates.

Yates, who was in the news for claiming with a straight face that she thought Flynn had committed a Logan Act violation, is quoted as saying, “Folks are very, very careful and serious about that [FISA] process. I don’t know of anything that gives me any concerns.” If Yates, who had to be fired for refusing to do her job under Trump, tells you things are on the up and up, apparently you can take it to the bank.

10. Affirms Fears of Politicized Intelligence

This New York Times story may have been designed to inoculate the FBI against revelations coming out of the inspector general report, but the net result was to affirm the fears of many Americans who are worried that the U.S. government’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies abused their powers to surveil and target Americans simply for their political views and affiliations. The gathered information has been leaked to media for years, leading to damaged reputations, and the launch of limitless probes, but not any reason to believe that Trump colluded with Russia to steal an election.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation

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Days after the F.B.I. closed its investigation into Hillary Clinton in 2016, agents began scrutinizing the presidential campaign of her Republican rival, Donald J. Trump.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

The name, a reference to the Rolling Stones lyric “I was born in a crossfire hurricane,” was an apt prediction of a political storm that continues to tear shingles off the bureau. Days after they closed their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, agents began scrutinizing the campaign of her Republican rival. The two cases have become inextricably linked in one of the most consequential periods in the history of the F.B.I.

 

[Read our briefing on secret government code names]

This month, the Justice Department inspector general is expected to release the findings of its lengthy review of the F.B.I.’s conduct in the Clinton case. The results are certain to renew debate over decisions by the F.B.I. director at the time, James B. Comey, to publicly chastise Mrs. Clinton in a news conference, and then announce the reopening of the investigation days before Election Day. Mrs. Clinton has said those actions buried her presidential hopes.

Those decisions stand in contrast to the F.B.I.’s handling of Crossfire Hurricane. Not only did agents in that case fall back to their typical policy of silence, but interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the F.B.I. was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known. Many of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

Agents considered, then rejected, interviewing key Trump associates, which might have sped up the investigation but risked revealing the existence of the case. Top officials quickly became convinced that they would not solve the case before Election Day, which made them only more hesitant to act. When agents did take bold investigative steps, like interviewing the ambassador, they were shrouded in secrecy.

Fearful of leaks, they kept details from political appointees across the street at the Justice Department. Peter Strzok, a senior F.B.I. agent, explained in a text that Justice Department officials would find it too “tasty” to resist sharing. “I’m not worried about our side,” he wrote.

Only about five Justice Department officials knew the full scope of the case, officials said, not the dozen or more who might normally be briefed on a major national security case.

The facts, had they surfaced, might have devastated the Trump campaign: Mr. Trump’s future national security adviser was under investigation, as was his campaign chairman. One adviser appeared to have Russian intelligence contacts. Another was suspected of being a Russian agent himself.

In the Clinton case, Mr. Comey has said he erred on the side of transparency. But in the face of questions from Congress about the Trump campaign, the F.B.I. declined to tip its hand. And when The New York Times tried to assess the state of the investigation in October 2016, law enforcement officials cautioned against drawing any conclusions, resulting in a story that significantly played down the case.

Mr. Comey has said it is unfair to compare the Clinton case, which was winding down in the summer of 2016, with the Russia case, which was in its earliest stages. He said he did not make political considerations about who would benefit from each decision.

But underpinning both cases was one political calculation: that Mrs. Clinton would win and Mr. Trump would lose. Agents feared being seen as withholding information or going too easy on her. And they worried that any overt actions against Mr. Trump’s campaign would only reinforce his claims that the election was being rigged against him.

The F.B.I. now faces those very criticisms and more. Mr. Trump says he is the victim of a politicized F.B.I. He says senior agents tried to rig the election by declining to prosecute Mrs. Clinton, then drummed up the Russia investigation to undermine his presidency. He has declared that a deeply rooted cabal — including his own appointees — is working against him.

That argument is the heart of Mr. Trump’s grievances with the federal investigation. In the face of bipartisan support for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, Mr. Trump and his allies have made a priority of questioning how the investigation was conducted in late 2016 and trying to discredit it.

“It’s a witch hunt,” Mr. Trump said last month on Fox News. “And they know that, and I’ve been able to message it.”

Congressional Republicans, led by Representative Devin Nunes of California, have begun to dig into F.B.I. files, looking for evidence that could undermine the investigation. Much remains unknown and classified. But those who saw the investigation up close, and many of those who have reviewed case files in the past year, say that far from gunning for Mr. Trump, the F.B.I. could actually have done more in the final months of 2016 to scrutinize his campaign’s Russia ties.

“I never saw anything that resembled a witch hunt or suggested that the bureau’s approach to the investigation was politically driven,” said Mary McCord, a 20-year Justice Department veteran and the top national security prosecutor during much of the investigation’s first nine months.

Crossfire Hurricane spawned a case that has brought charges against former Trump campaign officials and more than a dozen Russians. But in the final months of 2016, agents faced great uncertainty — about the facts, and how to respond.

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A Trump campaign rally in August 2016 in Texas. Crossfire Hurricane began exactly 100 days before the presidential election.CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

Anxiety at the Bureau

Crossfire Hurricane began exactly 100 days before the presidential election, but if agents were eager to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign, as the president has suggested, the messages do not reveal it. “I cannot believe we are seriously looking at these allegations and the pervasive connections,” Mr. Strzok wrote soon after returning from London.

The mood in early meetings was anxious, former officials recalled. Agents had just closed the Clinton investigation, and they braced for months of Republican-led hearings over why she was not charged. Crossfire Hurricane was built around the same core of agents and analysts who had investigated Mrs. Clinton. None was eager to re-enter presidential politics, former officials said, especially when agents did not know what would come of the Australian information.

The question they confronted still persists: Was anyone in the Trump campaign tied to Russian efforts to undermine the election?

The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. Each was scrutinized because of his obvious or suspected Russian ties.

 

[Here are the key themes, dates and characters in the Russia investigation]

Mr. Flynn, a top adviser, was paid $45,000 by the Russian government’s media arm for a 2015 speech and dined at the arm of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. Mr. Manafort, the campaign chairman, had lobbied for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine and worked with an associate who has been identified as having connections to Russian intelligence.

Mr. Page, a foreign policy adviser, was well known to the F.B.I. He had previously been recruited by Russian spies and was suspected of meeting one in Moscow during the campaign.

Lastly, there was Mr. Papadopoulos, the young and inexperienced campaign aide whose wine-fueled conversation with the Australian ambassador set off the investigation. Before hacked Democratic emails appeared online, he had seemed to know that Russia had political dirt on Mrs. Clinton. But even if the F.B.I. had wanted to read his emails or intercept his calls, that evidence was not enough to allow it. Many months passed, former officials said, before the F.B.I. uncovered emails linking Mr. Papadopoulos to a Russian intelligence operation.

Mr. Trump was not under investigation, but his actions perplexed the agents. Days after the stolen Democratic emails became public, he called on Russia to uncover more. Then news broke that Mr. Trump’s campaign had pushed to change the Republican platform’s stance on Ukraine in ways favorable to Russia.

The F.B.I.’s thinking crystallized by mid-August, after the C.I.A. director at the time, John O. Brennan, shared intelligence with Mr. Comey showing that the Russian government was behind an attack on the 2016 presidential election. Intelligence agencies began collaborating to investigate that operation. The Crossfire Hurricane team was part of that group but largely operated independently, three officials said.

Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said that after studying the investigation as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he saw no evidence of political motivation in the opening of the investigation.

“There was a growing body of evidence that a foreign government was attempting to interfere in both the process and the debate surrounding our elections, and their job is to investigate counterintelligence,” he said in an interview. “That’s what they did.”

Andrew G. McCabe in December in Washington. Mr. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, was cited by internal investigators for dishonesty, giving ammunition for Mr. Trump’s claims that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Abounding Criticism

Looking back, some inside the F.B.I. and the Justice Department say that Mr. Comey should have seen the political storm coming and better sheltered the bureau. They question why he consolidated the Clinton and Trump investigations at headquarters, rather than in a field office. And they say he should not have relied on the same team for both cases. That put a bull’s-eye on the heart of the F.B.I. Any misstep in either investigation made both cases, and the entire bureau, vulnerable to criticism.

And there were missteps. Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, was cited by internal investigators for dishonesty about his conversations with reporters about Mrs. Clinton. That gave ammunition for Mr. Trump’s claims that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted. And Mr. Strzok and Lisa Page, an F.B.I. lawyer, exchanged texts criticizing Mr. Trump, allowing the president to point to evidence of bias when they became public.

The messages were unsparing. They questioned Mr. Trump’s intelligence, believed he promoted intolerance and feared he would damage the bureau.

The inspector general’s upcoming report is expected to criticize those messages for giving the appearance of bias. It is not clear, however, whether inspectors found evidence supporting Mr. Trump’s assertion that agents tried to protect Mrs. Clinton, a claim the F.B.I. has adamantly denied.

Mr. Rubio, who has reviewed many of the texts and case files, said he saw no signs that the F.B.I. wanted to undermine Mr. Trump. “There might have been individual agents that had views that, in hindsight, have been problematic for those agents,” Mr. Rubio said. “But whether that was a systemic effort, I’ve seen no evidence of it.”

Mr. Trump’s daily Twitter posts, though, offer sound-bite-sized accusations — witch hunt, hoax, deep state, rigged system — that fan the flames of conspiracy. Capitol Hill allies reliably echo those comments.

“It’s like the deep state all got together to try to orchestrate a palace coup,” Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said in January on Fox Business Network.

The Kremlin in Moscow. Two weeks before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, senior American intelligence officials told him that Russia had tried to sow chaos in the election, undermine Mrs. Clinton and ultimately help Mr. Trump win.CreditMladen Antonov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Cautious Intelligence Gathering

Counterintelligence investigations can take years, but if the Russian government had influence over the Trump campaign, the F.B.I. wanted to know quickly. One option was the most direct: interview the campaign officials about their Russian contacts.

That was discussed but not acted on, two former officials said, because interviewing witnesses or subpoenaing documents might thrust the investigation into public view, exactly what F.B.I. officials were trying to avoid during the heat of the presidential race.

“You do not take actions that will unnecessarily impact an election,” Sally Q. Yates, the former deputy attorney general, said in an interview. She would not discuss details, but added, “Folks were very careful to make sure that actions that were being taken in connection with that investigation did not become public.”

Mr. Comey was briefed regularly on the Russia investigation, but one official said those briefings focused mostly on hacking and election interference. The Crossfire Hurricane team did not present many crucial decisions for Mr. Comey to make.

Top officials became convinced that there was almost no chance they would answer the question of collusion before Election Day. And that made agents even more cautious.

The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.

Looking back, some at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. now believe that agents could have been more aggressive. They ultimately interviewed Mr. Papadopoulos in January 2017 and managed to keep it a secret, suggesting they could have done so much earlier.

“There is always a high degree of caution before taking overt steps in a counterintelligence investigation,” said Ms. McCord, who would not discuss details of the case. “And that could have worked to the president’s benefit here.”

Such tactical discussions are reflected in one of Mr. Strzok’s most controversial texts, sent on Aug. 15, 2016, after a meeting in Mr. McCabe’s office.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected,” Mr. Strzok wrote, “but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Mr. Trump says that message revealed a secret F.B.I. plan to respond to his election. “‘We’ll go to Phase 2 and we’ll get this guy out of office,’” he told The Wall Street Journal. “This is the F.B.I. we’re talking about — that is treason.”

But officials have told the inspector general something quite different. They said Ms. Page and others advocated a slower, circumspect pace, especially because polls predicted Mr. Trump’s defeat. They said that anything the F.B.I. did publicly would only give fodder to Mr. Trump’s claims on the campaign trail that the election was rigged.

Mr. Strzok countered that even if Mr. Trump’s chances of victory were low — like dying before 40 — the stakes were too high to justify inaction.

Mr. Strzok had similarly argued for a more aggressive path during the Clinton investigation, according to four current and former officials. He opposed the Justice Department’s decision to offer Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers immunity and negotiate access to her hard drives, the officials said. Mr. Strzok favored using search warrants or subpoenas instead.

In both cases, his argument lost.

As agents tried to corroborate information from the retired British spy Christopher Steele, reporters began calling the F.B.I., asking whether the accusations in his reports were accurate.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

Policy and Tradition

The F.B.I. bureaucracy did agents no favors. In July, a retired British spy named Christopher Steele approached a friend in the F.B.I. overseas and provided reports linking Trump campaign officials to Russia. But the documents meandered around the F.B.I. organizational chart, former officials said. Only in mid-September, congressional investigators say, did the records reach the Crossfire Hurricane team.

Mr. Steele was gathering information about Mr. Trump as a private investigator for Fusion GPS, a firm paid by Democrats. But he was also considered highly credible, having helped agents unravel complicated cases.

In October, agents flew to Europe to interview him. But Mr. Steele had become frustrated by the F.B.I.’s slow response. He began sharing his findings in September and October with journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere, according to congressional testimony.

So as agents tried to corroborate Mr. Steele’s information, reporters began calling the bureau, asking about his findings. If the F.B.I. was working against Mr. Trump, as he asserts, this was an opportunity to push embarrassing information into the news media shortly before the election.

That did not happen. Most news organizations did not publish Mr. Steele’s reports or reveal the F.B.I.’s interest in them until after Election Day.

Congress was also increasingly asking questions. Mr. Brennan, the C.I.A. director, had briefed top lawmakers that summer about Russian election interference and intelligence that Moscow supported the Trump campaign — a finding that would not become public for months. Lawmakers clamored for information from Mr. Comey, who refused to answer public questions.

Many Democrats see rueful irony in this moment. Mr. Comey, after all, broke with policy and twice publicly discussed the Clinton investigation. Yet he refused repeated requests to discuss the Trump investigation.

Mr. Comey has said he regrets his decision to chastise Mrs. Clinton as “extremely careless,” even as he announced that she should not be charged. But he stands by his decision to alert Congress, days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reopening the Clinton inquiry.

The result, though, is that Mr. Comey broke with both policy and tradition in Mrs. Clinton’s case, but hewed closely to the rules for Mr. Trump. Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that alone proves Mr. Trump’s claims of unfairness to be “both deeply at odds with the facts, and damaging to our democracy.”

Carter Page in December 2016. He had previously been recruited by Russian spies and was suspected of meeting one in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.CreditPavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Spying in Question

Crossfire Hurricane began with a focus on four campaign officials. But by mid-fall 2016, Mr. Page’s inquiry had progressed the furthest. Agents had known Mr. Page for years. Russian spies tried to recruit him in 2013, and he was dismissive when agents warned him about it, a half-dozen current and former officials said. That warning even made its way back to Russian intelligence, leaving agents suspecting that Mr. Page had reported their efforts to Moscow.

Relying on F.B.I. information and Mr. Steele’s, prosecutors obtained court approval to eavesdrop on Mr. Page, who was no longer with the Trump campaign.

That warrant has become deeply contentious and is crucial to Republican arguments that intelligence agencies improperly used Democratic research to help justify spying on the Trump campaign. The inspector general is reviewing that claim.

Ms. Yates, the deputy attorney general under President Barack Obama, signed the first warrant application. But subsequent filings were approved by members of Mr. Trump’s own administration: the acting attorney general, Dana J. Boente, and then Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

“Folks are very, very careful and serious about that process,” Ms. Yates said. “I don’t know of anything that gives me any concerns.”

After months of investigation, Mr. Papadopoulos remained largely a puzzle. And agents were nearly ready to close their investigation of Mr. Flynn, according to three current and former officials. (Mr. Flynn rekindled the F.B.I.’s interest in November 2016 by signing an op-ed article that appeared to be written on behalf of the Turkish government, and then making phone calls to the Russian ambassador that December.)

In late October, in response to questions from The Times, law enforcement officials acknowledged the investigation but urged restraint. They said they had scrutinized some of Mr. Trump’s advisers but had found no proof of any involvement with Russian hacking. The resulting article, on Oct. 31, reflected that caution and said that agents had uncovered no “conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.”

The key fact of the article — that the F.B.I. had opened a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign — was published in the 10th paragraph.

A year and a half later, no public evidence has surfaced connecting Mr. Trump’s advisers to the hacking or linking Mr. Trump himself to the Russian government’s disruptive efforts. But the article’s tone and headline — “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” — gave an air of finality to an investigation that was just beginning.

Democrats say that article pre-emptively exonerated Mr. Trump, dousing chances to raise questions about the campaign’s Russian ties before Election Day.

Just as the F.B.I. has been criticized for its handling of the Trump investigation, so too has The Times.

For Mr. Steele, it dashed his confidence in American law enforcement. “He didn’t know what was happening inside the F.B.I.,” Glenn R. Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, testified this year. “And there was a concern that the F.B.I. was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people.”

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, in January 2017. He assured Mr. Trump, who at the time was the president-elect, that the bureau intended to protect him as Mr. Steele’s reports were about to be published by news outlets.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times

Assurances Amid Doubt

Two weeks before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, senior American intelligence officials briefed him at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Russian hacking and deception. They reported that Mr. Putin had tried to sow chaos in the election, undermine Mrs. Clinton and ultimately help Mr. Trump win.

Then Mr. Comey met with Mr. Trump privately, revealing the Steele reports and warning that journalists had obtained them. Mr. Comey has said he feared making this conversation a “J. Edgar Hoover-type situation,” with the F.B.I. presenting embarrassing information to lord over a president-elect.

In a contemporaneous memo, Mr. Comey wrote that he assured Mr. Trump that the F.B.I. intended to protect him on this point. “I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook,” Mr. Comey wrote of Mr. Steele’s documents. “I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the F.B.I. had the material.”

Mr. Trump was not convinced — either by the Russia briefing or by Mr. Comey’s assurances. He made up his mind before Mr. Comey even walked in the door. Hours earlier, Mr. Trump told The Times that stories about Russian election interference were being pushed by his adversaries to distract from his victory.

And he debuted what would quickly become a favorite phrase: “This is a political witch hunt.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated that news organizations did not report on the findings of the retired British spy Christopher Steele about links between Trump campaign officials and Russia. While most news organizations whose reporters met with Mr. Steele did not publish such reports before the 2016 election, Mother Jones magazine did.

Reporting was contributed by Michael S. Schmidt, Sharon LaFraniere, Mark Mazzetti and Matthew Rosenberg.

Follow Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos on Twitter: @adamgoldmanNYT and @npfandos.

A version of this art

The Russia Investigation Is Complicated. Here’s What It All Means.

The special counsel is investigating events that span years and cross international borders.

Image
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

THE BASICS

  • Russia carried out a campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 American presidential election, denigrating Hillary Clinton and boosting Donald J. Trump, according to American intelligence agencies. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia personally ordered it.

  • The F.B.I., citing four Trump campaign aides’ ties to Russia, opened a counterintelligence investigation in the summer of 2016 to determine whether Trump associates aided Russia’s election interference.

  • Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, was appointed the special counsel in May 2017 to take over the investigation. The inquiry has expanded to examine whether President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation itself.

  • Nineteen people — including four Trump associates — and three companies have been indicted in the case. Five have pleaded guilty; 13 are Russians accused of meddling in the election. [See a breakdown of the charges here.]


THE MAJOR FOCUSES OF THE INVESTIGATION

Interference

Mr. Mueller is investigating Russia’s efforts to influence the presidential race and sow discord by spreading inflammatory messages on social media and stealing emails from Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee, which were then strategically released to undermine the Clinton campaign.

Coordination

Investigators are examining what Mr. Trump’s aides and associates knew about Russia’s meddling, particularly the release of thousands of stolen Democratic emails, and whether any of them aided Moscow’s effort.

Obstruction

Mr. Mueller is investigating an array of the president’s actions — including the firing of the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey — to determine whether Mr. Trump sought to impede the investigation into Russia’s actions.

Foreign Influence

Mr. Mueller is investigating whether Trump associates ran afoul of American lobbying or anti-corruption laws. Two aides to the Trump campaign, including its onetime chairman, were charged with financial crimes related to their work as advisers to a pro-Russia former president of Ukraine.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/politics/russia-investigation-guide.html

National security letter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Green herb with a few tiny yellow-white flowers
Three small white and yellow flowers before green-leaf background
A National security letter issued to the Internet Archive demanding information about a user

A national security letter (NSL) is an administrative subpoena issued by the United States government to gather information for national security purposes.[citation needed] NSLs do not require prior approval from a judge. The Stored Communications ActFair Credit Reporting Act, and Right to Financial Privacy Act authorize the United States government to seek such information that is “relevant” to authorized national security investigations. By law, NSLs can request only non-content information, for example, transactional records and phone numbers dialed, but never the content of telephone calls or e-mails.[1]

NSLs typically contain a nondisclosure requirement forbidding the recipient of an NSL from disclosing that the FBI had requested the information.[2] The nondisclosure provision must be authorized by the Director of the FBI, and only after he or she certifies “that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person.”[3] Even then, the recipient of the NSL may still challenge the nondisclosure provision in federal court.[4]

The constitutionality of such nondisclosure provisions has been repeatedly challenged. The requirement was initially ruled to be unconstitutional as an infringement of free speech in the Doe v. Gonzales case, but that decision was later vacated in 2008 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals after it held the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act gave the recipient of an NSL that included a nondisclosure provision the right to challenge the nondisclosure provision in federal court. In March 2013, a judge in the Northern District of California held the nondisclosure provision in an NSL was unconstitutional. But on August 24, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s decision and remanded the case to the district court for further proceedings. On remand, the district court held the “NSLs were issued in full compliance with the procedural and substantive requirements suggested by the Second Circuit in John Doe, Inc. v. Mukasey, 549 F.3d 861 (2d Cir. 2008), which had held that the 2006 NSL law could be constitutionally applied” … and “the NSL law, as amended [by the USA FREEDOM ACT of 2015], was constitutional.” The two petitioners then appealed. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court ruling, holding that NSLs are constitutional, and stated, “the nondisclosure requirement does not run afoul of the First Amendment.” Under Seal v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III, Attorney General, Nos. 16-16067, 16-16081, and 16-16082, July 17, 2017.

History

The oldest NSL provisions were created in 1978 as a little-used investigative tool in terrorism and espionage investigations to obtain financial records. Under the Right to Financial Privacy Act (RFPA), part of the Financial Institutions Regulatory and Interest Rate Control Act of 1978), the FBI could obtain the records only if the FBI could first demonstrate the person was a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Compliance by the recipient of the NSL was voluntary, and states’ consumer privacy laws often allowed financial institutions to reject the requests.[5] In 1986, Congress amended RFPA to allow the government to request disclosure of the requested information. In 1986, Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), part of the Stored Communications Act), which created provisions similar to the RFPA that allowed the FBI to issue NSLs. Still, neither RFPA or ECPA act included penalties for not complying with the NSL. A 1993 amendment removed the restriction regarding “foreign powers” and allowed the use of NSLs to request information concerning persons who are not the direct subject of the investigation.

In 2001, section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act expanded the use of the NSLs. In March 2006, the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act allowed for judicial review of an NSL. A federal judge could repeal or modify an NSL if the court found the request for information was “unreasonable, oppressive, or otherwise unlawful.” The nondisclosure provision the government could include in an NSL was also weakened. The court could repeal the nondisclosure provision if it found it had been made in bad faith. Other amendments allowed the recipient of an NSL to inform their attorney about the request and the government had to rely on the courts to enforce compliance with an NSL.

Patriot Act

Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act (2001) allowed the use of the NSLs when seeking information “relevant” in authorized national security investigations to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. The act also provided the Department of Defense when conducting a law enforcement investigation, counterintelligence inquiry, or security determination. The Central Intelligence Agency has also allegedly issued NSLs.[6] The Patriot Act reauthorization statutes passed during the 109th Congress added potential penalties for failure to comply with an NSL or disclosing an NSL if the NSL included a nondisclosure provision.

Contentious aspects

Two contentious aspects of NSLs are the nondisclosure provision and judicial oversight when the FBI issues an NSL. When the Director of the FBI (or his designee) authorizes the inclusion of a nondisclosure provision in an NSL, the recipient may face criminal prosecution if it reveals the contents of the NSL or that it was received. The purpose of a nondisclosure provision is to prevent the recipient of an NSL from compromising both the current FBI investigation involving a specific person and future investigations as well (see 18 U.S.C. 2709), which could fetter the Government’s efforts to address national security threats.[7] An NSL recipient (later revealed to be Nicholas Merrill[8][9]) writing in The Washington Post said,

“[L]iving under the gag order has been stressful and surreal. Under the threat of criminal prosecution, I must hide all aspects of my involvement in the case…from my colleagues, my family and my friends. When I meet with my attorneys I cannot tell my girlfriend where I am going or where I have been.”[7]

Like other administrative subpoenas, NSLs do not require judicial approval. For NSLs, that is because the U.S. Supreme Court has held the types of information the FBI obtains with NSLs provide no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy. Because a person has already provided the information to a third party, e.g., their telephone company, they no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy to the information, and therefore there is no Fourth Amendment requirement to obtain a judge’s approval to obtain the information.[10] Nonetheless, the recipient of the NSL may still challenge the nondisclosure provision in federal court.[11]

The media reported in 2007 that a government audit found the FBI had violated the rules more than 1,000 times in an audit of 10% of its national investigations between 2002 and 2007.[12] Twenty such incidents involved requests by agents for information not permitted under the law. A subsequent report in 2014 by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General concluded the FBI had corrected its practices and that NSLs complied federal statutes.

According to 2,500 pages of documents the FBI provided to the Electronic Frontier Foundation in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the FBI had used NSLs to obtain information about individuals who were the subject of an FBI terrorism or counterintelligence investigation and information from telecommunications companies about individuals with whom the subject of the investigation had communicated. According to a September 9, 2007, New York Times report,

“In many cases, the target of a[n FBI] national security letter whose records are being sought is not necessarily the actual subject of a terrorism investigation. Under the USA PATRIOT Act, the FBI must assert only that the records gathered through the letter are considered relevant to a terrorism [or counterintelligence] investigation.”[13]

In April 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged that the military was using the FBI to skirt legal restrictions on domestic surveillance to obtain private records of Americans’ Internet service providers, financial institutions, and telephone companies. The ACLU based its allegation on a review of more than 1,000 documents provided by the Defense Department. The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General later determined the Department of Defense (not the FBI) had lawfully obtained the information under the National Security Act of 1947, not through NSLs.

Doe v. Ashcroft

Letter in Doe v. Ashcroft case

The lack of judicial oversight and the Supreme Court ruling in Smith v. Maryland was the core of Doe v. Ashcroft, a test case brought by the ACLU concerning the use of NSLs. The lawsuit was file on behalf of “John Doe” plaintiff Nicholas Merrill, founder of Calyx Internet Access,[14] who had received an NSL. The action challenged the constitutionality of NSLs, specifically the nondisclosure provision. At the district court, Judge of the Southern District of New York held in September 2004 that NSLs violated the Fourth Amendment (“it has the effect of authorizing coercive searches effectively immune from any judicial process”) and First Amendment. However, Judge Marrero stayed his ruling while the case proceeded to the court of appeals.

Because of the New York district court ruling, while the case was still on appeal, Congress amended the USA PATRIOT Act to provide for more judicial review of NSLs and clarified the NSL nondisclosure provision.[15] Based on the U.S. Supreme Court rulings, there is still no requirement to seek judicial approval for the FBI issuing an NSL.

The government appealed Judge Marrero’s decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard arguments in May 2006. In March 2008, the Second Circuit ruled that nondisclosure provisions were permissible only when the FBI certified that disclosure may result in certain statutorily enumerated harms (see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 2709), and held the nondisclosure provision to a strict scrutiny standard. The Second Circuit then returned the case to the district court based on amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act that Congress had enacted while the case had been on appeal.

Letter in the Doe v. Gonzales case

Another effect of Doe v. Ashcroft was increased congressional oversight. The amendments to the USA PATRIOT Act mentioned above included requirements for semiannual reporting to Congress. Although the reports are classified, a nonclassified accounting of how many NSLs are issued is also required. On April 28, 2006, the Department of Justice reported to the House and Senate that in calendar year 2005, “The Government made requests for certain information concerning 3,501 United States persons pursuant to NSLs. During this period, the total number of NSL requests … for information concerning U.S. persons totaled 9,254.”[16]

In 2010, the FBI agreed to lift partially the nondisclosure provision to allow Merrill to reveal his identity.[17] Merrill has since created a corporation for the purposes of educating and researching privacy issues.[18]

On August 28, 2015, Judge Marrero rescinded the nondisclosure provision associated with the NSL Merrill had received, thereby allowing him to speak about the contents of the NSL. On November 30, 2015, the unredacted court ruling was published in full.[19]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005: A Legal AnalysisCongressional Research Service‘s report for Congress, Brian T. Yeh, Charles Doyle, December 21, 2006.
  2. Jump up^ Bustillos, Maria (June 27, 2013). “What It’s Like to Get a National-Security Letter”The New Yorker.
  3. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C.§ 2709(c)
  4. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C.§ 3511
  5. Jump up^ Andrew E. Nieland, National Security Letters and the Amended Patriot Act, 92 Cornell L. Rev. 1201, 1207 (2007) [1]
  6. Jump up^ Lichtblau, Eric; Mezzetti, Mark (January 14, 2007). Military Expands Intelligence Role in U.S. “Military Expands Intelligence Role in U.S.”Check |url= value (help)The New York Times.
  7. Jump up to:ab My National Security LetterThe Washington Post, 2007 Mar 23
  8. Jump up^ John Doe’ Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order After 6 YearsKim Zetter, Wired.com, 2010 8 10
  9. Jump up^ “Doe v. Holder (Challenging Patriot Act’s National Security Letter provision and associated gag provision)”S.D.N.Y. 04 Civ. 2614 (VM) (direct). NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union). Archived from the original on 2010-11-13.
  10. Jump up^ Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979); Fourth Amendment, U.S. Const.
  11. Jump up^ 18 U.S.C. § 3511
  12. Jump up^ “FBI agents broke the rules 1,000 times”RTÉ News Online. 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2007-06-14.
  13. Jump up^ Lichtblau, Eric (2007-09-08). “F.B.I. Data Mining Reached Beyond Target Suspects”. The New York Times.
  14. Jump up^ “ACLU Sues Over Internet Privacy”cbsnews.com.
  15. Jump up^ “Congress.gov – Library of Congress”thomas.loc.gov.
  16. Jump up^ Report of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance ActArchived 2006-06-29 at the Wayback Machine., United States Department of Justice
  17. Jump up^ McLaughlin, Jenna (14 September 2015). “Federal Court Lifts National Security Letter Gag Order; First Time in 14 Years”. The Intercept. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  18. Jump up^ “National Security Letters and Gag Orders: Transcript”. On the Media. January 21, 2011. Although you’re allowed to challenge the gag every year now under the new [amended] law, the last time I did it, the government presented secret evidence that only they and the judge could see, and my attorneys could not see, and therefore could not challenge. It does kind of add up to a lot of responsibility, and that’s part of what motivated me to start my nonprofit organization, the Calyx Institute. Part of it is to defend people who are gagged. Part of it is also to promote best practices among telecommunications companies in regards to the privacy of customer data.
  19. Jump up^ “Nicholas Merrill able to reveal the national security letter previously undisclosed”Information Society Project. Yale University. Retrieved 2015-11-30.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_security_letter

 

Indictment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An indictment (/ɪnˈdtmənt/ in-DYT-mənt) is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In jurisdictions that use the concept of felonies, the most serious criminal offence is a felony; jurisdictions that do not use the concept of felonies often use that of an indictable offence—an offence that requires an indictment.

Historically, in most common law jurisdictions, an indictment was handed up by a grand jury, which returned a “true bill” if it found cause to make the charge, or “no bill” if it did not find cause.

Indictments by country

India

The criminal law in India[1] is derived from the colonial-era British system, does not use a jury system and is codified in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Criminal offenses are divided into two broad categories: cognisable offenses and non-cognisable offenses. The police are empowered to start investigating a cognisable offense. The complaint is considered merely an accusation. However, in both cognisable and non-cognisable offenses, the trial starts only with the “Framing of Charges” similar to the concept of indictment. The trial court does not proceed with the trial if the evidence is insufficient to make out a charge.

United Kingdom

England and Wales

In England and Wales (except in private prosecutions by individuals) an indictment is issued by the public prosecutor (in most cases this will be the Crown Prosecution Service) on behalf of the Crown, which is the nominal plaintiff in all public prosecutions under English law. This is why a public prosecution of a person whose surname is Smith would be referred to in writing as “R v Smith” (or alternatively as “Regina v Smith” or “Rex v Smith” depending on the gender of the Sovereign, Regina and Rex being Latin for “Queen” and “King” and in either case may informally be pronounced as such) and when cited orally in court would be pronounced “the Crown against Smith”.[2][3]

All proceedings on indictment must be brought before the Crown Court.[4] By virtue of practice directions issued under section 75(1) of the Supreme Court Act 1981, an indictment must be tried by a High Court judge, a Circuit judge or a recorder (which of these it is depends on the offence).

As to the form of an indictment, see the Indictments Act 1915 and the Indictment Rules 1971 made thereunder.

The Indictment Rules 1971 were revoked by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2007[5] (on the whole) incorporated into the Criminal Procedure Rules 2010.[6] The form and content and the service of an indictment are governed by Rule 14 of the CPR 2012.[7]Additional guidance is contained in the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction Part IV.34.[8]

As to the preferring of a bill of indictment and the signing of an indictment, see section 2 of the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933 and the Indictments (Procedure) Rules 1971 (S.I. 1971/2084) made thereunder, as amended and modified by the Indictments (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 1983 (S.I. 1983/284), the Indictments (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 1988 (S.I. 1988/1783), the Indictments (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 1992 (S.I. 1992/284), the Indictments (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 1997 (S.I. 1997/711), the Indictments (Procedure) (Modification) Rules 1998 (S.I. 1998/3045) and the Indictments (Procedure) (Amendment) Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000/3360).

Northern Ireland[

See the Indictments Act (Northern Ireland) 1945.[9]

Scotland

In Scotland, all of these cases brought in the High Court of Justiciary are brought in the name of the Lord Advocate and will be tried on Indictment. In the Sheriff Court where trials proceed using the Solemn procedure they will also be tried on indictment and are brought in the name of the Procurator Fiscal.

United States

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States states in part: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia when in actual service in time of War or public danger”. The requirement of an indictment has not been incorporated against the states; therefore, although the federal government uses grand juries and indictments, not all U.S. states do.[10]

In many, but not all, United States jurisdictions that use grand juries, prosecutors often have a choice between seeking an indictment from a grand jury and filing a charging document directly with the court. Such a document is usually called an informationaccusation, or complaint, to distinguish it from a grand-jury indictment. To protect the suspect’s due-process rights in felony cases (where the suspect’s interest in liberty is at stake), there is usually a preliminary hearing, at which a judge determines whether there was probable cause to arrest the suspect who is in custody. If the judge finds such probable cause, he or she binds, or holds over, the suspect for trial.

The substance of an indictment or other charging instrument is usually the same, regardless of the jurisdiction: it consists of a short and plain statement of where, when, and how the defendant allegedly committed the offense. Each offense usually is set out in a separate count. Indictments for complex crimes, particularly those involving conspiracy or numerous counts, may run to hundreds of pages. However, in other cases an indictment for a crime as serious as murder, may consist of a single sheet of paper.

Indictable offenses are normally tried by jury, unless the accused waives the right to a jury trial. Although the Sixth Amendment mandates the right to a jury trial in any criminal prosecution, the vast majority of criminal cases in the United States are resolved by the plea-bargaining process.

Direct indictment (Canada)

A direct indictment is one in which the case is sent directly to trial before a preliminary inquiry is completed or when the accused has been discharged by a preliminary inquiry.[11][12] It is meant to be an extraordinary, rarely used power to ensure that those who should be brought to trial are in a timely manner or where an error of judgment is seen to have been made in the preliminary inquiry.[13]

Sealed indictment

An indictment can be sealed so that it stays non-public until it is unsealed. This can be done for a number of reasons. It may be unsealed, for example, once the named person is arrested or has been notified by police.[14]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indictment

Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., October 31, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

The Steele-dossier author told Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson about a ‘human source.’Something tells me Glenn Simpson did not make a mistake. Something tells me the co-founder of Fusion GPS was dead-on accurate when he testified that Christopher Steele told him the FBI had a “human source” — i.e., a spy — inside the Trump campaign as the 2016 presidential race headed into its stretch run.

When he realized how explosive this revelation was, Simpson walked it back: He had, perhaps, “mischaracterized” what he’d been told by Steele, the former British spy and principal author of the anti-Trump dossier he and Simpson compiled for the Clinton campaign.

Simpson gave his testimony about the FBI’s human source at a closed Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on August 22, 2017. He did not try to retract it until the uproar that followed the publication of his testimony on January 9, 2018. The latter date is significant for reasons we’ll come to.

A Spy and a Stonewall
Simpson’s testimony on this point is worth revisiting because of a pitched battle between the House Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department. Essential reporting on the controversy has been done by the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel (see here and here). On Thursday, she related that, yet again, Congress had faced down a DOJ/FBI attempt to stonewall the committee’s probe of investigative irregularities during the 2016 election season — particularly, abuse of government surveillance powers, which the Obama-led agencies used to monitor the Trump campaign.

Unable to get voluntary cooperation, committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) issued a subpoena demanding that the Justice Department disclose information about a top-secret intelligence source who is said to have assisted the Russia investigation. That investigation is now being run by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. But more interesting is how it got started.

On that question, officials have been suspiciously fuzzy in their explanations, and hilariously inconsistent in their leaks: initially settling on an origination story that hinged on the Steele dossier and a trip to Moscow by the obscure Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page; later pivoting to a tale of boozy blathering by an even more obscure Trump-campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, when the first story proved embarrassing — the dossier allegations having been unverified when the Justice Department included them in warrant applications to the FISA court.

The Justice Department’s inability, or at least unwillingness, to reveal exactly how, when, and why the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation has fueled suspicions that a spy who worked for both the FBI and the CIA was deployed against the Trump campaign, probably in Britain — where Papadopoulos had met with suspected agents of the Kremlin, and where Steele compiled the dossier via reports from his unidentified sources.

From painstaking research, Nunes and committee staff believe they have identified such a spy. When they demanded information about this person — whose name remains unknown to the public — the Justice Department’s response was not “No, you’re wrong, there was no spying.” It was first to bloviate that the department would not be “extorted” (Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s unusual understanding of what is more commonly known as congressional oversight) and then to claim that providing the information sought by the committee would risk “potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.”

By now, Nunes has learned that if he is catching flak, he is over the target.

Simpson’s Senate Testimony about the FBI’s ‘Human Source’
This brings us back to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, which was retained by the Clinton campaign (through its lawyers at Perkins Coie) to generate the Steele dossier, opposition research that focused on Donald Trump and Russia.

In his Senate testimony on August 22, 2017, Simpson explained that Steele had met with at least one FBI agent in Rome in mid to late September 2016. The former British spy had provided the unverified allegations he had compiled to that point (i.e., his private “intelligence reports,” later assembled into the “dossier”). Steele had developed a close working relationship with the FBI when he was a British agent. It is not surprising, then, that the Bureau did not just take his information; it reciprocated, imparting some sensitive information to him. Simpson explained to the Senate committee (my italics):

Essentially, what [Christopher Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source, and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump campaign.

Simpson declined to answer more questions about this unidentified “human source.” But when the media treated his revelation as a bombshell, he realized it would cause a feeding frenzy: Congress, the media, and the public would demand to know what would cause the FBI, in the stretch run of a presidential race, to use an informant against one candidate’s campaign.

On a dime, Simpson backpedaled. Fusion GPS explained to friendly media that he believed he had “mischaracterized” the source. He must have been talking about George Papadopoulos — not a “human source” in the sense of willing informant or spy, but a person attached to the campaign whose statements to an Australian diplomat had been passed to the FBI (through channels that, we shall see, have still not been explained).

On further review, I don’t buy this explanation (although I uncritically accepted it in a column about Simpson’s testimony early this year).

The Timing Doesn’t Compute
Simpson’s testimony was released to the public on January 9, 2018. That was just a few days after the New York Times had published its big New Year’s weekend story claiming, based on anonymous intelligence officials, that the Russia investigation had been opened sometime in July 2016. The catalyzing event, we were told, was a report to the FBI that Papadopoulos, a young Trump-campaign adviser, had alleged that Russia possessed thousands of stolen Hillary Clinton emails. According to the story, Papadopoulos had been informed of this by Joseph Mifsud, a London-based academic who professed to have Kremlin connections. A few weeks later, while drinking in a London bar in May 2016, Papadopoulos blabbed the news to Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat.

According to the Times, when hacked Democratic National Committee emails started being published in July 2016, Australian officials surmised that this development could be related to Papadopoulos’s boozy claim; therefore, the paper suggests, they routed the information to their American counterparts. But when we peruse the story, we find that the Times is drawing an inference that the FBI must have gotten the information from the Australian government; there is no solid confirmation that this happened. Indeed, the story evinces bewilderment that two months supposedly elapsed between the Papadopoulos–Downer meeting and the FBI’s learning about it. There is no attempt to describe how this assumed transmission occurred, and the Aussies refused to comment on the matter.

Though the Papadopoulos–Downer story is rickety, it nevertheless served Simpson’s purpose of backing away from his “human source” testimony. Alas, his story does not add up, either.

To repeat, while Simpson’s testimony became public in January 2018, he actually gave the testimony five months earlier, in August 2017. Papadopoulos’s name is not uttered in the 312-page transcript, just as it goes unmentioned in the Steele dossier.

Papadopoulos was virtually unheard of until October 30, 2017, when Special Counsel Mueller announced his guilty plea and filed a factual recitation of his offense conduct. Two weeks after that information became public, Simpson was asked about Papadopoulos in a fleeting exchange during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee (see November 14, 2017transcript, page 163.) Interestingly, the subject came up in the context of Trump-related research Simpson had done separate and apart from his collaboration with Steele. Simpson claimed that he had been looking at Papadopoulos “for a while” and regarded him as “a clone of Carter Page”; but he admitted that he actually knew nothing significant about Papadopoulos beyond what Mueller had included in the information filed in court at the time of the guilty plea.

The information Mueller had filed in October said nothing about either Papadopoulos’s meeting with Downer or the subsequent purported transmission of Papadopoulos’s claims from Australian authorities to the FBI. That story did not come out until the Times article on December 30.

When Simpson testified that Steele told him the FBI had a human source, I think Simpson meant exactly what that testimony implied.

Only after that, and in the uproar over the January 9 release of Simpson’s five-month-old Senate testimony, did Fusion suggest that Simpson must have been referring to Downer, the Australian diplomat, when he told the Senate that the FBI had a “human source” inside the Trump campaign. That, however, is not credible. When Simpson gave the “human source” testimony in August 2017, there is no indication that he knew anything about Downer. Even if we buy his House testimony in November that he had heard of Papadopoulos before the latter’s October plea, Simpson conceded then that he knew nothing more than what Mueller had disclosed — which did not include the Papadopoulos–Downer meeting and the communication of it to the FBI.

Simpson is a smart guy, an accomplished investigative journalist, and now a full-time professional researcher, whose attention to detail is impressive. Steele is an experienced intelligence officer. The two are longtime friends and collaborators who understand each other well. Informants are central to both of their professions. By their telling, Steele’s decision to bring their research to the FBI and his subsequent dealings with the Bureau were a matter of extensive discussion and great concern.

Consequently, I do not believe that Steele gave his friend Simpson a cryptic account of his meeting in Rome with the FBI; nor do I believe that Simpson got confused and “mischaracterized” what he was told. When Simpson testified that Steele told him the FBI had a human source, I think Simpson meant exactly what that testimony implied: that someone from the FBI told Steele in August 2016 — while the investigation was heating up, while the FBI was ramping up its efforts in preparation for seeking surveillance warrants from the FISA court — that the Bureau had an informant.

A Human Source . . . in Britain, Not Australia
Three other things to consider:

1. For months, the House Intelligence Committee sought disclosure of the “electronic communication” (EC) by which the FBI opened its counterintelligence-investigation file on Papadopoulos, reportedly in July 2016. Counterintelligence involves national-security powers, and it is a weighty matter to apply these powers — as opposed to criminal-investigative authorities — to American citizens. The committee therefore wanted to know what foreign intelligence had spurred the probe, particularly in light of intelligence leaks that an Australian government report about Papadopoulos was the cause.

Yet, when Nunes was finally allowed to look at the EC, only after threatening contempt proceedings against Justice Department officials, he learned that the FBI did not set forth any foreign intelligence — there was no Australian report, no “Five Eyes intelligence product” at all, Nunes told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo.

Did the FBI’s British operation involve using a spy to interact with Trump-campaign figures, such as Papadopoulos, on British soil?

If the FBI was not explicitly relying on intelligence from a foreign ally, on what was it relying to open a counterintelligence investigation focusing on an American political campaign? According to what the New York Times reported in April 2017, “current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials” said the investigation was triggered by Carter Page’s trip to Moscow. That would implicate the Clinton-campaign-generated Steele dossier, which claimed that Page’s trip furthered a Trump–Russia conspiracy. I’ve detailed how, as reliance on the unverified dossier has become more controversial, the media and intelligence agencies have tried to minimize its importance to the opening of the investigation.

Did the dossier instigate not only FISA surveillance but human spying against the Trump campaign?

2. As Larry O’Connor has recounted in the Washington Times, Obama’s former CIA director John Brennan was asked, by NBC’s Chuck Todd, whether the FBI’s investigation was triggered by intelligence from the Five Eyes (i.e., the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia — five Anglosphere governments that have longstanding, unusually close intelligence-sharing arrangements). Brennan would not answer the question directly, but he emphasized U.S. ties not with Australia but with Britain:

The F.B.I. has [a] very close relationship with its British counterparts. And so, the F.B.I. had visibility into a number of things that were going on involving some individuals who may have had some affiliation with the Trump campaign. And so, the intelligence that we collected was pulsed against that. And I thought it would have been derelict if the F.B.I. did not pull the threads, investigative threads, on American persons who might have been involved with Russia and working on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly.

Sounds like the FBI, with support from the CIA, had some cooperative intelligence venture with British authorities that enabled the Bureau to monitor Trump-campaign figures. That is significant because Papadopoulos has acknowledged meeting in Britain with people who claimed Kremlin ties and who told him Russia had thousands of Clinton’s emails. Did the FBI’s British operation involve using a spy to interact with Trump-campaign figures, such as Papadopoulos, on British soil? Brennan didn’t say.

3. In December 2017, McCabe testified in a closed hearing before the House Intelligence Committee. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported that McCabe “said on more than one occasion that the FBI had worked hard to verify the dossier, telling lawmakers that the FBI had at one point sent investigators to London as part of that effort” (emphasis added).

Did the FBI’s work to verify the dossier in London involve a human source? Did it involve other human sources in other places?

Christopher Steele, the former British spy with extensive British intelligence and FBI connections, told his friend Glenn Simpson that the FBI had penetrated the Trump campaign with a “human source” who was helping corroborate the dossier. There seems to be more corroboration for this assertion than for the sensational allegations in Steele’s dossier.

Story 2: Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) Abolishes Fourth Amendment With  National Security Agency and National Security Letters — Congress Does Nothing Fearing Secret Surveillance Spying Security State Disclosures By United States Intelligence Community (IC) — Videos

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Tragedy and Hope: Professor Carroll Quigley and the “Article that Said Too Little” by Kevin Cole

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United States Intelligence Community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Intelligence Community
United States Intelligence Community Seal.svg

Seal of the United States Intelligence Community
Agency overview
Formed December 4, 1981
Agency executive

The United States Intelligence Community (IC)[1] is a federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities to support the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Member organizations of the IC include intelligence agenciesmilitary intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis offices within federal executive departments. The IC is overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which itself is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who reports to the President of the United States.

Among their varied responsibilities, the members of the Community collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage. The IC was established by Executive Order 12333, signed on December 4, 1981, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.[2]

The Washington Post reported in 2010 that there were 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies in 10,000 locations in the United States that were working on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence, and that the intelligence community as a whole includes 854,000 people holding top-secret clearances.[3] According to a 2008 study by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, private contractors make up 29% of the workforce in the U.S. intelligence community and account for 49% of their personnel budgets.[4]

Etymology

The term “Intelligence Community” was first used during Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith‘s tenure as Director of Central Intelligence (1950–1953).[5]

History[

Intelligence is information that agencies collect, analyze, and distribute in response to government leaders’ questions and requirements. Intelligence is a broad term that entails:

Collection, analysis, and production of sensitive information to support national security leaders, including policymakers, military commanders, and Members of Congress. Safeguarding these processes and this information through counterintelligence activities. Execution of covert operations approved by the President. The IC strives to provide valuable insight on important issues by gathering raw intelligence, analyzing that data in context, and producing timely and relevant products for customers at all levels of national security—from the war-fighter on the ground to the President in Washington.[6]

Executive Order 12333 charged the IC with six primary objectives:[7]

  • Collection of information needed by the President, the National Security Council, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and other executive branch officials for the performance of their duties and responsibilities;
  • Production and dissemination of intelligence;
  • Collection of information concerning, and the conduct of activities to protect against, intelligence activities directed against the U.S., international terrorist and/or narcotics activities, and other hostile activities directed against the U.S. by foreign powers, organizations, persons and their agents;
  • Special activities (defined as activities conducted in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad which are planned and executed so that the “role of the United States Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly”, and functions in support of such activities, but which are not intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media and do not include diplomatic activities or the collection and production of intelligence or related support functions);
  • Administrative and support activities within the United States and abroad necessary for the performance of authorized activities and
  • Such other intelligence activities as the President may direct from time to time.

Organization

Members

The IC is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), whose statutory leadership is exercised through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The 16 members of the IC are:[8]

The official seals of U.S. Intelligence Community members.

Agency Parent Agency Federal Department Date est.
Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States Air Force Defense 1948
Intelligence and Security Command United States Army Defense 1977
Central Intelligence Agency none Independent agency 1947
Coast Guard Intelligence United States Coast Guard Homeland Security 1915
Defense Intelligence Agency none Defense 1961
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence none Energy 1977
Office of Intelligence and Analysis none Homeland Security 2007
Bureau of Intelligence and Research none State 1945
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence none Treasury 2004
Office of National Security Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration Justice 2006
Intelligence Branch Federal Bureau of Investigation Justice 2005
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity United States Marine Corps Defense 1978
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency none Defense 1996
National Reconnaissance Office none Defense 1961
National Security Agency/Central Security Service none Defense 1952
Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy Defense 1882

Programs

The IC performs under two separate programs:

  • The National Intelligence Program (NIP), formerly known as the National Foreign Intelligence Program as defined by the National Security Act of 1947 (as amended), “refers to all programs, projects, and activities of the intelligence community, as well as any other programs of the intelligence community designated jointly by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the head of a United States department or agency or by the President. Such term does not include programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by the United States Armed Forces”. Under the law, the DNI is responsible for directing and overseeing the NIP, though the ability to do so is limited (see the Organization structure and leadership section).
  • The Military Intelligence Program (MIP) refers to the programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by the United States Armed Forces. The MIP is directed and controlled by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. In 2005 the Department of Defense combined the Joint Military Intelligence Program and the Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities program to form the MIP.

Since the definitions of the NIP and MIP overlap when they address military intelligence, assignment of intelligence activities to the NIP and MIP sometimes proves problematic.

Organizational structure and leadership

IC Circle.jpg

The overall organization of the IC is primarily governed by the National Security Act of 1947 (as amended) and Executive Order 12333. The statutory organizational relationships were substantially revised with the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) amendments to the 1947 National Security Act.

Though the IC characterizes itself as a federation of its member elements, its overall structure is better characterized as a confederation due to its lack of a well-defined, unified leadership and governance structure. Prior to 2004, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was the head of the IC, in addition to being the director of the CIA. A major criticism of this arrangement was that the DCI had little or no actual authority over the budgetary authorities of the other IC agencies and therefore had limited influence over their operations.

Following the passage of IRTPA in 2004, the head of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The DNI exerts leadership of the IC primarily through statutory authorities under which he or she:

  • controls the “National Intelligence Program” budget;
  • establishes objectives, priorities, and guidance for the IC; and
  • manages and directs the tasking of, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of national intelligence by elements of the IC.

However, the DNI has no authority to direct and control any element of the IC except his own staff—the Office of the DNI—neither does the DNI have the authority to hire or fire personnel in the IC except those on his own staff. The member elements in the executive branch are directed and controlled by their respective department heads, all cabinet-level officials reporting to the President. By law, only the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency reports to the DNI.

In light of major intelligence failures in recent years that called into question how well Intelligence Community ensures U.S. national security, particularly those identified by the 9/11 Commission (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States), and the “WMD Commission” (Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction), the authorities and powers of the DNI and the overall organizational structure of the IC have become subject of intense debate in the United States.

Interagency cooperation

Previously, interagency cooperation and the flow of information among the member agencies was hindered by policies that sought to limit the pooling of information out of privacy and security concerns. Attempts to modernize and facilitate interagency cooperation within the IC include technological, structural, procedural, and cultural dimensions. Examples include the Intellipedia wiki of encyclopedic security-related information; the creation of the Office of the Director of National IntelligenceNational Intelligence CentersProgram Manager Information Sharing Environment, and Information Sharing Council; legal and policy frameworks set by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, information sharing Executive Orders 13354 and Executive Order 13388, and the 2005 National Intelligence Strategy.

Budget[edit]

Data visualization of U.S. intelligence black budget (2013)

The U.S. intelligence budget (excluding the Military Intelligence Program) in fiscal year 2013 was appropriated as $52.7 billion, and reduced by the amount sequestered to $49.0 billion.[9] In fiscal year 2012 it peaked at $53.9 billion, according to a disclosure required under a recent law implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.[10] The 2012 figure was up from $53.1 billion in 2010,[11] $49.8 billion in 2009,[12] $47.5 billion in 2008,[13] $43.5 billion in 2007,[14] and $40.9 billion in 2006.[15]

About 70 percent of the intelligence budget went to contractors for the procurement of technology and services (including analysis), according to the May 2007 chart from the ODNI. Intelligence spending has increased by a third over ten years ago, in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.[citation needed]

In a statement on the release of new declassified figures, DNI Mike McConnell said[when?] there would be no additional disclosures of classified budget information beyond the overall spending figure because “such disclosures could harm national security”. How the money is divided among the 16 intelligence agencies and what it is spent on is classified. It includes salaries for about 100,000 people, multibillion-dollar satellite programsaircraftweapons, electronic sensors, intelligence analysisspiescomputers, and software.

On August 29, 2013 the Washington Post published the summary of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s multivolume FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification, the U.S. intelligence community’s top-secret “black budget.”[16][17][18] The IC’s FY 2013 budget details, how the 16 spy agencies use the money and how it performs against the goals set by the president and Congress. Experts said that access to such details about U.S. spy programs is without precedent. Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists, which provides analyses of national security issues stated that “It was a titanic struggle just to get the top-line budget number disclosed, and that has only been done consistently since 2007 … but a real grasp of the structure and operations of the intelligence bureaucracy has been totally beyond public reach. This kind of material, even on a historical basis, has simply not been available.”[19] Access to budget details will enable an informed public debate on intelligence spending for the first time said the co-chair of the 9/11 Commission Lee H. Hamilton. He added that Americans should not be excluded from the budget process because the intelligence community has a profound impact on the life of ordinary Americans.[19]

Oversight

Intelligence Community Oversight duties are distributed to both the Executive and Legislative branches. Primary Executive oversight is performed by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Joint Intelligence Community Council, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Office of Management and Budget. Primary congressional oversight jurisdiction over the IC is assigned to two committees: the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee draft bills to annually authorize the budgets of DoD intelligence activities, and both the House and Senate appropriations committees annually draft bills to appropriate the budgets of the IC. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs took a leading role in formulating the intelligence reform legislation in the 108th Congress.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Agrawal, Nina. “There’s more than the CIA and FBI: The 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community”Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  2. Jump up^ “Executive Order 12333”. Cia.gov. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  3. Jump up^ Dana Priest & William M Arkin (19 July 2010). “A hidden world, growing beyond control”The Washington Post.
  4. Jump up^ Priest, Dana (2011). Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State. Little, Brown and Company. p. 320. ISBN0-316-18221-4.
  5. Jump up^ Michael Warner; Kenneth McDonald. “US Intelligence Community Reform Studies Since 1947” (PDF). CIA. p. 4. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Rosenbach, Eric & Aki J. Peritz (12 June 2009). “Confrontation or Collaboration? Congress and the Intelligence Community” (PDF). Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  7. Jump up^ Executive Order 12333 text
  8. Jump up^ User, Super. “Members of the IC”.
  9. Jump up^ “DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2013 National Intelligence Program”. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  10. Jump up^ DNI Releases FY 2012 Appropriated Budget Figure. Dni.gov (2012-10-30). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  11. Jump up^ “DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2010 National Intelligence Program” (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  12. Jump up^ “DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2009 National Intelligence Program” (PDF). Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  13. Jump up^ “DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2008 National Intelligence Program” (PDF). Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  14. Jump up^ “DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2007 National Intelligence Program” (PDF). Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  15. Jump up^ Hacket, John F. (2010-10-28). “FY2006 National Intelligence Program Budget, 10-28-10” (PDF). Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  16. Jump up^ Matt DeLong (29 August 2013). “Inside the 2013 U.S. intelligence ‘black budget'”The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Matthews, Dylan (29 August 2013). “America’s secret intelligence budget, in 11 (nay, 13) charts”The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  18. Jump up^ DeLong, Matt (29 August 2013). “2013 U.S. intelligence budget: Additional resources”The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  19. Jump up to:ab Barton Gellman & Greg Miller (29 August 2013). “U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary”The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2013.

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Intelligence_Community

 

he Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA)

50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-11, 1821-29, 1841-46, 1861-62, 1871.

Background. Like Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the “Wiretap Act“), the FISA legislation was the result of congressional investigations into Federal surveillance activities conducted in the name of national security. Through FISA, Congress sought to provide judicial and congressional oversight of foreign intelligence surveillance activities while maintaining the secrecy necessary to effectively monitor national security threats. FISA was initially enacted in 1978 and sets out procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information. Initially, FISA addressed only electronic surveillance but has been significantly amended to address the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches, and business records.

FISA also established the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a special U.S. Federal court that holds nonpublic sessions to consider issuing search warrants under FISA. Proceedings before the FISC are ex parte, meaning the government is the only party present.

General Provisions. FISA, as amended, establishes procedures for the authorization of electronic surveillance, use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches, and business records for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence.

Electronic Surveillance Procedures – Subchapter I of FISA established procedures for the conduct of foreign intelligence surveillance and created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Department of Justice must apply to the FISC to obtain a warrant authorizing electronic surveillance of foreign agents. For targets that are U.S. persons (U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens, and U.S. corporations), FISA requires heightened requirements in some instances.

  • Unlike domestic criminal surveillance warrants issued under Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (the “Wiretap Act“) , agents need to demonstrate probable cause to believe that the “target of the surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power,” that “a significant purpose” of the surveillance is to obtain “foreign intelligence information,” and that appropriate “minimization procedures” are in place. 50 U.S.C. § 1804.
  • Agents do not need to demonstrate that commission of a crime is imminent.
  • For purposes of FISA, agents of foreign powers include agents of foreign political organizations and groups engaged in international terrorism, as well as agents of foreign nations. 50 U.S.C. § 1801

Record Destruction: Where the government has accidentally intercepted communications that “under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States,” the government is required to destroy those records, “unless the Attorney General determines that the contents indicate a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person.” 50 U.S.C. § 1806.

Exception to Court Order Requirement: The President may authorize electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year without a FISC court order where the Attorney General certifies that there is “no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a U.S. person is a party,” provided the surveillance is directed solely at communications among or between foreign powers, or “the acquisition of technical intelligence … from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power.” 50 U.S.C. § 1802.

Physical Searches – Subchapter II of FISA establishes procedures for the physical search of “premises or property … owned, used, possessed by, or … in transit to or from a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” The procedures are substantially similar to the procedures established for electronic foreign intelligence surveillance.

Pen Registers and Trap & Trace Devices for Foreign Intelligence Purposes – Subchapter III of FISA establishes procedures for the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices for conducting telephone or e-mail surveillance.

Access to Certain Business Records for Foreign Intelligence Purposes – Subchapter IV of FISA establishes procedures for obtaining a FISC order for third-party production of business records to acquire foreign intelligence information.

Amendments.  FISA has been significantly amended by the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 103-359; 10/14/94), by the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1999, (Pub. L. 105-272; 10/5/98), by the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56; 10/26/01), by the USA PATRIOT Additional Reauthorization Amendments Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-178; (3/9/06), the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Amendments Act of 2008 (Pub. L.110-261; 7/10/2008), and by the FISA Sunsets Extension Act (Pub. L. 112-3; 2/25/11).  It also “eas[ed] the restrictions on foreign intelligence gathering within the United States and afford[ed] the U.S. intelligence community greater access to information unearthed during a criminal investigation.” CRS Report RS21203, USA PATRIOT Act: A Sketch. Also see the other analyses of the PATRIOT Act for more on FISA changes as the result of passage of the PATRIOT Act. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 also amended the ECPA.

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Implications. FISA prohibits surveillance of or production of business records regarding a U.S. person based solely on First Amendment activities. 50 U.S.C. §§ 180518421861. Section 1806 provides guidance on the sharing of foreign intelligence information among Federal agencies and with State and local partners, as well as guidance as to disclosure of foreign intelligence information in criminal proceedings. Section 1825 provides similar guidance regarding the use and disclosure of foreign intelligence gathered via a physical search, while section 1845 provides similar guidance for the use and disclosure of information acquired through pen registers and trap and trace devices gathered under Subchapter III. Note that “agents of foreign powers” may include U.S. citizens and permanent residents suspected of being engaged in espionage and violating U.S. law on territory under United States control. Section 1801(b).

The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, P.L. 108-458, amended the definition of “agent of a foreign power” in FISA (50 U.S.C. § 1801(b)(1)), to add a new category of covered individuals called the “lone wolf” provision. Under the “lone wolf” provision, a non-United States person who engages in international terrorism or activities in preparation for international terrorism is deemed to be an “agent of a foreign power” under FISA.

Further Information. The Federation of American Scientists, a non-profit organization that describes itself as providing “nonpartisan technical analysis on complex global issues that hinge on science and technology,” offers a compilation of links to FISA-related resources including annual FISA reports to Congress, various court cases, and Department of Justice memoranda.

 

Story 3: President Trump Attacks MS-13 As Animals — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Defend MS -13 — All Humans Are Animals — MS-16 Members Are Violent Thugs — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

See the source image

The left turns Trump’s ‘animals’ comment into a controversy

President Donald Trump Says ‘Animals’ Remark Referred To MS-13 Gang Members | NBC News

Nancy Pelosi Defends Violent MS-13 Gang Members In Response To Trump, Says They’re Not Animals

Trump calls MS-13 gang members ‘animals’

Sanders: Trump referred to gang as ‘animals’ not immigrants

Trump says ‘animals’ remark referred to MS-13 members

Media take Trump’s ‘animals’ remark out of context

MS-13 gang members: Trump makes us stronger

A look inside the world of MS-13 gangs

True roots of MS-13

MS-13: Violent gang targeting US suburbia

ICE Chasing Down MS-13 Gang (Compilation)

El Salvador declares war on gangs

Trump calls some illegal immigrants “animals” in meeting with sheriffs

Tucker: There’s no defending MS-13, but the Left is

‘Hunting MS-13’: What we learned

MS-13 ‘Amercanizing’ with female members

National Geographic – MS13 [Mara Salvatrucha ] : America’s Deadliest Gang – full Documentary HD

Brit snaps MS-13 gang at jail guards won’t step in

ICE Chasing Down MS-13 Gang (Compilation)

Washington DC MS 13 Documentary

Inside Long Island’s war with MS-13

MS 13 Murder Documentary

MS-13’s Active Members Are Laughing At Trump’s Crackdown (HBO)

National Geographic – MS13 [Mara Salvatrucha ] : America’s Deadliest Gang – full Documentary HD

MS-13’s biggest rival: Barrio 18

5 Most Dangerous Gangs In The World!

CNN Took Trump’s ‘Animals’ Remark About Immigrants ‘Out of Context,’ Network Admits

 

“Trump’s remarks late Wednesday were in response to comments about members of MS-13 and other undocumented immigrants,” network now says

Last Updated: May 18, 2018 @ 8:01 AM

CNN has officially clarified its reporting suggesting that President Donald Trump had referred to undocumented immigrants as “animals.”

In a Thursday piece, media reporter Oliver Darcy conceded that CNN — like many other news organizations, including the New York Times and the Associated Press — had taken Trump’s remarks “out of context” and that the president had only been referring to members of the violent MS-13 gang, many of whom come from Central America, and not to all immigrants in the U.S. without proper documentation.

“Other outlets did not directly accuse the President of calling immigrants ‘animals,’ but failed to include in tweets the entire context for Trump’s remark. Those outlets included CNN, CBS News, and NBC News,” wrote Darcy.

“Trump’s remarks late Wednesday were in response to comments about members of MS-13 and other undocumented immigrants who are deported for committing crimes,” the network added in a thread response to its own (considerably more viral) original tweet that included the president’s quote without context.

CNN

@CNN

“We’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people — these are animals.” During a meeting with public officials who oppose California’s sanctuary policies, Pres. Trump criticized US immigration laws https://trib.al/jDvH1Vx  pic.twitter.com/SsmCdaofHb

CNN

@CNN

As reported in the article above, Trump’s remarks late Wednesday were in response to comments about members of MS-13 and other undocumented immigrants who are deported for committing crimes.

Also Thursday, the Associated Press went even further than CNN, deleting an earlier tweet about the president’s remarks.

“AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s ‘animals’ comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members,” the news organization offered in an explanation.

The Associated Press

@AP

AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s “animals” comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.

The false narrative spread through the media this week after Trump made the tough remarks from the Cabinet Room of the White House.

“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — we’re stopping a lot of them,”said the president. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people, these are animals, and we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

On Wednesday, the White House press briefing had an animated moment when Press Secretary Sarah Sanders laced into media companies for falsely reporting this story.

“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to,” said Sanders. “It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out … Frankly, I think that the term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough.”

“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who enter the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws,” she added. “This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs that operates by the motto of rape, control and kill.”

https://www.thewrap.com/cnn-took-trumps-animals-remark-immigrants-context-network-admits/

MS-13

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mara Salvatrucha
Marasalvatrucha13.png

Mara Salvatrucha gang member with gang’s name tattooed on his back
Founding location Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active 1980s–present
Territory United StatesCompton, CaliforniaLos Angeles, CaliforniaBoston, MassachusettsFresno, CaliforniaSanta Cruz, California
Ethnicity Mostly SalvadoransHondurans, and Guatemalans
Membership 8,000–10,000 (US)

30,000–50,000 (Worldwide)[1]

Criminal activities Drug trafficking, illegal immigration, people smuggling, robbery, larceny, human traffickingextortion, murder, money laundering, prostitution (including child prostitution), racketeering, battery, kidnapping, and arms trafficking
Allies SureñosSinaloa CartelGulf CartelLa Familia MichoacanaMexican MafiaLos Zetas[2]
Rivals 18th Street gangJuarez CartelLos NegrosSombra NegraTijuana CartelBeltrán-Leyva Cartel, The Rascals, Tiny Rascal GangBloodsCripsPirusFresno Bulldogs, Hoover Boyz, Hoover Criminals,[3] Latin Kings[4]

MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha; also known as simply MS or Mara) is an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles, California, US in the 1980s. The gang later spread to many parts of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America, and is active in urban and suburban areas. Most members are of Central American origin, principally El Salvador.

In the U.S., MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in California, the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, New York City and New JerseyBostonCharlotte, North Carolina, and Houston. There is also a presence of MS-13 in TorontoOntario.

Members of MS are characterised by tattoos covering the body, previously including the face, and by the use of their own sign language. They are notorious for their violence and a subcultural moral code based on merciless retribution. This cruelty of the distinguished members of the “Maras” or “Mareros” earned them a path to be recruited by the Sinaloa Cartel battling against Los Zetas in an ongoing drug war in Mexico.[5][6][7] Their wide-ranging activities have drawn the attention of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who have initiated wide-scale raids against known and suspected gang members, arresting hundreds across the country.[8]

Etymology

There is some dispute about the etymology of the name. Some sources state the gang is named for La Mara, a street gang in San Salvador, and the Salvatrucha guerrillas who fought in the Salvadoran Civil War.[9]Additionally, the word mara means gang in Caliche slang and is taken from marabunta, the name of a fierce type of ant. “Salvatrucha” may be a combination of the words Salvadoran and trucha, a Caliche word for being alert. The term “Salvatruchas” has been explained as a reference to Salvadorian peasants trained to become guerrilla fighters, referred to as “Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.”[10]

Aspirants are beaten for 13 seconds in order to join the gang, a ritual known as a “beat-in”.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

Physical appearance

An MS gang sign and tattoos

Minors make up the majority of suspects arrested for killings attributed to MS-13. Many school districts were reluctant to admit unaccompanied teenagers when they initially arrived from Central America, which left them home alone and vulnerable to gang recruitment.[17]

Many Mara Salvatrucha members cover themselves in tattoos. Common markings include “MS”, “Salvatrucha”, the “Devil Horns”, the name of their clique, and other symbols.[18] A December 2007 CNN internet news article stated that the gang was moving away from face tattoos so as to be able to commit crimes without being noticed.[19]

Members of Mara Salvatrucha, like members of most modern American gangs, utilize a system of hand signs for purposes of identification and communication. One of the most commonly displayed is the “devil’s head” which forms an ‘M’ when displayed upside down. This hand sign is similar to the same symbol commonly seen displayed by heavy metal musicians and their fans. Founders of Mara Salvatrucha borrowed the hand sign after attending concerts of heavy metal bands.[20]

Presence

MS-13 presence     territories with a weaker presence     territories with a stronger presence

In the U.S., MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, VirginiaMontgomery County, Maryland,[21] and Prince George’s County, MarylandQueensNew YorkLong Island, New York; Newark, New JerseyPlainfield, New JerseyJersey City, New JerseyElizabeth, New Jersey; the BostonMassachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and HoustonTexas. There is also a presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

MS-13 appears to use Texas as a stopping point for travel from Los Angeles to the East Coast and for the trafficking of drugs, humans, and weapons between Mexico and the United States. The largest concentration of MS-13 in Texas is in Houston.[22]

History

The Mara Salvatrucha gang originated in Los Angeles, set up in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants in the city’s Pico-Union neighborhood who immigrated to the United States after the Central American civil wars of the 1980s.[23]

Originally the gang’s main purpose was to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other, more established gangs of Los Angeles, who were predominantly composed of Mexicans and African-Americans.[24]

Many Mara Salvatrucha gang members from the Los Angeles area have been deported after being arrested.[25] For example, Jose Abrego, a high-ranking member, was deported four times.[26] As a result of these deportations, members of MS-13 have recruited more members in their home countries.[27] The Los Angeles Times contends that deportation policies have contributed to the size and influence of the gang both in the United States and in Central America.[25] According to the 2009 National Gang Threat Assessment, “The gang is estimated to have 30,000 to 50,000 members and associate members worldwide, 8,000 to 10,000 of whom reside in the United States.[1]

Since the first decade of the twenty-first century the gang has expanded into the Washington, D.C. area, in particular the areas of Langley Park and Takoma Park, Maryland.[28]

In 2004 the US FBI started the MS-13 National Gang Task Force. The FBI also began teaming with law enforcement in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.[29]

In 2005 the office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement started Operation Community Shield. By 2011 this operation had made over 20,000 arrests, including more than 3,000 arrests of alleged MS-13 members.[30]

NYPD said that MS-13 were responsible for 17 murders between January 2016 and April 2016 in Long Island.[31]

On July 28, 2017, one day after 113 suspected MS-13 gang members were arrested by Salvadoran authorities,[32] President Donald Trump declared his goal of “eradicating” MS-13, calling them “animals” whose victims “die slowly because that way it’s more painful.”[33]

In an interview with Bill Ritter in late 2017, Nassau County, New York District Attorney Madeline Singas, referring to crimes committed by MS-13 gang members, stated: “The crimes that we’re talking about are brutal. Their weapon of choice is a machete. We end up seeing people with injuries that I’ve never seen before. You know, limbs hacked off. And that’s what the bodies look like that we’re recovering. So they’re brutal. They’re ruthless, and we’re gonna be relentless in our attacks against them.”[34]

Illegal immigration and human smuggling

According to The Washington Times, MS-13 “is thought to have established a major smuggling center” in Mexico.[35] There were reports by the Minuteman Project that MS members were ordered to Arizona to target U.S. Border Patrol agents and Minuteman Projectvolunteers.[36]

Robert Morales, a prosecutor for Guatemala, indicated to The Globe and Mail that some Central American gang members seek refugee status in Canada. Superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police integrated gang task force, John Robin, said in an interview that “I think [gang members] have a feeling that police here won’t treat them in the harsh manner they get down there.”[37] Robin noted that Canadian authorities “want to avoid ending up like the U.S., which is dealing with the problem of Central American gangsters on a much bigger scale”.[37]

The gang is violent to migrants on the southern border of Mexico.[38]

False Al-Qaeda connection

In 2005 Honduran Security Minister Oscar Álvarez and the President of El Salvador raised alarm by claiming that terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda was meeting with Mara Salvatrucha and other Central American gangs to help them infiltrate the United States. FBI agents said that the U.S. intelligence community and governments of several Central American countries found that there was no basis to believe that MS-13 was connected to Al-Qaeda or other Islamic radicals, although the head of the FBI task force on MS-13 did visit Central America to discuss the issue.[39]

Publicized crimes

The Central American population in North America is the primary victim of MS-13.[27] Many of the victims are minors.[17]

On July 13, 2003, Brenda Paz, a 17-year-old former MS-13 member turned informant was found stabbed to death on the banks of the Shenandoah River in Virginia. She was killed for informing the FBI about Mara Salvatrucha’s criminal activities; two of her former friends were later convicted of the murder.[40]

In 2004 the FBI created the MS-13 National Gang Task Force.[41] In 2005 the FBI helped create a National Gang Information Center (NGIC), and outlined a National Gang Strategy for Congress.[42]

On December 23, 2004, one of the most widely publicized MS-13 crimes in Central America occurred in Chamelecón, Honduras when an intercity bus was intercepted and sprayed with automatic gunfire from assault rifles,[43] killing 28 and wounding 14 civilian passengers, most of whom were women and children.[44] MS-13 organized the massacre as a protest against the Honduran government for proposing a restoration of the death penalty in Honduras. Six gunmen raked the bus with gunfire. As passengers screamed and ducked, another gunman climbed aboard and methodically executed passengers.[45] In February 2007 Juan Carlos Miranda Bueso and Darwin Alexis Ramírez were found guilty of several crimes including murder and attempted murder. Ebert Anibal Rivera was arrested over the attack after fleeing to Texas.[46] Juan Bautista Jimenez, accused of masterminding the massacre, was killed in prison; according to the authorities, fellow MS-13 inmates hanged him.[47] There was insufficient evidence to convict Óscar Fernando Mendoza and Wilson Geovany Gómez.[46]

An MS-13 suspect bearing gang tattoos is handcuffed.

On May 13, 2006, Ernesto “Smokey” Miranda, a former high-ranking soldier and one of the founders of Mara Salvatrucha, was murdered at his home in El Salvador a few hours after declining to attend a party for a gang member who had just been released from prison. He had begun studying law and working to keep children out of gangs.[48]

On June 6, 2006,[49] a teenage MS-13 gang member named Gabriel Granillo was stabbed to death at Ervan Chew Park, in the Neartown district in Houston, Texas.[50] Chris Vogel of the Houston Press wrote that the trial of the girl who stabbed Granillo, Ashley Paige Benton,[51] gave attention to MS-13.[52]

In 2007 Julio Chavez, a Long Island MS-13 member, allegedly murdered a man because he was wearing a red sweatshirt and mistaken for a member of the Bloods gang.[53]

On June 4, 2008, in Toronto, Ontario, police executed search warrants, made 21 arrests and laid dozens of charges following a five-month investigation.[54]

On June 22, 2008, in San Francisco, California, a 21-year-old MS-13 gang member, Edwin Ramos, shot and killed a father, Anthony Bologna, 48, and his two sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16 as they were returning home from a family barbecue. Their car had briefly blocked Ramos from completing a left turn down a narrow street .[55]

On November 26, 2008, Jonathan Retana was convicted of the murder of Miguel Angel Deras, which the authorities linked to an MS-13 initiation.[56]

Gang graffiti

In 2008 the MS-13 task force coordinated a series of arrests and crackdowns in the U.S. and Central America that involved more than 6,000 police officers in five countries. Seventy-three suspects were arrested in the U.S.; in all, more than 650 were taken into custody.[citation needed]

In February 2009 authorities in Colorado and California arrested 20 members of MS-13 and seized 10 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.3 kilograms (5 pounds) of cocaine, a small amount of heroin, 12 firearms, and $3,300 in cash.[57]

In June 2009 Edwin Ortiz, Jose Gomez Amaya and Alexander Aguilar, MS-13 gang members from Long Island who had mistaken bystanders for rival gang members, shot two innocent civilians. Edgar Villalobos, a laborer, was killed.[58]

On November 4, 2009, El Salvadoran leaders of the MS-13 gang allegedly put out a contract on the federal agent responsible for a crackdown on its New York factions, the Daily News learned. The plot to assassinate the unidentified Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was revealed in an arrest warrant for reputed gang member Walter (Duke) Torres. Torres tipped authorities to the plan after he and four MS-13 members were stopped by NYPD detectives for hassling passersby on Northern Boulevard. in Queens, New York. He told police he had information to pass on; he was debriefed on October 22 at Rikers Island, where he was being held on a warrant issued in Virginia, according to court papers. Torres said “the order for the murder came from gang leadership in El Salvador”, ICE agent Sean Sweeney wrote in an affidavit for a new warrant charging Torres with conspiracy. Torres, who belonged to an MS-13 “clique” in Virginia, said he was put in charge, and traveled to New York in August “for the specific purpose of participating in the planning and execution of the murder plot”, Sweeney wrote. Gang members were trying to obtain a high-powered rifle to penetrate the agent’s bulletproof vest. Another MS-13 informant told authorities the agent was marked for death because the gang was “exceedingly angry” at him for arresting many members in the past three years, the affidavit states. The murder was supposed to be carried out by the Flushing clique, according to the informant. Federal prosecutors have indicted numerous MS-13 gang members on racketeering, extortion, prostitution, kidnapping, illegal immigration, money laundering, murder, people smuggling, arms trafficking, human trafficking and drug trafficking charges; the targeted special agent was the lead federal investigator on many of the federal cases.[59]

Sinaloa Cartel hierarchy in early 2008

In 2010 Rene Mejia allegedly murdered a Long Island 2-year-old baby and his mother.[53]

In August 2011 six San Francisco MS-13 members were convicted of racketeering and conspiracy, including three murders, in what was the city’s largest-scope gang trial in many years. Another 18 defendants reported to have ties to the gang pleaded guilty before trial.[60]

In 2011 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in New Haven, Connecticut was vandalized several times with the “MS-13 tag” and “kill whites” in orange spray paint.[61]

In February 2012 a Federal judge convicted three MS-13 gang members of murder. Danilo Velasquez, the former leader of the San Francisco branch of MS-13, was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 10 years, and is incarcerated at USP Hazelton.[62]

In January 2016, over 400 Boston police officers were involved in the arrests of 37 MS-13 members, 56 were charged altogether. Guns, knives and money were also seized at the homes of the gang members. Massachusetts State Police Lt. Col. Frank Hughes commented in a public conference “in my 30 years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen a more violent gang out there. These are very very violent individuals. The violence is unspeakable.” The charges included immigration violations, racketeering, firearm and drug trafficking.[63]

In August 2017, two undisclosed members were charged with the January murder of civilian 19-year-old Julio Cesar Gonzales-Espantzay who was lured to a forest in Long Island where he was attacked with machetes and stabbed with knives. Nassau County police also said the two members were responsible for 21 murders in New York just short of 2 years. Authorities said the motive was to gain reputation.[64]

On 13/14 of August 2017, MS-13 New Jersey faction member Walter Yovany Gomez who was added to the FBI most wanted list in April 2017,[65] was apprehended and charged with the 2011 brutal murder of his friend Julio Matute for associating with another gang. After a night of drinking, Gomez and another MS-13 member smacked Matute on the head with a baseball bat, sliced his throat with a knife and stabbed him in the back with a screwdriver 17 times. Gomez managed to evade arrest but was later captured in Virginia where he was hiding out with other MS-13 gang members.[66]

The Washington, DC think tank Center for Immigration Studies released a report that listed 506 cases of MS-13 criminal acts in the United States between 2012 and 2018.[67]

In 2017, two MS-13 members, Miguel Alvarez-Flores and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, were arrested for kidnapping, raping, torturing, and drugging a 14-year-old girl for over 2 weeks. According to the 14-year-old, the members also held another victim, “Genesis”, hostage in the same apartment.[68]

The East Coast kingpin of the MS-13, Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, was arraigned April 19, 2018 in Nassau County Court in Mineola, New YorkLong Island, New York on charges including conspiracy to commit murder. He could be sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted. He was one of seventeen defendants in a 21 count indictment in January that charged him with several counts of conspiracy to commit murder and operating as a high level drug tracker of controlled substances. He was extradited on the week of April 23, 2018 from Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he was held since October. That earlier jailing was in lieu of $125,000 bail.[69]

Child prostitution

In 2011 Alonso “Casper” Bruno Cornejo Ormeno, an associate of MS-13 from Fairfax, Virginia was sentenced to 292 months in prison for child prostitution. Ormeno recruited juvenile females into a prostitution ring by locating runaway children.[70]

Rances Ulices Amaya, a leader of MS-13, of Springfield, Virginia was convicted in February 2012 for trafficking girls as young as 14 into a prostitution ring. He was sentenced in June 2012 to 50 years in prison for child prostitution. The girls were lured from middle schools, high schools, and public shelters. Once acquired by Amaya, they were required to have sex with as many as ten men per day.[71]

In September 2012 Yimmy Anthony Pineda Penado, also known as “Critico” and “Spike”, of Maryland was a former “clique leader” of MS-13. Penado became the eleventh MS-13 gang member to be convicted of child prostitution since 2011.[72]

Charlotte, North Carolina cases

In the first decade of the twenty-first century US authorities investigated MS-13 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eventually the work led to charges against 26 MS-13 members, including 7 trial convictions in January 2010, 18 guilty pleas, and 11 multi-year prison sentences.[73]

This included the alleged first federal death-penalty conviction for an MS-13 member, Alejandro Enrique Ramirez Umaña, aka “Wizard” (age 25).[73]

In 2005, in Los Angeles, according to a jury in a later sentencing phase, Umaña murdered Jose Herrera and Gustavo Porras on July 27, and participated in and aided and abetted the killing of Andy Abarca on September 28. He later came to Charlotte, North Carolina, according to witnesses, as a veteran member of MS-13, to reorganize the Charlotte cell of the gang.[73]

According to witnesses at his trial on December 8, 2007, while in the Las Jarochitas, a family-run restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina, Umaña shot Ruben Garcia Salinas fatally in the chest and Manuel Garcia Salinas in the head. Witnesses testified that the shootings took place after the Garcia Salinas brothers had “disrespected” Umaña’s gang signs by calling them “fake”. Firing three more shots in the restaurant, according to trial testimony, Umaña injured another person with his gunfire. Trial testimony and evidence showed that Umaña later fled back to Charlotte with MS-13 assistance. Umaña was arrested five days later in possession of the murder weapon. Additional evidence and testimony from the trial revealed that while Umaña was incarcerated awaiting trial he coordinated attempts to kill witnesses and informants.[73]

Umaña was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 23, 2008. During trial, he attempted to bring a knife with him to the courtroom, which was discovered by U.S. Marshals before he was transported to the courthouse. Thousands of hours were spent on the case over several years. International work was also involved.[73]

The case was investigated by the Charlotte Safe Streets Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Chief Criminal Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, and Trial Attorney Sam Nazzaro from the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Gast and Adam Morris of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina were also members of the government’s trial team.[73]

Charges included:[73]

  • Murder in aid of the racketeering enterprise known as MS-13, two counts
  • Murder resulting from the use of a gun in a violent crime, two counts
  • Conspiracy to participate in racketeering
  • Witness tampering or intimidation, two counts
  • Possession of a firearm by an illegal alien
  • Extortion

On April 19, 2010, the jury convicted Umaña of all charges, and additionally found him responsible for the 2005 murders during the sentencing phase. On April 28 a 12-person federal jury in Charlotte voted unanimously to impose the death penalty. On July 27, 2010, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr., of Charlotte, NC, formally imposed the federal death penalty sentence. Also commenting on the decision in the government press release were Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer, of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina, Owen D Harris, Special Agent in charge of the Charlotte Division of the FBI, and Rodney Monreo, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief.[73]

The case was automatically appealed under Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.[73]

Sanctions

In October 2012 the US Treasury Department announced a freeze on American-owned assets controlled by the organization and listed MS-13 as a Transnational Criminal Organization.[74] While the three leaders (José Luís Mendoza Figueroa, Eduardo Erazo Nolasco, and Élmer Canales Rivera) were imprisoned in El Salvador, they continued to give orders. As a result, the US Treasury Department imposed further sanctions in 2015, allowing the government to seize all assets controlled by these men and any business with these leaders would no longer be allowed.[75]

On November 16, 2017 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials announced that they arrested a total of 267 alleged MS-13 gang members and associates in Operation Raging Bull, which was carried out in two phases. The first phase was in September 2017, and resulted in 53 arrests in El Salvador. The second phases was between October 8 and November 11, 2017, and resulted in 214 arrests in the U.S. Charges included drug traffickingchild prostitutionhuman smugglingracketingconspiracy to commit murder.[76][77][78][79]

In film

  • Principal characters of the feature movie Sin Nombre (2009) are members of MS in ChiapasMexico and many of the traditions and practices of MS are depicted accurately (killings, tattoos, initiation, exploitation of migrants, etc.).
  • Violence by MS-13 against immigrants at Guatemala–Mexico border is pictured in the feature movie La vida precoz y breve de Sabina Rivas (2012).
  • National Geographic created a documentary in 2005 titled World’s Most Dangerous Gang,[80][81] portraying MS-13.
  • In the debut season of The History Channel’s television series Gangland released two full episodes covering MS-13:
  1. 2007 season 1 episode 2, titled “You Rat, You Die” – Former gang member turned informant Brenda Paz had been supplying the authorities with first-hand accounts of MS-13’s operations, later she was found dead.[82]
  2. 2008 season 1 episode 13, titled “Root of All Evil” – Reports on the drugs and prostitution rackets run by MS-13.[83][84]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS-13

In reference to ‘animals,’ Trump evokes an ugly history of dehumanization

 May 16 

President Trump on Thursday pointedly referred to undocumented immigrants as “animals” in a statement his critics say betrays a gross misunderstanding of the plight of people who came to the United States illegally, and beyond that, little sympathy for them.

During an immigration roundtable at the White House with administration aides, political leaders and California law enforcement officials, Trump said his administration was deporting undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes.

Here’s the transcript:

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

President Trump: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.

When it comes to undocumented immigrants, you don’t always know which Trump you are going to get. The same president who encourages attendees at his rally to chant “build that wall” also pledged to approach those who illegally immigrated to the United States as children with “great heart.”

The Post’s Robert Costa points out this isn’t the first time he’s used the term in an illegal immigration context.

Robert Costa

@costareports

President Trump has used the “animal” phrase going back, at least, to 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/07/12/listening-to-donald-trump-swear-and-talk-politics-on-his-private-plane/  https://twitter.com/cspan/status/996845374819192833 

Listening to Donald Trump swear and talk politics on his private plane

The real estate mogul says, ‘I’ll keep doing my thing.’

washingtonpost.com

More recently, during a March news conference for the signing of a spending bill, Trump said, “I can tell you this, and I say this to DACA recipients, that the Republicans are with you. They want to get your situation taken care of. The Democrats fought us. But I do want the Hispanic community to know and DACA recipients to know that Republicans are much more on your side than the Democrats, who are using you for their own purposes.”

And that comment came about two months after Trump reportedly expressed his frustration with staffers while discussing the protection of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries as part of a bipartisan immigration deal.

“Why are we having all these people from s—hole countries come here?” Trump asked, according to several people at the meeting, referring to countries mentioned by the lawmakers.

Since Trump launched his presidential campaign calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “murderers,” he has attracted scorn and praise for his hard-line immigration policies.

But while his critics previously called his policy proposals inhumane, these recent words caught on tape display how lowly Trump views those who commit crimes after arriving in the United States illegally.

This would not likely be a problem for much of Trump’s base. The president campaigned on a law-and-order platform, regularly providing examples of undocumented immigrants committing horrific crimes. To many of his supporters, honoring the humanity of individuals who behaved so inhumanely is not a priority.

But those who want to see the president take a more compassionate approach on immigration see statements like this as conflating the minority of undocumented immigrants who get involved with criminal activity with the “dreamers” and other law-abiding immigrants.

There’s important historical context here, too, that many social media users pointed out: Referring to marginalized groups as subhuman has been a way dictators have justified the abuse of those groups. This happened with the Jewish people during the Holocaust. It happen with the Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide. And it is happening with the Rohingya people in Burma.

Clint Smith

@ClintSmithIII

Before enslavement Africans were called “apes”

Before the Holocaust Jewish people were called “rats”

Before the Rwandan genocide Tutsis were called “cockroaches”

Calling undocumented people “animals” as the president just did is gravely serious. It’s not just an offensive word

Clint Smith

@ClintSmithIII

It’s easy to dismiss what Trump said as nonsense & it’s easy to see discussion about its potential impact as hyperbolic, but there is a long tradition of entire groups of people being likened to animals before & during periods of mass violence against them. pic.twitter.com/Ap943mO8x7

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Generalizations and stereotypes led many citizens of those countries to view entire ethnic groups of people so negatively that respecting their lives was of little priority. This empowered people to discriminate against or even physically harm and kill them.

That’s a scary evocation, but more practically in the near term, Trump’s rhetoric will be fodder for his opponents as his party hurtles toward a midterm in which many of its endangered members will be saddled with Trump’s words.

This post has been updated.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/16/trumps-animals-comment-on-undocumented-immigrants-earn-backlash-historical-comparisons/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.79eed67d784c

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1066, April 24, 2018, Story 1: U.S. Economy Growth Close to 3% With Higher Interest Rates and Federal Reserve Raising Fed Funds Target Rate By 2% Over Next Two Years– Gas and Oil Prices Rapidly Rising Again — Areas of Uncertainty Include Trade Dispute With China and Stopping Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East (North Korea and Iran) — Diplomacy or War? — Videos — Story 2: Rising Red Tidal Wave of Republican Victories in November 2018 — For High Taxes and Government Spending and Impeach Trump — Vote Democratic — Not A Winning Message — Videos — Story 3: President Trump’s First State Dinner — Videos

Posted on April 28, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, European History, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Spending, Great Britain, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Investments, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic State, Japan, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Middle East, Mike Pompeo, MIssiles, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, Networking, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, South Korea, Spying on American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, United Kingdom, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Chief Economist, Michael Carey, presents economic perspectives for the US

PETER SCHIFF – The Federal Reserve is Preparing Itself Against the Dismay of Disaster

Crude Oil Prices Hit 3 Year High

Why are oil prices so high?

Gas Prices On The Rise, Distressing Drivers | NBC Nightly News

Oil hits highest level in more than three years on falling supplies

Expect higher gas prices in 2018

Will the market end on a high note in 2018?

Larry Kudlow on tax law impact, China “trade dispute,” Abe summit

Spending growth the biggest risk to the US economy?

How to Enrich a Country: Free Trade or Protectionism?

Tariffs and Protectionism

Trump vs Friedman – Trade Policy Debate

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Murray Rothbard on Balance of Trade “Deficit”

Protectionism Smashed (by Murray Rothbard)

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Increased in April
24 April, 2018

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® increased in April, following a decline in March. The Index now stands at 128.7 (1985=100), up from 127.0 in March. The Present Situation Index increased from 158.1 to 159.6, while the Expectations Index improved from 106.2 last month to 108.1 this month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was April 12.

“Consumer confidence increased moderately in April after a decline in March,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved somewhat, with consumers rating both business and labor market conditions quite favorably. Consumers’ short-term expectations also improved, with the percent of consumers expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months reaching its lowest level since December 2000 (6.0 percent). Overall, confidence levels remain strong and suggest that the economy will continue expanding at a solid pace in the months ahead.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions improved modestly in April. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” decreased from 37.6 percent to 35.2 percent, however those claiming business conditions are “bad” also decreased, from 13.3 percent to 11.3 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was also mixed. The percentage of consumers claiming jobs are “plentiful” declined from 39.5 percent to 38.1 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” also declined, from 15.7 percent to 15.2 percent.

Consumers were moderately more positive about the short-term outlook in April. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions will improve over the next six months increased from 23.2 percent to 24.5 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen decreased from 10.2 percent to 9.7 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also more positive. The proportion expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased from 18.9 percent to 19.5 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs remained at 12.5 percent. Regarding their short-term income prospects, the percentage of consumers expecting an improvement was virtually unchanged at 23.1 percent, while the proportion expecting a decrease declined from 7.2 percent to 6.8 percent.

Source: April 2018 Consumer Confidence Survey®

The Conference Board / Release #6013

The Conference Board publishes the Consumer Confidence Index® at 10 a.m. ET on the last Tuesday of every month. Subscription information and the technical notes to this series are available on The Conference Board website: https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerdata.cfm.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE BOARD

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U.S. consumer confidence, housing data highlight economy’s strength

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in April and new home sales increased more than expected in March, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite signs that growth slowed in the first quarter.

Other data on Tuesday also showed house prices increasing solidly in February. Strong consumer confidence and rising house prices should underpin consumer spending, which appears to have braked sharply at the start of the year.

“Americans appear to think the economy is headed in the right direction and it’s not just all talk because their greater confidence is leading them to buy more new homes,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

“Everywhere you look confidence seems to be a rising tide that will lift all the boats.”

The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index increased to a reading of 128.7 this month from a downwardly revised 127.0 in March. The index was previously reported at 127.7 in March. Confidence raced to more than a 17-year high of 130.0 in February.

Consumers’ short-term expectations also improved in April, with the share of those expecting their incomes to decline over the coming months reaching its lowest level since December 2000. But the survey’s so-called labor market differential, derived from data on respondents’ views on whether jobs are plentiful or hard to get, fell to 22.9 from 23.8 in March.

That measure closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’s employment report. The jobless rate has been stuck at 4.1 percent for six straight months.

The economy added 103,000 jobs in March, the fewest in six month. Though economists shrugged off the modest job gains as payback after February’s outsized increase in hiring, they also acknowledged that employment growth was slowing.

“We have now seen two straight months of weakening in the labor market differential since the high for the cycle to date that was reached in February,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “Several other labor market indicators have also cooled off over the past month or so.”

Consumer confidence has remained strong despite stock market volatility, which was in part triggered by fears of a trade war between the United States and China, as well as geopolitical worries. In April, confidence was high among households with an annual income below $25,000 and those in the $75,000-$125,000 bracket.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

Stocks on Wall Street reversed earlier gains as the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note breached 3 percent for the first time in more than four years.

Prices of U.S. Treasuries were mostly trading lower while the dollar .DXY dipped against a basket of currencies.

Adding to the report’s strength, February’s sales pace was revised up to 667,000 units from the previously reported 618,000 units. Data for January was also revised to show sales unchanged instead of declining 4.7 percent.

New home sales, which account for 11 percent of housing market sales, jumped 8.8 percent from a year ago.

While the bullish new home sales report did little to change economists’ expectations that residential investment fell in the first quarter, it supported the view that an anticipated economic growth slowdown during that period would be temporary.

Gross domestic product estimates for the January-March quarter are below a 2 percent annualized rate, largely reflecting weak consumer spending.

First-quarter GDP also tends to be soft because of a seasonal quirk. The economy grew at a 2.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter. The government will publish its snapshot of first-quarter GDP on Friday.

A third report on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas increased 6.8 percent in the 12 months to February after rising 6.4 percent in January. House prices are being driven by an acute shortage of properties available for sale.

“Rising prices are a mixed bag for the housing market,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com. “While homeowners benefit from extra equity, potential buyers can get discouraged as the dream of homeownership becomes more elusive.”

Strong house price inflation was also corroborated by a fourth report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that showed its house price index rising a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in February after a 0.9 percent increase in January.

Home prices advanced 7.2 percent on a year-on-year basis in February.

Hear Trump’s toast to President Macron

 

‘May our sacred liberty never die’: Trump and Macron conclude their love-in with gushing toasts about ‘unbreakable friendship’ between US and France as First Lady Melania pulls out all the stops for their first ever state dinner

  • President Donald Trump and wife Melania welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron and wife Brigitte to the White House Tuesday night for their first state dinner
  • The Trumps held hands on the steps of the White House before they each exchanged kisses with the Macrons
  • Melania stole the show in a Chanel haute couture silver gown embroidered with crystals and sequins
  • In a toast before Tuesday’s dinner honoring France, Trump described his wife as ‘America’s absolutely incredible first lady’
  • He went on to raise a glass to President Macron saying: ‘May our friendship grow even deeper’  
  • Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were among the first to arrive with the first daughter wearing a $12,000 pink Rodarte gown 
  • Other notable guests included Rupert Murdoch and wife Jerry Hall, as well as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Apple CEO Tim Cook, DOD head James Mattis and Speaker Paul Ryan 

President Donald Trump and wife Melania welcomed the French president and first lady to the White House for their first state dinner as the two leaders toasted to continued warm relations between their countries.

Trump held hands with Melania on the steps of the White House before they each exchanged hugs and kisses with President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte ahead of the glitzy White House state dinner on Tuesday night.

All eyes were on Melania as she stole the show in a Chanel black Chantilly lace haute couture gown that had been hand-painted with silver and embroidered with crystal and sequins. The First Lady paired her gown with a pair of gunmetal stilettos.

Brigitte Macron opted for a cream full-length gown with long sleeves and gold details.

In a toast before Tuesday’s dinner honoring France, Trump described his wife as ‘America’s absolutely incredible first lady’ before he raised a glass to President Macron.

Scroll down for video

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania held hands outside the White House on Tuesday awaiting the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte for the state dinner

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania held hands outside the White House on Tuesday awaiting the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte for the state dinner

During his state dinner toast, President Trump raised a glass to President Macron saying: 'May our friendship grow even deeper'

During his state dinner toast, President Trump raised a glass to President Macron saying: ‘May our friendship grow even deeper’

Donald and Melania Trump greeted French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte ahead of their first White House state dinner on Tuesday evening 

Donald and Melania Trump greeted French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte ahead of their first White House state dinner on Tuesday evening

He thanked her for her efforts on the dinner and said she had created an evening that everyone will always ‘cherish and remember.’ The dinner for 123 guests marked Mrs Trump’s highest-profile hostess gig to date as first lady.

Trump went on to raise a glass to President Macron saying: ‘May our friendship grow even deeper’.

In his toast, Macron, who spoke in French, thanked Trump for making him the first world leader honored with a state visit.

He added that he and Trump had pledged to work together and listen to one another.

‘Thank you for the quality of our exchanges,’ he said before toasting the ‘unbreakable friendship’ of the US and France.

Among the guests were Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner who were among the first to arrive at the White House shortly after 6pm with the first daughter choosing a $13,686 pink tulle Rodarte gown for the occasion.

In a toast before Tuesday's dinner honoring France, Trump described his wife as 'America's absolutely incredible first lady'

In a toast before Tuesday’s dinner honoring France, Trump described his wife as ‘America’s absolutely incredible first lady’

Trump and Macron toasted during the state dinner to continued warm relations between their countries

Trump and Macron toasted during the state dinner to continued warm relations between their countries

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a state dinner in his honor at the White House

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a state dinner in his honor at the White House

The Trumps held hands as they made their way into the state dinner on Tuesday, which Melania played a central role in planning

The Trumps held hands as they made their way into the state dinner on Tuesday, which Melania played a central role in planning

President Macron, above with his wife Brigette, was honored Tuesday at the first state dinner of the Trump administration

President Macron, above with his wife Brigette, was honored Tuesday at the first state dinner of the Trump administration

Trump and his wife, Melania, exchanged hugs and air kisses with the Macrons before going inside the White House for the festivities

Melania kissed President Emmanuel Macron as she greeted him ahead of the glitzy White House state dinner

Trump kissed France's First Lady Brigitte Macron as he welcome her to the administration’s first state dinner

Trump kissed France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron as he welcome her to the administration’s first state dinner

Macron and his wife Brigitte arrived at the White House as a light rain fell Tuesday evening

Macron and his wife Brigitte arrived at the White House as a light rain fell Tuesday evening

All eyes were on Melania as she stole the show in a Chanel black Chantilly lace haute couture gown that had been hand-painted with silver and embroidered with crystal and sequins

All eyes were on Melania as she stole the show in a Chanel black Chantilly lace haute couture gown that had been hand-painted with silver and embroidered with crystal and sequins

The Macrons and Trump head inside the White House for the festivities soon after they greeted each other

The Macrons and Trump head inside the White House for the festivities soon after they greeted each other

Trump and Macron give toasts during the White House state dinner

They were followed closely by Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen.

Reporters were left off the invite list but one media mogul made the list: the owner of Fox News Channel Rupert Murdoch. The media mogul held his wife Jerry Hall’s hand as they made their way into the White House.

Other notable guests who made their way into the White House included CEO of Apple Tim Cook and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Aides had feared that the president would personally dole out invitations to the dinner last week while visiting Mar-a-Lago so they constrained him to adding just four names to the guest list. It’s unclear if Murdoch and Hall were among that group.

The White House released the full guest list of 130 people directly before the dinner. Congressional Democrats and White House reporters were already known to have been left out.

The only Democrat on the list was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife Donna, as it is custom to invite Louisiana politicians to state dinners with France because of the state’s Cajun-French roots.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his colorful actress wife Louise Linton were also in attendance.

Linton, wearing a champagne and silver gown by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, told reporters she was looking forward to ‘everything French’ when she stepped into the White House.

First daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner arrived at the White House state dinner on Tuesday night honoring French President Emmanuel Macron. Ivanka wore a $13,686 pink tulle Rodarte gown for the occasion

First daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner arrived at the White House state dinner on Tuesday night honoring French President Emmanuel Macron. Ivanka wore a $13,686 pink tulle Rodarte gown for the occasion

Ivanka, wearing a $13,686 pink tulle Rodarte gown, laughed with her husband as they made their way to the state dinner

Vice President Mike Pence waved to the cameras as he held his wife Karen’s hand in the Booksellers Area of the White House

Reporters were left off the invite list but one media mogul made the list: the owner of Fox News Channel Rupert Murdoch. He is pictured above entering the White House with wife Jerry Hall

Reporters were left off the invite list but one media mogul made the list: the owner of Fox News Channel Rupert Murdoch. He is pictured above entering the White House with wife Jerry Hall

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his colorful actress wife Louise Linton were also in attendance. Linton wore a champagne and silver gown by Italian designer Roberto Cavalli

Guests arrive at the White House for Trump’s first state dinner

The White House showed off the finishing touches of first lady Melania Trump’s decor on Monday night, from the place-setting to the giant flower arrangements greeting guests.

WHAT’S ON THE STATE DINNER MENU?

First course: Goat cheese gateau, tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles and young variegated lettuces.

Second course: Rack of spring lamb, burnt cipollini soubise and Carolina gold Rice Jambalaya

Dessert: Nectarine tart and crème fraîche ice cream.

Two wines from Oregon will be served and a demi-sec champagne.

Reporters were briefly allowed into the White House and were greeted by gold table settings, gold silverware, gold candlesticks, gold wine glasses, gold chairs – situated elegantly around puffs of green and white flowers – in the candlelit state dining room.

At each of the place settings there was a menu, with the White House seal and the fleur-de-lis, which were also in gold.

Just outside the state dining room, the first lady went with a different theme, using some 1,200 cherry blossoms in giant black vases that would greet guests as they came in.

Earlier on Monday, the White House had released some details about the dinner, including the menu.

Goat cheese gateau, tomato jam, buttermilk biscuit crumbles, young variegated lettuces would be served, along with a rack of spring lamb, burnt cipollini soubise and Carolina gold Rice Jambalaya, with a nectarine tart and crème fraîche ice cream for dessert.

Two wines from Oregon will be served and a demi-sec champagne.

The meal was being prepared by White House Executive Chef Christeta Comerford, who was hired during President George W. Bush’s administration, and stayed through the Obama years.

CEO of Apple Tim Cook

Marillyn A. Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin

CEO of Apple Tim Cook (left), IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (center) and Marillyn A. Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin (right), arrive at the White House state dinner

The only Democrat on the list was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife Donna, as it is custom to invite Louisiana politicians to state dinners with France because of the state's Cajun-French roots

The only Democrat on the list was Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife Donna, as it is custom to invite Louisiana politicians to state dinners with France because of the state’s Cajun-French roots

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross arrives with his wife

Chief of Staff John Kelly

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (left) arrives with his wife shortly before Chief of Staff John Kelly and his wife Karen (right)

Chief Executive Officer of LVMH Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene Mercier arrive at the White House

Chief Executive Officer of LVMH Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene Mercier arrive at the White House

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his wife

Trump's pick for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his wife (left) arrive in the Booksellers Area of the White House shortly after Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo (right)

US Defense Secretary James Mattis

US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)

Paul Ryan and his wife

US Defense Secretary James Mattis (left) and US Rep. Kevin McCarthy (right) were among the first to arrive at the White House for the state dinner on Tuesday. Paul Ryan and his wife were also in attendance

The first lady spent last Saturday in bipartisan company, attending the funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush alongside the Clintons and Obamas – all Democrats – and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, with his wife Laura.

During the state dinner, she’ll be showcasing china from the administrations of President Bill Clinton and President George H.W. Bush.

The first lady’s office said that selected pieces from the Vermeil and American Silver collections, as well as Tiffany & Co. and S. Kirk & Sons, would also be included.

‘Remember, she has a design background,’ the first lady’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Post.

Social secretary Rickie Niceta told the publication that the first lady, a former model, ‘has amazing taste, which makes things very, very easy.’

Reporters were briefly allowed into the White House's state dining room Monday night to take in the first lady's designs for the Trump administration's first state dinner 

Reporters were briefly allowed into the White House’s state dining room Monday night to take in the first lady’s designs for the Trump administration’s first state dinner

Earlier in the day, the first lady tweeted pictures of herself huddling with her social secretary Rickie Niceta (right) as the two women went over last minute details for Tuesday's state dinner with France

Earlier in the day, the first lady tweeted pictures of herself huddling with her social secretary Rickie Niceta (right) as the two women went over last minute details for Tuesday’s state dinner with France

Melania Trump's vision for her first state dinner included golden place settings, puffs of white and light green flowers and dinner by candlelight 

Melania Trump’s vision for her first state dinner included golden place settings, puffs of white and light green flowers and dinner by candlelight

The first lady used china from two administrations - Bill Clinton's and George H.W. Bush's - to create a golden look for the tables, which glowed under the candlelight 

The first lady used china from two administrations – Bill Clinton’s and George H.W. Bush’s – to create a golden look for the tables, which glowed under the candlelight

Touches of gold were used on the menu too, including a golden presidential seal, and a golden fleur-de-lis 

Touches of gold were used on the menu too, including a golden presidential seal, and a golden fleur-de-lis

Mrs. Trump chose Clinton china services to coordinate with the dinner’s cream and gold color scheme, and Bush china with a green color palette to “compliment the spring garden and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room”

Mrs. Trump chose Clinton china services to coordinate with the dinner’s cream and gold color scheme, and Bush china with a green color palette to ‘compliment the spring garden and white flowers that will be featured in the State Dining Room’

The Office of the First Lady has prepared the following details, all carefully selected by First Lady Melania Trump, to complement and pay homage to the long-standing friendship between the United States and France

The Office of the First Lady has prepared the following details, all carefully selected by First Lady Melania Trump, to complement and pay homage to the long-standing friendship between the United States and France

The Trumps, the Macrons and their guests will dine on food that showcases “the best of America’s cuisines and traditions” with some French influence: the main course is a rack of spring lamb and Carolina Gold rice jambalaya cooked with celery, peppers, onions, and herbs from the South Lawn

The Trumps, the Macrons and their guests will dine on food that showcases ‘the best of America’s cuisines and traditions’ with some French influence: the main course is a rack of spring lamb and Carolina Gold rice jambalaya cooked with celery, peppers, onions, and herbs from the South Lawn

Mrs. Trump 'carefully selected' all of the details for the state visit and paid particular attention to how the dining room looked

Mrs. Trump ‘carefully selected’ all of the details for the state visit and paid particular attention to how the dining room looked

Melania Trump chose 1,200 cheery blossoms to line the Cross Hall, which state dinner guests will walk through to get to the state dining room 

Melania Trump chose 1,200 cheery blossoms to line the Cross Hall, which state dinner guests will walk through to get to the state dining room

Mrs. Trump has also been doing some homework, educating herself about the protocol and history of these sorts of White House events. This is to ensure her selections for the Macrons' visit have meaning behind them, down to the china, flowers, color scheme and menu, which, while American, will highlight the influence France has had on American cuisine

Mrs. Trump has also been doing some homework, educating herself about the protocol and history of these sorts of White House events. This is to ensure her selections for the Macrons’ visit have meaning behind them, down to the china, flowers, color scheme and menu, which, while American, will highlight the influence France has had on American cuisine

The giant vases of cherry blossoms are seen Monday night in the Cross Hall as reporters were briefly allowed into the White House to see the set-up for Tuesday night's state dinner with France 

The giant vases of cherry blossoms are seen Monday night in the Cross Hall as reporters were briefly allowed into the White House to see the set-up for Tuesday night’s state dinner with France

The White House's Cross Hall was decorated with giant vases of cherry blossoms, in preparation for tomorrow's state dinner with France 

The White House’s Cross Hall was decorated with giant vases of cherry blossoms, in preparation for tomorrow’s state dinner with France

President Bill Clinton's portrait hangs next to one of Melania Trump's giant vases of cherry blossoms. Despite their political differences, the first lady used the Clinton china as part of her first state dinner's place settings 

President Bill Clinton’s portrait hangs next to one of Melania Trump’s giant vases of cherry blossoms. Despite their political differences, the first lady used the Clinton china as part of her first state dinner’s place settings

During the Obama years, the White House tried to invite several A and B-listers out of Hollywood to each dinner, along with a number of television personalities and White House reporters.

Obama would also try to invite several Republicans in an effort to break bread across the aisle.

The Washington National Opera will provide the evening’s entertainment.

The Trump administration’s first state dinner comes later than the inaugural dinner of the White House’s two immediate predecessors, with President Obama hosting his first state dinner in November 2009.

That dinner made headlines when two reality television stars – Tareq and Michaele Salahi – crashed the cocktail hour, which led to several security probes.

President George W. Bush hosted his first state dinner on September 5, 2001, six days before the 9/11 terror attacks.

France is getting its turn earlier under Trump than it did under either previous American president, with the last two coming in 2007 and 2014.

Melania Trump highlighted the work her office had done in a Monday morning tweet that said: ‘After months of preparations, @POTUS and I are looking forward to hosting our first State Dinner with France! Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this visit a success.’

She later tweeted several pictures of her ‘checking on the final details,’ which included a look at the cherry blossoms – 1,200 which were used – to decorate the Cross Hall.

On Monday, first lady Melania Trump tweeted out several photos of the preparations she was making for her first state dinner, which will be held Tuesday with the French president and first lady 

On Monday, first lady Melania Trump tweeted out several photos of the preparations she was making for her first state dinner, which will be held Tuesday with the French president and first lady

First lady Melania Trump (center) and social secretary Rickie Niceta (right) go over details for Tuesday's state dinner with France 

First lady Melania Trump (center) and social secretary Rickie Niceta (right) go over details for Tuesday’s state dinner with France

First lady Melania Trump gestures toward the large displays of cherry blossoms that were installed for Tuesday's state dinner with France 

First lady Melania Trump gestures toward the large displays of cherry blossoms that were installed for Tuesday’s state dinner with France

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5653611/Trump-state-dinner-President-Melania-host-French-leader-Macron-White-House.html#ixzz5DeT5i0Ek

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The Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018, Story 1: When Will President Trump Ask Congress For A Declaration of War Against Syria Required By The Constitution of The United States? — Congress Is Abdicating Their Responsibility To Declare War! — The Big Loophole Is The War Powers Resolution of 1973 or War Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) — From Constitutional Representative Republic of Peace and Propensity to Two Party Tyranny American Empire Warfare and Welfare State — No More Presidential Undeclared Wars! — Videos –Story 2: Trump Wants 4,000 National Guard Force Assisting U.S. Border Patrol — Zero Miles of Wall Built — Videos — Story 3: House Speaker Paul Ryan Retiring January 2018 — Videos

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Story 1: When Will President Trump Ask Congress For A Declaration of War Against Syria Required By The Constitution of The United States? — Congress Is Abdicating Their Responsibility To Declare War! — The Big Loophole Is The War Powers Resolution of 1973 or War Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) — From Constitutional Representative Republic of Peace and Propensity to Two Party Tyranny American Empire Warfare and Welfare State — No More Presidential Undeclared Wars! — Videos —

Tucker Carlson Debates Pro Syrian War Commentator Noah Rothman

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Ron Paul on The Unconstitutional War Powers Act and an Agitated James Baker

Mark Levin: Lesson on the 1973 War Powers Resolution

 

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Why the United States doesn’t declare war anymore

Why the United States doesn’t declare war anymore

By Sara Jerving Apr 7, 2017

President Trump justified the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian air base Thursday night as being in the “vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” He did not ask for Congress’ authorization to carry out the strikes.

Ordered in retaliation for a horrific Syrian sarin gas attack on civilians Tuesday, the strikes came on the 100th anniversary of the day the U.S. declared war on Germany and entered World War I. The U.S. has formally declared war 11 timesin its history, but the last time was during World War II.

Trump ordered the Syria strike under the War Powers Resolution, which says a president has to report to Congress within 48 hours if the U.S. armed forces are introduced into a conflict. It’s a law that was enacted in 1973 to restore Congress’ role in authorizing force in response to the lack of a formal war declaration in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Under the law, troops cannot stay for more than 90 days unless Congress approves.

Today, American forces are still operating under the authorization for the use of military force that President George W. Bush requested after the September 11 attacks in order to fight countries or groups connected to the attacks.

Regarding the Syria strikes, the White House said that about two dozen members of Congress were notified and briefed while the strikes were underway, but some want Trump to seek congressional approval. “Assad is a brutal dictator who must be held accountable for his actions,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia. “But President Trump has launched a military strike against Syria without a vote of Congress. The Constitution says war must be declared by Congress.”

“The United States was not attacked. The president needs congressional authorization for military action as required by the Constitution, and I call on him to come to Congress for a proper debate,” said Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

A true declaration of war would give the president broad legal authority, such as the ability to stop exports of agricultural products, control transportation systems, and order manufacturing plants to produce weapons — and even seize the plants if they refuse. President Truman skirted Congress when he sent troops to Korea in 1950 without seeking a declaration of war, eventually numbering 1.8 million U.S. service members. In the early days, he referred to the troop introduction as a “police action.” This set a precedent for future conflicts.

But since 9/11, the definition of “war” has become more vague and lacks the geographical restrictions it used to. Before a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, President Bush said, “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

In August 2013, President Obama drafted legislation for Congress to grant authorization of military force in Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack. It was not approved. Again, in February 2015, five months after the U.S. began launching airstrikes in Syria, Obama asked Congress to authorize force against the Islamic State group. It didn’t approve the authorization. In 2014, Rand Paul introduced a formal declaration of war against ISIS. It was not passed. For the 2011 strikes in Libya, the Obama administration argued it didn’t need authorization because the air campaign was part of an international coalition.

Rep. Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress who voted against the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, tweeted in response to the strikes inSyria: “This is an act of war. Congress needs to come back into session & hold a debate. Anything less is an abdication of our responsibility.” She also saidthat the strikes were beyond the scope of the 2001 authorization that Congress granted Bush. Lee has previously introduced legislation to repeal the Bush-era authorization of force.

Even Trump himself used to be on board with this line of thought. In 2013, hetweeted about the need for President Obama to get permission from Congress, “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long-term conflict? Obama needs congressional approval.”

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/kzg9dx/why-the-united-states-doesnt-declare-war-anymore

 

War Powers Resolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
War Powers Resolution
Great Seal of the United States
Long title Joint resolution concerning the war powers of Congress and the President.
Enacted by the 93rd United States Congress
Effective November 7, 1973
Citations
Public law 93-148
Statutes at Large 87 Stat.555
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the HouseasH.J.Res. 542byClement J. Zablocki (DWIon May 3, 1973
  • Committee consideration byHouse Foreign Affairs
  • Passed the House on July 10, 1973 (244–170)
  • Passed the Senate on July 20, 1973 (75-20)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee onOctober 4, 1973; agreed to by the Senate on October 10, 1973 (75–20and by the House on October 12, 1973 (238–122)
  • Vetoed by PresidentRichard Nixonon October 24, 1973
  • Overridden by the House on November 7, 1973 (284–135)
  • Overridden by the Senate and became law onNovember 7, 1973 (75–18)
wars and interventions

United States1812 North AmericaHouse Federalists’ Address1847 Mexican–American WarSpot Resolutions1917 World War IFilibuster of the Armed Ship Bill1935–1939Neutrality Acts1935–1940Ludlow Amendment1970 VietnamMcGovern–Hatfield Amendment1970 Southeast AsiaCooper–Church Amendment1971 VietnamRepeal of Tonkin Gulf Resolution1973 Southeast AsiaCase–Church Amendment1973War Powers Resolution1974Hughes–Ryan Amendment1976 AngolaClark Amendment1982 NicaraguaBoland Amendment2007 IraqHouse Concurrent Resolution 63

 

The War Powers Resolution (also known as the War Powers Resolution of 1973 or the War Powers Act) (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548)[1] is a federal law intended to check the president‘s power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of the U.S. Congress. The Resolution was adopted in the form of a United States Congress joint resolution. It provides that the U.S. President can send U.S. Armed Forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, “statutory authorization,” or in case of “a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30-day withdrawal period, without a Congressional authorization for use of military force (AUMF) or a declaration of war by the United States. The resolution was passed by two-thirds of Congress, overriding the vetoof the bill from President Nixon.

It has been alleged that the War Powers Resolution has been violated in the past – for example, by President Bill Clinton in 1999, during the bombing campaign in Kosovo. Congress has disapproved all such incidents, but none has resulted in any successful legal actions being taken against the president for alleged violations.[2]

Background

Under the United States Constitution, war powers are divided. Congress has the power to raise and support the armed forces, control the war funding (Article I, Section 8), and has the “Power … to declare war”, while the President is commander-in-chief of the military, and the militia (armed citizenry) “when called into the actual Service of the United States” (Article II, Section 2). It is generally agreed that the commander-in-chief role gives the President power to repel attacks against the United States[3][4] and makes the President responsible for leading the armed forces. In addition and as with all acts of the Congress, the President has the right to sign or veto congressional acts, such as a declaration of war. However, the war power was intentionally split between Congress and the Executive to prevent unilateral executive action counter to the nation’s direct interests.

History

Background and passage

During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the United States found itself involved for many years in situations of intense conflict without a declaration of war. Many members of Congress became concerned with the erosion of congressional authority to decide when the United States should become involved in a war or the use of armed forces that might lead to war. It was prompted by news leaking out that President Nixon conducted secret bombings of Cambodia during the Vietnam War without notifying Congress.

The War Powers Resolution was passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate but was vetoed by President Richard Nixon. By a two-thirds vote in each house, Congress overrode the veto and enacted the joint resolution into law on November 7, 1973.

Implementation, 1993–2002

Presidents have submitted 130[5] reports to Congress as a result of the War Powers Resolution, although only one (the Mayagüez incident) cited Section 4(a)(1) and specifically stated that forces had been introduced into hostilities or imminent danger.

Congress invoked the War Powers Resolution in the Multinational Force in Lebanon Act (P.L. 98-119), which authorized the Marines to remain in Lebanon for 18 months during 1982 and 1983. In addition, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 1991 (Pub.L. 102–1) which authorized United States combat operations against Iraqi forces during the 1991 Gulf War, stated that it constituted specific statutory authorization within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution.

On November 9, 1994, the House used a section of the War Powers Resolution to state that U.S. forces should be withdrawn from Somalia by March 31, 1994; Congress had already taken this action in appropriations legislation. More recently under President Clinton, war powers were at issue in former YugoslaviaBosniaKosovoIraq, and Haiti, and under President George W. Bush in responding to terrorist attacks against the U.S. after September 11, 2001. “[I]n 1999, President Clinton kept the bombing campaign in Kosovo going for more than two weeks after the 60-day deadline had passed. Even then, however, the Clinton legal team opined that its actions were consistent with the War Powers Resolution because Congress had approved a bill funding the operation, which they argued constituted implicit authorization. That theory was controversial because the War Powers Resolution specifically says that such funding does not constitute authorization.”[6] Clinton’s actions in Kosovo were challenged by a member of Congress as a violation of the War Powers Resolution in the D.C. Circuit case Campbell v. Clinton, but the court found the issue was a non-justiciablepolitical question.[7] It was also accepted that because Clinton had withdrawn from the region 12 days prior the 90-day required deadline, he had managed to comply with the act.[8]

After the 1991 Gulf War, the use of force to obtain Iraqi compliance with United Nations resolutions, particularly through enforcement of Iraqi no-fly zones, remained a war powers issue. In October 2002 Congress enacted the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against IraqPub.L. 107–243 which authorized President George W. Bush to use force as necessary to defend the United States against Iraq and enforce relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.[9] This was in addition to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists enacted in 2001.

Libya intervention in 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to Congress in March 2011 that the administration did not need congressional authorization for its military intervention in Libya or for further decisions about it, despite congressional objections from members of both parties that the administration was violating the War Powers Resolution.[10][11] During that classified briefing, she reportedly indicated that the administration would sidestep the Resolution’s provision regarding a 60-day limit on unauthorized military actions.[12] Months later, she stated that, with respect to the military operation in Libya, the United States was still flying a quarter of the sorties, and the New York Times reported that, while many presidents had bypassed other sections of the War Powers Resolution, there was little precedent for exceeding the 60-day statutory limit on unauthorized military actions – a limit which the Justice Department had said in 1980 was constitutional.[13][14] The State Department publicly took the position in June 2011 that there was no “hostility” in Libya within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, contrary to legal interpretations in 2011 by the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.[15][16][17]

May 20, 2011, marked the 60th day of US combat in Libya (as part of the UN resolution) but the deadline arrived without President Obama seeking specific authorization from the US Congress.[18] President Obama notified Congress that no authorization was needed,[19]since the US leadership had been transferred to NATO,[20] and since US involvement was somewhat “limited”. In fact, as of April 28, 2011, the US had conducted 75 percent of all aerial refueling sorties, supplied 70 percent of the operation’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and contributed 24 percent of the total aircraft used in the operation.[21] By September, the US had conducted 26 percent of all military sorties, contributing more resources to Operation Unified Protector than any other NATO country.[22] The State Department requested (but never received) express congressional authorization.[16][23]

On Friday, June 3, 2011, the US House of Representatives voted to rebuke President Obama for maintaining an American presence in the NATO operations in Libya, which they considered a violation of the War Powers Resolution.[24][25] In The New York Times, an opinion piece by Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman stated that Obama’s position “lacks a solid legal foundation. And by adopting it, the White House has shattered the traditional legal process the executive branch has developed to sustain the rule of law over the past 75 years.”[26]

Syrian Military Action in 2017

On April 6, 2017, the United States launched 59 BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles at Shayrat airbase in Syria in response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Constitutional scholar and law professor Stephen Vladeck has noted that the strike potentially violates the War Powers Resolution.[27]

Questions regarding constitutionality

The War Powers Resolution has been controversial since it was passed.[28] In passing the resolution, Congress specifically cites the Necessary and Proper Clause for its authority.[29] Under the Necessary and Proper Clause, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Because the Constitution limits the President’s authority in the use of force without a declaration of war by Congress, there is controversy as to whether the provisions of the resolution are consistent with the Constitution. Presidents have therefore drafted reports to Congress required of the President to state that they are “consistent with” the War Powers Resolution rather than “pursuant to” so as to take into account the presidential position that the resolution is unconstitutional.

One argument for the unconstitutionality of the War Powers Resolution by Philip Bobbitt[30] argues “The power to make war is not an enumerated power” and the notion that to “declare” war is to “commence” war is a “contemporary textual preconception”. Bobbitt contends that the Framers of the Constitution believed that statutory authorization was the route by which the United States would be committed to war, and that ‘declaration’ was meant for only total wars, as shown by the history of the Quasi-War with France (1798–1800). In general, constitutional powers are not so much separated as “linked and sequenced”; Congress’s control over the armed forces is “structured” by appropriation, while the President commands; thus the act of declaring war should not be fetishized.[clarification needed] Bobbitt also argues that “A democracy cannot … tolerate secret policies” because they undermine the legitimacy of governmental action.

A second argument concerns a possible breach of the ‘separation of powers’ doctrine, and whether the resolution changes the balance between the Legislative and Executive functions. This type of constitutional controversy is similar to one that occurred under President Andrew Johnson with the Tenure of Office Act (1867). In that prior instance, the Congress passed a law (over the veto of the then-President) that required the President to secure Congressional approval for the removal of Cabinet members and other executive branch officers. The Act was not declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States until 1926.[31] When Andrew Johnson violated the Act, the House of Representativesimpeached him; action in the Senate to remove him failed by one vote.

Here, the separation of powers issue is whether the War Powers Resolution requirements for Congressional approval and presidential reporting to Congress change the constitutional balance established in Articles I and II, namely that Congress is explicitly granted the sole authority to “declare war”, “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces” (Article 1, Section 8), and to control the funding of those same forces, while the Executive has inherent authority as Commander in Chief. This argument does not address the other reporting requirements imposed on other executive officials and agencies by other statutes, nor does it address the provisions of Article I, Section 8 that explicitly gives Congress the authority to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces”.

The constitution specifically states that Congress is authorized “to provide and maintain a Navy” (Article 1 Section 8). The idea of “maintenance” of a Navy implies that Naval Forces would be a permanent fixture of national defense. Two types of Land Forces are described by the Constitution (Article 1 Section 8): the Militia (armed citizenry organized into local defense forces and state volunteer regiments) which Congress can “call forth” and prescribe the “organizing, arming, and disciplining [training]” of, as Congress did in the Militia acts of 1792; and the Army, which Congress can “raise and support”, through regular appropriation acts limited to no more than two years. This division matches how the Revolutionary War was fought, by the Continental Army, raised and supported by the Continental Congress, and local Militias and Volunteer Regiments, raised by the separate Colonies. After the war, under the Articles of Confederation, a small standing Army, the First American Regiment was raised and gradually increased in size over time by Congress before, following the Constitution’s ratification, being transformed into the Regular Army. The availability of a standing Army, and the President of the United States being authorized as “Commander in Chief”, implies his ability as a military commander to employ forces necessary to fulfill his oath to defend the constitution.

There is also an unresolved legal question, discussed by Justice White in INS v. Chadha of whether a “key provision of the War Powers Resolution”, namely 50 U.S.C. 1544(c), constitutes an improper legislative veto. (See Chadha462 U.S. 919, 971.) That section 1544(c) states “such forces shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution”. Justice White argues in his dissent in Chadha that, under the Chadha ruling, 1544(c) would be a violation of the Presentment Clause. The majority in Chadha does not resolve the issue. Justice White does not address or evaluate in his dissent whether that section would fall within the inherent Congressional authority under Article I Section 8 to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces”.[citation needed]

Footnotes

  1. Jump up^ “50 U.S. Code Chapter 33 – WAR POWERS RESOLUTION”.
  2. Jump up^ “War Powers – Law Library of Congress – Library of Congress”.
  3. Jump up^ The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, at 318-19 (Max Farrand ed., rev. ed. 1966)(1911)
  4. Jump up^ [1] Archived December 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Jump up^ U.S. Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service. War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance. Washington: The Service, 2011 (RL33532), Summary.
  6. Jump up^ Savage, Charlie (2011-04-01) Clock Ticking on War Powers ResolutionThe New York Times The Caucus Blog
  7. Jump up^ Campbell v. Clinton203, February 18, 2000, p. 19, retrieved 2017-02-23
  8. Jump up^ How War Powers, Congressional Action have Intersected Over Time The Wall Street Journal (2013-09-02)
  9. Jump up^ 107th Congress (October 10, 2002). “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002” (text). United States Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  10. Jump up^ “Congress members grill administration officials on Libya mission”. CNN. March 31, 2011.
  11. Jump up^ Lillis, Mike; et al. (March 30, 2011). “White House briefing changes few minds on Libya involvement”The Hill.
  12. Jump up^ Crabtree, Susan (March 30, 2011). “Clinton To Congress: Obama Would Ignore Your War Resolutions”. Talking Points Memo.
  13. Jump up^ Charlie Savage (May 26, 2011). “Libya Effort Is Called Violation of War Act”The New York Times. p. A8.
  14. Jump up^ Savage, Charlie (June 18, 2011). “2 Top Lawyers Lost to Obama in Libya War Policy Debate”The New York Times. p. A1.
  15. Jump up^ Savage, Charlie (June 18, 2011). “President overruled 2 key lawyers on debate over Libya war policy”The Seattle Times.
  16. Jump up to:a b Cosgrove, Maureen. “State Department legal adviser: Obama acting lawfully in Libya”JURIST (June 28, 2011).
  17. Jump up^ “War Powers Act of 1973”The New York Times (June 29, 2011).
  18. Jump up^ Libya War Deadline Arrives Fox News
  19. Jump up^ “White House on War Powers Deadline: ‘Limited’ US Role in Libya Means No Need to Get Congressional Authorization”, ABC News, May 20, 2011
  20. Jump up^ “Libya: Nato assumes control of military operation”. BBC News. March 27, 2011.
  21. Jump up^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  22. Jump up^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  23. Jump up^ Owen, Robert (2015). “The U.S. Experience: National Strategy and Campaign Support”. In Karl Mueller. Precision and Purpose: Airpower in the Libyan Civil War. Rand Corporation. p. 105.
  24. Jump up^ Dinan, Stephen, “Bipartisan Congress rebuffs Obama on Libya mission”The Washington Times, Saturday, June 4, 2011
  25. Jump up^ Steinhauer, Jennifer (June 3, 2011). “House Rebukes Obama for Continuing Libyan Mission Without Its Consent”The New York Times.
  26. Jump up^ Ackerman, Bruce. “Legal Acrobatics, Illegal War”The New York Times (June 21, 2011). Page A27.
  27. Jump up^ “Was Trump’s Syria Strike Legal? An Expert Weighs In”. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  28. Jump up^ “The war powers resolution”. US Department of State Bulletin. 1988-09-15. Retrieved 2008-07-09. “The War Powers Resolution has been controversial from the day it was adopted over President Nixon’s veto. Since 1973, executive officials and many Members of Congress have criticized various aspects of the law repeatedly.”
  29. Jump up^ War Powers Joint Resolution, §2(b).
  30. Jump up^ “War Powers: An Essay on John Hart Ely‘s War and Responsibility: Constitutional Lessons of Vietnam and Its Aftermath,” Michigan Law Quarterly 92, no. 6 (May 1994): 1364–1400.
  31. Jump up^ “Myers v. United States, 272 U. S. 52 (1926)”.

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Powers_Resolution

Declaration of war by the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the declaration of war against Japan on December 8, 1941

declaration of war is a formal declaration issued by a national government indicating that a state of war exists between that nation and another. The document Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications gives an extensive listing and summary of statutes which are automatically engaged upon the US declaring war.

For the United States, Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution says “Congress shall have power to … declare War”. However, that passage provides no specific format for what form legislation must have in order to be considered a “declaration of war” nor does the Constitution itself use this term. In the courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Doe v. Bush, said: “[T]he text of the October Resolution itself spells out justifications for a war and frames itself as an ‘authorization’ of such a war.”[1] in effect saying an authorization suffices for declaration and what some may view as a formal Congressional “Declaration of War” was not required by the Constitution.

This article will use the term “formal declaration of war” to mean Congressional legislation that uses the phrase “declaration of war” in the title. Elsewhere, this article will use the terms “authorized by Congress”, “funded by Congress” or “undeclared war” to describe other such conflicts.

History

The United States has formally declared war against foreign nations five separate times, each upon prior request by the President of the United States. Four of those five declarations came after hostilities had begun.[2] James Madison reported that in the Federal Convention of 1787, the phrase “make war” was changed to “declare war” in order to leave to the Executive the power to repel sudden attacks but not to commence war without the explicit approval of Congress.[3] Debate continues as to the legal extent of the President’s authority in this regard. Public opposition to American involvement in foreign wars, particularly during the 1930s, was expressed as support for a Constitutional Amendment that would require a national referendum on a declaration of war.[4] Several Constitutional Amendments, such as the Ludlow Amendment, have been proposed that would require a national referendum on a declaration of war.

After Congress repealed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in January 1971 and President Richard Nixon continued to wage war in Vietnam, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution (Pub.L. 93–148) over the veto of Nixon in an attempt to rein in some of the president’s claimed powers. The War Powers Resolution proscribes the only power of the president to wage war which is recognized by Congress.[5]

Declarations of war

Formal

The table below lists the five wars in which the United States has formally declared war against eleven foreign nations.[6] The only country against which the United States has declared war more than once is Germany, against which the United States has declared war twice (though a case could be made for Hungary as a successor state to Austria-Hungary).

In World War II, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Germany and Italy, led respectively by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, declared war on the United States, and the U.S. Congress responded in kind.[7][8]

War Declaration Opponent(s) Date of declaration Votes President Result
Senate House
War of 1812 Declaration of War upon the U.K.  United Kingdom June 18, 1812 19–13 79–49 James Madison Treaty of Ghent (December 24, 1814)
Mexican–American War “An Act providing for the Prosecution of the existing War between the United States and the Republic of Mexico.”[9]  Mexico May 13, 1846 40–2 173–14 James K. Polk Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (February 2, 1848)
Spanish–American War Declaration of War upon Spain  Spain April 25, 1898 42–35 310–6 William McKinley Treaty of Paris (December 10, 1898)
World War I Declaration of War upon Germany  Germany April 6, 1917 82–6 373–50 Woodrow Wilson Treaty of Berlin (August 25, 1921)
Declaration of War upon Austria-Hungary[10][11]  Austria-Hungary December 7, 1917 74–0 365–1 1921 U.S.–Austrian Peace Treaty (August 24, 1921), 1921 U.S.-Hungarian Peace Treaty(August 29, 1921)
World War II Declaration of War upon Japan  Japan December 8, 1941 82–0 388–1 Franklin D. Roosevelt V-J DayJapanese Instrument of Surrender (September 2, 1945), Treaty of San Francisco(September 8, 1951)
Declaration of War upon Germany  Germany December 11, 1941 88–0 393–0 V-E DayGerman Instrument of Surrender (May 8, 1945), Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (September 12, 1990), Treaty of Vienna with Austria (May 15, 1955)
Declaration of War upon Italy  Italy 90–0 399–0 Paris Peace Treaty (February 10, 1947)
Declaration of War upon Bulgaria  Bulgaria June 5, 1942 73–0 357–0
Declaration of War upon Hungary[10]  Hungary 360–0
Declaration of War upon Romania[10]  Romania 361–0

Undeclared wars

Military engagements authorized by Congress

In other instances, the United States has engaged in extended military combat that was authorized by Congress.

War or conflict Opponent(s) Initial authorization Votes President Result
Senate House
Quasi-War  France An Act further to protect the commerce of the United States
July 9, 1798
18–4 John Adams Treaty of Mortefontaine
First Barbary War Morocco Morocco
 Tripolitania
February 6, 1802[12] Thomas Jefferson War ended 1805
Second Barbary War Fictitious Ottoman flag 2.svg Algiers May 10, 1815[13] James Madison War ended 1816
Enforcing 1808 slave trade ban; naval squadron sent to African waters to apprehend illegal slave traders  Slave traders and pirates “Act in addition to the acts prohibiting the Slave Trade” 1819 James Monroe 1822 first African-American settlement founded in Liberia, 1823 U.S. Navy stops anti-trafficking patrols
Redress for attack on U.S. Navy‘s USS Water Witch  Paraguay 1858.[14] James Buchanan
Mexican Revolution

 Mexico H.J.R. 251, 38 Stat. 770
April 22, 1914
337–37 Woodrow Wilson Force withdrawn after six months. However, the Joint Resolution was likely used to authorize the Pancho Villa Expedition. In the Senate, “when word reached the Senate that the invasion had gone forward before the use-of-force resolution had been approved, Republicans reacted angrily” saying it was a violation of the Constitution, but eventually after the action had already started, a resolution was passed after the action to “justify” it since Senators did not think it was a declaration of war.[15][16]
Russian Civil War

 Commune of Estonia
 Far Eastern Republic
 Latvia
 Mongolian People’s Party
 Russia
 Ukraine
1918[17] Woodrow Wilson
Lebanon crisis of 1958 Lebanon Lebanese Opposition

H.J. Res. 117, Public Law 85-7, Joint Resolution “To promote peace and stability in the Middle East”, March 9, 1957[18] 72–19 355–61 Dwight D. Eisenhower U.S. forces withdrawn, October 25, 1958
Vietnam War


Laotian Civil War


Cambodian Civil War

China China
National United Front of Kampuchea

 North Korea
 North Vietnam
Laos Pathet Lao
 South Vietnam

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, August 7, 196488–2416–0Lyndon B. JohnsonU.S. forces withdrawn under terms of the Paris Peace Accords signed January 27, 1973Multinational Force in LebanonShia and Druze militias; SyriaS.J.Res. 159
Pub.L. 98–119
September 29, 198354–46253–156Ronald W. ReaganForces withdrawn in 1984Persian Gulf War IraqH.J.Res. 77
January 12, 1991.52–47250–183George H.W. BushThe United Nations Security Council drew up terms for the cease-fire, April 3, 1991

War in Afghanistan


al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen


Somali Civil War


War in North-West Pakistan


Moro conflict


Iraqi Civil War


Syrian Civil War


Second Libyan Civil War

Afghanistan Afghanistan

 al-Qaeda

 Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya
 Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin
 Islamic Jihad Union
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar
Jundallah
Lashkar-e-Islam
 Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
 Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi
 Turkistan Islamic Party
 Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan


Afghanistan High Council of the Islamic Emirate
 Fidai Mahaz


 al-Itihaad al-Islamiya
 Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia
 Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahedeen
 Hizbul Islam
 Islamic Courts Union
 Jabhatul Islamiya
 Mu’askar Anole
 Ras Kamboni Brigades


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Abu Sayyaf
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
 Islamic State
 Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Maute group
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao

S.J. Res. 23
September 14, 200198–0420–1George W. Bush Iraq War[19] IraqH.J. Res. 114,
March 3, 200377–23296–132George W. BushBa’athist Iraqi government deposed April 2003. U.S. combat operations ended August 31, 2010. War ended December 15, 2011. Destabilization of Iraq and emergence of ISIL in the region 2011–present.[20]

 

Military engagements authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolutions and funded by Congress[edit]

In many instances, the United States has engaged in extended military engagements that were authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolutions and funded by appropriations from Congress.

Military engagement Opponent(s) Initial authorization President Result
Korean War  China
 North Korea
 Soviet Union
UNSCR 84, 1950 Harry S. Truman Korean Armistice Agreement,[21] 1953
Multinational Force in Lebanon Shia militias, Druze militias, Syria UNSCR 425, 1978UNSCR 426, 1978 Jimmy CarterRonald Reagan U.S. forces withdrew in 1984
Persian Gulf War  Iraq UNSCR 678, 1990 George H. W. Bush UNSCR 689, 1991
Bosnian War  Republika Srpska UNSCR 770, 1992
UNSCR 776, 1992
UNSCR 836, 1993
Bill Clinton Reflagged as IFOR in 1995, Reflagged as SFOR in 1996, Completed in 2004
Second Liberian Civil War Peacekeeping UNSCR 1497, 2003 George W. Bush U.S. forces are withdrawn in 2003 after the UNMIL is established.
Haitian coup d’état UNSCR 1529, 2004UNSCR 1542, 2004 2004
First Libyan Civil War

 Libya UNSCR 1973, 2011 Barack Obama Debellation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, October 31, 2011

Other undeclared wars[edit]

Military engagement Opponent(s) President Result
American Revolutionary War Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain

German auxiliaries

Native Americans[22]

None Peace of Paris

On at least 125 occasions, the President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress.[23] These include instances in which the United States fought in the Philippine–American War from 1898–1903, in Nicaragua in 1927, as well as the NATO bombing campaign of Yugoslavia in 1999, and the 2017 missile strikes on Syria.

The United States’ longest war was fought between approximately 1840 and 1886 against the Apache Nation. During that entire 46-year period, there was never more than 90 days of peace.[citation needed]

The Indian Wars comprise at least 28 conflicts and engagements. These localized conflicts, with Native Americans, began with European colonists coming to North America, long before the establishment of the United States. For the purpose of this discussion, the Indian Wars are defined as conflicts with the United States of America. They begin as one front in the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and had concluded by 1918. The United States Army still maintains a campaign streamer for Pine Ridge 1890–1891 despite opposition from certain Native American groups.[24]

The American Civil War was not an international conflict under the laws of war, because the Confederate States of America was not a government that had been granted full diplomatic recognition as a sovereign nation by other sovereign states.[25][26] The CSA was recognized by the United States government as a belligerent power, a different status of recognition that authorized Confederate warships to visit non-U.S. ports. This recognition of the CSA’s status as a belligerent power did not impose any duty upon the United States to recognize the sovereignty of the Confederacy, and the United States never did so.

The War Powers Resolution

In 1973, following the withdrawal of most American troops from the Vietnam War, a debate emerged about the extent of presidential power in deploying troops without a declaration of war. A compromise in the debate was reached with the War Powers Resolution. This act clearly defined how many soldiers could be deployed by the President of the United States and for how long. It also required formal reports by the President to Congress regarding the status of such deployments, and limited the total amount of time that American forces could be deployed without a formal declaration of war.

Although the constitutionality of the act has never been tested, it is usually followed, most notably during the Grenada Conflict, the Panamanian Conflict, the Somalia Conflict, the Persian Gulf War, and the Iraq War[clarification needed]. The only exception was President Clinton’s use of U.S. troops in the 78-day NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War.[citation needed] In all other cases, the President asserted the constitutional authority to commit troops without the necessity of Congressional approval, but in each case the President received Congressional authorization that satisfied the provisions of the War Powers Act.

On March 21, 2011, a number of lawmakers expressed concern that the decision of President Barack Obama to order the U.S. military to join in attacks of Libyan air defenses and government forces exceeded his constitutional authority because the decision to authorize the attack was made without Congressional permission.[27] Obama explained his rationale in a two-page letter, stating that as commander in chief, he had constitutional authority to authorize the strikes, which would be limited in scope and duration, and necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster in Libya.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Doe v. Bush, 03-1266, (March 13, 2003)”FindLaw. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  2. Jump up^ Henderson, Phillip G. (2000). The presidency then and now. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 51ISBN 978-0-8476-9739-7.
  3. Jump up^ The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 reported by James Madison : August 17,The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, retrieved Feb 13, 2008
  4. Jump up^ “Petition for a Constitutional Amendment to Hold National Referendums on Declarations of War from Danville, Ohio”. The National Archives of the United States. 1938. Retrieved July 29,2016.
  5. Jump up^ Shindler, Michael (1 March 2018). “War Powers: Return to Congress”. RealClearDefense. RealClear Media Group. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  6. Jump up^ Official Declarations of War by Congress
  7. Jump up^ BBC News, On This Day
  8. Jump up^ Whereas the Government of Germany has formally declared war against the government and the people of the United States of America… the state of war between the United States and the Government of Germany which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared. The War Resolution
  9. Jump up^ United States Congress (May 13, 1846). “An Act providing for the Prosecution of the existing War between the United States and the Republic of Mexico” (PDF). Government of the United States of America. Government of the United States of America. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2006.
  10. Jump up to:a b c Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications
  11. Jump up^ H.J.Res.169: Declaration of War with Austria-Hungary, WWI, United States Senate
  12. Jump up^ Key Events in the Presidency of Thomas JeffersonMiller Center of Public AffairsUniversity of Virginia, (retrieved on August 10, 2010).
  13. Jump up^ Key Events in the Presidency of James MadisonMiller Center of Public AffairsUniversity of Virginia, (retrieved on August 10, 2010).
  14. Jump up^ Expenses – Paraguay Expedition, House of Representatives, 36th Congress, 1st Session, Mis. Doc. No. 86 (May 11, 1860), p. 142
  15. Jump up^ Cyrulik, John M., A Strategic Examination of the Punitive Expedition into Mexico, 1916-1917. Fort Leavenworth, KS, 2003. (Master’s thesis)
  16. Jump up^ Wolfensberger, Don. Congress and Woodrow Wilson’s Introductory Forays into Mexico, an Introductory Essay. Congress Project Seminar On Congress and U.S. Military Interventions Abroad. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Monday, May 17, 2004
  17. Jump up^ A History of Russia, 7th Edition, Nichlas V. Riasanovsky & Mark D. Steinberg, Oxford University Press, 2005.
  18. Jump up^ http://www.shafr.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/U.S.-Congress-Approval-of-the-Eisenhower-Doctrine-1957.pdf
  19. Jump up^ Obama’s full speech: Operation Iraqi Freedom is Over, MSNBC
  20. Jump up^ Londoño, Ernesto (August 19, 2010). “Operation Iraqi Freedom ends as last combat soldiers leave Baghdad”The Washington Post.
  21. Jump up^ s:Korean Armistice Agreement
  22. Jump up^ OnondagaMohawkCayugaSenecaMi’kmaq (from 1779)CherokeeOdawaMuscogeeSusquehannockShawnee
  23. Jump up^ The President’s Constitutional Authority To Conduct Military Operations Against Terrorists and Nations Supporting Them
  24. Jump up^ Army Continues to Parade Wounded Knee Battle StreamerNational Congress of American Indians.
  25. Jump up^ “Preventing Diplomatic Recognition of the Confederacy, 1861–1865”. U.S. Department of State. Archived from the originalon August 28, 2013.
  26. Jump up^ McPherson, James M. (2007). This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War. Oxford University Press US. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-19-531366-6.
  27. Jump up^ Obama Attacked for No Congressional Consent on LibyaNew York Times.

Further reading

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_war_by_the_United_States

Story 2: Trump Wants 4,000 National Guard Force Assisting U.S. Border Patrol — Zero Miles of Wall Built — Videos

California’s governor agrees to deploy 400 National Guard troops at Trump’s request

Trump wants to send National Guard troops to the border to help fight illegal immigration

Arizona, Texas to deploy National Guard troops to border

Pentagon: National Guard Will Support Border Patrol – Full News Conference

 

California’s governor agrees to deploy 400 National Guard troops at Trump’s request

SOURCE: CNN

California Gov. Jerry Brown responded to President Donald Trump’s request to add more troops for border security, saying he’ll add about 400 troops but also saying they won’t be used for “enforcing federal immigration laws.”

The location of the troops and the number working along the border, the coast and other places in the state will be determined by the needs on the ground, the governor’s press office said.

This supplements the 250 troops already working statewide, including 55 Guard members already at the border.

Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border, issuing a proclamation citing “the lawlessness that continues at our southern border.”

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas all made new pledges that add up to almost half of the up to 4,000 troops Trump requested. Some Guard members started arriving at the border as states and the federal government officials continued to discuss what they will do.

Read Gov. Brown’s full letter below.

Dear Secretary Nielsen and Secretary Mattis:

Pursuant to your request, the California National Guard will accept federal funding to add approximately 400 Guard members statewide to supplement the staffing of its ongoing program to combat transnational crime. This program is currently staffed by 250 personnel statewide, including 55 at the California border.

Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans – Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.

But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.

Here are the facts: there is no massive wave of migrants pouring into California. Overall immigrant apprehensions on the border last year were as low as they’ve been in nearly 50 years (and 85 percent of the apprehensions occurred outside of California).

I agree with the Catholic Bishops who have said that local, state and federal officials should “work collaboratively and prudently in the implementation of this deployment, ensuring that the presence of the National Guard is measured and not disruptive to community life.”

I look forward to working with you on this important effort.

Sincerely,

Edmund G. Brown Jr.

http://www.kcra.com/article/californias-governor-agrees-to-deploy-400-national-guard-troops-at-trumps-request/19747526

Story 3: House Speaker Paul Ryan Retiring January 2018 — Good Day For Limited Government Conservatives — Videos

See the source image

Tucker: House Speaker Paul Ryan leaves a party in shambles

Laura Ingraham: What Paul Ryan’s departure means

Paul Ryan’s retirement could have ripple effect

Where does Paul Ryan’s departure leave the GOP?

Paul Ryan retiring over trouble with Trump?

Paul Ryan Exits | The Ben Shapiro Show Ep. 515

Mark Levin: The real reason behind Paul Ryan’s decision to retire (April 11 2018)

Phony Conservative  Big Government Republicans

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Real Conservative Limited Government Republicans

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The Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017, Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos — Story 2: Corporate Tax Cut Bill Will Pass By December 22, 2017 — Definitively Not Fundamental Tax Reform For The Middle Class — Replace Income Tax System with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax Replacing All Federal Income Based Taxes — Videos — Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

Posted on December 11, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Communications Commission, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Killing, Knifes, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Lying, Media, Middle East, MIssiles, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Turkey, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

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Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos —

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US economy adds 228K jobs in November

Analyzing The November Jobs Report Compared To Previous Years | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

U.S. economy continues its strong performance

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Will Help Us Drive Real Wage Growth | CNBC

CNN’s Christine Romans Highlights November’s Really Good Jobs Numbers

Larry Kudlow: Jobs Report Shows We Are On Front End Of “Very, Very Strong Rebound In Manufacturing”

Panel on Strong November Jobs Report; 228K Jobs Added. #Economy #Jobs #Report #November

Stockman: Here’s Why Today’s Jobs Report Is Nothing to Celebrate

Alan Greenspan // We are about to go from stagnation to ‘stagflation’

Ep. 307: Trump Continues What He Once Called the Biggest Hoax in American Politics

The Reason Trump is President – Peter Schiff

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

160,529,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155695(1) 155268 154990 155356 155514 155747 155669 155587 155731 154709 155328 155151
2014 155295(1) 155485 156115 155378 155559 155682 156098 156117 156100 156389 156421 156238
2015 157022(1) 156771 156781 157043 157447 156993 157125 157109 156809 157123 157358 157957
2016 158362(1) 158888 159278 158938 158510 158889 159295 159508 159830 159643 159456 159640
2017 159716(1) 160056 160201 160213 159784 160145 160494 160571 161146 160381 160529
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.6 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.3 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.7 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.6 62.7
2017 62.9 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.7

Unemployment Level

6.6 Million

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12470 11954 11672 11752 11657 11741 11350 11284 11264 11133 10792 10410
2014 10240 10383 10400 9705 9740 9460 9637 9616 9255 8964 9060 8718
2015 8962 8663 8538 8521 8655 8251 8235 8017 7877 7869 7939 7927
2016 7829 7845 7977 7910 7451 7799 7749 7853 7904 7740 7409 7529
2017 7635 7528 7202 7056 6861 6977 6981 7132 6801 6520 6610

U-3 Unemployment Rate

4.1%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1  U-3

U-6 Unemployment Rate

8.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.5 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.7 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.2 12.0 11.8 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.3 9.2
2017 9.4 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.3 7.9 8.0

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1616
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 8, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment 
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, 
and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed 
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate 
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, 
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics 
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. 
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no 
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but 
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they 
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job 
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers 
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for 
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to 
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment 
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November 
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs. 

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in 
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products 
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, 
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.

Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health 
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers. 
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared 
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016. 

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in 
November and by 132,000 over the year.  

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, 
and government, changed little over the month. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour 
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and 
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory 
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and 
B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory 
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With 
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than 
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from 
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the 
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over 
the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5, 
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |               Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
   | 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
   | adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5       |
   | years are subject to revision.                                                       |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |        Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System          |
   |                                                                                      |
   | With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey  |
   | will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American       |
   | Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS   |
   | will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and      |
   | logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and       |
   | business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined    |
   | within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and        |
   | information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated.  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
   | as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries   |
   | due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking      |
   | process, will be available on January 5, 2018.                                       |
   |                                                                                      |
   | For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.  |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|



 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Change from:
Oct.
2017-
Nov.
2017

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,540 255,562 255,766 255,949 183

Civilian labor force

159,456 161,146 160,381 160,529 148

Participation rate

62.6 63.1 62.7 62.7 0.0

Employed

152,048 154,345 153,861 153,918 57

Employment-population ratio

59.7 60.4 60.2 60.1 -0.1

Unemployed

7,409 6,801 6,520 6,610 90

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Not in labor force

95,084 94,417 95,385 95,420 35

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.3 3.9 3.8 3.7 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.2 3.9 3.6 3.7 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.2 12.9 13.7 15.9 2.2

White

4.2 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Black or African American

8.0 7.0 7.5 7.3 -0.2

Asian

3.0 3.7 3.1 3.0 -0.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.7 5.1 4.8 4.7 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.9 3.5 3.3 3.3 0.0

Less than a high school diploma

7.9 6.5 5.7 5.2 -0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.9 4.3 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.9 3.6 3.7 3.6 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.3 2.3 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,542 3,359 3,227 3,159 -68

Job leavers

934 738 742 751 9

Reentrants

2,266 2,079 2,006 2,029 23

New entrants

728 669 629 691 62

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,415 2,226 2,129 2,250 121

5 to 14 weeks

2,133 1,874 1,942 1,878 -64

15 to 26 weeks

1,073 963 853 927 74

27 weeks and over

1,856 1,733 1,621 1,581 -40

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,659 5,122 4,753 4,801 48

Slack work or business conditions

3,485 3,121 2,952 2,983 31

Could only find part-time work

1,902 1,733 1,629 1,559 -70

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,059 21,011 20,923 21,018 95

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,932 1,569 1,535 1,481

Discouraged workers

591 421 524 469

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017(P)
Nov.
2017(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 38 244 228

Total private

178 50 247 221

Goods-producing

35 26 34 62

Mining and logging

7 4 1 7

Construction

28 13 10 24

Manufacturing

0 9 23 31

Durable goods(1)

3 6 13 27

Motor vehicles and parts

1.4 -3.1 -0.8 1.7

Nondurable goods

-3 3 10 4

Private service-providing

143 24 213 159

Wholesale trade

5.6 7.3 8.0 3.4

Retail trade

-12.9 11.7 -2.2 18.7

Transportation and warehousing

21.8 18.3 7.6 10.5

Utilities

0.3 0.6 0.1 -0.2

Information

-12 -5 -8 -4

Financial activities

12 12 7 8

Professional and business services(1)

46 30 54 46

Temporary help services

25.5 10.1 17.9 18.3

Education and health services(1)

31 23 24 54

Health care and social assistance

28.2 8.3 34.6 40.5

Leisure and hospitality

44 -75 104 14

Other services

7 1 18 9

Government

-14 -12 -3 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

179 128 163 170

Total private

178 122 160 173

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.5 49.5 49.5

Total private women employees

48.2 48.1 48.1 48.1

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.3 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.3 34.4 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$25.91 $26.53 $26.50 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$888.71 $912.63 $911.60 $915.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

105.8 107.4 107.7 108.2

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 0.0 0.3 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

131.0 136.3 136.4 137.3

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.5 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (261 industries)

51.5 60.9 65.1 63.0

Manufacturing (78 industries)

48.7 59.0 62.2 59.0

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2016 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes

5 tax issues Republicans need to resolve in conference

Now that the Senate and the House have passed two tax bills, there are some crucial differences they need to resolve in conference.

 December 10 at 6:42 PM
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.

Veterans of congressional tax overhauls, particularly the seminal revamp under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, have been stunned and in some cases outraged at how swiftly Republicans are moving on legislation that touches every corner of the economy and all Americans. And although GOP leaders make no apologies, some in their rank and file say that the process would have benefited from a more deliberate and open approach.

“I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,” said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

“Having said that, the goal that everybody had was to reduce the tax rates. . . . So at the end of the day the goal is going to be achieved, but we could have done it in a more transparent manner that probably would have given the voters that are being polled a little more confidence,” Comer said, referring to the effort’s poor showing in opinion surveys.

It has been a little more than a month since the $1.5 trillion legislation was introduced in the House, and in that short time it has cleared the two key committees in the House and Senate and won approval on the floors of both chambers, all without a single Democratic vote. If Trump signs the bill as planned before Christmas, that would mean a journey of less than two months between introduction and final passage.

The specific legislation that probably will become law, sold as a middle-class tax cut but featuring a massive corporate rate reduction at its center, is moving from release toward passage without any hearings, unusual for a bill of such magnitude. And as it tumbled along it picked up some startling new features, to the surprise of affected industries, Democrats and in some cases Republicans themselves.

Some of the most notable changes came in the hours before the Senate’s passage of its version of the plan, which happened about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 2.

The final vote was preceded by hours of inaction as Republicans fine-tuned their legislation behind closed doors, while fuming Democratic staffers ate Chinese food and pored over versions of the bill and lists of amendments that had been leaked by lobbyists on K Street before Republicans had made anything public.

As they got additional drafts of the bill, Democrats were incensed at some of what they found, including new breaks for the oil and gas industry, and a provision that appeared aimed specifically at helping Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan that doesn’t accept federal funding and has a large endowment funded by wealthy conservatives — including the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

An angry Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood on his chamber’s floor to declare that “the federal treasury is being looted.” In their one victory of the debate, Democrats offered an amendment to strike the Hillsdale provision, and with the help of four Republicans it passed.

Democrats weren’t the only ones surprised by what was in the bill. Republicans and the business community were stunned when the final Senate version restored the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The tax, aimed at keeping companies from shirking their tax duties entirely, had been repealed in the House bill and earlier versions of the Senate measure.

Restoring the corporate alternative minimum tax created $40 billion in revenue for the bill, which helped Republicans come in under complex budgetary guidelines saying the legislation can’t go over the $1.5 trillion the GOP has agreed to add to the deficit over the next decade. Still, some Republicans professed not to know how the change had come about.

And under the new tax code the GOP bill would create, including the alternative minimum tax could have the unintended consequence of preventing companies from using other deductions, including the popular research and development tax credit.

“I’m guessing they just needed something quick to make the bill work,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is one of the conferees charged with blending the two bills together.

Now, as quickly as it reappeared, the corporate alternative minimum tax probably will disappear again. Republican lawmakers widely agree that it doesn’t work and can’t be included, but it remains a mystery where they’ll find revenue to offset that change and pay for others they’re looking to include in the final package.

There has been discussion of moving the corporate rate — slashed from 35 percent to 20 percent by the House and Senate — back up to 22 percent, but the backlash against that proposal has been intense and it probably will be dropped. But revenue must be found somewhere because there are some changes that look nearly certain, including adjusting the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. Both the House and Senate legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct only up to $10,000 in property taxes. Some of Trump’s New York friends have taken exception to that provision and have lobbied the president personally against it.

It’s all part of a breakneck pace of the tax plan that contrasts with the nearly a year-and-a-half that passed between when Reagan unveiled his initial version of the 1986 tax plan and its ultimate passage into law. The less far-ranging tax cuts that President George W. Bush signed in 2001 took four months to become law after the release of Bush’s initial blueprint. And the Affordable Care Act took nearly a year to complete, including a congressional summer recess featuring angry town hall meetings that turned public sentiment sharply against the bill.

Democrats accuse Republicans of whisking the legislation along to avoid extended public scrutiny and prevent them from mounting an offensive at public hearings or over lengthy congressional breaks. The GOP bills have endured neither.

“It’s clear that we could have defeated this bill had we gone through regular order and had any expert witness from any blue state or high-tax state come in,” said Rep. John B. Larson (Conn.), who was a member of Democratic leadership during the much lengthier and more open process of passing the ACA. The provision limiting taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes hits high-tax areas such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut particularly hard.

“People would have said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’ ” Larson said.

Republican congressional leaders dispute such comparisons, saying that the process on taxes has been going on for years, given that the party has long been debating the idea and an early foundational bill was released by then-Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, nearly four years ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), also campaigned last year on an agenda called “A Better Way,” which featured a tax plank similar in many respects to the bill the House ultimately passed, although it drew scant attention at the time.

“These are relatively small bills, 400 pages or so; they’re not hard to digest. The policy decisions, the thoughtfulness, a lot of these issues we’ve been debating together and apart for years,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). “Bottom line is the American people have been waiting 30 years. So to paraphrase a hardware store: less talking, more doing.”

Even before the late-night Senate dramatics, the process offered surprises and sudden twists.

A provision repealing an Affordable Care Act requirement for most Americans to carry insurance or pay fines was added to the Senate bill with little warning over the course of an afternoon, a major health policy decision that is projected to leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in a decade but that would give Republicans $330 billion to pay for other things they want to do.

And the release of the House bill stunned manufacturers when they discovered it contained an “excise tax” on purchases from American companies’ foreign subsidiaries that some said could drive them out of business. The provision was watered down before passage by the Ways and Means Committee, but companies are still fighting to keep it out of the final bill, said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, which represents global companies with U.S. operations. Despite the years-long focus on tax overhaul, such a provision had not been debated — even after companies beat back a different import tax, she said.

The Senate has a different provision that companies like better, but as far as the cost of going from one to the other or how it will all shake out, “It’s all a Rubik’s cube,” McLernon said.

Many lobbyists, Democrats and other observers expect to find the final version of the plan, which could be filed late this week, just as full of surprises as the various iterations that have appeared. But as they gun for a legislative win that has eluded them this year, Republicans show little interest in slowing down to take a closer look.

“The frenzy, and I would call it a frenzy, to get it done and have a Christmas present for America — number one, I think it’s unnecessary; it’s a self-imposed deadline, and number two, it makes the possibility for error much greater,” said Steve Bell, a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center who was staff director of the Senate Budget Committee during the 1986 tax effort. “This is a rush without a reason other than the political desire for a Rose Garden signing ceremony.”

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/precision-sacrificed-for-speed-as-gop-rushes-ahead-on-taxes/2017/12/10/876ab274-dc62-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.167e53dc0cba

 

The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some

Certain high-income business owners would face backwards incentives; lawmakers work to bridge gap

House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals.
House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their bills, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet on Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by week’s end.

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The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

As a taxpayer’s income gets much higher and moves out of those phaseout ranges, the marginal tax rates would go down.

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.

The bill as written would provide incentives for business owners to shift profit across calendar years, move personal expenses inside the business and engage in other economically unproductive maneuvers, said David Gamage, a tax-law professor at Indiana University.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said Mr. Gamage, a former Treasury Department official, who said business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do. “The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures.”

The analyses “raise a valid concern” that lawmakers are examining, said Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee.

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she said. “The goal of Congress’s tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

Marginal tax rates are different from average tax rates. A marginal rate is the tax on the edge, or margin, of one’s earnings, and so it reflects what would be the next dollar of income. The average rate is a way of measuring a taxpayer’s total burden.

The Republican bills are trying to reduce both marginal and average tax rates, and for many taxpayers, they do. The marginal tax rates above 100% affect a small slice of households with very particular circumstances. Similar, though smaller, effects occur throughout the tax system.

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

Here’s how that New Jersey lawyer’s marginal rate adds up to more than 100%:

The household is paying the 35% marginal tax rate on their income range. Or, they are paying the alternative minimum tax, which operates at the same marginal rate in that income range.

The household is paying New Jersey’s highest income-tax rate, which is 8.97%, and now has to pay all of that because the Republican tax plan wouldn’t let such state or local taxes be deducted from federal income.

The household is also losing a deduction the Senate created for so-called pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations. That 23% deduction is fully available to owners of service businesses like law firms, but only if income is below $500,000 for a married couple.

The deduction then phases out over $100,000 in income, according to a complex formula, disappearing entirely once income reaches $624,000. Up to that point, each additional dollar of business income faces progressively steeper tax rates because the deduction and its benefit are shrinking rapidly as income goes up.

The provisions also interact with each other in ways that drive up marginal rates. “The central problem here is that there is a large benefit phasing out over a short range,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The Republican bill doubles the child tax credit to $2,000 but phases it out beginning at $500,000 income for joint filers. The credit shrinks by $50 for every $1,000 in income above that, so a married couple with three children faces a higher marginal tax rate when they’re in that phase-out range.

The analysis assumes that the New Jersey lawyer is paying a 3.8% tax on self-employment income.

Pushing marginal rates lower on these households wouldn’t be easy and would require tradeoffs. Republicans could make the phaseout of the business deduction more gentle, spreading it over, say, $200,000, as opposed to $100,000, of income above $500,000. But that would make the tax cuts bigger, and Republicans are already looking for money to offset other changes they are planning.

They could lower the threshold for the child tax credit, but that would reduce tax cuts for households below $500,000.

Under current law, there are some high marginal tax rates for some lower-income households. Some families just above the poverty line can see their earned income tax credits and food stamps going down as their federal and state taxes go up. That combination can create marginal tax rates of around 75%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Appeared in the December 11, 2017, print edition as ‘Taxman Cometh: Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-taxman-cometh-senate-bills-marginal-rates-could-top-100-for-some-1512942118

Tax Reform Under History’s Light


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux.

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

Tax reform’s chances are better in this Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. Thus, comparisons come naturally to the events leading up to the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86). These comparisons are useful for the similarities and the differences, both of which provide insights as to how to assure success today.

One important similarity is TRA86 brought to conclusion a long and detailed debate about tax policy. Our current efforts also rest on a lengthy debate recently brought to the fore. An important difference, however, is TRA86 was enacted as a widely accepted “should do,” whereas tax reform in 2017 is much more of a “must do.”

‘86 tax reform in 30 seconds

TRA86 culminated as a complex debate starting about 10 years prior with the release of Treasury’s “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform” in the waning hours of the Ford administration. Treasury’s “Blueprints” laid out a coherent approach to tax policy, emphasizing simplification and a reduction in tax distortions that were sapping economic growth.

Two years later, in response to a poorly performing economy, Congress adopted the Steiger Amendment, significantly cutting the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act. While often ignored, the Steiger Amendment marked the bi-partisan recognition of tax policy’s importance for economic growth. Pro-growth tax reform was not just for tax geeks anymore.

Federal tax policy debate took on new energy in 1981 with the passage of the landmark Reagan tax cuts, dominated by substantial rate reduction. Following legislation in 1982 and 1984 to readjust tax levels, the stage was set for fundamental tax reform.

A bipartisan consensus regarding sound tax policy evolved through the years leading up to TRA86. This consensus distilled down to the simple mantra of “lower the rates, broaden the base.”  Like the 1981 legislation, TRA86 would reduce tax rates substantially and install a less punitive system of capital consumption allowances. Unlike the 1981 legislation, however, the focus would also be on simplification, on the wide range of areas of the tax code reformed, and especially on revenue neutrality.

This consensus first took concrete form in two highly-detailed proposals out the Reagan Treasury Department, commonly dubbed Treasury I and its improved version, Treasury II, and released in 1984 and 1985 respectively. With these reports laying the groundwork, Congress then took over a year to legislate, finally producing TRA86.

The years between

TRA86 was the product of an extended period of consensus building and analysis. For those new to the debate, today’s strong momentum for comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform may seem to have arisen out of thin air, but, in fact, this debate has ebbed and flowed almost without pause since 1986.

The appetite for tax reform did not die following TRA86, and so consideration naturally moved on to the “next big thing.” For a period, the big thing seemed to be some kind of European-style Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT momentum quickly petered out, however, and soon revenue pressures shifted the focus of tax policy once again to raising income tax rates, often with distinct “soak-the-rich” overtones. The VAT episode set tax reform’s pattern of ebb and flow for the following years.

Even as the debate toward TRA86 was underway, a very different approach to tax policy appeared in the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. Though the Flat Tax is best known for having a single rate of tax, hence the name, what really distinguishes the Flat Tax is its simplification, the elimination of all taxes on capital income and capital gains, and the adoption of a cash-flow tax on businesses centered on allowing capital purchases to be “expensed,” or deducted immediately.

In the 1990s, as the Flat Tax gained greater acceptance, tax reform topped the national agenda with Steve Forbes leading the charge. But this effort soon deflated along with Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign.

Tax reform again gained traction briefly after the 2004 election with the release of the superb report of the presidential commission led by former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Republican Senator Connie Mack. However, this effort, too, led to naught, a victim of competing priorities and a lack of consensus.

Income tax reform was pushed far onto the back burners during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Despite a historically weak economic recovery, the Obama administration expressed little interest in proposals to reduce the tax code’s drag on growth. The Obama administration contented itself with modest tweaks at the edges and otherwise dedicated its efforts to defending the status quo, especially in the area of international tax where global pressures were felt most profoundly.

Tax reform today

Even as years of inaction passed, pressure to reform the federal income tax code rose steadily from all sides. In part, this pressure arose because the U.S. economy was changing rapidly, and the tax code became an ever-worse fit for a modern economy.

In part, the pressure arose because even as America stood pat, America’s major trading partners did not. They were cutting business tax rates steadily and almost all were moving toward a territorial tax system to allow their businesses to compete more effectively in a global business climate of increasing intensity.

Though on the back burner, tax reform continued to simmer in backchannels. Then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) advanced a series of thoughtful tax reform proposals as part of his broader efforts to reform Federal tax policy. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered his variation on tax reform, differing from but along the same broad lines as the Ryan proposal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also introduced a major, comprehensive tax reform proposal with his own interpretations, and then released subsequent iterations as comments and critiques soon followed. In these years, though President Obama continued to block tax reform’s path, the debate remained alive and well.

In 2014, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced a detailed tax reform proposal. As tax reform would originate in this committee, Camp’s proposal took on greater significance than most. The Camp proposal was intended to serve as a prototype for tax legislation and so offered much more detail and, in some cases, specific options for resolving some of the nagging technical issues in adopting a territorial tax system, for example. However, in the face of President Obama’s determined disinterest, few were willing to contemplate seriously the hard choices the Camp plan laid out and so, again, tax reform was left to simmer on the back burner.

Tax reform played a limited role in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, largely continuing the defense of the status quo established by President Obama. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, suggested a bold change of direction; though, he accompanied it by very few details. Trump’s election, combined with the strong Republican interest in tax reform, quickly moved the issue to the front burner.

The focus on growth

Tax reform today, like its 1986 predecessor, has a long history of debate, evolution, and refinement. TRA86 and the current effort also share an intense focus on improving economic growth, but with one important difference: TRA86 largely responded to a sense borne of the previous, deep recession that the economy needed to be both stronger and more resilient, and that sound tax policy could help. Tax reform was seen as something Congress and the president could and should accomplish.

Tax reform today shares a similar motivation, but with far greater urgency. Just as no business can compete for long if its cost structure substantially exceeds those of its competitors, American businesses cannot continue to compete effectively at home or abroad facing high tax rates, an inadequate capital cost recovery system, and an international tax system long abandoned by competing companies.

American companies are managing to compete successfully today but with ever greater difficulty under the federal tax system. Failure to reform the tax system would not result overnight in significant decline in Americans’ long-run economic prospects. But it would most assuredly do so over the next few years as both financial and human capital is driven overseas.

Tax reform is one task Congress and the president simply have to get right if America is to prosper.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/tax-reform-under-history-s-light

What History Teaches Us About Tax Reform


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist
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[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

An underperforming economy and mounting international competition have propelled tax reform from topic of discussion to front-burner issue. There is no change in federal policy that offers greater potential to strengthen employment and increase wages for American workers than sound, comprehensive tax reform.

Reviewing and respecting the lessons from the last major tax reform over thirty years ago illuminates the road ahead, and provides lessons for how to raise our odds of success. Time provides a dimension worth exploring for similarities and contrasts between 1986 and today. Specifically, the time leading up to the effort, and the time needed for Congress to act.

The Historical On Ramp to Tax Reform

President John F. Kennedy understood the dampening economic effects of high tax rates. Though he died before seeing his program enacted, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the program through Congress and thus the 1964 tax bill is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy tax cuts.” The 1964 bill centered on significant tax rate reductions to achieve a substantially stronger economy.

Thereafter, budget pressures from the Vietnam War and Great Society programs reoriented tax policy once again toward ever-higher tax rates accompanied by a steady accretion of deductions and credits to blunt the effects of higher rates on politically favored constituencies. This process continued unabated into President Jimmy Carter’s administration and not surprisingly coinciding with a languishing economy.

Even as tax rates climbed and new distortions filled the tax code, a countermovement arose. In the final moments of the Ford Administration, Secretary William E. Simon released a landmark Treasury report directed by one of the era’s great economists, David Bradford, called “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform,” guiding concepts of sound tax policy for years to come.

As the economy struggled and President Carter stood by, Congress took the initiative. With strong, bipartisan support over Carter’s objections, Congress substantially cut the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act, marking the first step in a change in tax philosophy culminating in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86).

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) and Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) then picked up tax reform’s guidon, leading the charge for lower tax rates. At the same time, a second dimension in tax policy gained steam – the need for a less punitive capital cost recovery system. This debate was led largely outside Congress by the likes of Charls Walker and Ernie Christian, former Ford Administration Treasury hands, and Norman B. Ture, later Treasury undersecretary under Ronald Reagan.

Spurred by a recession wrought by a disinflationary monetary policy, the tax debate quickly came to a head in the 1981 “Reagan tax cuts.” The 1981 bill cut tax rates and instituted a vastly superior capital cost recovery system among other reforms. In the process, the bill cut revenues far more than Reagan proposed.

Though the 1981 bill was championed by a Republican president, it enjoyed widespread Democratic support. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced and pushed the legislation to passage, joined by almost half the House Democrats and almost a third of Senate Democrats.

The magnitude of the 1981 tax cuts proved politically unsustainable and were quickly followed by a series of tax hikes reversing some of the 1981 revenue reductions. Having settled the issue of how much to tax, the stage was now set for the 1986 reform and deciding who and how to tax.

Building Toward the 1986 Tax Reform Act

At about this time a fundamentally different approach to tax policy appeared: the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. The Flat Tax’s popularity often associates with the simplicity of imposing a single tax rate. However, the real revolution it offered was not the single tax rate,but  what is subject to tax. Despite appearing as a traditional income tax, the Flat Tax was something quite new as it explicitly eliminated tax on investment income and imposed a simple cash flow tax on all businesses, thus adopting the principle of expensing, or allowing a full and immediate deduction for capital purchases.

The Flat Tax was too radical to gain wide acceptance in the early 1980s, but a vigorous bipartisan debate harkening back to Bradford’s 1976 “Blueprints” continued nonetheless. The 1981 tax cuts worked as intended to launch a powerful economic recovery, but memories of poor economic performance under Carter still lingered. A broad, bipartisan consensus championed faster economic growth by reforming the tax code to reduce the distortions to economic decision making it caused and the resulting misallocation of basic resources.

The basic strategy was to lower rates as in the 1981 Act, only further, and to implement a sound cost recovery system as in the 1981 Act. In contrast to 1981, however, the new strategy included a determined effort to “broaden the tax base” by eliminating distorting loopholes and tax credits, thereby intending the overall bill to be revenue neutral. .

The Treasury Department under Secretary Don Regan took the first big step in 1984 with the release of a densely packed 275 page proposal for comprehensive tax reform, dubbed “Treasury I”. While many aspects were well-received, as with most prototypes, Treasury I contained flaws, some of which Treasury addressed in 1985 with “Treasury II”.

Tax reform was off and running in Congress with the release of Treasury II, but the road  was by no means easy. Time and again Reagan had to give Congress another not-always-gentle push. The greatest peril demanding Reagan’s firm hand came when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR) realized he couldn’t pass tax reform on the path it was on. Ironically, the man who had repeatedly saved tax reform, President Reagan, was also now tax reform’s biggest obstacle.

The Price for Overcoming the Greatest Hurdle

Reagan was forced into pushing for the most rate reduction possible. Initially he drew the line at 25 percent for individuals and he held firm for much of the debate. Like most policy, tax reform involves trade-offs and Packwood just couldn’t find enough obvious base broadeners he could economically or politically trade off to hit a 25 percent rate.

Something had to give. At first the rate crept up to 26 and then to 28 percent. But at 28 percent, Reagan would go no further.

As Reagan urged Packwood to press on, Packwood had to get creative. He took fairly innocuous existing individual and corporate minimum taxes and expanded them into full-fledged parallel tax systems; voila, massive back-door base broadening. Packwood’s new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while a superb example of terrible tax policy, had as its one redeeming feature: it raised enough money in a sufficiently confusing manner to hit the 28 percent rate without creating too many political problems, at least not for the duration of the debate. Three months later, the final bill passed the Senate.

Packwood’s AMT offers an important lesson for tax reform today. As important as low tax rates are for economic growth, policy makers and the public need to be honest about the tradeoffs involved. The broadest possible tax base capable of garnering sufficient political support can only raise so much revenue at a targeted tax rate. Demand an even lower tax rate and something (or someone) else will have to give and very likely pro-growth tax policy will suffer as a consequence.

Back to the Present

With respect to time, the current tax reform debate parallels that of 1986 closely. TRA86 concluded a lengthy, evolutionary process regarding accepted beliefs about sound, pro-growth tax policy. That process distilled to the lowest possible rates and applied to a simple, broad tax base, while allowing for a depreciation system for capital costs minimizing the anti-investment aspects of an income tax.

Tax reform today shares these traits, both with respect to the substance of reform – low rates, broad base, and today, expensing – and with respect to time. Like the 1986 episode, tax reform today reflects the product of many years of debate regarding the design of pro-growth tax policy, an evolution that began in 1986.

In one other critical respect regarding time, TRA86 and the current effort offer stark contrasts. Where the legislative starting gun on TRA86 went off in 1984 and the effort then proceeded for over two years, Congress in 2017 will have only a handful of months from introduction to tax reform’s final passage. This difference in time will have significant implications for how Congress defines “comprehensive” as they work toward pro-growth tax reform.

Read Part 2: Tax Reform Under History’s Light

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/what-history-teaches-us-about-tax-reform

 

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