Category Archives: Obama Administration

ZeroHedge: “End Torture,” Ron Paul Demands “Shut Down The CIA!”

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Submitted by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute,

Remember back in April, 2007, when then-CIA director George Tenet appeared on 60 Minutes, angrily telling the program host, “we don’t torture people”? Remember a few months later, in October, President George W. Bush saying, “this government does not torture people”? We knew then it was not true because we had already seen the photos of Iraqis tortured at Abu Ghraib prison four years earlier.
 
Still the US administration denied that torture was torture, preferring to call it “enhanced interrogation” and claiming that it had disrupted so many terrorist plots. Of course, we later found out that the CIA had not only lied about the torture of large numbers of people after 9/11, but it had vastly exaggerated any valuable information that came from such practices.

However secret rendition of prisoners to other places was ongoing.

The US not only tortured people in its own custody, however. Last week the European Court of Human Rights found that the US government transferred individuals to secret detention centers in Poland (and likely elsewhere) where they were tortured away from public scrutiny. The government of Poland was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to two victims for doing nothing to stop their torture on Polish soil.
 
How tragic that Poland, where the Nazis constructed the Auschwitz concentration camp in which so many innocents were tortured and murdered, would acquiesce to hosting secret torture facilities. The idea that such brutality would be permitted on Polish soil just 70 years after the Nazi occupation should remind us of how dangerous and disingenuous governments continue to be.
 
This is the first time the European court has connected any EU country to US torture practices. The Obama administration refuses to admit that such facilities existed and instead claims that any such “enhanced interrogation” programs were shut down by 2009. We can only hope this is true, but we should be wary of government promises. After all, they promised us all along that they were not using torture, and we might have never known had photographs and other information not been leaked to the press.
 
There are more reasons to be wary of this administration’s claims about rejecting torture and upholding human rights. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Photos Emerge Of 10 “Active Militia Teams” Securing The US-Mexico Border

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With 1000s of illegal immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border every day (perhaps even more now some of the border has been washed away), the government quietly dumping them in Tennessee (among other places), and current (recently constructed border protection infrastructure already breaking down), it appears the American people are taking matters into their own hands. Photos showing dozens of members of militia groups on the U.S.-Mexico border carrying semi-automatic rifles and wearing masks, camouflage and tactical gear provide one of the first glimpses into the group's activities on the border. The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, began recruiting and organizing more than a month ago and recent Facebook entries provide more color on their perspective: "You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, 'Get back across the border or you will be shot.' …We are not worried about an 'International' incident."

 

It appears the American people is growing frustrated as the government's inaction… or in some cases action…

As Fox reports, the Obama administration recently released 760 illegal immigrant children to sponsors in the Volunteer State without any warning, the governor charged.

 

There was not so much as a text message or tweet.

 

“It is unacceptable that we became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee  without my administration’s knowledge,” the governor wrote in a strongly-worded letter to President Obama. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Here’s How Obama Can Halt “Tax Inversions” Without Congress (& Why It Doesn’t Matter)

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As the topic of "unpatriotic" 'tax inversions' becomes a political issue, we thought it interesting to examine how big an economic issue it really is. How much income tax do U.S. companies actually pay every year to the Federal government? As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, the simple answer is “Not much”, at least as compared to any other major source of revenue. In Fiscal 2013, Colas adds, the total was $274 billion, or just 9.9% of all tax and withholding receipts. Your political leanings will inform your opinion about whether that number is too high or too low, of course; but we point out that, as Reuters reports, a former  international tax counsel at Treasury explains Obama could "slam dunk" dictate an end to 'tax inversions' without Congressional approval (by invoking a little known 1969 tax law).

We already know – since we have been told – that corporations who shift their tax domiciles aborad are unpatriotic.

But just how big an economic deal is this (via ConvergEx's Nick Colas)…

Back in 1971, the Rolling Stones were in a bit of bind. While commercially successful, their onerous contracts with various managers left them with little in the way of actual cash flow. Their financial manager at the time, a savvy Bavarian prince named Rupert, cooked up a plan to remove them from the United Kingdom. Taxes on their income in the U.K. were over 80%, a rate that would not allow them to ever cover their sizable expenses and pay off their previous managers.  So the Stones decamped to the south of France, where tax rates were much lower for residents. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: US Releases Satellite Images Allegedly Proving Russian Shelling Of East Ukraine

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A week after Russia revealed photos of Ukraine deploying Buk missiles in the east as well as radar proof of Ukraine warplanes in the vicinity of MH-17, the US has yet to present any of the incontrovertible evidence supposedly in its possession that proves it was the separatists who shot down the plane, a narrative which has already propagated through western media. Instead, several hours ago the US. Office of the Director of National Intelligence released satellite images taken by the private civilian company Digital Globe (and thus not government sourced), which US officials say offer proof that Russian forces have been shelling eastern Ukraine in a campaign to assist rebel groups fighting Ukraine’s government in Kiev.

The WaPo reports:

The grainy photographs, taken between Wednesday and Saturday, are labeled as indicating fire from multiple rocket launchers inside Russia and targets they have struck inside Ukraine. The Pentagon and State Department first accused Russian artillery of firing directly into Ukraine on Thursday. The charges were repeated Friday, although no evidence was offered.

 

The high-altitude images released Sunday “provide evidence that Russian forces have fired across the border at Ukrainian military forces, and that Russia-backed separatists have used heavy artillery, provided by Russia, in attacks on Ukrainian forces from inside Ukraine,” according to labels on the pictures by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

 

The most recent photograph, taken Saturday, shows what is described as “blast marks” from rocket launcher fire on the Russian side of the border, and “impact craters” inside Ukraine.

 

A photograph labeled as taken Wednesday shows a row of vehicles described as “self-propelled artillery only found in Russian military units, on the Russian side of the border, oriented in the direction of a Ukrainian military unit within Ukraine.” On the other side of the border, “the pattern of crater impacts near the Ukrainian military unit indicates strikes from artillery fired from self-propelled or towed artillery, vice multiple rocket launchers,” it said.

Time has more:

Read more »

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ZeroHedge: How The NSA Is Actively Helping Saudi Arabia To Crackdown On Dissent

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Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It is not an exaggeration to say Saudi Arabia is one of the most oppressive, authoritarian regimes on the planet. Despite having been the main foreign instigator pushing for conflict in Syria, as well as its increasingly disturbing ties to the attacks on 9/11, it remains one of the U.S. government’s closest allies.

I’ve covered some of the human rights abuses of the Saudi regime on several occasions due to the fact that it so clearly exposes the total hypocrisy of U.S. foreign policy. The most recent example was the recent sentencing of human rights lawyer and activist Waleed Abu Alkhair to 15 years in prison for “inciting public opinion,” i.e., effectively utilizing free speech. I covered this in detail in the post: Saudi Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Jailed for 15 Years for Free Speech Under New “Anti-Terror” Law.

Thanks to revelations from Edward Snowden, we now know that our taxpayer money is directly funding the ability of this autocratic regime to brutalize its citizenry. The Intercept reports that:

The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: US Evacuates Libya Embassy Following Biggest Local Violence Since Gadhafi Ouster

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The middle east is burning again: first it was the fascinating ascent of the brutal Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS, creating its own Caliphate in northern Iraq and in the process taking over a third of Syrian territory as well as all of its oil infrastructure. Then, the latest iteration of the Israel vs Gaza conflict has now claimed over 1000 lives and is dragging virtually all neighboring countries into it as well. And the cherry on top is that the Libyan “liberation” by the US has just gone full circle, as the country is is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since Gadhafi’s ouster. End result: nearly two years after the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, moments ago the US once again shuttered its embassy in Libya, this time in Tripoli, evacuating more than 150 Americans to Tunisia.  This is happening just 24 hours after the US Secretary of State was literally next door in Egypt, assuring the region that peace and stability are just around the corner.

From NBC:

More than 150 Americans have been evacuated from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, amid spiraling militant violence aimed at the Libyan government. “The U.S. together with other countries have decided that because of the freewheeling militia violence that is taking place particularly around the embassy … it presents a real risk to our personnel,” Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters during a trip to France.

 

American officials told NBC News that the 158 Americans, including 80 heavily armed U.S. Marines, left the embassy compound early Saturday in a caravan of SUV’s and buses and drove west toward neighboring Tunisia. Besides the Marines who were the embassy’s security force, the caravan was also protected overhead by two American F-16 fighter jets and unmanned drones that shadowed the group on their drive. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants Are Approved For Subsidized ObamaCare

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Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg

ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants are Approved for Subsidized ObamaCare

Although it hasn’t been a focus for a while, the incompetent disaster that has been the ObamaCare rollout has been well documented on this site. Here are just a few posts on the subject:

The Obama Administration is Forcing Insurance Companies to Keep Quiet About ObamaCare Problems

Woman Touted as Obamacare Success Story is Now Kicked Off Obamacare

Humana Warns of “‘Adverse ObamaCare Enrollment Mix”

Computer Security Expert Claims he Hacked the ObamaCare Website in 4 Minutes

Serfs Up – Average Healthcare Premiums Have Soared 39%-56% Post Obamacare

 

Well the hits just keep on coming. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), recently conducted a study in which investigators attempted to use fake identities to sign up for subsidized healthcare under ObamaCare. The results are frightening. All but one phony applicant was successful. Moreover, the GAO more broadly notes that “about 2.6 million ‘inconsistencies’ existed among applicants who had chosen a health plan.”

The Washington Post reports that:

Read more »

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ZeroHedge: The “Insider Threat Program” And The Government’s War On Whistleblowers

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Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The Obama Administration’s Orwellian government employee snitch network, dubbed the “Insider Threat Program,” first made headlines about a year ago. I found it to be so disturbingly significant I wrote a post about it titled: The 3 Key Takeaways from the Ridiculous “Insider Threat Program.” Those 3 key takeaways were that it…

  1. Creates a horrible and counterproductive work environment where everyone distrusts everyone else.
  2. Solidifies the fact the government is not interested in solving problems, but rather is focused on continuing the cronyism and criminality and merely covering it up.
  3. Exposes how completely hopeless and terminal the status quo is.

Fast forward a year, and it appears that several members of Congress are also becoming increasingly concerned. Some are starting to ask questions, but as usual, the “most transparent administration in history” is entirely nontransparent. We learn from the Washington Post that:

In early April, Sen. Charles E. Grassley summoned FBI officials to his Capitol Hill office. He said he wanted them to explain how a program designed to uncover internal security threats would at the same time protect whistleblowers who wanted to report wrongdoing within the bureau.

 

The meeting with two FBI officials, including the chief of the bureau’s Insider Threat Program, ended almost as soon as it began. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: America The Divided: Everyone Knows We Have Problems But There Is Very Little Agreement On Solutions

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Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

A house divided against itself will surely fall.  America is more divided today than it has been in decades, and the deep divisions that are tearing us apart continue to get even worse.  In fact, a newly released Rasmussen Reports national survey discovered that 67 percent of voters believe that America is even more divided now than it was four years ago.  We are angry, we are frustrated and we love to fight with one another, but none of this strife and discord is getting us anywhere.  What most Americans can agree on is that we are facing tremendous problems as a nation.  One average of recent polls found that only 26 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the right direction and 63.8 percent of Americans believe that this country is heading in the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.  That is where the division is.  As a nation, we no longer have a shared set of values or principles that provides a foundation for our decisions.  Everyone just kind of does whatever is right in their own eyes, and the result is chaos.  At a minimum, the U.S. Constitution was supposed to bond all of us together, but it has become clear that very few of our lawless politicians have any respect for that document at this point.  And the American people must not have too much respect left for the Constitution either, because they keep sending the very same politicians back to Washington over and over again.  Unless a miracle happens, everyone is going to keep pulling in different directions, and that is going to continue ripping our country to shreds.

The issues that divide us are countless. Read more »

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ZeroHedge: Russia Accuses US Of Fabricating MH17 Evidence As US Reveals More “Evidence” Of Russian Military Involvement

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The farce of facts continues to grow as Ukraine’s national security council head says US is wrong (in finding no link to Russia) and claims to have proof MH17 was shot down by Russians (from BBG)

  • EXPERT PRELIM CONCLUSION IS MH17 SHOT BY RUSSIANS: PARUBIY
  • EXPERT PRELIM VIEW IS RUSSIAN MILITARY, WEAPON DOWNED MH17
  • UKRAINIAN NATL SECURITY COUNCIL HEAD PARUBIY POSTS ON TWITTER
  • PARUBIY COMMENTS ON PRELIM CONCLUSIONS FROM `INTL EXPERTS’

and then the US State Department unleashes another statement of alleged ‘proof’ that Russia is sending rockets to separatists and firing on Ukraine’s military from within Russia. Of course, while no ‘evidence’ has been offered, we are sure this is all backed by YouTube clips and Tweets that ‘prove’ it is fact.

  • RUSSIA SENDING MULTIPLE ROCKET LAUNCHERS TO SEPARATISTS: HARF
  • ARTILLERY FIRING FROM RUSSIA AT UKRAINE MILITARY FORCES: HARF

Here’s the video proof that Russia is firing into Ukraine (allegedly) – click image for link

 

And then Russia hit back, blasting Washington’s claims that pro-Russian rebels fired a missile that hit the plane on July 17 “mostly cited social networks” and did not correspond to reality.

Russia suggested on Thursday that the United States was trying to fabricate evidence that separatists in eastern Ukraine shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

 

Anatoly Antonov, deputy defence minister, said Washington’s claims that pro-Russian rebels fired a missile that hit the plane on July 17 “mostly cited social networks” and did not correspond to reality.

Read more »

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