Posts Tagged ‘Rep Smith’

Jewish leader to Congress: Hate crime against Jews increases in Europe

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

This is article 940 of 1260 in the topic International

According to an Arutz Sheva report on Monday, there has been a disturbing increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents of violence in France and Great Britain and there is “widespread European acquiescence and acceptance of overt anti-Semitism in the disguise of de-legitimizing not only Israel’s citizens but Israel’s right to exist at all.”

As a result of the marked increases in anti-Semitic violence in European nations, much of it perpetrated by Muslims, Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of International Jewish Affairs, is scheduled to meet with members of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to discuss with lawmakers the increase of threats to Jews that requires increased security, and “pose an existential threat to the future of Jewish life in Europe.”

On Wednesday, Rabbi Baker will testify before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), chair of the subcommittee and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, called the hearing in response to hate crimes committed against Jews several

European nations.

Key leaders of Europe’s Jewish communities will testify before Congress Wednesday regarding the rising threat of anti-Semitism in their countries, why, and how Jews are once again being targeted in Europe, according to Rep. Smith.

“American Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders will testify for a House Foreign Affairs Committee panel about anti-Semitism as a key means by which radical, anti-democratic movements gain power, and how anti-Semitism is a threat not only to Jews but to all people, and to the very foundations of democracy,” Smith noted.

“Some [European] governments willfully do not want to know, and they have limited their monitoring tools so that they will not be confronted with the facts,” Baker says in his prepared testimony. “This may be a reflection of political correctness or a fear that such data are likely to increase anti-Muslim sentiments. Either way they contribute to the problem.”

“It’s a sad state of affairs when nations bend-over backwards to avoid the tiniest slight against Muslims but tolerate the assaults and killings of Jews in the streets of otherwise liberal democracies,” notes a former police commander and military officer, Charles Knudsen.

“Even here in the United States on college campuses some of the most vile, anti-Semitic language is tolerated, even heralded, by students and some faculty members,” said Knudsen, who has experience investigating bias or hate crimes.

Such hesitancy contravenes the commitments [European] governments made with the adoption of the Berlin Declaration by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2004. The OSCE is the world’s largest regional security organization, with 57 member states from Europe, Central Asia and North America, according to the ACJ leader.

“Governments that have made efforts to address these threats against Jewish communities and individuals will be highlighted at an upcoming OSCE conference, slated for April. Hesitant governments will be pressed to follow suit,” said Baker.

The U.S. House hearing is being held just one week after French Jews assembled and presented to France’s prime minister its annual report on anti-Semitic incidents. The report showed an increase of almost 60 percent during 2012.

Astonishingly, following the brutal terrorist murder of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse last March, the number of anti-Semitic incidents in France jumped.

Click to continue reading “Jewish leader to Congress: Hate crime against Jews increases in Europe”
Go straight to Post

Lawmakers express concerns with Holder leadership following testimony

by Jim Kouri on Friday, June 8th, 2012

This is article 135 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Following the testimony of Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith expressed concern with Holder’s leadership of the Justice Department and the Obama administration’s efforts to impose a partisan agenda on the American people.

Attorney General Holder (right) and his boss, President Barack Obama, are accused by many of politicizing the U.S. Justice Department. Photo credit: NewswithViews/Paul Walter

The chairman of House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith (R-Texas), grilled Attorney General Holder at the hearing in Washington, D.C. about whether White House officials were aware of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Operation Fast & Furious, which contributed to the shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The Attorney General appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing on the Justice Department’s activities. Outstanding questions surrounding the controversial ATF operation that allowed guns to be purchased in the U.S. and trafficked to Mexico dominated the Committee’s discussion.

“For the past three and half years, this Administration has engaged in a pattern of obstructionism, unaccountability, and partisanship. The Administration’s actions aren’t just wrong–they are arrogant, undemocratic, and an insult to the rule of law. The American people should have confidence that the Department of Justice fairly enforces laws. That confidence is lacking today,” said Rep. Smith.

In April, Chairman Smith issued a report on the Justice Department’s disregard for the Constitution and rule of law.

“The report outlines high profile examples of how the Justice Department has ignored the Constitution in order to impose the Administration’s partisan agenda on the American people. From blocking investigations of Operation Fast & Furious and Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare to refusing to enforce and defend certain laws, the Attorney General has allowed a partisan agenda to guide the Justice Department’s decisions,” said Chairman Smith.

Congressional Republicans and their investigators have been probing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) Fast and Furious “Gunwalker” scandal. Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been openly vocal about seeking a contempt citation against Holder.

The Oversight Committee’s contempt resolution will require a full House vote and, if it passes, the Congressmen would probably look to the federal courts to enforce the citation.

Law Enforcement Examiner sources claim that Republican House staffers have moved slowly in building their case and in creating the motion to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress.

“All government officials are bound by the limits of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the President and the Attorney General. Unfortunately, this Administration continues to put a partisan agenda ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law,” Congressman Issa said.

The high profile examples currently under investigation are: Stalling Investigation of Operation Fast & Furious; Failing to Enforce Immigration Laws; Challenging Voter ID Laws; Blocking Congressional Inquiries;  Refusing to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act; Ignoring the Constitution’s Limited Recess Appointment Power.

Click to continue reading “Lawmakers express concerns with Holder leadership following testimony”
Go straight to Post

DOJ’s total disregard of the Constitution blasted by lawmakers

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

This is article 126 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Holder's reaction to a lawmaker's question about Fast & Furious during a House Oversight Committee hearing. Photo credit: US Congress photo gallery

Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) released a biting report  this week highlighting the Obama Justice Department’s alleged disregard of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Smith and the House Judiciary Committee are leading efforts to oversee Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department. Rather than enforce the law and uphold the Constitution, the Obama administration has placed partisanship above the rule of law.

Besides, Rep. Smith’s committee, the House Oversight Committee and its chairman Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA) are investigating the Attorney General and the Justice Department’s role in the gunrunning scandal Operation Fast and Furious that claimed the life of at least one U.S. law enforcement officer and many citizens of Mexico.

“The Obama administration has ignored the constitutional balance of power between co-equal branches of government and blocked investigations of its actions. When the Administration doesn’t like a law, they refuse to enforce it. And if the Senate’s constitutional authority to approve political appointees gets in their way, the Administration ignores the Constitution,” said Chairman Smith.

“All government officials are bound by the limits of the Constitution and the rule of law, including the President and the Attorney General.  Unfortunately, this Administration continues to put a partisan agenda ahead of the Constitution and the rule of law,” he said.

The committee report reveals a number of high profile examples the Justice Department’s ignoring the U.S. Constitution in order to impose the Administration’s partisan agenda on the American people. From blocking investigations of Operation Fast and Furious and Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare to refusing to enforce and defend certain laws, the Attorney General has allowed a partisan agenda to guide the Justice Department’s decisions.

The high profile examples currently under investigation are: Stalling Investigation of Operation Fast & Furious;  Failing to Enforce Immigration Laws; Challenging Voter ID Laws; Blocking Congressional Inquiries; Refusing to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act; Ignoring the Constitution’s Limited Recess Appointment Power.

“Beginning with the Attorney General’s refusal to prosecute members of the radical group the New Black Panther Party for their flagrant voter intimidation during the 2008 presidential election right through to the recent DOJ ignoring of the Black Panthers placing a bounty on the head of Robert Zimmerman, the suspect in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida, the Justice Department has walked a thin line between disinterest and racism,” said former police lieutenant George Harley, himself an African American police official.

“Of all agencies in the federal government, the Justice Department, because of the great power it holds over Americans’ Constitutional rights, should not impose their own partisan agenda. Unfortunately, under the Obama Administration, the Justice Department has become more partisan than ever,” the report states.

“Rather than fulfilling the Attorney General’s oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States’ and the President’s Constitutional responsibility to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ the Justice Department in the Obama Administration, under the leadership of Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has repeatedly put its partisan agenda ahead of its Constitutional duties. The pattern of pushing partisan ideology rather than neutrally enforcing the law began nearly as soon as the Administration took office and has continued unabated since,” according to the committee report.

Click to continue reading “DOJ’s total disregard of the Constitution blasted by lawmakers”
Go straight to Post

Criminal Aliens: Obama weakens Secure Communities program, says GOP

by Jim Kouri on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

This is article 254 of 466 in the topic Immigration

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday implemented several changes to weaken their Secure Communities Program, an initiative that keeps American neighborhoods safe by identifying illegal and criminal immigrants in police custody who have been arrested and fingerprinted, according to House GOP lawmakers.

GOP lawmakers say that the President is drastically reducing enforcement of the nation's immigration laws. Photo credit: DHS/CBP

Among these changes, ICE will not take enforcement action against those charged with minor traffic violations if they have not been previously convicted of other crimes.  This means that an illegal immigrant previously arrested for a serious crime, such as murder or rape, but not convicted would be cut loose under ICE’s new policy.

ICE also indicates that it could punish states and localities that are serious about the enforcement of federal immigration law by reviewing the number of illegal immigrants identified by Secure Communities in each jurisdiction and possibly taking action if the number is too high.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) blasted the changes made to Secure Communities by DHS and ICE officials and released a biting statement.

“The Obama administration’s decision to weaken Secure Communities proves that they are not interested in the enforcement of our immigration laws.  Secure Communities is an important and effective immigration law enforcement program that identifies illegal and criminal immigrants in police custody.  The program doesn’t ask race or ethnicity — it merely checks the legal status of each person arrested, fingerprinted, and booked in jail,” noted Rep. Smith.

“[T]his common sense program has fallen prey to the Obama administration and pro-illegal immigrant lobbying groups for one reason and one reason alone: Secure Communities works,” Smith claims.

“It’s outrageous that the Administration will now penalize local law enforcement agencies that identify too many illegal and criminal immigrants through Secure Communities.  Why should they be punished for protecting their communities?  It’s ironic that the Obama administration seeks to punish local law enforcement for doing their job while the Administration blatantly neglects their own responsibilities,” the lawmaker pointed out.

“The Administration’s changes to Secure Communities make our communities less safe and put American lives at risk.  The Obama administration should put the interests of Americans first, not those of illegal and criminal immigrants,”  Rep. Smith said.

“It’s clear that Obama’s sympathies are with the illegal aliens entering the U.S. He’s all but told U.S. immigration and border officials to stop enforcing the law. This is just another message from the Obama Administration to Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to not be too zealous in doing their jobs,” claims former New York City Detective Jeff Knudson.

Go straight to Post

Lawmaker: White House bends immigration laws

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

This is article 249 of 466 in the topic Immigration

President Obama made a lot of promises to a lot of people regarding Mexican illegal aliens. Photo credit: WH Press Office

President Barack Obama’s administration appointees at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  this week revealed their plans to move forward with the rulemaking process to allow illegal alien spouses and children with U.S. citizen relatives to stay in the United States while the federal government decides on their waiver request, according to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on the Judiciary.

Ironically, two of Obama’s relatives – an aunt and an uncle who was arrested for drunk driving — are currently in the United States illegally.

Under current U.S. immigration law, illegal aliens must leave the country before they can ask the federal government to waive the three and 10 year bars on legally coming back to the United States.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released a statement criticizing Obama’s proposed change without the approval of Congress.

“President Obama is bending long established immigration laws to grant backdoor amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants. Congress has defeated amnesty attempts several times in recent years. According to a recent poll, two-thirds of Americans want to see immigration laws enforced, not ignored.  Once again, President Obama is rewarding law breakers and disrespecting the rule of law,” stated Chairman Smith.

The U.S. Congress instituted the three and 10 year bars during the Clinton Administration in 1996 to provide a penalty for immigrants who had been illegally present in the U.S. for long periods of time. Although the waiver of these bars is legal under current law, it is not intended to be applied to millions of illegal immigrants, according to Rep. Smith.

Political strategist and attorney Michael Baker believes Obama and his immigration appointees are pushing their agenda “full speed ahead while members of Congress appear unwilling to try to stop his bending U.S. laws regarding illegal alien lawbreakers.”

According to Baker, beginning in late April, the Homeland Security Department will suspend all non-detained dockets for illegal immigrants in four additional jurisdictions, as it previously did in Baltimore and Denver, for two weeks.  These jurisdictions include Detroit, New Orleans, Orlando, and Seattle.

In May, DHS will partially suspend the non-detained docket in New York City and then in July, it will implement the same procedures in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

This means that DHS intends to solely focus on detained cases in these jurisdictions, meaning those who come to the attention of law enforcement, claims Rep. Lamar Smith.

But if the illegal or criminal immigrant bonds out of jail, they can be put on the non-detained docket and could potentially remain in the U.S.  This decision is just another part of the Obama administration’s plan to grant administrative amnesty to potentially millions of illegal immigrants, Smith stated.

“The Obama administration’s decision to expand its backdoor amnesty plan to cities across the United States endangers Americans and insults law enforcement officials,” noted Smith in his statement.

“The Obama administration’s refusal to enforce immigration law encourages more illegal immigration and rewards those who have broken our laws by allowing them to remain here and apply for work authorization.  And the Department of Homeland Security could let some criminal illegal immigrants, such as those charged with drunk driving, stay in the U.S.,” Smith said.

Click to continue reading “Lawmaker: White House bends immigration laws”
Go straight to Post

Deadly, violent illegal aliens deserve no favors, says US lawmaker

by Jim Kouri on Friday, January 27th, 2012

This is article 241 of 466 in the topic Immigration

Dufrene (above) was allowed to remain in the U.S. and subsequently killed three American citizens. Credit: Congressional Press Office Archive

A criminal alien from Haiti who was ordered deported by an immigration judge in 2007 after being convicted for two felonies was released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in October 2010 and went on to kill three Americans in Miami, Florida two months later, according to a report released by the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

This criminal alien was released in the United States because the Obama administration had halted deportations to Haiti in January 2010 and the federal government was not able to deport him back to Haiti due to two Supreme Court decisions that require the release of dangerous illegal and criminal immigrants back into American communities when they cannot be removed to their native country in the “reasonably foreseeable future.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) angrily released a statement yesterday saying, “It is a tragedy that three Americans lost their lives because a dangerous criminal [alien] could not be deported to his home country.  This is a failure of both the Obama administration and our immigration system.”

“Kesler Dufrene, an immigrant from Haiti, was convicted of two felonies and ordered removed by an immigration judge in 2007.   But because the Obama administration suspended all deportations to Haiti in January 2010, Dufrene couldn’t be deported to his home country,” Rep. Smith said.

Dangerous criminal immigrants deserve no favors from the federal government.  The Obama administration should not grant blanket reprieve to illegal and criminal immigrants no matter what the circumstances are, stated the Republican lawmaker.

“Since Dufrene couldn’t be deported to Haiti, he was released into our communities because of two Supreme Court rulings that have inadvertently created a safe haven for dangerous illegal and criminal immigrants.  Just because a criminal immigrant cannot be returned to their home country does not mean they should be freed into our communities.  Dangerous criminal immigrants need to be detained,” the Texas lawmaker stated.

“Last year the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to remedy this problem, the Keep Our Communities Safe Act.  This bill is desperately needed.  We cannot continue to let dangerous criminal immigrants slip through the cracks of our legal justice system.  While we are too late to prevent some tragedies, we should act to prevent many more,” Smith said.

The Deadly Alien

In the 2001 decision of Zadvydas v. Davis, the Supreme Court ruled that under current law, immigrants who had entered the U.S. and then ordered removed could not be detained for more than six months where removal would not occur in the “reasonably foreseeable future”.

In the 2005 case of Clark v. Martinez, the Supreme Court expanded its decision in Zadvydas to apply to illegal immigrants.  According to observers, the problem with both of these rulings is that not every criminal alien who is ordered removed can be because of the unwillingness of some countries to accept return of their nationals.

“If a foreign nation doesn’t want one of its citizens returned because he or she is a danger to other people, why does the U.S. become responsible for these predators and criminals?” asks former New York police officer Iris Ortiz.

Click to continue reading “Deadly, violent illegal aliens deserve no favors, says US lawmaker”
Go straight to Post

Immigration probe: Lawmakers threaten Secretary Napolitano

by Jim Kouri on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

This is article 230 of 466 in the topic Immigration

Napolitano is being accused of giving the American people false information on her department's activities. Credit: DHS/Pat Dollard

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today sent another letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano following the Department’s continued delay in providing a list of illegal and criminal immigrants that have been flagged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) but have not been detained or placed in removal proceedings by the agency.

If DHS fails to produce the requested data in its entirety by December 9, the Committee intends to move forward and consider a resolution to hold DHS in contempt of Congress, Rep. Smith stated. December 9 came and went without a Napolitano response.
On November 18, Chairman Smith warned DHS in a letter that the Committee plans to seek enforcement of the subpoena to the fullest extent allowed by the law.  But in a letter dated December 2, DHS again did not provide documents responsive to the subpoena.  Instead, DHS officials requested another 30 days to compile additional information that has not yet been formally requested by the Committee.  According to DHS officials’ own statements, the subpoenaed information already has been compiled, but they refuse to hand it over to the House Judiciary Committee.
The Immigration Subcommittee authorized the issuance of the subpoena by a vote of 7-4. Rep Smith asked for the subpoenaed information from DHS in August.  But as of yet, the agency has not provided the requested information.

For the past two months, the Department of Homeland Security has dragged their feet and stonewalled my request for information.  The Administration is wrongfully trying to keep crucial information from the American people.  The American people have a right to know what crimes 300,000 immigrants have committed after ICE intentionally chose not to detain them,” said Chairman Smith.

“Are administration officials afraid that the information will show that illegal immigrants intentionally released by ICE have committed crimes that could have been prevented?  Why else would they hide the information?”

“We gave the Obama administration two months’ notice of our request.  Unfortunately, their continued refusal to provide the information has left us no choice other than to subpoena the relevant documents,” Rep. Smith stated.

Smith stated that the Administration is obviously not acting in good faith and is wrongfully trying to keep crucial information from the American people.  They are on the verge of obstructing the legitimate role of Congress.”

In the past, Chairman Smith wrote to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting a list of the criminal immigrants that were brought to the attention of ICE but not detained or processed for removal.  DHS originally stated they had the information and would be able to provide it to the Chairman, but to date DHS has not given Chairman Smith the list as promised. Instead, DHS only provided general information on the Secure Communities program.

Last week, Secretary Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding DHS oversight.  During the hearing, Chairman Smith again requested the information and gave DHS a deadline.  Chairman Smith stated if the information was not provided by DHS, he would have no choice but to issue a subpoena.

The Secure Communities program’s task is to keep U.S.

Click to continue reading “Immigration probe: Lawmakers threaten Secretary Napolitano”
Go straight to Post

Capitol Hill hearing/vote watch: Holder, Corzine, Cordray

by Michelle Malkin on Thursday, December 8th, 2011

This is article 99 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Busy day in Washington today.

If you’re not near a TV, you can watch the Eric Holder live testimony re. Fast and Furious and other matters here. Here’s how C-SPAN previews:

Attorney General Eric Holder testifies before the House Judiciary Committee today about when he first became aware of the tactics used by the ATF’s failed sting operation aimed at gun smugglers.

Previously, Holder vowed that the tactics used during operation Fast and Furious would never be used again by the Justice Department. The operation allowed guns to be smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border in order to establish links between arms dealers and drug cartels.

The Attorney General has also said that the Justice Department never knowingly provided Congress with false information about Fast and Furious, a charge leveled by House and Senate Republicans. Mr. Holder will testify before the full House Judiciary Committee.

New RNC ad blasts F&F cover-up:

Update: 10:05am Holder will NOT be sworn in under oath as requested by Rep. Issa. Rep. Smith argues he’s technically already under oath.

Right on cue. Or rather, left on cue: Conyers opens by pushing more gun-control legislation at Holder hearing.

Conyers heaps praise on Holder’s dedication and civil rights championship. Antidote: Christian Adams’ book, Injustice.

Issa: He has “no confidence in a president who has confidence in Eric Holder.”

Holder’s dulled praise for border officials –followed by whining about politics–is the emetic of the morning.

I’m marveling at how Holder testifies so bloodlessly about the bloodiest disaster of the Obama administration.

GOP Rep. Lamar Smith turns to Obamacare/Supreme Court justice Kagan conflict/recusal issue. Holder going in circles on whether he’s asserting a legal privilege in refusing to hand over the documents.

Update 10:30am

GOP Rep. Sensenbrenner: DOJ official Lanny Breuer should be fired. Whaddya gonna do to clean up this mess?

Holder: Nobody at Justice lied.

Sensenbrenner: Letter was wdrawn! What’s dif between lying & misleading?!

Sensenbrenner raises prospect of impeachment. Story here.

Holder: The Justice Dept has released facts. Pats self on back for explaining Breuer LIES.

Here’s vid:

10:40am House hearing in recess for a series of four votes.

Check out Issa’s new Fast and Furious investigation website here.

Act II.

Sheila Jackson Lee can’t even remember BP Agent Brian Terry’s name while pretending to care.

Holder is stammering in response to q’s from Goodlatte about how many #fastandfurious guns recovered. He doesn’t know.

Maxine Waters calls the ATF the “AFT” in crusading for Holder power grab legislation.

Waters play-acts shock comparing legal sales to govt-forced illegal sales.

Ignores that the federal licensees involved actually pre-reported multiple long gun sales. ATF approved them.

Hank “Guam is sinking” Johnson is shamelessly playing the race card, invoking “white supremacists” and gun dealers instead of Fast and Furious.

Johnson: How many weapons are sold to “white supremacists” at “unregulated gun shows”?

Issa with boxes of docs at his side: 5,000 emails on #fastandfurious, but not a single one from Holder. Why?

Issa asks if Holder is a prolific e-mailer. Holder says no. Issa asks if has personal email. Holder-Yes. #fastandfurious

Holder brags about “unprecedented” doc turnover. Issa retorts about Holder’s ignorance.

Issa focuses in on what CoS Gary Grindler knew. Nailing Holder. Jackson Lee tries to play human shield.

Issa nailing DOJ IG for leaking #fastandfurious to object of investigation.

Issa is treating Holder as “hostile witness” because…he is one.

Click to continue reading “Capitol Hill hearing/vote watch: Holder, Corzine, Cordray”
Go straight to Post

Holder, DOJ stonewalling of Fast & Furious probe creating anger

by Jim Kouri on Friday, September 30th, 2011

This is article 55 of 246 in the topic Congressional Investigations

Lawmakers are frustrated in their attempts to get answers from Holder and his boss Obama. Credit: WH Press Office

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is complaining about the continued stonewalling by the U.S. Department of Justice in providing documents regarding the controversial Operation Fast and Furious.

After sending two formal written requests to Justice Department officials and a letter to the U.S. Attorney General, Rep. Smith is angry over not receiving answers to his questions.

Last Thursday, Smith sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder questioning the recent resignations and reassignments at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) following public outrage regarding a Phoenix-based program known as “Operation Fast and Furious,” which intentionally allowed “straw” buyers for criminal organizations the opportunity to purchase thousands of guns and smuggle them across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ultimately, some or all of the operation’s weapons ended up in the hands of Mexican cartel members who allegedly used them to kill Mexicans and two American law enforcement officers: a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona, and an agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau who was gunned down on a Mexican road between Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. Both men worked at agencies that are part of the Homeland Security Department. 

Several law enforcement officials have told the Law Enforcement Examiner that they are surprised and appalled that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and her agency heads have not condemned the Justice Department’s operation that took the lives of two hero cops from her department.”Is it any wonder the people in charge of DHS are given low marks for their performance? For instance, ICE’s chief John Morton received a unanimous ‘Vote of No Confidence” from his own agents. Does he wonder why?” asked former police chief Hamilton Roberts.

Chairman Smith had previously sent two letters to the Justice Department seeking information regarding the botched Fast and Furious operation. His first letter, dated March 9, posed six questions to the Justice Department. Five of those questions remain unanswered.  The Justice Department appears to have totally ignored the Chairman’s second letter dated May 3, 2011.

“I would be remiss if I did not express my growing concern with the [Justice] Department’s handling of the Fast and Furious investigation … The Department cannot pin this scandal on a few individuals and expect it to be forgotten, said Rep. Smith.

Fast and Furious was a result of systemic problems at the ATF. Congressional interest will continue until we fully understand who authorized the failed program and how a federal agency could allow such decision-making to occur, noted Rep. Smith.

“Following his election in 2008, President Obama promised to usher in a new era of openness and transparency. Despite this promise, the Justice Department has been less than cooperative with this Committee’s requests. Moving forward, the Committee expects cooperation in uncovering the facts related to this operation,” the Texas congressman said.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan group, ATF agents were ordered to allow nearly 2,000 guns — valued at well over one million dollars — to cross the border to known criminal organizations.

Two of the guns from the program were found at the murder scene of Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry in December.

Go straight to Post

Obama’s “Uncle Omar” a danger, says House Judiciary chairman

by Jim Kouri on Sunday, September 11th, 2011

This is article 200 of 466 in the topic Immigration

Mugshot of Onyango Obama, the President's uncle from Kenya. Credit: Farmingham PD

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on Friday became the first lawmaker to openly discuss allegations that the Obama White House is intervening on behalf of the president’s uncle after Onyango Obama — known to President Barack Obama as “Uncle Omar” — was released from police custody on Thursday.

Onyango Obama was arrested in August for allegedly driving under the influence and nearly hitting a police car. He has been held in a Massachusetts jail since then on subsequent charges that he violated a court order to return to his native Kenya in 1992.

A Law Enforcement Examiner story in August reported that a man named Onyango Obama was detained by police in Framingham, Massachusetts on August 24 when he allegedly almost struck a police cruiser with the Mitsubishi SUV he was driving,
A report filed by the arresting officers with the Framingham Police Department claims that “Uncle Omar” Obama’s breathalyzer test at the police station registered his blood-alcohol level at 0.14mg/100ml of blood, well above the state limit of 0.08mg.
“Uncle Omar” was charged with driving under the influence and  reckless driving, as well as failing to use a turn signal. He was detained as an illegal immigrant because the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an outstanding warrant for him because he was ordered deported back to Kenya, but evaded the ICE agents.

“It appears there is a double standard — one for President Obama’s family and one for everyone else,” Smith said in a news release.

“Last year, President Obama’s illegal immigrant aunt was granted asylum and now his illegal immigrant uncle has been released from [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody, even though he was arrested by authorities for drunk driving,” said Rep. Smith

According to Smith’s statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials refuse to give the details of why Onyango Obama was released or if ICE continues to seek his deportation.

It’s believed that President Obama’s uncle either posted bail or someone posted bail for him. It’s not known if the bail was paid cash or bond.

Meanwhile,  White House officials insist that the president was unaware that his uncle was in the United States illegally, and would allow justice to run its course in the drunk driving charge and the ICE deportation case.

“We expect it to be treated — and I refer you to ICE and [the Department of Homeland Security] — like any other immigration case,” according to White House press secretary Jay Carney.

But Rep. Smith said he sees the release of the president’s uncle as one of problems with the president’s immigration policy that calls for immigration officials to exercise “prosecutorial discretion” in deportation cases. “In other words, arbitrary enforcement of immigration law,” according to former police commander Douglas Gaines, now a private security firm owner.

“Under Obama’s policy, the government would focus resources on deporting those considered national security or public safety threats. Well, here’s a case of an illegal alien driving an big SUV while intoxicated. If that’s not a public safety threat, I don’t know what is,” said Gaines.

In fact, Smith stated that he requested in August that DUI arrests be considered severe enough to demand deportation proceedings, but DHS denied that request. This denial came after an illegal alien driving without a license and intoxicated killed a Catholic nun in Virginia. An investigation revealed he’s been repeatedly arrested for drunken driving and was always released.

Click to continue reading “Obama’s “Uncle Omar” a danger, says House Judiciary chairman”
Go straight to Post

Featuring YD Feedwordpress Content Filter Plugin