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Entries in DHS (50)

Tuesday
Apr102012

DHS Inspector General Under Investigation

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Inspector General is in turmoil amid allegations that its agents in Texas were told to falsify reports ahead of an office inspection last fall, according to an internal email.

Thomas M. Frost, the departments chief investigator, and deputy John Ryan were placed on administrative leave March 29, according to an email sent to managers nationwide last week.

The Acting [inspector general] decided to take this action in the interest of continuing our operations during the investigation with the least amount of disruption to our mission, he wrote. I am confident that this situation will be short lived and that DOJ will quickly resolve this matter

A federal grand jury in Washington has been convened to hear testimony over whether agents in a McAllen, Texas, field office fabricated investigative activity to show progress on misconduct cases involving homeland security employees, officials familiar with the probe told the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The inspector general is responsible for policing waste, fraud and abuse at the Department of Homeland Security. The Inspector Generals office, which was created along with Homeland Security in 2003, has a staff of 676 employees, including about 200 criminal investigators in 33 offices nationwide.

Over the last decade, the Department of Homeland Security has spent billions of dollars to boost border security, including a hiring surge of U.S. Border Patrol agents that has more than doubled the size of the agency.

At the same time, officials report an increase in corruption-related investigations. Since October 2004, 136 Customs and Border Protection employees have been indicted on or convicted of corruption-related charges.

Inspector General Charles K. Edwards testified in June that the inspector generals policy was to open investigations of all allegations of corruption by Department of Homeland Security employees.

The practice has overloaded investigators at the inspector generals office, agents say. As a result, cases havent been investigated or have been dormant for up to two years.

The inspector general for homeland security has been embroiled in a turf battle with the FBI and other DHS agencies over which office has the responsibility to investigate corruption within the federal governments third-largest department.

In some cases, the inspector general has sat on cases rather than allow outside investigators from the FBI or Customs and Border Protections internal affairs to pursue them, agents say. The inspector general had 2,564 open investigations as of Sept. 30, 2011, the end of the last fiscal year, up nearly 23 percent from the previous year.

Tensions flared after Frost sent a December 2009 memo to James Tomsheck, the Customs and Border Protection assistant commissioner for internal affairs, that ordered his internal affairs agents to cease conducting criminal investigations.

Frost also directed Customs and Border Protection to stop participating in corruption-focused task forces or sharing information with other agencies unless coordinated through the inspector general.

This story was produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Learn more at cironline.org. Contact the reporter at abecker@cironline.org.

Follow Andrew Becker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ABeckerCIR

Friday
Apr062012

Shreveport Mayor "Suspends Second Amendment"

Welcome to Shreveport in the state of Louisiana.  Your rights are now suspended.  Texans consider yourselves warned.  Perhaps Winstar in the great state of Oklahoma would be a better destination.

According to Cedric Glover, Mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana, his cops have a power that the President of these United States does not have.

Mayor Glover claims his police officers have the power to take away certain rights.

Just ask Shreveport resident Robert Baillio, who was pulled over for having two pro-gun bumper stickers on the back of his truck and had his gun temporarily confiscated in 2009.

The officer is polite, but this is an example of the smiley face liberal fascism that is taking place in America. Of course the officer knows that he is being recorded by his own department. Denial of rights under color of law is illegal, whether you do it politely or impolitely.

The officer removed the driver from the vehicle, so why did he need to enter the vehicle to look for and seize a firearm?  He tells the driver he stopped him for failing to use his turn signal.

So the officer who pulled him over says Baillio failed to use his turn signal, but the only questions he had for Baillio concerned guns: Whether he had a gun, where the gun was and if he was a member of a pro-gun organization.

No requests for a drivers licence, proof of insurance or vehicle registration and no discussion of a turn signal.

Accordingly, Baillio told the officer the truth, which led the police officer to search his car without permission and confiscate his gun.

However, not only does Louisiana law allow residents to drive with loaded weapons in their vehicles, but Mr. Baillio possessed a concealed carry license!

What does such behavior demonstrate, other than transparent political profiling going so far as to use the infamous Department of Homeland Security report on Americans of a right-wing persuasion as a how-to guidebook, no less?

Mr. Baillio made no secret of his political affiliations he proudly displayed an American flag and other pro-freedom stickers and decals on his back windshield.

In fact, when Baillio asked the officer if everyone he pulls over gets the same treatment, the officer said No and pointed to the back of his truck.

Baillio phoned Mayor Glover to complain about this suspension of rights only to find that his citys commander in chief was elated to hear about the story.

According to Glover, Baillio was served well, protected well, and even got a consideration that maybe [he] should not have gotten.

Thankfully, Mr. Baillio recorded that phone call. Heres part of the transcript provided by The National Association for Gun Rights.

Baillio: (in the context of being asked about the presence of a gun) Well, I answered that question honestly, and he disarmed me.

Glover: Which would be an appropriate and proper action, sir. The fact that you gave the correct answer it simply means that you did what it is you were supposed to have done, and that is to give that weapon to the police officer so he could appropriately place it in a place where it would not be a threat to you, to him or to anyone in the general public.

Glover: My direction to you is that, had you chosen not to properly identify the fact that you had a weapon and directed that officer to where that weapon was located; had you been taken from the vehicle, and the officer, in the interest of his safety, chose to secure you in a safe position, and then looked, found, and determined that you did, in fact, have a weaponthen, sir, you would have faced additional, [inaudible], and more severe criminal sanctions.

Baillio: So what youre saying is: I give up all my rights to keep and bear arms if Im stopped by the police: Is that correct?

Glover: Sir, you have no right, when you have been pulled over by a police officer for a potential criminal offense [which would be what?! - DB] to stand there with your weapon at your side in your hand [Baillios weapon was nowhere near his side or his hand, and Glover knew that. - DB] because of your second amendment rights, sir. That does not mean at that point your second amendment right has been taken away; it means at that particular point in time, it has been suspended.

Will Grigg from ProLibertate, a freedom blogger, has this to say:

According to Glover, a police officer may properly disarm any civilian at any time, and the civilians duty is to surrender his gun willingly, readily, cheerfully, without question.

From Glovers perspective, it is only when firearms are in the hands of people other than the states uniformed enforcers/oppressors that they constitute a threat, not only to the public and those in charge of exercising official violence but also to the private gun owner himself.

I felt sick, Baillio told NAGR. My uncles didnt die for this country so I could surrender my rights like a wimp. I felt terrible. I was just thinking of all that my family has done for freedom in this nation including dying and here they are disarming me at a traffic stop.

I know this kind of harassment occurs frequently all across the country. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security has on many occasions warned law enforcement officials to look out for folks like Mr. Baillio who have bumper stickers that promote ideas such as liberty.

What would happen if the officer pulled over a black driver who had a bumper sticker of Obamas face on an American Flag or a NCAAP sticker on his truck, and the same scenario happened?  This would have been a national story and Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Obama would be on every news station in America and marching in the streets demanding a federal civil rights prosecution of the police officer.

Law enforcement officers have a right to protect themselves. But this situation was clearly a case of smiley face civil rights harassment.  A white driver was stopped by a police officer for being legally armed because the Department of Homeland Security is telling cops that legally armed citizens are a threat to national security. The turn signal violation was obviously a pretense used to stop a legally armed citizen.

The pistol was returned to the driver at the end of the traffic stop. 

The right to keep and bear arms is a civil right, enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Can you imagine a white mayor telling a black citizen that the police can suspend their civil rights?

The hypocrisy of it all tells you everything you need to know about the liberal Democrat Party.  As citizens, we must demand that ALL civil rights are protected and afforded to ALL citizens. 

Wednesday
Mar212012

Obama Executive Order Authorizes Peace Time Martial Law

Just as the news cycle is wrapping up for the week, in the common Obama practice of dumping government documents on a Friday afternoon – a move that allows the administration to avoid widespread coverage of embarrassing actions – the White House released an executive order on “National Defense Resources Preparedness.

Thanks to Kenneth Wayne Cates for bringing this to my attention. I missed it, as Obama was hoping all of us would.

President Barack Hussein Obama issued the Executive Order on March 16 giving the White House absolute control over all the country’s natural resources in case of a natural disaster or during a time of war.

In the order, the National Defense Resources Preparedness Order, the President granted to himself the authority to approve the dispensing of all domestic energy, production, transportation, food, and water supplies as he deems necessary to protect national security.

Despite the national defense hurdle that ostensibly must be jumped in order for the order to take effect, the text of the document itself does not limit implementation to a time of war. In fact, the specific sections of the order make it clear that the President can take complete command and control of the country’s natural resources in peacetime, as well.

Executive Order National Defense Resources Preparedness

Obama’s executive order specifically assigns “executive departments and agencies responsible for plans and programs related to national defense” to do five things:

  • “identify” requirements for emergencies;
  • “assess” the capability of the country’s industrial and technological base;
  • “be prepared” to ensure the availability of critical resources in time of national threat;
  • “improve the efficiency” of the industrial base to support national defense;
  • “foster cooperation” between commercial and defense sectors.

Later provisions in the order establish the protocol for government agencies to purchase equipment needed in times of national emergency and even make loans to ensure the availability of that equipment.

If liberty is worth keeping and free representative government worth saving, we must stand for all American fundamentals—not some, but all. All are woven into the great fabric of our national well-being. We cannot hold fast to some only, and abandon others that, for the moment, we find inconvenient. If one American fundamental is prostrated, others in the end will surely fall.  - Albert J. Beveridge, U.S. Senator 1862-1927

Sunday
Mar042012

Secret Service to Supersede First Amendment 

The House of Representatives recently approved a bill that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 , a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn’t already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence.

Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country.

Under current law, White House trespassers are prosecuted under a local ordinance, a Washington, DC legislation that can bring misdemeanor charges for anyone trying to get close to the president without authorization. Under H.R. 347, a federal law will formally be applied to such instances, but will also allow the government to bring charges to protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America.

The new legislation allows prosecutors to charge anyone who enters a building without permission or with the intent to disrupt a government function with a federal offense if Secret Service is on the scene, but the law stretches to include not just the president’s palatial Pennsylvania Avenue home. Under the law, any building or grounds where the president is visiting — even temporarily — is covered, as is any building or grounds “restricted in conjunction with an event designated as a special event of national significance.

It’s not just the president who would be spared from protesters, either.

Covered under the bill is any person protected by the Secret Service. Although such protection isn’t extended to just everybody, making it a federal offense to even accidently disrupt an event attended by a person with such status essentially crushes whatever currently remains of the right to assemble and peacefully protest.

Hours after the act passed, presidential candidate Rick Santorum was granted Secret Service protection. For the American protester, this indeed means that glitter-bombing the former Pennsylvania senator is officially a very big no-no, but it doesn’t stop with just him. Santorum’s coverage under the Secret Service began on Tuesday, but fellow GOP hopeful Mitt Romney has already been receiving such security. A campaign aide who asked not to be identified confirmed last week to CBS News that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has sought Secret Service protection as well.

In the text of the act, the law is allowed to be used against anyone who knowingly enters or remains in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so, but those grounds are considered any area where someone — rather it’s President Obama, Senator Santorum or Governor Romney — will be temporarily visiting, whether or not the public is even made aware. Entering such a facility is thus outlawed, as is disrupting the orderly conduct of “official functions,” engaging in disorderly conduct “within such proximity to” the event or acting violent to anyone, anywhere near the premises. Under that verbiage, that means a peaceful protest outside a candidate’s concession speech would be a federal offense, but those occurrences covered as special event of national significance don’t just stop there, either. And neither does the list of covered persons that receive protection.

Outside of the current presidential race, the Secret Service is responsible for guarding an array of politicians, even those from outside America. George W Bush is granted protection until ten years after his administration ended, or 2019, and every living president before him is eligible for life-time, federally funded coverage. Visiting heads of state are extended an offer too, and the events sanctioned as those of national significance — a decision that is left up to the US Department of Homeland Security — extends to more than the obvious. While presidential inaugurations and meeting of foreign dignitaries are awarded the title, nearly three dozen events in all have been considered a National Special Security Event (NSSE) since the term was created under President Clinton. Among past events on the DHS-sanctioned NSSE list are Super Bowl XXXVI, the funerals of Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, most State of the Union addresses and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

With Secret Service protection awarded to visiting dignitaries, this also means, for instance, that the federal government could consider a demonstration against any foreign president on American soil as a violation of federal law, as long as it could be considered disruptive to whatever function is occurring.

United States Representative Justin Amash (MI-03) was one of only three lawmakers to vote against the act when it appeared in the House late Monday. Explaining his take on the act through his official Facebook account on Tuesday, Rep. Amash writes, “The bill expands current law to make it a crime to enter or remain in an area where an official is visiting even if the person does not know its illegal to be in that area and has no reason to suspect its illegal.”

“Some government officials may need extraordinary protection to ensure their safety. But criminalizing legitimate First Amendment activity — even if that activity is annoying to those government officials — violates our rights,” adds the representative.

Now that the act has overwhelmingly made it through the House, the next set of hands to sift through its pages could very well be President Barack Obama; the US Senate had already passed the bill back on February 6. Less than two months ago, the president approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, essentially suspending habeas corpus from American citizens. Could the next order out of the Executive Branch be revoking some of the Bill of Rights? Only if you consider the part about being able to assemble a staple of the First Amendment, really. Don’t worry, though. Obama was, after all, a constitutional law professor. When he signed the NDAA on December 31, he accompanied his signature with a signing statement that let Americans know that, just because he authorized the indefinite detention of Americans didn’t mean he thought it was right.

Should President Obama suspend the right to assemble, Americans might expect another apology to accompany it in which the commander-in-chief condemns the very act he authorizes. If you disagree with such a decision, however, don’t take it to the White House. Sixteen-hundred Pennsylvania Avenue and the vicinity is, of course, covered under this act.

Thursday
Feb232012

Current Dallas ICE/HSI SAC Dines with Ousted SAC Chakwin

Sources tell me that ICE Homeland Security Investigations SAC/Dallas Dave Marwell is a friend of ousted SAC John Chakwin Jr.  Chakwin was given the option to retire or be transferred from Dallas.  He went kicking and screaming and even threatened to file either an EEO complaint or a lawsuit against ICE.  He later negotiated a settlement, where he would be allowed to stay at home and burn sick leave for almost a year, then retire in good standing, with his high three as an SES SAC.

I was told that Chakwin planned on returning to Florida after he retired on December 31, 2011. But numerous agents have told me Chakwin still lives in the metroplex.

Chakwin was recently seen recently dining with Marwell and retired ASAC Nancy Kratzer at Humperdinks.

Sources tell me he is  friends with the new SAC.  There is some speculation that he may have even had a hand in selecting Marwell.

I have also been told that Marwell has agreed to extend the contract of Pete Delasandro, a retired annuitant, hired by Chakwin.  SAC/Atlanta agents know the story on Pete.  Ive been told its another case of an ICE management official being pushed out of the door before he wanted to go.  Pete himself told me that he retired suddenly. 

I dont know Marewell but I do know Chakwin.  I personally believe that Chakwin is the least trustworthy person who I have ever met in law enforcement.  If Chakwin told me water was wet, Id get a second opinion.  Nancy Kratzers continued relationship with Chakwin also speaks volumes.

Marwell was previously based in Denver which was responsible Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah but unlike Dallas, Denver is not an SES SAC position.  Marwell was previously assigned as the ICE attache in Bern, Switzerland.

Marwell earned his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University in Boston, the alma mater of former Dallas ASAC Tim OConnor, who currently resides in Colorado.

ICE top level management is primarily staffed by a tight knit core of former Customs Office of Investigation agents who worked closely with Marcy Forman .  Chakwin is, based on my experience, a vengeful, vindictive man with no redeeming qualities.  Consider yourself warned, SAC/Dallas HSI agents. 

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