$31 Mil in “Creative Community Partnerships” to Give Poor Fruits, Veggies


APRIL 03, 2015

Less than a year after spending tens of millions of dollars to provide the nation’s food-stamp recipients with more fruits and vegetables, the Obama administration is generously throwing in another $31.5 million for the same cause, according to a recent announcement.

It’s the last thing Americans need to hear as the dreaded tax day approaches since, after all, they’re bankrolling the healthy food campaign for low-income residents. Under President Obama the country’s food-stamp program—rebranded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to eliminate stigma associated with the welfare benefit—has grown immensely, according to the government’s own figures. A record number of people, around 47 million, get free groceries from Uncle Sam at an astounding cost of about $80 billion a year.

It isn’t enough to give tens of millions of people free food. The administration wants to assure the welfare recipients are eating healthy and nutritious items by providing government-subsidized produce, whole grains and low-fat milk in neighborhoods it has labeled “food deserts.” It’s part of a broader effort spearheaded by Michelle Obama’s $4.5 billion law to revolutionize the inner city diet by providing fruits, veggies and grilled lean meats as alternatives to greasy, fried foods that tend to be more popular in those areas—presumably because they’re cheaper.

The money flows through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has poured huge sums into the cause and this month dedicated the additional $31.5 million. “Encouraging low income families to put more healthy food in their grocery baskets is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to improving the diet and health of all Americans,” said Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He referred to the costly program as “creative community partnerships” that will ultimately help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. Officially the funds for this particular initiative have been coined Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grants.

Judicial Watch has reported on this extensively in the last few years, exposing the enormous sums of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted on this ineffective experiment. In fact, last year JW wrote about an academic study that shows the First Lady’s pricey initiative to eliminate “food deserts” is failing miserably. The study focused on a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia that received generous grants from the government to build new markets and add healthy food options to convenience stores. Researchers found that dietary habits or obesity were not altered and it did not lead to changes in fruit and vegetable intake or body mass index.

Before that JW reported that the administration wasted $75 million to study ways of better recognizing the nutritional needs of low-income communities and more than $100 million in Obamacare grants to “reduce health disparities” between minorities and whites by, among other things, eliminating food deserts. The administration even created a special internet mapping tool (Food Desert Locator) that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”

Less than a year ago the Obama administration announced that it was launching a special research center that will find ways to help food-stamp recipients make healthier and wiser food choices. It will be called the Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice and Americans will pay at least $1.9 million—possibly more—to create it. There seems to be no end to the madness, an obsession to control what private citizens consume and change the ingrained eating habits of an entire demographic.

Read more about Food Stamps, USDA


DHS Launches “Family Reunification,” Refugee Program for Central Americans


APRIL 01, 2015

To facilitate the often treacherous process of entering the United States illegally through the southern border, the Obama administration is offering free transportation from three Central American countries and a special refugee/parole program with “resettlement assistance” and permanent residency.

Under the new initiative the administration has rebranded the official name it originally assigned to the droves of illegal immigrant minors who continue sneaking into the U.S. They’re no longer known as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), a term that evidently was offensive and not politically correct enough for the powerful open borders movement. The new arrivals will be officially known as Central American Minors (CAM) and they will be eligible for a special refugee/parole that offers a free one-way flight to the U.S. from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The project is a joint venture between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.

Specifically, the “program provides certain children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are undertaking to the United States,” according to a DHS memo obtained by JW this week. The document goes on to say that the CAM program has started accepting applications from “qualifying parents” to bring their offspring under the age of 21 from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. The candidates will then be granted a special refugee parole, which includes many taxpayer-funded perks and benefits. Among them is a free education, food stamps, medical care and living expenses.

During a special teleconference this week officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the State Department explained how CAM will work. Only “friendly” groups and individuals invited by the government were allowed to participate and the event was not open to the media. Judicial Watch attended as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with interest in the matter. Obama administration officials offered an overview of the new CAM initiative and confirmed that the U.S. has deployed staff to the region to handle the influx of applicants. A State Department official promoted CAM as a “family reunification” program that will be completely funded by American taxpayers, though the official claimed to have no idea what the cost will be.

A U.S.-based parent will initiate the application to bring his or her child in from any of the three Central American countries. To qualify they must be a permanent resident, a parolee or a beneficiary of Obama’s recent amnesty or deferred action. Many have probably lived illegally in the U.S. for years. The only out-of-pocket cost is for a DNA test to assure the child belongs to the applicant but Uncle Sam will reimburse the money if the result is positive. A U.S. official will interview the child, then a medical exam and “cultural orientation” will be conducted before the minor flies to the U.S. Once in the U.S. the illegal alien will get “resettlement assistance,” the State Department official confirmed during the teleconference.

If the applicant doesn’t qualify for the more desirable refugee status he or she can be considered for parole, a USCIS official explained in the teleconference, which was attended mostly by immigrant rights groups known for advocating on behalf of illegal aliens. Refugee status is a form of protection offered to those who are deemed of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Parole allows individuals who may be otherwise inadmissible to come to the U.S. on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The State Department official assured that applicants need not express or document a credible fear to qualify under CAM because “we want to make sure this program is open to as many people as possible.”


Corruption Scandals Led to Harry Reid’s Abrupt “Retirement”


MARCH 30, 2015

You’d never know it from the mainstream media puff pieces of Harry Reid’s sudden retirement, but it was a long string of corruption scandals—including a recent one involving his attorney son—that drove the veteran Nevada senator to abruptly leave public office.

For nearly a decade Judicial Watch has investigated and exposed Reid’s involvement in a multitude of transgressions and JW even warned the Senate Ethics Committee, but not surprisingly, no action was ever taken. On multiple occasions the Senate minority leader appeared on JW’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for his role in a number of political scandals that got more serious as his seniority and clout in Congress increased.

As far back as 2006 Reid was in hot water for violating Senate rules by concealing a seven-figure payoff on a suspicious land deal orchestrated by a longtime friend known for political bribery and mob ties. The influential senator secretly collected a $1.1 million profit on land he hadn’t personally owned for years. To hide the deal, Reid transferred ownership, legal liability and tax consequences to a company owned by a former casino lawyer who has been investigated by federal authorities. Months earlier Red got busted for accepting gifts from a state agency trying to influence him. In that scheme the lawmaker quietly took very expensive ringside boxing tickets from the Nevada Athletic Commission while that state agency was trying to influence him on the sport’s federal regulation.

In 2012 Reid made JW’s corrupt politician list because he was embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal involving a Chinese “green energy” client of a Nevada law firm run by his son Rory. The senator was one of the Nevada projects most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on its behalf, according to a mainstream news report. Reid’s son was an attorney at the prominent Las Vegas firm that represented the Chinese Company, ENN Energy Group, and helped it locate a 9,000-acre desert site for well below its appraised value from Clark County.

In 2013 Reid was again named to JW’s most corrupt politician list for taking more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds from a shady donor, Harvey Whittemore, who eventually went to jail. Whittemore hired four of the senator’s sons at a law firm in which he served as senior partner and worked with Reid on huge land deals that required federal legislation. Additionally, Reid sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations with close ties to one of his sons, Key Reid. The legislator also colluded with President Obama to nix a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain Nevada after U.S. taxpayers spent $15 billion on the project.

More recently Reid abused his authority to pressure the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to expedite a $115 million foreign investor visa deal critical to his son’s casino client. Reid got the DHS to override agency procedures to rush through hundreds of visa applications from foreign nationals who helped fund a Las Vegas hotel and casino that hired Rory Reid to provide legal representation for the project, according to a recent news report. The article goes into tremendous detail about the illicit scheme that evidently served as the straw that broke the camel’s back. A few days later Reid said he wouldn’t run for a sixth term in the Senate. His hometown newspaper called it a “surprise announcement.” On his government website, Reid posted a goodbye video saying he did his best though hasn’t been perfect.


U.S. Honors Sen. Who Met With Communists, Rented Brothel, Let Mistress Drown


MARCH 25, 2015

A veteran senator who let his mistress drown in a car he recklessly drove into a pond, rented a brothel for an entire night in Chile and sought meetings with communists is being honored by the Obama administration this month.

Ted Kennedy received his posthumous accolades from the Department of Labor (DOL) with an induction into the agency’s “Hall of Honor.” The recognition is meant to showcase the life-changing contributions that a unique group of people have made on the American way of work, according to the agency. A special panel comprised of the Solicitor of Labor, the Assistant Secretary for Policy and the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management decides who gets honored. Selecting the former Massachusetts senator was an “absolute no-brainer,” according to DOL Secretary Thomas Perez because Kennedy “had a profound impact on so many people.”

More importantly the lawmaker, who died in 2009 from brain cancer, changed the lives of millions of people he never met, the DOL chief said during Kennedy’s induction ceremony this month. They include the workers who needed a raise, the children who needed a first-class education, the seniors seeking retirement with dignity, the immigrants striving for the American Dream, the LGBT Americans seeding equality, the men and women with disabilities demanding their civil rights and so many more. “Senator Kennedy was passionate, principled, progressive and also pragmatic,” Perez said, adding that he “was a man of deep conviction.”

The praise continued as Perez credited the deceased senator with helping truck drivers and teachers get higher wages and pensions via notoriously corrupt labor unions. “Because no one understood better how the labor movement and the power of worker voice have sustained the middle class for generations in America,” Perez said. Then the labor secretary commended Kennedy for his role in passing President Obama’s disastrous healthcare law, which has already robbed taxpayers out of tens of millions of dollars. “He didn’t live to see it enacted, but make no mistake about it: there would be no Affordable Care Act without Senator Edward Kennedy,” Perez proclaimed.

Absent from the festivities, which were attended by the Kennedy family as well as high-profile members of Congress, was the dark side of the senator’s storied life. For instance, in 1969 Kennedy drove his car into a pond in Chappaquiddick, east of Martha’s Vineyard after a night of partying. The senator escaped the accident unscathed while his mistress, 28-year-old Democratic campaign worker Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned in the car. Kennedy had an expired license and had been drinking at the party yet he only got a slap on the hand, a two-month suspended jail sentence. The tragedy at Chappaquiddick became known as the most brilliant cover-up ever achieved in a nation where investigative procedures are well developed. Two decades after the horrific event more light was shed on the cover-up when the foreman of the grand jury that investigated the accident confessed that the panel was pressured by a judge and a prosecutor not to pursue the case. The foreman said the jury was manipulated and blocked from doing its job.

As if that scandal weren’t bad enough, Kennedy also made arrangements to rent a brothel for an entire night and sought meetings with communists and others with left-wing views during a tour of several Latin American countries. At the time Kennedy was Assistant District Attorney of Suffolk County and for decades the records were kept secret by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). After the senator died Judicial Watch sued the FBI for the once-secret documents, which say “While Kennedy was in Santiago he made arrangements to ‘rent’ a brothel for an entire night. Kennedy allegedly invited one of the Embassy chauffeurs to participate in the night’s activities.” He insisted on interviewing “the angry young men” of each country and meeting with a communist in Bogota that had been mentioned in U.S. investigations of Soviet spy rings.


Obama Amnesty to Cost $484 Mil, Expand Workforce by 3,100 in New Compound


MARCH 04, 2015

The U.S. government will spend nearly half a billion dollars, expand its workforce by 3,100 and open a 280,000-square-foot compound in Virginia to carry out President Obama’s amnesty order, according to detailed government figures provided to Judicial Watch.

The numbers are breathtaking and include a $647,590 monthly rent bill for a new facility at 2200 Crystal Drive in Arlington Virginia. It will be the processing headquarters for two Obama amnesty plans—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—that will allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. Last month a federal court in Texas blocked the amnesty order, but records show the administration is ready to pull the trigger if it succeeds in appealing the ruling.

In fact a few weeks ago Judicial Watch reported that, despite the court order, the administration continued working behind the scenes to quickly award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms that can expeditiously process millions of illegal immigrants. A Request for Proposal (RFP) from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that the population of potential requesters for the president’s deferred action will be “approximately four million people” and that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) anticipates the initial filing of “approximately five to six million forms” related to the amnesty order which also covers the illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and lawful residents.

It’s clear in the RFP’s pricing spreadsheets that it’s a huge taking that will cost American taxpayers a chunk of change, but now we have actual figures provided by government sources close to the negotiations. The Crystal City headquarters will get $1.5 million in “renovations/furniture,” $4 million in “telephone/data electronics,” $2.6 million in “workstation/desktop equipment” and $850,000 in “security upgrade,” according to the documents reviewed by JW. Around $3 million will be spent on an immigration processing program known as Computer Linked Adjudication Information Management System (CLAIMS) and $900,000 will go to video teleconference equipment. The annual rent will be $7,771,082, the document shows, and on-site guard services will run over $1 million.

Other expenses include over $1 million for barcode readers and printers, $90,000 for overtime utilities and tens of thousands for things such as employee background checks, drug testing, “instructor travel expenses” to train new hires and basic training books. The projected payroll for fiscal year 2015 alone is $21 million for an initial 1,000 extra federal workers. If the court injunction is lifted, the document says, and the initial planning estimate holds true, USCIS “might ultimately need to increase its total program costs of between $324 and $484 million per year.” That’s based on the assumption that 60% of all individuals who may be considered for DACA or DAPA would elect to file a request, according to the government memo.

Just this week the administration revealed in a federal court advisory that it had already approved and processed about 100,000 amnesty applications before the recent injunction. This mainly applies to so-called “Dreamers,” children brought to the U.S. illegally through no fault of their own. The recent ruling halting the broader amnesty shouldn’t apply to these folks, according to the advisory filed by the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ). “It is defendants’ understanding that the preliminary injunction does not require them to take affirmative steps to alter the status quo as it existed before the court’s order,” the filing reads. “For this reason, defendants do not understand the order to require defendants to take affirmative steps to revoke three-year periods of deferred action and work authorization.”


JW Panel on Obama Lawlessness a CPAC Hit


FEBRUARY 28, 2015

National Harbor Maryland—The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off its final day near Washington D.C. with a celebrated morning session that focused on abuse of power committed by President Obama as Congress sits idly by.

Titled “Reining in a Lawless President: Obamnesty and Other Pen and Phone Affronts,” the session was held in the main ballroom of the annual gathering of conservatives. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton headlined the panel and received widespread applause for declaring that Obama is “undermining the U.S. Constitution,” and that the federal government is off the rails and out of control.

Any member of Congress that funds Obama’s lawlessness is complicit, Fitton assured. Then he posed a rather bewildering question. Why does Judicial Watch have to file 3,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and go to court 200 times to get information involving the president’s many violations and scandals? JW’s most recent work includes exposing Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Benghazi, Obamacare and Mexican border scandals. “Where is Congress?” Fitton asked. “Where is the media?”

In the early afternoon, a small group of rowdy protestors braved the cold to demonstrate against a panel they viewed as unfairly critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It never came close to getting out control or becoming a threat, but it was nevertheless among the more exciting events of the conference. A few years ago a much larger and more raucous crowd gathered to protest the CPAC appearance of former Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate.

Saturday’s controversial session was titled “Putin’s Russia: A New Cold War” and it focused on the Russian dictator’s tyranny. The event was jam packed and should have been held in a larger room because it couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to attend it. Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, headlined the Russia panel and spoke extensively of Putin’s dangerous takeover, which includes power over politics, economics and the military. “The media is totally controlled,” Fiorina said, adding that there is “no voice of dissention.”

Next door, in another small room with an equally large overflow crowd, a professor from a large public university in Florida warned of the growing threat of terrorism, even as our commander-in-chief denies it. “Al Qaeda is doubling, tripling and quadrupling,” said the published academic, Walid Phares, a global terrorism expert of Lebanese descent. “The extent of jihadi activity in the Middle East is a worldwide problem.” Phares has served as an adviser to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. The growing threat of terrorism was also addressed in another afternoon session, “America’s Security in the Age of Jihad,” conducted in the main ballroom


 Border Patrol Ordered to Release Drunk Drivers, “Allow Them to Go On Their Way”


FEBRUARY 13, 2015

The Obama administration has ordered federal agents responsible for protecting one of the nation’s busiest and most crime-infested regions near Mexico to stop apprehending drunk drivers, according to an internal government memo that also concedes an officer that elects to detain them is “acting within the course and scope of his employment.”

Obtained by Judicial Watch this week, the notice is titled “Enforcement Options With Alcohol-Impaired Drivers” and directs the 4,000-plus U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson, Arizona sector to “release” individuals under the influence and “allow them to go on their way.” The document acknowledges that this feels counter-intuitive for Border Patrol agents, but eases concerns by answering a hypothetical question for the officers who have sworn to uphold the law: “If you allow this driver to continue down the road and they kill someone, aren’t you liable?” The answer is no, according to the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo. “There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI,” the order says, adding that “therefore there is generally no liability that will attach to the agent or agency for failing to act in this situation.”

The directive offers another scenario—detaining the impaired individual at the request of state or local law enforcement officers (LEO). “There is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual,” the memo says, “but if you do this option can raise potential liability for the agent and the agency.” The document goes on to say that Border Patrol policy is to cooperate with local and state law enforcement officers who alert of suspected violations under state law. That means the agent would be considered to have been acting within the course and scope of his employment while detaining a drunk driver at the request of local law enforcement officers under Arizona law, the document confirms.

The last scenario offered in the recently issued decree has a Border Patrol agent detaining a drunk driver in Arizona without a request from a state or local law enforcement officer. “This option poses the greatest liability for both the agent and the agency,” according to the order. After revealing that private citizens in Arizona can make felony and misdemeanor arrests, it nevertheless prompts Border Patrol agents to stay away from drunk drivers. “Be advised, this option poses the greatest threat to an agent for a civil lawsuit,” the memo warns.

This preposterous order has not been well received by agents, according to Judicial Watch’s sources inside the agency. The Border Patrol Tucson Sector covers 262 miles along the Mexican border and is one of the country’s busiest in both illegal immigrant apprehensions and marijuana seizures, according to the agency website. During fiscal year 2014 the Tucson Sector Border Patrol recorded 87,915 apprehensions that included members of notorious international gangs and felons convicted of serious crimes such homicide, rape and child molestation. Agents also seized 971,180 pounds of marijuana as well as large quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.

As a whole, the Border Patrol is the critical frontline Homeland Security agency charged with preventing terrorists and weapons—including those of mass destruction—from entering the United States. Its primary mission is to protect the nation by reducing the likelihood that dangerous people and capabilities slip into the country through our many ports of entry. It’s beyond belief that the Obama administration has asked the federal officers tasked with this important duty to turn the other way when they encounter a drunk driver.


Tax-Delinquent Govt. Workers Rewarded With Bonus Pay


FEBRUARY 06, 2015

As tax day approaches, here’s an enraging story; so many federal workers—especially at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)—blow off paying taxes that legislation has been crafted to ban the offenders from receiving millions of dollars in bonus pay, which of course comes from public funds.

Federal employees were delinquent on $3.4 billion in taxes, according to a federal audit released last year yet Uncle Sam rewarded the violators with millions in bonus pay. At the IRS alone, staff members with violations received close to $3 million in awards on top of their regular salary. Some got the extra cash despite being cited for using drugs, making violent threats, fraudulently claiming unemployment benefits and misusing government credit cards, reveals the U.S. Senator, Pat Roberts of Kansas, who introduced the new law to stop the madness.

“This cannot be tolerated,” said Roberts, a senior member of the Senate Committee on Finance, in a statement. So the lawmaker recently introduced a measure (Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act) to stop the costly fraud, which has long been the norm in government. The law would require federal employees to be current on their income taxes—like the rest of us—and prevent those who are delinquent in paying federal tax liability from receiving a bonus or cash award. It’s pathetic that this culture is so flagrant that a law must be passed to correct it.  The respective agencies should simply end this corrupt practice on their own.

Although tax-evading IRS employees aren’t the only ones benefitting from this fraud-infested system, the agency is the biggest offender. In fact, the previously cited federal audit, conducted by the IRS Inspector General, reveals that nearly 70% of IRS employees receive some sort of performance reward. This is especially enraging because the agency is perpetually embroiled in scandal, including a huge one uncovered by Judicial Watch; the IRS illegally colluded with other federal agencies to crack down on conservative nonprofit groups during the 2012 election cycle. In the last year JW has obtained droves of IRS records that expose the depth of the disgraceful scandal.

A multitude of other transgressions have also landed the famously inept tax agency in hot water over the years and JW has reported many of them. For instance, the IRS has long allowed prison inmates to fraudulently receive tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds. This atrocity has been well documented for more than a decade by the agency’s watchdog yet it continues. In fact, just a few years ago one of its probes revealed that the number of jailed convicts that swindled the government increased from 18,000 to over 91,000 during a six-year period and refunds skyrocketed from $68 million to $757 million. This hasn’t stopped the IRS from cutting checks to convicted felons.

The agency, which operates under the Treasury Department, has also given illegal immigrants billions of dollars in refunds by allowing them to improperly claim tax credits that they don’t qualify for. It doesn’t end there. A few years ago the IRS granted $33 million in bogus electric car credits to gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles and even a bicycle. The credits, worth up to $7,500 per filer, are part of the Obama administration’s aggressive plan to reward consumers that purchase costly “advanced-technology” vehicles so the IRS just pushed them through without much scrutiny.

While all this has been going on the agency sits idly by when federal lawmakers like veteran Congressman Charles Rangel fail to pay their taxes. When the Harlem Democrat chaired the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee in charge of writing tax policy for the entire nation, he “forgot” to pay taxes on income he received from a rental property in the Dominican Republic and the IRS did nothing. Renowned civil rights activist and one-time presidential candidate Al Sharpton also owed the government around $1.5 million in taxes and penalties a few years ago and nothing happened to him. The IRS also let former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, best known for appearing in an FBI surveillance video smoking crack, slide on paying his taxes for years.


SEC Ignores Federal Law, Lets Marijuana Biz Offer Stocks


JANUARY 30, 2015

The United States government is helping a California-based company perpetrate a crime by letting it offer public stocks in its marijuana business, even though the drug’s cultivation and sale are both illegal under federal law.

As unbelievable as it may seem, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the government agency responsible for enforcing the nation’s securities laws and protecting investors, is permitting a marijuana dealer to register shares. Pot may have been legalized—for medicinal and recreational use—in nearly two dozen states (including the District of Columbia), but it remains illegal under federal law. For a federal agency to approve its official sale is downright insane.

This perplexing news comes from a variety of sources, including a publication, Marijuana Business Daily, that professes to be the No. 1 information resource for the U.S. medical marijuana and retail cannabis industry. In a recent article it celebrates the SEC’s pot endorsement as a magnificent move that “could fuel investor interest in marijuana stocks and encourage dispensaries, cultivation businesses and edibles producers to go public.” These sorts of businesses have refrained from going public, the article points out, in large part because they’re unsure how the SEC would react. Now we know that the feds like the idea.

The cannabis trailblazer is Terra Tech and it’s based in Irvine California. Its vision is to help transform, through innovation, the global population through methods that are both sustainable as well as environmentally friendly. This is language taken straight from its company website. In it Terra Tech also claims to be pioneering the future by integrating the best of the natural world with technology to create sustainable solutions for food production, indoor cultivation, rare and exotic plants and agricultural research and development. It sounds like someone has been smoking something potent.

The SEC rubber stamp indicates that, although marijuana violates federal law, the government isn’t going to prevent investors and businesses from entering the trade, the CEO of Terra Tech said in a local newspaper article. This, in turn, will likely increase the amount of investment capital that will flow into the industry. “This gives them more faith that no one is going to stop the industry’s growth,” the CEO, Derek Peterson, said.  He predicts that weed will be completely legal in America in around 5 to 10 years. “Momentum is building in the industry and that has a way of accelerating progress,” the pot CEO said in a separate publication appropriately called High Times.

Those familiar with the SEC may not be surprised at this latest transgression. The fact is that the agency has long been embroiled in scandal and, like many regulatory government entities, is well known for being inept. Judicial Watch has followed the SEC closely and reported on many of its scandals, including the fact that, although it’s charged with policing the nation’s financial industry, it was preoccupied with pornography while the economy crumbled. The country’s financial system collapsed while employees and high-ranking managers at the SEC regularly spent work hours gawking at pornography web sites on their government computers, according to a 2010 agency inspector general investigation.

A year earlier two enforcement officials at the SEC were investigated by the Justice Department for illegal insider trading. The agency attorneys had access to sensitive information relating to agency probes and drew suspicion with unusually frequent stock trades over a two-year period. In 2012 a former assistant inspector general sued the SEC claiming that he was fired for reporting wrongdoing, including security breaches and misconduct among top officers. Before that the SEC came under fire for wasting nearly $557 million on luxurious office space it will never use and lying to cover up the wrongdoing.


U.S. Honors Murderous, Human Rights-Violating Despot: “Man of Remarkable Character and Courage”


JANUARY 28, 2015

It’s both mind-boggling and disgusting that the United States has created a special competition to honor a foreign, murderous despot renowned for violating human rights, suppressing freedom of speech, publicly lashing adversaries and persecuting women.

This so-called “hero” is also famous for beheading those who commit minor crimes, murdering dissidents and stifling online criticism through intimidation, arrests, prosecutions and long jail sentences. It’s downright obscene that a civilized nation like the U.S. that values human rights and due process would even consider honoring this sort of tyrant. His name is Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, the former king of Saudi Arabia who died this month. President Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, actually referred to the deceased king this week as “a man of remarkable character and courage.”

Human rights groups throughout the world have long blasted Abdullah and made sure to recall his atrocities after he died on January 23 at the age of 90. One well-known international organization, Human Rights Watch, points out that systematic discrimination against women persists in Saudi Arabia and this: “Under Abdullah’s watch, authorities rounded up scores of peaceful dissidents and human rights activists who dared to criticize the government, subjecting them to unfair trials before Saudi Arabia’s terrorism court on vague charges such as ‘sowing discord’ and ‘breaking allegiance with the ruler.’”

A prominent American Muslim organization based in Arizona released a statement saying it “shed no tears for King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,” calling him the head of a “tyrannical, murderous and notoriously repressive government.” The deceased king is responsible for the execution of dissidents, the torture of minorities and the exportation of the most malignant strain of politicized, radicalized Islam the world has known, the announcement further states. Under Abdullah’s reign Saudi Arabia remained a country where bloggers received potentially fatal lashings, writers were jailed for tweets, dissidents are beheaded and the monarchy itself participates in child marriage, according to the group, American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

None of this stopped General Dempsey from creating a preposterous research and essay competition in honor of the dead king. The contest will be hosted by the National Defense University in Washington D.C., which issued a press release promoting the outrageous competition. It quotes General Dempsey saying “this is an important opportunity to honor the memory of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, while also fostering scholarly research on the Arab-Muslin world, and I can think of no better home for such an initiative than NDU.”

In a separate announcement posted on the Pentagon’s website, General Dempsey refers to the king as “a man of remarkable character and courage” and says the essay competition is a “fitting tribute to the life and leadership of the Saudi Arabian monarch.” The general also praises the autocrat for overseeing the “modernization of his country’s military” and points out that the king was a lifetime supporter of his country’s alliance with the United States. So what if he’s a murderous despot with a documented track record of violating human rights, suppressing freedom of speech, publicly lashing adversaries and persecuting women?


Feinstein Shows How “Lowly Paid Lawmakers Leave Office Filthy Rich”


JANUARY 23, 2015

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, vice chairman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, is demonstrating how lowlypaid lawmakers leave office filthy rich, according to a newspaper columnist that writes about the senior Democrat’s most recent scandal.

Like many of Feinstein’s past scandals, this one involves her enormous influence as a veteran federal lawmaker translating into big bucks for her husband, real estate mogul and investment banker Richard Blum. The U.S. Postal Service is selling 56 buildings and Blum’s commercial real estate company, CBRE, stands to make about $1 billion in commissions, the news report says. A few years ago CBRE was selected as the sole real estate agent for the huge deal, most likely with the help of his powerful wife.

Here’s a line from the article, which appears in a New York paper this month: “This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.” It’s not surprising that the mainstream media swallowed the unbelievable denial since Feinstein is the prototype of the liberal politician that seldom receives any real scrutiny. We’ve seen evidence of this in the mainstream media’s ongoing love fest with President Obama.

Judicial Watch has helped pick up the slack and in fact has exposed many of Feinstein’s transgressions over the years, mostly involving abuse of power to enrich her family assets. The atrocities were so rampant that in 2007 the San Francisco lawmaker was forced to resign as chair of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, where she annually supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars. As chair Feinstein supervised her own staff of military construction experts and she lobbied Pentagon officials to support her favorite projects. During her tenure her husband’s companies got billions of dollars in government contracts.

But Feinstein’s ouster from that influential post didn’t stop the cash from flowing to her husband’s various businesses. A few years after getting booted from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, the senator sponsored legislation to route $25 million to a government agency (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—FDIC) that had just awarded one of his firms a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than industry norms. Feinstein wasn’t even a member of the Senate committee that has jurisdiction over the FDIC, which means she shouldn’t have been involved in the matter. Furthermore, the FDIC is supposed to operate with funds from bank insurance payments and not direct federal infusions.

Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, has also been under fire for using “private bills” to keep illegal immigrants in her district from being deported. In fact, Feinstein is the lawmaker who most abuses the unorthodox method to block the deportations of illegal aliens in her northern California district. Private bills are seldom introduced because, unlike public bills, they only benefit specified individuals and are therefore viewed as special treatment susceptible to fraud. Over the years the senator helped a deported family of Egyptians that overstayed their U.S. tourist visa by more than a decade, a Mexican family that lived illegally in her district for 20 years and an Asian couple that that entered the country as tourists and never left. Feinstein also intervened on behalf of Philippine woman who violated deportation orders for two decades and was denied asylum by a federal court.

More recently Feinstein has been embroiled in the CIA enhanced interrogation fiasco. Like many lawmakers she purported to be stunned over the CIA “torture report,” which she made public recently, though Congress knew for years that enhanced interrogation techniques were being used on terrorists and in fact dozens of members were repeatedly briefed on the subject. Nevertheless, Feinstein led the kabuki theater, comparing the CIA methods to those used by torturous regimes during the Cold War and proclaiming that the spy agency provided “extensive inaccurate information” about the program to policymakers. The CIA was “far more brutal” than it represented to Congress, Feinstein asserted.



Conservatives Ask New Congress to End Obama’s Abuse of Power


JANUARY 22, 2015

Demanding action on the rule of law, conservative leaders around the United States have issued a decree ordering the new Republican-led Congress to stop President Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America” and put an end to his abuse of power.

Published this month, the seven-page mandate also calls for an end to the president’s disastrous and hostile takeover of the nation’s health care system and executive amnesty initiatives. “Restore constitutional balance of power among the three branches of government,” it says, and “hold the executive branch accountable for its myriad of abuses of power and its national security failures both foreign and domestic.” The document also asks that the interests of the U.S. and Americans get put first, which has clearly not been the case since Obama moved into the White House.

“The November 2014 election was a repudiation of the complicity of the United States Congress in President Obama’s dramatic and unconstitutional expansion of government,” the document’s introduction reads, before listing several major expectations the American people have of Republicans as this new legislative term begins. Among the most important, the signatories assert, is to fight for the nation’s founding principles of smaller government and constitutional rights.

That includes this stern message to Congress: “Now is the time to use every power at the disposal of the legislative branch to fight for basic Constitutional freedoms and stop the expansion of the federal government.” It proceeds to accuse Congress of being more interested in catering to special interests to retain power and privilege than representing the people and defending liberty. “Americans do not want you to play the enabler as this ideological President determinedly undermines American constitutional principles,” the decree reads.

Here are some of the demands; increase free market alternatives to Obamacare, stop corporate welfare, deny public funds for lawless initiatives like amnesty and provide the military with the means to accomplish its mission. It also asks to halt foreign government bailouts by ending the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $100 billion open line of credit from the U.S. Treasury and to hold accountable those responsible for the failures that led to the deaths of four Americans during the 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi. Here’s another sensible idea mentioned in the decree; promote peace through strength and respect for American foreign policy.

The mandate also touches on other pressing issues like the president’s push to close the military prison in Guantanamo where the world’s most dangerous terrorists—including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM)—are incarcerated. “The president is repopulating the Global Jihad’s leadership by releasing more and more detainees from Guantanamo Bay,” the mandate reads. “Whether these are actual commanders, like the five given back to the Taliban in exchange for an accused deserter, or simply hardened jihadists of great symbolic value to their team, no more should be turned lose.”

Finally, the document, which is signed by former federal prosecutors, renowned authors and military generals, ends with an appendix listing a multitude of examples of Obama’s abuses of power. They include using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target political opponents, amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, investigating journalists in violation of free speech and contravention of Justice Department guidelines, racially discriminatory enforcement of civil rights laws, the refusal to enforce border security laws passed by Congress and misleading congress and the American people by fraudulently claiming the Benghazi massacre was caused by a film.

This sort of public campaign can be quite effective as we’ve seen in the past. A great example is last year’s drive by prominent conservatives—including Judicial Watch—for action and accountability involving the Benghazi terrorist attacks. A heavily publicized letter addressed to House Speaker John Boehner blasted the Republican leader for failing miserably to investigate the attacks and called for the installation of a select committee to get the job done. Shortly afterwards, House leaders released classified files documenting the Obama administration’s lies and cover-up involving Benghazi and a select committee was created.


Oops! U.S. Offers $5 Mil Reward for Al Qaeda Terrorist it Released From Gitmo


DECEMBER 22, 2014

Years after liberating an Al Qaeda operative from the military prison at Guantanamo, the United States government has put him on a global terrorist list and offered a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.

The unbelievable story comes as President Obama frees more and more terrorists—including four to Afghanistan over the weekend— long held in the military compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeastern Cuba. The president’s goal is to close the prison, a campaign promise that dates back to 2008, by relocating the last of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. Still left at the facility are 9/11 masterminds Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi as well as USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Hundreds of Gitmo terrorists have been discharged over the years under a program that started with President George W. Bush and continued full-throttle with this administration. Intelligence report after intelligence report has revealed that many rejoin terrorist missions after leaving the military prison. In fact, Judicial Watch has been reporting this for years. Back in 2010 JW wrote about a report that the Director of National Intelligence gave Congress documenting that 150 former Gitmo detainees were confirmed or suspected of “reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities after transfer.” At least 83 remained at large, according to the document.

Now we learn that the U.S. government is secretly admitting that it erred in at least one case, the release of a Saudi national named Ibrahim al-Rubaysh. In late 2006 the Bush administration repatriated him back home under a Saudi Arabian “rehabilitation” program that supposedly reformed Guantanamo Bay jihadists but instead has served as a training camp for future terrorists. In fact, in 2008 counterterrorism officials confirmed that many of the terrorists who return to “the fight” after being released from U.S. custody actually graduated from the laughable Saudi rehab program, which started under Bush and continued under Obama.

It turns out that al-Rubaysh is the poster child for the Saudi rehab’s failures. He’s a dangerous Al Qaeda operative based in Yemen and now, years after freeing him, the United States wants him captured. This month the State Department coined the “senior leader” of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. “He serves as a senior advisor for AQAP operational planning and is involved in the planning of attacks,” a State Department announcement says. “He has served as a senior AQAP sharia official since 2013, and as a senior AQAP sharia official, al-Rubaysh provides the justification for attacks conducted by AQAP.  In addition, he has made public statements, including one in August 2014 where he called on Muslims to wage war against the United States.”

The U.S. government has also offered a $5 million reward for information that could lead to al-Rubaysh’s capture. The prize is part of a $45 million pot offered by the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program involving eight key AQAP leaders, among them al-Rubaysh. Information on some of al-Rubaysh’s buddies could net informants $10 million, but he’s only worth half that, according to the U.S. government. The bottom line remains; The U.S. had him and let him go. Now it’s offering a chunk of change for his capture. Uncle Sam has paid out over $125 million to more than 80 people who provided actionable information that put terrorists behind bars or prevented acts of international terrorism worldwide. The reward program appears to be the government’s best hope of capturing this terrorist it once held.