Monthly Archives: May 2013
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The criminality and illegitimacy of the federal government continues to grow, this time with the disclosure that a former U.S. attorney intentionally released a document aimed at discrediting a whistleblower in the “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal.
A new report from the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General has confirmed that Dennis Burke, former U.S. attorney for Arizona, leaked a document that was intended to smear John Dodson, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Justice agency which launched the operation that saw thousands of semi-automatic, military-style rifles purchased in the U.S. by straw buyers fall into the hands of Mexican drug gangs.
From the report:
On July 8, 2011, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) received information from an attorney representing John Dodson, a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), concerning the alleged unauthorized disclosure of sensitive ATF information. According to Dodson’s attorney, Dodson had received an e-mail from a Fox News producer asking for comment about excerpts from an internal ATF investigative memorandum that Dodson had drafted and which described a proposed undercover operation for an ATF firearms investigation…
Dodson’s attorney alleged that officials within the DOJ had disclosed the memorandum to retaliate against Dodson for his criticism of the conduct of the firearms trafficking investigation referred to as Operation Fast and Furious. On June 15, 2011, shortly before the alleged unauthorized disclosure, Dodson and other ATF agents had expressed their concerns about Operation Fast and Furious during testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Sorry – it was just a ‘mistake’
The DOJ IG report went on to state that the office launched an investigation shortly after receiving the complaint.
According to details of the investigation, on Aug. 16, 2011, Burke contacted an IG investigative counsel by phone to say he had indeed released the memorandum to the media, adding that the reporter “seemed to be familiar with the contents of the … memorandum before Burke provided it to him,” the report said.
In tracking down the details of the disclosure, investigators solicited sworn statements from 150 of 152 employees who had been identified by the Justice Department as having had access to documents provided to congressional panels looking into the failed operation. Of that figure, the IG’s office singled out five for additional interviews because they had indicated some knowledge of the memorandum’s release.
In its report, the IG concluded that indeed “Burke’s conduct in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to be inappropriate for a Department employee and wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney.”
“We are referring to OPR our finding that Burke violated Department policy in disclosing the Dodson memorandum to a member of the media for a determination of whether Burke’s conduct violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for the state bars in which Burke is a member,” the IG report said.
Burke eventually resigned his position as U.S. Attorney following the incident, in August 2011. He became the first major Justice Department official to leave his or her position in the Fast and Furious scandal.
In interviews with congressional investigators after the fact, Burke said he now views his leaking of the memorandum as a “mistake.”
Besides uncovering Burke’s involvement in leaking the document, the IG investigation also turned up emails between senior Department of Justice officials in which they discussed smearing Dodson.
One of those officials was Tracy Scmaler, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs. She resigned her position at DOJ “after emails uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed that she worked with left wing advocacy group Media Matters for America to smear whistleblowers and members of Congress and the media who sought to investigate DOJ scandals under Attorney General Eric Holder,” Breitbart News reported.
Rule by executive fiat
Obama is being blamed for many of these scandals and, as president and head of the Executive Branch of government, he is certainly culpable.
But only to an extent.
Granted, Obama has worked overtime to expand the power of the presidency, but he inherited an office whose role had already been enlarged far beyond anything the founding fathers envisioned for the Executive Branch. But Congress is culpable as well, for the Legislative Branch has, over the past century, relegated its lawmaking authority to the plethora of federal bureaucracies it has created.
And the president controls them.
Decrying bureaucracy and advocating for smaller government shouldn’t be a political slogan. It should be a demand of every freedom-minded, liberty loving American. That’s because we are no longer being “represented” by our elected leaders, we are being “ruled” by federal agencies.
That is not the “republican form of government” our Constitution guarantees.
LEEVAC Shipyards Jennings LLC, of Jennings, LA, a subsidiary of LEEVAC Shipyards, LLC has signed contracts with Hornbeck Offshore Services, LLC, an affiliate of Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. of Covington, LA for the construction of two STX Marine SV 310 Multi-Purpose Supply Vessels; 302’ x 76’ x 26’, 12,070 BHP diesel electric powered MPSV’s.
“These will be the twenty-third and twenty-fourth vessels to be built by LEEVAC for Hornbeck” says Christian Vaccari, President and CEO of LEEVAC.
The SV 310 is a very complex vessel design with unique characteristics integrated into the design by Hornbeck Offshore to meet a number of subsea inspection, repair and maintenance (IMR) support and heavy lift requirements. The vessels will be outfitted with a 250 ton crane provided by Cargotech, and will be powered by four (4) Caterpillar Model 3516C Tier 3 IMO II Marine variable speed diesel propulsion generator sets rated at 2250 kw each. The propulsion drives and thrusters are being provided by Schottel.
“Hornbeck Offshore is pleased to once again be building at LEEVAC” stated Todd Hornbeck, President and CEO of Hornbeck Offshore. ”The team at LEEVAC has delivered the majority of the new vessels that we have constructed since 1997, and we are confident that when delivered, our HOSMAX 310 MPSV’s will continue the string of additions to the HOS fleet from the LEEVAC yard that have historically enhanced our ability to deliver reliable service to our customers, and solid returns to our shareholders.”
Christian Vaccari, President and CEO of LEEVAC went on to say “Exceeding our customer’s expectations by building quality vessels on time and on budget while maintaining an safe work environment is how we preserve long-term relationships with our customers. I am very pleased to see Hornbeck expand their building program with us. This contract will bring our employment count to over 600 jobs in Southwest Louisiana and extend our backlog into early 2016. LEEVAC is currently building two Z-Tech 2400 Class Escort Tugs for G & H Towing Company, one MMC 879 PSV, two LDS 300 DE PSV’s for Tidewater Marine, and two LDS 270 DE PSV’s for Aries Marine.”
GE Power Conversion is the vendor for the integrated electrical system, power management, vessel control, DP-2 systems, machinery alarms, power and propulsion systems. Marine Interior Systems has been selected for the joiner work and Marine Aluminum will be providing the helideck system rated for a Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. The vessel will be built to ABS, USGC and SOLAS classifications. Additionally, will be ABS Classed with the XA1 Offshore Support Vessel (FFV-1) notation for off ship fire-fighting capabilities and SPS (Special Purpose Ship).
November 5, 2012 By Lee DeCovnick
B.H. Obama has issued 139 executive orders since becoming president. Some are fairly benign; many are deeply troubling, specifically as to the wholesale consolidation of emergency powers into the office of the presidency. The newest executive order is a breathtaking assault on entire sections of Constitution and the rights, freedoms, and liberties of all Americans, carefully hidden within the stultifying and banal language of bureaucratic doublespeak.
On October 26, 2012, eleven days before our national election, with tropical depression Sandy bearing down on thirteen East-Coast states and the Libyan disaster still a smoking morass of obfuscation, cover-ups, and unanswered questions, the White House’s Friday news dump included EO 13629. Titled “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council,” this EO should chill the freedom-loving souls of all Americans.
Not surprisingly, the MSM has not mentioned EO 13629 — not anywhere. No mention in the NY Times, the Washington Post, or on any of the alphabet news and cable networks. The blogosphere, liberal and conservative (except Hannity), has had almost no mention of EO 13629. This EO was purposefully buried by the White House and ignored by the alternative press.
Have I got your attention? Then I’ll invite you to leave American Thinker for a couple of minutes and read the EO for yourself (only 1,232 words), and then return here.
All right, show of hands — who almost fell asleep digging through the tons of gravel to find the nasty gems? Yeah, me too. It takes a very close reading of this EO to understand what is actually going on here.
Let’s first look first at paragraph three:
The National Security Strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships, underscoring that to keep our Nation safe “we must tap the ingenuity outside government through strategic partnerships with the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Such partnerships are critical to U.S. success at home and abroad, and we will support them through enhanced opportunities for engagement, coordination, transparency, and information sharing.” This approach recognizes that, given the complexities and range of challenges, we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States.
A couple of things stand out. The EO quotes “The National Security Strategy,” an Orwellian document released by the White House in May of 2010 that advocates, in so many words, the end of American sovereignty and the ascendancy of a U.N.-based “transnational government.” It’s most famous line includes “We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between Homeland and National Security.”
What to make of the line “… we must institutionalize an all-of-Nation effort to address the evolving threats to the United States”? What an eerie phrase: “all-of-Nation.” A Google search shows that phrase was also used in the “National Strategy For Biosurveillance,” a tyrant’s Christmas wish list, that was a July 2012 White House document, and Presidential Policy Directive 8, a FEMA directive on National Preparedness from March of 2011. Odd and troubling coincidences, to say the least.
Bottom line: the National Security Strategy encourages partnerships with non-governmental organizations, foundations, and community-based organizations. Got it.
So what exactly is the EO plan for these partnerships?
There is established a White House Homeland Security Partnership Council (Council) to foster local partnerships — between the Federal Government and the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, foundations, community-based organizations, and State, local, tribal, and territorial government and law enforcement — to address homeland security challenges.
The actionable clause: “to address homeland security challenges.” We’ll get to the chest-beating 900-pound gorillas in the room in a moment, but two significant items immediately demand our attention.
Did you notice that “homeland security” was not capitalized? It is usually referred to as the “Department of Homeland Security.” The usage in the EO of homeland as noun, but not a proper noun, is not a mistake. Yellow-highlight that line; we will return to it later. Also, the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are not specified as necessarily being of American origin or even of a pro-American outlook. They could also refer to foreign NGOs, as these are prominent progressive political activist groups that are strongly supported by the American-hating Byzantine bureaucracies of the U.N. and EU.
Let’s move on. Membership of this Council is quite specific and requires a surprisingly narrow skill set:
… the Council shall be composed of Federal officials who are from field offices of the executive departments, agencies, and bureaus (agencies) that are members of the Steering Committee established in subsection (c) of this section, and who have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships to address policy priorities.
So Council members must come from the field offices of the executive departments and have demonstrated an ability to develop, sustain, and institutionalize local partnerships. Council members, except those whose agency already deals with security issues, evidently are not required to have a background in security, law enforcement, criminal justice, or the judiciary system; all that is required is an ability to develop and institutionalize partnerships. Is the council carefully recruiting government bureaucrats who can train, mold, and imprint a bureaucratic mindset onto these partners for the Council’s purposes? If not, what is meant by “institutionalize”? And why are the recruited members supposed to be selected from “field offices” rather than the usual Potomac swamps?
Closely reading this EO feels like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, blindfolded. Perhaps that was that the intent.
Let’s go on. Okay, these White House Council members are selected by the Steering Committee. Huh? What Steering Committee?
The Steering Committee shall include a representative at the Deputy agency head level, or that representative’s designee, from the following agencies:
(i) Department of State;
(ii) Department of the Treasury;
(iii) Department of Defense;
(iv) Department of Justice;
(v) Department of the Interior;
(vi) Department of Agriculture;
(vii) Department of Commerce;
(viii) Department of Labor;
(ix) Department of Health and Human Services;
(x) Department of Housing and Urban Development;
(xi) Department of Transportation;
(xii) Department of Energy;
(xiii) Department of Education;
(xiv) Department of Veterans Affairs;
(xv) Department of Homeland Security;
(xvi) Office of the Director of National Intelligence;
(xvii) Environmental Protection Agency;
(xviii) Small Business Administration; and
(xix) Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Notice that this Steering Committee and thus the Council has no congressional or judicial representation — i.e., no representation from the other co-equal branches of government. No constitutional checks and balances. The EO sets no term limits, no overview process, and no restraints on policies, authority, and structures. Is it normal for the government to tightly integrate such group into the structure of government itself? Well, yes — on some social and political issues such as voter registration or global warming, as examples. But this EO goes far beyond the accepted governmental role in integrating such organizations because the purpose of this bastardized conglomeration is homeland and national security, not a typical social or political issue. This EO is simply a blank check to build an executive-branch bureaucracy that actually plans to transform and integrate selected extra-governmental NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations into a robust and unaccountable national security hybrid.
Americans need to be continually vigilant — this EO could swiftly metatasize and do untold damage to our nation and its people. Anyone else think that this EO is flagrantly unconstitutional? It gets worse.
The Council shall be chaired by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism …
That would be John Brennan, a veteran CIA apparatchik, Obama’s loyal terrier, and America’s current “terrorism and drone” czar. Brennan supports reaching out to the “moderate elements” of Hezb’allah and has an exceptionally rocky relationship with the truth and reality in discussing this administration’s Middle East policies.
And more bad news:
At the invitation of the Chair, representatives of agencies not listed in subsection (c) of this section or other executive branch entities may attend and participate in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate.
That is Washington bureaucratese for the Obama czars. So, will the Steering Committee be well-represented with Obama’s hand-picked czars? Why not? No one will be looking.
Finally, what is the stated mission of the Council?
… advise the Chair and Steering Committee members on priorities, challenges, and opportunities for local partnerships to support homeland security priorities, as well as regularly report to the Steering Committee on the Council’s efforts …
And what are the homeland security priorities this Administration seeks to implement? In web searches through some nasty swamps, using homeland with a lowercase h, I stumbled on this site. An answer, not surprisingly, was found in a report from a George Soros-supported foundation, the Center for American Progress. This all but forgotten February 2008 report, “Homeland Security Policy Priorities for the Next Administration and Congress,” includes this “Key Action” item that was pretty interesting.
Create a civilian homeland security corps.
Finally the penny drops.
We recall this quote from Obama’s July 2, 2008 speech:
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
Let’s turn our attention to the pair of 900-pound gorillas sitting in the room, and why they are important.
First, our immediate concern should reflect that this EO’s bastardized security hybrid is hardly unique in modern history. The German Schutzstaffel, the infamous SS, and the Soviet KGB, Committee for State Security, both began as hybrid security organizations. They were deliberately created outside traditional governmental roles, exclusively for the consolidation and implementation of power on behalf of a single individual. We should not forget that Americans and their forefathers have experienced and soundly rejected such authoritarian abuses, such as the Salem witch trials and McCarthyism. But only the naive can believe that such a breakdown could not happen here in 21st-century America.
Second, the list of NGOs, foundations, and community-based organizations ripe for “institutionalization” would likely read like a Democratic who’s-who of hard-left organizations. Is there any doubt that this administration and its czars would seek partnerships with La Raza, ACORN and its renamed offshoots, Move On, PETA, the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, CAIR and other Islamic organizations, the Sierra Club, AFL-CIO, the SEIU, and the AFT and CTA?
As these groups may become institutionalized into a national security hybrid, new orders will come down from the council, and information will flow up to Washington.
The new homeland security corps primary mission would likely become the monitoring and reporting of unacceptable political and social activities — city by city, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block, house by house.
Could this corps become a latter-day Gestapo, heavily armed with cell-phone technology, linked databases, personal tablets, and bio-identification card readers?
We all can read this EO. Some may have different interpretations of what they have read. Considering the well-established trend of B.H. Obama’s cold disregard of constitutional checks and balances, and both the longstanding desire and a short-term need to create a White House framework for a domestic-security apparatus, EO 13629 may be forever linked in history with such infamous documents such as the Wannsee Protocol and the recently revealed files of the Spanish Inquisition.
Cal Dive International, Inc. has been awarded two additional contracts from Pemex Exploración y Producción that are expected to generate combined total revenues of approximately $188 million.
The first contract is for the procurement, installation and commissioning of 47 kilometers of 20 inch subsea pipeline and associated tie-ins to an existing platform. This contract is expected to generate revenues of approximately $129 million and will utilize two of the Company’s vessels as well as a third party vessel. The offshore construction is expected to commence in the third quarter 2013 with a portion of the work expected to be performed during the first quarter 2014.
The second contract is for the procurement, installation and commissioning of nine kilometers of two medium diameter subsea pipelines and associated tie-ins to existing platforms. This contract is expected to generate revenues of approximately $59 million and will utilize a third party vessel and a Company dive support vessel. The offshore construction for this contract is expected to commence in the fourth quarter 2013 and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter 2014. On a combined basis, approximately 50% – 60% of the contracts are expected to be performed during 2013.
Quinn Hébert, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cal Dive, stated, “With the $63 million Pemex contract we announced in March, total contract awards with Pemex this year currently stand at $250 million. These awards increase our total Company backlog to over $400 million, our highest level in five years. We believe these awards demonstrate Pemex’s confidence in Cal Dive as a reliable contractor. These recent contract awards not only secure work for the second half of 2013, but also provide significant visibility for the first half of 2014 when our domestic business is historically slow due to the winter work season. Also, we continue to bid for additional work in Mexico that would mostly benefit our 2014 results.”
Cal Dive International, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a marine contractor that provides an integrated offshore construction solution to its customers, including manned diving, pipelay and pipe burial, platform installation and salvage, and light well intervention services to the offshore oil and natural gas industry on the Gulf of Mexico OCS, Northeastern U.S., Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, West Africa, the Middle East and Europe, with a diversified fleet of surface and saturation dive support vessels and construction barges.