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Tyranny Advances by Nibbles

By Joy Overbeck

Increasingly, as the concentric circles of perfidy swirl around the White House like filthy water down a drain, there is tyranny. The government we pay for has turned on us, the body politic, as if it were a savage autoimmune disease attacking our most vital tissues. That is, our Constitutional right to express our views as free citizens without the hounds of IRS hell on our heels.

How did it happen? How could this administration think it would get away with persecuting and silencing those who disagree with its march to power? The time-honored template of the dictatorial impulse is no secret. Tyranny always progresses a bite at a time. Caesar cast his eye about the known world, coveted what he saw, and began nibbling away. Nobody stopped him. Hitler sank his teeth into a nation here, a nation there and looked around for reaction. Nobody cared enough to do much about it.

Here, the exploratory nibbles have become extremely ambitious through the past four-plus years until now they’ve escalated to bloody chunks. But there were warnings. Only four months after Obama’s inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security issued a “threat assessment” fingering “rightwing extremism” as a danger to the nation. Remember? This official warning to law enforcement officials says “rightwing extremism in the United States” includes groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority, and “may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as immigration or abortion.”

Because the report also included returning war veterans in its extremist roster, there ensued a flurry of indignation. But nothing happened. Some of these dangerous groups became Tea Parties and Patriot cabals. We now know that not long after this report, the IRS took up the DHS cudgel by systematically oppressing these vicious “militias” via punishing audits and delay or denial of tax-exemption. By harassing perhaps 500 such groups and eliminating much of the opposition in this aggressive and deliberate way, IRS toadies may also have helped Obama win the election.

Meanwhile, as the secretary of Homeland Security was learning she could do just about any lawless thing she liked without fear of reprisal, so was the president. And the attorney general. When the administration banned drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 BP oil spill, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sued, worried it could kill 20,000 more jobs and up to $135 million in wages. The feds fought the lawsuit and lost twice. The Obama government promptly created a new moratorium and redoubled its fight against its citizens.

A judge ruled that the Obama Administration acted in contempt by continuing its ban after the policy was struck down by the courts. And nothing happened. Contempt, the administration learned, is toothless; but government power is a Rottweiler.

And so it was no big deal when in June of 2012 Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting member of a president’s cabinet in American history to be held in contempt of Congress. He had defied a Congressional subpoena to disclose internal communications about the Fast and Furious gun-peddling operation that put guns in the hands of criminal cartels who killed border patrol agent Brian Terry and hundreds of Mexican nationals. Surprise, surprise: Holder’s own Justice Department declined to pursue criminal action, although the vote was an astonishing 255-67 against the AG. Mr. Obama helped Holder thwart the Congress by insisting presidential immunity covered his faithful sidekick. And nobody noticed that Holder is not actually the president.

In the current persecution, victims continue to come forward. Not only Tea Party, but Christian pro-life groups, even Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham’s charities, and Jewish groups aiding Israel’s settlements. Note the recurring theme: all are ordinary citizens opposed to Mr. Obama’s plans for our nation.

The Washington Free Beacon found five pro-Israel charities that were aggressively audited after White House friendlies like the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) accused them of opposing Obama’s 2009 dictate that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu stop settlement across the pre-1967 “Green Line.” The ADC filed legal complaints urging the IRS and the Treasury Department to investigate groups “allegedly raising funds for the development of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.” Audits followed.

Of course there is nothing in the least illegal about what the charities did. But it’s now apparently illegal to disagree with America’s ruler. This is where the fear comes in. The Free Beacon also reports that many of the groups with which they spoke “asked to remain anonymous out of fear of political retaliation…” It would appear the IRS is now itself a domestic terror organization waging war against the enemies of the state: conservatives, Christians and Jews. And the people fear their government.

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for.”

Thomas Jefferson

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An Open Letter to Barack Obama

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“Come and take it” is an American patriotic slogan most notably used in 1778 at Fort Morris in Georgia during the American Revolution, and later in 1835 during the Texas Revolution. The phrase is similar to Molon labe, which is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae.

 

January 11, 2013

Dear President Obama:

Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden have said you are weighing using “executive action” to implement gun registration and licensing beyond even the ban on semi-automatic firearms proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others.

When the National Firearms Act passed in 1934, Congress still understood that it didn’t have the power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to regulate Title II weapons, so it imposed a tax – an exorbitant tax, perhaps, but still a tax. Since then, however, overbroad interpretations of its power to regulate “interstate commerce” have become the norm, and Congress now feels free to legislate gun laws.

IT’S CALLED ‘USURPATION OF POWER,’ MR. PRESIDENT

“usurpation: …the unlawful or violent seizure of a throne, power, etc.” – Webster’s Dictionary

Apparently, however, even congressional usurpation of power is no longer sufficient for you: What you now threaten violates Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution. Since you seem to have forgotten it, here it is:

“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”

Is your usurpation of power by circumventing the legislative process a bid to turn our Republic into an autocracy? What will be your next Executive Order? Will it give you another four – or perhaps forty – years in the White House?

IT’S NOT ABOUT GUNS, IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM

Do you expect the American people to take so lightly this assault on their freedom?

They won’t, Mr. President. Millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens will refuse to comply, and by so doing become criminals. But I suspect you know that, don’t you? Maybe that is exactly what you want because, as George Orwell noted in his book “1984,” government has no control over the law-abiding; it can only control people who violate existing law, such as it may be.

And what happens next, Mr. President? Do S.W.A.T. teams break into the homes of our citizens at night to confiscate arms and arrest offenders? Make no mistake: That is what enforcing this law will require.

And what happens when, inevitably, some resist? Do you honestly believe people will go peacefully into bondage? How many will die as the direct result of your actions?

There is no need to send the Secret Service to my door, Mr. President (although I suspect you might anyway). I am not advocating violence; I am merely saying what others are afraid to.

The real question, Mr. President, is whether you so hunger for power that you are willing to foment what might be the next American Revolution. Will that be your enduring legacy?

At the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidus I, facing demands by the numerically superior Persian army for the Spartans to surrender their arms, responded with what is now expressed as “Molon labe.”

It means, “Come and get them.”

Armatissimi e liberissimi,

F. Paul Valone II
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International

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Lacking Courage, Politicians Not Moving on Fast and Furious Scandal

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A handful of Republicans are pursuing the biggest scandal in American history, but guess what: House Speaker Boehner isn’t one of them, and that puts him on par with Democrats like Jim Costa, who think “Issa and Holder should sit down and work it out.”

West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall wants Holder to turn over the subpoenaed documents but is “not ready to go as far as contempt yet, no. Not yet.”

Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana explained why he thinks Boehner, along with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), are going along to get along.

With the other issues, the economy and everything else, I think they would like to focus on that. I don’t think they’re opposed to going ahead with the contempt citation; it’s just that if we can get the Justice Department to move without having to move it, they would probably prefer that.

Americans would probably “prefer” that career politicians grow a spine and stand up to one of the most corrupt attorneys general in recent history and hold everyone responsible for the murders of innocent people accountable.  Not gonna happen, according to an insider.

From Roll Call:

A GOP aide also warned against a racial backlash if Republicans are seen as unfairly targeting the first black attorney general, who is serving under the first black president. “Especially after Trayvon,” the aide said, referring to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

How about an attorney general targeting Hispanics?  “The term Hispanic, as dominated [sic] by the Office of Management and Budget, is used in the United States for people with origins in Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica.”

Over 300 Mexican citizens have been murdered by weapons trafficked by our own government, with “more to come” according to Holder’s testimony.  Many Mexican-Americans have relatives south of the border.  Where is La Raza?

Bloggers, journalists, and investigators have chronicled this mess from the beginning.  They’ve uncovered evidence leading first to the Department of Justice, then straight to the White House.

How about the three Os?  Ogden, O’Reilly, and Obama.

In March 2009, Former Deputy Attorney-General David Ogden said, “The president has directed us to take action to fight these cartels and Attorney General Eric Holder and I are taking several new and aggressive steps as part of the administration’s comprehensive plan.”

A September 2010 e-mail from ATF Phoenix Special Agent in Charge Bill Newell to White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly showed an “arrow chart reflecting the ultimate destination of firearms we intercepted and/or where the guns ended up.”  The chart shows arrows leading from Arizona to destinations all over Mexico.

In March 2011, on the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Sarah Brady met with Jay Carney to discuss the need for tougher gun control laws.  The president joined them, and Mrs. Brady recalled him saying, “I just want you to know that we are working on it[.] … We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Agent Brian Terry died nine months after Obama’s “under the radar” statement.

Issa has indicated that he will seek a contempt citation if Holder doesn’t turn over the remaining documents by Memorial Day.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I suggest that both Democrats and Republicans read the following words from the Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society.

Of course there are many courageous individuals but they have no determining influence on public life.

Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity and perplexity in their actions and in their statements and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable as well as intellectually and even morally warranted it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice.

And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and weak countries, not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Should one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

Somebody needs to get on with it.  Charge Holder with contempt now.

Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report.

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Is Fast and Furious the Next Watergate?

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by Alan Caruba on May 5th, 2012

When suspects in a crime are interrogated, they often develop memory loss. When the crime is running guns to drug cartels on both sides of the border, the crime involves the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, Brian Terry, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Jaime Zapata, and countless Mexican citizens.

Katie Pavlich has written an extraordinary expose, “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-Up” (Regnery Publishing). She is a veteran agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) who has meticulously documented a story that should result in contempt of Congress action against Attorney General Eric Holder and possibly Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano as well.

It is an appalling story of arrogance, stupidity, and the intimidation of ATF agents who dared to question and expose the operation. It is a story of deception at the highest levels of our government. Both Holder and Napolitano exhibited memory lapses before a congressional committee. Both knew about a federal government authorized gun-running operation to Mexico called “Fast and Furious.”

Pavlich reports that “Fast and Furious was closely followed by Department of Justice officials. On multiple occasions, U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke met with Phoenix ATF Director Bill Newell to discuss the progress of the Fast and Furious operation. ‘There were DOJ attorneys and prosecutors who were involved in this since the beginning, giving advice,” testified ATF Special Agent Peter Forcelli.

As Pavlich details it, “Operation Fast and Furious wasn’t a ‘botched’ program. It was a calculated and lethal decision to purposely place thousands of guns in the hands of ruthless criminals.”

The operation was designed to attack the Second Amendment right of Americans to purchase and bear arms, a right considered so essential to the nation that it followed directly after the First Amendment rights of free speech, freedom of the press, the prohibition of the establishment of a nationally sanctioned religion, and the right of Americans to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

We are in the grip of an administration that would restrain and erase those rights, and which engaged in a reckless and ruthless operation to achieve that goal. It is an administration that is moving toward the confirmation of a United Nations treaty that would override and eliminate the right to own and bear arms.

The facts regarding Holder’s and Napolitano’s testimony are clear:

“Eric Holder was sent five memos, personally addressed to him, in the summer of 2010 that detailed Operation Fast and Furious.” Holder claimed he first knew about the program in February 2011.

“Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has feigned ignorance when questioned about Fast and Furious. She claims she only found out about the program after Brian Terry was murdered.”

“She visited the White House with Eric Holder to visit President Obama just a day before Holder testified on Capitol Hill about Fast and Furious, leaving the reason for her visit blank.”

Pavlich writes, “These are the facts: There are still 1,400 Fast and Furious guns missing and ATF agents are not actively trying to track them down. Ten thousand round of ammunition were sold to cartel-linked straw buyers under the watch of the ATF. Eight hundred of the original 2,500 weapons sold through Fast and Furious have already been linked to criminal activity.”

The program, observers believer, was the deliberate effort to blame the violence in Mexico and in some cases in America on the gun shops, but those shops were intimidated into participating in Fast and Furious out of fear that ATF would take away their licenses.

After questioning ATF and Justice Department witnesses, Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa, R), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a January 31 letter to ATF officials saying, “As you may be aware, obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime. Additionally, denying or interfering with employee’s rights to furnish information to Congress is also against the law.”

On May 3rd Rep. Darrell Issa, (CA) Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent every member of his committee a 64-page draft contempt order against AG Holder, along with a 17-page memo outlining the history of the scandal. Only one attorney general has been found in contempt, Janet Reno in 1975.

Fast and Furious is redolent with memories of the Watergate cover-up.

On March 23, 2011, in a Univison interview, Obama said, “First of all, I did not authorize it” and when further pressed said, “Eric Holder did not authorize it. He’s been very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them in jail.” The facts strongly suggest otherwise insofar as Fast and Furious literally authorized a gunrunning program under the aegis of ATF.

As Pavlich noted, “Many people in ATF saw what was happening and tried to warn the bureau, but the new corrupt and arrogant culture of management had become too powerful and intimidating. Field agents who spoke up were punished for having an opinion and daring to voice it. Whistleblowers had their reputation, careers, and finances shattered.”

This culture of corruption is endemic to the Obama administration and as more and more examples become known it has been in full panic mode to suppress the truth. No matter what the outcome of the testimony of two of its top appointees, the only way to save America is to vote out President Obama in November and ensure that Mitt Romney has a Republican Congress.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

Fast and Furious: Draft Contempt Charges Show Depth of Agency Involvement

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Cartoon by “Chip” Bok

May 6th 2012

A section of the draft of contempt charges against Attorney General Eric Holder is dedicated to explaining how Fast & Furious branches off into different departments within the Department of Justice (DOJ).

While most know about the operation being based in Phoenix, the strategy was actually developed in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) in Washington, DC. The ODAG decided it would be brilliant to concentrate on identifying the members of the trafficking network instead of seizing the firearms right away.

The goal was to capture the big fish of the cartels. The ATF Phoenix Field Office decided to use this strategy in Fast & Furious. But that wasn’t good enough for them and in late January 2010 the office “applied for Fast and Furious to become an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case.” In order to do that the agents had to tell all about their investigative strategy, i.e. gunwalking. It was approved and was given new funding. Also, since it became a prosecutor-led OCDETF Strike Force case, other departments would come in. Those include FBI, DEA, IRS, and ICE under the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona. Fast & Furious came to the attention of ATF headquarters on December 8, 2009. The ATF’s Office of Strategic Information and Intelligence (OSII) told senior personnel about the operation, especially about recoveries of weapons in Mexico. But the more statistics they received, the more concerned they became about the operation.

Deputy ATF Director Billy Hoover called for an exit strategy in March 2010. He received one in May, but we all know it didn’t happen. The office continued to delay the indictments and ATF headquarters never demanded them to arrest the straw purchasers. Operation Wide Receiver, a gun tracking operation during the George W. Bush administration, is often brought up to deflect from Fast & Furious. Most people on the other side want to prosecute that case instead. Well, as it turns out, the DOJ’s Criminal Division sent prosecutors to Arizona to help the US Attorney to prosecute cases, including Wide Receiver. Indeed, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division Lanny Breuer was very interested in the operation. James Trusty, senior official in the Criminal Division’s gang Unit, said Mr. Breuer was very interested in the case and wanted to be briefed on it. A briefing on March 5, 2010, “highlighted the large number of weapons the gun trafficking ring had purchased and discussed recoveries of those weapons in Mexicio.” Steve Martin, Deputy Assistant Director in ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, said everyone knew the guns were being linked to the cartels. However it’s the wiretaps that prove how deeply involved the Criminal Division was with Fast & Furious. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s shock that the DOJ hasn’t handed over the applications to the Committee. After all, the top dogs signed them: Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals Jason Weinstein, Kenneth Blanco, and John Keeney. It’s more than obvious the DOJ can say this was just a local issue. There’s more than enough evidence to prevent them from continuing to brush it off as a rogue field office mistake.

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