Obama Admin – Transparency, Redaction, and Delay…

Editor’s Note – The “Most transparent administration ever” is the mantra of the Obama Administration, and they laud the fact that the White House Visitor List is available – elsewhere, not so…

Ask the Citizens Commission on Benghazi with their myriad requests for information on Benghazi. Ask Karen and Billy Vaughn about ‘Extortion 17’. Ask the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, ask the House Ways and Means Committee.Capture2

Look at all the scandals – all of them still unsolved and/or not concluded from Fast & Furious, to the IRS, from the AP to Fox News reporters, it’s always opaque at best.

The reason is always – NO TRANSPARENCY! All we see is redaction, lies, deflections, demagoguery, distractions, delays, finger pointing, the blame game, the fifth… and then there all those unbelievable statistics on jobs, GNP, the debt, ObamaCare, HHS, wage disparity, etc. – lies, damn lies, and those rascally  statistics.

The most [REDACTED] administration in history

BY GENE HEALY – Washington Examiner

Good news: thanks to a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, the “most transparent administration in history” is going to have to tell American citizens when it believes it’s legally entitled to kill them.

The lawsuit arose out of Freedom of Information Act requests by two New York Times reporters for Office of Legal Counsel memoranda exploring the circumstances under which it would be legal for U.S. personnel to target American citizens. The administration stonewalled, asserting that “the very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such documents is itself classified,” and a federal district judge upheld the refusal in January 2013.

Issa-600A month later, however, someone leaked a Justice Department “white paper” on the subject to NBC News, forcing a re-examination of the question in light of changed circumstances. On Monday, the three-judge panel held “it is no longer either ‘logical’ or ‘plausible’ to maintain that disclosure of the legal analysis in the OLC-DOD Memorandum risks disclosing any aspect” of sensitive sources and methods.

In matters of transparency, the Obama Team can always be counted on to do the right thing — after exhausting all other legal options and being forced into it by the federal courts.

When “peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room” after then-press secretary Robert Gibbs floated the “most transparent administration” line at an April 2010 presser, the administration should have taken the hint. But it’s one soundbite they just can’t quit. Gibbs’ successor Jay Carneyrepeated it just last week, as did the president himself in a Google Hangout last year: “This is the most transparent administration in history …. I can document that this is the case.”

Actually, any number of journalists and open government advocates have documented that it’s not. As the Associated Press reported last month: “More often than ever, the [Obama] administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In the hope-infused afterglow of his first inauguration, President Obama declared, “for a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city,” and ordered his attorney general to issue newly restrictive standards for government use of the “state secrets privilege,” which allows the government to shield national security secrets from civil or criminal discovery. Attorney General Eric Holder pledged that the administration would not “invoke the privilege for the purpose of concealing government wrongdoing or avoiding embarrassment.”GretaVanSustern-RedactedDocs224x199

Easier pledged than done, apparently. Earlier this year, in a case involving a Stanford graduate student erroneously placed on a no-fly list, we learned that the government had cried “state secrets” to cover up a paperwork error. Holder himself assured the court that assertion of the privilege was in keeping with the new policy of openness. When the presiding judge found out the truth, he said: “I feel that I have been had by the government.”

In fact, the Obama administration has driven state secrecy to new levels of absurdity. We’re not even allowed to know who we’re at war with, apparently, because letting that secret slip could cause “serious damage to national security.”

Over the last year, thanks in large part to illegal leaks, we’ve learned that we’re living in a [REDACTED] republic. In the president’s version of “transparency,” the Americans have no right to debate even the most basic public questions — like the legal standards for spying on or killing American citizens — unless, of course, that information leaks, at which point the administration “welcomes” the debate.

Blame Game – Now DHS and FBI over Illegals

Editor’s Note – Maybe we need to read the NAFTA agreement and all the amendments again. Surely there is some paragraph that reveals that the true objective is to keep the borders open and ‘sanctuary cities’ are included in the scheme. The DHS tells us there are 400,000 criminal illegals in prisons across the United States but very few get deported while several that are deported return in short order.

We have lawmakers that are finally asking some hard questions of the DHS with regard to these criminals in our jails and who has ownership of the fingerprints and files. The response is, no, not me, no, not me either. These answers come from both the FBI and the DHS. Too big to fail, is really too big to be successful, and to keep America safe. Illegals of all sorts are making demands of our cities, states, and the Federal government their demands are being met.

There are two pledges that Janet Napolitano has taken, one to the Oath of Office and the other is to keep her law license, it is time we file complaints with the Bar Association on Napolitano, also with Eric Holder, as the FBI reports to him. No license, no job.

Also see Immigration Policy Center here.

FBI, Homeland Security defer to each other on criminal immigrants’ data

By Aliya Sternstein

Nextgov.vom

This story was updated to reflect the fact that Republicans late Friday issued subpoenas for the records they are seeking.

The Homeland Security Department and FBI apparently are at odds over which agency is responsible for the criminal records of illegal immigrants. House Republicans on Friday subpoenaed those records for evidence of possible public safety threats.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R) Texas

Some of the desired data is FBI criminal history information shared with DHS as part of a controversial immigrant fingerprinting program. The Secure Communities program allows law enforcement officials to run bureau prints collected by local police against the Homeland Security’s IDENT biometric database to identify offenders who are in the country illegally, according to department officials.

DHS officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement maintain they only deport the “most dangerous criminal aliens” flagged, such as murderers and rapists. Pro-immigration groups and some Democrats say the program entangles innocents, minor offenders and arrestees whose charges are later dismissed. House Judiciary Committee Republicans, however, say Secure Communities is purposely releasing criminals who become repeat offenders.

The committee’s immigration panel on Wednesday moved, in a 7-4 party line vote, to subpoena a list of illegal and criminal immigrants Homeland Security has declined to extradite. Full committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, accused the department of hiding crimes committed by hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens after DHS officials repeatedly stonewalled his calls for the data back in August. Homeland Security missed a Monday deadline to provide the information.

“The American people have a right to know what crimes these 300,000 illegal immigrants committed after ICE intentionally chose not to detain them,” he said. “It seems that at every single point in the process there is a new delay involving this request . . . The latest is that I have not been given the list supposedly because the FBI must review it.”

DHS officials on Thursday declined to address the question of whether difficulties locating and sorting the information prevented them from responding in time.

“DHS has stated to the committee it would provide the data requested without being compelled by subpoena to do so,” Homeland Security spokesman Matthew Chandler said. “DHS is in the process of gathering the data and will provide it when complete.”

The ranking Democrat of the Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee said Wednesday that the FBI has been reluctant to disclose some of the criminal history data requested.

“I don’t know what information they have, but if the FBI — not known as a leader in privacy protection — has serious concerns, then we should pay attention to that,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said.

FBI is mandated by federal law to share criminal background data with Homeland Security. In an Oct. 24 letter, Nelson Peacock, assistant secretary for the DHS Legislative Affairs Office, explained to Smith that the data in question is first provided by the FBI. “Under the Secure Communities program, the Federal Bureau of Investigation forwards biometric fingerprint submissions from a state or local booking location to ICE,” after which ICE runs the prints against the DHS’ biometric database, IDENT, for matches.

When asked whether technical difficulties or IT privacy policies have complicated efforts to supply the committee with information, FBI officials said they defer to DHS for questions pertaining to Secure Communities.

In response to the assertion that the FBI had just deferred to another agency questions about bureau data shared as part of Secure Communities, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said, “Secure Communities is DHS. FBI maintains criminal history data.”

A House Judiciary aide said Homeland Security officials have the data but have been withholding it from the committee.

DHS officials have told the lawmakers that a match made by DHS and FBI computers does not always correspond to a person who can be extradited at Homeland Security’s discretion. For instance, naturalized citizens or legal residents that turn up in the FBI’s database as criminals are not subject to removal. And several matches may represent only one person, if a criminal alien has been fingerprinted multiple times or arrested for different crimes in the same month.

Between its inception in 2008 and late October, Secure Communities had removed from the United States more than 107,300 convicted immigrants, about 36 percent of whom had been sentenced for murder, rape, child sexual abuse and other aggravated felonies, according to DHS officials.