Despite Pledge of Open Government, Obama Prosecuting Whistle-Blowers as Spies

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This from Bloomberg:

Eric Holder, attorney general under President Barack Obama, has prosecuted more government officials for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all his predecessors combined, including law-and-order Republicans John Mitchell, Edwin Meese and John Ashcroft.

The indictments of six individuals under that spy law have drawn criticism from those who say the president’s crackdown chills dissent, curtails a free press and betrays Obama’s initial promise to “usher in a new era of open government.”

“There’s a problem with prosecutions that don’t distinguish between bad people — people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money — and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions,” said Abbe Lowell, attorney for Stephen J. Kim, an intelligence analyst charged under the Act.

Lowell, the Washington defense lawyer who has counted as his clients the likes of Jack Abramoff, the former Washington lobbyist, and political figures including former presidential candidate John Edwards, said the Obama administration is using the Espionage Act “like a club” against government employees accused of leaks.

The prosecutions, which Obama and the Justice Department have defended on national security grounds, mean that government officials who speak to the media can face financial and professional ruin as they spend years fighting for their reputations, and, in some cases, their freedom.

New Directive

The Justice Department said that there are established avenues for government employees to follow if they want to report misdeeds. The agency “does not target whistle-blowers in leak cases or any other cases,” Dean Boyd, a department spokesman, said.

“An individual in authorized possession of classified information has no authority or right to unilaterally determine that it should be made public or otherwise disclose it,” he said.

On Oct. 10, Obama issued a policy directive to executive- branch agencies extending whistle-blower protections to national security and intelligence employees, who weren’t included in the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act that passed the U.S. House last month and awaits Senate approval.

While the directive seeks to protect those workers from retaliation if they report waste, fraud or abuse through official channels, it “doesn’t include media representatives within the universe of people to whom the whistle-blower can make the disclosure,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center of Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program. That still gives Obama the option of pursuing prosecutions of intelligence employees who talk to the press, she said.

‘Important Step’

“The directive is definitely an important step in the right direction, but even if it’s faithfully enforced — and that’s an open question — it may not always be enough,” Goitein said. “A whistle-blower’s report could go to the very people who are responsible for the misconduct.”

‘Chilling Message’

Administration officials are far less forgiving of those who conduct unauthorized contacts with the press.

“They want to destroy you personally,” said Thomas Drake, a senior National Security Agency employee prosecuted in 2010 by Obama’s Justice Department under the Espionage Act. The message to government workers seeking to expose waste, fraud and abuse is “see nothing, say nothing, don’t speak out — otherwise we’ll hammer you,” he said.

Drake faced 10 felony counts in connection to an allegation that he shared with classified information with a reporter. He was linked to a report in the Baltimore Sun about inefficiencies and cost over-runs in an NSA surveillance program that was later abandoned.

The case against Drake collapsed last year before trial after he agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, and the government dropped the more serious charges that could have sent him to jail for 35 years.

The prosecution was meant to “make me an object lesson and to send the most chilling message,” said Drake, who is adamant that he never handed over any classified information. “I was essentially bankrupted, blacklisted and blackballed. I was turned into damaged goods.”

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SEC Says New Financial Regulation Law Exempts it From Public Disclosure

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Well if you don’t think we have an out of control big government, practically a criminal government attempting to cover up anything they’re doing from the public………check this out.

SEC Says New Financial Regulation Law Exempts it From Public Disclosure

So much for transparency.

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

That argument comes despite the President saying that one of the cornerstones of the sweeping new legislation was more transparent financial markets. Indeed, in touting the new law, Obama specifically said it would “increase transparency in financial dealings.”

Fox Business.com

Fixing Climate Change

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Well, here it is in a nutshell…how to pass a tax in secret….

Climate Panel Urges ‘Distance’ From Reporters


By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Andy Revkin reports at Dot Earth that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, faulted in the past for a siege mentality, has urged its participating researchers to “keep a distance from the media” and send any press questions about their group work to supervisors.

BP & Coast Guard bans all media access to spill, boom, cleanup sites and workers

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What was all that talk about ‘transparency’?

BP & Coast Guard bans all media access to spill, boom, cleanup sites and workers

Under threat of a federal felony, National Incident Commander Thad Allen HAS BANNED ALL MEDIA ACCESS to boom operation sites and clean up sites. Allen’s orders effectively bans all media – print, television, radio and Internet bloggers from talking to to any clean-up worker or to even come close to take pictures or videos of booms, clean-up workers, oil soaked birds, dead dolphins, dead marine life, burned and dead endangered sea turtles.

Allen has issued a blanket order that bans anyone from getting close to any spill clean up site, boom site, areas where there are clean up workers or any other oil disaster related area or persons effectively shutting down the first amendment rights of the media. The zone of exclusion is 65 feet. There was rumor that Coast Guard bosses wanted to impose a 300 feet exclusion zone but later relented to a 65 feet no trespass and exclusion zone.

CNN’S ANDERSON COOPER REVEALS FULL MEDIA RESTRICTION AND ACCESS BY COAST GUARD

What are the People of a State to do if the authorities in their State refuse to resist encroachments & usurpations by the federal government?

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Here’s a great article on what we the people  can do about federal usurpation of the Constitution and what James Madison the Father of the Constitution said about it in the Federalist papers. This was written by a friend of mine Publius Huldah a retired Tennessee Constitutional lawyer and a good one I might add.

States’ Remedies


1. In Federalist No. 46 (1st para), James Madison says the ultimate authority over both the State and federal governments resides in the People.  What, then, are the People of a State to do if the authorities in their State refuse to resist encroachments & usurpations by the federal government?

2. Democrats, including Democrat State officials, seem to place party loyalty over the Constitution and their own State. TPN is non-partisan. But it is the Democrats who are destroying our country. What do we do? (1) Learn how to talk to Democrats. (2) Defeat them at all levels in the upcoming elections. (3) Continually petition State officials of both parties to resist unconstitutional federal encroachments. As other States organize to resist such federal encroachments, keep urging your State officials to join in.

3. Federalist No. 46 (7th para) discusses how individual States or several States carry out resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments. If a particular State takes an action which the federal government doesn’t like, but which has the support of the People of that State, the federal government can’t do anything about it unless it is willing to apply some type of pressure.

When several States oppose an unconstitutional encroachment by the federal government, Madison says they have powerful means of opposition:  the disquietude of the people, their repugnance (e.g., baby-killing enshrined into public policy), the Peoples’ refusal to co-operate with the officers of the federal government; the opposition of the State officials; and all those legislative devices State Legislatures can invent to thwart & impede the federal government in its unconstitutional schemes.

So, in para 7, Madison contemplates that not all States will oppose unconstitutional encroachments by the federal government. But he shows that this need not impede the States who do. Such States need not implement in their States the federal government’s lawless usurpations.  Have we forgotten how to just say, “NO! You have no authority under the Constitution to do this, and the Sovereign State of X and the Sovereign People of the State of X won’t permit this.”  If we have taken the Oath to support the Constitution (Art. VI, clause 3), then we are bound by Honor to support it!

4.  Note that Madison doesn’t say the States should file lawsuits in federal court. And WHY would Sovereign States, which formed a federation for the limited purposes enumerated in Art. I, Sec. 8, U.S. Constitution; ask one branch of the federal government (judiciary) to opine on whether a “law” approved by the two other branches (legislative & executive) exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress or encroaches on the reserved powers of the States and the People (10th Amendment)? All three branches of the federal government have been unified against The Constitution, the States, and the People for a very long time. Why do States put themselves in the position of supplicants to a Court which has already shown itself to be contemptuous of the Constitution, and of the States’ and The Peoples’ reserved powers?

Furthermore, the Supreme Court is not even the ultimate authority on the meaning of the Constitution!  Alexander Hamilton said federal judges may be impeached & removed for usurpations (Federalist No. 81, 9th para); the People are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” as against federal judges “embarked in a conspiracy with the legislature”; and the People are to become “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority.”(Federalist No.16, 10th para). Madison (or Hamilton) said that breaches of our Constitution can be corrected by “…the people themselves, who, as the grantors of the commission [The Constitution], can alone declare its true meaning, and enforce its observance” (Federalist No. 49, 3rd Para).

Finally, we already know that obamacare is unconstitutional as outside the scope of the legislative powers granted to Congress in the Constitution!

5.  In para 8, Madison discusses a “general alarm” among the States as to encroachments by the federal government. Here, Madison contemplates concerted “plans of resistance” among the States; and Madison says it may come to a “trial of force” if a crazed federal government doesn’t back down. In para 10, Madison says that the federal government’s “schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the State governments, who will be supported by the people”.

6.  In para 9, Madison discusses the federal government’s initiation of a “trial of force”.         But who would fight for the federal government?  Madison spoke of the regular Army as the force used by the federal government.  But that is the Army of our children and neighbors’ children!  Surely we need not fear them. The federal government does have, here & there, those heroic, noble, and brave men who shoot nursing mothers in the forehead, young boys in the back, and gas & apparently incinerate men, women & children. How many are they?  Then there is Obama’s personal “civilian national security force”?  Has it been established?  Even so, would they be honorable men, or a collection of thugs?  In any event, Madison said, “…it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.”

7. When we quote James Madison on what States may do when the federal government has encroached upon the powers reserved by the States and the People; we quote a high Authority on The Constitution. James Madison is the Father of the Constitution, the author of many of the Federalist Papers, and 4th President of the United States.  States act lawfully when they follow the guidance of James Madison. When the federal government descends into lawlessness & tyranny, The States and The People may protect and preserve their Constitution – as they are already sworn to do.

8. Yes, the ultimate authority resides in The People.  But this does not mean that The People should – or need to – initiate a show of force.  Remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King!  He put on his clerical collar and went out into the streets with others to protest the LAWS which enforced segregation.  They used non-violent civil disobedience:  Black people sat down at “white’s only” lunch counters!  Black people sat in the front of the busses.  They did not initiate force.  The moral superiority of their position could not be denied, and they won.

9.  We have Our sacred Constitution.  The most important concepts for you to learn are these:  (1) Enumerated Powers (2) Why neither the “general welfare”, the “interstate commerce”, nor the “necessary & proper” clauses authorize Congress (or the President or the federal courts) to exceed their enumerated powers (3) The true meaning of the “Rule of Law” and how that differs from the “Rule of Men”; (4) What is “federalism”, and (5) The origin of our Rights and why you must NEVER speak of  “constitutional” rights. My paper on Rights explains the moral superiority of our position. You must learn why our position is morally superior to that of the statists. And you must be prepared to explain it at all times.

May God be merciful and grant us national repentance and a peaceful political resolution.

PubliusHuldah.wordpress.com

Democrats to American Business~Sit Down and Shut Up or Else

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Henry Waxman and Dems say to American businesses…..how dare you say our deficit reducing bill will cost you money. If after this, these businesses back peddle then we’ll know they were threatened behind closed doors. Which will be no surprise, just look at what the CBO did after summoned to Obama’s office….since then all of their reports were favorable for health care. Prior to that they weren’t. Or Dennis Kucinich and Bart Stupak swore they weren’t going to vote for health care, then miraculously they did.

AT&T, Deere CEOs Called by Waxman to Back Up Health-Bill Costs


Representative Henry Waxman called the chief executive officers of AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. to provide evidence to support costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law.

“The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern,” ( yeah I’ll bet about as much concern as to vote this monstrosity in against the public opposition by the majority was a concern to them) Waxman and Stupak, both Democrats, wrote in the letters yesterday. “They also appear to conflict with independent analyses.”

Dallas-based AT&T said in a regulatory filing yesterday it would record $1 billion of costs, the most of any U.S. company so far.

AT&T previously received a tax-free benefit from the government to subsidize health-care costs for retirees. Under the new bill, AT&T will no longer be able to deduct that subsidy.

Tax Burden

“As a result of this legislation, including the additional tax burden, AT&T will be evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health-care benefits offered by the company,” the carrier said in the filing.

New York-based Verizon, the second-largest U.S. phone company, told employees in a note shortly after the law was signed that the tax will make a drug subsidy less valuable to employers like Verizon and so “may have significant implications for both retirees and employers.”

Moline, Illinois-based Deere, the world’s largest maker of farm machinery, said on March 25 that the new health-care law would increase its expenses by $150 million this fiscal year.

Peoria, Illinois-based Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of bulldozers and excavators, expects to record a charge of about $100 million in the first quarter of 2010, reflecting new tax liabilities on retiree drug benefits.

No Charge at GE

General Electric Co., the world’s biggest maker of jet engines, power-plant turbines and locomotives, said today it doesn’t anticipate taking a charge tied to the health-care law. (No surprise here if you know this…..General Electric: Obama’s Halliburton?)

GE, of Fairfield, Connecticut, doesn’t see any “material effect” from the law, spokeswoman Anne Eisele said today.

BusinessWeek.com

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Supreme Court to Strike Down Obamacare

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Well the judge says what many of us and many Constitutional lawyers are saying as well…….many parts of Obamacare will be struck down by the Supreme Court.

Napolitano: Supreme Court to Strike Down Obamacare


President Barack Obama is one of the worst presidents ever in terms of respecting constitutional limitations on government, and the states suing the federal government over healthcare reform “have a pretty strong case” and are likely to prevail, according to author and judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella, Napolitano says the president’s healthcare reforms amount to “commandeering” the state legislatures for federal purposes, which the Supreme Court has forbidden as unconstitutional.

“The Constitution does not authorize the Congress to regulate the state governments,” Napolitano says. “Nevertheless, in this piece of legislation, the Congress has told the state governments that they must modify their regulation of certain areas of healthcare, they must surrender their regulation of other areas of healthcare, and they must spend state taxpayer-generated dollars in a way that the Congress wants it done.

“That’s called commandeering the legislature,” he says. “That’s the Congress taking away the discretion of the legislature with respect to regulation, and spending taxpayer dollars. That’s prohibited in a couple of Supreme Court cases. So on that argument, the attorneys general have a pretty strong case and I think they will prevail.”

Napolitano, author of his just-released “Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History” and a Fox News senior judicial analyst, is the youngest Superior Court judge ever to attain lifetime tenure in the state of New Jersey. He served on the bench from 1987 to 1995.

Napolitano tells Newsmax that the longstanding precedent of state regulation of the healthcare industry makes the new federal regulations that much more problematic.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that in areas of human behavior that are not delegated to the Congress in the Constitution, and that have been traditionally regulated by the states, the Congress can’t simply move in there,” Napolitano says. “And the states for 230 years have had near exclusive regulation over the delivery of healthcare. The states license hospitals. The states license medications. The states license healthcare providers whether they’re doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. The feds have had nothing to do with it.

“The Congress can’t simply wake up one day and decide that it wants to regulate this. I predict that the Supreme Court will invalidate major portions of what the president just signed into law…”

The judge also says he would rate President Obama as one of the worst presidents in terms of obedience to constitutional limitations.

For those who oppose healthcare, the Fox legal expert says, the bad news is that many of the legal challenges to healthcare reform will have to wait until 2014, when the changes become fully operational.

Until then, there would be no legal case that individuals had been actually harmed by the law. Moreover, Napolitano says it takes an average of four years for a case to work its way through the various federal courts the final hearing that’s expected to come before the Supreme Court.

“You’re talking about 2018, which is eight years from now, before it is likely the Supreme Court will hear this,” he says.

Other issues that Napolitano addressed during the wide-ranging interview:

  • He believes American is in danger of becoming “a fascist country,” which he defines as “private ownership, but government control.” He adds, “The government doesn’t have the money to own anything. But it has the force and the threat of violence to control just about anything it wants. That will rapidly expand under President Obama, unless and until the midterm elections give us a midterm correction – which everyone seems to think, and I’m in that group, is about to come our way.
  • Napolitano believes the federal government lacks the legal authority to order citizens to purchase healthcare insurance. The Congress [is] ordering human beings to purchase something that they might not want, might not need, might not be able to afford, and might not want — that’s never happened in our history before,” Napolitano says. “My gut tells me that too is unconstitutional, because the Congress doesn’t have that kind of power under the Constitution.”
  • The sweetheart deals in the healthcare reform bill used that persuaded Democrats to vote for it – the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, Gatorade Exception and others – create “a very unique and tricky constitutional problem” for Democrats, because they treat citizens differently based on which state they live in, running afoul of the Constitution’s equal protection clause according to Napolitano. “So these bennies or bribes, whatever you want, or horse trading as it used to be called, clearly violate equal protection by forcing people in the other states to pay the bills of the states that don’t have to pay what the rest of us do,” Napolitano says.
  • Exempting union members from the so-called “Cadillac tax” on expensive health insurance policies, while imposing that tax on other citizens, is outright discrimination according to Napolitano. “The government cannot draw a bright line, with fidelity to the Constitution and the law, on the one side of which everybody pays, and the other side of which some people pay. It can’t say, ‘Here’s a tax, but we’re only going to apply it to nonunion people. Here’s a tax, and we’re only going to apply it to graduates of Ivy League institutions.’ The Constitution does not permit that type of discrimination.”
  • Politicians from both parties routinely disregard the Constitutional limits imposed on them by the nation’s founding document, Napolitano says. “The problem with the Constitution is not any structural problem,” says Napolitano. “The problem with the constitution is that those who take an oath to uphold it don’t take their oath seriously. For example, just a month ago in interviewing Congressman Jim Clyburn, who’s the No. 3 ranking Democrat in the House, I said to him, Congressman Clyburn, can you tell me where in the Constitution the Congress is authorized to regulate healthcare? He said, ‘Judge, most of what we do down here,’ referring to Washington, ‘is not authorized by the Constitution. Can you tell me where in the Constitution we’re prohibited from regulating healthcare.’ Napolitano says that reflects a misunderstanding of what the Constitution actually is. “He’s turning the Constitution on its head, because Congress is not a general legislature,” he says. “It was not created in order to right every wrong. It exists only to legislate in the 17 specific, discrete, unique areas where the Constitution has given it power. All other areas of human area are reserved for the states.”
  • Napolitano says that members of Congress infringe on Constitutional rights because they fail to recognize its basis. “They reject Jefferson’s argument, in the Declaration of Independence, that our rights come from our Creator, therefore they’re natural rights, therefore they can’t be legislated away,” Napolitano says. “They think they can legislate on any activity, regulate any behavior, tax any person or thing, as long as the politics will let them survive. They’re wrong, and with this healthcare legislation, they may be proven wrong, in a very direct and in-your-face way.”

NewsMax.com

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