Added by Margaret on January 4, 2012 - Fighting for Liberty.com
Over 40,000,000 American Christians are influenced by what we call, "Angry Evangelicalism," better known as Christian Zionism. Christian Zionists like John Hagee and Benny Hinn wear a mantle of righteousness but often ignore the teachings of Jesus and invoke their will in the name of Jesus, ignoring declarations of Christ like..."Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth," "Love your neighbor as yourself" and, even "Love your enemy." No wonder so many people dislike and loathe Christians. This 4 minute video provides a snapshot of the problem and illustrates one way to challenge those Christians who, for example, fervently believe that the modern state of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy and are even willing to go to war against a country like Iran to protect Israel. Our question to any person calling himself a follower of Christ is: "Who Would Jesus Bomb?" Be sure to visit the WHTT website: http://whtt.org and podcast site for thought provoking programs: http://whtt.podbean.com/ Just to prove to you that things have not changed much in over a hundred years, watch the video production of Mark Twain's "War Prayer" at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVYIRbmxHpcThe background music for this video is the title track from Rich Siegel's latest album, "The Way To Peace." Rich has held a vigil for We Hold These Truths at a Christian Zionist church in New Jersey (see:http://whtt.org/straitgate/index.php?news=2&id=258 ) and continues to work for freedom and justice for Palestinians in Israel. Check out his website:http://richsiegel.com/
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
by on heUlstermanReport.com
|Laurie Robinson, assistant to |
Attorney General Eric Holder
Laurie Robinson, assistant to Attorney General Eric Holder and responsible for disseminating billions of dollars from Obama stimulus funds, abruptly resigns from the Department of Justice.
As with so many things circling the Obama administration, there is the official announcement of a departing official – and there is the as yet unknown truth behind that departure. Laurie Robinson’s departure was quietly announced on the eve of the Iowa Caucus, with a brief statement from Eric Holdler’s office:
President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act, a decision being defended by some partisan Democrats. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks down specifics in the bill to refute the claims made by the defenders of Obama and the NDAA.
President Barack Obama has signed a controversial defence bill that basically allows the indefinite detention of terror suspects. The U.S. president said he had 'serious reservations' on some provisions regarding the treatment of detainees. But as Marina Portnaya reports, during his time in office, Obama's shown he's not always good to his word.
The promise to scrap his predecessor’s hardliner war-on-terror policies, which helped Barack Obama win presidential election, is apparently off the table. The political reality is that the current administration is doing quite the opposite thing.
Long before he became US president or the winner of a Noble Peace Prize, Barack Obama was a constitutional law professor. During his election campaign he vowed to reverse the abuses and policies of his predecessor George W. Bush.Three years later, many civil rights advocates, who once cheered “yes, we can,” are finding themselves disillusioned.“Not only has the Obama administration blocked torture accountability and refused to investigate and prosecute. He has basically maintained indefinite detention. He has revived military commissions. As well he has expanded targeted killings – they’ve increased under the Obama administration manifold, and he’s even authorized the killing of a US citizen,” explains Maria LaHood from the Center for Constitutional Rights.World-renowned author and scholar Noam Chomsky believes the Obama administration has changed gears and accelerated illegal practices into overdrive.“There is a shift between Bush’s policies and the Obama’s on this. Bush’s policy was to kidnap people, take them to Guantanamo or Bagram or some other torture chamber and try to extract some information from them. Obama’s policy is just to kill them. They’re killing them all over the world. And the Bin Laden assassination was a case point,” he told RT.Another was the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric. President Obama described the man as “the leader of external operations for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.”Apart from those two are hundreds more killed by US UAVs. The number of drone strikes during the first two years under Obama exceeded the total carried out during Bush’s 10 years.“If a President McCain were doing the exact same thing that President Obama is doing, he would have been denounced by a lot of liberals. It’s one of those dangerous moments in the US history. We saw it a bit with Clinton in the 1990s, where a democrat campaigned and pledged to change the country and the world has actually pushed the right-wing agenda further forward than a republican could have if they took the power,” says New York-based journalist and author Jeremy Scahill.As Obama gears up for his re-election campaign, civil liberties groups that believed his words the first time around are now left to judge the commander-in-chief on his actions. Obama signs NDAA defense bill despite 'reservations'
By JULIE PACE
HONOLULU (AP) -- President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging defense bill into law Saturday despite having "serious reservations" about provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.
The bill also applies penalties against Iran's central bank in an effort to hamper Tehran's ability to fund its nuclear enrichment program. The Obama administration is looking to soften the impact of those penalties because of concerns that they could lead to a spike in global oil prices or cause economic hardship on U.S. allies that import petroleum from Iran.
In a statement accompanying his signature, the president chastised some lawmakers for what he contended was their attempts to use the bill to restrict the ability of counterterrorism officials to protect the country.
Administration officials said Obama was only signing the measure because Congress made minimally acceptable changes that no longer challenged the president's terrorism-fighting ability.
"Moving forward, my administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded," Obama said in the signing statement.
Signing statements allow presidents to raise constitutional objections to circumvent Congress' intent. During his campaign for the White House, Obama criticized President George W. Bush's use of signing statements and promised to make his application of the tool more transparent.
Obama's signature caps months of wrangling over how to handle captured terrorist suspects without violating Americans' constitutional rights. The White House initially threatened to veto the legislation but dropped the warning after Congress made last-minute changes.
Among the changes the administration secured was striking a provision that would have eliminated executive branch authority to use civilian courts for trying terrorism cases against foreign nationals.
The new law now requires military custody for any suspect who is a member of al-Qaida or "associated forces" and involved in planning or attempting to carry out an attack on the United States or its coalition partners. The president or a designated subordinate may waive the military custody requirement by certifying to Congress that such a move is in the interest of national security.
The administration also pushed Congress to change a provision that would have denied U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism the right to trial and could have subjected them to indefinite detention. Lawmakers eventually dropped the military custody requirement for U.S. citizens or lawful U.S. residents.
"My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens," Obama said in the signing statement. "Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation."
Despite the changes, officials cited serious concerns that the law will complicate and could harm the investigation of terrorism cases.
For example, FBI Director Robert Mueller has said the measure would inhibit his bureau's ability to persuade suspected terrorists to cooperate immediately and provide critical intelligence. He told Congress it wasn't clear how agents should operate if they arrest someone covered by the military custody requirement but the nearest military facility is hundreds of miles away.
Other officials have said agents and prosecutors should not have to spend their time worrying about citizenship status and whether get a waiver while trying to thwart a terror attack.
The administration also raised concerns about an amendment in the bill that goes after foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank, barring them from opening or maintaining correspondent operations in the United States. It would apply to foreign central banks only for transactions that involve the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products.
Officials worry that the penalties could lead to higher oil prices, damaging the U.S. economic recovery and hurting allies in Europe and Asia that purchase petroleum from Iran.
The penalties do not go into effect for six months. The president can waive them for national security reasons or if the country with jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution has significantly reduced its purchases of Iran oil.
The State Department has said the U.S. was looking at how to put them in place in a way that maximized the pressure on Iran, but meant minimal disruption to the U.S. and its allies.
This week, Iran warned that it may disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz - a vital Persian Gulf waterway. But on Saturday, Tehran seemed to back off that threat when a commander of its Revolutionary Guard said such discussion is a thing of the past and "belongs to five years ago."
Iran also said Saturday that it had proposed a new round of talks on its nuclear program with the U.S. and other world powers. The invitation would come after the U.N. has imposed four rounds of sanctions. Separately, the U.S. and the European Union have imposed their own tough economic and financial penalties.
The $662 billion bill authorizes money for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
The measure also freezes some $700 million in assistance until Pakistan comes up with a strategy to deal with improvised explosive devices.
Obama signed the bill in Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family.
Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC
© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_DEFENSE_BILL?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-31-17-42-05
Congress, Obama Codify Indefinite Detention
by Sheldon Richman, December 27, 2011
In yet another reversal of his professed commitment to the rule of law, President Obama says he will sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which formalizes his authority to imprison terrorism suspects indefinitely without charge or trial.
Where is the “progressive” outrage?
George W. Bush and Obama both claimed that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) empowered them to have the military hold people merely suspected of association with al-Qaeda or related organizations without charge for the duration of the “war on terror.” It didn’t matter if the suspect was a foreigner, a U.S. citizen, or a legal resident. It also didn’t matter if the alleged offense was committed inside or outside the United States. The battlefield encompassed the whole world.
In interpreting the AUMF this way, both administrations went well beyond its language. On its face, the AUMF only authorizes “the President … to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
Clearly the power is restricted to people involved in 9/11 and those who protected them. Yet under novel theories of the executive branch’s constitutional authority, this was turned into a virtual blank check.
The AUMF also makes no reference to indefinite detention or to turning citizens and legal residents over to the military, rather than civilian law enforcement, when they are merely suspected of being involved in a vague class of activities such as “supporting” “associated forces” in the commission of belligerent acts.
Regardless of the absence of the relevant language, both the Bush and Obama administrations claimed these broad powers that make a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights’ Fifth Amendment in particular.
Now these powers have been formally set down on paper. Ironically, the Obama administration hinted at a veto of the bill because it introduced restrictions on its authority. Carrying on the Bush philosophy that under the Constitution the executive branch has virtually unlimited power, Obama objected to any congressional intrusion into its prerogatives, even if only to codify authority already claimed and exercised.
For example, one section requires the executive branch to turn over to the military a person suspected of terrorism. Note that this would even include individuals resisting the American occupation of Afghanistan or the bombing in Sudan or Somalia. It could also include someone who innocently gave money to a charity not knowing it had some connection to an “associated” organization. But the Obama administration did not like being required to do this. Rather, it prefers to have it as an option. In the end, the administration was granted the power to use civilian courts, but only after filing a waiver with Congress.
The section goes on to say that included within the military’s authority is “detention under the law of war without trial until the end of hostilities.” This section, however, exempts Americans citizens captured inside the country.
The next section does apply to American citizens and other legal residents. Although it explicitly says the administration is not required to turn them over to the military, itmay do so if it wishes. Obama successfully opposed a blanket prohibition in this section against the military detention of American citizens.
As one of its defenders, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said of the provision: “The statement of authority to detain does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.” This shouldn’t be surprising: Obama already claims the authority to kill Americans without due process.
Obama’s intention to sign the NDAA tells us exactly where he stands on the Bill of Rights. As Human Rights Watch put it: “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”
The late Chalmers Johnson , the scholar who did so much to chronicle America’s world domination, liked to say that you either abolish the empire or live under it. Is there any doubt he was right?
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine. Visit his blog Free Association at www.sheldonrichman.com. Send him email.
Congress is Signing Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrest Bill..
From Naomi Wolf Published: December 12th, 2011
By MATT APUZZO | AP – Thu, Dec 1, 2011
Top national security lawyers in the Obama administration say U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida.
The lawyers were asked at a national security conference Thursday about the CIA killing of Anwar al-Alwaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida figure. He died in a Sept. 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen.
The government lawyers — CIA counsel Stephen Preston and Pentagon counsel Jeh Johnson — did not directly address the al-Alwaki case. But they said U.S. citizens don't have immunity when they're at war with the United States.
Johnson said only the executive branch, not the courts, are equipped to make decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.
Section 1031 would strip Americans of all constitutional rights if they are declared 'terrorists'
Stand up for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights of the American People! IMPEACH every single Senator who voted FOR the McCain/Levin "U.S. is a Battlefield" bill that gives the military the right to go to the houses of U.S. Citizens and take them without charges or rights to a lawyer or trial for the rest of their lives! The Senators COMMITTED TREASON Directly Against the United States Citizens!
The Constitution cannot continue to be violated by these oathbreakers who swore to uphold it. Every Senator who voted yes should be tried for treason.
Here is a list of 61 anti-American terrorists that should be detained indefinitely.
Ayotte (R-NH) Barrasso (R-WY) Blunt (R-MO) Boozman (R-AR) Brown (R-MA) Burr (R-NC) Casey (D-PA) Chambliss (R-GA) Coats (R-IN) Coburn (R-OK) Cochran (R-MS) Collins (R-ME) Conrad (D-ND) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Crapo (R-ID) DeMint (R-SC) Enzi (R-WY) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Hagan (D-NC) Hatch (R-UT) Heller (R-NV) Hoeven (R-ND) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Inouye (D-HI) Isakson (R-GA) Johanns (R-NE) Johnson (R-WI) Kohl (D-WI) Kyl (R-AZ) Landrieu (D-LA) Lee (R-UT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (ID-CT) Lugar (R-IN) Manchin (D-WV) McCain (R-AZ) McCaskill (D-MO) McConnell (R-KY) Menendez (D-NJ) Moran (R-KS) Nelson (D-NE) Portman (R-OH) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Risch (R-ID) Roberts (R-KS) Rubio (R-FL) Sessions (R-AL) Shaheen (D-NH) Shelby (R-AL) Snowe (R-ME) Stabenow (D-MI) Thune (R-SD) Toomey (R-PA) Vitter (R-LA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wicker (R-MS)
Petition to IMPEACH ALL Senators who Voted for "U.S. is a Battlefield"
Obama sets up clash with Congress over recess banking pickBy Stephen Dinan and Susan Crabtree-The Washington Times - Updated: 1:14 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4, 2011
Breaks Democrats’ own rule from Bush administration
Congressional officials said President Obama used his recess appointment powers Wednesday to name a head for the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a move Republican lawmakers said amounted to an unconstitutional power grab.
The president acted just a day after the Senateheld a session — a move that breaks with at least three different precedents that said the Senatemust be in recess for at least three days. Mr. Obama himself was part of two of those precedents, both during his own time in the Senateand again in 2010 when one of his administration’s top constitutional lawyers made the three-day argument to the Supreme Court.
The appointment in question is former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, whom Mr. Obama tapped to head the CFPB. The board was set up under the new Wall Street regulation bill Democrats powered through in 2010, just before losing their majority in the House.
Using sharp language, congressional Republicans said the Senateconsiders itself still in session for purposes of recess appointments, and said Mr. Obama’s move is a declaration of battle against Congress.
“Although the Senate is not in recess, President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.
GOP House Speaker John A. Boehner called the move “an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department.”
“The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement.
The White House, though, argues Republican senators stonewalled the nominee so long that Mr. Obama had no choice but to circumvent them.
The president is expected to introduce Mr. Cordray during a trip to Ohio Wednesday, and the Associated Press Mr. Obama will call SenateRepublicans’ ongoing blockade of his nomination “inexcusable.”
“I refuse to take ‘No’ for an answer. I’ve said before that I will continue to look for every opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward. But when Congress refuses to act in a way that hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” he will say, according to prepared remarks.
Administration officials told the Associated Press they anticipate the move may be challenged in court.
Mr. Cordray was accompanying the president on a trip to Cleveland, Ohio Wednesday, and briefly spoke to reporters.
He said he would begin work immediately, adding: “We’re going to begin working to expand our program to non-banks, which is an area we haven’t been able to touch until now.”
The Constitution gives the president the power to make appointments when the Senate is not in session and able to confirm them. Traditionally that has been understood to mean when the Senate has adjourned for a recess longer than 10 days, and a Clinton administration legal opinion said a recess must be at least three days.
Mr. Obama’s own top constitutional lawyers affirmed that view in 2010 in another case involving recess appointments. Asked what the standard was for making recess appointments, then-Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices the administration agreed with the three-day rule.
“The recess appointment power can work in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than three days,” Mr. Katyal said.
The three-day rule was also the precedent Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats followed in 2007 and 2008 when they were trying to block then-President George W. Bush from making recess appointments.
“I am keeping the Senate in pro forma to prevent recess appointments until we get this process back on track,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said on Nov. 16, 2007, as he announced his strategy of having the Senate convene twice a week for pro forma sessions.
On Wednesday, though, Mr. Reid said he backed the president’s move.
“I support President Obama’s decision to make sure that in these tough economic times, middle-class families in Nevada and across the country will have the advocate they deserve to fight on their behalf against the reckless practices that denied so many their economic security,” he said.
But by abrogating decades of understanding on the recess appointment power, Mr. Obama threatened to spark a full legislative war withCongress.
“Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch,” Mr. McConnell said.
Red Alert: New Unconstitutional Presidential Power Grab May Be Imminent
Posted · 12 hours ago by Capitol Confidential - BigGovernment.com
Senate Republicans have been holding up the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until changes to the agency’s structure are made to provide oversight and accountability at the agency. But sources from inside the Capitol tell Capitol Confidential that a recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the unconstitutional CFPB could come as early as tomorrow.
“We have been hearing consistently from the Senate offices that the President is considering a recess appointment of Richard Cordray along with a slew of other controversial nominees in the brief period between the two sessions of Congress,” a key Senate source said. “Now we are hearing from Senior Democrat staffers that something big is coming tomorrow [Jan 4].”
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides the president with the power to “fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.” The problem for the president and his liberal allies is that the Senate has not recessed and technically remains in session. However, liberal groups are pressing the White House to invoke the “Roosevelt Option” to stack key government positions with radicals ready to carry out an anti-business, pro-big labor regulatory agenda. The Roosevelt Option is coined from the actions of Teddy Roosevelt who in 1903, in a split-second between two congressional sessions of Congress, made more than 100 recess appointments. In 2012, Congress will need to move from the First Session of this current Congress to the Second Session. Liberals claim the fraction of a second between the sessions is enough to trigger presidential power.
Others are more brazenly calling for the president to invoke presidential powers never before contemplated. Some have even suggested the president declare the Congress in recess, like a tinhorn dictator from a Third World country.
But even invoking the so-called “Roosevelt Option” may not solve the liberals’ conundrum. Sources tell Capitol Confidential that the statute creating the CFPB demands that the director be confirmed by the Senate—not installed via recess appointment—to trigger the agency’s shift from Treasury to the Fed and empower the Director.
But none of the legal or constitutional arguments may matter much. Liberals and the Obama administration appear poised to forge ahead with an outrageous and unconstitutional power grab. And by the time the courts work it out, so much damage will already be done.
So, let’s be clear about what is happening here: The President of the United States is planning to use an obscure precedent to claim that a split second in time empowers him to go around Congress to appoint a director to an agency that has broad unchecked, almost dictatorial powers to regulate business in America with little or no oversight from the peoples’ representatives in Congress.
Such actions by the president would be an open declaration of war on constitutional principles and completely undermine our system of checks and balances. These kinds of power grabs are exactly how Banana Republics are born.
Unprecedented “Recess” Appointment Contradicts Obama Justice DepartmentPosted by Brendan Buck on January 04, 2012
President Obama today made an unprecedented “recess” appointment even though the Senate is not in recess – “a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer,” according to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
It turns out that the action not only contradicts long-standing practice, but also the view of the administration itself. In 2010, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained to the Supreme Court the Obama administration’s view that recess appointments are only permissible when Congress is in recess for more than three days. Here’s the exchange with Chief Justice John Roberts:
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: And the recess appointment power doesn't work why?MR. KATYAL: The -- the recess appointment power can work in -- in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than 3 days. And -- and so, it is potentially available to avert the future crisis that -- that could -- that could take place with respect to the board. If there are no other questions –CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Thank you, counsel.
Speaker Boehner called the appointment an “extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab,” and noted thatthe position “had not been filled for one reason: the agency it heads is bad for jobs and bad for the economy.”Read his full statement here, and read the statement from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) here.