Report: IRS deliberately sabotaged customer care in attempt to coerce funding increase

Via The Washington Times:

The IRS “deliberately” cut its customer service this year, making the tax season more painful than it had to be for millions of taxpayers, House Republicans concluded in a new report Wednesday that accused the agency of wasting money on pet projects while hanging up on millions of callers.

Wait times spiked to an average of 34.4 minutes before callers got through, and less than half of all callers ever got that far in the first place, with most calls being rejected by an overloaded system, the House Ways and Means GOP staff said in the new report.

The IRS cut its funding for customer service even as it continued to spend money in areas GOP lawmakers said were questionable at best — including millions of dollars on performance awards paid to most employees.

“Fiscal year 2014 bonus money could have been used to answer 7.2 million additional phone calls,” said Rep. Peter Roskam, Illinois Republican and chairman of the Ways and Means oversight committee.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen bristled at the charges, saying he’s been forced to make the cuts because Congress has reduced his agency’s budget, even as the number of filings has gone up, and as the agency is taking on ever more duties, such as policing Obamacare’s individual mandate.

But he denied that his agency had singled out taxpayers’ customer service for special reductions.

[…]

99% of people placed on Eric Holder’s ‘gun ban’ list are veterans

Via the Conservative Tribune:

In the United States, where the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, you would think the government would limit those not permitted to own a gun to, for example, children, convicted criminals, the mentally challenged or others not deemed to be responsible enough to handle firearms carefully.

On the surface, that appears to be what the Department of Justice is doing when it issues lists of people who are banned from owning firearms.

Recently, however, the DOJ was forced to hand over 64,000 potentially incriminating documents to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. One document was a gun-ban list for those considered “mentally defective.”

So far, so good. But if we learned anything these past six years, we know not to take anything the Obama administration does at face value.

Sure enough, a closer inspection of the mentally defective list revealed that it is almost completely composed of the names of American veterans and their family members.

This, along with recent significant cuts to veterans’ health-care benefits and meals for military personnel, reveals a pattern of actions by Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder that can be characterized as anti-soldier.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is especially angry by the findings. He found that 99.3 percent of the names on the mentally defective list were provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It’s disturbing to think that the men and women who dedicated themselves to defending our freedom and values face undue threats to their fundamental Second Amendment rights from the very agency established to serve them,” Grassley stated.

A further analysis found that the VA reports all individuals to the gun-ban list, even if these individuals have needed something mundane like financial assistance in managing their VA benefits (H/T Mad World News).

How did the VA become responsible for regulating gun ownership? And why are our veterans, who were entrusted to use all kinds of weapons to protect our nation in war, deemed not responsible enough to own firearms on the home front to protect themselves and their families?

Just when we think Obama and Holder could not come up with more absurd decisions and policies, they raise the bar of ridiculousness a little higher.

Prevent our former military personnel from using guns? Unfortunately that’s not a joke. It’s just the Obama administration in action.

If you are flabbergasted by the DOJ banning veterans from owning firearms, please share this article on Facebook and share with others how our government makes such ludicrous policy.

Obama regime granted at least 500,000 Social Security numbers to illegal aliens

Via the Washington Times:

he administration has granted about 541,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants under President Obama’s original 2012 deportation amnesty for Dreamers, officials told Congress in a letter made public Wednesday.

That means almost all of the illegal immigrants approved for the amnesty are being granted work permits and Social Security numbers, opening the door to government benefits ranging from tax credits to driver’s licenses.

Social Security officials, in the April 10 letter to Sens. Jeff Sessions and Ben Sasse, said they don’t keep track of how many illegal immigrants have been denied numbers, and defended their process for granting the ones they have doled out.

“We will not issue an SSN if an individual has insufficient or unacceptable documentation,” Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in the letter. “In addition, we will not issue an SSN if [Homeland Security] is unable to verify the individual’s immigration/work authorization status.”

Social Security numbers are considered one of the gatekeepers for being able to live and work in the U.S., and some experts have said granting them to illegal immigrants makes it easier for them to access rights reserved only for citizens, such as voting.

But the Obama administration has ruled that the illegal immigrants it has approved for its temporary deportation amnesty, known as “deferred action,” are here legally for as long as the program exists, and so they are entitled to work permits and Social Security numbers.

 The IRS has acknowledged that getting a Social Security number entitles illegal immigrants to go back and claim refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit for time they worked illegally — even if they didn’t file returns or pay taxes for those years.

Republican critics of the president’s immigration policy say he’s helping illegal immigrants at the expense of American workers, whose taxes pay for Social Security and other government benefits.

“This grant transfers jobs, wealth and benefits from marginalized U.S. workers directly to illegal workers,” said Stephen Miller, a spokesman for Mr. Sessions. “One of the most dramatic costs of amnesty – whether legislative or imposed through executive diktat – is the opening of our federal Trust Funds to large numbers of lower-income illegal immigrants.”

Mr. Obama’s latest amnesty, announced in November, has been halted by a federal court, so no Social Security numbers have been granted under that policy.

But the first amnesty, announced in June 2012 and covering young adult illegal immigrants known as Dreamers, remains in effect, and had approved nearly 639,000 persons as of the end of 2014.

All of those applying for the amnesty are required to apply for a work permit as well, and almost all are approved for that document, which they can then use to obtain a Social Security number. About 541,000 numbers have been granted, or 85 percent. Still others could be in the pipeline, making the actual approval rate somewhat higher.

Report: ISIS operating with Juarez Cartel along US/Mexico border

Via the Washington Times:

The Islamic State terror group is operating a camp in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, just eight miles from the U.S. border, Judicial Watch reported Tuesday.

Citing sources that include a “Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector,” the conservative watchdog group reported that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is organizing only a few miles from El Paso, Texas, in the Anapra neighborhood of Juárez and in Puerto Palomas.

Judicial Watch sources said that “coyotes” working for the notorious Juarez Cartel are smuggling Islamic State terrorists across the U.S. border between the New Mexico cities of Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, as well as “through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas.”

“These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing,” Judicial Watch reported.

Mexican intelligence sources say the Islamic State intends to exploit the railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

“The sources also say that ISIS has ‘spotters’ located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations,” Judicial Watch reported. “ISIS is conducting reconnaissance of regional universities; the White Sands Missile Range; government facilities in Alamogordo, NM; Ft. Bliss; and the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM.”

ICE released hundreds of illegal aliens convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping in 2014

Via the Washington Times:

The administration is deporting fewer criminal aliens than it did last year, according to new statistics released Tuesday that undercut President Obama’s justification for his new amnesty, which he said was intended to free agents to focus on the most dangerous of criminals by focusing on “felons not families.”

Instead, both arrests and deportations of criminal aliens are down about 30 percent through the first six months of fiscal year 2015, signaling that agents, who have been told to stop focusing on rank-and-file illegal immigrants, have not been able to refocus on criminal illegal immigrants instead.

The data, released by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte at the beginning of a hearing with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana, also showed that the 30,558 criminal aliens ICE knowingly released back into the community in 2014 had amassed nearly 80,000 convictions, including 250 homicides, 186 kidnappings and 373 sexual assaults

“The nonsensical actions of this administration demonstrate its lack of desire to enforce the law even against unlawful aliens convicted of serious crimes,” Mr. Goodlatte said.

Ms. Saldana said she’s required under the laws passed by Congress to grant due process to everyone, and said both court decisions and federal law require her to make judgments about whom to hold.

“Even the Congress contemplated some people would be released,” Ms. Saldana said.

 But she said she’s also taken steps to require senior managers to review the releases in the future, which she said should being consistency and a more thorough review to the process.

“I myself have a concern — are we making the proper decisions?” she said.

According to the statistics, the aliens released by ICE had amassed 13,636 convictions for driving under the influence, 1,589 weapons offenses, 994 aggravated assaults, 56 arsons and 31 smuggling offenses.

The Obama administration has claimed that many of those releases are required by court order stemming from a years-old Supreme Court ruling, Zadvydas v. Davis, that says immigrants can’t be held indefinitely and if their home countries won’t take them back, they must eventually be released.

But the new numbers suggest those released are a small fraction. Of the nearly more than 30,000 criminal aliens released, only 2,457 were cut loose because of considerations stemming from the Zadvydas ruling, the House committee said. And for the serious crimes, only about half the homicide convictions and a third of the kidnapping convictions were Zadvydas-related releases.

Ms. Saldana said federal law instructs her agents to take account of how old the crimes are when deciding whether to continue detaining someone.

ICE also says that even when people are released from detention, they are still being monitored and are supposed to check in, and to return for their court hearings.

Even as she took fire from Republicans for lax enforcement, Ms. Saldana faced criticism from Democrats who said her agents are still doing too much to go after rank-and-file illegal immigrants.

NCIS Report: Evidence Bergdahl Desertion was Premeditated, In Contact w/ Taliban

Via Fox News:

A 2009 NCIS investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s activities while in Afghanistan reveal that there is clear evidence Bergdahl was “going over to the other side with a deliberate plan,” Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday night.

Shaffer, a former military intelligence officer and Fox News contributor, said two senior sources told him that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigation included a forensic review of his computer, which show Bergdahl’s apparent intent to travel to Uzbekistan.

“He was going to go off to Uzbekistan,” Shaffer told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. “He had made contact with local Afghans and wanted to be moved to Uzbekistan and then made contact with the Russians because he wanted to talk to Russian organized crime …

“Clearly he was not all there relating to what he was doing,” Shaffer told O’Reilly. “I think we’re going to see more and more, as this report is made public that there were a number of disconcerting things within Bergdahl.”

A military source also told Fox News there was strong intelligence after Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance indicating he was handed over to the Taliban about 10 days after he left his base, and that the group wanted him. The source, who is familiar with the investigation and efforts to recover Bergdahl, said there was an effort to pick up Bergdahl — and potentially block his crossing into Pakistan — but the intelligence was either bad or old and the effort was not successful.

According to sources, data collection at the time indicated Bergdahl made contact with an Afghan — who spoke limited English and was part of a local construction project — in what appeared to be an effort to lay the groundwork for Bergdahl’s departure.

“He had Afghan contacts and he was actually trying to offer himself up with the Taliban. Both are very severe,” Shaffer added.

A leaked military assessment of the immediate search also reported communications traffic, or LLVI (low-level voice intercepts such as cellphone or walkie talkie), that “an American soldier with a camera is looking for someone who speaks English.” It is not publicly known if that was connected to the Bergdahl situation.

Shaffer said that the NCIS investigation, which included interviews with squad mates as well as Afghans working outside the wire, resulted in Bergdahl being charged with misbehavior toward the enemy.

Officials say Bergdahl, who was charged with desertion in March, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban. He was then released from Taliban control in a prisoner exchange last May for five Taliban commanders.

Fox News reached out to Bergdahl’s lawyer Eugene Fidell but he declined to comment.

Multiple Democrat States Violating Real ID Laws to Pander to Illegal Aliens

Via the Hill:

In Colorado, Oregon, and California, the granting of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens has generated controversy and raised national security concerns that have gone largely unreported.

Colorado: Over two months ago, an ID company, MorphoTrust, erroneously issued 524 standard Colorado driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. Under federal law, driver’s licenses issued to illegal aliens are required to have a marking that indicates they are not to be used for federal purposes, but these did not. MorphoTrust — which produces IDs for 42 states — has been trying to get the licenses back by offering $100 gift cards to those who return them. I was able to confirm through a Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) official that 189 licenses had remained unaccounted for, but the latest update is that 43 licenses are outstanding.

The federal REAL ID Act — which put a number of recommendations from the 9/11 Commission into effect — standardizes state driver’s licenses and seeks to prevent illegal aliens from boarding airplanes, entering government buildings or accessing nuclear power plants. But illegal immigration advocates have pushed some states to offer special driver’s licenses just for illegal aliens that are not REAL ID compliant. The movement is part of the effort to blur the distinction between law-abiding residents and foreigners who believe they are above the law.

The Colorado DMV tells me that they have gone door to door as part of the retrieval effort, which is commendable, but the question of what happens if all cards cannot be located looms large. Some have argued the error might allow the recipients to register to vote and/or get additional licenses in other states. If people wishing to do harm to Americans have any of these licenses, they are not going to give them up willingly.

Oregon: After Oregon legislators moved forward with a plan to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, a group opposed to the proposal gathered enough signatures to put the issue up to a public vote. Polling suggests that nearly two-thirds of Oregon voters oppose the plan. This, despite the fact that supporters have spent over 11 times as much money as opponents.

A big controversy erupted when the fact-checking group PolitiFact decided to look into claims made by radio host Lars Larson that the proposed licenses would allow illegal aliens to board airplanes. PolitiFact determined that Larson is correct after speaking with a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) official. The problem is that language on the ballot actually states that Measure 88 would not allow illegal aliens to board planes. This language was written by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has not posted an explanation or apology on its website (and it remains unclear whether the error was by accident or by design).

The TSA official has not explained exactly why the licenses would allow illegal aliens to board planes, but a couple of factors are likely at play. First, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has repeatedly given compliance deadline extensions to at least 21 states and territories, extensions that were supposed to have expired on Oct. 10, 2014. But states can reapply for the extensions (Massachusetts, Kentucky and Montana recently received extensions). Oregon also had an extension, but it is unclear whether the state has received yet another one. Second, DHS has dragged its feet on enforcing the REAL ID Act and under their current plans, noncompliant IDs will prevent people from boarding airplanes “no sooner than 2016.”

The REAL ID Act law was enacted in 2005 and supposed to take effect in 2008.

It should also be noted that the proposed measure would instruct the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division to accept foreign consular IDs as proof of an illegal alien’s identity. These consular IDs are completely unverifiable by U.S. officials and have been considered a national security threat by the FBI.

California: One open-border group helped create driver’s licenses so dangerous to national security that DHS stopped their design from going forward. The REAL ID Act allows states some freedom in how they differentiate between a regular driver’s license and ones reserved for illegal immigrants that are not valid for federal purposes. Advocates of illegal immigration have been demanding that states make the licenses given to illegal aliens look almost identical to the licenses given to legal residents, even though it makes a security officer’s job more difficult.

California’s plan was to make the driver’s license for illegal aliens look identical, save for one tiny difference: the small, 6-point-font text on the card that reads “DL” (meaning “Driver’s License”) would simply be switched to read “DP” (meaning “Driving Privilege”). The difference is nearly imperceptible as my mock-up illustrates. That California would conclude the interests of illegal aliens are so important that it’s worth increasing the chances the TSA would miss the denotation is troubling. All four passenger jets involved in the 9/11 attack were bound for California and many Californians lost their lives that day.

Just recently, DHS approved a more distinctive version of the driver’s license that reportedly will have the words “FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY” written on the front. Some states orient the IDs vertically, which really helps to differentiate from regular licenses. Pro-illegal immigration groups oppose these measures because they fear illegal aliens will be treated differently than those who are here legally. Of course, illegal aliens are supposed to be treated differently — they’re to be deported in accordance with federal law.

Unfortunately, many activist groups and politicians have concluded that helping illegal aliens hide their lawlessness is more important than preventing another 9/11. Congress should consider tightening up the REAL ID standards. If problems like this continue, it wouldn’t be surprising if voters in many states initiated referenda or legislation aimed at stopping the issuance of driver’s licenses to people in the country illegally.

Hacked emails Reveal Clinton Team was Coordinating Secret Off-the-Books Operations in Libya

Via ProPublica:

his story was co-published with Gawker.

Update, March 27, 6:48 p.m.: This story has been updated to include responses from the FBI and the State Department.

Starting weeks before Islamic militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal supplied intelligence to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered by  a secret network that included a former CIA clandestine service officer, according to hacked emails from Blumenthal’s account.

The emails, which were posted on the internet in 2013, also show that Blumenthal and another close Clinton associate discussed contracting with a retired Army special operations commander to put operatives on the ground near the Libya-Tunisia border while Libya’s civil war raged in 2011.

Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled and kept secret from State Department officials and which only recently was discovered by congressional investigators.

The contents of that account are now being sought by a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has handed over more than 30,000 pages of her emails to the State Department, after unilaterally deciding which ones involved government business; the State Department has so far handed almost 900 pages of those over to the committee. A Clinton spokesman told Gawker and ProPublica (which are collaborating on this story) that she has turned over all the emails Blumenthal sent to Clinton.

The dispatches from Blumenthal to Clinton’s private email address were posted online after Blumenthal’s account was hacked in 2013 by Romanian hacker Marcel-Lehel Lazar, who went by the name Guccifer. Lazar also broke into accounts belonging to George W. Bush’s sister, Colin Powell, and others. He’s now serving a seven-year sentence in his home country and was charged in a U.S. indictment last year.

The contents of the memos, which have recently become the subject of speculation in the right-wing media, raise new questions about how Clinton used her private email account and whether she tapped into an undisclosed back channel for information on Libya’s crisis and other foreign policy matters.

Blumenthal, a New Yorker staff writer in the 1990s, became a top aide to President Bill Clinton and worked closely with Hillary Clinton during the fallout from the Whitewater investigation into the Clinton family.  She tried to hire him when she joined President Obama’s cabinet in 2009, but White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly nixed the idea on the grounds Blumenthal was a divisive figure whose attacks on Obama during the Democratic primary had poisoned his relationship with the new administration.

It’s unclear who tasked Blumenthal, known for his fierce loyalty to the Clintons, with preparing detailed intelligence briefs. It’s also not known who was paying him, or where the operation got its money. The memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources in the Libyan opposition and Western intelligence and security services. Other reports focused on Egypt, Germany, and Turkey.

Indeed, though they were sent under Blumenthal’s name, the reports appear to have been gathered and prepared by Tyler Drumheller, a former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who left the agency in 2005. Since then, he has established a consulting firm called Tyler Drumheller, LLC. He has also been affiliated with a firm called DMC Worldwide, which he co-founded with Washington, D.C., attorney Danny Murray and former general counsel to the U.S. Capitol Police John Caulfield. DMC Worldwide’s now-defunct website describes it at as offering “innovative security and intelligence solutions to global risks in a changing world.”

In one exchange in March 2013, Blumenthal emailed Drumheller, “Thanks. Can you send Libya report.” Drumheller replied, “Here it is, pls do not share it with Cody. I don’t want moin speculating on sources. It is on the Maghreb and Libya.” Cody is Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton family operative—his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott—who was in close contact with Blumenthal. While it’s not entirely clear from the documents, “Moin” may refer to the nickname of Mohamed Mansour El Kikhia, a member of the Kikhia family, a prominent Libyan clan with ties to the Libyan National Transition Council. (An email address in Blumenthal’s address book, which was also leaked, was associated with his Facebook page.)

There’s no indication in Blumenthal’s emails whether Clinton read or replied to them before she left State on February 1, 2013, but he was clearly part of a select group with knowledge of the private clintonemail.com address, which was unknown to the public until

Gawker published it this year. They do suggest that she interacted with Blumenthal using the account after she stepped down. “H: got your message a few days ago,” reads the subject line of one email from Blumenthal to Clinton on February 8, 2013; “H: fyi, will continue to send relevant intel,” reads another.

The memos cover a wide array of subjects in extreme detail, from German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s conversations with her finance minister about French president Francois Hollande–marked “THIS INFORMATION COMES FROM AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE SOURCE”—to the composition of the newly elected South Korean president’s transition team. At least 10 of the memos deal in whole or in part with internal Libyan politics and the government’s fight against militants, including the status of the Libyan oil industry and the prospects for Western companies to participate.

One memo was sent on August 23, 2012, less than three weeks before Islamic militants stormed the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi. It cites “an extremely sensitive source” who highlighted a string of bombings and kidnappings of foreign diplomats and aid workers in Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata, suggesting they were the work of people loyal to late Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi.

While the memo doesn’t rise to the level of a warning about the safety of U.S. diplomats, it portrays a deteriorating security climate. Clinton noted a few days after the Benghazi attack, which left four dead and 10 people injured, that U.S. intelligence officials didn’t have advance knowledge of the threat.

On September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, Blumenthal sent a memo that cited a “sensitive source” saying that the interim Libyan president, Mohammed Yussef el Magariaf, was told by a senior security officer that the assault was inspired by an anti-Muslim video made in the U.S., as well as by allegations from  Magariaf’s political opponents that he had CIA ties.

Blumenthal followed up the next day with an email titled “Re: More Magariaf private reax.” It said Libyan security officials believed an Islamist radical group called the Ansa al Sharia brigade had prepared the attack a month in advance and “took advantage of the cover” provided by the demonstrations against the video.

An October 25, 2012 memo says that Magariaf and the Libyan army chief of staff agree that the “situation in the country is becoming increasingly dangerous and unmanageable” and “far worse” than Western leaders realize.

Blumenthal’s email warnings, of course, followed a year of Libyan hawkishness on the part of Clinton. In February of 2011, she told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that “it is time for Gaddafi to go.” The next month, after having described Russian reluctance over military intervention as “despicable,” Clinton met with rebel leaders in Paris and drummed up support for a no-fly zone while in Cairo. On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council voted to back Libyan rebels against Gaddafi.

It’s this buildup, which Clinton still proudly recalled in her 2014 memoir, that Blumenthal appears to join in on 2011. In addition to the intel memos, his emails also disclose that he and his associates worked to help the Libyan opposition, and even plotted to insert operatives on the ground using a private contractor.

A May 14, 2011 email exchange between Blumenthal and Shearer shows that they were negotiating with Drumheller to contract with someone referred to as “Grange” and “the general” to place send four operatives on a week-long mission to Tunis, Tunisia, and “to the border and back.” Tunisia borders Libya and Algeria.

“Sid, you are doing great work on this,” Drumheller wrote to Blumenthal. “It is going to be around $60,000, coverting r/t business class airfare to Tunis, travel in country to the border and back, and other expenses for 7–10 days for 4 guys.”

After Blumenthal forwarded that note to Shearer, he wrote back questioning the cost of the operation. “Sid, do you think the general has to send four guys. He told us three guys yesterday, a translator and two other guys. I understand the difficulty of the mission and realize that K will be repaid but I am going to need an itemized budget for these guys.”

“The general” and “Grange” appear to refer to David L. Grange, a major general in the Army who ran a secret Pentagon special operations unit before retiring in 1999. Grange subsequently founded Osprey Global Solutions, a consulting firm and government contractor that offers logistics, intelligence, security training, armament sales, and other services. The Osprey Foundation, which is a nonprofit arm of Osprey Global Solutions, is listed as one of the State Department’s “global partners” in a 2014 report from the Office of Global Partnerships.’

Among the documents in the cache released by Lazar is an August 24, 2011, memorandum of understanding between Osprey Global Solutions and the Libyan National Transition Council—the entity that took control in the wake of Qadaffi’s execution—agreeing that Osprey will contract with the NTC to “assist in the resumption of access to its assets and operations in country” and train Libyan forces in intelligence, weaponry, and “rule-of-land warfare.” The document refers to meetings held in Amman, Jordan between representatives of Osprey and a Mohammad Kikhia, who represented the National Transition Council.

Five months later, according to a document in the leak, Grange wrote on Osprey Global letterhead to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro, introducing Osprey as a contractor eager to provide humanitarian and other assistance in Libya. “We are keen to support the people of Libya under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Finance and the Libyan Stock Exchange,” Grange wrote. Shapiro is a longtime Clinton loyalist; he served on her Senate staff as foreign policy advisor.

Another document in the cache, titled “Letter_for_Moin,” is an appeal from Drumheller to then-Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan offering the services of Tyler Drumheller LLC, “to develop a program that will provide discreet confidential information allowing the appropriate entities in Libya to address any regional and international challenges.”

The “K” who was, according to Shearer’s email, to be “repaid” for his role in the Tunisia operation appears to be someone named Khalifa al Sherif, who sent Blumenthal several emails containing up-to-the-minute information on the civil war in Libya, and appears to have been cited as a source in several of the reports.

Contacted by ProPublica and Gawker, Drumheller’s attorney and business partner Danny Murray confirmed that Drumheller “worked” with Blumenthal and was aware of the hacked emails, but declined to comment further.

Shearer said only that “the FBI is involved and told me not to talk. There is a massive investigation of the hack and all the resulting information.” The FBI declined to comment.

Blumenthal, Grange, and Kikhia all did not respond to repeated attempts to reach them. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton had no comment on Blumenthal’s activities with Drumheller.

Whatever Blumenthal, Shearer, Drumheller, and Grange were up to in 2011, 2012, and 2013 on Clinton’s behalf, it appears that she could have used the help: According to State Department personnel directories, in 2011 and 2012—the height of the Libya crisis—State didn’t have a Libyan desk officer, and the entire Near Eastern Magreb Bureau, which which covers Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya, had just two staffers. Today, State has three Libyan desk officers and 11 people in the Near Eastern Magreb Bureau. A State Department official wouldn’t say how many officers were on the desk in 2011, but said there was always “at least one” officer and “sometimes many more, working on Libya.”

Reached for comment, a State Department public affairs official who would only speak on background declined to address questions about Blumenthal’s relationship to Clinton, whether she was aware of the intelligence network, and who if anyone was paying Blumenthal. Asked about the Tunisia-Libya mission, the official replied, “There was a trip with the secretary in October of 2011, but there was also a congressional delegation in April, 2011. There were media reports about both of these at the time.” Neither trip involved travelling via Tunis.

Report: top democrats expedited immigration applications for companies owned by top donors, cronies

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

A legal watchdog group on Thursday asked the Department of Justice to investigate allegations that two senior Democratic officeholders illegally pushed federal officials to reward investors in companies to which they had personal, financial, or political ties.

Investors in those companies eventually received U.S. visas through a federal program despite concerns that they were involved in illegal activities or had tried to hide sources of their income from U.S. immigration officials.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Gov.  Terry McAuliffe (D) of Virginia may have illegally facilitated that process at the expense of less politically connected applicants for the same program, according to Cause of Action, a conservative legal watchdog group.

In a letter to the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, Cause of Action alleges that Reid and McAuliffe used their considerable political clout to expedite consideration of visas for investors in the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino and GreenTech Automotive.

McAuliffe founded GreenTech; he resigned from the company before running for governor. The former’s parent company hired Reid’s son Rory in 2012 to help it obtain government incentives. Its executives donated thousands to Sen. Reid after its Chinese investors obtained U.S. visas.

Cause of Action’s letter comes on the heels of, and relies in large part on, a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general released on Tuesday.

That report revealed additional details about Reid’s and McAuliffe’s communications with Alejandro Mayorkas, then the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the EB-5 visa program, as it is known.

Cause of Action is asking DOJ to investigate potential criminal conduct by Mayorkas in addition to McAulfife and Reid.

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. Spokesmen for Reid and USCIS referred to their previous statements regarding the report when asked for comment.

Career USCIS officials described Mayorkas’ work on GreenTech’s behalf as “politically motivated,” according to the report. The IG found that Mayorkas “created an appearance of favoritism and special access” by pushing for USCIS to expedite its EB-5 applications.

The report also exposed previously unknown details of Reid’s advocacy on behalf of SLS’ EB-5 investor petitions. Reid requested and received regular updates from Mayorkas and other USCIS officials on those petitions and requests to expedite them.

The report suggests that Reid’s advocacy on SLS’ behalf was “substantially beyond what is legally compliant behavior,” according to Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s executive director.

The IG report noted that other applicants for EB-5 visas complained to USCIS that SLS was receiving preferential treatment. One called the process “blatantly unfair” and asked USCIS officials to  “look into who is getting favorable treatment before it becomes an extreme political football.”

Epstein said that such complaints suggest that Reid and McAuliffe advantaged EB-5 applications from SLS and GreenTech at the expense of other applicants, who were forced to wait in line while those companies saw their applications expedited.

“Senator Reid and then-candidate McAuliffe may have sued their political power to … pressure USCIS employees in a way that impeded USCIS functioning as a neutral adjudicator of USCIS visas,” Epstein told reporters during a conference call on Thursday.

Cause of Action is asking the Justice Department to investigate whether there is probable cause to believe that criminal conduct took place.

“Given the individuals involved, the pattern of malfeasance and the importance of public oversight, it is incumbent your division immediately investigate these matters,” the group’s letter said.

If its Public Integrity Section finds reason to believe that legal violations took place, U.S. Attorneys in the relevant states will decide whether to request an indictment.

The U.S. Attorney for the state of Nevada, Daniel Bogden, owes his position to Reid’s advocacy, but Epstein said he hopes the process will be free from the type of meddling that Cause of Action has criticized at USCIS.

“We hope [DOJ officials] are pursuing things based off the facts … and that those kinds of political considerations will not taint the proceedings of a fair investigation.”

Obama Admin Leaks Israeli Nuclear Secrets in Revenge

Via Arutz Sheva:

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel’s nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel’s nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.

The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu’s March 3 address in Congress, in which he warned against the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program and how the deal being formed on that program leaves the Islamic regime with nuclear breakout capabilities.

Another highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel’s sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.

The 386-page report entitled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations” gives a detailed description of how Israel advanced its military technology and developed its nuclear infrastructure and research in the 1970s and 1980s.

Israel is “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level,” reveals the report, stating that in the 1980s Israelis were reaching the ability to create bombs considered a thousand times more powerful than atom bombs.

The revelation marks a first in which the US published in a document a description of how Israel attained hydrogen bombs.

The report also notes research laboratories in Israel “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories,” the key labs in developing America’s nuclear arsenal.

Israel’s nuclear infrastructure is “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories,” it adds.

“As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. was in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960,” the report reveals, noting a time frame just after America tested its first hydrogen bomb.

Institute for Defense Analysis, a federally funded agency operating under the Pentagon, penned the report back in 1987.

Aside from nuclear capabilities, the report revealed Israel at the time had “a totally integrated effort in systems development throughout the nation,” with electronic combat all in one “integrated system, not separated systems for the Army, Navy and Air Force.” It even acknowledged that in some cases, Israeli military technology “is more advanced than in the U.S.”

Declassifying the report comes at a sensitive timing as noted above, and given that the process to have it published was started three years ago, that timing is seen as having been the choice of the American government.

US journalist Grant Smith petitioned to have the report published based on the Freedom of Information Act. Initially the Pentagon took its time answering, leading Smith to sue, and a District Court judge to order the Pentagon to respond to the request.

Smith, who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, reportedly said he thinks this is the first time the US government has officially confirmed that Israel is a nuclear power, a status that Israel has long been widely known to have despite being undeclared.