Report: Rescue Team was on the Ground in Benghazi

Via the Washington Times:

Masked from public view, two of the U.S. military’s elite special operations commandos have been awarded medals for bravery for a mission that further undercuts the Obama administration’s original story about the Benghazi tragedy.

For months, administration officials have claimed no special operations forces were dispatched from outside Libya to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012, al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission and CIA annex because none was within range.

The Pentagon, under intense public criticism for not coming to the aid of besieged Americans, published an official timeline in November that carefully danced around the issue.

It said time and distance prevented any commandos outside Libya from reaching a CIA compound under attack. The timeline disclosed that a reinforcement flight 400 miles away in Tripoli contained two “DoD personnel” but did not describe who they were. Later, the official State Department report on Benghazi said they were “two U.S. military personnel” — but provided no other details. It made no mention of special operations forces.

But sources directly familiar with the attack tell The Washington Times that a unit of eight special operators — mostly Delta Force and Green Beret members — were in Tripoli the night of the attack, on a counterterrorism mission that involved capturing weapons and wanted terrorists from the streets and helping train Libyan forces.

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Obama Admin.’s “Record Deportation” Claims are a Lie

Via The National Review:

It is one of the Obama administration’s favorite talking points on immigration: It has been deporting illegal immigrants in record numbers. That bolsters its credentials on enforcement and supports the argument that, now that we’ve gotten tough on the border, it is time to enact comprehensive immigration reform.

But figures recently unearthed by a federal lawsuit in Texas cast serious doubt on the administration’s deportation claims. The number of deportations appears to have declined significantly during the president’s term in office.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, has analyzed a set of largely unpublished official statistics on immigration-enforcement activity over the past five years. Earlier this month, Vaughan testified in court on behalf of a group of U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents who are suing the administration over its use of “prosecutorial discretion” in dictating how immigration law is enforced — or not enforced. The agents are seeking an injunction against a series of policy directives from ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that were designed to regulate the extent to which ICE officers could initiate deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants in their custody.

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In her testimony on April 8, Vaughan noted that, contrary to the administration’s claims, the number of illegal-immigrant removals has dropped 40 percent since June 2011, when ICE director John Morton issued the first of several directives outlining significant changes to the agency’s enforcement policies. “There has been a significant decline in enforcement activity as measured by the number of removals,” Vaughan says.

Deportations specifically of illegal immigrants convicted of a crime — individuals the administration says it has prioritized for removal — are similarly down, almost 40 percent since June 2011, Vaughan found. And that decline has occurred despite a significant increase in the number of illegal immigrants referred to ICE after being arrested for crimes. “There are certainly enough illegal aliens out there, especially enough criminal illegal aliens, that their numbers should be going up, not down,” Vaughan says. “So they appear to be giving a lot of free passes to people who are a public-safety problem, beyond the fact that they are here illegally.”

Removals generated by ICE’s Enforcement and Removals division, which is responsible for interior immigration enforcement, have decreased nearly 50 percent since June 2011. Vaughan says the administration has been inflating its deportation statistics by including a greater number of U.S. Border Patrol cases — illegal immigrants picked up at the border and subsequently referred to ICE — as part of its annual statistics. Border Patrol cases accounted for 56 percent of removals reported in fiscal year 2013, up from 33 percent in 2008. Typically, an individual apprehended at the southern border is simply returned to Mexico without being processed as a deportation by ICE.

Vaughan says this undermines the administration’s claim that pursuing criminal cases is its top priority. This was the primary argument that DHS secretary Janet Napolitano put forward in June 2012, when she issued a directive instructing ICE officers to refrain from initiating deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants who might qualify for “DREAM status” — immigrants who were brought here illegally, are currently enrolled in school or the military, and have not been convicted of a serious crime. “They have been justifying policies by saying it enables them to focus more on criminals,” Vaughan says. “What’s happening is actually the opposite. The majority of resources are going toward supporting Border Patrol activity.”

Internal e-mails uncovered earlier this year show that ICE officials, concerned about the falling numbers of criminal deportations, have directed agents to come up with methods to reverse that trend. “The only performance measure that will count this fiscal year is the criminal-alien removal target,” former assistant director of ICE field operations David Venturella wrote in an e-mail in April 2012 to agents in Atlanta. However, Vaughan said she could find no discernable uptick in criminal deportations that might have resulted from this new emphasis.

Chris Crane, who heads the union representing more than 7,000 ICE agents and officers, tells NRO that he has long been baffled by the administration’s claims of record deportation numbers. “We just don’t see it in our offices,” he says. “Every year we supposedly break the record for deportation, and we can’t figure out what’s going on. We don’t believe these numbers.” Administration officials claim to have deported 409,849 immigrants in fiscal year 2012, up from 392,000 in 2010. Crane argues that stats are being cooked to create a false impression of President Obama’s record on immigration enforcement.

“DHS and ICE are knowingly manipulating arrest and deportation data with the specific intent of misleading the American public with regard to the enforcement of illegal immigration in our country,” he told reporters Thursday at a Capitol Hill press conference. “At an alarming rate, ICE arrest and deportation numbers have plummeted since 2008, clear evidence that interior enforcement has in large part been shut down over the last four years.”

Administration lawyers did not extensively challenge Vaughan’s court testimony, other than to introduce a bar graph, based on ICE statistics, showing that convicted criminals accounted for 55 percent of all deportations in fiscal year 2012. That figure is misleadingly high, Vaughan stresses, because it includes a large number of Border Patrol removals referred to ICE. In some cases that transfer process may have led to double counting, further inflating the total number of removals, she says.

The Senate Gang of Eight has finally produced a bill that would grant immediate legal status to illegal immigrants, in exchange for a plan from DHS to further secure the border and enforce the law. Vaughan is skeptical that it will work, given the administration’s current record of enforcement and its willingness to manipulate its own statistics. “It seems to me foolhardy for Congress to trust that this administration is actually going to implement any new enforcement plans,” she says.

Leaked Document Confirms Obama Admin. Fully Aware of “High” Security Risk of Obamacare Website

Via the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal government memo obtained by The Associated Press shows administration officials were concerned that a lack of testing posed a “high” security risk for President Barack Obama’s new health insurance website.

The Sept. 27 memo to Medicare chief Marylin Tavenner said a website contractor wasn’t able to test all the security controls in one complete version of the system.

Insufficient testing “exposed a level of uncertainty that can be deemed as a high risk,” the memo said.

The memo recommended setting up a security team to address risks, conduct daily tests, and a full security test within two to three months of going live.

At a congressional hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the site’s security certification is temporary, but asserted consumers’ personal information is secure.

Obamacare Replete with Racial Preferences

Via American Thinker:

Though there seem to be no other news organizations covering the topic, it is nonetheless true that ObamaCare includes racial preferences, called “priorities” in the law.  When the first version of ObamaCare appeared in a bill, I wrote about the racial preferences in it here for American Thinker on July 21, 2009.  Now that we have a final version of the law, it is reasonably safe to elaborate how those preferences have evolved.

(All 906 pages of ObamaCare, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, 111th Congress, can be read here.)

Under ObamaCare, if a medical or dental school wants to increase its chances of receiving many different kinds of grants and contracts from the federal government, it should “have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities.”  This is because ObamaCare requires the secretary of health and human services to give priority to the entities that have demonstrated such a record in the awarding of these grants and contracts to medical and dental schools and other entities.

ObamaCare does not state what would qualify as a “record” of such training, so we can expect medical and dental schools and the other entities to do whatever they think they can get away with to train as many “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities” as necessary to have a better “record” in this regard than their competitors.  ObamaCare creates a significant financial incentive for medical and dental schools and other entities to lower admission standards for “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities” if that is what it takes to have the winning “record” of such training.

In Section 5301, ObamaCare states that the HHS secretary:

… may make grants to, or enter into contracts with, … [a] school of medicine or osteopathic medicine … which the Secretary has determined is capable of carrying out such grant or contract —

(A) to plan, develop, operate, or participate in an accredited professional training program, including an accredited residency or internship program in the field of family medicine, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics for medical students, interns, residents, or practicing physicians as defined by the Secretary[.]

ObamaCare then states that the “[s]ecretary may make grants to or enter into contracts with accredited schools of medicine or osteopathic medicine to establish, maintain, or improve … programs that improve clinical teaching and research in” the fields defined  above, or “programs that integrate academic administrative units in” the fields defined above “to enhance interdisciplinary recruitment, training, and faculty development.”

In a subsection entitled “Priorities in Making Awards,” ObamaCare states: “In awarding grants or contracts under” the paragraphs quoted above, “the Secretary shall give priority to qualified applicants that … have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups[.]”

ObamaCare’s race-based “priorities” extend to dental education as well.  Section 5303 of ObamaCare states that the “[s]ecretary may make grants to, or enter into contracts with, a school of dentistry, public or nonprofit private hospital, or a public or private nonprofit entity” for the following purposes:

(A) to plan, develop, and operate, or participate in, an approved professional training program in the field of general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, or public health dentistry for dental students, residents, practicing dentists, dental hygienists, or other approved primary care dental trainees, that emphasizes training for general, pediatric, or public health dentistry;

(B) to provide financial assistance to dental students, residents, practicing dentists, and dental hygiene students who are in need thereof, who are participants in any such program, and who plan to work in the practice of general, pediatric, public heath dentistry, or dental hygiene;

(C) to plan, develop, and operate a program for the training of oral health care providers who plan to teach in general, pediatric, public health dentistry, or dental hygiene;

(D) to provide financial assistance in the form of traineeships and fellowships to dentists who plan to teach or are teaching in general, pediatric, or public health dentistry; …

(F) to meet the costs of projects to establish, maintain, or improve predoctoral and postdoctoral training in primary care programs[.]

In a subsection entitled “Priorities in Making Awards” ObamaCare states: “With respect to training provided for under this section, the Secretary shall give priority in awarding grants or contracts to the following … [q]ualified applicants that have a record of training individuals who are … from underrepresented minorities.”

Apart from the legality of such “priorities” under the U.S. Constitution and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the unfairness to those who are not “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities,” ObamaCare will foster the racial preference or “priority” climate that continues to stigmatize and demean those individuals who receive the preferences or “priorities.”  For example, if you know nothing else about two university students, except that one was probably admitted under a program where intellectual standards were reduced and the student received a preference for being the child of an alumnus, and the other was admitted under more rigorous intellectual standards without receiving any non-merit-based preference, what are you going to think about these two students?  Is the answer any different when the preference is based on race rather than an alumni relationship?

A non-merit-based preference program based on an individual’s physical appearance or surname is no less a “badge of inferiority” than the one condemned in Brown v. Board of Education.  Thanks to ObamaCare’s racial preference or “priority” program, which provides a financial incentive for medical and dental schools to lower admission standards for “individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups” or “from underrepresented minorities,” those individuals at these medical and dental schools and other entities, including those who deserved admission without the racial preference or “priority,” will wear that badge.

“Hold Me Responsible” – Sebelius Throws Herself Under the Bus

Via the Washington Times:

President Obama’s top health official told Congress on Wednesday the rollout of the main Obamacare Website has been “miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans” and apologized for the bugs, becoming the second administration official in as many days to admit fault.

“Hold me accountable for the debacle, I’m responsible,” Health and Human Services Secretary KathleenSebelius told the House Energy and Commerce Committee, after an awkward back and forth that suggested an agency staffer could be accountable for the glitches.

 

CBO: As Many as 20 Million Could Lose Existing Insurance Coverage Because of Obamacare

Via The Hill:

As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report Thursday.

The figure represents the worst-case scenario, CBO says, and the law could just as well increase the number of people with employer-based coverage by 3 million in 2019.

The best estimate, subject to a “tremendous amount of uncertainty,” is that about 3 million to 5 million fewer people will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022.

The new report adds more detail to this week’s update of the law’s coverage provisions, which CBO released Tuesday. Compared to a year ago, the law is now anticipated to cover 2 million fewer people but cost $50 billion less over 10 years, after factoring penalties paid by individuals and businesses that don’t get or provide healthcare coverage.

Republicans immediately pounced after the new numbers came out because they appear to violate Obama’s pledge that people who like their health plans will be able to keep them. Last year, CBO’s best estimate was that only 1 million people would lose employer-sponsored coverage.

“President Obama’s string of empty promises is quickly becoming a disappointing trail of broken promises,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement. “He promised Americans that his overhaul of the health care sector would not jeopardize the health coverage of those who liked what they had. As nonpartisan analysts made clear today, millions of Americans will soon learn the hard way that Washington’s overreach into their health care decisions will result in sharp disruptions to their coverage and their care.”

The White House for its part argues that the latest projections are in line with what the CBO estimated when it scored the bill at the time of passage two years ago.

“Today’s report also does not project major changes in the number of workers who will get coverage through their job,” Jeanne Lambrew, the deputy assistant to the president for health policy, wrote on the White House blog. “At the time of passage CBO projected a change of 3 million people; last year CBO projected 1 million; this year 4 million – out of the roughly 150 million people get insurance through their job today. Other respected independent analysts have concluded that the number of Americans who get their health insurance at work will not change in a significant way.”

Under CBO’s best estimate, 11 million mostly low-wage workers would lose their employer coverage. About 3 million would choose to drop their coverage to go into the new subsidized health exchanges or on Medicaid, while another 9 million would gain employer-sponsored coverage, for a net total of 5 million people losing employer coverage in 2019.

CBO defended its methodology Thursday after Republicans highlighted business surveys that found a bigger number of employers threatening to drop coverage because of the law.

“Some observers have expressed surprise that CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] have not expected a much larger reduction in the number of people receiving employment-based health insurance in light of the expanded availability of subsidized health insurance coverage that will result from the” health law, the report says.

“CBO and JCT’s estimates take account of that expansion, but they also recognize that the legislation leaves in place some financial incentives and also creates new financial incentives for firms to offer and for many people to obtain health insurance coverage through their employers,” the report adds.

Employer surveys, CBO said, “have uncertain value and offer conflicting findings.”

“One piece of evidence that may be relevant is the experience in Massachusetts, where employment-based health insurance coverage appears to have increased since that state’s reforms, which are similar but not identical to those in the [federal health law], were implemented,” the agency said.

BLS: Government Employees Miss 50% More Work Than Private Sector Workers

Via CNS News:

(CNSNews.com) – A government worker is 38 percent more likely to be absent from work for personal reasons or illnesses than a private-sector worker, and government workers miss 50 percent more of their usual work hours as a result of such absences than do private sector workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Each month, the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey collects information from 60,000 households, including information on employment status.  BLS uses this data to publish employment statistics.

The survey is conducted during the week that includes the 19th day of the month and the questions it asks that reference a particular week apply to the week that includes the 12th day of the month.

“When an employed wage and salary worker who usually works 35 hours per week is reported as having worked fewer than 35 hours during the survey reference week (including those with jobs who worked zero hours), a question is asked as to why he or she worked fewer than 35 hours,” explains the BLS. “Workers whose reasons for missing work include their own illness or other personal reasons (such as family responsibilities or transportation problems) are counted as having had an absence. Those who are reported as having worked fewer than 35 hours because of vacation, holiday, labor-management dispute, or bad weather which results in an employer temporarily curtailing business activities are not counted as having an absence.”

In 2012, according to BLS, 4.0 percent of government workers reported being absent from work in the typical reference week compared to 2.9 percent of private-sector workers. Thus, a government worker was 38 percent more likely to be absent than a private-sector worker.

Government workers also missed more of their usual work hours as a result of such absences than did private-sector workers. In 2012, according to BLS, private sector workers missed 1.4 percent of their usual work hours as a result of absences and government workers missed 2.1 percent of their usual work hours becasuse of absences. Thus, government workers missed 50 percent more of their usual work hours as a result of absences than private-sector workers did.

NBC Hacks Redact Article Reporting White House Knew Millions Would Lose Insurance Because of Obamacare

Via The Blaze:

NBC News is claiming that a “publishing glitch” caused its bombshell investigative report on Obamacare to disappear for a period of time. The news outlet has since republished the scathing article, however, a key paragraph was temporarily removed — and no editor’s note explaining why was included.

[READ OUR ORIGINAL REPORT]

The article in question revealed that the Obama administration knew at least three years ago that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their health insurance under Obamacare. But that didn’t stop President Barack Obama and other administration officials from promising the opposite, the report suggests.

At some point Tuesday night, the link to the story started directing readers to a “Error 404″ page:

NBC News Bombshell Obamacare Report Disappears Due to Publishing Glitch

As if the mysterious “glitch” wasn’t strange enough, NBC News — inadvertently or not — later republished the article without the following key paragraph:

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

It was added back in to the article roughly 30 minutes after it was republished, but the discrepancy was again not noted in the article.

The website Weasel Zippers was able to screengrab both versions, before and after the “glitch.”

NBC News Bombshell Obamacare Report Disappears Due to Publishing Glitch

We first noticed the omission after reviewing the “Google cache” version of NBC’s original article and comparing it with the republished version.

 

Obama’s Science Czar is an Advocate of Forced Abortion, Mass Sterilization

Via Zombietime:

Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens.

The tyrannical fantasies of a madman? Or merely the opinions of the person now in control of science policy in the United States? Or both?

These ideas (among many other equally horrifying recommendations) were put forth by John Holdren, whom Barack Obama has recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology — informally known as the United States’ Science Czar. In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:

• Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
• The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
• Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
• People who “contribute to social deterioration” (i.e. undesirables) “can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility” — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
• A transnational “Planetary Regime” should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.

Impossible, you say? That must be an exaggeration or a hoax. No one in their right mind would say such things.

Well, I hate to break the news to you, but it is no hoax, no exaggeration. John Holdren really did say those things, and this report contains the proof. Below you will find photographs, scans, and transcriptions of pages in the book Ecoscience, co-authored in 1977 by John Holdren and his close colleagues Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich. The scans and photos are provided to supply conclusive evidence that the words attributed to Holdren are unaltered and accurately transcribed.

[UPDATE: Make sure to read the new statements issued by the White House and by John Holdren’s office in response to the controversy raised by this essay — you can see them below following the Ecoscience excerpts, or you can jump directly to the statements by clicking here.]

This report was originally inspired by this article in FrontPage magazine, which covers some of the same information given here. But that article, although it contained many shocking quotes from John Holdren, failed to make much of an impact on public opinion. Why not? Because, as I discovered when discussing the article with various friends, there was no proof that the quotes were accurate — so most folks (even those opposed to Obama’s policies) doubted their veracity, because the statements seemed too inflammatory to be true. In the modern era, it seems, journalists have lost all credibility, and so are presumed to be lying or exaggerating unless solid evidence is offered to back up the claims. Well, this report contains that evidence.

Of course, Holdren wrote these things in the framework of a book he co-authored about what he imagined at the time (late 1970s) was an apocalyptic crisis facing mankind: overpopulation. He felt extreme measures would be required to combat an extreme problem. Whether or not you think this provides him a valid “excuse” for having descended into a totalitarian fantasy is up to you: personally, I don’t think it’s a valid excuse at all, since the crisis he was in a panic over was mostly in his imagination. Totalitarian regimes and unhinged people almost always have what seems internally like a reasonable justification for actions which to the outside world seem incomprehensible.

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