May 19, 2014
In an interview with Bloomberg News Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted that Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland had meetings with the Ukrainian neofascist group Right Sector in Washington DC. The Right Sector has been involved in numerous killings including the burning of pro-Russian supporters in Odessa.
“The other thing to which I wanted to get response from Washington was these reports about the secret visit of the Right Sector coordinator (Andrei) Artyomenko to Washington for alleged meetings with Victoria Nuland. And we want answers to these questions because it’s too serious to manipulate events in Europe across the Atlantic. It’s not a remote-control game. It’s very serious for us.” Lavrov said.
Whether Nuland met with Artyomenko or any other representative of the Right Sector to help with fundraising and support is unknown. What is known is that the US is supporting the gang in Kiev’s “interim government” which includes Svoboda an openly neofascist party which aligns itself historically and currently with the principles of Hitler’s Nazi party.
Lavrov also said he questioned US officials over claims made in the German press concerning the employment of mercenaries from companies such as Greystone and Academi (formerly Blackwater) in Ukraine. Lavrov said US officials never explicitly denied the charge but instead made counter-charges.
Today it has been reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops performing maneuvers on the Ukrainian border back to their permanent bases. Whether the troops will actually leave or stay back at base for long is unknown especially with the Ukrainian presidential elections still scheduled for May 25th.
This article was posted: Monday, May 19, 2014 at 10:21 am
On Monday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) suggested that until Congress passes sweeping amnesty legislation, “every institution in America” should find ways to ignore or work around federal immigration laws. He also said that President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action program was the first step in implementing more amnesty programs.
Testifying before a Senate Subcommittee hearing in Chicago on “Immigrant Enlistment” that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired, Gutierrez said that “every institution in America, including our military, must work around the inability of our federal government and the U.S. House of Representatives to fix our immigration system.”
He also pushed the Navy and Marines to allow U.S. citizens who are married to illegal immigrants to enlist at a hearing in which Durbin called on the Pentagon to start enlisting DREAMers.
Gutierrez, one of the most vocal pro-amnesty legislators, has repeatedly called on Obama to flout the nation’s immigration laws even more and act unilaterally to give amnesty to more illegal immigrants, including the families of those offered temporary amnesty.
“DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] is an important first step in implementing modern immigration policies that reflect our values and strengthen our nation,” he said. “Next we must fully incorporate DACA recipients and their families and the millions of immigrants who live among us into our society.”
Gutierrez and other pro-amnesty advocates pressured Obama’s Department of Homeland Security to undergo a review of its immigration policies. Last week, Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson indicated to PBS’s Judy Woodruff that the administration may be on the verge of enacting executive actions to ease even more deportations, even though the myth that Obama is the so-called “deporter-in-chief” has been thoroughly debunked.
The United States National Security Agency is reportedly collecting the contents of effectively every phone call dialed or received within the Bahamas, putting the conversations of countless residents and tourists into the hands of the NSA.
Journalists at The Intercept on Monday accused the secretive American spy agency of participating in this massive but previously undisclosed dragnet surveillance system after being supplied with classified documentation provided to them by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
“According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system – code-named SOMALGET – that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government,” Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras wrote for The Intercept. “Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country’s cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the ‘full-take audio’ of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas – and to replay those calls for up to a month.”
In one of those documents, The Intercept acknowledged, the NSA boasts of being able to log “over 100 million call events per day.”
Previously, Mr. Snowden’s NSA disclosures have led national security reporters to reveal how the US intelligence community has been collecting in bulk the raw metadata pertaining to millions of phone calls domestically, and similar records abroad are collected and stored by a program codenamed MYSTIC: “a surveillance system capable of recording ‘100 percent’ of a foreign country’s telephone calls,” according to a Washington Post report published in March using documents supplied by Snowden. In the Bahamas and another, unnamed country, however, The Intercept reports that the NSA is allegedly recording the actual contents of every conversation, then storing it for analysts to review at a later date using a specialized project known only as SOMALGET.
“Documents show that the NSA has been generating intelligence reports from MYSTIC surveillance in the Bahamas, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines and one other country, which The Intercept is not naming in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence,” the website reported. “The more expansive full-take recording capability has been deployed in both the Bahamas and the unnamed country.”
“If an entire nation’s cell-phone calls were a menu of TV shows, MYSTIC would be a cable programming guide showing which channels offer which shows, and when,” The Intercept reported this week. “SOMALGET would be the DVR that automatically records every show on every channel and stores them for a month. MYSTIC provides the access; SOMALGET provides the massive amounts of storage needed to archive all those calls so that analysts can listen to them at will after the fact.”
When reached for comment by The Intercept, the agency reportedly said in a statement that “the implication that NSA’s foreign intelligence collection is arbitrary and unconstrained is false.” The office of the Bahamian prime minister and another government official failed to comment ahead of The Intercept’s report, but journalists say that the documentation supplied by Mr. Snowden makes it clear that the NSA implemented this surveillance system unbeknownst to any officials in the Bahamas.
Key to the news, Greenwald tweeted on Monday, “isn’t just [that the] NSA is targeting country unrelated to terrorism, but the sweeping call-storing capability they’ve implemented.”
As investigators try to sort out who is responsible for the deaths of American veterans after they were forced to wait for treatment, the White House has sought to make it clear that they, too, are angered by the VA scandal.
In keeping with the Obama Administration’s tradition, their “outrage” is really just ornamental.
On Sunday, Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough stated on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Obama was “madder than hell” about the VA scandal. The administrators have been accused of not only mismanaging the VA to the point where veterans died waiting for treatment, but then falsifying records to cover-up their ineptitude.
According to a new report, however, the Obama Administration knew about the VA’s mismanagement as far back as 2008, following Obama’s election.
But wait- I thought he was “madder than hell” to find this out…
We’ve heard it all before. Time and time again, the president demonstrates either supreme neglect or a wanton disregard for law and order in America and when these failures of leadership are brought to light, what are Americans offered?
Does President Obama own up to his mistakes like a man?
Does he lay out solid solutions for how to remedy these scandals that plague his administration?
No; instead, Americans are merely offered platitude and he shares in their anger. When Americans elect a president, it’s not out-of-line for them to expect a certain amount of hands-on leadership; the mistakes (and triumphs) must fall on the president as he is supposed to delegate responsibly. When our leadership fails us, Americans are only interested in expressions of outrage when they are immediately followed by swift action to remedy the problem.
After all, what good was Obama’s “outrage” after Benghazi? Fast and Furious? The AP scandal? The IRS scandal? Time and time again, President Obama shares with us his “outrage,” but then shrugs off his responsibilities and then gets in another round of golf.
Courtesy of Red Alert Politics, we get a glimpse into Obama’s pattern of shrugging-off his responsibilities:
IRS scandal: “It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.”
Healthcare.gov: “Nobody’s madder than me about the website not working as well as it should.”
Lavish spending at the General Services Administration: “On the GSA issue, he was I think it’s fair to say apoplectic.” (Former White House senior advisor David Axelrod)
“Fast and Furious:” “It’s very upsetting to me to think that somebody showed such bad judgment that they would allow something like that to happen.”
Secret Service scandal: “If it turns out some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then, of course, I’ll be angry.”
When are we expected to see some real, honest-to-goodness leadership?
Whenever the Obama Administration is implicated in a scandal that outrages Americans, Obama’s team has two routine maneuvers: they maintain that this is the first they’ve heard about it and then they quickly share that the president is outraged.
What’s missing? A solution.
On Sunday, Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on CBS’s Face the Nation told Major Garrett that Obama was “madder than hell,” about the scandal at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA).
But according to briefing materials obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the Washington Times, Obama knew about the deadly backlog as far back as 2008, following the presidential election which elected Obama to his first term.
“This is not only a data integrity issue in which [Veterans Health Administration] reports unreliable performance data; it affects quality of care by delaying —and potentially denying — deserving veterans timely care,” the officals wrote, according to the Washington Times report.
This information follows VA Secretary Eric Shinseki telling the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee last Thursday that he was also “mad as hell.” Shinseki testified that he did not know if anyone had been fired over the scandal, nor would he agree that falsifying patient records was a fireable offense at the government agency.
Reports indicate that the falsification of records was so rampant that at the VA facility in Phoenix, and possibly other locations, patient waiting records were intentionally falsified in order for employees at the agency to receive bonuses for lowering costs.