Archive for the ‘Crime’ category

Germany: Migrant Crime Spiked in 2016

May 2, 2017

Germany: Migrant Crime Spiked in 2016, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, May 2, 2017

None of this seems to be having an impact on the German elections set for September 24, 2017. Polls show that if the election for German chancellor were held today, Angela Merkel, who is largely responsible for the migration crisis, would be re-elected with 37% of the vote. Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate who has pledged to increase migration to Germany even further, would win 29% of the vote and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany would win 8%. For now, German voters appear to believe that the alternatives to Merkel are all worse.

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Although non-Germans make up approximately 10% of the overall German population, they accounted for 30.5% of all crime suspects in the country in 2016.

Nearly 250,000 migrants entered the country illegally in 2016, up 61.4% from 154,188 in 2015. More than 225,000 migrants were found living in the country illegally (Unerlaubter Aufenthalt) in 2016.

The Berlin Senate launched an inquiry into why migrants disproportionally appear as criminals in the city-state compared to Germans.

An official annual report about crime in Germany has revealed a rapidly deteriorating security situation in the country marked by a dramatic increase in violent crime, including murder, rape and sexual assault.

The report also shows a direct link between the growing lawlessness in Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow in more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The report — Police Crime Statistics 2016 (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, PKS) — was compiled by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) and presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Berlin on April 24.

The number of non-German crime suspects (nichtdeutsche Tatverdächtige) legally residing in Germany jumped to 616,230 in 2016, up from 555,820 in 2015 — an increase of 11% — according to the report. Although non-Germans make up approximately 10% of the overall German population, they accounted for 30.5% of all crime suspects in the country in 2016, up from 27.6% in 2015.

In this year’s report, the BKA created a separate subcategory called “migrants” (Zuwanderer) which encompasses a combination of refugees, pending asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

According to the BKA, the number of migrant crime suspects (tatverdächtiger Zuwanderer) in Germany in 2016 jumped to 174,438 from 114,238 in 2015 — up 52.7%. Although “migrants” made up less than 2% of the German population in 2016, they accounted for 8.6% of all crime suspects in the country — up from 5.7% in 2015.

In terms of non-German crime suspects residing legally in Germany, Turks were the primary offenders in 2016, with 69,918 suspects, followed by Romanians, Poles, Syrians, Serbs, Italians, Afghans, Bulgarians, Iraqis, Albanians, Kosovars, Moroccans, Iranians and Algerians.

In terms of migrant crime suspects, Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Albanians, Algerians, Moroccans, Serbs, Iranians, Kosovars and Somalis.

Police in Bremen, Germany frisk a North African youth who is suspected of theft. (Image source: ZDF video screenshot)

The report’s other findings include:

  • Violent crime surged in Germany in 2016. These include a 14.3% increase in murder and manslaughter, a 12.7% increase in rape and sexual assault and a 9.9% increase in aggravated assault. The BKA also recorded a 14.8% increase in weapons offenses and a 7.1% increase in drug offenses.
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 2,512 rapes and sexual assaults in Germany in 2016 — an average of seven a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Algerians, Moroccans, Eritreans, Nigerians and Albanians. German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the migrant rape problem for political reasons. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK).
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 11,525 robberies in Germany in 2016 — an average of 32 a day. Moroccans were the primary offenders, followed by Algerians, Syrians, Georgians, Tunisians, Albanians, Afghans, Serbs, Iraqis and Iranians.
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 56,252 aggravated assaults in 2016 — an average of 154 a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Moroccans, Algerians, Somalis, Albanians, Eritreans and Pakistanis.
  • Bavaria was the German state most affected by non-German criminality, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland, Bremen and Thüringen.
  • Berlin was the German city most affected by non-German criminality, followed by Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Bremen, Leipzig, Nürnberg, Essen, Duisburg, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Freiburg im Breisgau, Chemnitz, Aachen, Bielefeld, Wuppertal, Augsburg, Bonn, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Wiesbaden, Münster, Kiel, Halle, Krefeld, Braunschweig, Mainz, Lübeck, Mönchengladbach, Erfurt, Oberhausen, Magdeburg and Rostock.
  • The BKA also recorded 487,711 violations of German immigration laws (ausländerrechtliche Verstöße), up 21.1% from 402,741 violations in 2015. Nearly 250,000 migrants entered the country illegally in 2016, up 61.4% from 154,188 in 2015. More than 225,000 migrants were found living in the country illegally (Unerlaubter Aufenthalt) in 2016.

The new data contradicts claims made by the BKA in December 2016 — just four months before the current report — that migrant criminality was actually decreasing.

During a press conference in Berlin on April 24, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière admitted:

“The proportion of foreign suspects, and migrants in particular, is higher than the average for the general population. This cannot be sugarcoated. There is an overall rise in disrespect, violence and hate. Those who commit serious offenses here forfeit their right to stay here.”

Separately, officials in Bavaria revealed that the number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees there increased by 58% in 2016. They accounted for 9.6% of all crimes committed in the state, up from 3.2% in 2015 and 1.8% in 2012. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis and Nigerians.

“The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

At the same time, officials in Baden-Württemberg noted a 95.5% increase in the number of physical assaults involving at least one migrant in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Berlin Senate launched an inquiry into why migrants disproportionally appear as criminals in the city-state compared to Germans. In 2016, 40% of all crime suspects in the German capital were non-Germans.

None of this seems to be having an impact on the German elections set for September 24, 2017. Polls show that if the election for German chancellor were held today, Angela Merkel, who is largely responsible for the migration crisis, would be re-elected with 37% of the vote. Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate who has pledged to increase migration to Germany even further, would win 29% of the vote and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany would win 8%. For now, German voters appear to believe that the alternatives to Merkel are all worse.

New Sheriff in Town: The First 100 Days at the Sessions DOJ

April 27, 2017

New Sheriff in Town: The First 100 Days at the Sessions DOJ, BreitbartIan Mason, April 27, 2017

(It’s still a work in progress.  He — like President Trump — can’t do everything first, particularly with the “deep state” swamp still in need of drastic draining. — DM)

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Wednesday saw the first of Attorney General Sessions’ Senate-confirmed subordinates take office: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Over the coming weeks, it is expected that serious progress will be made on nominating and confirming permanent occupants for the dozens of political positions at the Department of Justice, including the over 90 U.S. Attorneys who lead federal criminal prosecutions. The key victories of the first 100 days were accomplished by the Attorney General without any of them in place. As his team assembles around him, Attorney General Sessions looks to be better able to direct the legal policy of the United States government to restore his vision of law and order.

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Under the leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the first 100 days at the Department of Justice have seen perhaps the most straightforward and earnest efforts to bring the promises of the Trump movement to fruition.

Stepping into leadership at a DOJ managed for eight years by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, Sessions has had an uphill battle to implement the key tenets of law and order that so many Americans have long craved and which President Donald Trump promised as a candidate: an end of the lawless hypocrisy on the southern border and in the internal enforcement of our immigration laws, especially in state a jurisdictions that openly flaunt federal law and proclaim themselves “sanctuaries;” a firm commitment to get a handle on rising violent crime, especially in our most dangerous inner cities; and steadfast support of our law enforcement officers at a time when they face danger and disparagement from inside the government and without.

Hitting the Ground Running:

Attorney General Sessions was confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 2017, three weeks into the new administration. One of the very first national politicians to endorse candidate Trump, he was the fifth cabinet member to take his seat, but not before a smooth yet contentious confirmation process yielded one of the most awkwardly worded and forced political slogans of recent memory.

“Nevertheless, she persisted,” the much-touted line goes, a reference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) explanation of his use of Senate rules to prevent Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reading a 30-year old letter from Coretta Scott King to imply racist motives to then Senator Sessions. The use was later criticized by Ms. King’s niece.

The fireworks on the Senate floor were quickly followed up in the White House. On his first day as Attorney General, Sessions stood by President Trump’s side as he signed no fewer than four executive orders pertaining to the Justice Department.

A “New Era” on the Border

Without doubt, cracking down on illegal aliens and the resultant lawlessness on the border and in our immigration system has been the greatest focus of Sessions’ attentions in his tenure at DOJ. Merely the signal of will from the new administration has already brought extraordinary results. March of 2017 saw the lowest number of illegals caught on the border in 17 years, a 72 percent reduction in apprehensions from the last month of the Obama administration.

Rhetoric was repeatedly backed up with action on the Attorney General’s part. In early March, the DOJ shifted 50 immigration judges to detention center along the border and in illegal alien heavy cities. The were set to work in twelve-hour shifts to help clear the massive backlog of deportation cases. This proved to be merely a prelude to much more substantial reform.

On the morning of April 11, 2017, the Attorney General toured the southern border with officers of U.S Customs and Border Protection. Addressing them and the nation, he proclaimed, “For those that continue to seek improper and illegal entry into this country, be forewarned: This is a new era. This is the Trump era.”

“The catch and release practices of old are over,” Sessions continued, announced that 125 additional immigration judges would be hired on expedited basis. They would be needed because from this point on all adults apprehended at the border were to be detained by federal authorities.

A new set of guidelines was sent to every federal prosecutor in the country. Those who illegally enter the United States a second time will now face felony prosecution as a matter of course, as well those who illegal enter after having been deported, and transporting or harboring three or more illegal aliens. Charges of aggravated identity theft are to be levied on those caught with fraudulent documentation.

These measures are designed to work in tandem with a similar ramping up at the Department of Homeland Security, where 10,000 additional ICE officers have been authorized and are in the process of being hired. Attorney General Sessions made a point of making joint appearances with DHS Secretary John Kelley, presenting a united front to bring order to the border. The two cabinet officials noted increased arrests, more deportations of criminals, and other operations contributing to the apparent decrease in illegal border crossings.

While President Trump has, so far, not seen it fit to reverse Obama’s Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals executive order, granting amnesty to those who came illegal as children and register with the federal government, the Attorney General has made it clear that the law remains the law. Asked by Fox News in April about the deportation of certain so-called DREAMer (after the never enacted DREAM act), Sessions was unequivocal, “The policy is that if people are here unlawfully, they’re subject to being deported. Our priority is clear. Our priority is to end the lawlessness at the border.”

No Sanction for “Sanctuaries”

From the very beginning of his tenure, Attorney General Sessions has tried to bring jurisdictions who refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement back to legal normality, even if it means cutting their federal funds to convince them to do so. Sessions has done this in the face of steadfast refusal to cooperate by some of nation’s most powerful local leaders. For example, Chicago, under the leadership of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, went so far as to issue a new type of identification available to illegal alien without the city keeping records in response to fears the administration might be able to force the “sanctuary” to give up information on immigration status. Sessions made a point of calling out a California prosecutor who appears to, as a matter of policy, be reducing charges to avoid triggering “violent felon” deportation requirements.

The most troubling resistance, however, came this final week of the first 100 days, as a federal court in San Francisco blocked enforcement of President Trump’s executive order commanding Sessions to cut off federal funds from recalcitrant jurisdictions. At the moment, as the administration has released no comprehensive plan as to what funds are subject to suspension, it is unclear what effect this temporary order will have. It will, however, prevent the use of that executive order’s authority while a lawsuit from a number of California sanctuary jurisdictions makes its way through the courts.

Sessions has not taken this tactic to continue flaunting federal immigration law lightly. In a statement Wednesday, the Attorney General was very clear as to how he saw the lawsuit:

At the heart of this immigration debate is disagreement over whether illegally entering this country is a crime.  Our duly enacted laws answer that question.

Nevertheless, actions that have always been understood to be squarely within the powers of the President, regardless of the Administration, have now been enjoined.  The Department of Justice cannot accept such a result, and as the President has made clear, we will continue to litigate this case to vindicate the rule of law.

Separate from the wider pledge to cut the flow of federal funds to sanctuary jurisdictions, Sessions has used his independent authority to bring pressure to bear. After weeks of threatening action, the Department of Justice sent letters to nine of the states and cities who most vigorously stifle immigration enforcement, demanding they show compliance by June 30 or forfeit their DOJ Bryne Grants for law enforcement. As these grants already have requirements to follow federal law attached to them, these letters may be unaffected by the ongoing court fracas over President Trump’s executive order.

Zero Tolerance:

The mayhem of our inner cities in the waning years of the Obama administration was no less troubling than the chaos on the border. On the day Sessions took office, an executive order established a task force for tackling the violent crime increase seen in certain cities. Sessions has spoken on numerous occasions on his support for a return to “broken windows” policing and taking local law enforcement’s side in their effort to wrestle their crime rates back down to the historic lows seen only a few years ago.

Some of the violence is fueled by what the justice department calls “transnational criminal organizations,” brutal gangs like MS-13 and wide-reaching networks like the Mexican drug cartels. At a meeting of the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council, Sessions made clear his department would have “zero tolerence” for gang violence as it brings an executive order targeting these organizations for deportation and dismantling into reality.

On several occasions, Sessions has highlighted his continued support for the type of rigorous policing that came under intense fire in the last administration.

Supporting Law Enforcement:

To many Americans, the Holder-Lynch DOJ’s failure to keep crime in check and the border under control was compounded by the perceived failure to adequately support law enforcement officers and their in this trying time. Black Lives Matter and other left-wing groups brought anti-police rhetoric to the forefront of the public discourse and politicized violence against the police made headlines throughout 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Justice Department responded by launching investigations into police brutality, bias, and misconduct, making it anything but clear that American law enforcement had their unequivocal support.

Spearheaded by Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta’s Civil Rights Division, the Obama administration responded to riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland by launching federal investigations into those cities’, and others like murder-capital Chicago’s, police departments. The results were predictable. A “Ferguson Effect,” where officers were reluctant to make the routine stops necessary to keep crime under control for fear of being sanctioned for misconduct contributed to a shocking rise in violent crime in the very communities supposedly protected by federal oversight of police. Initially dismissed as a right-wing conspiracy theory, the Ferguson Effect has since been supported by a survey of police officers and by a National Institute of Justice study funded by the Obama DOJ.

When Attorney General Sessions took the reigns at DOJ, there was an immediate shift in tone. “Please know that you have the full support of our Department,” Sessisons told a meeting of police chiefs in April. He went on to call out the former administration’s treatment of police:

In recent years, as you know, law enforcement as a whole has been unfairly maligned and blamed for the crimes and unacceptable deeds of a few bad actors. Amid this intense criticism, morale has gone down, while the number of officers killed in the line of duty has gone up.

Attorney General Sessions has done what is in his power to try and reverse the damage done to Law Enforcement relations. He ordered a complete review of all Obama-era investigations into local law enforcement. He has even sought to scale back the consent decree reached to install federal monitoring of Baltimore’s Police Department in the waning days of the Obama administration. When the federal judge in the case refused to reopen the issue, Sessions issued a public statement criticizing the whole endeavor, saying, “There are clear departures from many proven principles of good policing that we fear will result in more crime.”

Looking Forward:

Wednesday saw the first of Attorney General Sessions’ Senate-confirmed subordinates take office: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Over the coming weeks, it is expected that serious progress will be made on nominating and confirming permanent occupants for the dozens of political positions at the Department of Justice, including the over 90 U.S. Attorneys who lead federal criminal prosecutions. The key victories of the first 100 days were accomplished by the Attorney General without any of them in place. As his team assembles around him, Attorney General Sessions looks to be better able to direct the legal policy of the United States government to restore his vision of law and order.

FULL MEASURE: March 19, 2017 – No Return

March 20, 2017

FULL MEASURE: March 19, 2017 – No Return via YouTube, March 20, 2017

(Thirty countries, to the citizens of which America issues visas, refuse to accept the repatriation of their citizens guilty of substantial criminal activity in America. The video suggests solutions. — DM)

 

The curse of criminal illegal aliens

March 9, 2017

The curse of criminal illegal aliens, Washington TimesTammy Bruce, March 8, 2017

A man passes a section of border fencing that separates Tijuana, Mexico, with San Diego on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017

In November 2016, President-elect Donald Trump said this to CBS’ “60 Minutes”: “What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably 2 million, it could be even 3 million, we are getting them out of our country, or we are going to incarcerate.” Everyone, especially liberals and feminists, should be grateful he’s acting on that promise.

The criminal illegal alien population is destroying lives across the country, especially those of young people in immigrant communities.

Under President Trump’s directive to remove criminal illegals from our streets, we are learning about the vast network of one of the world’s most deadly gangs — MS-13. Originally from El Salvador, it found a foothold in Southern California as refugees fleeing the bloody civil war during the 1980s.

Now, as Fox News reports, “With as many as 10,000 members in 46 states, [MS-13] has expanded beyond its initial and local roots and members have been convicted of crimes ranging from kidnapping and murder to drug smuggling and human trafficking.”

Sounds like a JV team.

And what exactly has MS-13 been doing to the communities it infests? A headline from this newspaper a few days ago reads, “Bodies found in Virginia park latest sign of ‘out of control’ MS-13 gang activity.”

In New York, Fox News reports, “Law enforcement officials have said MS-13 is the largest gang on Long Island with Suffolk County “cliques” concentrated in the villages of Brentwood, Huntington, Copiague, Farmingdale and Islip. The gang has been blamed for 30 other killings on Long Island since 2010.”

Just a week ago the network reported, “Thirteen members of the notorious Salvadoran gang MS-13 were charged Thursday in connection with seven murders including the 2016 killings of high school teenagers on New York’s Long Island. … Four of the suspects were charged directly with the murders of Kayla Cuevas, 16, and Nisa Mickens, 15, close friends who were beaten to death on Sept. 13, 2016.”

The U.S. Attorney says the two girls were targeted because they criticized the gang at school and on social media. Their bodies were unrecognizable after being found bludgeoned and hacked by machetes.

Fox also reports of the 13 MS-13 members arrested in New York in the aftermath of these obscene murders, 10 are illegal aliens, two are U.S. citizens and one is a green card holder.

Last week in Houston, two MS-13 gang members were charged in what’s being called a “satanic” murder, kidnapping and rape. From the Houston Chronicle: “Houston police gave new details Friday morning about a shocking murder case in which prosecutors say two gang members killed a young woman as a satanic sacrifice. … Prosecutors charged yesterday that two alleged members of violent Salvadoran gang MS-13 — identified in court documents as Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18 — killed the young woman and held a 14-year-old girl against her will.

“The chilling allegation is at the center of a still-unfolding case that includes murder and kidnapping, cocaine dealing and sex trafficking by two members of a street gang that prides itself on violence. … Prosecutors said both men were living in the United States illegally,” noted the newspaper.

The motto of MS-13? “Kill. Rape. Control.”

Teenage girls are “recruited” as prostitutes for the gang. They girls are gang-raped and then sent around the country for other MS-13 hubs to use as sex slaves. The Daily Mail reports, “Many girls who undergo this horrific torture end up prostituting themselves for the gang across the country, according to Brenda Paz, who was a criminal informant for the FBI.” Ms. Paz was eventually murdered by the gang.

The victim in the Houston murder? Genesis Cornejo-Alvarado, a 15-year-old girl missing from New Jersey.

And then there are the garden-variety criminal illegal felons who also cause death and destruction.

“An illegal Mexican immigrant with a long rap sheet who has been deported five times allegedly killed a California woman in a violent drunk driving crash. Estuardo Alvarado, 45, was arrested after slamming his car into the back of Sandra Duran’s vehicle … after fleeing another crash he had just been involved in. The 42-year-old mother died at the scene of blunt force trauma,” reported the Daily Mail.

So, for all the houses of worship pledging to “shelter” criminal illegal aliens from the president’s commitment to drive this cancer from our country, and all the feminists marching in opposition to Mr. Trump because he’s “a racist and a sexist,” it’s time to look up. Start marching for Kayla, Nisa, Genesis, Sandra and all girls and women whose lives have been destroyed by gangs and sex-trafficking facilitated by criminal illegals and open borders.

Mr. Obama’s policies helped this cancer spread. Mr. Trump’s policies, regardless of what you think of him, will put it in remission and save untold numbers of women’s lives.

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

March 5, 2017

Opinion | Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance, Law Newz, March 4, 2017

(Speculative, because fewer than all pertinent facts are now available. However, it’s an interesting legal analysis.– DM)

obama-2-6-e1486411130362

President Trump recently tweeted claiming that former President Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. One can only imagine how nuts the media would have gone if the roles had been reversed: President Trump wiretapping either Obama or the Clintons, though his DOJ could have authority to do just that given the expansive leaks of intelligence information by Obama and Clinton supporters the last few months. Heck, he could wiretap the media at this point, legally and legitimately, as the sources of these unlawful leaks, for which Obama himself set precedent. Do liberals understand what Pandora’s Box Obama opened up by Obama using the powers of the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on his political opponents? Even Nixon never did that.

If the stories are correct, Obama or his officials might even face prosecution. But, we are still early in all of this and there are a lot of rumors flying around so the key is if the reports are accurate. We just don’t know at this time. The stories currently are three-fold: first, that Obama’s team tried to get a warrant from a regular, Article III federal court on Trump, and was told no by someone along the way (maybe the FBI), as the evidence was that weak or non-existent; second, Obama’s team then tried to circumvent the federal judiciary’s independent role by trying to mislabel the issue one of “foreign agents,” and tried to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “courts”, and were again turned down, when the court saw Trump named (an extremely rare act of FISA court refusal of the government, suggesting the evidence was truly non-existent against Trump); and so, third, Obama circumvented both the regular command of the FBI and the regularly appointed federal courts, by placing the entire case as a FISA case (and apparently under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the FISA court unwittingly granted, which Obama then misused to spy on Trump and many connected to Trump. Are these allegations true? We don’t know yet, but if any part of them are than Obama and/or his officials could face serious trouble.

Can a President be charged with a crime? Only once out of office. While in office, impeachment remains the exclusive remedy in order to avoid a single judicial branch trying to overturn an election, such as a grand jury in any part of the country could. Once out of office, a President remains immune from civil liability for his duties while President, under a 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court. However, as the Nixon pardon attests, nothing forecloses a criminal prosecution of the President after his presidency is complete for crimes against the country. Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, should know that.

What crimes could have been committed? Ironically, for Democrats falsely accusing Attorney General Sessions, perjury and conspiracy to commit perjury, as well as intentional violations of FISA. Rather shockingly, no law currently forbids misusing the power of the presidency to spy on one’s adversaries. What the law does forbid is lying to any judicial officer to obtain any means of surveillance. What the law does forbid, under criminal penalty, is the misuse of FISA. Both derive from the protections of the Fourth Amendment itself. Under section 1809, FISA makes it a crime for anyone to either “engage in” electronic surveillance under “color of law” under FISA without following the law’s restrictions, or “disclose” or “use” information gathered from it in contravention of the statute’s sharp constrictions.

FISA, 50 USC 1801, et seq., is a very limited method of obtaining surveillance authority. The reason for its strict limits is that FISA evades the regular federal court process, by not allowing regularly, Constitutionally appointed federal judges and their magistrates to authorize surveillance the Fourth Amendment would otherwise forbid. Instead, the Chief Justice handpicks the FISA court members, who have shown an exceptional deference to the executive branch. This is because FISA court members trust the government is only bringing them surveillance about pending terror attacks or “grave hostile” war-like attacks, as the FISA statute limits itself to. Thus, a FISA application can only be used in very limited circumstances.

One important reminder about electronic surveillance. Occasionally, a law enforcement officer will hear or see or record information not allowed by the warrant, but incidental or accidental to otherwise lawful surveillance. Their job is to immediately stop listening, stop recording, and to delete such information. This is what you occasionally see in films where the agent in the van hears the conversation turn away from something criminal to a personal discussion, and the agent then turns off the listening device and stops the recording. Such films simply recognize long-standing legal practice.

FISA can only be used for “foreign intelligence information.” Now that sounds broad, but is in fact very limited under the law. The only “foreign intelligence information” allowed as a basis for surveillance is information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential “grave” “hostile” attack, war-like sabotage or international terror. Second, it can only be used to eavesdrop on conversations where the parties to the conversation are a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. An agent of a foreign power cannot be a United States person unless they are knowingly involved in criminal espionage. No warrant is allowed on that person unless a FISA court finds probable cause the United States person is knowingly engaged in criminal espionage. Even then, if it involves a United States person, special steps must be taken to “minimize the acquisition and retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of non publicly available information concerning un-consenting United States persons.”

This includes procedures that require they never identify the person, or the conversation, being surveilled, to the public where that information is not evidence of a particular crime. Third, the kind of information sought concerns solely information about a pending or actual attack on the country. That is why the law limits itself to sabotage incidents involving war, not any form or kind of “sabotage,” explicitly limiting itself to those acts identified in section 105 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

This bring us to Watergate-on-Steroids, or #ObamaGate. Here are the problematic aspects of the Obama surveillance on Trump’s team, and on Trump himself. First, it is not apparent FISA could ever be invoked. Second, it is possible Obama’s team may have perjured themselves before the FISA court by withholding material information essential to the FISA court’s willingness to permit the government surveillance. Third, it could be that Obama’s team illegally disseminated and disclosed FISA information in direct violation of the statute precisely prohibiting such dissemination and disclosure. FISA prohibits, under criminal penalty, Obama’s team from doing any of the three.

At the outset, the NSA should have never been involved in a domestic US election. Investigating the election, or any hacking of the DNC or the phishing of Podesta’s emails, would not be a FISA matter. It does not fit the definition of war sabotage or a “grave” “hostile” war-like attack on the United States, as constrictively covered by FISA. It is your run-of-the-mill hacking case covered by existing United States laws that require use of the regular departments of the FBI, Department of Justice, and Constitutionally Senate-appointed federal district court judges, and their appointed magistrates, not secretive, deferential FISA courts.

Out of 35,000+ requests for surveillance, the FISA court has only ever rejected a whopping 12. Apparently, according to published reports, you can add one more to that — even the FISA court first rejected Obama’s request to spy on Trump’s team under the guise of an investigation into foreign agents of a pending war attack, intelligence agents apparently returned to the court, where, it is my assumption, that they did not disclose or divulge all material facts to the court when seeking the surveillance the second time around, some of which they would later wrongfully disseminate and distribute to the public. By itself, misuse of FISA procedures to obtain surveillance is itself, a crime.

This raises the second problem: Obama’s team submission of an affidavit to to the FISA court. An application for a warrant of any kind requires an affidavit, and that affidavit may not omit material factors. A fact is “material” if it could have the possible impact of impacting the judicial officer deciding whether to authorize the warrant. Such affidavits are the most carefully drawn up, reviewed, and approved affidavits of law enforcement in our system precisely because they must be fully-disclosing, forthcoming, and include any information a judge must know to decide whether to allow our government to spy on its own. My assumption would be that intelligence officials were trying to investigate hacking of DNC which is not even a FISA covered crime, so therefore serious questions arise about what Obama administration attorneys said to the FISA court to even consider the application. If the claim was “financial ties” to Russia, then Obama knew he had no basis to use FISA at all.

Since Trump was the obvious target, the alleged failure to disclose his name in the second application could be a serious and severe violation of the obligation to disclose all material facts. Lastly, given the later behavior, it is evident any promise in the affidavit to protect the surveilled information from ever being sourced or disseminated was a false promise, intended to induce the illicit surveillance. This is criminalized both by federal perjury statutes, conspiracy statutes, and the FISA criminal laws themselves.

That raises the third problem: it seems the FISA-compelled protocols for precluding the dissemination of the information were violated, and that Obama’s team issued orders to achieve precisely what the law forbids, if published reports are true about the administration sharing the surveilled information far-and-wide to promote unlawful leaks to the press. This, too, would be its own crime, as it brings back the ghost of Hillary’s emails — by definition, FISA information is strictly confidential or it’s information that never should have been gathered. FISA strictly segregates its surveilled information into two categories: highly confidential information of the most serious of crimes involving foreign acts of war; or, if not that, then information that should never have been gathered, should be immediately deleted, and never sourced nor disseminated. It cannot be both.

Recognizing this information did not fit FISA meant having to delete it and destroy it. According to published reports, Obama’s team did the opposite: order it preserved, ordered the NSA to search it, keep it, and share it; and then Obama’s Attorney General issued an order to allow broader sharing of information and, according to the New York Times, Obama aides acted to label the Trump information at a lower level of classification for massive-level sharing of the information. The problem for Obama is simple — if it could fit a lower level of classification, then it had to be deleted and destroyed, not disseminated and distributed, under crystal clear FISA law. Obama’s team’s admission it could be classified lower, yet taking actions to insure its broadest distribution, could even put Obama smack-middle of the biggest unlawful surveillance and political-opponent-smear campaign since Nixon. Except even Nixon didn’t use the FBI and NSA for his dirty tricks.

Watergate would have never happened if Nixon felt like he could just ask the FBI or NSA to tape the calls. This is Hoover-esque abuses of the kind Bob Woodward pal, former FBI Assistant Director Mark Felt (otherwise known as Deep Throat), routinely engaged in at the FBI until convicted and removed from office. (You didn’t know that Deep Throat was really a corrupt part of Deep State, did you? Guess who ran the famous COINTELPRO? That’s right — Deep Throat. How would the public have reacted if they knew the media had been in bed with the deep state all the way back then? Maybe that was the reason Woodward, Bernstein and Bradley kept Deep Throat’s identity secret all those years?)

Democrats may regret Sessions’ recusal, as his replacement is a mini-Sessions: a long-respected, a-political, highly ethical prosecutor, Dana Boente, whose reputation is well-warranted from his service at the Tax Division, and who won’t be limited by any perceived ties to Trump, given his prior appointment by Obama. Obama himself appeared scared of Boente, as he removed Boente from the successor-to-Sessions position during the lame-duck part of Obama’s presidency, but Trump restored Boente to that role earlier this month. Democrats may get the investigation they wanted, but it may be their own that end up named in the indictment.

Robert Barnes is a California-based trial attorney whose practice focuses on tax defense, civil rights and First Amendment law. You can follow him at @Barnes_Law

Why Mexico’s Governors Became A Prime Target of Criminal Groups

February 3, 2017

Why Mexico’s Governors Became A Prime Target of Criminal Groups, Insight Crime, Patrick Corcoran, January 31, 2017

(Please see also, Mexico’s President Cancels White House Visit After Trump Hits Cartels. — DM)

G23051125.JPG MÉXICO, D.F.-Conferencia-Moreira. El presidente nacional del PRI, Humberto Moreira durante conferencia de prensa la mañana de este lunes en la sede nacional de dicho instituto político. EGV. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Juan Boites.

MÉXICO, D.F.-Conferencia-Moreira. El presidente nacional del PRI, Humberto Moreira durante conferencia de prensa la mañana de este lunes en la sede nacional de dicho instituto político. EGV. Foto: Agencia EL UNIVERSAL/Juan Boites.

A growing stream of corruption allegations against governors in Mexico exemplifies how changes in the country’s political landscape have inadvertently served to expand these officials’ role in enabling organized crime.

As reported by InSight Crime and other sources, a reputed financial operator for the Zetas criminal group accused former Coahuila Gov. Humberto Moreira of accepting $2 million in monthly payments in exchange for allowing the gang to open hundreds of so-called “narcotiendas” (narco-stores) and giving them virtually free rein to operate throughout the state. As part of the bargain, the Zetas intimidated and attacked political and business enemies of Moreira, according to the testimony of the former Zetas member.

Moreira has denied the charges, and while they have not been verified, they do fit with the broader pattern of Moreira’s tenure at the head of the Coahuila state government, which lasted from 2005 to 2011. After having operated primarily as an offshoot of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas, the Zetas took control of Coahuila in 2007 and 2008. In so doing, they initiated a campaign of kidnapping and extortion that had no local precedent and turned certain cities, such as Torreón, into virtual war zones. Rumors that Moreira was directly responsible for the Zetas‘ rise were rampant during his tenure, and since his exit, Moreira’s alleged ties to the criminal group have sparked multiple criminal investigations, including some convictions, against him and his subordinates in the United States.

The grim arc of Moreira’s career is not unusual. Two former governors of Tamaulipas, Tomás Yarrington and Eugenio Hernández, are facing indictments in the United States for allegedly aiding criminal groups. Former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte is a fugitive with a raft of corruption cases hanging over his heard, while his former counterpart from Sonora, Guillermo Padrés, turned himself in to Mexican authorities in November amid similar allegations.

InSight Crime Analysis

This confluence of stories on governors’ wrongdoing is not a coincidence, but rather a byproduct of a Mexican political system that concedes enormous and largely unchecked authority to the statehouse.

In the post-Mexican Revolution political system that dominated the 20th Century, while Mexican governors enjoyed a great deal of autonomy strictly within their domain, they operated at the orders of a near-omnipotent president. The power of the presidency provided an important check on their power. The multi-party system that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s brought the days of the all-powerful president to an end, but this opening had the unintended effect of vastly increasing the practical control that governors exercised.

If a gang secures the support of a single governor whose state controls a major port or a border crossing, it has likely guaranteed itself a major role in the national criminal landscape.

It is not a coincidence that one of the first examples of the so-called narco-governor essentially coincided with the end of the PRI’s monopoly on Mexican politics. Former Quintana Roo Governor Mario Villanueva went underground days before the end of his term in 1999, amid rampant rumors that, in exchange for bribes much like those Moreira is accused of receiving, he had given the Juarez Cartel of Amado Carrillo free use of his state. After being arrested in Mexico in 2001, Villanueva was later extradited to the United States. After serving a lengthy prison sentence, earlier this month Villanueva was returned to Mexico and subsequently arrested. He is reportedly awaiting another lengthy prison term.

Today, governors rather than presidents exercise practical control over their states’ congressional delegations. They often wield substantial influence over the municipal governments within their states as well, as mayors rely on them for budgetary transfers and for support in advancing their political futures.

This shift in the political landscape over the past two decades has made governors collectively the most important cohort in Mexican politics, frequently described as modern-day viceroys. Working as a unit, they are capable of scuttling a president’s agenda.

This has consequently turned them into an irresistible target for criminal groups looking for allies within government. The scope of governors’ authority makes it ideal for criminal groups to try to corrupt or otherwise co-opt them. If a gang secures the support of a single governor whose state controls a major port or a border crossing, it has likely guaranteed itself a major role in the national criminal landscape. The Familia Michoacana and the Knights Templar, for example, were largely concentrated in a single state, but that has been enough to make the gangs major players over the past decade.

A gang can leverage the support of a key governor in any number of ways. They can use his government as a sort of beachhead amid a territorial expansion, as the Zetas allegedly did. Most governors control large and relatively effective state police forces, which, when deployed at the service of a criminal group, can be extremely valuable allies.

Criminal groups can also use political support indirectly to lean on local governments. Governors can help gangs by pressuring prosecutors to limit prosecutions against their members, as many laws targeting organized crime are in the realm of state courts. As the chief interlocutors with the federal government, governors can also obstruct federal efforts to target one group or another.

From a criminal group’s perspective, governors are also more reachable than the president. The fact that they occupy a lower profile than the president makes dealing with governors far less risky. In addition, governors are not burdened with the prerogatives of statesmanship, from monetary policy to foreign relations, which limit time for focusing on law enforcement and security matters. Relative to presidents, governors are also more isolated from pressure from the US government to crack down on criminal groups.

This collective dynamic is behind the spate of cases like Moreira’s and Yarrington’s, among many others. Although much of the commentary on security issues in Mexico focuses on the goals and missteps of the presidency, a great deal of the government’s efforts are channeled through other offices. And as long as Mexican governors in key states are actively boosting the interests of powerful crime groups like the Zetas, there will be a limit to what federal policies can accomplish.

Trump-Hating Protestors, Deceit and Willful Blindness

January 24, 2017

Trump-Hating Protestors, Deceit and Willful Blindness, Front Page MagazineMichael Cutler, January 24, 2017

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On January 20, 2017, the very same day that President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, protestors who opposed Trump’s election and his campaign promises took to the streets in Washington, DC and elsewhere. They falsely equated securing America’s borders and enforcing our immigration laws with bigotry and racism.

The protestors carried signs with a variety of slogans including a slogan favored by Hillary Clinton during her failed bid for the presidency, “Build bridges, not walls.”

Where were these protestors when Obama violated the Constitution, released hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, commuted the sentences of record numbers of drug dealers and ignored the findings of the 9/11 Commission and imported millions of foreign workers to take Americans’ jobs?

Ironically, on that same day, the Justice Department issued a press release, “Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera Faces Charges in New York for Leading a Continuing Criminal Enterprise and other Drug-Related Charges.”

El Chapo was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel that smuggled multi-ton quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States and used extreme violence and corruption in order to achieve their criminal goals that included the smuggling of huge quantities of illegal drugs into the United States.

The press release contains links to the Detention Memo and the Indictment and begins with these two paragraphs:

The indictment alleges that between January 1989 and December 2014, Guzman Loera led a continuing criminal enterprise responsible for importing into the United States and distributing massive amounts of illegal narcotics and conspiring to murder persons who posed a threat to Guzman Loera’s narcotics enterprise.

Guzman Loera is also charged with using firearms in relation to his drug trafficking and money laundering relating to the bulk smuggling from the United States to Mexico of more than $14 billion in cash proceeds from narcotics sales throughout the United States and Canada. As part of this investigation, nearly 200,000 kilograms of cocaine linked to the Sinaloa Cartel have been seized. The indictment seeks forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits.

Leaders of Drug Trafficking Organizations, alien smuggling rings and terrorists seeking to enter the United States surreptitiously could not devise a better slogan than “Build bridges not walls” to promote their criminal interests.

Perhaps, given the numerous reports about tunnels under the U.S./Mexican border, the open borders/immigration anarchists should amend their signs to read, “Build bridges and tunnels not walls.”

That slogan must really resonate with El Chapo the leader of the violent Sinaloa Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization that, not unlike other such cartels, required the ability to cross the U.S./Mexican border to not only transport their drugs but their “employees” into the United States as well.

These cartel “employees” are primarily aliens who enter the United States illegally.  Among them as noted in the criminal indictment, are “sicarios,” or hit men who carried out hundreds of acts of violence, including murders, assaults, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of torture at the direction of the defendants.

Often the victims of the violence are members of the ethnic immigrant communities in which these thugs operate.

The majority of violent crime in the United States has a nexus to the use and/or trafficking in narcotics and dangerous drugs.  The proceeds of the drug trade enriches the drug cartels and street gangs.  This fast flow of money also enriches terror organizations around the world.

All too often those who become addicted to drugs have bleak futures.  Tragically, often these addicts are teenagers.

The magnitude of the quantity of drugs smuggled into the United States across the U.S./Mexican border and through other means (in the holds of ships and in the cargo holds of airliners and in the baggage and secreted on passengers of airliners) is, in the aggregate, truly staggering.

El Chapo is being prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York because of the magnitude of his wholesale operations in New York City.  The Sinaloa Cartel also operated in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and throughout parts of Arizona.

The magnitude and scope of the violence used by the Sinaloa Cartel was staggering and the press release noted that thousands of individuals were killed in Mexico to eliminate those who got in their way.

They killed law enforcement officials and others to intimidate those who would compete against this criminal organization or cooperate with law enforcement.  Many of the victims were beheaded as an intimidation tactic.

This investigation was conducted by courageous law enforcement officers in Colombia, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.  In the United States the investigation was pursued by the multi-agency Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) that includes agents of the DEA, FBI, ICE, ATF as well as members of local and state police departments.

Having spent the final ten years of my career with the INS assigned to OCDETF I am extremely familiar with the effectiveness of the multiagency task force approach to the investigation and dismantling of late-scale narcotics trafficking organizations and just how critical border security and effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, from within the interior of the United States, are to the success of these law enforcement efforts.

Incredibly, however, when Donald Trump promised to build a wall to secure the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico to prevent criminals, terrorists and drugs from entering the United States, the globalists, aided and abetted by dishonest journalists, created the false narrative equating Trump’s goals and the goals of Americans who demand that our borders be secured against illegal entry with racism.

Securing our borders against illegal entry is not to be equated with preventing all aliens from entering the United States, only those aliens who violate our laws.

The doors on our homes have locks that can be unlatched not only so that we can enter our own homes, but so that we can selectively open our doors to those who wish to visit us.  However sensible people lock their doors to prevent the entry of burglars and those who might pose a threat to their safety.

This is comparable to the mission of the inspections process conducted at ports of entry by the more than 20,000 inspectors of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) the same agency that employs approximately 20,000 Border Patrol agents to attempt to interdict those aliens who seek to avoid the inspections process by running our borders.

Determinations as to the admissibility of aliens seeking entry into the United States is guided not by race, religion or ethnicity as politicians, pundits and pollsters falsely claim, but by the provisions of Title 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens.

Jimmy Carter created the Orwellian term “Undocumented Immigrant” to describe illegal aliens that has, over time, enabled immigration anarchists to con many Americans into believing that deporting illegal aliens actually refers to deporting all “immigrants.”

For the sake of clarity, the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

However, while the protestors demonstrate and engage in free speech, they need to be mindful that a one-sided conversation is not a conversation.

When news organizations provide only one side of the debate and, indeed, create a false narrative under the guise of the First Amendment, they are doing a huge disservice to their profession and to America and Americans.

How many of the protestors who demanded that we “build bridges not walls” would have participated in the demonstration carrying those signs, if the organizations, faculty members of universities and teachers in our nation’s schools would truly honor the First Amendment by ending “Safe Spaces” and encouraging and fostering honest and open debates to provide Americans with a vital but increasingly rare commodity:  The Truth?

It is unfathomable that hundreds of thousands of people, many of them parents, would protest on behalf of El Chapo and others engaged in the drug trade to facilitate the trafficking or narcotics in the United States and the violent crimes and malevolent transnational gangs associated with the drug trade.  Yet, unwittingly, this is precisely what they are doing.

It is equally likely that the numbers of such protestors would have been greatly reduced if the media and our politicians had honestly reported on the findings and recommendations of the 9/11 Commission when reporting on the threat of terrorism and its nexus to failures of the immigration system.

Yet there they were, demanding that our borders be left vulnerable and our immigration laws not be enforced.

“Free speech” does not protect individuals who falsely cry, “Fire!” in a crowded theater to spark a stampede.

Memo to professors, journalists, pollsters and politicians: It is time for honest speech.