U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Rules White House visitor logs off-limits to the America People
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement today in response to the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which found that U.S. Secret Service’s White House visitor logs for people visiting the president’s office are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Judicial Watch Inc. v. U.S. Secret Service (No. 11-5282)):
“A president that doesn’t want Americans, under law, to know who his visitors are is a president who doesn’t want to be accountable. The appellate court decision punches another hole in the Freedom of Information Act, the law which allows Americans to know what their government is up to. We are strongly considering an appeal. The legal gymnastics in this unprecedented decision shows that President Obama is not the only one willing to rewrite laws without going through Congress. And this legal fight, in which President Obama is fighting tooth and nail against full disclosure under law of his White House visitors, further exposes his big lie that his administration is the most transparent in history. The silver lining is that at least the appellate court opened up the records of tens of thousands White House visits that Obama was trying to keep secret.”
America’s Largest Government Watchdog Calls on Congress to Clean up Corruption and Restore Rule of Law to Washington, DC
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released its list of investigative priorities for the new 113th Congress. The investigative agenda, which is being independently pursued by Judicial Watch, is a wide-ranging catalog of waste, fraud and abuse by the Obama administration. The investigative priorities include:
- Rule by Executive Fiat: President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress, often contrary to the U.S. Constitution, and implement his agenda via executive fiat on a wide range of issues from undermining the Second Amendment to rewriting immigration law, to controlling free speech on the Internet.
- Benghazi-gate: The Obama administration’s attempts to deceive the American people regarding the terrorist connection to the murder of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi; the decision by the State Department to deny support for U.S. forces during the attack and the Obama administration’s refusal to bolster security at the consulate in the lead up to the anniversary of 9/11.
- Bin Laden Raid Leaks and Secrets: The Obama Department of Defense’s (DOD) decision to leak classified details at the behest of the Obama White House to the filmmakers behind Zero Dark Thirty, a Hollywood film detailing the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden; the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the leaks despite a criminal referral from the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General; the leaking of the names of military operatives involved in the raid by DOD Undersecretary Mike Vickers; the connection of John Brennan, Obama’s pick to head the CIA, to the leaks; the decision by the Obama DOD to withhold from the American people the videos and photos detailing the raid.
- Election Fraud: The DOJ’s refusal to enforce provisions of the National Voter Registration Act, that requires states to maintain clean voter registration lists; DOJ’s campaign to threaten, intimidate and sue states that attempt to implement election integrity provisions consistent with the law, such as voter ID laws; DOJ’s collusion with radical leftist and corrupt special interest groups such as Project Vote and other ACORN-connected groups.
- Threats to Second Amendment Protections: The Obama administration’s closed-door discussions with anti-gun activists designed to craft policies that restrict gun ownership and undermine the Second Amendment, including new policies that would seek to pressure businesses to toe the administration’s gun agenda; policy recommendations that “suggest” doctors ask patients about gun ownership; efforts to compile federal registries on gun ownership; and efforts to use EPA regulations to restrict gun ownership.
- Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s highly controversial June 20, 2012, assertion of “executive privilege” to protect Attorney General Eric Holder from being prosecuted for failing to provide Congress with documents pertaining to the Obama administration’s deadly gunrunning operation known as Operation Fast and Furious; Obama’s invocation of executive privilege moves the legal and political questions surrounding the deaths of more than 300 Mexicans directly into the Oval Office; efforts by the Holder DOJ and top Justice officials to conceal their knowledge and participation in the Fast and Furious scandal and to escape accountability while blaming the scandal on low level officials.
- Ongoing Government Bailouts: The government’s continued control of private sector institutions through bailouts of private financial institutions; government decisions regarding the ongoing Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts; the role of the Federal Reserve in supporting European Union bailouts and the continued financing of our nation’s public debt; and the government takeover of the American automotive industry.
- Green Energy Boondoggles: The Obama Department of Energy’s decision to funnel $16.4 billion to “green energy” companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers; the half-a-billion taxpayer dollars given to the now-bankrupt Solyndra, a green energy boondoggle financially backed by Tulsa billionaire Georg Kaiser, an Obama campaign fundraiser; the decision by the Obama White House to fast-track the Solyndra loan through the approval process; bailouts given to other failing “green pork” companies, such as Fisker Automotive, Ener1, Abound Solar, and Beacon Power.
- Illegal Immigration: The President’s amnesty scheme for illegal aliens imposed via executive fiat; deteriorating security on the nation’s border with Mexico; the Obama administration’s unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws and attacks against states attempting to confront the illegal immigration crisis.
- National Security: Unanswered questions concerning the relationship of the FBI and CIA to American-born militant Imam Anwar al-Aulaqi and his assassination per the order of Barack Obama in 2011; the Obama administration’s determined efforts to censor speech about the threat of radical Islam.
- Obama Czars: Barack Obama’s repeated attempts to bypass the “advice and consent” authority of the U.S. Senate and appoint unaccountable and corrupt czars to control major aspects of government policy and programs outside of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); the decision by Obama to improperly employ a controversial recess appointment to install radical leftist Richard Cordray at the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) after the Senate had blocked his nomination; Obama’s decision to use recess appointments to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a move which exceeded his constitutional authority per a recent appeals court ruling.
- Obamacare: Obamacare’s mandate to evaluate medical treatments based solely on cost; the Obama administration’s secrecy regarding the distribution of Obamacare waivers; the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer dollars to produce and distribute Obamacare propaganda; and the regulation and funding of Obamacare in general.
- Unprecedented Secrecy: The Obama administration’s withholding of records pertaining to Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; to withholding the Secret Service’s White House visitor logs; to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections. (Judicial Watch has had to file almost 1,000 FOIA requests and nearly 100 FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration.)
Judicial Watch, in partnership with Breitbart.com, commissioned an election night survey of voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, which found that corruption in the federal government is a serious concern among voters, with 85% saying they are “concerned” and of that number 53% saying they are “very concerned.”
“There was only one non-partisan mandate handed to Congress and the president on Election Day 2012 – to clean up corruption and restore the rule of law to Washington,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “President Obama has presided over the greatest expansion of government power in modern history and most of this activity has escaped congressional oversight. Judicial Watch is doing its part to fill in the oversight gap, but it is well past time for Congress to help pry loose information from the Obama administration, which has proven to be both highly secretive and corrupt.”
Judicial Watch has taken the lead in exposing the true costs of the Obamas’ personal luxury travel. Using investigations and lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act, JW exposed the evident waste of taxpayer dollars for Obama family vacations to Spain, South Africa, Aspen, and Mexico. Currently under investigation are the costs of the Obama family spring break to the Caribbean.
“The Obamas’ unnecessary personal luxury travel is an abuse of office in this age of sequester, unemployment, and out of control government debt. Taxpayers are right to wonder why the Obamas repeatedly take personal trips with seemingly little regard for the resulting drain on precious tax dollars.”
– Tom Fitton, President
Most recently Judicial Watch is investigating the following trips and or vacations:
- President Obama’s trip to Palm Beach, Florida
- Sasha and Malia Bahamas Spring Break
- Vice President’s Weekend Home Trips
- President’s Day Trips
Click on a press release below to see what we have uncovered.
- JW Sues Secret Service for Records Detailing Costs of Luxury Vacations Taken by Obama, First Lady, and Biden (7/29/2013)
- Michelle Obama’s August 2010 Vacation in Spain Cost American Taxpayers $467,585 According to Records Obtained by Judicial Watch (4/26/2013)
- Malia Obama’s Trip to Mexico: $115,500.87 (12/6/2012)
- Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Trip to Aspen, Colorado Cost Taxpayers at Least $83 Thousand Say Records Obtained by Judicial Watch 7/18/2012)
- Judicial Watch Sues Air Force and Secret Service for Records Detailing Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Vacation to Aspen, Colorado (6/5/2012)
- Judicial Watch Sues U.S. Air Force for Records Detailing Costs of Michelle Obama’s August 2010 ‘Whirlwind’ Vacation to Spain (3/6/2012)
- Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Detailing the Cost to Taxpayers for Michelle Obama’s Family Trip to Africa (10/4/2011)
Additional articles and information on First Family travel:
- Late fees: Taxpayers foot the hefty bill for Obama’s talk-show tour (Washington Post)
While the Obama Justice Department tours the nation condemning unfounded discrimination against Muslims at their place of worship, a local Florida news station uncovers an imam’s ties to a blind sheik behind the first World Trade Center bombing in the early 90s.
Not surprisingly, the administration’s campaign to combat mosque intolerance is being heavily promoted while the shocking imam terrorist story gets swept under the rug. We only know about it because a central Florida reporter took the time to dig around and uncover the Orlando-area imam’s disturbing ties to an extremist group behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The imam’s real name is Marcus Robertson but he goes by Abu Taubah and he preaches the Quran at the Masjid Al-Ihsaan Mosque in East Orange County. He also has an extensive criminal record, according to the news report. Imam Tubah is actually a convicted felon who has murdered people, attempted assassinations, taken hostages and tried to kill police officers. Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he planned an attack on U.S. military personnel overseas, according to prosecutors.
Authorities say Imam Taubah has deep ties to Islamic terrorists and that he was a bodyguard to Omar Abdel Rahman, the blink sheik behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The Egyptian-born militant Islamist was convicted after the ’93 attack of plotting to bomb several New York City landmarks and is currently in prison.
Hundreds of miles away in Miami last year, the feds raided a mosque with terrorist ties albeit under Obama’s new rules of engagement to assure cultural sensitivity towards Islam. A Pakistani imam named Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan and his relatives were charged with providing financial and material support to the Pakistani Taliban, which is associated with Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against American interests. Khan founded an Islamic school that supports the Taliban’s jihad while living in Pakistan and continued controlling and funding it as an imam in Miami, according to the federal indictment.
Considering these cases and others around the U.S., is it any wonder why some Americans may seem suspicious that a number of new mosques are popping up all over the country? The Obama Administration claims they are suffering unwarranted intolerance from what one top Department of Justice (DOJ) official calls “islamophobes.” In fact, a day after the Orlando terrorist imam story broke, the assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s bloated civil rights division damned Muslim prejudice at the opening of a new mosque in Tennessee.
Addressing worshipers at the grand opening of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said, “without question we are seeing real challenges to the civil rights of Muslim Americans,” especially in mosques. He referred to the offenders as “islamophobes” and assured that his agency is taking action, investigating over 800 incidents involving threats targeting Arabs, Muslims, Sikhs and south Asians. The DOJ is also working with state and local prosecutors in “numerous non-federal criminal prosecutions,” Perez said.
Film Written, Produced, and Directed by Stephen K. Bannon, the Writer/Director of “Occupy Unmasked,” and “The Undefeated”
“Obama 2016” Distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures to Manage National Distribution Campaign
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the nation’s largest government watchdog organization, and Victory Film Group announced today the release of a new documentary film, “The District of Corruption,” which puts the spotlight on Judicial Watch’s epic battle against government scandal, secrecy and corruption through the last three presidential administrations (see trailer here). Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, the writer/director of “Occupy Unmasked” and the Sarah Palin film “The Undefeated,” and produced in association with Constant Motion Entertainment, the Judicial Watch film will be released nationally by Rocky Mountain Pictures, the distributors of the documentary sensation, “Obama 2016.” The movie “The District of Corruption” will be available in select theaters on October 26:
- Old Mill Playhouse, Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, 1000 Old Mill Run, The Villages, FL
- AMC Lennox Town Center 24, 777 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH
- Edwards Greenway Palace Stadium, 3839 Weslayan Street, Houston, TX
The movie trailer, ticket, and theater information is available at www.districtofcorruptionmovie.com.
“The District of Corruption” chronicles the ongoing battle to clean up government corruption in Washington, DC, focusing intensely on Judicial Watch’s efforts to counter the unprecedented corruption and secrecy of the permanent political class. The film comprehensively exposes the Obama administration’s current scandals, including: Operation Fast and Furious; crony capitalism; Solyndra and other “green energy;” federal bailouts and earmarks; ACORN and voter fraud; illegal alien amnesty; and threats to the integrity of the 2012 elections; as well as new attacks on government transparency and accountability.
“The District of Corruption” features interviews with Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, Director of Investigations and Research Chris Farrell and Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes, as well as some of the conservative movement’s most influential and cutting-edge voices, including J. Christian Adams (Election Law Center), Matthew Boyle (The Daily Caller), Mike Flynn (Breitbart.com), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Vern McKinley (author, Financing Failure: A Century of Bailouts), Anita Moncrief (former ACORN insider), Katie Pavlich (Townhall.com), Kerry Picket (The Washington Times), Peter Schweizer (Author, Throw Them All Out), Mark Tapscott (The Washington Examiner), and Matthew Vadum (Author, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayer).
Judicial Watch is also partnering with Movie to Movement, the grassroots group that helped turn out box-office-busting numbers of movie goers for the “Obama 2016.”
“The District of Corruption” is a companion piece to the New York Times best-selling book, “The Corruption Chronicles, Obama’s Big Secrecy, Big Corruption, and Big Government,” by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, which was released in July by Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions.
“For too long, our nation has suffered through a massive expansion of government power and corruption, the likes of which we haven’t seen in generations,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This fall will see more than a few fictional portrayals of today’s Washington in theaters. This movie is the unvarnished truth. The American people are tired of Washington corruption from both parties—that’s why Judicial Watch is the largest grassroots watchdog group in the nation. Our new partnership with Stephen Bannon, the nation’s preeminent conservative filmmaker, will educate the American people by giving them the truth about Obama’s corrupt machine and the longstanding problem of bipartisan corruption in Washington, DC.”
“In the long-running battle to save our country from the big government corruption and crony capitalism that now threatens its very foundations, Judicial Watch is the tip of the spear,” said Stephen K. Bannon. “This film does not pull a single punch. It is brutally honest. And it name names – from both political parties. Importantly, however, the movie also provides a reason to hope. This is a movie for the ages and is an incisive history of DC corruption over the last two decades. Our examination of the current crisis within the Obama administration is the most comprehensive narrative yet.”
Judicial Watch has filed 950 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and more than 90 lawsuits against the Obama administration on issues ranging from Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; and to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections. This documentary follows historic lawsuits against the Bush administration over secrecy issues, one of which ended up before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Stephen K. Bannon is the award-winning filmmaker behind critically acclaimed documentaries and feature films such as: “In The Face of Evil, Still Point in a Turning World,” “The Undefeated,” and The Tea Party Trilogy: “Generation Zero,” “Fire From the Heartland,” and “Battle for America.” Mr. Bannon is the Executive Chairman of Breitbart News, a former Naval Officer and Goldman Sachs investment banker, a co-founder of the National Tea Party Federation, and is a frequent speaker at Tea Party conventions and conferences.
About Judicial Watch (www.judicialwatch.org): Judicial Watch Inc., a conservative, nonpartisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach. The motto of Judicial Watch is: “Because no one is above the law!”
About Victory Film Group (www.victoryfilmgroup.com): Victory Film Group, via subsidiary Victory Films, develops, produces and distributes documentaries and films that address today’s leading political, socioeconomic and cultural issues, while incorporating the conservative perspective. Victory and its founders have written, directed and released five films, which are considered among critics as one of the best conservatively themed collections in film history.
About Constant Motion Entertainment (www.constantmotioninc.com): Constant Motion Entertainment (CME) is a full-service, award-winning entertainment company specializing in film and television production, special events and publishing.
The Obama Administration has rewarded its big labor allies with lucrative federal grants, including millions of dollars to help them strengthen unions in Iraq, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
The information comes straight from government records gathered in the course of a lengthy JW investigation into the administration’s tight relationship with the nation’s powerful labor movement. Since Obama moved to the White House federal funding for big labor has skyrocketed to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
A chunk of the money is being funneled to unions so they can increase labor organization around the globe, the records show. In most cases the American taxpayer dollars are going to leftist groups in the developing world. For instance, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity has received nearly $3 million to strengthen labor unions in Iraq. The group is the international arm of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the nation’s largest federation of unions representing 12 million workers.
The AFL-CIO offshoot also got a chunk of change from Uncle Sam for various other causes. For example, it raked in an additional $2.5 million for “labor outreach” last year and $1.2 million from the State Department to combat human trafficking in Asia. Earlier this year the group got an additional $721,310 for more labor outreach. This brings the total amount of federal grants awarded to the Solidary Center to $71,652,403, the records show. JW compiled a spreadsheet of all the transactions.
The Solidarity Center is run by politically-connected figures in the labor movement. Former AFL-CIO President John Sweeny is chairman of the board, former AFL-CIO executive councilman William Lucy is vice chairman and current AFL-CIO President Dick Trumka is the secretary and treasurer. The center was founded in 1997, but didn’t receive federal assistance till a decade later.
Under Obama the government cash has flowed generously with most of the money coming from the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), created by President John Kennedy in 1961 to provide humanitarian assistance around the world. In fiscal year 2011 (the latest available stats) the Solidarity Center got north of $14 million, which is roughly half of its annual budget in 2009 and 2010. All the grants were rewarded to help increase labor organizations around the world.
Additionally, JW found that the National Labor College, which bills itself as “the nation’s only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union members, leaders and staff,” has received nearly $3 million in federal grants since 2009. This includes a $1.1 million emergency preparedness grant from the Department of Transportation earlier this year. Of interesting note is that AFL-CIO President Dick Trumka, who serves as secretary and treasurer of the Solidarity Center, is the chairman of the college’s board of directors.
Big labor’s boost in federal funding is strangely similar to the surge experienced by the open borders movement under Obama. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) has also seen its federal funding soar since one of its top officials, senior vice president Cecilia Muñoz, got a job in the Obama White House. Last year a JW investigation uncovered documents that show the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million.
In an example of diplomacy gone amok, the Obama Administration has launched a first-of-its-kind Diplomatic Culinary Partnership at the U.S. State Department, the executive agency responsible for the nation’s international relations.
The new State Department initiative “will elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts,” according to an agency announcement. This is taking international diplomacy efforts, a cornerstone of the Obama presidency, where they have never gone before; the kitchen.
In fact, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged this week that food isn’t traditionally thought of as a diplomatic tool, though she pointed out that “sharing a meal can help people transcend boundaries and build bridges in a way that nothing else can.” Then Clinton said that “culinary engagement” can “further intercultural dialogue and strengthen bilateral relationship.”
That’s why her agency created this innovative new tool. Chefs from across the country will be selected to participate in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the U.S. To accomplish this mission the State Department has created a new American Chef Corps that will compile a roster of cooks who will contribute their time and unique talents, not to mention their culturally diverse dishes.
This may seem like a bit much, even for a president who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Who could forget when Obama proudly presented the United Nations with his new international diplomacy model for the 21st century?
Then again, the president and his wife also seem to be obsessed with food. In 2010 Obama named the family’s personal Chicago cook, Sam Kass, “Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives.” That means Kass, an expert in healthy cuisine, is the White House food czar. First Lady Michelle Obama refers to Kass as a “partner in crime.”
The president has also spent record amounts of taxpayer dollars to eradicate “food insecure households” by promoting food stamps and getting a record number of people—46 million and growing—to depend on them. The commander-in-chief also signed his wife’s $4.5 billion signature law to control the American diet under the auspice of ending childhood hunger in low-income neighborhoods.
The Obama Administration is skewing figures to show that it has deported a record number of illegal immigrants and, not surprisingly, the mainstream media has bought it hook, line and sinker.
A number of media reports have quoted the administration’s inflated deportation stats, but the House Judiciary Committee is setting the record straight after obtaining internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents that tell a different story. The files show that the administration is cooking the books to make it seem as if deportations are at an all-time high when in fact they have decreased significantly.
It turns out that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unscrupulously including numbers from a special program that technically should not count for deportations. It’s called the Alien Transfer Exit Program (ATEP) and it’s a joint effort between ICE and Customs and Border Protection that transfers illegal aliens apprehended at the southern border back to Mexico.
It’s illegitimate to count illegal immigrants apprehended by the Border Patrol under this program as ICE removals, the House Judiciary Committee says. There are no penalties or bars attached when illegal immigrants are sent back south via ATEP and they can simply attempt re-entry, the committee further points out. In many cases they do.
When ATEP removals are subtracted from ICE’s recent, “record” deportation numbers, the 2011 removal total would drop from approximately 397,000 to roughly 360,000 and the 2012 removal total would drop from about 334,000 to around 263,000 (annualized this is estimated to be a drop from about 400,000 to 315,000). This means that ICE removals for this year will be about 14% below 2008 (369,000) and 19% below 2009 (389,000).
The internal records reviewed by the congressional committee also reveal a discrepancy between arrests and actual removals. Specifically, ICE has reported 221,656 arrests yet report 334,249 removals for 2012 so far – a discrepancy of nearly 112,000 removals. ATEP accounts for 72,030 removals within this discrepancy, but there are more than 40,000 removals that remain unaccounted for.
The documents clearly show that President Obama and other administration officials have “falsified” records to achieve historic deportation numbers, according to the Texas congressman who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, Lamar Smith. “It’s bad enough that the President has neglected to enforce our immigration laws but it’s even worse that his Administration would distort statistics to deceive the American people,” Smith said.
The mainstream media tells a much different story, consistently reporting that a record number of foreigners were deported in 2011. One major newspaper went so far as to predict that the record deportations are on track for this year, even as the numbers of migrants crossing the border illegally dropped to a 40-year low. The same story highlighted that an “all-time high” number of removals were convicted criminals.