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.
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.
Mexican cartel violence is at an all-time high along the increasingly porous southern border yet the Obama Administration has shut down a critical intelligence agency dedicated to identifying, tracking and severing the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.
It’s a senseless move, which is why it was done very quietly. The only real way to discover that the Justice Department’s 19-year-old National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) has been closed is by trying to visit its website. It simply says that on June 15, 2012, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) closed. The public is redirected to another website with “historical materials, an archived version of the NDIC.”
The move is baffling considering the agency’s crucial mission. Consider this; just a few years ago an NDIC task force uncovered that Mexican drug cartels are buying arms from radical Islamic terrorists and that they team up to distribute narcotics in Europe and the Middle East. The NDIC report that revealed this identifies terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestine Liberation Front and the Palestine Liberation Organization as Arab associates of Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. All are officially designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. Department of State.
Other valuable NDIC probes have determined that Mexican drug trafficking organizations represent the greatest crime threat in the U.S. and that cartels have expanded into every region of the country, including idyllic rural areas. This was reiterated by federal authorities less than a year ago in a court case that outlined how Mexican drug cartels have teamed up with violent street gangs to operate in the United States.
The case involves dozens of members of the Barrio Azteca gang charged with operating a massive drug-trafficking and money-laundering enterprise. A handful of members have been convicted and sentenced in Texas while others still face trial for racketeering, murder, drug offenses, money laundering and obstruction of justice. The gang makes money importing heroin, cocaine and marijuana into the United States from Mexico, according to federal prosecutors who clearly relied on the now-defunct NDIC to build their case.
These sorts of illicit enterprises—and the crime that accompanies them—have taken over parts of the southern border and have spilled deep into the U.S., according to various Homeland Security assessments that cite NDIC reports. Why on earth would Obama kill the agency created in 1993 to provide crucial strategic intelligence on trafficking of illegal drugs and related crimes that pose a threat to the national security of the United States? Combined with the president’s backdoor amnesty plan and refusal to secure the border, this is extremely alarming.
While the Obama Administration celebrates the accomplishments of yet another bloated government program—this one providing low-income populations with taxpayer-funded housing—a federal audit exposes the darker side of the costly welfare endeavor.
Known as Rural Housing Service (RHS), the program is responsible for providing safe, sanitary and affordable housing for very-low-income, low-income and moderate-income rural families. The publicly-financed services are delivered through a wide range of housing programs, including those that support single-family home ownership, multi-family rental housing and farm labor housing.
This ends up costing U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars annually for rent subsidies and guaranteed, low-interest home loans for residents of rural areas who otherwise couldn’t afford it. Just this week a member of Obama’s cabinet touted an RHS development in Ohio as an example of the program’s many triumphs. “Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities,” according to an announcement that also reminds the country about Obama’s “first-ever White House Rural Council.”
The idea is to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. That’s why Uncle Sam has invested north of $170 billion in the RHS program, which includes a national network of state and local offices. It sounds like a noble cause but it’s rife with fraud and corruption that’s so deep-rooted, the magnitude may never really be known.
At least that’s what the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan agency that conducts congressional probes, seems to indicate. In a lengthy report made public this week, the GAO identifies tens of millions of dollars in “improper rental assistance payments” within the RHS program during a three-year period sampled. The cause appears to be “inaccurate calculations of tenant subsidies and incomplete supporting documents.”
The report only addresses the RHS’s rental division, which doled out about $1 billion in fiscal year 2011 to help more than 270,000 low-income rural tenants afford housing. On a positive note, from fiscal years 2007 through 2010, RHS managed to reduce its “error rate” from $35 million to $15 million, saving American taxpayers a whopping 20 million bucks.
Actually, these figures are just a sort of guesstimate because congressional investigators admit they have no real way of knowing the true magnitude of the “improper payments.” Therefore, they logically conclude in their report that the “figures may be understated” and taxpayers could very well be getting cheated out of much more.
The GAO includes all sorts of informative graphs and charts in its findings, but it’s not necessary to sort through all of it to get the bottom line; corruption in a bloated welfare program. This seems to be par for the course for the Obama Administration. Among the recommendations the GAO makes to correct the problem; hold agency managers accountable for reducing improper payments. Now, there’s an innovative idea for government.
On the heels of sparing nearly 1 million young illegal immigrants from deportation, the Obama Administration is doling out nearly $6 million to cover the education costs of “migrant students” or the children of “seasonal farm workers” in the United States.
It’s almost as if the president is on a mission to stick American taxpayers with the exorbitant tab to educate illegal aliens or, as the administration likes to call them “young people brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children.” A handful of states— including Texas, California, Utah, Washington and New York—already subsidize their college education and the feds want to help out.
The Department of Education (DOE), the brilliant creation of Jimmy Carter, will give nine states $5.9 million to support high school and college students who are migrants or seasonal farm workers, or the children of such workers. The money will “help hard working farm workers and their families obtain the quality education that they need to compete in the 21st century global economy,” according to Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
The generous allocation will also help migrant youth gain employment at a time of record-high unemployment for American youngsters. Thanks to Uncle Sam, around 5,000 migrants will benefit from this particular program with free counseling job placement, healthcare and housing. An additional 2,000 will get their undergraduate and graduate college courses paid for. Sweet deal!
It’s all part of the Office of Migrant Education, a special division within the DOE that administers programs that provide academic and supportive services to the children of families who come to the U.S. to find work in the agricultural and fishing industries. The programs are designed to help migrant children, who are uniquely affected by the combined effects of poverty, language, cultural barriers, and the migratory lifestyle, to meet the same challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards that are expected of all children.
Among the division’s most popular programs is a Binational Migrant Education Initiative between Mexico and states with a “student population that migrates regularly between Mexico and The United States.” The goal is to work with Mexico to improve primary, secondary and postsecondary education in both counties. There is also a college assistance migrant program, a high school equivalency program and a project designed to help break the cycle of poverty and improve the literacy of participating migrant families by integrating early childhood education, adult literacy or adult basic education, and parenting education into a unified family literacy program.
President Obama’s controversial plan to spare nearly 1 million young illegal immigrants from deportation has received lots of media attention, but most Americans may not realize the administration is also working behind the scenes granting stealth amnesty to many more undocumented aliens.
It’s bad enough that the commander-in-chief has blown off Congress by giving “young people brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children” a chance at U.S. citizenship. Except for those who live under a rock, practically everyone has been exposed to some sort of news coverage involving the heavily promoted amnesty for young illegals.
There was a Rose Garden press conference and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bilingual announcement explaining the “deferred action process” for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as young children. They will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. U.S. immigration laws are not designed to “remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
There won’t be any formal announcements or White House press conferences about the secret amnesty however, but it’s in full force. Just take a look at the latest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) figures released by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches.
As of the end of May, 4,585 deportation cases were closed under a special ICE program created last summer to conduct “an unprecedented review of all immigration cases pending in the immigration courts and incoming cases.” That’s Obama DHS code for backdoor amnesty. By early this year, the plan was underway with a record amount of illegal immigrants spared from deportation and a huge increase in the number of those allowed to remain in the United States. TRAC provided those figures as well back in February.
The number continues rising, according to TRAC’s latest findings. The amount of pending deportations canceled through “prosecutorial discretion” nearly doubled from the previous quarter with the Los Angeles Immigration Court leading the nation with the largest number of closures (534) under this special amnesty initiative. Denver was second with 401 and San Francisco third with 387. Here is a chart with a breakdown by location.
These Homeland Security figures aren’t easy to obtain for a group that’s become a rather painful thorn for the administration. After engaging in a fierce legal battle with ICE over records involving immigration enforcement, TRAC finally obtained them and earlier this year made them public. The records show that ICE repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained.