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June 11, 2010
From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
“ACORN HQ is wkg (working) for the Democratic Party”
This was just one of many shocking statements made to federal investigators by witnesses, including campaign workers for Project Vote, an ACORN affiliate, according to documents we obtained recently from the FBI.
The documents relate to the 2007 federal investigation and arrest of eight St. Louis, Missouri, ACORN workers for violation of election laws and voter fraud. They include handwritten notes from FBI investigators interviewing, among others, canvassers working with Project Vote, which, as we now know, is virtually indistinguishable from ACORN. Here are the “highlights” from the FBI handwritten notes:
- [ACORN] Told employees not to talk to the FBI. “FBI trying to intimidate you”
- Fraudulent cards:
- To cause confusion on election day to keep polls open longer
- To allow people who can’t vote to vote.
- To allow to vote multiple times.
- Project Vote will pay them whether cards fake or not — whatever they had to do to get the cards was attitude.
- Constantly threatened staff instructed on what to say to FBI
- “Poverty pimpin” (sic) ACORN
- ACORN HQ is wkg for the Democratic Party.
- PV [Project Vote] pays ACORN $6.00 per card…Said “You treat the cards like (cash) $”
- Some [names] went right from the phone book and made up the rest.
- Canvassers: homeless, volatile, drug users, drunks…
- Anyone who was against PV (Project Vote) or ACORN’s goals “right wing”
- She thought if she used a completely fake name it would be less like ID theft…“Yeah, it’s against the law, I know.”
In addition to the handwritten notes, the documents also include copies of the arrest warrants, criminal case cover sheets and court documents. In April 2008, by the way, all eight ACORN employees involved in the scandal pled guilty to voter registration fraud.
- Illinois Spends $55 Mil To Insure Illegal Immigrants
- Guantanamo’s $500 Million Renovation
- Senators Get Donor $8 Million Earmark
- Sanctuary Policy Leads To Woman’s Murder
- National Security Agencies Fail To Protect U.S.
- Senate Panel Clears Judge Who Protects Child Sex Offenders
- Internet, Bingo, Art Classes For Jailed Illegal Immigrants
- Court Upholds Day Laborer Law
As you may recall, in March 2010, Judicial Watch obtained a separate batch of FBI documents detailing federal investigations into alleged ACORN corruption and voter registration fraud in Connecticut prior to the 2008 presidential election. The FBI and Department of Justice initiated investigations. And the story was much the same in Connecticut as it was in Missouri. However, in the case of Connecticut, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation in March 2009 claiming ACORN broke no laws.
Despite disinformation to the contrary, ACORN isn’t going away. A report on a new book suggests that ACORN will lie low until after the November elections and come back under another name. Its leadership is unapologetic about its proven corruption.
These documents clearly demonstrate the need for a national criminal investigation by the Obama Justice Department into ACORN. And so we have to wonder: Is Attorney General Holder doing nothing because of Obama’s close connections to ACORN and Project Vote? Read these documents and tell me, what other explanation can there possibly be for the scandalous inaction?
Mexican Government Border Incursions on the Rise According to New Documents Uncovered by JW
A few weeks ago, Mexican President Felipe Calderon had the gall to criticize Arizona’s tough new illegal immigration law from the well of Congress before a joint session. Maybe he should have taken some time to explain why Mexican government officials, including members of the Mexican military, continue to flood across the border and attack U.S. Border Patrol agents.
On March 22, 2010, we received records from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concerning Mexican government incursions and encounters along the U.S. border. The documents were incomplete and included huge gaps in the data, but nonetheless indicate an increase in the number of incursions in 2008 and 2009. Our analysis of the data shows:
- 76 Mexican Government incursions from January 2008 to December 2009 (data missing from February 2009)
- 50 Mexican Government incursions in 2008 alone, which is double the number of incursions from the previous year
- 528 assaults against CBP agents from January – June 2008
- 11 assaults against National Guard agents with CBP from January – June 2008
By comparison, CBP statistics we previously obtained confirmed 25 incursions in Fiscal Year 2007. And overall, Judicial Watch has documented 226 Mexican government incursions between 1996 and 2005.
In addition to the incursion data, the CBP also records the number of tunnels discovered along the border which are allegedly used for smuggling and human trafficking. In 2008 alone, CBP discovered 25 of these tunnels. Overall, between 1990 and March 2009, CBP discovered 103 tunnels along U.S. borders — one along the U.S border with Canada and 102 along the U.S. border with Mexico.
(If you want to get an idea of the gravity of the human trafficking problem on the Southern border, check out some of Judicial Watch’s investigative work in Phoenix, widely considered the “kidnapping capital of the U.S.” by clicking here. As you’ll see, Mexican drug cartels and gangs are kidnapping unsuspecting illegal aliens and keeping them holed up in drop houses in the suburbs of Phoenix, the nation’s fifth largest city, so they can extort more money from their hostages.)
Now, as I mentioned, the most recent batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the CBP is missing large amounts of data. Through FOIA, Judicial Watch requested incursion and encounter reports from January 2008 to present. However, CBP provided full statistical reports for the first six months of 2008 only. The remaining reports only include the numbers of incursions. Moreover, data for February 2009 is missing entirely. We’ve already filed an appeal with CBP to obtain the missing information.
But even with incomplete information, the documents clearly show that President Obama and the federal government continue to be derelict in securing the nation’s southern border. These new government documents depict a chaotic and dangerous situation for our nation’s Border Patrol agents — and for border states such as Arizona.
As I’ve said time and time again in this space, granting amnesty to illegal aliens, which is the centerpiece of Obama’s immigration reform, will only make matters worse. And we simply cannot allow the situation on the border with Mexico to continue to deteriorate.
Previous Mexican government incursion documents obtained by Judicial Watch describe incidents involving shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling, and confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and members of the Mexican military. Agents of the Mexican government violate our sovereign border on a regular basis, and something needs to be done about it.
More Trouble for Pelosi: Judicial Watch Obtains New CIA Documents Regarding Congressional Briefings on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
Late last Friday, Judicial Watch received 504 pages of declassified “Top Secret” CIA memoranda detailing congressional notifications and briefings on enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) and detention operations. Judicial Watch got its hands on the documents thanks to a court order stipulating that all CIA documents related to EIT briefings for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress be turned over to JW by April 15th. (Better late than never.)
Our investigations team is still reviewing the documents but here are a couple of highlights we have uncovered so far.
First, I want to call your attention to a “Classified Statement for the Record” by General Michael Hayden, then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on April 12, 2007:
At the entrance to an office in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center is a sign and a reminder: “Today’s date is September 12, 2001.” We make no apologies for this attitude or for the lawful and legitimate actions we have taken to counter al-Qa’ida. And let me be clear, our enemy is still potent and able to attack us here and overseas…
…Al-Qa-ida’s only obstacle to attacking us again is our continued assertive effort to stop them. CIA’s detention and interrogation program remains critical to our ability to sustain this effort and protect the American people from another attack. As the President stated in his 6 September 2006 speech to the nation on “The Creation of Military Commissions to Try Suspected Terrorists,” “…the most important source of information on where the terrorists are hiding and what they are planning is the terrorists, themselves.”
This squares with other documents we previously received from the CIA, including a June 1, 2005, CIA report entitled, “Detainee Reporting Pivotal for the War against Al-Qa’ida,” which stated: “Detainee reporting accounts for more than half of all HUMINT [Human Intelligence] reporting on al-Qa’ida since the program began…” This fact was omitted by later versions of the report for some reason. However, all versions of the report concluded: “One of the gains to detaining the additional terrorists has been the thwarting of a number of al-Qa’ida operations in the United States and overseas.”
In other words, the consensus among intelligence officials seems to be that EITs work. And one of the nation’s top intelligence official says we’re more susceptible to attack. Hayden concludes his testimony with the warning that not having the ability to use enhanced interrogation techniques would allow terrorists to “withhold critical, time-sensitive, actionable intelligence that could prevent an imminent, catastrophic attack. In essence, we could be back to a pre-9/11 posture.”
Thanks to President Obama’s banning of enhanced interrogation techniques, that’s where our nation is today — at increased risk of a catastrophic terrorist attack.
Now to the question everyone has been asking, what did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi know regarding the use of EITs and when did she know it? You may recall that Pelosi admitted she was briefed by the CIA in 2002, but denies she was ever told EITs were being used at the time.
In this most recent batch of documents, Judicial Watch obtained a never-before-released memo by the Office of Inspector General asking that very question. (In fact, the subject header for the memo reads: “Document/File Review Related to CIA Notification Meetings with Nancy Pelosi About the Use of Harsh Interrogation Techniques Against Detainees.”
Despite the provocative headline, much of the most critical information was redacted from the document. However, the memo does conclude: “…Pelosi probably was briefed twice in 2002, first in April 2002 after Abu Zubaydah’s capture and probably again in September 2002 after Agency officers began interrogating the detainee.”
And what was covered?
“During the years subsequent to [redacted] record of the briefing of Pelosi in September 2002, Directorate of Operations/National Clandestine Service (DO/NCS) officers continued to say in documents and [redacted] messages that Pelosi and others on the Intelligence Committees had been briefed or ‘fully briefed’ during September 2002.”
Now, given that Abu Zubaydah was subjected to EITs, the term “fully briefed” suggests at least that the use of EITs, including waterboarding, was included in the discussion with Pelosi.
Of course, we would have a much clearer understanding of the precise nature of the briefings were it not for the redactions. Let me show you what I mean. One section of the OIG memo states: “Regarding the content of the 4 September 2002 briefing for Pelosi, Goss, [redacted] message and cable indicated that he, Rodriguez, [redacted] provided information about [redacted].” By withholding this information, the Obama administration covers for Pelosi.
Still, the preponderance of evidence seems to support the CIA’s contention that Pelosi was made aware of the use of EITs. And that she lied about it.
New York Rep. Peter King came to the same conclusion. Congressman King told The Washington Times: “Everyone I have spoken to who were on the [House Intelligence] Committee says that she was certainly aware of what was going on.”
What a scandal it is that our nation’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, third in line for the presidency, would lie about such an important national security matter. We hope these new documents can be used to hold her to account for her big lie.
Until next week…
Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation’s public life. To make a tax-deductible contribution in support of our efforts, click here.