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Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Because no one
is above the law!


Tom Fitton's Weekly Update

Obama Administration Plays Race Card in Ferguson

Obama Administration Plays Race Card in Ferguson

Barack Obama was supposed to bring us together. Remember? His campaign was about unity and promise and peace. Can we all come together with cooler heads to solve the nation’s problems? “Yes We Can!” he shouted from between Greek columns, in town halls and on network television interviews.

Well that promise – that dream — has not simply fizzled or faded. It has been shattered into pieces by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, and in historic fashion.

The latest example is the “fanning of the flames” approach taken by the White House to a rapidly “trending” drama in Ferguson, Missouri, where a young black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9, 2014.

As far as details go, that’s about it. Some witnesses say Brown had his arms raised when he was shot. Fox News is reporting that according to one source Brown badly beat the officer and charged at him before the officer used his weapon. We just don’t know the full story.

But that hasn’t stopped the race-baiters in the Obama administration and its allies from undermining the rule of law drawing their own conclusions and rushing to the scene of this “hate crime” (yes both of the “Reverends” Sharpton and Jackson have been on the scene). All of this grandstanding, including by President Obama and Attorney General Holder has done what it always does: undermine justice, encourage racial division, and tacitly encourage violent protests.

Judicial Watch has been closely covering the chaos in Ferguson, and the Obama administration’s reckless response.

Here’s a quick review of some of the latest news.

The StoryThe Washington Post cited Holder indicating his displeasure at the “selective release” of information from authorities in Ferguson. “The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me,” Holder said in a statement. “No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation.”

Selective release of Michael Brown information is “troubling”! Is this what one means by projection.  First, there has never been a Department of Justice more addicted to secrecy and stonewalling than this Justice Department. Holder’s objections regarding Ferguson are laughable. And does he intend to “protect the integrity” of this investigation in the same fashion as the Justice Department has fostered integrity in the IRS scandal investigation? Because if that’s the case, I think we’d all be better off if Holder just stayed out of it.

The Story: Breitbart reported that President Obama did manage to pull himself off of the golf course long enough to issue a statement in the Michael Brown shooting, saying: “I understand the passion and the anger arising over the death Michael Brown.” The president also said there is no excuse for “looting” or the use of “excessive force” by police.

I don’t know about you but once you understand “anger,” it is hard to credibly say that you condemn rioting and compare that lawlessness to alleged “excessive force” by police. Sure enough, after the president’s statement, violence in Ferguson increased.

The Story: As violence continued to erupt in Missouri, where there now exists a “state of emergency,” Attorney General Eric Holder ordered an autopsy by a federal medical examiner, writes The Washington Post. “Holder’s autopsy announcement was the latest signal that the federal civil rights investigation of Brown’s death is escalating. Dozens of FBI agents are going door to door in Ferguson to interview anybody with information about the shooting.”

Dozens of FBI agents?   It is hard to believe, given Holder’s record of racially inflammatory rhetoric , that these FBI agents are there to find the truth.

And here’s one hot off the press. The Hill Newspaper reported on Thursday that Holder, while on the ground “assessing the situation” in Ferguson, told a group of black students that he had once been the victim of racial profiling: “Holder, who is in Ferguson as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, relayed a story about being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, despite not breaking any laws.”

The article continues: “Holder said President Obama is keenly interested in how majority white police departments in communities like Ferguson treat black youths, especially those from poor areas. ‘He said the president wants to know what students are feeling about the police departments in the area,’ [one student] told reporters after the meeting.” A young man is shot and a police officer is hospitalized.  And the first instinct of our president and attorney general are to assume the “Sharpton line” on police shootings?

So I ask you. Is Eric Holder’s calculated decision to regale young black students with a story about racial profiling during this tenuous time supposed to foster “healing” and “calm,” as the president said he wanted during his remarks on the Brown shooting?

Or is this decision more likely to send these students out to the violent protests erupting in Ferguson?

We all know the answer. At JW, we have taken a leading role in uncovering racism inside the Holder Department of Justice, especially pertaining to the DOJ’s controversial decision to abandon its own voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, which threatened and intimidated white voters outside a polling station in Philly on Election Day 2008. (The Inspector General’s Office subsequently supported our findings.) This same group is now instigating violence and murderin Ferguson.

America simply doesn’t need any more “help” from the Obama administration investigating speculative civil rights violations in Ferguson, MO.  Simply put, the Holder Justice Department cannot be trusted to enforce the law in a racially-neutral manner.  Judicial Watch has seen this story before, as WND reported:

Fitton said he was concerned Holder sent the CRS [DOJ’s Community Relations Service] to “promote an agenda that follows the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton model, as opposed to pursuing a disinterested, public interest model that people have a right to expect from the Department of Justice.”

As evidence of his concern, he pointed to a meeting Holder attended in the White House in July 2013. At the gathering, Holder and President Obama discussed with Sharpton and a number of civil-rights leaders how to combat state laws that require voter identification, charging they discriminate against minorities.

The meeting occurred after the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which said the nation’s racial progress warranted devising a new formula to determine which states must receive clearance from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before even minor changes are made to election procedures.

Fitton is concerned that the DOJ already has passed judgment on the policeman who shot the black teen in Ferguson.

“The Holder Justice Department assumes there was a racial element involved in the shooting of Michael Brown, such that the event can only be viewed through the prism of assuming racial misconduct by the police,” he said.

Fitton points to CRS influence on the Trayvon Martin case as reason for concern. Through a Freedom of Information Request and a Florida Sunshine Law request, Judicial Watch found the CRS had been deployed to Sanford, Florida, to help organize and manage rallies and protests against Zimmerman.

This is a terrible situation.  Innocent minorities in Ferguson are suffering the effects of violence because law enforcement is following Eric Holder’s ideological and racially political approach to policing, as opposed to the public interest model of police protecting lives and property.

There is a miscarriage of justice in Ferguson, and it is largely the result, sadly, of this Justice Department.  I’ve often called for a civil rights investigation of the Justice Department.  I know Congress wouldn’t dare and the liberal media is afraid to ask tough questions of the radicalized and out of control Attorney General.  So once again, you can count on Judicial Watch to take steps to figure out the truth through our tried and true methods of investigation and litigation.

JW Sues TSA over Cover-Up: Passenger Complaints “Assaults Relating to Sexual Misconduct”

With numerous complaints of sexual abuse on the part of Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) officers, the confessions of one former TSA employee who admitted to a practice by TSA employees to subject attractive women to unnecessary scans, and a government study indicating widespread TSA misconduct, it is long past time for answers.

But since TSA officials aren’t giving them up without a fight, a fight they will now get. On Thursday we announced the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeking “Incident Reports” of alleged sexual misconduct throughout 2013 by TSA officers at Dulles, Chicago, Denver, Miami, and Los Angeles airports. (The lawsuit was filed on July 11, 2014.)

Here’s what we’re after through our March 5, 2014, FOIA request:

Any and all passenger complaint forms (referred to as “yellow cards”), “To From” memoranda, and Incident Reports filed in 2013 at the following US airports: Dulles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport …

On March 13, 2014, Judicial Watch, at TSA’s request, agreed to narrow the scope of its March 5 FOIA request to the following:

Incident Reports relating to [Transportation Security Officers] accused of assaults relating to sexual misconduct in 2013 at the five airports identified in the original request.

Now, despite Judicial Watch’s our willingness to narrow its request, the TSA did not produce any documents or respond in any other substantive way as required by law.

(In a separate Judicial Watch request for “complaints” about TSA security, the agency responded by asking Judicial Watch to define “complaint.” So you can see the kind of juvenile game-playing “the most transparent administration in history” our investigators have to endure on a daily basis.)

TSA sexual misconduct allegations drew nationwide attention in early January 2014 when a Colorado woman, Jamelyn Steenhoek, filed a complaint against TSA officers at a checkpoint at Denver International Airport saying the frisking she received amounted to sexual assault. According to a news report on Denver TV station CBS4:

She said the female TSA agent seemed to get agitated when Steenhoek tried to hurry the process along so she could get her daughter to her plane.

“At that point she did a pretty invasive search. They are just areas of the body I’m not comfortable being touched in. On the outside of my pants she cupped my crotch. I was uncomfortable with that.”

Steenhoek said the agent repeatedly dug her fingers into Steenhoek’s armpits.

“The part of the search that bothered most was the breast search. You could tell it shouldn’t take that much groping. To me it was as extensive as an exam from my physician — full touching and grabbing in the front. I felt uncomfortable, I felt violated.”

She said when the search turned up nothing, the agent repeated it a second time.

“So it didn’t make any sense. The whole search was done over and more touching and grabbing than the first time.”

On January 30, 2014, a former TSA officer Jason Edward Harrington added fuel to the fire when he wrote an article for entitled “Dear America, I Saw You Naked,” and subtitled, “And yes we were laughing. Confessions of an ex-TSA agent.” In the article, Harrington revealed that TSA agents had a code for women they found sexually attractive and who may be put through a revealing full body scan procedure:

  • Alfalfa – TSA malespeak for an attractive female passenger
  • Code Red – Officer malespeak. Denotes an attractive female passenger wearing red
  • Fanny Pack, Lane 2 – Code for an attractive female passenger
  • Xray Xray Xray! – Code for an attractive female passenger, general
  • Yellow Alert – Code for an attractive female passenger, yellow clothing

In a subsequent  article for, Harrington reported, “’nude’ scanners didn’t work and that TSA employees were making predictably awful jokes about passengers’ bodies.” Harrington assisted Judicial Watch in preparing its sexual misconduct FOIA request.

In August 2013, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that misconduct is rampant among TSA officers. According to the report, from 2010 to 2012 TSA officers were cited for more than 9,600 cases of misconduct. In nearly 2,000 cases officers were sleeping on the job, not following procedures, or letting relatives and friends bypass security checkpoints.

Thousands of others failed to show up for work, appeared late or left their post without permission. Some TSA workers were caught stealing expensive electronic items, cash and other valuables from passengers. According to the GAO report, “TSA does not have a process for conducting reviews of misconduct cases to verify that TSA staff at airports are complying with policies and procedures for adjudicating employee misconduct.”

No process for conducting reviews of misconduct cases? We’re talking about a massive government law enforcement agency with 56,000 employees and a $7.7 billion budget! The opportunity for abuse of power is abundant and calls for diligent oversight.

And regarding these scanners, it is bad enough that many experts argue that it unnecessarily intrusive and ineffective, but the fact that TSA would stonewall basic information about potentially egregious and criminal assaults on airline passengers is a further proof this agency is out of control.

Thanks to JW, at least the agency now must answer in federal court for its illegal secrecy. President Obama, despite his supposed commitment to transparency, continues to allow his agencies to flout our nation’s basic open records law without consequence. When will President Obama take personal responsibility for his administration’s repeated violation of federal law?

Dreamer Kills Children, Will Not Be Deported Thanks to Obama Amnesty Policy

The Michael Brown saga (see first story) may have taken the lead on the newswires for the time being, but there has been no stoppage in the flood of illegal aliens coming across the southern border. Likewise, there has been no refuge for innocent Americans from the ongoing chaos caused by the Obama administration’s obstinate and lawless refusal to obey and enforce our nation’s immigration laws.

And so, this week I will close with one story and one poll that demonstrate the lawless approach to immigration is dead wrong.

First the story, courtesy of our Corruptions Chronicle blogger Irene Garcia:

An illegal immigrant protected by President Obama’s amnesty for “Dreamers” (brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children) will not be deported after getting convicted of felony hit-and-run for killing two little girls playing in a leaf pile.

The shocking story comes out of a small town near Portland Oregon, a city that has long offered illegal aliens sanctuary. In fact, the entire state of Oregon is a sanctuary for those in the country illegally and all law enforcement officers are banned from using any public resources to locate or capture illegal immigrants. This case involves a 19-year-old woman, Cinthya ­Garcia-Cisneros, living illegally in the U.S. since she was four years old. She’s the classic candidate for the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive, which grants illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as youngsters a two-year deferment from deportation.

After killing the 6 and 11 year-old step-sisters, Garcia-Cisneros fled the scene and her boyfriend helped cover up the crime. Ultimately she was arrested and could still have been deported, even under DACA. However, Garcia-Cisneros was recently released from a federal facility in Tucson, Arizona and earlier this week an immigration judge dismissed her deportation case.

Now where do you suppose a judge could get the idea that it’s permissible to allow a child killing illegal alien back onto the streets? From the very top!

“Shortly after DACA was implemented,” Irene notes, “Judicial Watch reported that federal immigration officers were actually ordered to release illegal aliens arrested for violent crimes as long as they claimed to be ‘Dreamers’—protected by DACA—who came to the U.S. as children.”

No wonder the American people are increasingly supportive of a complete stoppage of immigration and more illegal immigration law enforcement! This according to the results of a new poll first reported by Breitbart:

As President Barack Obama considers giving more guest-worker permits to companies that have laid off American workers and granting temporary work permits and executive amnesty to millions of more illegal immigrants, a comprehensive survey from Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company found that a majority of likely voters want even fewer legal immigrants.

The poll found that “half of Americans age 65 and over” and 46% of Midwesterners support a zero immigration policy. Furthermore, “independents (47%) were more likely than Republicans (40%) or Democrats (37%) to want zero new immigrants allowed into the country.”

The survey, which polled 1,001 likely voters from July 16-20, also revealed that an overwhelming majority of Americans want more enforcement of the country’s immigration laws and employers to give preference to U.S. citizens over legal and illegal immigrants when hiring.

The American people do not like his immigration policies. Congress could or would never pass them. So the president is prepared to do what he always does – implement his agenda through unconstitutional executive fiat, with deadly results.

How many other American citizens (and, to be sure, illegal aliens ) have to be killed, injured or robbed before the rule of law is finally restored?

Judicial Watch, through FOIA  and direct litigation over illicit government policiesthat violate the rule of law on immigration, has long been in the middle of this battle for our sovereignty, security, and the Constitution. We have more legal action planned, so stay tuned for future news in this area.

Until next week…