Judicial Watch Obtains Obama Commerce Department Documents Detailing ACORN Partnership for 2010 Census

Judicial Watch Obtains Obama Commerce Department Documents Detailing ACORN Partnership for 2010 Census
Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC — May 28, 2009
Census Bureau refuses to partner with “Hate Groups, Law Enforcement, Anti-Immigrant Groups”
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the U.S. Census Bureau detailing the substantial involvement of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in the 2010 Census. Included among the 126 pages of documents, obtained by Judicial Watch under threat of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, is ACORN’s original Census partnership application. The document describes 18 different areas of responsibility requested by the community organization, which is under investigation in multiple states for illegal activity during the 2008 election, including voter registration fraud.

The documents also list the types of organizations ineligible for partnering with the U.S. Census. They include: “…Hate groups, Law enforcement, anti-immigrant groups, any groups that might make people fearful of participating in the Census…” The release of these Obama Commerce Department documents comes in the wake of an Obama Department of Homeland Security report released in April linking opposition to illegal immigration to “rightwing extremist radicalization.”

In its official statement responding to the ACORN controversy, the Obama Commerce Department downplayed ACORN’s participation in the Census, and labeled “baseless” the notion that ACORN would be involved in any Census count. However, the Census Bureau offered ACORN the opportunity to “recruit Census workers” who would participate in the count. Moreover, as an “executive level” partner, ACORN has the ability to “organize and/or serve as a member on a Complete Count Committee,” which, according to Census documents, helps “develop and implement locally based outreach and recruitment campaigns.”

According to its application ACORN also signed up to: “Encourage employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaire; identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials; appoint a liaison to work with the Census Bureau; provide space for Be Counted sites and/or Questionnaire Assistance Centers; sponsor community events to promote participation in the 2010 Census,” among 18 requested areas of responsibility. The documents also show the decision to add ACORN as a partner occurred in February, long after the January 15th Census partnership application deadline. (One Census official had bet “it was under Bush.”)

Among other conclusions from the documents:

•The Census Bureau requested that ACORN “help us highlight [ACORN’s] innovation and hard work and share best practices so other organizations can learn from your experiences.”
•Members of the Census Bureau and Department of Commerce staff assigned to organize the 2010 Census were unaware of when the decision to involve ACORN was made, how the Census Bureau choose and defined partners, or whether partners received payment.
•The Census Bureau did not conduct background checks on the 3.7 million people hired to conduct the 2000 Census, unless a preliminary name check provided a match. Overall, 8% of the applicants, or over 300,000 people, were considered risks for hire.
According to the U.S. Census documents, among other things, census data is used to allocate $300 billion in federal funds. Census data also “determines how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives as well as the redistricting of state legislatures, county and city councils, and voting districts.”

“Given its history of illegal activity and fraud, ACORN should be nowhere near the 2010 Census,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And shame on the Obama Commerce Department for continuing to demonize conservatives by lumping together law enforcement and anti-immigration groups with ‘hate groups.’ This discriminatory policy raises First Amendment concerns. Indeed, these documents provide further evidence that the Obama administration is politicizing the 2010 Census.”

Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Census on March 23, 2009. After the Obama Commerce Department stonewalled, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on May 14, 2009. The documents were released to Judicial Watch on May 15, 2009.

ACORNCensusDept of CommerceFOIA

Beyond ‘No’

Beyond ‘No’
As the GOP argues for spending restraint, it should also address the concerns of the middle class.

RAMESH PONNURU & RICHARD LOWRY

Liberals want to paint Republicans as the party of “no,” and conservatives want Republicans actually to be the party of “no.” With President Obama pursuing a domestic agenda that would make LBJ blush, “no” is the appropriate word. But it obviously can’t be the party’s entire vocabulary.

The Republican congressional leadership understands this point and is trying to hash out a broad policy agenda. Eric Cantor’s National Council for a New America, the famous “listening tour,” is a tentative step in this direction. Upon its announcement, it immediately ran into a buzzsaw of criticism on talk radio and in the blogosphere as a redundant exercise — or a prelude to a pandering sell-out — because it’s already evident what the Republican agenda should be: limiting government, plain and simple.

Actually, there is very little that is plain and simple, let alone easy, about limiting government. Too often the task is reduced to just limiting federal spending. But overspending is only one of the ways that government exceeds its proper scope, and it is not always the most damaging way. Federal spending has contributed a great deal to the problems in our health-care markets, for example, but probably not as much as state regulation and federal tax law have.

Very few voters are interested in limiting government for its own sake. They can be persuaded to limit government as a means of improving their lives and their country, but only if conservatives make a concrete case that it will have those effects. A precondition to making that case is devising a program — a set of practical steps conservatives will take once in power — that both respects the proper limits of government and addresses public concerns. Those concerns vary from place to place and year to year. Income-tax rates were a bigger problem for more people in the late 1970s than they are today. That’s why conservatives, like any other political movement, need to listen to voters. The foot knows best where the shoe pinches.

Conservatives have adopted a narrow focus on federal spending because of a misinterpretation of Republican defeats in 2006 and 2008. By 2006, congressional Republicans had mostly quit trying to reform the federal government to enable middle-class aspirations. The last time Republicans ran on a domestic agenda was 2000. After that point they coasted on pork and national security. In 2006, though, we were losing in Iraq, and Republicans couldn’t admit it. Pork, meanwhile, had led to a spectacular series of cases of corruption. Republicans lost less because of pork projects than because of what had caused them: They had grown more interested in power than in the public good.

Out of power, Republicans should start anew. They need a reform agenda that helps ordinary Americans — better, helps them help themselves — and that can be seen as such. That agenda should center, unapologetically, on the middle class. For as long as today’s two major parties have competed, Republicans have been inclined to think in terms of the national interest more than the interest of the nation’s subsets. But middle-class families are the country’s backbone, not one of its interest groups.

Without a thriving middle class, America will not be a strong country and will certainly not be a country interested in limited government. Republicans should of course pursue policies that enhance the welfare of the poor and even the rich as well as the middle class. But if a policy does not advance middle-class values and interests, it should not be at or near the top of the Republican agenda.

Spending restraint should be part of that agenda. The Obama blowout, and the Republican overspending that preceded it, threaten to crush taxpayers, and not just rich ones, in the years to come. But spending restraint is not enough.

Below we sketch out a few other areas of domestic policy where Republicans, and maybe even some moderate Democrats, could begin to build a new center-right majority. We don’t try to be all-encompassing, and we leave aside several key issues, such as financial regulation, where Republicans need to have answers (and can find some in the splendid work of Kevin D. Williamson and Stephen Spruiell in these pages). We offer our suggestions humbly. There is still much rethinking to be done on the right, and what the political landscape will look like even six months from now is unpredictable. As the Japanese proverb goes, an inch ahead is darkness.

That said, it is clear that pocketbook concerns are going to remain the bread and butter of politics for some time to come. Republicans should focus on easing the cost of living for middle-class families; they should vigorously advocate reforms to address practical anxieties about the health-care system; they should connect their cultural agenda — particularly their emphasis on the importance of marriage — to economic aspiration; they should think hard about mundane quality-of-life issues such as traffic; and they should tap into the populism of the moment by championing democratic accountability.

The party would then have adopted a contemporary version of the kind of populist, middle-class-oriented politics that has been central to Republican successes in the past, including those of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Newt Gingrich in 1994.

Cost of living. Republicans have to win the tax issue in order to prevail on pocketbook politics. To do so the party desperately needs to move to a post-Bush agenda. Bush’s tax cuts on dividends, capital gains, and high incomes will soon expire. Restoring them would be economically beneficial. But Republicans ought to go further. Middle-class families need tax relief too. The chief federal tax they pay is the payroll tax. When parents make the financial sacrifices necessary to raise children, they lighten the payroll-tax burden that Medicare and Social Security place on everyone else. An expanded per-child tax credit, applicable against payroll and income taxes, would recognize that contribution and ease the strain on middle-class budgets.

The cost of college is another source of great anxiety for families and young adults. Policymakers can reduce that anxiety by simplifying financial-aid formulas, by replacing subsidized loans with direct grants as much as possible, and by expanding tax breaks for college savings. A lot of people would benefit, too, if government spending on higher education were redirected from four-year liberal-arts programs to vocational education and two-year community colleges. And we can reasonably ask for more financial transparency from college administrations. The party of the faculty lounge isn’t going to volunteer for these assignments.

Opposition to President Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal must be part of the Republican message on pocketbook issues: It will impose serious costs throughout the economy in order to reduce environmental risks only modestly (as Jim Manzi explains elsewhere in this issue). Republicans should favor cheap and abundant energy now, and research toward technological breakthroughs that can mitigate the harms of global warming, should they materialize, later.

Also, we suspect that in 2010 and onward it will also be both right and advantageous for Republicans to stand for hard money; why not prepare the ground before inflation gets under way?

Health care. The rising cost of health care has eaten into middle-class wages even as health coverage has gotten less secure. A government takeover of the health-care system, even one in which the private sector was tasked with doing the government’s bidding, would probably result first in escalating costs and then in deteriorating care. By replacing existing health-insurance policies, it would add to people’s insecurities about their health care and the financing of it. Republicans should instead stand for lower cost, greater stability, and more individual control.

Existing federal policy penalizes individually owned health insurance with higher taxes, and waives state regulation only for insurance provided by large employers. Republicans should propose to move gradually to build a larger, freer market in individually owned insurance. They should promise to end the tax penalty, starting with people who cannot get employer-provided insurance. They should favor letting people in the individual market, too, escape onerous state regulations. Insurance would be cheaper and more accessible, and the majority of people who are satisfied with their existing arrangements could keep them — a promise that Obama also makes but does not deliver on.

Economic aspiration and its cultural basis. The child credit discussed above would, among other things, put money where the party’s mouth is. Republicans talk a good game about family values, but have paid insufficient attention to the economic basis of family life. Familial stability is a crucial precondition for economic mobility, but it is a diminishing resource. There is not much that governments can do directly to promote it, or at least not much that many people would have the stomach for. But conservatives need at least to make the case for traditionalism and marriage in practical as well as moral terms.

The restoration of a marriage culture would be particularly good for people in the lower middle class and people striving to ascend to it. Republicans are not much exercised by inequality per se, nor should they be. But they should care about whether people can climb the economic ladder. Speaking of which: Some enterprising governor could do a lot of good by taking on the absurdly elaborate licensure rules that restrict entry into many occupations.

Quality of life. Sometimes politics throws up issues that aren’t the least bit sexy and that conservatives have very little interest in. For example: traffic. Republicans have suffered in state after state from failing to attend to public concerns about traffic congestion. The most market-friendly solution to the problem — congestion pricing on private roads — tends to be popular once implemented, but road pricing is extremely unpopular to propose. Yet technology has made progress possible here. Replacing existing toll booths with flexible electronic-collection methods ought to be popular, since it speeds up traffic without raising costs overall. East Coast Republicans, in particular, ought to take note. If new systems work, they could quickly spread.

Small-d democracy. Promoting the middle-class basis of American democracy will be a hollow victory if democratic norms have themselves eroded. Democratic accountability is threatened by the continued liberal instinct for judicial rule, as on same-sex marriage. The use of unelected agencies to impose sweeping regulatory regimes, as the EPA threatens to do with respect to global warming, is another affront to popular rule. Nor should we ignore the rapid development of an anomalous “TARP state” in which executive-branch officials have vast discretion in governing much of our economic life. Republicans should oppose “Bailout Nation” as much in the name of democracy as in the name of markets. The fight for American sovereignty is also a fight for democracy: A principal reason to fear supranational government, even in small increments, is that there is no international public to hold it to account.

As this discussion should make clear, a new Republican agenda geared to the middle class would have both negative and positive sides. In practice most of the party’s time will be spent resisting Obama initiatives — on taxes, health care, judges, global warming — that threaten middle-class interests and values. In some of these cases effective resistance will require the presentation of attractive alternatives. In other cases, Republicans will have to devise conservative policies that address new public sentiments.

We have only sketched a start along this path. The challenge is to connect longstanding conservative principles to the needs and desires of a changing electorate. The middle class, and the political center, is too important to be left to Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer.

Public Now Restricted from Orally Redressing Government on Stimulus

The White House has expanded the ban on lobbyist oral communication with elected officials concerning specifics of the Recovery Act (Stimulus Bill) to include rank and file American citizens.

Public Now Restricted from Orally
Redressing Government on Stimulus
The New Media Journal (Hat-tip to Ace of Spades HQ)
In a May, 29, 2009 posting on the WhiteHouse.gov website by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to President Obama for Ethics and Government Reform, it is disclosed that the public will be included in a restriction barring lobbyists from having oral communications with government officials about specific Recovery Act Projects. Instead, the public is limited to redressing their government through the written word. “I am writing with an update on the President’s March 20, 2009 Memorandum on Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds. Section 3 of the Memorandum…barred registered lobbyists from having oral communications with government officials about specific Recovery Act projects or applications and instead required those communications to be in writing…First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists…We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.” The new restriction, although it does not transgress the rights of the American people to redress their government — the option of writing elected officials or visiting their offices in person to register a complaint or comment is still available to the public — severely limits public accessibility to elected officials on matters of governmental performanc

May Posterity Forget You Were Our Countrymen

May Posterity Forget You Were Our Countrymen
By Lance Fairchok

There is something about D.C. that saps the will and dulls the intellect of conservatives. Prolonged exposure makes them fretful and risk-averse, even timid with controversial issues. Rather than standing on the fundamental values that define American conservativism such as fiscal restraint, limited government, low taxes and free markets, they sidestep and tap-dance, befuddled by the “bi-partisan” opiates peddled by Socialist Democrats.

Perhaps they are worried about re-election more than the core issues. Their long record of misreading the national temperament, rolling over on leftist initiatives, and pushing the wrong candidates has alienated conservatives of all stripes. They squandered the mandate voters handed them in 2004. Vast numbers have now registered Independent in protest. When you don’t fight back, you lose. Socialist calls for “bipartisanship” are a trick conservatives fall for again and again, a tool they use to undermine us; they do not pretend to follow it. So why do we listen to political traitors like Colin Powell or fence-sitting bureaucrats like Tom Ridge? Why do we give the advice of “big tent” moderates any credence? Because our opponents tell us to, and, like fools, we listen.

Tom Ridge, the former Homeland Security Secretary and a towering intellect compared to its current head, recently criticized Rush Limbaugh on CNN. His comments closely echoed the kumbaya nonsense that convinced John McCain that there was an ethical political high road that would gain him the votes he needed. The Democrat Socialists never bothered to go there, but McCain foolishly did. Ridge said:

“I think for the American public, for the Republican Party to restore itself, not as a regional party, but as a national party, we have to be far less judgmental about disagreements within the party and far more judgmental about our disagreement with our friends on the other side of the aisle,” Ridge said. “I think a lot of our commentators are being shrill.” In response to a question about Limbaugh, “Yes, Rush Limbaugh has an audience of 20 million people. A lot of people listen daily to him and live by every word. But words mean things and how you use words is very important.” He further said, “Well, I think Rush articulates his point of view in ways that offend very many. It’s a matter of language and a matter of how you use words. It does get the base all fired up and he’s got a strong following. But personally, if he would listen to me and I doubt if he would, the notion is express yourselves but let’s respect others opinions and let’s not be divisive.”

Well how’s that working for you, Tom? In case you have not noticed, we are in a crisis contrived and perpetuated by the very people you wish us to be respectful of, whom you call “our friends on the other side of the aisle.” Not being divisive has bought us a socialist in the presidency and thieves in congress and a ticket on a bullet train to disaster. “Shrill” conservative commentary is a leftist canard, there is no shriller voice than a socialist scorned. So he tells us not to offend the opposition that is working hard on stealing our children’s future and squandering our nation’s treasure. How can conservatives take the Republican Party seriously when such people are running it?

Colin Powell’s treachery was very Obama-esque, with high-minded rhetoric and no tangible explanation for the citizens that at one time respected him. Always a political general, he is adept at seeing where the political wind blows, and his loyalties seem to be correspondingly shallow. The Valerie Plame fiasco is proof of that. Powell and his subordinate Richard Armitage let a good man hang out to dry, knowing full well it was Armitage who was responsible. Whether they remained silent from cowardice or had a more malign purpose, the result was the same. Powell is like Obama in that he sounds somber and wise, but when his words are examined without the timbre of his voice and his “style,” they fall flat, all rhetorical flourish without substance. (Senator John Kerry called Powell’s comments endorsing Obama “eloquent.”)

“But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities–and we have to take that into account–as well as his substance–he has both style and substance–he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world–onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I’ll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.”

Let me say what most Republicans feel. When Colin Powell came out in support of Barack Obama, he effectively renounced Republicanism. Powell spat in the face of all conservative Americans and all his dissembling on Sunday gab fests does not change that fact. Obama is unmistakably and unabashedly socialist in his policies; he is the embodiment of the radical left and his policies are a disaster for our nation. Powell knows there will be no forgiveness. So when he criticizes “right wing” conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh, he is merely appeasing his new masters and weakening the party he has already betrayed.

It’s not just Limbaugh. When any conservative figure is perceived as pivotal to the success of the Republican Party, the Socialists go gunning for them, they use every stratagem and deceit they can, they concoct and exaggerate, they ridicule and they lie. Sarah Palin, Ted Stevens, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Tom Delay, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh are all examples. The smears, slander and character assassination are a tactic they are not shy about using. The press is their ally, repeating every absurd and fallacious talking point, stacking panels with Socialist apologists and shouting down conservative perspectives. Inevitably, they find a Republican quisling, like Powell, to parrot their words, to reinforce them in the minds of the voter, giving them validity, and undermining the values they pretend they support.

It is fashionable in elite Republican circles to turn up your nose when Limbaugh is mentioned, he is so embarrassingly proletarian, so annoyingly common, and he has no Ivy League pedigree. He is “divisive,” he is “offensive,” he is “polarizing;” in short; he is a hell of a lot more effective than the gang in charge that let the opposition define the issues and the debate. Their arrogance fits nicely into the Socialist plan, they just pepper in accusations of racism, drug addiction, and misogyny and presto, you have a national smear campaign. Love him or hate him, Limbaugh is doing something. He is clear and consistent, and despite the criticisms of those who have never listened to him, he articulates what many millions believe and current events reinforce. He is the thin strand of principle holding us together in a leadership vacuum.

All the ever-so-reasonable sounding reprimands, admonishing us to be less “partisan” and to “reach out rather than criticize” and to “tone down the rhetoric” have an underlying purpose, to weaken a party already crippled by a deficit of self-confidence. It is an old Alinsky trick to place conservative perspectives in a negative moral context and hammer away; eventually, the opposition will grow disillusioned, its animating energy diminished. It works. Our tremulous elites are endlessly distracted by focus groups and straw polls, talk show pundits and the ravings of corrupt legislators that couldn’t tell the truth to save their souls. These country club conservatives are convinced that standing on conservative principles will be a failure.

Either you believe in your principles or you do not. If not, you might as well go the way of the wretched Arlen Specter. You fight honorably, but you fight to win, because the alternative is a failed America. There is not much time, 2010 is our last chance. Once the trillions in stimulus fill the Democrat party coffers and cement their cronies into government, the nation is theirs, and just like the title on James Carville’s newest book proclaims, ‘40 More Years, How The Democrats will Rule the Next Generation,’ we will be powerless to stop the destruction of our institutions.

Yes, Carville used the word Rule. Not serve the nation, not govern, not lead, but rule. The word speaks volumes to the underlying belief system and motivations of the Socialist Democrats. This is not paranoia or conspiracy nuttiness, this is real. They fully intend to manipulate, steal, propagandize and deconstruct everything we cherish, everything we hold dear as Americans. If they succeed, the country will be unrecognizable in a few years time. Even the soviet era newspaper holdover PRAVDA is warning of the catastrophe of American Marxism on its pages (and hell is likely freezing over).

If the citizens are content to be sheep, they deserve the chains the Socialists are forging. Stopping Obama and the socialists in congress is vital to our survival as a free republic. There will be no greater cause in our lifetimes. It is not rocket science. If we do nothing, they win. They have chosen to become the enemies of liberty, the fifth column that undermines the Republic.

Here is a clear simple message from the heartland to the sorry excuses for conservatives that run the Republican Party: We do not want leftist-lites. We want principled and outspoken leaders that do not give a damn about the good opinion of the corrupt press or foreign princes or the approval of the “other side of the isle.” We want you to go for the jugular, we want you to expose the corruption, uncover the deceit, shout out your condemnation and outrage and hit them again and again and again. We want you to get mad at the trillions in theft and act mad. Do not pull your punches and do not back down from the fight. We want you act like Patriots and save this country, because the consequences, despite our wealth and despite our power, are the same as they were at our founding.

The first title for this article was “Republican Cowards, Neo-Con Quislings & Conservative Fools” but then I remembered Samuel Adams’ words to those who quavered in their support of the American Revolution. It appears that the fight against tyranny is not over, so the words ring with meaning for Americans yet again.

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

Samuel Adams

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/may_posterity_forget_you_were.html at June 01, 2009 – 11:50:25 AM EDT

Some of Obama’s less publicized flip flops

Some of Obama’s less publicized flip flops
Rick Moran
Alex Conant of Politico has an interesting article on some of Obama’s flip flops that have not received the attention of some of his major turnarounds like his no lobbyist pledge and his detainee policies.

Some of these lesser known flip flops have been mentioned at AT, others might surprise you.

1. Osama Bin Laden. During the campaign, Obama made a big deal about capturing the terrorist, calling him the “number one national security priority” for his administration.

By the time he was sworn in, Obama was saying that capturing Bin Laden was not necessary to “meet our goal of protecting America.” His recent speech on Afghanistan announcing the troop increase never mentioned Osama.

There’s more:

On human space exploration: Early in his presidential campaign, Obama had great reservations about the costs and risks of human space flight. He said he would delay NASA’s plans to send humans to the moon and, eventually, Mars and, instead, spend that money on education. But, as Florida, Ohio and Texas became more politically important, Obama began to walk back his proposed NASA cuts, promising to fund unmanned space exploration and some other scientific missions.

Now that he’s in office, Obama’s reversal is complete: The White House budget, released earlier this month, provides a healthy increase in NASA funding and explicitly endorses the “goal of returning Americans to the moon and exploring other destinations.”

On the Armenian genocide: In the U.S. Senate and on the campaign trail, Obama firmly declared that the death of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I was “genocide” – a touchy topic between Turks and Armenians and a political priority for Armenian-Americans – and promised that “as president, I will recognize the Armenian genocide.”

Nonetheless, during his recent trip to Turkey as president, Obama broke his promise. Instead, he tried to muddy the waters, announcing that “my views are on the record and I have not changed views” but refusing to state what those views actually are.

Obama has also broken his promises on small business tax cuts, “don’t ask don’t tell,” needle exchange programs, and allowing for 5 days of public comment before signing a bill.

David Axelrod recently told Politico that Obama’s governance is “consistent” with his campaigning. Perhaps Mr. Axelrod was referring to another planet because here on earth, that is not how we would describe a guy who flip flops on so many issues.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/06/some_of_obamas_less_publicized.html at June 01, 2009 – 11:48:33 AM EDT

U.S. Bails Out Palestinian Terrorism…Again–The Obama administration militarizes the Palestinians.

U.S. Bails Out Palestinian Terrorism…Again
By: Rachel Ehrenfeld
Monday, June 01, 2009

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The Obama administration militarizes the Palestinians.

The May 28 meeting between President Barak Obama and Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, confirms that this Administration, like its predecessors, refuses to learn from the past.

In yet another déjà-vu, the U.S. unconditional support to the Palestinians is persisting despite the fact that the Palestinians have never upheld any agreement to stop the violence against Israel.

Not even the economic downturn and financial instability in the U.S. have curtailed the Obama Administration’s financing of Palestinian terrorism.

A day after the Obama – Netanyahu meeting, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, reassured Al Jazeera viewers, that “the Obama Administration is not waiting.”

In addition to the $900 million the Administration offered the Palestinians on March 2, it is working to speed the establishment of regular Palestinian military and security forces. The U.S. has already trained 1,500 Palestinian soldiers costing the recession gripped American taxpayer $161 million. These newly trained forces says Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, U.S. security coordinator for Israel and the PA, “are new men,” unlike the thousands trained by the U.S. since the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 1994.

The scheme behind the U.S. military initiative to organize and train the PA military forces is that these “new men” would help Abbas defeat Hamas. However, Abbas had already indicated that he “has agreed in principle to form a joint security force with …Hamas.” This does not seem to phase Dayton, who insists that the “new men,” are on a mission to “create a Palestinian state.”

Abu Yusef, a member of the PA’s Chairman own security unit – Force 17, has an unambiguous view of the American military training of the Palestinians: “The operations of the Palestinian resistance would [not] have been so successful and “would not have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000, and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without [American military] trainings,” he boasted in an interview in August 2007. “All the methods and techniques that we studied in these trainings, we applied them against the Israelis,” he said.

Abu Yusef explained that the American training helped the Palestinian forces to better snipe “at Israeli settlers and soldiers.” The special intelligence training they received from the U.S. instructors helped them “collect information on the movements of soldiers and settlers… the best timing to infiltrate our bombers inside Israel.” Abu Yusef specified: “We used weapons and we produced explosives, and of course the trainings we received from the Americans and the Europeans were a great help to the resistance.”

If the past is of any indication, then the “new men” would join thousands of already well-trained and well-equipped Palestinians whose main goal remained to fight Israel. Yet, the U.S. is determined to expedite the training.

Furthermore, on May 27, a day before Obama’s meeting with Abbas, in a move to protect Hamas terrorists, the U.S. blocked Israel’s request for the AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter, worried that the “helicopters would threaten Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

While Mrs. Clinton assured the House Appropriations Committee: “No aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by Hamas,” PA Prime Minister and Finance Minister Salem Fayyad acknowledged many times that controlling Palestinian finances “is virtually impossible.”

Furthermore, last February, despite Fatah-Hamas bloody disagreements, Fayyad diverted $21.5 million sent from Israel to pay PA employees’ salaries, to Hamas controlled Gaza, supposedly to rebuild buildings destroyed during Operation Cast Lead. This and millions of dollars Fayyad receives from Israel to pay the rapidly growing numbers of alleged PA employees in Gaza, pays Hamas loyalists instead. In addition, Hamas taxes the PA salaries and keeps the money in Gaza. All this amounts to extra millions of dollars each month to Hamas.

In December 2007, soon after Hamas takeover of Gaza, international donors pledged $7.4 billion to the PA, to help it fight Hamas. This did not stop Fayyad who declared the PA would give Hamas 40% ($3.1 billion) of the funds. The PA did not get all that money, because most donors refused to send money to Hamas.

The $4.5 billion – $5.2 billion pledged in March 2009 to rebuild Gaza is held up for similar reason. But Mrs. Clinton insists the U.S. has “worked with the Palestinian Authority to install safeguards that will ensure our funding is only used where and for whom it is intended and does not end up in the wrong hands.”

It seems that Mrs. Clinton is impressed with the PA’s much touted anti money laundering programs, while ignoring the PA’s actions of sending “clean” money into the hands of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The newly pledged international aid to the Palestinians would amount to $1,125- $1,300 dollars to each of the 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. This is on top of hundreds of millions of dollars in “humanitarian aid” sent by Israel, the U.S., European Union (EU), Saudi Arabia, Iran and other international organizations and to Hamas controlled Gaza, since December 2008.

In comparison, from 2003 to 2006 each of 2.5 million Darfur refugees received only $100 per person annually from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

As not to leave Obama in the dark for his meeting with Abbas on Thursday, May 28, the PA representative to the negotiations with Israel, Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), told the Israeli Daily Ha’aretz on May 26: “It’s not fair to demand that we recognize you [Israel] as the state of the Jewish people…Our refusal is adamant.”

Instead of demanding the Palestinians to officially recognize Israel, Obama placed the burden of the progress of Middle East peace on Israel.

Alas, such persistent statements and increasing violence against Israel since the creation of the PA in 1994 never stopped any American Administration from investing billions of dollars into the creation of well armed and trained radical Muslim Palestinian state. As with other failed entities, the Obama Administration seems resolute to bail out yet another losing venture – the Palestinian terrorist state.

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