The Second Mexican-American War: Mexican Insurgent Says US Consulate Was Infiltrated

The Second Mexican-American War: Mexican Insurgent Says US Consulate Was Infiltrated

July 2nd, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

Mexico Drug War

MEXICO CITY (AP) – The drug-cartel enforcer told an unsettling story: A woman who worked in the Mexican border’s biggest U.S. consulate had helped a rival gang obtain American visas. And for that, the enforcer said, he ordered her killed.

Nonsense, says a U.S. official, who said Friday the motive for the slaying remains unknown.

The employee, Lesley Enriquez, and two other people connected to the U.S. consulate in the city of Ciudad Juarez were killed March 13 in attacks that raised concerns that Americans were being caught up in drug-related border violence.

Jesus Ernesto Chavez, whose arrest was announced Friday, confessed to ordering the killings, said Ramon Pequeno, the head of anti-narcotics for the Federal Police. Pequeno said Chavez leads a band of hit men for a street gang tied to the Juarez cartel.

Enriquez and her husband were killed in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, as they drove toward a border crossing. Chavez also is accused in a nearly simultaneous attack that killed the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate.

Pequeno said Chavez told police that Enriquez was targeted because she helped provide visas to a rival gang.

A U.S. federal official familiar with the investigation said Friday that after the killings, U.S. officials investigated possible corruption involving Enriquez and found none. The official was not authorized to speak about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the motive behind the killing remains unclear.

Officials with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City declined to comment. At the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler law enforcement “continues to work closely with our Mexican counterparts to bring to justice individuals involved in these murders.”

U.S. Embassy officials previously said that Enriquez was never in a position to provide visas and worked in a section that provides basic services to U.S. citizens in Mexico.

Mexican police provided no further details from Chavez’s confession on how Enriquez might have helped provide visas to a drug gang.

Enriquez was four months pregnant when she and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, were killed by gunmen who opened fire on their vehicle after the couple left a children’s birthday party. Their 7-month-old daughter was found wailing in the back seat.

Jorge Alberto Salcido, the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate, also was killed by gunmen after leaving the same event in a separate vehicle.

Chavez told police that gunmen opened fire on Salcido because the two cars were the same color and the hit men did not know which one Enriquez was in, Pequeno said.

Investigators also have looked at whether Redelfs may have been targeted because of his work at an El Paso County jail that holds several members of the Barrio Azteca, the gang believed to be responsible for the attacks. Pequeno said Chavez belongs to Barrio Azteca, which works for the Juarez cartel on both sides of the border.

In March, U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement officers swept through El Paso, picking up suspected members of the gang in an effort to find new leads in the killings. A suspect detained in Mexico shortly after the shooting confessed to acting as a lookout as the Azteca gang supposedly hunted down Redelfs, but he was never charged and was released without explanation.

Officials also have speculated that both attacks could have been a case of mistaken identity.

More than 23,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an all-out offensive against drug gangs in 2006.

Much of the violence stems from rival drug- and migrant-smuggling gangs vying for power, including a firefight Thursday that left 21 people dead and at least six others wounded about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Arizona border.

The shootings took place in a sparsely populated area near the border city of Nogales that is considered a prime corridor for migrant and drug smuggling. Sonora state prosecutors said all those killed were gang members.

Gangs often fight for control of the routes they use to smuggle drugs and people across the border, and also abduct migrants from each other. The violence near the Arizona border is one reason given for a controversial law passed in April requiring police there to ask people about their immigration status in certain situations.

The turf war between the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, meanwhile, has made Ciudad Juarez one of the deadliest cities in the world. More than 2,600 people were killed last year in the city of 1.3 million people.

Chavez, 41, served five years in a Louisiana prison on drug distribution charges, according to Mexico’s central intelligence database. He was detained in Mexico in 2008 by the Mexican army on drug trafficking allegations and released, only to be promoted within the Azteca gang, Federal Police said.

Chavez was arrested along with five suspected gang associates who are accused of carrying out killings or providing support. Six assault rifles, a sub-machine gun and ammunition were seized.

Aside from the killings related to the U.S. consulate, Mexican police say Chavez also confessed to participating in the Jan. 31 killing of 15 youths at a party that was mistaken as a gathering of drug-gang rivals. That massacre fueled outrage over innocents killed.

The State Department, meanwhile, announced new travel restrictions Friday for U.S. government employees working away from the border in Mexico and Central America. As of July 15, they and their families are barred from crossing anywhere along Texas’ border, north or south, because of safety concerns. The U.S. government continues to urge Americans to exercise extreme caution or defer unnecessary travel to certain parts of Mexico.

Judge Lets Mexico Have Voice in Court Case Against U.S. Immigration Law

Judge Lets Mexico Have Voice in Court Case Against U.S. Immigration Law

July 2nd, 2010

Fox News

Mexico gets its a say in one of the lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration enforcement law.

A federal judge on Thursday granted Mexico’s request to be allowed to file a legal brief supporting the challenge. That means the judge will consider the brief Mexico submitted previously.

Mexico says it wants to defend its citizens’ rights and that the law would lead to racial profiling and hinder trade and tourism. It also says the law would hinder work against drug trafficking and related violence.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law on April 23 and changes to it on April 30, has lawyers defending it in court.

In a statement issued last week, Brewer said she was “very disappointed” to learn of Mexico’s filing and reiterated that “Arizona’s immigration enforcement laws are both reasonable and constitutional.”

Read More

GOP Demands Obama Actually Visit Border – With Video

GOP Demands Obama Actually Visit Border – With Video

July 2nd, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Politico:

Republicans greeted President Barack Obama’s call to arms on immigration reform Thursday with a demand of their own: that Obama visit the troubled U.S.-Mexico border and see for himself why it must be secured.

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It was a strong reaction to the president’s first policy speech on an issue that so far has defied a legislative solution. The conflict showed how unified the GOP has become in opposing any plan it views as amnesty — and how tough it will be for Obama to revive a key administration goal after months of neglect.

Video

http://www.politico.com/singletitlevideo.html?bcpid=19407224001&bctid=106528350001

The speech seemed as much about keeping immigration reform alive — and assuaging immigrant rights groups — as an imminent, presidential push for reform.

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And it took a decidedly political turn when the president called out Senate Republicans for standing in the way of reform. He told the audience at American University in Washington that 11 Senate Republicans who had supported reforms in 2008 were unsure about their votes this year — and needed to be prodded.

“Without bipartisan support, which we had two years ago, we cannot solve this problem,” Obama told the gathering of community and religious leaders. “We cannot pass [it] without Republican votes. … That is the political and mathematical reality.”

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It was a far cry from 2008, when President George W. Bush championed the cause of immigration reform. He was joined by a would-be president, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who has abandoned the effort while trying to defeat a primary challenger from his right.

But the political winds — intensified by a recession and tea party activism — have shifted. Conservatives, including McCain himself, blasted Obama for now explicitly downgrading their priority — securing the U.S.-Mexico border — below a new path to citizenship favored by many Democrats.

“If the president had actually visited the Arizona-Mexico border, he would understand the real threats Americans are facing from violence along the border related to drug trafficking and human smuggling,” McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said in a statement. McCain has called on Obama to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, four times what the president has pledged.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who met with Obama at the White House last month after signing the state’s controversial immigration law, called the president’s address a “helpless speech.” The Republican governor, who is seeking reelection and subscribes to the secure-the-border-first approach, expressed frustration that Obama has yet to visit the Southwestern border since taking office last year.

“We are the gateway [for illegal immigrants]. We are the one with the porous border,” Brewer said in a Thursday interview with Phoenix’s KTAR-FM, “and I would appreciate it very much if he personally would come and give us a little respect to look at our border and see what we are putting up with on a daily basis.”

The Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, which represents ranchers in the state, has demanded tougher border security after one of its own, Robert Krentz Jr., was shot to death by a suspected illegal immigrant who had come 20 miles north of the Mexico border.

“I don’t think he truly understands what the situation is. One of the best experiences he can have — similar to [President George W.] Bush going to Iraq — is to come down here and see what it is like,” said Patrick Bray, ACGA’s executive vice president, who tuned in to Obama’s speech Thursday.

Though the president said crime along the border has ebbed, “we still have home invasions; we still have robberies,” Bray added. “There is still a tremendous threat down on the border for our ranchers and our community.”

An Obama spokesman didn’t immediately respond, but top administration officials — including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, and Obama adviser John Brennan — have made numerous trips to the region.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), whose district spans 300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, said he sees no advantage to the president making a personal visit to the border.

“If the president went, it would confirm everything he said today,” said Grijalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who attended the speech. “If he went, he wouldn’t come back agreeing with John McCain.”

Ironically enough, Obama sounded like McCain — circa 2006 — on Thursday.

He declared that being American was “not a matter of blood or birth” but of “fidelity” to the principles of democracy — and laid out his arguments against the Arizona law, which allows police to question anyone whom they reasonably suspect is in the country illegally. The administration is likely to challenge the law in court.

“It’s not just that the law Arizona passed is divisive, although it has fanned the flames of an already contentious debate,” Obama said. “Laws like Arizona’s put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable. It puts pressure on already hard-strapped state and local budgets.”

The president added, “It makes it difficult for people here illegally to report crimes, driving a wedge between communities and law enforcement, making our streets more dangerous and the jobs of our police officers more difficult.

“These laws also have the potential of violating the rights [of the immigrants] because of what they look like and how they sound.”

But the address was also noteworthy for what it didn’t contain: a timetable for passing the bill, a framework for what a legislative deal might look like or an announcement of a Justice Department lawsuit against the statute.

The president, who met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus earlier this week, reiterated his general commitment to principles for reform, which Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) laid out earlier this year. Their provisions include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, as well as beefed-up border enforcement and monitoring.

The estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, Obama said, “make a mockery of those who go through the process legally.”

He concluded with a long tribute to the role immigrants have played in American life, quoting extensively from Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus,” which is carved into the base of the Statue of Liberty.

The president quoted its most famous lines, starting with “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” but he left out the less politically correct next line: “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

After a tense meeting with immigrants’ rights advocates at the White House earlier this week, Obama promised the Department of Homeland Security would investigate charges of improper detentions of immigrants in federal facilities, according to an administration official.

And pro-reform Democrats seemed heartened by the fact that Obama put the issue on his agenda at all.

“The president is right to lead on this issue,” said Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee.

And the Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaking on a conference call with Obama administration officials Thursday afternoon, praised the speech as the president’s best effort since his 2009 address in Cairo.

“It was an historic moment of White House vision like [Franklin D.] Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats — a moral tone that has reframed the debate,” Jackson said.

Deadly Border Shootout Leaves Bullet Holes In El Paso City Hall

Deadly Border Shootout Leaves Bullet Holes In El Paso City Hall

July 1st, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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When the first American child is killed by random gunfire, let me hear Obama tell us that border violence is receding, as he tried to do today…

EL PASO, Texas (AP) – A deadly shootout between gunmen and Mexican police that left seven bullet holes in El Paso City Hall has renewed calls for tighter border security, even as local authorities say little can be done to stop stray bullets from crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote President Barack Obama on Wednesday to say Tuesday’s “cross-border gunfire” was more proof that the state “is under constant assault from illegal activity threatening a porous border.”

Mexican authorities said the shootout began between police and armed suspects in Ciudad Juarez – a city plagued by drug violence just across the Rio Grande from El Paso – as officers were trying to investigate a vehicle with no license plates in a border-area parking lot within view of El Paso City Hall.

Police and the suspects exchanged at least 40 shots, and El Paso police believe seven of those bullets flew over the border – traveling more than a half-mile – and hit city hall. No one was injured in El Paso, but a Mexican federal police officer and a bystander in Juarez were killed.

In his letter to Obama, Abbott said “good fortune” prevented any injuries when a single bullet crashed through a ninth-floor office window but insisted the incident was evidence of the need for more border security.

“Luck and good fortune are not effective border enforcement policies,” Abbott wrote. “The shocking reality of cross-border gunfire proves the cold reality: American lives are at risk.”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about Abbott’s letter.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Juarez since the Sinaloa and Juarez cartels started fighting for control of the sprawling border city in 2008. Daylight shootings have become commonplace.

Despite concerns of spillover violence from Mexico’s bloody fight against drug cartels, many border cities, including El Paso, have remained largely unscathed.

So far this year, El Paso has recorded one homicide, compared to more than 1,300 killings in Juarez.

El Paso City Manager Joyce Wilson shrugged off suggestions that more security could prevent stray bullets from flying across the border.

“A (multimillion-dollar) wall didn’t stop bullets,” Wilson said, referring to the border fence built during the Bush administration.

“It’s an unfortunate reality of where we are,” she said.

Abbott is among a growing number of politicians from around the country arguing for more border security.

Earlier this year, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was shot to death in a remote stretch of desert on his property about 20 miles from the border. Investigators have said footprints led from the scene of that shooting south to the border.

Krentz’s killing prompted an outcry over border security. Lawmakers in Arizona later passed a bill giving local police authority to ask about someone’s immigration status in certain situations.

Obama has ordered up to 1,200 National Guard soldiers to the border

Voters Say Secure The Border First

Voters Say Secure The Border First

July 2nd, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Fox News:

A majority of American voters think the federal government should secure the country’s borders first, before Congress works on new immigration legislation.

The Obama administration wants comprehensive immigration overhaul to come first, while Republican leaders are pushing for improved border security as the top priority. A Fox News poll released Friday asked American voters what should happen first: 59 percent think the government should secure the border first, while 30 percent think the priority should be new legislation.

Large numbers of Republicans (72 percent) and independents (65 percent) support securing the border first. Views are fairly evenly split among Democrats, with a slim plurality putting border security (44 percent) before Congressional action (41 percent).

The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from June 29 to June 30. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Some 19 percent of voters think the country’s borders are more secure today than they were five years ago, while 26 percent say they are less secure. Nearly half — 47 percent — say things haven’t changed in five years.

Just over half of voters — 52 percent — favor Arizona’s new immigration law. That’s almost twice as many as the 27 percent who oppose it. Another 21 percent have no opinion.

There’s a huge partisan divide on the new state law, which goes into effect at the end of July.

Fully 73 percent of Republicans support the law, 43 percentage points more than the 30 percent of Democrats who do. Among independents, a 57 percent majority favors the legislation.

Those living in the West (55 percent) and Midwest (54 percent) are a bit more likely to favor the law than those in the South (50 percent) and Northeast (49 percent).

Few voters, however, see immigration as the country’s top issue: Only 4 percent cite it as the most important issue for President Obama to be working on right now. That’s far fewer than the number who say the priority should be the economy/jobs (32 percent), the Gulf oil spill (14 percent), the deficit (12 percent), health care (6 percent), and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (6 percent).

Holder’s Black Panther Shame

Holder’s Black Panther Shame

 

Posted By Jamie Glazov On July 2, 2010 @ 12:20 am In FrontPage | 21 Comments

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Christian Adams, who served in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for 5 years.  He was previously in private practice and also General Counsel to the South Carolina Secretary of State.  He has litigated election cases across the United States on a variety of issues, including voter intimidation and redistricting under the Voting Rights Act. He is a member of both the SC and VA bar.

FP: Christian Adams, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is a pleasure and privilege to have you here with us.

I would like to talk to you today about your own personal experience in witnessing how Attorney General Eric Holder dropped a New Black Panther voter intimidation case for racial reasons.

But I would first like to start by asking you about the New Black Panthers in general. Describe them to us. How do they contrast with the Black Panthers of Huey Newton?

Adams: The New Black Panthers are a completely different, and more radical, organization.  They are a militant black separatist organization.  They are vehemently anti-Semitic.  While the old black panther party had relations with like minded members of the white community, the New Black Panthers want total racial separatism.  The old black panthers had an ostensible social welfare operation. The New Black Panthers have attempted to engage in some aspects of social welfare but these efforts have only commenced after a great deal of bad publicity in the last few months.

At their core, the New Black Panthers exist to advance a limited, militant and racial agenda.  They have harassed Korean grocers, they have made false allegations against Duke Lacrosse players, and wherever they go, they inject fiery racial rhetoric into their demonstrations.  They have brandished weapons on multiple occasions at these events.   And as hard at it is to believe, the New Black Panthers are so radical and militant, that the old black panthers of Huey Newton want nothing to do with them.  There was actually a trademark fight between the two over the use of the term “black panthers.”

FP: Tell us about the voting intimidation that the New Panthers have engaged in. What are the federal voting intimidation statutes and what has been done about the intimidation?

Adams: Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits intimidation, coercion and threats to voters or those aiding voters, such as poll watchers.  It also prohibits any attempt to do the same.  The Justice Department sued the New Black Panther Party, the national Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Jerry Jackson and King Samir Shabazz for violations of 11(b).  Jackson and King Samir Shabazz were posted outside the polling place on election day in 2008.

FP: What were Jackson and Shabazz doing while they were posted outside the polling place on that day? 

Adams: They were yelling racial slurs at whites – “you are about to be ruled by the black man Cracker!” and “White Devils” – and brandishing a weapon.  They attempted to block an individual from entering the polls and were menacing to others. 

FP: What are leftist views of voter intimidation (“suppression”) vs. historical sorts of intimidation?

Adams: Voter “suppression” theories are the next generation of voter intimidation prohibitions.  Voter suppression theories have less support in the law than voter intimidation protections.  Simply, they are more tenuous arguments and possibly bump up against the First Amendment.  In fact, there is really no civil federal law prohibiting “voter suppression.”  After all, every candidate wants to “suppress” the turnout of their opponent’s supporters.

When Barack Obama was a Senator, he introduced a bill that would make illegal any speech that would have the intent or effect of causing voters to be misled.  The Constitutional problems with this sort of regime are obvious.  Nevertheless, enactment of a “voter suppression” law is a priority of many academics and purported civil rights activists.  Voter intimidation laws, in contrast, ban the sort of mischief that has plagued democratic elections for hundreds of years.  Even in the 1700’s in Philadelphia, riots broke out between sailors and Quakers at the single polling place in downtown.  In the reconstruction South, armed white militias clashed with armed black militias around election time.  Indeed, Louisiana essentially had a number of mini-civil wars in the reconstruction period – with the white militias eventually winning and disarming the black militias through some of the first gun control laws in the nation.

The history of voter intimidation in the Jim Crow south was famous, and even affected the attempt to register to vote.  One thing that separates America from thug regimes around the world is how we treasure access to the polling place.  The German elections in 1933 were plagued by poll watchers with truncheons.  Around the world, voters still fear casting a ballot because of the threat of violence.  Protecting the sanctity of the polling place should be one of the top priorities of a free nation.

FP: In our democracy, one would think that there would be equal enforcement of civil rights laws (i.e. against all races of perpetrators) and on behalf of all races of victims.  But that’s not happening is it?

Adams: No, it’s not happening.  The Black Panther case was dismissed and the dismissal was motivated, I believe, by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law. Others still within the department share my assessment. The department abetted wrongdoers and abandoned law-abiding citizens victimized by the New Black Panthers.  America has been characterized and blessed with great leaders who understood how fragile this grand Constitutional experiment is.  The rule of law is not a mere abstraction.  Equal Protection isn’t just a noble aspiration.  It has real impacts on our lives.  It’s what ensures the farmer plants his fields, knowing a system exists to get the crop to market.  Confidence in law funds and builds homes.  Equal protection before law means we enjoy civil peace, enough peace to build great universities and great institutions.

Examples surround us.  Belief in equality before law is deeply embedded in our cultural and legal history.  Examples to the contrary are anathema to Americans.  That’s the good news – that Americans instinctively rebel against examples of inequality in law.  The bad news is that the constitutional system can only absorb so many blows.  Lawlessness undermines the structures that support civil society, that support this grand Constitutional experiment.  Most of your readers understand this.  The challenge is to ensure that the vast majority of Americans continue to understand it.

FP: What has the DOJ done? Has anything changed since 2009?

Adams: After January 2009, the Attorney General said that the civil rights division was being reopened.  This means a great deal, including the end to a race-neutral enforcement of the civil rights laws.

FP: How were you personally involved in the New Black Panther Case? Why did you quite your job?

Adams: I was one of the 5 attorneys who commenced the case.  Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal of the case, statements falsely characterizing the case by officials in the Department and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, in June I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.

FP: What has been the role of Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez?

Adams: Perez was not at the Department when the corrupt dismissal was ordered.  He was confirmed in the fall of 2009 and has defended it since.

FP: Some media outlets are reporting [1] that you are saying that Perez lied under oath.

Adams: It is not accurate to say that the facts and law did not support going forward with the case.  Tom Perez wasn’t in the Department when the dismissal happened and he didn’t have anything to do with the dismissal of the case.  He isn’t responsible for the corrupt decision to dismiss the case and shouldn’t be blamed for the dismissal.  I have never said Perez knowingly lied under oath.  I said that it is inaccurate and false that the facts and law did not support the case.   Lying under oath involves, as best as I know, more than being incorrect or inaccurate.  In this media age, stories get inflated to generate traffic and that is usually a bad thing.

FP: So what’s really happening here under the Obama administration? Is it “payback” time or what? Has a former oppressed minority now become an empowered majority with vengeance on its mind?

Adams: I don’t think the Obama administration is interested in payback.  But neither do I think it is interested in enforcing the law in a race neutral fashion.

FP: What was your experience in the U.S. vs. Ike Brown case in Mississippi? The Left was pretty enraged about it.

Adams: We won that case.  Ike Brown committed flagrant racial discrimination against whites – threw out their votes, stuffed the ballot box with his votes to dilute white votes, illegally imported ineligible candidates to run, and threatened white voters with a challenge if they sought to vote.  Chris Coates talked about the hostility he encountered when he brought this case.  There were many in the voting section that voiced opposition to it, refused to work on it, and treated him with hostility after he filed it.  It went against the Orthodoxy, to borrow a term.

FP: Who is dictating DOJ policy and what are the consequences?

Adams: The Civil Rights Division is now managed by and populated by folks who believe in leveraging the Division aggressively in only one direction in litigation.  These are not bad people, they are just wrong on many issues.  On many issues they are right, but their hostility to equal enforcement of the law is not one of them.

FP: What are the attitudes and backgrounds of DOJ political appointees?

Adams: This has been written about extensively in other places.  (See Hans Von Spakovsky in NRO).  All of the leadership of the civil rights division comes from what is called the “civil rights community.”  Simply, this means activist groups or causes.  Elections have consequences.

FP: What dangers does this dismissal of the New Black Panther Case pose for the future? What will it mean for the ballot box? And what will it mean for white victims in voting rights cases?

Adams: One of the things that makes America exceptional is how we believe the ballot box as sacred.  Thug regimes around the world and dangerous phases in world history got their start with men in uniforms holding weapons standing in front of polls.  In my mind, history shows that this is one of the characteristics when democracies start to devolve into totalitarian regimes.  I’m not implying America is on that path because, for starters, the widespread outrage to the Black Panther dismissal shows how little tolerance there is for this in America.  But we can never forget the warning signs history has told us, and we must be extra vigilant when they appear.  Ronald Reagan said we are always a mere generation away from losing freedom.  I don’t know whether that is true, but if it is, anytime you have thugs violating our most cherished rights, freedom loving citizens must rise up and give no quarter.

FP: What can be done about this problem?

Adams: The Department could refile the case tomorrow.  They would win the panther case if they did.  It’s tough to admit mistakes in government but this would be a good place to start because nearly everyone would support them.  The Department could also file cases in voting on behalf of white victims to reverse this bad policy.  There are no doubt cases that can be brought, but whether they bring them or not, we will have to see.

FP: Christian Adams, thank you for joining us at Frontpage Interview. We really appreciate you taking the time and energy to speak with us.

Adams: Thanks. You can follow my blogging about elections and the Justice Department at www.electionlawcenter.com [2]. 

Iran’s Underground Revolution

Iran’s Underground Revolution

Posted By Lisa Daftari On July 2, 2010 @ 12:17 am In FrontPage | 6 Comments

As Iranians passed the one-year mark of a tumultuous and historic year, an unimpressive and rather quiet June 12 anniversary left many wondering what happened to the disenchanted Iranians.  Regime threats, issued weeks in advance against protesters engaging in anniversary demonstrations, succeeded in deterring some. However, from its initial moments, this movement was remarkably forged by hundreds of thousands of courageous Iranians who have not let government intimidation discourage them. Journalists, analysts, and politicians questioned the movement’s strength and survival, wondering if President Ahmadinejad, the clerics, and their Revolutionary Guard had succeeded in quashing the masses.

The people of Iran tell a different story. Rather than pouring onto the streets and surrendering to the brutality of regime forces, the Iranian people say they have voluntarily taken a step back. The one-year anniversary of Iran’s fraudulent election has seen a transformation in the Iranian people and consequently, their ongoing movement.

“What’s the point of demonstrating when we are putting up our finest and most intellectual minds to go up against conscienceless guards to be shot at?,” asked Maryam, a 34-year-old radio producer for Iran’s state media in an early morning phone call to Tehran. “People have given up too much over the last year and have since changed their strategy,” she said in her native Farsi.

Maryam is politically active and socially in tune with the changing ambiance in Iran.  She wants regime change for her country. An Iran that is secular and democratic is what’s best for everyone, she said.

Among friends, Maryam is considered to be bold, courageous, and even “crazy” for speaking out openly against the regime.  Yet, she could not even use her real name in this interview.

Like many Iranians, Maryam had friends who were arrested and beaten during the protests. She quickly became upset when remembering some of these instances and changed the topic. Iranians have learned a very valuable lesson over the last 12 months, she concluded. They realized that they could be more efficient staying home.

Despite the appearance that the movement has been suppressed in the absence of demonstrations, intellectuals and politically active Iranians like Maryam and her friends are opting to sit home to think, write, publish, and discuss politics.

Welcome to Iran’s Intellectual Revolution.

The shutdown of dozens of Iranian newspapers and media platforms over the last year as a result of demonstration coverage that was unflattering to the regime, left a sizable void that the underground media is effectively filling.  The regime strategically closed official media sites hoping to thwart the spread of anti-government sentiment through traditional media outlets. They simultaneously paved the way for popular and unregulated publications to sprout up by the dozens, including underground newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and even night letters—flyers that are circulated in local neighborhoods in the middle of the night and have become a popular method of disseminating important political messages in many Iranian cities and villages.

At the same time, the radical crackdown against protesters and their freedoms sparked a thirst for information and transparency among the Iranian people.

“This is the time to sit back and think about how we can organize and strategize against the government to make significant changes,” Maryam said. “I cannot say too much over the phone.”

She repeated that phrase many times; fearful of getting into too much detail, and almost certain her line was tapped by the government.

As election results were announced last year—significantly ahead of the time it would actually take to count the votes—the regime proved its corruption and provoked its people. Iranians filled the streets in protest not just against a rigged election but also against 30 years of tyrannical rule.

Immediately, and in the days that followed, the regime began a brutal and vengeful crackdown on protesters. The wrath of the regime’s Revolutionary Guard was not enough. Thousands of Basiji militiamen, imported Iraqis, Pakistanis, Saudis, Palestinians, and others, were paid hundreds of dollars each day, equivalent to the monthly salary of many Iranian professionals, to violently and relentlessly attack demonstrators. Tear gas, acid, batons and even guns were used against the people.

The Iranians persisted.  As the government took away their Internet connections, the Iranians found ways to bounce Internet connections through proxy servers. Journalists banned from the country resulted in an emergence of a nation of citizen journalists.  As government forces cracked down against women and murdered Neda Agha-Sultan, women quickly came to the forefront of the movement. When the clerics became more radicalized and religious in their sermons, the Iranian people became more secularized and nationalistic.  It began as a movement for reform and an election debate, but evolved into a battle to regain control of a 5,000 year-old heirloom.

 

More than half way through this year, the Iranian people gradually realized that in order to be successful in their endeavor, they must have organization and leadership. The biggest obstacle the opposition faces is that they lack both. The Iranians learned that demonstrations would not help gain either. They only put the lives of innocent Iranians at risk. This new-found awareness has given the opposition a new perspective from which to operate.  Iranians are looking to engage one another in meaningful dialogue. They are publishing valuable content, publicizing critical information, and looking for unique ways to communicate political messages to one another.

The alternative, as they witnessed, is watching their loved ones be rounded up and taken to Evin Prison.

The Fix Is Not In

Posted By Jacob Laksin On July 2, 2010 @ 12:19 am In FrontPage | 7 Comments

It’s a measure of the minimal importance that President Obama assigns to enforcing the country’s immigration laws that he waited until this week to deliver his first speech on immigration [1]. When he did, the president merely confirmed what is already common knowledge: the system is broken and there is nothing that his administration will do to fix it.

In equal parts high-minded and disingenuous, the speech at American University was typical of the president’s oratory. Setting himself above the political fray, Obama condemned “special interests” and partisan gridlock for holding immigration reform hostage. But he failed to note that Democrats currently rule both houses of Congress, and that the entire immigration reform effort, with its implicit amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants residing in this country, is itself a sop to a large special interest: the growing population of Hispanics that Democrats hope to turn into loyal voters. It was no coincidence that just prior to his speech Obama met with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Typical, too, was the president’s reliance on straw men to stifle debate – in this instance, the prospect of mass deportations of illegal immigrants. This in fact is a policy that no serious immigration restrictionists advocate, and its invocation is a convenient way to foreclose serious discussion about enforcement policies that really could reduce the burden of illegal immigration. Similarly, there was the president’s now-routine posturing as a lone pragmatist seeking common-sense solutions. But that Solomonic stance is gravely undermined by the fact that this White House, like its predecessors, has opposed the pragmatic measures – especially credible enforcement and robust border security – that could provide a measure of relief from the problems of mass illegal immigration.

If the president’s speech recycled the more tired tropes of the immigration debate, the real news was that there was no news in the speech. For all the feigned urgency of his remarks, there was no evidence that the president was actually proposing to do anything to deal with the immigration issue. He outlined no specific policies, nor did he propose any specific piece of legislation.

Why then raise the issue at all? Election-year politics would seem to be the chief explanation. The speech seemed intended as a boost to troubled Democratic incumbents, particularly embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Facing a tough rival in Tea Party-backed Republican candidate Sharron Angle, Reid has been actively courting his state’s Hispanics [2], who comprise 15 percent of the Nevada electorate. By floating the prospect of immigration reform and eventual amnesty, Reid hopes to rally support even in the absence of an actual bill. If that stratagem fails, it won’t be for lack of backing from the White House. No sooner did Obama deliver his speech than he invited Reid for a private and symbolic meeting.

Electioneering aside, it’s clear that the White House does not actually intend to do anything on the immigration front, least of all to put in place the kind of border enforcement that President Obama claims to support. A fair reading of the administration’s true feelings on that issue can be gleaned by its hostile and openly adversarial response to Arizona’s recently enacted law to combat illegal immigration. SB 1070 deputizes Arizona state police to check immigration status of anyone stopped during the commission of a crime or infraction if they are suspected to be in the country illegally. As such, it attempts to do what the federal government is supposed to do but is not: enforce the country’s immigration laws. Yet the Obama administration has gone to war against SB 1070, with the Justice Department now preparing a lawsuit to block the law from going into effect. Laying the groundwork for that suit this week, President Obama condemned the Arizona law as “ill conceived” and “divisive.” That means that the only thing that the White House has done about illegal immigration is to challenge a state that has made a modest attempt to come to grips with the problem.

The administration’s misplaced priorities in this regard are unlikely to change. If the 2011 budget [3]recently unveiled by the Department of Homeland Security is any guide, border enforcement will not be a goal for the administration in the coming year. Some of the largest decreases in funding will affect items like border security fencing and infrastructure. There are, to be sure, cosmetic gestures, such as the 1,200 National Guard troops [4] that Obama ordered to the Southwest border in late May. But their impact on illegal immigration is likely to be negligible. Not only does the 1,200 deployment fall far short of the 6,000 National Guard troops that were stationed on the border under the Bush administration, but the guardsmen have no enforcement capabilities. Among other handicaps, they do not have the authority to arrest illegals crossing the border.

While the president has at least reintroduced the subject of immigration to the national debate, those seeking evidence of a White House focus on reducing illegal immigration would have been disappointed by the president’s speech. They would not have been the only ones. A Wall Street Journal report on the speech noted that Obama “wasn’t interrupted for applause a single time.” Perhaps that’s because the president’s remarks, long on slogans and short on solutions, offered so little to cheer about.

Obama’s Silver Bullet

Obama’s Silver Bullet

July 1st, 2010

Dr. Kate, http://drkatesview.wordpress.com

It is often said that there is no ‘silver bullet’, no one pathway to stop a destructive element once it has begun.  But in the case of the U.S. ‘march to socialism’ and its own internal destruction, there IS a silver bullet:  it is Obama’s lack of eligibility.

What eligibility issue?

Those who haven’t already, wrap your mind around this:  the man has no authority whatsoever to do anything: nominate Supreme Court Justices, appoint czars, to spend our money, or to nationalize the auto, banking and health industries. He certainly has no authority to decide, all by himself, to nuke the oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico and destroy us all.

Don’t send me another petition to stop this or that nomination or bill– focus on the source of the problem: he is illegally occupying the office of the Presidency. Don’t write me any more analyses of what is wrong with this psycho, he is illegally occupying the White House.

And don’t tell me he can harass Arizona for implementing federal law, he is an illegal himself and, like they say in Arizona, ‘illegal is not racist‘, its a crime.

First principles:  the basic legal authority for the office of the President is  missing because Obama/Soetoro does not meet the qualifications for the office: two citizen parents and born in the United States. Obama was not born anywhere in the United States, and he is not an American citizen. Period, end of story.  No more distractions or initiatives.

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Pelosi: Unemployment benefits create jobs? If I hadn’t seen and heard it myself I would have never believed it.

Pelosi: Unemployment benefits create jobs?

Neil Braithwaite

If I hadn’t seen and heard it myself I would have never believed it. 

Nancy Pelosi telling America that unemployment benefits are “One of the biggest stimulus’s to our economy.”

Waite – it gets better.

Speaker Pelosi went on to say that unemployment benefits are actually “Job creating” and that unemployment benefits “Create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

Let’s get this straight. When you lose your job and start collecting unemployment benefits, it stimulates the economy AND creates jobs?

So the logical conclusion is: the more people lose their jobs – the more jobs will be created – and the economy gets a big boost?

OK – I’m totally confident in Democrat leadership now.

 
Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire.

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