Posts tagged ICE
By Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Federal agency blacks out amount of bullets being bought
The Department of Homeland Security has redacted information relating to the quantity of bullets it is buying following a controversy concerning the agency’s purchase of over a billion rounds of ammo, which many fear is a sign the federal government is preparing for civil unrest in the United States.
Despite the fact that documents are only supposed to be redacted if authorized by Congress or for national security reasons, a solicitation posted on the FedBizOpps website yesterday concerning ammunition purchases made by the DHS on behalf of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) contains numerous blacked out sections.
The classified portions of the document include references to the amount of 223 62 and 223 64 grain ammunition being purchased.
The solicitation explains how the contract put out by the DHS to purchase the ammunition was not subject to “full and open competition,” a process justified by what the DHS claims was an “unusual and compelling urgency” to acquire the bullets, noting that there is a shortage of bullets which is threatening a situation which could cause “substantial safety issues for the government” should law enforcement officials not be adequately armed.
The Department of Homeland Security’s decision to black out sections of the document, including the number of bullets being purchased, is likely to be related to a massive controversy which has snowballed over the last few weeks pertaining to concerns as to why the federal agency has purchased well over a billion rounds of bullets over the last 6 months alone.
By Tim Brown
According to a high-ranking Mexican drug cartel operative, who is currently in U.S. custody, there are some things that the American people are not being told about Fast and Furious. We obviously knew something was not being told behind the scenes because of Barack Obama issuing executive privilege and Holder being in contempt of Congress for failing to comply. But this makes even the sleepiest of people perk up their ears and pay attention.
Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator,” has brought allegations that the gunwalking operation had nothing to do with tracking guns and everything to do with supplying them. According to Zambada-Niebla it was part of an elaborate agreement between the U.S. and Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel to take down rival cartels.
Zambada-Niebla claims that under a “divide and conquer” strategy, the U.S. helped finance and arm the Sinaloa Cartel through Operation Fast and Furious in exchange for information that allowed the DEA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal agencies to take down rival drug cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel was allegedly permitted to traffic massive amounts of drugs across the U.S. border from 2004 to 2009 — during both Fast and Furious and Bush-era gunrunning operations — as long as the intel kept coming.
This pending court case against Zambada-Niebla is being closely monitored by some members of Congress, who expect potential legal ramifications if any of his claims are substantiated. The trial was delayed but is now scheduled to begin on Oct. 9.
Zambada-Niebla is reportedly a close associate of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada-Garcia, both of which remain fugitives, likely because of the deal made with the DEA, federal court documents allege.
Zambada-Niebla believes that he, like the leadership of the Sinaloa cartel, was “immune from arrest or prosecution” because he also actively provided information to US federal agents.
By Muriel Kane
Republicans in the House of Representatives attached an anti-abortion rider to a Homeland Security spending bill Thursday. The provision would do nothing to change existing policy and is unlikely to make it past the Senate, but it is seen as sending an election-year message to the lawmakers’ conservative constituents.
In what was probably not intended as a deliberate rebuke to Republican president candidate Mitt Romney, the Homeland Security bill caters to state and local governments by increasing funding for first responders like police and fire departments, while cutting funds from the widely unpopular Transportation Security Administration.
The anti-abortion rider, proposed by an Alabama Republican, would prevent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from funding abortions for illegal immigrants in its custody, except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to the life of the mother. It passed on a party-line vote, 234 to 182.
Homeland Security is monitoring the web for anti-government sentiment and signs of social unrest
A privacy advocacy group has swayed Congress to hold a hearing next week into the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of monitoring social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as media reports and organizations, including The Drudge Report.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) recently obtained close to 300 pages of documents, as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, detailing the federal agency’s “intelligence gathering” practices on the web.
Among the documents were guidelines from DHS instructing outside contractors to monitor the web for media reports and comments that “reflect adversely” on the agency or the federal government.
As Reuters reported last month, in early 2010 contractors were asked to spend 24 hours monitoring news media coverage on popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks, as well as news sites including the Huffington Post and The Drudge Report.
The contractors were required to provide the DHS with feedback on any potential “threats and hazards”, as well as “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) ability to prevent, protect and respond, to recovery efforts or activities related to any crisis or events which impact National Planning Scenarios.”
The documents also state that the program should highlight “both positive and negative reports on FEMA, C.I.A., C.B.P., ICE, etc., as well as organizations outside of D.H.S.”
The documents obtained by EPIC indicate that following the exercise, a procurement official awarded an $11.3 million contract to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in order to carry out the monitoring on a “24/7/365 basis”.
EPIC director Ginger McCall notes that monitoring what people are saying about government policies goes too far and has a chilling effect on free speech.
“The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of political dissent has no legal basis and is contrary to core First Amendment principles,” she said.
“The language in the documents makes it quite clear that they are looking for media reports that are critical of the agency and the U.S. government more broadly,” said McCall. “This is entirely outside of the bounds of the agency’s statutory duties.”
DHS officials have admitted that monitoring of social networks for negative opinion was undertaken by the agency, but claim that the operation was a one off test and was quickly dropped as it did not meet “operational requirements or privacy standards,” which “expressly prohibit reporting on individuals’ First Amendment activities.”
EPIC argues otherwise and has presented evidence that suggests the practice is being held up by the DHS an an example that should be emulated.
“They are completely out of bounds here,” McCall said. “The idea that the government is constantly peering over your shoulder and listening to what you are saying creates a very chilling effect to legitimate dissent.
The Congressional hearing, DHS Monitoring of Social Networking and Media: Enhancing Intelligence Gathering and Ensuring Privacy, will be held Thursday February 16th.
However, it is already apparent where the House subcommittee for intelligence and counter-terrorism stands on the matter. As reported by Reuters, the top two members of the subcommittee, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), wrote to DHS Intelligence Chief Caryn Wagner last month, pressing her to more carefully monitor users’ posts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to help detect “current or emerging threats.”
As we have also previously reported, The DHS has openly announced that it is actively monitoring social media for signs of “social unrest”, in a bid to pre-empt any sign of social dislocation within the United States.
By James Corbett
29 January, 2012
When legislators in the US abandoned their support of SOPA and PIPA in the wake of mass popular protest earlier this month, many of those who had been mobilized by the legislation–which would have granted the US government almost total power to block access to foreign websites accused of so much as linking to copyrighted material–did not have long to enjoy their “victory.” The very next day the New Zealand police swooped in to the million-dollar estate of MegaUpload.com founder Kim Dotcom, arresting him and three others at the US government’s request for alleged racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. The Department of Justice is now seeking the MegaUpload CEO’s extradition to the US.
Some amongst those who had been campaigning against SOPA and PIPA did not know that the US government already had the authority to shut down entire websites and in fact has exercised that authority on numerous occasions. What many are now learning is that, far from some potential future threat, internet censorship already exists in a variety of legislation that is already on the books in the United States and in nations around the world.
Although most commonly associated with China, which has implemented strict internet filters that prevent its citizens from finding politically sensitive material, various internet censorship programs have already been implemented by countries around the globe.
In 2010, Japan passed amendments to its copyright law making it illegal to download copyrighted material. The move has yet to curtail file-sharing in the country, so the Japanese government recently announced that they are going to begin putting fake copies of popular tv dramas on file-sharing websites that, when opened, remind users that it is illegal to download such material.
In July of 2010, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the domains of 8 websites that it accused of hosting illegal copies of copyrighted material as part of an investigation dubbed Operation In Our Sites. The seizures came before any trial took place, and six of the websites did not actually host any of the copyrighted material in question, only linking to it. That November, ICE acted once again, this time seizing 82 domains. In December of 2011, over one year later, the agency returned one of the domains, Dajaz1.com, to its owner, after admitting that it had not in fact breached any laws.
In May of last year, the US Justice Department began seeking the extradition of one of the website’s operators, Richard O’Dwyer, from the UK. O’Dwyer is a British citizen who established TVShack.net in December of 2007. The DOJ is hoping to bring O’Dwyer to the US under the Extradition Act of 2003 to face charges of copyright infringement in the Southern District of New York.
Late last year, a number of nations signed a new global copyright agreement known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. Signatories include the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and, as of this past week, 22 member states of the European Union.
Purported to be a treaty against counterfeit goods, generic drugs and copyright, it threatens to fundamentally alter the internet as it has so far existed.
When the Polish government announced its intention to sign earlier this month, protests sprang up around the country.
US authorities have initiated the largest round of domain name seizures yet as part of their continued crackdown on counterfeit and piracy-related websites.
With just a few days to go until “Cyber Monday” more than 100 domain names have been taken over by the feds to protect the commercial interests of US companies.
The seizures are disputable, as the SOPA bill which aims to specifically legitimize such actions is still pending in Congress.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resumed “Operation In Our Sites”, the domain name seizing initiative designed to crack down on online piracy and counterfeiting.
The new round comes exactly a year after 82 domains, including Torrent-Finder, were taken over in 2010. At the time ICE labeled the actions “Cyber Monday crackdown,” referring to the Monday following Thanksgiving where consumers are persuaded to shop online.
TorrentFreak has identified more than 130 domains taken over by the government during the last 24 hours, which makes this the largest seizure round to date. The authorities have yet to comment via official channels, but we assume that they will use the same justification for the domain seizures as they did last year.
“Intellectual property crimes are not victimless,” said Attorney General Eric Holder at the time.
Anthony Martin, Conservative Examiner
Confidential informants who are participating in the Congressional probe of the Project Gunwalker (Operation Fast and Furious) scandal have now zeroed in on the FBI connection. Such a connection has been hinted at in the past, but information relayed today shows that FBI involvement was much deeper than anyone imagined.
The investigation into Gunwalker has revealed a scandal involving multiple departments of the Obama Administration–Justice, FBI, ATF, ICE, DEA, DHS, and State. These connections have been verified through previously hidden emails and documents, and sworn testimony of whistleblowers.
But the FBI connection is one that could be potentially the biggest one yet, indicating that the bureau not only was involved in Gunwalker but has been up to its neck in a scandal all its own–a program called ‘PATCON,’ or ‘Patriot Conspiracy.’
A paid confidential informant enlisted under PATCON indicated a long history of the covert program spanning several decades which include such debacles as the Ruby Ridge murders, the Waco murders of a religious cult, the Oklahoma City bombing, and Project Gunwalker.
Newsweek Magazine had received this information which they had planned to include in a major story today, according to citizen investigative journalist Mike Vanderboegh. But before the story went to press, the facts were gutted out of the final copy. There is no mention of PATCON or its various tyrannical operations that have resulted in countless deaths.
I also knew from sources, living and dead, that PATCON was the worst scandal that the FBI ever perpetrated. PATCON could sink the FBI, perhaps permanently, and along with the Gunwalker Scandal, totally discredit the teflon coating that the Bureau has excreted around its corrupt core and thoroughly debunk the myth that the FBI is anything but an agency of arsonists posing as firemen.
Finally, I knew that Newsweek would run the story tomorrow. I have been hinting about this story for weeks, and now it was about to happen.
But Newsweek editor Tina Brown nixed the heart of the story by removing key facts concerning the paid confidential informant, PATCON, Ruby Ridge, Waco, the OKC bombing, and the Clinton Administration.
Confidential sources who are cooperating with the Congressional probe of Gunwalker indicate that the FBI and the White House were so frightened by the prospects of this story getting out to the public that they used the authority and power of their government offices to pressure Newsweek to omit key facts. And that they did. The story, which was published today, makes no mention of the bombshell information that makes the story the story.
What we have, instead, is a non-story.
The Daily Beast, by the way, is now a part of the Washington Post-Newsweek family of ‘news’ organizations.
But what Newsweek wishes to hide is shouted from the housetops by Vanderboegh, who has a wealth of information about PATCON through his many undercover contacts in the government. That wealth of information includes the following:
There are many rumors and individual bits of fact that have drifted out about PATCON over the years — Stories of FBI informants and undercover assets giving taxpayer-funded operational assistance — including weapons, explosives and money — to neoNazi and racist terrorists to cement their relationships with the criminals; Reports that an operation that began with real concerns about racist terrorist groups like The Order was expanded to include mere political opponents of the Clinton administration and the defensive-oriented constitutional militias; Reports of a similar operation called VAAPCON, “Violence Against Abortion Providers,” using the same tactics; Reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center was hip-deep as a partner to the FBI in PATCON; Reports of FBI penetration of the news media, religious institutions and the ranks of politicians of both parties, who very usefully expanded the FBI’s power and reach and who provided political cover when the curtain slipped. Oklahoma lawyer and journalist J.D. Cash once told me that “there isn’t a neoNazi or racist group in the country that isn’t operationally controlled by the FBI.” Did that include the Aryan Republican Army and the Oklahoma City bombing? I asked. “Certainly,” he replied. So, the prospect of a story in a major news magazine about PATCON must have given the FBI a severe case of the old rectal looseness.
This information has broad repercussions for the continuing investigation into the OKC bombing being conducted by Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, whose brother was killed after the attack. There is evidence that the Clinton Administration used the FBI to squelch any talk of broader connections in the bombing in order to propagate the ‘lone bomber’ theory.
For more information into PATCON, consult this document, which was posted today by National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea.
This is a continually-developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Be sure to catch my blog at The Liberty Sphere.
Four federal agencies were “full partners” in the Obama administration’s bungled Operation Fast and Furious, which allowed guns to wind up in the hands of Mexican drug lords, the man who implemented the program revealed today at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
William Newell, the former head of the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, was pressed by Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Penn. to identify all the federal agencies involved in the operation.
In response, Newell identified the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service as “full partners” with the ATF.
The DEA and ATF are both part of the Department of Justice and ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
The video of the exchange is embedded below, with the relevant portion around the 3:30 mark.