BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Eric Holder

The Left’s Radical Effort to Subvert President Trump, and How He Can Respond

The Obama administration — now doing business as “The Resistance” — is working every angle it can from both within and outside of government not only to undermine Donald Trump’s presidency, but perhaps bring it down altogether.

In so doing, it is creating a destructive precedent with respect to the transition of power, representing a momentous shift one can only appreciate when stepping back from the fog of day-to-day political combat. History will tell us if this is another example of the Left engaging in a practice it will someday come to rue à la Harry Reid’s nuclear option.

I detail these efforts and explain how President Trump can and must go on offense to respond in a new piece at Conservative Review.

As I write in part:

The gloves are off. The Left does not care one iota for any principle except power. The ends justify the means.

As I have emphasized before, Republicans and conservatives must internalize these points and always ask themselves the question: What would Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi do?

We cannot fight according to Queensberry Rules against a political opponent that imposes no such rules on itself — an opponent that, ironically and shamefully, advocates for suicidal rules of engagement for our real warfighters.

As Trump showed to great effect during the 2016 election, we must not give our critics one inch.

We must challenge their narratives with our own, exposing their crusades for supposed justice, fairness, and equality for the hypocritical frauds that they are.

We must go on offense, unafraid of an opponent frothing at the mouth in its Trump Derangement Syndrome, and which sees itself in trouble at the federal, state, and local levels with no successor to Obama in sight.

Beyond overwhelming the Left with a flurry of new policies, draining the swamp and slaughtering the Left’s sacred cows, there is one even bolder option of which the Trump administration could avail itself…

Read on here.

10 Troubling Aspects of President Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Summit

The White House’s “Countering Violent Extremism” summit is barely underway, yet the message is already clear: the conference is politically correct — and far worse — a charade.

And that is a charitable interpretation.

Its sponsors are engaging in intentional obfuscation (e.g., saying “violent extremism” is the enemy), as well as peddling ineffective and ill-considered policy proposals (more community “empowerment”). The conference will effectively aid and abet America’s increasingly ascendant jihadist foes.

Reviewing the Obama administration’s summit preview, here are its 10 most disturbing aspects:

1. Contrary to its big government ethos, the Obama administration asserts that national security should be driven by the people, not the state.
Image source: BuzzFeed

(Image source: BuzzFeed)

According to the White House preview [emphasis mine]:

Really at the core of our approach is that the government does not have all the answers in combatting violent extremism. It is, at its core, a bottom-up approach. It puts communities with civic leaders, with religious authorities, with community power brokers, teachers, health providers, et cetera, in the driver’s seat. They know their citizens best. They are the first line of defense to prevent or counter radicalizing forces that can ultimately lead to violence. And so our approach is to really embrace and empower what local communities can do. So we’ve been working with our federal partners and our local partners to put in place this approach over the past couple of years.

Further:

Again, this is not about government, especially the federal government. The federal government doesn’t have all the answers. This is about building a comprehensive network to fight back against violent extremism. And we are explicitly recognizing the role that civil society plays, the private sector plays, and that families, et cetera, can play in countering violent extremism.

Who knew the Obama administration had so much respect for and faith in civil society?

Yet of course, this faith turns out to be dangerously misplaced as…

2. The groups the president wants to empower are those who may pose the biggest threat.

As Patrick Poole noted in an extensive report for TheBlaze:

In December 2011, the White House issued the “Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States” – the local partners, of course, being Islamic organizations, including those cited by the Justice Department as working to aid foreign terrorist organizations. All national security and law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local level would now have to consult these groups and rely on “local partners” as a matter of policy. And as made clear in Salam al-Marayati’s Los Angeles Times op-ed, Islamic groups complaining about counter-terrorism policies or training would disrupt government efforts to “counter violent extremism” gave them an implicit veto over counter-terrorism policies. [Los Angels Times link added for context]

Why should we care about this 2011 report?

A senior Obama administration official noted in previewing the summit that the report details the very efforts the administration will be hawking during the three-day event.

Local partners such as the Council on American-Islam Relations — an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest Hamas funding trial in history — has advised members of the Muslim community not to work with the FBI, and religious leaders to lawyer up as opposed to working together with law enforcement when it comes to potential jihadists. On the eve of the summit, CAIR is reportedly calling for the Department of Justice to “protect those who act in good faith to prevent violent extremism by engaging with [Muslims] considering it in order to dissuade them.”

A partner of perhaps higher standing is the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), a group linked to numerous jihadis and jihadi-sympathizers, that is reportedly the primary liaison between the Muslim community and law enforcement in countering violent extremism. The Boston  program will be one of the three held up as a success story during the summit, despite the ISB’s Islamic supremacist efforts.

Looking to the heart of Muslim communities, according to the Mapping Sharia project, imams in over 80 percent of 100 randomly surveyed representative mosques in America recommended the study of violence-positive texts. The correlations with these texts are disturbing, as illustrated below:

Sharia Adherence Mosque Survey: Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques (Image Source: http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/sharia-adherence-mosque-survey/html)

(Image Source: Sharia Adherence Mosque Survey: Correlations between Sharia Adherence and Violent Dogma in U.S. Mosques)

In Pew’s extensive 2011 report on Muslims in America, 21 percent of those polled indicated there was a great deal or fair amount of “support for extremism among Muslim American;” 19 percent did not indicate that “suicide bombing/other violence against civilians is justified to defend Islam from its enemies;” only 70 percent indicated that they viewed Al Qaeda “very unfavorably.”

As leaked Department of Homeland Security documents reveal, the second highest concentration of people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” by our government reside in Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn’s population is 96,000, and it has the highest percentage of Arab-Americans of any city in the country.

In light of these figures, and the fact that jihadist groups worldwide claim they are at war with America, having committed over 25,000 attacks in the name of Allah since Sept. 11, 2011, one must ask, what exactly is the rationale behind leaving self-policing to Muslim communities when these are the very places from whence jihadists spring?

Such a policy of course is only baffling if you are of the belief that jihad is an Islamic tenet, and that Islamic supremacist ideology is what animates the vast majority of the world’s “violent extremists.”

But of course…

3. According to the administration there is no profile of a “violent extremist.”

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

An interview with Ben Shapiro on his criminal case against the Obama administration: ‘The People vs. Barack Obama’

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, author most recently of books including “Bullies” and “Primetime Propaganda” has a new book out this week titled “The People Vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against the Obama Administration.”

In the book, Shapiro makes the case that the Obama administration has effectively acted as a criminal cabal, necessitating criminal prosecution by individual Americans in lieu of impeachment.

We spoke with the combative author yesterday to discuss the prospect of criminal prosecution against the president, the IRS scandal including its personal impact on Shapiro, President Obama’s illegal arming of terrorists, the prospect of the president granting in effect mass amnesty to illegal immigrants and much more.

Below is our interview, conducted via phone, and edited for clarity and links.

Why should Blaze readers pick up this book?

Shapiro: Because this is a book that not only details all of the problems and scandals inside the Obama administration, but makes the charge that these are criminal problems, not merely political ones, and explains how we can remedy these issues without resorting to impeachment which is an insufficient remedy.

To that end, you are likely familiar with Andy McCarthy’s new book, in which he makes the case for impeachment. One question related to that is, why criminal prosecution over the impeachment route?

Shapiro: Two points: First is, it’s important to start seeing the Obama administration as a criminal enterprise. It’s really the only way to understand what it is that they’re doing. What  impeachment says this is a political problem. This is not a political problem, this is a criminal problem. And detailing it in those terms, in terms of what laws have been broken, is important to understanding exactly who these folks are, and what they’re doing, and exploiting their power. That’s number one. Number two: even Andy makes the case for impeachment but then he doesn’t actually call for impeachment. In the book he says, “Sure we should go ahead and, you know, theoretically the president is guilty of all these crimes and he should be impeached, but then he doesn’t say, “Well, okay so let’s go ahead with impeachment,” because everybody understands, including Andy, that impeachment comes with certain political costs that people are simply not willing to undertake. Impeachment is “pie in the sky.”

In the entire history of the United States we’ve impeached a grand total of 19 people in the House, and we’ve convicted a grand total of eight people in the Senate. And the country has been around for nearly 240 years. You’re talking approximately basically one actual impeachment every thirty years. And this particular solution is supposed to remedy all of the problems with the Obama administration? And even if you were to impeach President Obama, how does that change the honeycombed criminality of the entire administration? Joe Biden takes over and it’s the exact same thing. The whole point here is to change the system of government under which we live. It’s not enough to simply impeach individual officers, it’s not simply enough to impeach one person every thirty years. This requires a broad change in how we view government, and how we treat government when it acts criminally because if the only solution is impeachment, they’re going to get away with an awful lot of criminal activity.

How practically would this work? Typically, I would assume that American citizens wouldn’t have standing to bring a case against the president. Lay out the mechanics for us.

Shapiro: Well actually under RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] standing is significantly less of a problem. So you just have to find somebody who is damaged by the criminal conspiracy. So for example, let’s take a couple very practical examples. Can the family of Brian Terry sue the Obama administration for Brian Terry’s death in Fast and Furious? Right now, the answer is basically no, because suing the executive branch is considered unpalatable, and under RICO law it’s questionable as to how high up the chain you can sue. What I propose is changing the RICO law so that you could sue the President of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States and you wouldn’t have to have direct – what RICO requires is criminal enterprise – meaning everybody has to have the same goal, and everybody has to have participated in the creation of this enterprise towards that goal. That’s a very different standard from, “There has to be a direct piece of paper from President Obama to Eric Holder, and one from Eric Holder to the folks pushing Fast and Furious saying, “You will smuggle these weapons across the border in violation of American law.”

So RICO is significantly broader. It was designed to go after the Mafia, specifically in cases where the Mafia did have plausible deniability. So in that case, clearly Brian Terry’s family has standing, they would be able to sue in what I propose in a RICO case against the Obama administration, and they would be able to win damages against individual officers of the United States.

Same thing would happen with regard to the four folks who died in Benghazi. Their families could sue the Obama administration for negligent homicide for example if RICO was broadened to include negligent homicide which it should be…or violations of the Arms Export Control Act, which is what I have suggested also happened in Benghazi.

The finding of standing is actually not that difficult in most scandals because most scandals actually damage somebody. So my friend Jeremy Boering from Friends of Abe should be able to sue the Obama administration under RICO for violations of IRS law. That’s what I’m proposing.

Read more at TheBlaze…

What one former DOJ lawyer says about who Obama might pardon at the end of his tenure is downright shocking

We recently published an article on the Justice Department’s most dangerous division that you’ve never heard of, based on a stunning chapter from John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky’s new book, “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department.”

On Tuesday we caught up with Mr. von Spakovsky, a former FEC appointee and counsel to the assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in connection with the release of the book to discuss a variety of topics from “Fast and Furious,” to “Pigford,” immigration, the damage done to national security by the DOJ and more.

His response to the question as to who President Obama might pardon at the end of his tenure (hint: it could be a mass pardon that includes the release of serious criminals), was perhaps most shocking of all.

Below is a transcript of our interview, conducted via phone, with slight edits for clarity and links.

Why should every American read this book?

von Spakovsky: Well because the Justice Department is the most powerful federal agency we have domestically. If a federal prosecutor targets you or your business, they can destroy your business, they can throw you in jail. I mean, they have enormous power. And when you have someone who’s willing to abuse that power, it’s extremely dangerous to the freedom and liberty of Americans.

The book sort follows the arc of Eric Holder’s life and tracks his politicization and then how that manifested itself both in the Clinton White House and now throughout the DOJ today. Is there one key takeaway or set of takeaways you’d hope each reader comes away with?

von Spakovsky: The key thing to understand is that what drives Eric Holder, unlike prior Attorneys General of both parties, is not the interests of justice, but it’s politics and ideology. And because of that, he has completely politicized the enforcement of federal laws.

And one of the elements in your book that you speak to is just how far reaching the tentacles of the DOJ spread, and I think you say it’s the largest law firm in the country. Give people a sense as to the size and scope of the powers of the Department of Justice and what areas of society it touches

von Spakovsky: Sure. They’ve got a 27 billion dollar budget. They’ve got more than a 100,00 employees, and they aren’t just lawyers, but they also are responsible, for example, for the FBI. The FBI’s part of the Justice Department, and so is the ATF — Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Also they run all of the federal prisons across the country, and they have this huge program in which they give federal money to state and local police and other agencies all across the country. So really, their fingers are spread throughout the entire law enforcement system from the local cops all the way up to the Feds, including the FBI.

What in your view is the one most dangerous example of lawlessness that exists in the Department of Justice today?

von Spakovsky: I think it’s what the House of Representatives held him [Attorney General Holder] in contempt for the first time in American history – and that was Operation Fast and Furious. That was probably the most reckless law enforcement operation the Justice Department has ever conducted because it actually has led to the death of not just an American agent, but apparently, literally, hundreds of people in Mexico.

Can you walk readers through the key highlights or the key bullet points as to why the concept of gunwalking and the way it was implemented was so lawless and so far reaching in its criminality?

von Spakovsky: The standard way the Justice Department rolls out a drug cartel or a mob organization is, they start with the lower level folks, they arrest them, but then they give them a choice where they will be willing to basically turn in the people above them. And what they do is they roll out the organization starting out at the bottom, getting all the way to the top. But to do that, you’ve got to be willing to catch the lower level people with drugs, or guns, or whatever it is, and arrest them. And in this case, they sold guns to straw purchasers for the drug cartels, but then didn’t arrest them, and most importantly, didn’t follow the guns as they passed through the levels up to the highest levels of these cartels so that they could arrest the folks at the top. They just basically lost track of them as soon as they had been purchased. It wasn’t just reckless, it was “felony stupid” as Chairman [of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee] Issa of the House of Representatives has said.

Read more at TheBlaze…

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