Archive | May 2012

Afghanistan War–not one more drop of blood!

The Afghanistan War has been stuck in a holding pattern for 10 years now. Despite commanders on the ground, rank and file and a handful of journalists reporting the REAL battle conditions in the war-torn tribal nation- American blood continues to spill. It’s enough. Not one more life, arm, leg or finger should be lost. Whether American troops leave tomorrow, next week or next year the outcome will be the same.

A Congressional hearing was held today at Rayburn House to begin unraveling the problems that plague the 10-year Afghanistan War.

Conditions on the ground suggest Afghanistan is headed to a bloody civil war. Military intelligence officers say that every time a drone strikes and kills a suspected terrorist, America creates 10 new enemies. Therefore, the number of Afghan causalities is meaningless for insurgent warlords, but it’s infinitely important to the U.S. military. Because there is no real roadmap for victory, America’s GI’s are fighting for the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex. That’s it.

“(There’s) no doubt Petraeus hammered the Taliban extremely hard. I am sure that some of them are more willing to parlay. But, equally, for every dead Pashtun warrior there will be 10 pledged to revenge. I’m afraid I don’t think the present increase in violence is right or proper and its nightly slaughter of the Taliban without a political strategy in place is tactics, not strategy. It is profoundly wrong and it is not conducive to a stable political settlement,” said Sherard Cowper-Coles, former British Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Another American miscalculation is the nation building theory. Afghanistan is a tribal society stuck in the Middle Ages, giving them “democracy” hasn’t worked and it’s time for the cowardly political leaders as well as the Pentagon’s feckless military officers to put their collective feet down and recite—“enough is enough.” No more execution-style murders of U.S. soldiers by ungrateful Afghanistan Security Forces (America is purportedly training Afghanis to “keep the peace” once the stars and stripes ship out, but increasingly it seems we are training our own executioners). It’s time for NATO generals serving in the tribal nation to report the facts, set forth a plausible exit strategy and end the bloodshed. The callous inaction by Washington DC politicos will not change the end result, but it will further hinder a generation of soldiers to lifelong suffering and medical treatment.

The purview of winning “hearts and minds” is nothing more than a pipe dream. And those 535 lawmakers inside the beltway are solely responsible for the continuation of Obama’s “right” war. Don’t believe it? Under the guise of “national security” Congress feeds the defense contracting industry that strategically places manufacturing plants in 42 critical states ensuring their prosperity and eagerly purchasing lawmaker’s souls in the form of campaign money. It’s the ole pimp and whore routine.

Equally abhorrent is President Obama’s “kill list” and the weekly meetings he hosts at the White House to determine who lives and who dies. While this secret practice began under the Bush Administration, President Obama has embraced the program and even boasts about the list with senior reelection campaign officials.

“In the name of fighting demons in pick-up trucks and wars that Congress has never declared, the government shreds our rights, taps our cellphones, reads our emails, kills innocents abroad, strip searches 87-year-old grandmothers in wheelchairs and three-year-old babies in their mothers’ arms, and offers secrecy when the law requires accountability,” Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote. “Obama has argued that his careful consideration of each person he orders killed and the narrow use of deadly force are an adequate and constitutional substitute for due process. The Constitution provides for no such thing. He has also argued that the use of drones to do his killing is humane since they are ‘surgical’ and only kill their targets. We know that is incorrect. And he has argued that these killings are consistent with our values. What is he talking about? The essence of our values is the rule of law, not the rule of presidents.”

Taking this into considering one would think lawmakers could unite and end the usurping of Congressional powers, cut the Afghan War funding and bring the brave men and women serving in an unwinnable quagmire home.

There are a number of reasons why victory remains elusive

In February an analysis of the Afghan war was published in the Armed Forces Journal that challenged the “accuracy and veracity” of how some senior defense officials have characterized the state of affairs in Afghanistan. Based on a year traveling throughout that country and talking to hundreds of Soldiers, Army LTC Daniel Davis argued the situation had consistently worsened since the launch of the Afghan surge. One reoccurring theme LTC Davis heard from leaders in Afghanistan was “nothing is what it seems.”

Last week NATO met in Chicago to discuss the Afghanistan War and leaders shared a rosy snapshot with fellow allies.

“In the ten years of our partnership the lives of Afghan men, women and children, have improved significantly in terms of security, education, health care, economic opportunity and the assurance of rights and freedoms. There is more to be done, but we are resolved to work together to preserve the substantial progress we have made during the past decade,” the signed declaration read.

However, esteemed foreign policy expert, Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies published a report that represents a stark contrast to NATO’s assessment.

“As in Vietnam, the insurgents can lose every major tactical engagement and still win control in some Pashtun areas once U.S. and ISAF forces are gone… If there is a solution, it lies in accepting the reality that the present strategy will almost certainly fail to secure the south and the east of Afghanistan… Pursuing today’s ‘strategy’ and illusions offers almost no hope at all,” Cordesman said.

“(ISAF) needs to address corruption, the steady outflow of capital, the inability to determine what portion of spending is actually spent in – and stays in – Afghanistan. They need to address the fact that narcotics and gray and black economic activity is a major part of the Afghan domestic economy. They need to stop making absurdly optimistic assumptions about the ‘New Silk Road,’ future domestic revenues and exports, and the other techniques being used to promise progress that cannot happen. At present, no official source of economic data and analysis – US, allied, Afghan or international – meets these basic tests of professional integrity.” Cordesman’s Afghan War conclusion leaves no stone unturned and he calls NATO out for either misrepresenting facts or omitting key variables that result in systematic dishonesty.

Further compounding the war’s failure is highlighted in the German Institute for International and Security Affairs report titled; “Is Afghanistan on the Brink of a New Civil War?”

The German think tank concludes; “Despite overriding economic and profit interests, the ethno-political polarization (will) intensify to such an extent that the army and the police as well as the Karzai government (will) collapse. Local warlords and uncontrollable insurgent groups (will) battle each other (and) crime (will) spiral out of control. The central power (will) cease to exist even in nominal terms; it is a war of shifting alliances or one in which “everyone fights everyone.”

“It is crucial to note that all the above statements, reports, and analysis have been produced, not by some propaganda arm of the Taliban – but by people on our side,” LTC Davis said. “They want us to succeed as much, and in some cases more, than we do. How can it be then that with such an unbridgeable gulf between official statements and the large and growing body of work that comes to a very different conclusion, why does Congress refuse to even ask questions?

Of greater concern to Davis, however is “the men and women in the Armed Forces who will pay with their lives, their body parts, their flesh and blood, and suffer continued degradation to their emotional and psychological well-being in pursuit of a strategy that will not benefit America.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, Americans can draw two conclusions—either Congress is ignorant or they are pacifying their defense industry donors in an effort to retain power inside the beltway. Either option is unacceptable and our service members deserve to serve with honor instead of dying for ungrateful politicians seeking to make a quick buck.

To read more about Afghanistan:

Afghanistan War lingers- military deception for political expediency–http://www.examiner.com/article/afghanistan-war-operational-deception-or-political-hoodwink-1

Afghan War ain’t about hearts and minds- ‘just win baby’– http://www.examiner.com/article/afghan-war-ain-t-about-hearts-and-minds-just-win-baby-1

Part one–http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/u-s-troops-fight-and-die-to-preserve-shariah-law-afghanistan

Part two– http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/us-payments-to-taliban-afghan-warlords-threaten-american-nato-troops

Part three–http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/billion-dollar-corruption-within-the-u-s-picked-afghan-regime

Part four– http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/terrorism-s-down-payment-the-form-drugs-and-u-s-aid-money-part-4

Part five-http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/obama-begins-to-wind-down-the-costly-war-afghanistan-final-a-series

For more stories: http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Unemployment For Young African American Vets Topped 40 percent in 2011

In an effort to underscore military service on Memorial Day weekend, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) has launched a national TV campaign calling attention to the fact that unemployment for veterans remains incredibly high. CAPS cites Obama’s immigration policy that admits one million new workers into the U.S. as a contributing factor for the current 30-40 percent unemployment. After years of dedication, newly retired service members are now forced to compete with the new immigrant arrivals for jobs.

The new CAPS television ad will run throughout the Memorial Day weekend pressing the significance of military service members returning home to a struggling economy.

“Our young Americans fought to enforce U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It’s time President Obama fought for them by reducing mass immigration and saving jobs for these young veterans,” explained Marilyn DeYoung, Chairman of the Board of Californians for Population Stabilization. 

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California is home to more veterans than any other state in the country and with the Middle East Wars and the armed forces drawdown; the state’s unemployment numbers will only increase.  Currently, the Golden State’s unemployment rate is 11 percent, well above the national average of 8.2 percent.  During the next five years the number of veterans returning home looking for work is projected to increase exponentially, and CAPS anticipates that more than one million veterans will flood the stagnant economy.

CAPS also explains that California continues to experience an abundance of illegal immigrants who are attracted to the Golden State’s liberal social welfare programs.  “They’re taking American jobs in places like California, already devastated by the Great Recession,” DeYoung said. 

While all Americans are feeling the impact of unemployment, it is returning veterans ages 18-24 that are being disproportionately affected.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011, young male veterans had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent; nearly double the rate of their non-veteran counterparts.  The number is even worse for young African American male military veterans who face a 40 percent unemployment rate.   

“Our young men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for all of us so that we may remain free.  The least we can do is make sure they’re at the front of the job line when they return home,” DeYoung said.

Meanwhile, the country’s sluggish economy is hindering President Obama’s reelection and he has turned to the military for votes. Traditionally, the military has been a GOP stronghold, but the President has made the military a priority during this election cycle. In his weekly radio address, the President said military members and their families need quality jobs, education and health care so they can “enjoy the freedom that they risked everything to protect.”

That statement sounds good, but Gretchen Pfaff of CAPS reminds the President that “this issue is not one that ebbs and flows with the political calendar. Our young vets are coming home to a bleak future, and that’s an issue that should be on the forefront of every politician’s agenda, no matter what the season.”

Yet the recent media coverage from the Obama camp focuses on the President’s success with the Osama bin laden raid, not on the everyday perils the military tackle in the Middle East. Those soldiers get a throw away line from the White House.

“As president, I have no higher honor than serving as their commander in chief,” Obama said.

“But with that honor comes a solemn responsibility – one that gets driven home every time I sign a condolence letter, or meet a family member whose life has been turned upside down.”

Again, the President’s rhetoric hits all the points, but like much of his presidency, Obama’s actions fall short of the promises and the rank-and-file military are left holding the bag. Here’s a suggestion for those who think otherwise, they should spend time at one of the nation’s military hospitals and talk with wounded warriors and their families. They paint a very different picture of life at “home.” Many are bogged down with paperwork and “dispassionate boards” which determine what benefits “they think” are appropriate for injured warriors.

So on this solemn Memorial Day weekend, those who made the ultimate sacrifice and those still fighting, deserve appreciation from all Americans for their continued dedication to a red, white and blue country.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

For more information about CAPS visit www.CAPSweb.org.

Another Arellano Felix cartel member arrested and arraigned for drug trafficking

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges.

Lead defendant, Villareal pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010.

Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges.

Lead defendant, Villareal pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010.

Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges.

Lead defendant, Villareal plead not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010.

Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges.

Lead defendant, Villareal pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010.

Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges.

Lead defendant, Villareal plead not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010.

Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix.

“Today’s extradition of Villareal, a top-lieutenant in the FSO who answered directly to Fernando Sanchez Arellano, highlights our continued successful efforts to work with the government of Mexico to combat organized criminal activity along the southwest border,” United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said.

So far 38 defendants have entered guilty pleas and admitted their participation in violent transnational Fernando Sanchez-Arellano drug cartel practices including, murders, kidnappings, robberies, assaults, money laundering and numerous drug trafficking offenses.

Earlier this year, when Benjamin Arellano-Felix was led out of the courtroom Duffy said it was the perfect ending for the drug cartel leader who’s responsible for murder and mayhem often associated with drug cartels. Court records and the defendant’s confession confirmed, Arellano-Felix lead the AFO drug cartel from 1986 to March 2002. Prosecutors provided evidence that the cartel’s decision maker Arellano-Felix, ordered numerous crimes against Mexican and Americans who were involved in the drug trade.

Attorneys for the government contend under Arellano-Felix’s leadership the CEO ordered directives to top AFO organization lieutenants, including his brothers, Ramon, Eduardo, and Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix.

“The Tijuana Cartel was one of the world’s most brutal drug trafficking networks, but has now met its demise with leader Benjamin Arellano-Felix’s sentencing,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “It is a major victory for DEA and Mexico’s Calderon Administration. Together, we will continue our pressure on the Mexican cartels whose leaders, members, and facilitators will be prosecuted and face the justice they fear.”

Duffy said four defendants remain fugitives while another remains in custody and is scheduled for trial on June 5, 2012. In a statement she also praised the Mexican government for their assistance in the extradition of Villareal.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) coordinated the multi-agency Operation Luz Verde. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); San Diego Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); San Diego Sheriff’s Office; Chula Vista Police Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE); San Diego District Attorney’s Office; and California Department of Justice participated in this OCDETF investigation. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources to fight against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations.

“The indictment in this case resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The CBVTF was formed to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the significant evidence which led to the charges in this case,” Duffy said.

United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes remanded Villareal to custody until next week’s detention hearing.

For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak

© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.Image

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AFO/FSO cartel leader Villareal charged for racketeering and drug trafficking

Continuing its methodical dismantling of the Arellano Felix (drug cartel) Organization (AFO) and Fernando Sanchez-Arellano Organizations (FSO), today the U.S. arraigned Armando Villareal Heredia, aka Gordo Villareal for federal racketeering (RICO) as well as drug-related charges. Lead defendant, Villareal plead not guilty to all the charges and was assigned Public Defender, Robert Rexrode to represent him at next week’s detention hearing. The notable FSO cartel member faces charges along with 43 others in the Southern District of California. Villareal was successfully extradited from the Republic of Mexico to the United States in order to stand trial for the ongoing investigation that began in July of 2010. Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Villareal on July 9, 2011 at the request of the United States where he has remained in custody pending his extradition to San Diego. According to the indictment, Villareal was one of the top leaders of this criminal organization, which evolved from the now-defunct AFO and is headed by the nephew of Benjamin and Javier Arellano-Felix. Advertisement “Today’s extradition of Villareal, a top-lieutenant in the FSO who answered directly to Fernando Sanchez Arellano, highlights our continued successful efforts to work with the government of Mexico to combat organized criminal activity along the southwest border,” United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said. So far 38 defendants have entered guilty pleas and admitted their participation in violent transnational Fernando Sanchez-Arellano drug cartel practices including, murders, kidnappings, robberies, assaults, money laundering and numerous drug trafficking offenses. Earlier this year, when Benjamin Arellano-Felix was led out of the courtroom Duffy said it was the perfect ending for the drug cartel leader who’s responsible for murder and mayhem often associated with drug cartels. Court records and the defendant’s confession confirmed, Arellano-Felix lead the AFO drug cartel from 1986 to March 2002. Prosecutors provided evidence that the cartel’s decision maker Arellano-Felix, ordered numerous crimes against Mexican and Americans who were involved in the drug trade. Attorneys for the government contend under Arellano-Felix’s leadership the CEO ordered directives to top AFO organization lieutenants, including his brothers, Ramon, Eduardo, and Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix. “The Tijuana Cartel was one of the world’s most brutal drug trafficking networks, but has now met its demise with leader Benjamin Arellano-Felix’s sentencing,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “It is a major victory for DEA and Mexico’s Calderon Administration. Together, we will continue our pressure on the Mexican cartels whose leaders, members, and facilitators will be prosecuted and face the justice they fear.” Duffy said four defendants remain fugitives while another remains in custody and is scheduled for trial on June 5, 2012. In a statement she also praised the Mexican government for their assistance in the extradition of Villareal. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) coordinated the multi-agency Operation Luz Verde. Agents and officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); San Diego Police Department; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); San Diego Sheriff’s Office; Chula Vista Police Department; U.S. Marshals Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE); San Diego District Attorney’s Office; and California Department of Justice participated in this OCDETF investigation. The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and utilize all law enforcement resources to fight against organized crime and major drug trafficking organizations. “The indictment in this case resulted from a long-term investigation conducted by the multi-agency San Diego Cross Border Violence Task Force (CBVTF). The CBVTF was formed to target those individuals involved in organized crime-related violent activities affecting both the United States and Mexico. Law enforcement personnel assigned to the CBVTF made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps and other sophisticated investigative techniques to develop the significant evidence which led to the charges in this case,” Duffy said. United States Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes remanded Villareal to custody until next week’s detention hearing. For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Chinese national arrested for selling parts used to enrich uranium

A Chinese national on business in Massachusetts was arrested for illegally supplying U.S. origin parts to end-users in China that are used to enrich weapon-grade uranium. Selling the U.S. parts is a violation of American export laws. Qiang Hu, a/k/a Johnson Hu, 47, was charged with conspiracy to violate the Export Administration Regulations and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (EARIEEP). The original complaint was filed on May 18, and unsealed after Hu’s arrest at his hotel yesterday. The complaint alleges “Hu has been the sales manager at MKS Instruments Shanghai Ltd. (MKS-Shanghai) since 2008. MKS-Shanghai is the Shanghai sales office of MKS Instruments Inc. (MKS), which is headquartered in Andover, MA.” According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hu’s employment gave him access to MKS-manufactured parts, including export-controlled pressure-measuring sensors (manometer types), which are commonly known as pressure transducers. The pressure transducers are controlled exports because they are used in gas centrifuges that enrich uranium and produces weapons-grade uranium. Starting in 2007, Hu and others allowed thousands of MKS pressure transducers worth millions of dollars to be exported from America and ultimately delivered them to unauthorized end-users using export licenses that were fraudulently obtained from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The complaint also alleges “Hu and his co-conspirators used two primary means of deception to export the pressure transducers. First, the conspirators used licenses issued to legitimate MKS business customers to export the pressure transducers to China and then caused the parts to be delivered to other end-users who were not themselves named on the export licenses or authorized to receive the parts. Second, the conspirators obtained export licenses in the name of a front company and then used these fraudulently obtained licenses to export the parts to China, where they were delivered to the actual end-users.” Hu remains in federal custody and his detention hearing is scheduled for May 31. If Hu is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, as well as a $1 million fine. MKS Instruments is not a target of the federal government’s investigation into the sales of the pressure sensors. Assistant U.S. Attorneys William D. Weinreb and B. Stephanie Siegmann of the Ortiz’s Antiterrorism and National Security Unit are prosecuting this case. To read China’s stealth war strategy and why it’s working? http://www.examiner.com/article/china-s-stealth-war-strategy-why-it-s-working-part-one © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserve.

Army Reservist wins civil rights’ complaint for termination by Home Depot

The Department of Justice (DOJ) settled a civil rights’ complaint with Home Depot and Army National Guard soldier Brian Bailey regarding unlawful termination. DOJ resolved Baily’s allegations that Home Depot violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) when it terminated the Army Reservist. Baily’s complaint alleged that Home Depot willfully violated USERRA by terminating his employment because of his military service obligations. The Iraq War veteran, worked at a Home Depot store in Flagstaff, AZ, as a department supervisor while he served in the California Army National Guard. One of the requirements for Army Reservists is periodic leave from their private sector employment obligations. According to the Justice Department’s complaint, Mr. Bailey was removed from his position as a department supervisor after Home Depot management officials at the Flagstaff store openly expressed their displeasure with his periodic absences from work due to his military obligations and further indicated their desire to remove him from his position because of those absences. The terms of the settlement, “embodied in a consent decree that has been submitted for approval to the federal district court, Home Depot will provide Mr. Bailey with $45,000 in monetary relief and make changes to its Military Leaves of Absence policy.” The settlement also mandates that Home Depot examine its Military Leaves of Absence policy in their Arizona stores. “This settlement demonstrates our vigilant protection of the employment opportunities of our service members, and our commitment to vigorous enforcement of the laws that protect them,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “ The department is pleased that we were able to work cooperatively with Home Depot to resolve this matter without the need for contested litigation.” The DOJ legal action against Home Depot was also meant to protect members of the military who continue to serve during wartime and provides a reminder that private-sector businesses are not exempt from the USERRA laws. “This settlement not only compensates Mr. Bailey for employment opportunities he lost because of his military service, but it will also protect other members of our nation’s armed services employed by Home Depot through the required changes to the company’s Military Leaves of Absence policy and review of that policy with managers from the district where Mr. Bailey worked,” said Ann Birmingham Scheel, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. The DOJ continues to protect the rights of service members under USERRA, which prohibits civilian employers from discriminating against members of the military, including National Guard soldiers, with respect to employment opportunities based on their past, current, or future uniformed service obligations. For more stories;http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved. For additional information about USERRA visit the Justice Department’s websites; http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/emp and http://www.servicemembers.gov, as well as the Labor Department’s website at http://www.dol.gov/vets/programs/userra/main.htm.

Senator Schumer May 21, 2012 Add a comment Pseudo-Constitutional scholar Sen. Schumer targets Facebook co-founder

Times are tough in America when businesses and private citizens leave the land of opportunity and pursue sanctuary status in foreign countries with friendlier tax options. Unfortunately for Congressional big spenders, that is exactly what wealthy individuals will continue to do if the “land of the free and home of the brave” taxes, spends and regulates its residents to death. The latest example of Congress’ unconstitutional strong-arm tactic takes aim at Facebook’s co-founder, Eduardo Saverin’s decision to turn in his 10-year old U.S. passport before making millions from the social network IPO. The ex-Brazilian/American chose Singapore’s tax-friendly shores as his new home. While the United States already charges an exit tax, it’s far cheaper to set up shop in Singapore where Saverin’s future earnings will enjoy lower taxes and no capital gains levies. The move wasn’t rocket science. Saverin’s financial planners looked at the anti-capitalist rhetoric President Obama preaches on a daily basis like proposed tax increases of 24-30 percent in the yearly federal tax bill under the Buffet Tax Rule. Also “taxmageddon” is set to hit most Americans in January 2013. All Americans making more than $30,000 will pay Uncle Sam more when the Bush tax cuts expire and the new “Obamacare” taxes kick in. The ex-Brazilian/American would also likely face Obama’s proposed 44 percent dividend tax as well as a 45 percent estate tax. In California, Facebook’s headquarters, Saverin would be further subjected to a barrage of taxes especially if voters decide to give themselves a tax increase in November to pay for the falling tax revenues from businesses and residents fleeing the once Golden State. Looking at the mounting financial duress America’s lawmakers offer its citizens it‘s no wonder why some of the wealthy are leaving, businesses are holding back expansion and stubborn unemployment rates persist. The jig is up in America. The country owes more than 16 trillion dollars, continues to fight wars in the Middle East where Americans receive no benefits in return, like oil or rare earth minerals, and Congress fails to address the drivers’ of entitlement spending. To make matters worse the dysfunctional and ill-informed Congress thinks they can dictate a new law targeting a particular individual. In a “rule of law” society no one is treated special and lawmakers do not act in a totalitarian manner. However, that’s exactly what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) are doing when they target the Facebook co-founder for oppressive exit taxes. Their proposed legislation would force Saverin to pay all taxes as a U.S. citizen for his IPO profit (even though technically he is not a citizen) or be banned from reentering the country for life. While critics call the social media tycoon unpatriotic, it’s important to remember he has only been a resident for 10 years. “I was born in Brazil, I was an American citizen for about 10 years. I thought of myself as a global citizen,” Saverin told the New York Times. The fact Saverin paid hundreds of millions in taxes is of little concern to Senators Schumer and Casey. Their proposed law would impose a 30 percent capital gains tax for any wealthy citizens trying to dump America in favor of lower taxes in a plethora of countries around the world. However, unbeknownst to Schumer and Casey, there is already a provision in the U.S. Constitution known as the bill of attainder clause that prevents Congress from targeting a single person. Schumer even admitted to Bloomberg “10,000 people in the last 10 years have renounced their citizenship. Not a single one has been penalized.” Nevertheless the Constitution prevents Congress from singling out an individual or group for punishment without a trial and is made clear in the Federalist Papers. “Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. …,” James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788. The clause seems pretty clear. Plus, the U.S. already charges an exit tax according to Forbes. “If you are a U.S. citizen or long-term resident who expatriates on or after June 17, 2008, you will be deemed (for tax purposes) to have sold all of your worldwide property for its fair market value the day before you leave the U.S. All that gain is subject to U.S. tax at the capital gains rate. Plus, all your gain is taken into account without regard to any ameliorative tax provisions in the Internal Revenue Code.” “Put differently, you get all of the bad parts of the tax code, and none of the good,” Forbes explains. “That would include, for example, the inability to benefit from the $250,000 per person ($500,000 per couple) exclusion from gain on a principal residence (Section 121 of the Internal Revenue Code) and many other rules. The exit tax is like an estate tax, in the sense that everything that would be part of your estate will be subject to income tax on unrealized gains as of the day before you expatriate, as if you sold all your assets the day before leaving. In effect this is Congress’ way of making sure your assets don’t escape the estate tax entirely through expatriation.” The new Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” or (Ex-PATRIOT) Act will deter any tax avoidance schemes. A statement regarding the new tax bill said; “The senators will call Saverin’s move an outrage and describe a plan to re-impose taxes on expatriates like Saverin even after they flee the United States and take up residence in a foreign country.” The proposed legislation will tax, “any expatriate with either a net worth of $2 million or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes,” according to Schumer. In addition to income taxes Ex-Pats would also pay a 30 percent capital gains tax. According to Democratic Senator Schumer, 1,780 people gave up their citizenship in 2011 for a number of reasons. But Schumer ignores the Facebook playboy will pay hundreds of millions in taxes upon departure. However, Schumer is concerned with the savings of approximately $67 million in taxes that Bloomberg.com estimates Saverin’s move to Singapore will save him. Lately the Republican’s have touted their spending cuts instead of imposing new taxes as a method to “fix” the country. Yet on the Sunday talk show “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” the GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner agreed with Schumer. “There’s already a law on the books,” Boehner explained. “But this is outrageous. This is absolutely outrageous — that somebody would renounce their citizenship to avoid paying taxes. And yes, it’s already against the law…I’m not sure it’s necessary, but if it is necessary — sure I would support it.” So which is it? “The far right will go to such extremes to defend keeping taxes low on millionaires that they are even trying to turn someone like Mr. Saverin into a martyr despite his fundamentally unpatriotic act,” said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Schumer. This latest flap inside the Beltway clearly demonstrates Congress remains ill informed regarding the Constitution and what power their role as lawmakers entails. Uninformed Senators Schumer and Casey also want to ban Saverin’s reentry into the country forever, something that doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants who repeatedly break U.S. law. In other words, Boehner, Schumer and Casey and their merry Robin Hood bandits would like to add insult to injury and tax Saverin even more and chase away any prospective entrepreneurs in the future. Perhaps the lawmaker’s time would be better served by focusing their energy on restructuring the massive ineffective U.S. tax code to encourage entrepreneurship in America that would keep rainmakers in the U.S. and lure foreign investors to the land of forgotten American prosperity. For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

NYPD settles stop-and-frisk lawsuit targeting minorities

A federal lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) against the Bloomberg administration regarding illegal stop and frisk programs in NYC has reached a settlement. The NYPD officers will now receive special training in order to prevent the unlawful practice of detaining, questioning and searching innocent New Yorkers, particularly people of color, who are passengers in livery cabs. The lawsuit was filed in May 2011, and claimed the NYPD was using its Taxi/Livery Inspection Program (TRIP) to expand the reach of its unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices. The plaintiffs in this case, Terrence Battle and Munir Pujara, were targeted by NYPD riding in livery cabs. They were detained, questioned and searched even though the livery drivers told officers there was no problem or suspicious activities. “Being pulled out of a livery car late at night when I had done nothing wrong was outrageous and frightening,” Battle said. “I can only hope this settlement saves others from a similar experience.” Advertisement As part of the settlement, the NYPD must educate police officers regarding the lawful treatment of livery cab passengers, direct officers to end their question, frisk, search or demand identification program from cab passengers. Under the new settlement, police can no longer stop-and-frisk passengers unless the officers have reason to believe that the passenger(s) have committed a crime. “Under this settlement, the NYPD will undertake sweeping training of officers and commanders to halt the unlawful treatment of law-abiding passengers in livery cabs,” said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn. “This should put an end to the unjustified stopping and frisking of people whose only crime was to be riding in a livery car.” In addition, the NYPD commanding officers must assure that livery cab passengers are not mistreated under the TRIP program. Finally, the NYPD will also include a training memorandum regarding TRIP in their NYPD Police Student’s Guide, which is used to train new cadets at the NYPD Police Academy. “This is a victory for the right of all New Yorkers to go about their business without being unlawfully detained, questioned and searched by police,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “While the NYPD has agreed to take steps to end this discriminatory practice, its officers continue to subject record numbers of black and Latino New Yorkers to unlawful and suspicionless street stops. It’s time for the Bloomberg administration and the NYPD to put a stop to all discriminatory policing.” The livery cab TRIP program is voluntary and authorizes police officers to stop participating cabs, identifiable by a special decal, to perform driver safety checks. Under the settlement, the city will pay both plaintiffs $10,000 in damages, as well as attorneys’ fees. To read the full settlement, visit http://www.nyclu.org/files/releases/TRIP_Final_Stip-Order_5.14.12.pdf. For more stories;http://www.examiner.com/homeland-security-in-national/kimberly-dvorak © Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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