The Obama administration is violating a judge’s order to turn over documents in the Aug. 6, 2011, shootdown of a U.S. helicopter — call sign Extortion 17 — that killed members of SEAL Team 6 in Afghanistan, a watchdog group is charging.
On the fourth anniversary of the worst one-day loss of military life in the war on terror, families of the dead say they are aghast that the government will not honor basic requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It has now been four years since Extortion 17 was shot down,” said Doug Hamburger, whose Army air crew son, Patrick, was one of the 30 Americans killed. “I find it quite disturbing that the government is not willing to give us the answers we deserve. I find it very irritating that we will not question the Afghans about their knowledge of what took place that night.”
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com …
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced that U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report to him by June 29 the status of the recovery and release of emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. The Court also ordered a court hearing, scheduling a status conference for July 1, 2015. The developments come in Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking documents about the Obama IRS’s targeting and harassment of Tea Party and conservative opponents of President Obama (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)).
On June 18, Judge Sullivan ordered the IRS to produce information about emails recovered by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the internal IRS watchdog agency:
Criminal Enterprise Alleged to Occur Over 10 Years Culminating in Present Email Scandal Conceived to Hide Incriminating Evidence and Obstruct Justice
(Washington, D.C., March 25, 2015). Today, Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch and a former federal prosecutor, filed a civil suit against Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and their family foundation alleging criminal violations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). The suit was filed before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Civil Action No. 9:15-cv-80388. A copy of the complaint can be viewed at www.freedomwatchusa.org.
The lawsuit alleges a pattern over ten years of the Clintons engaging in two or more predicate acts constituting a criminal enterprise, designed to enrich them personally. In this regard, Klayman alleges that the Clintons – through mail and wire fraud, and various false statements – misappropriated documents which he was entitled to receive and possess under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) concerning Hillary Clinton’s involvement in releasing Israeli war and cyber-warfare plans and practices. The complaint alleges that Hillary Clinton orchestrated this release to harm and thwart Israeli plans to preemptively attack Iranian nuclear sites to stop the Islamic nation’s march to producing atomic weapons. Another FOIA request called for the production of Mrs. Clinton’s and other State Department’s records which refer or relate to the granting of waivers for persons, companies, countries and other interests to do business with Iran, thereby undermining the economic sanctions. These acts are alleged to be the result of the defendants selling government influence in exchange for bribes from interests which have donated to The Clinton Foundation, paid huge speaking fees to the Clintons and other means. The present email scandal is alleged to cover up evidence of these and other related crimes by hiding emails that would incriminate the Clintons and their foundation.
Klayman issued this statement:
“This is the first and only hard-hitting case to address the growing email scandal. What Hillary Clinton, her husband, and their foundation have done is nothing new. It is simply part of a criminal enterprise which dates back at least 10 years, all designed to enrich themselves personally at the expense of the American people and our nation. It’s time, however, that they finally be held legally accountable.”
U.S. Africa Command records – heavily blacked out – show military gathered forces to support “anti-terrorist” actions in Benghazi day after attack
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama administration finally turned over hundreds of pages of documents about the military response to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and other facilities in Benghazi. The documents, which are heavily blacked out (redacted), confirm that the U.S. Military, through its U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) drafted orders for a military response to the attack, specifically “to protect vital naval and national assets.” Other documents suggest that the military, hours after the attack, tied the assault to a group supporting “an Islamic state” that wanted to attack U.S. interests in Libya in retaliation for a drone strike on an al-Qaeda leader.
After passing the Senate by unanimous consent on Monday, it seemed as if the FOIA Improvement Act would become law—a nearly identical version passed the House earlier this year. Today, however, it was up to Speaker of the House John Boehner to allow a vote on the bill’s final passage before the House adjourned this week. Instead, it was “held at the desk,” meaning Boehner may have just killed FOIA reform.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law, signed in 1966, that gives U.S. citizens the right to access information from the federal government. Through FOIA, journalists and citizens alike have uncovered stories like the U.S. government turning down hundreds of millions of dollars in Katrina aid, the Pentagon ignoring a tip alleging 135 cases of fraud amounting to nearly $200 million, shortages in funding hampering cleanup at hazardous waste sites and 17,000 bridges failing to be inspected on schedule, to name a few.
“It is an uniquely American act, but it is a tool that needs to be continually sharpened,” says Nate Jones, the Freedom of Information Act Coordinator at the George Washington University’s National Security Archive. “The government is pretty good at giving information to people it wants to give, but the Freedom of Information Act is really a gem that allows the public to have a fighting chance to get the information from the government that they want.”
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com …
After using executive privilege to withhold Fast and Furious records for two years, the Obama administration has quietly stopped exerting the power to hide information about the disastrous gun-running operation.
Judicial Watch attorneys discovered the extraordinary about-face in recent exchanges with Department of Justice (DOJ). JW has been a leader in exposing the Fast and Furious scandal and has filed several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the federal agencies involved in the once-secret operation. Just last month JW obtained records showing that the president’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was a key player in the Fast and Furious cover-up and that Obama exerted executive privilege for Holder’s wife and mother to conceal emails with the Attorney General involving the operation.
Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.
The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal. Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.