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Bergdahl to Be Charged With Desertion

In 2009 Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl left his unit without permission and was captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl was held for five years until President Obama traded five high ranking Taliban commanders. Once Bergdahl was back on American soil, the Army conducted an investigation.

That was in October 2014. Three months later, the White House is stonewalling the Army’s charges on Bergdahl of desertion. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, has been a liaison between the Pentagon and the White House and has led the effort to keep this news from getting out.

Senior ranking military officials said two weeks ago that they would release the ruling soon. Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer referred to the White House’s efforts as a “titanic struggle behind the scenes.”

“As a corporate entity, the Army has decided that they want to pursue Bergdahl for this violation,” Shaffer said.

The delay in releasing the charges against Bergdahl could stem from when the five Taliban members released were never briefed by Army officials. The White House just wants to make the situation to go away.

10 Questions for Loretta Lynch

Members of the Judiciary Committee need to get answers from Obama’s nominee for attorney general.

By Peter Roff     •     U.S.News

Lynch 2This week, Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley will call to order a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the purpose of considering President Barack Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general of the United States.

In the main, the nomination is not controversial – though it should be. As my Frontiers of Freedom colleague George Landrith has written in The Washington Times questions, serious questions, have been raised about the conduct of prosecutors working under Lynch in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. They should be enough to slow the nomination’s progress until she can explain how and why the rights of crime victims and their ability to apply for restitution as specified in existing federal law were ignored and what steps she has taken to correct these wrongs. [Read more...]

Questions for Loretta Lynch on Secret Dockets

By Frederick M. Oberlander and Richard E. Lerner     •     The Hill

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. (When confirmation hearings begin today for Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General, conservatives will seek her views on President Obama’s executive order on immigration and liberals will seek her views on the prison at Guantanamo. We hope at least one member of the Senate Judiciary Committee will seek her views on the parallel, covert judicial system her office runs.

As U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, Lynch perpetuated the concealment of criminal cases to protect fraudsters who promised cooperation against other criminals. For example, in the Felix Sater case, her office not only hid his victims’ legal rights to seek mandatory restitution, it continues to let him live the high life on his share of the $40 million stolen from the life-savings of his victims. Even more astonishing, this fraudster was allowed to bilk a new generation of victims by falsely presenting himself as a businessman with a clean record, all because his record was kept hidden. [Read more...]

Will the Next Attorney General Stand for the Rule of Law?

By Katie Pavlich     •     The Hill

Holder HeadOn Wednesday, Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, will raise her right hand in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and swear to tell the whole truth to lawmakers during her nomination hearing for attorney general of the United States.

Following in the footsteps of Attorney General Eric Holder, Lynch will be forced to tackle a series of complicated, corrupt and highly controversial topics when she takes her seat on Capitol Hill. She will have to make her own case about how to clean up the highly politicized, and often toxic, Department of Justice.

Now that Republicans are in charge of the Senate, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has the subpoena power he needs to dig deeper into scandals ignored by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the previous Democratic leadership — and you can bet he’s planning on getting answers to unanswered questions. [Read more...]

Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company

Executives at a Bermudan firm funneling money to U.S. environmentalists run investment funds with Russian

by Lachlan Markay     •     Washington Free Beacon

oil-well-drillingA shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy. [Read more...]

Obama and the Refusal to Call a Cat a Cat

For the French, it is almost surreal to see how the White House avoids using the phrase ‘radical Islam.’

By Laure Mandeville     •     The Wall Street Journal Obama Smirk

In French, we have an expression: “Call a cat a cat.” Appeler un chat un chat. That is exactly what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls did after the horrific terrorist attacks that hit my country on Jan. 7, when he identified “radical Islam” as our enemy. In France, most rallied to this clear acknowledgment of the threat we are dealing with, because it is simply impossible to deny.

That is why it has sounded almost surreal when the Obama administration and many observers in the U.S., despite their heartening support for the French, go to great lengths to insist that the terrorist attack had nothing to do with Islam. [Read more...]

Endlessly Slapped by ObamaCare

By Justin Haskins     •     The New York Post

Cancelled Cancellation ObamaCare“I’m sorry sir,” the polite Healthcare.gov customer-service agent said. “There’s nothing I can do. You’re either going to have to enroll in Medicaid or you’re going to have to pay the full health-insurance rate.”

“The rate you quoted earlier?” I asked. “That’s nearly 30 percent higher than my current insurance bill, I just can’t afford it.”

“You’ll have to pay the full rate, yes,” the agent replied. [Read more...]

Uncomfortable Questions for Loretta Lynch

Senators should probe her disregard for the rights of crime victims

By George Landrith     •     The Washington Times

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. ("A.J.") Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital, and six co-conspirators for fraudulent market manipulation at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New YorkThe president’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general caught many by surprise. Given his penchant for perpetual campaigning and divisiveness, most analysts expected him to choose a known partisan rather than a relatively unknown prosecutor. Nonetheless, as her record receives more scrutiny, some troubling details are coming to light — something few anticipated when she was first nominated.

The New York and Washington press have both reported that Ms. Lynch, while serving in her current post as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, oversaw an environment in which prosecutorial misconduct, trampling on the rights of victims, and violations of the law by prosecutors working for her were more routine than anyone should be comfortable with. [Read more...]

Does Obama Believe What He Says Anymore?

State_of_Union by Ron Fournier     •     NationalJournal President Obama ended his State of the Union address where he started his political ascent—offering to be a leader who produces can-do bipartisanship in a divided, dysfunctional capital. “Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns,” he told a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. “Imagine if we did something different.” Yes, imagine if rather than empty promises, the president could report two-party progress on big issues like immigration, climate change, social mobility, and the debt and deficit.

[Read more...]

Loretta Lynch Nomination Deserves Scrutiny

Lynch Coalition LogoDear Mr. Chairman:

We write to you today to express our concerns that Loretta Lynch, the President’s nominee for attorney general of the United States, and prosecutors in her employ in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, may have violated the rights of crime victims while making plea deals with defendants in so-called “white collar” cases. We believe that this is emblematic of a larger problem – to wit, the failure of the executive branch to enforce laws as written, and indeed the deliberate circumvention of the laws as written.

The issue is of respect for the law. For example, under federal sentencing law, specifically the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, restitution is “mandatory” as to defendants who are sentenced for certain designated crimes. The statute, 18 U.S.C. 3663A(a)(1) begins, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law….” a defendant who is convicted of certain crimes must have a sentence of restitution imposed. In Dolan v. United States, 560 U.S. 605, the Supreme Court held in 2010 that sentencing errors or omissions that result in a failure to award restitution may later be corrected, so holding because Congress made its intent clear when it used that language, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law.”  But it appears to be the pattern and practice in the Eastern District to allow cooperators to keep the money they’ve pled guilty to stealing, in exchange for “good” cooperation. [Read more...]

Obama Blows Smoke

by Fred Barnes     •     The Weekly Standard

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in WashingtonWe know that supply-side economics emphasizes serious cuts in tax rates and Keynesianism relies on massive amounts of government spending. But how in the world does “middle class economics” work? After President Obama cited it repeatedly in State of the Union speech, I waited and waited for him to explain how it works. He never did.

Instead, he confused a cause with a result. Middle class economics, he said, “is the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.” That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not an economic policy. [Read more...]

To Call This Threat by Its Name

By Marine Le Pen     •     The New York Times

Syria Muslim Brotherhood Al-Qaeda“To misname things is to add to the world’s unhappiness.” Whether or not Albert Camus really did utter these words, they are an astonishingly apt description of the situation in which the French government now finds itself. Indeed, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius no longer even dares pronounce the real name of things.

Mr. Fabius will not describe as “Islamists” the terrorists who on Wednesday, Jan. 7, walked into the offices of the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, right in the heart of Paris. Nor will he use “Islamic State” to describe the radical Sunni group that now controls territory in Syria and Iraq. No reference can be made to “Islamic fundamentalism,” for fear that Islam and Islamism might get conflated. The terms “Daesh” and “Daesh cutthroats” are to be favored instead, even though in Arabic “Daesh” means the very thing to be hidden: “Islamic State.” [Read more...]

Planning the Next Obamacare Offensive

Republicans recently mapped out possible moves in light of a Supreme Court case on deck this summer.

By John Fund     •     National Review Online

obamacare-2It’s a bit surprising that Jay Leno showed up last week as the entertainment at the first joint Senate–House Republican congressional retreat in decades. While Leno, the 64-year-old former host of NBC’s Tonight Show, was scrupulously non-partisan in his jibes and jabs, he added a touch of Hollywood flash to the serious discussions on budgets and bills. His favorite jokes involved Obamacare: “I’m telling you this Obamacare is getting serious and painful. I went in for a prostate exam the other day, and it was conducted by a government drone.”

If any topic dominated the three-day congressional retreat (held in America’s “Chocolate City” of Hershey, Pa.), it was indeed Obamacare — specifically, how both houses of Congress should handle a consistently unpopular program that President Obama nonetheless intends to preserve as a crowning legacy of his administration. [Read more...]

Nuclear Coercion

by Peter Huessy

Nuclear DisarmamentCutting $70 billion over the next ten years from America’s nuclear deterrent is the goal of a number of proponents of global zero. The cut would be equal to roughly 25% of all planned nuclear deterrent expenditures. The idea is to delay building a new dual capable strategic bomber while also cutting the number of nuclear submarines to replace the current Ohio class boomers. In both cases, the arms control enthusiasts pushing such policies are missing the boat–their budget numbers do not add up and their strategic thinking is off base. [Read more...]

Obama: Charlie Who?

by Charles Krauthammer     •     The Washington Post

Obama 102On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”

Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? [Read more...]