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EPA Sends Man to Prison for Protecting Town from Flooding


Reported by Bryan Fischer Host of “Focal Point”| Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

URL of the original posting site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/culture/2017/06/epa-sends-man-to-prison-for-protecting-town-from-flooding/

EPA Sends Man to Prison for Protecting Town from Flooding

President Trump’s administration is moving forward to implement an executive order that revokes the Obama policy on waters of the United States. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are proposing a rule to rescind the Clean Water Rule regulation established by President Obama. 

The Obama-era policy gives the federal government authority over a staggering 60% of the water bodies in the United States, including small streams, private ponds, intermittent streams, and even “wetlands” on private property created by seasonal rain. 

The president intends to return to a policy consistent with the original Clean Water Act of 1972 and grant authority only to federal authorities over actual navigable waters that affect interstate commerce. Montana Senator Steve Daines put it this way: “Out-of-state D.C. bureaucrats shouldn’t impose regulations that hurt Montana farmers, ranchers and landowners.” 

The story below is just one among many that illustrates the importance of getting the boot of the federal government off the necks of ordinary Americans. 

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Note: I wrote this column in 2008 when I served as the director of the Idaho Values Alliance. I worked with Sen. Mike Crapo’s office to get a pardon request into President Bush’s hands before he left office in January, 2009, but unfortunately the pardon request was not acted upon. 

My latest information is that Lynn Moses served his full stretch and was eventually released to a halfway house before returning to his hometown. His eyesight was affected during his incarceration because of the lack of medical attention he received while in federal custody. 

Here is the column as it originally read. You might want to duct tape your head before you read this. 

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August 5, 2008 

Lynn Moses is scheduled to be locked up in federal prison on August 6. His crime? Protecting the city of Driggs from flooding. 

When Mr. Moses began to develop a subdivision along Teton Creek in 1980, Teton County required him to implement an engineer’s plan to modify the Teton Creek stream bed to prevent the flooding of subdivision property, caused by the buildup of gravel bars and downed trees, during high water flows in the spring. 

In fact, the county would not allow him even to record the plat for the subdivision until the modification work had been done, and only allowed the development after requiring the homeowner’s association to maintain the flood control channel year after year. 

Teton Creek used to be a flowing stream, but irrigation diversion over 100 years ago dewatered the Creek and left the stream bed dry for all but two months a year at the most. Water only fills the stream bed when irrigators have more water than they can use. (Note: this means there is no “aquatic environment” here, nor any “wetland.”) 

Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were invited to a planning meeting with the county and Mr. Moses in 1980, but they soon left the meeting after informing county officials that they had “classified the stream as intermittent and therefore outside their jurisdiction.” 

So working on plans developed by an engineer and approved — in fact, required — by the county, Mr. Moses got to work and cleared the channel of gravel bars and downed cottonwood trees to ensure that the channel would serve as a flood control structure. 

For years he has walked the entire length of the creek to evaluate conditions and then remove gravel bars, sand, logs and debris as necessary to keep the channel clear and satisfy the subdivision’s obligation to the county. 

When Driggs flooded in the spring of 1981 — due to a clogged culvert under a county road — the county approached the Corps a second time, asking for funding and help to replace the culvert with a bridge to prevent future flooding. Once again, the Corps said, Nope, not our problem, not our fault, not our responsibility to fix, we don’t have jurisdiction. 

Why? Because, they repeated again, Teton Creek is an intermittent stream and we have no jurisdiction unless there is water in the stream bed at least three months out of the year. Thus twice the federal government pointedly and definitively washed its hands of the whole thing. 

Since 1982, all Mr. Moses has done is to provide the necessary maintenance to ensure that the stream bed does not get clogged with gravel, sediment, fallen trees, and other debris so that the stream bed can continue to siphon flood water away from homes and the city of Driggs. 

He did his work when the stream bed was dry, of course, and never put anything into the stream bed, only took “pollutants” (sedimentation, sand, gravel, etc.) out. 

Tellingly, in 1984, when the Forest Service needed to build a road, they came to this same stretch of Teton Creek and — without any kind of permit — contracted with Mr. Moses to excavate between 5,000 and 6,000 cubic yards of gravel from the bed, all of which was inspected by government officials. 

Every four or five years, when new staff would replace the old, and a generation would arise “who knew not Joseph,” Mr. Moses would receive a letter from the Corps of Engineers, insisting that he needed to get a permit from them for his maintenance work. He’d write them back, informing him that, according to the Corps itself, they had no jurisdiction over intermittent streams. That would be that. 

He’d hear nothing for another four to five years, after which another staff rotation led to another letter from the Corps and to a similar reply from Mr. Moses. And so it went for over 20 years. 

An aggressive Corps staffer tried to convince the U.S. Attorney to prosecute Mr. Moses in 1995, and the U.S. Attorney told him to take a hike since the Corps had no jurisdictional authority to initiate legal action. 

According to former state legislator Lee Gagner, the Corps “discussed his process many times with him, but could not show where they had jurisdiction on the seasonal, intermittent stream.” Gagner adds, “[T]o this day they do not have written rules indicating this to be true.” 

As far as Gagner knows, the Corps never completed what is called a “Jurisdictional Determination” that their own rules even gave them any authority over this particular intermittent stream. (Jurisdiction is determined on a case-by-case basis with intermittent streams.) 

At this point, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emboldened by newly granted bureaucratic authority, jumped in and went right after Mr. Moses, indicting and prosecuting him for violating the Clean Water Act in the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 for doing nothing more than the routine maintenance on the channel he had been doing for 20 years, under requirements imposed by local government. 

Presiding federal judge Lynn Winmill, who has a well-deserved reputation for judicial activism, refused to allow Teton County commissioners to testify to the original agreement, nor would he allow the aggressive Corps staffer to testify about the refusal of the U.S. Attorney to prosecute in the mid-90s. 

Before the jury was dismissed to enter into deliberations at the conclusion of his trial, Judge Lynn Winmill instructed the jury, believe it or not, to disregard every bit of information from 1980 to 2002, including the Corps’ denial of jurisdiction and the mandate from local government for Mr. Moses to maintain the flood channel. 

Instructed by this notoriously activist judge to ignore facts, reason and legal history, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, finding Mr. Moses guilty of “discharging” “pollutants” into one of the “waters of the United States.” 

His conviction ignores the fact that no evidence was ever presented in court that Mr. Moses “discharged” anything into the stream bed at all. He only removed sand and gravel bars that were already there and which he was contractually obligated to remove. He was extracting material from the channel, not discharging material into it. 

No evidence was presented in court by the EPA that there was any water at all in the stream bed during those years for Mr. Moses to “discharge” anything into. The EPA claims that “fallback” — material from the bank falling back into the stream bed — represents a “discharge,” but it offers no objective criteria for deciding how much “fallback” it takes to cross the magic threshold, meaning the EPA used sheer speculation to assert a violation. 

Worse, Mr. Moses was convicted of “pollut(ing) a spawning area for Yellowstone cutthroat trout,” despite the fact that there have been no fish in this stream bed for more than 150 years. Mr. Gagner, who has lived near the flood channel for 18 years, says he has never seen fish in this stream bed. And it’s not even possible for the stream bed to serve as a spawning ground since it only has water two months out of every year in the first place. 

Although the director of the EPA in Idaho, Jim Wernitz, asserts that Mr. Moses had damaged “wetlands” associated with the stream, there are no wetlands there! The very word requires that land be, well, wet, but the stream bed is bone dry for at least 10 months out of every year. Wernitz is apparently ignorant of the fact that the Government had previously stipulated that there are no wetlands surrounding the storm channel, nor any “aquatic environment” that could be damaged. 

In the plurality opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2006 Rapanos case, Justice Scalia wrote that the Clean Water Act in fact gives the federal government jurisdiction only over “relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water,” and explicitly added, “[T]he ‘waters of the United States’ does not include channels through which water flows intermittently or ephemerally, or channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall.” 

Embarrassingly for Judge Winmill, this ruling was handed down on the very day Mr. Moses was originally sentenced to prison. Eight months later, the Corps of Engineers revised its own rules in a way that makes it abundantly clear that the federal government has no jurisdiction over an intermittent stream like Teton Creek. 

No matter. With other notoriously activist federal judges in the 9th Circuit refusing to overturn lower court convictions on appeal, Mr. Moses has been forced to spend almost $400,000 of his own money in a losing effort to defend himself for protecting the city of Driggs from catastrophic flooding. 

Mr. Moses’ wife died unexpectedly of a heart attack a year and a half ago. Friends tell me the stress of their 25-year battle with the federal government and the stress of the guilty verdict contributed to her early death. Mr. Moses, when I spoke with him this morning, agrees that this is a likely possibility. 

The death of his wife has left Mr. Moses to raise his 17-year-old daughter by himself, a daughter who will have to fend for herself once her sole surviving parent is tossed behind bars — in another state no less — for the next 18 months. 

His daughter, just now entering her senior year in high school, will be deprived of his comfort and counsel right when she needs it the most. Mr. Moses will miss his daughter’s companionship, and miss the joy of her 18th birthday party, her senior prom and her graduation ceremony. 

Virtually everything is wrong with this story. It’s an egregious violation of the constitutional limitations on federal power, as federal bureaucrats simply dismissed the fact that Mr. Moses was required by local authorities to do exactly what he was doing. 

Bureaucratic government agencies, aided and abetted by activist judges, acted as petty tyrants and incarcerated a man not for doing evil but for doing good. A fine man has been chewed up by the grinding maw of a mindless and inhumane federal government, and will spend the next year and a half of his life behind bars, not for endangering the families in his community, but for protecting them. 

His attorney calls the whole thing “a travesty,” which is just about the mildest thing that can be said about this unconscionable miscarriage of justice. 

As Elaine Jones said in a letter published by the Idaho Press-Tribune, “A good, honorable widower is leaving his daughter to others to raise, and is going to prison for following the rules, obeying the law and helping his friends stay safe from flooding.” 

As George Washington is reputed to have said, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Lynn Moses will tell you that the government’s fire cannot just singe you but burn you to a crisp.

CNN Confirms – Judge Napolitano was Right – Brits Gathered Info on Trump then Gave it to Obama


waving flagdisclaimerReported By Onan Coca |  April 13, 2017

If CNN has the story right, this would be HUGE news, and it would be particularly satisfying for Judge Andrew Napolitano.

You might recall that about a month ago Judge Nap announced on Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends that his sources told him that President Obama had gone outside of the United States to get intel on Donald Trump from the UK’s GSHQ (their intelligence agency).

Here’s what Judge Nap said:

Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice… He used GCHQ. What the heck is GCHQ? That’s the initials for the British spying agency. They have 24/7 access to the NSA database. So by simply having two people go to them and say ‘President Obama needs transcripts  of conversations involving Candidate Trump, conversations involving President-Elect Trump,’ [Obama’s] able to get it, and there’s no American fingerprints on this.

A few days after that Fox News suspended Napolitano after their media competitors and the British Intelligence community attacked Napolitano’s story as ridiculous. When Napolitano finally returned to the airwaves, he doubled-down and said that he and his sources stand by their reporting and were sure the truth would one day be made known.

Yes, I do [stand by the original report], and the sources stand by it. The American public needs to know more about this rather than less because a lot of the government’s surveillance authorities will expire in the fall, and there will be a great debate about how much authority we want the government to have to surveil us. The more the American public knows about this the more informed their and Congress’ decision will be… I think a lot more is going to come.”

That day seems to have arrived.

From CNN:

British and other European intelligence agencies intercepted communications between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials and other Russian individuals during the campaign and passed on those communications to their US counterparts, US congressional and law enforcement and US and European intelligence sources tell CNN.

The communications were captured during routine surveillance of Russian officials and other Russians known to western intelligence. British and European intelligence agencies, including GCHQ, the British intelligence agency responsible for communications surveillance, were not proactively targeting members of the Trump team but rather picked up these communications during what’s known as “incidental collection,” these sources tell CNN.

The European intelligence agencies detected multiple communications over several months between the Trump associates and Russian individuals — and passed on that intelligence to the US. The US and Britain are part of the so-called “Five Eyes” agreement (along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand), which calls for open sharing among member nations of a broad range of intelligence.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He’s also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children. You can find his writing all over the web.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


waving flagSweet Baby Change

URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/04/13/sweet-baby-change/

Out with Obama’s James Taylor diplomacy and in with Donald Trump America first approach.

Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2017.

To see more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

A.F.Branco Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here!

Report: Obama Admin Blocked FBI Director’s Offer To Reveal Russian Meddling


Reported by Photo of Chuck Ross Chuck Ross | Reporter | 9:32 PM 03/29/2017

URL of the original posting site:  http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/29/report-obama-admin-blocked-fbi-directors-offer-to-reveal-russian-meddling/#ixzz4cqMF4bv0

FBI Director James Comey planned to write an op-ed early last summer making the case that Russia was meddling in the U.S. election, but other top Obama administration officials vetoed the idea. That’s according to a report from Newsweek magazine.

“The White House shut it down,” one source told the magazine of Comey’s op-ed offer. “They did their usual — nothing.”

The revelation, if accurate, would appear to suggest that the Obama administration did not take Russia’s meddling in the presidential campaign as seriously as many Democrats would have liked. Comey, who took over the FBI in 2013, proposed the op-ed during a meeting in June or July in the situation room of the White House in which Sec. of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Sec. of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson were also present, according to Newsweek.

“He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, ‘I want to go forward, what do people think of this?’” a source with knowledge of the meeting told Newsweek of Comey.

According to Newsweek’s source, Comey’s op-ed would have laid out some of the evidence showing that the Kremlin was attempting to influence the presidential election. The Obama administration would not make a similar public accusation until Oct. 7, when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security alleged that Russia was involved in cyber attacks against Democrats.

The piece, which likely would have been placed at an outlet like The New York Times, would not have revealed anything about an investigation into possible ties between the Russian government and Trump campaign. Comey said earlier this month that the FBI opened that probe in early July.

The other Obama administration officials opposed the idea, Newsweek reports, because they preferred a more coordinated message.

“An op-ed doesn’t have the same stature, it comes from one person,” Newsweek’s source said.

Democrats have blamed the Obama administration for failing to address Russian meddling early enough in the campaign cycle. Comey has been one of the biggest targets for criticism, largely because of his public involvement in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

John Kerry released $221 million to Palestinian Authority just before Trump’s Inauguration


waving flagPosted by    Monday, January 23, 2017 at 6:00pm | 1/23/2017 – 6:00pm

URL of the original posting site: http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/01/john-kerry-released-221-million-to-palestinian-authority-just-before-trumps-inauguration/

back-stabed1

In defiance of congressional opposition.

We already have seen numerous moves by the former Obama administration to extend its policy preferences into the Trump era, including $500 million sent just days before the inauguration to fund the Paris Climate Agreement.

According to reports, a similar tactic was used to evade congressional opposition to transferring funds to the Palestinian Authority after complaints about its incitement efforts, including paying monthly salaries to convicted terrorist in Israeli jail.

The Associated Press reports:

Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied israels-back-590-liRepublican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.

A State Department official and several congressional aides said the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning. The official said former Secretary of State John Kerry had informed some lawmakers of the move shortly before he left the State Department for the last time Thursday. The aides said written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress just hours before Donald Trump took the oath of office….

Congress had initially approved the Palestinian funding in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two GOP lawmakers — Ed Royce of California, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger of Texas, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — had placed holds on it over moves the Palestinian Authority had taken to seek membership in international organizations. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding after funds have been allocated.picture1

QUESTION: Rabbi Says Obama & Terrorists Are Birds Of A Feather – Do YOU Agree?


Published on December 26, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://clashdaily.com/2016/12/question-rabbi-says-obama-terrorists-birds-feather-agree/

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Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

Obama is called out for not standing with Israel against a horribly biased UN Resolution.

Right outside the White House, at the National Hanukkah Menorah ceremony, Rabbi Levi Shemtov slammed the Obama administration for abandoning the historically close relationship of the US and Israel. He equated the US failing to veto UN Resolution 2334 which condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to aligning themselves with Israel’s enemies.

East Jerusalem is the site of the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. The Old City of Jerusalem includes the only existing remnant of the historic and religious site — the Western Wall. The Western Wall came under Isreali control following the Six-Days War of 1967. The 1967 borders are part of the ‘disputed territory’ that many consider a hindrance to ‘Peace in the Middle East’. Historically, however, Jerusalem is an Israeli city and is of great significance to the Jews.

The Obama administration has held the opinion that the aggressor in the Middle East is Israel and not the Arab neighbors. Remember, the ‘government’ of Palestine is partly Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization. (As with most things in the Middle East, #ItsComplicated.) (You can read more about the Jewish view of the Resolution prior to it being tabled here. And the repercussions in the Middle East here.)

i-am-from-the-us-government

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

Rabbi Levi Shemtov gave a speech after Obama’s proxy, acting treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Adam Szubin, spoke of dealing with the ‘darkness’ of terrorism by ‘drowning [it out] with light’.

The Orthodox Jewish rabbi took that speech and turned it around, transforming Obama’s actions into the ‘darkness’ that he said settlement-supporting Jews must fight, The Washington Examiner reported.

Shemtov was motivated by the UN vote held on December 23 that condemned as illegal the settlements created by Israeli citizens in the West Bank.

obama-cartoons-throw-israel-under-the-bus

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The UN voted 14-0 in favor of the resolution. The US allowed the measure to pass by abstaining from voting – a major shift in the US’s long-standing policy of backing Israel.

‘Secretary Szubin spoke before of fighting darkness with light,’ said Shemtov, who is also the executive vice president of Orthodox Jewish group American Friends of Lubavitch.

‘I remember those words being spoken to a particular man by the rabbi many many years ago on Simchat Torah,’ he continued, referring to the time of the year in which one reading of the Torah ends and another begins.

‘The rabbi told him: “You are working in a place where there is great grief and darkness, but remember that in that place of darkness, you can only counter it by lighting a candle. By creating light.” ‘That man was Benjamin Netanyahu, and he was at the time the ambassador to the United Nations.’

He continued: ‘So as I know that some of us are so sad at what happened there with regard to Israel, we must remember that the way to counter any darkness, any disappointment is not with harsh rhetoric, not with anger, but when we create light, the darkness dissipates.’

obama-cartoons-throw-israel-under-the-bus

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The resolution is an existential threat to Israel.

The anti-Semitism historic shift in mid-East policy under Obama has many wondering if it was the US that initiated the controversial resolution.

On Friday Ben Rhodes, the White House’s deputy national security adviser, dismissed Trump’s objections.

‘Our position is that there is one president at a time,’ he said. ‘President Obama is the president until January 20, and we are taking this action of course as US policy.’

‘We could not in good conscience veto a resolution that expressed concerns about the very trends that are eroding the foundation for a two-state solution.’more-words

back-stabed1

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The reverberations from Friday’s vote were still being felt in Israel on Friday, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a meeting with the ambassadors of the ten countries that voted in favor of the resolution, as well as the US ambassador.

A furious Netanyahu even accused Obama of organizing the vote itself, according to NPR.

‘From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording and demanded that it be passed,’ he said in Hebrew.

‘Over decades, American administrations and Israeli governments had disagreed about settlements, but we agreed that the Security Council was not the place to resolve this issue.

israels-back-590-li

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

‘We knew that going there would make negotiations harder and drive peace further away.

“And, as I told John Kerry on Thursday, friends don’t take friends to the Security Council. I’m encouraged by the statements of our friends in the United States, Republicans and Democrats alike.

‘They understand how reckless and destructive this UN resolution was, they understand that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.’

shifty-600-li

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The UN has historically been heavy-handed with Israel, but this has ramped up under the Obama administration. In 2015, 20 Resolutions were adopted against Israel and only 3 for the rest of the world combined. (See also the 20 Worst Things the UN Did in 2016, just for funzies.)

It is always dumbfounding to find the Left against Israel.

It is a free, secular democracy in a region that wants fanatical religious theocracies that limit freedoms.

israels-back-590-li

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

Golda Meir, a woman, was elected in 1969 as their 4th Prime Minister after a stellar political career. Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion called her Meir ‘the best man in the government’.

It is an inclusive nation surrounded by enemies along all of its borders.

You would think that Liberals would just love the ‘pluck’ of the Israelis and the values that they support.

But no, they side with… Hamas? WTF?

To paraphrase a former President, ‘Either you’re with Israel, or you’re with the terrorists.’

Does the inaction by the Obama administration actually count as action against Israel?

What do you think of Obama’s handling of the situation with the UN resolution?

Let us know in the comments.

Federal Judge Asks Why Obama Administration Isn’t Admitting Christian Syrian Refugees


waving flagAuthored by Hans von Spakovsky / / October 27, 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://dailysignal.com/2016/10/27/federal-judge-asks-why-obama-administration-isnt-admitting-christian-syrian-refugees/

Of “nearly 11,000 [Syrian] refugees” admitted to the United States by September, “only 56 were Christian.” (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters /Newscom)

<!– Of “nearly 11,000 [Syrian] refugees” admitted to the United States by September, “only 56 were Christian.” (Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters
/Newscom)
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muslim-obama

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

In an otherwise unremarkable opinion over the federal Freedom of Information Act, a federal appellate court judge has issued a sharp rejoinder to the Obama administration over an issue that has been discussed in the news—the almost complete lack of Syrian Christian refugees being brought over to the U.S.

The Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, a progressive liberal advocacy organization “dedicated to ensuring human rights protections” for immigrants and asylum seekers—including apparently terrorists—filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security.

The lawsuit claimed that DHS was refusing to release the identity of Tier III terrorist organizations, unlike the identities of what are defined as Tier I and Tier II terrorist groups that are publicly identified.

Tier III terrorist organizations “tend to be groups about which the U.S. government does not have good intelligence, making it essential that [DHS] be able to obtain information about them during screening interviews that are as focused and complete as possible.”

The government argued that Tier III terrorist organizations are exempt from disclosure under FOIA because it would disclose “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations.”

Individuals in Tier III groups are more likely than other asylum seekers “to commit violent or otherwise unlawful acts.” The court accepted the government’s assertion that if immigrants become aware of the identity of these Tier III organizations, which the Heartland Alliance made clear it intended to publicize, then members of the groups would “have a very strong incentive to falsify or misrepresent ” their “encounters, activities, or associations” with the terrorist groups.

If the immigrants don’t know a terrorist organization they have been associated with has been identified by the government, they are “likely to be less guarded in answering questions about [their] activities or associations with the organization.”Do you want

All three members of the panel agreed that the FOIA exemption applied, particularly because the Heartland Alliance could not “explain what the government would gain by pretending that harmless organizations are actually terrorist groups.”

The Heartland Alliance also made it clear that “its goal in the litigation” was to “discredit” the government’s classification of terrorist organizations, according to the court. Both “the tone and content” of its briefs “signals its disbelief that the government has secrets worth keeping from asylum seekers and their helpers.”

However, in a spirited concurrence written by Judge Daniel Manion, the judge expressed his “concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country.”

According to Manion, it is “well-documented” that the refugees are not representative of that “war-torn area of the world.” Ten percent of the Syrian population is Christian and “yet less than one-half of 1 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.”

President Barack Obama set a goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., and by August that goal had already been exceeded. But of the “nearly 11,000 refugees admitted by mid-September, only 56 were Christian.”

Yet Christian Syrians have been one of the primary targets of the Islamic jihadists infesting Syria and butchering, murdering, and killing civilians. The Islamic State has made it clear that it is going after Christians because it intends to “conquer Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women.”

Muslim Christian Persecution / Image added by whatdidyousay.org

RAPE American women respondThus, one would expect that Christian Syrians would represent a significant portion of the Syrians being accepted into the U.S. as refugees. But that hasn’t been the case, and, according to Manion, the Obama administration has no “good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.” Thus, we “remain in the dark as a humanitarian catastrophe continues.”

crucify2

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

This is also relevant to the complaints of various states about the Obama administration settling Syrian refugees in them without providing any information about the people arriving. As Manion points out, “the good people of this country routinely welcome immigrants from all over the world. But in a democracy, good data is critical to public debate about national immigration policy.”

The courts and the Obama administration “demand high evidentiary burdens for states seeking to keep their citizens safe, and then prevent the states from obtaining that evidence” on these refugees. That creates a catch-22 for state governments.

So while the administration brings Syrian refugees into the country by the thousands, it is concealing basic information about those refugees behind a wall of government secrecy. This, despite the fact that the Syrian refugee crisis has been the catalyst for the infiltration of terrorists into Western Europe.

Yet the administration refuses to tell the American public or the states how it is making its decisions on who it is accepting for resettlement in the U.S., or even what steps it is taking to ensure we don’t have the same infiltration here.

Or why, in a religious civil war where Christians are one of the main targets of the Islamic terrorists engaging in indiscriminate slaughter, it is bringing in almost none of those victims of one of the worst human rights atrocities of the new century.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hans von Spakovsky/

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his research.

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