“I think a great many Americans have concerns about the current state of NSA surveillance”, he said. “I have concerns on two fronts: I am concerned on the one hand that the federal government has not been effective enough monitoring and surveilling bad guys. That we have not succeeded in preventing what should have been preventable terrorist attacks. And that the same time I am concerned that the sweep of the surveillance has been far too broad with respect to law-abiding citizens. And I think a great many Americans would prefer to see that reversed.”“Despite all of our surveillance capabilities, despite having significant indications that Major Hasan was engaged in these communications, the federal government failed to prevent the horrific terrorist attack that claimed the life of 14 innocents at Fort Hood. So the first questions I would like to ask the panel is in your judgment why is that?
The big rumor coming out of Washington is – if you can believe this – that the FBI doesn’t plan to file criminal charges over the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups (!)
Law enforcement officers leaked that investigators haven’t found the kind of political bias or “enemy hunting” that would amount to a violation of criminal law.
Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand, according to the law-enforcement officials…
CNN’s Carol Costello interviewed reporter Joe Johns, for his unbiased take on the story, which happened to include the left’s favorite BS talking point: “it’s pretty clear some progressive groups were targeted as well.”
“We can say, at this point, no charges may be filed,” Johns said. “Sources have told CNN criminal charges are not likely, but we’ve got no indication the investigation is over.”
“This news may sound surprising but making a criminal case out of IRS targeting was always a stretch, according to legal experts,” Johns continued. “They look for false statements or perjury, but those charges only stick if someone is found to have intentionally lied to investigators or under oath. They could’ve looked at alleged violation of civil rights or discriminatory conduct, but then you have to show only conservative groups were targeted. it’s pretty clear some progressive groups were targeted as well.”
Johns concluded by noting that “there are people on Capitol Hill who were outraged and have been demanding charges. We’re not likely to have heard the end of this,Carol.”
Indeed, Issa noted in an interview with Fox News, last week, that “this administration has taken a lot of time – sent false statements repeatedly through intermediaries – that somehow this targeting went beyond conservatives, when in fact, the facts keep coming back that this was a one sided attempt to stop the people on the opposite side of Obama’s re-elect.”
You can add CNN and Mediaite to the “intermediaries” willing to uncritically accept the Regime’s false talking points on this.
Today, Issa blasted “what he called a questionable U.S. criminal investigation into the screening of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service, saying that anonymous leaks had harmed the inquiry.”
“These revelations further undermine the credibility of the Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department under his leadership,” Issa and Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement released late Monday night. “Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation.
“Anonymous — and apparently politically motivated — leaks from unnamed law enforcement officials further undermine the public assurances by the current and former FBI directors that this is a legitimate investigation. These leaks come after the Justice Department, citing the confidential nature of the investigation, refused to brief Congress on its progress and congressional investigators independently discovered that a high dollar contributor to the Obama Administration failed to recuse herself,” Issa and Jordan wrote in the letter.
The IRS said in May that it had given extra scrutiny to Tea Party groups applying for nonprofit status, unleashing a scandal that led to the ouster of the agency’s acting chief and several other senior officials.
Congressional committees, including the House Oversight panel led by Issa, have begun investigations and the Justice Department has been conducting a criminal probe.
Issa was responding to a report in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t plan to seek charges.
Spokesmen with the Justice Department and the FBI either declined to comment or didn’t respond to requests for comment.
In a move, Tuesday, that Red State’s Seton Motley calls a Moment of Law and Order in Five Lawless Barack Obama Years, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the Obama administration’s unilateral net-neutrality rules.
The Hill reports that D.C. Circuit Court “ruled that the Federal Communications Commission overstepped its authority by prohibiting Internet providers from blocking or discriminating against traffic to lawful websites.”
By classifying Internet access as an “information service” as opposed to a “telecommunications service,” which is the classification used for traditional telephone companies, the FCC is not able to impose “anti-discrimination” and “anti-blocking” rules on Internet providers, the court said.
“Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such,” the judges wrote.
The decision is blow to President Obama, who made net neutrality a campaign pledge in 2008, and erases one of the central accomplishments of former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who pushed the “Open Internet” order.
The regulations were strongly backed by Internet companies like Google and Netflix, which fear that Internet providers will charge them more for the heavy use of their sites by customers.
On the winning side of the decision is Verizon, which filed the lawsuit, and other major telecom companies. They argued the rules created a huge regulatory burden while stifling innovation in the marketplace.
Motley, who has been a vocal opponent of net neutrality, writes, “let’s hope the Administration takes this for the lesson it is – that it cannot create jurisdiction and law out of whole cloth. That it needs to leave the legislating to the Legislative Branch.”
Silly boy, Obama is taking no such lesson. He is, in fact, promising that 2014 will be an unprecedented year for executive overreach.
A mere six weeks after the House judiciary committee held a hearing on “the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” exploring political remedies to executive overreach, the president has defiantly promised that he’s “not just going to be waiting for legislation” from Congress to move forward his agenda in 2014.”
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said before a Cabinet meeting at the White House, issuing a challenge to GOP lawmakers who have blocked most of his second-term agenda.
Obama is hailing 2014 as a “year of action” after enduring the roughest 12-month stretch of his presidency.