Sunday, December 15, 2013

THE LIST: 413 Sheriffs Are Rising Against Obama… More Joining Every Day…

THE LIST: 413 Sheriffs Are Rising Against Obama… More Joining Every Day…

by reasonvoice
There are plenty of groups out there who have taken an oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic… and get this: THEY MEANT IT!  This article highlights a growing number of Sheriff’s who have come out publicly to state they side with the constitution. What does that mean? Side with the Constitution? Take a look at the list before the article at strange moves made by Obama that has everyone on heightened alert that something big is bound to go down sooner or later. Most suspect Obama plans to implement martial law at some point. Some groups that have come out in opposition are members of LAW ENFORCEMENT and listed first:
For a list of alarming events that have led to the formation of the groups above, see the following:


UPDATE: We’ve been contacted by police chiefs and other groups or individuals who want to be counted among the valiant as well! Look for their list after the sheriffs.
The following sheriffs, state sheriff’s associations, and police chiefshave vowed to uphold and defend the Constitution against Obama’s unconstitutional gun control measures.  We applaud these public servants for their courage and conviction.  
The remarkable thing about what these brave men and women are doing is that nobody told them to do it.  Neither the CSPOA nor any other organization that we are aware of contacted sheriffs across the nation and asked them to make statements; this is something sheriffs did on their own, or because their constituents requested it of them.  Soon, people started submitting letters and links to us, and it was such a remarkable thing that we started to collect all the names and list them together.  Then the miracle happened: Other sheriffs across the nation have been inspired by the courage of those who stood first.  Now we see the power of standing, even if you fear you may stand alone.
NOW, powered by the gaining momentum of this movement, the CSPOA has joined with other like-minded organizations in a largely volunteer effort to contact all the remaining sheriffs and ask them for a statement. You can read more about this effort here.
“I call on sheriffs all over this nation to add their voices to the growing numbers of faithful protectors of our freedom.”
- Richard Mack
Constitutional Duty of the Sheriff – Richard Mack


Updated 12/15/2013
Note: A statement from a state association does not necessarily mean that every sheriff in the state supports it. One such case is is Florida, listed below. This statement was voted on and approved by a majority of the sheriffs in the association, but not by EVERY sheriff in the state. While other lists may include all sheriffs within such a state, we have chosen to list associations and individual sheriffs separately.
  • California Sheriffs Association                                   Link
  • Colorado Sheriffs Association                                    Link
  • Florida Sheriffs Association                                        Link
  • Georgia Sheriffs Association                                       Link
  • Illinois Sheriffs Association                                         Link
  • Indiana Sheriffs Association                                        Link
  • Kentucky Sheriffs Association                                    Link 
  • Michigan Sheriffs Association                                     Link
  • Minnesota Sheriffs Association                                   Link
  • Missouri Sheriffs Association                                      Link
  • Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association     Link
  • Nebraska Sheriffs Association                                     Link
  • New Mexico Sheriffs Association                                 Link
  • Oklahoma Sheriffs Association                                    Link
  • South Carolina Sheriffs Association                            Link
  • Texas Sheriffs Association                                            Link
  • Utah Sheriffs Association                                              Link
  • Wyoming Sheriffs Association                                      Link 
[Audio/Video below cannot be seen in Newsletter - have to go to Blog]


Updated 12/15/2013

We are in the process of researching and posting links to online statements for all entities on these lists. You can help us by sending us links to statements by any of them.If you know a sheriff or association that should be listed: Please send us the sheriff’s full name, county, and state along with a link to an online statement by the sheriff if available. You may also email us supporting documents via the contact page.
Disclaimer: While we encourage all sheriffs and peace officers to join CSPOA, the list below includes members of the CSPOA and any others who have gone on record to uphold their oath by having made public statements, written open letters or contacted us personally and asked to be included. We have indicated which sheriffs are members of the CSPOA.We evaluate each sheriff on a case by case basis, but in general we are looking for sheriffs whose statements contain:
  • A reaffirmation that the sheriff will follow his or her oath and uphold the Constitution
  • An affirmation to support the constitutional second amendment rights of citizens in his or her jurisdiction

NOTE: Some persons or organizations on this list state that they are in favor of further gun restrictions in order to ‘keep guns out of the hands of criminals and/or the mentally ill.’ The CSPOA is NOT in favor of these programs becasue we realize they just can’t work without controls that would severely limit the freedoms of law abiding citizens. We also recognize that throughout history, gun registration is always followed by confiscation. And guess what: a required background check is the same thing as required registration. Let’s not be stupid. Once the info is on file, it’s going to be abused. HOWEVER, we are listing individuals who are still trying to have it both ways because we believe they have taken the first positive step by stating that they will defend the constitutional rights of the citizenry. We hope they will soon realize that the two ideas cannot exist together.
Names added recently are marked with the number of days since added, in the ‘NEW’ column. For instance, 5D = Added 5 days ago.
Tons more links available at Source Here:
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Sean Smith's Mom Fumes Over Benghazi in Letter to Congress

Sean Smith's Mom Fumes Over Benghazi in Letter to Congress

April 11, 2013 RSS Feed Print
A man walks near a charred vehicle at the entrance of the damaged American consulate building, in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. Sen. Lindsey Graham is determined to get more answers about the deadly Sept. 11 attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The mother of a victim in the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, shown above, contends she has been left in the dark.
The mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the attack in Benghazi, has for months expressed her frustration with the Obama administration for not sharing more information about what happened that day.
[RELATED: Benghazi Family Members Ignored, Congressman Says]
Now, she's reaching out to members of Congress. Pat Smith placed a call to Rep. Frank Wolf, R–Va., on Wednesday to voice her support for a proposed House Select Committee to investigate the attack. She has also since sent a letter to Wolf, obtained by Whispers, in which she slams the Obama administration for keeping her in the dark.
Read it below:
Hon. Frank R. Wolf
This letter is to endorse resolution H. Res. 36 to create a Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks.
I am the mother of Sean Smith, one of the four people murdered in Benghazi by terrorists along with ambassador Chris Stevens and ex-seals Ty Woods and Glen Daugherty. When I was in Wash. DC at the reception of the caskets, I asked for and received promises from Pres. Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, VP Biden and several other dignitaries in attendance. They all looked me directly in the eyes and promised they would find out and let me know. I got only one call from a clerk about a month later quoting from the time line, which I already had.
I agree completely with items 1 thru 16 of this resolution. I especially want to know WHY the four were abandoned the way they were. My son told me that he saw someone taking pictures just before this happened and reported it. He told me they asked repeatedly for better security.
Please, Please help me find out who is responsible and fix it so no more of our sons & daughters are abandoned by the country they love. It is very difficult to find out Leon Panetta advised Pres. Obama that the attack was occurring and Pres. Obama went to bed without sending help. It is too late for my son but not too late for those that follow.
I have been following John McCain and Lindsay Graham hoping they had the ability to get some answers but no luck. Hillary finally testified but didn't answer the questions (i.e. If they were watching this happen in real time, why wasn't help sent).

Patricia A. Smith
Mother of Sean Smith
Killed in Benghazi

Ps Sean was in Special Operations in Okinawa before joining the State Dept.

The Only Senators & Congress persons who never supported the Patriot Act and NDAA

The Only Senators & Congress persons who never supported the Patriot Act and NDAA

December 31, 2011
Republican, Democrat and Independent politicians from the Senate and House who did not sponsor NDAA, the Patriot Act (and hopefully SOPA) is unforgiveably too short, therefore, the supporters of America’s freedom should be commended because they are the only ones that did not disregard the rights of those who elected them to represent our individual best interests and our nation’s as a whole.

We previously posted the names of the 86 Senators who voted to pass NDAA; the following list are the Senate and House members who did not support the aforementioned. I assume the majority of all parties are in agreement that the Patriot Act is inaccurately titled — this reauthorized Act is an overly broad surveillance bill. With our government’s overreach manifesting in recent days, it’s of monumental importance to be observant as to how our elected officials vote, which sadly is too often overlooked. If we do not hold bad/unconscionable behavior accountable and continue reelecting politicians due to partisan issues, then our system will remain broken.
Our country is facing undeniable oppression and it’s presented to us by politicians from both sides of the aisle. This is not the bipartisanship we had hoped for — instead of the tedious bickering from both parties we’ve unfortunately grown accustomed to, they’ve finally come to terms with bipartisanship but on the worst issues fathomable.
The politicians who supported the unimaginable are either self-serving or have become nonchalant since their election. Aside from the following listed, all other politicians should be thoroughly scrutinized  because we the taxpayers essentially sign their paychecks.
It’s time to clean House.
The following list includes the elected officials who stood up for our well being, and also includes those that did not and/or could not vote.

Name Party District PATRIOT ’01 PATRIOT ’06 PATRIOT ’11 NDAA ’12
Schweikert R Arizona 5th District NP NP X X
Grijalva D Arizona 7th District NP X X X
Giffords D Arizona 8th District NP NP NV X
Speier D California 12th District NP NP X X
Stark D California 13th District X X X X
Honda D California 15th District X X X X
Farr D California 17th District X X X X
Waters D California 35th District X X X X
Sanchez D California 47th District X X NV X
McClintock R California 4th District NP NP X X
Filner D California 51st District X X NV X
Woolsey D California 6th District X X NV X
Miller D California 7th District X X X X
Lee D California 9th District X X X X
DeGette D Colorado 1st District X X X X
Polis D Colorado 2nd District NP NP X X
Mack R Florida 14th District NP X X X
Hastings D Florida 23rd District X X X X
Johnson D Georgia 4th District X NV NV X
Lewis D Georgia 5th District X X X X
Woodall R Georgia 7th District NP NP X X
Labrador R Idaho 1st District NP NP X X
Rush D Illinois 1st District X X X NV
Jackson D Illinois 2nd District X X X X
Davis D Illinois 7th District X X X X
Schakowsky D Illinois 9th District X X X X
Burton R Indiana 5th District NP NV X X
Braley D Iowa 1st District NP NP X X X
Richmond D Louisiana 2nd District NP NP X X
Pingree D Maine 1st District NP NP X X
Michaud D Maine 2nd District NP X X X
Sarbanes D Maryland 3rd District NP NP X X
Edwards D Maryland 4th District NP NP X X
Cummings D Maryland 7th District X X X X
Olver D Massachusetts 1st District X X X X
McGovern D Massachusetts 3rd District X X X X
Frank D Massachusetts 4th District X X X NV
Tierney D Massachusetts 6th District X X X NV
Capuano D Massachusetts 8th District NP X X X
Clarke D Michigan 13th District NP NP X X
Amash R Michigan 3rd District NP NP X X
Ellison D Minnesota 5th District NP NP X X
Thompson D Mississippi 2nd District X X X X
Clay D Missouri 1st District NV X X X
Cleaver D Missouri 5th District NP X X X
Payne D New Jersey 10th District X NV X X
Lujan D New Mexico 3rd District NP NP X X
Clarke D New York 11th District NP NP NV X
Velazquez D New York 12th District X X X X
Serrano D New York 16th District X X X X
Tonko D New York 21st District NP X X X
Kucinich D Ohio 10th District X X X X
Fudge D Ohio 11th District NP NP X X
Ryan D Ohio 17th District NP X X X
Blumenauer D Oregon 3rd District X X X X
DeFazio D Oregon 4th District X X X X
Roe R Tennessee 1st District NP NP X X
Cohen D Tennessee 9th District NP NP X X
Paul R Texas 14th District X X NV NV
Johnson D Texas 30th District X X X NV
Welch D Vermont At-Large NP NP X X
Scott D Virginia 3rd District X X X X
McDermott D Washington 7th District X X X X
Baldwin D Wisconsin 2nd District X X X X
Name Party State PATRIOT ’01 PATRIOT ’06 PATRIOT ’11 NDAA ’12
Lee R Utah NP NP X X
Merkley D Oregon NP NP X X
Paul R Kentucky NP NP X X
Sanders I Vermont NP NP X X
NP = Not elected into office (Not Present)
NV = Did not vote
X = A nay vote
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or Independent it’s time we hold the sponsorship of bad bills accountable, and even go as far as to GoDaddy them from office. This is the only avenue in which to fix our badly broken system or at the very least, it’s a start.
The bitch slap heard across the Internet: To display how powerful ‘we the people’ can be/should be when using intellect and savviness collectively against the government’s overreach, the behemoth social site Reddit‘s community forced Go Daddy, the enormous hosting and domain service to reverse their support of SOPA, however, websites are still being transferred by the droves due to their initial support of the censorship bill. Imagine, just imagine, if all parties did the same collectively and promptly, what we could achieve. We cannot depend on our elected officials when oppression is staring down our nation and our politicians decidedly appear oblivious to the direction our country is taking.
Sadly, there is too much money that’s come in from pro-SOPA groups to determine how that bill will play out. For example, Rep. McDermott (D-WA) has received $60,700 from pro-SOPA groups and $7,950 from groups opposing SOPA — this is why money and politics should not commingle in such abundance. ‘Fairness’ is then determined by dollar bills.

The above list was compiled by Redditor Student_Mammal. Thank you for this proactive measure against political insanity.

Image: How The Hell Should I Know

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Congressmen Move to Declassify Key Part of 9/11 Report That They Say Could Indicate Hijackers Had Outside Help

Congressmen Move to Declassify Key Part of 9/11 Report That They Say Could Indicate Hijackers Had Outside Help

Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced a House resolution earlier this month urging President Barack Obama to declassify a portion of a government report that they say could provide evidence the 9/11 hijackers had outside help.
“[T]he information contained in the redacted pages is critical to our foreign policy moving forward and should thus be available to the American public,” Jones said in a press release. “If the 9/11 hijackers had outside help – particularly from one or more foreign governments – the press and the public have a right to know what our government has or has not done to bring justice to all of the perpetrators.”
“[T]he information contained in the redacted pages is critical to our foreign policy…”
H.R. 428 — titled “Urging the president to release information regarding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon the United States” — would release to the public 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 2001, originally classified by President George W. Bush.
Congressmen Move to Declassify Key Part of 9/11 Report That Could Indicate Hijackers Had Outside Help
In this Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013 photo, a US flag is placed at the north reflecting pool of the 9/11 Memorial at the site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
“Twelve years after the horrific September 11 attacks, unanswered questions still remain,” Lynch said in a press release. “These pages contain information that is vital to a full understanding of the events and circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”
On Sunday, the New York Post published a report titled, “Inside the 9/11 Coverup.” Their report mentions the efforts to declassify the 28 pages that they say “isn’t just blacked out here and there” but are “completely blank.”
According to The Post, Jones and Lynch were “absolutely shocked” at the level of foreign state involvement in the attacks after reading the redacted portions.
But, the pair of congressmen can’t  reveal what they read without breaking federal law, The Post reported.
Leaked information, however, reportedly found “incontrovertible evidence” that Saudi Arabia, a supposed ally of the U.S., may have had a role in the attacks, according to The Post.
“The intelligence files cited in the report directly implicate the Saudi embassy in Washington and consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks, making 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war,” The Post added in their report.
The resolution to declassify the 28 portion of the report was referred to the House Committee on Intelligence on Dec. 2nd.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

Allen West: Obama Has Violated His Oath and Must Be IMPEACHED

Allen West: Obama Has Violated His Oath and Must Be IMPEACHED

Allen West’s popularity and influence have only grown since he left the House of Representatives. He’s quickly becoming one of the most powerful voices of the Tea Party not currently in office.
A few months ago, Allen West used that influence to suggest considering impeachment, saying that impeachment was “on the table”.
Now, for the first time, West is calling directly for the removal of office of Barack Obama through impeachment. It’s about time. Please share this on Facebook and Twitter. It’s time for grassroots activism.
From Allen West’s personal website:
Obama has once again demonstrated his disdain for America, Americans, and our Constitution. I say now is the time for good ol’ fashioned American civil disobedience. From today, let no one sign up for Obamacare. It’s not a law, just the bidding of a narcissistic megalomaniac.
If Americans do not finally see the arrogant lawlessness of this person who no longer holds regard for the Office of the Presidency, then God help us, for He shall certainly not bless us. What more do people need to see and endure? This disgraceful era must now end.
The president is in violation of his oath and yes, he should be removed from office by impeachment. Let the call ring across the land from sea to shining sea.
Click here to watch a video of West talking about impeachment being “on the table” a few months back.
Couldn’t agree more. We’ve been attacked in the past for bringing every issue back towards impeachment, but over the last 6 months, it’s become increasingly clear that impeachment is essentially the only option available.
Obama is ignoring congress, ignoring the constitution, ignoring the people, and is pushing for more and more illegal powers. The constitution has a simple process for these “high crimes and misdemeanors”: impeachment and removal from office.
Most members of congress are afraid to even talk about impeachment for political reasons. It’s important to remind them that, as Obama’s popularity is collapsing, this is what millions of Americans want.
Please SHARE this on Facebook, Twitter, forums, and your own websites. It’s time for grassroots activism.
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Forbes Editorial Demands Obama’s Impeachment… and Goes Viral

Forbes Editorial Demands Obama’s Impeachment… and Goes Viral

As Bob Dylan sung, “Times, they are a changin’.” Everything is collapsing around on Obama, and that’s something to be thankful for. The more people distrust him, then the less likely he is to get new policies passed, meaning the Republic gets a little more breathing room.
Just recently, Forbes magazine published an open editorial on their website explaining why Obama’s rejection and constant violation should lead to his impeachment and removal from office. It went viral.
Many patriots are tired of “just talk”, but this talk is absolutely vital: movements begin with words, and right now, we have to give as much attention to those pushing for impeachment as possible.
Here are some of the more important excerpts from the editorial:
Since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, he has changed it five times. Most notably, he suspended the employer mandate last summer. This is widely known, but almost no one seems to have grasped its significance.
The Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation. It does not authorize him to change existing laws. The changes Mr. Obama ordered in Obamacare, therefore, are unconstitutional. This means that he does not accept some of the limitations that the Constitution places on his actions. We cannot know at this point what limitations, if any, he does accept…
The main responsibility the Constitution assigns to the President is to faithfully execute the Laws.
The next few paragraphs are potent. It’s completely true. How Americans respond to this attack on the fabric of the constitution will dictate the future of the country.
Surely, rejection of the Constitution is grounds for impeachment and charges should be filed. In addition, there are many other actions that Congressmen can and should take—actions that will tell Mr. Obama that we have seen where he is going and we will not let our country go without a fight.
At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked what form of government had been created. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.”
We are losing it. If Mr. Obama’s reach for unprecedented power is not stopped, that will be the end.
Help keep the momentum going and please spread this on Facebook and Twitter. This editorial needs to be read by as many people as possible. Don’t give up — keep pushing back.
Please click here and follow us on Twitter.

Read This Next:
  1. Allen West: Obama Has Violated His Oath and Must Be IMPEACHED

  2. Watch: Rand Paul Demands That OBAMA Sign Up for Obamacare

  3. VIDEO: Former Judge Says Obama’s “Fix” is Unconstitutional

  4. Here’s the Text of the Articles of Impeachment Against Eric Holder

  5. Watch: Allen West Says Impeachment Should Be “On the Table”

  6. BREAKING: Impeachment Against Eric Holder to Be Introduced Tomorrow

  7. NY Times: Obama Has Now “Lost All Credibility”

  8. Obama Demands Muslim Brotherhood Be Given Another Election Chance

  9. Texas Lt. Governor: We Must Impeach Barack Obama

  10. BREAKING: Obama Rejects House Plan to End Shutdown AGAIN

  11. Glenn Beck: “I Personally Am Calling to Impeach the President” (Video)

  12. Viral Video Shows Syrian Rebels Committing Atrocities

  13. Michele Bachmann: Obama “Has Committed Impeachable Offenses”

  14. Jeb Bush to Give Hillary Clinton the “Liberty Medal”

  15. WSJ: Obama Worst President for Middle Class ‘in Modern Times’

Sanctions Relief for Iran Without Congressional Approval

Sanctions Relief for Iran Without Congressional Approval

October 17, 2013
If he is willing to pay the political price, President Obama can give Iran as much economic relief as he wishes by simply not enforcing existing sanctions.
Among the participants in the October 15-16 Iran nuclear talks in Geneva was the U.S. official who administers most of Washington's sanctions against the regime -- Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). His presence, and the agreement that sanctions experts would have a follow-up meeting before the next round of negotiations on November 7, was a sign that the United States is willing to discuss easing sanctions if Tehran takes steps to scale back the troubling parts of its nuclear program. The U.S. government has imposed many different sanctions on Iran under many different legal authorities -- some by executive order, some by legislation -- raising questions about what relief the president could provide without congressional approval. In addition to obvious measures such as lifting executive orders and using his waiver authority to bypass restrictions imposed by law, the president has other options should he find it necessary to offer timely sanctions relief in exchange for substantive Iranian compromises.


To better understand these options, it is useful to examine how the executive branch has provided sanctions relief to Iran in the past. The most important example concerns the 1996 Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which mandated that one or more of a menu of sanctions be imposed in the event of large foreign investments in Iran's oil and gas industry. The law also provided for presidential waivers, either for individual investment projects or for all investments from a given country.
The Clinton administration was unwilling to impose ILSA sanctions in the face of strong European objections that they were extraterritorial applications of U.S. law. Accordingly, it used its project waiver authority for the only project ever targeted under ILSA (the South Pars gas development initiative, designated in 1998). And although the administration was unwilling to make use of its country waiver for political reasons, it found another way to avoid sanctioning certain allies -- in April 1997, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs Stuart Eizenstat negotiated an agreement with European representatives under which Washington signaled that it would not impose any ILSA sanctions on European firms.
Many in Congress were displeased by this sidestep, viewing it as a pledge not to enforce the law. In renewing ILSA in 2001 and passing subsequent laws that replaced it, Congress tried to ensure enforcement, but these efforts were in vain for years (until September 2010). Although Congress forced the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations to spend much time justifying their Iran policy -- arguing that their successes, such as they were, would be jeopardized if ILSA's provisions were enforced -- at the end of the day, sanctions were not applied. In a 2007 report, Congressional Research Service analyst Kenneth Katzman identified at least $11 billion in investments that were subject to ILSA, but penalties were never imposed. The State Department's Bureau of Economic Affairs continued to report to Congress every six months that it was investigating but had not determined that any of these projects met the ILSA criteria. In many cases, administration officials correctly noted that press reports about investments are often inaccurate, though that hardly explained the failure to designate upon further investigation. Such practices, so common during the Clinton and Bush administrations, only changed under Obama.


The U.S. government's practice has long been to respect the discretion of investigators and prosecutors in prioritizing law enforcement. It is therefore a well-established norm that certain federal crimes are not prosecuted in the event of small-scale violations. For instance, U.S. Attorneys typically set minimum thresholds for prosecution of narcotics cases. President Obama has followed past practice in discussing this process of discretion and prioritization. As he told Rolling Stone in 2012 regarding marijuana laws, "I can't ask the Justice Department to say, 'Ignore completely a federal law that's on the books.' What I can say is, 'Use your prosecutorial discretion and properly prioritize your resources to go after things that are really doing folks damage.'"
Indeed, his administration has made extensive use of the prosecutorial-discretion argument in situations where Congress has not acted on proposed legislative changes. In June 2012, for example, after Congress repeatedly failed to pass the DREAM Act and other measures regarding the immigration status of individuals who came to the United States illegally as children, the administration stopped initiating deportation proceedings against some 800,000 immigrants who arrived in America before age sixteen and met other criteria. It took this action despite strong objections from many in Congress.
While the president may have to pay a heavy political price for not enforcing a given law, some in Congress might prefer that the White House bear that responsibility. In the case of Iran, such an approach could allow Washington to reach a nuclear accord without Congress having to vote on rescinding, even temporarily or conditionally, certain sanctions. No matter how stiff and far-reaching sanctions may be as embodied in U.S. law, they would have less bite if the administration stopped enforcing them.
For instance, the Obama administration could turn a blind eye by following the ILSA precedent, claiming that it is unable to verify press reports that a particular country is purchasing Iranian oil. Or it could take a more subtle approach by simply easing up on its enforcement efforts. Implementing the many Iran sanctions has required much work to ferret out front companies, and the resources currently being committed represent a drastic increase from past years (e.g., a 2007 Government Accountability Office report criticized OFAC for opening more investigations and imposing more penalties on individuals found carrying Cuban cigars at U.S. airports than for violations of Iran sanctions). If the administration were to scale back the resources devoted to enforcing these sanctions, they would be less effective.
To be sure, major businesses have changed their internal procedures and norms to comply with sanctions rules over the past decade. Given the large fines imposed for past violations, they may be hesitant to test U.S. laws against doing business with Iran even if the administration relaxes its enforcement efforts.


Ideally, Iran would no doubt prefer formal legislative sanctions relief over de facto relief via nonenforcement. In practice, however, that distinction may not matter much to Iranian decisionmakers, even if they claim otherwise in negotiations.
Iran has years of experience in evading U.S. sanctions. Long after the ban on nearly all U.S. exports other than food and medicine, Iranian importers were able to procure American goods without great difficulty through front companies and intermediaries in third countries. Based on this track record, Tehran was confident that it could evade the new sanctions Congress enacted in 2011-2012. Ali Akbar Salehi, the foreign minister at the time, noted recently that senior officials waved off his warnings that the new restrictions would bite hard. What these officials may not have realized was that the tougher laws would be accompanied by much more vigorous enforcement.
Iran would obviously prefer full access to U.S. markets and the U.S. financial system, which could only be attained through formal lifting of all sanctions. But that will not happen even if a nuclear deal is reached, since many of the sanctions in question are at least partly based on the regime's support for terrorists and massive violations of human rights.


The extent to which President Obama can provide sanctions relief to Iran is largely a political question. He may find it advantageous -- either for domestic political reasons or as a bargaining technique with Tehran -- to complain that his hands are tied by Congress. Although that argument would be true in terms of the law, it is definitely not true with regard to de facto sanctions relief. If the administration deems it necessary to erode sanctions in order to reach a nuclear deal, reducing enforcement and eschewing action against the many new front companies Iran is constantly creating would do the trick.
Patrick Clawson is director of research at The Washington Institute.

EXCLUSIVE -- Tea Party Patriots Founder Jenny Beth Martin on Budget: This Is Why We Have Primaries

EXCLUSIVE -- Tea Party Patriots Founder Jenny Beth Martin on Budget: This Is Why We Have Primaries

In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, affirmed the Tea Party's adamant opposition to the Ryan-Murray budget deal that passed the House Thursday night. 

House speaker John Boehner has criticized conservatives and Tea Party activists for opposing the budget compromise, referring to them as “outside groups” that are getting in the way of congressional progress.
“Tea Party Patriots oppose this budget deal and are calling on Members of the Senate to vote against it,” she said. “However, there is little doubt of the outcome. Senators who are facing a primary challenge (McConnell, Graham, Alexander and Cornyn) will vote against the budget because they know their constituents oppose it."
"However, because there is a 60 vote threshold, their votes will be irrelevant and they know they are safe to vote against it so they can tell their voters they did the right thing," Martin explained.
“This deal really exposes the true colors of several in the GOP establishment and their Washington political games," she stated. "It seems that during the ‘Defund Obamacare’ or ‘Exempt America’ battles, Speaker John Boehner and the House GOP played ‘good cop’ by standing with conservatives, while the establishment in the Senate played ‘bad cop.’ Now that so many established members of the Senate are facing primary opposition it comes as no surprise that they are now supporting the conservative cause, while Boehner and the House trade places,” continued Mrs. Martin.
“The fact that Boehner attacked ‘outside groups’ is a telling sign that neither the House or Senate are interested in listening to the American people but doing whatever it takes to get re-elected. The GOP establishment created this battle by backing away conservative principles,” Martin declared.

DC Lobbyists Cheer Boehner's War on Tea Party

DC Lobbyists Cheer Boehner's War on Tea Party

Lobbyists are reportedly "pumping their fists" over House Speaker John Boehner's declaration of war against the Tea Party last week.

According to The Hill, lobbyists were "pleasantly surprised by" Boehner's "strident remarks" last week in which he said Tea Party groups have lost "all credibility" after they opposed the budget compromise that increased taxes. Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said Boehner's words were a declaration of war on grassroots conservatives.
The budget deal was brokered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Amnesty supporters, including big-business lobbyists, wanted the deal so it could clear the legislative calendar for comprehensive immigration reform, which the Congressional Budget Office determined would lower the wages of working-class Americans.
The budget deal passed the House on Thursday, and the Senate will take up the measure this week.
“You didn't hear all the applause across downtown?” Dirk Van Dongen, president and CEO of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), told The Hill. “Folks were absolutely pleased that he said it... It needed to be said.”
The Chamber of Commerce said it will target conservatives in the 2014 midterm election, especially those who oppose amnesty. Grassroots conservative groups have fired back. Club for Growth has responded by pointing out, "Corporations are some of the biggest seekers of welfare in this country." Heritage Action for America, meanwhile, has commented, "The fact that K Street is applauding confirms that the deal was bad, and Speaker Boehner's comments confirm conservatives' worst suspicions about Washington -- that the game is rigged."
Moreover, on Friday, Michael Needham, Heritage Action’s CEO, emphasized that Boehner "wants to clear the way for immigration reform next year," which is something big-business interests and the the high-tech lobby have coveted. Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin also slammed Boehner for rushing the budget through and blasting conservatives because he wanted amnesty for illegal immigrants.  
When the budget deal was announced, Breitbart News reported that such a deal may clear the way for a vote on amnesty in the House in the early part of 2014.

U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters

A Chinese naval vessel tried to force a U.S. guided missile warship to stop in international waters recently, causing a tense military standoff in the latest case of Chinese maritime harassment, according to defense officials.
The guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, which recently took part in disaster relief operations in the Philippines, was confronted by Chinese warships in the South China Sea near Beijing’s new aircraft carrier Liaoning, according to officials familiar with the incident.

“On December 5th, while lawfully operating in international waters in the South China Sea, USS Cowpens and a PLA Navy vessel had an encounter that required maneuvering to avoid a collision,” a Navy official said.
“This incident underscores the need to ensure the highest standards of professional seamanship, including communications between vessels, to mitigate the risk of an unintended incident or mishap.”
A State Department official said the U.S. government issued protests to China in both Washington and Beijing in both diplomatic and military channels.
The Cowpens was conducting surveillance of the Liaoning at the time. The carrier had recently sailed from the port of Qingdao on the northern Chinese coast into the South China Sea.
According to the officials, the run-in began after a Chinese navy vessel sent a hailing warning and ordered the Cowpens to stop. The cruiser continued on its course and refused the order because it was operating in international waters.
Then a Chinese tank landing ship sailed in front of the Cowpens and stopped, forcing the Cowpens to abruptly change course in what the officials said was a dangerous maneuver.

According to the officials, the Cowpens was conducting a routine operation done to exercise its freedom of navigation near the Chinese carrier when the incident occurred about a week ago.
The encounter was the type of incident that senior Pentagon officials recently warned could take place as a result of heightened tensions in the region over China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently called China’s new air defense zone destabilizing and said it increased the risk of a military “miscalculation.”
China’s military forces in recent days have dispatched Su-30 and J-11 fighter jets, as well as KJ-2000 airborne warning and control aircraft, to the zone to monitor the airspace that is used frequently by U.S. and Japanese military surveillance aircraft.
The United States has said it does not recognize China’s ADIZ, as has Japan’s government.
Two U.S. B-52 bombers flew through the air zone last month but were not shadowed by Chinese interceptor jets.
Chinese naval and air forces also have been pressing Japan in the East China Sea over Tokyo’s purchase a year ago of several uninhabited Senkaku Islands located north of Taiwan and south of Okinawa.
China is claiming the islands, which it calls the Diaoyu. They are believed to contain large undersea reserves of natural gas and oil.
The Liaoning, China’s first carrier that was refitted from an old Soviet carrier, and four warships recently conducted their first training maneuvers in the South China Sea. The carrier recently docked at the Chinese naval port of Hainan on the South China Sea.
Defense officials have said China’s imposition of the ADIZ is aimed primarily at curbing surveillance flights in the zone, which China’s military regards as a threat to its military secrets.
The U.S. military conducts surveillance flights with EP-3 aircraft and long-range RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.
In addition to the Liaoning, Chinese warships in the flotilla include two missile destroyers, the Shenyang and the Shijiazhuang, and two missile frigates, the Yantai and the Weifang.
Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said it is likely that the Chinese deliberately staged the incident as part of a strategy of pressuring the United States.
“They can afford to lose an LST [landing ship] as they have about 27 of them, but they are also usually armed with one or more twin 37 millimeter cannons, which at close range could heavily damage a lightly armored U.S. Navy destroyer,” said Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center.
Most Chinese Navy large combat ships would be out-ranged by the 127-millimeter guns deployed on U.S. cruisers, except China’s Russian-made Sovremenny-class ships and Beijing’s new Type 052D destroyers that are armed with 130-millimeter guns.
The encounter appears to be part of a pattern of Chinese political signaling that it will not accept the presence of American military power in its East Asian theater of influence, Fisher said.
China has spent the last 20 years building up its Navy and now feels that it can use it to obtain its political objectives,” he said.
Fisher said that since early 2012 China has gone on the offensive in both the South China and East China Seas.
“In this early stage of using its newly acquired naval power, China is posturing and bullying, but China is also looking for a fight, a battle that will cow the Americans, the Japanese, and the Filipinos,” he said.
To maintain stability in the face of Chinese military assertiveness, Fisher said the United States and Japan should seek an armed peace in the region by heavily fortifying the Senkaku Islands and the rest of the island chain they are part of.
“The U.S. and Japan should also step up their rearmament of the Philippines,” Fisher said.
The Cowpens incident is the most recent example of Chinese naval aggressiveness toward U.S. ships.

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship, USNS Impeccable, came under Chinese naval harassment from a China Maritime Surveillance ship, part of Beijing’s quasi-military maritime patrol craft, in June.
During that incident, the Chinese ship warned the Navy ship it was operating illegally despite sailing in international waters. The Chinese demanded that the ship first obtain permission before sailing in the area that was more than 100 miles from China’s coast.
The U.S. military has been stepping up surveillance of China’s naval forces, including the growing submarine fleet, as part of the U.S. policy of rebalancing forces to the Pacific.
The Impeccable was harassed in March 2009 by five Chinese ships that followed it and sprayed it with water hoses in an effort to thwart its operations.
A second spy ship, the USNS Victorious, also came under Chinese maritime harassment several years ago.
Adm. Samuel Locklear, when asked last summer about increased Chinese naval activities near Guam and Hawaii in retaliation for U.S. ship-based spying on China, said the dispute involves different interpretations of controlled waters.
Locklear said in a meeting with reporters in July, “We believe the U.S. position is that those activities are less constrained than what the Chinese believe.”
China is seeking to control large areas of international waters—claiming they are part of its United Nations-defined economic exclusion zone—that Locklear said cover “most of the major sea lines of communication” near China and are needed to remain free for trade and shipping.
Locklear, who is known for his conciliatory views toward the Chinese military, sought to play down recent disputes. When asked if the Chinese activities were troubling, he said: “I would say it’s not provocative certainly. I’d say that in the Asia-Pacific, in the areas that are closer to the Chinese homeland, that we have been able to conduct operations around each other in a very professional and increasingly professional manner.”
The Pentagon and U.S. Pacific Command have sought to develop closer ties to the Chinese military as part of the Obama administration’s Asia pivot policies.
However, China’s military has shown limited interest in closer ties.
China’s state-controlled news media regularly report that the United States is seeking to defeat China by encircling the country with enemies while promoting dissidents within who seek the ouster of the communist regime.
The Obama administration has denied it is seeking to “contain” China and has insisted it wants continued close economic and diplomatic relations.
President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to seek a new type of major power relationship during a summit in California earlier this year. However, the exact nature of the new relationship remains unclear.