Written by Tom Fitton
May 1, 2009
by Tom Fitton
A few weeks ago, I told you that Judicial Watch continues to battle aggressively for any and all documents related to the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and its offshoot, the North American Competitiveness Council. I also cautioned that even though this "project" was launched during the Bush administration, it is still relevant today, given President Obama's globalist mentality and the fact that SPP border-blurring policies are still being implemented.
And now here comes the swine flu to prove my point.
Of course, this has been the story of the week. According to The Associated Press:
President Barack Obama pledged "great vigilance" in confronting the swine flu outbreak Wednesday night as it spread coast to coast across the U.S. The outbreak hit 11 states and closed schools amid confirmation of the first U.S. death -- a Mexican toddler who visited Texas with his family -- and the confinement of dozens of Marines after one came down with the disease in California...
...Despite calls from many U.S. lawmakers for tightening controls over the Mexico-US border, Obama ruled out that option, even though the swine flu outbreak has been at its most virulent and may have begun there...Earlier, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "Closing our nation's borders is not merited here"...
This appears to be at odds with the government's official policy as articulated in a 2005 Department of Homeland Security document entitled National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza:
The most effective way to protect the American population is to contain an outbreak beyond the borders of the U.S. While we work to prevent a pandemic from reaching our shores, we recognize that slowing or limiting the spread of the outbreak is a more realistic outcome and can save many lives. In support of our containment strategy, we will...Encourage all levels of government, domestically and globally, to take appropriate and lawful action to contain an outbreak within the borders of their community, province, state or nation.
Granted, it appears the disease has already made its way into the United States. But doesn't it make sense that limiting our exposure to the source of the outbreak would help curtail the spread of the disease? Why, for example, quarantine the Marines in California we suspect might have been exposed to the disease but allow people from the disease's host nation to cross virtually unimpeded across the border to potentially infect great numbers of people?
Unfortunately, it appears the Obama administration's policy is now more in line with recommendations cited in SPP documents uncovered by Judicial Watch. Here's the SPP strategy: "It is also essential that throughout a pandemic all borders and major roads remain open..."
In fact, an Obama official testified this week to the Senate that the borders would never be closed -- no matter the health risk. Here's what The Washington Times reported about the testimony of Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the CDC's Science and Public Health Program:
Asked directly by Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, what conditions would require the closing of border, Dr. Schuchat said, "I don't think there are any."
Who stands for the public's health security in the face of this open borders radicalism!?
But even assuming it would be unreasonable do anything other than "passive surveillance" through controlled border crossings - what about the unsecured areas of our border that have no one checking illegal crossers for signs of this new swine flu?
Our government's willful neglience in securing our border with Mexico has caused much damage to our great nation. Now, with the emergence of this swine flu, you can bet the damage will now be far deadlier.
Judicial Watch Files Senate Ethics Complaint against Senator Christopher Dodd
Look who is in trouble once again for selling favors in exchange for a sweetheart mortgage deal -- none other than Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Dodd, one of the "Fannie twins," (the other, of course, being Democratic Rep. Barney Frank).
On April 24, Judicial Watch filed a complaint with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics against Dodd. What's the charge this time? Dodd allegedly assisted a longtime friend and associate in obtaining a reduced sentence and ultimately a full presidential pardon from President Clinton related to tax and securities crimes, in exchange for gifts, including a sweetheart real estate deal that he failed to properly disclose in his Senate Financial Disclosure forms.
Our complaint, which can be read in its entirety here, states:
This complaint concerns recent media reports alleging Senator Christopher Dodd used his position and influence as a United States Senator to intervene on behalf of his longtime friend and business associate, Edward Downe, Jr. Senator Dodd is then alleged to have benefited financially as a result of his intervention, and failed to disclose the financial benefits by filing inaccurate Senate Financial Disclosure Statements from 2002 through at least 2007.
Now here's some of the back story. In 1993, Senator Dodd appeared at a hearing on behalf of Edward Downe, Jr. to help Downe obtain a reduced sentence for violations involving tax and securities laws. In 2001, Dodd ultimately helped Downe secure a full presidential pardon for his crimes on President Clinton's last day in office, bypassing the normal pardon vetting process. In 2002, Dodd allegedly received a significantly reduced, below-market sales price for a two-thirds interest in a property located in County Galway, Ireland, from Downe's associate, William Kessinger. (Dodd already owned a one-third interest in the property.) Downe's signature appears on the property transfer documents. In fact, he is listed as a witness.
(Judicial Watch has sought additional documents about this property from government authorities in Ireland.)
According to the complaint, Senator Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, mind you, allegedly failed to report the gift in 2002 and may have filed inaccurate Senate Financial Disclosure forms related to the property ever since, in violation of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act. The penalty for filing false financial disclosure forms is $50,000 and up to one year in prison.
Judicial Watch has asked the Senate Ethics Committee for a full and speedy investigation, but this certainly seems to be a straight-up quid pro quo. Dodd helped his apparently crooked friend and seems to have received a cut-rate price on a property in Ireland in exchange. And then, to make matters worse, it appears he attempted to cover up the transgression by failing to disclose it on his financial disclosure forms. (In fact, above and beyond any Senate Ethics Committee investigation, federal prosecutors need to take a look at this, as knowingly filing false financial forms is a crime.)
By the way, as I referenced earlier, this is not the first time Dodd has been in trouble for his involvement in this type of "arrangement." You may recall, in 2008, Senator Dodd came under fire for receiving preferential loan terms from Countrywide Financial as a member of the company's "VIP Program."
Barack Obama's First 100 Days
Every president since FDR has bestowed great importance on the first 100 days of his administration. The first 100 days period is often a good chance for the new president to accomplish some major objectives. And it is a natural time for the nation to begin to take the measure of the man.
So, now that Barack Obama's first 100 days are behind us, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at some major themes that have emerged in the early days of his presidency.
Screwed Up Presidential Appointments: Back in February, President Obama admitted he "screwed up" when he appointed former Senator Tom Daschle to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Daschle, it turned out, was a tax evader and a lobbyist rife with conflicts of interest. But Daschle is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Obama's screwed up presidential appointments. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Obama's pick for the Commerce Department, for example, was forced to pull his name from contention when the press reported Richardson was at the center of a grand jury investigation into influence peddling.
Among the other Obama appointments with significant ethical baggage: Eric Holder (Attorney General); Janet Napolitano (Secretary of Homeland Security), Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State), Timothy Geithner (Secretary of Treasury), Greg Craig (White House Counsel), Gary Locke (Secretary of Commerce), and Cecilia Munoz (Director of Inter Governmental Affairs).
Amnesty for Illegal Aliens: We have been waiting a long time for Barack Obama to address the issue of illegal immigration. However, when he finally got around to articulating his plans, we longed for the day when he simply ignored the issue. Obama recently announced his bold plan to provide a "path to citizenship" for the millions of illegal aliens currently residing in the country. (Honest Americans call this "amnesty.") Not only would such policy undermine our very fabric of law, but it will almost certainly lead to a massive flood of illegals coming across the border from Mexico. Of course none of this comes as any surprise considering that Obama's point person on illegal immigration, Cecilia Munoz, once worked for the ultra-radical National Council of La Raza, a racist group that is committed to staging a takeover of the American Southwest and returning it to Mexico.
Government Takeover of Private Sector: Okay, we all knew Barack Obama was a big government tax and spender, but did we really think it would ever get this bad this quickly? It took President Bush eight years to run up a $1.9 trillion debt. Obama's proposals hit $4.8 trillion in 100 days, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Money aside, it appears President Obama is using the financial crisis to advance a radical socialist agenda by allowing the federal government to gobble up large stakes in private enterprises. The really troubling part is the fact that no one has any idea how much further Obama is willing to take this campaign. And no one in Congress is putting a stop to it.
Corrupt Connections: During the campaign, the media asked us to forget all about Barack Obama's troubling connections. Domestic terrorist William Ayers, convicted felon Antoin "Tony" Rezko, and the reverend Jeremiah Wright were irrelevant and off limits. And then Judicial Watch obtained a number of documents from Blagojevich's office related to federal investigations involving the former governor, including federal grand jury subpoenas listing key White House advisors and other notable people connected to the national Democratic Party. All of this took place just before Obama took office, which meant that the pitch man for "hope and change" began his presidency under a cloud of suspicion and corruption.
When it comes to the expansion of government power and the guaranteed resulting corruption, the Obama administration is simply out of control. After 100 days of Obama, I'm sure you'll agree Judicial Watch's watchdog role is more important than ever.
Until next week...
Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation's public life. To make a tax-deductible contribution in support of our efforts, click here.