UNITED NATIONS CALLS FOR FEDERALIZATION OF U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT TO BE ‘BEEFED UP,’ COVER ALL OF AMERICA
“The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has provided oversight and recommendations for improvement of police services in a number of cities with consent decrees. This is one of the most effective ways to reduce discrimination in law enforcement and it needs to be beefed up and increased to cover as many of the 18,000-plus local law enforcement jurisdictions.”
That was United Nations Rapporteur Maina Kai on July 27, a representative of the U.N. Human Rights Council, who on the tail-end of touring the U.S., endorsed a little-known and yet highly controversial practice by the Justice Department to effect a federal takeover of local police and corrections departments.
THE CONSENT DECREES ARE ALREADY BEING IMPLEMENTED IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY; MIAMI, FLORIDA; LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; FERGUSON, MISSOURI; CHICAGO, ILLINOIS; AND OTHER MUNICIPALITIES.
Here’s how it works: the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice files a lawsuit in federal court against a city, county, or state, alleging constitutional and civil rights violations by the police or at a corrections facility. It is done under 42 U.S.C. § 14141, a section of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, granting the attorney general the power to prosecute law enforcement misconduct. The municipality then simply agrees to the judicial finding — without contest — and the result is a wide-reaching federal court order that imposes onerous regulations on local police.
The federal court orders are designed to undo Rudy Giuliani-style policing tactics that were effective at reducing crime in big cities in the 1990s and 2000s.
IN SHORT, THE MUCH-FEARED NATIONALIZATION OF LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS IS ALREADY BEING INITIATED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. AND SOMEHOW NOBODY NOTICED.
FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS INCLUDE HOW SEARCHES ARE CONDUCTED, WHAT CONSTITUTES LEGITIMATE USE OF FORCE, THE MANDATORY USE OF ON-BODY CAMERAS BY THE POLICE, AND SO FORTH. THE AGREEMENTS IMPOSE YEARS-LONG COMPLIANCE REVIEW REGIMES, IMPLEMENTATION DEADLINES, AND REGULAR REVIEWS BY FEDERAL BUREAUCRATS. THIS MAKES LOCAL POLICE DIRECTLY ANSWERABLE TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION AT THE DOJ.
One example includes a 77-page March 30 consent decree between the department and the City of Newark, New Jersey, that resulted from a 2011 investigation, a 2014 series of findings by the Civil Rights Division, and then finally a federal lawsuit alleging police misconduct in the U.S. District Court in the District of New Jersey.
The original complaint alleged that the Newark Police Department (NPD) “has engaged in a pattern or practice of constitutional violations in its stop and arrest practices, responses to individuals’ exercise of their rights under the First Amendment, uses of force, and theft by officers. The investigation also revealed that the pattern or practice of constitutional violations stems in part from deficiencies in NPD’s systems that are designed to prevent and detect misconduct, including its systems for reviewing force and investigating complaints regarding officer conduct.”
The city of Newark, via the consent decree, agreed to the allegations and to implement a “comprehensive and agency-wide policies and procedures that are consistent with and incorporate all substantive requirements of this agreement,” including rules on stops, searches, use of force, etc. The city has two years to implement, with the full agreement lasting five years. Meaning — even if the political parties change power in the city of Newark, the new mayor and city council would still be required to implement the court order.
THESE CONSENT DECREES ARE IN ESSENCE REGULATIONS. THAT, IS, WITHOUT THE NICETIES OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES REQUIREMENTS, PUBLIC COMMENTS, OR EVEN ANY CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT.
Remarkably, congressional offices contacted by this author were generally unaware of the regulation of local policing via DOJ consent decrees with cities — even though the agreements have been implemented for years. Not a single hearing or word of protest has occurred on this topic.
The lack of oversight is pathetic enough — but to make matters even worse, this could actually be the first step in a new wide-ranging body of federal rules on local police.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) actually originated as a consent decree in 2009 against Westchester County, New York, requiring affordable housing units to be built in the county. Afterward, Republican Robert Astorino was elected county executive and yet was still required to implement the court order.
Westchester became the basis for AFFH, where every city and county in the country that accepts any part of $3 billion of annual community development block grants to 1,200 recipient cities and counties now has to comply with HUD’s dictates on zoning along racial and income guidelines.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) threatened to “drown” any US warships approaching Iran, a top general said Tuesday, according to state-controlled media.
“We have informed Americans that their presence in the Persian Gulf is an absolute evil,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi stated to state media. “Americans are aware that Iran would destroy their warships if they take a wrong measure in the region.”
He further threatened that the US would “lose control of everything” by drawing others into Middle-East affairs.
“There has never been normal conditions in the Persian Gulf and Americans can feel the presence of IRGC navy forces at any spot,” he added. “Iran’s great power has forced US to consider creation of deterrent capabilities.”
Fadavi also boasted that the West remains unaware of Iran’s alleged naval capabilities, including surface-to-air missiles.
The threats surface just days after top White House adviser Ben Rhodes revealed the US deliberately misled the American public about the 2015 Iran deal.
While the public was led to believe talks began after the election of “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, talks with Islamists in the country began far earlier, he said.
In November of 2013, it was revealed that a preliminary deal between Iran and the West was made possible due to secret talks that the United States and Iran held for more than half a year and were authorized by US President Barack Obama himself. Those discussions were kept hidden even from America’s closest friends, including its five negotiating partners and from Israel.
Official Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/212122#.VzNRR4QrLx8
The move, which was first reported by the media, will once again contradict Obama’s 2013 promise of not putting any“American boots on the ground in Syria.”
“Just as I have approved additional support for Iraqi forces against ISIL (Islamic State, previously ISIS/ISIL – RT), I’ve decided to increase US support for local forces fighting ISIL in Syria,” Obama said.
“A small number of US special operations forces are already on the ground in Syria,” he said. “Their expertise has been critical as local forces have been driving ISIL out of key areas. So given the success, I have approved the deployment of up to 250 additional US personnel in Syria, including special forces, to keep up this momentum.”
It was not immediately clear how many of those 250 troops would be added to special operations, medical or intelligence support. According to Obama, they will be involved in special operations as well as in training and assisting Syrian opposition forces to fight IS.
Speaking in Hannover, Germany, Obama said NATO members can and should do more to fight Islamic State.
“In Syria and Iraq we need more nations contributing to their campaign. We need more nations contributing trainers to help build up local forces in Iraq. We need more nations to contribute economic assistance to Iraq so it can stabilise liberated areas and break the cycle of violent extremism so that ISIL cannot come back,” he said.
Obama is visiting Germany to discuss various foreign policy issues, including Syria, Ukraine, Libya and the controversial Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal.
He is meeting top European officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
The escalation of the American military presence in Syria may undermine the ongoing UN effort to bring Damascus and ‘moderate’ opposition armed groups to a peaceful transition after five years of war, Hans-Christof von Sponeck, a veteran German diplomat and former UN assistant secretary-general, told RT.
“Obama is entering his last six months and he wants to leave a legacy that shows some sign of success. And Americans are never short of experiments,” he said. “It’s jumping from one laboratory test to another and in the meantime the county continues to go further to destruction.”
The first time Obama broke his 2013 promise of no “American boots on the ground in Syria” was when he sent 50 US special operations forces to Syria last year, claiming the move as a “counterterrorism” measure and not a step closer to a ground invasion.
Obama won the presidency first time around in 2008 by pledging to bring peace to the Middle East. However, in recent years, decisions were made to keep adding US troops in the region to help control numerous conflicts.
Obama’s decision to boost the number of American troops on the ground in Syria brings up issues concerning the previous failures of the US train and equip program that dealt with unreliable opposition fighters.
The Pentagon gave up on the training part of the project in October, after senior Obama administration officials admitted that the US had only trained a handful of fighters, despite the program’s $500 million budget.
Moreover, it was revealed in September that one group of trainees had surrendered one quarter of their US-supplied weapons, ammunition, and vehicles in exchange for safe passage through territory held by another rebel group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
This boost to American ground force also raises legal concerns for Obama. An expansion of the US role highlights that America is in war against IS, which under the Constitution requires congressional authorization, which Obama has never received.
In addition to more troops in Syria, the Pentagon announced last week that 217 additional military personnel and Apache helicopters will be sent to Iraq, largely in an advisory capacity, on how to fight Islamic State. The additional troops will bring US troop levels in Iraq to 4,087.
The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against IS in Iraq and Syria since mid-2014. However, the US involvement in Syria began without the approval of the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad.
Official Source: https://www.rt.com/news/340798-us-syria-more-troops/
Embattled Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s key ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, may be preparing to turn his back on the Syrian president.
According to the Al-Hayat pan-Arab newspaper in London, Russia has agreed to a long-standing demand of Syrian opposition forces that Assad be removed from power.
The report comes as negotiators representing Syrian rebels refused to consider even a transitional role for Assad in a proposed unity government.
Asaad al-Zoabi, one of the negotiators, insisted that “Assad should not remain for even one hour after the formation” of a transitional government.
The Al-Hayat report cites a diplomat in the UN Security Council who leaked the basic outline of the agreement.
While the US and Russia have agreed on the principle that Assad should be removed from power and sent into exile outside of Syria, no specifics regarding the implementation of the plan have been determined.
Earlier this month, Russia abruptly announced it would withdraw its military forces from Syria, much to the surprise of international observers.
On March 17th a senior Russian general told to Pravda newspaper that the pullout would be completed within days.
Official Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/210142#.Vv1VA-IrLx8
President Erdogan had invited Obama to join him at the inauguration of a Turkish-funded mosque in Maryland, but the proposal has been turned down, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Instead, President Erdogan is expected to hold a face-to-face meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, a White House official told the WSJ.
The official said that contact between the American and Turkish presidents is regular, since they had a personal meeting in November 2015 on the fringes of the G20 summit in Turkey, and held a phone conversation in February.
“The president has been in such regular contact with few other world leaders,” the senior administration official told the media. “When it comes to the [Nuclear Security Summit], there is not a robust [bilateral] schedule, so it’s not as if Erdogan is being excluded.”
The press service of the Turkish president said it has no information about a meeting between the two presidents being canceled, RIA Novosti reports. Reportedly, Turkish officials had been preparing a Washington get-together of the two leaders for months.
The Nuclear Security Summit, or NSS 2016, kicks off on March 31. President Erdogan will arrive in the US two days before that, and is planning to leave on April 2.
Relations between Obama and Erdogan have certainly seen better times, with Obama previously naming Erdogan among his closest allies. Back in May 2013, when then-Prime Minister Erdogan and his family paid an official visit to the US, he was most welcome, with President Obama inviting him for dinner.
That was at a time when Erdogan had announced historic peace talks with Kurdish fighters and praised the further development of the economic ties between Turkey and the US.
Yet already in 2013, relations between Ankara and Washington witnessed discord, first because of a violent police crackdown against protesters in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, allegedly staged by supporters of dissident Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who had found refuge in the US. The actions of the Turkish police drew criticism from the White House.
Then in December 2013 came the arrests of dozens of people in a political-corruption probe that exposed links to Erdogan’s family and closest associates.
Most recently, Turkey’s relations with key allies were strained by its military operation in the southeast launched against Kurdish armed militias, which then also spread to Kurds’ positions in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
The crackdown against internal critics of the Erdogan government has also put the existence of basic freedom of speech and press in Turkey under question.
Back in January, when Vice President Joe Biden visited Istanbul, he met with Turkish journalists critical of President Erdogan – a move that caused consternation among the Turkish leader and his allies.
Last week a senior aide to President Erdogan said Turkey needs no “external advice” from Washington when it comes to internal politics. “This is the behavior of a big brother giving lessons. We need friendship,” he stressed.
For the US, Turkey remains a key ally in fighting jihadists in Syria and Iraq, with the US Air Force using Turkish military airfields for operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Official Source: https://www.rt.com/usa/337431-obama-denies-erdogan-meeting/
Details of a tense meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have been revealed for the first time, shedding further light on the fraught relationship between the two leaders.
Tensions between the two leaders over major policies, from the peace process with the Palestinian Authority to the nuclear deal with Iran and beyond, have been a feature of their relationship since Obama took office – as have the occasional displays of apparent personal dislike.
But in an interview with veteran American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic, Obama described one particularly charged meeting in which Netanyahu “launched into something of a lecture about the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives,” i.e. the Middle East.
Obama said he felt Netanyahu was being condescending towards him, and responded: “Bibi, you have to understand something. I’m the African American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.”
The revelations were made during a special interview marking the last year of Obama’s eight terms in office.
The US president and his administration have repeatedly come in for strong criticism over their foreign policy, particularly vis-a-vis the Middle East. That criticism has not only come from Netanyahu by any means, with analysts and other world leaders slamming, among other things, the White House’s prevarication on the Syrian crisis, and many Middle Eastern leaders voicing serious concern over the agreement reached with Iran over its illegal nuclear program last year.
Obama told Goldberg he felt Netanyahu could easily cut a deal with the PA to reach a “two-state solution,” but was opting not to because he felt too politically vulnerable. The president apparently did not believe Israeli assessments that creating such a state in Judea and Samaria would post an enormous danger to the State of Israel.
Obama also dismissed during the interview suggestions floated by Israeli and other critics that he had been bluffing about US threats to pursue military action against Iran, if that was the only way to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“I actually would have,” he told Goldberg. “If I saw them break out.”
But he acknowledged that “the argument that can’t be resolved, because it’s entirely situational, was what constitutes them getting” the bomb. Obama said the difference between himself and Netanyahu was that the Israeli premier wanted to prevent Iran from even having the capability to build a nuclear weapon, whereas he only drew the red line at Iran physically building one.
“This was the argument I was having with Bibi Netanyahu,” he said.
The interview come following the latest spat between Obama and Netanyahu, after the latter reportedly turned down a meeting with Obama next week.
Official Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/209225#.VuGL8_krLx8