Genesis of U.S. Immigration Crisis

Well, we can for sure say that the Democrats side with the Communists, Marxists and Revolutionaries.

Hat tip to Glenn Beck and my buddy Ami Horowitz for the great foot work and investigations to determine where this illegal insurgency is really coming from. Beck pulled out his chalkboard again and his presentation is a good one.

So, while these democrats are not students of history while others have very short memories, there is a longer history to all of this immigration crisis. You see, a few years ago, I read a book titled From the Shadows, written by former CIA Director Robert Gates. Gates was also the Secretary of Defense as part of his long government service resume. He wrote that book in 1996. A particular page stayed in my memory and I did a search in my Book Nook today to find it.

Okay is there more? Yes.There are so many moving parts to the legacy immigration crisis today. Who is to blame? Too many it seems. But for context read on, history does repeat itself.

Going back to an article/summary from 2006, how did we get to this cockamamie asylum policy? It goes to a crisis that was born in 1980.

Citation: The year 1980 marked the opening of a decade of public controversy over U.S. refugee policy unprecedented since World War II. Large-scale migration to the United States from Central America began, as hundreds of thousands of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans fled north from civil war, repression, and economic devastation. That same year, in the last months of the Carter administration, the U.S. Congress passed the Refugee Act, a humanitarian law intended to expand eligibility for political asylum in the United States.

The Refugee Act brought U.S. law into line with international human rights standards, specifically the 1951 UN Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. The United States had ratified the Protocol in 1968, thus becoming bound by the Convention’s provisions. While the previous law recognized only refugees from Communism, the Refugee Act was modeled on the convention’s non-ideological standard of a “well-founded fear of persecution.”

The coincidence of the Central American exodus with the passage of the Refugee Act set the stage for a decade-long controversy that ultimately involved thousands of Americans. The protagonists in the controversy included, on one side, immigrants’ rights lawyers, liberal members of Congress, religious activists, and the refugees themselves. On the other side were President Reagan and his administration, the State Department, the Department of Justice (including the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)), and conservative members of Congress. The first group invoked international human rights and humanitarian and religious principles, while the Reagan administration’s arguments centered on national security and the global fight against Communism.

The public debate took place in a number of arenas and with several sets of participants. The federal courts were the venue for class-action cases contesting systemic INS violations of refugee rights, as well as for the criminal prosecution of religious humanitarians.

Unprecedented numbers of Americans became involved through their churches and synagogues, which proclaimed themselves “sanctuaries,” as well as in bar association efforts to provide pro bono representation to Salvadorans and Guatemalans. Throughout the decade, in hundreds of individual immigration hearings, lawyers for asylum applicants and INS lawyers waged a low-intensity struggle over the nature of the conflict in Central America and the rights of individual Central Americans to asylum status.

In Congress, members debated the war and laws aimed at helping Central Americans rejected as refugees. The refugees themselves became a voice in the U.S. public debate. They formed their own community assistance groups and advocacy centers, which worked with lawyers, religious groups, and the movement against United States involvement in Central America.

Cold War by Proxy and Human Rights in Central America

In El Salvador and Guatemala, civil war had been years in the making, as oligarchies supported by corrupt military leaders repressed large sectors of the rural population. In Nicaragua, the socialist revolutionary Frente Sandinista had ousted the brutal right-wing dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. The civil war in El Salvador increased in intensity in early 1980. Government-supported assassins gunned down Archbishop Oscar Romero at the altar shortly after he had publicly ordered Salvadoran soldiers to stop killing civilians. In December 1980, four U.S. churchwomen were assassinated in El Salvador, an act of brutality that brought the violence “home” to the U.S. public.

The administration of President Ronald Reagan, who came to power in January 1981, saw these civil wars as theaters in the Cold War. In both El Salvador and Guatemala, the United States intervened on the side of those governments, which were fighting Marxist-led popular movements. In Nicaragua, however, the United States supported the contra rebels against the socialist Sandinista government.

During much of the early 1980s, international human rights organizations (such as Amnesty International and Americas Watch — later part of Human Rights Watch) regularly reported high levels of repression in El Salvador and Guatemala, with the vast majority of human rights violations committed by military and government-supported paramilitary forces.

In El Salvador, the military and death squads were responsible for thousands of disappearances and murders of union leaders, community leaders, and suspected guerilla sympathizers, including priests and nuns. In Guatemala, the army’s counter-insurgency campaign focused on indigenous communities, resulting in thousands of disappearances, murders, and forced displacements.

The Intersection of Foreign Policy and Asylum Policy

It is estimated that between 1981 and 1990, almost one million Salvadorans and Guatemalans fled repression at home and made the dangerous journey across Mexico, entering the United States clandestinely. Thousands traveled undetected to major cities such as Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Chicago. However, thousands were also detained at or near the Mexico-U.S. border.

The Reagan administration regarded policy toward Central American migrants as part of its overall strategy in the region. Congress had imposed a ban on foreign assistance to governments that committed gross violations of human rights, thus compelling the administration to deny Salvadoran and Guatemalan government complicity in atrocities. Immigration law allowed the attorney general and INS officials wide discretion regarding bond, work authorization, and conditions of detention for asylum seekers, while immigration judges received individual “opinion letters” from the State Department regarding each asylum application. Thus the administration’s foreign policy strongly influenced asylum decisions for Central Americans.

Characterizing the Salvadorans and Guatemalans as “economic migrants,” the Reagan administration denied that the Salvadoran and Guatemalan governments had violated human rights. As a result, approval rates for Salvadoran and Guatemalan asylum cases were under three percent in 1984. In the same year, the approval rate for Iranians was 60 percent, 40 percent for Afghans fleeing the Soviet invasion, and 32 percent for Poles.

The Justice Department and INS actively discouraged Salvadorans and Guatemalans from applying for political asylum. Salvadorans and Guatemalans arrested near the Mexico-U.S. border were herded into crowded detention centers and pressured to agree to “voluntarily return” to their countries of origin. Thousands were deported without ever having the opportunity to receive legal advice or be informed of the possibility of applying for refugee status. Considering the widely reported human rights violations in El Salvador and Guatemala, the treatment of these migrants constituted a violation of U.S. obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention.

As word of the conditions in Central America and the plight of the refugees began to come to public attention in the early 1980s, three sectors began to work in opposition to the de facto “no asylum” policy: the religious sector, attorneys, and the refugees themselves.

Although a number of Congressmen and women were influenced by the position of religious organizations, the administration thwarted their efforts. In 1983, 89 members of Congress requested that the attorney general and Department of State grant “Extended Voluntary Departure” to Salvadorans who had fled the war. The administration denied their request, stating such a grant would only serve as a “magnet” for more unauthorized Salvadorans in addition to the hundreds of thousands already present. In the late 1980s, the House of Representatives passed several bills to suspend the deportation of Salvadorans, but none passed the Senate.

The Sanctuary Movement

The network of religious congregations that became known as the Sanctuary Movement started with a Presbyterian church and a Quaker meeting in Tucson, Arizona. These two congregations began legal and humanitarian assistance to Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees in 1980.

When, after two years, none of the refugees they assisted had been granted political asylum, Rev. John Fife of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson announced — on the anniversary of the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero — that his church would openly defy INS and become a “sanctuary” for Central Americans. The Arizona congregations were soon joined by networks of religious congregations and activists in Northern California, South Texas, and Chicago.

At the Sanctuary Movement’s height in the mid 1980s, over 150 congregations openly defied the government, publicly sponsoring and supporting undocumented Salvadoran or Guatemalan refugee families. Another 1,000 local Christian and Jewish congregations, several major Protestant denominations, the Conservative and Reform Jewish associations, and several Catholic orders all endorsed the concept and practice of sanctuary. Sanctuary workers coordinated with activists in Mexico to smuggle Salvadorans and Guatemalans over the border and across the country. Assistance provided to refugees included bail and legal representation, as well as food, medical care, and employment.

The defense of the Salvadorans and Guatemalans marked a new use of international human rights norms by U.S. activists. Citing the Nuremberg principles of personal accountability developed in the post-World War II Nazi tribunals, religious activists claimed a legal precedent to justify their violation of U.S. laws against alien smuggling. Other activists claimed that their actions were justified by the religious and moral principles of the 19th-century U.S. abolitionist movement, referring to their activities as a new “Underground Railroad.” Many U.S. religious leaders involved in the Sanctuary Movement had prior experience in the 1960s civil disobedience campaigns against racial segregation in the American South.

The Department of Justice responded by initiating criminal prosecutions against two activists in Texas in 1984, followed by a 71-count criminal conspiracy indictment against 16 U.S. and Mexican religious activists announced in Arizona in January 1985. The Texas trials resulted in split verdicts, one conviction and one acquittal.

The Arizona trial became a major focus of organizing and publicity for the Sanctuary Movement, attracting a stellar team of volunteer criminal defense attorneys. Although the Department of Justice maintained the case was an ordinary alien-smuggling prosecution, the general counsel of INS attended sessions of the lengthy trial.

Despite the judge’s order barring the defense from presenting evidence of conditions in El Salvador or Guatemala, the Sanctuary Movement managed to turn the publicity surrounding the trial into an indictment of the Reagan administration’s war in Central America and its treatment of the refugees. All the Arizona defendants were convicted, but none were sentenced to jail time. After the Arizona trials, the movement continued to attract more congregations.

The Department of Justice did not bring any more criminal indictments of sanctuary activists after the Texas and Arizona cases.

The Lawyers

Along the U.S.-Mexico border, from the Rio Grande Valley to San Diego, local lawyers and religious activists set up new legal services projects to help detained refugees. In Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Chicago, and other cities, existing nonprofit legal services projects and lawyers in private practice started representing individual refugees. Pro bono panels put together by local and national bar groups — including the National Lawyers Guild Immigration Project, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the American Bar Association — supplemented their work.

Through coordinated strategies in individual cases, these lawyers began to address detention conditions as well as develop the new case law of the Refugee Act. In California and Texas, civil rights lawyers filed class-action cases to establish basic due process rights. While some of the cases (regarding work authorization, translation assistance, and transfer of detainees between facilities) were not successful, other decisions established national standards for the treatment of detained Salvadoran and Guatemalan asylum seekers.

The refugees and their lawyers faced enormous challenges in asylum hearings, as the required opinion letters from the Department of State, which greatly influenced immigration judges, uniformly denied the existence of human rights violations in El Salvador and Guatemala. However, in some cases, attorneys won important victories before the Board of Immigration Appeals and in the federal circuit courts that established precedents helpful to all asylum applicants. Other efforts, such as an attempt to establish that all Salvadoran civilian young men were a social group persecuted by the government, were less successful.

Finally, a group of lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other organizations brought a major, national class-action case on behalf of religious organizations, legal services projects, and Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees, claiming that the administration’s wholesale denial of political asylum claims and prosecutions of those who assisted refugees violated their constitutional, statutory, and internationally recognized human rights.

In the case, known as American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, the federal courts had dismissed religious organizations’ claims. However, in 1991 the U.S. District Court in San Francisco approved a settlement that allowed the reopening of denied political asylum claims and late applications by refugees who had been afraid to apply. The decision also granted class members work authorization and protection from deportation.

The settlement agreement between the plaintiffs and the government (by that time the Bush administration) included language stating that government decisions on political asylum cases would not be influenced by foreign policy considerations.

The Refugees

In many cities, Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees formed mutual assistance organizations. Projects such as Casa Guatemala, Casa El Salvador, Comite El Salvador, and others gave the community the ability to get legal advice and information about conditions back home as well as to learn about local health care and food assistance. These groups also worked with local lawyers’ organizations and religious and antiwar activists, who assisted in decisions regarding class-action litigation and supported individual asylum applicants.

Over 20 years later, a number of these immigrant-led projects, including Centro Presente in Boston, Centro Romero in Chicago, and El Rescate in Los Angeles, still exist as full-service, nonprofit legal and community services centers. Many of the leaders of these efforts remain active in the immigrants’ rights movement, as well as in other social justice projects in the United States, El Salvador, and Guatemala.


In 1990, after its earlier frustrations to address the Central American asylum seekers, Congress finally passed legislation allowing the president to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to certain groups in need of a temporary safe haven. The first TPS legislation contained one provision (never codified as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act) explicitly designating Salvadorans for TPS.

Through the early 1990s, Salvadoran and Guatemalans who had arrived in the 1980s were able to stay in the country under a series of discretionary measures and under the terms of the 1991 settlement in the American Baptist Churches litigation. It was not until the late 1990s that their status was finally settled in a legislative agreement with the supporters of the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguans. The passage of the 1997 Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act finally allowed Salvadorans and Guatemalans protected under the American Baptist Churches settlement to apply for permanent residence.


What spurred the activism of the Sanctuary Movement and Central American refugees and their lawyers was the manner in which the Reagan administration linked the fate of individual asylum seekers to its foreign policy interests. Today, the use of immigration enforcement as a “magic bullet” for national security concerns requires close examination by the U.S. public.

Immigrant communities, members of Congress, policy analysts, religious leaders, and legal experts must determine whether the human rights of individual immigrants and asylum seekers are being trampled in a rush to create a public perception of effective security.

The development of a stronger anti-immigrant grassroots movement in certain areas of the country presents new challenges. Similarly, restrictions on access to the federal courts for review of certain immigration decisions create new obstacles for advocates to overcome. However, at the same time, immigrant-led organizations and immigrants’ rights coalitions have become more sophisticated in their lobbying and public education efforts.

The proimmigrant religious sector (particularly the Catholic Church) is vocal once again, as humanitarian assistance to the undocumented may be criminalized in proposed legislation. Whether the current decade will end with even limited victories for the human rights of immigrants is as yet unknown.



PM Theresa May Tells Trump Don’t Trust Russia

The British Prime Minister often turned to the example of President Ronald Reagan and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who worked together through the end of the Cold War. Their actions, she said, would be helpful when considering a relationship with Russia.

“When it comes to Russia, as so often it is wise to turn to the example of President Reagan who — during his negotiations with his opposite number Mikhail Gorbachev — used to abide by the adage ‘trust but verify.’ With President Putin, my advice is to ‘engage but beware,'” May said.

This comes down to the scheduled phone call between President Trump and Vladimir Putin on Saturday. Due to the take over of Crimea, the hostilities of Russia towards Ukraine and the failed peace talks regarding Syria coupled with supplying Iran with missile systems, Trump cannot lift the Russian sanctions.

When it comes to the Russian encroachment in the Arctic, it is completely under reported, that is a mistake and President Trump will soon need to address with Secretary of Defense Mattis.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 11.44.56 AM

The numbers don’t lie. In recent years, Russia unveiled a new Arctic command, four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports, and 40 icebreakers with an additional 11 in development. (The United States has one working icebreaker for the Arctic — it’s only other one is broken.) More here from Foreign Policy magazine.

Further there is the Russian military expansion in Syria.

The Russian armed forces have signed a 49 year lease with Syria for use of the port of Tartus for the Russian Navy and the air base at Hmeymim for the air force. The lease will have a 25 year automatic renewal feature if neither side objects. The agreements will ensure a permanent Russian presence in the Middle East for decades to come.

*** Further, with the genocide of innocent people in Aleppo at the hands of Bashir al Assad and Vladimir Putin, Russia has deployed Chechens to Aleppo for local policing.

Why Are Chechen Military Police Patrolling Aleppo?

Why Are Chechen Military Police Patrolling Aleppo? Ain al-Medina explains the reason Moscow sent non-Russian special forces to a foreign country as part of a special mission for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The Chechen police forces, which include about 400 soldiers, have deployed in some Aleppo districts, especially those with mixed demographics — Al-Midan, Bustan al-Pasha, Al-Hallak, Sheikh Khodr, Sheikh Maqsood, and in the area of the international Aleppo airport. More here.

There is no behavior by the current Moscow leadership that has altered any course of history going back to Truman or Reagan.


April 7, 1950, Cold War document crafted by President Truman as a presidential directive:

The page to the left is but one page of 72 page directive, of which the full document is found here.












If after reading in full context that is not enough for not lifting sanctions on Russia due to history versus contemporary actions….we can move on to the Reagan era. The text of President Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ speech.

January 17, 1983, President Reagan issued Directive #75.





















You can read the full document here.

Anymore questions on why President Trump needs to stand stern on Russia? History does meet today.

Russian Aggression Builds and a Piece of Nuclear History

Russia is working to control the Mediterranean Sea as previously posted on this site.

Project1234 BSF Nanuchka class guided missile corvette Mirazh 617 departed Black Sea and transited Bosphorus en route to Mediterranean

China is there too: Chinese naval frigate arrived the coast of Tartus

John Kerry demands war crimes probe into Russia’s actions in Syria

The US has called for a war crimes investigation into Russia’s actions in Syria – saying Moscow owes the world an explanation.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian and Syrian strikes on hospitals “beg for an appropriate investigation of war crimes”.

He said such attacks are “way beyond” accidental at this point, and accused Moscow and Damascus of undertaking a “targeted strategy … to terrorise civilians”.

Mr Kerry, who was speaking in Washington alongside his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, said Syrian forces hit another hospital overnight, killing 20 people and wounding 100.

He was speaking as the lower house in Russia’s parliament ratified a treaty with Syria that allows the Russian military to stay indefinitely in the Middle Eastern country.

The Kremlin-controlled State Duma voted unanimously to ratify the agreement, which formalises Moscow’s military presence at the Hemeimeem air base in Latakia.


It is a show of support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and allows Russia to use the base free of charge and for as long as it needs.

Russia began its air campaign in Syria a year ago, reversing the tide of the nation’s five-year civil war and helping Assad’s forces win back key ground.

Moscow says its aim is to help the Syrian army fight terrorism.

**** So what does history tell us?

Soviet nuclear submarine carrying nuclear weapons sank north of Bermuda in 1986

Top Secret Minutes of Politburo discussion show Soviets learned the lessons of Chernobyl

Open U.S.-Soviet communication regarding the accident on the eve of the Reykjavik summit of Reagan and Gorbachev 

Posted October 7, 2016
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 562
Edited by Svetlana Savranskaya
For further information, contact:
Svetlana Savranskaya: 202.994.7000 and [email protected]

K-219 map

Position of tug Powhaten is shown to the southwest of last K-219 position. (U.S. Navy Photo)  


Washington D.C., October 7, 2016 -Thirty years ago, a Soviet nuclear submarine with about 30 nuclear warheads on board sank off U.S. shores north of Bermuda as Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan were preparing for their historic summit in Reykjavik, Iceland.  But instead of Chernobyl-style denials, the Soviet government reached out to the Americans, issued a public statement, and even received offers of help from Washington, according to the never-before-published transcript of that day’s Politburo session, posted today by the National Security Archive.

The submarine, designated K-219, suffered an explosion in one of its missile tubes due to the leakage of missile fuel into the tube on October 3.  The 667-A project Yankee-class boat was armed with 16 torpedoes and 16 ballistic missiles. After the initial explosion, the crew members heroically put out fire and were forced to shut down the nuclear reactors manually because the command-and-control equipment had been damaged.  Three crew members died in the blast and fire. Senior Seaman Sergey Preminin stayed in the reactor compartment to shut down reactors, and could not be evacuated.  The rest escaped safely.

Initially, it seemed the submarine could be salvaged; it was attached to the Soviet commercial ship Krasnogvardeisk for towing.  However, the tow cord broke for unknown reasons and the submarine sank.  Submarine Commander Captain Second rank Igor Britanov stayed with the sub until its final moments.  He initially came under investigation at home but all charges were removed in 1987.  According to statements by U.S. Vice Admiral Powell Carter, the submarine did not present a danger of nuclear explosion or radioactive contamination, as was reported by the New York Times.[1]

The Politburo discussion, published in English for the first time, shows how the Soviet leadership learned the lessons of Chernobyl.  The U.S. side was immediately informed about the accident on October 3. The fight for the survival of the submarine lasted three days. Gorbachev notes to his colleagues that Reagan thanked the Soviets for providing information quickly and in a transparent manner.  He suggests that “it would be expedient to act in the same manner as we did the last time, i.e. to send information to the Americans, the IAEA, and TASS.” Gromyko emphasizes the need to inform Soviet citizens as well, by issuing a statement from TASS.

The Politburo also heard a report from Deputy Defense Minister Chief of Navy Admiral Vladimir Chernavin.  Other members present express concerns about a possible U.S. effort to salvage parts of the submarine and gain access to design information.  But Chernavin assures them that the boat design is outdated and therefore is not of any interest to the Americans.  Another major concern raised is the possibility of a nuclear explosion or radioactive contamination due to water pressure at extreme depths.  Chernavin cites Soviet Navy commission experts who ruled out the possibility of a nuclear detonation and concluded that contamination would happen over a long period and would not reach the surface.

This was the first time the Soviets had ever delivered a public information report immediately after an accident of this type and did not view U.S. actions in the area as a provocation. Communications between the two superpowers were therefore very constructive.  Having learned how damaging to the Soviet image the secrecy surrounding the Chernobyl accident was, Gorbachev decided to truly deploy glasnost in this case.  In addition to the shadow of Chernobyl, the conduct of both sides, along with the tone of the Politburo discussion, were clearly influenced by preparations for the upcoming summit, which both leaders considered a top priority.


[1] Bernard Gwertzman, “Soviet Atomic Sub Sinks in Atlantic 3 Days After Fire,” The New York Times, October 7, 1986.


READ THE DOCUMENT from the archive here.

6 October 1986 SESSION OF THE POLITBURO OF THE CC CPSU: “About the loss of nuclear submarine of the USSR Navy.”

Democrat Officials’ Cell Phones Hacked

Report: Dem officials cell phones hacked.

TheHill: The FBI is investigating the hacked cell phones of several Democratic Party officials with the belief the attacks are connected to a spate of breaches at party networks and under the assumption that the Russia is behind the hacking, Reuters reports.

The phones, says the report, were hacked within “the past month or so”.

That would put the timing of the breach soon after hackers, widely suspected to be Russian intelligence, were booted from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  The DCCC breach, in turn, took place shortly after the same hackers were kicked out of the Democratic National Committee.

Many members of Congress have grown frustrated with the administration not formally accusing Russia of the hacking spree, including House Homeland Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), who have both asked Obama to acknowledge Russia is behind the attacks.

In part from Reuters:

The revelation underscores the widening scope of the U.S. criminal inquiry into cyber attacks on Democratic Party organizations, including the presidential campaign of its candidate, former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

U.S. officials have said they believe those attacks were orchestrated by hackers backed by the Russian government, possibly to disrupt the Nov. 8 election in which Clinton faces Republican Party candidate Donald Trump. Russia has dismissed allegations it was involved in cyber attacks on the organizations.

The more recent attempted phone hacking also appears to have been conducted by Russian-backed hackers, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Federal Bureau of Investigation representatives had no immediate comment, and a Clinton campaign spokesman said they were unaware of the suspected phone hacking. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) did not respond to a request for comment, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had no immediate response.

FBI agents had approached a small number of Democratic Party officials to discuss concerns their mobile phones may have been compromised by hackers, people involved said. It was not clear how many people were targeted by the hack or whether they included members of Congress, a possibility that could raise additional security concerns for U.S. officials.

If they were successful, hackers could have been able to acquire a wide range of data from targeted cell phones, including call data, text messages, emails, photos and contact lists, one person with knowledge of the situation said.

“In a sense, your phone is your office brain,” said Bruce Schneier, a cyber security expert with Resilient, an IBM company, which is not involved in the investigation. “It’s incredibly intimate.”

“Anything that’s on your phone, if your phone is hacked, the hacker can get it.”

The FBI has asked some of those whose phones were believed to have hacked to turn over their phones so that investigators could “image” them, creating a copy of the device and related data.

U.S. investigators are looking into whether hackers used data stolen from servers run by Democratic organizations or the private emails of their employees to get access to cell phones, one person said.

Hackers previously targeted servers used by the DNC, the body that sets strategy for the party, and the DCCC, which raises money for Democrats running for seats in the House of Representatives, officials have said.

Clinton said during Monday’s presidential debate there was “no doubt” Russia has sponsored hacks against “all kinds of organizations in our country” and mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin by name.

“Putin is playing a really tough, long game here. And one of the things he’s done is to let loose cyber attackers to hack into government files, to hack into personal files, hack into the Democratic National Committee,” Clinton said.

Trump countered that there was no definitive proof that Russia had sponsored the hacks of Democratic organizations.

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” he said. “It could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people.”

The Clinton’s and Panama Papers Friends

There has been a constant recent argument that if you are a conservative and don’t vote Trump then you are effectively voting for Hillary. That is a straw man argument when the matter is twofold.


Newt Gingrich argued with Congressman Huelskamp over the weekend and admitted Trump is not a ‘Reagan conservative’ but he is better than Hillary. Of course that statement is true. The other matter is why are the Trump fans so fearful that Hillary will get the nomination? Of course she will. Are Republicans so terrified that Hillary cannot be defeated in the general election? If so, then where is the mettle and fire in the belly and force multiplier and a voting army defeat Hillary? If the will is there, the achievement can be so great such that no Democrat will successfully take over the Oval Office for perhaps up to 3 election cycles and it should that way given the last 8 years.

In case this argument needs more ammunition, here are some more political arrows for the quiver relating to the elitist circle of the Clintons. This demonstrates the alternate universe of collusion, money and favors.

Inside Panama Papers: Multiple Clinton connections


Hillary Clinton recently blasted the hidden financial dealings exposed in the Panama Papers, but she and her husband have multiple connections with people who have used the besieged law firm Mossack Fonseca to establish offshore entities.


Among them are Gabrielle Fialkoff, finance director for Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for the U.S. Senate; Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate who has traveled the globe with Bill Clinton; the Chagoury family, which pledged $1 billion in projects to the Clinton Global Initiative; and Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, who was at the center of a Democratic fund-raising scandal when Bill Clinton was president. Also using the Panamanian law firm was the company founded by the late billionaire investor Marc Rich, an international fugitive when Bill Clinton pardoned him in the final hours of his presidency.

The ties are both recent and decades old, not surprising

for the Democratic presidential front-runner and her husband, who have been in public life since the 1970s.

Each is listed in the massive leak of data from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm with expertise in registering offshore companies, which can have legitimate business purposes, but can also be used to evade taxes and launder money. Several heads of state were found in the leak, leading to the departure of the leader of Iceland and investigations in several other countries.

McClatchy Newspapers and about 350 other journalists working under the umbrella of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists have searched an archive containing more than 11.5 million Mossack Fonseca documents, including passports, financial records and emails. After a series of articles earlier this month revealed how business owners and politicians used offshores, authorities raided the law firm’s offices in Panama. The law firm has denied all accusations of wrongdoing.

Hillary Clinton condemned what she called “outrageous tax havens and loopholes that super-rich people across the world are exploiting.”

“Now, some of this behavior is clearly against the law, and everyone who violates the law anywhere should be held accountable,” she said, speaking at the AFL-CIO convention recently. “But it’s also scandalous how much is actually legal.”

The Clintons themselves do not appear to be in Mossack Fonseca’s database, nor does it appear that their daughter, Chelsea, or her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, who co-founded a hedge fund, are listed. But Bill and Hillary Clinton’s connections to people who have used offshores is fuel for her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.

Clinton has struggled throughout her campaign to show that she can relate to working Americans, while Sanders has cast her as a wealthy out-of-touch Washington insider who has accepted hefty paychecks for speeches and received millions of dollars in campaign contributions from those tied to big businesses. Her connection to the Panama Papers, even if indirect, could magnify that perception.

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, said it would draw voters’ attention once again to Clinton’s ties to big money. “It certainly would play into Sanders’ narrative,” he said.

Sanders said Clinton’s support of a free-trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama – one that he claims has allowed the wealthy to avoid paying taxes – should disqualify her from being the Democratic nominee for president.

“I don’t think you are qualified if you supported the Panama free trade agreement, something I very strongly opposed, which has made it easier for wealthy people and corporations all over the world to avoid paying taxes owed to their countries,” Sanders said recently.

To be sure, a long life in politics has allowed the Clintons to accumulate relationships to wealthy people and businesses across the globe.

One such connection is to Jean-Raymond Boulle, a one-time diamond miner from the volcanic island nation of Mauritius whose company was once based in Bill Clinton’s hometown of Hope, Ark. In the mid 1990s, Boulle was listed as a director of Auk Limited, a British Virgin Islands offshore company, and Gridco Limited, a Bahamas offshore company.

After two meetings with Boulle, Bill Clinton, then-governor of Arkansas, signed legislation allowing his company to engage in exploratory mining in the state. Later, Boulle and his wife attended Clinton’s first inauguration. Boulle’s company did not respond to a message.

“Obviously there’s no wrongdoing – it’s a question of perception and values,” said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. “They’ve been in public life so long; when you enter that sphere you have these connections.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon declined to answer specific questions about her connections but referred to Clinton’s earlier comments that criticized the behavior last week. Bill Clinton’s office and the Clinton Foundation declined to comment.

Also among the Clinton connections is Fialkoff, now a senior adviser to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and director of the city’s Office of Strategic Partnerships. She, her brother, Brett, and her late father, Frank, are listed as shareholders of UPAC Holdings Ltd, a British Virgin Islands offshore company incorporated in June 2012.

Gabrielle Fialkoff said in an email that she has “no knowledge” of the company and referred questions to her brother.

Brett Fialkoff, who serves as chief operating officer at his family’s business, Haskell Jewels, a New York-based designer, marketer and distributor of costume jewelry, initially told McClatchy he didn’t know why his family would be in the documents. Later, he said that someone must have opened an account in their names.

Still, later, he said he set up an offshore company to export accessories from China to the United States. The documents indicate the company’s files are registered in Beijing.

But, he said, he abandoned the new business to give more attention to his family’s jewelry company. He said there’s no money in any bank account overseas and declined to provide details about his compliance with U.S. tax laws.

“I have news for you: There is no money,” he said in a phone interview. “We’re not like Vladimir Putin, trying to hide money.”

The most recent Mossack Fonseca information of December 2015 shows the company remains active, registered on behalf of the Fialkoffs in the British Virgin Islands by a Hong Kong-based consulting company on June 6, 2012. Brett Failkoff acknowledged the company is still “legally alive” but said it does not – nor has it ever – conducted any business.

Gabrielle Fialkoff, a longtime friend of de Blasio, was finance director for Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, which de Blasio managed. After serving as Haskell’s president and chief operating officer, she chaired de Blasio’s inauguration and led New York’s unsuccessful bid to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

She has been a regular donor to Democratic candidates, including Clinton, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics. She also donated between $250 and $1,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Her father donated to Clinton as well. Her brother contributed money to Republicans, including presidential candidates Ben Carson and Rand Paul.

Another connection is Giustra, the director of UrAsia Energy Ltd, a British Virgin Islands offshore company registered in May 2005.

The company wanted to “conduct uranium exploration, development, production and marketing operations and related activities in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan,” according to a draft of the shareholders’ agreement.

UrAsia, based in British Columbia, Canada, finalized a deal in September 2005 to buy uranium mines for $500 million in Kazakhstan, according to published reports.

The deal came after Giustra joined Bill Clinton in Kazakhstan for the launch of a Clinton Foundation health initiative and dined with him and Kazakhstan’s president, among others. The timing prompted questions about whether Bill Clinton played any role in the agreement. Giustra denied that, saying it came after months of negotiations.

The following year, Giustra, who is also involved in filmmaking and founded Lionsgate Entertainment, made a donation of more than $30 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to published reports.

In total, Giustra has committed $100 million to the foundation, according to at least one report, though foundation records don’t give an exact amount, saying only that he is one of the largest individual donors giving more than $25 million. In 2007, he started an affiliated charity that bears his name and initially kept its donors secret despite a 2008 agreement between the Clintons and the Obama administration to make public foundation contributors.

Bill Clinton has flown around the globe on Giustra’s plane, sometimes with him, including to Kazakhstan.

Giustra’s attorney David S. Brown wrote in a letter to McClatchy that his client “had no dealing with the law firm of Mossack Fonseca.”

He also said the use of a company such as UrAsia Energy Ltd. is common in international mining transactions and was used at the direction of an international accounting firm.

“Far from being secretive, opaque or clandestine, UrAsia Energy Ltd. BVI was fully disclosed to the public and to the applicable regulators in 2005 _ to be clear, there was absolutely nothing untoward in the use of this entity,” he wrote.

He declined to answer additional questions.

Former fugitive billionaire Marc Rich’s name doesn’t appear in the Panama Papers, but his company does. The Bahamas offshore Industrial Petroleum Limited was registered in 1992, established by the commodities firm Glencore International in Switzerland, inactivated in 2001.

The allegations against Rich, who died in 2013, ranged from tax evasion to trading with Iran despite bans to selling oil to South Africa’s apartheid government. He fled to Switzerland in 1983, but before the pardon, his ex-wife Denise made a $450,000 donation to Clinton’s presidential library in Little Rock.

Rich’s business partners appear in the data too. And they also give generously to the Clinton Foundation.

Sergei Kurzin, a Russian engineer and investor, appears in a draft shareholders agreement in partnership with Giustra in the British Virgin Islands offshore UrAsia Energy Ltd. Kurzin worked closely with Rich in the 1990s looking for opportunities in the former Soviet Union when it was opened to mining and oil investment.

Kurzin, who has given the Clinton Foundation between $50,000 and $100,000, appears in the Panama Papers as the director and chairman of various oil companies. Kurzin was also a partner in the uranium deal involving Giustra.

In a 2009 interview with Forbes, the British-Russian dual citizen boasted of giving generously to a Clinton-Giustra initiative, noting: “I wrote a check for a million dollars. I don’t think you can call it a small amount.”

Messages left for Kurzin were not returned this weekend.

Also in the Panama Papers is Ronald Chagoury, who along with brother Gilbert leads the Chagoury Group, a Nigerian family-run construction business. The brothers were associated with Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who died in 1998, and did business with Glencore and Rich, according to news reports.

Ronald Chagoury appears in the Panama Papers as the main shareholder of Echo Art Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands.

In 2009, the Chagoury Group pledged $1 billion in coastal erosion projects to the Clinton Global Initiative, an offshoot of the foundation, according to the initiative’s website.

The Chagoury Group is building Eko Atlantic, a peninsula city adjacent to Lagos that will be reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. The company’s website cites the Clinton Global Initiative’s praise for it as an “environmentally conscious city” under construction.

Gilbert Chagoury’s ties to the Clintons stretch back years. He has given to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns and has donated between $1 million to $5 million to Clinton Foundation, foundation records show. In 2003 he organized a trip to the Caribbean where Bill Clinton was paid $100,000 for a speech.

Messages left for the Chagourys were not returned this weekend.

Another businessman in the Panama papers, Ng, is listed as a shareholder of two British Virgin Islands companies – South South News International Group Ltd in May 2010 and GOLUCK Ltd. in 2004.

He leads a real estate development company in Macau, China, and is one of the world’s wealthiest people. He was accused in 1996 of sending more than $1.1 million to a Little Rock restaurant owner who then contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee, according to a 1998 Senate committee investigation.

The restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws. Ng was not charged. Another congressional report criticized Ng and others for failing to cooperate during the investigation.

Published reports say Ng visited the White House 10 times from 1994 to 1996, had his photograph taken with Bill and Hillary Clinton, sat beside Bill Clinton at an event at a Washington hotel, and rode in an elevator with Hillary Clinton.

Last year, Ng was charged with bribing a United Nations official and lying about what he was doing with $4.5 million in cash he brought into the U.S. over two years. Investigators say instead of spending it at casinos or on art, antiques or real estate, he used the money for bribes as he sought investments in Antigua and China. Another man listed in the same criminal complaint is president of the New York-based South South News, the same name of the British Virgin Islands company.

Ng’s lawyer, Kevin Tung, has said that his charges are based on a misunderstanding. Tung, Benjamin Brafman and Hugh Mo, two others who are or have represented Ng, did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2011, Sanders predicted in a Senate speech that the Panama trade deal would make it easier for the wealthy to hide their cash in Panama.

“I wish I had been proven wrong about this, but it has now come to light that the extent of Panama’s tax avoidance scams is even worse than I had feared,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

Hillary Clinton had opposed the deal in 2008 when she was running for president. But later, as secretary of state, she helped push the agreement through Congress. Her supporters, however, say that the trade pact did not open the door to additional tax evasion.

A Democrat-controlled Senate approved the trade deal. In October 2012, then-Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., lauded the deal’s “strong language to crack down on tax evasion and money-laundering in Panama.”

Both Clinton and Sanders have vowed to go after Americans who try to hide their wealth.

Clinton said she would shut down what she called the private tax system for the wealthy while Sanders has said he would end the trade deal with Panama within six months and investigate U.S. banks, corporations and individuals stashing their cash in Panama to avoid taxes.

“We’re going after all these scams and make sure that everyone pays their fair share here in America,” she said. “I’m going to hold them accountable, and we’re going to have a special effort to track all these resources wherever they might lead.”

McClatchy has much more here and it is worth the long read to understand more not only on the Clintons but of the elites around the world that our own elites entertained, manipulated, approved of and how some laws and sanctions were waived.