Veteran Wounded Warriors Become Hunters, Great Story

In War on Child Porn, US Turns Wounded Soldiers Into Hunters

A group of military veterans take the oath at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ceremony, swearing them in to serve as analysts on child exploitation cases, at ICE headquarters in Washington, March 31, 2017. (B. Hamdard/VOA)

A group of military veterans take the oath at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ceremony, swearing them in to serve as analysts on child exploitation cases, at ICE headquarters in Washington, March 31, 2017. (B. Hamdard/VOA)


The language at a small graduation ceremony inside a federal office building in Washington Friday morning was militaristic: Fighting. Frontlines. Enemies. War.

For a fifth year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rather quietly has trained a small team of injured, wounded or sick military veterans for a different type of deployment – supporting the agency’s lesser-known investigative arm as analysts on child exploitation cases – the ones who will be able to take photos off a hard drive in a child pornography investigation, then help identify the perpetrator and build the case for an arrest.

“It is a battle. It is a war. And it needs to be,” said Daniel Ragsdale, ICE Deputy Director.

Since 2013, more than 100 veterans have learned computer forensics through the H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps, an 11-week program in the nation’s capital, followed by a nearly year-long internship in ICE field offices around the country.

Chris Wooten, a U.S. Army ranger who was injured in a helicopter crash seven years ago while serving with a special operations regiment in Afghanistan — his fifth tour in Iraq and Afghanistan — felt like the program could return that sense of purpose and pride he felt serving in the military.

“I did have a lot of buddies who weren’t able to make it home, that were killed overseas or even individuals that took their own lives when they made it back just because they didn’t have that sense of purpose anymore,” he explains after the ceremony, before flying home to southwest Florida, where he starts his internship next week.

“I think this opportunity, even though we’re all wounded and can’t do our military job anymore, that this program allows us to serve our country again, and not only that, but help save some kids.”

‘Daunting’ task

It’s unpaid work that first year, working alongside agents to find suspects and build the cases, often looking at graphic, violent content for clues about the perpetrator, the victim, or even the location. But the program regularly leads to job offers from ICE, according to an agency spokesman.

The collaboration between ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations office, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the National Association to Protect Children builds the ranks of child sexual abuse investigators, as law enforcement across the United States scrambles to keep up with networks of elusive online suspects — the ones supplying the images and the ones demanding them.

Non-profit organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that also work on these cases report that the trade in child pornography images is growing “exponentially.” They report receiving thousands of requests from law enforcement agencies to analyze millions of images and videos in one year.

Ragsdale, the second in command at ICE, says there aren’t enough analysts to meet the investigative demand. The agency is only one of several federal bureaus trying to dismantle the online exchange of child pornography, and in the week before Friday’s graduation, it posted three updates on three such cases:

  • “Tucson man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography”
  • “Idaho man sentenced to 25 years on federal child pornography charges”
  • “Southwest Texas man sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography”

“It’s daunting to see case after case after case… when you see 100-year sentences or multiple life sentences,” Ragsdale told the graduates. “Unfortunately, it’s still not enough. It’s certainly not tipping the scale to dissuade people who abuse children.”

“You are joining a fight that law enforcement is having a hard time winning,” he added.


‘Horrible photos’

Chosen to speak for the class at the ceremony, Wooten’s voice faltered at the podium; he spoke about friends who died in combat or after returning home. He mentioned the veteran suicide rate in the U.S. — about 20 a day. He talked of “scars, visible and invisible.”

More than the adrenaline rush of military work under high stress, Wooten says with the investigatory work “you get that sense of pride back.”

“In the military, you’re very proud to serve your country. And this, you almost get a sense of pride that ‘I’m able to handle the images,’” said Wooten, who at 29, is the father of five children. “I knew the struggle was going to be looking at horrible photos and videos that everyday people don’t even know goes on.

“This job, I’m actually going out and saving kids and stopping bad guys, and help putting bad guys behind bars by analyzing evidence and different things that help them get a prison sentence,” said Wooten. “Before, I was just sitting at a desk basically doing paperwork.”

Trump Excluded Iraq From Travel Suspension, BUT….

I the original Executive Order Trump signed to suspend travel from a handful of countries, Iraq was included. When the Executive Order was legally challenged by several courts, yet another Executive Order was issued to excluded Iraq. This decision was made due to the increased security cooperation between the United States and Iraq. Okay so what is the problem? How about other Iraqis that already lied on immigration filings or committed crimes and lied? Fingerprints were the key after the kidnapping. Ever wonder who else is in Virginia? There are plenty….

President Trump should have taken several other preliminary steps prior to those Executive Orders including suspending the entire visa waiver program. But back to Iraq…. and the Al Mahdi Militia, which is still active and operations under variations of the name:

The Mahdi Army, also known as Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM), was formed by Muqtada al-Sadr in June 2003 in response to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.  [3] [4] Muqtada al-Sadr is the son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, who founded the prominent Sadrist Movement in the 1980s, a vehemently nationalist political movement popular among Iraq’s Shiite lower class. After Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr was assassinated in 1999, presumably by the Hussein regime, Muqtada al-Sadr succeeded him as the leader of the Sadrists as well as one of the most powerful and respected Shiite clerics in Iraq. [5] [6] [7] Following the U.S. invasion in 2003, Sadr called upon the Sadrist to join his new militia, the Mahdi Army, with the goal of expelling the U.S. coalition from Iraq and establishing an Iraqi Shiite government. Some of the group’s initial three hundred fighters were recruited in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and together with their Iraqi counterparts were sent to Hezbollah camps in Lebanon for training. [8] [9] More here.

*** Image result for mahdi army DailyMail

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Iraqi Refugees Arrested and Charged with Immigration Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Two Iraqi refugees living in Northern Virginia were arrested this morning and charged along with another individual with immigration fraud.

The defendants arrested this morning are Yousif Al Mashhandani (“Yousif”), 35, of Vienna, and Adil Hasan, 38, of Burke, who are full biological brothers. The third individual charged is Enas Ibrahim, 32, also of Burke, who is the wife of Hasan. Each are charged with attempting to obtain naturalization contrary to law. The defendants will have their initial appearance today in front of Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on Nov. 1, 2004, a United States citizen, identified as R.H., was kidnapped in Iraq and held with other hostages for months in horrible conditions in an underground bunker. After a raid in 2005 freed the hostages, authorities detained Majid Al Mashhadani (“Majid”), who is a full biological brother of Yousif and Adil Hasan, and he admitted his complicity in the kidnapping of R.H.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif was admitted into the United States as a refugee in 2008. In May 2013, Yousif resided in Vienna and applied for naturalization as a United States citizen. In connection with Yousif’s applications for citizenship, his fingerprints were taken. According to an FBI fingerprint specialist, analysis conducted in November 2013 determined that Yousif’s fingerprints match those found on a document at the underground bunker where forces rescued R.H. and others in Iraq in 2005.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Yousif, Hasan, and Ibrahim are lawful permanent residents and have applied to naturalize and become United States citizens. On various applications and forms throughout their respective immigration processes, each has provided and extensive list of family members and information of their respective family trees; however, none ever listed any reference to Majid.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on March 4, 2016, FBI agents interviewed Yousif, Hasan and Ibrahim. When FBI agents asked Yousif why he failed to include reference to Majid on the family tree form, Yousif said he omitted reference to Majid because, when he was a refugee, he was told by others applying for refugee status that he would not be allowed into the United States if any immediate family members had a criminal background. Hasan admitted to FBI agents that Majid was his brother, and Hasan and Ibrahim each admitted they discussed not including Majid’s name on their applications for refugee status because their connection to Majid might delay their ability to gain such status.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Yousif reported that in 2006, while working as an anti-corruption investigator for the Iraqi Commission on Public Integrity in Iraq, he started receiving threats from a Shiite militia known as the “Al Mahdi Militia,” in order to coerce Yousif to drop a particular corruption investigation. Yousif said that in May 2006 Adil was kidnapped by the Al Mahdi Militia, and only released after Yousif arranged to drop the investigation in question and helped pay a large ransom. Yousif said that after Adil was released, he reopened the corruption investigation, only to flee to Jordon in October 2006 after his parents’ house was burned down.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, to justify his application for refugee status, Hasan provided sworn testimony that, in 2006, he had been kidnapped and tortured by members of the Al Mahdi Army and held for nearly a month. Hasan said he was released upon the payment of a ransom of $20,000. In an interview by FBI agents in April 2016, Hasan said he was threatened in Iraq on two occasions, but made no mention of being kidnapped, held hostage, and tortured for nearly a month. In a subsequent interview in October 2016, FBI agents confronted Hasan about the discrepancy in his stories and Hasan admitted to making false statements and creating his persecution story.

Each defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison if convicted. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, Acting Deputy Attorney General and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew W. Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Patrick J. Lechleitner, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes ICE/HSI and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Colleen E. Garcia are prosecuting the case.


A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:17-mj-143.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

510,000 calls, 25% Go to Untrained Backups, VA

On November 28, 2016, President Obama signed into law the No Veterans Crisis Line Should Go Unanswered Act. This law requires VA to develop a quality assurance document to improve VCL functions. The document will outline clearly defined and measurable performance indicators and quantifiable timeframes. It is to be submitted to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Senate no later than 180 days after the date of enactment of the Act. The Act is also intended to ensure that all incoming communications received by the VCL and backup centers be answered in a timely manner by a person.

Image result for Veterans Crisis Line

For the full Inspector General report on issues, context and solutions, go here.

Image result for Veterans Crisis Line CNN

Report: More than one-fourth of veterans’ suicide hotline calls to go to backup lines

WASHINGTON — More than one-fourth of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line end up being redirected to other emergency response services because of ongoing problems with the services’ operations, according to a new report released Monday.
Those problems persist despite leadership changes and promised reforms at the crisis hotline in the last year, and a years-long emphasis on suicide prevention efforts from Department of Veterans Affairs officials.
“Staff did not respond adequately to a veteran’s urgent needs during multiple calls to the (crisis line) and its backup call centers,” officials from the VA Inspector General’s office said in the report. “Supervisory staff did not identify the deficiencies in their internal review of the matter.”
Last spring, a similar report by the office found at least 23 callers to the crisis line were transferred to voicemail systems instead of reaching emergency help. That revelation prompted harsh criticism from lawmakers, who said the mistakes literally could kill unstable veterans trying to get help.
The new analysis of crisis line operations for the last six months of 2016 found that more than 28 percent of calls to the hotline were redirected to backup centers that might not have the same training and resources to help veterans in crisis.
VA has set a goal of no more than 10 percent for “rollover” calls to the crisis line.

The report also found “deficiencies in governance and oversight” of the program’s operations, including poor record keeping to detect and correct problems with missed calls.

In a statement, VA’s acting Under Secretary for Health Poonam Alaigh said the crisis line “is the strongest it’s ever been since its inception in 2007” but acknowledged that further improvements are needed in the system.

The department opened a new Atlanta satellite office for the New York-based crisis line in October — midway through the inspector general’s review — and “has implemented a comprehensive workforce management system and optimized staffing patterns” to “provide callers with immediate service” in the future.
But officials critiquing the system say that’s not enough. The Inspector General’s office has recommended better staff education, technology support, performance reviews and call monitoring to better the system.
Calls which go unanswered by the line are mandated to be directed to backup crisis centers, so veterans seeking help aren’t left without help. But the inspector general notes that those backups may not have the same training in military-specific issues and services, limiting some of the assistance they can provide.
In a statement, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn., called the ongoing problems “unacceptable” and asked for immediate fixes.
“The Veterans Crisis Line is intended to be the first line of defense against veteran suicide, and we must ensure calls are being answered by a trained professional in a timely manner,” he said. “I am extremely frustrated by the findings and will continue to conduct oversight so the men and women who answered the call to serve have their calls answered when they need help the most.”

The Veterans Crisis Line, launched in 2007, has fielded 2.5 million calls in the last decade and dispatched emergency services more than 66,000 times to callers in need of emergency help.

In fiscal 2016 alone, staffers answered more than 510,000 calls, 53,000 chat requests and 15,000 texts.

VA statistics show roughly 20 veterans a day nationwide commit suicide. Of those, only six are active users of VA services.

To contact the Veteran Crisis Line, callers can dial 1-800-273-8255 and select option 1 for a VA staffer. Veterans, troops or their families members can also text 838255 or visit for assistance.

C’mon Trump, Americans are Still Angry

Hey President Donald, how about assigning a leader to a whistleblower task force that coughs up the goods on the Obama administration.

In the past eight years we have almost forgotten all the fraud, collusion, deception and nefarious work of the previous administration and how far reaching those operations were. We still want consequences….why? If left unchallenged, rather unexposed, those operatives will dig in deeper and with wild abandon. The media cannot be left out of this whistleblowing mission either. Complicity and political behavior modeling by the left will only gain traction if not forced into the sunlight.

Trump pledged to restore law and order, voters should know how far afield the law was fractured under the Obama administration.

Much in the news is the Russian intrusion into our election infrastructure, which did happen without dispute. Altering the vote count or influencing voters to cast votes to a preferred candidate did NOT happen, such there is no evidence. The Russians have a history of such intrusions beyond the United States including Ukraine, Germany and Europe. The U.S. intelligence agencies warned of forced log-ins long before the November election. Now British intelligence is making the same warnings.

A particular item that requires a whistleblower headline is how the Obama White House interfered in the election process in Israel paying operatives to remove Netanyahu from power. Hello Trump team, can you expose more details on this please? We already know about Jeremy Bird, but we want the full story and in the end, we want punishment.

Some items that need attention and exposure are noted below but this list is hardly complete. In fact you are invited to add to the list in the comments section.

We need to know the culprits, the money, the facts and the rest of the stories on many scandals. This is the moment now leading into the building mid-term elections, but mostly due to the DNC being led by two terrifying people Tom Perez and Keith Ellison. The DNC, DNCC, Center for American Policy and others are houses of UnAmerican activities, if we even remember what America is and should be anymore.

There is no better source or investigator than Trevor Louden. He helped us with his movie, ‘Enemies Within’ as he laid the foundation for the viewers to take the baton and run to expose more.

Congress has an ‘oversight committee’ that does investigate and expose countless cases yet it is time consuming and burdensome given scheduling, subpoenas, testimony and document requests. Then we have Judicial Watch that is doing great work using the legal machinery, but all reliance cannot be placed there.

The Trump White House has this lifetime opportunity to own the headlines, the stories of connected events and provide the full account of scandals and people that today are left still with unanswered question.

Here are some samples Mr. President we need to know more about, begin here with the whistleblowing now that your administration is in power with access.

  1. The matter of Fast and Furious, the gun-running operation to Mexico was never fully told. Did Kevin O’Reilly ever cooperate and provide testimony, when in the middle of the scandal he was suddenly deployed to Iraq?
  2. Judicial Watch just obtained almost 7000 documents relating to the IRS targeting scandal. Exactly why is John Koskinen still the commissioner and has anyone moved to sue Lois Lerner in civil suits? Is there evidence of White House collusion including some members of Congress?
  3. What is the rest of the story when it comes to new solar/energy businesses launched with government loan guarantees that have gone belly up? Who is responsible, what did it really cost the taxpayer and are any monies recoverable? How about the DoJ investigations where some financial reports were altered?
  4. Benghazi stands on its own..
  5. Who at the Department of Energy is responsible for the lead in the water in Flint, Michigan and polluting the Colorado river?
  6. With the ransom money given to Iran and the side deals all but forgotten of the Iranian nuclear deal, how much is still out there to be uncovered and reported? What more do we need to know about Ploughshares, NIAC, Ben Rhodes and John Kerry?
  7. We have new leadership at the Veterans Administration. Great now how about exposing the hidden case files, the corruption of the unions, jailing those that falsified status reports and got big bonuses? The VA Inspector General has done some great work so far, but who in leadership is going down for the never-ending issues at the VA?
  8. Can we have a team that reveals the ‘slush funds’ from the ‘stimulus money’ and who is guilty in both parties that scammed the taxpayers?
  9. Clearly there is more to know about Obama’s amnesty and his DACA program. Who was behind it, how much money was involved? Are judges being paid off? Who gets grants to sponsor children and illegals and how much money was spent in transportation of people all over the country hiding the from the legal system?
  10. Obamacare is a major topic, what more do we need to know such that it is being used to blame democrats and repeal the law? How about HHS contracts, sharing patient databases with outside agencies and foreign governments? What about cyber security, what about paying off big pharma and insurance companies?
  11. Where are we with the Clinton Foundation and the emails to Hillary’s private server that included Obama emails and the computer belonging to Huma Abedin? Is anyone still at the State Department still providing the Clinton operation cover? Can Patrick Kennedy or John Kerry be prosecuted?
  12. What is the rest of the story of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch on corporate fines for violations and company officials not going to prison?
  13. The Department of Justice maintained a victims fund which selectively paid surviving family members in cases of attacks and murder victims. Why was Obama personally involved and how was it decided who got money and how much?
  14. The DoJ funded leftist organizations. Two examples were National Council of La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and the National Urban League.
  15. Obama and his team negotiated with the Taliban. What is the real truth, how much money did we give the terror organization and where are the Taliban 5 released from Gitmo today?
  16. Several on the Democrat side of the House of Representatives hired a rogue team of IT professionals that were not vetted and had access to computer systems and passwords causing more national security threats. Why? Who was fired, who is responsible? Are there more we don’t know about?

Once again, this is hardly a comprehensive list, we must know more. We want consequences. build the case, tell us what we need to know going forward.




Putin Financing Marine Le Pen’s Presidential Run

Marine Le Pen’s links to Russia under US scrutiny

Image result for marine le pen and putin

Ms Le Pen’s Front National party has made no secret of the fact that it has taken foreign loans to help bankroll its presidential campaigns because, it has argued, French banks refuse to stump up the funds.

But in light of allegations of Russian interference in the US election of Donald Trump, scrutiny has now turned to Ms Le Pen, who is polled to reach the final round of France’s presidential elections in May.

In an extract of a letter dated November 28 to James Clapper, who heads up 17 American intelligence organisations and agencies, he notes that the Front National “publicly acknowledged that it had received a $9.8 million loan from a Russian bank with links to the Kremlin, allegedly brokered by a sanctioned Russian Duma deputy, according to French press reporting.”

The bank in question was First Czech Russian Bank (FCRB) in Moscow. Mr Turner goes on: “In February 2016, the FN asked Russia for a $30 million load to fund the FN leader Marine Le Pen’s 2017 campaign. More here from the Telegraph.

dgse franceFITSANAKIS: France’s primary intelligence agency warned the country’s government this week that Russia has launched a secret operation to try to influence the outcome of the upcoming French presidential election in favor of the far right. According to the Paris-based weekly newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné, France’s Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) has notified the country’s leadership that a covert operation by the Kremlin is already underway, and is expected to intensify in the run-up to April’s election. The spy agency allegedly believes that Russian efforts aim to promote Marine Le Pen, leader of the ultra-right National Front. Le Pen wants to curb immigration to France and remove the country from the European Union.

In an article published on Wednesday, Le Canard Enchaîné said the DGSE’s warning has alarmed the Élysée Palace. The paper also said that French President François Hollande, who chairs the country’s defense council, has decided to devote the entire agenda of the council’s next meeting to the subject of Russia’s alleged interference in the election. Anonymous sources told the paper that, according to a classified DGSE report, Russian spy agencies are using automated systems designed to “fill the Internet with tens of millions” of articles, images and memes that support the National Front candidate. Additionally, several news media that are controlled by Moscow will try to discredit Le Pen’s rivals for the presidency. At the same time, websites such as WikiLeaks —which some American commentators accuse of working with Moscow— will publish leaked information designed to damage Le Pen’s competitors.

The Le Canard Enchaîné allegations sound very similar to accusations leveled against the Kremlin by American intelligence agencies and by members of the United States Democratic Party. However, these allegations have not been supported by concrete evidence, and Russia denies that it had any involvement in last November’s presidential election in the US, which was won by Donald Trump.

*** Meanwhile…. As top U.S. commanders are sounding the alarm of the forgotten war in Afghanistan due to the terror factions operating there including the even more deadly Taliban, Russia is legitimizing them to counter NATO. Are the Western leaders nurturing relationships with the Kremlin good with that as coalition countries have troops in Afghanistan?

Image result for russia taliban

In part from The Hill:

“The Russian involvement this year has become more difficult,” Gen. John Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “First, they have begun to publicly legitimize the Taliban. This narrative that they promote is that the Taliban are fighting Islamic State and the Afghan government is not fighting Islamic State and that, therefore, there could be spillover of this group into the region. This is a false narrative.”

“I believe its intent is to undermine the United States and NATO,” he later added.

Nicholson was testifying about the current situation in Afghanistan, which he called a stalemate that he needs a few thousand more troops to break.

Among the challenges in the country are the actions of external actors such as Pakistan, Iran and Russia, Nicholson said.

He said Russia’s meddling in Afghanistan started in 2016 and continues to increase.

In addition to spreading a narrative that the Taliban is fighting the Afghan branch of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Russia has also organized a series of meetings to discuss the future of Afghanistan without inviting the Afghan government, Nicholson said. More here.