department of homeland security

Department of Homeland Security

Protects the "homeland". Cabinet-level department started by the Bush administration after the September 11 attacks, with the first Secretary being Tom Ridge, who was followed by Michael Chertoff. Agencies included in the DHS are the Secret Service, the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, and several lesser-known groups.

This site mainly concentrates on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and, to a lesser extent, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The first - lately run by Julie Myers - concentrates on looking like they're enforcing our laws at the same time as not really enforcing our laws in order to maintain a ready supply of cheap labor for crooked businesses.

Last modified Dec 10, 2008
Discussed in (click each link for the full post):

DHS admits Obama is deporting fewer illegal aliens than George W. Bush - 03/12/14

So much for the "Deporter in Chief". Pro-illegal immigration activists and incurious members of the establishment media have tried to claim that Barack Obama has deported more illegal aliens than George W Bush.

That's despite the fact that back on September 28, 2011 Obama admitted this [1]:

DHS nominee Jeh Johnson supports Senate immigration amnesty bill, prosecutorial discretion - 12/13/13

Jeh Johnson is the nominee to be the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and it appears he'll be confirmed. He recently sent a letter to Republican senators, obtained by Politico and which is in this PDF file: link.

Senate amnesty: DHS Sec'y could decide to give illegal aliens citizenship (Napolitano) - 02/04/13

From this:

Under a bipartisan Senate framework, Democrats say, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano would have final say over whether the border is secure enough to put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

Confirmed: DHS held off on arresting illegal alien intern of Sen. Bob Menendez until after election - 12/12/12

[UPDATE: This has been confirmed, see the update below]

From this (bolding added):

Democratic Party 2012 platform on immigration: why it's wrong - 09/04/12

The section about immigration in the Democratic Party 2012 platform is below. It only has broad outlines and countless Democratic leaders have repeated these same things many times before.

They were wrong then, and the platform is wrong now (see each link for the details):

GOP 2012 Platform on immigration - 08/29/12

The following are all of the excerpts in the GOP 2012 platform that mention immigration.

The entire text is available here: scribd.com/doc/104097929/Final-Language-GOP-Platform-2012

Obama admin cooked the books: deportations are below 2008 and 2009 - 08/27/12

From their press release [1]:

The House Judiciary Committee has obtained internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) documents, which show that the Obama administration is cooking the books to achieve their so-called ‘record’ deportation numbers for illegal immigrants and that removals are actually significantly down – not up – from 2009.

Up to 1.8 million illegal aliens will be eligible for Obama's DREAM Act policy - 08/07/12

From this:

Nearly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants could have their deportations suspended for two years, and legally obtain jobs here, under President Obama’s recent policy to give them leniency.

ICE rep: DHS is just letting illegal aliens go (Obama's DREAM Act) - 07/26/12

The video below shows Chris Crane of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council - a union representing 7200 ICE officers and employees - claiming that the orders from the Department of Homeland Security are to just release those who claim to be covered by Obama's DREAM Act

Supreme Court guts Arizona immigration law SB1070; who won, what to do - 06/25/12

[SEE UPDATE BELOW]

The US Supreme Court has struck down three of the four parts of the Arizona immigration law SB 1070, making the law largely ineffective.

Obama passes DREAM Act by executive fiat; who's to blame; what to do - 06/15/12

The Barack Obama administration has bypassed Congress and passed what amounts to the DREAM Act by executive fiat (link).

Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio help deprive Third World of an honor student (also: Frederica Wilson, David Rivera, Ros Lehtinen, Napolitano, Reid) - 03/08/12

On the surface, the story of an illegal alien Florida honor student who was going to be deported but who now has a two year reprieve (link) sounds like a heartwarming tale; good luck finding anyone in the media not presenting it as such.

Obama admin shutting down 287g immigration enforcement program - 02/17/12

From this:

The Obama administration is starting to shut down a program that deputized local police officers to act as immigration agents.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have trained local officers around the country to act as their agencies' immigration officers. Working either in jails or in the field, the officers can check the immigration status of suspects and place immigration holds on them.

Temporary Protected Status extended 18 more months (El Salvador) - 01/10/12

As you can see by the next link, nothing says "Permanent" quite like Temporary Protected Status. That government program allows foreign citizens to stay in the U.S. on a "temporary" basis due to disasters or strife in their homelands. It's important to note that those covered by it are here legally: they aren't illegal aliens. The issue is that TPS keeps getting extended year after year.

Obama voting push: relaxes Green Card wait time for illegal alien family members (Luis Gutierrez) - 01/06/12

From this:

Obama administration officials announced on Friday that they will propose a fix to a notorious snag in immigration law that will spare hundreds of thousands of American citizens from prolonged separations from immigrant spouses and children.

DHS gives in to Luis Gutierrez demand to halt a deportation; Gutierrez keeps promoting bad policy - 01/04/12

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois) recently attempted to block the deportation of an illegal alien who'd been put in deportation proceedings, and the Department of Homeland Security gave in.

DOJ investigation claims Sheriff Joe Arpaio engaged in "unconstitutional policing" (immigration, Arizona, Maricopa County) - 12/15/11

The Department of Justice's politically-motivated quasi-witchhunt of Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has concluded with a report claiming that Arpaio engaged in "unconstitutional policing" and unreasonably targeted Latinos.

Is Elizabeth Warren fake? (opposes Secure Communities immigration enforcement) - 09/20/11

Elizabeth Warren is a minor leftwing idol who's vying for Scott Brown's Massachusetts senate seat. She's presented by her supporters (in and out of the media) as the great protector of the middle class.

If so, why is she taking a corrupt position that would harm the middle class while helping the rich?

Dozens of pro-illegal immigration groups were invited to Obama's mini-amnesty rollout and you weren't - 08/25/11

On August 18, Barack Obama's Department of Homeland Security announced an administrative amnesty that could cover 300,000 or more illegal aliens.

Obama declares administrative mini-amnesty: will review all 300,000 facing deportation hearings (UPDATE: open the floodgates?) - 08/18/11

Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that he can't declare a blanket amnesty via executive order to cover all the 10-12+ million illegal aliens in the U.S. However, he's just come close by declaring a mini-amnesty that will cover up to 300,000 illegal aliens (link).

Big Business wants more skilled immigration; Alejandro Mayorkas does their bidding as fast as he can (USCIS, U.S. Chamber, NFAP, AILA, Jacoby, USCCB) - 08/18/11

The National Foundation for American Policy has released a compendium of suggestions to increase skilled immigration [1]. The groups offering suggestions include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AILA, and Tamar Jacoby; see [2] for more.

DHS makes Secure Communities nationwide, no opt-out (so far). Lofgren, ACLU, NAKASEC, FIRM, CHIRLA, ICIRR, MIRA, Frank Sharry, NIF outraged. - 08/08/11

From this comes some good news for a change:

The Department of Homeland Security notified 39 governors Friday that the fingerprint-sharing program did not need their approval to operate in their states, and said it had voided agreements they had signed to authorize their states' participation, according to a copy of the letter.

DHS now using loopholes to allow more skilled immigration, no legislation required (Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS) - 08/03/11

The Department of Homeland Security's USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced yesterday that they're going to be allowing more skilled immigration, even as millions of Americans - including tech workers - are unemployed.

DHS officials misled about backdoor amnesty for illegal aliens (Houston, John Morton) - 06/27/11

From this:

Homeland Security officials misled the public and Congress last year in an effort to downplay a wave of immigration case dismissals in Houston and other cities amid accusations that they had created a "back-door amnesty," newly released records show.

Lax DHS policies resulted in illegal alien drunk driver killing a nun - 03/04/11

Due to lax policies on the part of the Department of Homeland Security, an illegal alien who had been convicted of drunk driving and had a series of other run-ins with police was not deported immediately. Instead, he was put into DHS' "Alternatives to Detention" program and in August 2010 he drove drunk and killed a nun and seriously injured two other nuns.

Read about it here, including the following from a report that the DHS appears to have tried to keep secret:

On May 7, 2009, after Montano served the portion of his sentence that had not been suspended, ICE took him into custody. Based on Montano's compliance during his prior participation in the ATD program, ICE officers released Montano on the prior order of supervision (dating back to 2008) with the condition that he report to ICE on a regular basis.

One excuse the DHS gives is that they had limited space in detention centers. Yet, John Morton thinks ICE has enough resources and wasn't demanding more funding.

Note also that this happened in Prince William County, home of the pro-illegal immigration, anti-white racists at 9500 Liberty whose documentary was promoted by Youtube corporate. Discrediting 9500 Liberty wouldn't have prevented this tragedy, but it might have increased the likelihood of stronger enforcement in that county. Unfortunately, few are willing and able to discredit those like 9500 Liberty, and some - like teaparty "patriot" Dan Riehl - actively try to block those whose coverage could be used to discredit far-left, anti-white, and pro-illegal immigration groups.

Border Patrol used beanbags against armed bandits (Brian Terry) - 03/03/11

From this:

Border Patrol agents shot beanbags at a group of suspected bandits before the men returned fire during a confrontation in a remote canyon, killing agent Brian Terry with a single gunshot, records show...

...The (FBI) documents say the group of illegal border entrants refused commands to drop their weapons after agents confronted them at about 11:15 p.m. Two agents fired beanbags at the migrants, who responded with gunfire. Two agents returned fire, one with a long gun and one with a pistol, but Terry was mortally wounded in the gunfight...

Terry's brother, Kent Terry, said the other agents who were there that night told him that they were instructed to use the non-lethal beanbags first. It's a policy that doesn't make sense to Kent Terry.

"You go up against a bandit crew that is carrying AKs, and you walk out there with guns loaded with beanbags - I don't get it," Terry said in a phone interview from Michigan. "It's like going to the Iraqi war with one knife. It boggles my mind. ... These guys (Border Patrol agents) are professionals; they should be able to use their judgment call on their own."

It's worth recalling the 2004 controversy surrounding the Border Patrol's use of non-lethal weapons. George P Bush - nephew of George W Bush - spoke out against those weapons and later somewhat backtracked. But, not before the Mexican government threatened to sue. No doubt there's a combination of reasons why the DHS would use beanbags: they're worried about unarmed people being shot, they don't really want to stop the flow of people and (perhaps less likely) drugs, and they're worried about suits from the Mexican government and their little helpers in the U.S. such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and MALDEF.

If you don't like the current situation, it's possible to somewhat neuter those last groups by helping discredit them. Unfortunately, and while I'm grateful for any help I've received, after years of not getting much help I'm not too hopeful. The loudest opposition to Barack Obama - the tea parties - concern themselves with not much more than trying to help the Koch family make more money. Discrediting groups that support illegal immigration is beyond their abilities, but so too is helping those who are able to discredit such groups.

3/9/11 UPDATE: Janet Napolitano appeared before Congress today (link):

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional panel Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and his fellow agents were not under orders to refrain from using lethal force in a December gunbattle near the Mexican border that resulted in Mr. Terry´s death.

Testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Miss Napolitano said agents are allowed to use lethal force “if you are under threat of serious injury or death.” She said she herself had asked whether the four agents involved in the Dec. 14 shootout with bandits on the border in Arizona had their hands tied by orders, and she said the answer is “absolutely not.”

“Our lethal force policy is the same as virtually every law enforcement agency in the country - that is, if you are under threat of serious injury or death, you may use lethal force,” Miss Napolitano said.

I believe that's what we already knew. The issue is that the agents might have been too scared - due to law suits and the like - to initially confront the smugglers with real guns.

GAO: DHS has "operational control" of just 44% of the border; only 15% is "controlled" - 02/17/11

According to a new GAO (Government Accountability Office) report, the Department of Homeland Security only has "operational control" of 44% of the U.S.-Mexico border, and only 15% of the border is "controlled" (the highest level that GAO measured). A write-up is here and the PDF is at this link.

On the plus side, the percentage under operational control has been rising over the past five years (see the chart in the PDF). And, in some cases (such as around Big Bend in Texas) the terrain might make crossing much more difficult and thus much less likely than around San Diego. Note also that the definitions of whether an area is secure doesn't necessarily mean that someone wouldn't be able to cross the border, just that they'd eventually be caught in that region:

Border Patrol’s definition of operational control considers the extent to which its agents can detect and apprehend illegal entries, but does not require agents to have the ability to detect and apprehend all illegal entries, according to officials in Border Patrol’s Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis Division. Yuma sector, for example, reported operational control for all of its border miles although Border Patrol did not have the ability to detect and apprehend illegal entries who use ultra-light aircraft and tunnels.8 In fiscal year 2009 Yuma sector reported that of the known illegal entries, about half were apprehended somewhere in the sector, about 40 percent were turned back across the border sometime after entry, and about 10 percent were "got aways."

Nearly two-thirds of the 1,120 southwest border miles that had not yet achieved operational control were reported at the “monitored” level, meaning that across these miles, the probability of detecting illegal cross-border activity was high; however, the ability to respond was defined by accessibility to the area or availability of resources (see fig. 5). The remaining miles were reported at “low-level monitored,” meaning that resources or infrastructure inhibited detection or interdiction of cross-border illegal activity. Border Patrol reported that these two levels of control were not acceptable for border security.

DHS cover up of WMD smuggled into U.S.? San Diego port CBP official interview - 02/14/11

The video below shows an interview in which a Border Patrol official seems to admit that some form of "mass effect" device, aka WMD, was caught being smuggled into the U.S. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security denies that such an incident ever happened.

Obviously, there are a lot of possibilities here. The DHS could be lying (which wouldn't be surprising). The DHS official could be following orders to try to scare people (see Were terror alerts faked to elect Bush?) If you're on the fringe, maybe the DHS could be planning a false flag operation designed to crack down on civil liberties. Or, maybe the official was just confused.

An unedited version of the video is at peekURL.com/vq5xepC (around 5:50).

Here's the relevant portion of the interview (link) with "Al Hallor, who is the assistant port director and an officer with Customs and Border Protection":

"So, specifically, you're looking for the dirty bomb? You're looking for the nuclear device?" asked [10News investigative reporter Mitch Blacher].

"Correct. Weapons of mass effect," Hallor said.

"You ever found one?" asked Blacher.

"Not at this location," Hallor said.

"But they have found them?" asked Blacher.

"Yes," said Hallor.

"You never found one in San Diego though?" Blacher asked.

"I would say at the port of San Diego we have not," Hallor said.

"Have you found one in San Diego?" Blacher asked.

At that point, a public relations flack who's been shadowing the two of them throughout the interview stops his reply. She says something about having to check whether they've found such devices.

After the interview, the DHS released the following statement. Note that only the first sentence concerns the interview, the rest is just useless verbage:

CBP has not specifically had any incidents with nuclear devices or nuclear materials at our ports of entry. CBP is an all-threats agency. The purpose of many security measures is to prevent threats from ever materializing by being prepared for them. And, we must be prepared to stop threats in whatever form they do materialize at the border, whether it’s an individual or cargo arriving by land, air, or sea. Regardless of what the contraband or threat is, we’re being smart, evaluating, and focusing in on anything or anyone that is potentially high-risk.

We were able to show you first-hand one example of how we evaluate segment risk, inspect, etc. in the cargo environment by air and sea here in San Diego. This is one portion of the CBP mission, and hopefully gives you some examples of how much has evolved in the past decade, with the new technologies we have at our disposal. This, coupled with document requirements at the border, advanced passenger and cargo information, better information sharing, and many other measures help us to secure the border - and each measure doesn’t work individually or in a vacuum, but rather in the layered security that we were able to demonstrate one facet of.

DHS uses Giffords shooting to push loose borders political agenda (Jared Lee Loughner, American Renaissance) - 01/09/11

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: AmRen has been cleared, and Fox's memo wasn't even from the DHS. See the updates below.]

The Department of Homeland Security and various media sources are using the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords by Jared Lee Loughner as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (DHS memo at [1], report at [2]). Not only do they get that group's ideas wrong, but they mislead about what was in Loughner's videos and what appears to have been on his MySpace page.

From the memo at [1]:

no direct connection - but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic.

I didn't see Loughner's MySpace page, which has since been taken down. There's a supposed picture of it here, with nothing I can see about AmRen. I watched (and saved) his Youtube videos and there was nothing in there about AmRen. Further, AmRen responds here:

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.

Not only did the memo get their ideas wrong, but Google shows just eight other pages mentioning Giffords at their site; none of those focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.

This latest smear is of a piece with the DHS' rightwing extremists report, something that they were even criticized for by Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson. In this case, you don't have to be an AmRen supporter to oppose smears of them, especially when done to push a loose borders agenda.

The DHS has always been a highly political agency, whether under George W Bush or under Barack Obama, and the goal of their leadership is the same under both: look like they're doing their job while - at least when it comes to immigration - trying not to do the job they should be doing.

The entry point of the smear was a blog posting by Greta van Susteren of Fox News [1]. A later Fox News report [3] subtly changes the provenance of the memo, and an Associated Press report by Eileen Sullivan refers not to the memo but an anonymous source [4].

1/10/11 UPDATE: From Greg Sargent of the Washington Post (link):

a DHS official tells me that the department has not established any such possibility [as outlined in the memo], undercutting what appears to be the primary basis for this claim...

But DHS has not officially provided any such information to any law enforcement officials, the DHS official says.

"We have not established any such possible link," the official says...

The official cautions it's conceivable that a law enforcement official got unofficial info from a DHS official somewhere along the lines of what Fox reported. But he emphasizes that DHS has not even concluded in any official way that even the possibility of such ties exists. The official adds that it wouldn't be DHS's place to reach any such conclusion in the first place, since the FBI is leading the investigation.

1/11/11 UPDATE 1: On the ninth (before Sargent's post above), Patrik Jonsson of the Christian Science Monitor offered "American Renaissance: Was Jared Lee Loughner tied to anti-immigrant group?" (link). While it includes AmRen's denial and a "hate" monitor questioning whether there could be a link, the article also smears by asking the titular question and not, for instance, by questioning the DHS over what they were thinking.

David Greenberg of The New Republic links (link) to the article with the following, reaching a conclusion that even Jonsson was unwilling to make:

Jared Lee Loughner, is reported to have admired Mein Kampf and claimed ties to the anti-Semitic hate group called American Renaissance.

If he had claimed such ties, we certainly would have heard about it; Greenberg apparently can't read.

1/11/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen has been cleared and Fox's memo wasn't even from the DHS. From this:

David Denlinger, commander of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center acknowledged that the document came from his agency, but contained errors and overstated the link between Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old charged with shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others outside a Tucson supermarket, and American Renaissance.

“I do have no reason to believe in anything that we did that (Loughner) had any direct connection or was being directed by American Renaissance,” Denlinger, an Arizona state police major, told POLITICO Tuesday.

The ACTIC - also known as the "Arizona Fusion Center" is per azactic.gov "a joint effort between the Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other participating agencies".

There's much more about this at the link above; while past reports from Kenneth Vogel of The Politico have shown bias, he seems to have done a good job with this report.

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

-------------
[1] From this:

Below is a note from my FNC colleague Jennifer Griffin: (by the way, the fact that my blogs focus on Congresswoman Giffords in no way is meant to take away from the other victims and their families. The tragedy is immeasurable and words inadequate.)
----

Per Griffin

This is an internal memo obtained by Fox News put out by DHS compiling facts known so far about the case - new - shooter's mother worked for Pima board of supervisers and the suspected anti-Semitic motivation of the shooter.

MEMO:
"The investigation has been taken over by the FBI, and is being run through the Tucson Command Post. Here's what can be confirmed at this time (1800 hrs)... * Gabrielle Giffords Is in ICU.* Federal judge John Roll is deceased. He did rule on a 32 million dollar civil rights lawsuit in February, 2010. That ruling brought death threats to Roll and his family, and for a time he was given a protection detail.* 6 deaths attributed to the shooting. 19 total people hit by gunfire.* suspect’s mother works for the Pima County Board of Supervisors* the suspect has multiple arrests ... But no criminal record? Intervention by someone?* no direct connection - but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.* DHS have a list of names and dates of birth of all victims.* the ACTIC is still playing a major role in the investigation... Computer forensics is cleaning up the surveillance videos, and images from around the scene, and involved in the investigation - working together, was MCSO, DPS, Phoenix PD, ICE, and of course the FBI. It did just come in from the command post, that the federal judge was Not originally scheduled to attend the meeting, according to wife. She stated that he received a phone call about an hour before and was invited to attend. Wrong place - wrong time. For the planning side, there are impromptu memorials popping up all over the state, but the largest one is downtown phoenix, at the capital."

[2] politico.com/news/stories/0111/47308.html by Maggie Haberman of the Politico.

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

Haberman even works in a quote from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center who, to his slight credit, admits that Taylor isn't anti-Semitic.

[3] A newer report by Fox (link) only refers to the memo as a "law enforcement memo based on information provided by the Department of Homeland Security".

[4] From this:

An official familiar with the Arizona shooting investigation said Sunday that local authorities are looking at a possible connection between accused gunman Jared Loughner and an online group known for white supremacist, anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation, said local authorities were examining the American Renaissance website for possible motives for Saturday's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several others shot; Palin, Tea Party candidate - 01/08/11

UPDATES BELOW

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot earlier today and there are conflicting reports on whether she and others were killed. Per this:

The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, "point blank". According to [an eyewitness, Steven Rayle], who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot... After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old... The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was "not particularly well-dressed"; he didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," Rayle said.

There are certainly many possible motivations, and just one of the many is that the shooter is affiliated with the tea parties or libertarians movements. Both of those groups haven't shied away from painting their opponents in the worst terms possible and engaging in apocalyptic language. Sometimes that's included implied violence, such as in the two following graphics.

The first is from Sarah Palin's website and shows several Congressmen's districts in what appear to be gun crosshairs. Palin has since removed this from her site.

In March, Giffords spoke out about a window being broken at her office and various death threats, saying (link):

"Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action."

The second is from Giffords' former opponent, Jesse Kelly announcing a June 12, 2010 campaign event:

"Get on Target for Victory in November
Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly"

Once again: this might be completely unrelated to the teaparties, to Palin, or to politics at all. However, the atmosphere of implied violence that the teaparties have helped create is not helpful to those who want to oppose the far-left in constructive ways such as with the question authority plan.

1pm UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that the suspect's name is Jared Laughner.

1:12pm UPDATE: The suspect's name might actually be Jared Lee Loughner.

1:25pm UPDATE: The video below appears to be from the suspect (cached in case it's deleted). In it he says:

You don't have to accept the federalist laws... read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws... I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar... No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver... No! I won't trust in God!

3:15pm UPDATE: @caitieparker claims she "went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman". I was skeptical because she initially spelled his name "Laughner", but she now says "it's loughner just checked my year book". She also says (in successive tweets):

He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent"
he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since '07 in a sign language class
As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy
he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in '06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.
more left [wing]. I haven't seen him since '07 though. He became very reclusive.
I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing.

1/9/11 UPDATE: Doctors are optimistic that Giffords will recover, however six other people are dead. The gunman had a second magazine that jammed; otherwise it might be even worse.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is using this as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, stupidly focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (Maggie Haberman, Politico, link).

A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.

Haberman even works in a quote from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, from this:

Jared Taylor called DHS' views "scurrilous" and took especial issue with the reference to his group being "anti-ZOG."

"That is complete nonsense," he said. "I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term 'ZOG.' We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us."

Taylor, who earned a BA in philosophy from Yale in 1973 and a master's degree in international economics from the prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris ("Paris Institute of Political Studies," in English) in 1978, says he had never heard of Loughner until yesterday. Taylor says he checked his organization's records going back twenty years and Loughner never subscribed to AmRen's publications.

Taylor says he also has no indication that Loughner ever attended any of AmRen's events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.

I'm not that familiar with AmRen, but any ties Loughner had would probably be to libertarian-oriented groups on the far fringes. The DHS is just showing yet again how incompetent they are.

Also, Giffords' announcement of the event is here. She doesn't mention anyone else who'd be attending, and cops have said that she was the target. One of those killed was Judge John Roll who was involved in immigration issues (including deciding against rancher Roger Barnett, link). Death threats were made against Roll over that, but at least at this time it doesn't appear that it was public information that he was going to be at the event.

1/9/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen responds here:

American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.

AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.

Google shows just eight other pages mentioning her at their site and none focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.

1/9/11 UPDATE 3: Loughner's first Youtube video was uploaded on November 22, 2010. That's the anniversary of the JFK assassination; whether it's just a coincidence isn't known.

And, Giffords' Youtube account (youtube.com/user/giffords2) has just two subscriptions, one to Rep. Ike Skelton and the other to Loughner. Image attached. How exactly that happened is not clear.

ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation

ICE cooked the books on record number of deportations - 12/21/10

Earlier this month, the George Soros-funded Center for Investigative Reporting offered this:

For much of this year, the Obama administration touted its tougher-than-ever approach to immigration enforcement, culminating in a record number of deportations.

But in reaching 392,862 deportations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement included more than 19,000 immigrants who had exited the previous fiscal year, according to agency statistics. ICE also ran a Mexican repatriation program five weeks longer than ever before, allowing the agency to count at least 6,500 exits that, without the program, would normally have been tallied by the U.S. Border Patrol.

When ICE officials realized in the final weeks of the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, that the agency still was in jeopardy of falling short of last year's mark, it scrambled to reach the goal. Officials quietly directed immigration officers to bypass backlogged immigration courts and time-consuming deportation hearings whenever possible, internal e-mails and interviews show...

They did that for the same reasons that George W Bush conducted high-profile immigration raids: to make comprehensive immigration reform or lesser amnesties such as the DREAM Act more likely. Obviously their efforts failed, and the question now becomes whether they're going to cut back on deportations and try to ramp up what amounts to de facto amnesty.

U.S. bows to United Nations Human Rights Council, ACLU helps (Arizona, SB1070) - 11/05/10

In Geneva today the United Nations Human Rights Council met to assess the U.S.'s record on human rights, or at least human rights as they see them. And, as previously discussed, the report from the U.S. government mentions Arizona's recent SB1070 immigration law. While I downplayed the significance of this in the earlier post, perhaps I should raise the alert level given that one of the groups involved in complaining to the U.N. about the U.S. is the American Civil Liberties Union; more on them below.

From this:

The United States is submitting its human rights record to the scrutiny of other nations - both allies and adversaries - for the first time, as the Obama administration opens itself up to a committee shunned by his predecessor... The 30-strong delegation, headed by three top State Department officials and including representatives from many departments, including Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, arrives in Geneva with a 20-page report compiled with the input of civic and social organizations.

The ACLU's report [1] oddly enough doesn't mention Arizona; the two immigration topics they focus on are Stipulated Removal (specifically mentioning Postville) and the ability of illegal aliens to sue over workplace issues (Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB). To read their summary, they must think they live in Libya rather than what they're actually doing: helping countries like Libya.

Even if their report doesn't mention Arizona, Alessandra Soler Meetze of the Arizona ACLU is in Geneva, and she promises she'll bring up the topic of SB1070 [2]. She's being accompanied by day laborers center operator Salvador Reza [3].

[1] Download it from
aclu.org/human-rights/un-universal-periodic-review-submission
[2] aclu.org/blog/human-rights-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/
holding-america-accountable-international-human-r
[3] blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2010/11/
jan_brewer_on_blast_at_united.php

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