The Obama Administration was the executive branch of the federal government under Democrat President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. It began on January 20, 2009 for a term of four years, and then for a second four-year term that ended on January 20, 2017.
- 1 2009–2013: First term
- 1.1 2009–2013: Economic Policy
- 1.2 2009–2013: Domestic affairs
- 1.3 2009–2013: Foreign Policy
- 1.3.1 Arab Spring
- 1.3.2 Iraq
- 1.3.3 Guantanamo Bay
- 1.3.4 Iran
- 1.3.5 Russia Reset
- 1.3.6 Afghanistan War
- 1.3.7 Bahrain
- 1.3.8 Eygpt
- 1.3.9 Mexico
- 1.4 2010 Midterms
- 2 2013–2017: Second term
- 2.1 2013–2017: Domestic affairs
- 2.2 2013–2017: Foreign policy
- 2.3 2013–2017: Economic policy
- 3 Senior Staff
- 4 Cabinet
- 5 Czars
- 6 Presidential Actions
- 7 Overweight Obama administration officials
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
2009–2013: First term
Under Obama's stewardship, the United States underwent the largest deficits to date and a credit downgrade from the rating agency Standard & Poor. Poverty increased to levels not seen in 50 years.
Portions of his signature legislative achievement, ObamaCare, federal courts ruled unconstitutional and was credited as a major cause of uncertainty, high unemployment, lagging job creation, and risk of a credit default crisis. The SCOTUS later upheld the legality of the Democratic party forcing Americans into involuntary contracts, the so-called 'individual mandate'. Since the rejection of his party's agenda in the 2010 Midterm elections,
Obama continued class warfare, misuse of wiretapping authority, and harassment of political opponents through government agencies. He then turned to canceling enforcement of the nation's immigration laws by Executive Order and gun control as major policy initiatives in his second term.
While 'turning the page' on the War on Terror, the rate of terrorist attacks in the United States initially went from three under President George W. Bush's eight years in office (9/11 attacks on the World Trade Towers, the 9/11 attack on Pentagon and the 9/11 hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania)  to at least four per year. A total of 78 incidents have been numbered on US soil during his tenure and the number of radical Islamic terrorists increased exponentially across the globe. At the time of the Bush administration, estimates were of approximately 12,000 jihadis worldwide; with the creation of the Islamic State during Obama's tenure, estimates remain at 15,000, with Pentagon claiming to have killed an additional 30,000. A significant rise and emboldenment in jihadi recruiting occurred under Obama.
|“||oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills||”|
A Republican revival took form as the party won gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, and the Democrats continued in disarray in New York, Texas and California. Even more dramatic was the win by Republican Scott Brown of the Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy in Massachusetts, which was widely interpreted as a referendum on Obama's policies.
By the Spring of Obama's second year, only 38% of voters surveyed said Obama deserves re-election, with 55% wanting someone new.
2009–2013: Economic Policy
Warren L. Dean Jr., an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, wrote:
- Washington has done more during Mr. Obama’s term in office to promote wealth and income inequality than at any other time in history.
Following the Recession of 2008 Obama declared that failure to pass his Economic stimulus would turn a "crisis into a catastrophe," and promised Unemployment would not rise above 7.8%. The House on Jan. 28 passed a stimulus package of $819 billion in new spending and tax increases, despite unanimous Republican opposition. A revised bill passed the Senate with three Republican votes. A compromise bill known as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" was passed, providing for $789 billion in new spending and stimulus.
Detroit spread gloom on Feb. 17 as GM starkly warned of impending bankruptcy unless it gets more aid. By August, both Chrysler and GM had entered bankruptcy, and come out again in much smaller size, as they closed a fourth of their dealerships, slashed wage rates, and repaid creditors with 29 cents on the dollar. The government gave Chrysler away free to Fiat of Italy, which acquired ownership without investing any money. Meanwhile, the part makers, which employ more workers than the Big Three automakers, verged on disaster and begged for billions. The "cash for clunkers" proved to be a boondoggle for the rich at a cost of $3 billion to the Treasury.
Obama policies unpopular and controversial
In the view of 51 mostly conservative economists polled by the Wall Street Journal in July 2009, the Obama administration's economic program is problematic. President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner both got an average grade of 70 out of 100 for their handling of the financial crisis, but those grades varied widely. Former President Bush and ex-Treasury chief Paulson received average grades of 50 and 60, respectively, when economists were asked how they handled the crisis while in office. By contrast, Fed chairman Bernanke scored much better, with an average grade of 85.
The economists were pessimistic, predicting the economy would shed another 2.8 million jobs over the next 12 months after the presidents program was passed. Economists see a one-in-six chance that the U.S. will fall into a depression, defined as a decline in per-person GDP or consumption by 10% or more. They gave equally poor marks to the efforts of other countries to end the recession.
The economists, however, were broadly supportive of the Federal Reserve. Over 85% agreed that its proliferating lending programs are well-designed, well-executed and helping the economy.
In June 2009 public opinion was favorable toward Obama personally, but increasingly dubious about his plans to overhaul health care, bailout the auto industry and close the prison at Guantánamo Bay. With a positive job approval rating of 63% , Mr. Obama had the backing of Democrats and independents alike, with only 23% of Republicans expressing approval. Support for Obama's foreign policies and terrorism policies originally was high at 57-59%.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin constituted Obama's transition team of Economic Advisers. Rubin was being sharply criticized for his role in the collapse of Citigroup which needed $45 billion in federal bailout money. Buffett, after the inauguration, spoke out against the administration's declared objective of not allowing "a crisis to go to waste"  and Obama's massive tax increase on the needy and those least able to afford it.
FY 2010 Budget
The Democratic-controlled Congress by a party-line vote in late April passed the budget Obama proposed in late February. It called for $3.4 trillion in new spending, not counting the $787 billion in stimulus spending approved in February, nor the trillions in loan guarantees to banks. The 2010 budget allocated $1.2 trillion for defense, and an additional $130 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nondefense spending increased by 8% or $40 billion. The budget allowed the Obama health plan, which had not yet been written, to move through Congress on a fast track with no risk of filibuster.
The Tax Foundation says that 44% of all tax filers have no tax liability and most of those will get a check from the government, especially from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and credits for college tuition and child care. The Wall Street Journal noted about Obama's plan that, "Once upon a time we called this 'welfare'".
The Budget assumes a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion for 2009, or 12.3% of GDP—the highest deficit in percentage terms since World War II. The budget reordered priorities to provide national health care and raise the federal spending on schools.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the Obama plans will raise the national debt far more than Obama admitted. The CBO says the Obama plan will cause total deficits over the next ten years of $9.3 trillion, compared to Obama's estimate of "only" 7 trillion. The annual GDP by contrast is about $15 trillion. Senator Judd Gregg says that Obama's budget will double the national debt in five years and triple it in ten.
Obama proposed a carbon cap and trade system, increasing taxes for families and businesses. The cost to energy consumers would be an additional $645 billion between 2012 and 2019, which will result in higher prices. Rep. John Boehner said, "Let's just be honest and call it a carbon tax that will increase taxes on all Americans who drive a car, who have a job, who turn on a light switch, pure and simple."
The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee was conservative Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota, a deficit hawk who said he was "very uncomfortable with the build-up of debt" and urged Obama to make good on his promise to overhaul federal retirement and health-care programs. Conrad called for "more discipline on the spending side."
The Obama Administration based its domestic policies on the assumption of a rapid economic recovery generating the tax revenue needed to fund permanent new spending program for Obamacare and "greening the economy". Administration forecasts were more starry-eyed than private sector forecasts. Both parties agree that stimulus spending is needed to deal with the recession but Congress is unlikely to approve permanent new spending programs unless the economy improves, since a large number of conservative Democrats were elected who may vote with Republicans to keep down spending and deficits.
FY 2011 Budget Obama's first two budget deficits (FY 2009 and FY 2010) were more than $1 trillion, or 9% of GDP. The Democratic Congress failed to pass, and President Obama did not sign, a budget for fiscal year 2011, as required by law. But the administration continued spending anyway with a deficit projected to be at least another $1 trillion again for 2011. Combined with a shrinking economy, the publicly held federal debt increased by over 20% of GDP in Obama's first two years, and was projected to increase by another 7% in 2011. Experts warned the President that deficits of this size were not sustainable in the long run because the federal debt cannot indefinitely grow faster than economic output. Eventually a greater and greater share of national income would be devoted to interest payments, until eventually the government would be forced to finance the debt through money creation (inflation) or default.
The President emphasized his proposal to freeze for three years non-defense discretionary spending. Economist Martin Feldstein observed the president's plan would not apply to backdoor spending: increases in mandatory spending programs and tax ependitures—new tax rules that substitute for increased government spending, like refundable tax credits.
FY 2012 Budget Obama was roundly criticized for ignoring recommendations of his own Deficit Reduction Commission in his proposed 2012 Budget. Obama's proposals did nothing to address the burgeoning budget deficit responsible for lagging job creation and the persistent unemployment which has become the hallmark of his time in office. In response to Republican counter-proposals, rather than address substantive issues of reform, Obama descended into ad hominem attacks against advocates of improving the delivery of government services.
Rather, Obama proposed increasing spending, taxes, and debt to historic highs, and doubling the national debt over pre-2008 recession levels, with no significant proposal to reform the underlying problems. Obama's proposal failed to meet his own pledge to cut the deficit in half during his first term. By summer of 2012, the Gallup organization reported that merely 35% of business owners approved of Barack Obama's job performance.
For a more detailed treatment, see ObamaCare.
With a monopoly on power in Obama's first two years, the Democratic Congress moved to create a government run insurance program that would put private sector insurers out of business. Obama proposed funding the program with higher taxes "on wealthy Americans". The new law mandates private citizens to purchase health insurance under the threat of legal sanctions for non-compliance. Critics dubbed the law Gestapo care.
Obama was unconvincing to most Americans. Few saw any advantage in his proposals, and everyone can see the monumental costs. Contrary to his campaign vows for openness and transparency in government, Obama cut closed door back room deals with big drug companies and insurers, and was not upfront with the American people. Polls show a steady decline in support for Obamacare as the public learned more about it. (By contrast, he had 57% approval on health issues in April 2009). Conservative Democrats in Congress—who call themselves "Blue Dog Democrats"—were reluctant to sign on to any proposal costing a trillion dollars over the next decade. The controversy lowered Obama's overall approval and was a major factor in the 2010 Midterm elections which ousted the Democratic majority from the House.
After spending over a trillion dollars in cash and guarantees (by Bush and Obama combined), the bailout of the financial system by October 2009 seemed to have rewarded the big banks but failed to stimulate the economy and job creation. Obama started to decline in the polls, as independents and Republicans became increasingly critical. A firestorm erupted in March when it was learned that AIG insurance company, now 80% government owned, was paying $165 million in bonuses to the traders that had caused $60 billion in losses. Geithner was appointed to the Treasury largely on the basis of his work at the New York Fed, where his most important action was to design the bailout of AIG. Under Geithner AIG received $170 billion from the government.
With major banks on the verge of failure, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled yet another massive bailout program in mid-February. Trillions would be spent to move toxic assets out of the banks, but few details were provided. The widespread reaction was very negative, and Geithner lost more of his credibility as a problem solver. Geithner finally came back with a plan on March 23 that did not need additional funding or approval by Congress. The Treasury used $100 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as well as new capital from private investors, in order to generate $500 billion to buy toxic loans and assets. The program could potentially expand to $1 trillion over time. In June some of the major banks started to repay their federal loans.
The Federal Reserve in June said conditions deteriorated in many regions of the country, with commercial real estate and labor markets in deep trouble. The Fed did not forecast a significant boost in economic activity in 2009. Despite costly government efforts to encourage borrowing, it remained very difficult for consumers and businesses to obtain loans.
The General Motors bailout, which Obama promised would make taxpayers money, resulted in an $11 billion loss; however Democratic Congressional seats in the areas affected that received the aid, remained Democratic in the 2010 Midterm elections despite the persistent high unemployment among workers who were not directly employed in the auto industry in those same districts.
To the angst of liberal supporters, the administration's first proposals for school reform relied heavily on Bush-era ingredients and adds others that make unions gag. They include standardized testing, school accountability, performance pay, and charter schools—all of which are integral to Obama'a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" grant competition to spur innovation. Liberals dislike all these new ideas. "It looks like the only strategies they have are charter schools and measurement," protested Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. "That's Bush III."
Obama and the Democrats successfully killed the Washington D.C. school voucher program which granted school choice to primarily poor African-American and minority families and children. After the 2010 Midterm elections the Republicans revived the program.
Before the Obama administration began forcing its big government agenda into all spheres of the economy, the Internet was open and adaptive because it was free of government regulation. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that only 21 percent (21%) of likely U.S. Voters wanted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the Internet as it does radio and television. Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters said they believe that the FCC would use its regulatory authority to promote a political agenda. But President Obama's appointed FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, along with three other Democrats on the commission, helped craft a plan to impose so-called "net neutrality" rules on Internet service providers, by taking an unprecedented step to expand government's reach into the Internet by attempting to regulate its inner workings. In doing so, the agency will circumvent Congress and disregard a federal court ruling; a federal appeals court in Washington D.C. previously ruled that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 did not authorize the FCC to regulate Internet use, and therefore that the FCC had no statutory authority to do so.
As the Obama administration moved to implement big government policies by regulating use of the Internet, President Obama put plans in motion to give the Commerce Department authority to create an Internet ID for all Americans. The Obama administration wants to create a national "Internet ID" card to expand its goal of a government-controlled system.
The Obama administration never manage to enact tax reform. However, the IRS drew considerable public attention and Congressional investigations for its treatment of applications for non-profit status.
2009–2013: Domestic affairs
Illegal immigration: 2009–2013
The Obama Administration proposed "comprehensive immigration reform" which would tie together increased border protection, a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the United States, and reform of the visa process. Although a bipartisan bill emerged in the Senate, immigration reform was never adopted by Congress. In the absence of a new law, President Obama sought adopted Executive Orders to prioritize deportation actions against illegal immigrants who violated laws. During his eight years, Obama deported more illegal aliens than did George W. Bush.
The Obama Administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) in 2012, which gave protection and work permits (jobs which could have gone to American citizens) to illegal immigrants to came to the U.S. as children. In his 2013 memoir, liberal Democrat U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez, an ally of Obama on immigration issues, stated that Obama did not believe that DACA was legally possible until he enacted it. The Obama Administration was able to give green cards to about 40,000 of those DACA illegals.
Gays complained that Obama was slow to act to fulfill his ppromises and meet their agenda A proclamation signed June 1, 2009 mentioned 
- his administration’s international efforts to decriminalize homosexuality, the President said he would continue to
- “support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans”—enhancing hate crimes laws,
- supporting civil unions, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing
- repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays and lesbians in the armed services.''
Obama declared he is
|“||proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration.||”|
- Main article : Gulf oil spill disaster
The New York Times has reported since January 2009 the Obama administration has approved at least three huge oil and gas lease sales, 103 seismic blasting projects and 346 oil drilling plans. Documents from the Department of Interior's Mineral Management Service (MMS) show that permission for those projects and plans was granted without getting the permits required under federal law. Federal records show one of the permits issued was for the well drilled by the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded on 20 April 2010, killing 11 workers and resulting in nearly 30 million barrels of crude oil dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, contaminating shorelines and killing wildlife, and by far the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States.
President Obama personally approved offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. As Senator, and while running for president, Barack Obama received more money from BP's Political Action Committee and individuals connected with BP than any other candidate over the past two decades, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure records. Obama was widely criticized for his slow reaction to the drilling disaster. While authorizing offshore drilling the president stated, "oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."
BP's exploration plan received in the Obama administration's MMS field office on 23 March 2009 states "no mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources." It declared any spill would have only "sub-lethal" effects on fish and marine mammals but it was "unlikely that an accidental oil spill would occur from the proposed activities." BP was granted a “categorical exclusion” by the Obama administration from a detailed environmental impact statement required under law according to reports in the Washington Post.
BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was inspected by the Obama administration's Minerals Management Service (MMS) only two weeks before it exploded killing 11 people and dumping 30 million barrels of oil in the Gulf. The rig had been awarded the Safety Award for Excellence in 2009 by the Obama MMS.
The Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave BP the green light to apply its dispersant, Corexit as cosmetic relief to the spill. Corexit was found to be 10 to 20 times more toxic to human and wild life than a dozen other dispersants approved by the EPA. Corexit is manufactured by Nalco of Naperville, Illinois, a company's whose current leadership includes several executives from BP. "It's a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically," said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife. At Congressional hearings investigating the Gulf oil spill disaster, Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York raised the prospect of "thousands and thousands of people getting sick or dying" as a result of the Obama administration's sanctioned use of the dispersant.
Uranium One scandal
- Main article: Uranium One bribery scandal
According to court filings in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, in 2009, the FBI began an investigation into corruption and extortion by senior managers of Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, a Russian entity. Robert Mueller was FBI Director at the time the investigation into the Rosatom subsidiary began.
The investigation began as an intelligence probe into Russian nuclear officials. Mueller's investigation also obtained an eyewitness, William Campell (known as CS-1 in court records) — backed by documents, recordings, and emails — indicating Russian nuclear officials routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) a government body that provided the approval of the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom.
The investigation found kickbacks paid in cash and some in foreign wire transfers. From April 2009 to April 2011, the wire transfers went to Wiser Trading, registered in the Seychelles. From July 2011 to July 2013 - to the British Leila Global Limited account in a Latvian bank. And from August 2013 to May 2014 - to Ollins Development in the British Virgin Islands.The Hill reported that
the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions...Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.
Mueller's investigation was centered in Maryland, Tenex's home base. There, the U.S. attorney was Obama appointee Rod Rosenstein — later appointed deputy attorney general. The Maryland District Court indictment of Tenex boss Vadim Mikerin and three others said that the FBI paid attention to suspicious financial transactions after a tip from William Campbell, or CS-1. Camphell said the FBI informed him President Obama was briefed while the investigation was ongoing.
In 2009, according to the prosecution, Mikerin asked Campbell for kickbacks for the right to sign a contract with Tenex for lobbying and consulting services, as well as assistance in public relations for the Russian nuclear industry. These payments, according to Campbell, Mikerin called the "system" or "window". Cambell was worried about this agreement and went to the FBI, where he was asked to continue to participate in the kickback scheme, giving the bureau all the information.
According to Campbell's testimony he paid $460,000 as kickbacks. Moreover, the appetite of Tenex grew. For implementation of the first contract in 2009, Tenex was supposed to pay William's company $150,000 for three months, and Mikerin wanted a third of this sum as a kickback. Payments under the second contract were $550,000 for 11 months, and Mikerin required about half as a kickback. In 2011, Mikerin allegedly extended the contract for 11 months in the interests of Tenex.
Mikerin was arrested on a complaint describing a racketeering scheme that stretched back to 2004 and included extortion, fraud, and money laundering. Money-laundering carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment — not only for conspiracy but for each act of money laundering (at section 1956 of the penal code). But Mikerin was permitted by Rod Rosenstein to plead guilty to an offense charged under the catch-all federal conspiracy provision (section 371) that criminalizes agreements to commit any crime against the United States. Section 371 prescribes a sentence of zero to five years’ imprisonment. The plea agreement shows that the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann.
The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major. Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. (See in The Hill’s report, the third document embedded at the bottom, titled “Mikerin Plea Deal.”) No RICO, no extortion, no fraud — and the plea agreement does not to mention any of the extortions in 2009 and 2010, before Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) in the US approved Rosatom’s acquisition of Uranium One. Mikerin just plead guilty to a nominal “money laundering” conspiracy charge, insulating him from a longer sentence. Thus, he got a term of only four years’ for a major national security crime.
Before Hillary Clinton could assume her post as Secretary of State in 2009, the White House demanded that she sign a memorandum of understanding placing limits on Bill Clinton's foundation activities. To avoid the perception of conflicts of interest, beyond the ban on foreign government donations, the foundation was required to publicly disclose all contributors. None of the Uranium One shareholders donations were disclosed after the Rosatom approval. These donations to the Clinton Foundation totaled some $130 million. According to the New York Times,
Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.
And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech ... The $500,000 fee — among Mr. Clinton’s highest — was paid by Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin ...Renaissance Capital analysts talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a “buy” rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was “the best play” in the uranium markets.... Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.
The Department of Justice's National Security Division (NSD) reviewed this transaction in consultation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and CFIUS agencies. In accordance with standard procedure, NSD evaluated the factors listed in section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, and ultimately communicated to CFIUS the Department's clearance of this transaction. With the purchase of Uranium One, Rosatom also bought the uranium exploration rights in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Evidence suggests the 33,000 emails Hillary Clinton admitted to destroying are related to the Uranium One bribery scandal.
On June 29, 2010, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech to Renaissance Capital in a pay-to-play bribery scam arranged by Sec. of State Hillary Clinton for State Dept. approval of Russian purchase of Uranium One, an American mining company. Clinton was thanked personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin after the speech. Renaissance Capital is a controlled entity of the Russian government. Bill & Hillary Clinton file joint taxes, are a joint economic unit, therefore any money received by one spouse is joint income to both spouses.
That same June Uranium One and Rosatom notified the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of the Russian government’s intent to acquire twenty percent of the United States’ uranium assets. In July Renaissance Bank of Moscow reportedly assigned Uranium One a “buy” rating, a move that would principally benefit its Russian investors. Later the Department of Justice investigation into Prevezon Holdings determined that $13 million from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky uncovered, exposed, and was killed over went to the bank accounts of Renaissance Capital in the United Kingdom.
After Russia took control of the Uranium, the Podesta Group received $180,000 to lobby for Uranium One during the same period that the Clinton Foundation was receiving millions from U1 interests, and after Russia took majority ownership in the “20 percent” deal (source – you have to add up the years). The uranium company states on its web site it is a “wholly owned subsidiary” of RUSANO, the Russian State Corporation for Nuclear Energy, a Rosatom entity. Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, represented the Russian-owned company Uranium One during former President Barack Obama’s administration and did not register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, The Daily Caller News Foundation has determined. The Podesta Group lobbied on behalf of Uranium One for part of 2012 and in 2014 and 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The Podesta Group was not listed as a lobbyist for Uranium One during its sale to ROSATOM in 2010. The Podesta Group did not file under FARA during any of the years when it lobbied both Congress and the executive branch.
Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is composed of the leaders of 14 US government agencies involved in national security and commerce. In 2010, these included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department and lead agency, the FBI, were conducting the investigation of Rosatom’s ongoing U.S. racketeering, extortion, and money-laundering scheme.
Four senior House national security xperts — Peter King (R., N.Y.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), Spencer Bachus (R., Ala.), and Howard McKeon (R. Calif.) — voiced grave concerns, pointing out that Rosatom had helped Iran build its Bushehr nuclear reactor. The members concluded that “the take-over of essential US nuclear resources by a government-owned Russian agency . . . would not advance the national security interests of the United States.” Republican senator John Barrasso objected to Kremlin control of uranium assets in his state of Wyoming, warning of Russia’s “disturbing record of supporting nuclear programs in countries that are openly hostile to the United States, specifically Iran and Venezuela.”
On October 22, 2010 CFIUS certified to Congress the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom of the Russian Federation. No disclosure of Russian racketeering and strong-arm tactics was made to Congress — not by Secretary Clinton, Attorney General Holder, or President Obama.
Clinton email scandal
- Man article: Hillary Clinton email scandal
On June 27, 2014 an Intelligence Community Directive ICD 732 was issued requiring a damage assessment be conducted whenever there is 'an actual or suspected unauthorized disclosure or compromise of classified national intelligence that may cause damage to U.S. national security. Despite Dir. Comey's finding Hillary Clinton's server did indeed contain classified information, no such damage assessment was ever made following Wikileaks disclosure of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails.
In early April 2016 President Obama intervened in an ongoing FBI criminal investigation when he publicly stated on national television that Hillary Clinton has shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information. Obama insisted that Clinton had not intended to endanger national security. Intent is not an element of the criminal statutes relevant to the handling of classified information. Obama acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Sec. Clinton’s server, but he suggested its importance was overstated.
On May 2, 2016 FBI Dir. James Comey wrote an internal memorandum saying Hillary Clinton and others were guilty of gross negligence which is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. On July 5 Comey announced that Sec. Clinton and staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," and "there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information…There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those with whom she was corresponding about the matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation." Comey referred the matter to the Justice Dept. for a prosecutorial decision. In the absence of prosecution, security or administrative sanctions are the norm. Comey's decision to by-pass DoJ rules and take matters into his own hands may have been part of a counterintelligence operation.
Sen. Ron Johnson of Homeland Security committee stated, "The edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions." Johnson stated the edits “raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election.”
The list of FBI conspirators who exonerated Hillary Clinton includes: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bill Briestap, Peter Strzok, James Rybecki, Johnathan Moffa, James Baker, Trisha Anderson, David Bowdich and several names redacted.
FBI Deputy Counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok personally interviewed Hillary Clinton after Barack Obama directed the FBI to exonerate her. No oath, video, or transcript was made. Strzok then procured Hillary Clinton's Steele dossier for the FBI's Russia investigation. Strzok also conducted liaison with other intelligence community agencies, including the CIA led by Director John Brennan.
Intimidation of journalists
In April 2010 Obama Attn. Gen. Eric Holder renewed a subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen in a leak investigation. Risen and a colleague reported on warrantless wiretaps. The coverage won Risen and colleague a Pulitzer Prize for “carefully sourced stories on secret domestic eavesdropping that stirred a national debate.” The Justice Dept. opened an investigation into the wiretap stories. John Brennan played a key role in the illegal wiretap program, overseeing the production of what personnel in the program called the “scary memos” intended to justify the domestic spying exposed by Risen. Brennan later admitted that he relied on information from CIA’s torture program rather than domestic spying, which was used as a cover. In a frontpage May 13, 2004 story the torture program was exposed with Risen as the lead reporter.
In September an internal email entitled “Obama Leak Investigations” at “global intelligence” company Stratfor claimed Obama’s then-White House adviser John Brennan was targeting journalists.
"Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources,” writes one Stratfor official to another. The email continues: “Note — There is specific tasker from the [White House] to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”
On May 13, 2013 the Associated Press announced telephone records for 20 of their reporters had been subpoenaed by the Justice Department. News sources reported the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia was conducting a criminal investigation into publication of a foiled terrorist plot in May 2012. The Justice Dept. subpoenaed the phone records of AP from Verizon and other service providers. The AP claimed these acts were a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into news-gathering. CEO Gary Pruitt of AP stated: "These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know."
On March 10, 2014, Emmy Award-winning News Anchor Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News alleging the network was spiking news stories that were unflattering to Barack Obama. In her Best Seller, Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington, Attkisson tells how her work and personal computers had been hacked for more than two years after she began filing stories about the Benghazi massacre. Attkisson is a recipient the Edward R. Murrow Award, named for the journalist who had the courage to challenge Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Attkisson reported on the Obama administration's sales of illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels used to kill US Immigration Enforcement officers in Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton's bogus claim she landed under sniper fire in Serbia.
CBS News investigated and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012. The hackers were identified by experts as a US Government intelligence agency. In March 2015, Attkisson and her family initiated suit against Eric Holder, Patrick R. Donahoe and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States claiming to have been subjected to illegal surveillance activities and 4th Amendment violations of their civil rights.
2009–2013: Foreign Policy
Unlike Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama has shown scant concern about the revival of slavery which took place on his watch after his Apology Tour, intended to diminish U.S. influence in the world. Obama, who was raised a Muslim and is not a descendent of slaves, criticized Christians and the Crusades as reports of thousands of women and girls being captured, sold, and raped flooded in.
The number of jihadis worldwide grew by a factor of 4 or 5 at least since Obama took the reins of power as Commander-in-Chief. Breaking with the Bush administration's policy of isolating al Qaeda leadership under house arrest in Pakistan, Obama transformed the War on Terror from a preventative war to a war of retribution. The assassination of Osama bin Laden raised bin Laden from a coward in hiding to the status of hero-martyr in the cause of jihad, and became the impetus for increased recruiting as the West went into retreat from the battlefield. Remarkably, even the New York Times was critical of Obama's incessant boasting about the killing of bin Laden as a buzz phrase for his re-election. With the complete disengagement of American troops from Iraq, the Islamic State arose and global Caliphate declared.
Originally billed as a democratization movement, Obama's support of the so-called Arab Spring resulted in the resurgence of the global slave trade, human trafficking, genocide of the Yazidi's and Christian populations, and the worst refugee crisis since the displacement of populations by the Nazis.
The states of Libya, Yemen and others were destabilized. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton actively intervened in Syria and Libya, funnelling money and weapons to known Salafi jihadi groups. The powers that be remained in control of secular Egypt. Iran, with Western acquiescence, remained firmly on the path to becoming a nuclear power.
... the idea of an “Arab Spring” for the entire Arab world that President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and investor George Soros strongly promoted turned out to be based on a naïve idealism that instead undermined the rule of law and led to anarchy, starvation, and a refugee crisis that hurt citizens more than the dictatorships that preceded it.
The policies of US President Barack Hussein Obama with regard to the Arab Spring seemed to be in the interest of Muslim theocracy, unlike previous American Presidents who have favored governments which are secular and pro-Israel.
- Main article : Libyan uprising 2011
|“||President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold. But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government. Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women…. Nor did Khadafy ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by the New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’||”|
The Congressional Research Service reports that the legality of President Obama's Libyan operation may depend, at a minimum, on both authorization for the operation and the extent to which the manner of execution of the operation comports with relevant international law. The Charter of the United Nations, in Article 2(4), prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence” of a member state under most circumstances, and many practitioners and observers have wondered whether President Obama's establishment of a no-fly zone would constitute a violation of this prohibition. In addition to international authorization, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 states that the President’s powers as Commander in Chief to introduce U.S. forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities can only be exercised pursuant to (1) a declaration of war; (2) specific statutory authorization; or (3) a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or its forces. It requires the President in every possible instance to consult with Congress before introducing American Armed Forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities unless there has been a declaration of war or other specific congressional authorization. The War Powers Act also requires the President to report to Congress any introduction of forces into hostilities or imminent hostilities, Section 4(a)(1); into foreign territory while equipped for combat, Section 4(a)(2); or in numbers which substantially enlarge U.S. forces equipped for combat already in a foreign nation, Section 4(a)(3). Once a report is submitted “or required to be submitted” under Section 4(a)(1), Congress must authorize the use of force within 60 to 90 days or the forces must be withdrawn.
Democratic Representatives Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during a Democratic Caucus meeting. Senator Rand Paul (Ky.) alleged the actions show "contempt" for Congress, and along with Sen Mike Lee (Utah) introduced a resolution quoting candidate Obama’s own words when the he told the Boston Globe,
|“||The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.||”|
2011 Libyan uprising
- Main article: Libyan uprising 2011
In February 2011, the political unrest that spread through the Arab world showed up as protests in Libya. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya for 41 years, responded to the violence with legitimate steps. The United Nations Security Council voted to impose sanctions, and later passed a resolution to protect civilians. Obama, without approval from Congress and over the objections of his own National Security staff, directed American forces to take out Libya's air defense system. Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, and White House counterterrorism chief John O. Brennan all opposed the action. Obama later said, "if we waited one more day Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." Alan J. Kuperman, in an editorial for the Boston Globe, suggested this statement was false, writing, "intervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents." Kuperman, a professor of public affairs at the University of Texas who authored a book called The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention, further stated that the rebels had tricked the world into thinking a bloodbath was at hand and that Obama had lied to the American people in order to act on this theory.
Gaddafi [never] threaten[ed] civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Gaddafi even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’ 
Gaddafi wrote to Obama and told him he bore no ill will. "We have been hurt more morally than physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you," he wrote. "Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the USA. We endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaign."
Aid to terrorists
A March 29, 2011 article in the Washington Post included these paragraphs:
|“||"It’s almost a certitude that at least part” of the Libyan opposition includes members of al-Qaeda, said Bruce Riedel, a former senior CIA analyst and adviser to President Obama. Riedel said that anti-Gaddafi elements in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi have had “very close associations with al-Qaeda” dating back years....I would hope that we now have a good sense of the opposition in Libya and can say that this is 2 percent, not 20 percent,” Riedel said. “If we don’t, then we are running the risk of helping to bring to power a regime that could be very dangerous.||”|
This set off a fierce debate in the Obama administration over the wisdom of arming terrorists. It is now known sometime prior to March 31, 2011, at the urging of Hillary Clinton and over the objections of his National Security Council, Obama signed a Presidential Finding authorizing support for the rebel jihadis.
By October 2011, Libyan rebel fighting groups with support from NATO overtook the capital and toppled the government. Gaddafi was captured and brutally and sadistically murdered. The jihadis were immediately recognized by the U.S. and the U.N. as the new legitimate government. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, announced Sharia will be the source for all legislation and all laws conflicting with Sharia are null and void. Abdel Rahim al-Kib, the country's interim prime minister, echoed Jalil's words days later. The al Qaeda flag was flown above the Benghazi courthouse, and reports surfaced that the Libyan jihadis had imposed Sharia law in some parts of the country even earlier. By February 17, 2013, four foreign nationals were arrested for distributing Christian literature, a charge that could carry the death penalty.
Two more Americans were killed, along with 35 others, after being taken hostage by rebel jihadists in Mali shortly after the Libyan upheaval.
Hillary Clinton testified before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the wake of the Benghazi murders under her stewardship, that weapons and fighters equipped by the Obama administration made their way to Mali and Algeria:
|“||There is no doubt that the Algerian terrorists had weapons from Libya. There is no doubt that the Malian remnants of AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] have weapons from Libya.||”|
In 2012, during the Syrian Civil War, President Obama stated that if the Syrian dictator, President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against Syrians, that would be unacceptable and cross a red line. However, after it was confirmed that Assad did use weapons against his people, Obama did practically nothing. He went to Congress to authorize a military strike, but this request was rejected (he had the ability to order a military strike without Congress's approval). Later, the Obama Administration (particularly Susan Rice) and the mainstream media claimed they had worked with Syria to remove its chemical weapons. In April 2017, Syria again used chemical weapons against its people, proving their claim wrong. The new president, Donald Trump, unlike Obama, quickly ordered a large airstrike against a Syrian airbase.
On August 1, 2012 Reuters reported that Obama issued a secret Presidential Finding earlier in the year authorising transfer of captured weapons from Libya to Syria.
under provisions of the presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.
Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.
This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles (100 km) from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.
Turkey’s moderate Islamist government has been demanding Assad’s departure with growing vehemence. Turkish authorities are said by current and former U.S. government officials to be increasingly involved in providing Syrian rebels with training and possibly equipment.European government sources said wealthy families in Saudi Arabia and Qatar were providing significant financing to the rebels. Senior officials of the Saudi and Qatari governments have publicly called for Assad’s departure.
Amb. Christopher Stevens was put in charge of the covert operation. The aim was to arm jihadist groups which then transformed themselves into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria with the goal of overthrowing Bashar al Assad.
- Main article: Operation Iraqi Freedom
On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency while stating he had a "plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008." Later, Obama campaigned on having troops entirely out of Iraq within 16 months, but in February 2009 revised this promise to withdrawing all but 35-50 thousand troops by December 2011. However, some of the newly withdrawn troops were simply redirected from Iraq to Afghanistan - Obama in Summer 2009 ordered 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.
|“|| "But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq. Most of you know I opposed this war from the start. I thought it was a tragic mistake. Today we grieve for the families who have lost loved ones, the hearts that have been broken, and the young lives that could have been. America, it's time to start bringing our troops home. It's time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else's civil war. That's why I have a plan that will bring our combat troops home by March of 2008. Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope to pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace."
Barack Obama, February 10, 2007 Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech
On November 16, 2008, in an interview with Steve Kroft of CBS's 60 Minutes program, Barack Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility by Executive Order, "to regain America's moral stature in the world." A press release on January 22, 2009 claimed Obama ordered closing the camp within the year. In January 2013 President Obama signed an authorization refusing to allow the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo. As of the president's second inaugural, the promise to regain America's moral stature remained unfulfilled.
During the 2008 campaign Obama promised direct talks Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a staunch enemy of the United States, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map,"  and dismissed the Holocaust as a "myth."  President Obama has supported Iran's nuclear program, which some argue is being used to develop weapons-grade material.
In 2009 Ahmadinejad was reelected to a second term after a controversial and disputed election. Charges of alleged voter fraud from the government resulted in massive protests in Iran and around the world. The government responded by violently suppressing the protesters, killing over 250 of them. Conservatives criticized Obama for failing to provide more vocal support for the pro-democracy protesters.
On May 18, 2010 John Brennan told a Washington conference including Lebanese leaders that the Obama administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within Hezbollah. “Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” saying it had evolved from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia and, ultimately, a political party with representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and Cabinet. “There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing,” Brennan said. “And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.”
In practice, the administration’s willingness to envision a new role for Hezbollah, combined with Obama's desire for the Iran nuke deal, translated into a reluctance to move aggressively against the top Hezbollah operatives, according to Project Cassandra members and others. Hezbollah was known to be selling approximately $200 million a month in illegal narcotics in the United States at this time.
A confidential DEA assessment more than a year into Obama's second term concluded that Hezbollah’s business affairs entity “has leveraged relationships with corrupt foreign government officials and transnational criminal actors … creating a network that can be utilized to move metric ton quantities of cocaine, launder drug proceeds on a global scale, and procure weapons and precursors for explosives.” Hezbollah “has at its disposal one of the most capable networks of actors coalescing elements of transnational organized crime with terrorism in the world,” the assessment concluded.
Some top U.S. military officials shared those concerns, including the four-star generals heading U.S. Special Operations and Southern commands, who warned Congress that Hezbollah’s criminal operations and growing beachhead in Latin America posed an urgent threat to U.S. security, according to transcripts of the hearings.
In early 2014, Project Cassandra task force agent John “Jack” Kelly who oversaw Hezbollah cases at Special Operations Division, and other task force members briefed Attorney General Eric Holder, who was so alarmed by the findings that he insisted President Obama and his entire national security team get the same briefing as they formulated the administration’s Iran strategy.
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cozied up to Putin, charging the Bush administration was intent on reigniting the Cold War. However once the Rosatom-Uranium One deal was completed and the Clinton Foundation pocketed millions of dollars from Putin cronies in donations and speaking fees, relations began to sour as the Obama administration could no longer ignore geopolitical realities. Putin had protested the Obama administrations illegal drone strikes, and the administration placed sanctions on Russian leaders ostensibly in retaliation for the Crimean referendum.
- Main article: Afghanistan War
Conditions have turned much worse in late summer, as the much heralded national election was marked by widespread fraud and pessimism is spreading. Increasingly the main justification for the war, now 8 years old, is to prop up the shaky regime in neighboring Pakistan. NATO commander Stanley McChrystal has requested 30,000-40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan. Obama, unused to such responsibility, dithered for three months before approving the urgent request. By early 2010 the US will have over 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, triple the number when Obama took office. Conservatives have applauded the buildup.
American policy was increasing set by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, originally appointed by President Bush in 2006 and reappointed by Obama in 2009. Gates fired the commander General David McKiernan in May, 2009, replacing him with McChrystal. Gates insisted on dropping the old strategy of hunting down insurgents and instead adopting a counterinsurgency strategy that focused on protecting local civilians and training Afghan soldiers and police to take over the job. Gates convinced Obama, who ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan in Dec. 2009, with a deadline of 18 months, at which time a transition to Afghan responsibility would begin. Liberals thought Obama and Gates were making a big mistake—heading into another quagmire like Vietnam. However liberal Democrats in Congress will not try to block Obama's proposals, at least at this point.
Democrats are split not in two but in three: a small number of hawks who agree with his decision; a large number of doves who oppose it; and a sizable group that is uneasy with the Obama surge but willing to loyally support his decision. Most conservatives, on the other hand, see victory in Afghanistan as a vital national goal and approve the new strategy, while voicing objections to the 18-month deadline. Polls in mid-December show Republicans overwhelmingly supported the war, with 71% saying the country was doing the right thing compared to 21% who said it was not. By contrast, Democrats were evenly split, with 47% supporting the war and 46% opposing it.
Each 1000 American soldiers in Afghanistan cost a billion dollars a year; Speaker Pelosi has indicated that there will be no tax surcharge to pay for the operation.
Three days after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned people in the small Gulf state of Bahrain took to the streets in the capital city of Manama. One month into the uprising, Saudi Arabia sent military and police forces across the border connecting the Saudi mainland to Bahrain. Since then, the protesters, the press and human-rights organizations have suffered increasingly violent repression. Bahrain is home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, tasked with protecting the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Press spokesman Jim Carney stated the White House position, "This is not an invasion of a country."
Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, stated, "Hundreds of people are in jail for practicing their freedom of expression. People are tortured for expressing their freedom of expression. Thousands of people sacked from their jobs. ... And all that, because one day, a month ago, almost half of the Bahraini population came out in the street demanding democracy and respect for human rights.”
Fast and Furious scandal
- Main article: Fast and Furious
In May 2010, President Obama promised Mexican President Felipe Calderon that his administration would assist Mexico in curbing drug cartel violence, which has led to 30,000 deaths in Mexico. "President Calderon and I . . . stand together against the drug cartels that have unleashed horrific violence in so many communities," Obama said on May 19. "Mexico can count on the United States as a full partner in this effort.
The Washington Post has reported however that White House officials stopped a requirement for gun dealers to report bulk sales of high-powered semiautomatic rifles commonly used by illegal drug cartels. Justice Department officials had asked for White House approval to require thousands of gun dealers along the border to report the purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives. ATF investigators expected to get leads on suspected arms traffickers. Senior law enforcement sources said the proposal from the ATF was held up by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Gun dealers have been required for decades to report the sales of multiple handguns to the ATF.
Year Mexican drug related gun murders skyrocket
during Obama's Fast and Furious campaign
2006 62 2007 2,837 2008 6,844 2009 11,753 2010 19,546 2011 24,068 2012 18,061 (by October 31, 2012) 2013 23,640 killed in 2013 (through to March 2014)
After the drubbing the president's party took in the 2010 Midterm elections and ouster of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, Obama solicited former President Bill Clinton for advice on dealing with the new Republican majority. President Clinton endorsed extending the "tax cuts for the rich" of former President George W. Bush, which lowered rates for everyone below the level of President Clinton's tax hikes. Obama followed Clinton's counsel and signed on to extending the Republican across the board tax reductions including a 2% "payroll tax holiday", or reduction in the amount of Social Security withholding taxes from workers paychecks.
Longtime Chicago friend and operative Rahm Emanuel resigned under a cloud of suspicion surrounding the jobsgate scandal, and was replaced by William Daley. Many other "Clinton retreads", as the press dubbed them, were also brought back into government. One crtic observed, "Mr. Obama failed to notice that President Bill Clinton saw his strongest period of economic growth only after his health-care takeover and stimulus bills were defeated, welfare rolls were pared, the capital gains tax was cut, and the budget was balanced."
2013–2017: Second term
2013–2017: Domestic affairs
- Main article: Riots during the Obama Administration
The riots during the Obama Administration were a series of racially motivated conflagrations that erupted nationwide in the last half of President Barack Obama's second term. Initially elected as America's first "post-racial" president, many African-Americans became increasingly disillusioned as Obama's presidency progressed. Critics charged Obama personally inflamed the rioters and lawless elements responsible for the destruction of property, businesses, and jobs in several American cities. Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen noted early on in the Wall Street Journal, "Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship." Caddell and Schoen further stated, "President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture."
Illegal immigration: 2013–2017
In 2014, President Obama announced the DAPA program, which would have expanded protections from deportation to a total of about 5 million illegal immigrants. This order was blocked by a federal judge, upheld by an appeals court, and a split 4–4 Supreme Court ruling upheld the appeals court ruling.
One of the focal points of the documents Edward Snowden leaked is not so much the technical marvels of intelligence collectors, rather the existence of, and extent to which intelligence agencies worldwide share information through cooperative sharing agreements (also known as 'shell game eavesdropping' or 'third party relationships'). While the programs are billed as efforts to fight terrorism, international drug cartels, money laundering, and safeguard national security, they exist and function only on the basis of circumventing national laws in the respective countries whose agencies cooperate in the efforts.
Fort Meade, MD, for instance, home of the NSA which has the technical ability to monitor and spy on any American with an Obama phone or flat screen TV in their living room, cannot do so without probable cause or a warrant. So two employees of the UK's GCHQ in residence standby at the ready to man the helm and perform the operation legally under the guise of international intelligence sharing and national security.
While the United States possessed greater capacity and resources in surveillance technology, the United Kingdom was less scrupulous in violating privacy rights and civil rights and more aggressive in cyber attacks and the use of fake news to discredit and harass their political enemies, including domestic opponents. Under Obama, the marriage of passive surveillance and active cyber warfare against political opponents accelerated, with both the UK and US extending cooperative agreements and technology to other third party agencies globally.
Snowden leaks reveal Britain's GCHQ and other European spy agencies work together to conduct mass surveillance. The files also make clear that GCHQ played a leading role in advising its European counterparts how to work around national laws intended to restrict the surveillance power of intelligence agencies. The Guardian article reports,
It is clear from the Snowden documents that GCHQ has become Europe's intelligence hub in the internet age, and not just because of its success in creating a legally permissive environment for its operations. Britain's location as the European gateway for many transatlantic cables, and its privileged relationship with the NSA has made GCHQ an essential partner for European agencies. The documents show British officials frequently lobbying the NSA on sharing of data with the Europeans and haggling over its security classification so it can be more widely disseminated. In the intelligence world, far more than it managed in diplomacy, Britain has made itself an indispensable bridge between America and Europe's spies.
The Guardian revealed tapping through back doors into US internet companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook with a program called Prism> Its GCHQ counterpart is called Tempora. UK government struck a secret deal with the NSA to share phone, internet, and email records of UK citizens. Lake on how Britain's GCHQ taps fiber-optic cables to collect and store global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories, and calls, and then shares the data with the NSA. And the top-secret procedures the NSA must take to target and collect data from "non-US persons" and how the NSA must minimize, or mask, data collected on 'US persons'. The washington Post published a new slide detailing NSA's "Upstream" program of collecting communications from tech companies through fiber-optic cables to then feed into its Prism database.
“I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the president if I had a personal e-mail.
It’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you have ever made.”
Training materials provided by Snowden for XKeyscore program detailed how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous NSA databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed. The program covers "nearly everything a typical user does on the internet", including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata. Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized FISA warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a 'US person', though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known. NSA analysts, using the XKeyscore program, can search through enormous databases of emails, online chats, and browsing histories of targets.
As the 4th of July holiday approached, Pentagon Papers and Watergate hero Daniel Ellsberg called for a Congressional probe of “abuses of American intelligence agencies” and to “restore the protections in the Bill of Rights."
On March 4, 2014 McClatchy reported on CIA spying on Congressional oversighters. Sen. Mark Udall wrote President Obama: "As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee in relation to the internal CIA review and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the committee's oversight responsibilities and for our democracy," he writes. "It is essential that the committee be able to do its oversight work – consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers – without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today."
The following week Senate Democrat Intelligence Committee Chair Diane Feinstein took to the Senate floor to accuse the Obama CIA of violating "the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the C.I.A. from conducting domestic searches or surveillance," and "breaching a constitutional boundary" of intimidation and spying on the US Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid backed the investigation into Obama CIA hacking of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee's computers, and notifies Brennan and Attn. Gen. Eric Holder that the Capital Police will investigate charges that the CIA accessed the Intelligence Oversight Committee’s computer network.
On July 31 the CIA admitted to hacking into the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee's computers, and spying on the Senate. Brennan lied to Congress. Democratic Sen. Mark Udall called for John Brennan's resignation.
In the Spring of 2016, Brennan received information from British GCHQ intelligence as part of a "routine" intelligence sharing agreement about Trump associates' business dealings in Russia. The information is said to have originated with Estonian intelligence. Estonia was requesting an expensive missile defence system at this time, Trump adviser Newt Gingrich referred to the country of 1.3 million inhabitants as a 'suburb of St. Petersberg', which has 5.3 million inhabitants. Gingrich, rumored to be on the short list for Secretary of State, said he doubted if American leaders would risk nuclear war over Putin's actions in the Baltic region. After first denying involvement, the UK's GCHQ spying agency admitted to spying on Trump since 2015 and sharing information with US intelligence since the spring of 2016,
Brennan formed a joint counterintelligence task force based on the Estonian report, and continued intelligence sharing with GCHQ. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens. Allegedly, the information that triggered Brennan to act was a tape-recorded conversation that mentioned money from the Kremlin to the Trump Campaign. The FBI began an investigation into Paul Manafort's associations.
On January 3, 2017, Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch signed off on new rules permitting the NSA to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information.” This constitutes Obama's amending Executive Order 12333. DNI James Clapper previously signed off on 15 December 2016. The expansion of the order makes it difficult to narrow in on leaks.
The New York Times reported "In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections," basically, an authorization to circulate Brennan's Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report. The document is a rehash of old reports on RT with innuendo from the Steele dossier alleging Russian collusion. Its authors, Brennan, was caught hacking into Senate computers for political purposes, Clapper admitted to lying to Congress for political purposes, and Comey admitted to leaking to the New York Times for political purposes. NSA Dir. Mike Rogers dissented from the report's allegation that the Trump organization may have colluded with Russia. Simultaneously Comey ran an entrapment sting on President-elect Trump, supposedly to alert him of the contents of the bogus Steele dossier, which Obama operatives had already publicly leaked.
Circa reported "As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats. ...Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch."
Seymour Hersh reported that the Trump-Russia collusion story was invented by the US Intelligence Community to help defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election and as an "insurance policy" in the event he might win. The scam was invented by CIA Dir. John Brennan, DNI James Clapper and Director of the NSA Mike Rogers. Hersh attributes their treachery to wanting to keep their jobs in a Hillary Clinton administration.
On March 12, 2013, in public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked Obama Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?" Clapper replied, “No sir. Not wittingly." One month later the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly approved the latest FBI request to continue obtaining daily telephone records of millions of Verizon customers. The judge ordered Verizon to turn over the information to the National Security Agency (NSA). This directly contradicted Clapper’s sworn testimony to Congress. Obama defended the wiretapping. Asked at a hearing if the Justice Dept. spies on members of Congress, Attn. Gen. Holder refuses to answer.
A letter in late July from Clapper posted on Sen. Wyden's website, Clapper acknowledged that NSA analysts have exceeded even legal limits as interpreted by the NSA in domestic surveillance. Sen. Wyden responded on the Senate floor: "These violations are more serious than those stated by the intelligence community, and are troubling."
In mid 2014 Clapper fired Defense Intelligence Agency Chief Mike Flynn. Flynn opposed Obama's support for the Islamic State. A US Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan with a new generation of US Stinger missile procured by the Taliban from Qatar. A serial number from the missile casing was recovered, tracing the Stinger's origin to a lot disbursed to the CIA which the CIA delivered to Qatar, intended for Libya and Syria during the Libyan war. Hillary Clinton's State Dept. and John Brennan's CIA jointly ran a covert weapons supply program (Operation Zero Footprint). Flynn was outraged at the findings of the DIA investigation, that US weapons supplied by Obama/Hillary/Brennan's covert assistance to jihadis were used to kill Americans.
Dir. James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that Barack Obama, James Clapper's, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, and John Brennan all had access to sensitive wiretap information which contained the name of Gen. Mike Flynn. Leaking to the press the identity of Flynn was a felony because the information was part of a confidential intelligence gathering operation and the information had been “masked” to protect Flynn's identity.
An attorney for Freedom Watch representing a whistleblower alleged his client has evidence that "spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump... Working side by side with Obama's former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, and Obama's former Director of the CIA, John Brennan," his client "witnessed 'up close and personal' this 'Orwellian Big Brother' intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes." Evidence has been made public by a federal judge that SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts was hacked in an operation overseen by John Brennan and James Clapper.
A month after Donald Trump announced his intention to seek the presidency in 2015, Dep. Attn. Gen. Sally Yates blocked the Office of Inspector General (OIG) oversight of the DOJ National Security Division (DOJ-NSD). The OIG, Michael Horowitz, requested oversight and Sally Yates responded with a lengthy 58-page legal explanation saying essentially, ‘no – not allowed.’ All of the DOJ was subject to oversight, except the National Security Division.
President Obama’s political operatives within the DOJ-NSD were conducting illegal surveillance to monitor the Trump campaign. The NSD unit was working in coordination with Peter Strzok and others of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Sometime in early 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers became aware of “ongoing” and “intentional” violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) - Section 702 surveillance. Specifically item #17 “About Queries” of US persons. Rogers suspected FISA 702 (#17 – email and phone calls) surveillance activity was being used for reasons he deemed unlawful. In mid-2016, Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit of 702 NSA compliance. In October 2016 Rogers told the FISA court he became aware of unlawful surveillance and collection of US persons. The FBI counterintelligence division was monitoring Trump through FISA 702(17) upstream surveillance collected by a DOJ National Security Division that had no oversight.
Ten days after the election, on November 17, 2016, Dir. Rogers traveled to Trump Tower without telling DNI James Clapper. Rogers likely informed President-elect Trump of the illegal activity by the FBI and DOJ, including the probability that all of Trump Tower’s email and phone communication were being collected. Clapper then demanded Rogers be fired. It would appear Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, is complicit as well, although Clapper denies participating.
FusionGPS was hired by the law firm of BakerHostetler to compile a dossier on Bill Browder, a London banker. Browder lobbied strongly for passage of the Magnitsky Act, or Russia sanctions bill. The bill is named for an employee of Browder who died under suspicious circumstances in a Russian while investigating the loss of $350 million. The sanctions bill must he re-authorized every several years. Glenn Simpson, a founding partner of Fusion GPS, compiled the dossier for the anti-Browder project and worked closely with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer. Denis Katsyv, the owner of Prevezon Holdings, sought to undo and limit the impact of sanctions in the 2016 re-authorization bill. BakerHostetler, the firm representing Katsyv and Prevezon Holdings made a payment to FusionGPS on March 7, 2016, court records indicate. Through October 31, 2016 BakerHostetler paid FusionGPS $523,651.
Natalie Veselnitskaya was granted special immigration parole status by Obama Attn. General Loretta Lynch to represent Prevezon Holdings in an asset forfeiture agreement for $6 million with the U.S. government over a Russia money-laundering suit on May 12, 2016. Veselnitskaya overstayed her immigration parole status to work for FusionGPS in illegal lobbying scheme for repeal of Russian sanctions. Neither Veselnitskaya nor FusionGPS registered as Russian agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Simpson’s Russian lobbying work involved passing stories to his deep network of journalism contacts in order to undermine the Magnitsky Act. Bill Browder, a London banker whom the Russians cheated out of $350 million, confirmed FusionGPS was paid by Russia through the Katsyv family. The Katsyv family is headed by Pyotr Katsyv, Vice President of ‘Russian Railways’, a huge Russian transportation company, in which the Russian government is the sole shareholder. The Obama FBI and DOJ ignored Browder's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) complaint.
Ike Kaveladze and FusionGPS operatives Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin met with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner on June 9, 2016. The meeting was arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone. Hours before the Trump Tower meeting, Simpson met with Veselnitskaya and again after. Veselnitskaya told NBC News she received the information she brought to the meeting — describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats — from Simpson. Veselnitskaya also shared Simpson’s work with Yuri Chaika, the prosecutor general of Russia. FusionGPS hired Christopher Steele to author the Steele dossier three days after the meeting. Mark Corallo, attorney for Donald Trump, Jr. revealed that FusionGPS misrepresented themselves to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump Jr, and the Russian lawyer Natalie Veselnitskaya in an effort to compromise the Trump organization.
In late June, after former President Bill Clinton's meeting with Attn. Gen. Loretta Lynch on the airport tarmac in Phoenix, the Justice Department sought FISA warrants to eavesdrop on Donald Trump, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Boris Epshteyn. The FISA court denied the initial request. It is improbable that the Attorney General would act on her own against a presidential nominee of another party without consulting President Obama. Simultaneously FBI agent Peter Strzok had direct contact with Christopher Steele and received a preliminary draft of the Steele dossier. Former Trump campaign associate Carter Page flew to Moscow in early July to deliver the graduation commencement speech at the New Economic School, an honor President Obama held in 2009. Obama agents used Carter's trip as pretext to obtain a FISA warrant on Page. After whitewashing the Hillary Clinton investigation, Strzok signed the documents initiating an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On May 7, 2017, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. were summoned to FBI headquarters for an emergency meeting with bureau cybersecurity agents, CIA representatives, and Dir. James Comey. Comey was fired the next day and Andrew McCabe became Acting Director. Despite being under no less than three Inspector General investigations into the Clinton, Russia, and FusionGPS matters, McCabe still failed to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. A week before being ousted as Director by Christopher Wray, McCabe staged a highly publicized raid on Paul Manafort's home to seize Manafort's Senate Intelligence Committee transcript containing privileged information under attorney-client and immunity deals with Congress.
By December outrage of the Obama FBI abuses was omnipresent; in seven hours of testimony before House Permanent Select Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) Dep. Dir. Andrew McCabe made statements that contradicted the evidence, and was unable to provide any substantive examples of verified allegations in the Steele dossier. When pushed for examples of what was verified in the anti-Trump dossier, McCabe was only able to cite the fact that Trump campaign advisor Carter Page traveled to Moscow — McCabe could not verify anything about the meetings that Page supposedly had. McCabe claimed he could not recall — despite documents with McCabe’s own signature on them establishing the fact of his knowledge of the dossier’s financing and provenance.
FBI Chief Counselor James Baker was fired two hours after McCabe's testimony. Associate Dep. Attn. Gen. Bruce Ohr was demoted, and there were calls for McCabe's firing. Ohr withheld from his boss, Rod Rosenstein, his secret meetings with Steele and Simpson, and the fact his wife Nellie Ohr helped author the phony dossier. The House Committees began investigating possible criminal activity among Obama holdovers in DOJ & FBI.
The information the FBI collected, and the material Christopher Steele and FusionGPS manufactured, were used to create the fake news Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, and to manipulate the FISA Court into granting a FISA warrant - what Peter Strzok called “the insurance policy” against Trump's election.
2013–2017: Foreign policy
Obama entered his second term mocking and ridiculing the idea that Russia was America's prime geo-strategic competitor; by the closing days of his presidency, Obama was in a panic fanning the flames of a Third Red Scare. Vladimir Putin and Russia had thoroughly embarrassed Barack Obama on the world stage as Obama withdrew America from its traditional role of global leadership and repudiated the idea of American exceptionalism. Respect for America degenerated in the world as issues such as transexual bathrooms occupied more of Obama's time and attention than the 12 million homeless refugees Obama had driven from their homes in his failed "Arab Spring" policy. Having been thoroughly rebuked politically with the election of Donald Trump, as a lameduck Obama attempted to coverup DNC scandals uncovered by Wikileaks by scapegoating Vladimir Putin and fostering an atmosphere of paranoia about Russia, the future, and a Trump presidency.
Russia: Cold War II
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton initially cozied up to Putin, charging the Bush administration was intent on re-igniting the Cold War. However once the Rosatom-Uranium One deal was completed and the Clinton Foundation pocketed millions of dollars from Putin cronies in donations and speaking fees, relations began to sour as the Obama administration could no longer ignore geopolitical realities. Putin had protested the Obama administrations illegal drone strikes, and the administration placed sanctions on Russian leaders ostensibly in retaliation for the Crimean referendum.
President Obama's decision to move an antimissile defense system to Romania during the 2016 US Presidential election only heightened tensions. Putin, who had repeatedly assailed the antimissile system as a grave danger to Russia's security, called Obama's decision dangerous. This coupled with Obama's implementation of sanctions rather than honor the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances negotiated by the Clinton administration, displaying it as an empty promise to guarantee Ukrainian independence, only further exposed the befuddlement and inability of the Obama administration to stand by US commitments and the weaknesses of NATO.
Iranian nuke deal
The Iranian nuke deal was guided largely by the fact that US European allies already were violating existing sanctions, and unless the US acted fast, Iran was about to award a contract to the UK-French Airbus consortium for a fleet of commercial passenger jet airliners, which both Iran and Boeing much preferred to have.
The whole fiasco called into question the reliance on sanctions to prevent a rogue regime like North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, or compelling nations to behave as the US wishes as in the case of Russian sanctions, particularly if US allies are willing to ignore, circumvent, and violate sanctions.
Preferring international cooperation and equality to American sovereignty and independence (despite the U.S.'s obviously superior geopolitical position), Obama intentionally reduced American power and strength during his second term. In 2016, his administration gave up the nation's control of internet domain name system and transfer control over to an international organization.
Also during his second term, Obama entered the U.S. into the Paris climate agreement and attempted to have it join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was under negotiation. Both of these agreements would have reduced American sovereignty and self-governance. Obama also endorsed the United Nations 2030 Agenda in 2015, which called for "a 'new universal agenda' for all of humanity" and served as a major step toward a one-world government.
2013–2017: Economic policy
On January 1, 2013 President Obama permanently increased taxes on the middle and working classes by raising the payroll withholding 2%, effectively costing working families and anyone with a job on average $1000 per year.
Bill Daley replaced Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff in early 2011; Emanuel retired under a cloud to run for Mayor of Chicago after allegations that favors were promised to Rep. Joe Sestak in the Jobsgate scandal; Robert Gibbs was ousted as press secretary in the wake of the disastrous 2010 Midterm elections; Greg Craig was dispatched in less than one year as White House counsel after the botched handling of the Guantanamo closing and was replaced by Robert Bauer; old Chicago friends Valerie Jarrett remained while David Axelrod fell victim the midterm White House shake up and returned to Chicago to head up fundraising for Obama's 2012 election bid.
In private White House strategy sessions Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reported Emanuel was bitterly opposed the effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison early, arguing that it wasn't politically feasible. Obama overruled Emanuel. Emanuel fought against the plan to send Khalid Sheik Mohammed to New York for a trial. Emanuel lost. On health care Emanuel argued for a smaller bill with popular items that could win Republican support and opposed the public option as a needless distraction. Obama disregarded that strategy and sided with Congressional liberals who hoped to ram a larger, less popular bill through Congress with Democratic votes only. Milbank writes,
|“||Obama's first year fell apart in large part because he didn't follow his chief of staff's advice on crucial matters...Obama's problem is that his other confidants -- particularly Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs, and, to a lesser extent, David Axelrod -- are part of the Cult of Obama. In love with the president, they believe he is a transformational figure who needn't dirty his hands in politics.||”|
- Main article: Jobsgate
Jobsgate refers to the scandal where former President Bill Clinton was asked by someone in the White House to offer Congressman Joe Sestak a federal job in exchange for his withdrawal from the Democratic primary election against incumbent U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. Under American law, it is a federal crime to offer someone a federal position in exchange for favors. Joe Sestak's allegation that President Clinton carried the message from the White House for a job if he were to drop out of the Pennsylvania Senate primary race against Arlen Specter may be an impeachable crime.
Obama proceeded rapidly with cabinet choices. Obama has drawn heavily on Clinton Administration leaders to fill his Cabinet, along with Bush appointees Gates, Jones and Geithner. His national security team (Biden, Clinton, Gates, Jones) all supported the Iraq war, although Obama made opposition to the war central to his campaign. So far no leaders of the left-wing of the Democratic party have been appointed to any major position, which has stunned antiwar and left elements.
A growing failure of leadership emerged in the Treasury department in March, as it proved difficult to assemble a leadership team. Dozens of senior Treasury jobs are empty; apart from the Secretary, the first 3 names were sent to the Senate for confirmation on March 8 and two other top nominees withdrew their names. Secretary Geithner is overwhelmed with multiple major responsibilities without any senior officials in place. He does have about 50 informal aides. The result was poorly thought out proposals that won no support, and lengthy delays in responding to the increasingly serious financial crisis. Analysts debated whether the display of incompetence was due more to Geithner or the White House.
With a worldwide swine flu epidemic threatening, the Administration finally filled the job of Secretary of Health and Human Services on April 28. The flu epidemic petered out but policy initiative has been lagging because of the long delays in filling top posts. The confusion caused by weak leadership was underscored in November when runaway advisory boards recommended cutting back on health programs for women, such as mammograms, at a time conservatives were warning that medical care would be rationed under the proposed plans.
Scandal has already tainted the cabinet. Bill Richardson was nominated for Secretary of Commerce but had to withdraw when he became a party to a criminal investigation. The nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, was confirmed after a humiliating televised session in which he admitted not paying $34,000 in federal income taxes. Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination as secretary of Health and Human Services because he had avoided $140,000 in federal taxes over a period of years, and paid them only after he had been named to the cabinet.
Scandal also ruined the career of Nancy Killefer, nominated by President Obama to be the federal government's first chief performance officer. She too had evaded paying her taxes.
It was not a scandal but an embarrassment for Obama on Feb. 12, when New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who had agreed to join the cabinet as Secretary of Commerce, dropped out. Gregg cited irreconcilable differences, and observers pointed out that Obama's staff planned to take the 2010 Census out of the Commerce Department's jurisdiction, weakening the secretary and politicizing the census.
In July, Steven Rattner, the czar for the auto industry who lead the Presidential task force that restructured General Motors and Chrysler, was forced to quit when he came under investigation for paying million-dollar bribes to get state business in his previous job. Rattner was to pay $6.2 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for his involvement in a New York State Pension Fund pay-to-play scandal.
Even more damaging to liberal Democrats were scandals involving the Senate seats of Clinton and Obama himself. In New York Gov. David Paterson came to office in 2008 after a sex scandal forced the resignation of his predecessor. Paterson damaged himself and his Democratic party by dangling an appointment to Caroline Kennedy, who was unable to make up her mind. He finally rejected her and turned to the most conservative Democrat in the entire Northeast, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand. She is a Blue Dog Democrat known for her defense of gun rights and opposition to the Obama stimulus package.
It was much worse in Illinois, after Gov. Rod Blagojevich (a Democrat) sought to sell the Obama seat. Obama refused to bargain, so Blagojevich tried to auction it off, and was caught in FBI wiretaps. He was arrested and will face criminal trial in federal court, and was promptly impeached by the state legislature, with all the conservatives and Republicans there unanimous in calling for his ouster. Before he was forced out, Blagojevich named a light-weight replacement, Roland Burris. Democrats in Washington at first promised they would keep Burris out because of his tainting by the governor's maneuvers; they relented and were forced to seat Burris.
Burris admitted in February that he lied under oath to the Illinois legislature about his contacts with Blagojevich. Calls have been made for a perjury investigation that may lead to Burris's expulsion from the Senate.
|Vice President||Joseph Biden||Confirmed|
|Chief of Staff||Jack Lew||Confirmed|
|Secretary of State||John Kerry||Confirmed|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Timothy Geithner||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Energy||Steven Chu||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Defense||Leon Panetta||Confirmed|
|Attorney General||Eric Holder||Confirmed|
|Secretary of the Interior||Ken Salazar||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Commerce||Gary Locke||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Health and Human Services||Kathleen Sebelius||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Veterans Affairs||Eric Shinseki||Confirmed|
|Secretary of Homeland Security||Janet Napolitano||Confirmed|
|Budget Director||Peter Orszag||Confirmed|
|Council of Economic Advisers||Christina Romer||Confirmed|
|National Economic Council||Lawrence H. Summers||Confirmed|
|National Security Advisor||James Jones||Confirmed|
|CIA Director||David Petraeus||Confirmed|
Obama got an early pick for the Supreme Court when liberal Justice David Souter retired. He quickly names Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor in May 2009. She was born to a poor family of migrants from Puerto Rico, and after attending Princeton and Yale Law School made it to the top through very hard work. She is the first American of Puerto Rican descent named to a high office on the mainland and her nomination marked a watershed in the national recognition and acceptance of all Latinos.
The Obama administrations has more than 30 "czars" (a term used informally to refer to high-level executive branch officials who advise the president on a particular area of policy but do not have cabinet posts), who will oversee combined budgets totaling more than $1.7 trillion.
Glenn Beck warns Obama's 'shadow government' is growing in size and power.
Van Jones, a longtime radical organizer, resigned in September 2009 as Green Czar when it was revealed he had endorsed a 9-11 conspiracy theory that claimed, "people within the current [Bush] administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war."
Presidential Actions (Executive Orders, Presidential Memoranda and Proclamations) are listed on the White House website, on the Presidential Actions page.
- Executive Orders are listed here.
- Presidential Memoranda are listed here.
- Proclamations are listed here.
Overweight Obama administration officials
Below is a list of present and past Obama administration officials who have had problems with being overweight:
1. Regina M. Benjamin - U.S. Surgeon General
2. Katherine Archuleta - Political director
Michelle Obama's Healthy Eating Initiative
Michelle Obama made the liberal media news cycle by promoting healthy eating from the White House garden. The food network filmed “Iron Chef America" showcasing Michelle's healthy food, cooking five dishes using the secret ingredient: produce from the White House garden. The two-hour special showed the chefs picking sweet potatoes, broccoli, fennel and tomatillos from the White House garden. An issue came to light that the foods were actually prepared in New York City, speculating that the entire show was just staged to look like produce from her garden. Also, her campaign against obesity has not stopped her and Barack from taking their children out for ice cream while on vacation.
In Michelle Obama's first interview on the Fox News network, she would tout her responsible-eating initiative for kids. She would highlight the Obama Administration's $400 million Healthy Food Financing Initiative and her "Let's Move" campaign, which educates the danger of obese children and healthy eating. She would tie the promises of the program to saying it would create 5000 jobs and pointed out that childhood obesity is a threat to national security. She urges children and parents to just skip "food desserts".
She would promote healthy eating initiatives for schools. Barack sought and passed legislation costing more than $4 billion. It is a horrible example of nanny state politics with draconian requirements on what can or cannot be sold at school bake sales and at the school cafeteria.
Michelle Obama greeted an overweight U.S. Surgeon General for the MyPlate initiative
Barack and Michelle Obama and a burger joint
- Obamagate timeline
- Barack Obama Controversies
- Barack Obama's unlawful acts
- Obamagate timeline 2009-2015
- Lobbyists ties to the Obama administration
- Muslim agenda of the Obama administration
- Obama doublespeak
- Deep state coup
- Ben Rhodes
- Overweight Obama administration officials
- Essay: Blow The Nomination
- Raymond Davis Affair
- Obama Unveils His National Security Team, Fox News, December 1, 2008
- IMF cuts U.S. growth forecast, warns of crisis., Reuters
- Monthly Budget Review, November 6, 2009 Congressional Budget Office
- Monthly Budget Review, November 4, 2010 Congressional Budget Office
- The S&P Outlook and Obama Commentary
- PDF U.S. Census Bureau
- Number of people in poverty reaches highest level in 51 years USA Today
- Jobless Claims Jump in New Sign Recovery Is Sputtering Wall Street Journal
- United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data extracted on: July 19, 2010 (4:31:11 PM).
- Health-Care Law Struck Down Over Insurance Mandate Bloomberg News
- Obamacare: Unemployment You Can Believe In Human Events
- It’s Official: Medicare’s Finances Shadowed by Uncertainty Heritage Foundation
- With health bill, Obama has sown the seeds of a budget crisis Washington Post
- Cramer: Obamacare Will Topple the Market The Street
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama Regime Planned the Influx of Illegal Alien Children at the Border
- Foiled Terror Plots Against America Since 9/11 Fox News
- Jet passengers overpower would-be bomber Los Angeles Times
- Bomb Injures Arkansas Doctor The New York Times
- Small Bomb Goes Off Outside Upper East Side Starbucks New York Daily News
- Suspect in Soldier Attack Was Once Detained in Yemen The New York Times
- Lawmakers Call Ft. Hood Shootings ‘Terrorism’ The New York Times
- Gulf of Mexico oil spill imperils Obama's offshore drilling plan, By Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor, April 30, 2010.
- White House Press Release, Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina, Office of the Press Secretary, April 02, 2010. Retrieved from whitehouse.gov 3 May 2010.
- President Obama must reinstate moratorium on offshore drilling, Greenpeace USA blogs, 30 Apr 2010.
- Worst environmental disaster in US history, Maryann Tobin, Examiner.com, April 29, 2010.
- Conscience of a Liberal: The Oil Spill Is Obama’s Fault, Paul Krugman, New York Times, April 30, 2010.
- Obama's Unspoken Re-Election Edge Wall Street Journal
- What Is The Obama Regime Up To? — Paul Craig Roberts
- Dean, Jr., Warren L. (December 17, 2013). "Dean: The real cause of income inequality". The Washington Times website.
- Obama's Stimulus Plan: Failing by Its Own Measure, Stephen Gandel, Time magazine, July 14, 2009.
- Obama promises economic relief this summer, MSNBC/AP, 6/8/2009.
- Obama scored 59 in March 2009, Geithner 51, and Bernanke 71. See Phil Izzo, "Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists," Wall Street Journal March 11, 2009
- Phil Izzo, "Few Economists Favor More Stimulus," Wall Street Journal July 10, 2009
- The Unemployment rate climbed to 9.5% in June 2009, then hit 10,2% in October, as the GDP fell at an alarming -6.4% annual rate in the first quarter of 2009.
- Obama to Meet With Buffett, Daley, Economic Advisers, Bloomberg News, Nov. 6 2008.
- Robert Rubin quits Citigroup amid criticism, Reuters, Jan 9, 2009
- Buffett: Cap-and-Trade Is a ‘Regressive’ Tax The New York Times
- EITC is a conservative idea first proposed by Milton Friedman, enacted under Republican presidents Ford and Reagan.
- Obama's 95% Illusion Wall Street Journal
- Jackie Calmes, "New Deficit Forecast Casts Shadow on Obama Agenda," The New York Times Mar. 20, 2009
- Judd Gregg says Obama's budget doubles the national debt in five years PolitiFact
- Carbon Trading to Raise Consumer Energy Prices Wall Street Journal
- Battle Lines Quickly Set Over Planned Policy Shifts Washington Post Mar. 1, 2009
- Sharper Downturn Clouds Obama Spending Plans, Peter S. Goodman, The New York Times Feb. 27, 2009
- How Obama Should Shrink His Deficit, Martin Feldstein, Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2010. Retrieved from nber.org
- The Back-Door Entitlement, The Concord Coalition.
- Impact of the Obamacare Tax Credits, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Staff Report, October 27, 2011.
"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that Obamacare’s refundable health insurance tax credits and Medicaid expansion will increase the nation’s debt burden by $1.36 trillion in the first seven years that these provisions are fully implemented...85 percent of filers who claim the credit will end the year with zero or negative income tax liability. Since the tax credit is refundable, nearly all 11.3 million of these filers will have negative income tax liability and will no longer pay the cost of government by contributing federal income taxes....For example, a family of four at 200 percent of the [Federal Poverty Level] (about $48,677 in 2016) cannot pay more than 6.3 percent of their income for health insurance...The CBO estimates that the average cost of the reference insurance plan (the plan used to calculate the tax credit) will be $14,100 for family coverage in 2016. Therefore, a family of four that qualifies for a credit in 2016 and that makes $48,677 would be required to pay about $3,067 for health insurance (6.3 percent of household income). The difference, $11,033, is the value of this family’s refundable tax credit...According to the CBO, 20 million Americans will receive health insurance tax credits in 2020 at a cost of $130 billion."
- Where does Obama’s budget proposal fall short? Heritage Foundation
- Obama's deficit plans run into economic reality Associated Press
- The Unhappy President RealClearPolitics
- Barack Obama, to Joint Session of Congress,” February 24, 2009. Retrieved from whitehouse.gov, April 27, 2011.
- U.S. Business Owners Now Among Least Approving of Obama Gallup organization
- Obama plans 'down payment' on healthcare overhaul Los Angeles Times
- Senate Bill Would Fine People More Than $1,000 for Refusing Health Care Coverage Fox News
- Washington Post-ABC News Poll Washington Post July 20, 2009
- Taxpayers To Lose At Least $11 Billion On General Motors Bailout Outside The Beltway
- See Nick Anderson, "Unions Criticize Obama's School Proposals as 'Bush III'", Washington Post Sept. 25, 2009
- Commentary: Obama, Dems wrong to kill school vouchers CNN
- Conn Carroll. If the FCC Had Regulated the Internet, blog.heritage.org, December 27, 2010.
- The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 23, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Just 21% Want FCC to Regulate Internet, Most Fear Regulation Would Promote Political Agenda, Rasmussen Reports, December 28, 2010
- James Gattuso, “FCC’s Christmas Gift for the Internet: Net Neutrality Regulation,” The Foundry, December 1, 2010, at http://blog.heritage.org/2010/12/01/fcc%e2%80%99s-christmas-gift-for-the-internet-net-neutrality-regulation.
- 'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now. The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers. The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom, Wall Street Journal, By Robert M. McDowell, December 19, 2010.
- The Federal Communications Commission approved a plan to regulate the Internet despite warnings that it could strangle industry investment and damage an economy that is still struggling to recover. FCC Approves Plan to Regulate Internet, Fox News Channel, Published December 21, 2010.
- Lachlan Markay. Opponents of FCC's New Internet Regulations Vow Swift Recourse, NewsBusters, December 21, 2010.
- F.C.C. (and Net Neutrality Supporters) Lose Case Against Comcast, By Joel Zand on April 6, 2010.
- Red Tape Under the Tree: FCC Plans Internet Regulation for Christmas, Heritage Foundation, Published on December 17, 2010 by James Gattuso.
- Obama Administration Reportedly Plans to Create Internet ID for All Americans, FoxNews.com, Published January 08, 2011.
- IRS Targets Catholic Critics of Obama Regime at Crisis Magazine
- Obama Regime's Administrative Amnesty: Impeachment Is The Only Answer at VDARE.com
- Munro, Neil (July 21, 2017). DACA: Seven Facts About Obama’s Amnesty Decree. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- Nolte, John (September 5, 2017). 14 Things the MSM Won’t Tell You About DACA. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (September 3, 2017). How the Obama Administration Bypassed Congress to Grant De Facto Amnesty to Young Illegal Aliens. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
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- NYT, ibid.
- NYT, ibid.
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- Greenwire, ibid.
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- Government’s Response to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss for Pre-Indictment Delay, United States v. Vadim Mikerin, Criminal No. TDC-14-0529 (D. MD) at 1. http://fcpa.stanford.edu/enforcement-action.html?id=583
- Uranium One Chairman Ian Telfer alone donated through his private Fernwood Foundation $1 million in 2009, the year his company appealed to the U.S. Embassy to help it keep its mines in Kazakhstan; $250,000 in 2010, the year the Russians sought majority control; $600,000 in 2011; and $500,000 in 2012. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakhstan mines.
Under Canadian law the identity of donors to a non-profit entity are are allowed anonymity. Giustra formed with Bill Clinton the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership as part of the Clinton Foundation, which could receive anonymous donations.
After the transfer of Uranium One to Rosatom, Giustra and others donated over $130 million to the Clinton Foundation. https://www.clintonfoundation.org/our-work/clinton-giustra-enterprise-partnership
- https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2017-10-12%20CEG%20to%20OSTP%20(Uranium%20One%20Follow%20up).pdf p.2 fn.4.
- https://theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/katica-foia-1.jpg <
- Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal,” THE NEW YORK TIMES(April 23, 2015).
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- PROCEDURES FOR THE AVAILABILITY OR DISSEMINATION OF RAW SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION BY THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY UNDER SECTION 2.3 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 12333 (RAW SIGINT AVAILABILITY PROCEDURES). OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE. UNCLASSIFIED
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