Cabinet & Agencies

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  • Beck-promoted book pins creation of Fed on conspiracy of Jewish bankers

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Yesterday on his Fox News show, while attacking Edward House, an adviser to President Wilson, for his work in establishing the Federal Reserve, Glenn Beck promoted the book Secrets of the Federal Reserve. As we pointed out, the book was written by Eustace Mullins, a reported 9-11 truther who was called "an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist" by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    At the beginning of his discussion of House, Beck urged his audience, "I ask you to do your own homework on this, don't take anything I say as truth just because I say it. Do your own homework. Find out if it's true. Read original sources." And so we did.

    The ADL calls Secrets of the Federal Reserve "a re-hash of [Mullins'] anti-Semitic theories about the origins of the Federal Reserve." Based on our review, that description seems accurate.

    Secrets was commissioned by and dedicated to an American Hitler sympathizer who attacked the Allied governments in World War II-era broadcasts for Italy's Fascist government. The book tells the tale of how a sinister conspiracy of international financiers, led by a family of Jewish bankers to whom "the most powerful men in the United States were themselves answerable," established the Federal Reserve as part of their centuries-old plot to control the country.

  • Megyn Kelly does not want her viewers to know what the DOJ actually does

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Megyn Kelly predictably jumped all over reports that Justice Department attorney Christopher Coates would testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights tomorrow about the department's handling of a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party. Kelly called this development a "bombshell" that could show that the DOJ is not enforcing voting rights laws equally based on race -- but she made no mention of the DOJ's actual work enforcing voting laws against black defendants.

    Kelly hearkened back to her interviews earlier this summer with right-wing activist J. Christian Adams, who has claimed that there is a "hostility in the voting rights section" of the Justice Department "to bringing cases on behalf of white victims for the benefit of national racial minorities." Fox News -- Megyn Kelly in particular -- relentlessly fanned these flames throughout the summer. Coates' decision to testify was no exception:

    That testimony could potentially be damaging to DOJ officials who have testified before that same commission under oath that the Department of Justice does not have a policy of enforcing voting right laws unequally, depending on the race of the parties involved.

    That's a rather extraordinary allegation that Coates might attempt to corroborate tomorrow. But it's an allegation that is in no way sustainable given the actual actions of the Justice Department -- actions that Megyn Kelly routinely ignores.

  • J. Christian Adams' desperate quest for "proof"

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Right-wing activists J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky are looking to reignite the phony New Black Panther Party scandal, claiming that emails between political appointees and career Justice attorneys are "stunning new developments in the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) voter-intimidation scandal" and "proof" that the "DOJ lied" and "may also have committed perjury before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights."

    In fact, Justice Department officials have long made clear that political appointees were kept informed of the decision-making process as it developed -- a fact that is in no way at odds with the statement that career attorneys made the final decision.

    At issue is an index of communications -- commonly referred to as a Vaughn index -- between Justice Department lawyers from April and May 2009, released in response to a public records request from Judicial Watch.

    According to Judicial Watch, the emails "contradict testimony" given by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez before the Civil Rights Commission in May, specifically Perez's statements that the decision not to pursue additional charges in the case was made by career attorneys and that political leadership was not involved in the decision.

  • Hot Air ignores reality to argue administration shirked legal duties in DADT case

    Blog ››› ››› ADAM SHAH

    Noting that the government "called no witnesses" in Log Cabin Republicans v. Gates, Hot Air's Allahpundit argued that the Obama administration shirked its legal responsibility to defend the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. In fact, while President Obama has called for the repeal of DADT, the Justice Department clearly met whatever legal responsibility it has to defend DADT.

    Allahpundit quotes from the district court's opinion in Log Cabin Republicans, which states, "it again must be noted that Defendants called no witnesses, put on no affirmative case, and only entered into evidence the legislative history of the Act." Allahpundit the speculated: "Sounds like the feds maybe kinda sorta wanted to lose this one, possibly to help break the logjam in the Senate. (Maybe something for the lame-duck session?)"

    However, the very opinion from which Allahpundit quotes also noted the reason the government did not put on witnesses or present evidence other than the legislative history: because it contended that all such evidence was irrelevant to the case. From the opinion:

    Defendants asserted relevance (and often other) objections to nearly every exhibit Plaintiff sought to introduce into evidence during trial, as well as to nearly all the testimonial evidence offered. According to Defendants, because Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of the statute on its face, rather than challenging its application, the only evidence the Court should -- indeed may -- consider, is the statute itself and the bare legislative history; thus, according to Defendants, all other evidence is irrelevant.

    Moreover, the government filed hundreds of pages of legal briefs in the case to defend DADT and has defended the policy in the Supreme Court as well.

  • Fox pushes yet another phony voting rights story

    ››› ››› SHAUNA THEEL

    Fox News' Dave Briggs attacked the Department of Justice for asking election officials in Ohio to print ballots in Spanish, which he claimed would not be "a proper use of funds." But the Justice Department reportedly says the ballots are needed to obey federal law, which prohibits making a person educated in a Spanish-language school in Puerto Rico understand English in order to vote.

  • Another Fox News voting rights story collapses

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Fox News has harped on a waiver provision in noncontroversial legislation protecting military and overseas voters in order to suggest that the Obama administration would use that waiver process as a "political move" to help Democrats win elections, citing concerns among "some Democratic strategists" about the November midterm elections -- specifically pointing to Senate races in Colorado and Wisconsin:

    Today, that story completely collapsed as the Defense Department denied the waiver requests of four states, including Wisconsin and Colorado.

  • Savage butchers Gates speech to claim Obama "would eliminate the Marine Corps"

    Blog ››› ››› SEAN EASTER

    In a recent attempt to paint Defense Secretary Robert Gates as a puppet for a president who "would eliminate the Marine Corps," radio host Michael Savage used all manner of deceptive editing and omission to make his case. Savage attacked Gates, calling him a "Stepford wife" and a "traitor," and repeatedly edited out relevant comments by the defense chief that directly refute Savage's misrepresentations.

    In his full comments (available on video here), Gates made clear that he sees the Marine Corps as a crucial asset to our national defense in current conflicts and in the future.

  • GOP civil rights commissioner: Race-based charge against DOJ is "simply impossible to believe"

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    The phony-right wing accusation that the Justice Department has "a hostility" to pursuing voting rights cases on behalf of white voters against black defendants has always maintained a tenuous relationship with reality. After all, the very voter intimidation case underlying the charade involved the Obama Justice Department successfully obtaining an injunction against a member of the New Black Panther Party for carrying a nightstick outside a Philadelphia polling station, whereas the main source of the allegations is a longtime GOP activist who has acknowledged lacking firsthand knowledge of the claims he made to support his accusations. According to transcript of the August 13 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights meeting that Media Matters has obtained, Republican vice chairwoman Abigail Thernstrom further exposed the absurdity of the charges against the department, calling a key allegation supporting the bogus charges "simply impossible to believe."

    Advancing his unsubstantiated allegations before the commission in July, GOP activist J. Christian Adams accused Julie Fernandes, a Justice Department lawyer, of saying that "cases are not going to be brought against black defendants for the benefit of white victims." Adams made clear during his testimony that he had no firsthand knowledge of Fernandes actually saying that. The next day, Adams took his accusations to Fox News' Megy Kelly, as Kelly and Adams pushed the notion that Fernandes handed down "a mandate" that "the law not be enforced" because she believed it would "not encourage turnout." Kelly added that, if true, Fernandes would be "sanctioning voter fraud" in order to "encourage minority turnout."

    Kelly -- a driving force behind Fox News' promotion of the trumped up scandal -- again trumpeted Adams' allegations during a July 8 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, saying Adams "said that it is well-known that if the DOJ would let these other attorneys within the voting rights section talk, they would confirm that she has instructed lawyers within the voting rights section not to bring a voter intimidation case or a voting rights case if the defendant is black and the victim is white" (via Nexis). Former DOJ official Hans von Spakovsy also forwarded the allegations in a July 21 blog post, where Spakovsky cited "sworn testimony" that Fernandes "instructed Voting Section lawyers that no cases would be brought against any black or other minority defendants no matter how egregious their violations of the law."

    However, during the August 13 Civil Rights Commission hearing Thernstrom said: "It is simply impossible to believe that Julie Fernandes said anything remotely like 'We are not going to enforce civil rights laws when blacks are defendants.' " Thernstrom has previously said that the commission's inquiry "doesn't have to do with the Black Panthers" and that conservatives on the commission wanted to use the case to "topple the administration"

    From the transcript obtained by Media Matters:

    VICE CHAIR THERNSTROM: It is simply impossible to believe that Julie Fernandes said anything remotely like "We are not going to enforce civil rights laws when blacks are defendants."

    I mean, she cannot have said that. Maybe she said something that some people interpreted as saying that. But she surely didn't announce that. I mean, unless she is some sort of moron - and she certainly could not have been speaking for the Department if she was a moron.