Search The Archives

Sunday, August 9, 2015

RED STATE / FOX NEWS: TAKE AIM AT REPUBLICAN FRONT RUNNER

August 9, 2015

By now, unless you do not follow politics at all, you have heard that the first Republican Debate on Thursday night was nothing more than a free for all aimed at Republican front-runner Donald Trump.  During the debate, pointed questions were used to target a few candidates, but none more than Donald Trump, a candidate that has been incredibly consistent in his views for nearly 30 years.


Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, whom we actually find to be generally "Fair and Unbiased" took particular cause with Donald Trump by firing off questions that she knew the answers to, but were designed to make Mr. Trump purposefully tainted in a negative way.  Rather than asking fair and unbiased questions on his perspective on current events and political stances, Fox News, who hosted the debate, went immediately for the jugulars right out of the gate towards Mr. Trump on whether he would remain loyal to the Republican Party if not chosen as the candidate of choice.  Anchor Megan Kelly, followed up on Mr. Trumps "Tweets" about Rosie O'Donnell to paint Mr. Trump as "anti-women."

Donald Trump refused to apologize for anything he's said on twitter, as well as any of the comments since the debate about anchor Megyn Kelly.  In a CNN interview, Mr. Trump said of Megyn Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”

The Trump campaign plainly stated that Donald simply used the wrong word, and meant to say "whatever" in a manner of disgust of the situation that Megyn Kelly purposefully created.  It has been reported that Mr. Trump never meant to imply anything more than that.

However, RedState Gathering coordinator Erik Erikson "disinvited" Mr. Trump from the event held on Saturday which included most of the other main GOP contenders including Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush among other distinguished guests and speakers.

In an article written by Erik Erikson, the following was published this weekend about the disinviting of Mr. Trump, and obvious move to distance the front-runner in the GOP from the pack:

"I called Mr. Trump’s campaign manager and apologized and told him I felt bad for Mr. Trump because he has gotten so much sh*t from so many people and the party itself wasn’t treating the guy at the front of the pack as legitimate.


I think that is true. And I’ve been very sympathetic to Donald Trump because so many of the people who have led the party astray refuse to even treat him as a legitimate candidate.
But I also think that while Mr. Trump resonates with a lot of people with his bluntness, including me to a degree, there are just real lines of decency a person running for President should not cross."
We see no reason for Mr. Trump to apologize for what he's said, now, or in the past.  Mr. Trump is likely one of the few candidates that has remain consistent in his stance on multiple issue for nearly 30 years. It's unfortunate that a thing like "Political Correctness" is getting in the way of running a fair campaign for all candidates, regardless of what they have or haven't said.  If we are being honest, Governor Chris Christie has been extremely blunt to constituents in his home state of New Jersey, however, we wouldn't say that he should be disinvited for his demeanor or actions because Governor Christie has done a lot of good in the State of New Jersey.

Its' about time that the GOP starts supporting its candidates fairly, as admonishing one over the other starts to look like favoritism.  We've already seen that in action in the first debate.  Using a tool like "disinviting" a candidate to the RedState Gathering is yet another way to implement divisiveness into the party.


Friday, July 24, 2015

IN SEARCH OF A TRUE SANDY HOOK HERO

FROM "EVERYDAY JOE" TO HERO...

In a world where it would appear that criminals are getting bolder and more brazen with their heinous acts against humanity, and in a world where only a small section of society questions the mainstream news its fed,  we can't help but take notice that a serious omission exists when it comes to the "good guys."  We believe that acts of bravery and heroism should always be acknowledged, and we will be the first, and likely the only news service that will be bringing forth this story for your support and feedback.  Ultimately, we would like to see that a certain individual be officially recognized by our President for his unselfish acts of bravery, above and beyond their obligations as an employee.

We all know the main narrative of the events on December 14th, 2012.  A "lone gunman" (whose name we will not mention) shoots his own mother dead in her bedroom in Sandy Hook, CT., and then heads to Sandy Hook Elementary School where he blasts his way into a building that should have been a safe-haven for those in the K-4 school.  As we have been told, the gunman needed to blast his way through a doorway, meeting immediate confrontation by the school's Principal, Dawn Hochsprung, and other staff members.  Killing all those he encountered along the way, the gunman ultimately took the lives of 20 young children and 6 staff at the school before ending his own life according to State Police.

It wasn't until some time well after the event at Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) that most of the world learned of the grizzly details starting from the very first 9-1-1 calls, crime scene analysis and evidence collection all the way through DNA sample results.  Even later on, the general public was graciously provided the dash-camera footage from Newtown Police responding to SHES in what appears to be a frantic response to save innocent lives.

In the years following the Sandy Hook shooting, scores of Police Officers and Troopers in Connecticut were officially recognized by Governor Dan Malloy last summer.  Awards were presented to first responders, major crime detectives, emergency services troopers, troopers and civilians who served as peer support, dispatchers, municipal & federal law enforcement, troopers and officers who served as liaison officer to victims’ families and numerous civilian support personnel from within the six divisions of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

While Law Enforcement obviously plays a key role in saving lives when tragedy strikes, there are always those in the community-at-large that act upon their instincts, often placing their own lives in direct harm to save others.  There are those who wouldn't think twice about placing themselves directly in the line-of-fire out of a sense of duty and honor, to protect those they may not even know personally, yet, do so, because that is simply who they are.



On the 9-1-1 calls of the Sandy Hook event, we are introduced to the school's Custodian, Rick Thorne.  Mr. Thorne, who reportedly called 9-1-1 shortly after the shooting began, not only managed to call for assistance, but stepped directly into harms way.  Several staff and family members of victims seem to broadcast nothing but accolades for Mr. Thorne.

According to one Teacher's Assistant, Shari Burton, Mr. Thorne ran up and down the school corridors making sure that Teachers and students were securely locked behind fireproof doors (school doors only lock from the outside).  This was widely reported in many mainstream media reports including the NY Daily News, NewsTimes (Hearst Media) and the Hartford Courant.  The Hartford Courant reports:

"When the shooting started, school janitor Rick Thorne ran through the school warning teachers to close their doors and then used a master key to lock many of the doors for them. The state police SWAT team that was clearing the school after the shooting had to get the key from Thorne to open some of the rooms. The key was so worn from use that morning that it snapped in one of the doors."



What is clear from the witnesses in the school, the 9-1-1 recordings we now have available as well as tweets and other social media posts from family members such as Hochsprung's daughters / Victoria Soto's sister, etc.,  all seem to indicate that Rick Thorne was a Superhero on that cold December morning.  Keeping true to Superhero form, Rick Thorne has somehow managed to avoid any type of public praise or interviews.  We heard his voice, yet, to those not privy to the private lives of those living in the Sandy Hook community, we know very little of Rick.

RICK THORNE GOES TO WASHINGTON



What we do know, is that Mr. Thorne attended a posh ceremony at the White House on February 15th, 2013, when 6 slain Sandy Hook Elementary School employees were bestowed the "Presidential Citizens Medal" by President Obama in the East Room.  The medal, is the second highest ranking award a private citizen can receive;  the "Presidential Medal of Freedom" being the highest award possible.  Rick Thorne was invited to attend the ceremony along with co-worker Kris Feda, a teacher who was meeting with a student's parents in the front hall of Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14/12.   The two were invited to the White House (although by whom is still not clear) and witnessed the citations being delivered to the families of Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto.

Also in attendance for the ceremony with Rick Thorne was Tom Kurowski, President of the Newtown Federation of Teachers and Dawn Hochsprung's Secretary, Joanne DiDonato.  

Kurowski, stated that his wife who is also an employee of the School District but was home sick that day, provided him with information about what was happening at Sandy Hook while he was within the safe confines of Newtown High School where he is an Anatomy and Physiology teacher.  Kuroski appeared before state and national lawmakers in Hartford and Washington, D.C., appealing for school safety measures, changes to the worker's compensation law to include trauma relief, and other legal protections to assure "this never happens again." He championed school security improvements and mental health and counseling supports for his peers.  Kurowski was honored as the Unionist of the Year Award at the Connecticut chapter of the American Federation of Teachers convention in Southington for his actions after the event on 5/18/2103.  

Joanne DiDonato, who also was absent from work on the day of the shooting, states that she believes she was absent that fateful day to assist her co-workers and students to push forward and heal, one day at a time.  To our knowledge no awards were issued to Ms. DiDonato.

Which leaves Mr. Thorne as one of the few actual heroes that has not been bestowed any award, citation or medal which is somewhat confusing.  It is our opinion, that given the scenarios reported, Mr. Thorne was a man who acted completely like a true hero would;

Like Dawn Hochsprung, Rick Thorne rushed into harms way to confront a heavily armed and crazed killer.  He attempted to order the killer to drop his weapons.  He secured several rooms, ushered teachers and students into their rooms and cleared the hallways of innocent children.  He called 9-1-1 and provided second-by-second accountings of the happenings as they played out so Law Enforcement could quickly and accurately descend upon the killer.  And while jeopardizing his own safety with the killer wasn't risky enough, he also risked his life when Police entered the school;  after all, the Police didn't have an accurate description of the killer, and Mr. Thorne could have just as well been the shooter for all they knew.  We see Mr. Thorne included in on family members tweets recalling his bravery and how his actions likely saved lives that morning.  The event may have only lasted minutes, but if you were Rick Thorne that morning, those minutes likely seemed like hours, not knowing if at any second, he would become the next victim of the killer, or by misidentification in the "fog of war" by the Police rushing in to stop a crazed killer.

We would like to see Rick Thorne receive the proper praise he deserves; the praise he has earned.  If the account of the Sandy Hook Shooting is accurate as its reported to be, then this is a man who is a true hero.  If you know Rick Thorne personally, please thank him on behalf of all parents everywhere as he is a role model.  In our opinion, Mr. Thorne should also receive the Presidential Citizen Medal, if not the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Please leave your thoughts and comments below.


Friday, March 27, 2015

JADE HELM 15: OFFICIAL USASOC PRESS RELEASE

USASOC DUI
USASOC DUI
Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.

USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.

While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.

The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities. In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.

The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas. The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise. There will also be economic gain: an increase in the local economy, in fuel and food purchases and hotel lodging.

This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for ARSOF since they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.

During this eight-week period, ARSOF soldiers will use this opportunity to further develop tactics, techniques and procedures for emerging concepts in Special Operations warfare.

USASOC intends to conduct the exercise safely and courteously while providing the best possible training available for the nation's Army Special Operations Forces. State and local officials are being informed of the scope of Jade Helm and will continue to be updated as the exercise progresses.

Source: http://www.army.mil/article/145143/PRESS_RELEASE__Exercise_readies_SOF_for_threats_abroad/

RELEASE NUMBER: 150324-03
DATE POSTED: MARCH 24, 2015

PRESS RELEASE: Exercise readies SOF for threats abroad


FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, March 24, 2015) - Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15. 

USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.

While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas. 

The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities.  In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands. 

The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas.  The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise. There will also be economic gain: an increase in the local economy, in fuel and food purchases and hotel lodging.

This exercise is routine training to maintain a high level of readiness for ARSOF since they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.  

During this eight-week period, ARSOF soldiers will use this opportunity to further develop tactics, techniques and procedures for emerging concepts in Special Operations warfare. 

USASOC intends to conduct the exercise safely and courteously while providing the best possible training available for the nation's Army Special Operations Forces. State and local officials are being informed of the scope of Jade Helm and will continue to be updated as the exercise progresses.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

US ARMY CHARGES SGT BOWE BERGDAHL WITH DESERTION

Army Charges Bergdahl With Desertion

DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 – U.S. Army Forces Command has thoroughly reviewed the Army investigation surrounding Sgt. Robert Bowdrie Bergdahl’s 2009 disappearance in Afghanistan and formally charged him today under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty” and “Misbehavior Before The Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place,” and has referred the case to an Article 32 preliminary hearing, command officials announced today in a news release.
The remainder of the release follows:
Sgt. Bergdahl is charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with one count of Article 85, “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty,” and one count of Article 99, “Misbehavior Before The Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place.” Army Sgt. Bergdahl disappeared June 30, 2009, from Combat Outpost Mest-Lalak in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and was subsequently captured.
An Article 32 preliminary hearing is a legal procedure under the Uniform Code of Military Justice designed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to merit a court-martial and is required before a case can be tried by a General Court-Martial.
Legal experts often compare this to a civilian grand jury inquiry. The Article 32 hearing will take place at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Specific scheduling details and procedures for news-media coverage of the hearing will be announced at a later date.
Following the Article 32 preliminary hearing and receipt of the Article 32 preliminary hearing officer’s recommendations, the report will be forwarded to a General Court-Martial convening authority who may refer charges to a General Court-martial, refer the charges to a Special Court-martial, dismiss the charges, or take any other action deemed appropriate.
Article 85 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty,” carries a maximum potential punishment of a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of E-1, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and maximum confinement of five years. Article 99 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, “Misbehavior Before The Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place,” carries a maximum potential penalty of dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of E-1, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and possible confinement for life.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the specific legal elements for Article 85, “Desertion with Intent to Shirk Important or Hazardous Duty,” are: (1) “The accused quit his (or her) unit or place of duty,” (2) “The accused did so with the intent to avoid or shirk certain service,” (3) The duty to be performed was hazardous or important,” (4) “The accused knew he (or she) was required for the duty or service,” and (5) “The accused remained absent until a certain date.”
The specific legal elements for Article 99, “Misbehavior Before The Enemy by Endangering the Safety of a Command, Unit or Place,” are: (1) “The accused has a duty to defend a unit or place,” (2) “The accused committed misconduct,” (3) “The accused thereby endangered the unit or place,” and (4) “The act occurred before the enemy.”
Forces Command officials associated with this legal case cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the 2014 investigation while legal actions are pending out of respect to the judicial process, the rights of the accused, and to ensure the proceeding’s fairness and impartiality. The Army’s 2014 investigation into the circumstances of the soldier’s 2009 disappearance and capture in Afghanistan is currently being treated as potential evidence in the pending Article 32 preliminary hearing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FEDERAL JUDGE STOPS OBAMA EXECUTIVE ORDER IN TRACKS: AMNESTY DENIED!

The following is breaking news... President Obama's Executive Order granting amnesty to 4 million illegal immigrants has been denied by a Federal Court Judge on the grounds of "Illegal Overreach" and "Improper Checks and Balances."  The case was initially brought forth by then State Attorney of Texas soon to be joined by 20 other States.  Story by Brietbart.com.... More to follow:



Friday, February 13, 2015

SANDY HOOK FAMILY INVESTIGATOR CLAIMS FOUL-PLAY

EDITORIAL:  2/13/2015


Below is an excerpt from a little-known blogger and video maker known only as "CW Wade."  Mr. Wade has accused many investigating the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14/2012 as being vile criminals who cyberstalk, harass, intimidate family members of victims and a host of other inhumane activities;  all of which is unsubstantiated.


Mr. Wade is part of the HONR Network which is a self-proclaimed "Internet Police" unit that has no official powers or authorizations to do so, yet, they have taken it upon themselves to attempt to shut down channels on YouTube, the largest video sharing network on the internet currently.  This has been done illegally via DMCA filings which automatically get videos taken down on the sharing site until the copyright claim can either be substantiated or not.  To our knowledge via multiple networking teams, all claims have thus far proven to be frivolous in nature, and is an abuse of a reporting tool that should be reserved only for legitimate copyright claims.  

In fact, the HONR Network has taken these claims so far as to implicate larger channels on the video sharing network such as Alex Jones.   Jone's in a statement the other day said he plans on fighting any efforts by the HONR Network and will do so legally, in a court of law.  Jones further states that Mr. Pozner is taking the proper and ethical use of DMCA claims a step too far, and is using such claims to stop investigative journalists like Jones, Tyranny News Network, Flash News Network, Free Radio Revolution and others from doing valid research and reporting.  None of the aforementioned outlets have used any illegal or unethical methods, yet appear to be facing the brunt of attacks by either Mr. Pozner, or others who work with him such as Mr. Wade.

In a twist of events, Mr. Wade now claims that his free speech has been tampered with, and is planning on filing a motion in court as his own social media channel is allegedly coming under fire according to him.  Mr. Wade writes on his blog:



We can't help but be amused that CW Wade is now claiming that he is a victim of the very tactics that have been used against legitimate investigative journalists since the date of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  The very claims being stated by Wade are the very tactics used by CW Wade and the HONR Network against hundreds of channels.

The above demonstrates that playing with fire is always a bad idea, as sometimes the small flames that start, explode into an uncontrolled blaze, the size and scope of which no one could really predict. It has always been our position to let others say what they want;  we do that by NOT filing DMCA claims even when our content is being used without permission, as well as by allowing any and all comments on any of our social media or websites.  We do not censor  any news, whether we agree or disagree with it.  Censorship in any form, is dangerous, and we have gone on record saying this several times.

It's a shame that grown men, like Mr. Wade and the owners of the HONR Network, have used unethical tactics in the past, as now, there are unknown elements using the very strong-arm methods they once employed.  We do not condone identity theft, however, we can't help but be amused at some of the irony as those in the HONR Network have hidden behind a name and have never come forward to make any true formal complaints.  By doing so, their true identity would need to be revealed, and it appears for now, that is something that they don't want to do.  

As always, we encourage your thoughts and comments on this topic and other news issues, and as always we must urge everyone, including the HONR Network, to practice journalism appropriately, ethically and of course, legally.
-SA

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

STATE DEPT / FBI STILL BLAMES NORTH KOREA IN SONY HACK SCANDAL

QUESTION: Can I just ask very briefly on North Korea?

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Over the past couple weeks, the government or the FBI, a different agency, has blamed North Koreans for the Sony hack. It’s become – even as alternative theories have been raised – some of them semi-compelling, at least to lay people – the Administration has stayed firm in its allegation that North Korea was behind the attack. And then on – when was it – Friday, we saw the Treasury sanctions.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Is that it, or is that just step one? And my second question on this is: Are you still as convinced as you were – and by “you,” I mean this building, the State Department – that the FBI is correct in its assessment that North Korea was behind it?

MS. PSAKI: So this – let me take the second one first, just because it’s a little shorter. As the FBI made clear, we are confident – we remain confident – that the North Korean Government is responsible for this destructive attack. As my colleague noted last week – but it’s worth reiterating, because some of you weren’t here celebrating New Year’s Eve with us – there’s a certain amount of evidence that the FBI made public; there’s a certain amount they did not, that we’re not going to. But they remain confident and we remain confident in their findings.

In terms of whether this is the only thing, one, I would say the executive order itself, which the President signed – and obviously, there was a limited number of announcements on three entities and 10 individuals – is a broad and powerful tool, one that we intend to continue using as appropriate, especially given the FBI’s ongoing investigation. I would also note that the new executive order is the first aspect of our response, so there are ongoing discussions about other options.

QUESTION: So there will be – or there may be more (inaudible).

MS. PSAKI: Sure, right. I --

QUESTION: So this is --

MS. PSAKI: Obviously, I’m not going to preview it, but that certainly is our expectation.

QUESTION: And I know you guys are loath to answer these kinds of questions, but I’m going to have ask --

MS. PSAKI: Okay.

QUESTION: Is there any practical impact that the latest designations have on these 10 entities and three individuals? And specifically for these three – on the three individuals, have they ever traveled to the United States before? Have they ever sought to travel to the United States before? Is this not the equivalent of saying, “Go to your room,” except that “your room” is North Korea and every other country on the planet except for the United States?

MS. PSAKI: Okay. Well, the focus of – I can give a broad answer. You’re right; we’re not going to get into specifics. Some of it is best directed to Treasury. Our focus here was targeting individuals and entities that would have the most profound impact on the North Korean Government given the series of actions. This is, again, one step – one announcement – in a broadly defined executive order, and one step in what could be additional steps. Beyond that, I don’t have anything more on the individuals, but --

QUESTION: Okay. Well, you say that it’s designed to impact – or have the most profound impact on the – the most profound in this case is what? I mean, it doesn’t seem to be profound at all. It seems to be the opposite of profound, because it doesn’t seem to have any practical impact, as these companies never do business in the United States, and these people never traveled here or even evinced an interest in wanting to travel here. Isn’t that correct?

MS. PSAKI: Matt, there are a range of steps. I could point you to the Treasury Department. They put out a fact sheet. I would point you to them on more specifics on the impact.

All right. Thanks, everyone.

QUESTION: Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:34 p.m.)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

OBAMA ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER AGAINST NORTH KOREA: SONY HACKS PROMPT RESPONSE DESPITE CONFLICTING REPORTS

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Executive Order Entitled “Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to North Korea”

Today, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O.) authorizing additional sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This E.O. is a response to the Government of North Korea’s ongoing provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment
The E.O. authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on individuals and entities associated with the Government of North Korea. We take seriously North Korea’s attack that aimed to create destructive financial effects on a U.S. company and to threaten artists and other individuals with the goal of restricting their right to free expression.
 
As the President has said, our response to North Korea's attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment will be proportional, and will take place at a time and in a manner of our choosing. Today's actions are the first aspect of our response.

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Executive Order -- Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to North Korea

EXECUTIVE ORDER
- - - - - - -
IMPOSING ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS WITH RESPECT TO NORTH KOREA
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code; and in view of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718 of October 14, 2006, UNSCR 1874 of June 12, 2009, UNSCR 2087 of January 22, 2013, and UNSCR 2094 of March 7, 2013,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies of the Government of North Korea, including its destructive, coercive cyber-related actions during November and December 2014, actions in violation of UNSCRs 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094, and commission of serious human rights abuses, constitute a continuing threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and hereby expand the scope of the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, expanded in scope in Executive Order 13551 of August 30, 2010, and relied upon for additional steps in Executive Order 13570 of April 18, 2011. To address this threat and to take further steps with respect to this national emergency, I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(i) to be an agency, instrumentality, or controlled entity of the Government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea;
(ii) to be an official of the Government of North Korea;
(iii) to be an official of the Workers' Party of Korea;
(iv) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support  for, or goods or services to or in support of, the Government of North Korea or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(v) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of North Korea or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in this order apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 3. The prohibitions in this order include but are not limited to:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 4. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).
Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States; and
(d) the term "Government of North Korea" means the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities.
Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 9. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
BARACK OBAMA

Thursday, January 1, 2015

STATE DEPARTMENT BLASTS CUBA: HONEYMOON OVER BEFORE NORMAL RELATIONS EVEN START??

Detentions of Activists in Cuba


Press Statement
Jeff Rathke
Director, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC
December 30, 2014

We are deeply concerned about the latest reports of detentions and arrests by Cuban authorities of peaceful civil society members and activists, including Luis Quintana Rodriguez, Antonio Rodiles, Danilo Maldonado, Reinaldo Escobar, Marcelino Abreu Bonora and Eliecer Avila. We strongly condemn the Cuban government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence, to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom expression, and intimidate citizens.

Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly are internationally recognized human rights, and the Cuban government’s lack of respect for these rights, as demonstrated by today’s detentions, is inconsistent with Hemispheric norms and commitments. We urge the Government of Cuba to end its practice of repressing these and other internationally protected freedoms and to respect the universal human rights of Cuban citizens.

We have always said we would continue to speak out about human rights, and as part of the process of normalization of diplomatic relations, the United States will continue to press the Cuban government to uphold its international obligations and to respect the rights of Cubans to peacefully assemble and express their ideas and opinions, just like their fellow members of civil society throughout the Americas are allowed to do.