Court OKs Warrantless Use of Hidden Surveillance Cameras on Private Property

photo credit: fonstokPolice are allowed in some circumstances to install hidden surveillance cameras on private property without obtaining a search warrant, a federal judge said yesterday.

CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that it was reasonable for Drug Enforcement Administration agents to enter rural property without permission — and without a warrant — to install multiple “covert digital surveillance cameras” in hopes of uncovering evidence that 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown.

This is the latest case to highlight how advances in technology are causing the legal system to rethink how Americans’ privacy rights are protected by law. In January, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless GPS tracking after previously rejecting warrantless thermal imaging, but it has not yet ruled on warrantless cell phone tracking or warrantless use of surveillance cameras placed on private property without permission.

Yesterday Griesbach adopted a recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan dated October 9. That recommendation said that the DEA’s warrantless surveillance did not violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and requires that warrants describe the place that’s being searched.

“The Supreme Court has upheld the use of technology as a substitute for ordinary police surveillance,” Callahan wrote.

Read more from this story HERE.

Complaint of ‘Cronyism’ in Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department Goes Unanswered by Congress, DOJ

photo credit: Jay TamboliA coalition of business executives and attorneys have been pressing unsuccessfully to get a Congressional review into whether Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department improperly quashed a criminal investigation related to a federal bankruptcy case.

Correspondence in March and May with the House Judiciary Committee, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section suggest that top Justice Department officials may have allowed cronyism to get in the way of an investigation related to the bankruptcy filing for the Yellowstone Club, a private resort in Montana.

So far, no action appears to have been taken to investigate the allegations. The Department of Justice, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform did not respond to requests from TheBlaze Thursday regarding the status of the complaints.

The letters to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, chaired by Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) respectively, state that a more than two-year investigation by FBI, IRS and Secret Service agents led to recommendations that criminal charges be filed.

“Days later, however, the Department of Justice abruptly terminated the investigation without explanation,” the letter to the Judiciary Committee states. “The mysterious and sudden change of heart raises serious questions about the impartiality of senior Justice Department officials.”

Read more from this story HERE.

Obama knows no shame: The Pathetic Attempt to Blame Fast and Furious on Bush

Obama administration officials must remind each other daily that they will never have to accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong on their watch as long as they can find some way to blame their troubles on George W. Bush.

So it should surprise no one that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the administration’s surrogates are vociferously claiming that Operation Fast and Furious, the gun-walking scandal run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is all Mr. Bush’s fault. Fast and Furious was a program that resulted in Congress holding Mr. Holder in contempt for lying, put a couple thousand guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs and led to the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and as many as 200 Mexicans.

Obama spokesmen claim it all began under Mr. Bush and a little-known operation also run out of Phoenix, dubbed Operation Wide Receiver. The Bush-era program involved a few hundred guns and was designed and run by U.S. and Mexican agents who planted electronic tracking devices in the guns so the agents could follow the guns on both sides of the border. The idea was to compile evidence that could be used to prosecute gang kingpins.

A few of the guns vanished, however, as some of the batteries powering the implanted tracking devices failed, and in a few cases, gang members discovered and destroyed the devices. As soon as this was reported to Washington, the whole operation was canceled to prevent more guns from falling into the wrong hands. A vast majority of the guns involved were traced and retrieved; no one was killed; and the project was shelved as a bad idea.

Two years later, many of the same ATF and Justice Department officials in Phoenix came up with and launched a very different program they called Fast and Furious. Straw purchasers were allowed to buy more than 2,000 guns from dealers along our southern border who were pressured by government officials to look the other way. There was no attempt to trace or follow the guns; the Mexican government was not informed of the operation; and even ATF’s own agents in Mexico were kept in the dark.

Read more from this story HERE.

Photo credit: USDAgov

Obama contributor and “key player” in enactment of ’94 assault weapons ban, ran ‘Fast & Furious’

Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

When Obama nominated Burke to be U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Burke told the Arizona Capitol Times he believed he understood what the president and his attorney general wanted him to do.

“There’s clearly been direction provided already by President Obama and Attorney General Holder as to what they want to be doing, and this is an office that is at the center of the issues of border enforcement,” said Burke.

Over the course of several days, left multiple telephone messages with Burke for comment on this story. He did not respond.

Dennis K. Burke has had a long career working as an aide and political appointee to Democratic elected officials. From 1989 to 1994, he was a counsel for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, working in that capacity for several years on an assault-weapons ban, which was finally enacted on Sept. 13, 1994 as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. That act expired on Sept. 13, 2004.

Read more HERE.

Video: Watch House Panel Vote To Condemn Holder

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, despite a last-minute intervention by President Obama.

Photo Credit: Donkey-Hotey

Video:Flashback- Obama Criticized Hiding Behind Executive Privilege

Barack Obama in 2007 told CNN that Executive Privilege was not a good reason to withhold information from Congress.

Photo Credit:  Donkey-Hotey

Obama Should ‘Remove Eric Holder’ and ‘Just Come Clean’ on Fast and Furious, Says Rep. Steve King

( – “If I were the president of the United States, I would find a way for Eric Holder to step down, and it would be characterized as a firing,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) told Fox News on Thursday.

King suggested it would be better for President Obama to fire Attorney General Holder rather than let the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal blow up in Obama’s face right before the election:

“And as more of this unfolds – and I think there is substantially more – you remember that September 19 is kind of the date that bad things happen before elections,” King said.

“I don’t think that (Rep.) Darrell Issa is planning a date like that…but as this moves forward, and I’m the president of the United States, I’d be very worried that this comes to a crescendo sometime before September 19 of this year.

“For those reasons, if I were the president, I would remove Eric Holder from the target zone here – put somebody else in who’s determined to clean this up. I would dump all this information out in the public and just come clean and put it behind me,” King said. “That’s what any responsible public official would do.”

Read More at CNS News. By Susan Jones.

US Voter Id laws now being reviewed by DOJ, Cuba, China, and Russia

Recently I checked into a hotel in the lower 48, and they asked for both my credit card and ID. Is this hotel racist for requiring my ID ? We all know the answer to that. Voter fraud is a serious issue in our nation, yet the integrity of the ballot box should be of the utmost importance.

In the last several months, the DOJ and Eric Holder blocked voter id laws in Texas and South Carolina. To gain entrance to the LBJ Library in Austin, Tx, participants had to show – you guessed it – their ID ! Now Holder’s partner in vote suppression histrionics, the NAACP, has scampered off to the United Nations Human Rights Council (including China, Cuba, and Russia) to whine about states attempting to require (live) voters to prove who they say they are.

And in the bucolic states of New Hampshire and Vermont,  James O’Keefe exposed disturbing voter fraud. In New Hampshire, ballots in the name of dead people were handed out at multiple precincts. Imagine what happens in Chicago or Philadelphia.

From the Daily Caller, by Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski

The far left is making an unprecedented two-track move to derail states’ efforts to protect the integrity of the ballot box for this November’s elections. While the Department of Justice (DOJ) is blocking state efforts, liberal activists are taking this issue to the United Nations Human Rights Council. […]

In 2008 the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana voter ID law that is even more robust than the statutes from Texas and South Carolina. But Indiana is not subject to VRA Section 5, so Holder claims the law allows him to block those two states, even though he knows he can’t touch the third.

But while these domestic fights are underway, the NAACP is taking the issue of voter ID laws to the United Nations Human Rights Council (the successor to the Human Rights Commission), claiming that such ballot-box integrity measures violate the human rights of racial minorities under international law.

So they go to the United Nations. Specifically, to a body tasked with protecting human rights. Just to be clear, the nations comprising this supposed champion of human rights include dictatorial and authoritarian regimes like China, Cuba and Russia. […]

As we’ve written for Yale Law & Policy Review, the right to vote includes the right not to have your vote diluted by fraudulent votes. And as citizens, each of us has a duty to comply with reasonable measures to ensure that our elections are free and fair. In that vein, even liberal Justice John Paul Stevens agreed with moderate and conservative Supreme Court justices that voter ID laws are constitutional. […]

Ken Blackwell served as Ohio secretary of state and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. Ken Klukowski is a fellow with the American Civil Rights Union and is on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.

United Nations Human Rights Council

One of the greatest privileges of our nation is to vote. Diluting the integrity of the process hurts everyone. While the critics of voter id laws whine about vote suppression, it is they who love to keep poor people poor – it’s what they do. For those who don’t have an id, it is in their – and our nation’s – best interests to get one, and we should have programs in place to help them.  Voter Id laws  will of course “suppress” vote fraud – hurting the Democrats chances, hence, their bug-eyed opposition to them.

Read more from Robert Knight and Edwin Meese III’s Protect Your Vote initiative.