Spying on Americans Elicits many questions but few answers
by Andrew P. Napolitano
What if the National Security Agency (NSA) knows it is violating the Constitution by spying on all Americans without showing a judge probable cause of wrongdoing or identifying the persons it wishes to spy upon, as the Constitution requires? What if this massive spying has come about because the NSA found it too difficult to follow the Constitution?
What if the Constitution was written to keep the government off the people’s backs, but the NSA, the president and some members of Congress have put the NSA not only on our backs, but in our bedrooms, kitchens, telephones and computers? What if when you look at your computer screen, the NSA is looking right back at you?
What if the NSA really thought it could keep the fact that it is spying on all Americans and many others throughout the world secret from American voters? What if Congress enacted laws that actually delegate some congressional powers to elite congressional committees — one in the Senate and one in the House? What if this delegation of power is unconstitutional because the Constitution gives all legislative powers to Congress as a whole, and Congress itself is powerless to give some of its power away to two of its secret committees? What if the members of these elite committees who hear and see secrets from the NSA, the CIA and other federal intelligence agencies are themselves sworn to secrecy?
What if the secrets they hear are so terrifying that some of these members of Congress don’t know what to do about it? What if the secrecy prohibits these congressional committee members from telling anyone what they know and seeking advice about these awful truths? What if they can’t tell a spouse at home, a lawyer in her office, a priest in confessional, a judge when under oath in a courtroom, other members of Congress or the voters who sent them to Congress?
What if this system of secrets, with its promises not to reveal them, has led to a government whose spies have intimidated and terrified some members of Congress? What if one member of Congress — Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat — wrote to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and voiced fears that totalitarianism is creeping into our democracy? What if he wrote that letter in his own hand because he feared he might be prosecuted if he dictated it to a secretary or gave it to his secretary for typing? What if he was terrified to learn what the spies told him because he knew he could not share it with anyone or do anything about it?
What if the NSA’s chief apologist in Congress — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat — took to the only safe place in the world where she could reveal what she learned from the spies and not be prosecuted for violating her oath of secrecy and there revealed a secret? What if that place is the Senate floor, and what if, while there, she revealed that she approved of the NSA spying on all Americans but disapproved of the CIA spying on her staff? What if it is unlawful and unconstitutional for the CIA to spy on anyone in the United States — whether private citizen, illegal alien or member of a Senate staff?
What if the equality of the branches of government is destroyed when one of them spies on the other? What kind of a president spies on Congress? What kind of members of Congress sit back and let themselves become victims of spying? What if Congress could stop all spying on all Americans by a simple vote? What if Congress could stop the president from spying on its own members with a simple vote? What if Congress is afraid to take these votes?
What if secret government is unaccountable precisely because it is secret? What if the people’s representatives in government have a moral obligation to reveal to their constituents that the president’s spies are spying on all of us, and they — members of Congress — have not lifted a finger to stop it? Would we all vote differently if we knew the secrets the government has shared with a select few but kept from the rest of us? What if your own representatives in the House and the Senate are lying to you because of fear of the consequences of revealing secrets?
What if the NSA chief claimed to a congressional committee — one of those with which he secretly shares secrets — — that all this spying has stopped 57 terrorist plots? What if the next day he changed that number to three plots? What if he has declined to say what those three plots were? What if a federal judge found that all this spying has not prevented any identifiable plots?
What if all this spying doesn’t work? What if the NSA has too much data about all of us? What if the president knowingly declined to uphold the Constitution and instructed his spies to do the same? What if the NSA is so accustomed to spying on all of us all the time that it lacks the ability to obtain probable cause and to identify the persons upon whom it needs to spy? What if the government’s culture of secrecy and spying has taken on a life of its own? What if even those who started it are afraid to stop it?
What if the NSA missed the shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, the Fort Hood massacre, the Times Square bomber, the Boston Marathon bombers, the coup in Kiev and the Russian invasion of Ukraine? What if the NSA wasted its time spying on Aunt Tillie in Des Moines, Iowa, and the pope in Rome and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, instead of Vladimir Putin in Moscow?
What if secrecy has replaced the rule of law? What if that replacement has left us in the dark about what the government knows and what it is doing? What if few in government believe in transparency? What if few in government believe in the Constitution?
What do we do about it?
Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is an analyst for the Fox News Channel. He has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution.
As you know, the New York Safe Act was passed in the middle of the night by the New York City dominated New York State Legislature and signed by a Governor who would be president, without any input from the people. Who will be safer under this unconstitutional law? It definitely will not be the law-abiding citizens of New York who, if we comply, would have some of our ability to defend ourselves taken away. The law might be better named the NY SAFE ACT FOR CRIMINALS because violent criminals who carry illegal guns will never comply. They have never complied with any gun control laws and they will continue to use all banned weapons with the largest capacity magazines they can get their hands on. Only the law-abiding citizens like us and police officers like you, will now be at a disadvantage, not the criminals.
The origin of gun control in New York State goes back to 1911 when a Democrat State Senator from New York City named “Big Tim Sullivan” pushed for gun control in New York City. He was a Tammany Hall crook and a criminal overseer of gangs in New York City. Sullivan sponsored the gun-control law (later called the Sullivan Act) that mandated police-issued licenses for handguns and made it a felony to carry an unlicensed concealed weapon in NYC. When it passed, ordinary law-abiding citizens were disarmed, which solved another problem for the NYC criminals. It seems that gangsters had been bitterly complaining to State Senator Sullivan and NYC politicians that the victims of their criminal attacks sometimes shot back at them. In other words, the good guys were shooting the bad guys and State Senator Sullivan and other political crooks could not let that happen.
We know that Governor Cuomo and the Democrat controlled legislature arbitrarily came up with their own definitions of what so called ‘Assault Weapons’ are. The definitions were concocted out of thin air by a group of New York City socialists who obviously know nothing about guns. One of the things they identified that makes certain rifles ‘assault weapons’ was if a rifle had a lug on it for a bayonet. Never mind the fact that no person in New York State has been murdered or even assaulted by a person using a rifle with a bayonet attached to it in well over a hundred years. It doesn’t matter to these socialists because they will say and do anything to take our guns. That is and always has been their ultimate goal.
Certain rifles legally purchased in the past by American citizens, who happen to reside in New York State, are now illegal to purchase or sell to another state resident. Why has the New York State legislature concentrated their efforts on turning hundreds of thousands of your fellow New Yorkers into criminals?
The New York State Sheriffs Association and the County Clerks Association have taken positions opposing the NY SAFE Act as unconstitutional, as have 52 county legislatures and over 150 towns and villages in the State. In addition, there are at least 4 lawsuits currently working their way through the court system. All of these lawsuits have identified specific sections of the NY SAFE Act that are violations of both the New York State Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. All of these organizations have called for either amending the bill or called for the outright repeal of the law in order to start over with some input from the people.
Unfortunately, the Governor and the socialist leaders in the state legislature do not seem to have taken any notice of the growing opposition to this unconstitutional legislation by law-abiding gun owners in New York State. Even before the passage of this horrendous piece of unconstitutional law, members of our OATH KEEPERS organization had been in contact with individual active duty police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and other law enforcement professionals like yourself throughout New York asking them to remember their Oaths to the U.S. and New York State Constitutions and to “Stand Down” if they are ever asked to enforce any unconstitutional laws. Our contacts have been very positive and we now count many active duty police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers and correction officers among our ranks.
Back in 2013, the Obama Administration sent out the Metropolitan DC and federal police to forcefully remove or arrest aging WWII military veterans from their own monuments. The police were out in force wearing riot helmets. When the veterans and their supporters refused orders from the police to disperse or to discontinue their dismantling of park service barricades, the police officers honored their oaths to the constitution and simply “stood down” and allowed the veterans to visit the memorials.
First and foremost, the veterans were peaceful and did not represent a public safety threat. They simply made a strong First Amendment constitutional stand against the decision of a socialist American president. In a stunning display of disobedience to their department superiors, the police honored their oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and made a conscious decision to stand down rather than use physical force against their fellow American citizens.
Recently in Connecticut, the state notified gun owners who have not complied with their unconstitutional gun registration laws that they must surrender their semi-automatic rifles or risk being arrested for a felony. How does turning 300,000 plus law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight, happen in America?
Here in New York, our socialist Governor who would be president finally made the overt move to start taking our guns. We know that it is our guns that are the only things standing in the way of these anti-Liberty political thugs ultimately taking all of our unalienable rights. Remember our rights come from God, not from any government. Our rights existed long before the constitution was written and our rights are supposed to be protected by the Constitution and our elected officials, not taken away by them. New York State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Barack Hussein Obama are following in the footsteps of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Mussolini and Hitler who all used gun registration to eventually confiscate the guns of people who disagreed with their political philosophies. The socialist “Enemies within America” have wanted to confiscate our guns for a long time.
New York’s own socialist U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has said: “We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!” Senator Diane Feinstein has said: “If I could ban all guns, I would do it.” A little over a week after the Sandy Hook Shooting in Connecticut, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told an Albany radio show audience that “gun confiscation is an option being considered” as part of the NY SAFE ACT legislation. These are just three examples clearly showing the mindset of some current socialist political leaders in America.
The justification used for banning certain types of weapons in New York and several other states has no basis in facts or statistics. In 2011, there were 12,664 murders in the United States. Rifles of all kinds were used in only 323 of these murders. More people were murdered with knives, with blunt weapons like baseball bats and tire irons, or beaten to death with hands and feet, than were killed with rifles. Assault rifles are used so infrequently in homicides that many police departments almost never see them; in 2011, there were nine states that did not have a single murder committed with any rifle. (Source: FBI – Crime in the United States – 2011).
Why didn’t Governor Cuomo and the state legislature ban baseball bats or tire irons because they kill more people in New York than rifles? The facts and the truth mean nothing to these socialists because their overall plan is to take all of our guns, just like Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot.
Taking advantage of any crisis, including the horrendous slaughter of 20 innocent children and 6 of their teachers in Connecticut by a mentally unstable individual who was being treated with mind-altering psychotropic drugs and who stole the weapons he used, is standard operating procedure for the anti-Second Amendment crowd. The socialist politicians in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado decided to use this crisis to advance their anti-Second Amendment agenda. The common denominator in all mass murder incidents that have occurred in our country over the past 50 years are not law-abiding gun owners shooting innocent people. The common denominator is mentally disturbed individuals, wacked out on psychotropic drugs, who are killing people in “Gun Free Zones.”
It’s not that the American socialists like Governor Cuomo want to ban all guns in America. No, they just want to ban those guns owned by those that Adolph Hitler called the “not reliable people.” That means they want to take the guns away from average Americans like you and me. The President, a couple of Governors, Senator Feinstein, former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Ron Emanuel, the Hollywood elite, corporate executives, and all high ranking government officials will still have their guns. They are protected 24×7 by law enforcement officers like you or by private security with guns. Only the average American citizens will be disarmed and defenseless. Taking away our guns will accomplish the ‘political elites’ goal of eliminating our ability to resist their socialist takeover of America and the subsequent loss of all of our individual freedoms and Liberty.
Infringing on the Second Amendment Constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens is not the answer and these types of gun control measures must be met with serious resistance by the American people. With guns, we are a ‘free people’. Without guns, we will become nothing more than ‘subjects and slaves.’
The rights of the American people, as enumerated in the Bill of Rights, including the right to bear arms, are unalienable. That means that they cannot be taken away by any government, state or federal. The Bill of Rights was included specifically to protect the citizens from their own government. We live in a Republic and as such, it is the people who give the federal and state government their power, not the other way around, and it is the federal and state governments that are supposed to protect our rights, not whittle away at our rights until we have none.
This is not the first time a government tried to take our guns. Back in April 19, 1775, British Troops tried to take weapons from the Massachusetts militiamen and were met with armed resistance by the people. In the years that followed, our Founders made their individual decisions to stand together and take an oath to fight for Liberty and Freedom. They put their lives and fortunes on the line and declared their freedom and independence from the chains and shackles of servitude to the King of England.
Two ancient Greek words, ‘Molon Labe!’ (mo-lone lah-veh) meaning “Come and get them” was the reply of the Spartan General-King Leonidas to Xerxes, the Persian Emperor who came with more than 100,000 of some of the best fighting troops in the world to conquer and invade the little city states of Greece. When Xerxes offered to spare the lives of Leonidas, his 300 personal bodyguards, and a handful of Thebans and others who volunteered to defend their country, if they would only lay down their arms, Leonidas shouted these two words back: Molon Labe! It is the classic example of courage, valor, and defiance of determined individuals in the face of overwhelming odds.
The OATH KEEPERS have adopted this defiant utterance as a battle cry in our war against oppression because it expresses so clearly and simply our defiance of those who would take our arms and our liberty. It signifies our determination to not strike the first blow, but also to not stand mute and allow our loved ones, and all that we believe in and stand for, to be trampled by men who would deprive us of our God-given or natural rights to defend ourselves to suit their own socialist ends.
As stated very clearly in our ‘’Molon Labe!’ pledge, when dealing with the unconstitutional NY SAFE Act, active-duty OATH KEEPERS :
“Will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people or compel registration. The attempt to disarm the people on April 19, 1775 was the spark of open conflict in the American Revolution. It was an act of war, and our forefathers fought back in justified, righteous self-defense of their natural rights. Any such order today would also be an act of war against the American people, and thus an act of treason. Those of us who are still currently serving will not enforce any attempt to register either gun owners or guns, or to ban the sale, possession, or transfer of any semi-automatic rifles, handguns, or full capacity ammunition magazines, which are precisely the kinds of weapons the American people need to defend their lives and liberty.”
New York, like Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado, is now facing a very dangerous time that can flash to bloody conflict in an instant if someone, anyone, does something stupid. So please pay attention, for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYC controlled state legislature are placing law enforcement officers of New York State in the middle, between free-born American citizens like us on one side and the socialist, political elite on the other.
Please remember that an unconstitutional act of a legislature is void and invalid from inception. It is a legal concept that has been upheld by centuries of American law. An unconstitutional “law” is illegal and thus no law at all and does not have to be obeyed. The people have a right to resist any unconstitutional acts, and it is up to you, the law enforcement officers in New York State, to take every option to avoid inciting unwanted and unnecessary violence by “standing down” and refusing to enforce the unconstitutional NY SAFE ACT. We do not condone violence, but are well aware that something could happen, even by accident, that could turn a NY SAFE Act enforcement incident into a repeat of what happened on the Lexington Green on April 19, 1775 all over again.
Unfortunately for the socialist politicians currently in power, most law-abiding gun owners in New York State ‘WILL NOT COMPLY” with the latest unconstitutional gun grab. The vast majority of gun owners will not register themselves or their guns. We know from experience that registration is the prerequisite to confiscation, which is the prerequisite to dictatorship. We will NOT be treated like convicted sex-offenders just for owning semi-automatic rifles. To comply with this unconstitutional “law” would, in itself, be an act of surrender and submission.
Let us remember that at critical times in the 238 year history of this great country, certain generations of Americans have been called upon to defend Liberty in its maximum hour of danger and need. In 1775, our Founders’ generation was given that honor and privilege as were the generations of Americans who lived through World War I and World War II.
At these and other critical times in our history, brave Americans have taken an oath and stood as one united force against foreign aggressors and our Liberty was preserved. Today in America, our Liberty is once again under attack. This time, however, the attack is not coming from some foreign power – from foreign enemies, but rather it is coming from an enemy within – domestic enemies; from oath-breakers within our own Federal and State governments and from those traitorous individuals and special interest groups who pull the strings of the politicians and the media, like puppet masters from behind a curtain of secrecy, bribery and deception. Make no mistake; the danger to our Liberty is as real today as it was in 1775, 1917 and 1941.
Our Founders repeatedly warned us of the dangers that a free America would face in the future and that the most serious danger to our Liberty would come from within. They also told us that it is not only an honor and a privilege to defend our Liberty, but that it is also our sacred duty to do so, not just for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children. Just as those brave generations of Americans have done before us, OUR generation must be prepared to stand up, take the oath and join together as one united force to defend Liberty in America.
We want to remind all Law Enforcement officers in New York State that you are the last peaceful line of defense for your fellow Americans against the growing socialist tyranny of our own state and federal government. Should the time ever come when you find yourselves in the streets of our cities or in the countryside facing your fellow American citizens who are simply exercising their God-given and constitutionally guaranteed rights to demand their Freedom and Liberty, we ask you to remember and honor your oath!
Please remember that we are your fellow law enforcement officers. We are you and you are us. We are also retired law enforcement officers, active duty members of the military and military veterans, as well as first-responders. We are your brothers and sisters, your fathers and mothers, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors down the street, local firefighters, your local small business owners and millions of other New Yorkers who have never been arrested for a crime, nor have we ever been in any kind of trouble. Now, Governor Cuomo and the state legislature have turned hundreds of thousands of your fellow peaceable and law-abiding New Yorkers into criminal Felons with the stroke of a pen.
We are asking you to honor your oath to the U.S. Constitution. It will be up to you, the rank and file police officer, deputy sheriff and state trooper, to protect the constitutional rights of your fellow New Yorkers. By the time the NY SAFE Act lawsuits work their way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, the war against your fellow citizens might already have begun, unless police officers like you honor your oaths by refusing to enforce this unconstitutional law. We need you to intercede on behalf of your fellow citizens to prevent violence while the courts consider those cases. You need to understand that our socialist Governor and his fellow travelers are sending you into this conflict against honorable men and women who simply will not submit to the tyrannical lust for power by the political oath-breakers.
We sincerely hope that you will do the right thing so that both sides can prevent any injuries and bloodshed, while also preserving our Bill of Rights and our natural right of self-defense that is among the liberties it preserves. We also feel obligated, and honor bound, to warn you, in the strongest terms possible, of the hornet’s nest you may be ordered to whack with a “stick” and the fact that it is now up to you to take the lead in order to avoid violence by putting on the brakes when asked to enforce the NY SAFE Act.
The OATH KEEPERS have also heard from many of your fellow law enforcement officers who tell us they will not go along with the enforcement of this unconstitutional law. They tell us that they will find a way to stand with the people and not to take part in the illegal confiscation of their guns. Hopefully, there will be enough of you to keep your fellow officers from opening the gates of Hell.
The OATH KEEPERS stand shoulder to shoulder with the free people of New York State in defense of Liberty and in opposition to the NY SAFE Act. The OATH KEEPERS are prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with all law enforcement officers in the State of New York who are prepared to honor their individual oaths to the New York and U.S. Constitution in defense of Liberty and to protect all New Yorkers’ unalienable right of self-defense for themselves and their families.
The OATH KEEPERS are ready to stand with you and the free people of New York State. Are you ready to stand with us?
For the Republic and the New York Oath Keepers,
William Cooper – NY Oath Keepers President (former US Air Force)
John Wallace – NY Oath Keepers Vice President (Lt. Col. NYSP Ret & US Army-NYARNG)
Dan Devlin, NY Oath Keepers Vice President (Arizona PD Ret & MP US Army)
John Mahoney – NY Oath Keepers Vice President (Sgt NYPD Ret, USMC & Special Forces US Army, Ret)
This open letter was posted on March 27, 2014 and can be found here – http://www.LibertyNewsOnLine.com/article_301_35130.php
by Lawrence Sellin
The Obama Administration is in a death spiral, mortally wounded by its own messianic left-wing ideology, naiveté, incompetence, lawlessness and persistent lying. [Read more…]
February 14, 2014
by Paul R. Hollrah
In recent days I have been drawn into yet another debate over presidential eligibility, as specified in Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Given that Barack Obama has occupied the Oval Office illegally for more than five years, without so much as a whimper of protest from most American voters or the mainstream media, some may feel [Read more…]
(UPDATE: The Shuler’s have established a Legal Defense Fund to help Roger Shuler secure donations to help pay for legal costs. Please consider making a donation now to ensure his and your First Amendment rights remain protected – http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2013/11/paypal-donations-support-continuing.html)
October 14, 2013
by Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report dot com
The Kafka courts of Alabama
Secret courts and trials, star chambers, and illegal detention may be the stuff of a Franz Kafka trial but in Alabama the court proceedings against an investigative journalist have reached and surpassed Kafkaesque dimensions. [Read more…]
The ACLU files a brief arguing for constitutional protection of American’s first and fourth amendment rights and the O’Bush administration argues we really don’t.
August 29, 2013
by Helen Tansey
The T-Room dot us
They started in San Diego and are now leaving Columbus, Mississippi. Two American veterans, Jerry Oliver and Mark Lanham, continue their trek across the country carrying the US flag and handing out pocket constitutions to folks in small town America. [Read more…]
Recently, Mr. J.B. Williams published a commentary on NewsWithViews entitled “Can Obama Be Impeached?” Normally, I would not interject myself into matters other commentators address; but, in this case, Mr. Williams saw fit to refer to me by name, which prompts this response. [Read more…]
Washington — The Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment is an independent, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel charged with examining the federal government’s policies and actions related to the capture, detention and treatment of suspected terrorists during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. [Read more…]
“In 1810, a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibited titles of nobility and which later became known as the original Thirteenth Amendment, was introduced, passed both houses of Congress, and was sent to the states for ratification.” [Read more…]
The police state is real
The Bush regime’s response to 9/11 and the Obama regime’s validation of this response have destroyed accountable democratic government in the United States. [Read more…]
Interview breakdown is as follows: 3:26 7:47 11:35 15:54 21:33
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Kurt Nimmo and Alex Jones
February 8, 2012
The global elite will not rest until they have revoked the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. Over the last few years, they have engaged in a concerted attack on our founding documents and time-honored ideals. On Tuesday, the New York Times continued this trend with an article on the front page of its print edition.
“The rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber,” the New York Times argues.
Entitled ‘We the People’ Lose Appeal With People Around the World, the article by Adam Liptak argues that the Constitution is outdated, inflexible and no longer trendy. It cites an article published in June in The New York University Law Review that explains how America’s Constitution is “losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere” as statists, bureaucrats and autocrats turn to examples presented by more malleable documents such as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and those produced by India, South Africa, New Zealand and the United Nations.
The problem, Liptak notes, is that “rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber.” In other words, the “problem” with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence is that the rights enumerated there are not open for interpretation and cannot be changed by government.
But what really irks the elite is the idea that government only exists by the consent of the governed and “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,” as the Declaration of Independence states. In other words, it is the right of the people to revolt against government – preferably through peaceful means, but by violent revolution if need be, as Thomas Jefferson argued – when it becomes an oppressive tyranny, as it now is.
The very idea that the people have the right to abolish government scares the hell out of the ruling elite. The Second Amendment is under persistent attack not because guns are a danger to school children, but because guns and people well trained in their proper use are often required to resist and overthrow government tyranny. Control freaks never surrender power willingly.
The establishment is now openly assaulting the Constitution and the very idea of innate and god-given individual rights going back to the Magna Carta, the Habeas Corpus Act, the Petition of Right and English common law. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence encapsulate and enumerate into law liberties that are the birthright of humanity. Government is not required to bestow them as the New York Times would have use believe. We are born with them despite trendiness or the dictates of commissars at the United Nations.
Click HERE to read the rest of this story.