Asset forfeiture on steroids: new order allows FEDS to SEIZE property from suspected criminals even if you’re found not guilty

JAYSON VELEY–In a move that is sure to have many liberals, and even some conservatives, worried about the future of law enforcement in this country, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech on Wednesday that reviving the civil asset forfeiture practice “takes the material support of the criminals and instead makes it the material support of law enforcement” by giving the police departments the funding that they need to buy equipment.

“As any of these law enforcement partners will tell you, and as President Trump knows well, civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains and prevent new crimes from being committed and it weakens the criminals and the cartels,” Sessions explained in his speech. “Even more importantly, it helps return property to the victims of crime.”

For those who are unaware, asset forfeiture allows the police to seize the personal property of suspects who are believed to have been involved in a crime. Those who oppose asset forfeiture, which includes people on both sides of the political spectrum, argue that it is illegal and unconstitutional for law enforcement agencies to seize personal property if the suspect is never convicted of a crime.

Indeed, even though the intentions behind asset forfeiture are solely meant to curb organized crime, it does call into question the legality and the constitutionality of such a practice. In the American legal system, suspects of a crime are considered to be innocent until proven guilty, and by seizing personal property without ever being convicted of a crime, it would appear that law enforcement is beginning to view suspects as “guilty until proven innocent.”

The Attorney General addressed these concerns in his speech on Wednesday, explaining that a number of safeguards will be established to ensure that the practice of asset forfeiture will not be abused. Under the administration’s new policy, the Department of Justice will be required to review all seizures that take place and “provide additional information” regarding why the property was seized in the first place.

As skeptical as some may be, Americans should at least take solace in the fact that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is easily one of the most conservative members of President Trump’s administration. He understands the importance of balancing the rule of law with a respect for individual liberty, and its very likely that the Justice Department will implement the new asset forfeiture policy in a way that is efficient yet mindful of personal property rights.

By contrast, one of the most hostile administrations towards personal property rights in recent history was none other than the Obama administration, which worked relentlessly for eight straight years to both expand the size of government and seize the assets of the American people.

For proof, all one has to do is look at how the Environmental Protection Agency operated throughout the Obama years. The Waters of the United States rule, for example, essentially gave the EPA the ability to regulate waterways that were previously not controlled by the federal government, such as puddles, streams and isolated wetlands. This means that even if you have a small creak running through your backyard that connects to a larger body of water, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency might have had the ability to control and regulate it. (Related: EPA tramples personal property rights by ordering a couple to pay $70,000 for phony violations.)

Of course, the EPA is just one of the many tools that the Obama administration used to step on personal property rights. But regardless of who is in office and what direction they intend on taking the country, Americans should never forget the natural rights outlined by one of the early philosophers, John Locke, whom our Framers drew a lot of inspiration from: the inalienable rights to life, liberty and property.

P/C GAGE SKIDMORE

Congressman Luis Gutierrez Calls Donald Trump A ‘Major Criminal’ That Must Be ‘Eliminated’

MICHAEL SNYDER–Is it proper for a sitting member of Congress to call for the president of the United States to be “eliminated”? Despite all of the chaos and all of the violence that we have seen so far, Democrats continue to stir up even more anger and even more hatred. Words have power, and our leaders need to be very careful about how they use them. Our nation is the most divided that it has been in my entire lifetime, and it isn’t going to take too much to push America into a state of full-blown civil unrest.

U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) is a very gifted public speaker. If he chose to use that gift for good, he could make a tremendous difference in this country. But instead, he is using his gift to encourage people to hate President Trump. During a recent appearance at Chicago’s Lincoln United Methodist Church on Saturday, Gutierrez actually referred to Trump as a “criminal” multiple times

“The major criminal that exists in the United States of America is called Donald Trump [and] he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Av at the White House,” Gutierrez stormed.

“Someone who takes health care away from 33 million people is a criminal,” he said.

But of course he didn’t stop there.

Gutierrez went on to tell the congregation that Trump must be “eliminated” as soon as possible…

He invited the congregation to “take action” and take back the Congress so that Trump could be put before the Senate in impeachment proceedings.

Gutierrez said Trump must be “eliminated… as the president of the United States of America.”

You can watch Gutierrez making these comments on video right here. Hopefully Gutierrez did not intend to incite his followers to violence with his remarks, but they are definitely rather chilling, especially considering what else we have learned lately.

Just recently, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne revealed that a prominent member of Congress told him that “there is a plot on Capitol Hill to take the president out”, and that this plot would result in Trump being “removed suddenly from office”…

During an appearance on Revival Ministries International, Rodney Howard-Browne said he spent three hours “from 9:30 in the evening until 12:30am with one of the senior ranking members of Congress”.

The pastor said he related the same story on the CBN network but “they cut it out” and that he had decided “to go public with this because we have to.”

“He said there is a plot on Capitol Hill to take the president out, I said you mean by impeachment or by indictment – he said no, to take him out, he will be removed suddenly from office,” said Howard-Browne, before adding, “you can read between the lines”.

The Congressman, who the pastor revealed had been in office since 1996, went on to tell Howard-Browne “there’s nothing we can do to stop it.”

Earlier this week, I wrote about how members of Trump’s own party are stabbing him in the back. Many establishment Republicans hate Trump as much as the Democrats do, and they would not cry any tears if Trump was somehow removed from power.

We are at a critical moment in our history. For decades, the elite have had a hammerlock on our political system, and that is why nothing has ever seemed to change very much no matter which party was in power.

When Donald Trump came along, the American people realized that they finally had a chance to fight back against the establishment. And so even though he made mistakes, tens of millions of Americans stuck with Trump because he tapped into that fundamental hunger for liberty and freedom that we all have deep inside of us.

It literally was a miracle that Trump was able to overcome relentless attacks by the mainstream media and the political machines of both major political parties to become the president of the United States. But now the elite figure that if they can just figure out a way to get rid of him that things can go back to “normal”.

We cannot allow that to happen. This is our best shot at taking our government back, and so we need to do whatever we can to support Trump, and we also need to do whatever we can to get him a lot more friends in Congress in 2018.

If you are a supporter of Trump, I hope that you will stand with me as I run for Congress. In my district there is no incumbent running this time, and so the race is totally wide open. If you want someone that will push to have these ridiculous investigations into Trump and his administration shut down, then I am your guy.

If the Democrats end up taking control of Congress in 2018, impeachment proceedings will surely follow. So it is absolutely imperative that we do not let the Democrats take back control of Congress.

I know that I have been writing about politics a lot lately. But I am doing so because it is important. If we let this moment in our history slip away, and if the elite are successful in extinguishing the Trump revolution, we may never have an opportunity to turn our country around politically ever again.

We are literally in a battle for the soul of our nation, and if we are going to fight for the future of our country now is the time to do so.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Why is new CDC director a military Major from the U.S. Air Force?

ETHAN HUFF–On July 7, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price announced that Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist, will be taking over as head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Fitzgerald has an extensive resume relative to her position, which includes more than 30 years as a practicing physician. She also happens to be a Major in the U.S. Air Force, having served at both the Wurtsmith Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC) Base in Michigan and at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.

Why is this last point relevant? Because many people don’t realize that the CDC in many ways functions as a branch of the United States military. The agency itself isn’t officially designated as such, of course. But a good number of its medical officers, which now include among their ranks Dr. Fitzgerald, are members of the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS). And this agency is officially designated as one of the seven U.S. uniformed services, along with the Army, the Navy, and Dr. Fitzgerald’s branch, the Air Force.

Perhaps you’re still asking yourself: but why is this relevant? What’s the big deal if the CDC and some of its top officers are directly connected to the military-industrial complex? If you’ve been following the stories published here at Natural News for any length of time, you may recall that the U.S. military has somewhat of a sordid history when it comes to medical experimentation involving not only its service members, but also ordinary citizens. The CDC is often involved as well, maintaining a shadowy relationship with the upper echelons of the military apparatus.

The whole thing borders on deeply concerning when you start considering the potential implications of having a branch of the military essentially directing public health policy. At the very least, it warrants further scrutiny as to why the CDC seems to prefer hiring individuals with a military background as opposed to just ordinary doctors and medical professionals. It also begs the question as to why these two seemingly unrelated entities are so intertwined in the first place.

CDC officials wear militaristic uniforms with emblems resembling military officers

If you’ve ever seen CDC officials on television, perhaps you noticed that they wear strange uniforms resembling those worn by service members in the military. This is no coincidence, indicating that these individuals are members of a “uniformed service” – in this case, PHS. It also shows that they provide support services to the military in addition to their functional roles as public health authorities, which means they essentially have two jobs.

What this means in a practical sense on a day-to-day basis isn’t entirely clear. But it does indicate that the CDC doesn’t exactly function as a civilian agency as most people think it does. At the very least, it operates in partnership, or as some kind of hybrid, with the military-industrial complex. These CDC officials who are also PHS officers are appointed and paid by the U.S. military, it’s important to note, and the public isn’t necessarily told where they came from or why they now work at the CDC.

This is concerning because not only does military medicine have a much different set of priorities than civilian medicine, but it also has a history of human rights abuses involving medical experimentation. One prominent example of this is the infamous “Project 112” program that ran from 1963 to the early 1970s, in which Navy sailors were secretly sprayed with toxic nerve agents like sarin and VX to test the effectiveness of this military branch’s decontamination and safety procedures.

The military also has an extensive history of using sinister means to try to force vaccinations on members of the public. In conjunction with the Institutes of Medicine (IoM), the military-industrial complex has funded all sorts of fake science research over the years to push the notion that vaccines are safe. As we exposed back in 2011, for instance, the IoM actively shills for the vaccine industry while accepting tens of millions of dollars from shady government organizations, many of which have direct ties to the U.S. military.

How is Emory involved?

Dr. Fitzgerald is also a graduate of Emory University School of Medicine, another institution tied to the military-industrial complex. Emory seems to churn out graduates that almost always end up working for the vaccine industry, the CDC, or both. The revolving door between these three entities is astounding, and raises a lot of questions about Dr. Fitzgerald’s motivations for being CDC director.

Will she turn out to be another Poul Thorsen, the now-shamed former CDC vaccine researcher who was exposed for producing fake vaccine “science” in defense of the controversial MMR vaccine? Will she rely on the CDC’s other distorted positions regarding vaccines and pharmaceuticals to push Americans to accept more of them during the next manufactured “pandemic?” Do we even know what her views are on any of these important subjects?

We do know her credentials, and that she oversaw the state of Georgia’s 18 public health districts and its 159 county health departments. We also know that she chaired Georgia’s “Ebola Response Team” back in 2015, reportedly overseeing the transfer of Ebola-infected individuals to Emory University Hospital. She also coordinated a statewide push for Georgia residents to receive both Ebola and flu vaccines, suggesting that she would take similar action on a national scale in the event of another reported disease outbreak, fake or otherwise.

ASSANGE: Nobel Prize possible after Trump Syria move

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says President Trump could be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize after his announcement that the U.S. will stop arming anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

The Washington Post, which cast the move as in the interests of Vladimir Putin, reports:

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.

Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power.

BLM leader quits post as ‘chief human capital officer’ for Baltimore schools

Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson is quitting his day job as a Baltimore city schools administrator to focus full time on agitating.

“For the past year, I’ve been the Chief Human Capital Officer for @BaltCitySchools,” Mckesson posted to Twitter last week. “I’m leaving this month. It’s been an incredible year.”

Baltimore city schools CEO Sonja Santelises hired Mckesson as an interim chief human capital officer last year, prompting criticism from some and praise from others. Mckesson previously worked as a school administrator in Minneapolis schools before leaving the profession to protest against alleged police brutality against blacks in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, according to the Baltimore Sun.

He also ran unsuccessfully for the mayor of Baltimore last year, coming in sixth in the Democratic primary. The Baltimore native is popular on Twitter with about 856,000 followers, and his focus on police brutality and racial tensions have made him the darling of liberal elites like President Obama and Hillary Clinton, “who dubbed Mckesson a ‘social media emperor.’”

The 32-year-old initially made himself famous by chronicling Black Lives Matter protests on social media and he continued that work while employed in the $165,000-a-year position in Baltimore schools. Shortly after taking the job, Mckesson was arrested at a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was forced to defend his actions to the school board.

Throughout his time in Baltimore schools, Santelises continuously defended Mckesson, whom she tasked with overseeing a $4 million budget and 56 employees.

She continued to heap praise on the social justice warrior when she announced that Mckesson will be leaving the district by the month’s end.

“There is no way we would have made it through this first year without DeRay’s leadership,” she told the Sun. “I say that unapologetically and with great assuredness. He is leaving us in such a better position. He is one of the rare people who can talk about equity and then is not afraid to put boots to the ground and do the hard work that yields equity.”

Mckesson – best known for wearing a blue, puffy Patagonia vest to protests – also patted himself on the back.

“We placed the vast majority of principals by July 1 this year and last year,” he told the Sun. “I managed the implementation of the layoffs in a way that allowed as few people to be laid off as possible. We originally announced 1,000 layoffs, and we laid off less than 150 people.”

Americans Protest ‘Very Fake News’ CNN Outside of Atlanta Headquarters

More than 150 protesters charged the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia to share their disgust with the network’s peddling of “fake news” against President Trump’s administration.

With signs reading “FNN #FakeNewsNetwork” and others targeting the networks’ advertisers such as AT&T and Microsoft, protesters chanted “CNN fake news!” directly in front of the CNN Centers’ signature logo.

Protesters told Breitbart News that the rally against CNN was an effort to call out the media corporation for its unbalanced coverage of the Trump administration and its targeting of Americans, most specifically the creator of the anti-CNN wrestling match meme that the President tweeted out.

“We are standing up and fighting back against the real damage that CNN is doing to this country today,” Brian Maloney with the Media Equalizer told Breitbart News. “There are real victims of their smear campaigns … they have an entire team of smear merchants employed for the express purpose of deny this current President any appointees or nominees whatsoever.”

“[Americans’] lives are being destroyed when they are unfairly smeared and targeted, falsely accused of plagiarism, and everything else that has been going on,” Maloney said.

Brian Crabtree, a local talk radio show host in Atlanta, told Breitbart News that not only does CNN target the Trump administration unfairly, but he said the network is “destroying” American culture.

“They’re destroying our culture,” Crabtree said. “They’re taking people who consume five to ten minutes of news a day, the average American citizen, they’re filling them full of fake news, fake innuendos, bad information, leading them to a conclusion that this President is something that he’s not.”

Live missiles, torpedoes, rockets, and lasers will be used in massive East Coast military drill, disrupting ecosystems

TRACEY WATSON–The U.S. Navy is accelerating its efforts to be ready for any threat to national security, and has announced that large-scale live war exercises will take place along the entire east coast of the United States in 2018. The Navy has labeled the testing “Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Phase III.” EcoRI News is reporting that missiles, rockets, grenades, lasers and torpedoes will be fired, mines and explosive buoys will be detonated, and of most concern to environmentalists, all types of sonar will be used in the exercises.

While the dates of the exercises have not yet been released, it is known that around 2.6 million miles of land and sea area will be affected, including the entire eastern coastline, navy pier-side locations, harbors, airports and civilian ports, among others. The Gulf of Mexico will also be affected.

The Navy is considering which of three options to use for the exercises, including a “no-action alternative,” and will announce its decision by the fall of next year.

While an environmental impact study was conducted in preparation for the war games, environmentalists have expressed grave concerns about the fact that active sonar technology will be utilized to track mines and torpedoes as part of the exercises. The noise from sonar has disturbing effects on ocean mammals, and can distress or even kill animals like whales and dolphins. [Related: Discover other dangers threatening our planet at Enviro.news.]

As reported by EcoRI, other risks to sea creatures “include entanglements, vessel strikes, ingesting of harmful materials, hearing loss, physiological stress, and changes in behavior.”

The Navy has announced that it will take precautions to prevent marine damage by having spotters on the lookout for mammals during the exercises, and by utilizing acoustic modeling recommended by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The Guardian reported last year that a federal appeals court had ruled that the Navy was wrongly granted permission to use low-frequency sonar for testing and training purposes during peacetime. Permission had been granted for a five-year period back in 2012, and covered operations in the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans. It allowed for the annual disturbance of 30 whales and 24 pinnipeds, as well as animals like sea lions and seals, which have front and rear flippers. [Related: Over 15,000 baby sea lions estimated dead as Pacific sea life dies off.]

The court found that while it was evident that the Navy had closely followed the necessary guidelines and had made no deliberate attempt to harass or harm marine animals, adequate protection had not been afforded to biologically important parts of the world’s oceans.

They found that as a result, “a meaningful proportion of the world’s marine mammal habitat is under-protected.”

The court reversed an earlier lower court decision upholding the approval granted for these low-frequency sonar operations.

Of course, these proposed war games, while viewed as necessary by some, will likely do further large-scale damage to our ocean creatures.

For those opposed to the proposed military exercises, and who are concerned about potential harm to civilian or marine life, public comment is open until 29 August, and can be submitted online or in writing. A public hearing will also be held 19 July at the Hotel Providence, between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Trump Hates Being In Afghanistan, But Admin Is Mum On What His Policy Will Be

George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan, then Barack Obama failed to completely pull out American troops, and now soldiers are dying on President Trump’s watch as the U.S. continues to be engaged in a 16-year war with no end in sight.

While President Trump continues to lambaste American involvement in the Middle East — frequently saying the U.S. got “nothing” for the conflicts — the president, his aides, or the Defense Department have yet to lay out a strategy for the Afghan war.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked repeatedly Thursday if the administration will deploy more troops to Afghanistan, an idea backed by the top U.S. commander in the region. She referred reporters to the Defense Department as Trump has delegated troop level authority to Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Defense Department spokesman Adam Stump told The Daily Caller, “No decisions have been made.”

There are roughly 8,500 American troops in Afghanistan and President Trump gave Mattis the authority to deploy 3,000 more, according to a Washington Post report. Mattis has yet to deploy these troops, although a former intelligence adviser who worked with both Mattis and McMaster told TheDC in April that additional soldiers are needed to win the war in Afghanistan.

“The only way to effectively win in Afghanistan is not announce a withdrawal and find a way to stay,” Michael Pregent, now an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, said.

Congressional Republicans Challenge New D.C. Assisted-Suicide Law

A new ordinance went into effect in Washington, D.C., on July 17 that allows physicians and pharmacies to provide terminally ill patients with drugs that will kill them. But Republicans in the U.S. Congress are hoping to derail or stall implementation of the deadly new statute.

Called the Death with Dignity Act, the measure was signed by Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser last December, but lacked legal force until now. “The Death with Dignity Act of 2016 establishes a process by which competent, terminally ill residents of Washington, DC can legally obtain a physician’s prescription for medications to end their lives in a humane and peaceful manner,” Bowser’s office said in a statement.

The city’s Department of Health (DOH) is set to oversee the new statute, including “providing educational resources on how the Death with Dignity process works and clarifying the requirements that must be followed by both physicians and patients,” read the statement.

The ordinance stipulates that “end of life” drugs can be requested by a terminally-ill patient who is a resident of Washington, D.C., is at least 18 years of age, is under the care of a physician, and is expected to live for no more than six months. The individual must be mentally capable of making the decision to end his life, the law emphasizes, express his intent to take the drugs, and be physically capable of killing himself in that manner.

However, reported the Washington Times, a week before the law was to be implemented, the House Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Congress approved an amendment aimed at defunding and repealing the measure. The amendment was introduced by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a trained anesthesiologist, who said that “encouraging patients to commit suicide deprives them of the opportunity to potentially be cured by new treatments that could ameliorate their condition and even add years to their lives, if not cure them completely.”

While D.C. officials have challenged the authority of Congress to step into city government, Harris pointed out that the U.S. Constitution “clearly gives Congress the authority to oversee the federal enclave of the District of Columbia.”

He added that “Congress has the authority — and the responsibility — to oversee the operations of Washington D.C., and the Death with Dignity Act was a well-intentioned but misguided policy that must be reversed.”

Harris’ move is not the first congressional effort to derail the DC Death with Dignity Act. In January, after Bowser signed the law, U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and U.S. Rep Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) introduced resolutions aiming to stop the law, but neither was introduced before the 30-day deadline for congressional approval.

We’re Headed For a Constitutional Crisis….

President Trump has openly declared war on Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russian saga. The president clearly wishes he could fire Mueller; his associates say he’s mused about that for weeks. Now, by stepping up the pressure, he’s moving toward a showdown, and a possible constitutional crisis.

There’s plenty of other craziness billowing from the White House: lawyers considering whether the president can pardon himself, the president publicly denouncing his attorney general for failing to protect him. But the clearest portent of a crisis is the president’s increasingly evident desire to be rid of the meddlesome prosecutor, who appears to be doing his job too well.

The trigger: Mueller’s investigators have reportedly begun looking for evidence of Trump family business deals with Russians — deals the president says never existed.

According to the Washington Post, Trump was especially angry about reports that Mueller was seeking his tax returns, documents the president has guarded fiercely even when it was politically risky to do so.

So far, Trump and his growing army of lawyers are attacking Mueller on two fronts.

First, the scope of Mueller’s mandate. Trump told the New York Times that if the special counsel looks into the workings of his family firm, “That’s a violation.”

“The investigation should stay within the confines of Russian meddling in the election,” his spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, explained. “Nothing beyond that.”

That’s an unusually narrow definition of the special counsel’s mandate — unreasonably narrow, in fact. When Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel, he gave Mueller authority to look into “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign.” If Trump had business relationships with Russians who could be acting on behalf of Vladimir Putin, that would seem quite relevant.