Monday, August 15, 2016

US Gov Specifically Asks Applicants for Citizenship if They Were WWII Nazis -- But NOT If They Were Members of ISIS or al-Qaida

[Note: We were in the middle of  investigating the major US visa/immigration documents used in "vetting" immigrants when Donald Trump made his "extreme vetting" speech. We thought the interim findings below might be useful in the debate that's followed.*] [Update: Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner/Fox News and some others ran with our story as well.]

To be admitted legally to the United States, then apply for a Green Card and later become a naturalized citizen, an immigrant typically must fill out various forms managed by the State Department, US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Given the debate over Islamist extremist terrorism and Islamic immigration (and "naming" the former as a threat), Need to Share News decided to review these questionnaires** and seek answers from the agencies about the process and statistics involving them. [Important note: This report concerns the major documents used by most immigrants. Special programs, such as refugee resettlement, often require additional paperwork/vetting.]

What we learned: During the visa and immigration process, someone seeking to become a US citizen is specifically asked in writing if he/she has been a Communist or World War II Nazi but is not specifically asked  in writing whether he or she is or has been a member of ISIS, al-Qaida or other named Islamist terrorist groups.

The only terrorists groups we've seen specifically mentioned in the major documents are Colombian terror groups -- even though they've never attacked the US homeland and are widely believed to have no interest in doing so.

The government does ask general questions applying to other terrorist groups. But it does not keep readily available information on the number and affiliations of applicants who admit being part of ISIS/al-Qaida/other terrorist groups and appears to have no statistics at all on the number of applicants who say "No" when asked if they support the US Constitution.

"Won't they just lie?" ask critics of enhanced immigration screening. Many will, but that misses a key point: Getting them on the record can allow the US to deport, "denaturalize" or prosecute them later if the lie is discovered. This is one reason the US has long asked about membership in Nazi groups: "The U.S. Department of Justice has used lies about wartime service made in immigration papers to deport dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals," the AP reported in 2013. This tactic has also been used against accused members of Islamist terrorist groups and others.

[Note; Do applicants always lie, or do they ever tell the truth about being in terrorist or subversive groups? We asked the government how many immigrants admitted while answering the forms that they were Communists or Nazis, or belonged to a terrorist group. We were surprised by what USCIS told us: "Applicants report membership in various types of groups or organizations, including terrorist organizations, but we do not have statistical information about which applicants claimed membership in which groups readily available." The agency told us such information might be available via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).]

Since the FBI is already overwhelmed with "lone wolf" (or often more accurately, "known wolf") cases across the country, and can often take no action until a terrorist act is committed, an enhanced ability to deport Green Card holders and citizens who've lied about their backgrounds could be a powerful tool.

From State Department Visa Form DS-260

To be fair, during processing for a Green Card and then citizenship, the government does ask in general about an applicant's membership in a "terrorist organization." "Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), for lawful permanent resident status application purposes, an individual who is or has been a member of (or affiliated with) a terrorist organization is generally inadmissible to the United States....," a USCIS spokesman informed us via email. [Note re sourcing: All quotes are on-the-record and from a specific USCIS public affairs official, who asked that he be identified as a "USCIS spokesman."]

We also wondered about the issues raised by Donald Trump's camp and others: How about people who've belonged to Islamist organizations (eg, groups that believe Islamic law should be supreme).  In others words, does the US government try to screen out applicants who believe in "Sharia law" above the Constitution? These people are often called "Sharia supremacists" -- although many American Muslims dispute such terms -- more in a later report.

"An applicant for naturalization must show that he or she has been and continues to be a person attached to the principles of the Constitution of the ​United States​ and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the ​United States​ during the statutorily prescribed period.​'Attachment' is a stronger term than 'well disposed' and implies a depth of conviction, which would lead to active support of the Constitution.​ Attachment includes both an understanding and a mental attitude including willingness to be attached to the principles of the Constitution. An applicant who is hostile to the basic form of government of the ​United States​, or who does not believe in the principles of the Constitution, is not eligible for naturalization," said the spokesperson. 

The government agencies also all let us know their questions are mandated by the INA and applicable law -- in other words, if they don't specifically ask about membership in ISIS or al-Qaida, Congress needs to take action.

Finally, we asked USCIS for the list of "terrorist groups" its citizenship officials use to screen immigrants, plus whether the controversial Muslim Brotherhood is on that list. That information too was not readily available, though the spokesman said he would try to get it for us. [See update on Aug. 18, 2006, below -- answers from USCIS.]***

The government did say not any information would likely be available on the number of immigrant applicants who answer "No" when asked if they support the Constitution (and/or say they will not take the Oath of Allegiance.) "USCIS does not statistically track this specific information," said the spokesperson.

We'll have more on this topic, including the issue of an ideological test for immigrants to screen out those who believe in "Sharia law."  That's clearly far more complicated and contentious than a potential simple improvement to the current immigration system: Specifically asking applicants in writing whether they belong/ed to ISIS, al-Qaida and other groups that want to destroy the United States today.

What questions do you think the US government should ask immigrants? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Some of the applicable documents:

Form DS 260 (State Department visa)

Form I-485 Application for Permanent Residence (USCIS)
Form N-400 Application for Naturalization (USCIS)

**Updates from USCIS on Aug. 18, 2016:

Is there a list of “terrorist organizations” provided to examiners? For example, are the organizations on the State Department list of terrorist groups also on your list? 

"The Department of State maintains two lists of designated terrorist organizations, as described in INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(I) and INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II), and those lists are available on the Department of State’s public website at and respectively. Our officers are trained to refer to the Department of State’s lists of designated terrorist organizations when adjudicating applications for immigration benefits. USCIS does not maintain separate lists of designated terrorist organizations nor does USCIS maintain any list of undesignated terrorist organizations as defined in INA § 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III). Rather, a determination as to whether an organization meets the definition of an undesignated terrorist organization is made newly and independently by each USCIS adjudicator in the course of considering each benefit application."

Is the Muslim Brotherhood on the list/s above?

"As of August 10, 2016, the Muslim Brotherhood has not been designated as a terrorist organization by the Department of State or Congress. Please check the Department of State websites listed above for updates to the lists of designated terrorist organizations."

*PS We tweeted this link to reporters covering the "vetting"story @ major media organizations such as the NY Times, Washington Post and CNN. None has responded or, as far as we can tell, included any of this information in their reporting as of 8/18 afternoon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Only Attorneys Need Apply? Democratic Party = "Lawyers' Party?"

With the selection of the Clinton/Kaine ticket, EVERY Democratic nominee for President/Vice President since 1984 has been a lawyer (attended law school), according to our review of public bios (See chart below.). [BTW, Bernie Sanders did not attend law school, according to public bios.]

During that same time period, most Republican nominees have NOT been lawyers (some exceptions: Pence this year; Romney, if you count his joint MBA/Juris degrees received before he went into finance; Quayle and Dole).

By the numbers, 100% of Democrats attended law school (of 18 nominee slots, eg President/Vice President in an election cycle & 13 people, because some "filled a slot" more than once -- Al Gore filled slots three times, for example, during two VP runs and one Presidential run.). For the Republicans, app. 22% of the slots were filled by those who attended law school & app. 31% of the people nominated (some more than once) had attended law school.
We thought to check this after considering the different "word clouds" from ‪#‎RNCinCleveland‬ (heavy on "ISIS," "military," etc) and ‪#‎DNC2016‬, where "public service/servant" has been used extensively, often referring to lawyers.
Obviously, given the different views of the two political groups on government regulation, it's not surprising that being a lawyer now appears a requirement for making the Dem national ticket (btw, last Dem non-lawyer we could find was Jimmy Carter, a Navy officer and farmer before entering politics and being elected president in 1976 and then running unsuccessfully for reelection in 1980.)

FYI, there are roughly 3X as many "top executives" as lawyers in the American workplace, according to government labor statistics, and lawyers are outnumbered by other professions such as farmers/ranchers and high school teachers.

We've got our opinions on teams of lawyers, especially those with limited experience in business or even private practice, running a country that depends on a vibrant business environment. What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.

"There is no shortage of lawyers in Washington, DC. In fact, there may be more lawyers than people:" attributed to Sandra Day O'Connor

Attended Law School                         Non-Law School Grad/Profession Before Politics
Ronald Reagan (Calif.) actor/union official/corporate spokesman– George H. W. Bush (Tex.) businessman, gov official
George H. W. Bush (Tex.) businessman Dan Quayle (Ind.)
Bob Dole (Kans.) – Jack Kemp pro athlete (N.Y.)
George W. Bush (Tex.) – Dick Cheney (Wyo.) gov official
John McCain Navy officer (Ariz.) – Sarah Palin (Alaska)broadcaster 
Mitt Romney (Mass.) – Paul Ryan (Wis.) Cong. staffer
Donald Trump businessman (N.Y.) – Mike Pence (Ind.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Major Media Try to "Make the Statue of Liberty Disappear" in Reporting on Guns -- Latest Example is Vox

Magician David Copperfield famously made the Statue of Liberty "disappear" in plain sight on national television. Now the major national media are attempting a similarly audacious trick, this time involving some critical facts about one of our most important and contentious issues: guns.

The most recent example of this vanishing act is Vox's ambitious new project on gun deaths. "More than 33,000 people are shot and killed in the U.S. each year...And that means that for all the grief and haranguing and calls to action, we’re likely missing opportunities to bring that number down:" says the "letter from the editor" set-up for the report from Vox (a leading "young-adult site," according to WSJ's James Taranto.)

What's actually missing is recognition in the set-up that the number of firearms deaths has plunged over recent years, from almost 40,000 (39,595) in 1993 to 33,636 in 2013 (Centers for Disease Control, source for the Vox report's data.).

You'd think Vox might focus on this decline (which would come as news to many readers subsisting solely on a regular diet of major media mush) and explanations for the drop, which might well provide ideas on how to keep the decline going. But that would be like David Copperfield focusing on a moving stage or hidden trap door.

Also ignored in the Vox set-up and many other major media stories is that the CDC predicted gun deaths would exceed those from motor-vehicle accidents: "by the year 2003 (the CDC wrote in early 1994), the number of firearm-related deaths will surpass the number of motor-vehicle crashes, and firearms will become the leading cause of injury-related death."


Turns out that in 2003 motor-vehicle crashes still killed far more Americans than guns (43,340 to 30,136). They still do, though by a much smaller margin:  Now that's an interesting potential story.

All of which reminds us of this graphic from AEI (which again would probably come as a shock to many Americans):


Says the AEI researcher: "In contrast to the widely embraced narrative, perpetuated by liberal politicians and the media, that gun violence in America is getting worse all the time, the data reveal that the exact opposite is true. According to data retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 7 firearm-related homicides for every 100,000 Americans in 1993 (see light blue line in chart). By 2013 (most recent year available), the gun homicide rate had fallen by nearly 50% to only 3.6 homicides per 100,000 population."

We don't have the expertise to parse the more complicated statistical issues in the gun issue, but we do know enough to be skeptical when a critical trend is routinely & suspiciously underplayed, or even omitted, by so much coverage by the major media.

And unlike Mr. Copperfield, these media outlets apparently expect us to believe their sleight-of-hand is real.

Monday, June 20, 2016

If the Obama Administration Had Been in Office Back When...

[Context:"Justice Department blasted for editing Orlando transcripts (6/16)"]


"By the grace of Heaven, Emperor of [omitted], Emperor [omitted]...we hereby declare war" on USA, 12/8/1941.


"The ruling to kill the an individual duty for every [omitted] who can do it:" [omitted] bin [omitted].


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Who Really Suffers Most (Reported) Hate Crimes: By Religion and Sexual Orientation

Reason for Research: Follow up on debate involving hate crimes and Islamophobia sparked by the Orlando terrorist attack. Obviously, even a single hate crime against anybody is one too many, but the numbers and trends are factors in understanding and developing important national policies.

Results: Far more hate crimes were committed against Jewish and LGBT people than Muslims during the last year for which complete US records are available (FBI 2014, released late last year), and, based on population, Jews appear to have suffered at least the same rate of hate crimes, if not a higher one, than Muslims. [Important note: the FBI collects data on categories of hate crimes, both against persons and property, and a person may be victimized by more than one crime during a hate attack, so the numbers/percentages below do not necessarily track exactly with individual victims. In addition, there's debate about how many hate crimes are missed by the FBI, so the information here should be viewed as indicative only.]

Worth highlighting is that more hate crimes were committed against blacks in America than any other single group. However, of four people murdered in hate crimes during 2014, three were white and one black (no Jews, Muslims or LGBT people were killed in hate crimes that year, according to FBI statistics).

It's important to note there were far more Jewish and LGBT people in the US in 2014 than Muslims. However, even on a proportionate basis, Jews suffered at least as many and likely more hate crimes than Muslims. (It's difficult to compare numbers involving the LGBT community given less certainty about their population.)

The FBI reports:

"Religious bias 

Of the 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:
  • 56.8 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
  • 16.1 percent were victims of anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias."
About 3.3 million Muslims lived in the US in 2015 (app. 1% of US population), compared with about 5.7 million Jews (app. 1.8%) [the exact breakdown for 2014 was not available; these statistics from Pew.]

According to those 2014 FBI hate crime statistics (see them here), there were 635 "single-bias incidents" against Jews and 178 against Muslims. Extrapolating from the Pew population statistics, during 2014 there were app. twice as many Jews as Muslims in the US and they suffered substantially more than twice as many hate crimes as Muslims. However, it appears offenses against Muslims may have included a higher rate of violent crimes against people (as opposed to property crimes) than those committed against Jews.

Additional note: The number of hate crimes against Native-Americans and Asians jumps out in this data, given their relatively small populations. See more here:

Here are some of the key statistics. What do you think about hate crime trends?

Religion: 1,092
Anti-Jewish 635
Anti-Catholic 67
Anti-Protestant 28
Anti-Islamic (Muslim) 178
Anti-Other Religion 120
Anti-Multiple Religions, Group 51
Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. 13

Sexual Orientation: 1,178
Anti-Gay (Male) 683
Anti-Lesbian 168
Anti-Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (Mixed Group) 278
Anti-Heterosexual 18
Anti-Bisexual 31
Gender Identity: 109
Anti-Transgender 69
Anti-Gender Non-Conforming 40

Race: 3,081
Anti-White 701
Anti-Black or African American 1,955
Anti-American Indian or Alaska Native 142
Anti-Asian 168
Anti-Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 4
Anti-Multiple Races, Group 111

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bill Clinton Aide/Hillary Emailer Charged $50,000 for Letter from Candidate Bill Clinton to Foreign Politician: FBI Files

A longtime aide to Bill Clinton obtained a $50,000 political donation in return for a 1992 letter from then-Presidential candidate Clinton to an Asian politician, according to FBI files obtained by Need to Share News. Ironically, Clinton's signature was actually simulated by the aide, Maria Haley, who would later be given positions at the Clinton White House and US Export-Important Bank -- and appear in the "Chinagate" campaign finance scandal.

Haley (Maria Luisa Mabilangan Haley) died in 2011. The information below comes from her FBI file.

Haley also apparently had a relationship with Hillary Clinton. In recent days an email was released showing Hillary Clinton and top aid Cheryl Mills were contacted by Haley before her death. The contents of that email were "censored" by the State Department, according to Judicial Watch. Haley also received a positive FBI reference from Bruce Lindsey, now chairman of the Clinton Foundation and former Clinton Administration official.

According to an unnamed source in the files, a businessman requested that then-Governor and presidential candidate Bill Clinton write a "good guy letter" to South Korean presidential candidate (and later president) Kim Young-sam, wishing the Korean well. The requestor believed the letter would help him or her get a credit line at the Korean export bank. Haley "drafted, typed and signed" the letter, from "Bill Clinton," on Clinton/Gore 1992 campaign letterhead, the source said.

 Washington Post
South Korean President Kim Young-sam and President Clinton (link to Washington Post)

According to the FBI's source, Haley was allowed to sign Clinton's name and may not have received specific permission from Clinton or his top campaign officials to sign and send this particular letter. The effort was part of fundraising operations by an organization called APAC-Vote, linked to the Asian Pacific Advisory Council (APAC), which raised money for Clinton and Democratic organizations. APAC-Vote was later associated with other scandals.

The FBI file also links the person who requested the letter to a multi-million-dollar effort to launder money from a Japanese corporation. We redacted the names of three companies and one bank mentioned in the files (our redactions are in black; the white redactions are from the FBI). We were not able to verify the allegations against these companies or reach them for comment, so for the time being we have chosen not to name them.

Haley's name surfaced in the "Chinagate" scandal of the 1990s, which involved allegations the People's Republic of China had tried to buy influence through donations to the 1992 Clinton presidential run and subsequent Democratic campaigns. The scandal grew to include other claims of campaign finance improprieties involving the Clinton political machine and Democratic Party. See more here. Haley was also accused of trying to push through a questionable loan after being appointed by Clinton to the Board of the US Export-Import Bank -- see
"Appointee of Clinton Pushed Deal Sought by a Big Donor" (New York Times, 1997).

According to her New York Times obituary: "Ms. Haley worked for Mr. Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas and when he was president — originally in the presidential personnel office and then, from 1994 to 1999, on the board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States...

Ms. Haley came under scrutiny during her years at the Export-Import Bank because of her friendship with James T. Riady and John Huang, key figures in an investigation of foreign campaign contributions in 1996. More than $1 million in Democratic National Committee contributions raised by Mr. Huang was returned because of questions about their origin.

Ms. Haley met Mr. Huang met in the 1980s, when she was at the Arkansas development agency and he worked for the Worthen Banking Corporation, which at the time was partly controlled by the Riady family of Indonesia.

Ms. Haley said she was not influenced by her friendships with Mr. Huang and Mr. Riady. She was not charged." Read the 2011 obit of Ms. Haley.

Haley received mostly glowing references during her FBI background checks from those asked about her suitability for a US government position of "trust and responsibility."

The positive references included one from her White House boss Bruce Lindsey, who is now chairman of the Clinton Foundation, and White House official Nancy Hernreich Bowen, who according to the FBI file roomed briefly with Haley in the 1990s. Bowen now uses her "relationships to assist Asian and American businesses with their cross border business interests" at the same consulting firm that once employed Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton's top aid Huma Abedin, Ms. Abedin was paid by this firm while also working for Hillary at the State Department, according to media reports.

Reference from Bruce Lindsey, Former White House Official and Current Chairman of the Clinton Foundation

However, not all Haley's references were positive. One source, who requested the FBI protect his/her identity, hints at the Chinagate issue, calling Haley a "fearless politician who would do anything for the Clinton/Gore administration, even if it was illegal," the file states. The source added that Haley "controlled" Asian campaign contributions to the Clinton/Gore administration. However, this source reportedly did not have first-hand information to back up the claims. 

Remarkably, the FBI file -- or at least its released portions -- are silent regarding Haley's connections with other Chinagate figures, such as those revealed in the media reports above. If Haley's involvement with shady fundraising went deeper than publicly alleged and discussed in the FBI file, she apparently took those secrets to the grave.