Letter to Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano about US Marine held in Mexico prison


by Greta Van Susteren Posted in: bipartisan letter, Congresswoman Ileana R, Jon Hammar, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

In Strong Bipartisan Effort To Help Bring Jon Hammar Home, Ros-Lehtinen Leads Letter

Signed By 68 Other Members Of Congress Asking Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano

To Exhaust All Avenues To Bring Jon Home

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is leading an overwhelming bipartisan letter to two Cabinet Secretaries signed by 68 other Members of Congress advocating to bring U.S. Marine Jon Hammar home from a Mexican prison. The letter, directed at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, urges them to exhaust any and all diplomatic means to ensure the well being of this U.S. citizen and Marine veteran.

Said Ros-Lehtinen, “A bipartisan group of my colleagues and I are extremely concerned over the continued incarceration of Jon Hammar in a Mexican jail. Our letter to Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano lets them know that we find this situation unacceptable. The details of Jon’s incarceration that the family has relayed to me are outrageous and appalling. This must be settled now and Jon must be allowed to come home immediately.”

Full text of letter is below:

December 19, 2012

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton The Honorable Janet Napolitano

Secretary of State Secretary Homeland Security

Department of State Department of Homeland Security

Dear Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano:

We, the undersigned Members of Congress, would like to express our concern over the well being of a United States citizen, and Marine combat veteran, Jon M. Hammar, who is unjustly being imprisoned in Centro de Ejecución de Sanciones (CEDES) de Matamoros, Tamaulipas, since his August 13, 2012 arrest. We urge the State Department to use diplomatic means to ensure the well-being of Jon and make every effort, within all applicable rules and regulations, to bring Jon home.

Jon served tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was honorably discharged in 2007 and served four more years of inactive reserves subsequent to his discharge. He was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – having seen his Marine battalion suffer a large number of casualties in Fallujah and elsewhere – and voluntarily checked himself into a PTSD inpatient facility in August of 2011, graduating from the program in May of this year. Shortly after graduation, Jon and a fellow Marine from the inpatient program purchased an RV and planned a surfing trip from Florida to Costa Rica to help them cope with the stress of PTSD.

Along with his surf boards, Jon brought with him one of his most prized possessions – his great-grandfather’s old-fashioned Sears & Roebuck .410 bore shotgun. This is the smallest of the traditional shotgun sizes, used for small game hunting. Jon took all the precautions he believed necessary and honestly sought to fully abide by all laws and regulations regarding transporting his shotgun across the border, including Jon asking the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents for the proper procedures to do so. The CBP agents informed him that he could take his shotgun into Mexico as long as he registered it with the Mexican authorities.

We are extremely concerned over the role Customs and Border Protection has played in this situation. This is not the first time the role of CBP has come into question following the arrest of an American citizen in Mexico. Earlier this year, Jabin Bogan – who was driving a truck containing ammunition – stated that a CBP agent told him to make a U-turn in Mexico, and upon his return through the border, he was arrested on the accusation of smuggling ammunition. While the CBP insists it was not one of their agents who gave Mr. Bogan the bad directions, there can be no disputing its role in the Hammar incident. We would like to know how this could have happened, and why the CBP agents at the border gave Jon what was obviously wrong information.

Jon and his friend trusted that the CBP agents were giving him the correct information, so they crossed into Mexico and attempted to register the shotgun legally. He was arrested immediately while trying to declare the shotgun. Jon was told he was being charged with possession of an assault rifle which is restricted for military use and was taken to CEDES de Matamoros. While there, Jon was initially placed in the general population where he was beaten by the other inmates. His parents immediately began receiving extortion calls from these inmates. They were told that Jon would be killed unless the extortion money was paid. The inmates even forced Jon to speak to his parents on the phone and tell them to pay the money or he would be killed.

Jon’s parents contacted the U.S. consulate officials, who arranged for Jon to be removed from the general population. However, he was then isolated in a room where he was shackled to his bed and the wall, in a clear violation of his fundamental human right. This lasted for months, though we have been assured by the State Department that Jon is no longer being chained to his bed or the wall.

This situation is unacceptable. Though the State Department has provided updates on Jon’s well-being, it has not provided details on what our government is doing to get him released from prison. We urge the State Department to continue to press the Mexican authorities for a speedy resolution to this extremely unfortunate situation.

This case is of the utmost importance, and we would like these matters resolved as quickly as possible so that Jon can return home to be with his family before Christmas. Jon put his life on the line for our country, and the United States government has a responsibility to him and his family to do everything within its power to bring him home.

Sincerely,

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The White Side of the Story of Negroes


By Patrick J. Buchanan
BUCHANAN TO OBAMA

Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America .. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation.. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to…. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream. Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants. Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude??

Barack talks about new ‘ladders of opportunity’ for blacks. Let him go to Altoona ? And Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for ‘deserving’ white kids…? Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ? Is it really white America ‘s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence. Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Barack aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena . And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Scam


By:Michelle Malkin
Here’s more evidence that government “cures” are inevitably worse than the “diseases” they seek to wipe out. Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records “incentive” program. Like most of President Obama’s health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.

Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.

The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government “incentive” programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn’t switched over by 2014.

So, what’s it to you? Well, $4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals, and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds’ reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.

Don’t take my word for it. A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is “vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet” the program’s quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy “has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited,” the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

Little is being done to recoup ill-gotten payments. In any case, such “pay and chase” policing after the fact is a crummy way to run government in lean times — or in fat times, for that matter.

As for the claim that the EMR conversion will reduce paperwork, many doctors say the reality is just the opposite. In Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Richard Aronson told local TV station FOX 8 that the mandate doubled the amount of paperwork in his private practice. Everyone from optometrists to general practitioners to chiropractors to podiatrists must divert precious time and resources to conforming with Washington health bureaucrats’ imposed vision. Some medical professionals are now warning that the dangerous phenomenon of “distracted doctoring” is on the rise as a result of data-driven imperatives that direct health care providers’ attention away from their patients and onto their screens and hand-held devices.

You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.

Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama’s medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems — a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population’s health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I’ve previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama’s election-year “We Can’t Wait” initiatives.

Even as the White House touted the move toward gee-whiz 21st-century electronic databases, health care professionals in the know have debunked that claim, too. Companies like Faulkner’s, which lobbied loudest for the mandates and “incentives,” represent traditional hard drive-dependent software firms that are already dated. As Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush, who advocates cloud-computing alternatives, put it: The Obama electronic records mandate is “healthcare information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers.”

Then there’s the still-growing and untold number of doctors nationwide who are closing up shop or limiting their practices and converting to “concierge care” to escape this and myriad other Obamacare intrusions. My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the EMR imposition. Creve Coeur, Mo., doctor Shari Cohen made the same move.

“The demands of caring for my patients while navigating through the current health care delivery systems dictated that I take more and more time away from patient care and spend an increasing part of my day on the system itself,” she told the Creve Couer Patch. “Electronic Medical Records was the final shove for me. It added another whole layer in interference in the doctor-patient relationship and one I was not sure I wanted to take on.”

More paperwork. More waste. Less accountability. Less care. Government malpractice at work.

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2012/12/14/obamas-electronic-medical-records-scam-n1466807/page/full/