Liberal governing has transformed beautiful California into the poverty capital of America with the worst quality of life. Crazy taxes, crazy high cost of living, and crazy overreaching regulations have crushed the middle class, forcing the middle class to exit the Sunshine State. All that is left in California are illegals feeding at the breast of the state, rapidly growing massive homeless tent cities, and the mega-rich. LLOYD MARCUS
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hanging from John Sopko’s office in a building outside the Pentagon is a plaque that states, “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
Sopko told Breitbart News that is a motto he lives by, noting that it “could apply to most bureaucracies.”
As the U.S Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Sopko is the steward of nearly $120 billion in taxpayer funds.
His devotion to oversight has rendered him both a respected U.S. watchdog and a “four letter word” among the segments of the government he supervises.
During an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Sopko said the United States “overwhelmed” Afghanistan with too much money at the beginning of the war in October 2001.
“You can drown somebody in goodness. It’s the comedy of the absurd when it comes down to [U.S.] assistance [to Afghanistan] and we are just drowning Afghans in money. And when you drown somebody in money, you can’t be surprised that some of it gets wasted,” Sopko told Breitbart News.
“The American people should demand accountability,” he said later, adding that people in the United States should care about the Afghanistan war “because is a national security issue for the U.S. government. We are also spending billions of dollars there and we have a lot of American lives at risk.”
About 8,400 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. Since the war started in October, the United States government has appropriated more than $700 billion, including about $120 billion for reconstruction efforts.
Even after the vast U.S. investments, Sopko said Afghanistan’s “security has deteriorated” since he took office in 2012.
He identified the lack of “security” as his top concern.
Sopko told Breitbart News the current chaos in the country is hindering the SIGAR agency’s ability to carry out its duties, preventing his auditors from traveling to certain places.
More U.S. troops or State Department security personnel would help alleviate that problem, he pointed out.
As IG for the nation-building effort, Sopko’s duty is to protect American taxpayer dollars from wasteful spending, fraud, and abuse.
“Our job here is to highlight problems and try to fix them and, as a result, we break a lot of crockery and we’re not liked by some people. A lot of people like the status quo,” he explained.
He pointed out that the U.S. and Afghan governments share equal blame for the egregious mismanagement of American taxpayer dollars.
Nevertheless, Sopko revealed that no one in government has been reprimanded.
“The lack of accountability has shocked me the most” since becoming IG in 2012, declared SIGAR, stressing that “nobody is responsible for wasting taxpayer’s dollars.”
“I think it’s starting with Gen. [Jim] Mattis, he is the first secretary of defense to take an IG report and send it out to his senior officials and say let’s do something about it,” he proclaimed.
During the exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Sopko discussed the importance of his job to the future of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan as President Donald Trump’s administration debates a new strategy that the commander-in-chief expects to be a departure from the failed plans of his predecessors.
“If we proceed no matter what, no matter what the number of troops, no matter how much money we spend, it’s got to be a whole of government approach,” he said, noting that the U.S. military cannot carry on the burden alone.
Government and military officials generally avoid inspectors general (IGs), so Sopko’s role is not at all glorified, particularly among those he is duty bound to supervise.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who served in Afghanistan, summed up how some in the government feel about SIGAR’s oversight when he joked during a hearing on July 26, “Mr. Sopko, thank you for what you do. Like I told you before, when I was in theater Sopko was a four-letter word, but on behalf of the American taxpayer I sure appreciate what you do.”
“I do have a lot of support,” said Sopko. “A lot of the people who have served and a lot of people who have done policy issues realize somebody needs to save us and that’s what my job is.”
Sopko is optimistic about the future of the Afghanistan, telling Breitbart News U.S. victory in the war-ravaged nation is achievable but “it may take time.”
“Victory is when we can walk away and leave a government in place that can keep the terrorists out. That’s the stated reason why we’re there. We went into Afghanistan to kick the terrorists out and create a stable government that can keep terrorist out,” he said.
20-Time Deportee Moves to Sanctuary City, Allegedly Rapes 65-Year-Old Woman
A Mexican national, deported by immigration authorities 20 times, moved to a sanctuary city and allegedly raped a 65-year-old woman.
Police officers in the sanctuary city of Portland arrested Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, after he allegedly broke into the home of a 65-year-old woman, tied her up, held her at knifepoint and raped her, KOIN CBS6 reported. Court records revealed Martinez has a long criminal history that includes burglary, battery, and multiple deportations.
“Defendant has entry/removal from [the] United States to/from Mexico 20 times with at least [five] probation violations from re-entry,” the local CBS affiliate reported from court documents filed in March 2017.
Eighteen years ago, Martinez, then 15, completed a drug and alcohol treatment program in Texas, court records stated. His record reveals multiple jail sentences in California and Oregon. The Mexican national lived in a shelter on Portland’s northwest side and illegally worked construction jobs for money. He admitted to being a user of methamphetamine and marijuana but said alcohol is his most serious addiction.
Following his alleged attack on the 65-year-old woman in her home where she gave him her Prius to get him to leave, police responded to a call about a man attacking a woman in the basement of a parking garage below a building. There, police discovered Martinez allegedly sexually assaulting another woman and holding her at knifepoint. Martinez fled on foot and officers chased him through a neighborhood, capturing him in a nearby apartment, KOINS reported.
Immigration officials deported Martinez, once again, in November 2016. It is not known when or where he re-entered the U.S. after being deported. He reportedly uses several aliases including, “Sergio Alberto Martinez,” “Erick Acosta,” “Smyley,” and “Poison.
He is currently being held without bail.
Earlier this year, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese told Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson that turning criminal alien sex offenders over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers damages “community trust,” Breitbart Texas reported. His comments to Attkisson came after His office released a Mexican criminal alien convicted of sexual assault despite a hold from ICE Enforcement Removal Operations officers.
“It simply worries me that we’ve spent so much time and energy building community trust and something outside of our control may damage that,” the sheriff said.
Crime victims might feel otherwise. A report issued earlier this year by ICE officials revealed that Sheriff Reese’s jail released a Mexican national on February 15. Immigration officials issued an immigration detainer on March 21, 2016. The report indicates the Mexican criminal alien has a prior conviction for sexual assault.
Criminal aliens are drawn to the protections provided by sanctuary jurisdictions like the City of Portland and Multnomah County according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “When cities like Philadelphia, Boston or San Francisco advertise that they have these policies, the criminals take notice,” AG Sessions told the police officers gathered at a Las Vegas conference center. “According to a recent study from the University of California Riverside, cities with these policies have more violent crime on average than those that don’t.”
“Some 300 jurisdictions in this country refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities regarding illegal aliens who commit crimes — even MS-13 gang members,” Session stated. “These jurisdictions are protecting criminals rather than their law-abiding residents.”
In September 2016, police in Austin, Texas, arrested five-time deportee Nicondemo Coria-Gonzales after he chose their sanctuary city to be his most recent U.S. home, Breitbart Texas reported. The Mexican national returned to Austin after his fifth deportation and allegedly went on a crime spree where he assaulted and raped at least nine women in the Texas capital city. At that time, now-Sheriff Sally Hernandez was in a campaign where she pledged to remove immigration officers from the Travis County jail and not honor immigration detainers. After her election, she followed through on those pledges and began releasing criminal aliens onto the streets of Austin. In one week, the sheriff who has become known as “Sanctuary Sally” released 142 criminal aliens, ICE officials reported.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott took immediate action, stripping Travis County of more than $1 million in state law enforcement grants.
Hernandez became to poster-child for supporters of Texas’ Senate Bill 4 Sanctuary City bill authored by State Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock). On May 7, Governor Abbott signedthe nation’s toughest anti-sanctuary city bill into law.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas, Governor Abbott said, “All law enforcement officers are going to be required to follow this law,” the governor stated. “If they refuse to follow this law, or if they adopt sanctuary city policies, they are subject now to the stiffest penalties in America for adopting sanctuary city policies – which includes jail time where sheriffs could wind up in the same jail they may be releasing inmates from who are the subject of ICE detainer requests.”
In the mean time, officials in Portland continue to protect and welcome criminal aliens. In March, Multnomah County Judge Monica Herranz allegedly allowed 22-year-old Diddier Pacheco Salazar escape from immigration officials by allowing him to flee through a back door normally reserved for court officials, Breitbart News Warner Todd Huston reported.
U.S. Attorney Billy Williams told reporters he was disturbed by the judge’s lawless behavior. “When you’re talking about the judicial system — whether it’s federal or by state — you have an expectation that people are going to abide by the law and not take steps based on their own motivations, their own politics – whatever the motivation was,” Williams said.
The DOJ launched an investigation into the action taken by Judge Herranz, Breitbart Texas’ Ildefonso Ortiz reported. “I was troubled because, on the face of it, what I heard sounded like potential federal criminal law violations and/or ethical violations,” U.S. Attorney Williams told reporters. “Generally, we’re talking about obstruction of justice.”
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.
Police: 3 teen girls kidnapped by Salvadoran gang in Houston
By the Associated Press | March 3, 2017 | 9:48 PM EST
Two known MS-13 gang members, formerly of El Salvador, Miguel Alvarez-Flores, left, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera appear in court Thursday, March 2, 2017, in Houston. The pair, who had a Satanic shrine in their Houston apartment, are suspects in the killing of one teenager and the kidnapping of another. (Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle via AP)
HOUSTON (AP) — Two MS-13 gang members from El Salvador, both in the United States illegally, held three teenage girls against their will and killed one of them in a satanic ritual, authorities in Houston said Friday.
Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, have been arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and murder — both first-degree felonies punishable by up to life imprisonment. Bonds totaling $300,000 have been set for each, but immigration detainers will keep both behind bars.
The 15-year-old girl's body was found Feb. 16 with gunshot wounds to the face and chest.
Homicide detective Sgt. Chris Sturdivant said the girl's identity has not been officially determined but that investigators are confident they know who she is — a girl reported missing in January in nearby Jersey Village, Texas.
The captives were three "young, impressionable women" ranging in age from 14 to 16 who succumbed to the allure of gang life before being taken to an apartment and held there against their will, Sturdivant said. The 14-year-old girl told investigators that they were fed drugs and alcohol and forced to have sex.
The girl said the 15-year-old was killed in a satanic ritual because she had struck the gang's shrine to a satanic saint, according to investigators.
She told investigators that Alvarez-Flores made a peace offering to the figure in the form of a cigarette.
"He returned from the statue and told the entire group that the beast did not want a material offering but wanted a soul," state District Judge Maria Jackson said during the men's initial court appearance Wednesday.
The 14-year-old said she later awoke to find the 15-year-old gone, according to investigators.
The case comes as President Donald Trump is promoting concerns over criminal immigrants in the United States illegally. He has announced that he plans to create an agency, called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement or VOICE, to serve victims of immigrant crime and their relatives. It will be part of the Department of Homeland Security.
"The majority of the MS-13 members we come into contact with are here illegally," Sturdivant said.
Attorneys for Alvarez-Flores and Hernandez-Rivera did not immediately return calls Friday night. Sturdivant said both men admitted their involvement in the abductions and killing after their arrests Monday. An FBI multijurisdictional anti-gang task force continues to investigate, and Sturdivant said authorities are seeking other gang members who were possibly involved in the crimes.
MS-13, also called Mara Salvatrucha, is believed to have been founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by immigrants fleeing civil war in El Salvador. It is now a major international criminal enterprise.