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Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Andrew McCarthy On Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT Scammers


From Andrew McCarthy:
In Washington, it’s never about what they tell you it’s about. So take this to the bank: The case of Imran Awan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s mysterious Pakistani IT guy, is not about bank fraud. 
Yet bank fraud was the stated charge on which Awan was arrested at Dulles Airport this week, just as he was trying to flee the United States for Pakistan, via Qatar. That is the same route taken by Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, in March, when she suddenly fled the country, with three young daughters she yanked out of school, mega-luggage, and $12,400 in cash. 
By then, the proceeds of the fraudulent $165,000 loan they’d gotten from the Congressional Federal Credit Union had been sent ahead. It was part of a $283,000 transfer that Awan managed to wire from Capitol Hill. 
He pulled it off — hilariously, if infuriatingly — by pretending to be his wife in a phone call with the credit union. Told that his proffered reason for the transfer (“funeral arrangements”) wouldn’t fly, “Mrs.” Awan promptly repurposed: Now “she” was “buying property.” 
Asking no more questions, the credit union wired the money . . . to Pakistan. 
As you let all that sink in, consider this: Awan and his family cabal of fraudsters had access for years to the e-mails and other electronic files of members of the House’s Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. 
It turns out they were accessing members’ computers without their knowledge, transferring files to remote servers, and stealing computer equipment — including hard drives that Awan and Co. smashed to bits of bytes before making tracks. U 
They were fired in February. All except Awan, that is. He continued in the employ of Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat, former DNC chairwoman, and Clinton crony. She kept him in place at the United States Congress right up until he was nabbed at the airport on Monday. 
This is not about bank fraud. The Awan family swindles are plentiful, but they are just window-dressing. This appears to be a real conspiracy, aimed at undermining American national security. 
At the time of his arrest, the 37-year-old Imran Awan had been working for Democrats as an information technologist for 13 years. He started out with Representative Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) in 2004. The next year, he landed on the staff of Wasserman Schultz, who had just been elected to the House. 
Congressional-staff salaries are modest, in the $40,000 range. For some reason, Awan was paid about four times as much. He also managed to get his wife, Alvi, on the House payroll . . . then his brother, Abid Awan . . . then Abid’s wife, Natalia Sova. The youngest of the clan, Awan’s brother Jamal, came on board in 2014 — the then-20-year-old commanding an annual salary of $160,000. 
A few of these arrangements appear to have been sinecures: While some Awans were rarely seen around the office, we now know they were engaged in extensive financial shenanigans away from the Capitol. 
Nevertheless, the Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak, who has been all over this story, reports that, for their IT “work,” the Pakistani family has reeled in $4 million from U.S. taxpayers since 2009. 
That’s just the “legit” dough. 
The family business evidently dabbles in procurement fraud, too. The Capitol Police and FBI are exploring widespread double-billing for computers, other communication devices, and related equipment. 
Why were they paid so much for doing so little? Intriguing as it is, that’s a side issue. A more pressing question is: Why were they given access to highly sensitive government information? 
Ordinarily, that requires a security clearance, awarded only after a background check that peruses ties to foreign countries, associations with unsavory characters, and vulnerability to blackmail. 
These characters could not possibly have qualified. Never mind access; it’s hard to fathom how they retained their jobs. 
The Daily Caller has also discovered that the family, which controlled several properties, was involved in various suspicious mortgage transfers. 
Abid Awan, while working “full-time” in Congress, ran a curious auto-retail business called “Cars International A” (yes, CIA), through which he was accused of stealing money and merchandise. In 2012, he discharged debts in bankruptcy (while scheming to keep his real-estate holdings). 
Congressional Democrats hired Abid despite his drunk-driving conviction a month before he started at the House, and they retained him despite his public-drunkenness arrest a month after. Beyond that, he and Imran both committed sundry vehicular offenses. 
In civil lawsuits, they are accused of life-insurance fraud. 
Democrats now say that any access to sensitive information was “unauthorized.” But how hard could it have been to get “unauthorized” access when House Intelligence Committee Dems wanted their staffers to have unbounded access? 
In 2016, they wrote a letter to an appropriations subcommittee seeking funding so their staffers could obtain “Top Secret — Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearances. TS/SCI is the highest-level security classification. 
Awan family members were working for a number of the letter’s signatories. Democratic members, of course, would not make such a request without coordination with leadership. 
Did I mention that the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee to whom the letter was addressed was Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Why has the investigation taken so long? Why so little enforcement action until this week? Why, most of all, were Wasserman Schultz and her fellow Democrats so indulgent of the Awans? 
The probe began in late 2016. In short order, the Awans clearly knew they were hot numbers. They started arranging the fraudulent credit-union loan in December, and the $283,000 wire transfer occurred on January 18. 
In early February, House security services informed representatives that the Awans were suspects in a criminal investigation. At some point, investigators found stolen equipment stashed in the Rayburn House Office Building, including a laptop that appears to belong to Wasserman Schultz and that Imran was using. 
Although the Awans were banned from the Capitol computer network, not only did Wasserman Schultz keep Imran on staff for several additional months, but Meeks retained Alvi until February 28 — five days before she skedaddled to Lahore. 
Strange thing about that: On March 5, the FBI (along with the Capitol Police) got to Dulles Airport in time to stop Alvi before she embarked. It was discovered that she was carrying $12,400 in cash. 
As I pointed out this week, it is a felony to export more than $10,000 in currency from the U.S. without filing a currency transportation report. It seems certain that Alvi did not file one: 
In connection with her husband’s arrest this week, the FBI submitted to the court a complaint affidavit that describes Alvi’s flight but makes no mention of a currency transportation report. Yet far from making an arrest, agents permitted her to board the plane and leave the country, notwithstanding their stated belief that she has no intention of returning. 
Many congressional staffers are convinced that they’d long ago have been in handcuffs if they pulled what the Awans are suspected of. Nevertheless, no arrests were made when the scandal became public in February. 
For months, Imran has been strolling around the Capitol. In the interim, Wasserman Schultz has been battling investigators: demanding the return of her laptop, invoking a constitutional privilege (under the speech-and-debate clause) to impede agents from searching it, and threatening the Capitol Police with “consequences” if they don’t relent. 
Only last week, according to Fox News, did she finally signal willingness to drop objections to a scan of the laptop by federal investigators. Her stridency in obstructing the investigation has been jarring.  
But Samina Gilani, the Awan brothers’ stepmother, begs to differ. Gilani complained to Virginia police that the Awans secretly bugged her home and then used the recordings to blackmail her. She averred in court documents that she was pressured to surrender cash she had stored in Pakistan. I 
mran claimed to be “very powerful” — so powerful he could order her family members kidnapped. We don’t know if these allegations are true, but they are disturbing. 
The Awans have had the opportunity to acquire communications and other information that could prove embarrassing, or worse, especially for the pols who hired them. Did the swindling staffers compromise members of Congress? 
Does blackmail explain why were they able to go unscathed for so long? And as for that sensitive information, did the Awans send American secrets, along with those hundreds of thousands of American dollars, to Pakistan? 
This is no run-of-the-mill bank-fraud case.
AND THEN THERE'S THIS:

Also consider Obama's final acts to ensure said access the Awans (as well as any other Obama hold-overs) were afforded not be interfered with/interrupted once Trump took over the oval office:

Jan. 12: Obama expands the NSA's ability to share data with other agencies

Jan 20: Obama’s final act as president promises more tech talent in Washington
Muslim Brotherhood infiltration is very very deeply entrenched. 
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posted by Pastorius at permanent link#

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

===>"In 2016, they wrote a letter to an appropriations subcommittee seeking funding so their staffers could obtain “Top Secret — Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearances. TS/SCI is the highest-level security classification."<===

Also consider Obama's final acts to ensure said access the Awans (as well as any other Obama hold-overs) were afforded not be interfered with/interrupted once Trump took over the oval office:

Jan. 12: Obama expands the NSA's ability to share data with other agencies

Jan 20: Obama’s final act as president promises more tech talent in Washington

Muslim Brotherhood infiltration is very very deeply entrenched.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:43:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recall also, this image of the "Moving Masters, Inc." truck which specializes in 'Quality in Electronic & Office Moving" = an image posted on January 4th to Michelle Kosinki's twitter feed:


Tweet: http://tinyurl.com/yajazplo

Image alone: http://tinyurl.com/y9fktzkg

Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:42:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

July 29, 2017 GatewayPundit: REPORT: Obama Operating ‘Secret War Room’ 2 Miles From WH To Destroy POTUS Trump (VIDEO)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:46:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

head/desk

How much damage have BHO and his minions wrought -- and continue to do?

This looks bottomless.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 12:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the original source to this McCarthy essay you'll find it is hyperlinked to include the link to the letter mentioned in the piece here :

===>"In 2016, they wrote a letter to an appropriations subcommittee seeking funding so their staffers could obtain “Top Secret — Sensitive Compartmented Information” clearances. TS/SCI is the highest-level security classification. "<===

https://fas.org/irp/congress/2016_cr/hpsci-hac.pdf

Sunday, July 30, 2017 12:21:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Hi, thanks for the information.

I am missing the point about Moving Masters. Could you help me understand?

Sunday, July 30, 2017 12:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pastorius - the logo on the truck:
"MOVING MASTERS, INC., It's your Move, Call the Masters"
"Quality in Electronic & Office Moving"

www.movingmasters.com

This company logo specifically mentions they specialize in moving "electronic" items. I'm not aware of any other prior occupants of the oval office removing electronic equipment by specialized carriers. This, admittedly, could be nothing - but that image just stuck with me - particularly because of his efforts to allow intel to move between agencies by his decree just prior to his leaving office.
IIRC, There also was a lot of additional construction taking place within the WH nearly the entire span of time he was in office.
Given all the leaks within the current administration, and electronic technology expanding - all that construction - Obama's latent intel legislation - the hiring of a specialized moving company/a mid size box truck to the WH during the transition - advertising it's Electronic specialty - can't help but question if any/all is related.

hmmmmmmmm?

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:06:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Good point. That is suspicious, isn't it?

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:09:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

How do specialists in moving electronic items differ from regular movers?

Pardon my ignorance.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AoW - I have no technical or electronic 'know-how', but in my household, I've had tinkerers who enjoyed building their own gaming systems. Often parts would arrive in the mail wrapped in special envelopes which resist static.
Also, I learned the hard way that magnets are the nemesis of some electronic related items. In the past, I erased all my credit cards by placing a business card printed on a refrigerator magnet into my wallet.

I'm sure there are other reasons, but those are two issues which readily come to mind.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pastorius -

For shits and giggles, let me add this little gem from memory lane to the conversation:
Recall:

Maxine Waters boasts about Obama Database video

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:46:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Anonymous,
Yes, static and magnets are enemies of electronics. So is heat, but heat wouldn't have been a factor in January.

I wonder what type of and how much electronic equipment was moved out of the White House in January 2017. Fragile monitors, certainly.

I can't imagine that the Obama administration left behind any electronic equipment.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 1:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that the Obama administration left behind any electronic equipment. - AoW

Agree. Of particular interest were any hard drives, memory cards, and related files which prove handy in his continuing enterprise to undermine this nation.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 2:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy . . .In today's first video by George Webb he lets loose another speculation which raises concern...

====>"...Actual Verizon and AT&T blackberry stores may also have been compromised over the last twelve years"<=====
Now, Webb is referring specifically to the stores within the Capitol which he visited and filmed offering these blackberry phone options.

On the other hand - not connected to AwanGate - I couldn't help but consider all the phone stores I've visited to upgrade cell phones over the last dozen years. How many of these stores are operated by foreign nationals - particularly by ME types? Here, in NY I cannot identify a single store which isn't operated by ME types. Not sure about the rest of the country but this is not a reassuring situation.
It's not like going out for Chinese and being served by oriental staff. We are not importing these devices from the ME .

Sunday, July 30, 2017 3:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oy . . .In today's first video by George Webb he lets loose another speculation which raises concern...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psq96podYT4&t=4m4s
====>"...Actual Verizon and AT&T blackberry stores may also have been compromised over the last twelve years"<=====
Now, Webb is referring specifically to the stores within the Capitol which he visited and filmed offering these blackberry phone options.

On the other hand - not connected to AwanGate - I couldn't help but consider all the phone stores I've visited to upgrade cell phones over the last dozen years. How many of these stores are operated by foreign nationals - particularly by ME types? Here, in NY I cannot identify a single store which isn't operated by ME types. Not sure about the rest of the country but this is not a reassuring situation.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 3:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post will be a bit long and broken into multiple comments:

CTO= Chief Technology Officer. Obama was the First President to have one. Aneesh Chopra was the first appointed CTO of the White House. Aneesh Chopra: Virginia Secretary of Technology In 2006, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine appointed Chopra as the commonwealth’s Secretary of Technology. His service continued until his appointment as U.S. Chief Technology Officer in 2009. Chopra spearheaded a number of innovations in state government, including the creation of a Productivity Innovation Fund which provided resources for state agencies to pursue IT projects to improve efficiency.[9] In 2008 Chopra implemented a statewide performance management strategy, that Governing magazine described as “venture governmentalism.” Later that year, the Pew Charitable Trust and Governing Magazine announced Virginia was tied as the “best managed state” in the country.[10] U.S. Chief Technology Officer[edit] Chopra's appointment as the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States was announced by the White House on April 18, 2009. From the official release: “[a]s Chief Technology Officer, Chopra will promote technological innovation to help the country meet its goals from job creation, to reducing health care costs, to protecting the homeland.”[11] Chopra was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 7, 2009. The office of Chief Technology Officer was organized within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The C.T.O. also serves as a cabinet-rank member of the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council.
(continued)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(continued)
Aneesh Chopra now has his own company Hunch Analytics: Aneesh is the former (and first) U.S. Chief Technology Officer. As an Assistant to the President, he designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America, and executed an “open innovation” strategy across the government built on private sector collaboration – opening up data, convening on standards and staffing “lean government startups.” He is the author of the book, “Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government” focused on how the country can tap entrepreneurial problem solvers to address challenges in health, energy and education markets among other public and regulated sectors. In 2011, Chopra was named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (#39) and in 2008, to Government Technology magazine’s Top 25 in their Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers issue. Chopra earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and his bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University. You can find out more about Aneesh at this site. http://hunchanalytics.com/team/


CareJourney founded by investment from Hunch Analytics: CareJourney was founded in 2014 with an investment from Hunch Analytics under the belief that open data and standard APIs will bring about a revolution in population health analytics. At a very early stage we harnessed these trends to provide our members with actionable insights to improve the quality of care and reduce costs for their patients. We are based in Arlington, VA. https://carejourney.com/company/

(Continued)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:41:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(continued)
Hunch Analytics helps health care and education providers make smarter decisions ByDale Keiger / Published Fall 2014 "Aneesh Chopra became the nation's first chief technology officer in 2009. Much of his work focused on the use of big data to inform big decisions. He noticed something then that he continues to see today: When it comes to making major decisions, there are two camps. One consists of people who believe intuition trumps analysis—go with your gut. The other rejects intuition in favor of careful data analysis—where there is enough data, there's no need for intuition." "In health care and education, he points out, outcomes data, often collected by government and made increasingly available, are becoming ever more important. For example, the Affordable Care Act has mandated a change from hospitals working on a fee-for-service basis to more of a fee-for-outcomes system. There will be a premium on making people well and keeping them well because hospitals will be reimbursed at a much lower rate for patients who bounce back within weeks of their initial treatment. A hospital like Johns Hopkins has internal data on everyone who has been admitted. But there's a vast trove of external data, Chopra says, that if properly analyzed can help management identify ways to keep populations healthier. For example, Medicare patients can download three years of their personal health care data through the Medicare website. This data set is called a "blue button file" because of the website button that beneficiaries click to obtain it." https://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2014/fall/hunch-analytics/

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(continued)
Enter Affordable Care Act: Chopra touts new era of entrepreneurship "Today is the best time to be a healthcare entrepreneur in America." By Mike MiliardFebruary 20, 201103:29 PM Chopra – alongside Deputy National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD, and VA Chief Technology Officer Peter Levin – was speaking as part of the Health IT Venture Fair & Strategic Partner Forum. He was there to discuss how the HITECH and Affordable Care Acts are driving innovation opportunities in the private sector. Specifically, he meant to show how the government can create a better climate for market-driven health improvements through technology. As national CTO, Chopra reports to President Barack Obama, who has enacted a three-pronged approach to innovation: Invest in the "building blocks of innovation," R&D and human capital, to out-educate and out-innovate America' economic competitors around the world. Set the right conditions for market-based innovation, catalyzing entrepreneurship through programs such as the new Startup America Partnership and via policy initiatives like the simplification of the Research & Experimentation tax credit and the modernization the U.S. Patent Office. Foster an "all hands on deck" approach to R&D and standards, convening many different players to inspire new products and services.
(continued)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:43:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(continued)
Chopra cited recent funding for programs like the national wireless initiative and pointed to a $3 billion innovation fund that would go after basic R&D for security and reliability and engineering to make sure "wireless communication can be fully leveraged in our healthcare ecosystem." Of that money, he said, $100 million is earmarked for healthcare application innovation. In addition to Startup America, a nonprofit public-private initiative, Chopra lauded programs like the "DC to VC: Investing in Healthcare IT Summit," which saw participation by the ONC and companies such as Practice Fusion and Vocera. One recent object lesson? The NHIN Direct Project, which saw dozens of vendors – some of them competitors – working in tandem with the ONC and other parties to establish a simple and secure way to send encrypted health information between two parties. The open collaborative – anyone was allowed to participate – was announced in March of 2010. Consensus was reached on the technical specifications soon after. Just 90 days later, the first of several firms announced they'd commercialize the spec. The program went live in January, and as of today, 50 organizations have announced their support of the Direct protocol. "This will be," Chopra said, "one of the fastest protocols to go from concept to execution." And if the public and private sectors continue to focus on R&D collaboration and open-standards philosophy, he said, "this is the best time to be an entrepreneur." http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/chopra-celebrates-new-era-entrepreneurship
(continued)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Continued)
National Wireless Initiative (Chopra under Obama Administration) Policies promoting wireless broadband in the United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Redirected from National Wireless Initiative) Policies promoting wireless broadband are policies, rules, and regulations supporting the "National Wireless Initiative", a plan to bring wireless broadband Internet access to 98% of Americans.[1] Spectrum is limited and much of it already in use. This raises the issue of space and strength of supporting the network. The infrastructure has to reach across the entire United States in areas that normally do not have Internet access. The main concept is to bring wireless service to residents in areas that may otherwise not have access to it.[2] The public's interest in this plan is important as the people are the ones who will utilize this service. Network neutrality raises issues on freedom of information and who will have control over how the information is released, or even lack of control.

(END)

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way . . .
George Webb surmises that the DCCC and DNC intentionally hired foreign nationals or citizens of foreign nationalities to
work in IT during the Obama campaigns specifically for the talents as well as to operate as ‘ethnic human shields’ to
block any criticism of questionable tactics.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 4:48:00 pm  

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