7:13 AM, Jan 15, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
In April, the Obama administration announced plans for financial aid, advisers, and 'non-lethal' security assistance for Ukraine in its struggle against Russian encroachment on its territory. Eight months later, citing the "urgent and compelling need to establish security and stability," the White
House National Security Council staff approved the purchase of an armored “Cossack” truck, a rapid-reaction military vehicle, for use by the border guard service of Ukraine.
The $189,000 vehicle was purchased from the Practika PJSC company, in Ukraine, and is being handled by the State Department's procurement office in Germany.
Despite the lapse of eight months since the assistance was announced by President Obama, the Justification and Approval document cited "unusual and compelling urgency" as the reason that full and open competition was precluded for the contract.
When asked about the timing of the vehicle purchase, a State Department official replied, "The United States has committed over $118 million to Ukrainian forces since the start of the crisis, including over $47 million in equipment to border guards. The urgent and compelling requirements are derived from Ukraine’s ongoing operations to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity." The official also said that the vehicle is scheduled to be delivered to Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service on January 19th: "The 'Cossack' armored truck, designed and manufactured by the Ukrainian company 'Practika,' is one of a variety of armored vehicles that we are providing to Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service to help it better monitor and secure its borders and operate more safely and effectively."
A June 4, 2014, "fact sheet" issued by the White House said that as of that date, "President Obama has approved more than $23 million in additional defensive security assistance since early March," and went on to detail the assistance already provided to the Ukrainian border service:
Embassy Kyiv has purchased and delivered 20-person shelters, sleeping bags, fuel filter adapters, barbed wire, patrol flashlights, perimeter alarm systems, fuel pumps, concertina wire, vehicle batteries, spare tires, binoculars, excavators, trucks, generators, food storage freezers, field stoves, and communications gear to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, for use in monitoring and securing their borders.
THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported in August that the State Department spent $435,000 on security fencing for the Ukrainian border.
8:01 AM, Dec 25, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Just two days before Christmas, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took the first step to prepare for a possible "surge" of unaccompanied minors in 2015.
7:46 PM, Nov 20, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Director of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will head for the Texas-Mexico border town of McAllen, Texas Friday in the wake of President Obama's announcement regarding his immigration executive order.
7:24 AM, Oct 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently suspended all background investigations on current and prospective Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees due to security concerns over Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The information is revealed in newly released documents justifying recently awarded government contracts: At least five sole-source, no-bid contracts of "unusual and compelling urgency" totaling almost a half million dollars were awarded to various information technology vendors at the end of September.
8:26 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today that, after the Ebola case in Dallas, the Obama administration reminded border law enforcment agencies of "protocol" to deal with people that appear to have symptoms of Ebola. Earnest also said that there "are screening procedures in place at our border."
9:10 AM, Sep 25, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The Rio Grande Valley sector of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) is looking to buy 40,000 emergency Mylar blankets.
8:34 AM, Sep 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The "busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere" is getting an upgrade, and according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), about a half a million dollars worth of new artwork will be part of the package.
9:10 AM, Aug 14, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
As part of the U.S. Crisis Support Package for Ukraine announced by the White House in April, the State Department awarded a $435,000 contract to B.K.
11:13 AM, Aug 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Sanctioned, but so far undeterred, Vladimir Putin is making the Russian presence felt on the Ukraine border. As Michael R.
8:13 PM, Jul 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming across America's southern border, but on Wednesday the chief of the Department of Homeland Security will be attending an educational event with schoolchildren in Washington, D.C.
In an email to reporters with the subject line reading, "SECRETARY JOHNSON TO PARTICIPATE IN A LET’S READ! LET’S MOVE! EVENT," the department announced that Jeh Johnson will be attending an event Wednesday morning at the library of Congress, along with other government officials, a chef, and a retired NFL player. Here's an excerpt from the email:
10:25 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown has a new ad targeting what the Republican calls the Democrats' "pro-amnesty policies." The 30-second spot, among the first in the 2014 cycle to address the illegal immigration crisis on the border, features the former Massachusetts senator juxtaposing the security lines at airports and public events with the lack of security at the Mexican border.
"We have an immigration crisis on our hands. We respond with compassion, but it's time for us to secure the border once and for all," Brown says. Watch the ad below:
4:02 PM, Jul 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Obama administration is preparing to effectively "nullify" the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders:
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:02 PM, Jul 18, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the happenings this week in Ukraine, Israel, and the United States.
8:01 AM, Jul 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The boss, joined Cokie Roberts, Ana Navarro, and David Plouffe, joined George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week to discuss the border crisis, attacks on Israel, and more. Watch the video below: