Former CIA Officer Charged In Leak Case

An ex-CIA officer was charged in Federal court with leaking classified information to the media, as the former operative has been accused of releasing the name and contact information of two of his colleagues, The Washington Times reported.

According to the newspaper, John Kiriakou was named on four counts of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and the Espionage Act, along with making false statements to the CIA Publications Review Board. This effort came as he was trying to include classified information in a book that he was seeking to publish.

Authorities noted that Kiriakou told a reporter about the capture of al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah in 2002, a time when the information was still classified. The captured individual has been described as a key member of the organization who was a major recruiter and suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to the Times.

"Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement.

CBS News reported that Kiriakou allegedly revealed their identities in interviews, emails and conversations with reporters, a violation of the legally binding agreement that is required of intelligence agents.

U.S. Military Raid In Somalia Frees American Hostage

U.S. military forces sent helicopters into Somalia in a nighttime raid on Jan. 25, freeing two hostages, an American and a Dane, while killing nine pirates, according to U.S. officials.

Fox News reported that the Danish Refugee Council also confirmed that the two hostages, American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagan Thisted, were freed as part of “an operation in Somalia.”

According to the news outlet, the two hostages had been working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when they were kidnapped last October.

President Barack Obama confirmed the operation and rescue, as he noted that the success of the military action represented how the U.S. “will stand strongly against any threats to our people.” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also praised the mission.

“This successful hostage rescue, undertaken in a hostile environment, is a testament to the superb skills of courageous service members who risked their lives to save others,” Panetta said in a statement.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. Navy Seal Team Six, responsible for eliminating Osama bin Laden, parachuted into a remote camp and rescued the two hostages.

Obama Highlights Wish List For Recovery, Offers Few Answers For Reducing Debt

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the idea that government intervention and tax hikes on the wealthy would be the keys to economic recovery, but will likely do little to lower the temperature in Washington, lawmakers and analysts told Fox News.

The news source reported that the President heads out on the road Wednesday to visit battleground States where he may sell his agenda and his bid for re-election, which was outlined in his address to Congress and the nation.

“Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans,” the president said in his address. “Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else — like education and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we’re serious about paying down our debt, we can’t do both.”

Fox News posted the transcript to the rebuttal by Governor Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.). He said Obama may not have caused the economic and fiscal crises, but he was hired to fix them — something that the lawmaker noted has not yet been accomplished.

I’m Confused

I’m confused. In order to get on an airplane, open a bank account, withdraw money, cash  checks, pick up movie or concert tickets, enter  a Federal building, apply for Food Stamps, or buy alcohol or prescription drugs, you often need a photo ID.

Democrats charge that requiring photo IDs (to prevent voter fraud) is racist, and meant to simply disenfranchise voters and suppress minority voting. So, I wonder, how have minorities done the above-mentioned without IDs?

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has asked the United Nations to intervene to block State voter ID laws. The United Nations? In the United States? Wake up, America!

Last year, there were investigations, indictments and convictions for vote fraud in California, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina and Maryland. In all but one case, the alleged fraudsters were Democrats. At least 55 employees of the Association for Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN) have been convicted of registration fraud in 11 States.

Texas passed a bill requiring voters to show ID, and Democrats said it was designed to erect hurdles for the poor and minority voters — even though the State’s ID cards are issued for free.

The Administration of President Barack Obama has gone so far as to issue an order halting South Carolina’s new photo ID law. On Dec. 23, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez sent a letter ordering South Carolina to stop enforcing its photo ID law.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s 2005 photo ID law, which the Democratic Party and several special interest groups challenged as “a severe burden.”

In Chicago, a Federal investigation of the 1982 gubernatorial election estimated that at least 100,000 illegal votes were cast and that voter fraud had been routine for years.

The average American favors requiring photo ID to vote. He wants to believe that his voting system is at least as safe as renting a movie from Blockbuster.

U.S. Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder called South Carolina’s voter ID law “racially discriminatory.” How is this a racial issue? Are blacks less capable than Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics or poor whites of obtaining a photo ID, issued free by States? A recent Gallup poll indicates why Holder is trying so hard to gut ballot security measures: Obama trails in all swing States. Democrats fear they can’t win unless they cheat.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is leading a group of Democrats in opposing voter ID laws that require individuals to present photo identification at the polls. With the economy in the ditch, the Democrats’ only hope of stemming the conservative tide might be to rig the returns, especially where political machines still prevail.

Without voter ID there is nothing to stop anyone from going to the voting location and saying “I’m John Smith from 1345 Anyplace Street, and I’m here to vote.” When the real John Smith from 1345 Anyplace Street shows up, he is denied because records show that he already voted.  The result is that the fraudulent voter voted twice (his and Smith’s), while denying Smith of the opportunity to cast his ballot.

 

Recent video documentation by an investigative reporter shows dead people voting in New Hampshire, where ID is not required. Neither is it wanted or even checked when offered as seen in this video.

Having said all the above, why is it that the Department of Homeland Security is insisting that everyone have a national ID card? The DHS national ID card was officially rolled out this month in Tennessee. From Jan. 1, ID cards are no longer optional; they are the law.

It’s really pretty clever. The ID card is rolled out under the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Rather than looking like a Federal DHS project, this police-state measure effectively delivers a federally mechanized ID card scheme under the perceived banner of a State mandate.

The Obama Administration has instituted a de facto amnesty by halting the deportation of 300,000 Illegal aliens and offering work permits. Look at all those undocumented Democrats! Imagine what happens when Homeland Security ID cards are used by the illegal aliens. The flood gates would open, giving them access to everything. Why are these ID cards not racist?

For any country to have a successful police state, the one thing it must have is a national ID card. In order to control the people, it is necessary to identify the people. “Show me ze papers, please!”

–Frank Grochowski

U.S. To Keep 11 Aircraft Carriers To Show Force

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told sailors that the U.S. is committed to keeping 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressures, as the military wishes to project sea power against Iran, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, Panetta told a crowd of 1,700 who were gathered in the hangar bay of the USS Enterprise that the ship would head to the Persian Gulf region to steam through the Strait of Hormuz.

“That’s what this carrier is all about,” Panetta said in his address to the sailors. “That’s the reason we maintain a presence in the Middle East. … We want them to know that we are fully prepared to deal with any contingency and it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.”

NewsCore reported that the USS Abraham Lincoln passed through the symbolic waterway on Jan. 22, marking the first time a U.S. aircraft carrier has been through since Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz earlier this month.

“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) completed a regular and routine transit of the Strait of Hormuz, Jan. 22, to conduct maritime security operations as scheduled and in support of requirements set by the combatant commander,” according to a statement from Naval Forces Central Command.

Gold Price Hits Six-Week High

The price of gold hit a six-week high on Jan. 23, as the metal was pushed upward by a recovery of the euro against the American dollar, according to Reuters.

The news outlet reported that confidence in the precious metal is growing, due to the fact that it has recorded three straight weeks of gains. Gold prices are up 7.1 percent since the end of December.

According to CNN, the price of gold for February delivery rose $6.50 to $1,670.50 an ounce, marking an increase of 0.39 percent for the commodity.

The metal is being helped by the recent positive news coming out of Europe, as commodities rose across the board.

“(Gold) is going up as a commodity at the moment,” Simon Weeks, head of precious metals at the Bank of Nova Scotia, told Reuters. “Commodities have had a good start to the year, full stop.”

MarketWatch reported that the advance in the price of gold came as Europe was set to consider prohibitions on any trade of precious metals with Iran, as foreign ministers from the EU planned to gather in Brussels.

Obama Campaign Ad Defends Solyndra Record

The 2012 campaign of President Barack Obama kicked off with the release of a television ad on Jan. 19, a campaign official told Fox News.

According to the news outlet, the official said ads will air in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The President won all of these States in the 2008 election.

Fox News reported that the first ad seeks to defend Obama’s record on energy against criticism from a Republican-leaning outside group, showing that the campaign is heating up despite the lack of a chosen challenger from the Republican Party.

The ad responds to a $6 million television campaign by a group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers that accuses Obama of using pay-for-play politics in dealing with the bankruptcy of Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy despite receiving a $528 million Federal loan guarantee, according to the news outlet.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “Americans for Prosperity,” the group that accused Obama, fired back at the President, saying that he was “attack[ing] a grassroots group…in an attempt to divert attention and shrug off blame.”

House Passes Measure Against Hike In Debt Limit

In one of its first actions of the new year, the House passed a symbolic measure against President Barack Obama’s request to increase the Federal debt limit by $1.2 trillion, The Washington Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the bipartisan debt and budget agreement that occurred last summer allowed the White House to automatically raise the debt ceiling 15 days after the President notifies lawmakers that the debt level is approaching the current $15.2 trillion cap. If both chambers of Congress agree, the Administration’s request can be halted.

The measure against the further hike of the debt ceiling passed 239 to 176 in the House, as votes were issued along party lines. Republicans said the vote was important in showing that Democratic spending had reached a level that was much too high.

“House Republicans once again rejected the Obama Administration’s pursuit to continue its reckless spending binge and reaffirmed our commitment to fiscal responsibility,” Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said in a statement. “Since President Obama took office, our national debt has increased by $4.6 trillion and is now greater than the value of our entire economy.”

Fox News reported that the Senate is likely to allow the debt ceiling hike, despite the symbolic stance by the House.

Obama Administration Denies Keystone Pipeline Permit

President Barack Obama announced that he will deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, as he noted that the Republicans tried to impose a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” that did not give officials enough time to properly evaluate the project, Fox News reported.

According to the news outlet, GOP lawmakers immediately responded to the President’s move, as House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Obama is “selling out American jobs for politics.” He noted that the Republicans in Congress would keep pushing for the pipeline.

The decision by the President does not definitively kill the project, as the State Department said the denial “does not preclude any subsequent permit application.” Within hours of hearing about the move by Obama, TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, announced it would reapply for a permit, Fox News reported.

“Until this pipeline is constructed, the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and other foreign countries,” TransCanada said in a statement. “Thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance if this project does not go forward.”

The Washington Times reported that U.S. Chamber of Commerce head Tom Donohue said that the move by the President sends a message to the business community and investors that America is not open for business.

U.S. Border Patrol To Toughen Stance On Illegal Immigrants

The U.S. Border Patrol is moving to halt a revolving-door policy of sending illegal aliens back to Mexico without punishing them first, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, the agency is reworking how it deals with the 1,954-mile U.S./Mexican border. Years of growth in the Border Patrol staff and technology have helped drive down the number of illegal aliens who attempt to cross the border.

The AP reported that the number of agents employed by the agency has doubled to 21,000 since 2004.

In fiscal year 2011, agents apprehended 327,000 illegal immigrants on the border, down 80 percent from more than 1.6 million in 2000. This marked the slowest year for the agency since 1971, according to the news outlet.

The AP reported that the Border Patrol will soon change policies for those who are apprehended, releasing a new strategy in the next several weeks.

Gold Prices Rise On Positive European Data

The price of gold rose to its highest level in five weeks as German economic data boosted the euro and Chinese trade data helped to push commodities skyward, according to Reuters.

CNN reported that the price of gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose $30.00 to $1,660.80 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, an increase of 1.84 percent for the commodity.

Reuters reported that gold prices are up 6.3 percent this year, and the recent rise is the highest level that has been reached for the metal since December 13, 2011.

“Interest came back in really at the start of the year,” Hayden Atkins, an analyst for Macquarie, told the news outlet. “That rally, from where it was looking pretty dicey into year-end, has been a reinvigoration of interest. Now (it is taking) any excuse to trade up. The interest is already there.”

A positive Chinese economic report helped to push commodities up during trading, and positive German business sentiment also supported this increase.

Gold may set a record high above $2,000 an ounce in late 2012 or early 2013, metals consultancy GFMS told Reuters.

U.S. Urges South Korea To Reduce Oil Imports From Iran

A senior U.S. official urged South Korea to reduce its crude oil imports from Iran, increasing the pressure on America’s ally to join them in confronting the Middle Eastern nation over its nuclear program, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, South Korea restricts financial dealings with more than 200 individuals and groups that hold suspected links to Iran’s nuclear program. However, Seoul, which relies on Iran for up to 10 percent of its oil supplies, hasn’t given word as to whether it will continue to purchase crude from the country.

“We’re urging all of our partners to help us, to work with us in putting pressure on the government of Iran, to get it to negotiate seriously,” Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, told reporters in Seoul. “In particular, we’re urging them to reduce their purchases of crude oil from Iran. We’re urging them to unwind their financial dealings with the central bank of Iran.”

Reuters reported that South Korea warned the U.S. that it would have difficulty replacing the crude oil supplies it received from Iran, and sanctions on the country could lead to higher prices for the commodity.

Congress Ends Least-Productive Year In Modern History

Congress officially ended its least-productive year on record after passing 80 bills, the fewest recorded since they began keeping year-end records in 1947, The Washington Times reported.

An analysis offered by the Times found that Congress set a record for legislative futility by accomplishing less in 2011 than any other year. This study took into account the lawmakers time spent in debate, the number of conference reports that were produced and the instance of voting on the floor of the House and Senate.

The newspaper reported that the Senate’s record was weakest by a significant margin, according to the futility index, and the House had its 10th-worst session since records have been taken.

“Absent unified party control with a bolstered Senate majority, I think it’s just very hard to get things done, particularly in a period when revenues aren’t growing and the decisions are how to cut, and how to cut in the long term,” Sarah Binder, a professor at George Washington University, told the Times. “Congress just isn’t very good at solving long-term problems.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that both Democrats and Republicans have placed the blame on the other party’s ineptitude, and lawmakers from both sides have targeted payroll tax extension as the first issue for 2012.

White House Suggests Keystone Pipeline Deadline Is Too Soon

The battle over the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline is fast approaching as the White House had signaled resistance to the new February 21 deadline that was set for approval of the project, Fox News reported.

According to the news outlet, the White House agreed to the new deadline as part of the recently passed payroll tax cut extension. However, as the date now approaches, the President Barack Obama Administration appears hesitant to make a decision.

“The State Department has been very clear that that does not allow for the kinds of reviews that are necessary,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week in regards to the deadline.

Fox News reported that the State Department has the final say in the approval process, due to the fact that it crosses international borders. The agency has been in review of the proposal for three years.

The Washington Post reported that the American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil lobby in the U.S., has launched an effort to urge the government to support the plan that would transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Chairman Of Joint Chiefs Heads To Israel To Address Iran Threat

Israel’s military confirmed that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey will travel to the Middle Eastern nation to commence talks this week, as Israel’s number two public official suggested that President Barack Obama is being meek about the Iranian situation, Fox News reported.

According to the news outlet, the content of the coming discussion between Israel’s top military commanders and the U.S. general was not announced, but Iran remains a concern for the Jewish state.

“There is very close cooperation between Israel, the Israeli military and the U.S. military, and General Dempsey is a close friend, and I’m sure that he and our chief of staff will have very serious discussions about all the options,” former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Dan Gillerman said in a statement.

Israeli Cabinet Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that he was disappointed by the lack of an extension of U.S. sanctions on the country. These would further damage Iran’s central bank and its energy industry, according to Fox News.

The Associated Press reported that the Israeli and U.S. militaries have recently postponed large-scale war games in an effort to avoid aggravating tensions between the international community and Iran.

Obama Looks To Merge Agencies To Consolidate His Authority

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for greater power to limit the size of the Federal government. His first initiative concerns the merger of six sprawling trade and commerce agencies, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, Administration officials noted that the overlapping programs of the agencies can be baffling to businesses. Obama will call on Congress to give him the type of reorganizational power that was last held by former President Ronald Reagan.

The AP reported that the Obama version of this power would be the authority to propose mergers that would promise to save money and help American consumers. It would then be up to lawmakers to give the President this fast-track ability and decide whether to approve any of his ideas.

ABC News reported that this type of declaration by the President is similar to his January 2011 State of the Union Address. Here he noted that government overlap produced inefficiency and needed to be reformed.

“The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they’re in saltwater,” he quipped during the speech.

Chamber Of Commerce Chief Critical Of White House Jobs Agenda

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue criticized President Barack Obama for a weak election-year economic agenda and costly new regulations during his annual speech on the state of American business, The Washington Times reported.

“An Administration spokesman recently said that there is just one item on the president’s ‘must pass’ legislative program for the year — a further extension of the Social Security payroll-tax holiday,” Donohue said. “With all the challenges facing our economy and our country, it’s inconceivable to me that the President would agree with that — and I trust that he doesn’t. 2012 must not be wasted simply because it’s an election year.”

According to the newspaper, Donohue said the Democrat-controlled Senate should take up some of the legislation passed by the Republican-led House to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. He noted that at least one or two of the proposals would have to be appealing to the Senators.

POLITICO reported that Donohue noted his displeasure with hearing politicians bash the free market, saying that the only way out of the current crisis is to drive economic growth from one end of the country to the other.

Warm Winter Can Lead To Danger On Ice

Although winter has just begun, there have already been 10 reported incidents concerning individuals falling through the ice, highlighting the dangers of warm winters and frozen bodies of water.

According to a release from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), experts have blamed the unseasonably warm temperatures and alternate freezing and thawing for the dangerous conditions this winter.

“We urge everyone to stay off all frozen bodies of water,” said Kim Burgess, executive director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. “The perceived recreational benefit is simply not worth the risk to yourself or your loved ones.”

The NDPA also advised against letting pets roam onto the ice, as these animals may fall through and inspire brave actions from onlookers. The organization noted that if a beloved companion does become submerged, calling 911 is a better solution than attempting a rescue mission.

Regions like the American Midwest have seen temperatures as high as 50 degrees as of January 11, and places like Albany have received only 6.5 inches of snow this winter, roughly 10 inches less than it normally gets by this point, according to the Washington Post.

Solyndra Seeking To Pay Two Dozen Employee Bonuses

Though the company filed for bankruptcy despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the government, Solyndra is planning to dole out bonuses to persuade key employees to stay put, The Washington Times reported.

According to the news outlet, nearly two dozen employees could receive bonuses that range from $10,000 to $50,000 each under a proposal that was filed by legal representation for the company in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The Times reported that the attorneys said the extra money would add motivation at a time when workers for Solyndra have little job security and more work due to firings following the company filing for bankruptcy.

“Within the last few months, the debtors have experienced a serious loss of personnel, which has made the continuation of the sales process in an orderly fashion more difficult,” attorneys for Solyndra disclosed in a recent filing.

The Wall Street Journal recently compared California’s proposed high-speed train to the failed solar company, calling the plan put forth by Governor Jerry Brown the “Solyndra on Wheels,” due to the $98.5 billion price tag for the project.

U.S. Plans Push For Peace Talks With Taliban

The U.S. has planned a major push for next week to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban, senior officials from the President Barack Obama Administration said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that this would be one of the first signs of progress toward a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan. This news came amid the release of a potentially embarrassing video showing U.S. troops urinating on the corpses of Afghan insurgents.

According to the news outlet, Marc Grossman, the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, will meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to seek his approval for America to resume negotiations with representatives from the Taliban.

The Journal reported that senior Obama Administration officials said that the prospective confidence-building measures include the establishment of a political office for the Taliban in Qatar, a statement from the group distancing itself from international terrorism and the trasnfer of up to five militants held in Guantanamo Bay.

The New York Times reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted the Administration was “still in the preliminary stages of testing whether this can be successful.”

Federal Court Blocks Oklahoma Attempt To Ban Sharia Law

An amendment that would ban courts in Oklahoma from considering international or Islamic law discriminates against religions, a Federal appeals court said Tuesday, giving a Muslim community leader the right to challenge its Constitutionality, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, the court in Denver upheld U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange’s order blocking the implementation of the amendment after it was approved by a majority of Oklahoma voters in November 2010.

The AP reported that Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, sued to block the law from taking effect. He argued that the Save Our State Amendment was in direct violation of his 1st Amendment rights.

“The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures,” the amendment had said. “Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia law.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the appellate court opinion pointed out that proponents of the law could not identify a single instance in which an Oklahoma court applied Sharia law or other international doctrines.

Gitmo Turns 10, Closure Hopes Fade

Suleiman al-Nahdi and dozens of other prisoners wait in a permanent state of limbo five years after he was cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, The Associated Press reported.

“I wonder if the U.S. government wants to keep us here forever,” the 37-year-old Nahdi recently wrote in a letter to his legal representatives.

The prison turned 10 years old on January 11, and Gitmo appears more established than ever, the AP reported. The original deadline set by President Barack Obama to close Guantanamo Bay came and went two years ago and no detainee has left in a year due to restrictions placed on transfers.

“They would like to send a message that the prisoners of Guantanamo still reject the injustice of their imprisonment,” Ramzi Kassem, a law professor at the City University of New York, told the news outlet.

TIME Magazine reported that 36 of the 171 prisoners at Gitmo await trial for war crimes, but the other 135 detainees are being held due ot the fact that they are allegedly dangerous.

States Face Delays In Race To Top Implementation

Several States that received a portion of the U.S. Department of Education’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top competition have had to delay plans for implementing significant reforms in their schools due to slow progress, The Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, that two of these States may lose money if they don’t get back on track. Officials released State reports on Tuesday that outlined the progress of all 12 winners, finding only three that were on schedule with their reform plans.

The AP reported that another six States are making some progress but facing delays, and three – Hawaii, New York and Florida – are said to have significant issues.

“New York made significant progress through Race to the Top over the last year but has recently hit a roadblock that not only impedes Race to the Top but could threaten other key reform initiatives,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “Backtracking on reform commitments could cost the State hundreds of millions of dollars for improving New York schools.

Although the reports don’t rank or compare efforts between the States due to differing initiatives, the assessments and comments made by Federal officials suggest Ohio and Massachusetts led the effort, The Columbus Dispatch reported.