Saturday, September 3, 2016

FBI holiday weekend document drop is devastating to Hillary - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

In a sure sign of how devastating this issue is, a female Democrat senator has already played the sexism card.

The decision to wait for late Friday on Labor Day weekend to release the FBI’s investigation notes of Hillary Clinton’s email practices offers further evidence of the politicization of the agency.  As the United States slides into a banana republic, we now know that a political thumb is on the scale at the two most feared federal agencies: the IRS and the FBI.

Still, one can understand why the Hillary faction wanted to obscure the documents, for they contain toxic revelations that disqualify Hillary Clinton from the presidency.

Normally, a holiday weekend ensures that few people analyze or even hear about the content of the documents.  But this is a presidential campaign, and the emails are a gift that keeps on giving to her opponents, with hackers and the slow-walk investigation dripping out further revelations.  Although her camp is already declaring, “Nothing to see here; move along,” the Trump campaign and the dissident media will not let this drop, and the facts are so disturbing (and consistent with Trump campaign themes) that when the Labor Day haze lifts, the issues will still be hot.

First and foremost: Hillary has blamed her head injuries for startling memory lapses.
Julia Edwards of Reuters reported that "Hillary Clinton told federal investigators she did not recall all the briefings she received on handling government records while U.S. secretary of state because of a concussion suffered in 2012."
A moment’s reflection reveals that Hillary Clinton has admitted that she was unable to adequately perform job functions directly related to national security because of a brain injury.  Donald Trump is already pushing this issue, but it is also critically important that a major campaign against the NFL – which is opening its pre-season now – stressing the seriousness of concussions’ effects on mental functions has been underway.  The American public, especially males, is on notice to take concussions very seriously.

Hillary Clinton has admitted to a disability due to her brain injury.

It is time for a discussion of Woodrow Wilson, the disastrous progressive segregationist who was disabled through much of his second term, and whose wife was de facto president of the United States, because his disability was hidden from the American public.

Bill Clinton’s role as first spouse is already problematic, especially considering the manner in which he defiled the Oval Office.  The possibility that he could end up exercising de facto presidential power in an unconstitutional third term is not anything that will comfort the Sanders faction.  Bill Clinton’s actual policies as president are far more conservative than Hillary’s proposals.

In a sure sign of how devastating this issue is, a female Democrat senator has already played the sexism card.  Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) took to MSNBC:

Second, the documents reveal that Hillary, who justified her private server on the grounds that she wanted to carry only one handheld device, actually had 13 of them in a four-year period.  What on Earth is the story there?  Almost everyone who votes carries a cell phone, and I daresay the percentage who have needed to have 13 different devices in the space of four years is well below a tenth of one percent.

There is a story here.  The media usually love a mystery, but it will up to us in the dissident media to keep this question open.

As with virtually every other aspect of the FBI interrogation notes, there was no follow-up to this revelation, no probing by the FBI.  As would be the case in any banana republic investigating a member of one of its ruling families.

Third, if we believe the story offered by Hillary, a laptop computer full of classified documents – her email archive disappeared when mailed with the USPS:
A laptop containing a copy, or “archive,” of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server was apparently lost—in the postal mail—according to an FBI report released Friday. Along with it, a thumb drive that also contained an archive of Clinton’s emails has been lost and is not in the FBI’s possession.
This is stunning negligence, and absolutely striking news: that some of the nation’s highest secrets were made available to any foreign power monitoring the secretary of state and willing to snatch mail from the capable hands of the Post Office.  Who on Earth would subject national security to the tender mercies of the USPS?

Where was the nationwide alert to recapture the missing archive?  Did the Clinton campaign notify security agencies?

This is disqualifying negligence.

We also have the first evidence that Hillary’s server was indeed hacked:
The FBI said it uncovered multiple instances of phishing or spear-phishing emails sent to Clinton’s account, including one that appeared to be sent from another State official’s account. Clinton responded to the email by trying to confirm that the person actually sent it, adding, “I was worried about opening it!”
But in another incident, the FBI noted that Abedin emailed someone (whose name is redacted) conveying Clinton’s concern that “someone [was] hacking into her email” after receiving an email from a “known [redacted] associate containing a link to a website with pornographic material.”
“There is no additional information as to why Clinton was concerned about someone hacking into her e-mail account, or if the specific link referenced by Abedin was used as a vector to infect Clinton’s device,” the FBI’s report states, and after roughly two lines of redacted text goes on to note that “open source information indicated, if opened, the targeted user’s device may have been infected, and information would have been sent to at least three computers overseas, including one in Russia.”
There is actually a lot more, and we will have time to sort it out.  But perhaps the most damning of the damning evidence that the FBI has been compromised is the entirely improper presence of Hillary’s consigliere Cheryl Mills at the interview.

Andrew McCarthy at NRO:
I suggested back in May that “the fix” was in in the investigation of the Clinton emails. The reason was that the Justice Department was allowing Cheryl Mills – a witness, if not a subject, of the investigation – to invoke attorney-client privilege on behalf of Mrs. Clinton in order to thwart the FBI’s attempt to inquire into the procedure used to produce Clinton’s emails to the State Department. Mills was a participant in that procedure – and it is the procedure in which, we now know, well over 30,000 emails were attempted to be destroyed, including several thousand that contained government-related business. When she worked for Clinton at State, Mills was not acting in the capacity of a lawyer – not for then-Secretary Clinton and not for the State Department. Moreover, as Clinton’s chief-of-staff, Mills was intimately involved in issues related to Clinton’s private email set up, the discussions about getting her a secure BlackBerry similar to President Obama’s, and questions that were raised (including in FOIA requests) about Clinton’s communications. That is to say, Mills was an actor in the facts that were under criminal investigation by the FBI. Put aside that she was not Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer while working for the State Department; as I explained in the May column, Mills, after leaving the State Department, was barred by ethical rules from acting as Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer “in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee.” There is no way Mills should have been permitted to participate as a lawyer in the process of producing Clinton’s emails to the State Department nearly two years after they’d both left. I thought it was astonishing that the Justice Department indulged her attorney-client privilege claim, which frustrated the FBI’s ability to question her on a key aspect of the investigation. But it is simply unbelievable to find her turning up at Mrs. Clinton’s interview – participating in the capacity of a lawyer under circumstances where Clinton was being investigated over matters in which Mills participated as a non-lawyer government official.
Polls consistently tell us that around two thirds of Americans believe that the political establishment is not working for them.  We now can fully appreciate the extent of the politicization of our most sensitive federal agencies.  This may be our last chance to prevent a banana republic from solidifying and destroying the noble experiment of our founders.

Thomas Lifson


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As I see it: Accomplices in hate - Melanie Phillips

by Melanie Phillips

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

America and other Western democracies turn a blind eye to this obscenity because the UN is a progressive shibboleth.

People in the West are beginning to wake up to the fact that they are inadvertently helping fund Islamic terrorism.

There was widespread shock last month when Israel arrested the director of the Gaza branch of the giant aid agency World Vision.

He was accused of using humanitarian donations by Western governments such as Britain and the US to fund Hamas terrorism.

In Britain, newspaper articles have begun to ask why taxpayers are helping fund Palestinian terrorism and incitement through EU payments to the Palestinian Authority, which pays terrorists’ families and brainwashes Arab children to hate and murder Jews and Israelis.

This growing awareness, however, only scratches the surface of the free world’s complicity with evil. Western governments are effectively subsidizing epidemic, global Jew-hatred through that holy of progressive holies, the UN.

A report published this week by the UN watchdog Human Rights Voices and the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust exposes the extent to which the UN sponsors Jew-hatred and incitement to violence through accredited nongovernmental organizations.

As noted by the report’s authors, Anne Bayefsky and Sarah Willig, the UN hands more than 6,150 NGOs a coveted global megaphone by giving them access to international diplomacy and its associated media platforms.

To qualify for accreditation, NGOS are required to operate in conformity with the UN Charter. They must affirm “faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.”

Yet many NGOs brazenly flout these principles.

Backed up by screenshots, the report lists scores of statements by UN-accredited organizations which incite anti-Semitism, condone or justify violence and terrorism, and demonize and delegitimize Israel. Israel is quite literally wiped off their maps of “Palestine,” which is depicted as all of Israel in addition to Gaza and the West Bank.

Here are a few examples cited by the report of hate-mongering NGO lies and blood-libels which are being given a UN platform.

“Zionism’s ‘final solution’ to Israel’s much-touted and racist ‘demographic threat’ allegedly posed by the very existence of the Palestinians has always been genocide, whether slow-motion or in blood-thirsty spurts of violence.” (Islamic Human Rights Commission) “Gas chambers are not needed... little girls riddled with bullets here, infants beheaded by shell fire there; a little massacre here, a little starvation there... dispossession is the name of the game... [T]he people will die, the nation will die without a single gas chamber.

Or so the Israelis hope...” (Women for Palestine – Australians for Palestine) “[T]he world that Zionists made, according to their ideal of Jewish sovereignty... is a world of segregation, with Jews on top.”

(Friends of Al-Aksa) “... [O]ur world is now faced with the emergence of a new type of Nazism... Zionism, with its inhumane ethnic, racist principles, with its devilish schemes which generate chaos all over the world, with its dangerous plans to dominate... with its beastly octopus which has almost a decisive role in directing the policies of the greatest countries in the world, cannot be viewed as a threat to this region alone, but to the whole world...”

(International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) “The Al-Quds Intifada is the legitimate expression of the Palestinian people’s will to resist continued subjugation and humiliation by the occupying power...” (Dr. Hans Köchler, International Progress Organization)

The UN cannot claim ignorance of this Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing – it is an active collaborator. NGO website links are selectively posted on UN sites by UN officials; NGO events on UN premises are permitted only after detailed applications are made to UN bodies or staff.

Yet while turning a blind eye to incitement, states running the UN accreditation process often use their powers to protect themselves from critical scrutiny.

In May 2016, many NGOs complained that their criticisms of certain member states’ governments were being used against them in the accreditation process. Lo and behold, current members of the accreditation operation include such despotic regimes as China, Cuba, Russia, Sudan and Iran.

Western governments such as the US are constantly trying to identify and shut down funding streams for global terrorism. Yet they control the purse strings of the UN which plays a major role in promoting incitement to terrorism. That makes the US and other governments complicit in promoting the very thing they are ostensibly trying to prevent.

The UN was created out of the experience of World War II to defend life, liberty and human rights. Yet now it is providing a global platform for a further demonization and dehumanization of the Jewish people, and the willed extinction of their right to their own homeland.

The platform it gives to the NGOs’ global Jew-bashing army is all of a piece with the UN’s own obsessional and deranged hatred of Israel.

America and other Western democracies turn a blind eye to this obscenity because the UN is a progressive shibboleth. Held to embody the ideal of the brotherhood of man, it is regarded as the supreme global arbiter of peace and justice.

In fact, dominated as it is by tyrannies and dictatorships, it promotes injustice, hatred and violence. It is a diseased body, and the parasites feeding off it are the NGOs. America and other member states have a duty to put an end to this contagion.

Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).


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Iran Ramps up Tensions in the Arabian Gulf - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

While Obama continues to appease.

On Monday, the Iranian propaganda outlet, Tasnim, reported that Iranian anti-aircraft crews succeeded in detecting and warding off a U.S. spy drone that strayed into Iranian airspace from neighboring Afghanistan. If true, it would mark yet another US-Iranian clash in the region. Though the instant confrontation was relatively minor and did not result in injury or damage, it is demonstrative of the more aggressive and assertive tone the Iranian military is taking with respect to its dealings with the United States and the region since the signing of Obama’s much touted Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- the plan that provides the Islamic Republic with a legal pathway toward acquiring nuclear weapons.
According to a U.S. defense official, U.S. and Iranian naval vessels interacted on at least 300 occasions in 2015 and on more than 250 occasions this year alone. Many of those encounters were relatively benign but some were the result of egregious Iranian provocations.

In December of 2015, Iranian navy boats fired rockets within 1,500 feet of aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman. On January 12, 2016, an Iranian drone flew uncomfortably close to the Harry S. Truman. A U.S. Navy spokesman called the flyover “abnormal and unprofessional.” The Navy could have easily downed the drone but inexplicably chose not to. Such an action would have sent the Iranians the proper message without causing loss of life but the drone was nevertheless allowed to conduct its surveillance unmolested.

The very day that the drone was shadowing U.S. naval forces, the Iranians seized 10 American navy personnel and two Riverine Command Boats near Farsi Island in the Arabian Gulf. The RCB is heavily armed and armored but despite overwhelming firepower, the RCB crews humiliatingly surrendered to the Iranians without firing a shot. The crew and its commander displayed an abject lack of fighting spirit. A Pentagon investigation revealed that there were morale and training problems as well as a number of human errors that led to the shameful fiasco. Several officers were reprimanded and relieved of command as a result.

Adding insult to injury, the Iranians forced the Americans to undergo several indignities. The crews were forced to kneel and subjected to unlawful interrogation. A female crewmember was compelled to cover her hair in accordance with Islamic Sharia law and the commander of the flotilla was forced to apologize and admit his “mistake” while being filmed.

The Iranians violated international maritime law as well as the Geneva Conventions but that did not stop Secretary of State John Kerry from profusely thanking the Iranians for their misconduct. It appears that the RCB crews took their cues from their groveling and feckless leaders in the State Department and the White House.

The indignities have only continued.  On August 23, four armed Iranian speed boats came within 300 yards of the U.S. guided missile destroyer, USS Nitze, which was on patrol near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. They traversed at high speed and in menacing fashion toward the destroyer in an S-like formation. Attempts to communicate with the Iranians with multiple audio and visual warnings were all but ignored. After displaying their peacock feathers, the Iranians withdrew. The Nitze could have easily obliterated the Iranians but contented itself with firing a few flares.

On Aug 25, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boat came within 200 yards of a U.S. patrol craft operating in the northern Arabian Gulf.  After ignoring all communications, the USS Squall fired a three-round burst into the water from its .50 caliber machineguns prompting the Iranian provocateurs to turn tail.

A State Department spokeswoman said that the Iranian provocations, “unnecessarily escalate tensions.” That characterization is a gross understatement and represents the core problem with how the administration is dealing with the Iranians. There is transparent, near painful effort by the Obama administration to minimize Iran’s belligerent actions.

On August 28, Iran announced that it had deployed long-range, Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles at the sensitive Iranian nuclear site of Fordo where the Iranians maintain a massive uranium enrichment program. The Russians had delayed delivery of the system to comply with UN imposed sanctions. Thanks to Obama, those stringent sanctions were repealed and the sophisticated missiles were delivered.

In response to the Iranian announcement, all the State Department was able to muster was a feeble expression of “concern.” This is the same State Department that goes into spasms and fits of indignation when a Jewish resident of Judea and Samaria adds a room to his residence through an extension.

The salient question that should be of paramount concern to all is why do the Iranians need to deploy the S-300 at Fordo if they’re in compliance with the JCPOA? What opaque aspect of their nuclear program are they trying to protect?

The administration is cognizant of the fact that the Iranians are acting in bad faith and the JCPOA is rapidly coming apart. The JCPOA is Obama’s crowning foreign policy “achievement” among a string of recognized failures and he can ill afford the prospect of its unraveling. He has therefore double-downed on his appeasement efforts, absorbing the taunts, insults and indignities flung at the United States by the Iranians and is otherwise overlooking their multiple transgressions, including Arabian Gulf provocations, ballistic missile launches (in defiance of UN resolution 2231) and continued malign influence throughout the region. The recent $1.7 billion payment to the Iranians is also part of the administration’s efforts to pacify the mullahs.

But the bribe payments, the meek expression of “concern,” and neutered military posture in the Arabian Gulf have only served to embolden the mullahs. Even worse, Obama’s feckless policies are having a demoralizing effect on U.S. military forces operating in the region. The increasingly aggressive Iranian naval maneuvers in the Gulf and disgraceful January 12 capture of the RCB crews represent a direct consequence of a floundering administration, desperate to maintain a flawed agreement, through irresponsible policies of appeasement.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Who is Responsible under International Law for the New Gaza Wars? - Louis René Beres

by Louis René Beres

Under international law, which also happens to be part of the law of the United States, all Palestinian terrorists are hostes humani generis: "Common enemies of humankind."

  • Recurrent Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants are terrorism. Such terrorism -- all terrorism, irrespective of so-called "just cause" -- represents a distinct crime under international law.
  • When Palestinian terrorism reflects populations that enthusiastically support terror attacks, and where the terrorists can find hospitable refuge among local populations, the legal responsibility for all ensuing counterterrorist harms lies with the perpetrators.
  • Hamas' lack of distinction between "Jews" and "Israelis" is intentional. For Hamas, the true enemy is identifiable by religion, not territory, and is therefore irremediable. For "the Jews," this means that the only way to avoid Arab terror is to disappear, or submit to Islamic control -- to become persecuted, second-class dhimmi citizens in their own country, just as the indigenous Christians are now in Egypt and much of the Middle East.
"The safety of the People Shall be the highest law." — Cicero, The Laws.
It is beginning again. As Hamas terrorists are attacking Israeli civilians with indiscriminate rocket fire, most recently in the southern city of Sderot, Israeli self-defense reactions are already being labeled "excessive" and "disproportionate." As usual, international public opinion is quickly, if bizarrely, mobilizing against Israel's underlying supposed "occupation" of Jews living in their own Biblical land.

But what of the facts? In Gaza, since 2005 at least, when every last Jew left, there has been no "occupation." There are no Israelis in Gaza.

Systematic Hamas misrepresentations get progressively worse.

Any such blame, however, has no basis in law. Regarding "proportionality," the actual legal requirement of proportionality contained in international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) has nothing to do with how many unfortunate deaths there might be on either side. Proportionality has nothing to do with each side incurring an equivalent number of deaths.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, investigated allegations of war crimes during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and in 2006 published an open letter containing his findings. Included was this section on proportionality:
Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime. International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur.
A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).[1]
Under no circumstances, at least documented ones, have Israeli retaliations been guilty of any such excess.

Recurrent Hamas rocket attacks upon Israeli noncombatants are, basically, examples of terrorism. Such terrorism - all terrorism, irrespective of so-called "just cause" -- represents a distinct crime under international law.

In the words of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (left), the terror attack tunnels that Hamas digs from Gaza into Israel (right) are not only to "defend the Gaza Strip, but to serve as a launching pad to reach all of Palestine."

When Palestinian terrorism reflects populations that enthusiastically support terror attacks, and where the terrorists can find hospitable refuge among local populations, the legal responsibility for all ensuing counterterrorist harms lies with the perpetrators.

Understood in terms of a still-ongoing cycle of Palestinian terrorism, and Israeli self-defense against terror, the Palestinian side must accept full legal responsibility for civilian casualties in Gaza. Without their premeditated terror attacks on Israeli civilian populations, there would never be any Israel-inflicted Palestinian harm.

It is that simple.

Under international law, which also happens to be part of the law of the United States,[2] all Palestinian terrorists are hostes humani generis: "Common enemies of humankind." Significantly, in law, such murderers should be punished severely, wherever they are found. Concerning their prospective arrest and prosecution, jurisdiction is now, after the post-WWII Nuremberg trials and principles, expressly "universal."

Terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, is always cruel. In addition to rockets, Palestinian murderers, often using bombs filled with nails, razor blades, and screws dipped in rat poison, seek to maim and burn Israeli civilians. This objective is generally announced with cheers, and abundant blessings from the leading Islamic clergy.

In the recurring indictments offered by Hamas-appointed clergy is the claim that "the Jews lack sanctity." The lack of distinction here between "Jews" and "Israelis" is intentional. It underscores what most observers still do not seem to understand: For Hamas, the true enemy is identifiable by religion, not territory, and is therefore irremediable.

If the Hamas enemy were merely "the Israelis," and not "the Jews," there might still be good reason for seeking a political or diplomatic "peace process." But for the Palestinians, especially Hamas and its terror-group allies, the enemy is, as expressed in the Hamas Charter, unalterably "the Jews."[3]

With such an enemy, there can never be a compromise. For "the Jews," whether in Israel proper, or in "occupied territory," this means that the only way to avoid Arab terror is to disappear, or submit to Islamic control -- supposedly for the Jews once again to become persecuted, second-class dhimmi citizens in their own country, just as the indigenous Christians are now in Egypt and much of the Middle East.

There are additional ironies. Those more-or-less wealthy Palestinian commanders who directly control the suicide-bombers' mayhem (made wealthy with huge sums of money systematically stolen from UN agency funds), evidently prefer to cower fearfully in their towns and cities, usually taking great care to find personal safety amidst densely-packed Arab populations.

Together with assorted Israel Air Force (IAF) units, special IDF counterterrorism and commando elements meticulously identify and target only terrorist leaders. Always, Israel seeks to minimize any collateral damage. Still, such harm cannot always be avoided even by the IDF, which follows its "Purity of Arms" code more stringently than any other military in the world.

Deception can be legally acceptable in armed conflict, but the Geneva Conventions disallow placement of military assets or personnel in heavily populated civilian areas. To place military assets in heavily populated civilian areas is considered, under international law, "perfidy." It is widely recognized that these rules are also binding on the basis of customary international law.

Perfidy represents an especially serious violation of the Law of War, one identified as a "grave breach" at Article 147 of Geneva Convention IV, which states that,
Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.
The critical legal effect of perfidy committed by Palestinian terrorist leaders in Gaza is to immunize Israel from any responsibility for any unintended counterterrorist harms done to Arab civilians. Even if Hamas did not deliberately engage in perfidy, any Palestinian-created link between civilians and terrorist activities would grant Israel full legal justification for undertaking all necessary defensive actions.

Under law, all uses of force are governed by established rules. All combatants, including Palestinian insurgents, are bound by the international Law of War. This requirement is found at Article 3, common to the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and also at the two protocols to these Conventions.

Protocol I applies humanitarian international law to all conflicts fought for "self-determination," the stated objective of all Palestinian fighters. A product of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1977), this Protocol brings all irregular forces within the full scope of international law. In this connection, the terms "fighter" and "irregular" are conspicuously generous in describing Palestinian terrorists, fanatical criminals who "normally" target only civilians, and whose characteristic mode of "battle" is not military engagement, but rather what amounts to religious sacrifice.

In the ancient world, the Roman statesman Cicero wrote in The Laws: "The safety of the People Shall be the highest law."[4] Nothing has really changed. Under current international law, Israel has both the right and the obligation to protect its citizens from criminal acts of terrorism.
Louis René Beres is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue University.

[1] Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court criminalizes:
"Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;"
[2] See especially Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, the "Supremacy Clause," and assorted U.S. Supreme Court decisions, most notably the Paquete Habana (1900).
[3] The Hamas Charter states:
The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews." (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
[4] Cicero's De Legibus (book III, part III, sub. VIII), as Ollis salus populi suprema lex esto.

Louis René Beres is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue University.


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Israel Wary of US Armed Drone Initiative - Barbara Opall-Rome

by Barbara Opall-Rome

“If the modern Western world wants to continue to fight terrorism in future, this capability is essential,” said retired Maj. Gen. Ya’akov Amidror

TEL AVIV  – In Israel, where combat-capable unmanned systems constitute a significant share of exports and form the backbone of counter-terror operations, a new Obama administration’s push for international guidelines governing strike drones is being viewed with skepticism, if not outright alarm.
As much as the Israeli government wants to support its closest ally, officials and experts say the nascent US initiative is diplomatically dubious, practically unenforceable and potentially crippling to a critical sector of Israel’s defense industrial base.

Beyond all that, a former national security advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it could prove operationally self-defeating in the war against terror.

“If the modern Western world wants to continue to fight terrorism in future, this capability is essential,” said retired Maj. Gen. Ya’akov Amidror, a former Israeli national security advisor. 

“From a professional point of view, it’s important to understand there is no substitute for this capability.”

Defense News first broke news of the initiative, headed by the US State Department, last week. The goal of the discussions is to bring nations that export armed unmanned systems under the same guidelines that US firms have operated under since Feb. 2015. 

Amidror said he was unaware of the armed drone initiative and is no longer involved in bilateral discussions. Nevertheless, he warned that without active participation of China, Iran and Russia, benefit would be marginal, at best.

“Without the obligation of those countries, any benefit will be minimal… and I’m not sure there will be benefit at all,” he said.

Absent Iran, aerial strike systems will continue to flow to Hizbollah and other terror groups, Israeli experts say. And without China and Russia – already prominent suppliers in the Mideast and beyond -- Israel and other Western manufacturers will be forced to cede legitimate markets.

“There’s no vacuum in the field of military exports in general and of armed drones in particular,” said Tal Inbar, head of UAV and Space Programs at Israel’s Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies. “The limitations the US has imposed on itself is what led to the rise of Chinese strike UAVs in the world.”

Inbar and other experts here noted that Egypt is using the Caihong 4 (CH-4), the Chinese knockoff of the US Predator, against al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists in Sinai. Saudi Arabia is using the same system in Yemen as is Iraq against extremists in its own country. A smaller version of the Caihong (Rainbow), the CH-3, is known to operational in Nigeria. And Jordan has been seeking for more than a year to acquire US combat UAVs to support its intensifying battle against the Islamic State group, or ISIS.

“This seems to be a futile effort given the fact that the horses have already left the stable,” Inbar said. “Today, almost every country that produces its own UAVs has tried to add some kind of offensive weaponry, either based on real need or for prestige.”

He added, “And let’s not forget that the US is the number one country that produces and uses these types of drones… I wonder why the Obama administration is pushing this now, since the number of unmanned attacks during his two terms went sky high.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry, which share responsibility for arms control and export licensing issues, declined to comment for the record due in equal part to an unwillingness to upset Washington and longstanding sensitivities shrouding the entire subject of combat-capable UAVs.

“We don’t talk about combat drones. From our perspective, the subject is classified,” one government official told Defense News.

Another official acknowledged that there have been “some exchanges” with US counterparts, but insisted that Israel is still in the process of developing its policy. “There are ideas out there, but everything is still in the embryonic stages,” he said.

And while Israeli industry executives said they would like to believe the US initiative marks merely an attempt to burnish Obama’s arms control legacy, many fear it to be one more attempt to rein in Israeli competitors on the global market.

Executives here cited White House demands to reduce the amount of US military aid Israel has been able to convert into shekels in support of local research, development and procurement. Others have flagged Washington’s recent intervention on behalf of US suppliers in countries such as Germany, which decided to evaluate the Israeli Heron TP UAV over the General Atomics Predator B.

A full-page story published Thursday by Israel’s largest daily newspaper ran a headline blaming “American pressure” for delaying a potential $650 million sale of the Israeli combat drone to Berlin.

“After a new security assistance agreement between Israel and the US is expected to cause significant damage to local defense industries, American producers are trying to thwart significant Israeli export deals. The latest target: the Heron TP by Israel Aerospace Industries, in a huge deal potentially worth 580 million Euro ($650 million),” according to the paper.

A prominent Israeli industry executive said his government is unlikely to actively oppose Washington’s combat drone initiative, but he hoped that it would drag its feet until a new Administration enters the White House next year.

“We can’t overtly refuse, but we should try to let the clock run out,” the executive said. As with most interviewed for this story, he refused to be identified by name.

Barbara Opall-Rome


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Serving Muslim Interests With American Foreign Policy - Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

The lethal consequences of the Clintons' foreign policy leadership.

A Hillary Clinton presidency would likely continue along the pro-Islamist foreign policy arc that both her husband’s administration and the Obama administration have developed.

President Bill Clinton committed U.S. military resources to help Muslims during the so-called “humanitarian” intervention in Bosnia. However, he chose to turn a blind eye to the genocide that swamped Rwanda during his administration. As G. Murphy Donovan wrote in his American Thinker article “How the Clintons Gave American Foreign Policy its Muslim Tilt,” “Muslim lives matter, Black Africans, not so much.” Noting that “it was Muslim unrest that precipitated Serb pushback, civil war, and the eventual collapse of Yugoslavia,” Donovan added, “Bosnians are, for the most part, Muslims with a bloody fascist pedigree.” Nevertheless, with no strategic U.S. national interest at stake, Bill Clinton tilted American foreign policy in favor of the Muslim side in the Bosnia conflict. We are now reaping the lethal consequences of that tilt. Donovan points out in his article that, on a per capita basis, Bosnia Herzegovina is the leading source of ISIS volunteers in all of Europe.

President Obama, along with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took the side of Islamist “rebels” against the secular authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Libya and Syria that had managed to keep the lid on jihadist terrorism for many years. These Islamists included members of al Qaeda as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Libya, Hillary Clinton was the leading voice pressing for military intervention against Col. Muammar el- Qaddafi’s regime. She did so, even though, according to sources cited in a State Department memo passed on to Hillary by her deputy at the time, Jake Sullivan, in an e-mail dated April 1, 2011, “we just don't know enough about the make-up or leadership of the rebel forces.”  In fact, as subsequently reported by the New York Times, the only organized opposition to the Qaddafi regime that had developed underground during Qaddafi’s rule were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a terrorist group, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The author of the State Department memo had acknowledged the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s terrorist past but said they “express a newfound keenness for peaceful politics.” Was Hillary Clinton relying on such assurances of a reformed “peaceful” Islamic group fighting against Qaddafi, even though it had been on the State Department’s terrorist list since 2004 and one of its leaders, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi,  praised al Qaeda members as “good Muslims” in a March 2011 interview?  If so, that is just another indication of her bad judgment.

As for Egypt, Hillary was informed by her outside adviser and confidante Sid Blumenthal, in an e-mail dated December 16, 2011, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s intention was to create an Islamic state. Moreover, the relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and other radical groups was "complicated," Blumenthal quoted a source "with access to the highest levels of the MB" as saying. Blumenthal also reported, based on a confidential source, that Mohamed Morsi, who was then leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, believed that “it will be difficult for this new, Islamic government to control the rise of al Qa'ida and other radical/terrorist groups.”

Nevertheless, the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood in its bid to seek power in Egypt through a shaky electoral process. After Morsi’s election to the presidency, Hillary visited Egypt where Morsi warmly welcomed her and she expressed strong support for Egypt’s “democratic transition.” However, the only real transition Morsi had in mind was to impose sharia law on the Egyptian people, the very antithesis of true democratic pluralism. Yet the Obama–Clinton gravy train of military aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islamist regime continued without any preconditions. Hillary Clinton herself and her State Department referred to the importance of the U.S.’s “partnership” with the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime.

When Morsi was removed from power, after millions of Egyptians had taken to the streets to protest the increasingly theocratic regime, the Obama administration decided to suspend aid to the more secular successor military regime. The “partnership” was no more once the Islamists were swept out of office.

While Morsi was still president, the Clinton Foundation, which has taken millions of dollars in donations from Muslim majority governments and affiliated groups and individuals, invited Morsi to deliver a major address at the Clinton Global Initiative. This invitation was extended just a month after an individual named Gehad el-Haddad, who was working simultaneously for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Clinton Foundation in Cairo, left his Clinton Foundation job to work for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood full time. Fortunes changed for this individual, however, when, after Morsi was overthrown, Haddad was arrested for inciting violence and given a life sentence.

The Obama administration, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, also cooperated with the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass and implement a United Nations resolution that was intended to curb speech considered Islamophobic. Clinton, in full spin mode, insisted that the new UN resolution was totally consistent with the free speech protections of the First Amendment, as opposed to the "defamation of religions" resolutions that the OIC had sponsored in the past but was willing to have replaced. The truth, however, is that all we were seeing was old wine in new bottles. To make sure that the OIC was comfortable regarding the Obama administration’s intentions, Clinton assured the OIC that she was perfectly on board with using “some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” She was trying to publicly assure American citizens that their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and press were safe, while working behind the scenes with her OIC partners to find acceptable ways to stifle speech offensive to Muslims.

The signs of Hillary Clinton’s Islamist tilt as she runs for president include the sweepingly general and demonstrably false assertion in her tweet last November that Muslims “have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism."  She has obviously learned nothing from her disastrous tenure as Secretary of State. Neither is she willing to acknowledge that the terrorists whom she has called a “determined enemy” are jihadists animated by an ideology rooted in core Muslim teachings of the Koran and the Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and actions).  Is there something about the word “Muslim” in the Muslim Brotherhood and “Islamic” in the Islamic State that she is having problems understanding?

Perhaps, it is Hillary’s close association with Huma Abedin, her top campaign aide and confidante, who has had questionable links to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organizations, which explains Hillary’s denial of the truth. If someone as close to Hillary as Huma Abedin, whom she apparently trusts with her life, is a Muslim, then how could any Muslim possibly have anything to do with terrorism?   

Then again, perhaps Hillary’s willingness to give Islamists the benefit of the doubt is all the money that the Clintons have received over the years from foreign donors in Muslim majority countries, including the Saudi government and affiliated groups and individuals. Hillary Clinton has also reached out for campaign donations from a pro-Iranian lobby group, the National Iranian American Council. Whatever human rights abuses are inflicted on people in these countries, it would be counterproductive to bite the hand that feeds you, in the Clintons’ way of thinking.

Finally, the Democratic Party itself has moved much further to the Left since the days of Bill Clinton’s presidency, which has led to the broadening out of the pro-Islamist bias that began to take shape with Bill Clinton’s intervention in Bosnia. As David Horowitz wrote in a January 8, 2016 article published by National Review:

 “Leftists and Democrats have also joined the Islamist propaganda campaign to represent Muslims — whose co-religionists have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents since 9/11 in the name of their religion — as victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, denouncing critics of Islamist terror and proponents of security measures as ‘Islamophobes’ and bigots. Led by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Democrats have enabled the Islamist assault on free speech, which is a central component of the Islamist campaign to create a worldwide religious theocracy.” 

For a variety of reasons, Hillary Clinton as president can be expected to move the United States towards an even more accommodative stance than her predecessors with Islamists who mean to do us harm.

Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam.


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Turkey: Child Rape Widespread, Media Blackout - Robert Jones

by Robert Jones

The facts on the ground indicate that the sexual abuse of children in Turkey is extremely widespread and the Turkish state authorities are not acting responsibly.

  • The journalist who reported the rape for the newspaper Birgun, said that that he and the newspaper received countless death threats on social media for reporting the case.
  • Turkey's constitutional court in July annulled a criminal code provision punishing all sexual acts involving children under the age of 15 as "sexual abuse", giving a six-month period for parliament to draw up a new law.
  • When Syrian babies and other children, as well as women, are being raped and treated horribly in Turkey, and their abusers go free; when journalists covering these abuses are threatened; when publication bans are imposed on the crimes committed against Syrians, and when criminals are given "good conduct abatement" by courts, Turkey seems to be one of the last countries on earth to have the moral right to demand visa-free travel in Europe or anywhere else.
Turkey has once again threatened to tear up a controversial migrant deal and send hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers to Europe if its citizens are not granted visa-free travel to the European Union within months.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, demanded the EU drop visa requirements for Turkish citizens by October.

Meanwhile, Syrian children are being raped and abused inside and outside of refugee camps in Turkey.

Nine-Month-Old Syrian Baby Raped; Media Blackout Imposed

A 9-month-old Syrian baby was raped in the Islahiye district of Gaziantep on August 19. The baby is the child of a Syrian family who fled the war in Syria, according to the newspaper Birgun. The family, agricultural day-laborers in Gaziantep, had set up a tent in the field where they work.

On the day of the rape, the parents left their baby with an 18-year-old man before leaving to work a field 100 meters away.

When the parents returned, they saw the young man, a Turkish citizen who works as a shepherd, walking away from the tent. The mother noticed that her baby girl had been raped and took her to a local hospital, where the attack was confirmed.

The governor's office of Antep announced that the young man had been arrested and brought to court.

Huseyin Simsek, the journalist who covered the incident for the newspaper Birgun, said that that he and the newspaper received countless death threats on social media for reporting the rape.

Simsek tweeted:
"Today, a 9-month-old baby was raped in Antep. There is a medical report. I am being sworn at, informed on, and threatened with death.
"The incident is real. The doctors say the baby is 7 or 9-months-old. We will keep on writing."
Some Twitter users called the reporter "a PKK terrorist", "a FETO [Gulenist] terrorist", "a traitor" and "a son of a bitch", among others. Other users referred to Birgun as "toilet paper" and called for destroying the newspaper building.

When Samil Tayyar, an Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP from Gaziantep, confirmed the rape on his Twitter account, another Twitter user responded:
"Dear MP, such news should not be used. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. We are giving material to the enemy. Be responsible, please."
He was apparently referring to the recent criticism by Sweden that Ankara was legalizing sex with children.

Turkey's constitutional court, in July, annulled a criminal code provision punishing all sexual acts involving children under the age of 15 as "sexual abuse", giving a six-month period for parliament to draw up a new law.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström tweeted on her official account that the "Turkish decision to allow sex with children under 15 must be reversed. Children need more protection, not less, against violence, sex abuse."

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek tweeted back: "You are clearly misinformed. There is no such stupid thing in Turkey. Please get your facts right."

Turkey summoned Sweden's ambassador and displayed a billboard in Istanbul's main airport that warned travelers against visiting Sweden.

"Travel warning!" stated a large advertisement on display in the departure section of Ataturk Airport's international terminal. "Do you know that Sweden has the highest rape rate worldwide?"

An electronic billboard in Istanbul's Ataturk Airport last month displayed: "Travel warning! Do you know that Sweden has the highest rape rate worldwide?" It was posted in retaliation for a critical tweet by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström that read: "Turkish decision to allow sex with children under 15 must be reversed. Children need more protection, not less, against violence, sex abuse." (Image source: Reuters video screenshot)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said that Wallström had failed to act "responsibly".

However, the facts on the ground indicate that the sexual abuse of children in Turkey is extremely widespread and it is the Turkish state authorities that are not acting responsibly.

The Islahiye Penal Court of Peace in Gaziantep has issued a media blackout on the rape of the Syrian baby.

"Until the investigation is finalized, all kinds of news, interviews, critiques, and similar publications regarding the investigation file have been banned in the written, visual and social media as well as on the internet," the ruling said in part.

30 Syrian Boys Raped at Nizip Camp

The daily, Birgun, also reported in May that 30 Syrian boys between the ages of 8 and 12 had been raped at a refugee camp in the Nizip district of Gaziantep.

The assaults took place, over a period of three months, in the restrooms of the camp, which is run by the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

The camp was visited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkey's then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and several Turkish ministers, as well as the mayor of the city on April 23, celebrated as "Children's Day" in Turkey. The leaders praised the camp, which houses 14,000 Syrians.

A cleaning worker at the camp paid the children for a few Turkish liras to sexually abuse them. The man confessed his crimes and claimed that "it was the children who motivated him to abuse them."

Eight families of abused children lodged complaints about the attacks. Erk Acarer wrote in Birgun:
"It is understood that some of the families have not lodged complaints against E.E., who sexually abused the children, because they are afraid, since they are asylum seekers in Turkey. That is why they do not want to confront the situation."
AFAD, the state institution that runs the camp, confirmed the rapes:
"AFAD has taken precautions to prevent the repetition of the incident. Psychological support services have been given to those affected by the incident from the beginning."

Syrian Children Sexually Abused at Islahiye Camp

Shortly after the scandal at the Nizip camp, it was reported that five Syrian children staying at the Islahiye refugee camp in Gaziantep, and also run by AFAD, were sexually abused by an 87-year-old Syrian national, Ahmed H., multiple times. Again, the authorities of the camp were not "able" to protect the children, whose ages ranged from 4 to 8.

Two of the abused children were his own grandchildren; one was his niece and the other, his nephew. Ahmed H. -- apparently before the eyes of everyone -- made the children sit on his lap while he sexually abused them.

The crimes were revealed on November 20, 2015, when a person informed local gendarmerie officials of "an elderly man sexually abusing a 2-or 3-year old girl while sitting on his chair in front of the camp."

The children then told the authorities about the abuse they had been exposed to. The abuse was also proven by surveillance cameras.

On May 3, Ahmed H. was acquitted for the sexual abuse of his grandchildren on grounds that "[t]here was not enough persuasive evidence" for a conviction.

As for his trial for abusing the other victims, he was given "good conduct abatement" by the court due to "his positive behavior during the trial process."

"The Syrians Staying Outside of the Camps are... Unprotected."

"The asylum seekers staying at refugee camps are 10 percent of all asylum seekers," said Mahmut Togrul, an MP from the People's Democratic Party (HDP) for the city of Gaziantep.
"The Syrians staying outside of the camps are going through a real drama. People are staying in the streets unprotected. We tried to tell the authorities, but unfortunately no one does their duty in Turkey and they do not deal with fundamental problems"
"Since the AKP has become preoccupied with its own troubles, Syrians have been left to their fate... We are faced with a vile situation. They admit their Syrian policy has been wrong. If they had not carried out that policy, so many people would not be so devastated now. It is not enough to say, 'We have done wrong'. They have to solve the problems caused by this wrong policy. The AKP that has left people idle and uncontrolled has to take responsibility of these people."

"Where Are the 3 Billion Euros?"

In the meantime, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center on August 24, saying:
"What did they [the Europeans] say?: 'We will give the refugees who come to these camps three billion Euros of aid'. Where is it? This year is almost over. Where is it? Not here."
Reporters and eyewitnesses, however, have revealed that Turkey has allowed jihadists to travel in and out of Turkey and has even provided funds, logistics and arms for extremist groups, including the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Al Nusra Front.

The Turkish government -- along with others in the region -- has turned Syria into a true nightmare, apparently to expand Sunni Turkish influence over Syria and other countries, and to stop Kurds from establishing a free homeland in northern Syria.

Since the war broke out in Syria in 2011, jihadist terror groups have terrorized millions of people, particularly Alawites, Christians and Kurds, and caused millions of people to flee their country. In despair, many Syrians arrived in Turkey and still live under the "temporary protection" of the Turkish government.

If the Turkish government had not facilitated the rise of jihadist terrorism in the region, however, much of this would not have happened.

Turkey now not only leaves Syrian asylum seekers uncared for and unprotected, but is also blackmailing the EU over the Syrians, whose pain and devastation the Turkish authorities are largely responsible for.

Given the increasingly violent crackdown on the Turkish media and pressures against free speech in the country, it is highly probable that the child sexual abuse cases reported in Gaziantep are just the tip of the iceberg.

When Syrian babies and other children, as well as women, are being raped and treated horribly in Turkey, and their abusers go free; when journalists covering these abuses are threatened; when publication bans are imposed on the crimes committed against Syrians, and when criminals are given "good conduct abatement" by courts, Turkey seems to be one of the last countries on earth to have the moral right to demand visa-free travel in Europe or anywhere else.

Robert Jones, an expert on Turkey, is currently based in the UK.


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