Saturday, January 27, 2018

Obama vs. Trump: Who Really Colluded with Russia? - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Trump didn’t collude with Russia. Obama did.

September 2009.

Obama hadn’t even been in office for a whole year when he gave in to Moscow’s biggest demand by dropping the missile defense shield for Poland and the Czech Republic. During his campaign, he had enthusiastically backed the defensive program, declaring, “We have to send a clear signal that Poland and other countries in that region are not going to be subject to intimidation and aggression.”

Like all of his campaign promises that were based on political triangulation, law enforcement, counterterrorism, Jerusalem and gay marriage, it was a campaign lie to be thrown out after the election.

Putin praised Obama’s sellout of our allies as a “brave decision.”  In his first year, President Trump touted the sale of Patriot missiles to Poland. That was a truly brave decision.

After the Russian invasion, Obama refused to provide Ukraine with military assistance. While he had handed out weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria and Libya, the Ukrainians were only offered MREs. The same administration that covertly shipped a fortune in foreign currency on unmarked cargo planes to Russia’s Iranian allies took months to meet Ukrainian requests for boots and spare tires.

The Trump administrated [sic] unapologetically approved the sale of sniper rifles to the Ukrainians.

“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people," Obama had gushed during his meeting with Putin. There were no protests from the same media that has since then repeatedly suggested that Trump’s praise for Putin indicated a soft spot for dictators.

Looking back at Obama’s first year and Trump’s first year, it’s easy to assess who was giving Moscow more. It wasn’t just missile defense. In the spring of ’09, Hillary was in Moscow toting a misspelled Reset Button swiped from a swimming pool. But it was Obama who had first urged a “reset or reboot”. That was the month he sent a secret hand-delivered letter to Russia offering to kill the missile shield. The Russians turned down his proposed deal, but he went through with the appeasement anyway.

Trashing missile defense was just one step in a larger effort to revive Jimmy Carter’s defense policies. In his first year, Obama began the push to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. CTBT would have allowed the Russians (and everyone else) to build up their nuclear arsenals while crippling our own. The new START treaty was drafted in ’09 and signed next year. And Russian violations of it were ignored.

It took a new administration to change that.

In his first phone call with Putin, President Trump blasted the START treaty as a bad deal that gave Moscow a free ride. Next month, the Pentagon officially came out and said what everyone knew.

This was a sharp contrast with the previous administration which had refused to detail Russian violations. It falsely claimed that it couldn’t answer the question because “the New START treaty forbids releasing to the public data and information obtained during implementation of the treaty.”

Before the Iran deal, the Russia deal had been Obama’s legacy. And the same lies, echo chambers and spin that would be used to cover up Iranian violations were being deployed to mask Russian violations.

The Russians couldn’t have been too surprised at Trump holding their feet to the fire.  Trump had blasted the START treaty during the third presidential debate while Hillary Clinton had rambled on about cyberattacks. The Russians would have been far more concerned about nukes than keyboards.

That was the same debate where Hillary Clinton had accused Trump of being Putin’s “puppet”.

But if that’s true, where are the concessions and the appeasement? Every tangible foreign policy issue that the commentariat at conspiratorial lefty media outlets like the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and ThinkProgress had seized on as evidence of Trump’s collusion has come up short.

Remember when Trump was secretly conspiring to lift sanctions for Exxon-Mobil’s Russian drilling project?

"Could Massive Russian Oil Deal with Exxon Explain Why Putin Appears to Have Meddled in US Election?", Democracy Now shrieked. "Trump-Putin Bromance: Election Hacking, Oil Drilling," the Huffington Post caterwauled.

ThinkProgress made them seem restrained. "Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet.”

"Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected: a $500 billion oil deal killed by sanctions," the sub yammered. Trump, Putin and oil represented "the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers".

Just one problem. Trump refused to let the deal happen. So much for that conspiracy theory.
Seizing on the potential Exxon deal was an act of desperation. The left was quick to juggle Russia collusion theories, but had trouble coming up with anything that Russia actually got from Trump.

Not only wasn’t there anything like Obama’s Year One windfall of appeasement, but Moscow was getting nothing but trouble. The new National Defense Strategy lists Russia as a major threat. It’s a return to the Republican view of Russia as a geopolitical threat that Obama had mocked Romney for.

The Washington Post, which boasts a new Russia-Trump conspiracy theory every five hours, responded by claiming that Trump’s policy of confronting Russia is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants. "Trump's strategy pushes confrontation with Russia, and Moscow is pleased," a Post op-ed declared.

What better evidence could there be that Trump is Putin’s puppet than that he’s standing up to him?

The new Russia conspiracy meme borrows the old Obama spin on Iran and ISIS which accused critics of “playing into their hands” by trying to fight them, instead of appeasing them. It was classic Orwellian spin. “Weakness is strength”, “lies are truth” and “opposition is collusion”. But it said something about the weakness of the collusion reality that the Post was forced to rely on such weak Rhodes-ian spin.

What had Trump done for Russia? Well he stood up to it. And that’s exactly what Putin wants.

The media’s case for collusion comes down to the hacking of Democrat emails. But while having Podesta’s missives exposed to daylight was clearly a traumatic event for the Dems, it’s not exactly up there with letting the Russians have a free hand in Europe. Or letting its Iranian allies go nuclear.

The media has blasted us with headlines about the meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer about the Magnitsky Act. But a year later, the Magnitsky Act is doing just fine. There’s been no review. Obama had singlehandedly dismantled the Cuban embargo. If Trump had really wanted to, the sanctions on Russia would be a memory. But instead the sanctions keep on coming.

The media made much of Trump's signing statement to CAATSA criticizing its intrusion on his authority. Obama had repeatedly made similar objections, though using very different rhetoric, in signing statements to previous bills. When the administration missed the October 1 sanctions deadline, the media again rolled out the conspiracy theories. “The Trump administration is delaying Russia sanctions that Congress demanded,” Vox bleated. The sanctions were sent in the very next day.

The media has come to specialize in spinning conspiracy theories out of process. It’s safer to focus on the trees, because then they don’t have to notice that there’s no forest. But it’s a sign of just how little it has to work with when it comes to real life policy as opposed to the conspiracy theories of its bubble.

“What did Putin want from Trump and what did he actually get?” a Newsweek article inquires. It’s forced to conclude that the answer is nothing. Russia received a whole lot from Obama in his first year. Trump has dealt it a series of setbacks instead. Newsweek concludes that Putin helped elect Trump, but got nothing in return. That would make Putin rather stupid. And no one has yet accused him of that.

But that’s what the current collusion conspiracy theories of the left have irrationally been reduced to. Putin helped elect Trump. And got nothing from Trump for it. Now it’s time to impeach Trump anyway.

Backing Trump never made any sense. Republicans have traditionally been more hostile to Russia. And Trump’s entire pitch was nationalism. Nationalist leaders in small countries might collaborate with Putin, but the nationalist leader of the United States could only end up on a collision course with Russia.

Obama’s first year was a golden period for Russia because he didn’t believe in national interests. Trump does. The left inevitably accuses the right of its own sins. Trump didn’t collude with Russia. Obama did.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.


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Warning – abductions planned - Nadav Shragai

by Nadav Shragai

More than a third of the terrorists freed in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Schalit have gone back to terrorism. Some of them now control Hamas in Gaza, out of Israel's reach, and are working with Iran to execute terrorist attacks and kidnappings.

Gazans celebrate the release of over 1,000 Palestinian terrorists with blood 
on their hands in exchange for captive Cpl. Gilad Schalit, November 2011

There is no way to gloss over this reality: According to an assessment from a senior security official, some 420 of the 1,027 terrorists imprisoned in Israel released as part of exchange deal for captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit in November 2011 have found their way back into the circle of terrorism and violence. Some 210 were re-arrested, and 100 were put back behind bars. Terrorists freed in the Schalit deal have directly or indirectly been involved in the murder of seven Israelis, including the three teens abducted in Gush Etzion in June 2014, as well as Rabbi Michael Mark and Baruch Mizrahi.

But the major, aggregate damage, with which Israel is finding it hard to contend, comes from the freed prisoners who were deported to or sent back to the Gaza Strip. Now it is becoming clear that it's easier to handle the ones who went back home to Judea and Samaria, within Israel's reach, than the terrorists who are across the border in Gaza.

As if that weren't enough, a group of the prisoners released in the Schalit deal have seized control of Hamas in Gaza. The group has established a mechanism whose purpose, at least for now, is to keep things quiet in Gaza to give them a chance to rebuild themselves, while hatching plans for terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, all while continuing to shake up the regime of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

According to reports out of the PA security establishment, this mechanism has a well-ordered hierarchy: The man in charge of terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria is Maher Obeid, an associate of Saleh Arouri, who replaced him as commander of West Bank activity from abroad. Obeid and Arouri are believed to be in London. Obeid, who used to be charged with raising funds for Hamas and recently represented the group in its contact with Iran, denies these reports. It's possible he simply fears for his life.

Below him are three major figures from the Schalit prisoner release, each one of which oversees a different part of the West Bank. Abdel Rahman Ranimat, originally from the Bethlehem area, who was involved in terrorist attacks that claimed Israeli lives (including the murder of IDF soldier Sharon Edri), was put in charge of the region that includes Bethlehem, Hebron and Jericho. Abdullah Arar, who was involved in the abduction and murder of Sasson Nuriel in 2005, was made responsible for the Jerusalem and Ramallah region; and the northern West Bank was assigned to Forsan Khalifa. Dozens of the attempted terrorist attacks thwarted over the past year were initiated by this mechanism and by other terrorists freed in exchange for Schalit.

The new terrorist focus 

Schalit deal terrorists are even involved in the constant smaller-scale terrorist attacks that do not entail firearms or bombings (stabbings, car rammings, and Molotov cocktails) that Israeli security officials refer to collectively as "cold terrorism." December 2017 saw a sharp spike in the number of such attacks: 249, compared to 84 in November 2017. The majority of the attacks, 219, involved Molotov cocktails, while the rest were employed explosive devices, shootings, and stabbings. A total of 178 of these attacks took place in Judea and Samaria and another 56 were carried out in east Jerusalem. It was a prisoner traded for Schalit who led the popular "struggle" in the Dura area in the South Hebron Hills, which used mostly Molotov cocktails and rocks, until he was imprisoned again.

Head of the Shin Bet security agency Nadav Argaman said in a report to government ministers that Hamas in Gaza is not alone, and that the group coordinated with Hamas operatives elsewhere in the world and promotes what he calls "dozens of inter-regional handler axes" designed to carry out major terrorist attacks in the West Bank and inside the Green Line. Various signs indicate that the attack in which Rabbi Raziel Shevach from the Samaria outpost of Havat Gilad was murdered can be directly or indirectly traced back to one of the "handler axes" that Argaman mentioned. This attack was another one that bore signs of being directed from the outside. The West Bank is now the scene of terrorist attacks commanded from Gaza, Lebanon, or other countries in the region. Iran and Hezbollah are also key players in this joint terrorist front.

There is considerable evidence that terrorist actors from different regions are cooperating to execute attacks in Judea and Samaria and inside the Green Line. Argaman's report to the ministers concealed more than it revealed. Arab sources are more generous with information and reflect an attempt to coalesce satellite terrorist elements into a single lever of terrorism. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper, identified with Hezbollah, recently reported an attempt by Hezbollah, Hamas, an unknown branch of an Iraqi militia, and five other unnamed armed groups from Gaza and the West Bank to establish a joint venture that would serve as a sort of "war room" to coordinate their activities.

Iran openly has a finger in this particular pie. Senior Iranian officials, starting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, have made it clear to senior Hamas members and other Palestinian factions that Iran is placing all its capabilities at their disposal. Recently, high-ranking officials in Tehran and heads of Hamas in Gaza have been meeting more frequently. However, Iran is also acting on its own, and not only through agents. The Shin Bet recently exposed an Iranian terrorist network in the West Bank that had been recruited and handled directly by Iran's intelligence system.

The man in charge of organizing it was Muhammad Maharma, a computer science student from Hebron, who was recruited to the Iranian intelligence by a relative living in South Africa. Another sign of Iranian attempts to plant a flag in the West Bank comes from a report in the Al Jarida newspaper, published in Kuwait, which just reported that Israel and the Americans had struck a deal to assassinate Soleimani. In another article, Al Jarida reported that Soleimani had underscored to Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saw great importance in arming the West Bank. That same report, brought to Israel's attention by journalist Yoni Ben-Menachem, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said that Soleimani had met with weapons smugglers in Syria and Lebanon and asked them to find ways to send "high-quality" weapons to the Palestinians in the West Bank.

At the same time, the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported that Soleimani was in contact with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. While Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, told the Hezbollah-affiliated TV channel Al Mayadeen that Soleimani had promised to provide assistance to Hamas' military wing and to the Islamic Jihad.

Along with drawing closer to Egypt and the renewed fight against the Islamic State, which were designed to give the Gaza Strip a chance to get back on its economic feet, Hamas in Gaza is also strengthening its ties to Iran and its other allies in the region – first and foremost, Hezbollah. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman addressed this publicly this week, saying that "Gaza is in very bad straits and wants to create terrorist attacks on its own, so it is trying to open new areas, mostly in southern Lebanon."

Argaman also touched on the issue when he briefed the ministers on what is happening in the region. He talks about attempts to create an Iranian-sponsored Hamas outpost in Lebanon and about Hamas in Gaza forming stronger strategic ties with the Shiite axis, led by Iran. Reports are also coming out of Lebanon that Hamas is trying to resume its activity in Palestinian refugee camps there, in the spirit of the words of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, who for quite some time has been urging the Syrian and Lebanese regimes to allow Hamas to set up military cells in the camps.

From prison to power 

The main architect of the Gaza-Lebanon-Iran axis, who is also responsible for constant attempts to carry out terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria, is Saleh Arouri. Officials in Israel now admit it was a mistake to free him and let him cross the border. Arouri, currently second-in-command of Hamas' political wing, was released from prison in 2007, and when it appeared that he has returned to terrorism, was placed under administrative detention. He was freed again in 2010, with the assent of the Shin Bet, on the condition that he leave Israel. Eventually, he settled in Turkey.

Under the protection of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Arouri spent a few years there as head of the Hamas command abroad, directing terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria. After teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped and murdered in June 2014, Arouri even admitted publicly that Hamas was responsible for the abduction and praised the attack. Combined Israeli and American pressure on Turkey resulted in Arouri being sent to Qatar, and then from Qatar to Lebanon, where he is now working to bolster Hamas' coordination with Hezbollah and Iran.

A triumvirate of Schalit-deal terrorists – Sinwar, Tawfiq Abu Naim and Zuhair Jabarin,  as well as Arouri and the three regional commanders – now controls Gaza. According to reports from the Palestinian Authority, they are working to carry out attacks in various parts of the West Bank and their main goal is another abduction of an Israeli. Sinwar, Abu Naim and Jabarin were all released from prison in Israel before their sentences were up. These three, along with some of their comrades, star in a popular video clip that Hamas released titled "From prison to power," in which they express their commitment to carrying out another abduction, and they are trying their best.

Hussam Badaran was also freed from prison under the Schalit deal and deported to Qatar. He oversaw an attempt by Hamas operatives from Hebron to commit terrorist kidnappings of Israeli civilians or soldiers. That attempt went as far as having a safe house ready. Hashem Abdel Kader Ibrahim Hijaz, who had been sentenced to 10 life sentences but was freed in the Schalit deal, tried to launch terrorist abductions near Ramallah, using a local Hamas operative. Mazen Fuqaha, another leader of Hamas' West Bank command who was killed in Gaza last March, also devoted his energy to preparing a massive abduction. Fuqha was responsible for the suicide bus bombing at the Meron junction in 2002 that killed nine people. He served only nine years of the nine life sentences he was assigned before being released in exchange for Schalit.

On high alert

The Hamas cell that planned a series of terrorist attacks to be launched at the train station in Binyamina, the central synagogue in Zikhron Yaakov and the bus station in Wadi Ara, was also planning a kidnapping. The cell, which consisted of two residents of the village of Bani Naim near Hebron and an Israeli Arab from Wadi Ara, was funded by a group of terrorists freed in the Schalit deal. They kept in touch via Facebook.

The kidnapping was planned for a hitchhiking post near Afula. Since the Schalit deal that freed over 1,000 terrorists, the Shin Bet has thwarted dozens of abductions. The IDF and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria constantly update their safety rules and keep as alert and aware as possible. Security officials say that the current Hamas leadership is focused on its goal. Sinwar, back in the day, was condemned to four life sentences for planning terrorist attacks and to abduct soldiers. Even while behind bars, he was involved in plotting the kidnapping of the late IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman.

Sinwar's younger brother was involved in kidnapping Gilad Schalit in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Sinwar's deputy, Khalil al-Hayya, has declared many times that "the Palestinians intend to kidnap soldiers and settlers at any time, and have the right to do so."

Ruhi Mushtaha, another senior figure in Hamas who is close to Sinwar, had been assigned seven life sentences for his involvement in the Waxman abduction, was also released in the Schalit deal. Mushtaha was involved in assembling the list of prisoners Hamas wanted to be released. Since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, he has also been in charge of the Hamas prisoners portfolio.

Mushtaha often speaks about the obligation to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to free Palestinian prisoners. Badaran, a senior leader of Hamas in Gaza, played a role in planning several suicide bombings that killed dozens of Israelis. After he was freed as part of the Schalit deal, he gave a speech in the name of the "freed prisoners" who had arrived in Gaza in which he promised "not to forget those who remain in prison." Jabarin, who was also freed in the Schalit deal and a senior figure in Hamas-Gaza, has made similar statements.

Sinwar and Abu Naim served time together in a prison in Ashkelon, along with Mohammad al-Sharatha, a member of the terrorist cell that kidnapped and murdered IDF soldiers Avi Sasportas and Ilan Saadon in two separate abductions in 1989. The three tried to escape together but failed. Sharatha was yet another terrorist freed in the Schalit deal. He returned to Gaza and made it clear that he had no remorse for his deeds. Now Sinwar and his friends are thinking up plans for another abduction. Their fingerprints are all over many of the attacks that Israel luckily managed to thwart this past year.

Nadav Shragai


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Obama -- Leader of the Deep State Coup - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

A sitting and corrupt President used the powers of his office in an attempt to subvert an election and hand-pick his successor

In any criminal investigation where the suspect is not immediately known, the first question usually asked is who would have the most to gain? As we follow the bread crumbs of the text messages of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and await release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo regarding the collusion between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DOJ, and FBI to interfere with the 2016, ensure the election of Hillary, and the defeat or impeachment of Donald Trump, the answer to that question is clear -- one Barack Hussein Obama.

Can it be believed that as key players in the Obama administration like Strzok and Page, as well as FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, number 4 at Justice Bruce Ohr, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and many others were linked in a vast criminal conspiracy to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House, that Barack Obama was blissfully unaware of all this? Rather, it can be plausibly argued that he was orchestrating it.

Perhaps not directly or by explicit orders, but rather by discussing the threat to his legacy Trump represented with his progressive minions and then simply saying, as crime bosses throughout history have done, “You know what needs to be done. Do it.”

This scandal did not occur in a vacuum any more than did the weaponizing of the IRS to target the Tea Party and other conservative groups before Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign occured in a vacuum. The agencies under Obama’s control have been politicized before and used to intimidate and destroy his political opponents

Last September, I argued that Comey had the fix in for Hillary and we now know that he began writing his exoneration memo significantly before interviewing Hillary and other key witnesses. The exoneration memo underwent key edits in which Strzok, who interviewed Hillary and those witnesses, some of whom were granted immunity, was involved. But now, as the layers of this rotting onion are peeled away, it has become clearer that Comey did not act on his own initiative. This fish is also rotting from the head.

Back in April, 2016, President Obama gave an interview in which he seemed to have foreknowledge that Hillary Clinton would be exonerated for her “carelessness” and did not “intentionally” mishandle classified emails, words that Comey would use just a few months later:
President Obama said Sunday that Hillary Clinton showed “carelessness” by using a private email server, but he also strongly defended his former secretary of state, saying she did not endanger national security, while also vowing that an ongoing FBI investigation into the matter will not be tainted by politics.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Obama seemed to prejudge the outcome of the ongoing inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal, and he disputed the notion that any of the emails contained classified information of true importance.
“She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy,” he said. “What I also know is that there’s classified and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really top secret top secret, and then there’s stuff that is being presented to the president, the secretary of state, you may not want going out over the wire.”…
“I continue to believe she has not jeopardized America’s national security,” the president said. “There’s a carelessness in terms of managing emails that she has owned and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective.”
Carelessness and lack of intent were key parts of Comey’s shape-shifting memo. And we now see how Obama’s pledge that politics would not taint the investigation was a bald-faced lie. This confidence in her exoneration was shared by Mrs. Clinton, who also seemed to have foreknowledge that the fix was in:
The FBI is investigating the matter, and while Mrs. Clinton has virtually promised she will not be indicted, the scandal still hangs over her presidential ambitions and fuels the notion -- widespread, according to opinion polls -- that she’s not trustworthy.
She maintains that no emails in the account were classified at the time they were sent or received -- though she was initially much more emphatic, flatly saying she had never handled classified information. She reiterated last week that, in her view, the federal investigation ultimately will clear her.
“That is not going to happen,” she told NBC News when asked if she would be indicted. “There is not even the remotest chance that it’s going to happen.”
National Review Contributing Editor Andrew McCarthy has long argued that Obama was the ringleader in obstructing justice in the Hillary email investigation:
From the first, these columns have argued that the whitewash of the Hillary Clinton-emails caper was President Barack Obama’s call -- not the FBI’s, and not the Justice Department’s… The decision was inevitable. Obama, using a pseudonymous email account, had repeatedly communicated with Secretary Clinton over her private, non-secure email account.
Why would Obama use a fake email account to communicate with Hillary Clinton? Granted, classified communications between a President and a Secretary of State are normal, but not via a fake email account. Were they discussing the fix that was in during her email investigation? McCarthy suggests just such a reason:
If Clinton had been charged, Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent. In any prosecution of Clinton, the Clinton -- Obama emails would have been in the spotlight. For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent) mishandling of intelligence. More significantly, for Clinton’s defense, they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct yet faced no criminal charges.
McCarthy notes that among the edits to the draft of Comey’s memo was one omitting a reference to President Obama:
This past weekend, in a letter to the FBI, regarding the missing texts, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) addressed some of these revisions. According to Senator Johnson, a draft dated June 30, 2016 (i.e., five days before Comey delivered the final version), contained a passage expressly referring to a troublesome email exchange between Clinton and Obama. (I note that the FBI’s report of its eventual interview of Clinton contains a cryptic reference to a July 1, 2012, email that Clinton sent from Russia to Obama’s email address. See report, page 2.) The passage in the June 30 draft stated: We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including from the territory of sophisticated adversaries. That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary. [Emphasis added.] Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account. On the same day, according to a Strzok–Page text, a revised draft of Comey’s remarks was circulated by his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki. It replaced “the President” with “another senior government official.”
So not only were edits made to Comey’s draft memo to hide Hillary’s guilt but also Obama’s involvement. It is worth noting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch also used a fake email account under the name “Elizabeth Carlisle” to conduct official business:
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch went by the alias 'Elizabeth Carlisle' in email she used to conduct government business.
Lynch's pseudonym was confirmed in a report by the Daily Caller, which shows Lynch sometimes preferred to use another name while doing work, just as her predecessor Eric Holder did. The finding came after several batches of emails were released last week from conservative watchdog groups who had requested documents from the Justice Department using the Freedom of Information Act.
Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice sought documents related to former President Bill Clinton's meeting with then-Attorney General Lynch in an airplane on the runway tarmac in Phoenix. The meeting was scarcely noticed at first, but eventually created a controversy over possible conflicts of interest about the ongoing investigation by the FBI into Hillary Clinton's email server.
Fake emails and surreptitious edits to incriminating documents. From the Strzok-Page text messages we know that Loretta Lynch knew Hillary would not be prosecuted. That meeting on the tarmac was to tell Bill Clinton the fix was in, a fix whose impetus came from the White House and an occupant concerned with both his legacy being erased by a President Trump but also by his involvement in covering up Hillary’s crimes.

As some have suggested, this is Watergate on steroids. Not only do we have one party colluding with government agencies to keep its candidate from being prosecuted for her crimes and preventing the election of the other party’s candidate, but we also have a sitting and corrupt President using the powers of his office to subvert an election and hand-pick his successor.

Lock her up. Lock him up too. Lock them all up.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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John Kerry Sabotages US Foreign Policy- Joseph Klein

by Joseph Klein

Former Sec of State urges the Palestinians to resist Trump.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly sought to undermine the Trump administration's current policy in dealing with the nihilist Palestinian leadership. According to an article appearing in Maariv, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post, Kerry met a senior Palestinian leader, Hussein Agha, in London recently and told him to convey a clandestine message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The message was that Abbas should “play for time” and “not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.” Kerry reportedly predicted that President Trump would not be in office for long - perhaps not more than a year. Possibly for that reason, Kerry allegedly advised that the Palestinians should aim their criticisms at President Trump personally, rather than more broadly at the United States. According to the report, Kerry also offered to help the Palestinians devise an alternative peace plan and advance it with Europeans, Arab states and the international community at large. Finally, Kerry reportedly told Agha that he was seriously considering running for president in 2020, as if he had not done enough damage to U.S. national security already in negotiating, for example, the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.

Agha, who is considered a close associate of Abbas, reportedly shared details of his conversation with Kerry with senior Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah, although it is not clear whether he delivered Kerry’s message directly to Abbas.  Maariv’s source for its reporting is said to be a "senior Palestinian Authority official." As of the writing of this article, Kerry has not denied the report. If he does eventually get around to denying the report, one needs to be skeptical. As an editorial appearing on January 25th in the New York Sun points out regarding Kerry’s latest reported foray into faux diplomacy, “what he is just reported to have done in respect (sic) the Palestinian Arabs is so similar to what he did in respect of the Vietnamese communists. That was back in 1970, when, just off active duty from the Navy after his brief tour in Vietnam, he went to Paris and met there with representatives of the Viet Cong.”

If the Maariv report is even partially accurate, Kerry has a lot of explaining to do. 

Perhaps Kerry has forgotten that he is a private citizen now. He is thus barred under the Logan Act from communicating with any foreign government or its officers, in the absence of authorization by the U.S. government, “with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.” The Palestinian Authority falls within the broad definition of a “foreign government” irrespective of recognition by the United States.

Aside from whether Kerry acted unlawfully, his reported statements to Agha were boneheaded to say the least. The Palestinian leadership does not want genuine peace. Abbas’s hate-filled speech on January 14th proved beyond any reasonable doubt that Abbas cannot be trusted as a negotiating partner.  

Contrast Kerry’s coddling of Abbas with how the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, characterized Abbas’s lack of courageous leadership in her remarks to the UN Security Council on January 25th. She pointed to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as a model leader who spoke to the Israeli Knesset and offered genuine peace and security to Israel, making possible “painful compromises” on both sides. Ambassador Haley then recalled how Abbas had used his January 14thspeech to declare the Oslo Peace Accords dead, threaten suspension of recognition of Israel, and invoke “an ugly and fictional past, reaching back to the 17th century to paint Israel as a colonialist project engineered by European powers.” 

“Hate-filled speeches and end-runs around negotiations take us nowhere,” Ambassador Haley said. “Ultimately, peace will not be achieved without leaders with courage. If President Abbas demonstrates he can be that type of leader, we would welcome it. His recent actions demonstrate the total opposite.”

Ambassador Haley concluded her remarks to the Security Council with this challenge: 
“The United States remains deeply committed to helping the Israelis and the Palestinians reach a historic peace agreement that brings a better future to both peoples, just as we did successfully with the Egyptians and the Jordanians. But we will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace. To get historic results, we need courageous leaders. History has provided such leaders in the past. For the sake of the Palestinian and Israeli people, we pray it does so again.”

Abbas has proven himself time and time again to be a failed leader without the courage it takes to achieve a genuine and durable peace for the sake of both the Palestinian and Israeli people. John Kerry’s embrace of Abbas, a pusillanimous and hate-filled excuse for a leader, demonstrates yet again what we have known about Kerry for some time. He is an empty suit, willing to indulge his delusions of grandeur and sabotage the current administration’s foreign policy out of spite.

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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Pence and Pew, Present and Future - Caroline Glick

by Caroline Glick

The VP's moving speech to Israel stands in stark contrast to rising Democratic Israel hatred.

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Vice President Mike Pence gave an epic speech at the Knesset this week. His was the most powerful embrace of Zionism and the Jewish people any foreign leader has ever presented. Pence’s fluency in Jewish history, and his comprehension of the centrality of the both the Bible and the Land of Israel in the vast flow of that history in far-flung-exile communities across time and space was spellbinding. He touched the hearts of his audience, causing knots in the throats of most of the people sitting in the Knesset on Monday afternoon.
Pence’s speech was rendered poignant and the friendship he bore became tinged with urgency with the publication, the very next day, of the latest Pew Center survey on American views of Israel.

Speaking in the name of the American people he represents, Pence said on Monday: “The friendship between our people has never been deeper.”
And when it comes to the Republican voters who elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence a year and two months ago, Pence is certainly correct. But the Pew data showed that on Israel, as on so many other issues, the cleavage between Republicans and Democrats is vast and unbridgeable.

Most of the coverage of the Pew survey focused reasonably on its main finding. The good news is that overall American support for Israel over the Palestinians remains more or less constant, and overwhelming. Forty-six percent of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians while a mere 16% of Americans support the Palestinians against Israel. The numbers haven’t changed much since polling began in 1978.

But then the news becomes more fraught. The disparity between Republican support for Israel and Democratic support for Israel has never been greater. Whereas 79% of Republicans support Israel over the Palestinians, only 27% of Democrats do. Moreover, the further one goes to the Left among Democratic voters, the more anti-Israel the respondents become. Liberal Democrats are now nearly twice as likely to support the Palestinians over Israel as they are to support Israel over the Palestinians. Thirty-five percent of liberal Democrats support the Palestinians against Israel. A mere 19% support Israel more than the Palestinians.

Conservative and moderate Democrats still support Israel far more than they support the Palestinians with 35% of moderate and conservative Democrats supporting Israel over the Palestinians, and 17% supporting the Palestinians more than Israel. But the level of support for Israel among this demographic has dropped precipitously in the last year and a half. In the previous survey, which took place in April 2016, support for Israel was 53%, or 19 points higher.

In other words, the last year and a half has seen a precipitous drop in Democratic support for Israel even as Republican support for Israel has grown ever higher.

For Israel’s leaders, as distressing as these numbers are, they don’t give an indication of how Israel should relate to the vast disparities in US support for Israel as they plot policies for the future.

The survey does provide that answer though. The last question in the survey asked respondents about the viability of the so-called two-state solution.

They were asked, “Can a way be found for Israel and an independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully or not?” 

The answers were notable. While among the general population, faith in the two-state solution runs 49% to 39%, that support is indirectly proportionate to respondents’ support for Israel. The more they support Israel, the less they believe in the two-state solution.

Americans who support the Palestinians more than they support Israel, believe in the viability of the two-state solution runs 64% to 28%. Americans who support Israel more than the Palestinians view the two-state solution as nonviable by a margin of 40% to 51%.

On the face of things, this seems like an anomaly. For a generation, three successive administrations have insisted not only that the two-state solution is the only path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all insisted that Israel’s very survival as a Jewish state is contingent on it surrendering land it has held for 50 years to the PLO. Americans have been told that the only way to truly care about Israel is to support the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

And here we see that the US public has reached the opposite conclusions. Americans who oppose Israel support the establishment of a Palestinian state along the lines set out by Clinton, Bush and Obama. Americans who support Israel view such a prospect as impossible.

What explains this disparity? Two data points in the survey point to a reasonable explanation.

According to the survey, the greatest leap in Republican support for Israel occurred since 2001. In the past 17 years, Republican support for Israel leaped from 50% to 79%.

On the Democratic side, an opposite trend occurred. Since 2001, Democratic support for Israel has dropped from 38% to 27%.

Two events occurred in 2001 that set the parties on disparate paths: the September 11 attacks and the disputed results of the 2000 presidential race between Al Gore and Bush.

The September 11 attacks caused Republican voters to study the Middle East, including Israel, more closely than they ever had before. And the more familiar they became with Islamism, jihad and the other pathologies of the Arab world, the more supportive of Israel they became. The fact that the Palestinians rejected peace at the Camp David summit in July 2000 and that by the time the September 11 attacks occurred they were engaged in the largest terrorist onslaught against Israel in history, reinforced the sense among Republicans that Israel is the US’s closest ally in the war on Islamic terrorism.

On the other hand, the Democrats’ rejection of the legitimacy of the 2000 election results set the party on a course of radicalization. The best indication of the Democrats’ radicalization on Israel came with the precipitous downfall of senator Joseph Lieberman.

Lieberman was a liberal hawk, an ardent supporter of Israel and a proud Jew. In 2000 his positions had sufficient traction among Democratic voters to cause Gore to select him as his running mate in the presidential election.

Just six years later, a transformed Democratic party rejected Lieberman when he ran for reelection to his senate seat in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. His challenger, Ned Lamont, defeated Lieberman after running a campaign laced with antisemitism and anti-Zionism. Lieberman’s longtime ally, then-senator from New York Hillary Clinton, who was looking forward to the 2008 presidential race, refused to support him.

Today Democratic presidential hopefuls like New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have discarded their previous support for Israel to satisfy their party’s increasingly radical, anti-Israel base.

The Democrats’ move to the Left has caused them to ascribe increasingly to identity politics as the basis for policy-making. Identity politics dictate a pecking order of victims. The greater a group’s status as victim, the more the Democrats support it. In this taxonomy, Israel has been determined to be an oppressor, and the Palestinians are defined as the victims.

The problem with identity politics, at least insofar as Israel is concerned, is that there is no basis in fact for the determination that Israel is the bad guy and the Palestinians are the good guys. To the contrary. As the steep rise in Republican support over the past 17 years demonstrates, the more you know, the greater the likelihood that you will support Israel.

Rather than being a fact-based conclusion, the determination that Israel is bad and the Palestinians are good is an ideological dictate. And this presents Israel with an intractable problem as far as Democrats are concerned.

Israel cannot reason Democrats out of an anti-Israel position that they weren’t reasoned into. Israel has no ability whatsoever to convince the Democrats to rethink their animosity, when they never thought about it to begin with. They simply accepted the dictates of their political and ideological camp.

This brings us back to Pence, and the Trump administration’s extraordinary, voter-supported friendship for Israel and what it means for Israel today, as the prospect of an impossibly hostile Democratic administration in as little as three years lurks in the corner.

The most significant “news” that Pence announced in his address was Trump’s determination to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem by the end of 2019. This is important because, given the hostility of the Democrats, there is every reason to believe that if a Democratic administration takes power in 2021, Trump’s decision to move the embassy will be canceled if it hasn’t already happened.

Just as this is the time for the US to move its embassy to Israel’s capital, now is also the time for Israel to ditch the failed two-state model before it is too late.

Israel will never have a better opportunity than it has today to convince an American administration to abandon the anti-Israel narrative at the foundation of the two-state formula. That narrative, which asserts that there is no peace because there is no Palestinian state, places the blame for the absence of peace between the Palestinians and Israel on Israel alone.

Today there is an administration that is open to hearing an alternative narrative that portrays Israel properly as the good guy, and the Palestinians as the hopelessly intransigent foe that they have always been.

Now is the time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his colleagues in the government to be speaking this plain truth in one voice. And now is the time for them to decide on, explain and implement a policy based on Israel’s rights and interests that will secure Israel’s strategic viability and position vis-à-vis the Palestinians for years to come. Such a policy, which will involve applying Israeli law over large swaths of Judea and Samaria, is clear, easy to explain and will successfully ensure the civil rights of Jews and Arabs alike for generations.

No, Israel’s efforts to explain itself will not crack through the closed intellectual circle of identity politics and partisanship. But that is why Israel needs to act now so that the new policy is explained and implemented along the same timetable as the US Embassy moves to Jerusalem.

By the time the 2020 US election campaign begin, Israel should have already determined and implemented its new policy. As Pence demonstrated so eloquently at the Knesset this week, Israel has a friend the likes of which it has never seen in the White House today. And if President Trump is not president in January 2021, Israel will face an administration that will make us miss Obama.

Pence and Pew showed us what we have and what awaits us. Now is the time for Israel to act.

Caroline Glick


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Investigate Obama’s and Kerry’s Unlawful Deals with Iran - Rachel Ehrenfeld

by Rachel Ehrenfeld

There is ample evidence to prove Kerry and his boss President Obama have willfully engaged in terrorist financing and money laundering. 

Two years ago, as then-secretary of State John Kerry was boasting in Davos about Obama’s deal with Iran, he acknowledged that some of the $150 billion given to the mullahs in Tehran “will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.” He was right. We don’t know how much money went to fund Iran’s global terrorist activities. And we know even less about the billions in untraceable cash that was supposedly delivered to the mullahs or the recipients of that cash. How about investigating that? There should be ample evidence to prove Kerry and his boss President Obama have willfully engaged in terrorist financing and money laundering. That is unless the pertinent emails and documents related to the payments to Iran had been lost or destroyed.

After the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented on January 16, 2016, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wished to lift all sanctions on Iran, kept complaining that “On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran.” As much as the Obama administration wanted to comply, it needed congressional support to do that. Thus, the Obama administration decided to circumvent U.S. anti-money laundering laws to help Iran’s economy.

Between March, 2012 and January, 2016, when the U.S. lifted the sanctions, Iranian banks had no access to the Belgium-based SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system. During that time, according to a European oil trader, “Nobody could pay the Iranians via normal lines, not even in euros.” Yet, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief as incentives to attend negotiations with the United States and others in Geneva. In August, 2012, following a major earthquake in Iran, the Obama administration issued a 45-day general license allowing “registered NGOs to send up to $300,000 to for humanitarian relief and reconstruction activities. And what assurances were there to ensure the money got to the right hands? At that time, Treasury’s spokesman John Sullivan declared, “The license specifically forbids any dealings with entities on the OFAC SDN list such as the IRGC. There is also a mandated report to the Treasury and State Departments, so we can make sure the money does not end up in the wrong hands,” he said. However, he was not asked, and he did not give any information on how the cash was transferred to Iran. 

In early 2013, the Obama administration began transferring goods to and from Afghanistan through the Iranian Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas, instead of shipping the goods through Pakistan. The administration decided to ignore the sanctions and chose the Iranian port. U.S. payments enabled the Iranians to open another port on the Gulf of Oman at Chabahar to further facilitate transshipment through Iran. How were payments made? In cash? In what currencies? If not, how did Iran access the U.S. payments? Were those payments sent in secrecy bundled cash of non-U.S. currencies on chartered flights, under cover of darkness as the administration did on January 17, 2016, with the $400 million in ransom it paid the mullahs to release American hostages? 

At the same time that the Obama administration was denying the cash ransom delivery to Iran, it also claimed: “The reason that we had to give the cash is precisely because we were so strict in maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with Iran that we couldn’t send them a check and we could not wire the money, due to the “effectiveness of U.S. and international sanctions.” The U.S. has strict federal Anti-Money Laundering laws, requiring “banks and certain other financial institutions, which tend to have extra-territorial effect, through requirements for U.S. banks to control their relationships with correspondent and shell banks to prevent money laundering.” 

Therefore, the Obama administration instructed Treasury to find “the mechanism” through which untraceable cash could be delivered to the Iranian terrorist regime. They have willfully circumvented the U.S. and international sanctions, as well as the anti-money laundering laws, to deliver, at least, an additional $1.3 billion “settlement” to Iran through offshore clearinghouses. Was this a new arrangement or the first the public heard about such an arrangement? 

What we already know is enough to cause major concerns. But will we ever find out how much money was given to the mullahs? Probably not. 

Rachel Ehrenfeld


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