Saturday, May 12, 2018

IDF aerial images reveal Iranian intel sites targeted in Syria - Shlomo Cesana and Daniel Siryoti

by Shlomo Cesana and Daniel Siryoti 

"In less than two hours, dozens of Iranian targets in Syria were struck, some inside the most dense air defenses in the world," says senior IAF officer

Sites targeted by Israeli jets in a series of airstrikes in Syria this week
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli military released on Friday aerial images of Iranian sites in Syria targeted by the Israeli air force in response to Iranian rocket fire on Wednesday.

Israel said it attacked nearly all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria on Thursday after Iranian forces fired rockets at Israel for the first time.

It was the heaviest Israeli barrage in Syria since 2011, when the ongoing Syrian war began, in which Iranians, allied Shiite Muslim militias and Russian troops have deployed in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad against Syrian rebels.

The aerial photos, featuring the targeted sites in Syria before the Israeli airstrikes, included images of intelligence installations at Tel Gharba, Tel Kleb, Nabi Yusha and Tel Maqdad, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said, dubbing the operation "House of Cards."

Additional images showed a military compound belonging to the Iranian Quds Force in Kisweh and another large logistical site near Damascus, both reportedly targeted in Thursday's strikes.

The Syrian Army Command said Israel's attack killed three people and injured two others. A Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the strikes killed at least 23 military personnel, including Syrians and non-Syrians.

The operation was a collaborative effort by the IDF Intelligence Corps, Israeli Air Force and Northern Command.

Characterizing the Iranian rocket fire that prompted the strikes as "clumsy and amateur," the IDF said that "out of a salvo of 20 [rockets], not one managed to hit Israel. Sixteen landed in Syrian territory and four were intercepted by Israeli air defenses."

But however hapless the Iranian attack may have been, Israel was determined to mount a response. The IDF notified the Russian air force in Syria that extensive Israeli strikes were imminent, and warned the Russians to refrain from engaging with Israeli aircraft.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that 28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 jets fired some 60 missiles during the operation.

According to a senior IAF official, "in less than two hours, dozens of Iranian targets in Syria were struck, some inside the most dense air defenses in the world. We also attacked near Damascus International Airport, and to its south and north.

"As part of the strikes, dozens of anti-aircraft missiles of various kinds were shot [at Israeli planes], and any battery that fired was destroyed. There were no operational Iranian anti-aircraft defenses, but the Iranians are motivated to bring anti-aircraft defenses into Syria. We'll take care of those, too. We are assuming they have missiles with a range longer than 40 km [25 miles]," the official said.

"Our message to the Syrians is simple: We can reach any target. Now we are preparing for any scenario in the north [of Israel] and waiting to see Iran's  next move in Syria, Hezbollah's in Lebanon, and Hamas' in Gaza," the IAF official said.

IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis confirmed that the IAF had struck over 50 targets, including storehouses containing missiles and rockets.

Highest level of alert

The assessment within the IDF is that even though the revenge attack was commanded by the Iranians and the order came directly from Quds Force commander Gen. Ghasem Soleimani, the Iranians, in an attempt to distance themselves from the event, used foreign Shiite militia fighters (under Hezbollah consultation) – who were evidently not proficient in operating the rocket system.

"It is insolence on the part of the Quds Force and Ghasem Soleimani," Manelis said. "The IDF is maintaining its vigilance and readiness."

In addition to the air force, the IDF also attacked from the ground with the Tamuz precision electro-optic missile. Tanks from the Armored Corps' 7th Brigade fired at targets belonging to the Syrian army's 90th Brigade.

Brig. Gen. Amit Fisher, the head of the IDF's 210th Bashan Division, which is responsible for defending the Golan Heights, said: "Over the past month, the division's forces have been working tirelessly to protect the civilians along the border with Syria. The division's second task came overnight Wednesday, and involved identifying and neutralizing those elements shooting at us and taking part in activities against us."

The IDF and air force will remain on the highest alert level over the weekend, out of concerns that the Iranians will try shooting at Israel again.

In the wake of the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet to update ministers on the IDF's operation in Syria and on his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to one source, the cabinet was divided over whether to continue attacking Iranian positions in Syria or to cease hostilities and cease further escalation.

Netanyahu said after the meeting that "Iran crossed a red line, and the response was appropriate. We will not let Iran establish a military foothold in Syria. I sent a clear message to the Assad regime: Our actions are aimed against Iranian targets, but if the Syrian army acts against us we will act against it – and that's exactly what happened. Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them seven-fold, and whoever prepares to hurt us – we will act to hurt him first."

Shlomo Cesana and Daniel Siryoti


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'Don't let the calm fool you,' say IDF troops on northern border - Daniel Siryoti

by Daniel Siryoti

Soldiers on duty tell Israel Hayom: Hezbollah is stockpiling rockets and weapons in civilian homes.

The troops are at peak motivation and ready for any scenario, 
says Maj. Kobi Ezra
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Iran can strike at Israel at any time via its satellite militia in Lebanon – Hezbollah – but anyone who thought that winds of war would be blowing in the Galilee too was apparently wrong. The Israeli Air Force strikes on targets in Syria in response to Iranian rocket fire at Israel late Wednesday, as well as the general tension along the border with Syria, have been essentially drowned out by the chirping birds and pastoral atmosphere of the Galilee.

A sharp eye can pick out the Iron Dome missile batteries and other defense measures that have sprung up amid the spring greenery these past few days. The defenses have been deployed mainly in fields and in nature preserves rather than out in the open. To avoid alarming tourists or affecting the local routine, the defense measures were transported northward late at night, when the roads were relatively empty.

Still, the closer one gets to the border, starting at Rosh Hanikra on the northernmost point of the western coast and moving east toward Avivim, Hanita and Zar'it, the beefed up defenses become more noticeable.

The picturesque calm appears to be extending into the Lebanese side of the border as well. No armed Hezbollah operatives have been spotted in the area, in contrast to past provocations. But residents of communities near the border are noticing a large number of "shepherds"  on the Lebanese side of the fence.

"If they're shepherds, I'm an astronaut," Abdullah, a resident of the village of Arraba, told Israel Hayom with a smile.

"They're Hezbollah lookouts who are tracking every movement on our side of the border. They've come back recently," Abdullah says.

Michel Dot Com
A Hezbollah outlook post near the Israeli border

From the communities of Hanita and Baram, one can easily watch daily life in the Shiite villages of southern Lebanon: children return from school, people come home carrying baskets stuffed with supplies for the upcoming Ramadan holiday. Preparations for war? You won't find those here.

But a few soldiers manning guard posts near Hanita proclaim: "Don't let the calm fool you. They're stockpiling weapons and rockets in the homes of civilians."

Indeed, apart from the schoolchildren and the shoppers, new Hezbollah outlook posts can be seen only a few kilometers from the border, disguised as silos. The most prominent reminder that Hezbollah is still here, and still poses a threat, is a sign that some operatives recently hung facing Zar'it, shortly after Hezbollah won a dramatic victory in Lebanon's parliamentary election this week. The sign, written in Arabic and Hebrew, reads: "Our vote destroyed your plans" – proof of the Hezbollah propaganda that blames Israel for all the ills of the Middle East.

The forces deployed to the north include a contingent headed by Maj. Kobi Ezra, 27, from the northern moshav Shaar Yishuv. Ezra commands the Doher riflery company in the 603rd Engineering Corps Battalion. His troops are stationed at an outpost on Mount Hermon.

"Every commander waits for the opportunity to serve his country. As a citizen, I'm happy that there are commanders who aren't afraid of confronting any challenge that comes," Ezra tells Israel Hayom, adding that his forces were not surprised by the recent developments.

"There were a lot of hints and a clear sense of what was coming," he says. "We prepared in advance. We knew what we were heading into and the fighters are ready and willing to confront any scenario. They are at peak motivation."

Daniel Siryoti


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Europe has chosen disgrace - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

Hat tip: Dr. Jean-Charles Bensoussan

America and Israel have strong stomachs, Europe has a soft belly.

The honor of the West is once again being saved by America. Europe, the vapid and childish Venus, has chosen disgrace.

Europe wanted to open the Iranian market. It has no interest in Israel. Indeed, I will say more: in their intimate thoughts, in their “mental deal”, most Europeans think that Israel, the country most at risk from a nuclearized Iran, is a burden, and that the Middle East would be more peaceful without a Jewish State.

The day after the US left the nuclear agreement with Iran, trying to build a Western alliance to stop Iranian expansionism, French President Macron called Iranian President Rouhani on the phone with the aim of “continuing to implement the nuclear agreement and to maintain regional stability”.

Once again, the French betrayal of Israel is immense and there is no shortage of examples:

-in 1967, when De Gaulle made the pro-Arab choice and applied an embargo to Israel:
-during the Intifada, when the Israelis were slaughtered on buses and the French ambassador in London Daniel Bernard called Israel “that little country of s....t”;
-with Saddam Hussein, when France ran to sell him missiles and nuclear technology;
-with Arafat, treated like a king by Mitterrand and who died in Paris:
-with Valéry Giscard d'Estaing who granted asylum to Khomeini in Paris;
-with the Jews killed in the French suburbs and the French authorities unable to protect them.

In case of war with Iran, what will Europe do? Will it stand against America and Israel and in favor of appeasement? At this time, it seems just so. The foreign ministers of France, Great Britain and Germany will meet the Iranians next week.

How far can Europe still fall? This Europe of pacifist freeloaders who owe their security to the United States. At the end of the Cold War, the Europeans contributed one third to the expenses of NATO. Today only 20 percent. General Joseph Ralston, former supreme commander of Born for Europe, defined the European armies as “fat, obsolete and redundant”. Perhaps the Europeans are only able to come to terms with the  Islamist regimes.

Europe would also sell its own mother to sell some more toasters and pots on the market. For several days there have been statements by politicians and European bureaucrats in defense of the atomic agreement with Iran, from Federica Mogherini to the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to the French one, Jean Yves Ledrien.

Do you want to know why? British exports to Iran rose to 1.1 billion a year, an increase of 168 percent. French exports exceeded 1.8 billion, an increase of 85 percent, while Germany did even better with 2.6 billion, an increase of 77 percent. They are selling off dignity, security, justice, honor. The atomic agreement is bad for the Iranian people, it is bad for Europe, it is bad for the Middle East, it is bad for Israel.

Four months ago, Iran killed dozens of its citizens and arrested thousands of people, including many girls who had taken off their veils. Why do these crazy Europeans want a deal with these assassins? There is a better solution to the agreement with Iran: heavy sanctions and military threat.

And in ten years, or sooner, Iran might end up like the Soviet Union. But if this continues, perhaps Europe will fall first. It takes a stomach to fight politically and militarily. America and Israel have it. Europe has a soft belly.  

Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.


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Two Trump critics commend him - Peter Skurkiss

by Peter Skurkiss

Reality is beginning to dawn.

As the trajectory of a comet changes as it passes by a star, so some of Donald Trump's most adamant critics are starting to alter their course due to the gravitational pull of the president's significant achievements. 

First up is Rich Lowry, editor of National Review and formerly a NeverTrump. In a piece in the New York Post, Lowry writes regarding Trump's pullout of the Obama-Iran nuclear deal:
His exit from the agreement is another instance of the Trump paradox. The president who says more outlandish and untrue things than anyone who has ever occupied the office of the presidency is also extraordinarily determined to deliver on his big promises.
Trump often doesn't mean what he says, but when he says what he means – watch out. The combined forces of international pressure, polite opinion, outraged New York Times editorial, resistant advisers, and sheer inertia aren't an obstacle.
Lowry goes on to debunk the argument that Trump is just doing what any other Republican president would do in his place:
But it's not at all clear that another GOP president, even if he was on record favoring these moves, would have pulled out of the Paris climate accord and withstood the howls about impending imperiling the planet; or ended DACA despite all the media pressure to keep it; or exited the Iran deal with the Europeans waging an intense lobbying campaign in its favor.
Reality is dawning on Lowry as he ends his column by noting that President Trump "hasn't shrunk from the core commitments that defined his candidacy." Imagine that: a president who keeps his campaign promises.

The next NeverTrump is a much more interesting case. It's David Brooks, the house "conservative" of the New York Times, the man who childishly commented on his perverse attraction to President-Elect Barack Obama due to the sharp crease in his pants. Brooks's column is titled "Donald Trump's Lizard Wisdom." 

Here Brooks credits Trump on three fronts: China, Iran, and North Korea. In each case, Brooks acknowledges that the leaders of these countries are "thugs." He goes on to theorize that the reason Trump may be uniquely qualified to deal with these characters is because of his experience of dealing with thugs in his construction projects in the dog-eat-dog environment of New York City and Atlantic City, New Jersey. As Brooks puts it: "[t]here is growing reason to believe Donald Trump understands the thug mind a whole lot better than people who attended our prestigious Foreign Service academies." Ouch – how that must sting our foreign affair elites, to read such words in the pages of their beloved Times.

Regarding North Korea, Brooks notes how the establishment took Trump to task for his bellicosity directed at "Little Rocket Man," Kim Jong-un. But guess what: it seemed to work. Hostages have been released without a planeful of money paid as ransom, and talks are scheduled. Some even speculate about a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Next up, China. As Brooks observes:
Over the past few decades, the Western diplomatic community made a big bet: If we all behave decently toward Chinese leaders, then they'd naturally come to embrace liberal economic and cultural values and we could all eventually share a pinot at the University Club. The bet went wrong. Today's Chinese leaders are polite and coolheaded, but their economic, political and military behavior remains pure thug.
Trump, in contrast to his more sophisticated predecessors, put the screws to the Chinese. The result has been trade concessions from China with many more in the pipeline. Brooks quotes fellow Times man Tom Friedman, who said Trump is picking the right fight with China at the right time.

On Iran, although it must break his heart to admit it, Brooks says the premise of the Obama-Iran deal was all wrong. It was relying on the delusion that the Iranian leaders are "worldly sophisticates, who, if we just gave them the welcome mat, would join our community of nations. This is the vanity of the educated class going back centuries. Since we're obviously so superior, everyone else secretly wants to be like us. It's wrong. Thugs gotta thug. [R]eligious fanatics gotta fanaticize."

What Brooks is saying in his backhanded way is that Trump is accomplishing what no other president could do. But this faux conservative still has to demean Trump by attaching the term "lizard brain" to him. The lizard brain, by the way, is pop psychology for the primitive Six F survival instincts: fight, flight, feeding, fear, freezing up, and fornication.

Brooks has come a long way recognizing Trump's accomplishments. But he misses a big one. It may be understandable, given Brooks's position, but he fails to note the first thug Trump dumped on its fanny. It was the bullying liberal media. 

Peter Skurkiss


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Congressional Hearing: Iranian Sleeper Cells Threaten U.S. - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

So many hearings, so little action.

It has been said that the first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge the existence of the problem.  It has also been said that where there is a will, there is a way.

The nexus between immigration and terrorism is well established, however, the currently fashionable denial of that nexus by globalists from both parties has prevented the application of remedies to address the vulnerabilities in the immigration system that terror sleeper cells are known to exploit -- particularly the lack of resources for the interior enforcement of our immigration laws.

On April 17, 2018 the House Committee on Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Peter King of New York, conducted a hearing on the topic, "State Sponsors Of Terrorism: An Examination Of Iran’s Global Terrorism Network."

The Subcommittee’s website posted this paragraph in announcing the hearing:
Iran, a State Sponsor of Terrorism, continues to invest in proxy terrorist and militant organizations that threaten the Homeland and US interests and engage in activities that impede US counterterrorism goals. This hearing will examine trends in Iran’s external operations and capabilities and consider the near-term and long-term security implications of Iranian support for Shia militants and terrorist groups operating in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Latin America.

The prepared testimony of one of the witnesses, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, included this excerpt:
In recent years, Hezbollah’s Latin American networks have also increasingly cooperated with violent drug cartels and criminal syndicates, often with the assistance of local corrupt political elites. Cooperation includes laundering of drug money; arranging multi-ton shipments of cocaine to the United States and Europe; and directly distributing and selling illicit substances to distant markets. Proceeds from these activities finance Hezbollah’s arms procurement; its terror activities overseas; its hold on Lebanon’s political system; and its efforts, both in Lebanon and overseas, to keep Shi’a communities loyal to its cause and complicit in its endeavors.
This toxic crime-terror nexus is fueling both the rising threat of global jihadism and the collapse of law and order across Latin America that is helping drive drugs and people northward into the United States. It is sustaining Hezbollah’s growing financial needs. It is helping Iran and Hezbollah consolidate a local constituency in multiple countries across Latin America. It is thus facilitating their efforts to build safe havens for terrorists and a continent-wide terror infrastructure that they could use to strike U.S. targets.

I urge you to watch the video of the hearing and read the prepared statements of all four expert witnesses, although you should not do this before bedtime, if you value a good night’s sleep.

The Washington Free Beacon published a report about the hearing with the unambiguous and disconcerting headline, Iranian-Backed ‘Sleeper Cell’ Militants Hibernating in U.S., Positioned for Attack.

Generally “sleeper cells” are comprised of “sleeper agents,” that is to say, foreign nationals (aliens) who enter the United States either legally or illegally maintain a very low profile while they go about their deadly preparations and await instructions to carry out deadly terror attacks inside the United States.

While the four expert witnesses at this hearing were not in complete agreement about all of the issues discussed, particularly expressing somewhat divergent perspectives on U.S. participation in the Iranian nuclear agreement, they all agreed about the threats posed to U.S national security by Iranian sleeper agents and the ability for additional enemy combatants to easily infiltrate into the U.S. to carry out deadly terror attacks. 

Now that President Trump has, understandably, withdrawn from the Iran agreement we can’t ignore the possibility that at some point, Iran may activate its sleeper cells in the United States.

However, concerns about terror sleeper cells poised to strike in the United States are anything but new. 

Shortly after the terror attacks of 9/11 politicians and journalists frequently made reference to the threat posed by sleeper agents.  However, as efforts mounted by various globalist organizations and immigration anarchists ramped up, the term “sleeper” disappeared almost as quickly as the term “alien” had been expunged from the vernacular in the immigration debate, along with any reference to the 9/11 Report.  The obvious goal has been to obfuscate the nexus between immigration and terrorism. Hence, the disingenuous term “homegrown” frequently describes alien terrorists who, since entry into the United States, acquired lawful immigration status, including United States citizenship.

Page 263 of the 9/11 Commission Report contained references to concerns that al-Qaeda sleeper cells were likely embedded in the United States.

Here is the relevant paragraph:
Clarke mentioned to National Security Advisor Rice at least twice that al Qaeda sleeper cells were likely in the United States. In January 2001, Clarke forwarded a strategy paper to Rice warning that al Qaeda had a presence in the United States. He noted that two key al Qaeda members in the Jordanian cell involved in the millennium plot were naturalized U.S. citizens and that one jihadist suspected in the East Africa bombings had “informed the FBI that an extensive network of al Qida ‘sleeper agents’ currently exists in the US.” He added that Ressam’s abortive December 1999 attack revealed al Qaeda sup- porters in the United States. His analysis, however, was based not on new threat reporting but on past experience.

Not only did Richard Clarke make note of the presence of "sleeper agents" agents in the United States, but also that "two key al Qaeda members in the Jordanian cell involved in the millennium plot were naturalized U.S. citizens[.]"

That naturalized citizens had been involved in terror plots illustrates failures of the vetting process and background investigations that, by law, are supposed to demonstrate that applicants for U.S. Citizenship possess “Good Moral Character.”

In the years after the attacks of 9/11 we have seen other naturalized citizens participate in terror attacks, including one of the Tsarnaev brothers who committed the savage attacks at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  They had all likely committed fraud in their applications for visas and various immigration benefits that went undetected.

The 9/11 Commission Report and the companion report, 9/11 and Terrorist Travel warned about how international terrorists used immigration and visa fraud as primary methods of entry and embedding into the United States.

A succession of hearings conducted in both the Senate and House of Representatives have also focused on the threats posed to America and Americans by international terrorists.  I have testified before a number of those hearings and I have raised concerns about sleeper agents and how they have exploited vulnerabilities in the immigration system.

My recently published booklet, Immigration Fraud, Lies That Kill explores the issue of immigration fraud in great detail, particularly where such fraud undermines national security and public safety, facilitating the entry and embedding of sleeper agents.

My recent articleJihadis and Drug Cartels At Our Border focused on the threats posed to American national security by the presence of terrorists in Latin America primarily in terror training camps in the Tri-Border Region of Brazil operated by Hamas and Hezbollah and likely includes members of al-Qaeda and perhaps ISIS and by the constant flow of Iranian Quds Forces into Caracas, Venezuela from Tehran.

According to information provided by expert witnesses at the hearing, globally, Hezbollah and Iranian Quds Forces are comprised of more than an astounding 200,000 well-trained, well-equipped and “battle-hardened” members.

Yet, inexplicably, America’s borders still serve as little more than “speed bumps” to human traffickers and drug smugglers (often these criminals are one and the same).  We continue to have an ever-expanding Visa Waiver Program that should have been terminated the afternoon of September 11, 2001 and an abject lack of resources to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States, while Sanctuary Cities Endanger - National Security and Public Safety.

Even after the publication of the 9/11 Commission Report and other such reports, even after a seemingly endless succession of hearings about the sleeper agents and an extensive list of failures of the immigration system, and even after deadly terror attacks around the United States, nothing of consequence has been done to fix the dysfunctional immigration system.

America still has yet to hire more ICE agents and other personnel to conduct investigations and field operations from within the interior of the U.S. even though the 9/11 Commission identified a lack of effective interior enforcement of the immigration laws as vital to combat terrorism.

Congress has yet to provide funding for construction of a wall to secure our southern border to stop the flow of drugs and international transnational criminals and gang members into the United States.

The only conclusion that can today be reached, is not that our “leaders” are not aware of the threats- but they obviously don’t give a damn!

Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 I have testified before more than 15 Congressional hearings on immigration and have often thought that Congress should stop holding “hearings” and begin holding “listenings!”

My mom used to say, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Election Day is coming and with it, the opportunity for us to act, in our own best interests and those of our nation.

Michael Cutler


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Big news that the MSM downplay and ignore - Jack Hellner

by Jack Hellner

Ignorance is bliss for the MSM.

There are several recent important stories getting very little air time on network and cable news. Here are some:

Iraq, the U.S., and Turkey worked together to capture five ISIS leaders. They did not kill them with drones, which allowed them to get intelligence that allowed them to kill other ISIS members.
Iraq has arrested five senior members of the Islamic State, including a top aide to the militant group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an operation that involved U.S. and Turkish intelligence support[.]
A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Thursday that the information gleaned from Ithawi had led to two recent Iraqi airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria.
According to Newsbusters:
CBS Evening News was the only member of the big three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) to even mention it that evening. The national evening newscasts of Spanish-language Univision and Telemundo also kept quiet about it.
Israel took out most if not all Iranian military installations in Syria. We get to see how the Iranian deal with Obama and Kerry stabilized the region and how Iran uses the billions Obama gave him to support Assad and terrorism. (Does this look as if Iran is trying to stabilize or destabilize the region?)
Israeli carried out its largest wave of airstrikes in Syria since the 1973 war, striking around 50 Iranian military bases, supply depots, and intelligence sites as well as Syrian regime air defense batteries, the Israeli military said.
Congress, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump all promised to move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. None kept his word until Trump, and now Israel wants to name a square in Embassy Row after Trump. Israel said ten other countries are considering moving their embassies. The media and Democrats all said moving the embassy would destabilize the region.
A traffic island located next to the new American embassy in Jerusalem will be named in honor of the United States and President Donald Trump.
The area will be called "United States Square – in honor of President Donald Trump," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced on Tuesday.
"President Trump has decided to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, to stand on the side of the truth, and to do the right thing," Barkat said in a statement. "Naming this square in honor of the president is our way of showing our love and respect for the president and the American people, who always stand by the side of Israel."
According to the State Department, President Obama didn't require Iran to sign the Iran deal. It is not a treaty or an executive agreement, so why are the media and others acting as though it had been a binding agreement that Trump was reneging on? It appears to be some sort of worthless agreement that Obama did not present to Congress for ratification, either. Chuck Schumer and other Democrats were against the deal at the time also.
President Obama didn't require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not "legally binding," his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document," wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter.
Democrats are acting as though they are morally opposed to Gina Haspel because of the intensive interrogation techniques after 9-11. Somehow, they weren't outraged when they voted for John Brennan even though he was higher up than Gina Haspel at the CIA at the time. They didn't seem concerned at all about waterboarding when they and John McCain voted for Brennan.

Selective outrage and selective morality indicate that they don't really care. They appear to be sexist because they are willing to vote against an extremely qualified woman while they voted for a man with the same history or worse.
Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) joined with 31 Republicans in voting against Brennan's nomination. All have expressed concerns about the Obama Administration's drone program.
Thirteen Republicans wound up voting for Brennan, including five members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Among the most notable were Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).
There also hasn't been much time to report on the economy and especially the skyrocketing revenues to the government in April. It just doesn't fit the agenda or predictions so the media need to hide it so they can strive for a "blue wave."

The true reason they don't have time to cover these stories is that they have to give massive amounts of time to the truly honorable and honest porn star and her attorney.

I wonder why the media elites don't tout the biography of the sleazy attorney.
He's become famous as the brash lawyer for the porn star who purportedly bedded the future president, but before Michael Avenatti accused Donald Trump and his attorney of a payoff scheme to muzzle Stormy Daniels, he faced allegations of dubious business dealings as owner of a flailing coffee chain.
Since his investment firm bought bankrupt Tully's Coffee for $9.15 million at auction five years ago, Avenatti's company has been named in more than 50 state and federal legal complaints, including commercial lawsuits, breach of lease actions and warrants for unpaid taxes, court records show.
All the while, Tully's has shuttered store after store – from Everett to Bellevue, Tacoma to Seattle, and beyond – with employees left in limbo, landlords left unpaid and customers left holding now seemingly worthless loyalty cards.
As always, journalists are extremely worthless if their stories are based purely on an agenda and Democrat talking points aimed at destroying Trump. That is what we get every day.

Jack Hellner


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Senator Grassley appears to be preparing to bust the frame-up of General Flynn - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the laconic Midwesterner with a steel trap mind, dropped a bombshell yesterday.

Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the laconic Midwesterner with a steel trap mind, dropped a bombshell yesterday with a letter (the full letter appears below – pdf here) to Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein (who supervises the Mueller probe) and FBI director Christopher Wray. But in keeping with Grassley's style, which has so often misled his opponents into overconfidence, you have to read between the lines to see where he is heading. The end point: uncovering the plot to frame General Flynn for lying to the FBI, including likely criminal acts by senior members of the FBI.

Recall that facing financial ruin, and threats to prosecute his son on unrelated charges, General Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, yet James Comey told the Grassley Committee in a briefing:
[T]he FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, "saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying." Our own Committee staff's notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the "agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful." Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview. In the months since then, the Special Counsel obtained a guilty plea from Lt. General Flynn for that precise alleged conduct.
Comey has since changed his tune, in "a Fox News interview in which he denied he ever told lawmakers that he did not believe Michael Flynn lied."

General Flynn's sentencing has been delayed repeatedly, as Judge Emmett Sullivan (who replaced Judge Contreras after he was removed from the case) has demanded that all exculpatory evidence be handed over to him.

Grassley is now demolishing the excuses that the FBI and DOJ have used to deny the same evidence to his committee:
The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. With Flynn's plea, the investigation appears concluded. Additionally, while we are aware that the Special Counsel's office has moved to delay Lt. General Flynn's sentencing on several occasions, we presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan's February 16, 2018 order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material. Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the Committee's oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee's interest in learning the FBI agents' actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what [then-director] Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims. Accordingly, no later than May 25, 2018, please provide: 1. The information requested in our February 15, 2017 letter, including the transcripts of the reportedly intercepted calls and any FBI reports summarizing them; and 2. The FBI agents' 302s memorializing their interview of Flynn and 1A supporting docs, including the agents' notes[.]
The killer bombshell is the final paragraph, in which Grassley at long last reveals the name of the other FBI agent present when Peter Strzok interviewed General Flynn about his conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak and requests an interview with him by committee staff members:
[P]lease make Special Agent Joe Pientka available for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents[.]
As Sundance of Conservative Tree House points out, "it's likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason."

And what might that reason be? Sundance reminds us of previously released text messages between the lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page:
Regarding the "widely held belief" that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302's) to assist a "Flynn lied" narrative…. evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
♦January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: "I can feel my heart beating harder, I'm so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails." Weird!
♦Strzok replies: "I know. I just talked with John, we're getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy (MCCABE) this morning." Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that "THIS" could go off the rails…(Strzok's meeting w Flynn the next day)
♦Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about "THIS" potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?
It was a conspiracy to entrap Gen Mike Flynn. All Strzok needed was an excuse to speak w Flynn. Everything in the 302 was likely fabricated.
♦February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.
Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: "Also, is Andy good with F-302?"
Lisa Page replies: "Launch on F 302".
And he reminds us that previously, on September 10, 2016, Strzok texted about withholding 302s that he called "VERY inflammatory"

So Andrew McCabe was "good" with the F-302, meaning there was some issue with them. Fabricated, as Sundance believes? A blogger calling himself "Stealth Jeff" writes:
[T]he fact that Grassley has now gotten the go ahead to publicly reveal this FBI agent's name is HUGE.
The endgame is approaching. They can reveal who their whistleblower is because it's too late. The IG reports on the Clinton Email fiasco and the FISC Court scheme are dropping any day now.
After that, when the public has digested them, the indictments are unsealed.
FBI Agent Joe Pientka ALSO filed a FD 302 form following that interview with Michael Flynn.
Now Grassley is demanding to see both his & Strzok's FD 302 forms from that interview.
And he's going to get them.
Make no mistake: if 302s were altered and Agent Pientka testifies to that, people are going to jail.

Complete Grassley letter:

Thomas Lifson


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The Asinine Coup - Tadas Klimas

by Tadas Klimas

The "special counsel" investigation is completely insane. But we are supposed to accept it.

There is a trope in many stories and even popular songs concerning the idea that, inasmuch as a soul is priceless, the devil delights in persuading it to be given up in exchange for something of no value, an exchange which is nothing if not asinine. For instance, in the delightful old BBC production of The Box of Delights, the devilish villain offers an informant, who has the appearance of a rodent but who may once have been a man, moldy old cheese as payment for, well, everything. The trope, albeit not the rat, can also be found in Nobel laureate Bob Dylan's song, “When You Gonna Wake Up.”

In order to believe that the Deep State has been acting legitimately in regard to President Donald Trump, in order to believe in the narrative pitched by the legacy media, one would have to willingly exchange if not one's soul then one's capacity to think for… moldy cheese.

For instance, a sitting president cannot be indicted. Obviously, this means no investigation can be conducted against him. This is the conclusion of the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel. “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” Obviously, any investigation would “unconstitutionally undermine” the president.

Yet we have a “special counsel” whose investigation is doing just that. A “special counsel,” let it be remembered, is a prosecutor. In order for one to be appointed, a crime must be identified to serve as the investigation's predicate. Both logic and DOJ regulations (28 CFR 600.1) affirm this.

But Rod J. Rosenstein appointed one without establishing a criminal predicate.

Two months down the road, Rosenstein belatedly supplied one. But guess what? It's secret.
Prosecutors, whether they are called “special counsel” or not, do not perform intelligence investigations, which are conducted by intelligence officers. Prosecutors... prosecute crimes. Investigations as such belong to the province of the FBI and other agencies, not the prosecutors. Indeed, all this is confirmed by the testimony of acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, taken after Comey had been fired. McCabe testified no one had interfered with the FBI's investigation, that the White House had never even contacted him. And most tellingly, when asked by Senator Marco Rubio whether he needed to have this investigation taken away from the FBI, he replied succinctly: “No, sir.” (And in this, at least, McCabe performed a great service to the American people.)

Yet Rod J. Rosenstein's appointment of the “special counsel” specifically referenced the taking over of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.

Ostensibly, the “special counsel's” investigatory remit does not include the person of Donald J. Trump. Supposedly also he is not the “target”; it's supposed to be about the Russians and the campaign.

But everyone knows it is Trump who is being investigated. Here is the tagline of a recent article in National Review: “These days, a number of people seem to be under the impression that investigating President Donald Trump is the most vital project undertaken by this nation since its founding.” And as U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, in a hearing concerning charges brought by the “special counsel” against Paul Manafort, stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution, or impeachment, or whatever.” Moreover, the “special counsel” wants to question Trump. Does anyone who has not had a lobotomy doubt that the object of such questioning would be to trick Trump into perjuring himself? This investigation, purportedly not about Trump, is about Trump as much as impeachment procedures against him would be.

Congress has legitimate investigative and oversight authority over agencies of the executive branch. This has been acknowledged even as far back as the Constitutional Convention. It is clear as a bell that the DOJ and FBI have acted, at the very least, curiously, in regard to Mrs. Clinton's dangerous mishandling of national security information, in regard to the increasingly strange -- and secret! -- appointment of a “special counsel” to investigate a president, and in regard to so many other related matters. Documents related to these matters, requested multiple times and now subpoenaed, are clearly legitimate matters of interest to the Congress. It has been widely reported how Rosenstein has resisted providing these documents, defying Congress.

But when informed that some in Congress have drafted articles of impeachment for this defiance, Rosenstein openly mocked them and described this as “extortion.”

The FISA court was put in place in order to protect American citizens from being spied upon in the same manner that we spy upon the intelligence operatives of enemy nations. Specifically, probable cause that there is good and reasonable evidence that the person to be surveilled is an agent of a foreign power must be demonstrated. The FISA process was used to electronically surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate, and apparently the campaign in general. The warrant was extended four times.

But as the Nunes memo demonstrates, the “good and reasonable evidence” the warrant was based upon consisted of merely the so-called Steele dossier. The information therein came from unnamed Russian sources and no information was provided which would have lent those sources credibility. (As any lawyer knows -- or should know -- information must be provided to the judge concerning why an informant is to be believed; either a track record must be described or circumstances related which would make the information credible: neither was provided in the dossier.) Even James Comey admitted that the information was not verified. Nor was it disclosed to the FISA court judge that the dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign.

It's completely insane. But we are supposed to accept it.

But it's not just about Rosenstein.

Former FBI Director James Comey infamously leaked a memo which was directly quoted by the New York Times to influence Rosenstein to appoint a “special counsel” to investigate Trump. As we know, Comey's gambit succeeded: Rosenstein did appoint a “special counsel.” This is supposed to be accepted by us as legitimate and normal procedure followed by principled men.

But Rosenstein was Comey's “boss” while Comey was FBI director; the director reports to the Associate Attorney General. Comey could have provided the memorandum to Rosenstein. Indeed, if he was concerned that the president was committing an offense, he had a legal duty to report it -- to Rosenstein, not the press.

But Comey's leaking is curiouser and curiouser. Even CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper expressed astonishment when, during an interview with Cooper, Comey first claimed he did not leak anything since he went through a friend (Alan Dershowitz described this maneuver as cowardly), and then he provided a definition of “leaking” which no one else has, restricting it to unauthorized disclosure of classified information. By Comey's definition, an FBI director who provided information to the criminals of impending raids or arrests (none of which is classified) would not be guilty of leaking. Obviously, that's nonsense. Andrew McCabe, former acting FBI director, got in trouble for leaking unclassified information.

As momentous the decision was to appoint a “special counsel,” one would imagine that the decision-making process would bear scrutiny. For instance, the DOJ (in the person of Rosenstein) resisted disclosing the contents of Comey's memoranda. As Andrew McCarthy recently wrote, “When the memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them.”

So, despite all of this asininity (and there is much more than that touched upon herein), we are to believe in the legitimacy of the Justice Department's decision-making process in regard to their having taken such a momentous action -- the appointment of the “special counsel” -- and in the integrity, legitimacy and constitutionality of the “special counsel's” investigation.

Tadas Klimas


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Jewish Anti-Semitism Isn’t Merely Durham’s Problem, But America’s - Sloan Rachmuth

by Sloan Rachmuth

A cautionary tale on enabling the anti-Israel fringe.

Reprinted from The Algemeiner.

Imagine you are a Jewish-American parent raising Jewish children in a very pleasant American city. But then an extremist organization begins spreading hatred against Jews, Israel, and America.
This radical group tries convincing your fellow citizens that Jews are racists and ethnic cleansers. That Israelis are like Nazis. That loyal American citizens should be ostracized and targeted for their political beliefs. That college students should be boycotted if they are committed to the welfare of the Jewish state. That even school children should be taught about the murderous deeds of the Jewish people.

This is not what some white supremacist group has wrought in Durham, North Carolina (and elsewhere). In fact, this effort has been undertaken by an allegedly Jewish group — Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP).

Most recently, according to JVP activist Sandra Korn, the local JVP branch helped form the Durham2Palestine campaign as part of the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

This campaign was responsible for Durham’s widely publicized decision last month to bar any partnerships with Israeli police or the Israel Defense Forces. Except that the Durham Police Department never trained with Israel or had any plans to do so. JVP’s efforts were clearly a political campaign to delegitimize Israel, as well as incite hatred toward Jews in Durham. In essence, JVP devoted two years to convincing the city of Durham that training with Israel, which supposedly has “a long history of violence towards [people] of color,” helps local police forces “terrorize Black and Brown communities.”

What JVP was telling the people of Durham, in other words, was that Jews regularly perpetrate horrendous violence against people of color. If that isn’t incitement, then nothing is.
To make their point, activists from the local group — Triangle JVP — employed truly offensive “art” demonstrations celebrating notable antisemites and terrorists. During a rally in March, for example, the group erected a grotesque street museum that glorified the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, which has been responsible for countless suicide bombings and plane hijackings.

JVP celebrating the PFLP. Photo: JVP Facebook page. [Photo is missing in the  source!]

In another case, Triangle JVP members Sandra Korn and Lara Haft accused pro-Israel Jews of collaborating with Nazis:

JVP members accuse Zionists of collaboration with Nazis. Photo: Facebook.
[Photo is missing in the  source!]

Think about this for a moment. This allegedly Jewish group celebrates an organization dedicated to murdering Jews and then suggests that Jews who defend themselves by supporting the State of Israel are collaborators with the organization that exterminated six million Jews just two generations ago. Never mind the incoherent logic of this. These statements simply drip of Jew-hatred.

Similar JVP Jew-hatred has been clearly displayed elsewhere as well.

Last summer at Chicago’s Dyke March, JVP members harassed participants wearing the Star of David and demanded they be banned from marching. A few months later, JVP admitted to “carefully” choosing the main LGBTQ group marching in New York City’s Israel Day Parade for what ended up being an actual assault. According to several reports, seven JVP members “horrifically” bullied and “violently” harassed a peaceful LGBTQ group marching to show pride in their Jewish homeland. By singling people out for exclusion and abuse because they displayed their Jewish identity, JVP has gone from preaching hate against Israel to practicing textbook antisemitism.

To be clear, JVP is a fringe organization. But that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. As the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) puts it: “JVP uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of antisemitism and to provide the movement with a veneer of legitimacy.”

How did things spiral out of control in Durham? One key factor is that my Durham Jewish community has openly embraced JVP members for years. That’s right. Instead of shunning this antisemitic Jewish group, the Jewish establishment has allowed their activists into leadership positions in Durham’s Jewish organizations. For example, Sandra Korn and Laura Haft hold positions as “faculty” at the Durham/Chapel Hill Jewish Federation, and Korn holds a leadership position at Judea Reform Synagogue. According to public records, the Federation and Durham’s two main synagogues receive donations from supporters of the anti-Israel BDS movement, which perhaps explain this unfortunate situation.

Recently, the Durham Jewish Federation took a stand against antisemitic “hate speech.” Their board proclaimed, “Hatred and intolerance threaten core American and Jewish values and endanger Jews and other minorities nationally and locally.” Yet at the same time, they employ the very JVP activists who precisely practice this behavior. What our Federation and all others must realize is that by legitimizing JVP, they destroy our genuine efforts to combat antisemitism and protect Jews from ongoing slanderous and sometimes physical attacks.

Antisemitism is antisemitism, even when its perpetrators are Jewish.

Sloan Rachmuth is the North Carolina Chapter President of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, an organization dedicated to creating dialogue between Christians and Jews in order to educate them about the dangers of antisemitism and the BDS movement in the US. Her work has appeared in Fox News, The Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Jewish News Service, and other international media outlets.


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